Vilegar VIP: Very Important Poltergeist



Blah blah blah…Let’s have a change of pace, shall we? Continuing this recent streak of focusing on neither of the aforementioned decks, I would like to shift to the now very well-known Gengar/Vileplume (“Vilegar”). However, in this article, we’re going to address Triumphant’s impact on Vilegar, and find out just what kind of new edges you can gain with this deck.

I will seek to address the following: the basic strategy behind a Vilegar deck alongside basic and alternate core lists; an analysis of matchups; other options and variations; and my opinion on the archetype as a whole. Whether you decide to play Vilegar, or just play against it, I hope that this article will give you new perspectives.

The Plume-damentals

As the deck’s name suggests, the core strategy of “Vilegar” is to use Vileplume UD in combination with Gengar SF. Most analysis typically cites the main “combo” as that between Gengar’s Poltergeist attack (30 damage times the number of Trainer/Supporter/Stadium cards in your opponent’s hand) and Vileplume’s Allergy Flower Poké-Body (each player can’t play any Trainer cards from his or her hand); however, that’s just a piece to the puzzle.

With Vileplume out, it becomes easier to not only abuse Shadow Room (no Poké Turns to bring up your Luxray GL or Garchomp C LV.X!), but it also makes your Fainting Spell Poké-Power stick in place by preventing the use of Warp Point and Switch. You can typically make a move when Gengar is by itself, but it’s usually preferable to have the Vileplume in play beforehand.

Since a Vilegar list has several different interpretations, I’d like to first start off with a “basic” list. It’s fairly generic, but I consider it an appropriate starting point:

Pokémon – 26

4 Spiritomb AR
4 Gastly SF
3 Haunter SF
3 Gengar SF
1 Gengar LV.X
2 Oddish LA 112
2 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
2 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Smeargle UD
1 Unown Q MD

Trainers – 20

4 Bebe’s Search
4 Pokémon Collector
3 Looker’s Investigation
3 Copycat

1 Palmer’s Contribution


1 Luxury Ball


4 Broken Time-Space

Energy – 14

7 P
4 Call
3 Warp

Like my buddy Josh “J-Wittz” Wittenkeller, I’m also a big fan of skeleton lists. Nevertheless, since most Gengar lists typically have at least 40+ cards in common with each other, I decided to just give you this “training wheels” list to work off of. In general, consistency is high (six draw cards and 4 Call in addition to the standard), but teching is minimal, and there are almost no risks taken.

Most noticeably absent are Triumphant cards, several of which add something new to the Vilegar equation. If you’re looking only for something different, then skip ahead, but I still feel confident that this list is a number one play-testing basis.

spiritomb-arceus-ar-32pokemon-paradijs.com4 Spiritomb AR
To achieve this ideal setup, you’ll need this guy maxed out. Not only does its Darkness Grace attack fetch evolutions for you with no energy cost; it also shuts off the playing of all Trainers with its Keystone Seal Poké-Body, thus ensuring both an early “and” prolonged lock.

4 Gastly SF
We play this guy over the others primarily because of Pitch-Dark. This Trainer-locking attack is still relevant despite Spiritomb and Vileplume’s Poké-Bodies because it is the only 100% assured way to halt Trainers on a given turn. Also, Trick Gas isn’t a bad way to “hit and run” at all!

(As a side note, even though we run only three normal Gengar or Haunter, I have four Gastly because it assures the greatest likelihood of a turn one Darkness Grace.)

3 Haunter SF
Some may play the Arceus version due to its Poison Poké-Body; others may play the newest Triumphant Haunter due to a limited potential to shut off Umbreon lock. I, however, prefer the Haunter capable of the cleanest, most efficient damage output – in other words, this guy. Plus, his poison is “still” capable of giving Umbreon a fit if you need to.

3 Gengar SF
The star of the deck, which we’ve gone over in detail already. Our “beginning list” – and many advanced lists beyond it – uses three because it’s the only Gengar that’s good to have the moment it gets into play. Occasionally I’ve seen people add a tech Gengar Prime or “Curse” Gengar Arceus, but neither attackers is as capable of aggressive prize-pulling and damage-dealing as Stormfront is.

1 Gengar LV.X
While not as desirable of a draw early game as Gengar SF, this guy’s uses in the mid and late make it a clear choice. With an extra 30 HP, you’re given a health buffer that the normally brittle SF wouldn’t have. (No KOing me now, Uxie!) Furthermore, the Level-Down Poké-Power gives you a valuable asset against several decks reliant on beefy LV.X Pokémon, and is even the turning point in several matchups which include Dialga G LV.X.

One unfortunate thing about average Vilegar builds, though, is that it’s very difficult to pull off a good Compound Pain. Later in the article, I’ll offer some ways to address this concern.

2 Oddish LA #112
Generally our choice of Oddish doesn’t matter, but the reason why we run this version is simply due to the 50 HP edge that shields it from Sableye.

2 Gloom UD
“Why this guy?” you ask. “He can’t even attack!” Even though you can’t attack with this Gloom, the ten extra HP and one less retreat it has over its Legends Awakened counterparts make it ideal. These advantages heavily outweigh the one advantage you have of attacking out of desperation.

vileplume-undaunted-ud-242 Vileplume UD
The co-star of the deck, Vileplume shuts off all Trainers, including yours. This isn’t such a big deal, though, because the only Trainer card in our basic list is Luxury Ball.

*As a general note about the Vileplume line’s size: we don’t run any less than 2-2-2 in our basic list because the strategy of the deck becomes compromised otherwise, and we don’t run any “more” than 2-2-2 due to sacrificed consistency.

2 Uxie LA
Bench it. Announce “Set Up.” Draw until you’ve got seven cards in your hand…Satisfied yet? ;)

Often I’m not, which is why I play two in the deck. Sometimes one Set Up just isn’t enough, so having a second helps you get that added Vilegar piece, BTS, or Energy. It also makes the dreaded “Uxie cycle” (Psychic Restoring just so you can get more draw power the next turn) a less common scenario.

1 Azelf LA
I’ve seen lists without Azelf “or” Rotom UD before, and all I typically think is, “big mistake.” Although it’s unfortunate to cram your bench with a filler Pokémon, it’s often crucial to “Time Walk” search your prizes, finding a crucial Gengar line piece, Vileplume line piece, or even just to engineer the next few turns of play. But if Azelf hogging a bench spot is really that troublesome, then read on dear UG members…Read on…

1 Smeargle UD
If you’ve been reading your Underground content lately, you’ll know that Smeargle is all the rage, and for good reason: by using the “Portrait” Poké-Power, you can often offer yourself use of an extra supporter – an advantage not handed out by Spiritomb “or” Uxie. In Vilegar, its use actually doubles as a “spy” Pokémon – that is, it gives you yet another good way to figure out what good cards are in your opponents’ hands aside from Looker’s Investigation so that you can know when to Poltergeist. The only downside to Smeargle is that he’s a bit of a resource hog to abuse, so play wisely.

1 Unown Q MD
While Pokémandan’s recently-posted video on Vilegar is yet another excellent resource on the deck, I beg to differ that Unown Q is merely an “advisable” addition to a list. Since Vilegar is one of the noticeably slower decks in the format, running the Q is crucial because it saves you from wasting a turn having to attach to Spiritomb for retreat. More miscellaneous uses include Quicking to Smeargle to assure constant Portraits, as well as Quicking to Vileplume to make retreating out of Blaziken FB Luring Flame or Luxray GL LV.X Bright Look more bearable.

4 Broken Time-Space
Like Unown Q, Broken Time-Space is one of the other tiny slivers of “speed” for the patient deck that is Vilegar. I would never run this in a quantity smaller than three in this deck, and even that is questionable in its own regards. While having these late game as dead-draw certainly does stink, it’s often worth it if it gave you that extra boost early on.

4 Bebe’s Search
Looking for something to do with those useless Broken Time-Spaces? Use them to contribute to the cost of playing Bebe’s Search, a staple card that can exchange one other card in your hand for a Pokémon – any Pokémon – in your deck.

pokemon-collector-heartgold-soulsilver-hs-974 Pokémon Collector
Grab up to three Basic Pokémon from your deck, and begin orchestrating your game plan. Your choices each time will vary, but assuming an ideal Spiritomb start with none of the essentials in-hand already, we’ll typically be grabbing at least Gastly and Oddish.

Like Broken Time-Space above it, and like Call Energy below, we recognize that there’s a good chance all four Collector may not be used in a game; still, this is a small price to pay to guarantee that we don’t get caught with a trash hand in the early game, which is the time we leave ourselves most vulnerable. Always remember that on turns one and two, you are your own worst enemy.

3 Looker’s Investigation
Looking at your opponent’s hand is nice enough for a deck capable of abusing Poltergeist so well, but the ability to refresh your hand is also extremely useful. Don’t be shy to occasionally making them re-draw, especially later on in the game.

3 Copycat
An eight year old draw card, Copycat has been netting players big hands for years, often digging them out of terrible spots in the process. This format is no different, and therefore a high Copycat count can turn your opponent’s occasional card advantage against them.

A note of warning: people are savvy to Copycat, so don’t always expect to net a huge hand off of it. In the ideal world, we’ll be hitting 5-6 Trainer hands every turn of the game, but in reality, our rational opponents (always assume that they are rational!) are working to weaken our Poltergeist prospects. In turn, this leads to a worse Copycat, so tread carefully.

1 Palmer’s Contribution
Some games we may prematurely lose Gengars, which is why we have Palmer’s in the basic list: to help pull off more of the Ghost Pokémon in a game. Also, if something useful such as Vileplume or Unown Q has been taken out, then this is the best way to get them back. I opt for this over Flower Shop Lady simply because of the versatility; often I’ll find myself needing “just” five Pokémon, so I’d rather not cap at three.

1 Luxury Ball
This is a conspicuous play in a Trainer lock concept, but I still think it’s a nice way to bolster your consistency with an extra search card, especially in games when you don’t start with Spiritomb. It also, ironically enough, makes getting the Trainer Lock “easier,” since it’s the only way to simultaneously search for both Vileplume and Gengar on the same turn.

7 Psychic
This is the stuff we need to actually make Gengar a real attacker, so we play it in a fairly high quantity. I’ve seen higher, but in reality, seven is all that you’ll really need in games.

4 Call
Unlike Psychic, which is integral to the concept, the purpose of these is to just give you an extra consistency boost. Since we run the risk of getting benched against a variety of decks, with Sableye being our main scare, a max Call Energy count helps get you those emergency basics to guarantee that you at least have a game. Also, it often makes up for the games where you’re missing any of your Pokémon Collectors.

warp-energy-stormfront-sf-95pokemon-paradijs.com3 Warp
This card, although appearing to be a throwaway extra, is actually essential. Unfortunately for you, both of your Trainer lock cards – Spiritomb and Vileplume – are huge targets to “locks” of all kinds, including but not limited to: Blaziken FB Luring Flame, Luxray GL LV.X Bright Look, Azelf LA Lock Up, and Chatot MD Chatter, with the last one being capable of auto-win conditions against the -20, Colorless-resistant Spiritomb should you not run Warp Energy.

In other words, if we didn’t run this card, then we’d lose many more games. An extra use of it, though, is to further abuse Smeargle UD’s Portrait Poké-Power: bring the Pokémon up, Portrait, and, if you haven’t been forced to shuffle your hand in due to the effect of a Supporter, Warp Energy back into your main attacker!

A common diversion from others who have spoken on the deck, my version of the fundamental Vilegar list includes three because it’s very difficult to draw into them otherwise: if you run two, then you’ll suffer many games where your Vileplume remains locked in the Active Spot, and if you run one, then you might as well not run it at all!

I feel like my training wheels list is actually a change of pace from a lot of the material out there: it makes bold steps that others aren’t willing to take, and offers an added emphasis on consistency. Triumphant is certain to change the deck, but for general testing purposes, this is about as bland – and therefore perfect – as you can get.

…You want more, don’t you?

Yeah, I suppose you do. And it’s only right, seeing as how a new set came out and all.

Anyway, here’s my personal list as of writing this article. Below it are explanations regarding the tweaks from the basic build:

Pokémon – 27

4 Spiritomb AR
4 Gastly SF
3 Haunter SF
3 Gengar SF
1 Gengar LV.X
2 Oddish LA 112
2 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
2 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Smeargle UD
1 Unown Q MD
1 Crobat G

Trainers – 20

4 Bebe’s Search
4 Pokémon Collector
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Looker’s Investigation
2 Seeker


1 Luxury Ball


3 Broken Time-Space

Energy – 13

7 P
3 Rescue
3 Warp

Crobat G
Either by research and development’s design or by dumb luck, some of the most popular setup cards with Poké-Powers – Uxie, Azelf, and Smeargle – all have 70 HP, which is ten beneath Gengar’s Shadow Room radar. To alleviate this, I currently run a single Crobat G, whose Flash Bite is just enough to score you those important knockouts.

Professor Oak’s New Theory over Copycat
Copycat is an excellent card, but right now I’m high on the reliability that Professor Oak’s New Theory brings this list. Whereas Copycat has a higher card potential than Professor Oak’s New Theory, it also runs a huge risk, especially against better opponents who are prone to planning ahead. You don’t want to be drawing three cards for Copycat, do you?

However, this is the one thing that’s least set in stone for my list. My advice is simply to test it for yourself and see which one you like better.

One of the strongest cards out of Triumphant, I run Seeker for many reasons: healing up Gengars, grabbing Vileplumes who just got hit by Dragon Rush, reusing Crobat G…However, the most convincing reason of all is that it instantly solves the deck’s issue of what I like to call “crammed-bench-itis.”

My only beef at the moment is that it doesn’t feel like I abuse it “enough” to warrant its use in Vilegar. Still, it has helped me in many testing games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked well for you too.

Rescue Energy
There is currently no more consistent way to replenish your Gengars than this. With a simple Rescue attachment, you bring the whole line (including the all-important Level X) right back to your hand, “and” avoid the messiness of having to waste your turn’s Supporter (Palmer’s) to get Pokémon back. Swarming Gengars is normally a challenge, but with Rescue Energy, it isn’t so bad.

The uses extend beyond Gengar, though: Rescue Energy is also added insurance for your Vileplume in case it gets Knocked Out. Did you just get Bright Looked (Luxray GL LV.X) and subsequently Zen Bladed (Uxie LV.X)? If so, and if you have Rescue Energy attached to the Vileplume, then it looks like all that effort was wasted!

Less Broken Time-Space
This is the other thing I’m not too sure on with my current list. Like I said, this is one of the only semblances of speed in your deck, so going lower on your count should have good reasoning behind it.

No Call Energy
If four Call in the basic list was analogous to training wheels, then zero in here is equivalent to riding around on a unicycle. The disadvantage to our “unicycle” is that it’s a little harder to get around; the advantage, though, is that it’s easier to fit a unicycle in your room than a bike.

If you’re still not convinced, then imagine the alternative: a list running Psychic, Call, Warp, “and” Rescue. Sounds crammed, doesn’t it? But if you really want to try it, then consider a 7 Psychic/3 Call/2 Warp/2 Rescue lineup.

Matchups (Main)

blaziken-fb-supreme-victors-sv-2pokemon-paradijs.comLuxchomp (even)
The core of Luxchomp – Luxray and Garchomp – isn’t that difficult to deal with. Always anticipate Luxray GL LV.X’s Bright Look, and be prepared to play around it a turn early – Unown Q’ing to vulnerable benched Pokémon such as Vileplume, attaching Energy to them, etc.

Recognize that they won’t Level Up without very good reason, such as a Zen Blade KO on Vileplume, so you may not have the luxury of it being an easy Shadow Room target early on; nevertheless, if you just get your setup going, and are able to replenish Vileplume as soon as it’s taken out (by searching for it, Rescue Energy, or Palmer’s), then you’ll find the Poltergeist knockouts just rolling in.

Just remember that Poltergeist is by nature an unreliable attack (uncertainty element due to not knowing what’s in your opponent’s hand), so collect info on it whenever you can via Looker’s an Portrait, or alternatively just Shadow Room some vulnerable target when a gamble isn’t worth taking. Patience, patience, patience…

However, what this matchup tends to hinge on are what techs your opponents run (if any). Blaziken FB can offer you a constant source of frustration, and Dialga G LV.X can be just enough to turn the tide. If lists run the former, then be even more conservative in your energy attachments; stockpile your Warp Energy until the most pivotal moments in a game. If lists run the latter, though, then be prepared for a showdown between Power Sprays and Level-Downs. It is in this match where your Gengar LV.X will be most important, and it is also in this match where well-timed Looker’s Investigations will determine everything.

Dialgachomp (unfavorable)
Everything that can go wrong here, will. Whereas Dialga G LV.X might be a splashed-in throwaway for Luxchomp, it is a focal point here, so there’s no escaping such obnoxious things as easy LV.X cycling after a Level-Down, no escaping Warp Energy in almost every list, and certainly no escaping Special Metal tanks.

What I suggest here is to look for every scrap you can get; pull every little prize while not giving up too much momentum of your own. Also, while Level-Down is less effective here, it’s at least something to help you out, so be sure to abuse it. You might catch them without a response, and thus open up a window of opportunity.

Since this a problem child, strongly consider running a tech if this is big in your local metagame.

sableye-stormfront-sf-48Sablelock/other SP variants (unfavorable)
See a trend here? This set of alternate SP variations, while much more doable than Dialgachomp, still tends to include some unfavorable elements: Sableye, Honchkrow G, and Luring Flame chief among them.

Playing against these can be a pain, and in best-of-three match play might even require a full game before you know exactly what to do. When you’re up against such versions, the number one rule is to not be afraid of starting with weirder opening Pokémon. For example, if I know my opponent is running Sableye with ample D Energy, why put myself in harm’s way by starting Gastly when I can start Uxie? This lack of instant gratification via draw may not be the most satisfying feeling in the world, but it saves you from a first-turn loss.

Against versions with Honchkrow G, avoid benching low-HP Gastlies you know will be subject to Flash Bite and Target Attack – you can Darkness Grace straight into a Haunter, or merely wait until you have the complete line in your hand.

Blaziken, which is also popular in these lists (see Chiofalock and ChenAzizCurryWittz Lock), has been discussed extensively already. Just keep in mind that surprise Honchkrow snipes can rain down on you at any given moment.

Machamp (favorable)
The one descriptive word for the SP matchup with Vilegar seems to be “headache,” but Machamp, due to its high Trainer/Supporter/Stadium count and +30/+40/x2 Weaknesses, offers you several wide targets to exploit. Some intrepid players tech their lists to include Umbreon, a card easily dealt with if the opponent runs it. In these circumstances, you can simply execute all benched threats as they appear, rather than try to hard-tech the Umbreon that stands in your way. By relying on this method of patience, you can keep things going, and maybe even solve it by you own virtue in case they try to Moonlight Fang for a Fainting Spell KO.

Of important note is the recent Donphan Prime/Machamp/Prime variation, a list that’s – quite frankly – even easier to beat. Donphan’s Earthquake will put several of your more vulnerable targets in perfect Shadow Room range, and a split between Machamps means avoiding a super-fast Take Out.

gyarados-stormfront-sf-19pokemon-paradijs.comGyarados (favorable)
This is a great matchup, no mistake, but they still have ways to wriggle out of a loss. Be sure to know them so that this “auto-win” doesn’t get away:

– Regice! Regi Move not only discards unplayable Trainers that are fuel for Gengar’s Poltergeist; it can also bump a Spiritomb out of the Active Spot early game. If you’re prepared for this with a second Spiritomb, then this is no issue, but if you’re caught without one, then having to shift your Basic could lead to a rift in the Trainer lock, and thus a ridiculous loss.

– Flash Bite-induced KOs. As mentioned in Jwittz’s recent Gyarados article, this can circumvent Fainting Spell, so be sure to have access to a Gengar LV.X whenever this happens, requiring the opponent to run into your Fainting Spell most games. This strategy works particularly well in my list: you can both Seeker up damaged Gengars and use Rescue Energy to return the entire line – LV.X and all – back to your hand!

– Occasional Dialga G LV.Xs. Although Dialga can certainly help Gyarados’s cause versus you, just be sure to respond to it with a prompt Level-Down from Gengar LV.X. Unlike Luxchomp, with exploits a 1-1 Dialga well, Gyarados will be hard-pressed to get it back out the very next turn.

Mirror (hazard a guess)
When you know you’re up against a fellow Vilegar, it becomes less imperative to get out two Stage Two lines, and more imperative just to win the Gengar exchange. You’ll almost never want to find yourself Poltergeisting; instead, engage in a tactical duel of targeted Shadow Room strikes. The LV.X should once again be critical, and can very mean the difference between surviving, or falling to, mirror.

The Rest of the Field (moderately favorable)

Ah yes…Those “other decks”! By and large, Vilegar possesses a winning combination when up against a variety of challengers. Not all matchups are created equally, though.

Some of these may be far less common, but I figured it’d be worthwhile to address them:

Kingdra Prime (favorable) is a deck chock-full of Poké-Power Pokémon ripe for the picking, the most notable being Kingdra Prime itself. These lists also tend to have a great number of Trainers, making Poltergeist a safer bet. Just always be wary of the donk when going first.

Tyranitar (unfavorable), alongside other Dark threats, is going to be frustrating to cope with. Stormfront might not be so bad, but in most Vilegar lists, particularly those without Nidoqueen, Darkness Howl should absolutely savage your setup to the point where even a heads on Fainting Spell wouldn’t help. Like the similarly unfavorable Dialgachomp match, look for silver linings (a.k.a., cheap knockouts) wherever possible; unlike it, though, don’t fill up your bench, and instead rely on staggering your attackers.

Regigigas (favorable). Like Gyarados, they too have Regice for discard, and like SP lists with Blaziken FB, they have Pokémon disruption in the form of Drag Off, but don’t let any of this upset you. The deck is chock-full of vulnerable Poké-Power attackers, plays more Trainers than Regice can handle in most turns, and has no easy way around Fainting Spell. Furthermore, it helps to have a -20 Colorless Resistance.

mew-prime-triumphant-tm-97Mew Prime variations (even). In testing Vilegar, I’ve seen two of these pop up: one with Absol Prime as co-star, and another focusing solely on Mew Prime’s ability to do massive damage via Lost Linking a Rhyperior LV.X’s Hard Crush.

Regarding the Absol variant, Mew doesn’t even factor in that much; it’s actually Absol who’s your main threat. Vicious Claw can heavily upset your normally slow start, and Eye of Disaster can assure that your Gengars will go down, but when you boil it down, 80 HP isn’t so tough. Of course, this early edge might be enough to keep them ahead for the rest of the game, but it still doesn’t stop you from making a comeback via easy Shadow Room snipes, easier Poltergeist KOs, and the occasional heads on Fainting Spell.

Regarding the second variant, your game plan is much easier: get a jump on the Mews before they can get a jump on you. You will need to have a firm handle on what type of Mew/Rhyperior list you’re dealing with – builds with heavy infrastructure investments such as Delcatty offer you nice Shadow Room prospects, but builds more intent on a bum rush strategy do not.

Magnezone variations (heavily ranges). I don’t know as much as I’d like to about this, but what I have seen so far is that separate versions of Magnezone vary DRAMATICALLY in potential versus Vilegar! Bland lists with few techs and all ‘Zone (the most common for the City Championship season) are generally blowouts: they’re high-cost attackers that can get two-hit by Shadow Room, and have virtually no way around Fainting Spell.

While this “pIacebo” match may be easy, I have discovered that the more inspired the techs become in a Magnezone list, the worse things get for Vilegar. Seeker, Blissey Prime, and Dialga/Palkia LEGEND all offer sources of facepalm-inducing madness for you, and each has a way to diminish the edge you previously held.

Other Options

2 Twins
Although its effect is available only when you’re behind on prizes, some may argue that the chance to search for any two cards is too good to pass up. It also plays nicely into the inherently slow, come-from-behind nature of this deck.

1-1-1 Nidoqueen Rising Rivals
Maybe setting up “three” Stage Two Pokémon is unrealistic in this format, but if you were to somehow pull off Gengar, Nidoqueen, “and Vileplume,” your opponent would be hard-pressed to ever take you down due to Maternal Comfort. Most SP variants and even most other decks will find themselves at a loss for how to break through your stellar setup. Plus, if you’re able to get the energy on it, Ruthless Tail is a powerful way to clean up games where you need one or two easy prizes.

1-1-1 Kingdra Prime
This serves much of the same purpose as Crobat G, only it’s a once-per-turn effect rather than (up to) a thrice per game one. If you’re interested in actually attacking with it, then be sure to run 3 Rainbow Energy. With this quantity, you should be reasonably assured that you’ll draw into it when necessary. Also a good way to complement Gengar LV.X’s Compound Pain.

1-1-1 (or 1-1-1-1) Machamp Stormfront
As mentioned above, you’ll be hard-pressed to find good targets against SP sometimes – especially Dialgachomp. For this reason, I suggest that you consider running a tech Machamp line alongside 3 Rainbow (just like Kingdra).

Be careful, or else you’ll be taken out on sight by an Uxie LV.X. To account for this, you may want to also drop an Rescue Energy onto Machamp before you get too aggressive.

mewtwo-lv.x-legends-awakened-la-144pokemon-paradijs.com1-1 Mewtwo LV.X
SP players have rationally moved away from countering Mewtwo for two main reasons: first, they make the assumption that lists aren’t consistent enough to use it; second, they’re either banking on the surge in Dialga G LV.X play, or using it themselves.

Oh, how wrong they can be. Mewtwo LV.X is still every bit capable of scoring you a decisive edge. So slipping a tech line of this into your Vilegar list can make SP a much easier game to play. Best of all, even if they DO run a counter, you may return it back to your hand thanks to the (presumed) Rescue Energy attached. The most useful matchups for this tech are “Sablelock” variants and Luxchomp.

1-1 Blaziken FB LV.X
Yet again we’ll require Rainbow Energy to pull this off, but I actually see a Blaziken tech being worth it in some circumstances.

First, Luring Flame is a solid means of disruption for any deck capable of wielding it, and Vilegar is no exception. Considering that you run Vileplume in the deck, it’s even worse for your opponent, seeing as how their only recourse is either Warp Energy, Machamp Prime, or some very heavy retreating.

Next up is Jet Shoot, a powerful attack which can often be all that you need to push through an aggressive Dialga G LV.X, thus winning you the game.

1-1 Staraptor FB LV.X
Our decklists are full of good Supporter cards, but unfortunately, they can’t be fetched as is. Thanks to Staraptor FB LV.X, you can “Fast Call” one up, leaving your otherwise dry hand a little less dismal. Since getting it in and away from the Active Spot is a challenge for most decks, your three copies of Warp Energy should really come in handy here.

However, if you do run Staraptor, then be sure to mix up your Supporter lineup a little. Twins, Seeker, Palmer’s, and Cyrus’s Conspiracy all become easier to fit into a list due to Staraptor being able to Fast Call, so running these harder-to-fit cards in 1-of quantities becomes less stressful.

Uxie LV.X
Like Staraptor LV.X, Uxie LV.X is capable of both abusing Warp Energy and giving you a source of long-term consistency. The difference with this card is that it’s much easier to fit (one space over two goes a long way). It also doesn’t hurt that Zen Blade is a more commonly-used, far more realistic attack than Staraptor’s Defog.

Ditto LA
Your main use for Ditto will be the Vilegar mirror match. Thanks to Ditto DNA, you can turn an opponent’s active Gengar Stormfront against him – just have the energy for Shadow Room, and you can turn a bad situation into a more aggressive, hopeful one. Although Rescue Energy provides you with the fourth, fifth, and perhaps even sixth Gengar you need in a game, Ditto gives you a chance to keep up momentum in case you can’t get up a Gengar of your own for any reason.

As a side note, this might not be a terrible choice if you’re already running three Rainbow Energy for one of the aforementioned ideas. Just avoid getting “too” techy…

spiritomb-triumphant-tm-10Spiritomb TM
During the round table, I alluded to its uses here, and Fulop stated them outright: forcing the opponent to draw six cards can often result in MAJOR Poltergeist damage, and is very capable of winning games. While it is, as the staff noted, vastly inferior to Giratina PL in terms of actual hand disruption, it’s a surprisingly good source of damage fuel.

If you like this idea, remember that it cuts into you Spiritomb AR count. Are you willing to take that? I suppose that a 3 Spiritomb AR/2 Smeargle starter lineup could alleviate the issue, but for the time being, I choose not to risk it.

Gengar Prime
By now, we know that Lost World is unavailable to us for now, so centering a deck around Gengar Prime is nigh useless; however, we can still find uses for it in Vilegar. If you can stomach the warning I gave you in the Plume-damentals section, then consider cutting a Stormfront Gengar for one of these so that you can “Hurl into Darkness” the occasional heavy hitter: a Magikarp in the Gyarados line; a vital SP LV.X Pokémon; or even a lone Uxie in an otherwise dead hand.

Cursed Drop, while not as effective an attack as Shadow Room, gives you more versatility in placing your damage counters. This provides you with yet another way to plan out a game-ending combo with Gengar LV.X’s Compound Pain, so don’t throw it out of consideration. (Its Poké-body isn’t bad either, but we’ll get to that later).

Gengar Arceus (Shadow Skip)
The Gengar variant that dominated the latter portion of the 2009-2010 season was not Shadow Room Gengar, but actually this guy. Unlike Stormfront, the goal of this deck (as mentioned in Frankie Diaz’s Worlds report) was to hit and run for Spiritombs via Shadow Skip, assuring a trainer lock very similar to what we now have in Vilegar.

The usefulness of this strategy is outdated, though, so you might find yourself more likely to Shadow Skip into Gengar Stormfronts. Like many of the above, it has a good way to set up Compound Pain – in Gengar AR’s case, it’s the “Curse” Poké-Power.

If you’re feeling particularly bold, try a Vilegar list with one SF, one Shadow Skip, one Prime, and one LV.X It’ll be extremely techy, for sure, but you’ll have a huge assortment of in-game options unavailable to a standard Vilegar. Also, this allows you to pull off a particularly nifty combo: Shadow Skip, run for Gengar Prime, resolve the knockout, and finally exile the Pokémon to the Lost Zone.

Gengar Fossil …Just kidding!

Is Vilegar a Contender for “Best Deck in Format”?

In seeking the answer to this question, I was surprised to find that, yes, Vilegar “can” lay claim to contender status for best in format! However, it has a long way to go before it actually becomes king of the Majestic Dawn-on Modified format: as previously discussed, Vilegar has a number of failings to SP, be they in matchup, speed, early game resiliency, or consistency.

Let it be known now that if Vilegar falls off the radar, it won’t be due to SP, and it won’t be due to Vileplume; rather, it will be due to the natural failings of Gengar Stormfront itself. For the past two years, this card has struggled to enter or otherwise remain in the top tier, but unfortunately, every aspect of it can be played around! Fainting Spell? Oh, I’ll just Psychic Restore and/or Flash Bite. Shadow Room? Let’s minimize its target pool! Poltergeist? Bebe’s away two Trainer/Supporter/Stadium cards for the price of one, and watch the waterworks flow as your Vilegar opponent deals zero damage to you!

Each of these “hypotheticals” has in fact happened in real life, and I’m sure they’ll happen again. Generally, the most solid Gengar Stormfront lists are ones that rise past these failings. This is why I designed my personal sample list the way that I did, and this is especially the reason why I suggested all those techs: to help you…Help Gengar…Help itself. (Does this sound like an episode of Dr. Phil yet?)

Nevertheless, a long shot contender is still theoretically in the running, and so that’s just where Vilegar remains: a deck with reasonable expectations for success, yet few for outright dominance. Best of luck in preparations for Cities, and may this resource aid you as much as I intended it to. With a comprehensive understanding of the many ways this deck can be played, Vilegar fans and detractors alike will gain a new edge in the field.

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.