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Hidden Fates: Malamar Control

Arbok HIF 27Welcome to our first edition of Hidden Fates articles! With the newest set released we know players are curious to see what decks can be built around its new cards. We recently discussed how Malamar decks are doing in Standard and suggested that players may need to get creative to keep the deck running strong in the current format. Luckily Hidden Fates brought along a new attacker that might be perfect for the job, Arbok! 

There's two pieces to the puzzle of why this Pokemon does a great job. The first piece is its ability Last Pattern which reads: If this Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack, discard 2 random cards from your opponent’s hand. Hand disruption is always powerful! You may not get to choose the cards you're discarding but taking the tools your opponent may need right from their hands always feels good. For you at least.

The second piece to the puzzle is its attack Rocket Tail. If Jessie & James is in the discard pile you'll be dealing 130 damage for three Energy! Know what other Pokemon deals that kind of damage for three Energy? Giratina LOT 97. But this time you won't be forced to deal 40 damage to one of your own Pokemon! Of course we couldn't use this attack without showing some love for Jessie & James so there's even more hand disruption at play. Your opponent won't have the tools they need to set up which will help as Malamar decks take a bit more time to get rolling. Prepared for trouble? Well, let's make it double and show off the deck!

Weezing HIF 29Now Jessie & James does help us get some Energy into the discard pile if needed, which is wonderful for this deck, but we can make it even better by really forcing the opponent down to an empty hand! Weezing is easy to search out thanks to Mysterious Treasure and alongside Arbok's ability you can leave your opponent without a lot of options. Really hit them where it hurts by bringing down their hand with Reset Stamp just to trash whatever they have so they're down to zero cards in hand. 

Speaking of Pokemon search, how about a Malamar deck that can make proper use out of Professor Elm's Lecture? Search out your Inkay and Ekans to fill up the bench nice and fast adding a little more consistency to this deck. Pop in Pokemon Communcation and you've got an even more consistent deck than many other Malamar builds out there. 

We do have to include some staples in the deck as well. Viridian Forest is just too good not to consider (though you could replace one with Power Plant). Spell Tag can help to bring your damage just high enough at times to manage knockouts and make your opponent a little more apprehensive about using Custom Catcher to bring up your Malamar. Acro Bike makes for a nice accelerating card while potentially sending your Psychic Energy into the discard pile. Finally, this is a one prize attacking deck so while it's not perfect, Brock's Grit really needs to be included. 

That's it for this deck! Pretty straight forward right? We'd love to hear how it runs for you if you give it a try! Tell us in the comments below or start a firey discussion directly on Twitter with @LiteralGrill. Until next time, stay lit trainers!

- Linnea 'LiteralGrill' Capps

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