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Searching Standard: Glaceon-GX / Shuckle-GX Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. A few weeks ago I shared a Shuckle-GX LOT 17 deck I had found online. Last week I shared a deck featuring Glaceon-GX UPR 39. This week I have a hybrid version of those two decks. It placed 43 at the Harrogate Regional 2018 Tournament and was played by Tommi Lahtela. What happens when you shut down the Abilities of your opponent's Pokemon-GX (and Pokemon-EX) and prevent all of the damage their Pokemon would inflict? Let's take a look at that deck.

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We'll start of by looking at the most powerful attacker in the deck, Glaceon-GX UPR 39. Glaceon-GX UPR 39's Freezing Glare Ability effectively removes all other Abilities from your opponents Pokemon-GX (and Pokemon-EX in other formats). Against the right opponent this can be crippling.

When attacking, Glaceon-GX UPR 39's Frost Bullet attack does a decent amount of damage to the opposing Pokemon. Against many Pokemon, you'll be able to knock them out with two attacks; however there are some tanks that will take three attacks to KO. Those are mainly Stage 2 Pokemon that have useful Abilities, which you'll be negating thanks to Freezing Glare. Don't forget that this attack also deals 30 damage to one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon. Take advantage of this to pick off a weak Pokemon or one that already has damage on it.

The fact that Eevee SUM 101 can find Glaceon-GX UPR 39 from your deck when you attach a Water Energy 3 to it and pseudo-evolve immediately allows you to forego playing any sort of Poke Balls in this deck. That gives you extra room for other useful Trainer cards, which we'll talk more about later.

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While Glaceon-GX UPR 39 is best used to finish out a game, Shuckle-GX LOT 17 is great to have in the early stages of the game as your attacker. If you're able to keep your opponent's Active Pokemon from getting three or more Energy attached to them, you can stall out the game for quite a while allowing you to set things up on your side of the battlefield. Keep in mind that this allows your opponent to set their things up too, so don't wait too long before finishing off that Active Pokemon and moving on to the next.

Shuckle-GX LOT 17 has the Triple Poison attack that places 3 damage counters on the Poisoned Pokemon in between each player's turn. Effectively that means that you'll be dealing 60 damage by the time you take your next turn. That damage really adds up over a couple of turns unless your opponent retreats the Poisoned Pokemon. By retreating, your opponent is playing right into your hands by discarding Energy, which makes it less likely that they'll be able to deal damage to Shuckle-GX LOT 17 the next time they become the Active Pokemon.

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Every competitive Pokemon deck includes cards that allow you to draw additional cards. Cynthia UPR 119 is the premier way to do just that. She lets you take a hand that's full of cards that aren't helpful at the time and shuffle them back into your deck. They're then replaced by six new cards, even if you shuffled less than six back into the deck.

Mars UPR 128 is a great way to draw a couple of cards as well as getting rid of a valuable card from your opponent's hand. Even though the card discarded is chosen at random, even if you end up discarding an Energy, you could end up making your Shuckle-GX LOT 17 a little bit better.

Judge FLI 108 is another great way to potentially draw more cards than you had in your hand while also disrupting your opponent's plans. If you're able to play Judge FLI 108 after your opponent has searched their deck for some important card that they need, you'll get the most value from it.

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If drawing cards randomly from your deck isn't finding you what you need, Steven's Resolve CES 145 will get the job done. While Steven's Resolve CES 145 allows you to add any three cards from your deck to your hand, it does so at quite a cost. Playing Steven's Resolve CES 145 will end your turn, so you'll forego playing any of those cards until the next turn. You'll also be forced to skip your attack for this turn. Keep these drawbacks in mind when playing Steven's Resolve CES 145.

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Plumeria BUS 120, Crushing Hammer SUM 115, and Enhanced Hammer GRI 124 are all great ways to reduce the amount of Energy attached to any of your opponent's Pokemon. Enhanced Hammer GRI 124 is the best way to ensure that a Special Energy will be discarded. With Crushing Hammer SUM 115, you can discard any type of Energy as long as you're able to win the coin flip. It's the most risky of the Energy removal cards included in this deck. Plumeria BUS 120 is a less risky way to discard any Energy from an opponent's Pokemon, but it comes at a higher cost than Crushing Hammer SUM 115. With Plumeria BUS 120 you'll need to have two cards in your hand that you don't mind discarding in order to discard any Energy from your opponent's Pokemon. It's definitely a price worth paying if it allows Shuckle-GX LOT 17 the chance to go for an additional turn with damage immunity.

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In any deck that's looking to stall the game, you'll need ways to heal your Pokemon so your opponent can't knock them out and draw a prize. That's what these cards do for you. Acerola BUS 112 puts a Pokemon with any amount of damage on it and all cards attached to it into your hand. Super Scoop Up CES 146 does the same thing provided that you flip heads on a coin flip. Either of these cards is great to play as long as you have another Pokemon on your Bench ready to go. If you don't, you'll need to rely on Max Potion GRI 128 to heal your Pokemon. Max Potion GRI 128 does require you to discard all Energy attached to the Pokemon you're healing, so it can be a steep price to pay.

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Most Standard decks include at least a few copies of Guzma BUS 115, and this deck is no exception. After dealing damage to your opponent's Benched Pokemon with Glaceon-GX UPR 39's Frost Bullet attack, you can use Guzma BUS 115 to bring up that weakened Pokemon and finish it off. Guzma BUS 115 is also useful to bring up one of your own Benched Pokemon if your Active Pokemon has taken some damage and is likely to be knocked out. Swap it out with Guzma BUS 115 and hope to draw an Acerola BUS 112 soon.

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Lusamine CIN 96 allows you to return two Supporter cards from your discard pile to your hand. If you happen to already have a copy of Lusamine CIN 96 in your discard pile, you can make sure you always have access to any Supporter card in your discard pile at all times by playing a Lusamine CIN 96 to return the other Lusamine CIN 96 from your discard pile along with another Supporter. You can do this every turn if you'd like, but doing so does make Lusamine CIN 96 the Supporter you'll be playing for that turn. Lusamine CIN 96 can also return a Stadium from your discard pile to your hand, but with only having one Stadium, that's less likely to be important than returning a Supporter or two.

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Speaking of Stadiums, Lysandre Labs FLI 111 is included in the deck primarily as a way to remove a troublesome Stadium your opponent has played. Against certain decks it might prove useful, but the majority of time it really won't have much of an effect on the game. Keep in mind that Lysandre Labs FLI 111 will affect the single copy of Bodybuilding Dumbbells BUS 113 in this deck if you happen to play it.

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Wrapping things up with this deck is the Energy cards. Since there are only two copies of Double Colorless Energy SUM 136 in the deck, you'll want to try to save these for Glaceon-GX UPR 39. Both of the attacks of Shuckle-GX LOT 17 can be used with a single colorless Energy, so try to make sure to attach a Water Energy 3 to it if at all possible. If you were to attach enough Energy to every Pokemon in this deck so that they could use all of their attacks, you'd use a total of seven Water Energy 3 (plus the two Double Colorless Energy SUM 136). That only leaves 3 Water Energy 3 in reserve, so try not to discard any Water Energy 3 when playing cards like Plumeria BUS 120, unless by doing so you can wrap up the game.

Wrapping Up

While the combo of Glaceon-GX UPR 39 and Shuckle-GX LOT 17 might not be the most powerful team up ever, they do have some synergy when played together. This is definitely a deck where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. 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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