Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: The Monstrous Upgrades of Post-Triumphant Uxie Donk

pokemon-paradijs.comOnce upon a time, there was a man named Rob downs who played the Pokémon trading card game. He liked playing unique decks that people hadn’t seen before—sometimes very fun, and sometimes very good. Around the Stormfront set, he invented a deck that he called UR Donk.

I believe that U stood for Uxie, and R stood for Unown R. The deck used an engine full of Trainers such as Poké Drawer +, Pokédex, and an almost completely unplayed card at the time: Victory Medal. These many draw cards let him set up quickly, attempting to draw deep into the deck by turn 1.

The idea was that with PlusPowers attatched to Uxie, you could hit for 60 damage on turn 1 and put the Uxie, Energy, and 4 PlusPowers to the bottom of the deck. Then, by switching out to Mr. Mime MT, you could wall your opponent while hitting for a consistent 60 damage, plus the occasional heads on a Super Scoop Up flip.

In the end, Mr. Downs decided that 60 damage just wasn’t enough, and decided to transfer his speedy Trainer engine to another deck: Regigigas. He went on to win 3 Cities with it, and inspired me to take it for my first tournament victory (although to his defense, Rob was sick the day that I played).

Then came State Championships, and the release of the game changing set Platinum. Platinum gave Rob the tools he needed to deal much more damage — with Crobat G as well as Poké Turn and Super Scoop Up, he could now deal as much as 90+ damage before finally hitting with Uxie for 60!

Combining these new tools, the deck’s title officially became UR Double Donk — he could Knock Out two Pokémon on the first turn, providing they had low enough HP. He took it to the first week of 2008 States and made his way up to the top 4 before losing to his future arch nemesis: Dialga G.

Dialga G posed a threat in many ways to Rob’s Uxie Donk. Not only did they have a whopping 100 HP and Psychic resistance, which denied Uxie’s chance of any double donk whatsoever, but his attack “Deafen” shut down the deck’s trainer engine.

pokemon-paradijs.comWhen word of what won week one hit players as they prepared for week 2-of States, Dialga-based SP variants hit the world by storm. Rob, taking Uxie again, had a promising start going 3-0, but by the time he met up with SP variants in the top tables, he lost his way down to an unfortunate 3-4.

The presence of SP decks became too great for Uxie Donk, and he eventually decided to try other builds, specifically Flygon and Nidoqueen from RR. He still went to Nationals with Uxie Donk, but with SP in full force, including the power locking Palkia Lock deck, he ended at the deck’s low point, 3-6.

Ironically, once Arceus came out, there were more people playing builds based on Rob’s original creation than ever, and he wasn’t even playing with it that much anymore. With the addition of Expert Belt, the deck could now do 20 more damage with each swing.

However, many players (including myself) were drawn in by the ease that Shuppet (also from Platinum, but originally overlooked) gave. Shuppet hit for 10 more damage, and brought all Trainer cards back to the hand instead of to the bottom of the deck. While I believe Uxie donk to be superior because of the extra cards you can fit, Shuppet was just an easier play for many.

With Expert Belt now in the deck, there was even talk of the occasional TRIPLE donk performed by Uxie and Shuppet lists. However, this set also brought another enemy for Uxie Donk — Spiritomb. Spiritomb wouldn’t see full popularity until the end of Cities that year with Cursegar, but it would continue to pose a threat to Uxie donk even a full year later.

By the end of that season, with HeartGold & SoulSilver: Unleashed in play, Rob was back to playing Uxie Donk with a few new changes. Unleashed brought Dual Ball back into the format, which immediately became a 4-of copy in the deck. He also played a single Supporter in his deck — Cyrus’s Initiative — which would allow him to cripple his opponent’s hand in the chance that he couldn’t win turn 1.

pokemon-paradijs.comHe won a couple of Battle Roads with the list, and eventually took a similar build with the addition of Dunsparce HS — a weaker Colorless version of Shuppet in order to deal with Garchomp C. He went 6-3, just barely missing top cut.

Two sets down the line, and now at Cities this year, Uxie donk has become a monster. With the addition of Junk Arm to recycle the deck’s massive Trainer engine, Seeker to force your opponent to pick up a pokemon, and Alph Litograph Four (a card many don’t even know he plays) for strategic prize-picking, the deck can now get a consistent QUADRUPLE donk.

Let me paint a picture for you: I’m playing Gyarados and I meet Rob in the top tables. I “win” (lose) the coin flip and go first. I’m starting Dialga G, and drop Smeargle and two Uxies in preparation of Rob’s shenanigans. I’m confident that if I survive the first turn for bombardment, I can play my Collector in hand, set up, and play a teched Mesprit to slow him while I make my comeback.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of the deck’s true power. Rob drew his ENTIRE DECK, Knocked Out two Uxies, used Cyclone energy to force Dialga to the bench, Seeker’d to force me to pick up Dialga, and then KO’d my active Smeargle with Uxie, PlusPowers, and Expert Belt. My jaw almost dropped. A deck that could clear FOUR pokemon at once!

In the words of Rob: “Anyone who says “Just run Call Energy”, don’t quite get what I would be able to do to them. Consistently pre-attack drop 120-140 damage, strategically play Seeker and Cylone Energy, then finish with 80 damage to the active and Uxie loop. I.E. carpet bomb a very legitimate, and should be “undonkable” starting board of 4 Pokémon. Yes I only play 1 Energy, 1 Seeker, and DECK MYSELF every time.”

pokegym.netGranted, it does take a very smart player to get the consistent quad knockout, but the fact that the option is so easy to take is almost startling. So startling, that Rob Downs hasn’t played the deck since. In fact, he believes that it’s bad for the game, and promotes a style of zero-interaction gameplay that makes for the least fun games possible.

Rob himself stated that he’d be first on the list of signing a document to ban the deck. He’s our Pokémon equivalent of Einstein — someone who created such a unique concept, and then ultimately felt guilt and burden after their atomic bomb was created.

So that’s the history of the deck for ya. Many of you might be wondering why I’d even be talking about this deck. After all, even the creator — who has spent nearly two full Pokémon seasons perfecting the list — doesn’t want to play it anymore.

Why should I teach you, then? To be honest, it’s a very fun deck to play out (for yourself, not for your opponent) and its pure potential is kind of alluring. Who doesn’t want to at least try the deck that canclear a 4 Pokémon field?

For those of you who can’t contain your curiosity, here’s a list as close to perfection as the deck can get:

Quadro Uxie Donk:

Pokémon – 12

4 Uxie LA
4 Unown R LA
3 Crobat G PL
1 Unown Q MD

Trainers – 47

3 Quick Ball
4 TGI Poké Turn
4 PlusPower
4 Victory Medal
4 Poké Drawer +
4 Dual Ball
1 Pokémon Rescue
4 Poké Blower +
4 Junk Arm
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Pokédex Handy 910is
1 Alph Lithograph TM #103
1 Luxury Ball
2 Dusk Ball
2 Expert Belt
1 Seeker

Energy – 1

1 Cyclone

Looking at the list, you might be scratching your head at a couple of choices. I’ll go in depth to explain this monster and hopefully make the strategy very simple and clear:

Basic Strategy

As Rob stated earlier, the idea is to set up a single uxie with 4 PlusPowers and Expert Belt. While setting this up, get as many knockouts as you can with Crobat G/Poké Turn/Super Scoop Up/Poké Blower + until your opponent has just 2 Pokémon left. Use Seeker to force your opponent to pick up their 2nd to last Pokémon, and KO the last with Uxie LA to the bottom of the deck.

If you don’t win on turn 1, arrange Uxie to the bottom of your deck so that Uxie is on top. That way when you draw Uxie your next turn you can use “Set Up” to draw your deck and get all PlusPowers, your Energy, and Expert Belt back. Use this infinite loop to hit for 80 for the rest of the game.

Here’s an analysis of each card by its type of support to the deck:


4 Uxie — This is the heart and soul of the deck. It lets you fill up your hand when it gets low, and is your only attacker. It recycles the attached PlusPowers/Expert Belt/Energy with “Psychic Restore” and prevents you from decking yourself at the end of your turn.

4 Unown R — Lets you draw a single card, and can be reused with the Pokémon Rescue. Nice, searchable draw in addition to your Uxie LA’s. The main strategy with these guys is to leave them down as long as you can—that way you maximize on your “Set Up” drops, and can draw into cards once your hand runs out of search.

1 Unown Q — Used to retreat Unown R, and nothing else, really.

3 Crobat G — The main foundation of the deck’s damage counter placement. Technically you will almost always only play 2 Crobat G in a single game, but the 3 copies allows for better starts, as well as fine discard material for Junk Arms.

Just 12 pokemon and that’s it! Onto the FOURTY SEVEN TRAINERS:

Damage Increasers

4 Poké Turn — This card allows you an instant damage drop combined with Crobat G. One of the most useful cards in the deck.

4 Poké Blower + — Not quite as good as Poké Turn, but there’s no other reasonable ways to add damage, so it’s in here. For every heads, you drop one more counter! You also have the option to play two at once to drag up something that might be absolutely crucial for you to Knock Out, but more often than not, you’ll just be clearing your opponent’s entire field.

4 PlusPower — You drop them all on your attacking Uxie before your attack, then recycle them with Psychic Restore. Enough said.

2 Expert Belt — Provide the same purpose as PlusPower. We run 2 in order to prevent 1 from being prized. Any extras can be discarded with Junk Arm.

Pure Draw Cards

4 Poké Drawer + — This card allows you to simply draw a card when played as a single copy, or search your deck for 2 cards when played in doubles. Whichever way you play it, it’s a great card to thin your deck.

4 Pokédex HANDY910is — Lets you draw 1 card from a choice of your top 2 cards. The selection makes it a bit better than playing a single copy of pokedrawer+, and it’s a great card to have.

4 Victory Medal — The hardest card to obtain for the deck because they’re only available to the winners of Battle Road tournaments. This card was previously seen as a novelty until Rob actually started playing it, but it’s great in this deck.


It’s very similar to Poké Drawer +: You flip two coins — 50% of the time you’ll just draw a single card, which is great already. 25% of the time the card will fail, but the last 25% of the time you’ll be able to search your deck for any 1 card. Being able to have the chance of the double heads makes this card invaluable for draw and search.

1 Pokémon Rescue — This card is used almost solely for recycling a used unown R. It might seem silly having 1 copy of this card, but after cramming the deck with so many other cards for drawing, this is the only card left that you can squeeze in to help you draw cards!

Pure Search Cards

1 Luxury Ball — Lets you get any pokemon.

4 Dual Ball — 50% of the time it’s the exact same as Luxury Ball. 25% you fail, and the other 25% it’s like playing two Luxury Balls! Probably the most important Pokémon search card in the deck.

3 Quick Ball — Yet another way to search Pokémon. Because your deck only has 12 Pokémon, you’re guaranteed to grab one, and 2/3 of the time you’ll get one of your draw Pokémon (Uxie or Unown R).

2 Dusk Ball — One final way to grab Pokémon. It’s arguable that this isn’t even needed and could be replaced with more draw like Pokémon Rescue — but I feel a good balance of search and draw is needed in order to maintain constant Uxie drops when your hand size gets low.

Utility Cards

4 Junk Arm — Allows you to either save a weak hand by grabbing a search card, or further push your maximum damage by re-using Poké Turns/Poké Blowers. It can also let you grab a used Poké Drawer + and let you play 2 at the same time again. Or it can let you replay Luxury Ball. Etc. It can do everything, and that’s why it’s so good.

4 Super Scoop Up — Another great utility card. With heads on a coin flip, it becomes either a re-use of Uxie LA’s “Set Up” or another damage counter drop with “Flash Bite.”

1 Seeker — The reason that the deck can now clear a 4 Pokémon field. Once you limit your opponent to 2 Pokémon, you can play Seeker and suddenly they only have 1 left. Not to mention, playing it also lets you either reuse Crobat G or Uxie before you finish your opponent off.

1 Alph Lithograph — One of the most mysterious cards in the deck. It allows you to simply look at your facedown Prize cards. Why you would look at your facedown price cards, I’ll never know. In fact, I didn’t know you weren’t allowed to look at your FACEDOWN Prize cardS already. Do you have to shield your eyes or something?

Alright, so the newest Alph Lithograph card doesn’t tell you, but it actually allows you to flip the Prize cards over and observe what your prizes are NOT facedown : P. This sounds trivial, but it’s actually very important. With a deck that can take 2 Prizes before you attack, knowing what those 2 Prizes are is a very important fact!

pokegym.netIt could be your only way to retrieve your 1 Prized Energy. Or maybe it means that you’ll get 20 more damage this game. Or maybe it just means you’ll be able to play that 4th Uxie. Whatever your reason, playing the Lithograph before you pull your prizes is a huge help.

1 Cyclone Energy — Your only Energy in the entire deck, so it might as well be a good one! Cyclone Energy provides the added benefit of moving your opponent’s active pokemon to the bench when you attach it to an active uxie.

This is useful for moving a big Pokémon before you Seeker them, like Dialga G. Don’t want to move your opponent’s active? Then just attach Cyclone to Uxie on the bench before he moves to the Active Spot.

Now you might be questioning some of the plays in this deck, such as only 1 Energy. The entire basis of the deck is efficiency, and that’s why it can afford to run so little of such seemingly important cards. Once you’ve played your one Energy, the second one will just sit in your hand, waiting to be discarded with Junk Arm.

At least with the extra Expert Belt you run, you can drop it on a Crobat to be Poké Turned later to make room for a bigger “Set Up”. With the extra Crobat G you run, it at least provides a good start and might even be played if you decide to not play all 4 Uxies. Playing 1 Energy is just optimal.

What if your one Energy is prized? You ask. Well then, that’s what the Alph Lithograph is for! You play Alph before drawing Prize cards, and then you’ll guarantee that you grab the one Energy when you take a Prize card over the course of the game.

What if BOTH Alph Lithograph AND your Energy is prized? Well, not only will this only happen about 1 in 100 games, but even if it DOES happen, you have a 1/3 chance of drawing either an Alph Lithograph or the Energy on your first prize with damage counters.

If you whiff on both, then you’ll have an additional 1/5 chance of grabbing the Energy on your second prize. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a situation you can work around.

So, how do we play this thing? Here’s a list of your priorities when playing through your turn with Uxie donk, with 1 being mostimportant and so on:

1. Make sure you have a way to get Uxie to draw with “Set Up” when your hand is low. Don’t waste resources and overextend to drop more damage — be patient and make sure you can keep filling your hand with more cards.

2. When possible, use your two main utility cards (Super Scoop Up and Junk Arm) to create more damage. This means either Junk Arming for Poké Turn, or Super Scoop Up-ing a Crobat G to Flash Bite again.

In the end, you want to maximize on damage. However, rule 1 still applies. Don’t Junk Arm for a Poké Turn if it’s going to be the last card in your hand — make sure you have a way to get Uxie to draw more cards when you run out of options.

3. The first time you play a search card, search your deck for the following things: your full Pokémon lines (you only run 12 Pokémon and 4 different kinds, so counting isn’t so hard), your single Cyclone Energy, your single Seeker, and your Alph Lithograph.

If an important piece is missing (such as your Energy, Seeker, or Unown Q to retreat an active Unown R), then do your best to grab your Alph Lithograph as soon as you can.

4. Play Alph Lithograph before you draw prizes, if possible. Also, when you pick your prizes, grab cards that increase your damage, as long as you can still abide by rule #1.

5. Almost always, you will rather play Seeker when your opponent has only 2 Pokémon left. Try your best to keep drawing and dropping counters until this condition is met. Only when your hand is exhausted of all other options should you play Seeker to pick up an Uxie or Crobat in order to use their Powers. However, with practice, this situation will not come up very often.

pokemon-paradijs.com6. Leave your Unown R’s down for as long as you can, as long as they do not take up too much bench space. This way you can maximize on what you draw from playing your Uxie’s “Set Up.”

7. Pray that you go 2nd. Going 2nd means that you get the first Trainers, and that you can likely win the game before your opponent sets up. However, if you DON’T go second, you can still win through careful playing and taking an early lead.

Once you’ve played all your resources, use Uxie’s Psychic Restore to hit for a constant 80 damage while pushing up Crobat G as bait. Hitting for 80 damage each turn can still win you the game in the end, even if you don’t clear your opponent’s entire field turn 1.

If you follow these rules as you continually play through your deck, you’ll get the hang of it more and more. Playing through my list, I have been able to draw every card in my deck 9 times out of 10 — your goal should be to reach that consistency.

Why Uxie Donk Isn’t the Best Deck

There are a few huge enemies to uxie in this format that prevent it from being the very best. Here are a few ways to deal with them:

Vs. Spiritomb/Gastly — Both of these cards can shut off your Trainers for the entire game, leaving you likely to lose. Because there are 4 copies of each in Vilegar, their chances of starting with each are very high. This is your auto-loss matchup, and there’s not much you can do to stop it, unfortunately.

Just pray that either 1) they don’t start with either in some streak of luck or 2) that you have the Cyclone Energy in your opponent hand versus Spiritomb. If your metagame is heavy in this deck, Uxie donk will not succeed.

Vs. Dialga G — This matchup isn’t as bad as you would think, but it is a problem. If you don’t go second they can deafen you and leave you Trainer locked for the entire game.

However, if you go 2nd, you can still get the turn 1 win, providing they only have 2-3 Pokémon in play. The goal is to Cyclone their Dialga G and then Seeker it away, like Rob Downs did to me versus my gyarados. It can be a rough matchup, but it at least isn’t an auto-loss like it is against Vilegar.


Vs. Mesprit LA — If your opponent drops a Mesprit LA and uses Psychic Bind, you can very well find yourself out of a game as well. Psychic Bind means no “Set Up,” no Unown R “Retire,” and no “Flash Bite.” Your only option versus a Mesprit LA bind is to just draw your turns out and hope your opponent can’t keep the lock coming.

Luckily, not many decks even run Mesprit (Regigigas is the only deck that can keep a lock coming all game that sees popular play), and the ones that run a 1-of tech like Gyarados can’t keep the lock going all game.

Vs. Power Spray — If your opponent has 3 Pokémon SP in play, they have the ability to Power Spray — possibly stopping a crucial power and stopping you from drawing your full deck. However, there are 2 things you can do about this:

The first is try to get Seeker as fast as possible and play it. If you can force them to 2 Pokémon SP right away, then you’ll be safe from their Spray. However, if you can’t do this, then just try to make sure you always have TWO Uxie when your hand gets low.

Eventually, they will be forced to Spray one, and you’ll be able to get off with the rest of your deck. If your opponent has TWO Power Spray or more than 3 Pokémon SP, you’ll be unlikely to get a first turn win, anyway.

Because of these reasons, Uxie does not dominate the format. However, it is still a very good deck with the potential to rob games early on. Unfortunately, it can create frustration in your opponents by playing the deck, though.

Because we have donks as an option in our format due to the bench out rule, abuse of this rule is possible. Ideally we’ll have a format where this abuse isn’t possible, as I discuss in my latest episode of Prof-It!, but in the meantime, Uxie Donk is viable because of its ability to easily win games going second, and even games where you don’t get the first turn of trainers.

I’ll also admit, sitting at home and playing out your entire deck, trying to draw out your entire deck is very fun — kind of like solitaire. Of course, it’s never fun for your opponent to sit while you play a 10+ minute turn, but in the hands of the player playing it, it’s pretty enjoyable.

It’s not perfect, but it definitely has dangerous potential. If you’re looking for something very very fast, or just have a metagame where Vilegar isn’t very popular, I encourage you to check out Uxie donk. It truly is harder, better, faster, and stronger with the release of Triumphant.

Until next time,


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