I will start this article by explaining who I am and just how successful this deck can be. Unless you are from the UK chances are you don’t know my name. At the moment I am ranked number one in the UK. I have been playing Gengar/Garchomp C (Gengar C) all season at every premier event with multiple wins including the UK’s biggest State championship.
I think the main difference between this and other underplayed or “rogue” deck articles is that I have actually used this deck in K value tournaments and put my rating on the line, something that not a lot of people who write rogue deck articles have done.
If someone writes an article about a deck and they never play it in a tournament then that must mean that they don’t think that deck is as good as other decks in the format. Chances are if you are reading this article you are serious about winning and that is something that this deck can do, I have the medals to prove it.
After almost a year of testing I finally came up with a consistent skeleton list that had room for a number of techs that can be varied to suit your play style and fit your local metagame.
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 28
Energy – 10
Total Cards: 55
Free space: 5 Cards (2 Energy)
Pokemon ParadijsNow you have a basic idea of what a list looks like I will explain a little about the tactics and how you should play the deck. The strategy of the deck is very simple, just snipe pixies or other low HP Pokémon that have powers using Gengar’s Shadow Room attack with Crobat G drops and use Garchomp to snipe anything else and stop your opponent from getting setting up.
Even though this may sound simple getting this to work can be a bit tricky because Gengar and Garchomp don’t exactly have the best synergy between them. The only bit of synergy between them is that they can both hit bench Pokémon for high damage.
Because of this it can sometimes feel like you are trying to play two decks at the same time. The trick is you need to know exactly when to attack with Garchomp and when to attack with Gengar.
At the start of the game your main priority should be to get a Gengar out as fast as possible. There are two main reasons for this.
One: It is very hard for any top tier deck to knock out Gengar in one hit early game (unlike Garchomp) and even if they do (for example turn 2 Gyarados with an Expert Belt) you still get Fainting Spell.
Two: People will almost always have a pixie or an easy snipe for Gengar on their first or second turn. That can put you ahead in the prizes and give you a big advantage for the rest of the game.
Once you have the prize lead the game becomes a whole lot easier. You should now start to act according to what your opponent is playing. If they are trying to build up something big like a Gyarados, Steelix, or Magnezone try and stop them from setting it up by using Dragon Rush or Shadow room.
If you can’t stop them then start to swarm with Gengars and use Garchomp to knock out anything that they put down that could be used as a Gengar counter.
If you are playing against a turbo deck like Machamp and they try to out speed you then just get out a Gengar and use it as a wall. No speed deck (with maybe the exception of Jumpluff) can knock out your Gengar in one hit easily.
Even if they take an early prize lead it is very easy to get back in the lead because a speed deck will normally have lots of easy prizes on the bench. Speed decks play a lot of trainers so these are the only matchup where I would recommend using Poltergeist when you don’t know what is in your opponent’s hand.
If they are playing Machamp then I would stay away from using Garchomp unless you can afford to lose it on your next turn, fortunately Gengar’s Poltergeist will hit Machamp for weakness.
SP and trainer lock matchups and are very different depending on what techs you play in the deck. So I will explain how to beat them after I explain to you what techs I use to fill up those extra 5 spots left in the deck.
Those 5 cards left in your deck can make a tournament go amazing or go average. I can’t tell you what the best techs are because it will depend on what the most popular deck is in your area and how you like to play. What I can tell you are how you should use the techs and what match ups you can use them in.
Here is a list of all the different cards I have tested and that have worked well in the deck:
Froslass GL: This is an interesting card that I personally really like. Froslass’ first attack called “Sleep Inducer” switches your opponent’s active Pokémon with one of their bench Pokémon and puts the new active Pokémon to sleep.
This can be very useful in the Vilegar matchup because you can drag up their Vileplume and if they can’t retreat it on their next turn you can use Gengars Poltergeist attack to hit Vileplume for weakness and hopefully knock it out. You can also use the same strategy when playing Gyarados or Regirock/Magnezone to Sleep Inducer there Regice or Regirock.
All of these decks will normally play Warp energy or Warp point to stop you from doing this but these cards are not easily searchable so they can be hard for your opponent to get into their hand. Sleep Inducer can be very useful and give you the time you need to help set up a Gengar or Garchomp.
Froslass’s other attack, “Wake-up Slap” can be very useful when you are playing Donphan. If you poison Donphan using Crobat G Toxic fangs attack to do 20 damage in-between turns. Donphan will have taken 40 damage when it comes back to your turn. Then you can use the Wake-up Slap attack on Donphan to hit it for 80 and knock it out.
Ambipom G: You probably already know how this card works because it is used in almost all Luxchomp. But just in case you don’t know how to use it, it is a counter to Garchomp C Lv.X after it has used its Dragon Rush. Its second attack “Snap Attack” for 2 colourless Energy cards does 60 damage if your opponent’s active Pokémon has no Energy cards attached or 20 if they do have an Energy attached to their active Pokémon.
Pokemon ParadijsSo if Garchomp used its Dragon Rush attack and only has an Energy gain attached you can use snap attack to do 120 damage and knock Garchomp out in one hit. Ambipom can give you an easy prize and keep you in the prize lead.
Ambipom can be even more effective in this deck than in Luxchomp because people don’t always see it coming, whereas when playing the Luxchomp mirror people just assume Ambipom will be in their deck and play around it.
The other use for Ambipom is its “Tail Code” attack that allows you to move one Energy card attached to your opponent’s active Pokémon to one of their bench Pokémon. This can be very effective late game against decks like Vilegar and Machamp.
If you need to stall for time tail code can move your opponent’s last Energy card on to something useless on the bench like an Azelf. If your opponent’s has no way to move or get that Energy card back to their hand then it can give you the time you need to win the game.
I would recommend counting the Energy cards in your opponent’s discard and try and estimate how many you think they will use in their deck to give you a better idea of if tail code will work or not.
The final use for Ambipom is to use it to win on your first turn. If you start with Ambipom and a Double Colourless Energy and your opponent starts with one basic Pokémon you may be able use snap attack to one hit knock out your opponents active and win the game.
Lost Remover: This card can be very disruptive and can get you back in to a game where you are falling behind. Lost remover works very well when you are playing any deck that need Double Colourless Energy or Rainbow Energy to attack.
Lost Remover can work well with Ambipom when you are playing Luxchomp. Sometimes people will attach a Call Energy then a Double colourless Energy to do Dragon Rush to stop you from using Snap Attack on Garchomp next turn.
If they do this then use Lost Remover to remove the Call and then use Snap Attack to knock out the Garchomp. This same tactic can work if your opponent is attacking with Dragonite FB with a Double Colourless Energy and an Energy gain. Just remove the Double Colourless Energy and use Snap Attack for the Knock out.
Roserade GL: This is a very good card for locking your opponent’s active Pokémon and can give you a cheap prize. It can be very useful when you are playing against a deck that uses a Pokémon that helps them set up like Sableye, Smeargle and Spiritomb.
It is also good if they get a high retreat Pokémon as their active at the start of the game like Regirock or Regice. If you lock a Pokémon with a Poké-Power then Roserade will stop them from using that power because they will be affected by a special condition.
Because poison damage is dealt in between turns you can use Crobat drops to make sure that the Pokémon you are locking is knocked out on your turn. This can allow you to take another prize on the same turn with Gengar or Garchomp which can put you back in the prize lead.
You can try to use Roserade in combination with Froslass’ Sleep Inducer attack to drag something up and then lock it. This will normally only work when you are playing Vilegar late game but if you really need to try to get some extra turns to set up this is worthwhile trying.
Unown Q: I would only recommend using this card if you are using any non SP Pokémon that have a 1 retreat cost as techs. Unown Q’s power (Quick) can help you get out of bad starts like Uxie and Azelf. It is also very easy to search out of the deck by using Pokémon Collector or Communication.
The only down side to this card and it is quite a big one is that it only has 30 HP and is weak to psychic by +10. So if you start with a loan Unown Q even if you go second there is a high chance Unown will get knocked out and you will lose before the game has even started.
Spiritomb AR: This card can be very good if there are a lot of Vilegar or Speed decks in your area. When I played this card I used an extra Haunter and an Unown Q. Spiritomb is mainly used if you have no way of getting a Gengar out on your first turn or if you are under trainer lock.
If you are playing against a Vilegar deck then all you need is a Collector and you can get your Spiritomb and Gastly. Then you can start to set up a Gengar. Spiritomb can be good to help you slow down SP or Speed Decks if you get a bad hand at the start of the game.
The only thing you need to be careful of when you are playing Spiritomb is that it can be locked by Chatot MD’s Chatter attack. Because you can’t play trainers and you can only use Darkness grace 4 times you can’t knock yourself out.
You will have no way out of Chatter and you will be stuck there until the game goes to time or either player runs out of cards in their deck. Luckily Chatot MD isn’t played that much anymore but it can sometimes be in the odd Luxchomp.
Power Spray: People don’t always expect a single Power Spray and if you can surprise your opponent to stop a crucial power, you can slow down their set up considerably. You can also stop your opponent from taking a cheap prize off a Crobat using Luxray if you Power spray their Bright look.
Because the deck is not a pure SP deck you are not always guaranteed to have 3 SP Pokémon in play all the time and it can be a bit annoying when your opponent drops an Uxie for 7 and you can’t Spray it because you don’t have enough SP in play.
Most of the time you will have to search out the Power spray with a Cyrus’s Conspiracy because you only have one in the deck. This can be a bit annoying if you need to get a different card instead of Power Spray and you don’t get to use the Power spray all game because you are always searching for a different cards.
Dialga G Lv.X: This is used is used as a pure Vilegar counter or for any other deck that uses Vileplume to lock your trainers. Dialga G can also be useful in matchups like Steelix, Yanmega Prime or any other deck that relies on Poké-Bodies.
Dialga G can also be a great attacker. If you put a Metal and Warp Energy as the last 2 energy slots in the deck then you can use Deafen, Second Strike, and retreat Dialga easily using the Warp Energy.
When you are playing a Vilegar deck and you get Dialga G out, you need to try and play all of your trainers on the same turn you put it down. Try to get your Bebe’s Search or Looker’s Investigation in hand so you have a chance of getting Dialga G Lv.X back out of your deck if they level up one of their Gengars and use its Level Down power to shuffle Dialga G Lv.X back into your deck.
Machamp: I used Machamp for a long time in this deck and it was very effective when playing SP decks or any other deck that used a basic Pokémon as its main attacker. I used a 1-0-1 line of Machamp with 1 Fighting and 1 Rainbow energy.
This works very well, but it can be a bit inconsistent. It can sometimes be hard to get Machamp, Machop, Rare Candy and Fighting Energy in your hand at the same time.
You can also use Machamp in matchups where the Pokémon that your opponent is using as their main attacker are weak to Fighting such as Tyranitar and Magnezone variants.
Call Energy: This is what I play if I am not playing Dialga G or Machamp. Call Energy can get you out of a bad start and reduce the chance of losing on your first turn. You can attach Call energy to Garchomp instead of an Energy gain if you think Garchomp will get hit by Ambipom if you use Dragon Rush.
It can also be nice if you want to use Gengars Poltergeist attack and don’t want to attach a Double colourless Energy or Psychic Energy to Gengar.
Dragonite FB: This is one of the best – if not the best – and easy to set up SP counter you can use. Dragonite’s “Mach Blow” attack does 20 damage but if your opponent’s active Pokémon is SP it does 80 damage instead of 20 for 3 Colourless Energy or a Double Colourless Energy with an Energy Gain attached.
This means that Dragonite with Crobat drops can knock out almost all the SP Pokémon in Luxchomp or any other SP variant in one hit. The only SP Pokémon that Dragonite has any problem with is Luxray Lv.X. But if you get out Gengar Lv.X you can use its “Level Down” power to level down Luxray then use Mach Blow to knock it out.
Unfortunately Dragonite is very easy to knock out. Because Dragonite is weak to colourless and has 100 HP this means that it can be knocked out by Garchomp C’s Earthquake attack or most other colourless Pokémon.
Fan Rotom: This card can counter a lot of different decks. The first use for Fan Rotom is to counter Gyarados. There are not many lightning Pokémon that can attack using just colourless Energy and Fan Rotom has a very good attack called “Air Slash,” for 3 Colourless that dose 60 damage and flip a coin – if tails discard an Energy attached to Fan Rotom.
If you play Lucario GL with this card you can easily knockout a Gyarados in one hit, all you will need is one Crobat G drop. Even if you don’t have Lucario GL you can hit Gyarados for 90 which is still a large amount of damage. The other main use for Air Slash is if you are playing Sablelock or a deck that uses Honchkrow SV (a very good Gengar counter) then you simply need to have Lucario GL in play or just use a Crobat G drop to knock Honchkrow SV out in one hit.
The second use for Fan Rotom’s Air slash attack is to knock out Garchomp C, Dragonite FB or any other Pokémon that is weak to Colourless. If you use Fan Rotom’s Poké-Power “Fan Shift” you change the type of Fan Rotom to Colourless until the end of your turn.
This power can be Power Sprayed so make sure you use Fan Shift then attach the Double Colourless Energy – else you could waste your energy attach for that turn and Fan Rotom could get knocked out next turn meaning you wasted a Double Colourless Energy.
PokeGymBut if Fan Shift doesn’t get Power Sprayed then you can use Air Slash to knock out almost any Pokémon that is weak to Colourless.
There are also two main uses for Fan Rotom’s First attack Spin Storm. This attack for 2 Colourless Energy cards or 1 Double Colourless Energy lets you flip a coin, if heads return the defending Pokémon and all cards attached to your opponent’s hand.
This can be useful if you are playing a deck that likes to use a Pokémon to tank like Steelix or Tyranitar then you can use Spin Storm to return their tank back to their hand and make them set it up again. The other use is to win on your first turn.
If you start with Fan Rotom and your opponent starts with one active Pokémon you can use Spin Storm to return their only Pokémon back to their hand meaning they have no more Pokémon in play and they lose.
Bronzong G: This card is used in almost every SP build and can help you set up Pokémon very fast. Bronzong G’s Poké-Power called Galactic Switch lets you move an energy card from one of your SP Pokémon to any of your other Pokémon in play. This can help you set up Pokémon that need more than one energy to attack like Gengars poltergeist or Fan Rotom’s Air Slash attack.
If you have an Energy card attached to an SP Pokémon that you are about to Pokéturn or you don’t need that energy attached to the Pokémon any more you can move it using Galactic Switch to a Pokémon that needs that Energy. This is effectively attaching two Energy cards in one turn.
Galactic Switch can help you when you don’t have a Double Colourless Energy in your hand. If you have an Energy gain on your Garchomp C Lv.X but don’t have a Double Colourless Energy to attach then you can move an Energy card from one of your SP Pokémon on to your Garchomp then attach the other and use Dragon Rush. This will also work if you want to use Dragonite’s Mach Blow attack.
Toxicroak G Promo: This is a very good counter for Luxray in this deck that I would highly recommend running if there are a lot of Luxchomp’s in your area. Toxicroak G’s “Poison Revenge” attack for a psychic and colourless Energy (or an Energy Gain) does 20 damage but if your opponent knocked out one of your Pokémon last turn it dose 60 damage and poisons your opponents active Pokémon.
This will knock out Luxray GL Lv.X in one hit because it is weak to Fighting. Because you run 4 Psychic Energy it is very easy to set up Toxicroak G.
Toxicroak G also has a Poké-Power that has the same effect as Super Scoop Up but can only be used if Toxicroak G is you active Pokémon. This can help if you start with Toxicroak G and you need to get him out of the active Pokémon spot and will stop you from burning a Poké turn.
You can also use this after you knock out a Luxray if Toxicroak G survives your opponent’s next turn.
Honchkrow SV: If you play Honchkrow you will need to put in a Darkness Energy and a Rainbow Energy instead of the Call Energies. Honchkrow can be very good if you are playing a Vilegar, Lostgar, or any other Gengar variant. Honchkrow’s attack “Riot” does 30 damage plus 10 more for each Pokémon that isn’t evolved in play.
This can do a lot of damage and almost always kill any Gengar in one hit. Honchkrow also has a fighting resistance which can make it a very hard card for some Machamp variants to knock out. This can be useful if you are struggling to get out a Gengar when playing a Machamp deck.
Honchkrow also has a Poké-Power called “Darkness Restore” that lets you look at your opponent’s discard pile and chose one basic Pokémon and put it on your opponent’s bench. This can help you do more damage with Riot. It can be very good when you are playing Gyarados because you can use it to bring back a Magikarp reducing Gyarados’s damage output by 30 and forcing your opponent to pick up the Magikarp to get it back to the discard.
Uxie Lv.X: This is a very good card for both draw power and damage. Uxie Lv.X can be good if you are playing a Machamp deck or to knock out a Toxicroak G Promo using its “Zen Blade” attack. It is normally unnecessary because you can use Gengar to the same effect but can sometimes be useful if you don’t have a Gengar in play or you don’t want to use Poltergeist.
Because of its Poké-Power “Trade Off” that lets you look at the top two cards of your deck pick one and put the other one to the bottom of your deck, it makes it a very good addition to the deck. If you play Unown Q it can make Uxie Lv.X a lot easier to get back to the bench.
Ditto: This card is not as good as it used to be before people started to play Gengar Prime in Vilegar, but it can still be a very good card in the Vilegar matchup. Ditto copies all attacks and the HP of the depending Pokémon.
This can be very good when you are up against a Gengar SF because all you need to do is attach one psychic Energy to Ditto and you can do shadow room for 60 to Gengar and they can only hit you for 30 with Shadow Room.
The only down side to this is that because Ditto copies the defending Pokémon’s HP if your opponent should switch their active Gengar to a low HP Pokémon like Unown Q Ditto will only have 30 HP and be very easy to knock out. Ditto can sometimes be quite fun to play just because you can end up using it to copy some random attacks when you are playing against rouge decks.
Mr. Mime CoL: When I first saw this card I thought it was going to be a lot more useful that it actually is, but it can still be good at times. Mr. Mime’s Poké-Power “Trick Reveal” lets you look at your opponents hand but you have to show them your hand as well.
If you like to use Poltergeist a lot or don’t like to have to guess how many trainers your opponent has in their hand then this could be a really good card.
Personally I don’t mind using Poltergeist when I am not 100% sure how many trainers they have in their hand because I have got quite good at keeping track of how many they have. So I can normally take a good guess of how much damage Poltergeist will do.
In short there is a lot of choice for techs. I can’t tell you what the best techs will be for your area but what I will do is share good lists for some of the most popular matchups.
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 30
4 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 10
How to Beat Luxchomp:
This should be an easy matchup because you have a counter to almost any card that Luxchomp can throw at you. You should still try to get a quick Gengar out because Luxchomp has a lot of trouble knocking out Gengar and will normally try to snipe around the Gengar.
Once you get out a Gengar try and snipe to get the prize lead. Once you get the prize lead there is almost no reason why you should lose it. If you can, try to use Garchomp to snipe their Garchomps or Luxray’s to slow them down.
This can sometimes be hard just because they will normally snipe any Garchomp you put on the bench. If you can get your Gengar Lv.X set up and Your Dragonite FB then you can normally use Dragonite FB to take a few easy prizes. You basically just need to use Gengar and when you can use your Luxchomp counters to help you take extra prizes.
If you lose the prize lead this matchup gets a whole lot more tricky. You will have to find some way of stopping your opponent from taking a prize and you will have to keep taking a prize every turn.
The easiest way to do this is to just use a double Gengar as a wall. Just get a Gengar active and a Gengar on your bench with no other Pokémon left on your bench. You can still drop Crobat’s to help you snipe but you need to make sure you pick them up with a Poké Turn the same turn you put them down.
Because it is extremely hard for Luxchomp to knock out a Gengar in one turn without using a lot of resources you can almost always take 2 prizes in the time it takes them to take one. Double Gengar can sometimes be hard to set up, but if you can get it set up it works very well.
Pokémon – 21
Trainers – 29
Energy – 10
How to Beat Vilegar:
PokeGymThis can be one of your hardest and most annoying matchups to play because it locks you out of using so much of the deck. Because Vilegar can take a while to set up a Vileplume and Gengar you can normally get out Dialga G quicker than it takes them to get fully set up.
If you are having trouble getting out Dialga G you can use Froslass GL or Ambipom G to try and stall until you have Dialga G out. Once you get your Dialga G down play as many trainers as you can and try to get out as many Gengars and Garchomps as possible.
If you get out a Gengar then you can use it to knock out their Gengar using Shadow room to avoid Fainting Spell.
If you don’t have Bebe’s Search in your hand and you think they might level up their Gengar to try and Level Down your Dialga G then either use Uxie’s to try and find one or play a Cyrus’s Conspiracy to search out a Bebe’s Search for next turn.
Pokémon – 23
Trainers – 27
Energy – 10
How to Beat Gyarados:
This list is also a very good all round list because you have at least one counter to all of the top tier decks (Sablelock, Luxchomp, Dialgachomp, Gyarados and Machamp). This matchup can be very hard for the Gyarados player because they will not know if they should attach the Expert Belt or not.
If they do, then they will knock out Garchomp in one hit. But they will also knock out Gengar in one hit which means they will activate Fainting Spell when they have an Expert Belt attached.
This matchup is normally not too hard to play. Just attack with Gengar and Garchomp and, if you can, use Honchkrow to bring back Magikarp from the discard pile and put them on to their bench (you will not always be able to do this because you cannot use the power if they have a full bench).
If you want to knock out a Gyarados then use Fan Rotom with Lucario GL. If they do attach an Expert Belt, then just put out as many Gengars as you can to increase your odds of getting heads on Fainting Spell.
If you get a Gastly start you can use “Pitch Dark” to lock their trainers and slow them down and if they don’t get out a Gyarados out fast because of the trainer lock then use Looker’s Investigation to make them shuffle their hand back into their deck to disrupt their set up.
This deck has the potential to perform well in all its match ups if played correctly. All the techs and deck lists above have worked very well for me. I personally play the anti Luxchomp list because Luxchomp is favoured by many of the UK’s top players.
These are not all the techs that can be used in the deck… they are just the ones I have used with success. Regionals are almost upon us and if you are still unsure what to play then this deck is a solid choice that offers answers to all the current top tier decks.
I have yet to fully test this deck in the new Black and White rules. I am sure these changes will present a challenge to the deck. I hope to find a way around this with testing but that could be for another article.
I am personally hoping that Pokémon does not use these rules for the premier events that are left this season. But unfortunately that is not looking very likely.
Note from Adam: Tommy e-mailed me asking for an opportunity to write for Underground, so I decided to give him a shot.
If you liked this article and would like to see more articles from Tommy in the future, please rate it below and leave feedback on the forums.
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