Teching Your Deck for the Top Tier Decks of HGSS-On

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to talk about how you can tech your deck to counter the top tier decks of the HGSS-On format. I’m also going to provide a skeleton for some of the decks I talk about.

The Top Tier Decks

1. MagneBoar

pokebeach.comA lot of people are hyping this new deck. MagneBoar is very fast and consistent. It sometimes can have a few bad starts though. MagneBoar uses Magnezone Prime for its Magnetic Draw Poké-Power and its amazing attack Lost Burn.

Using Emboar’s Inferno Fandango, you can attach as many R Energies as you want to your Pokémon in your turn. You can attach Energies to your Magnezone and then Lost Burn them off to do tons of damage. Some builds play a 1/1 or 2/2 line of Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND aka RDL.

RDL’s attack Ozone Buster is broken. It does 150 damage for two R Energies, a Lightning, and a Colorless. Once you attack you discard all R Energies from RDL. Now at first sight this may seem very bad, bur RDL has a PokéBody that says when you Knock Out one of your opponents Pokémon, draw 2 Prizes. Broken.

If you have two Lightnings attached to your RDL and two Fires, you can discard the Fires and get basically 2 Prizes every time. 150 Knocks Out almost every Pokémon in the game in one shot.

This deck suffers to Zoroark techs, and Pokémon Reversals. Pokémon Reversals in particular. Zoroark’s attack Foul Play for two Colorless lets you use one of the defending Pokémon’s attacks for free. If you use this against a defending RDL, you can 1HKO it.

When you KO a Legend, you draw 2 Prizes, and if you do this it will give you a big lead. Now Pokémon Reversal lets you flip a coin, if heads you may switch the Defending Pokémon with one of your opponents Benched Pokémon. You can send up an Emboar, KO it, and now they can’t attach as many Fires as they want.

2. Donphan

pokebeach.comDonphan can be paired with Serperior, Yanmega, and lots of other things. I’m just going to focus on Serperior and Yanmega. Serperior / Donphan focuses on heal and tanking. When you use Earthquake, Serperior’s Royal Heal heals the damage from your Benched Pokémon.

This can be disrupted by using Solrock and Lunatone. When they are both in play, you stop your opponent from heal damage from their Pokémon. Donphan / Yanmega focuses on disruption and quick attacks. Here’s a nice video of a guy with a unique build of the deck: YouTube link

As you can see he controls the game. You can disrupt this by teching a Zekrom so you can Outrage to KO their Yanmegas and slow the early game down.

Donphan Skeleton – Total 51 cards

Pokémon – 16 

2 Phanpy CL
2 Phanpy HS
4 Donphan Prime
4 Yanma TM
4 Yanmega Prime

Trainers – 25 

4 Copycat
4 Judge
3 Pokémon Collector
3 Pokémon Communication
3 Junk Arm
3 Switch
2 Pokémon Reversal
3 Super Scoop Up

Energy – 10 

7 F
3 Rescue

3. Steelix

pokebeach.comSteelix is a tank deck. It sets up easily with Skarmory, and then heals off damage with Potion, Life Herb, and Moo-Moon Milk. Steelix can be in theory very easily disrupted. Just set up the Solrock and Lunatone combo and stop all their healing. This will pretty much give you the game once you KO their Steelix.

You can KO it easily with Reshiram’s Outrage. Just wait until they attack, and give them that damage back times two because of weakness. However if they get rolling and start Gaia Crushing, you’ll have a hard time. You can send a Reshiram and if they attacked it with Gaia Crush then do Outrage for 280 damage! 1HKO.

4. Scizor

Scizor starts off with a Skarmory to set up the Special M Energies you need on your Scizor. Once it gets rolling, it puts out high damage, and tanks with Special Metal. You can disrupt this by teching in a Reshiram for Outrage to possibly 1HKO the defending Scizor. If you can’t do this, you’ll have to rely on just continuously attacking Scizor.

Scizor Skeleton – Total 55 cards

Pokémon – 16 

4 Skarmory CL
4 Scyther UD #65
4 Scizor Prime
1 Solrock TM
1 Lunatone TM
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Shaymin UL

Trainers – 26 

3 Pokémon Collector
3 Twins
3 Pokémon Communication
4 Super Scoop Up
4 PlusPower
3 Switch
3 Junk Arm
2 Dual Ball

Energy – 13 

7 M
4 Special M
2 Rescue

5. Tyranitar

pokebeach.comTyranitar is a tank deck with very high damage output. Tyranitar can be paired with Serperior to continuously heal and tank even more. Tyranitar can also be played with Mandibuzz to use Darkness Howl and then snipe the bench with Mandibuzz. T-Tar’s Megaton Tail can deal some heavy damage, so why not do it back?

Tyranitar can be countered with Zoroark with attacking them with their own attacks, and using Reshiram or Zekrom’s Outrage to do the same damage back.

6. Kingdra / Mandibuzz

In this deck, Kingdra does Spray Splash, and the Mandibuzz attacks the Pokémon you did damage to. It can get really annoying when your starter Pokémon such as Tyrogue, Elekid, Cleffa, etc. are getting 1HKO’d off the bench without you having a say in it.

They can take an early lead until you bust out Zekrom. Both Mandibuzz and Kingdra have weakness to Lightning, so Zekrom will come in handy.

Kingdra / Madibuzz Skeleton – Total 51 cards

Pokémon – 21 

3 Vullaby BW
3 Mandibuzz BW
4 Horsea UL
3 Seadra UL
4 Kindgra Prime UL
2 Zorua BW
2 Zoroark BW

Trainers – 27 

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Communication
3 PlusPower
3 Junk Arm


Energy – 13 

4 Special D
3 D
3 W
3 Double Colorless

7. Cinccino

pokebeach.comCinccino is a fun swarm deck where you set up a full bench and then Do the Wave can do 100 damage. By the way, Do the Wave is for two C energy! Now since the deck is so fast given it’s a Stage 1, there isn’t exactly a totally effective way to counter this, but you can use Ditto to shrink their Bench to four so Do the Wave only does eighty.

Now that might not help, but you can bust out Zoroark and do Do the Wave against them. It will 1HKO them if you’re doing 100 every time.

8. Zekrom

In my opinion Zekrom isn’t up to par because it loses to Donphan so much, but it was suggested to me that I add it to this article. Zekrom utilizes Shaymin UL, and Pachirisu CL. First you play a Pachirisu and do Self-Generation and attach two Lightning energies to Pachi, now you can use Shaymin’s Celebration Wind and move those Energies to your Zekrom.

Now Zekrom starts hitting for 120, which is probably going to Knock Out most of your Pokémon in one hit, but when Zekrom does forty to itself, that leaves it with 90 HP, you could use a Zoroark to KO it with Foul Play.

9. Tyrogue HS/CL (Bonus Tech… not a deck)

Tyrogue is a fun little tech that you can KO Cleffas easily without wasting Energies or risking an important Pokémon getting Knocked Out. Mischievous Punch does 30 which 1HKOs Cleffas. This will give you some easy, cheap prizes and give you an early lead.

Putting it all together…

You guys may already have somewhat of a deck idea using all these techs. I’ll provide you with a deck skeleton, but you’ll need to choose the main attacker.

Pokémon – 14 

2 Zorua BW
2 Zoroark BW
1 Ditto TM
1 Solrock TM
1 Lunatone TM
4 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
1 Reshiram BW
1 Zekrom BW

Trainers – 19 

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Professor Juniper
2 Sage’s Training
4 Pokémon Communication
2 Junk Arm
2 Switch
2 Pokémon Reversal

Energy – 7 

4 Double Colorless
3 Rescue

Skeleton – Total 40 cards

The Pokémon

Zoroark BW: Zoroark is a counter to RDL and other Pokémon that have good attacks.

Ditto TM: Ditto helps against Cinncino and decks that need Pokémon on their Bench.

Solrock TM: Solrock and Lunatone have a wicked combo that lets you stop your opponent from healing their Pokémon.

Lunatone TM: You need Lunatone to get the combo to work. So yeah…

Cleffa HS/CL: Cleffa is an awesome starter. For no Energy you shuffle your hand into your deck and get a new hand of six cards. It’s even better because if its asleep, they can’t hurt you.

Tyrogue HS/CL: Tyrogue lets you knock an un-asleep Cleffa. Beast.

Reshiram & Zekrom BW: This legendary pair is used to KO Pokémon that have weakness to them and big tanks that damage them, then you can do the damage back with Outrage.

The Trainers

Pokémon Collector: Totally self-explanatory, unless you’ve been living under a Graveler.

Professor Juniper: Used to discard useless techs from your hand that you don’t need for your game.

Sage’s Training: To rip through your deck and grab the cards you need.

Pokémon Communication: Again totally self-explanatory.

Junk Arm: To discard useless techs from your hand and get Trainers you need back.

Switch: To switch out heavy Retreat Cost Pokémon.

Pokémon Reversal: To counter MagneBoar – switch them for their Emboar, and then KO it.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article and got some cool ideas for this deck! Good luck in the upcoming format!

Reader Interactions

22 replies

  1. David Garvey

    Nice article, really enjoyed it. Definitely looking forward to what wins out in the battle of the baby pokémon. Got a certain liking for tyrogue myself.

  2. aura

    I came 3rd in a Local Championship w/ this and a lot of luck, here’s a skeleton list:
    4 tyrogue
    4 collector
    4 rescue
    4 E-belt
    4 B-belt
    2 full heal

  3. Sam Stevens

    great read, lots of deck-lists and helpful advice… hope they rotate to HGSS-on or everyone who has been doing excellent work on the next format will have to wait ages for their work to be viable.

  4. Adam Capriola

    Agreed with everyone else, really great job with this article, it turned out really well! I’m glad you put that little extra effort into editing it after the first draft. :)

    • Anonymous  → Adam

      I think this proves that an “open beta” period for articles is a GREAT idea and should become the standard for FP articles. 

  5. chris frontiero

    I like the article, but I don’t understand why Reshiram/Emboar isn’t there.

  6. Stephan Deshazo

    It seems that everyone is not giving love to Samurott. Reduce 20 damage, can one shot Reshiram and donphan with no water energies and can be played in many deck because it takes 3 colorless energies. People are overlooking this card, and its definitely one of the best tech pokemon cards in this set. 

    • Eloy  → Stephan

      I agree with you on that. My brother did a Samarott and Feraligater deck. Once setup it is ridiculous. The good thing is they both have different weaknesses..

  7. wisconsinsquad

    I like Samurott. Maybe you could use it for your main attacker in the list?

  8. Carl Scheu

    I love Samu as a tech for Reshiboar mirror and against reshiboar in general. The problem is that if it runs into a Magneboar deck it is literally a dead spot b/c of Magnezone prime.

    • Anonymous  → Carl

      Dude, almost everything is one shot by Magnezone. That is not sufficiant to exclude it. Toss in a couple Pokemon Reversal (Pokemon Catcher next season) and take out the Embolar in one shot. Deck crippled…

  9. kurt rosales

    So i was reading the article, which I fully enjoyed: then clicked the link only to be surprised to be linked to my YouTube channel. Thanksl

  10. Kurt Rosales

    I just read the article, which i fully enjoyed. I then click the link to be surprised, its my channel! Great article, and thanks for the mention. 

  11. Kurt Rosales

    I was reading the article, and fully enjoyed it. I then clicked the link, only to be brought to my YouTube channel. Thanks!

    I like the idea of this Anti-Meta deck, its a fun concept to say the least.

  12. theo Seeds

    Pokemon Collector: Totally self-explanatory, unless you’ve been living under a Graveler.

    i loled

  13. Franco L III

    I have seen an Electrode Prime being teched into a Scizor prime deck and it works like heaven. lol.

  14. Aydan Aires

    Awesome article! You have a good idea about next season’s top tiers.

  15. David Brooks

    I really liked this article i have been running a reshiram/emboar deck since there release and it is working very well i expect it to be a top tier deck of 2011 through 2012 for sure!!! 

  16. David Brooks

    I liked this article man i have been running a reshiram-AND I TRIED ZEKROM/emboar deck since their release and it has worked awsome im pretty sure that this will be one of the top tier decks of 2011/2012 except im leaning towards just reshiram in it rather than zekrom i dont like that he hurts himself in order to deal the 120 but awsome article man good job!!!!!

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