Yanphan Deck Analysis- Counting Cards

Hey guys, I’m Matt. As you may or may not have read in my bio, I’m a long time Pokémon fan though I have never actually played an “official” Pokémon match before. There’s not much interest in Pokémon in my area, and certainly no venues or leagues. All the same, I still enjoy the game very much and I like to keep on top of the modified format.

This is my first article for SixPrizes, so please forgive me if it’s too long, I’ve over-explained myself, or overlooked a grave error regarding a card. Hopefully you’ll be able to take something away from it in the end, even if it’s the dignity of this author :)

With the new rotation, I feel as if the Pokémon TCG has taken a drastic shift in direction. Gone are cards that were once staples in decks, and in are new cards that will greatly affect the game. There are 3 main categories I feel have been affected the most. They are:

Speed– Gone are the days of building up a Stage 2, heavy hitter, with 3-4 basic energy cards. This saddens me, because I always thought the heart of the game was Evolving and “Building-up” and then destroying. It’s all about speed now.

Energy– I don’t particularly like SP decks but I must admit their ability to use and abuse cards, especially energy, make them too powerful sometimes. Being able to Pokéturn a Pokémon with an Energy Gain and a basic energy card attached, makes their versatility unparalled. Even non-SP cards are able to deal big time damage with less energy nowadays.

Draw Power– Lightning’s not supposed to strike twice, so it’s hard to imagine another card like Claydol. Not having Claydol cripples just about every type of deck, in some way, shape, or form. Even decks that didn’t run Claydol may have counted on “Bright Looking” or using Pokémon Reversal on it. It’s safe to say the game won’t ever be the same with the loss of this card.

pokebeach.comWith all this in mind, I started looking at some of the upcoming cards in the Clash at the Summit expansion. I came across a card that looked like it could find a role in the current climate of greater speed, less energy, and less draw power. That card is Yanmega Prime. While it’s still in Japanese I’ll give a quick rundown of the card:

With a mild 110HP, this Stage 1 looks to be just as mediocre as the next card. It’s first attack, Linear Attack, does 40 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokémon (don’t apply weakness and resistance when damaging the bench), for one Grass and one C Energy. It’s second attack, Sonic Boom, does 70 damage to the defending Pokémon, and the attacks damage isn’t affected by weakness and resistance (one G Energy, and two C Energy needed to attack).

However, as with many cards, its Poké-Body is where it gains its merit. It’s Poké-Body “Insight” states that if you and your opponent have the same number of cards in your hands, this Pokémon’s attacks have no Energy cost. This really got my attention. I thought that this Poké-Body, along with it’s free Retreat Cost, could have potential. There are a lot of popular cards out there that could help it achieve its goal. Alongside another Pokémon that had a fast and energy-efficient setup, this could really increase the chances of a good start to a game.

The following is a preliminary decklist that I’ve come up with. I’ll present the list and then discuss some cards and strategy.

Pokémon: 23

4 Yanma LA
3 Yanmega Prime
4 Phanpy HS
3 Donphan Prime
2 Giratina “Let Loose” PL
2 Crobat G PL
1 Chatot MD
2 Uxie LA
1 Trapinch RR
1 Flygon RR

T/S/S: 30

4 TGI Poké Turn
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Rare Candy
2 Pokémon Communication
1 Luxury Ball
2 Expert Belt
4 Judge
3 Bebe’s Search
2 Copycat
2 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
2 Broken Time-Space

Energy: 7

6 F
1 P

Deck Analysis:

Yanmega Prime: One of your main attackers. The strategy is to equal your opponent’s hand size in order to attack. This is achieved through a variety of supporters and other Pokémon in the deck. It’s second attack will be the one mainly used against the active. With an Expert Belt and Crobat G’s, you can hit for 100+, no energy attached.

Donphan Prime: Fairly self explanatory. This guy can beast and also provide security to Yanmega Prime. If you are dealing damage with Yanmega, why not try and stockpile a few F Energy on this guy? Also, starting the game with him can be just as good as opening the attack with Yanmega.

Giratina “Let Loose”: Used only for its Poké-Power, “Let Loose” when Yanmega Prime is your active. This is an alternate option to using a Judge or Copycat, but with a twist. You each draw up to 4 cards. So, if it doesn’t get sprayed (which may very well happen) you shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw the 4 card maximum, then wait and see what your opponent does. If he/she draws 4, then you can attack with Yanmega as planned. If he/she draws less than 4, you can use up some cards to try and equal the hand size (though not recommended). The better option in this scenario could be to retreat Yanmega, and attack with a Donphan. Having your Donphan active and your opponent with a VERY depleted hand size is a good place to be in this day and age.

Chatot: When all else fails, the ability to Mimic will put you in the realm of equal or near- equal hand size as your opponent. You’ll have to wait a turn though, in which time hand sizes will change.

Flygon: One of the main drawbacks about using Giratina is its HUGE Retreat Cost. In a deck like this, where it has no attacking ability, it’s a major concern if it gets dragged out into the Active Spot by your opponent. Sometimes a SSU will be hard to come by, and even then, you’ll need to flip heads. Another option is to get a P Energy on Flygon. This will let Giratina retreat for free. This trick works for Donphan as well. Get a F Energy on Flygon and Donphan’s can retreat for free.

Flygon itself can be a useful attacker, especially against Garchomp C LV.X. The main problem here is getting a Stage 2 tech out in this type of deck. When you’re recycling cards and restricting their use, it can be hard to get the right conditions to set up Flygon.

Judge: This card is essential. It’s a Supporter, so you won’t have to worry about Trainer Lock. It limits the hand size of your opponent, and coincides with your strategy, equaling the hand size of both players. A proper timing of a Judge can really influence the outcome of a game. The disruption factor is a welcome bonus.

Copycat: It will equal hand size, but you draw the same amount of cards as your opponent has in their hand. While this will enable you to attack with Yanmega, it still allows them to keep their cards.

SSU: I don’t set much store by things that are left to chance. But this card can turn the tide if you get a heads. It’s worth a shot.

So just to review the strategy, we hope to start with Yanma or Phanpy and evolve into Yanmega or Donphan respectively. Depending on how fast this is achieved will determine how well you hold up in the upcoming turns. We then keep an eye on our opponent’s hand size, as well as our own, and try to maintain the same amount of cards in our hands- in order to attack with Yanmega.

Disrupting our opponent with Judge and “Let Loose” is what we aim for. If our opponent gets smart and tries to limit their hand in order to avoid Yanmega, we set Donphan on them. We super scoop up and retreat where necessary.

Cons & Counters:

Dialga G LV.X- The first thing that will be said about this is “Dialga eats this deck alive.” Well…you’re right. If your opponent gets Dialga G LV.X out, and sends it to the bench, the Yanmega’s are dead, the cute little tech with Flygon/Giratina/Donphan is dead, and Donphan becomes less beastly. If your opponent runs a 2-2 line, there’s definitely cause for concern.

The fact remains: Donphan still hits for 60 with one energy. It’s not much consolation, but it’s all you can do- and hope you flip heads on your SSU’s. The only real cure? Prevention. Judging your opponent at the right time may just send that LV.X back to the deck, buying you one more turn, at least.

Kingdra Prime: I love this card. It can really haunt Donphan, and its Poké-Power is great in my opinion. If you can get off one attack with Donphan before it dies, you may just be able to take it out with a Yanmega next turn. Not easy though. A fire tech would certainly work, but I just don’t know of a viable one for this deck.

Trainer Lock: I guess Trainer Locks hurt many decks. There’s a lot of hype over Vileplume. Coupled with Spiritomb, it certainly slows down this deck, but I wouldn’t say it stops it. Being able to still Judge and Copycat may just save you.

In conclusion, this deck is just a different idea that may or may never work. I’m honestly not a fan of donk decks, but I suppose this deck may achieve just that on occasion. I have no idea if it would even hold a candle in a competitive atmosphere. I haven’t playtested extensively at all, as there are only a few friends in my area who play. And we usually play for fun.

That being said, I think it meets certain criteria and has an outside chance of stealing a few games. All this aside, please, PLEASE leave any and all comments and suggestions! I want to know what I could do to make this deck more viable, or just what you guys think of it all! Hopefully you’ve gotten some ideas from it anyhow. Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Until next time.

Reader Interactions

43 replies

  1. Brittany

    My advice is this:
    I think this deck has potential. I don’t think it’ll ever be tier one, but a tier 3 or perhaps tier 2 wouldn’t be hard at all.

    I’d get rid of one Giratina for an Azelf, get rid of a yanma to make Donphan a 4/4 line

    This deck’s best bet, IMO is to use Yanmega as a co-attacker with Donphan, and make sure the user of this deck knows how to use it very well, lot’s of play testing. Also, I don’t know how I feel about Cyrus’s Conspiracy in a non-sp deck. I’ve heard people talking about it, but I never liked it. I think the 1 Chatot was good, not just for Yanmega, but just in this deck, I think it’ll be of help.

    I think one thing that’ll help it is the Judges & Giratina so you have a lot of disruption, which’ll help.

    So, in it’s current state
    Potential – I think it’s got a lot of potential

  2. Martin Garcia

    Like the concept, a friend of mine was trying to make a deck lke this, and it could have potential. Still, the flygon needs to leave, there are too many pokemon to set up, so i would prefer 2 warp points or 2 warp energies (in case of trainer lock)
    I would make the attackers line 3-3 in both cases, instead of 4-3, that will let you get in 2 collectors, and as stated somewhere in the comments, get 1 giratina out for 1 azelf.
    Excellent written article, detailed, well explained, and covering all aspects of the deck, its strategy and even ideas for counters to its counters, good job man.

    • Matthew Zwicker  → Martin

      I see what you’re saying. Flygon IS too hard to get going in this type of deck. Warp point may work just as well.

      It seems there’s a lot of support for Azelf, so I’m going to make that change. Attackers line 3-3? I’ll try it. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. ApokemonTrader .

    i do like the concept of another low enrgy deck with a no energy attacker but i find that your opponent can make it difficult enough to make your yanmega’s attacks to be inconsistant which is not a good thing at all
    however if you have no problems judgeing or garitina let loose spamming it does definately have potential =P

  4. Matthew Zwicker

    Thanks man! You’re right, you do have to be on the lookout for hand sizes at all times, or else Yanmega can’t attack. I find however that there are many ways that you can achieve this, even if you don’t have cards like Judge/Copycat/Giratina in your hand. Uxie can help a lot, and so can Cyrus’ Conspiracy. It’s like using 1 card to get 3, which may be just what you need!

  5. Shining Yue

    I would like to point out that Sonic Boom isn’t affected by weakness and resistance, and NO pokemon has resistance to Grass. I just wanted to say that.

  6. Anonymous

    Lately i have been pairing donphan prime with a couple of crobat g and a 2-2 blaziken fb lvx with 4 cyrus conspiracy and a a pair of gains and a single sp radar to a decent success.

    The reasoning behind this is that blaziken is a great/decent counter for the things that donphan hates the most and has synergy with the crobat g and poke turns that you are already playing in the deck.

    It puts dialga g into the active spot and next turn procceds to OHKO it.
    It reduces the damage input of kingdra prime to donphan to 20 or 60 if kingdra is belted. Also vapor kick may donk your opponent if you are lucky enough.

    It drags vileplume to the active spot and leaves the opponent with the only out of a warp energy or blaziken will OHKO it next turn. Also if you go first and you are lucky enough to begin with a fire energy and blaziken and they begin with tomb and gastly/odish they are already in a very bad position thanks to luring flame.

    Aditionally if you open with blaziken fb and a cyrus and go second and they open with tomb and gastly/odish you are still in a great position especially if you put gloom in to the active spot.

    The only problem that i found that blaziken does not solve is the kingdra LA tech that many people still run.

  7. Colin Peterik

    You need to add 3 or 4 Judge. As well as a great disruptor, it will also give you congruent hand size. I really like Giratina because it forces them to not want to draw 4, which is like them always losing a TG Wager. Also, I don’t like the 4 Candies with 2 Stage 1s and only a 1-0-1 tech line. I get Flygon, but Warp Point will work better IMO. So,
    -2 Rare Candy
    +2 BTS
    -1-0-1 Flygon
    +2 Warp Point
    Edit: Just noticed you already have 4 Judge. Good.
    -2 Chatot G
    -1 Phanpy
    -1 Yanma
    -1 Giratina
    -1 Poke Turn
    +1 Azelf
    +1 Cyrus
    +4 Poke Drawer +

    Cool thing about Cyrus is that you can negotiate your hand size with it pretty well, getting up to 3 cards could put you in congruency range while still fetching you things you need. 4 Drawers is also a must IMO.

  8. Matthew Zwicker

    Like I mentioned in the article, I don’t know how well it stacks up against the tier 1 decks, and I also haven’t playtested extensively. There’s still a lot to figure out. I really do like multiple Giratina, but maybe Azelf could find a spot as well. I think Cyrus’ Conspiracy helps not only to get energy, but to give me 2 more cards in my hand, which may be crucial in equalling the hand size.

    Thanks for all your input! I do hope it has the potential you were talking about! Hopefully I can expand on the idea and improve it even more.

    • Brittany  → Matthew

      I said switching out Azelf for Giratina because:
      Azelf is a better starter
      You won’t have to worry about a prized Giratina cause you can just use azelf

      I just think that there’d be a better card out there that can do the same as cyrus’s, just in a more effective way(in non-spy)

    • Brittany  → Matthew

      I said switching out Azelf for Giratina because:
      Azelf is a better starter
      You won’t have to worry about a prized Giratina cause you can just use azelf

      I just think that there’d be a better card out there that can do the same as cyrus’s, just in a more effective way(in non-spy)

      • Matthew Zwicker  → Brittany

        Yeah, I agree. Azelf definitely has more advantages than Giratina, in terms of a starter and its ability to fetch a Pokemon from prizes. I’m going to try this out asap.

        I’m still kind of sold on Cyrus’, although I’ll keep my eyes peeled for another, similiar card.

  9. Colin Peterik

    And you blatantly say that if DGX goes to the bench you scoop. Even with your 1-0-1 Flygon line that you can easily add the Lv.X in?

  10. Matthew Zwicker

    I like your suggestions man! I was debating Warp Point for a long time, and more BTS could be better for sure. I’m assuming by -2 Chatot G you mean -2Crobat G? Nevertheless, interesting additions.

    I’m always hesitant to put in more trainers, seeing as how trainer lock is a popular topic these days. I’m glad you like the Cyrus and Giratina factors in this deck. I think they really help!

  11. Perry Going

    Good idea, but I dont think Yanmega will work. It will be very difficult to set up quickly and on top of that keep the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent. You can only play 1 supporter per turn so you would have to work with the 4 card in your judge… wait you have to keep the same number in your hand so you cant use those. I recommend you put in 2 collector for better set up and to search out the giratina

  12. Matthew Zwicker

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say here. In the article, I admitted that DGX is a hard counter to stop for sure. If this indeed happens, all you really have going in terms of attack is Donphan. I don’t ever expect to have a Flygon ready by the time they get a DGX out. I certainly don’t think a Flygon Lv.X can be worked in with such a thin line. And by scoop, do you mean give up? I’m still a noob in Pokemon terminology, but I wouldn’t give in if DGX is in play. I’d just do my best with what I had.

    Maybe I wrote something wrong in the article. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. Matthew Zwicker

    You have to be very disciplined in terms of your Judge/Copycat usage. I’ll find that I will use a Judge at the end of my turn, just prior to attack. Sometimes, when I draw my 4 cards, I won’t even look at them, so I’m not tempted to use any! But yeah, like I said, there are other ways of equaling hand size in the run of a turn. I just think that it’s an easier aspect of the game to control. While I don’t know what cards my opponent has, I can know how many.

    Maybe I’ll try 2 collector. Thanks.

  14. Theo Seeds

    you should take cpeterik’s advice. You tech Flygon, a dialga counter is just two cards away. (the x itself and dce).

  15. Theo Seeds

    you should use noctowl gs for the extra card when you’re one short.

  16. Theo Seeds

    i like yanmega prime. however, I think you need a few grass energy, because, when all else fails, snipe.

  17. Michael Randolph

    Very well written article, especially considering your not a player. I think your article covered the topic and deck very well and I admire your thought process. Well done and I expect you to do very well if one day you so choose to take the leap into Organized Play. Keep up the good work and I look forward to any future articles you may write.

  18. Matthew Zwicker

    I see now that he was proposing I add the Lv.X. I just didn’t understand. My bad. I actually own a Flygon Lv.X so I am even more keen to test this now. I just thought that it would be hard to get out but if DGX does come into play, I can concentrate my efforts on countering it.

    I’ll certainly make the adjustments to the deck.

  19. Matthew Zwicker

    Thanks a lot man!!! I’ll admit I was skeptical/nervous to write an article at first, especially since I’m not a player, but the reception has been great so far. I really do enjoy the game and maybe someday I’ll get a shot in Organized Play.

    I would love to continue writing articles for sure. It seems everyone has the main topics covered though, and I find it hard to write on a relevant topic/deck idea. Perhaps after this article ideas will come to mind more readily? Who knows!

    Again, thanks for the words of encouragement. Much appreciated.

  20. Joshua Pikka

    Really interesting Deck

    I haven’t seen this card before, but wow it has potential.

    Yes because of Dialga G it could face a tough time, but if your opponent doesn’t use that, man 70 damage for nothing.

    The deck looks really good, but I have a feeling that this deck is all potential and won’t really put up.

  21. Anonymous

    Extremely awesome article! I really enjoyed reading it, and we need more lengthy articles on Sixprizes. Good job my friend. I really like the concept and think it would be a nice deck to run. Keep up the awesome work!

  22. Anthony Desiata

    i like the idea around this deck there is some “flaws” with the list in my opinion but none the less it was interesting also to counter your dialga G you could put in the flygon X you already have the 1-0-1 flygon line so why not? also to try and solidify the plume you should to abuse yanmega’s attack that does 40 to anybody 3 turns of that and its gone yes they will try and set up another but that scenario is for a later time just my imput

  23. Justin Goldstein

    I think you should have a 1-1 Banette PL line in there just in case you have more cards in your hand than your opponent and you dont have judge or copycat

  24. Garrett Williamson

    I think its a really cool idea. In my opinion I would make Donphan the main attanker only because Yanmega doesn’t 100% reliable. It would suck in late game if you need to attack with yanmega but youve used up all of your resources like judge and copycat. But I might be wrong. I took a look at the primes from lost link and clash of the summit and I’m like Machamp. Right now off the top of my head I cant remember what it does but I know that one of it’s attacks does 100+. What a beast!

  25. Colin Peterik

    Man, I must have been tired this morning! I thought you had 2 Chatot Gs in there. But no, Crobats are good.

  26. Matthew Zwicker

    Man, I really like that idea! I just read over Blaziken FB’s card. It would certainly act as both a Dialga G counter AND a Kingdra Prime counter. It’s a real neat option; one that I may have to look into.

  27. Joshua Pikka

    I dont really see why donphan is needed, because yanmega should be going turn 1 or 2.

    But the Flygon x idea is a good tech.

    • Matthew Zwicker  → chrataxe

      Thanks man. I’m from Newfoundland, which is on the East Coast of Canada. There’s honestly NOTHING in terms of Pokemon TCG here, no joke. If I could generate enough interest I’d try to organize something myself. But that’s a huge task to manage.

      For now, I’m content with just following SixPrizes and building decks on my own. Hopefully I can find more people in my area who play/willing to learn. That would be great.

  28. Matthew Zwicker

    Thanks dude! I’ll do my best to contribute articles whenever I can. Glad you enjoyed reading through.

  29. Tony

    Great first article! For not having much organized play in your area, you have a good understanding of the game. Also, I totally agree about not liking donk decks. Silly me, I actually think Pokemon is about playing matches that last longer than 30 seconds and to make the best decisions over the course of several turns, not slamming your opponent first turn. Now, if I build a deck that leaves me really vulnerable to the donk, that’s one thing. But the current format allows you to get donked way too often even with a good deck build.

    The deck is a unique combo, but it doesn’t have a lot of synergy or match up well with other popular deck builds that are/will be popular (Dialga G, Gengar). I would also suggest choosing either Yanmega or Donphan and really make one of them work. If you focus just on Yanmega, you could add Sunflora for search power to get your Yanmegas set up more quickly. And, you may find a way to tech in one of the Yanmegas from a previous release to give you some more options.

  30. Anonymous

    I dont like it too much,its double weak to lightning and with sp maybe packing pont now, yanmega won’t do well unless you have donphan as a main attacker or you throw in a 1-1 metapod and see how long until that gets sniped by garchomp.
    Great article

  31. John Rea

    WOW very neat deck, I think it could work, but I think you should put 4 copycats in

  32. John Rea

    WOW very neat deck, I think it could work, but I think you should put 4 copycats in

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