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Searching Standard: Muk & Alolan Muk-GX / Malamar Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. This week, the entire set list for Unified Minds was released, so people can begin brewing new decks with it. While the set releases on August 2nd, it won't be Standard legal until August 16th, the day after rotation happens. Over the next few weeks, I'll be on the lookout for decks that have potential to be good post-rotation, but in the meantime I'll continue bringing you current decks that look fun to play. If you create or find a deck you think I should spotlight, feel free to contact me with it and you might find yourself mentioned in a future article.

This week, I have a deck from that features the Tag Team of Muk & Alolan Muk-GX UNB 61. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck.

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Muk & Alolan Muk-GX UNB 61 allow you to win the game in a somewhat nontraditional manner. With its Severe Poison Ability, you'll be able to put 8 damage counters on your opponent's Active Pokemon between turns. If that's not enough damage to knock them out, the following turn you can use Poison Absorption to deal 120 damage while healing 100 damage from Muk & Alolan Muk-GX UNB 61. It's a great way to continue punishing your opponent's Pokemon while keeping yours alive.

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Malamar FLI 51 is the engine that keeps this deck running. Its Psychic Recharge Ability allows you to continually recycle any Psychic Energy 5 that has gone to your discard pile. Because of this ability, you can often choose to discard Psychic Energy 5 for cards that require you to discard cards, since you'll be able to get that Psychic Energy 5 back later easily. It's a great way to negate the drawback of needing to discard.

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Giratina LOT 97 is another card you don't mind placing into your discard pile, thanks to its Distortion Door Ability. With this Ability, you can pick off a wounded Pokemon that your opponent has retreated, or put damage on a potential future attacker that might allow you to knock it out easier. Giovanni's Exile UNB 174 is a nice way to be able to get multiple uses out of Giratina LOT 97's Distortion Door Ability without allowing your opponent to draw any of their Prize cards by knocking out Giratina LOT 97.

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Until she rotates from Standard, Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60 will likely see a lot of play as a way to search your deck for any Supporter card you might need when you play Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60 onto your Bench, due to her Wonder Tag Ability. She also has a great attack in Energy Drive that can potentially deal out a ton of damage for the low investment of one Double Colorless Energy SUM 136.

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Marshadow SLG 45 is another Pokemon that's likely to see a lot of play until it rotates. Its Let Loose Ability can be frustrating when used on an opponent that has been building up their hand with specific cards.

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All of these Pokemon are included in this deck specifically for their Abilities. Mr. Mime TEU 66 has the Scoop-Up Block Ability which stops your opponent from scooping-up any of their Pokemon with damage counters on them. Mew UNB 76 can protect your team with its Bench Barrier Ability, preventing any damage from being done to your Benched Pokemon. Mewtwo UNB 75 has the Mind Report Ability, which allows you to put a Supporter card from your discard pile onto the top of your deck when you play Mewtwo UNB 75 onto your Bench. Mewtwo UNB 75 also has a very potent attack, Psyshock, which can be used as well.

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Jirachi TEU 99 can use its Stellar Wish Ability turn after turn to find any Trainer you might need (as long as it's in the top five cards of your deck), as long as you have Escape Board UPR 122 attached to it. With Escape Board UPR 122, you'll be able to retreat for free even if Jirachi TEU 99 is asleep thanks to Stellar Wish.

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Mysterious Treasure FLI 113, Nest Ball SUM 123, and Ultra Ball SUM 135 are all great ways to find the Pokemon you need for any situation. I've already pointed out a few different things that are good to discard, so you can mitigate the negative effect and turn it into something that gives you an advantage.

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Both Cynthia UPR 119 and Lillie UPR 125 are great ways to allow you to draw additional cards. Either one is a good choice to find when you play Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60 onto your bench.

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Choice Band GRI 121 is a great card to play if your opponent is playing with any Pokemon-GX's. If you see they're not, you can always choose to discard it for those cards that require you to discard.

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Field Blower GRI 125 is another useful card some of the time. You might find yourself needing to remove key Item cards from your opponent's Pokemon, or you may need to get rid of their Stadium. If you find this card to be unnecessary, you can choose to discard this card when needed.

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Both Guzma BUS 115 and Switch CES 147 are here to set up attacks that favor your Pokemon while creating a disadvantage for your opponent. Because the advantage you can get is so useful in turning a game around to your favor, when Guzma BUS 115 rotates, he will be sorely missed.

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Rescue Stretcher GRI 130 is a great way to return a Tag Team Pokemon from your discard pile to your hand. It can also be used to get back an evolution you might need, provided that you have the other part of the evolution in your hand. It's rare that you'll use Rescue Stretcher GRI 130 to shuffle the Pokemon back into your deck, but the option is there in the even you need it.

As long as you have a damage counter on it, you can use Acerola BUS 112 to return that Pokemon to your hand (along with any cards attached to it). This is a great way to deny your opponent that opportunity to draw three Prize cards when they're about to knock out Muk & Alolan Muk-GX UNB 61. It's also a good way to return Giratina LOT 97 to your hand so you can discard it, as long as you're able to get a little damage onto it first.

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With Koga's Trap UNB 177 you can set up a situation where you're able to heal Muk & Alolan Muk-GX UNB 61 by enabling it to attack with its Poison Absorption attack right away. It's a nice trick, but very situational, which is why there's only one copy of this card in the deck.

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Viridian Forest TEU 156 allows you to pull the Psychic Energy 5 from your deck for the low cost of discarding a card from your hand. This can be a great way for you to get Giratina LOT 97 and Psychic Energy 5 into your discard pile easily.

Wrapping Up

While a handful of cards in this deck will rotate out of Standard next month, a lot of the deck remains. This deck has a lot of potential to replace those rotating cards, and possibly with better replacements. I feel pretty certain that Psychic decks will play a big role in the new Standard environment.

Thank you to the folks at for posting this decklist.

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 Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media.  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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