The Ultimate Guide to Teching Out Your Deck

On the article request thread in the forums, it was requested that an article be written about incorporating the SP Engine into Stage 2 decks, so decided to write an article that would explain how to do that. I had originally planned to write a Tech/Deck Building article, so I just decided to combine them. Here it is, my very long article.

There are a lot of ways that SP cards can be put into Non-SP decks. For example, Stephen Sylvestro’s 2009 World Championship deck took Speedrill with a Luxray GL LV.X tech, which included 2 Cyrus’s, 1 E-Gain, 1 SP Radar, 4 Poké Turn, 1 Luxray Gl, 1 Luxray Gl LV.X and 1 Crobat G. I would like to tell you all the different ways to incorporate Pokémon SP as well as the SP engine into your Stage 1 and 2 decks. Let’s get started.

First off, you should not just go around putting techs into random decks, they must add to the overall theme of the deck or cover help a weakness or weaknesses of the deck.

We’ll start off with the Pokémon SP. There are a lot of different reasons why you may want to include Pokémon SP in your non-SP deck. Let’s get started with…

pokebeach.comAmbipom G: This card is a great counter to Garchomp C LV.X. It is able to 1HKO Garchomp after it has used it’s “Dragon Rush” attack, which traditionally leaves it with just an Energy Gain and no energy. Ambipom’s attack will require CC, meaning it’s easily payable with or without Energy Gain. Just be aware, however, if you place it on the bench and attach and energy to it, your opponent will most likely make Ambipom their target, meaning that you need to put it in play, power it up and KO Garchomp C in the same turn, otherwise it will prove to be a lot less effective. Energy Gain greatly helps with this as well as Double Colorless Energy.

Dragonite FB: Dragonite FB is another good counter to Garchomp C that is superior to Ambipom G in some ways, but lacks in others. The plus sides are it’s 100 HP, meaning it can’t be KO’d by “Dragon Rush” while on your bench and it better against Pokémon SP in general, such as Luxray GL, Dialga G, etc. However, it does have its drawbacks. First of all, it has 3 Retreat Cost, meaning it is a bad starter. To compensate for this, you will need to run extra Switch/Warp Point/Poké Turn to ensure that you can get it out of the active slot as fast as possible until you need it. Secondly, its attack requires CCC, meaning you will have to devote more space to the SP engine to ensure you can use Energy Gain. However, unless is you are playing 3-4 Double Colorless in your deck, you’d probably be better off sticking with Ambipom G.

Toxicroak G: Toxicroak G is the Luxray GL counter, being able to 1HKO it is amazing for just PC, which in translation, is a Psychic and an Energy Gain. You can run a pretty thin SP tool line for this card to be effective, which is good. Its 90 HP helps its chances of not being sniped by Garchomp C. Its Poké-Power also helps make it not as bad of a starter, meaning you can run more consistency cards instead of unneeded Switch/Poké Turns.

pokebeach.comPurugly G: This card is a rarely used tech that can help with a few matches. The most popular decks in the format, DialgaChomp, LuxChomp, SP in general and when/if Gyarados makes a comeback all traditionally have very large hands that often will reach numbers as high as 8-10, meaning that “Chip Off” will discard 3-5 cards, meaning you have a very good shot to get rid of their Cyrus’s, Poké Turns, Aaron’s and many other vital cards for your opponent. Often times, if used at the right moment, Purugly G can win you the SP match. While not quite as sure fire against Gyrados as they typically have not quite as important cards in their hand, you still have a good chance of getting rid of their Pokémon Rescue or Poké Turns, which as any good player will tell you, can turn the game in your favor. I really like this card because it can easily be run without SP trainer support.

Lucario GL: If there’s a match up that you need turned in your favor a bit more, Lucario GL may be able to help. If you’re lightning deck still can’t beat Kingdra LA or your Psychic based deck still can’t beat Machamp (I know, it doesn’t make sense, just for example purposes), give Lucario GL a shot.

Crobat G: While this card should be obvious, I will go over it quickly. Crobat G helps provide 1HKOs. In such a fast format, 1HKOs are vital. Also, Crobat G can help a lot in the Donphan matchup due to its attack, “Toxic Fang”.

Roserade GL: Another little know tech, it is a nice early game counter to Spiritomb, forcing them to waste a Warp Energy or let it be KO’d by Roserade. With “Darkness Grace” adding 10, being poisoned and “Poison Bind” doing 10, it won’t survive for very long. It can also help against other cards, but it’s a very situational card. One bonus of the card is you don’t need to run any TGI cards to make it effective, just a Collector and an energy will have it up and running.

Now that we’ve gone through more of the basic techs, here’s some of the more advanced techs that will require you to devote more space toward.

BlazikenFB LV.X Supreme Victors 142pokemon-paradijs.comBlaziken FB & Blaziken FB LV.X: This card was always good, but was overshadowed by Luxray GL, Garchomp C and all of the other Pokémon SP, so it wasn’t commonly used. However, the format has changed a lot and now Blaziken FB is extremely valuable for a large number of reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is its usefulness against VileGar, being able to drag it up to the active. If they can’t switch it out, you’ll be able to KO it, which is fantastic for SP. Another common use is its ability to 1HKO Dialga G LV.X even with 4 Special Metals attached. The last reasons, which aren’t as major as the first two, but still important, is the fact that it can 1HKO Scizor Prime and Steelix Prime, which is certainly a nice bonus to have. Blaziken FB is a very versatile card that can be used in a lot of different decks. If you have a problem with any of the aforementioned cards, give Blaziken a shot.

Luxray GL & Luxray GL LV.X: This card was THE card in 2009 & 2010. While still popular now, is overshadowed by Garchomp C. However, Luxray GL may return if Gyarados becomes tier one once again. Luxray is able to disrupt your opponent’s set up, cripple their plans and 1HKO Kingdra Prime and Gyarados. It can KO Kingdra LA as well, but will need the aid of Lucario GL.

Palkia G & Palkia G LV.X: Where did this card go? After placing 3rd at worlds in Seniors and Juniors (both the lists are exactly the same, btw), it just vanished. People were hoping it would make a comeback with Lost Lorld, but sadly PUSA decided to exclude the card from the set. Although I’m not quite sure what matches Palkia G LV.X would provide assistance for apart from Jumpluff, Palkia G has shown me that it’s not a terrible tech via Donphan. However, it works best if you already run DCE.

Dialga G & Dialga G LV.X This card is the tank in the deck DialgaChomp. However, it’s seeing a lot of play outside of that deck for a multitude of reasons, mostly for it’s Poké-Body, “Time Crystal” which shuts down all non-SP Poké-Bodies. It’s used namely to counter Trainer Lock, as it shuts off both Spiritomb and Vileplume. It also has a -20 resistance to Psychic, meaning that it should be able to take a few hits before being KO’d. It also provides a nice counter to Scizor Prime, which would could otherwise be a somewhat difficult match up.

pokemon-paradijs.comAbsol G & Absol G LV.X: The final Level Up tech in my list, Absol G LV.X got attention because of it’s Poké-Power, “Darkness Send”‘s synergy with Lost World, but again, that won’t happen yet. Right now, I think that Absol G LV.X is a great tech for against Trainer Lock to ensure that you can be 1HKOing their Gengars. However, you will need Lucario GL, 2 “Flash Bites” 2 Special Darks, etc to get the 1HKO. It works best in a deck that already plays Darks and/or Special Darks, but can be teched into many other decks.

Now, onto the Trainer & Supporters of the SP Engine.

Cyrus’s Conspiracy: One of the best supporters in the history of the TCG and the cornerstone of SP decks. Cyrus’s Conspiracy allows you to search your deck for a Supporter, a “TGI” trainer and a basic energy. When Roseanne’s left the format, people tried adding different Cyrus’s counts for it’s ability to find energy along with a supporter and just ditch the trainer search. I think this is a bad idea, there are much better ways to spend those 2-4 spots on than Cyrus’s Conspiracy that can’t live up to its full potential. Increasing your energy count or adding in Draw/Hand Shuffle Supporters would typically be a much better idea.

TGI Energy Gain: This card can only be described by one word, Amazing. Being able to reduce the energy costs of any of your SP attackers is great. “Dragon Rush” for a DCE, “Flash Impact” for L, “Poison Revenge” for just a P, all impossible without Energy Gain. If you’re running multiple SP techs and 2+ Cyrus’s Conspiracy, adding in 1-2-of this card should only help.

pokemon-paradijs.comTGI Poké Turn: This is an easy card to overtech or undertech into a deck. People adding only 1 when you need 2, people adding 4 when you only need 3. You need to add enough to save your Pokémon when needed and to reuse “Flash Bites”, but remember that Poké Turn is there to support your techs, so adding in too many can really hurt your consistency and be a huge VileGar liability.

TGI SP Radar: This is another tricky card to tech in and should only be played with a heavier Pokémon SP tech line. If you’re only running a Toxicroak G and Crobat G, I would say no unless if you have a lot of extra room. It works best if you’re running 1 Promocroak, 1 Crobat G, 1 Ambipom G and 1 Purugly or 1 Luxray GL, 1 Luxray GL LV.X and a Crobat G. You should only run 1-2, even with the above SP Poké-Techs (Pokémon Techs, It’s an abbreviation I may start using).

TGI Power Spray: This is a great card in decks that at least semi-focus on SP as a Main/Back Up attacker, but typically you’ll be better off leaving this card out of your Non-SP focused decks. Overall, it’ll be difficult to get 3 Pokémon SP in play, a Power Spray in hand and still be setting up the rest of your deck.

Aaron’s Collection: This is another card that is better off left out of your Non-SP decks unless if your deck meets two specific conditions. First off, the deck must run a thicker SP Poké-Tech line. Second, you must make sure that your deck actually has a big need for this card, don’t just go adding it to any deck with a few Pokémon SP in it. Also, it works best if the deck is running at least 2 Cyrus’s Conspiracy as well.

That’s most of the SP techs. There’s probably a few that I didn’t cover, but there’s the main ones. Like I said at the beginning of the article, you only want to add SP cards to Non-SP decks to add to the overall theme of the deck or help cover the decks weakness or weaknesses.

Now we move on to the Non-SP techs. These cards are the most common techs as they can be fit into decks a lot more easily. While SP techs are typically to counter a certain card or deck, Non-SP techs are usually to help your deck to work more efficiently. We’ll start off with the Pokémon Techs.

pokemon-paradijs.comSmeargle: I won’t go too much in detail as most of you probably know what this card does, but here’s my quick summary. It has two uses, the first is being a great starter Pokémon and the second is to bring it up after your Pokémon is KO’d, Poké Turned, etc. which allows you an extra supporter, which helps keep your hand fresh with cards that you can use to continue to set up attackers. It combos great with…

Unown Q: Unown Q is a great card. Unfortunately, it has very low HP. However, it’s not that important because you’ll want to use its Poké-Power to turn it into a tool card, which reduces the Pokémon’s Retreat Cost by 1. Combo’s great with so many cards it’s not even funny. It works in nearly any deck, LuxChomp, Sablelock, Scizor/Cherrim,

Ditto: When this card was first released in 2009, it was used mainly to counter Flygon RR and Gengar SF. In 2010, when Flygon popularity dropped, Ditto became almost non-existent. However, with the rise of Trainer Lock, it means that Gengar SF is also more popular than ever. It can also copy your opponent’s good starter Pokémon, such as Spiritomb AR and Sableye SF. Ditto will work best in decks that already play Rainbow Energy, Psychic or some way to fish the P Energy out of the deck. SP decks may be its best fit.

Nidoqueen: This card will require more space than a lot of the Poké-Techs on the list because it is a stage 2, meaning you’ll need at least a 1-0-1 line with Rare Candies. It’s fantastic in a lot of decks, in Donphan to counter it’s “Earth Quake” side affect, Tank decks to help it “Tank”, Gengar to make it harder for your opponent to avoid “Fainting Spell”, the possibilities go on and on.

Machamp: While 1-0-1 lines of Stage 2 has become harder to do since Claydol left, Machamp is still a tech that decks can use to greatly help their SP match up. However, with Claydol gone, it works better as a main or secondary attacker than a tech, but still, it’s an option if you’re looking for an anti-SP tech.

pokemon-paradijs.comUxie LV.X: With the loss of Claydol, this card is popping up everywhere. I don’t think there’s a single deck (apart from Scizor/Cherrim) that isn’t running at least 1 Uxie. Most decks are running a 2-1 or even a 3-1 Uxie line because both its basic and Level Up form are that good. Its Poké-Power, “Trade Off”, helps with consistency and its attack is used to counter Machamp. Uxie LV.X also saw a lot of play in Donphan decks as a secondary attacker.

Donphan Prime: Last format, this was a great tech to use against SP. Donphan makes Luxray GL LV.X must weaker because it 1HKOs it. Also, Luxray GL is stuck doing a miserable 20 damage to it because of it’s resistance and “Exoskeleton” Poké-Body, which reduces all damage done to it by 20. However, is has lost of a lot of its strength this format because of a number of cards, including Dialga G (shuts of Poké-Body and gets rid of its energies), Blaziken FB (2HKOs if your opponent flips tails once or with 2 “Flash Bites”) and Trainer Lock (Meaning no Expert Belts, PlusPower, SSU, etc). However, it’s still a good counter to SP, especially if you play Nidoqueen or other fighting Pokémon.

Unown (DARK): Pretty simple card, good in decks that use Special D Energies such as Tyranitar and Sablelock. It can’t be affected by Trainer lock which is nice, but it can be Power Sprayed and will take a bench slot. Still, it’s worth trying out.

Regice: Regice is not only great in a Gyarados deck, it’s also an amazing VileGar tech. For example, it’s Poké-Power can help in all stages in the game. If it’s early game, you can switch out Spiritomb so you can have a turn to use trainers. If it’s late game, just discard 2 Trainers to lower Gengar’s attacking power by 60 damage. As long as you don’t start with it, it’s a great card in a lot of different decks, even SP.

Drifblim UD: This card got a lot of attention and through playtesting, I have determined that it deserves only some of it. While it’s certainly not a bad card, it’s just not as good as you’d think against anything but a Tank or Mewtwo LV.X. If you’re looking for a Dialga G or Mewtwo counter, this card is it. Other than that, it probably won’t do all that much. Note: I even tried it as a Machamp counter, but it wasn’t that great.

Entei & Raikou LEGEND: This card is arguably the best Legend released so far and for a good reason, being able to get multiple KOs in a turn, sometimes as much as 3-4 is amazing. It’s only drawbacks were the Legend ones, multiple weaknesses, double prizes when KO’d, etc. While it isn’t really a direct counter to any certain deck, it helps with nearly every match. It 1HKOs Dialga G and Steelix with it’s first attack and kills Uxie, Azelf and a lot of other cards with its second. Well rounded and fast, what more can you ask for? This card requires a lot of tinkering with your deck for it to work, however. It works best in decks play Lightning, Fire and/or Rainbow Energy. Also, adding in Manectric PL and Bench Shields is a good idea as well, to ensure you don’t kill any of your own Pokémon.

pokemon-paradijs.comUmbreon Prime: A lot of people are saying Umbreon is a fantastic deck for its ability to wall so many things with its attack, “Moonlight Fang”, but I haven’t been won over yet. I think it’s just to fragile and there are a lot of ways for most decks to play around Umbreon for it to be its own deck. However, I do believe it’s a great tech for SP to use against VileGar. Typically, VileGar’s only attackers are Gengar SF, Uxie LV.X and in some lists, Blaziken FB, all of which have Poké-Powers and/or Poké-Bodies. Try it out in SP, let me know how it works.

Relicanth: This card was pretty popular in 2009 as a Luxray GL counter along side Promocroak. However, now that Garchomp C more prominent in the format than Luxray GL, people are focusing more on countering Garchomp C over Luxray GL. However, if you play a deck that already uses fighting Pokémon and want a sure-fire way to KO Luxray GL, look no further than Relicanth.

Blissey Prime The last Pokémon on this list is here solely for its Poké-Power, “Blissful Nurse” which can heal any of your Pokémon for the cost of discarding all the energy attached to it. It works great in decks that have high-HP Pokémon that can attack for little to no energy, such as Gyarados.

Next, I’ll talk about the various Trainers, Supporters and Energy cards you can tech into your deck.

pokemon-paradijs.comExpert Belt: Expert Belt is a card that must be used with great care, if played recklessly can cause you the game. Expert Belt gives the Pokémon you attach it to +20 HP. In addition, all damage the card does is increased by 20. The drawback, when the Pokémon is KO’d, your opponent collects one additional Prize card. This card helps turn 2HKOs into 1HKOs and helps turn the game in your favor. It works especially well in decks such as Gyarados, Donphan and others that run High-HP Pokémon that are difficult to KO or have ways to ensure you can save them before they’re KO’d, such as Super Scoop Up or Poké Turn.

Super Scoop Up: Poké Turn is for SP, Super Scoop Up is for everything else. The large difference that separates to two, however is the coin flip required to make SSU effective. SSU works best in decks that can put the Pokémon that was scooped up in play again in one turn or to reuse a “Put-in-play” Poké-Power, such as Uxie’s “Set Up” or Regice’s “Regi Move”. It works best when played in high counts of 3-4.

Palmer’s Contribution & Flower Shop Lady: The Night Maintenance of the format, these cards provide the recovery need for decks to be able to keep a constant stream of attackers late game. Most choose Palmer’s while others choose Flower Shop, but it’s mostly preference. These cards are mostly used in Non-SP with SP decks using Aaron’s.

pokemon-paradijs.comCyclone Energy: This is a much underestimated card that is very useful in a lot of matchups, but is best against Gyarados. Often times, when you use this card, it will be a free Prize card, which is always good.

Warp Energy: Just like Cyclone, but for your Pokémon, this card is necessary in VileGar to ensure you aren’t stuck with a Vileplume active. It’s also amazing in DialgaChomp to make sure you can heal with Garchomp C LV.X’s “Healing Breath” and still attack with Dialga G that turn. Simply put, it’s an amazing card.

Rescue Energy: Another card that will be brought to us along with the rest of the Triumphant set, Rescue energy will really help for recovering your Pokémon. Recovery is important. In today’s fast format, it is vital that you have an attacker ready each turn. Even missing one turn immediately puts you at a disadvantage. Rescue Energy helps make sure that doesn’t happen.

Well, that’s the end of my way-too-long review of a huge amount of techs in the game. I know I didn’t get to all of them (If I had, it would be 3 to 4 times as long), but I think that I was able to cover a large group of them. I hope you enjoyed it and were able to learn something about teching out your TCG deck.


Reader Interactions

12 replies

  1. Tony

    Really nice article! It’s hard to get every single tech that might be useful, but you managed to cover most of the ones that are the most viable.

    I probably would have stuck with just focusing the article on Pokemon techs, not trainder/supporters/energy. When you get into that area, it gets hard to pick and choose. I would also look at Uxie/Uxie Lv X not as a tech but as a staple in almost every deck. A tech in my mind is a combination of 1 or 2 pokemon cards to give your deck an edge in certain situations.

    A few other Pokemon techs that probably could have been mentioned are are Manectic PT for bench protection, Zangoose or Froslass GL for bench disruption, and Nidoqueen for healing.

    Nice article overall!

  2. Perry Going

    wheres sableye on this list? otherwise awesome article.

    • Dakota Streck  → Perry

      Again, like Spiritomb, Sableye wasn’t included for 2 reasons.
      1. In Gyarados, Sableye isn’t really a tech but a vital card (my list is for techs).
      2. In other decks apart from G-dos, it’s a starter Pokemon, which I didn’t really include on my list.

    • Dakota Streck  → Poet

      I didn’t really include Spiritomb for two reasons:
      1. In the most common deck that plays it, VileGar it’s not really a tech but a main card in the deck.
      2. The other decks that use it mostly use Spiritomb as a starter Pokemon, which I didn’t really include much of on the list.

    • Dakota Streck  → Jason

      Roserade GL is on there.

      Note to future Commentors:
      I did not intend to list every single tech in the world, just cover a good number of them.
      Also, I would appreciate it if, before you ask why a card isn’t listed, please make sure it is indeed not listed.


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