The Tango of Legends

pokemon-paradijs.comThe Call of Legends expansion set is widely regarded as weak filler with some reprinted staples. Initially, the only cards that received any attention were the LostGar compatible cards. These cards include Lost World, Mr. Mime, to a lesser extent Mime Jr and Slowking. The next coolest aspect of the set was thought to be the reverse holo energies that have Pokémon silhouettes in the background (these are sweet).

Then a second card that received attention was Seviper. I actually played against a cool Seviper deck at Missouri States. That deck paired Seviper with Skuntank G and Miasma Valley to put most Pokémon within 1HKO range. However, I am presenting to you another card that might have some potential from the Call of Legends set.

The card that I present to you is Tangrowth. I saw one player playing a Tangrowth deck at Missouri States, and I was immediately interested. I never got to play that player and, by extension, did not get to see how his deck worked. The deck that I am presenting to you is my own interpretation on a Tangrowth that could possibly show some promise. I will start with a decklist with and explanation to follow.


Pokémon – 18 

3 Spiritomb AR
2 Tangela AR
2 Tangela CL
3 Tangrowth CL
1 Tangrowth LV.X AR
3 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Chaney HS
1 Blissey Prime

Trainers – 28  

4 Judge
3 Engineer’s Adjustments
2 Miasma Valley
1 Broken Time-Space
3 Twins
3 Bebe’s Search
2 Pokémon Collector
3 Expert Belt
3 Super Scoop Up
1 Seeker
3 Warp Point

Energy – 14 

4 Double Colorless
2 Rescue
8 G

The Cards

Tangela: I go with two of the Tangela from Arceus that allow you to draw as an attack; extra early draw power is never a bad thing. I also go with two of the Tangela from Call of Legends because it aids in energy acceleration.

Tangrowth: This is the main attacker of the deck. It can easily be set up by turn two (possibly turn one). By turn two Tangrowth can easily be swinging for 40-80 damage. The card’s first attack does 20 damage per each energy attached to Tangrowth with a cost of C. With double colorless in the format, Tangrowth can hit hard and fast.

The card also possesses 110 hp. This is a solid number in the format and is outside of 1HKO range for most Pokémon. The card has a Retreat Cost of four, which is very high and could possibly pose a problem. The weakness to fire is not a huge drawback in the current format. If the rotation is RR-On, this card could struggle with the possible play of Charizard increasing.

Tangrowth LV.X: This card’s main purpose is to add 20 hp to the main attacker. In addition to increased hp, the card’s Poké-Power allows the player to flip a coin. If the player gets heads, the player can remove four damage counters from one of his/her Pokémon. Basically, the power is a 50% healing tank. The attack of the LV.X pairs nicely with Blissey. The attack allows the player to take all the grass energy in the discard and attach it to his/her Pokémon in any fashion.

Uxie and Azelf: Standard reasons for inclusion.

Blissey Prime: This card’s Poké-Power allows the player to heal all of their Pokémon when Blissey is played from his/her hand. The drawback is that all energy must be discarded from the healed Pokémon. This is the best mirror for non-SP decks to Garchomp C LV.X’s Healing Breath. The synergy with Tangrowth LV.X is that you heal your Pokémon and then pull almost all the energy lost back from the discard in one turn.

Spiritomb: I love this card as a starter. I believe it is the best starter for any evolution-based deck. It accelerates the evolution lines and slows down your opponent with trainer lock. If you can open with Spiritomb, that is at least one turn that an SP opponent cannot do all of the Team Galatic shenanigans. That one turn can be the difference in a win or loss.

Judge: I absolutely love this card. It disrupts the opponent and allows for a hand refresh. It can single handily keep a non-SP deck within striking distance of a SP deck. There is nothing more satisfying than Judging away a 10-15 card hand from your SP-playing opponent.

Engineer’s Adjustments: This card is a solid draw option. It could possibly be replaced by Team Rocket’s Trickery if you want to focus on a little bit more disruption. However, since this deck runs Tangrowth LV.X, there is not any significant down side to discarding grass energy to draw four cards (one of which is likely to be anther grass energy). This card can come in handy when your Uxie drops are consistently being sprayed.

Miasma Valley: This deck runs almost exclusively grass and psychic Pokémon. Therefore, your opponents will likely be the only person taking 20 damage on each basic put into play.

Broken Time-Space: No Brainer. I only have one in the deck because I only own one. If I had two, I would run two.

Twins: This deck will almost always give up the first prize due to sacrificing the Spiritombs. This card brings you back into the game almost immediately.

Bebe’s Search & Pokémon Collector: Standard Pokémon search staples.

Expert Belt: To give your Tangrowth that extra pop in attack and 20 hp on defense.

Super Scoop Up and Seeker: These are your recovery and reuse cards.

Warp Point: I debated long and hard about including this card. I have decided that it is necessary to have. The effect is close enough to Bright Look for this deck to pass up. Also, this deck and easily swing for 100, but getting to 120 can be challenging. Therefore, this deck needs a way to get the sub 100 hp Bench-sitters into the active slot and the higher hp attackers to the opponent’s bench.

The energies: The double colorless energy allows this deck to be fast. As mentioned previously, this deck can consistently hit for 80 or better from turn two one. The rescue energy is included to make sure that you can reuse either Blissey Prime of Tangrowth LV.X.

The Strategy

I think that the strategy is straightforward. Ideally, you open with a Spiritomb active and at least one Tangela on the bench. You open with Darkness Grace and bam: you have a powered Tangrowth on turn two. You attach energy every turn and continue to set up multiple Tangrowth. Use Blissey Prime and Rescue energy to keep you side of the field set up. The keys to success are as follows:

  1. Open Spiritomb
  2. Use Judge wisely. A well-placed Judge can swing a match in your favor.
  3. Use Twins wisely. What cards do you pull out, Broken Time Space, Chansey & Blissey, Tangrowth LV.X, double colorless eneryg? This decision is likely going to be the difference between victory and defeat.

The Matchups

LuxChomp: Slightly unfavorable. The real key to this game is resource management. The only Pokémon that are remotely close to snipe range are Uxie and Azelf. So, be judicious in using them (in other words only use them if you MUST). Other than those, everything is going to take a considerable amount of resources to get knock outs for your opponent. The early Spiritomb, even for just one turn, is also a big factor. Delaying the SP Radar, Luxury Ball, Energy Gain, Poké-turn shenanigans is huge.

DiaglaChomp: Push. This matchup is very similar to the LuxChomp game. However, you opponent has fewer options for the quick knockouts without Luxray GL LV.X. As with the LuxChomp game, the longer the game drags on the better your chances of a win become.

Gyarados: Slightly Favorable. Tangrowth has resistance on Gyarados. That is often the key to the match. Both decks set up very quickly and hit for a decent amount of damage early and often. Tangrowth’s second attack could help with this matchup. You could possibly send the rescue energies to the discard and thus severely hinder the recovery of Gyarados. If you opponent has already discarded three magic carp and the fourth is sent to the discard with the rescue energy being sent to the Lost Zone, your opponent is going to be in trouble.

LostGar: Slightly Unfavorable. As with all LostGar matchups, the key is speed. How fast can you get knockouts? Your opponent is going to get six Pokémon into the Lost Zone before time is called. Can you collect 6 Prizes faster?

VileGar: Slightly Favorable. This deck does not a massive amount of trainers. Most are supporters that can be played under trainer lock. With four Judges and three Bebe’s Searches, keeping your hand size in check should not be too difficult.

Magnezone/Regirock: Unfavorable. Magnezone hits extremely hard and extremely fast. To have a chance at victory you have to play your opponent like a fiddle. Build up you bench Tangrowths. Sacrifice Pokémon that take two or more energy to be Lost Zoned by your opponent. Get him/her to run dry of one type of energy then pray that you still have a powered up attacker that can mount a comeback.

Charizard: Unfavorable. Why is this matchup in here? Charizard is my favorite deck. Honestly, Tangrowth is 1HKO’d by a Charizard with ONE fire energy and four fire Pokémon on the bench. That is just too much to overcome.

I have not been able to test this deck against very many other players. I have tested it playing solitaire games on Redshark. I am not the greatest SP player, so the matchups could be a little skewed.


I might personally try this deck out for Regionals after more testing. I played Charizard at my first premier event, Missouri State. I went 3-3 and realized that I needed to try something else. Therefore, I went home and started testing other rogue ideas because I do not have the resources to pull together a LuxChomp or DiaglaChomp deck. If I can pull together a Magnezone/Regirock deck, I might run that. However, the more I test this Tangrowth deck, the more I like it. It is very consistent. It is only a stage one deck and thus, faster than Magnezone or Charizard. If you are looking for a deck to play that is cheap, fun, and decently competitive, then take a hard look at Tangrowth.

Perhaps Call of Legends gave the game more options that most people originally thought, especially after the rotation.

Keep it friendly. I am sure that many people will have different suggestions for this deck (Shaymin, Vespiquen, etc.), just keep the comments friendly and cordial and we all with get alone just fine.

Reader Interactions

14 replies

  1. Anonymous

    wouldnt dialgachomp at least be even. i mean remove lost has a potential to remove a ton or ALL of your energy. and this time tangrowth lv x cant get em back.

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous


      A push match up is the same as even. So, I am calling it an even match up.

      That being said, I tested against non-expert SP players. So, I am going off my testing results, and those results could be skewed towards Tangrowth because the players using the SP decks are not experts at running those decks.

    • chrataxe  → Anonymous

      Remove lost destroys any energy intensive deck that can’t one shot dialga….its not even, it heavily favors Dialga, especially if it runs a toxitank line and shuts down Tangrowth’s healing.

      • Anonymous  → chrataxe

        I understand what you are saying, but it just does not work that way often.

        1) DGX relies on the flip. So, it can never be said that it is completely reliable.
        2) It takes AT LEAST 3 turns to get DGX up and running. Tangrowth can easily swing for 60 on turn two. Thus turn 3 is the KO. If they try to retreat DGX, they are set back two turns due to retreat cost. If they poketurn DGX, they are set back 3 turns. If they warp enery to something else, you should be in position to KO whatever is left active in DGX’s place.

        I could be mistaken, but I just do not think that DGX steam rolls this.

      • draconash  → chrataxe

        @chrataxe: I’ve tested quite a bit against DialgaChomp actually. In nearly all cases, Dialga G Lv X isn’t able to remove more than 2 energy from Tangrowth in an attack. Tangrowth can also set up faster even under the deafen lock usually, and swinging for 80 turn two happened over 2/3rd’s of the time. Dialga can’t kill a Tangrowth fast enough provided it is leveled up and the Healing Growth flips aren’t terrible. It usually turns into an even if not somewhat favorable matchup if the Dialga player doesn’t get a very good start, and by turn 4, which is usually about the time DGX is fully loaded, it isn’t uncommon to have a Tangrowth X dealing 120-140 damage per turn, which, even with a multiple energy lost zone through Remove Lost, is too much damage for a DGX to handle. And get realistic, no one runs ToxiTank lines in SP anymore, Uxie Lv X has almost completely taken over for a Machamp counter, which is all ToxiTank is ever used for. Please consider your comments before you use words like “destroys” in regards to a matchup.

        @Adrian Saunders: I haven’t thought about using Sage’s Training, but it is definitely something to consider. I question the use of 4 Jirachi RR as it can actually slow down Tangrowth by not allowing a Tangela CL to use Nutritional Support T1, but two of them could provide an alternative option early game from Nutritional Support, depending on the Tangrowth player’s options. Also, depending on the opening hand, Jirachi may be a great option instead of Tangela (In cases such as 2 DCE in the opening hand) to start with. Great suggestions, I’ll definitely have to test them out.

  2. Jonah Davids

    Nice article, but IMO, the Spiritomb is vastly uneeded. Tangela COL’s attack lets you attach a Grass Energy to Tangela for a Grass Energy. Next Turn evolve, attach a DCE and do 80. Next Turn “LV.X” up and start tanking. Thats how I’d play it.

    • Anonymous  → Jonah

      Awesome. Thanks for the advice! I just cannot seem to get past how important a one or turn turn trainer lock is against the SP decks. I’ll test it with out the Tomb.

      • draconash  → Anonymous

        Nice article, I was actually running Tangrowth at Missouri States (only for practice games though), so it might’ve been me you saw playing it. This is definitely a different angle than I took though. I used a 2-2 Sunflora HS line as it greatly improves consistency, and eliminates the need for Spiritomb or a pokemon that accelerates evolution. Like Genguy, I believe that Spiritomb isn’t necessary. You could drop the Spiritombs and the Blissey Prime line, as Blissey makes you discard any Rescues or DCE’s. Also, have you considered using Shaymin Land Form Lv. X? It adds 40 maximum HP to All of your grass types even from the bench (barring any Shaymin), making Tangrowth even more of a tank, but also making it very difficult for LuxChomp to snipe anything more than pixies, and making Magnezone use 3 energies to KO any grass pokemon with above 60 HP (provided they aren’t belted). Also, I ran a heavier trainer line and included Junk Arm to discard Grass Energies (I run 11) which made recovery very easy (provided you had a rescue attached to the previously KO’ed Tangrowth X or run Premier Ball).

        Anyway, that’s my take on Tangrowth, you can run whatever you find most effective. Also, sorry for the length of the post, I just had a lot to say (since I tested the deck quite a bit). Keep working on that list, I think it would be awesome to see a deck other than LuxChomp, Gyarados, or VileGar do well in our area.

  3. Adrian Saunders

    I would probably play this with Jirachi RR as a starter and run 4 Sage’s Training. On your first turn, play Sage, discard energy, then Detour it to do it again, and get more energy in the discard. Then hopefully you can next turn evolve, attach, and attack, then next turn, level up, Use big growth and if they can’t knock you out, they’re done.

  4. Anonymous

    Would Serperior be a good partner for Tangrowth in the next season?

  5. Jacob AG

    I loves me my Tangrowth (played the SF one throughout cities) and I have to say Tangela AR isn’t that good of a basic. Granted it allows you to draw a card, but it won’t help you accelerate your energy. Tangela SF and Tangela CL are the better choices here, in my opinion.

  6. Eloy

    I actually just Built a VilegrowthLock. It runs pretty good with no trainers because i use Spiritomb and Sunflora. Vileplume slows everyone down. I use Shaymin for Energy movement and the extra 40hp. It runs pretty good. Played Sp decks a few times and i won more then i lost. Still need a few modifications before Regionals..Like you said Double Colorless is great .If is only good for now because next season I will lose the Warp Energies and Shaymin

  7. Anonymous

    At a Prerelease, EJ’s whole 40-card deck consisted of 3 things: 1 Tangrowth, 1 Tangela, 38 Grass Energy. He won every single battle. (EJ is a friend of mine)

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