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Searching Standard: Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. When the stained glass version of Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 was revealed during the spoiler season of Japan's Sky Legend set, I knew it was a card I wanted to put into a deck. The artwork looked incredible, but the attack seemed difficult to utilize. Luckily, I came across a deck on Reddit from a user named dtortoise that is able to fully power up this legendary bird trio as early as turn two. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck.

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The idea of this deck is to power up Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 as quickly as possible. Once you do, you'll be able to attack each turn for 210 damage with Trinity Burn. Against many opposing Pokemon, you'll be able to knock them out in one shot. Since Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 has 300 HP, you should be able to take a hit or two before being knocked out. If a knockout is imminent, you can always use the Sky Legends GX attack. This will allow you to deal 110 damage to any three of your opponent's Pokemon as well as shuffling Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 and all cards attached to it back into your deck, preventing your opponent from getting the knockout. If you're very lucky, the damage from this attack will knock out multiple opposing Pokemon, and might even allow you to win the game then and there.

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Victini UNM 26 plays a big part in getting your legendary bird trio powered up quickly. It does so thanks to its Victory Sign attack, which allows you to search your deck for two basic Energy of different types that get attached your Pokemon in any way you'd like. You'll probably want to get a 4 Water Energy 3 and a 4 Lightning Energy 4 to attach to Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 since you're more likely to draw a Fire Energy 2. Regardless of the Energy you end up getting, this attack will allow you to have a fully powered up Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 at the end of your second turn.

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Both Marshadow & Machamp-GX UNB 82 and Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20 are back up attackers and are mainly included in the deck as safeguards against other popular decks. Each of these Pokemon can be powered up and can deal out quite a bit of damage. Even though they're not the main focus of this deck, it can be worthwhile to power them up with Victini UNM 26's Victory Sign attack once you have the bird trio ready to go.

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This set of cards are here to help you find the Energy you need when you need it. Energy Spinner UNB 170 is especially good on your first turn if you are going second. Playing it later in the game is still helpful, but playing it on your first turn while going second really gets the game plan started. Viridian Forest TEU 156 allows you to find any Energy card you need, while Giant Hearth UNM 197 only finds Fire Energy 2. Keep that in mind when searching for what you need.

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Having access to Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 is critical for the success of this deck, so you'll want to use Cherish Ball UNM 191 to search them out if you find yourself without one in play. Cherish Ball UNM 191 also helps you find your lone copies of Marshadow & Machamp-GX UNB 82 and Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20 for those matchups where they can really shine.

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Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX HIF 44 has a Retreat Cost of three Energy, so if you find yourself in a position where you need to bring in a fresh Attacking Pokemon from your Bench, you have a couple of copies of Switch CES 147 to help out. It can be a real lifesaver when your opponent can win the game by knocking out one of your Tag Team Pokemon.

Power Plant UNB 183 is a Stadium that's included in the deck specifically to hinder an opponent relying on Pokemon-GX Abilities. Since none of your Pokemon-GX have any Abilities, playing Power Plant UNB 183 won't affect your game play in the slightest. If you know your opponent isn't playing any Pokemon-GX that have Abilities, you can always discard Power Plant UNB 183 for those cards that require you to discard a card from your hand.

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With Pokégear3.0 UNB 182, much of the time you'll want to be on the lookout for a copy of Green's Exploration UNB 175. That will then allow you the ability to find any two Trainer cards from your deck and put them into your hand. This can be a helpful way to get extra Energy from Energy Spinner UNB 170 or to find a useful Stadium for you to put into play. If none of these options seem appealing, it's hard to go wrong by grabbing a copy or two of Welder UNB 189.

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Speaking of 4 Welder UNB 189, this card can do it all. It allows you to attach additional Energy to one of your Pokemon as well as allowing you to draw three additional cards. It is, perhaps, the most powerful Trainer card currently in Standard, and for good reason.

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As I mentioned earlier, both Giant Hearth UNM 197 and Viridian Forest TEU 156 are useful Stadiums for you to play to further your agenda. Stadium Nav UNM 208 is a potential way to find one or both of them, so you can play them when you need them the most. Also, don't forget that you can play a Stadium of your own to discard an opponent's Stadium from play. That's important to remember for those times when your opponent plays a Stadium that only benefits them and hinders you.

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Acro Bike CES 123 is a great way to draw additional cards while also discarding less useful ones. You'll always be able to choose the most beneficial card from the top two cards of your deck to put into your hand, and then discard the other one. Deciding which one is most helpful to you can be difficult, and making this decision is what separates good players from great ones.

While most decks run close to a full playset of Cynthia UPR 119, this deck does not. Since Cynthia UPR 119 forces you to shuffle your hand into your deck, you'll only want to play her in the direst of situations. For those times that you are having trouble drawing the cards you need to get the Energy flowing, Cynthia UPR 119 can help to start those engines. If you're already doing well and have a fair amount of Energy in your hand, you'll probably either want to discard Cynthia UPR 119 or hold onto her to potentially play in the future if things start to go awry.

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Reset Stamp UNM 206 is the ultimate card to play to help you catch up, should you fall behind. If your opponent has taken all but one or two of their Prize Cards, Reset Stamp UNM 206 can slow them from drawing the additional cards they need to defeat you on the following turn. It a one-of in most Standard decks, and for good reason.

Wrapping Up

With an Energy base consisting of four different Energy types, you'd think this deck would be clunky. Thanks to cards like Victini UNM 26, Energy Spinner UNB 170, and Viridian Forest TEU 156 that allow you to find any type of Energy, this deck can actually perform very well. Plus, it looks like a ton of fun to play.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below 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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