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Searching Standard: Xatu / Garbodor Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. This week I have for you a deck featuring Xatu CEC 79 that was recently played on YouTube by Frosted Caribou. This deck relies on winning coin flips and poison damage to dish out some Knock Outs. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck.

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Xatu CEC 79 will be the main attacker in this deck. By using its Life Drain attack, as long as you win a coin flip, you'll be able to reduce your opponent's Active Pokemon's HP to a mere 10. It doesn't matter if your opponent's Active Pokemon has 30 HP or 300 HP, this attack always reduces them to 10 HP. The key is winning the coin flip. We'll talk more about this below when discussing the Trainer cards.

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So you've managed to win the coin flip with Xatu CEC 79's Life Drain attack, but what now? The easiest way to guarantee a Knock Out is by Poisoning your opponent's Active Pokemon. You can do this easily with Garbodor RCL 118's Poisonous Puddle Ability. With this Ability, you can make your opponent's Active Pokemon Poisoned automatically as long as there is a Stadium in play. It doesn't matter if it's a Stadium you've put into play or one your opponent has played, as long as there's a Stadium in play, your opponent's Active Pokemon will become Poisoned when you activate this Ability. For best results, you'll want to activate this Ability prior to attacking with Xatu CEC 79's Life Drain attack, which will ensure that you Knock Out your opponent's Active Pokemon with a single attack.

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In the event that you're not able to finish off the last remaining 10 HP after attacking with Xatu CEC 79's Life Drain attack, you can finish that Pokemon off with Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117's Headbutt Tantrum Ability on a future turn. You'll typically only be able to do this once, so try to make sure you Knock Out a Pokemon that will give you multiple Prize cards, if possible.

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Zacian V SSH 138 has one purpose in this deck and one purpose only. That purpose is to allow you to draw additional cards with its Intrepid Sword Ability. By using this Ability, you'll be able to stall things a bit, giving you the opportunity to draw into the cards you need. You'll never be able to attack with Zacian V SSH 138 since you can't meet the Energy requirements, and it typically won't be worth attaching Energy to it so you can retreat, so be prepared to lose two Prize cards by making Zacian V SSH 138 your Active Pokemon.

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As I mentioned earlier, there are Trainer cards in this deck that will allow you a little more control over the results of your coin flips. The most important of these is Glimwood Tangle DAA 162. By putting a copy of Glimwood Tangle DAA 162 into play, you'll be able to ignore the result of a failed coin flip and flip the coin again. You go from having a 1-in-2 chance of winning the flip to having a 3-in-4 chance. It also is a Stadium card, so you'll be able to use Garbodor RCL 118's Poisonous Puddle Ability to finish off your opponent's Active Pokemon between turns. With Will CEC 208, there's not even a need to flip, since he allows you to choose the results of your next coin flip this turn. Finally, while Koga's Trap HIF 59 doesn't help you directly with your coin flip, it can help you get the KO by making your opponent's Active Pokemon both Confused and Poisoned. If you don't have a Garbodor RCL 118 in play, Koga's Trap HIF 59 can be the next best thing.

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This next batch of cards all help you find the Pokemon you need as you need them. Keep in mind that Quick Ball SSH 179 can only help you find a Basic Pokemon and Evolution Incense SSH 163 can only help you find an Evolution Pokemon. On the other hand, with Pokemon Communication TEU 152, you'll be able to find any Pokemon you need, but you'll need to have another Pokemon in hand to trade for it.

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As with every good Pokemon deck, you'll want ways of drawing extra cards to ensure you have the tools you need throughout the game. Both Marnie CPA 56 and Professor's Research CPA 62 help you draw additional cards, each in its own way. It will often be better to use Marnie CPA 56 since you won't have to discard your hand like you need to do with Professor's Research CPA 62, but if you've already played all of the other cards in your hand and would need to discard nothing, Professor's Research CPA 62 can be mighty helpful.

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Both Switch SSH 183 and Boss's Orders RCL 154 do similar things. They both allow you to take a player's Active Pokemon and switch it with one from their Bench. The difference is that Switch SSH 183 affects your team of Pokemon, and Boss's Orders RCL 154 affects your opponent's team. Use Switch SSH 183 to keep one of your Pokemon from getting Knocked Out, and use Boss's Orders RCL 154 to help set up an easy KO of one of your opponent's Pokemon (preferably one that will give you multiple Prize cards).

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The final batch of cards are all-purpose cards for this deck. Since there are quite a few Supporter cards in this deck, Pokegear 3.0 SSH 174 can help you find the one you need easier than you could by drawing it naturally. Use Lucky Egg SSH 167 as a way of gaining an advantage when one of your Pokemon is Knocked Out. Finally, with Ordinary Rod SSH 171, you have a way of returning Knocked Out Pokemon to your deck, which can be especially helpful if both copies of Garbodor RCL 118 are Knocked Out.

Wrapping Up

If you're not afraid of playing a deck that has a chance of randomness to it, you should give this deck a shot. It's a lot of fun to play, and while the randomness of coin flips is there, the risk is mitigated in a few different ways.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, check out my other column, Flash Forward, where we take a look at decks using cards from upcoming releases.

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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