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How to Ruin Your Opponent's Day

Hello!  Today, we are going to take a deep, life-changing dive into the fetid world of “disruption decks.”  Why?  Because that’s all I play.  It’s a sickness, don’t mock me.  We start with a premise: “Always one-hit-KO.  If you can’t One Hit KO, then Two-Hit with disruption.” This is a ‘rule’ of deck building in Pokemon which basically tells you “KO your opponent as fast as you can.”  This is a good rule, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.  Allow me to offer my own cardinal rule of Pokemon Deck Construction: The longer it takes you to KO your opponent, the more disruption you have to employ.  

This is where we begin our journey.  The first step in this journey is this:

The Primary Strategy

Your primary attacker in the deck is Pangoro TEU 94

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Pangoro has 2 attacks, but one of them doesn’t matter.  The one we care about is the first attack: Tighten Up. 

[D][C][C]: Tighten Up: 60
Your Opponent Discards 2 cards from their hand

For a darkness and 2 colorless, it does 60 damage and forces your opponent to discard two cards.  This is the bread and butter of the deck.  60 damage is, lets be honest, not a lot. Most of the popular non-GX pokemon in the game will require a minimum two hits, with many of the GX pokemon requiring three or four.  But you’re not here to one hit KO.  You’re here to slowly KO your opponent, and having them discard two cards every turn is very disruptive.  However, we’re not done yet.  Discarding 2 cards out of a hand of 7 is “ok.”  But we’re not here for OK.  We’re here for disruption.

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That’s where Judge, Judge Whistle, and Mars come into place. Judge reduces your opponent to a 4 card hand, making it a much harder choice when they have to discard 2.  Whistle lets you replay judge.  Mars is a nice card because it discards one card at random from your opponents hand. This could be as mundane as an energy. Or it could be the one supporter they were holding onto.  

The Rest of The Deck

The rest of the deck is just stuff to make the deck a little more resilient by taking away your opponent’s options. 

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Hiker lets you control the opponent’s top-deck.

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Black Market Prism Star because *of course* a darkness deck has Black Market.  

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Absol makes it easier to strand a pokemon in the active.  You’ll be discarding a lot of cards so retreating may end up being difficult for them.  

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Alolan Muk helps speed through your opponent’s deck a little faster, and lets your Mars and Pangoro’s discard more relevant cards.  

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Skuntank is a nice tech while you are setting up.  Your opponent having to flip two heads to deal damage means there is a 75% chance your opponent will just waste an attack.  

In Closing

All in All, Pangoro is a really quirky pokemon that can make it nearly impossible for your opponent to do anything.  Will you top cut a World Champtionship with it?  Lets be honest, probably not.  BUT you will have a near-infinite amount of fun as your opponent’s eye will twitch every time you make him discard cards.  I know it doesn’t sound fun but, trust me, it is.  

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