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Exploring Expanded: Poison Lock

Toxicroak STS 59Welcome to Exploring Expanded, the article where we take a look at decks in the Expanded Format! Recently with the release of Unbroken Bonds and Team Up, some serious tools to keep the opponent poisoned were released. Of course in the Expanded Format one of the easiest ways to poison opponents to ever exist can be played: Hypnotoxic Laser

This brought my thoughts to Toxicroak from Steam Siege. With its ability Poison Enzyme, it won't take damage as long as the opponent's Pokemon is poisoned. What if there was a way to lock your opponent into poison? Truly make it so no matter what they tried outside of a card like Big Malasada they could not remove the poison? Add that delicious thought with the opponent unable to deal damage as you slowly sap away their Pokemon's health and you've got this deck!

To make it all better, this deck has some serious synergy. Most of your Pokemon search cards can grab multiple options in your deck, keeping you flexible to grab what you need. You want the full combination set up on your bench to truly drive your opponent mad as quickly as possible after all!

But what is this fantastic combination? How exactly does it work? Let's take a look at the decklist!

Dragalge FLF 71Here are the three cards that trap your opponent with poison: Dust Island, Muk TEU 63, and Dragalge FLF71. Here is how it works. Dust Island prevents the opponent from using a card like Guzma or Escape Rope to relieve the poison from their Pokemon. Muk's ability Poison Sacs prevents the opponent from losing it by evolving or devolving. Once we add Dragalge's ability Poison Barrier the opponent can't even retreat if they are poisoned. Now that your opponent has no escape, enjoy using Hypnotoxic Laser or even Koga's Trap to hit the opponent for guaranteed poison. With Toxicroak out front, the opponent won't be able to deal damage! Slide a few Poison Barbs on your Pokemon to make it so if they attack they still can't escape and your opponent will be begging for mercy.

With the main premise of the deck out of the way, let's take a look at some of the other moving parts. Mysterious Treasure can grab every Pokemon from the deck you may need excluding Toxicroak or Ditto Prism Star. Thankfully, Level Ball can grab it and every Stage 1 Pokemon in the deck. There's also a single Ultra Ball in case it's really needed. Even more exciting however is Korrina. Not only can you grab your Toxicroak, but you can pick up Hypnotoxic Laser or any other item you may need. 

As we're in expanded we also have Strong Energy to help boost your damage so the opponent will go down a bit faster. With Professor Juniper for draw power, N to deal some havoc on the chance you get behind, and Teammates to help you quickly recover if you need you've got the power to try and keep in control. Plus don't forget with VS Seeker they can all be back in your hand at a moment's notice if you need.


Hopefully, our Poison Lock deck wasn't so sick it left you poisoned in its wake! If you're not too busy purchasing an Antidote from the local PokeMart we'd love to hear what you think. Did you enjoy the creative concept of the deck? Try building the deck and found success? Tell us in the comment below or let the beck builder herself know over on Twitter @LiteralGrill. Until next time, stay lit trainers!

- Linnea 'LiteralGrill' Capps


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