A New Way To Look At Absol Prime

Hey SixPrizes. Today I bring you an idea that has a bit more potential than it did in the past. Absol Prime picked up a few new tools from Next Destinies that make it playable, just like Celebi Prime picked up some new tools. Oh, can I add? Every Prime from Triumphant has got to be good at some point, so clearly it’s Absol’s time to shine! (Seriously, even Gengar Prime had a brief moment in the spotlight).

A Brief Introduction

The forgotten Triumphant Prime

First is Absol’s Poké-Body, “Eye of Disaster: As long as Absol is your Active Pokémon, whenever your opponent puts a Basic Pokémon from his or her hand onto his or her Bench, put 2 damage counters on that Pokémon.”

This makes Absol a pretty decent starter. I can’t think of any deck that appreciates starting with 2 damage on their freshly benched Pokémon (well, maybe Ursaring Prime). This helps put many of the EX’s in KO range of Zekrom-EX with a PlusPower. That advantage is not to be taken lightly.

Next, we have Absol’s attack: Vicious Claw. For DC you “Choose 1 Pokémon from your hand and put it into the Lost Zone. (If you can’t put any Pokémon in your Lost Zone, this attack does nothing).”

Well that’s pretty interesting. Unfortunately, having to Lost Zone a Pokémon from your hand really limits Absol’s potential. If it weren’t for that pesky Lost Zone cost, Absol could fit into a wide variety of decks thanks to its good Poké-Body and respectable attack. However, the number of decks Absol can be run in isn’t miniscule either. Remember how I mentioned Absol picked up a few new tools from Next Destinies? Let’s see what those are.

Because Basics weren't good enough already

Skyarrow Bridge (SAB)

1 less Retreat Cost for Basics sounded to good to be true when it first came out. In testing, its main use has been with CMT, but Zekrom/Eelektrik variants have run SAB with Smeargle and Tornadus or Thundurus to give it an easier time Dynamotoring, and accelerate its hand with Portrait. Absol however, is also a Basic with a Retreat Cost of only 1. Fancy that eh?

This means that starting with Absol’s great Poké-Body doesn’t mean you have to use Absol to attack the very first turn of the game. That sounds good, but the real strength is how it allows Absol to attack the first turn of the game with a card we’ve all come to know and love…

Celebi Prime

First turn energy acceleration (outside of Pachirisu CL + Shaymin UL) is now possible thanks to the combination of SAB and Celebi Prime. This means that with a Dark, Rainbow or Prism Energy in hand and only 1 grass, Absol can attack the very first turn relatively easily. 70 damage on the first turn is no laughing matter.

In the current format, nothing outside of the big Basics (legendary Basics) can survive T1 70 damage. Absol even gets to donk Smeargle CL! That’s some impressive donking capability. Of course, there’s that pesky Lost Zone cost. This means Absol really only has 4 partners in crime if it wants to make it to the top.

Mew Prime (aka Partner in Prime #1)

I was from Triumphant, did you really think I'd be bad forever?

Mew Prime has always been a card bursting with potential. When I first laid my eyes on Mew I think I spent a straight 5 hours trying to build a Mew Box deck just to try and make it work. Mew is hard not to cheer for! It’s only got 60 HP, but it’s got a bigger heart than any other Pokémon I’ve seen. However, with the release of Next Destinies, Mew finally got the tools it needed to succeed in the format.

First, it got Prism Energy. The more rainbow-type energy Mew can have, the better. This of course is also useful for Absol, as both of them are Basic Pokémon. This can really help with Absol’s D Energy cost since there is very little reason to use D Energy in most decks outside of Absol (at least until Dark Explorers is released). Absol also slots right in as a fellow basic with 90 HP or less, perfect for Level Ball.

It’s been obvious from the start that Mew and Absol have incredible synergy together. The problem has always been that using Absol was too slow, since the same results were more achievable (and faster) by just using Mew’s See Off on the first turn. Thanks to Celebi + SAB however, Absol can now be charged first turn. This must be what the creators of the HS Triumphant set envisioned when they made these 3 cards, because they work too well together.

Mew Prime decks are currently competitive, and also fairly interesting, but outside of Tyrogue donks, Mew Prime decks can’t deal damage on the first turn. This gives your opponent time to set up which will make the match much tougher. Absol Prime with Celebi + SAB support helps alleviate this problem, while not slowing down your Mew set up (thanks to Lost Zoning a Pokémon).

My heart is 'diiiiiiiissssss big

The next question is, what do you Lost Zone at this point? Mew Prime decks are used to only being able to get 1 Pokémon in the Lost Zone, but with Absol in the deck, it’s very possible to Lost Zone 2-3 Pokémon in a game without much effort. Since this is an article on Absol Prime, I won’t go too in-depth here, but I will list some new (and old) potential See Off targets for the Celebi/Absol/Mew variants I envision.

Celebi/Absol/Mew Lost Zone Targets

1. Jumpluff HS: You now have G Energy up the wazoo, and a way to put Jumpluff in the Lost Zone without using Mew. Jumpluff is still the best Lost Zone target in this deck.

2. Shaymin EX: You’ve got Celebi to accelerate G Energy now. Enjoy the amazing power that Shaymin EX can bring to Mew. After giving up only 2 Prizes, Mew can 1HKO opposing Mewtwo and all it takes is a Celebi in the active and a SAB.

3. Whimsicott EPO 12: What is this card!? Yeah, this might be stretching the list a little, but the point of this article is to promote originality and spice things up a bit, and Whimsicott has a genuine couple of uses with Celebi/Absol. One, it can have fun with shenanigans and Encore for 1 energy. Next turn when Mewtwo EX can only use Psydrive (and has a fresh 40 damage), your opponent will flip all the tables. Dragons can only use Outrage, Thundurus can only use Charge, Tornadus can only use Energy Wheel, the list goes on.

Two, U-Turn provides mid-game KO ability, that lets you switch back to Absol between turns. This means you get to abuse Absol’s Poké-Body as much as possible, and maybe take cheap prizes while you’re doing it.

Even in the card game I get to be a Prankster

4. Lucario CL: Lucario’s attack only costs DCE, and is boosted by the number of Pokémon in your Lost Zone. You don’t actually need to run DCE in the deck, since Celebi provides the energy acceleration. Using Lucario itself (not in the Lost Zone) also provides a Fighting-type attacker that can hit hard with Lost Zone support against Zekrom/Eelektrik. More on that below.

5. Lilligant EPO: 1 G Energy is all it takes to play all sorts of tricks on your opponent’s active Pokémon. This card would normally never find space in a competitive Mew Prime deck, but since you’re looking to send multiple Pokémon to the Lost Zone, it can be worth it to mess with an opponent.

6. Serperior BLW 6: Alright, the list is now stretched to its end and this is the last semi-silly tech I’ll include. Serperior BW 6 is best known for its Ability to heal damage from all of your Pokémon between turns. However, Serperior has a great attack in that it allows you to re-arrange all of your Grass energy after you attack for 60 damage.

This applies to Rainbow and Prism energy as well, meaning with only 2 energy in play, you can have both Mews charged and ready for next turn. This also allows you to run many different tech options like Terrakion NVI or even Kyurem NVI and charge them for the next turn, while dealing decent damage that may be what you need to finish off a Pokémon. Finally, it keeps your energy on the field which helps make room in the deck since you can run a slightly lower energy count.

Of course, I would also recommend Crobat Prime and possibly Chandelure NXD 20 as Lost Zone targets as well, but they aren’t specific to using Absol Prime.

I feel like this concept has a lot of potential in the current format, just waiting to be untapped. So I’ll provide a prospective skeleton list that people can play around with to decide if they like it.

Pokémon – 13

4 Mew Prime

3 Celebi Prime

2 Absol Prime

1 Jumpluff HS

1 Shaymin EX

1 Crobat Prime

1 Whimsicott EPO 12 (or other quirky Lost Zone Target)

Trainers – 26

4 Professor Juniper

3 Professor Oak’s New Theory

2 Draw Supporters


3 Level Ball

3 Junk Arm

2 Switch

2 Pokégear 3.0

2 Pokémon Catcher

2 Pokémon Communication

1 Super Rod


2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 12

6 G

4 Prism

2 Rainbow

Open Slots – 9

I tried to go as bare bones with the skeleton as I felt comfortable with, but I’d probably add a Fighting-type tech to aid the ZekEels matchup. Whether this is Terrakion NVI or Lucario CL is up to you. As a really “out of left field” option, you could also run Marowak TM with Victini NVI 14 to have a faster chance of dealing up to 240 damage to Electric-types. A feat which 1HKOs Zekrom-EX (and through the eviolite no less) without needing to Lost Zone 3 Pokémon to achieve a similar goal with Lucario.

Mew + Shaymin EX also has the massive 180 damage potential, but you’d have to be down to your last prize to make it happen. The key advantage these two options have over Terrakion is a more manageable Retreat Cost, though you do run Switch to help out. A Shaymin UL may also be an interesting tech, and provide donk potential with Celebi against Tynamos.

In testing, the big thing to keep in mind is that Absol is the preferred T1 Lost Zoner, but if it’s just not feasible, Mew can do the job with more choice in what you See Off.

Next up…

Now is the winter of my discontent / Made glorious summer by the son of Dark EXplorers

Tyranitar Prime (Partner in Prime #2)

Tyranitar Prime has a whopping 160 HP, which is enough to survive a hit from pretty much everything in the format. It also resists Mewtwo EX for further aggrevation. Of course, Tyranitar’s weakness is disappointing.

Fighting-type weakness in this format is a shame, with all the Eelektrik variants running around, saying: “Ooh, look at me, I die to Terrakions. I hope no one plays a deck with nothing but Terrakions. That would only be an average deck at best if ReshiPhlosion was still tier 1. Good thing it’s not!”

Tyranitar just has to take what it can get. I’ll add, You could tech Leavanny NVI to keep Tyranitar out of the 1HKO range of everything. However, with SAB, Absol can really help accelerate Tyranitar’s ferocity.

For this deck concept, I’ll be starting from a list off “The Deck Out.” The idea is to have Tyranitar tank hits up front and spread spread spread. You use Smeargle to accelerate your draw support, and Elekid TM to provide finishing snipes.

Bring in Skyarrow Bridge. Smeargle just got a whole lot better, and so did Absol Prime. This deck idea doesn’t really use Absol’s attack much, it’s just in it for the Poké-Body. If you have a T1 Absol out, and a T2 Tyranitar, that’s essentially a spread of 40 to all of their freshly benched Pokémon. This of course only works if you went first, but it’s still worth considering.

On top of that, Larvitar UL 50 has more donking potential if you started with Absol. That minor 20 damage for 1 Colourless Energy can start to be used in a bigger way with a PlusPower thrown in for 50 HP Basics. It can also donk Voltorbs and Tynamos, but that’s not related to Absol.

"I can only draw what I see"

And, in a pinch, you can use Absol’s attack to deal damage easier in this deck. There is nowhere near as much to discuss here as the incredible plasticity of Mew Prime, so that’s really all I’ve got for you. Absol makes it unsafe to bench low HP basics on turn 1, and will really annoy Mewtwos since you can now DCE drop your own Mewtwo for the 1HKO. It also makes Celebis die one turn sooner, which is never a bad thing.

This deck also has good synergy with the upcoming Darkrai EX, which will give Tyranitar the ability to heal via Seeker, conserve energy, and save itself for later turns.

Lucario CL (Partner in Crime #3)

Lucario CL is a sort of failed Mew Box concept. It’s not bad, but it takes too long to get going. However, with Lightning decks running rampant, and Mewtwo EXs in every competitive deck around, Lucario + Mew gains a lot of power. Of course, its biggest problem is speed.

The deck uses Absol and/or Relicanth CL to accelerate Pokémon to the Lost Zone, which just takes a little too long to set up. However, with EX’s around, a slower start for a non-EX deck is more forgiveable, as they can catch up in the prize race quicker. There are two ways you could run Lucario CL. One would be to run it as a line in the Celebi/Absol/Mew list I discussed earlier. This provides you with an attacker that can hit electric decks harder, with an easily accomplished energy cost.

The second way would be to play without Celebis and go for the Relicanth start. Mew is still an obvious tech thanks to its versatility, and the standard list of See Off targets still applies. With SAB, getting a Relicanth start is easier than ever before. The deck’s idea is to just Lost Zone as many Pokémon using Relicanth and Absol to make Lucario hit as hard as possible. Mew can also take advantage of the Lost Zone and apply decent pressure when it can.

It's a Jackal! Jackal! Jackal! It's a Jackal! Jackal!?

The core of Mew and Lucario is what a successful rogue is looking to be in order to counter the current ZekEels/CMT metagame, hard-hitting Fighting and Psychic types, so this concept should have decent potential. Absol can help make that potential a reality. I would probably still run the Celebi variant personally though.


The other form of first turn energy acceleration which has performed half-decently at tournaments is ZPST/M. Heck, I lost to one in Top 16 partially thanks to a first game T1 donk. As far as setting things up goes, Absol is about as easy to set up as Tornadus. But the big advantage it has in the deck is it’s 80 HP. Searchable by Level Ball, Absol provides the deck more of an excuse to run Level Balls to try for the T1 donk.

This is achievable through Rainbow/Prism Energy as your attachment per turn, and then a L Energy Pachi/Shaymin’d onto Absol. The big advantage Absol provides this deck is that his attack only costs two energy, which means that when you had the 2 Electric Energy and 1 Prism/Rainbow in hand (through a Juniper or otherwise), you can dedicate the second Electric Energy to begin setting up another attacker.

As I mentioned earlier, Absol also provides 20 damage to freshly benched Pokémon. This makes it an ideal starter for if you ended up losing the coin flip and going 2nd. A benched Mewtwo EX will be stuck with only 150 HP, in range of a Zekrom-EX Strong Volt or Mewtwo EX DCE drop (without the need for PlusPower). Any other EX is also now only a PlusPower away from a Strong Volt.

I am Batman. Absol is my Robin. And you Mewtwo... You shall be the Riddler

Considering ZPST/M’s biggest problem is either winning or losing on the first turn, and that this is largely impacted by who wins the opening coin flip, Absol could add early pressure to help give ZPST/M more late-game and second turn strength.

I would probably drop the Tornaduses from the list to add Absols, and the energy line might be difficult to play around with, but the ability to use Level Ball as a method of adding consistency would allow you to remove Pokémon Collectors from the mix. This frees up your first turn supporter which could add layers of consistency to the deck in one sense, and remove layers in another.

This article is a list of concepts, not decks, and this concept is one of the shakier ones of the 4. I really don’t know if SAB is enough to make Absol a solid play in ZPST/M. The biggest problem I can see with the concept is just clunking up your energy line, but the build would also play a bit differently.

It may be more useful to, rather than think of this deck as ZPSMT, instead adapt the deck to include Mew Prime or something similar. Essentially, a similar concept to the Celebi/Absol/Mew list, but with alternate energy acceleration that doesn’t require Switches or Skyarrow Bridges on the first turn, with an emphasis on the potential for a T1 donk.


With the format the way it is, Absol might finally become the little Prime that could. HS Triumphant was a landmark set, giving us Machamp Prime, Yanmega Prime, Magnezone Prime, Mew Prime, Celebi Prime, Electrode Prime, Gengar Prime and last but not least, Absol Prime. All of those have been involved in tier 1 or at least tier 1.5 decks at some point (ok maybe not Gengar, but in Japan it was huge).

Given this pattern, Absol has got to be good. He’s just waiting for the cards to be released that unlock his hidden potential. I assert that those cards now exist, and Absol can rise to be a main contributor in a higher-tier deck (as opposed to tier 3 or 4 where it has languished until now).

So there you have it! I don’t know if my purpose here on SixPrizes is to bring you original/rogue ideas, but I don’t think I would mind if it was. I hope the feeling is mutual! I’ll just be writing on whatever I’m thinking about at the time that I feel is worthy to hit the pages of SixPrizes. This won’t always be rogue, but rogue is usually more fun to think about.


Crawdaunt out

Reader Interactions

17 replies

  1. Eli Norris

    Great article.

    I still think that Mew Prime + anything simply cannot work in this metagame. It gets OHKOed by practically everything, and Absol doesn’t do any better. Both CMT and Zekeels run Tornadus/Thundurus, and a constant stream of either of those pretty much wrecks Mew decks in general.

    • Mark Hanson  → Eli

      Well, that’s why MeesieMew used Terrakions. Not just for resistance, but survivability. Mew also goes for the prize race and tries to KO Eels as quick as possible, which makes it difficult to stream Tornadus/Thundurus. I’d agree Absol doesn’t help that concept as much, but it does make for a deck that can donk, and apply late game pressure. And we’ve seen decks that subsist on donking alone (ZPST) become tier 1 in the past.

  2. Ed Mandy

    Nice article! It was well written and covered a lot of ground.

  3. acetrainergabe

    I’ve always thought Absol Prime had lots of potential. That potential was just about eradicated by pokemon catcher. Absol plays mind games more than anything else, forcing your opponent to decide to either accept the damage or wait until Absol is out of the way to drop a pokemon collector and fill the bench. The attack can’t score a KO on anything that would normally be active. I do think Abosl deserves some attention, but I don’t think it is anything more than a suicide lead to gamble for some early spread damage and maybe start a twins engine to get set up. Excellent coverage of the card overall. Thanks.

    • Mark Hanson  → acetrainergabe

      It’s true… Absol is a bit underwhelming in power, but what’s interesting is that underwhelming is acceptable in this format (to some extent). Even if you only do 70 damage one turn, as long as over two turns you deal 180, you’ve taken an EX with at least an equal prize exchange. And yeah, one of Absol’s strengths is definitely forcing your opponent to burn resources like Catcher or Junk Arm, just to bench Pokemon (if they feel the 20 damage is a threat). I’d say in my Celebi/Mew/Absol list, if you were to use Lucario CL, I’d say taking out a Mew and adding a Mewtwo EX or two could really make Absol more worth it. No need for DCE + Pluspower if their Mewtwo already has 20 damage. :)

  4. David

    As much as i love mew in the current and future meta game it just won’t work ( i really hope it doesn’t work because i sorta traded all of mine off for next destinies stuff :( ) with minun, darkri and raquaza coming out it just doesn’t have a chance..

    Great article

    • Mark Hanson  → David

      Oof… MeesieMew is sad… I’d add that Darkrai isn’t as big a problem as it seems, since you’re still taking advantage of Terrakion Retaliates.

  5. djpmart

    I would like to state a few errors in the article that I came across. I noticed that you stated that Lucario CL’s attack has the potential of OHKO against a Zekrom EX, as long as there are three Pokemon currently in the Lost Zone. However, you’re also implying that Mew Prime is using the attack. Essentially, Mew Prime’s attack type is Psychic, and it does not become a Fighting type when using Lucario CL’s attack from the Lost Zone, which translates to only doing 90 damage, instead of 180.

    Another error that was seen was you mentioning that Larvitar UL has the ability to deal 20 damage for only one Colorless energy. This would be acceptable if you were talking about Larvitar UL #50, but your image example displayed Larvitar UL #51. Perhaps this is just nitpicking, but I believe that a little more accuracy could go a long way of preventing someone attempting to do things with these ideas that they simply cannot do.

    • Mark Hanson  → djpmart

      Ah. Yes I’m implying that you could both Lost Zone Lucario CL for Mew, and use it’s evolution line as a main part of your deck for coverage. I should see if I can word that better to avoid confusion. Thanks!

      And good spot on the Larvitar! That’s just a typo. I’ve got it corrected now. Thanks again!

  6. theo Seeds

    I LOLed @ Partner in prime

    But shouldn’t this be more of a COTD?

    • Mark Hanson  → theo

      I asked Adam that same question. We both agreed it would be better off as a separate article because of how much new information it presented. A CotD is better reserved for going over the basic facts about the card, rather than proposing new decks you could try it in.

  7. sjoerd de jong

    genius article you opened my eye for ultimate starters for stage 2 pokemon

  8. Pooka Pookerson

    Awesome article. Really, really interesting read.

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