Pokémon 2010 World Championship Deck Analysis – Boltevoir

As noted in my beginner article “Pokémon for Parents“, I am a very strong advocate of using World Championship decks to get into TCG. I think it is really important for new players to use strong decks that have a well-defined strategy, to enable them to gain expertise. But the deck is not enough, as you need to know how the deck is intended to be used to get the most out of the learning experience.

So while I am not an expert by any means, I offer this analysis of the second-place Master’s deck of Michael Pramawat called “Boltevoir”. (You can read an analysis of the first-place LuxChomp deck here.)

I will touch on every card because, if you are reading this, you probably won’t be helped by writer shortcuts that force you to try and figure out how common cards are being played. But again I hasten to add that I do not have a lot of competitive experience, so I cannot really comment on when you would use particular cards for specific deck matchups. For that, I would strongly encourage you to refer to this thread, where Michael Pramawat describes his own Worlds matches and how he used this deck.

Let’s start with the decklist:

Pokémon – 25

4 Ralts PL
2 Kirlia PL
3 Gardevoir SW
1 Gardevoir LV.X SW
1 Gallade SW
1 Machop SF
1 Machamp SF
1 Duskull SW
1 Dusclops SF
1 Dusknoir DP
1 Baltoy SV
1 Claydol GE
3 Spiritomb AR
1 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Azelf LV.X
1 Unown G GE

Trainers – 22

3 Rare Candy UL
2 Expert Belt AR
1 Luxury Ball SF
1 Warp Point MD
1 Night Maintenance

4 Roseanne’s Research SW
4 Bebe’s Search RR
2 Looker’s Investigation PL
1 Lucian’s Assignment RR
1 Judge UL

2 Moonlight Stadium GE

Energy – 13

5 P
1 F

4 Double Colorless
3 Call

Note that the Pokémon in italics are no longer legal (in the 2010-2011 season), so this is very much a “just for learning” deck.

Main Attacks

The power of this deck comes from the fact that it has a number of attack vectors. This enables you to choose how to attack based on what your opponent is playing, as well as how the cards are landing in your hand since each attack requires a Stage 2 or LV.X Pokémon to do its major damage.

Gardevoir LV.X
Gardevoir SW

The main attacks are with Gardevoir and Gardevoir LV.X, which is why there is the heavily loaded evolution line from Ralts – Kirlia – Gardevoir. The principal attack is “Psychic Lock”, which deals 60 damage but, more significantly, prevents your opponent from using Poké-Powers on their next turn. This is a huge advantage, especially against decks that rely on Poké-Powers for draw (i.e. Claydol GE and Uxie LA) as well as attack or damage recovery.

A second strong attack comes from the LV.X’s “Bring Down”. The beauty of “Bring Down” is that rather than just dealing damage, you can KO any Pokémon (even benched ones) if it has the least remaining HP of all Pokémon in-play. The key is to deal a lot of damage with another attacker, and then use the Gardevoir LV.X Poké-Power “Teleportation” to switch up your attacker, and do the KO. Using can be tricky, though, as “Bring Down” can also bring down your own Pokémon if it has the most damage.

So what can help deal damage?

Machamp SF

First, there is Machamp. This evolves from Machop – Machoke normally, but notice that Machoke is missing from the decklist. That is why there are three Rare Candy trainers in the deck, to allow an instant evolution to Machamp. And once you have Machamp you can one-hit knock-out (1HKO) any Basic Pokémon (including Basic Pokémon SP) for a single F Energy. You can also do some potentially huge damage with “Hurricane Punch”, for a single Double Colorless Energy.

Gallade SW

Another strong attack can come from Gallade which, while it is a Fighting type, also evolves from Ralts – Kirlia (like Gardevoir). With Gallade, the best attack is “Psychic Cut” which can do up to 180 damage (enough to 1HKO pretty much anything) and has, as an added bonus, the ability to see your Prize cards.

Additionally, “Sonic Blade” is a nice complement to “Bring Down” as it immediately brings a Pokémon down to 50 HP remaining. So you can use “Sonic Blade” and, if that makes it the weakest Pokémon, use “Teleportation” to bring up Gardevoir LV.X and do the KO.

Dusknoir DP

The other strong attack can come from Dusknoir, which evolves from Duskull – Dusclops. First off, the Duskull in this deck has an extra ability that allows it to be evolved the same turn it is played. Once you get Dusknoir out, you can use the “Dark Palm” Poké-Power to disrupt your opponent by shuffling one of their benched Pokémon back into their deck. If you choose to attack, there is the strong “Hard Feelings” to deal 5 damage counters (not affected by weakness or resistance), plus extra damage for each Prize card taken by your opponent. This can come in handy in the late game.

Supporting Stage

With that description of the main attacks, let’s look at the support provided by the other Pokémon, as well as the various Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums.

Spiritomb AR

First, notice there are 3 Spiritomb in the deck. This is here to use as a starter ideally, for its “Keystone Seal” Poké-Body, which locks out the use of Trainers. Since this deck doesn’t rely heavily on Trainers, and since the popular SP decks do, this is a great way to get an upper hand early. Plus the free “Darkness Grace” attack lets you set up your main attack vectors quickly.

Moonlight Stadium is included to allow all this deck’s Pokémon to easily move from attack position when they have done their thing, by making all retreats for Psychic and Dark Pokémon free. So when Spiritomb, in particular, has helped set up as much as it can, you can move it down and lead with whatever attacker you have set up.

Azelf is included for its “Time Walk” Poké-Power, which allows you to look at your Prize cards, pick one, and replace it with a card in your hand. This can only be done when you put Azelf on your bench so, typically, you can only do this once because there is only limited ability in this deck to move cards back in your hand. There is also an Azelf LV.X, which is there for its “Psychic Aura” Poké-Body, giving all your Psychic Pokémon (two of your main attack vectors) zero weakness.

Unown G GE

Uxie is included for it “Set Up” Poké-Power, allowing you to get up to 7 cards in your hand. Like Azelf, this can only be used when you put Uxie on your bench, so will only really be usable once in this deck. The exception to this (and which applies to Azelf too) is the single Unown G card.

While this is primarily included to use with Gardevoir to protect its Poké-Power, which is critical for its attacks if Moonlight Stadium is not in play, it can also be used to attach to Uxie or Azelf. When it is then attached to something else, the Uxie or Azelf is discarded, at which point they may be recovered into your hand with the single Night Maintenance card.

Given that there is only a single Unown G, and a single Night Maintenance, this is clearly not expected to be used a lot, but it is there if you really need it.

The other supporting Pokémon is a single Claydol, which evolves from a single Baltoy. This is there for its “Cosmic Power”, which allows you to shuffle two cards from your hand into your deck and draw up to 6 cards, when you need extra help in getting your main attack cards.

The two main searching Supporter cards, which are fully loaded in this deck are Roseanne’s Research and Bebe’s Search. While Roseanne allows you to search for two Basic Pokémon or Energy (this card is no longer legal, by the way), Bebe lets you look for a single Pokémon, but it can be any level, including LV.X. The “tax” for Bebe is that you need to shuffle one card from your hand into your deck. Both are crucial for getting cards you need quickly. The single Luxury Ball Trainer also helps get an evolved Pokémon into your hand.

Night Maintenance SW

As mentioned earlier, there is a single Night Maintenance that helps you recover Pokémon and Energy cards from your discard pile. This is possibly to help reuse Uxie or Azelf, or reboot a Knocked Out Machamp.

And speaking of Machamp, the Supporter Lucian’s Assignment is most likely used to move the single F Energy between Machamp (which is less useful once the defending Pokémon is evolved) and Gallade which, as we saw, is an important cooperating attacker to Gardevoir LV.X.

Expert Belt is a fairly ubiquitous Pokémon Tool that allows you to boost your HP by 20 and your attacks by 20, so it is most likely attached Gallade or Dusknoir, to increase their damage before using Gardevoir LV.X “Bring Down”.

But it may also be used with Machamp if you are using “Hurricane Punch” or, if you don’t have the Gardevoir LV.X, to increase the potency of Gardevoir’s “Psychic Lock”. The 2 Prize card penalty if you get KO’d is usually worth the risk.

Looker’s Investigation PL

Two disrupter Supporter cards are Judge, which forces both players to shuffle their hand into the deck and draw 4 cards, and Looker’s Investigation, which allows you to look at your opponent’s hand and optionally force them to shuffle it into their deck and draw 5 new cards.

The downside to Looker is that if you choose not to shuffle their hand, you need to shuffle your hand. I suspect the rationale here is that if your opponent has a large hand, forcing them down to 5 is likely to be good for you, but it is a bit of a gamble.

As far as Energy goes, there is a bunch of Psychic, of course, to power Gardevoir and Dusknoir, and we already discussed the single F Energy. There is the maximum number of Double Colorless Energy (DCE), to help power Machamp for “Hurricane Punch” (and pay its eventual retreat), but also for Gallade’s “Psychic Cut” and Gardevoir’s “Psychic Lock”.

There are also three Call Energy, which are useful early in the game as it allows you to search for and Bench up to two Basic Pokémon if it is attached to your Active Pokémon. Since your turn ends when you do this, it is likely only to be used in the first turn or two.

And that should just about do it. If you read Michael Pramawat’s recap, you’ll see he was really close to winning the title, and that part of it was a bit of luck on Yuta Komatsuda’s part drawing cards exactly when he needed them.

So this was a really killer deck, and maybe deserves a tweak to make it legal again to see how it would fare in today’s (and tomorrow’s) environment. But regardless, it is a great example on which to practice the art of playing TCG well.

Reader Interactions

14 replies

  1. Fallen Ronin

    Several things:

    1. After reading your article, I still don’t understand how Unown G is supposed to work with Azelf and Uxie
    2. Claydol’s Cosmic Power does not shuffle cards into your deck.

    • Garrett Williamson  → Fallen

      I think what he meant was getting card back into your deck in general but just worded it wrong. lol

      • Fallen Ronin  → Garrett

        His writing seems to imply that he can use Unown G to get Uxie or Azelf from the active spot to the discard pile so that he can retrieve them with Night Maintenance.

        • Garrett Williamson  → Fallen

          Oh I was referring to the part about Claydol shuffling cards into the deck lol

        • Tom Otvos  → Fallen

          Yes, that is what I was implying. Please correct me if I am wrong, but if after playing Uxie, say, if you attach Unown G to it, and then later attach Unown G to another card, you can then discard Uxie. At that point, you can use Night Maintenance to grab it back and then play it again.

        • David Reichenberger  → Tom

          Once you attach Unown G to a Pokemon, it becomes a Tool card. One cannot then reattach it somewhere else. So no, you cannot discard the Uxie and reattach the Tool.

        • Tom Otvos  → David

          Jeez, I kind of dorked out on that, didn’t I. So it would seem that there is no real engine in this deck for replaying either Uxie or Azelf.

        • Adam Capriola  → Tom

          You’ve got Claydol and Gardevoir for draw power. Unown G is used to protect against attacks like Gengar SF’s Poltergeist, stuff like that.

    • Jonah Davids  → Fallen

      I believe unown G is supposed to help because of a the card Gengar Stormfront. Gengar can knock them out with its attack “Shadow Room” but Unown G prevents this. Pramawat most likely realized that Cursegar would be a good play at worlds due to its decline in popularity during regionals, and thought that a single Unown G wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    • Tom Otvos  → Fallen

      You are correct (of course). Claydol lets you put two cards from your hand to the bottom of the deck, and then draw up to 6 cards. There is no shuffling before or after the draw.

  2. Garrett Williamson

    I really wish I was playing in the time of this deck. I started after hgss and didn’t get competitive til after ul right before rotation and it took too long for me to get the cards to make this until I was able to get the full deck built in one trade but by that time it was too late :/ I think I might rebuild it for fun. :) thanks for the article :)

    • Tom Otvos  → Garrett

      Thanks for the kudos (I am kind of stinging from the obvious mistakes). My 0.02 would be that if you want to rebuild the deck for fun, just get the WC deck. Instant gratification!

  3. Anonymous

    it would not ever be put on dusknoir as it has no base damage since it puts damage counters. expert belt would only give it 20 HP. but on gardevoir it makes psychic lock 80 damage and allows it to 2 shot almost anything.

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