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Searching Standard: Dragapult VMAX / Clefable Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. As we continue our march towards Halloween, I continue my search for powerful decks that are also a bit scary. This week, I have a deck for you that features flying snakes and aliens, so you know it's going to be scary. Let's begin by taking a look at the deck.

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Dragapult VMAX RCL 93 has a couple of nice attacks that are useful in various situations. Shred deals 60 damage that is not affected by any effects on your opponent's Active Pokemon. Against those Metal Type decks that reduce the amount of damage their Pokemon take, this attack works well. The Max Phantom attack is a great way to deal damage to both your opponent's Active Pokemon as well as the Pokemon on their Bench.

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With Clefable RCL 75's Prankish Ability, you'll slow down your opponent's momentum by returning an Energy card that is attached to your opponent's Active Pokemon when you evolve into Clefable RCL 75. You can do this multiple times, thanks to the help of Scoop Up Net RCL 165.

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Giratina UNM 86 gets in on the action with its Dimension Breach Ability. With this Ability, you'll be able to discard a Special Energy from four opponent's Active Pokemon when you play Giratina UNM 86 from your hand onto your Bench. Crushing Hammer SSH 159 also helps you remove unwanted Energy from your opponent's Pokemon, and it can be used on any of their Pokemon, not just the Active Pokemon. The drawback is that you need to win a coin flip for it to be useful.

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Thanks to the Headbutt Tantrum Ability of Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117, you'll be able to finish off a Pokemon that your opponent might have thought to be safe. This Ability works nicely with Dragapult VMAX RCL 93's Max Phantom attack, as they both allow you to choose where to place the damage counters.

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This grouping of cards all help you draw additional cards. Doing this is important, as the more cards from your deck you have access to, the more options you will have. Remember the key differences between each of the card drawing abilities of these cards, and you'll find success. Crobat V DAA 104's Dark Asset Ability allows you to refill your hand to six cards. Professor's Research SSH 178 forces you to discard your hand before refilling it to seven cards. Marnie SSH 169 requires each player to shuffle their hands into their deck and draw a new hand, with your opponent drawing fewer cards than you.

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Phione CEC 57 and Boss's Orders RCL 154 are pretty similar. Both allow you to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with one from their Bench. Boss's Orders RCL 154 will use your Supporter for the turn, while Phione CEC 57 is activated from your Bench. Either of these can be used whenever you need to attack a specific Pokemon that your opponent has on their Bench.

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Both Galar Mine RCL 160 and Reset Stamp UNM 206 act as ways to hinder your opponent. With Galar Mine RCL 160, you can lock your opponent's Active Pokemon in place by increasing its Retreat Cost by two. Reset Stamp UNM 206 helps you when you've fallen behind in Prize cards by resetting your opponent's hand, likely giving them fewer cards than they previously had, and leaving them with less options. It's a great way to slow down an opponent's momentum when they are rolling towards certain victory.

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This last group of cards are general all-purpose cards that you'll find in most decks. Switch SSH 183 allows you to keep a wounded Pokemon alive longer, by sending it back to your Bench. It can also be used to move a fully powered Pokemon from your Bench to your Active Position, allowing it to attack right away. Pokemon Communication TEU 152 allows you to find the Pokemon you need from your deck. Sometimes you'll end up drawing Pokemon that aren't useful at the time. You can use Pokemon Communication TEU 152 to trade them in for a more useful Pokemon from your deck.

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While I don't normally discuss Energy cards, I think Horror Psychic Energy RCL 172 is a great addition to this deck. Since your main attacking Pokemon are Psychic Type, why not punish your opponent for attacking them. When Horror Psychic Energy RCL 172 is attached to one of your Psychic Type Pokemon and that Pokemon is your Active Pokemon, your opponent's Active Pokemon will receive two damage counters whenever your Active Pokemon takes damage from an opponent's attack. This is another great way to get a little bit of extra damage onto your opponent's Pokemon.

Wrapping Up

This deck really attacks on multiple fronts, dealing damage to both the Active Pokemon and to Benched Pokemon alike. It makes it more difficult for your opponent to attack and retreat, thanks to energy removal cards and stadiums. If a complex deck like this sounds fun to you, you might want to give this deck a try.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, check out my other column, Flash Forward, where we take a look at decks using cards from upcoming releases.

And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in the Pokemon TCG. I'll see you then!

- Mike Likes


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