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Going Rogue: Spiritomb

Spiritomb UNB 112Welcome to another edition of Going Rogue where we take a look at rogue decks that places well in tournaments and analyze what makes them successful! It's October which means it's a perfect time to show off decks that feature ghosts and Dark type Pokemon. It's perfect timing that at the Cologne Regionals three players managed to place using decks based around Spiritomb! Brennan Kamerman, Teodor Skjaeveland, and Bernardo Dias placed 15th, 31st, and 60th respectively. Each player also used a slight different build and we'll be taking a brief look at them all to explain what makes them tick!

Before we get there, let's talk about why you might want to bring a rogue Spiritomb deck to the event. According to data taken from the event Spiritomb decks have an impressive matchup spread. According to matchup data from Day One the deck: 

  • Won 92.9% against Blacephelon decks
  • Won 71.9% against FireBox decks
  • Won 50.0% against Green's Reshiram & Charizard-GX decks
  • Won 54.5% against Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks
  • Won 100% against Pidgeotto Control decks
  • Won 50% against Pikachu & Zekrom-GX decks
  • Won 50% against Quagsire & Naganadel decks

Several winning matchup spreads with at least a 50% against other strong meta decks can't be ignored! However it does have a horrible spread against Malamar decks and fights at a serious deficit against Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX decks so keep this in mind. Still this a rogue deck that should not be ignored, so let's take a look at how these decks ran! We'll be showing these off in the order they placed which in our humble opinion is also from the strongest deck list to the weakest. With this in mind, let's get started!

What Makes This Build Special

Zebstrika LOT 82Froslass UNM 38Alolan Ninetales TEU 111

A large part of this deck comes from the potential Pokemon you can evolve into. With the flexibility of Ditto Prism Star having Blitzle to help with drawing cards (which helps shut down Pidgeotto Control decks) and Froslass to help destroy Fire Pokemon, you have solid tools heading into many major matchups. Alolan Ninetales TEU 111 can outright shut down certain matches as well making it wonderful to use.

In terms of Basic attackers, Buzzwole is solid as a choice against many Lightning Types, especially the big Tag Teams in the current format. Nihilego LOT 106 can manage some massive damage if used right as well. The deck also includes Hoopa UNM 140 to try and help against Malamar though the matchup still is dicey even with it in the deck. 

If you'd like to see this deck in action Tablemon made an excellent video showing it off you can find here. Overall this list could use small tweaks to try and push its advantages in certain matchups and has room to let you build around the decks you see most often when playing. Let's take a look at the next deck that takes the concept in a very different direction! 

What Makes This Build Special

Gengar UNB 70Yveltal-GX FLI 79Mysterious Treasure FLI 113

This deck focuses harder on winning matchups against the many GX Pokemon currently seeing play in the format. Instead of using Professor Elm's Lecture for searching Pokemon it relies more on Mysterious Treasure, Pokemon Communication, and Gastly UNB 67 purely getting out Haunters all on its own due to its ability. This allows you to more easily evolve Gengar and use Shadow Pain to deal some damage alongside Shrine of Punishment

One of the neat tricks this allows is to make sure the opponent has the exact four damage counters required to hit with Doom Count-GX and get an abrupt knockout with a lot of prizes. Yveltal-GX has been mostly forgotten in this format so it's a very unique play the opponent isn't likely to see coming. Yellow Swellow has shown off this build in a video as well so check it out if you want to see it in action. We have one build left so let's give it a look!

What Makes This Build Special

Blacephalon-GX LOT 52Weavile UPR 74Absol TEU 88

Bernardo Dias definitely decided to let this build get a little weird which can be admirable when going rogue! Adding in Weavile alongside two Hoopa to try and really crush Malamar alongside other ability heavy matchups is a bold move. Absol is there to likely try and slow down any other decks using Jirachi that it comes up against. Blacephelon-GX is the wildest choice but does allow for using Burst-GX to snag a fast prize and win the game thanks to Beast Energy. This one maybe is spreading itself a bit thin in what it's trying to do, and sadly I could find no videos showing it in action. Maybe one of you awesome readers will be the first to give this build a try!


Hopefully this basic breakdown of the three main Spiritomb builds that saw success is helpful in building your own Spiritomb decks! We'd love to see what you come up with, especially if you go completely outside the box. Tell us about your builds in the conversation below and be sure to let us know if you find success using one of these rogue decks. 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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