Tyranitar Prime: Options as a Beginner

I’d like to start off by saying that this is my very first article or deck analysis. Not only is this my first analysis, but I’ve only just begun taking up Pokémon TCG and collecting as a hobby with my girlfriend for a few months. I have to say just collecting cards, planning out decks, learning strategy makes this a truly great experience. Never been a card player of any type, but this game is much different.

This is my first deck. I decided on it because I had come across alot of these cards starting our collection and it seemed inexpensive and manageable to create. I understand that submitting this as a beginner is subject to trial by fire, but I appreciate any critiques.

Basic Strategy

The idea is to get your Tyranitar Prime’s built as quickly as possible and apply pressure to the opponents entire bench using “Darkness Howl”. The alternative to this is “Megaton Tail” using a slightly different card arrangement that I sometimes use.

The Cards

Sableye: It goes without saying that Impersonate is why you play this card. Impersonate will help speed up your deck and get the Pokémon you need on your bench and powered up as quickly as possible. This Pokémon could also serve as a last resort attacker if the defending Pokémon’s HP was less than Sableye’s. Lastly, the fact that Sableye is a Darkness Pokémon means he will be unaffected by Darkness Howl when on the bench.

Spiritomb: Like Sableye he is also unaffected by “Darkness Howl”. Starting with Spiritomb or getting it into play early can be extremely effective because of “Keystone Seal”. Denying trainer cards can slow many decks considerably, most notably SP decks which are heavily reliant on trainers. Perhaps the best part about Spiritomb in this deck is “Darkness Grace”, requiring no energy you’ll be able to speed your evolutions to Tyranitar while your opponent is slowed.

pokemon-paradijs.comTyranitar: The Pokémon can be a beast. 160 HP or 180 HP with Expert Belt. “Darkness Howl” is listed as doing 20 damage to all Pokémon in play except for Darkness Pokémon. With Expert Belt and special darkness energy it often does much more, so it can KO the active Pokémon and Knock Out the opponent’s bench, allowing you to collect easy Prize cards.

Blissey: Bench warmer and a healer for the deck. Having this Pokémon on your bench allows you to remove two damage counters from any one of your Pokémon, once per turn at the cost of discarding 1 card from your hand. This can be very useful for keeping Pokémon around longer or reducing damage done to your bench by attacks that effect all of your bench. This Pokémon can use any energy type if it absolutely had to attack.


Pokémon 244 Larvitar
2 Pupitar
3 Tyranitar Prime
1 Tyranitar SF
3 Spiritomb AR
3 Sableye SF
2 Chansey
2 Blissey
2 Murkrow
1 Honchkrow SV
1 Uxie LA
T/S/S 242 Broken Time-Space
2 Interviewer’s Questions
4 Rare Candy
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Pokémon Communication
3 Pokémon Collector
1 Luxury Ball
1 Lucian’s Assignment
1 Palmer’s Contribution
Energy 125 Basic D
4 Special Darkness
3 Double Colorless

Alternative List

Pokémon 244 Larvitar
2 Pupitar
3 Tyranitar Prime
1 Tyranitar SF
2 Spiritomb AR
2 Sableye SF
2 Chansey
2 Blissey
2 Trapinch
1 Vibrava
2 Flygon RR
1 Flygon LV.X
T/S/S 242 Broken Time-Space
4 Expert Belt
4 Rare Candy
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Pokémon Communication
3 Pokémon Collector
1 Luxury Ball
1 Lucian’s Assignment
1 Palmer’s Contribution
Energy 125 Basic D
4 Special Darkness
3 Double Colorless

The alternative list’s focus is not on Darkness Howl, but on dealing heavy damage to the opponent’s Pokémon through Tyranitar Prime’s “Megaton Tail” and the attacks of Flygon from Rising Rivals and Flygon LV.X such as Power Swing. This card also supplies Tyranitar with a free retreat, which usually is treacherous.

I sometimes switch between the two for a bit of change in style. Any and all advice and critcism is expected and apprectiated. I’m not sure how competitive this deck will be, but I’ve had fun with it so far as my first. I’d also appreciate thoughts on how competitive you think it could be. Thanks! Hopefully you all enjoyed this to some degree.

Reader Interactions

26 replies

  1. Zackary Ayello

    Nice to see another fair fellow who got into Pokemon with his girlfriend. One quick question for you. You are aware that the expert belt and the special dark energies only add damage to the active, right? So with darkness howl with a belt and one special dark, you’d do base 50 to the defending Pokemon, and only 20 to the bench.

  2. Eric Clow

    I do realize that, and probably should have wrote it differently. Thanks ! And yes- playing with your girlfriend is actually really fun. It’s a hobby that we now both enjoy. She was a fan first, then introduced me to it.

  3. Anonymous

    Pretty solid ideas. Just one thing about Sableye: Expect to attack with him quite frequently, especially because you’ve got Special Darks and Expert Belts in there. Getting a T1 donk is VERY favorable to just setting up and risking a loss. =P I’d also suggest Nidoqueen RR instead of Blissey. A little harder to get out, but it will heal two damage counters from ALL of your Pokemon every turn (well, one every between turns). I don’t really see much of a need for Honckrow at all, and you should definitely put two Uxies and an Uxie X in there to help draw the cards you need. Nidoqueen RR should take care of itself and Uxie from Darkness Howl’s damage, but if you really want to, you can throw in a Bench Shield or two.

    Then, you should use 4 Sableye in both decklists. Sableye is a great starter, and if you can get the donk, all the more power to you! A lone Unown Q will help get Sableye and Spiritomb starts out of the way or help retreat Tyranitar. And I’ve tried using Lucien’s Assignment in decks like this, but I haven’t ever actually used it. It’s entirely up to you, though.

    All in all, pretty solid deck ideas. Good luck in the upcoming Battle Roads!

  4. mewuk85

    Great awesome article………I have a t-tar deck i would say that interviewrs questions, judge, and 4 DCE, and always 2 uxie…. also unown Q is awesome for puting your opponent in a trainer lock then on your turn you unlock it.

  5. Zackary Ayello

    Okay thanks for the clarification. Yeah, my girlfriend kinda dragged me in too. “You used to play, help me build a snipestoise list.” And from there, i got stuck in too. I started lurking here at 6p, and watching card scans like a hawk. Of course, we both know who gets the bill for said cards, no?

  6. Jordan Baker

    It might also be worthwhile to test out Unown DARK from Undaunted. Any deck playing Sableye should test with Unown, because it greatly increases your chance of donking. It basically provides you with a searchable special dark.

  7. James Hall

    Sweet concept man, I am somewhat new/coming back from a stint, to the game. I was wondering about a setup like this but because of not being able to find the card I just dropped it. Good post.

  8. JDarok SRMXP

    Very good article! I never test Tyranitar but here some little changes:
    Focus Sableye, or in Spiritomb, not both, becouse in middle/late game they are dead draws and easy prizes for your opponent. I recomend you 4 Sableye, and maybe some way of discarding them from your hand in the middle/late game. You need 1 more Uxie and Uxie Lv X, also you need Unown Q for retreating Sableye and Uxie Lv X. The Honchcrow is not needed. I recomend you 4 Super Scoop Up, for when your Blissey/Uxies are going to die. Also you should play 1-1 Umbreon UD against Domphan Prime and others Pokemons. You can also play 1-1 Glalie against only Domphan Prime, but Umbreon help you against 80% of the decks. Also take out a Interviewer and put a Prof Oak New Theory from HS set, he can help you if you have a very bad hand and a Sableye start.(Sometimes Sableye cant help you if your hand sucks) I really dont see Blissey as a need, but can help you tank Tyranitar, maybe play a 1-1? In some days i will test Tyranitar, then i will coment again. Bye

  9. Garrett Williamson

    Very nice. Iv always really liked Tyranitar. I at one point played a deck similar to the alternative list. Attach 1 dark to flygon and all your dark pokemon like spiritomb, sably, and tyranitar. So good luck with your upcoming tournaments. Victory metals will be great additions to your collection! :)

  10. Tony

    Really nice article! T-tar is such a tank, and it is fun to see a good deck build around this.

    As far as deck comments… I for one like your idea to run more sableyes and spiritomb. Instead of using Flygon, have you thought about running a 2-2-2 Vileplume line? Trainer lock might work well with this deck to counter SP. If you do this, then you would probably want to trade out a lot of your trainers for more supporters.

    Also, you may want to consider throwing in a Blissey Prime to fully heal your t-tars when needed. You may have to discard energy but can possibly get them back with your SF Ttar.

    Seriously, great first article, and way to choose a deck list with a different twist.

    It’s kinda hard to think of other evolutions to run with T-tar, and I think you might have a hard time getting both T-tar and

  11. Martin Garcia

    Most of his pokemon are dark already, and recieve no damage from tyranitar, so theres no point. Also, another stage 2 in this deck would totally slow this down.
    I would add one more uxie because you NEED the draw power, and azelf if something gets prized, and 4 SSU, you dont want the pixies around when using darkness howl. Now that i think about it, a few hunter would be nice here, when they get realesed.

  12. Jordan Baker

    I don’t think that replacing lucians with shaymin is always a good idea. I would rather mulligan than have a lone shaymin start. If you’re not running a grass deck or SSU, then the shaymin is just wasted space as soon as you play it.

  13. venny kid

    Hey, try a 2-1-2 Nidoqueen RR instead of a 2-2 Blissey PL. It heals one damage from EACH of your Pokemon in between turns instead of just 2 damage from 1, with a discard. As a body it can’t be sprayed, but its a stage two and harder to get out. In my opinion it would be better in this deck, but It’s your deck so try what you want….

  14. chrataxe

    Ah yes, Tyranitar…the surprise deck for Battle Roads. 160 HP and does tons of damage and has a decent 1 energy attack…this guy is pretty sick. I’ve done my fair share of hatin’ on TTar, but I’ve also done quite a bit of testing. I’ve realized 2 things: Darkness Howl DOES have its place, but DO NOT build a deck around it. And second, his other attacks are amazing. 2 energy and you can do 60 that cuts through any reducing effect? Great way to take down cards like Scizor, Special Metal, and any other damage reducing agent. Also, fully loaded, TTar does 120 for 3 (Power Claw w/ 4 Special Dark + Belt), OHKO’ing Donpah, which can potentially wreck havock on this deck. Oddly enough, when I tested this a lot, I had my Wormadam deck together. Wormadam utterly destroyed this deck due to weakness, but that is what happens when you can do 220 for 2 when belted (Wormadam Sany Cloak, x2 weakness) ! 3 for 120+? Possibly the best attack in the game as this attack can OHKO almost anything due to Special Dark and Expert Belt., giving you the potential to do 180 Damage. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head that can survive that is a Belted Rhyperior X (which no one plays) and a fully loaded Steelix Prime.

    Now, on to your list:

    First and foremost, ENERGY EXCHANGER!!!! This card is a MUST in any deck that plays Special Energies.
    Drop Lucian’s. If you want to run an energy mover, do Shaymin UL. It does the same thing and is searchable, scoopable, and reusable.
    Memory Berry/Rage (Rage is Pupitar UL’s 2nd attack) is pretty good, though I prefer the belt after a lot of testing. Memory berry can do tons of damage but its not consistent with its damage where a Belt offers +20/+20 always…but, its worth looking into if you haven’t tried it.

    Some other things that people have said:
    Definitely either go with Spiritomb or Sableye. Both have their advantages, so its really about preference but having both offers no advantage.
    Blissey Prime and Nidoqueen are both better than Blissey PT.
    Uxie is a must, as is the X (if you have it!)
    Unown Q is a must as well, no excuses though, these are cheap!

  15. Alex Pike

    Great Article was good to read through (T’TAR SF WOOHOOO!)

    I think everyone has already gone through all the additional things you could pop in there.

    The only thing I’d add is that rather than the Rage Pupitar with Memory Berry’s as some people have said I always used the one with Energy Protection Poke-Body. I believe it’s from SF? It reduces damage done to it by 10 for each energy attached (max of 30), making it pretty much unsnipable, even by blastoise :D

  16. chrataxe

    I did say scoopable, so I thought it implied SSU. But, with your logic, Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit are all bad cards in a deck. And, if you play Dialga G, most only play one X and without Azelf (b/c, your logic says its a bad card), Dialga will frequently become “just wasted space as soon as you play it.”

    The only real disadvantage is that Shaymin is sprayable. So is Giratina but that doesn’t stop people from playing it. In fact, the reason people play Giratina is for the same reasons I recommended Shaymin.

    Every card in Pokemon has its advantages and disadvantages.

  17. Mark B

    Good idea. I would prefer going along with 4 Darkness, 4 Basic Dark, and 4 Double Colorless. More Double Colorless translates for a faster Godzilla.

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