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Cosmic Eclipse: Spiritomb Control

Welcome to another article on Cosmic Eclipse! Need to know what decks you'll see on the ladder or at tournaments now that Cosmic Eclipse has been released? Looking for new decks to try yourself? Then these articles are just what you need! Today we'll be looking at Spiritomb Control which uses some unexpected Pokemon to lock the opponent. We'll be discussing how this deck works, talk about different cards that can be teched in, then discuss the deck's matchup spread in the current format. We know you're excited to see this new deck, so let's get started!

Opponent On Lockdown

Spiritomb UPR 53Cradily CEC 11Omastar TEU 76

Mawile-GX UNM 141As this deck sets to control the opponent, how does it lock the opponent down? The goal for Spiritomb control is to make it so the opponent cannot attack, retreat, or use Switch to escape. The only way out of this lock is a card like Tate & Liza or Mallow & Lana, which aren't as common in decks currently. With this in mind, let's break down our lockdown!

Your main attacker in this deck is Spiritomb. With its attack Terrify as long as you attack a Basic Pokemon it can't attack back the next turn! So the opponent's first idea will be to retreat. We can stop this with the new Cradily. As long as the opponent has a Special Condition its ability, Swaying Strangle stops them from retreating. We use Ear-Ringing Bell in this build to help facilitate this. If the opponent retreats then attacks into you their new Pokemon will be stuck. If they stay in, they don't attack. Lana's Fishing Rod makes for easy recovery for both Spiritomb and Ear-Ringing Bell.

So the opponent wants to just use Switch then, plenty of decks play Switch! Once you have Omastar on the field this won't be a possibility. Fossil Bind will stop the opponent from playing Items altogether as long as it's in effect. If the opponent attempts to just keep a small bench size to stop this ability, we can get around this as well. Mawile-GX can force the opponent to play down more Pokemon and then be removed from the field with Super Scoop Up or Giovanni's Exhile

Don't forget that Clay also helps this deck function in a huge way. With so many Item Cards needed to succeed, especially with Unidentified Fossil and Rare Candy in the mix, this card is invaluable to setting up your lock quickly. Once the lock is in you're only doing 10 damage a turn, and there's no way you're knocking out two Tag Team-GX Pokemon before the game is out and other smaller Basic Pokemon aren't going to keep you going in the prize trade. Once the lock is set in your goal is to play nothing and slowly force the opponent to deck out, shuffling cards back in using Tate & Liza if necessary to take your win that way.

Deck Techs

Koga's Trap HIF 59Oranguru UPR 114Vileplume UNB 8

This deck has a lot of potential for other ways to get status effects on so Cradily works. Koga's Trap is easy and more proactive than using Ear-Ringing Bell. You could also combine Gloom UNB 7's ability to get down Pokemon from the opponent's hand with Vileplume from the same set. This one is a bit riskier with coin flips however.

The real tough part about this deck comes from keeping cards recycled so the opponent runs out before you do. A build focused around using more Pal Pad or other recyling cards could work or even builds based around using Brock's Grit repeatedly alongside Giovanni's Exhile and Giratina LOT 97 to actually try and win with damage in mind. Of course, you can simply use Oranguru to keep the deck healthy. Try out some of these techs and see what works best for you!

Matchup Spread

Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33Raichu CEC 67Pidgeotto TEU 123

This deck has matchup issues quite similar to those seen by a previous deck we covered, Tangrowth Beasts. Essentially the issue is this deck falls apart against decks that don't focus on using Basic Pokemon. For every Tag Team-GX you infuriate into scooping for game two you'll face a new 'NuzzleChu' deck or something like Florges CEC 152 & Sawsbuck CES 15 and Silvally-GX CEC 184 & Volcarona-GX to face an auto loss yourself. Decks like Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX have succeeded despite having some auto losing matchups so it's not impossible for this deck to do well in the format, however.

This deck eats decks that use Tag Team-GX Pokemon alive but can struggle a bit more against other decks with Basic Pokemon like Malamar or other control-style decks. The deck works solidly but especially in Pidgeotto Control, they'll be able to control your hand far better than you can control theirs. Malamar gets tough because of Spell Tag and Girtatina LOT 97 as an attacker can just spread enough damage to eventually break you down if they play patient and don't run out of cards. 

We have to come to some of the same conclusions for this deck as we did Tangrowth Beasts. This deck works well in the format when opponent's aren't prepared. If evolution styled decks take over this deck will be forgotten and thrown to the wayside rather quickly. Still in the matchups where it shines this deck can be excruciating to play against and make your opponent squirm. If you have ideas on how this deck could be improved or comments after trying it out yourself, tell us in the comments below. Until next time, stay lit trainers!

Linnea 'LiteralGrill' Capps is a 27-year-old mom and Pokemon fan that loves breaking down games. She loves to talk games and creative decks when she isn't being a smoking hot grill on the internet or off traveling on adventures. Follow her on Twitter for Pokemon TCG news, early looks at deck concepts, and to just say hello!


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