The Unfamiliar SP Techs


The article is meant to discuss the not so well-known techs that could thrive in an SP deck. I’m not claiming that any of these are format-shattering, nor am I the one that first considered their use. Think of this more as a multiple “Card of the Day” article that lacks a rating system. Hopefully this might inspire some creativity in future deck building.

Pokémon SP

Bronzong 4

Probably better known as the other Bronzong SP. Bronzong 4’s “Hand Refresh” attack is like using Sableye’s “Impersonate” for a Judge without using the resource. You can use this card pretty effectively against Gyarados.

Unfortunately, the card does require you to also drop to a 4-card hand. It leaves you with an Active Pokémon with a high Retreat Cost and no guarantee of a way to get it out of the Active Spot. Not a smart move against a trainer-locking adversary.

Dusknoir FB

“Cursed Wrath” is a way for Pokémon SP to claim revenge. Dusknoir is nice to bring out late game after you have lost multiple lines of your main attackers. It can also be setup with the help of Junk Arm. Colorless resistance can be quite nice in a Garchomp C heavy metagame.

Froslass GL

It was Jason Chen that had used this as his secret tech for his VileGar deck earlier in the season. Its first attack “Sleep Inducer” is much like Blaziken FB’s “Luring Flame” except the Defending Pokémon is put to sleep rather than burned. However you do not need to put Fire Energy in your deck to use it! It could also be of some use against Donphan.

Manectric G

pokegym.netThis card can be used at getting energies back from the discard pile, specifically Double Colorless Energy, with its first attack “Energy Absorption.” The technique looks promising because you are using an attack with a free cost for the benefit of two energies of any type from the discard pile.

This is great at giving your deck a spark mid-to-late game when you have run through a good bit of resources and grabbing a couple of DCEs (or other energy cards) could reignite the deck.

The downside to Manectric is that there is often no guarantee that opponent would not be able to knockout your Active Manectric before you had the chance to use a Poké Turn or Bronzong G’s “Galactic Switch.” It would waste a turn where you could have dealt actual damage. If there is a time where you are certain your opponent could not knock Manectric G out on their next turn, you are probably in such good shape that the energies would be unnecessary.

Purugly G

This is for your opponent with the big hand. “Chip Off” can rid your opponent of key resources when their hand sizes start to get out of control. While ridding your opponent of energy cards or Warp Points early might not seem crucial, you could be hurting their percentages of “outs” later in the game. You might also rid your opponent of Stadiums they may need for later (*cough* Lost World *cough*).

Raticate G

You can use Raticate G’s first attack “Find,” which for one C energy (or an Energy Gain) you can pick a Supporter or Trainer out of your discard pile. It is like a searchable VS Seeker or Junk Arm. I think I would use it primarily to get back a Cyrus’s Conspiracy. I think it would be best to implement after you “Bright Look” or “Luring Flame” something up with a heavy Retreat Cost.

This tech is similar to Manectric G in that its purpose is to gain consistency rather than disrupt your opponent. However Manectric G relies on your opponent not being able to Knock it Out with the DCEs or other energy cards on it. The only way to stop Raticate G’s move is by hand disruption, and even then a card is generally put back in the deck.

Also Raticate G seems like one of the least detrimental techs to start with. It has a free Retreat Cost. Since it’s a Pokémon SP you can use a Call Energy to set up a Power Spray. Then you could just move the rat to Bench until you want to grab a discarded resource. Or you could employ “Galactic Switch” to take energy off of it and then Poké Turn it.

Non-Pokémon SP

Azelf LV.X

Almost all SP decks (and most others) choose to run Azelf LA for access to their Prize cards. A lot of SP decks also run Psychic Energy to power their Promocroak. While there are better snipers out there (Garchomp C, Honchkrow G, and probably Drifblim FB), this is one that comes out of nowhere. “Deep Balance” can place some important damage counters, especially with things like “Fainting Spell” and Rescue Energy running about. You can also resort to using “Lock Up” in the situation is right. Azelf can be a very versatile attacker that should get at least a second look.

Ditto LA

Ditto is probably best known for a counter against Gengar SF. Ditto can 2-shot Gengar without feeling the wrath of “Fainting Spell.” Or another way to go about it is to “Shadow Room” their Pixies and then use Crobat G’s “Flash Bite” to take cheap prizes. It also nice when your opponent forgets that Ditto’s HP becomes that of the Defending Pokémon.

Starting with Ditto is not too bad as long as people keep using starters like Sableye and Honchkrow G that have free cost for attacks that are extremely useful at setting you up. Ditto can also expose Garchomp C and Flygon to weakness!

Honchkrow SV

I’m definitely not the first one to come up with this seeing as how Con Le used it to help him win Nationals last year. However I feel Honchkrow SV is too good of a tech to ignore its possibility in non-Sablock lists. While it is a little easier to transplant it in Sablock since it uses the same energy, it does help against a lot of decks. Here are a couple things going for it:

Mewtwo – It can hit Mewtwo since it’s a Stage 1. It can pull out more targets from the discard for you to hit.
Machamp – It has Fighting Resistance and will not just be another “Take Out” target.
Gyarados – It can pull Magikarps out of the discard pile. It also hits big since a Gyarados bench will mostly have basics on it.
Gengar – It hits Gengar for weakness.
SP Mirror – If you can get it set up it can usually 1HKO any SP (some exclusions may apply).

A 1-1 line is successful because SP decks are filled with partners that can help power up Honchkrow’s “Riot” attack. With the absence of Claydol in the format, non-SP decks have resorted to filling their Benches with the likes of Uxie, Smeargle, and Spiritomb.

The problem with “Big Daddy Honchkrow” is that it will usually require you to put a different energy in you deck and those spots are generally reserved for Call and Rescue Energies.

Jirachi UL

Jirachi is the poison for your stage two opponents using Rare Candy. The searchable Devolutor is pretty nice against Gyarados, too. I like to use it to take out two or more attackers at once so that while they might have the top of the evolutions in their hand, they are left with perhaps no basics to build their attackers back up.

It is especially nice when your opponent has a Pokémon in play with an Expert Belt and enough damage on it to give you 2 Prizes. The most prizes I was able to take with one “Time Hollow” were four which involved taking out two Belted Kingdras.

I generally play Jirachi with two Psychic Energies so that I can usually have at least one in the discard pile before I place it on the Bench to utilize “Stardust Song.” It can be extremely helpful to have an attacker that powers itself and frees up your energy attachments to your main attackers.

(Side Note: Ditto and Jirachi make a beast combo against Gengar SF!)


As I mentioned earlier, I wrote the article with SP decks in mind because they seem to be better able to get one-copy techs out easier and more consistently than other types of decks due to their excellent Supporter line. However, if there are non-SP deck builders that feel they could utilize the above techs to success, do not let this article hinder your thought process. I would just like to see people consider more options in their choice of techs.

Reader Interactions

19 replies

  1. Jonah Davids

    Bronzong 4 and Jirachi are probably my favourite Psychic type SP techs. Especially in HoPe.

  2. Olliver Barr

    No mention of weavile? Other than that, nice article.

    • L M  → Olliver

      Weavile G is a decent starter. However, I prefer just running Call Energy which would allow you to choose non-SP Pokemon like a basic for a Mewtwo/Machamp counter. Also if you’re looking for a dark-type SP attacker, I think Honchkrow G is the better bet!

        • L M  → andy

          So can Honchkrow SV without having to have a bench full of SP (including Lucario GL).

        • Olliver Barr  → L

          it takes:
          3 energy
          an evolution (which might get lost zoned)
          and you need to run bebes, which most do, but some don’t

        • L M  → Olliver

          Deck building is a matter of picking your poison. I just prefer other things to Weavile G. In all likelihood Weavile G will probably only hit for 40-50 damage to the active for one dark and two colorless energy. I doubt you’ll be able to have consistent success with gathering all your resources needed without the help of Uxie. It will be comprised of one dark and a DCE or one dark, one energy of any flavor, and an Energy Gain or three energies.

          Honchkrow SV also has a fill the field attack that you can max to 90 (plus whatever your opponent adds with their basics) for the same energy requirement, although it would receive no help from an Energy Gain. As mentioned above, it’s also good against other problems in the meta.

          If I’m only hitting for around 40 damage I’d rather use Honchkrow G which, with the help of Crobat G, can snipe the field for 40, as well as gather Team Galactic trainers.

          Weavile G is particularly good if you’re making a Regigigas FB deck though!

        • L M  → andy

          Nevermind I was thinking Gengar Prime had the same weakness and HP of Gengar SF. But you do still need a bench full of SP, one being a recently dropped Crobat G. I just think it hinders your game plan when you cannot use any Uxies or Azelfs to get needed resources.

  3. Olliver Barr

    No mention of weavile? Other than that, nice article.

  4. chrataxe

    “It was Jason Chen that had used this as his secret tech for his VileGar deck earlier in the season.”


    Really? I knew someone that was using it pre-Battle Roads and lives half way across the country.

    • L M  → chrataxe

      I didn’t mean to infer Jason was the innovator that started using it as a tech. Especially since I’ve seen people using it at my local league last season. I was just trying to connect some articles so readers could see the strategy of a card being used in another deck.

  5. Colin Peterik

    Bronzong 4 might be the brokes in LuxChomp as a tech for sudden death… your opponent will always have 1 prize left.. HA!

  6. George

    I would have considered mentioning Chatot as a non-SP tech. Free Retreat, Free Mimic and Chatter Lock are very helpful to the SP format.

    Great article otherwise!

    • L M  → George

      Chatot MD is a beast that is definitely worth fitting into an SP tech as a consistency card. However, I don’t really belief it is an unfamiliar tech. I’ve seen quite a few people using it in SP for a while now.

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