November 15, 2023
Pokemon TCG decks are not all created equal. Where there are strong decks, there will also be weak decks. For the most part, supply and demand will dictate whether cards are expensive or not, but Pokemon decks can be relatively inexpensive to build and win events. At top level, the trends on what decks succeed have been established for the current (at time of writing) BST-OBF format.
The most popular Pokemon deck at top tables is the "Lost Zone Box" deck, which has a near 20% representation and a 300 circuit point gap across entrants. This deck features Comfey, Sableye, and Cramorant as its star players. The Lost Zone, similar to Yu-Gi-Oh's Banished zone or Magic the Gathering's Exile, is a separate zone from the Discard Pile where cards that enter the Lost Zone are not expected to return for the remainder of the game. The Lost Zone Box deck's playstyle focuses on selectively filling the Lost Zone with cards like Lost Origin Comfey and Colress's Experiment, allowing Sableye to spread damage counters once 10 cards have been lost. Cramorant's powerful 110 damage attack can also be used without energy costs due to its ability.
The Lugia Archeops beatdown deck is the next most represented deck. This deck utilizes Archeops' Primal Turbo to quickly set up energy for the powerful Basic Pokemon Lugia, enabling it to unleash high damage 4 energy moves turn after turn. Lugia VSTAR's once per game VSTAR Power further enhances the deck's setup speed.
Another fan favorite, Charizard, has also seen consistent results with an 11% share of top table results. This deck follows a more traditional evolution-based gameplay, making it more straightforward than energy turbo decks. The boss monster of the Charizard deck is Charizard ex, a Dark Tera Type Pokemon with a Grass type weakness. It boasts a plethora of high damage fire type moves that get stronger with each knockout.
Gardevoir has been performing well with 13 Regional top 8s and 5 International top 8 finishes. This deck utilizes evolution to reach its powerful boss monster, Gardevoir ex, which can heal from status effects. Miraidon decks, closely following Gardevoir, have a 6 and 1 top 8 record respectively. Miraidon uses its Tandem Unit ability to search 2 basic electric pokemon, allowing it to bring 2 copies of Raikou V to the Bench for use in the next turn. JW Kriewall achieved 1st place at Toronto's 2023 Regional using the Miraidon strategy.
Last but certainly not least, the Mew VSTAR deck, which won the World Championship, is largely comprised of 2 copies of a single starter deck. This deck relies on Mew VSTAR's ability to copy Genesect's Techno Blast, making it a constant threat.
Haruki Nakamura, affectionately termed "DataSensei" within the Esports universe, is EsportRanker's resident data wizard. Seamlessly merging his love for Esports with his knack for research, he provides insights and analysis that propel the industry forward.