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Deck Building

How to build standard format decks for the Pokemon Trading Card Game

3 steps: Trainer Template, Add Pokemon, Test and fix

Step 1: Easy Import Trainer Template

Most the deck is done for you! Save a base trainer template  to copy for every new deck.

Basic trainer template for standard decks.

Basic trainer template for standard decks.

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 3

* 1 Oranguru SUM 113
* 2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 1 Acerola BUS 142
* 1 Evosoda GEN 62
* 4 N FCO 105
* 1 Super Rod NVI 95
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
* 1 Nest Ball SUM 158
* 1 Max Elixir BKP 102
* 3 Guzma BUS 143
* 1 Brigette BKT 161
* 2 Field Blower GRI 163
* 3 Parallel City BKT 145
* 3 Choice Band GRI 121
* 3 Float Stone BKT 137
* 2 Shauna XY 127

##Energy - 12

* 4 Double Colorless Energy GRI 166
* 8 Darkness Energy Energy 7

Total Cards - 49

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online ******


You will likely Change These Place Holders

Energies - Use correct type for your deck

Double Colorless Energy: Swap with REgular if your Pokemon can't use it

Parallel City - Remove completely or Switch to what suits your deck. 

Max Elixir - Less useful with evolved Pokemon or Double Colorless energy

Tapu Lele - If you less or no tapu lele, remove brigette (turn 1 only supporter), add more shauna and lillie

Shauna - Love or hate her, I get stuck less often with her in my deck

Key parts of Trainer Template

Draw Supporters: You need to play these cards every turn. They give you lots of cards to play

Cards: N, Sycamore, Shauna, Lillie

Recommended: 8-10 with Draw Support Pokemon, 15 for Pure Supporter Build

Draw Supporters.jpg

Draw Support Pokemon: Bonus Draw / Supporter Replacement

Cards: coconut master, banana master, Sushi Master

Tapu Lele: Ultra ball becomes any Supporter You want

Oranguru: Ultra BAll grants extra draw throughout match. 1hko gx Immune Cards

       Sushi Master: Ultra ball grants Massive card pulls each turn

Recommended: 2-3

draw pokemon.jpg

Energy Cards: Your Pokemon Energies need to attack. and special Motivation

Recommended: 12 Energy Cards average, 4-8 for unique low energy attackers, 14 for heavy energy decks (Volcanion and Volcanion EX, Xerneas Break)

Energy Cards

Energy Bonus: Your Pokemon need to Attack quickly

Key: Double Colorless Energy, Max Elixir

Recommended: varies with deck, 4 Usually

Example: 4 Double Colorless Energies or 4 Max Elixirs 

Others: Many extra methods exist: Sogaleo GX, Lurantis GX, Volcanion, vikavolt, Monster energy drinks

Energy Bonus Trainers

Utility Trainers: Game Changing Effects You need such as:

Finishing Bench Pokemon

Setting up Bench 

Denying Prize cards

Key: 3 Guzma, 1-2 Field Blowers

Recommended: See above

Others: Professor Kukui, kiawe, Justin Bieber

utility supporters.jpg

(crucial) Deck tHinner - Pokeballs: 

      Drastically affects setup speed

Get the right Pokemon in play

enhance deck flow by thinning deck

Key: Ultra Ball, Nest Ball, Timer Ball, Evo Soda, Bowling Ball 

Recommended: 4-6


Retreat: Be able to switch Pokemon when needed

Deny opponent prize cards

Switch a big Pokemon into battle

Counter status effects

Cards: Switch, Float, guzma, and Escape Rope

Recommended: 3+ Cards

Others: Manaphy, Fairy Garden, Zoroark, Sogaleo GX, armed Get away minivan


Stadium: Powerful Constant bonus

stadiums are game changing, you cannot allow your opponent to maintain one

Cards: field blower (removes it), brooklet hill, Apca, Altar of moone and sunne 

Recommended: 2-4 Cards

Others: po town, scorched earth, fairy garden, reverse valley, Shrine of Evil Honey Bees


combat Pokemon Tools: Greatly Enhances pokemon

Beef up your Pokemon with powerful effects

Cards: Choice Band, Fight Fury Belt, Body Building Dumb bells, Bursting Balloon, Poison Barb, Exp Share, Float STone

Recommended: 2-4 Cards

Others: Weakness Policy,  Jedi Master light sabers


RECYCLE Trainers: Recover cards from the discard for longer games

You need your energies and pokemon back after they are knocked out

Cards: Super Rod, Rescue Stretcher

Recommended: 1-2 Cards

Others: Special Charge

recycle trainers

(expanded) Extra deck thinners: Greatly Improve Card flow

Got Extra space? These Will thin your deck to home into your best cards. Most were rotated recently

Cards: Trainer Mail, acro Bike, Unown, shipping box bubble wrap

Recommended: 4+

deck thinners

Extra Disruption: Slow down your enemies

Got Extra space? These cheesy trainers that may hinder your opponent

Cards: Enhanced Hammer, Crushing Hammers, Team flare Grunt, screeching air horn

Recommended: 0-4

Others: Garbodor, Slowking, Team Skull Grunt, Delinquent, awkward random hugs




Step 2: Add two core Pokemon Lines

You need TWO core line of Pokemon that compliment each other. They should share the same energy type. The pair should be fast basic / stage 1 and whatever you like.

Core 1: Speed Pokemon

immediate Value. Start the game strong!

Recommended: 1-3 Line

core pokemon.jpg


Drampa gx 1 hit ko with choice Band, po town, and evolution line

alolan raticate Cost no energy, but can deal meaningful damage with choice band

Alolan Vulpix free double master ball

Core 2: A Complimenting Line

Slower, better Pokemon, Helpful abilities, balance weakness, etc

Recommended: 2-4 Line

core 2 pokemon.jpg


Garbodor's Trashalanche is weak early, but grow stronger as the game goes on

Decidueye gx grants free bonus damage, a tough fighter, and Juices its partners damage

Metagross GX is a tough late game than can abuse max potion and "free" retreat with multiple geotech system abilities

step 3: Test your deck

Losing: what card did you need in your hand?

Success: you might have an awesome deck!

test your deck

Keep track of what you need

Improve your deck by adjusting 

You have no cards to play in your hand? 

Without any tapu lele, oranuguru, or Octillery, about 15 draw supports is NECESSARy for deck flow (4 sycamore, 4 n, 4 shauna, 3 lillie)

You have the wrong cards to play in your hand? 

You have Too Much of Something. Replace it with what your are missing.

Your setup too slow? 

Add deck Thinners, Item Trainers that Represent Cards You want. Try an extra Nest Ball and evosoda instead of extra Pokemon or energy loto for DCE

Not enough damage?

you need to at least 2 hit ko gx Pokemon90 for most basic gx, 110 for most stage 1 gx, 130 for most stage 2 gx

Most competitive decks can 1 hit ko basic and stage 1 gx pokemon with 180-210 damage attacks

add damage Poke Tool (Choice Band)

Try Spread Damage (Tapu koko Promo and necrozma gx)

Pokemon That Increase Damage (Lurantis Promo, Decidueye GX, Empoleon, Salazzle)

All Guzma in the back of your deck when you really really need it?

You need more Swag.


Good luck and have fun!