What’s Your Type?

XY-on Examinations of Grass, Fire, Water, Lightning, Darkness, and Fighting
canoe water boatpokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
Paddlin’ toward that new format.

For me, my next tournament will likely be one after the rotation for next season. I know a lot of readers are in that same boat, and so in approaching this article I decided to do those players a favor and open the discussion on next season’s format. At the same time I wanted to complete my analysis of the various types of Pokémon in the TCG, so I’ve merged the two thoughts into one.

Today I’m going to look at the remaining types of Pokémon in the TCG (Grass, Fire, Water, Lightning, Darkness, and Fighting) and consider how each one will function in the 2015-2016 format. I’ll go ahead and give you a spoiler: I absolutely believe our rotation for next year will be XY-on. I recognize that’s a bold statement, but based on my 10+ years of involvement with the game, I don’t see any other possibility for rotation. Most of my thoughts derive from that assumption. If I turn out to be wrong I will eat a secret rare Weakness Policy and no longer be so foolish.

Editor’s note: The 2015-2016 format has since been confirmed to be XY-on.

Alright, let’s not waste any time! Remember to click on the link in the table of contents to go directly to that part of the article.

Pass the Grass

vileplume bandit ring 16-9 3Bulbapedia
Forest of Giant Plants and the new Vileplume are sure hits.

The first type I want to examine is one I believe will take over the game come next format, and that is the Grass type. Up until Ancient Origins, the Grass type has been pretty underwhelming outside of Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX. That’s going to change dramatically because of one card: Broken Vine-Space … err, I mean, Forest of Giant Plants!

I’m willing to give credit where it’s due in saying that the card creators seem to know what they’re doing with this game. The release of just this one card shines a light on so many cards before it. This is becoming a recurring, yet welcome trick from the card creators: release a card that instantly revives old cards to create new archetypes.

I want to get into all of this, but I think it’s best to apply some brakes and think about what our next format will look like. I could have written a whole article on this subject alone, so I’ll avoid all the filler and get to the point. First of all, I cannot see anything other than an XY-on rotation for our next season. I’ve played this game for over ten years, and there is no precedent whatsoever for anything but that. Feel free to disagree with me, but an XY-on rotation is the only thing that makes sense.

My second thought is a little more involved, but again, I’m going to give you the cliff notes: I think there will be a curious divide between slow-ish, setup decks and speedy, get-everything-set-up-in-a-single-turn decks. The clearest basis I have for this goes back to the days of Vileplume UD and SP decks. Vileplume was the ultimate foil to the speed inherent in any SP deck (for those unfamiliar, Pokémon SP were Basic Pokémon and LV.X Pokémon with as much power as a decent Stage 2 Pokémon), and it created a format in which players either abused the heck out of Item cards or they blocked them altogether. Currently, the game looks like it’s headed in that direction. Why? Well, again, it goes back to our soon-to-be revived Grass type. Let’s take a look.

Trainers and Energy

Okay, so let’s attack Forest of Giant Plants head on, because this card will be as big as the plants that are on it! While Vileplume AOR is the most obvious combo here, there are a number of Pokémon in the XY-on format that can use this brilliant Stadium card:

Back when Broken Time-Space was legal, it wasn’t uncommon to see multiple Stage 2’s and Stage 1’s hitting the field in a single turn (remember Jumpluff HS?). While we don’t have something as powerful as Claydol GE in the game at the moment, we have Item and Supporter cards to easily make up for it, and I can see first-turn Vileplume happening all the time. The other cards I listed because they gain a boost from an XY-on rotation with the absence of both Garbodor LTR and Virizion-EX.

While there aren’t any other Trainers that support the Grass type exclusively, we do have Herbal Energy. Now, I realize that by itself Herbal Energy doesn’t seem that effective, but when paired up with other cards it shines just that much brighter. Consider Healing Scarf; when an Herbal Energy is attached to a Pokémon with Healing Scarf, 50 damage is healed. Add in the Energy-accelerating Sceptile PRC 8 and you can heal 100 damage total. No, you cannot use Sceptile’s Ability to attach an Herbal Energy. What, did you really think the card creators were going to let you get away with healing a whopping 80 damage in a single turn? Psshtt …

Support Pokémon

There exists in the game a lot of support for the Grass type, yet most of it remained out of reach until Forest of Giant Plants was revealed. With this Stadium card, we now have access to draw power, Energy acceleration, Item lock, a Safeguard-er, an Omega Barrier Pokémon, and even an Ability that acts like a Pokémon Catcher … and that’s after the format rotation!

When we factor in our future Expanded format (assuming it remains intact), we have even more support, the most obvious of which is Virizion-EX for clearing up Special Conditions. I still long to make some wicked “4 Corners-ish” deck with the other Vileplume (from BCR). I think a deck like that might work well in Expanded with Forest of Giant Plants (or maybe I’ll just run with the more broken option of Exeggutor PLF/Vileplume AOR).

Sample Deck

As I mentioned earlier, I want to jumpstart the discussion about next format by proposing some decks we can expect to see, the first of which will focus on Vileplume AOR.

Pokémon – 17

3 Oddish AOR
2 Gloom AOR
2 Vileplume AOR
1 Wurmple ROS
1 Cascoon ROS
1 Beautifly ROS
4 Giratina-EX AOR
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Toxicroak-EX

Trainers – 30

4 Professor Sycamore
3 Professor Birch’s Observations
3 Teammates

3 AZ
2 Lysandre
1 Ace Trainer


4 Ultra Ball
3 Level Ball

1 Rare Candy


4 Forest of Giant Plants
1 Silent Lab
1 Faded Town

Energy – 13

4 Double Dragon
4 Double Colorless
3 G
2 P

I’m not entirely sure how this deck should be run, but I see a huge synergy between the troublesome Giratina-EX and the Item-locking Vileplume. This build looks to set up a Vileplume and Giratina-EX as soon as possible, then prolong the pain by cycling through Giratina-EX with AZ. I have a couple of choice Stadiums that — when combined with Giratina-EX’s locking capability — can ensure a workaround for Aegislash-EX or a slow death for Mega Pokémon-EX.

Smouldering Fire

scorched earth 16-9
There isn’t much stoking Fire type at the moment.

The Fire type in the Pokémon TCG is an anomaly. Flashfire, a set seemingly named for this type, featured an unimpressive 10 unique Fire Pokémon in it. It had a grand total of two cards that could be used exclusively by Fire-type Pokémon. In fact, one can argue that Primal Clash is as much a Fire-focused set as Flashfire. Since then, the Fire type has largely been overlooked, and cards like Pyroar FLF and the Charizard-EXs have faded into obscurity.

Still, there are some interesting tricks that belong solely to the Fire type, so let’s make sure we don’t forget them!

Trainers and Energy

As of this writing, there is no Special R Energy. Fire and Water are the two remaining types without a Special Energy of their own, but I don’t think that will always be the case. In its place, however, are three cards that do a good job of making up for that absence of a Special Energy.

Blacksmith is the first of these three cards, and it remains one of the most intriguing Energy-accelerating cards in the game. While we’ve seen this card used less and less over the season, I have no doubt it will once again surprise everyone. The moment a decent Fire-type M Pokémon-EX gets released, we will see Blacksmith jump right back into play.

Scorched Earth is a Stadium card that goes hand in hand with Blacksmith. While the two card draw might seem paltry compared to something like Professor Sycamore, this Stadium allows for a way to get R Energy into the discard pile. Plus, the draw power isn’t all that bad when compared to something like …

Fiery Torch. Initially seen as a card that would drastically change the game, Fiery Torch was quickly left to smolder alone without even the slightest hint of play. Today, this remains true. I mentioned above that this card completes the trifecta of effective Fire-exclusive Trainers — well, I lied. Scorched Earth does a much better job of draw power than Fiery Torch. Why? Because Scorched Earth can wait patiently on the R Energy to come to you. With Fiery Torch, you need to have the R Energy in your hand at the same time in order for it to work. Now close your eyes and picture a hand full of Fiery Torch, Professor Sycamore, and no R Energy. What a waste!

Support Pokémon

Delphox has seen better days.

Briefly, before Primal Clash fully leaked online, I had the thought that Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick did what it did for Fire-type Pokémon and not Fighting-type Pokémon. Oh those were a few wonderful days of bliss. I saw fire raining down from the sky while Emboar LTR did his little “fandango.” Dreams of playing M Charizard-EX occupied my mind, and everything just felt so … congruent.

Then, I read the freakin’ card again, and I made a logical, boring mental leap to Machamp FFI seeing some play. Sigh …

Truthfully, the Fire type doesn’t have much support for it right now. Emboar LTR is a great card, but it’s on its way out of the game. This leaves Delphox XY for draw support and … well, that’s pretty much it. Both Pyroar are good in their own respect, but one (Pyroar FLF) has fallen way out of favor with the popularity of M Pokémon-EX while the other one (Pyroar PHF) finds no use without it being run alongside the first Pyroar.

There is one trick I’d like to mention, and that’s with the new Flareon AOR. By getting a Flareon in play and using Blacksmith, you’re able to boost two R Energy onto any Stage 1 you have in play. This might sound awesome at first, but a quick look at the XY-on Stage 1 Pokémon reveals … well, not much. Perhaps the best use I saw for this combo was as a way to quickly power up either Aurorus FFI or Tyrantrum FFI. Why those two? Honestly, it’s because they have more HP than any other Stage 1 Pokémon out there. For some reason, Stage 1 Pokémon just haven’t matured in the same way Basic Pokémon have. Look at that Ariados AOR, for instance! 70 HP?! That’s actually the same HP as an Ariados I used back in 2006 to win a trip to Worlds.

Sample Deck

Pokémon – 18

4 Eevee FFI
2 Flareon AOR
1 Vaporeon AOR
1 Jolteon AOR
4 Golett AOR
4 Golurk AOR 35
2 Shaymin-EX ROS

Trainers – 30

4 Professor Sycamore

3 Professor Birch’s Observations
3 Blacksmith
2 Lysandre
1 Ace Trainer


4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
2 Focus Sash
2 Muscle Band
1 Escape Rope
1 Switch
1 Sacred Ash


2 Dimension Valley

Energy – 12

8 R

4 Double Colorless

My first thought when I saw Golurk AOR 35 was dismissive — the Ancient Trait seemed okay, the Ability seemed okay, the attack … everything just seemed okay. The more I thought about that Ability — it can allow a 1HKO on both M Tyranitar-EX and M Manectric-EX — the more it grew on me. I decided not to stop there and invited even more types into the fold. With Flareon AOR, Vaporeon AOR, and Jolteon AOR in play, Golurk is a juggernaut with a massive five separate types.

With this type advantage, Golurk can handle many of the M Pokémon-EX in the game, with the notable exceptions of Primal Kyogre-EX and Primal Groudon-EX.

Water Cooler

politoed furious fists 16-9
There is Toad … and then there is Toed.

There’s a lot to say about the Water type, partly because of the upcoming rotation and partly because Water has been the most successful type in recent memory. Seismitoad-EX, Wailord-EX, Suicune PLB, Primal Kyogre-EX … these are largely some of the most successful Pokémon cards ever. If that assertion feels a little odd to you, you’re not alone.

The Water type doesn’t have any semblance to it — all of the cards I mentioned above, for instance, have wildly different strategies. Seismitoad-EX locks Item cards, Wailord-EX decks the opponent out, Suicune walls against Pokémon-EX, and so forth. In fact, of any type in the Pokémon TCG, the Water type is both the most effective and the most “decentralized” — that is, there’s just no clear pattern with what Water Pokémon are doing.

My theory for why this is the case is for two reasons. First, the card creators haven’t had to say what the Water type is known for — remember, this is one of the two remaining types to get its own Special Energy — and second, the Water type is the most common type there is, accounting for 16.8% of all Pokémon. With this fact, the Water type has become a “catch-all” for various strategies. This is why you find draw power in Empoleon PLF, defense in Wailord-EX, spread damage with Kyurem LTR, and Item lock with Seismitoad-EX. When it comes to this type, there is a whole sea of strategies.

Trainers and Energy

Jacques Cousteau’s Poké Ball of choice.

Water Pokémon have in their repertoire one of the most powerful Stadium cards this game has ever seen — Rough Seas. At Nationals we saw a curious reacknowledgment of M Manectric-EX, which adores the healing from Rough Seas. Of course, Water Pokémon like Suicune PLB and Seismitoad-EX went along for the ride. And who can forget the constant healing of Wailord-EX which ran four copies of this card.

In fact, Rough Seas is perhaps the only defining characteristic of Water Pokémon at the moment. With every Water deck I’ve ever built, an important question stands: Do I put Rough Seas in it? Some decks call for it, but not all of them do. Any Blastoise PLB deck I’ve thrown together with Archie’s Ace in the Hole, for instance, has overlooked this valuable card (most important is getting Blastoise on the field).

What other Trainers/Energy support Water Pokémon? Well, outside of the very fringe Double Crisis cards (Aqua Diffuser, Team Aqua’s Great Ball, Double Aqua Energy), that’s it. We’re still waiting for a Special W Energy, as well as a true standard for what Water Pokémon are all about.

… Oh! Dive Ball!

Yes, Dive Ball is an often overlooked card that I think will see more play with the format rotation. With the reprinting of Level Ball, players will have a powerful duo of cards capable of getting Pokémon out very quickly.

Support Pokémon

Now, here’s the interesting thing: If Water Pokémon don’t have much in the way of Trainers/Energy, they have everything in the way of Pokémon support. Even in an XY-on format, there’s a lot going on with Water Pokémon. Healing, defense, Energy acceleration, etc.

The first thing I’d like to point out is the probable demise of both Blastoise PLB and Empoleon PLF. I’m a huge fan of both cards, but I don’t think they will survive the format rotation. While the absence of these cards will hurt, there are still a number of cards ready to take its place. Swampert PRC 36, for instance, acts as a bit of a hybrid of Blastoise and Empoleon, and though its Ability is nowhere near as effective as Deluge, literally everything on that card is gold. With the Level Ball reprint, an all-out Swampert deck might not be a bad idea.

The Water type has support in many other ways as well. Sort of mirroring the Healing Scarf/Sceptile PRC 8 trick here, we can combine Aurorus FFI with Rough Seas to create some very beefy cards. Since it will require a few turns to set up, I can envision a lumbering Primal Kyogre-EX deck not minding the time it takes to get Aurorus out.

Meanwhile, something like Politoed FFI/Poliwrath FFI might actually find some standing in a post-Garbodor LTR format with Level Ball, Repeat Ball, and Dive Ball. That is, so long as Grass decks don’t take over the format.

Speaking of which, here’s a question I think many people will have about the next format: How good will Seismitoad-EX be? In the past I’ve specifically said that Seismitoad-EX would fall out of favor with the release of Rough Seas, and then it just got better somehow. So as much as I want to say that “Seismitoad-EX is dead,” I’m a bit wary of it!

There stands the fact, however, that Seismitoad-EX loses a lot with the format rotation. With Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser out of the way, Seismitoad-EX is reduced to very little damage output. Add to that the presence of Vileplume AOR and I think we will see the Toad finally croak.

Between doing barely any damage with Quaking Punch and attacking alongside Vileplume with whatever I’d like, I’m definitely going to play Vileplume. Another thing to consider is that Seismitoad-EX’s tricks won’t hit the field against Vileplume. Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer, Super Scoop Up … these all get axed the moment the big flower shows up. Yes, Hex Maniac will exist, but what a convoluted process one must take just to try and discard a single Energy card.

One last card to mention is Vaporeon AOR. While it might be the lesser of the three new Eeveelutions, I bring it up because it can allow Stage 1’s to hit Water weakness, which might be important if Fire Pokémon see a boost in popularity to counter Grass Pokémon.

Sample Deck

Pokémon – 17

4 Poliwag FFI
4 Poliwhirl FFI
3 Poliwrath FFI
3 Politoed FFI
3 Shaymin-EX ROS

Trainers – 43

4 Professor Sycamore
3 Professor Birch’s Observations
3 Hex Maniac
2 Lysandre
2 Wally
2 AZ

1 Archie’s Ace in the Hole


4 VS Seeker

4 Muscle Band

4 Ultra Ball

3 Dive Ball
3 Level Ball
2 Switch
1 Escape Rope
1 Sacred Ash


2 Rough Seas
2 Shrine of Memories

Energy – 0


Let’s play another deck without Energy, shall we? I haven’t tested this deck extensively, so I can’t really speak of its effectiveness. It focuses on having an incredibly strong Turn 1 by dumping as many Pokémon on the field as possible. To combat the inevitable Vileplume lock, we have Hex Maniac in an effort to shut off the opponent’s Abilities. Shrine of Memories enables your Poliwrath to use Poliwhirl’s attack beneath it.

My main question for this deck has to do with whether or not to run Rare Candy at all. I like Poliwhirl’s attack, so I’m not sure I want to skip to the Stage 2 all the time. I also question my inclusion of one Archie’s Ace in the Hole — I’m not sure how often that card will be successful with a build like this.

Lightning Strike

m ampharos-ex 16-9 bandit ringebay.com
I’m feeling sheepish about Mega Mozart.

We come now to one of the Pokémon types that is getting an upgrade with Ancient Origins in a couple of noticeable ways. Not only does the Lightning type get the Weakness-nullifying Flash Energy, it also gets M Ampharos-EX, sure to be a decent card at some point, maybe. Perhaps.

Okay, I have to admit, Lightning got the shaft in this set. There are only four Lightning Pokémon in this set for starters (that’s actually less than any other XY set!). Meanwhile, Flash Energy gets released way too late in the game — Landorus-EX, Lightning type’s biggest offender, will be leaving with any rotation at all. And M Ampharos-EX? While it might have been good with Dusknoir BCR, the best thing I can pair it with in an XY-on format is Crobat PHF. Plus, the Energy cost on M Ampharos-EX alone is enough for me to stay far, far away.

Alright, now that I’ve done a good job explaining how bad Lightning will be, let’s try and sort through the pieces and determine what, if any, effect this type will have on the format.

Trainers and Energy

rough-seas-primal-clash-pcl-137 (1)
Lightning has got it ROUGH.

While Lightning Pokémon tend to be a little skimpy on HP, cards like M Manectric-EX can (and will) still use Rough Seas to heal over the course of a game. In fact, I anticipate the M Manectric-EX/Rough Seas combo to remain an important aspect of the game, primarily because it’s so simple yet effective. The sad thing is that this is pretty much the only Lightning Pokémon that will use Rough Seas. With Lightning being such an underrepresented type in the game, M Manectric-EX and Raichu XY are pretty much the only good Lightning Pokémon out there, and Raichu has no business even using Rough Seas with its measly 90 HP.

Meanwhile, Flash Energy looks great on paper until you consider the context. By the time this card gets tournament play, Landorus-EX will be a thing of the past, meaning that Lucario-EX will be a Lightning Pokémon’s worst nightmare. While Lucario-EX isn’t bad, Landorus-EX is far superior, and my thought is players will navigate toward decks other than Lucario-EX/Crobat PHF in the absence of that necessary spread damage. What does this leave? Machamp-EX? I’m not a fan.

Of course, any card that removes Weakness automatically gets a thumbs up from me, so while I see Flash Energy being good eventually, I’m pointing out that it’s just … okay for now. Plus, the prevalence of Enhanced Hammer is actually a reason not to play Flash Energy at the start of next season.

Support Pokémon

M Manectric-EX will probably be central to any Lightning deck for the foreseeable future. In fact, I predict it will be the heart of many decks. With low-cost, effective attacks and the ability to get Energy on the field, M Manectric-EX will maintain its relevance for some time.

Outside of this, the Lightning type has a surprisingly low amount of support. The new Jolteon AOR offers a way to make Lightning Pokémon out of other Stage 1s, but how important is this? It’s a way to get Weakness off any Stage 1 Pokémon, so there’s that. A quick glance at the Stage 1 Pokémon in an XY-on format just doesn’t show anything impressive.

There’s the Eelektross PRC that moves some Energy around a little, but we’ve seen that type of Ability plenty of times before and it’s never found success, so I don’t expect it to take off anytime soon (never mind that Eelektross is a Stage 2 Pokémon).

Of note, naturally, is the presence of Eelektrik NVI in Expanded. While there aren’t a lot of Basic Lightning Pokémon-EX at one’s disposal, there is still Zekrom LTR, a surprisingly effective attacker given the pervasiveness of Shaymin-EX. I highly recommend Target Whistle in a deck like this.

Deck Idea

I really wanted to come up with a M Ampharos-EX deck for this section, but I’ll be honest: Outside of Expanded, I don’t see much use to this card. Its attacks are way too costly, there’s no simple way to create an “absolute lock,” and everything about this card feels clunky.

One idea I had for this card, however, involved using Emolga-EX to pull Energy on the board, then using Energy Switch to get Energy to M Ampharos-EX. The problem? Emolga-EX is incredibly weak with its 110 HP. So until I can come up with something clever for M Ampharos-EX, it’s back to the drawing board.

Hello Darkness

m tyranitar-ex 16-9 bandit ringebay.com

Just like for the Lightning type, Ancient Origins will give the Darkness type its own Special Energy and its own Mega Pokémon-EX (M Tyranitar-EX). With this set, the Darkness type finally completes its transition from the type that deals extra damage to a type that’s all about sneaky retaliation. While with Ancient Origins I was praising the Flash Energy and ignoring the M Ampharos-EX, I’ll do the opposite here.

M Tyranitar-EX is a devastating card I’m sure many will try to get to work, and it would surprise me if they didn’t find success. If the Defending Pokémon has at least two damage counters on it, M Tyranitar-EX can Knock Out anything outside of 240+ HP Pokémon with a Hard Charm. Outside of this, however, there exists suitable Energy acceleration with Yveltal XY and effective secondary attackers in Yveltal-EX and (possibly) Malamar-EX.

Add to this yet another effective Sableye from Ancient Origins and you have a very reasonable start to a powerful deck. For the moment, however, let’s look at what else the Darkness type has to offer.

Trainers and Energy

dangerous energy ancient origins cropped
Might be ok on your opener, but that’s it.

I’m going to start with Dangerous Energy, a card I believe can serve a narrow, yet effective function. First of all, I’m not impressed with this Energy card at all. It reminds me of the old Holon Energy from long ago because it’s complex without being that good. When facing non-Pokémon-EX, Dangerous Energy is useless, and it’s akin to Rocky Helmet, a card that has never seen any tournament play. Still, I do think there’s some life to this card, and that is in how it reacts with M Tyranitar-EX.

Thinking through a deck with M Tyranitar-EX, I would focus a lot on streaming Yveltal XY to power up M Tyranitar-EX. With a Dangerous Energy attached to an Yveltal, you now have the means to get the damage on a Pokémon-EX in order for Destroyer King to wipe that Pokémon off the face of the Earth. You can apply this same thinking to Sableye AOR as well, essentially setting a trap for M Tyranitar-EX to take advantage of in later turns. Outside of this narrow play, I don’t see Dangerous Energy being that great. The trouble you’ll face against Aegislash-EX or Enhanced Hammer is just too great to run this card as though it were a staple.

Moving away a little from Ancient Origins, the support we see for Darkness Pokémon exists mostly in Expanded. Dark Patch is always a go-to card in this realm, and Darkrai-EX will be a thing of the past fairly soon as well. It’s hard to imagine how dominant Darkrai-EX once was, in large part because of the unrivaled Dark Claw and Dark Patch (not to mention Special D Energy at one point). As we see this card leave our format, we notice a major shift in how the Darkness type functions.

Speaking of which, let’s look at how Darkness decks will be expected to work in the near future.

Support Pokémon

Much of the support the Darkness type gets currently comes in the form of just a handful of cards. Yveltal XY, Darkrai-EX, Malamar-EX … these cards formed the basis for many Darkness decks as of late. Sableye AOR joins the ranks, but Darkrai-EX will soon leave us. With all of this out on the table, what will Darkness decks look like in the future? Personally, I expect Darkness decks to maintain one of two personas, either that of the destructive M Tyranitar-EX or that of subtle trickery.

I’ve already covered M Tyranitar-EX, but there are a couple of other Darkness Pokémon that have caught my eye. The first is Absol ROS, and while it’s not a great attacker, its Ability can set up some pretty strong, tricky plays. The second is more obscure because I’m not sure if it’s actually coming out in Ancient Origins. If it’s not, I know for sure it will be a promo featured in the Ancient Origins blister packs. That card is Malamar XY58.

Given that the card creators seem to print more Malamar cards than anything else, one of them was bound to be good, right? This one in my opinion might just be the start of a scary deck. With Vileplume AOR and Victreebel FFI, you can effectively lock your opponent into flipping tails repeatedly during Confusion. Of course, no player will do that, so they’ll be reduced to passing until the Poison eats them up.

Of course, this is all me just “theorymoning,” so take it with a grain of salt.

I’m purposefully avoiding a discussion about Hydreigon PHF because I just don’t see it being that powerful. There’s no easy way to get it into play, Yveltal XY does much the same thing with its first attack, and it’s not even a Darkness-type Pokémon anyway.

Sample Deck

Pokémon – 17

4 Yveltal XY
3 Tyranitar-EX
2 M Tyranitar-EX
2 Yveltal-EX
2 Absol ROS
2 Sableye AOR
2 Shaymin-EX ROS

Trainers – 31

4 Professor Sycamore
4 Professor Birch’s Observations

2 Lysandre
1 Shauna
1 AZ


4 Ultra Ball

3 Tyranitar Spirit Link
3 Hard Charm

2 VS Seeker
2 Switch
1 Escape Rope
1 Sacred Ash


3 Shadow Circle

Energy – 12

5 D

4 Double Colorless
3 Dangerous

I’m not quite sure if this is the best way to run M Tyranitar-EX, but I do know that Absol ROS does the job better than Crobat PHF (as many have suggested). The reason is simple: You’re already laying damage down with Yveltal, so it makes sense to use that damage rather than depend on the Crobat line. Furthermore, if two Absol can do the job of a 3-3-3 line of Crobat, I’ve saved myself seven cards. And of course, there’s always that excellent attack Absol can pull off in a pinch.

Fighting Words

The Fighting type was essentially the first type to get a major boost from its own Special Energy. Of course, the card creators didn’t stop there, and they decided to load up the Fighting arsenal with Fighting Stadium, Focus Sash, and Korrina, easily one of the best type-specific cards there are. Let’s take a look at what makes the Fighting type so powerful.

Trainers and Energy

Dem gainz.

The biggest thing that stands out to any player of this game is obviously Strong Energy. At the time, it seemed unbelievable that an Energy twice as strong as Special D Energy was getting printed. Since then, however, we’ve seen Enhanced Hammer and other Energy deniers keep Strong Energy in check. That still has nothing on the awesome power of a first-turn attack with Strong Energy, Muscle Band, and Fighting Stadium all working in sync.

As far as Trainers go, Fighting Stadium and Focus Sash are our Fighting-centric options, and they don’t disappoint. Both cards have been utterly abused alongside things like Primal Groudon-EX, Hawlucha FFI, Medicham PRC 81, and Landorus-EX. With only one of those cards getting rotated away, Fighting decks are here to stay.

Support Pokémon

The Fighting type is interesting when it comes to support because for the most part, everything you need rests in Strong Energy + Fighting Stadium. Still, there are some cards that push Fighting decks even that one step further.

Machamp FFI, for instance, is notable because it can come into play smoothly from using Korrina for Machamp/Rare Candy or by using Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick. I’ve seen both used with great effect, though I expect next season’s Vileplume AOR to cause some anguish here.

One of the most underrated cards in a Fighting deck is Landorus FFI. Being able to pull F Energy back onto the field is immeasurably important since the Fighting type does not have any other form of Energy acceleration.

Deck Idea

I’m not going to provide any decklist here since not much has changed regarding the Fighting type. Landorus-EX will be sorely missed, and I’m not entirely sure what that means for Fighting Pokémon as a whole. One card I do want to highlight, however, is Regirock AOR. For FCC, this card hits for 120 on a Pokémon-EX. While that might not seem impressive, remember that this is a Fighting-type Pokémon! Strong Energy + Fighting Stadium + Muscle Band boost this attack to 180, and many of the Mega Pokémon-EX that might otherwise dodge a 1HKO are themselves Weak to Fighting.


kecleon legend maker 16-9
A lover of all types.

I hope you enjoyed reading my article as much as I had fun writing it. Types in the Pokémon TCG have always intrigued me, and I’ve gotten overly excited at how the card creators are releasing cards that give a persona to each type. Moreover, I’m looking forward to a brand new season of the Pokémon TCG and I wanted to get the jump on it in terms of discussion before anyone else.

This is random, but prediction time! We have two Special Energies left to be released (Water and Fire), and here’s what I think they will do. For the Special R Energy (“Torch” Energy?), I believe a Pokémon that attacks with it attached will automatically Burn the Defending Pokémon. And for the Special W Energy (“Tsunami” Energy?) I think it will have something to do with pushing away the Defending Pokémon — like, when you attack with it you can choose to have your opponent switch their Active Pokémon with one on their Bench. Of course, I’m probably completely wrong and those Energy will never be released at all, haha.

If you like this article, give it a like! It helps me to know what to write about next time around, and it tells me when I hit the mark. As always, thanks for reading!

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in. Legacy discussion: 2