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Searching Standard: Zero Energy Caturday Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. When I first came back to playing the Pokemon TCG, I tried to find as much information online as I could to bring me up to speed. It was during this time that I stumbled across It's Super Effective, a weekly Pokemon podcast (found here: pkmncast.com). The podcast hosts, Steve, Greg, and Will, all have a great rapport with each other, and listening to them really made me want to play the Pokemon video games again. Via this podcast, I learned that Steve also streams Pokemon video game content on Twitch (twitch.tv/pkmncast), so I decided to check it out. Recently, Steve has been streaming the Pokemon TCG Online (PTCGO). The deck I'm going to share with you today is a deck Steve has been playing on Twitch that he also posted on the subreddit for the podcast (reddit.com/r/supereffective). Let's get started.

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This deck has zero Energy in it, so you'll want to get a copy of Persian UNB 148 into play as quickly as possible. Once you do, Persian UNB 148's Gathering of Cats Ability will allow the majority of your Pokemon to use any of their attacks for free. Persian UNB 148 itself doesn't have the Caturday attack, so it will never be able to attack, but it does have a free Retreat Cost, so keep that in mind for those times you find Persian UNB 148 as your Active Pokemon.

While Persian UNB 148 may not have Caturday as an attack, its predecessor, Meowth UNB 147, does. Even though Meowth UNB 147's Tail Whap attack only does 30 damage, there are times where that will be enough. As you'll soon see, that minimal 30 damage has a way to quickly turn into more damage, especially if you are able to get the damaged Pokemon onto your opponent's Bench.

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Both Espurr UNB 79 and Meowstic UNB 80 are very important Pokemon in this deck. If you're able to get a Pokemon that has any damage on it onto your opponent's Bench, it's quite possible that Espurr UNB 79 will be your best choice as your Active Pokemon. With its Ear Kinesis attack, Espurr UNB 79 can triple the amount of damage on one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon. If possible, the best use of this is to attack an opponent's Pokemon-GX (preferably a Tag Team Pokemon, if possible, for maximum effect) that has some amount of damage on it thanks to a previous attack or from a Spell Tag LOT 190.

Meowstic UNB 80 is the Pokemon you need if you want to deal the most damage possible to your opponent's Active Pokemon. With Meowstic UNB 80's Perplexing Eyes attack, you'll deal 70 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon and turn their Weakness to Psychic Type Pokemon. As long as Meowstic UNB 80 is able to withstand any attack back that your opponent might make, that sets up an attack the following turn that will deal 140 damage. That amount of damage should be enough to knock out any non-Pokemon-GX your opponent might have. If you're attacking a Pokemon-GX, you might have to settle for dealing out a bit of damage that you can capitalize on in later turns with an attack from Espurr UNB 79. Because of this, you might not to immediately evolve Espurr UNB 79 into Meowstic UNB 80 as soon as you get the chance, because they both serve different roles in this deck.

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Litten UNB 27 is another great attacker in this deck, being able to dish out 60 damage with its Big Bite attack. Using this attack also means your opponent can't retreat during your opponent's next turn. Keep in mind that they can still switch their Active Pokemon with one from their Bench through the use of Trainer cards or other methods that aren't specifically retreating.

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Glameow UNB 159 serves only one purpose in this deck. With it's Boing Boing Tail attack, you can deal 60 damage to any of your opponent's Pokemon-GX, regardless of whether they are the Active Pokemon or on the Bench. When used in conjunction with Espurr UNB 79's Ear Kinesis attack, you'll be able to take out the biggest Pokemon-GX around. Keep in mind that Glameow UNB 159 can't damage any non-Pokemon-GX, so if you know your opponent isn't playing any Pokemon-GX, you can discard Glameow UNB 159 to pay the cost of other cards in the deck that will allow you to get a different Pokemon.

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Thanks to Ditto Prism Star LOT 154's Almighty Evolution Ability, it can evolve into Persian UNB 148 or Meowstic UNB 80. This can be important because you rarely want more than one Persian UNB 148 in play at any time, but you might need both a Meowstic UNB 80 and an Espurr UNB 79. By evolving your Ditto Prism Star LOT 154 into Persian UNB 148, you're able to keep Meowth UNB 147 around as a potential attacker.

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Thanks to Oranguru SUM 113's Instruct Ability, you have the means to keep new cards flowing into your hand each turn. You usually won't want to put more than one Oranguru SUM 113 into play at any given time, since Oranguru SUM 113 won't ever be able to attack. If it does happen to get switched with your Active Pokemon, just sit back and enjoy the time you have to build up the rest of your team and try to utilize Instruct whenever possible. You just might find a card that will allow you to switch Oranguru SUM 113 with a Pokemon from your Bench and get back to attacking.

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While Spell Tag LOT 190 is only beneficial if it is attached to a Psychic Type Pokemon that gets knocked out, you'll find times that it's useful to attach this to your Ditto Prism Star LOT 154. After all, while Ditto Prism Star LOT 154 is a colorless Pokemon, it has the capability to evolve into Meowstic UNB 80, which is a Psychic Type. Attaching Spell Tag LOT 190 to your Ditto Prism Star LOT 154 allows you to have fewer cards in your hand for Oranguru SUM 113's Instruct Ability to be used.

Spell Tag LOT 190 is also very important to help set up favorable attacks by Espurr UNB 79 that will knock out an opponent's Benched Pokemon. Since every damage counter will be multiplied by three when you use Ear Kinesis, putting four damage counters on an opponent's Benched Pokemon can equate to 120 damage after just one attack, assuming the Benched Pokemon was otherwise undamaged.

You can choose to spread out the damage or to pile all of the damage from Spell Tag LOT 190 onto a single Pokemon. Spell Tag LOT 190 is one of the cards that really make or break this deck and requires you to plan ahead. It's probably the most mentally demanding card in this deck, which also makes it very powerful.

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Pokemon Communication TEU 152, Nest Ball SUM 123, and Ultra Ball SLG 68 are various ways to ensure you can get the Pokemon you need into play when you need them. Keep in mind that Nest Ball SUM 123 can only find a Basic Pokemon and will put it directly onto your Bench, while Pokemon Communication TEU 152 and Ultra Ball SLG 68 can find both Basic and Evolution Pokemon, which will go to your hand.

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It should come as no surprise that this deck is playing both Cynthia UPR 119 and Lillie UPR 125. Both are top-of-the-line cards that allow you to draw additional cards and both see a lot of play in Standard.

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Acro Bike CES 123 is a great way to draw additional cards without needing to rely on a Supporter card. With it, you will see two cards and you get to keep whichever one is best suited for your needs at the time.

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Judge FLI 108 is a great way to mess up your opponent's plans after they've searched their deck for specific cards to use on their next turn. It's also a useful way for you to shuffle a less-than-stellar hand back into your deck for an all-new hand of four cards. Judge Whistle TEU 146 is a great Item to play to allow you to draw one additional card, but its best use is to allow you to use Judge FLI 108 repeatedly by bringing it back to your hand from your discard pile. Be careful when playing Judge FLI 108 though, as you could end up giving your opponent a better hand than they already had.

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Both Guzma BUS 115 and Escape Rope BUS 114 are important ways for you to get an opponent's damaged Pokemon onto their Bench so you can maximize the effectiveness of Espurr UNB 79's Ear Kinesis attack. Both can also help you "retreat" an Oranguru SUM 113 or Glameow UNB 159 that has become your Active Pokemon and is unable to attack. When using either of these cards, the correct play will often be to make Persian UNB 148 your Active Pokemon. With its free Retreat Cost, you can retreat it just prior to your attack so that you'll always be attacking most effectively (or in this case, Super Effective-ly?).

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Once your opponent figures out what this deck is up to, they might begin targeting your Persian UNB 148. Thanks to Rescue Stretcher GRI 130, you have a way to bring it back to your hand once it's knocked out, so you can play it again and keep attacking your opponent. You can also use it to return a KO'd Espurr UNB 79, especially if it had a Spell Tag LOT 190 attached to it when it was knocked out. Field Blower GRI 125 is just a general all-purpose card that can help get rid of an annoying Stadium your opponent has in play or Items they have attached. If neither of these situations apply, feel free to discard this to play Ultra Ball SLG 68.

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Shrine of Punishment CES 143 is a great card to play against most decks. Since the most powerful Pokemon in Standard are Pokemon-GX (especially Tag Teams), Shrine of Punishment CES 143 is generally good to play at any point of the game. It really helps get a few damage counters on your opponent's Pokemon-GX that you can later take advantage of with Espurr UNB 79's Ear Kinesis attack. Plus, there are no Pokemon-GX in this deck, so Shrine of Punishment CES 143 will have no effect on your team.

Wrapping Up

If you're a fan of cats, or just enjoy playing decks that win by using unusual methods, you'll want to give this deck a try. I've been playing it on PTCGO (the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online) and have been having a blast. And, it's not just a fun deck. It's a good deck too. My record is 9W-1L with it and I've beaten some heavy-hitting Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20 decks as well as decks featuring Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX UNB 130. If you try this deck out, let me know how you do.

Thank you to Steve from the It's Super Effective podcast for posting this decklist. If you're a fan of Pokemon, you'll want to check out his podcast and Twitch stream, and if you like them, tell him Mike sent you.

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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