Getting Gothitelle Right For Battle Roads


Gothitelle has gained quite the following when it was first released along with the rest of Emerging Powers a good month or so ago now. It has been said to be the ‘BDIF’ for the current event, Autumn Battle Roads, but things really haven’t been working out that way. Here are the current winning decks from most of the Battle Roads so far in the US.

5 x ZPS w/Tornadus
4 x Reshiphlosion
1 x Reuniclus/Vileplume/Donphan/Zekrom
1 x Donphan/Yanmega/Zoroark
1 x Donphan/Yanmega
1 x ZPS
1 x Donphan/Dragons
1 x Magneboar
1 x Lanturn/Yanmega/Zekrom
1 x ReshiBoar
1 x Mew/Yanmega
1 x Mew/Cinccino
1 x Stage 1s
1 x Samurott/Donphan
1 x Yanmega/Weavile
1 x Yanmega/Magnezone

As you can see, there is absolutely no Gothitelle here despite the fact that we have ourselves a total of 16 different decks winning out of a total 23 tournaments. As a little note, I just want to say how amazing it is to have this kind of variety in the format right now. 16 different decks taking just the small tournaments?! This is definitely great news for the game and I am certainly excited, but discussion on that is not what I’m planning to focus on here.

There must be some kind of reason that Gothitelle just isn’t winning much at all, which I reckon can be narrowed down to three major contributing factors:

  1. The lists just aren’t right yet
  2. Time constraints
  3. It is being under-represented

These factors are pretty much the main three that the player themselves can have a say in so it doesn’t include things like other players specifically teching against the matchup with crazy things like Black Belt and Darkrai/Cresselia Legend. To begin, we’re going to need some kind of skeleton to build onto to make our different variants along with how this deck works in the first place for those of you still a little bit unsure about it.

Let’s Talk Strategy

Gothitelle Skeleton

Pokémon – 14

4 Gothita EP #43
1 Gothorita EP #45
3 Gothitelle EP #47
2 Solosis BLW
1 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW
1 Cleffa HS/CL

Trainers – 21-25

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Twins
4 Rare Candy
3-6 Draw Supporters
1 Junk Arm
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Max Potion

Energy – 7

7 P

Free Spaces: 15-18 (Dependant on Draw Supporters)

Now that is a lot of free spaces for a skeleton, but as I’ll go over in a bit, there are a lot of things you can do with these spaces and they can really fill up fast. Having just single copies of Junk Arm and Catcher etc will fill up fast when you take into account which style of Gothitelle you will want to be running so this is definitely as ‘bare bones’ as you are going to get it. In an attempt to cover all kinds of players reading this, let’s start by going through each card and explaining the details of each one.

Gothita #43 over #44: Now this is really getting down to the basics, but this is still one of the choices a player needs to make when building the deck. The one I have chosen has the same weakness, retreat and HP as the other one, but the difference is with the attacks. #43’s ‘Hypnotic Gaze’ is much more accessible on the first turn through a single energy drop and can occasionally cause some early annoyance if the opponent stays asleep and can’t retreat for the turn.

#44 does have a much more guaranteed damage output than #43, but the cost of Double Colourless really isn’t worth it or would take too long to consider using if you aren’t using Double Colourless at all.

Another thing to note about Gothita is that regardless of which one you are running, you are running more of the Basic than you are of the Stage 2. Some of you may be thinking that we are breaking a key rule of deck building by doing this, but the release of Pokémon Catcher really has made this style of deck building much more acceptable.

You’re going to need to bench your Pokémon two at a time if you want to have a guaranteed chance to evolve the next turn. A swift Catcher KO on one of your Basics will leave you with one less Stage 2 to use, so keep this style of build in mind if you are going for a slower deck in general.

Gothorita #45 over #46: The Stage 1 choice is generally much less important than the Basic since you’re either going to be skipping it with Rare Candy, or not wanting to put your Stage 1 in danger of a KO early on in the game just for an attack. As with the Basic form, both Gothoritas have identical HP and Retreat Cost, but I have chosen #45 because it has a slightly better second attack for actual use if it ever comes down to it.

#46 does have the option of discarding an energy from the opponent’s field, which could actually be very nice if the flip wasn’t involved and we don’t want have too many of those in here. ‘Psybeam’ from #45 does 20 for just a Psychic and Colourless, confusing the opponent, making it an actually okay attacker against big retreaters you may have dragged up with Pokémon Catcher and can make for some interesting early situations in the Reshiram and even Magnezone matchups while you are looking for your Gothitelle. It would be safe to go with either, but it’s just down to which attacks you prefer if the situation ever arises.

‘Magic Room’ Gothitelle: Obviously the first half of the heart of the deck. This Pokémon is a one of a kind in the way that it provides a one-way trainer lock if in the Active Spot. Denying your opponent from playing their trainers means that they won’t have the chance to play Communication, Catcher, Rare Candy, Switch or anything else that can help them to set up, giving you the advantage and time you need to set up and start taking further control of the field.

‘Madkinesis’ is a pretty slow attack to get hitting for a decent amount of damage, needing 4 Psychic energy for a pretty low 110 in comparison to the cost. Don’t get me wrong, when you have the lock on, you can end up attaching 5 or even 6 energy to this guy and end up 1HKOing anything in the way since you will have the time and resources available to keep Gothitelle alive and your opponent locked down.

This brings me onto the main strategy of the deck. Gothitelle’s biggest weakness is that it is very easily Knocked Out in 2 attacks from most main attackers in the format including Reshiram, Zekrom and Yanmega just to name a few, which gives you the issue of not being able to keep the lock on for as long as possible and not having the time to power up a really slow attack.

What this means is that you’re going to need something to help keep Gothitelle in the Active Spot for the entire game as soon as you get one up and running and make sure you have the time to lock your opponent until the end, while having the time to attack for larger amounts of damage.

Where this deck’s strategy originates from is Ross Cawthon’s second place Worlds deck which focused on keeping Zekrom alive, manipulating damage around the field to control your opponent’s prize taking ability, while attacking for large amounts of damage yourself. This leads nicely onto the next part of the puzzle..

Reuniclus BLW: This is the second part of the heart of the deck and gives you that strategy you need to keep Gothitelle alive for the longest amount of time possible. Its ability ‘Damage Swap’ allows you to move damage around your side of the board as much as you like during your turn, which means you can take damage off of your Gothitelle, put it somewhere else around the board and make your opponent start again in putting damage onto your active.

Keeping full control of your opponent’s Trainers and their damage output really puts them in a lock that is almost impossible to get out of. The locking of trainers also gives you a way around Reuniclus’ biggest enemy, Pokémon Catcher. Since Gothitelle is going to be up there blocking trainers, there is no chance that your weak, 90HP Reuniclus is going to get dragged up and KO’d, meaning it will be on the field for a long time to aid your strategy.

Cleffa HS/CL: This is going to be pretty self-explanatory since it’s going to be key to get you out of bad hands. The added bonus of it in this deck is that it is more than welcome to become a free prize so that you can let a Twins go and start to set up as soon as possible.

Twins: This card has the best form of searching your deck in the current format. Being able to search your deck for any 2 cards really does make it key for your strategy, especially when you can only use it when you are behind in prizes. You are running a lot of low HP Pokémon which are susceptible to getting KO’d early on either through Yanmega snipes or Catcher KOs so going behind in prizes in inevitable. Being able to search your deck for whichever two cards you like pretty much every turn after your opponent takes that initial prize makes sure that you can get set up fairly quickly in comparison.

Rare Candy: Since you are running 2 lines of Stage 2s, you’re going to need to max out this card with no questions asked. This is probably the card you are always going to get with your first Twins to make sure that you can get Gothitelle out as quickly as possible, therefore making the lock last from as soon as turn 2 or 3 depending on how fast your opponent gets taking prizes.

Chaining these is a good idea if you are playing them fairly early on. If you have the chance to get out Gothitelle without using both of your Twins picks, then get another Twins and chain it to get what you need for next turn. There is no rush to take prizes with this deck until you are fully set up and the lock is in full swing.

3-6 Draw Supporters: I would only really consider three different Supporters for the job, but some have more of an advantage in certain builds of the deck. As a universal Supporter I would choose Copycat since your opponent is going to be gaining cards they can’t play throughout the game, resulting in some fairly large hand sizes in the mid-late game.

However, this card is considerably weaker in the early game and can lead to a changeover to cards such as Professor Oak’s New Theory and even Professor Juniper. This style of shuffle draw will give you a more guaranteed outcome during the early game and potentially get you set up faster, but when searching in the later stages of the game, Copycat is going to be the better choice. The end choice is up to you, but I will try and explain as we go along why I chose whichever draw Supporter I’ve used in the list.

Junk Arm: This one is pretty much up to the player, but I thought I’d put one in here since it’s going to be needed for Max Potion, or even Rare Candy if you need it in the current situation. More counts of this will be in different variations of the deck and depends solely on how many different trainers you will possibly reuse over the course of the game.

Pokémon Catcher: There’s only one in here at the moment, but even with just the one, you can take a key KO early on while your opponent is attempting some kind of set up and can put them in an even worse position. It’s just exactly what it says on the tin.

1 Max Potion: This is the final piece of the crucial puzzle since it allows you to heal off the damage you’re moving around with Reuniclus. Moving the damage over to a high HP Pokémon such as a fresh Gothitelle or even Zekrom, which we’ll get to later, and then using this card will remove the damage from play, leaving you more room to move it around. Junk Arm will combo with this card perfectly and will be your most prominent target for it since a few uses per game will be needed if you aren’t running any of the options in the decklists to follow.

Just the 7 Psychic: This is probably the lowest you could go on the Psychic if you don’t decide to run Double Colourless. It won’t be a rare sight to have a Gothitelle active with 4, 5 or possibly 6 energy on it by the late game, so consider bumping this up to 9 or 10 if you’re just going with the Psychic energy.

I think that is pretty much about everything you’re going to need to know before you venture into making the different variants of Gothitelle, so let’s get to it.

#1 – The Lists Just Aren’t Right Yet

This is probably going to be the longest section of the article since I have done a lot of testing with this and there are a lot of ways you can go about running it. Some of these lists may only vary around 2-5 cards each, but those changes really do set them apart in the way that they run and getting the balance right in this deck is what players may be getting wrong.

Gothitelle 1.0 – Aggressive Build

Pokémon – 18

4 Gothita EP #43
1 Gothorita EP #45
3 Gothitelle EP #47
3 Solosis BLW
1 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW
2 Zekrom BLW
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Pichu HS

Trainers – 31

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Twins
4 PokéGear 3.0
4 Rare Candy
4 Copycat
3 Junk Arm
2 Pokémon Catcher
2 Max Potion
1 Tropical Beach

Energy – 11

8 P
3 Double Colourless

This is probably the first version I built and focuses heavily on finding your resources as quickly as possible, less amount of techs and more cards you can reuse through Junk Arm to just stay as consistent as possible.

Pichu HS: Also included in Ross’ Deck, this card allows you to fill your bench up with the weak Basics that you run on the first turn. I wouldn’t usually advise you to use ‘Playground’ on any turn past your first where the opponent hasn’t had their turn yet because you don’t want them using Rare Candy into their Stage 2 straight away since it will void your strategy completely. This serves as an extra starter and running another Baby other than Cleffa isn’t a bad thing since you are going to want them to be KO’d early on to allow you to start using Twins as soon as possible.

Zekrom BLW: I have seen builds without this card completely, but I really like the card in any version of the deck. This 130HP Basic acts as the sponge for your damage that you move around with Damage Swap. You can pile as much as 120 damage onto this in one go and then heal it all off with Max Potion quite a few times during the game, making it almost impossible for your opponent to take prizes.

This Pokémon doesn’t just sit on the bench though, with the running of Double Colourless, you can turn this guy into a very hard hitter to take a crucial prize which is worth breaking the lock for. Usually used to take the last prize in a close game, you can max out at 140 damage on your opponent’s active Pokémon which is more than likely going to take your last prize every single time, making the deck very aggressive in this instance.

If not used for attacking, then you have 2 great sponges to absorb up to 240 damage at a single time and keep your Gothitelle as far from a KO as possible. Just a note, when playing against Yanmega, make sure that your damage is never stored to more than 80 on a benched Zekrom since it will be open to a ‘Linear Attack’ KO otherwise. It is quite easily forgotten, but make sure you are checking before the end of your turn that everything is out of a KO range from any potential attacker on your opponent’s side of the field.

PokéGear 3.0: This is solely used for searching out your Twins when they just aren’t drawing by themselves. You would think that with 4 of them, you would draw them quite often, but that is certainly not the case. Having maximum search of Twins makes sure that you can grab at least one to start your chain when down in prizes and get that strategy going as quickly as possible.

This can also be used for extra draw Support and be reused via Junk Arm in the late game if things get a little more desperate. This card just makes the build a lot faster than other builds as soon as the first prize is taken against you.

Max Copycat: Having these maxed makes sure that you are drawing a lot of cards when reaching the mid-late game. PokéGear is there to search out your early game Twins so cards like PONT aren’t necessarily needed in this style of build. You are going to need the maximum chance of drawing your energy efficiently to get those KOs as soon as possible after set-up so Copycat is going to be your best bet to taking advantage of your opponent’s ever increasing hand size.

Junk Arm/Catcher/Max Potion: The numbers of these should give you the right amount of healing and dragging up of opponent’s Basics you need to stay on top of the game. If you’ve used Max Potion 3 times during the game, you should be set for the win, but more Junk Arms are there if ever needed. The amount of Junk Arms gives you enough reuse of these along with other trainers for other situations like Rare Candy and possibly even Communication.

Tropical Beach: If you want to run Gothitelle at all, I would suggest getting your hands on one of these by either borrowing from a friend or trading/buying if you possibly can. This deck gives you some pretty strange scenarios in comparison to other decks, for example, if you have a Gothitelle pretty much set up, the natural thing to do would be to attack, but sometimes just going for some extra draw with this is the best option. Being able to keep the lock on and just draw more cards to give you the maximum amount of set up possible is just too good to pass up.

However, if you really can’t get hold of one of these cards, your Supporter lines could be changed up a little bit more to give you a much stronger source of draw. Changing to Supporters such as PONT and Juniper without Tropical Beach can still do the same job, even changing to 2 Cleffa is always an option since the Baby KO isn’t feared in this deck. Bear these options in mind if you can’t get hold of these exclusive cards.

Energy: 8 Psychic is going to be enough to get you the damage output you need to take cheap prizes with Catcher, but also rack up more damage for the bigger Pokémon like Reshiram and Zekrom. The Double Colourless can help to power up Gothitelle’s attack faster, retreat easier or just for using ‘Outrage’ with Zekrom when you need to take that final prize on a big Pokémon. Either way, all of this energy can be put to full use, especially when you have the option of Zekrom becoming an attacker at any stage in the game.

Overall, this style of Gothitelle is much better in the timed environment. Untimed games with this deck can really string out into 40, 50 or even 60 minutes while still becoming the victor, which obviously isn’t going to be great in tournament play. Being able to search out your Twins with PokéGear assures that you can search your Stage 2 lines much more quickly than just drawing into to it normally or via Tropical Beach.

This style of playing the deck is definitely much easier to pick up and play since it follows a ‘set up quickly and KO everything’ kind of mentality, which some of the other variants differ greatly from. I would give this one a go if you are starting out with Gothitelle and then fix it more to your playstyle/metagame afterward.

Gothitelle 2.0 – Trainer-Lock Friendly

Onto our next variant which sets out to challenge the original trainer locking kid on the block, Vileplume. This Pokémon has been around a format longer than Gothitelle and it does give Gothitelle a lot of issues if Vileplume hits the field first, since there will be no use of your ever crucial Max Potion to heal off the damage you need to get rid of.

Pokémon – 21

4 Gothita EP #43
2 Gothorita EP #45
4 Gothitelle EP #47
2 Solosis BLW
1 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW
2 Zekrom BLW
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Chansey HS
1 Blissey Prime
1 Jirachi UL/CL
1 Shaymin UL

Trainers – 28

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Twins
4 Rare Candy
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Copycat
2 Seeker
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Max Potion
1 Tropical Beach

Energy – 11

8 P
3 Double Colourless

As you can see, we have dropped a lot of the trainers including Junk Arm since they are going to be less than helpful when facing Vileplume. The main ones such as Pokémon Communication and Rare Candy need to stay maxed out so that you can get the best possible start, getting as many things out as you can via those methods before the trainer lock hits.

2nd Gothorita and 4th Gothitelle: I’ve decided to put an extra one of each in there simply because you are going to need them to get more Gothitelle out when your Rare Candies are blocked. If you can get at least one out via Rare Candy with another one steadily evolving through normal means, you should be in for an easier game.

However, if the Rare Candy doesn’t come before Trainer lock does, you should get on okay with the 2nd Gothorita in there so that you can manually set at least 2 up during the game.

1-1 Blissey Prime: I have tested a lot against trainer lock variants including Vileplume and this is easily the best tech for it. You will end up storing a lot of damage on and around your bench which will build up way too quickly when you don’t have access to Max Potion and don’t have Junk Arm either.

This card can be dropped onto the field to get rid of a dangerous amount of damage in one go and can save you ever so much in this kind of matchup. Chansey and Blissey also have pretty high HP which can be useful for putting overflowing damage onto if you are getting really desperate, but what makes Blissey even better is the next card.

Seeker: This card acts as your Max Potion when faced with a Vileplume lock. You can bench your Zekroms, store damage on them and then pick them up with Seeker just to place them back down again. This card will save you a lot of damage management and will start to remove little bits when the time is right and Blissey isn’t ready yet.

Speaking of Blissey, this is the way to reuse it when already used. You can use ‘Blissful Nurse’, play Seeker and then bench the Chansey again to prepare it for healing a load more damage later on in the game. After using Blissey at least twice in a game, you should be in pretty good shape as your opponent is going to struggle to get more damage onto the field after healing off that much.

Jirachi UL/CL and Shaymin UL: A rather strange choice, but I actually like them in here since Vileplume does have a low Basic HP of 40 if it has been Rare Candied earlier on and they can work together as a form of recovering energy if you’ve suffered a KO. Since your deck runs off of mainly Psychic energy, you are going to end up having some in the discard pile at some stage either through KOs or retreating, which can be put back onto the field with ‘Stardust Song’.

Shaymin will allow you to move that energy onto a fresh and waiting Gothitelle if you aren’t planning to devolve some of your opponent’s Pokémon. This duo is especially handy in trainer lock since you can either devolve your opponent’s side of the field and potentially get rid of Vileplume, or you can continue to set up some constant attackers by moving energy around.

Running these two however will fill up your bench so make sure you have a Seeker handy to pick the Shaymin up to utilize your Blissey later on in the game. Something that is pretty gimmicky, but great if you can get used to playing that way.

4 PONT and 2 Copycat: This is a matchup where you need a much faster setup and PONT is the perfect way to refresh your hand in the early game to get you set up before the lock is apparent. Copycat is still in here for the late game to grab you some very nice hand sizes which can net you the Supporters you need to pull of your desired move and tip the game in your favor. This kind of split will give you more options early on, but considering something like Cheren is also an option since it can top up your hand after a Tropical Beach or a PONT draw the following turn.

1 Catcher and 1 Max Potion: I’ve decided to keep these in there since you won’t be under the lock from turn one and could get some use out of them before you are locked down. The Catcher will be useful in the early stages to make full use of Oddish and Gloom’s double Psychic weakness and attempt to remove them from the game before a Vileplume even hits the bench.

The Max Potion can get rid of the damage you may have already suffered just before the lock is put into place, so think about playing it at the right time to maximize the amount of healing you can do via Seeker and Blissey later on.

Energy: The energy line has stayed the same since we still have the Zekrom in there to soak up the damage and it can play quite a big part in this matchup. Zekrom’s attack can deal with the attackers that your opponent plays with Vileplume to try and put them under pressure early on. Things like Beartic and even opposing Dragons won’t survive long with a fully powered Outrage.

Sure, the Zekrom is without a doubt going to be KO’d the following turn, but that means your damage leaves the field and you still have some time to set up other high HP Pokémon like Gothitelle to soak up some damage later on. The Double Colourless gives you more prize taking options in the game.

Lack of Pichu: I’ve decided to leave Pichu out of this list since it is probably going to give more to your opponent than it is to yourself. Both decks rely on getting weak Basics out quickly and you aren’t going to have to worry too much about your own getting KO’d early on because they are both pretty slow decks. You just need to concentrate on getting your bench filled up without helping your opponent out since their list is going to be designed to be under trainer lock unlike any others.

Just as a note, this particular list is built with facing trainer lock every game in mind, so the matchups aren’t going to be the best when faced with other things. I just wanted to show how you can alter the deck to face up to trainer lock as opposed to the aggressive version up the top and we will try and put them together later to make an all-rounder which can perform well against most decks.

Vileplume UDpokebeach.comSo overall, we have ourselves a pretty specific build and a matchup that needs to be tested extensively to learn how to play against it. Vileplume will cause you trouble if you haven’t set up anything in time, but your main concern should be the Reuniclus first and then follow up with either a Gothitelle or Zekrom to start taking quick prizes with Outrage.

Getting the Reuniclus out first will just guarantee that you can move the damage around or you are pretty much done for the game. You run a much thicker line of Gothitelle so it just makes sense to go for Reuniclus first and then follow up with your choice of attacker.

Some changes may have to be made depending on what kind of attackers your opponent has chosen to pair with Vileplume and some more trainers could be squeezed in if you are feeling brave.

So we’ve covered two pretty similar builds so far, so let’s have a look at something a lot more experimental before we move on to the ultimate mix of the two I have already mentioned.

Gothitelle 3.0 – Electrode?!

Yeah, we are getting really experimental here with a partner for Gothitelle that relies on a lot of luck rather than skill, but can pull of some outstanding results on occasion. This deck’s focus is to get Gothitelle and its attack running as soon as possible through a thick line of Gothitelle and Electrode Prime’s ‘Energymite’. Since Electrode Knocks itself Out, it’s also going to be useful to fire off a Twins early on without having to rely on your opponent to do it for you.

Pokémon – 18

4 Gothita EP #43
2 Gothorita EP #45
4 Gothitelle EP #47
4 Voltorb TM
3 Electrode Prime
1 Cleffa HS/CL

Trainers – 29

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Twins
4 Rare Candy
4 Great Ball
3 PokéGear 3.0
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Junk Arm
2 Pokémon Catcher

Energy – 13

13 P

pokebeach.comI’ll be honest and tell you that this is nowhere near tested extensively, but the general idea is pretty much there and should only need a bit of tweaking to get it as slick as possible. Your max Gothitelle line is there for max consistency as well as your pretty standard 4 copies of Collector, Communication, Twins and Rare Candy.

Now, Twins is a lot more effective in this deck since its use can be controlled a lot more nicely with Electrode’s Poké Power, giving you the control of when you want to set the first one off. This will typically grab you the Rare Candy and Gothitelle you need to start wrecking the opponent as fast as possible.

This variant completely strays from keeping Gothitelle alive as long as possible, but sways slightly toward the more aggressive build we talked about earlier in the way that you want everything out fast. Turn 2 is typically your ideal set up with a Gothitelle in the Active Spot with 3

Psychic attached to start hitting what you like through Pokémon Catcher. Other Gothitelles can be built up on the bench and gradually powered through further Energymites to get prepared for when your active one hits the discard pile.

The two stand-out choices in here are the high counts of PokéGear 3.0 and Great Ball. The PokéGear is there for fishing out your Twins and making sure that you have it in your hand after you’ve Knocked Out your own Electrode. This pretty much mirrors the first build we talked about so refer to that if you need some further explanation, but this can be used multiple times per turn to hit what you want through multiple copies or even Junk Arm if needed.

pokebeach.comGreat Ball is the questionable one in here and is actually pretty fun. For those of you in the dark about it, this card is from Emerging Powers and simply allows you to look at the top 7 cards of your deck, choose a Pokémon you find there and place it into your hand. Now this is perfect for getting the Pokémon you need out the deck before you start milling with Electrode, or can be used to find the Electrode you need.

This version of the deck is all about speed and Great Ball makes it that much more likely for you to hit a quick Gothitelle and Electrode. On top of that, it can also be reused with Junk Arm, but if it just isn’t your thing, then feel free to take it out for the likes of more PONT or Juniper to give you the same feel, but will allow you to have a form of shuffle draw as well.

The energy sometimes feels a little low and could probably be upped to a lot more to give you more chance of attacking straight away and less chance of discarding what you don’t want to through Electrode, so keep that in mind when trying this out.

This deck is fast, fun and pretty good when it gets going and could be a great choice for Battle Roads if you’re feeling this style of play. The basic strategy is pretty much covered so let’s move onto our last variant of Gothitelle.

Gothitelle 4.0 – All-rounder

So here we are, at the final hurdle, the list that should hopefully put together both tailored lists above into a single, universal attempt at Gothitelle. Without further ado, here’s the best I’ve got so far..

Pokémon – 19

4 Gothita EP #43
1 Gothorita EP #45
3 Gothitelle EP #47
2 Solosis BLW
1 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW
2 Zekrom BLW
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Chansey HS
1 Blissey Prime
1 Jirachi UL/CL

Trainers – 30

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Twins
4 Rare Candy
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Copycat
3 Junk Arm
2 Seeker
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Max Potion
1 Tropical Beach

Energy – 11

8 P
3 Double Colourless

I’ve tried to include the best of both worlds here so that we can keep up with the speedier variations of the format as well as handling the trainer lock variants fairly well too. Blissey is actually incredible in this deck along with the 2 Seeker to reuse it and/or pick up Zekroms along with all that damage too. Usually, I would use the Seekers to keep up with reusing Blissey as much as I can while using the Max Potions for healing off chunks of 120 damage from Zekrom earlier on.

Junk Armpokebeach.comI’m a massive fan of Junk Arm along with both Catcher and Max Potion so I opted to have an extra copy of that in there rather than making either of the cards up to 2. This just gives you more freedom to reuse what you like in the mid-late game and you will find that the choice of what to discard isn’t too hard as the game goes on longer.

Jirachi is a pretty much the only personal choice I have in here since I’m just a fan of the card and can be used creatively even without Shaymin to devolve Pokémon on your opponent’s side and leave them in some strange positions or KO them after some Catcher damage from earlier. Breaking the lock isn’t as devastating as you may think at first and there are small openings in games where it works, you just need to recognize when they are and take full advantage of them when you can.

As for the draw Supporters, these are also my personal choice, but I have seen people using Cheren instead of Copycat just to keep that early game as strong as possible which also a good alternative. Cheren is a great card and can be useful for topping up those hands after a Tropical Beach draw to give you more options for your next turn rather than shuffling in what you’ve got already. This is another one of those player preference decisions.

Most cards have been explained pretty thoroughly through this article, so I won’t go over them again and will leave you with this list to get your teeth into so that you can test against and with this pretty fun deck. The lock is so powerful if you manage to get it going early and is very challenging to play against. I hope you have some fun with one of the few lock decks in the format.

#2 – Time Constraints

alancleaverBack to the small sections now and let’s be honest, this deck hasn’t been performing that well and I reckon that this is probably one of the biggest reasons why. During many games of testing this deck over the past 2 months or so, many games have even gone down to my opponent taking 5 Prizes with me still at 6 to take, but I still manage to win the game when the lock is in full swing.

The deck is amazing when set up, but we aren’t going to be able to have games that are an hour long in Swiss rounds, so you need to keep on your toes and play fairly tightly to the constraints of time when piloting this deck.

The only real tips I can give you is play fairly quickly, don’t take too long with your decisions and make sure you keep an eye on the way your opponent is playing to make sure they aren’t slow-playing you out of the game in the long run. The latter can be dealt with if things are getting serious, but these are only Battle Roads so let’s not get too serious here even if there are Championship Points up for grabs.

There isn’t too much else to talk about on this point since there isn’t really a whole lot the player can do about it. Obviously the way you build the deck will affect its speed, but is this deck just too slow to settle in the 30+3 format right now? I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it has performed by the end of the Battle Roads portion of the new season.

#3 – The Deck is Under-Represented

This is something only the player base can fix by simply playing the deck, but I’m pretty sure it’s because building the deck is a challenge, playing the deck is pretty difficult when setting up and it’s a pretty new deck to the game at the moment. The time restrictions mentioned above are probably the main reason people aren’t taking it for a spin and want to play in favor of faster decks like Stage 1s and maybe players want others to do the testing for them and see how it fares at the moment to consider playing it in the future. Who knows?

I actually think that this is an incredibly fun deck to play that involves some pretty intricate decisions at points in the game against certain matchups, making it very rewarding in the end. If you haven’t tried Gothitelle out yet then go for it and if it isn’t the way you play, then at least you’ll have a better idea of playing against it ‘cause that is a challenge in itself.

To Conclude…

Gothitelle is yet another deck that fell onto the hype train and sped off with a ton of people on-board, but when it comes to competitive play, it isn’t really doing as well as some people think. I think I could safely call this one of the BDIFs in an untimed environment, but the time it takes to win the game really is hindering its success in the long run.

Again, if you haven’t tried it yet then give it a spin and see if you like it, but playing it is one step closer to realizing how to beat it when you do come across one over the few weeks or so.

Until next time, thanks for reading,


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40 replies

  1. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Your unacknowledged 4th option is that the deck just isn’t quite good enough in the current format.

    I think Gothi can do well, and maybe even win a BR . . . but it’s tough as long as Pokemon that do 130+ under Trainer Lock exist. If your meta is full of Magnezones, ReshiBoars and MewBoxes, Gothi isn’t the play. On the other hand, if all you are seeing is Stage 1s and Reshiphlosion, give it a go.

    Good article though.

      • Carl Scheu  → Stephen

        it’s won two :p

        And I was a pretty big supporter of copycat but after reading your argument and testing a few games, mainly against MegaJudge(as that’s my deck of choice) and some mirror, I feel Cheren is actually better.

        Also I think I’m at 7 psychic w/ 4 DCE and it tends to run okay, but I haven’t logged enough games yet.
        Also 3 solosis I honestly thought was a staple in this deck….(still better than the collectorless lists :P
        also does anyone think the deck could work w/out pichu, I want to find space for Jirachi and Shaymin, and he seems to be on the chopping block..

      • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Daniel

        Yep, was nice to meet you.

        I wish I’d played the Gothi deck R1 instead though

        Either that, or the Yanmato deck against you ;)

        • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Daniel

          That deck is so underrated, but it’s much better in play than it is on paper.

          I’ll almost certainly be at the Nottingham one. Not sure about Sutton Coldfield yet.

          See you there.

  2. Ryan Graham

    I’m sorry, but I truly feel that this deck takes little to no skill to play.

    Start the hate comments..

      • Saturn  → Adam

        Actually Goth is the complete opposite from Auto-pilot. ANYONE who says that has not played it at all. So Ross is an auto – pilot too I suppose?

        (Magneboar auto-pilot? Really?)

    • Dave Wilson  → Ryan

      I’ve only been playing for 10 months now and I’ve repeatedly heard accusations akin to this spread along the meta’s spectrum the entire time. I honestly don’t see how it can be an effective attack against a deck or the player piloting it. Is the deck good? Did/does the player run it well? That’s all that matters.

      Decks I’ve heard people say are “auto-pilot” or take “no skill” are:

      Stage 1s

      Sounds like a bad case of sour grapes if you ask me. Sometimes, I’ll say a deck is boring to run. For example, I think Typhlosion/Reshiram is one of the most boring decks out there. However, I still ran it and won because I believe it is a good deck. I am more concerned with winning than whether a deck is “auto-pilot” or not.

      • Martin Garcia  → Dave

        Actually, gyarados, reshiram and sabledonk dont take a ton of skill to play, they are easy to learn, have a linear strategy with no back up plan, no secondary attackers or different strategy for different match ups, and dont offer many complex interactios with the opponent.

        Just hit hard their active, and hope they cant keep up with you.

        Other ones like stages 1, vilegar, or gothitelle do, to a different degree, but they do.
        They have more than one attacker, or more than one key attack that lets them either hit the active, spread, snipe, etc, giving them more options to choose from when playing.

        Decks that can simply attack the active, and nothing else, or as they said “dont have any outs or tricks up their sleeve” tend to be classified as “no skill decks”, for the simple fact that they have a single strategy, with no other choice, and no posibility of a different approach depending on the match up.

        If the hard hitting fails, you lose, simple as that.

        • Anonymous  → Martin

          I don’t think that Dave implied that G-Dos, Reshi, etc were complicated. He was merely saying that it doesn’t matter. They win games, pure and simple.

          Now to be honest, there are not many decks right now that take a ton of “skill” to play (save Ross.dec and MewBox).

          Goth: Put one active, put on on bench. Pile on energy. Sweep the board. Rinse and repeat…
          Stage 1s: Get Donphan or Yanmega out Turn 2. Pokemon Catcher. OHKO. Rinse and repeat…
          VileGar: Establish trainer lock from T1 with Spiritomb. Evolve into Gengar. Poltergeist for crap ton of damage. Flip for Fainting Spell. Rinse repeat…

          This is no different than tyRam or ZPST in terms on complexity. At least with tyRam you have an energy denial option.

          I think people just need to come to terms that we do not have the SP toolbox anymore. Right now we do not have techy decks that can change strategy or approach mid game. Virtually, every deck has a single main strategy that hinges on a singular attacker (or two Pokes that have different names but accomplish the same thing such as Yanmega/Donphan or Zekrom/Tornadus). That is fine.

        • Anonymous  → Anonymous

          Arguably, Yanmega/Magnezone is the closest thing we have to a deck that takes some insight (bad pun woo) on when to shift gears.  Some games, attacking with yanmega the whole time is good, other games, Yanmega is an afterthought while you swarm magnezones, and other times, you use kingdra and yanmega snipes to act like a spreadish deck.

        • Anonymous  → Anonymous

          I say trainer lock decks can take some skill as you don’t do the same thing for each matchup. I miss DialgaChomp. Now that was a bit hard to master.

        • Saturn  → Anonymous

          And then we wonder why adults say pokemon tcg is a “children’s game”. No deck is easy to play without knowledge.

        • Anonymous  → Anonymous

          I would tend to agree with you on this one. I guess I just don’t think of it as being on the same level of complexity as Ross.dec and MewBox. It is certainly more “complex” than ZPTS, tyRam, Goth, and Stage 1s. 

      • Joshua Pikka  → Dave

        Yeah if people don’t like something they will call it auto pilot.  When in this format most things are not autopilot.  Just because some decks take less thinking than others, it does not mean that they are inferior or less honorable of a play

    • Myles O’Neill  → Ryan

      No offence to anyone, but pokemon as a game on the whole is very much auto-pilot. If you have a good deck, played by good players, in an established meta game – what you do in any one situation is very rarely anything other than common sense. This probably has something to do with the younger target audience the game has.

      The point (and fun) of pokemon for me, and many others, is in perfecting decks. The fun of the game is designing and testing a deck and playstyle which can win. Thats why diverse formats are more fun – they encourage more creative and diverse deck building. 

      Some decks lead to more interesting situations than others, but in the end these don’t really amount to much IMO. Gothitelle is just as interesting as Reshiphlosion, Magnezone, ZPL, or even the more complicated decks like Mew Box. 

      • Caleb Cline  → Myles

        Except the same good players keep on winning over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, a good portion of the game does come down to deck building, but even if there’s one or two moves per game, even subtle things that you may never notice, it’s enough to change the entire course of the game. The really good players can pick up on that, and win a game they normally wouldn’t have been able to. So yes, deck building makes a difference, but the argument that who’s piloting it as long as they are marginally good doesn’t make a difference is false. Time and time again Fulop, Pooka, Kettler, etc. etc. Have all proven themselves. I highly doubt they won simply by having a good deck. There’s that little bit of skill that makes all the difference.

  3. Anonymous

    Great analysis of the ways to play Gothitelle! Keep up the good work.

    As for the deck, it is just too slow right now. There are more recent results on the ‘Gym indicating that ZPST and tyRam are even more firmly entrenched at the top now with PrimeTime quickly gaining. The time limit is huge for Goth.

    As for build, I agree with Curtis, you have to have at least a 3-1-2 Reuniclus line. Anything less and you run a huge risk of getting on Solosis KOd and the other prized, and without Reuniclus, the deck falls apart quickly. I am also a firm believe in a 4-2-4 Gothitelle line. If you run three, you again run the risk of one being prized, one being KOd early, and then being left with only one to attack with. If somehow a KO is secured on that one, you are finished. In accordance with that, 4 allow you to more consistently set up multiples at a time and earlier in the game.

    As for BDIF in an unlimited time frame (but still under the modified format), I’m not so sure there is such a thing. If there is the closest would likely be ZPST (just because it can donk anything and possibly end games early). The card pool is way too rock/paper/scissors to have a BDIF. If Goth gets good, Magnezone, Bad-Boar, RDL, and Blastoise all counter it. However, if those decks get good then Stage 1s and ZPST are there to counter. Yet, if Stage 1s get good, tyRam is there to counter… This format seems to be designed to not have a LuxChomp type deck.

  4. erick

    Goth is just BDIF by theory, on real matches the damage built up can be a problem (even when they don’t hit for 130) and there will be times that you will not set up properly or find the right cards, however you still need to put goth in active spot to lock asap.. huge different from ross’s deck that can trainer lock from bench and stall with lots of pokemon until the deck is fully set-up.

    It might be a strong deck and win BR with the right list and meta, but i don’t find it consistent enough to be the BDIF.

  5. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    The ‘no skill’ argument has been going on for years. Remember all the butthurt about the Mario deck (no relation)?

    It’s true that it’s not particularly hard to play Pokemon,

    Playing it well though, that’s a different matter. Why do we see the same players do well consistently? Because they get the marginal plays right.

  6. Joshua Pikka

    Gothitelle is a great deck, so why doesn’t it win?  Its not because the list isn’t right.  It’s because of three other reasons. 
    1.  There are too many people teching against it.  Too many people put in Mew, Jumpluff, and Rainbows to their deck. 
    2.  The best players don’t play it.  I haven’t see one good player play it.  And if the player doesn’t know how to play it, or how to make it, it won’t win. 
    3.  And most importantly it is not good for Battle Roads.  In BRs you can’t afford to lose more than 1 game, and this deck can get a slow start and get beaten, or easily lose to someone who is playing Mew. 

  7. Eric Lari

    The main problem with the deck is anything that can OHKO a gothitelle basically destroys the deck. Any Magnezones, RDL, Bad Boar, mew ,etc that show up will make you lose. I think a lot of players recognize this and realize having a deck with any sort of autoloss is problematic despite being good against a lot of the rest of the field.

  8. beyblade1410

    Dan, you always have such great articles! Keep up the work bro and I’m sure you’ll go far!

    • Mekkah  → kaktusgris

      Probably because you have to break your lock to utilize it, the deck is really tight on space, and it can’t even cushion a bunch of damage. If you want to do a boatload of damage, use a dragon.

  9. Tandem Arts

    Used Gothitelle at Madison BR, got second. Lost to Pooka using Ross.dec.

  10. Bob Smith

    Anyone else notice there’s 61 cards (32 trainers, not 31) in Goth 1.0?

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