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Searching Standard: Green's Blacephalon-GX Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. The recent Standard rotation has done its job and shaken things up. This week, we'll be taking a look at another deck from Worlds that came up a bit short, but has a lot of potential. Let's get started by taking a look at the decklist.

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When Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 premiered in Lost Thunder, it became a lynchpin in strong, Fire-type decks. Then, Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20 entered the scene when Unbroken Bonds was released, taking the coveted spot of finisher in most Fire-type decks. Now, with the release of Unified Minds, Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 is back, sharing the stage as finisher in many Fire-type decks.

With it's Mind Blown attack, Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 is able to deal enough damage to knock out any opponent. All this requires is having extra Fire Energy 2 to discard when using this attack, and this deck has the tools necessary for that to happen. Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 also has the Burst-GX attack which can be used as a way to both ramp up the amount of Energy attached to your Pokemon and as a way to get ahead on Prize cards. Whether you use it early in the game to force your opponent to play catch-up or whether you wait until you can use it to take your last remaining Prize card is up to you. Either way, Burst-GX is a very powerful attack that can swing games.

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Hoopa UNM 140 is a great Pokemon to use in those situations where your opponent has a team that is resistant to Fire-type attacks. Power Hoopa UNM 140 up and use Mind Shock to deal 80 damage that can't be reduced by Resistance. Unfortunately, the damage also won't be increased due to the opposing Pokemon having a Weakness, but 'them's the breaks.' Hoopa UNM 140 also has the potential to deal 130 damage with its Evil Admonition attack, provided your opponent has a full Bench and all of their Pokemon have an Ability.

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Persian-GX UNB 149's Cat Walk Ability is what it's all about with this Pokemon. Place Persian-GX UNB 149 on your bench in the event that Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 gets knocked out. Cat Walk allows you to search your deck for any two cards, so you can easily find another Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 as well as some Fire Energy 2 to power it up with. Better yet, use the Ability to find other cards that allow you to search your deck, thereby thinning your deck some and making your future draws more relevant.

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Welder UNB 189, Cynthia UPR 119, and Heat Factory Prism Star LOT 178 all help you draw additional cards, which is important for doing well in a game. Each of these cards does so differently, with additional benefits to boot. With Welder UNB 189, you also have the ability to attach up to two Fire Energy 2 to one of your Pokemon. Cynthia UPR 119 allows you to ditch a hand that's low on action in order to draw a new hand of six cards. Heat Factory Prism Star LOT 178 allows you discard a Fire Energy 2 from your hand to be able to draw three cards. While there are ways to get Fire Energy 2 back from your discard pile, you won't want to do this too often, but it's handy for when you need it.

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Beast Ring FLI 102 is a great way to attach extra Energy to Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 for a massive attack. Keep in mind that you can only play Beast Ring FLI 102 if your opponent has exactly three or four Prize cards remaining, so it's good discard fodder for those times they have fewer Prizes left. Giant Hearth UNM 197 offers you a way to turn that discard fodder into two Fire Energy 2. Having access to as much Fire Energy 2 as you need is never a bad thing. Fire Crystal UNB 173 is an especially useful item that allows you to return three Fire Energy 2 from your discard pile to your hand. Do not use it to get less than three Fire Energy 2 unless absolutely necessary. 

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This grouping of cards all allow you to take special actions with Trainer/Supporter cards. Green's Exploration UNB 175 allows you to search your deck for any two Trainer cards and put them into your hand. This is useful when setting up Lt. Surge's Strategy UNB 178 to play next turn, as it will allow you to play two additional Supporter cards (as long as you have more Prize cards than your opponent). You can really use this to set up a mega-turn where you're able to draw extra cards, attach a bunch of Energy, and attack for a ton of damage. Pokegear 3.0 UNB 182 might not be as reliable as Green's Exploration UNB 175 at finding specifically what you need, but it does a good job and you can play multiple copies of them in a turn.

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If you need to find your only copy of Persian-GX UNB 149 or are just in need of an extra copy of Blacephalon-GX LOT 52, Cherish Ball UNM 191 is there to help.

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If you've drawn your copy of Persian-GX UNB 149 and have an extra Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 in your hand, you can use Pokemon Communication TEU 152 to find the Meowth UNB 147 you need in play in order to evolve the following turn. Pokemon Communication TEU 152 can also be used to find any of your Pokemon-GX, as long as you have a Pokemon in your hand to shuffle back into your deck.

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In our new Standard environment, Custom Catcher LOT 171 has become the premier way to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with one from their Bench. Switch CES 147 does the same thing with your own Pokemon. Use these cards to set up favorable attacks for yourself.

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Every good game needs a method for a player to catch up when they fall behind. Reset Stamp UNM 206 is that method for Pokemon players, currently. When your opponent only has one or two Prize cards remaining, you can significantly slow them down by using Reset Stamp UNM 206 to negate their upcoming plans and reduce the number of cards in their hand. Lysandre Labs FLI 111 also acts to hinder your opponent by making all Pokemon Tools in play have no effect. This deck has no Pokemon Tools in it, so you won't hurt yourself by playing it. Or, if your opponent doesn't seem to be playing any Pokemon Tools, you can always discard it for other effects.

Wrapping Up

Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 has a lot to offer in our new Standard environment. Being able to knock out any Pokemon in one attack, regardless of their HP, should not be overlooked. And, since Fire-type decks currently have a lot of tools to help them with their usual Energy-hungry requirements, I think Blacephalon-GX LOT 52 will be a contender for a long time to come.

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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