What’s up guys? I am here with an analysis on a new deck I have been play testing extensively over the last few weeks.
I knew I wanted to build Plox when HG/SS came out, but after seeing some of the other cards in the set, I thought I should take advantage of some of the new overlooked cards and build something that isn’t simply a net-deck. The result is a high-power, high-consistency, top-tier deck worthy of dominating for the short remainder of the DP-GS format.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you… Sludggge.
4-3-2-1 Gardevoir LV.X (SW)
1 Gallade (SW)
1-1 Luxray GL LV.X (RR)
1-1 Slowking (GS)
1-1 Gyarados (MT)
1-1 Claydol (GE)
1 Chatot (MD)
1 Uxie (LA)
1 Azelf (LA)
1 Unown G (GE)
4 Roseanne’s Research
3 Bebe’s Search
3 Pokémon Communication
2 Pokémon Collector
4 Rare Candy
2 Expert Belt
1 Luxury Ball
1 Warp Point
1 Night Maintenance
1 Moonlight Stadium
1 Broken Time-Space
3 Double Colorless
This deck is a combination of hard hitting, deck disrupting, power locking, and option limiting. Each piece moves like a good game of chess; the pieces of which I will explain individually below.
The basic goal, like most other Plox variants, is to start “Psychic Lock”ing as early as possible. A fantastic start for this deck would be a Ralts start,with a Psychic energy and a Collector/Roseanne’s. Attach the Psychic and use “Future Sight” to disrupt your opponent, or aid yourself if you are really in need. Turn 2 use your Roseanne’s/Collector resources to get either a Rare Candy & Gardevoir or Broken Time-Space & Kirlia & Gardevoir. Get Claydol out ASAP, and attach the Double Colorless Energy to Gardevoir when you get it.
The reprint of DCE in HG/SS is a big reason why this deck is getting a revival, as it is once again possible to get a T-2 “Psychic Lock”. “Psychic Lock” prevents your opponent from playing any Poké-Powers during his or her next turn. This can be detrimental to decks that rely on Claydol GE, (about 80% of decks) and also crippling to decks that employ Uxie LA (99% of decks). Versus SP, you just shut off all of your opponents super-powered Powers. “Bright Look”, “Healing Breath”, and “Flash Bite”; all useless.
Gardevoir also has a phenomenal Poké-Power himself in the form of “Telepass”. In what may be the most broken power in the format, “Telepass” lets you use the effect of a Supporter in your opponents discard pile. This means so many things. This means you may use 2 Supporters per turn. This means you may use a Supporter when you don’t have one. This means you can use Bebe’s Search 8 turns in a row and get ANYTHING you want. It also means that your opponent will think twice before playing a Supporter, limiting their options. ‘Telepass” is one of the few Powers that is not stackable, but hey, lets not get greedy.
Gardevoir conveniently has a LV.X card. Gardevoir LV.X brings 20 more HP to the party, along with ANOTHER great Poké-Power and a decent attack. “Teleportation” let’s you choose your active Pokémon or a Pokémon on your bench and switch it with Gardevoir. This is great for getting out of sticky situations involving Flygon lock, along with being able to essentially use the effect of a Switch every turn. It is also great for a very electrifying combo I will discuss in a minute.
“Bring Down”, Gardevoir LV.X’s only attack, is a bit of an odd one. For 2 Psychic energies, you can KO a Pokémon on either side of the field with the lowest HP. This means if your opponent just retreated their heavily damaged heavy-hitter to avoid a KO, you can (usually) KO it anyway. It is also cool in that Gardevoir is not one of your choices, AND you get to choose if there are 2 Pokémon with the same HP. (You and your opponent both have a benched Uxie with full HP, you may choose your opponents Uxie to KO). Overall, not the greatest attack in the world, but it gives you more options.
Gallade is not quite as intellectual as his sister, but much more of a brute. Simply put, Gallade can 1HKO almost anything in the format twice in one game for 1 Psychic and 1 DCE. Let me say that again. GALLADE CAN 1HKO ANYTHING TWICE FOR 2 ENERGY. Eh hem. Sorry about that. That being said, the spotlight on this deck isn’t on Gallade; he is more of an insurance policy. He is fantastic if you need to get rid of something pesky like a Flygon LV.X or Gyarados SF. It is this decks version of a “Balls-to-the-wall” type attacker akin to Machamp LV.X; you can only use it once or twice, and it usually takes a prize both times. Add the fact that he uses the same evolutionary line as Gardevoir, and this guy is a no brainer.
No card is perhaps more infamous, revered, sought after, beloved, and hated all at the same time as Luxray GL LV.X. This card revives the Base Set era Gust of Wind trainer in the form of “Bright Look”, forcing your opponent to drag up a Pokémon of your choice. Luxray has 2 decent attacks for a non-SP deck; “Trash Bolt” does 70 for 3 and forces an energy discard from your hand, while “Flash Impact” does 60 for 2 and deals 30 to a Pokémon on your bench, (a good combo with our fishy friend. More on this in a minute).
Of course, we most likely wont be using any of this kitty’s attacks, (although there is 1 Lightning energy in the deck just in case), instead we will implement the ol’ bait and switch. Once you have leveled up Gardevoir, use “Teleportation” to switch out Luxray. Level Up Luxray and “Bright Look” anything on your opponents bench. Retreat Luxray, (free) and then send up your attacker to severely cripple your opponents set up.
The cool thing about this is that with “Bright Look” you would USUALLY drag up Claydol to kill it, however this is Plox, where Claydol is useless anyway. Instead, you can use your precious “Bright Look” to bring up someone more threatening to KO.
The newest set brought us many hyped up cards, many horrible cards, and many cards whose usefulness is still yet to be determined. One of the latter is Slowking. Slowking’s Poké-Power “Second Sight” lets you look at the top 3 cards from either players deck once a turn and re-arrange them as you like. This is a fantastic way to ensure your opponent will not get set up. “Psychic Lock” will disable Claydol, and “Second Sight” essentially finishes the job.
Give them a Night Maintenance early game. Give them a LV.X. Happy Birthday. On your side of the board, “Second Sight” can also be useful. Ensure the card you topdeck next turn if you are desperate. If you are facing Flygon LV.X, select the card you don’t mind discarding from “Wind Erosion”. Slowking has a decent HP of 90, and is also a Psychic type so his Retreat Cost is covered with Moonlight Stadium.
4. Gyarados MT
Ah, the sore-thumb of the deck. Some of you may remember his brother, Gyarados SF. You know, the one that can do 90 for no energy etc. etc… Well, this is his crazy second cousin! This Gyarados has a downgraded 120 HP but is equipped with a Poké-Body “Dragon DNA”. “Dragon DNA” is essentially a built-in Memory Berry that adds 30 damage before weakness and resistance to any attacks used by the Magikarp he evolved from.
The burning question? Yes, there IS a Magikarp with a “Flail” attack. The Magikarp from the same set has an attack “Flail” which, for 1 C energy does 10 damage times the number of damage counters on him. This means that your opponent has to 1HKO him, or else they will get 1HKO’d net turn. So why run it, you ask? Well, what it does is opens up your options. It adds an element of surprise. If for some reason you are running really poorly and your opponent has the upper hand, shake it up a little bit. I compare it to the options Flygon has in the same situation.
Memory Berry and “Inviting Trap” just to stall and give your field and opportunity to build. I often find that when I promote Gyarados, my opponent is scared to attack, knowing that I will do the same damage plus 30 next turn for 1 energy. The best part about it is, while they are trying not to do damage, I am doing 40 damage per turn with one Rainbow Energy drop. I guess you could say Gyarados fits in the “Wild Card”/”Clean-Up” category, and I love it. (It is also a FANTASTIC Donphan Prime counter. Anyway you slice it, Gyarados will ALWAYS 1HKO DONPHAN PRIME after he attacks.)
5: Techs and Supporter Pokémon
Chatot MD is a great card that gives you more drawing options. Not to mention that if you “Bright Look” a Spiritomb, you can litterally “Chatter” lock for the game. Free retreat is also very nice. Claydol is essential draw power. I feel a 1-1 line is enough for this build. Uxie for more draw options. Azelf to fish either half of Claydol or anything else out of the prizes. Unown G with care, mostly for Gengar/Machamp. Might be nice to add another one due to lots of powers in my lines.
6a: Before HG/SS, the standard Supporter list usually had 4 Roseanne’s and 4 Bebe’s. Since the release of Collector and Pokémon Communication, I believe it is time for a revolution. I include the standard 4 Roseanne’s because it can fish out Pokémon and Energy. This is crucial as there are really only 7 basic energy cards in this deck, sometimes getting that last Psychic energy out of the deck can win the game. I include only 3 Bebe’s Search along with 2 Collector. Bebe’s is the old standby for getting any Pokémon from your deck, and Collector can get you any 3 basics.
Getting a Collector early game can expedite your set-up, searching for Baltoy, Ralts, and Slowpoke/Uxie on T-2. The most exciting and hyped of the new trainer cards is of course Pokémon Communication. This is a trainer that lets you get any Pokémon from your deck. Okay, so you have to trade a Pokémon from your hand to use it, but it is essentially a Bebe’s Search you can use without wasting your Supporter for the turn. 3 of these bad-boys will make sure you get what you want, when you want it. (Spiritomb and Dialga G mess up this card, but thats why we don’t solely rely on it).
6b: Expert Belt turns Gardevoir into a more formidable attacker, dishing out 80 + Power Lock per turn for only 3 energy. It also turns Gallade into somewhat of a tank, with 150 HP and an attack that maxes out at 200 damage. (Damnit, Wailord + Expert Belt!!!) Also, if it is a last resort, Gyarados now has 140 HP and can do 60 damage a turn for 1 Rainbow Energy.
6c: Warp Point fills the awkward space between not leveling up Gardevoir and leveling up Gardevoir. Also gets Gyarados out of the way when he has done his job. Combo’s very well with Luxray GL LV.X as well. Moonlight Stadium gives almost everyone on your side of the board free retreat, and BTS to give you a better chance of T-2 Claydol/Psychic Lock.
As you can see , there is a healthy mix of 3 DCE and 3 Call Energy. In a perfect world, I would love to have 4-of both. Call Energy saves your butt on T-1, and DCE makes T-2 Gardy/Gallade possible. It also makes it possible to retreat Claydol in one turn. There is 1 Rainbow Energy mainly used to place 1 damage counter on Gyarados so that he can do an auto-40 damage. There are 5 P Energy for the GG family. Slowking and Azelf utilize them as well, but hopefully it never comes to that…
There is 1 F Energy just in case you have to use Gallade’s less-than stellar first attack, or if you are forced to do combat with Claydol. (I actually once used “Spinning Attack” with Expert Belt to get out of a Trapinch lock….) The lone lightning energy is in case you feel like using either of Luxray’s attacks. The beautiful thing is that there is so many Colorless-based attacks in this deck, it can afford to run a few other rogue types.
This deck has so many options, so many different ways to disrupt and control your opponent. And best of all, this thing is damn consistent. I believe that with perhaps some minor tweaks from you guys, (eh? eh?) this deck will perform phenomenally at States/Regionals/Nationals. It is based off a classic proven system, adjusted for the new format, and twisted up a little bit for originality. Thanks for reading!
(By the way, Sludggge is for Slowking, LUxray, Gyarados, Gardevoir and Gallade).