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Searching Standard: Pikachu & Zekrom-GX / Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. Ever since rotation happened earlier this Summer, I've had to expand my searches to find exciting decks to bring you each week. Since the Japanese format did not rotate out the beginning sets from the Sun & Moon series, they are still allowed to play with format-defining cards such as Guzma BUS 115. While I could share their decks to use as inspiration, I'd rather present you with fully finished decks instead. This week, I found a great looking deck posted to the Virbank City Facebook group that we'll be taking a look at. Let's get started by taking a look at the decklist.

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With Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33's Full Blitz attack, you're able to deal 150 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon while also powering up your Tag Bolt-GX attack for use on the following turn. Tag Bolt-GX has the potential to be able to knock out two of your opponent's Pokemon in one shot, which is a great way to be able to take multiple Prize cards. After you've used your GX attack for the game, you can go back to attacking with Full Blitz to continue powering up the rest of your team.

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Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54 acts as a great secondary attacker, being able to deal out a potential 160 damage and Paralyzing your opponent's Active Pokemon with its Tandem Shock attack. As you'll soon see, Lightning-Type decks have an amazing way to be able to switch their Active and Benched Pokemon very easily, which helps Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54 deal out extra damage with each Tandem Shock attack.

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Zapdos TEU 40 is another Pokemon that really shines when you're able to swap it from your Bench to become your Active Pokemon. When that happens, Thunderous Assault deals 80 damage that isn't affected by Weakness to your opponent's Active Pokemon. Plus, it only requires a single Lightning Energy 4 to use.

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Remember earlier when I mentioned the amazing way Lightning-Type decks could easily switch their Active Pokemon with one from their Bench? Zeraora-GX LOT 86 is the key to this. Zeraora-GX LOT 86's Thunderclap Zone Ability allows any of your Pokemon with a Lightning Energy 4 attached to it to retreat for free. This Ability is the main reason for the inclusion of Zeraora-GX LOT 86, but you can use its Plasma Fists attack as well to deal 160 damage every other turn. Not too shabby.

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The Dance of the Ancients Ability of Tapu Koko Prism Star TEU 51 allows you begin powering up your Pokemon by putting Tapu Koko Prism Star TEU 51 into your Lost Zone. You won't want to put the Energy needed to use Mach Bolt on it unless you have no other options, though, unless you have a way to move the Energy from it before using its Ability.

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While Mew UNB 76 could potentially use its Psypower attack to pick off wounded Pokemon that your opponent has retreated to their Bench, the main reason for its inclusion is the Bench Barrier Ability. This allows all of your Benched Pokemon to be able to avoid taking any damage from your opponent's attacks.

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Tapu Fini UNM 53 serves a single purpose in this deck. It acts as a great attacker against decks using Ultra Beasts. Nature Wave can be used for a single colorless Energy if your opponent has any Ultra Beasts in play. By attaching a single Lightning Energy 4 to Tapu Fini UNM 53, you can then deal 100 damage with each attack. Make sure not to knock out the last Ultra Beast your opponent has in play in order to keep the damage flowing.

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While Dedenne-GX UNB 57 is a Lightning-Type Pokemon and can easily use its Static Shock attack, the main reason it's in this deck is for the use of its Dedecharge Ability. This Ability allows you to discard your hand and draw six new cards when you play Dedenne-GX UNB 57 from your hand to your Bench. If you can time this just right, Dedenne-GX UNB 57 will be the last card in your hand when you play it, and you'll simply be able to draw six additional cards. That amount of card advantage can really go a long way towards winning a game.

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With Jirachi TEU 99's Stellar Wish Ability, you'll be able to find the Trainer cards you need as you need them. A single copy of Escape Board UPR 122 is included in this deck so that you'll be able to retreat Jirachi TEU 99 for free after it falls asleep after searching for your Trainer.

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Between the Dedecharge Ability of Dedenne-GX UNB 57 and the card-drawing ability of Lillie UPR 125, you shouldn't have much trouble finding the cards you need when you want them. The next batch of cards helps with this as well.

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Volkner UPR 135 helps you find an Item card and a Lightning Energy 4 when you play him. This deck has a lot of good Items to choose from, so choose the one that helps you the most when you play Volkner UPR 135. Cherish Ball UNM 191 helps you find a copy of Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33 if you need it, or the single copy of Zeraora-GX LOT 86 in the deck that allows your team free retreating. Much like Cherish Ball UNM 191, Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169 can find two of your Lightning-Type Pokemon-GX, but does so with the cost of needing to discard two other cards.

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Pokemon Communication TEU 152 helps you get the Pokemon you need if you happen to draw the wrong ones after drawing your starting hand or when using card drawing cards like Lillie UPR 125. Trade in the less useful Pokemon for one that serves an immediate need.

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All of these cards are ways to allow you to get an edge over your opponent in combat. Switch CES 147 and Custom Catcher LOT 171 both allow you to set up favorable attacks. Electropower LOT 172 allows you to deal an extra 30 damage. Use all of these cards to help set up easy knock outs when possible.

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With both Energy Switch CES 129 and Tag Switch UNM 209, you'll be able to move Energy from one Pokemon to another. This can be especially useful if the Pokemon you're moving the Energy from is sure to be knocked out on your opponent's turn. By transferring the Energy from it to another Pokemon, you're able to maintain your momentum and won't fall behind as easily.

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Reset Stamp UNM 206 is the ultimate catch-up card. If you fall way behind on Prize cards, play Reset Stamp UNM 206 to force your opponent to slow their game down. Causing an opponent to shuffle their current hand back in and draw a new hand of cards equal to the number of Prize cards they have remaining resets their plans and makes them hope to draw cards that allow them to draw into the threats they need to finish you off. You can usually get a few turns where they aren't able to finish you off, which can often allow you enough time to turn the game around in your favor.

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With Stadium Nav UNM 208, you have a way to find one or both of the Stadium cards in this deck. Most commonly, you'll want to find Thunder Mountain Prism Star LOT 191, as this Stadium helps advance your game plan by making the majority of your attacks cost less Energy to use. There are times, however, when you'll want to get Power Plant UNB 183 instead. This Stadium will negate all Abilities of both players' Pokemon-GX. Since you rely on the Abilities of both Dedenne-GX UNB 57 and Zeraora-GX LOT 86, playing Power Plant UNB 183 will make it harder for you to win. Sometimes, though, you'll need to do this in order to shut down your opponent's deck.

Wrapping Up

This deck looks to be both fun to play and pretty consistent. It has some very specific choices to counter other strategies, so it's a good deck that shows newer players how to properly include these counters without diluting your own plan. Plus, if you're a fan of electric mice, this is the deck for you.

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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