Introduction

Hey guys! Chris Taporco here, back again with another article. This time around I take it easy on the puns and tackle a deck that has interested me since Wobbuffet became splashed in nearly every deck: Primal Groudon. I’ve normally stayed away from this deck because I always felt like it was too slow, but I felt drawn to it since I really wanted to run something with a heavy Wobbuffet line, while also be able to take OHKOs on most Pokémon in the meta (this deck offered both of those things 🙂 ). And so, with Russ’ assistance, I began my journey to awaken a dormant deck in Standard and erupt on to the scene with Primal Groudon.

Table of Contents

I.The Basic Strategy
II.The Decklist
III.Other Cards Considered
IV.Matchups
V.Conclusion

The Basic Strategy

The first rule of Primal Groudon is to start Wobbuffet. The second rule of Primal Groudon is to always start Wobbuffet. Yes, starting Wobbuffet is extremely crucial to our success. If we don’t start it, then we must hope that we don’t get turn one item locked so that we can find a way to search out a Wobbuffet and retreat the active Groudon EX. However, once we do put Wobbuffet into the active position, we will be able to start setting up our first Primal Groudon.

There is always a feeling of nervousness when I bench my first Groudon EX. With such heavy retreat, I feel extremely vulnerable benching it and I just pray that the opponent doesn’t have a Lysandre before I’m able to Mega Evolve; however, once I Mega Evolve Omega Barrier keeps me protected from almost all forms of energy denial in Trainer form. Overall, your first turn should consist of an energy attachment on to Groudon EX, followed by a hard pass. There’s not much else you need to do here until you build up enough energy to start attacking with Primal Groudon. Your second turn will ideally consist of another energy attachment, followed by a form of energy denial, then a Mega Evolution that will end your turn. From here you simply wait for a Lysandre, or Escape Rope plus a Stadium, and try to attack around your opponent’s single prize Pokémon.

Sounds simple right? Well it definitely can be, but some turns can get really tricky when we need to progress our board state further while hindering our opponent’s. Since we don’t run any links, we’re a tied down by the fact that our turn will end once we Mega Evolve. So the ultimate question comes down to when do I start making my second Primal Groudon? This will involve determining game state and progression of our opponent’s board. We need to be able to identify OHKO threats on their side of the board and choose carefully when to go on the offensive. For now I want to go over one of my favorite times to start building a second Primal Groudon:

I like to wait until I’m about to take a KO with the first Primal Groudon I built. I have identified a position where I know my opponent can’t take a KO on my Primal Groudon so I decide it’s time to go on the offensive. I proceed to attach a Float Stone to it after promoting, then ideally Mega turbo a forth energy onto it. I then bench another Groudon EX and manually attach an energy and end my turn by taking a KO on opponent’s Pokémon. Primal Groudon then takes a hit and I follow up by retreating back into a Wobbuffet, attaching an energy to Groudon EX, then Mega Evolving into Primal Groudon. I know this scenario sounds extremely ideal, but it will happen more often that you think. Since they can’t Lysandre up your already damaged Primal Groudon, you have effectively set yourself up to easily take two more KOs to win the game.


The Decklist

Primal Groudon

Pokemon (10)

  • 4 Wobbuffet PHF
  • 3 Groudon EX
  • 3 Primal Groudon EX

Trainers (39)

  • 3 N
  • 3 Professor Sycamore
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 1 Team Flare Grunt
  • 1 Olympia
  • 1 Skyla
  • 1 Hex Maniac
  • 1 Professor Kukui
  • 2 Mega Turbo
  • 3 VS Seeker
  • 3 Nest Ball
  • 3 Trainers’ Mail
  • 2 Ultra Ball
  • 2 Float Stone
  • 1 Heavy Ball
  • 1 Enhanced Hammer
  • 1 Assault Vest
  • 2 Lucky Helmet
  • 2 Escape Rope
  • 2 Scorched Earth
  • 2 Shrine of Memories
  • 1 Parallel City

Energy (10)

  • 6 Fighting Energy
  • 4 Strong Energy

4 Wobbuffet

This deck might as well be called Quad Wobb, since it is basically what makes this deck function. It’s amazing in the current format where Decidueye Vileplume has a strong presence. Without Wobbuffet, we stand no chance of playing at the pace we need to play at to win the game. Wobbuffet shuts down our opponent’s Shaymin EX, which can effectively mitigate the advantage of them going first. This means that we can play at the pace we want to and take our time in building up one or two Primal Groudon. Overall, this card ensures that our opponent will more than likely have to play the seven prize game, all while slowing them down in the process.

3 Groudon EX, 3 Primal Groudon EX

The main attackers of the deck. Most people already know Primal Groudon’s attack, Gaia Volcano, will KO many Pokémon with a Stadium in play, so I want use this section to discuss Groudon EX’s attacks that will prove extremely useful throughout a tournament. There will be turns where we miss Primal Groudon and we’ll need to find a way to slow down our opponent outside of Wobbuffet. Rip Claw is the perfect answer for this; for two Energy we will deal 30 damage to your opponent’s Pokémon with the possibility of discarding an energy, depending on a coin flip. Utilizing this attack properly can slow down the likes of Giratina and Decidueye by taking the energy they need to lock you out of Stadiums or KO your Pokémon. This attack pairs extremely well with our Team Flare Grunts and Enhanced Hammer, and will allow us to potentially shift the tide of victory to our favor. We also need to take a look at Massive Rend; for four Energy, we are able to smack our opponent for 130 damage. Sure it’s a hefty attack cost, but there are times where it may be our only out against a Giratina or that one off Glaceon EX that we may randomly run into. With that said, we need to be mindful of these attacks to take full advantage of this decks potential. As easy as it is to be blinded by Gaia Volcano, we must remain vigilant in utilizing our other attacks when the situation calls for it.

3 N, 3 Professor Sycamore

This count will seem odd to a lot of people because we’ve been shaped by format after format of running decks that have three to four Professor Sycamore in them; however, this deck needs to conserve its resources to use in a timely manner, so N becomes the card of choice here. Although I still prefer Professor Sycamore, I found that during testing, I would always keep trying to dig for N and would just hold Professor Sycamore in my hand because I didn’t want to discard Strong Energy or Stadiums. Ultimately, this count will be amazing at the early stages of the game while setting up; however, we run the risk of having a weaker late game if we can’t find a Professor Sycamore after we take our first KO.

*Updated Explanation*

I still love the concept of running four N in order to conserve resources; however, I much prefer having a stronger later game and Professor Sycamore does just that. I found that if I get a good start and load up a Primal Groudon early and start taking prizes, N became a detriment to my mid and late game. Although this doesn’t happen extremely often, I didn’t like the thought of throwing away an advantageous start because I completely focused on the slow game.

1 Team Flare Grunt, 0 Team Skull Grunt, 1 Enhanced Hammer

If we’re going to play at a slow pace, we need to be able to slow our opponent down. Additionally these cards aid us in managing our opponent’s Double Dragon Energy and Double Colorless Energy to mitigate Giratina locks, Razor Leaf, and Hollow Hunt GX. It lets us capitalize on turns where we plan to Mega Evolve; we simply Team Flare Grunt away an energy, attach one of our own, then Mega Evolve into a Primal Groudon.

*Updated Explanation*

As much as I loved running two Team Flare Grunt, I slowly realized that one was more than enough in combination with Enhanced Hammer. I much prefer the added consistency from Lucky Helmet and Professor Kukui over running the second Team Flare Grunt. As for Team Skull Grunt, it proved mostly useless in a lot of the matchups I played against. I would have to get extremely lucky for this card to provide any benefit to me and quickly cut it soon after writing this article.

3 VS Seeker

Yes, that count is correct, and it isn’t a typo. This count was inspired by Dylan’s Vespiquen List and is being utilized here out of necessity of tech cards. There isn’t much more to it than that. It’s unorthodox, but it will prove to be extremely useful when you utilize that second Team Flare Grunt or dig for the fifth stadium for a KO.

3 Nest Ball, 2 Ultra Ball, 1 Heavy Ball

I had originally liked four Nest Ball and two Heavy Ball in this deck, but after a lot of testing, I realized that without any Ultra Balls there was no way to get rid of dead cards for particular matchups before I played an N for the turn. I then came to the conclusion that lead to this count, because I want to accomplish minimal deck thinning and Mega Turbo assistance while still being able to conserve resources if possible.

2 Mega Turbo

This card can arguably be omitted from the deck for some people. Those decks have decided that they’ll run a heavier line of disruption Stadiums such as Silent Lab or Parallel City. Since I wanted to run Scorched Earth for added consistency, I opted to run Mega Turbos to ensure I can reuse the energy I discarded as well as set up a Primal Groudon faster than my opponent was expecting. Additionally, this card aids in helping set up a another Primal Groudon my allowing me to attach an energy for the turn to a benched Groudon EX while still being able to load up a ready-to-go Primal Groudon.

*Updated Explanation*

I needed to find room for the likes of Lucky Helmet and Professor Kukui and I realized I didn’t need such a heavy count of Mega Turbo. Although it would be nice to run three, two copies is more than enough to get us a win.

2 Float Stone, 2 Escape Rope, 1 Olympia

With heavy retreat costs, we’ll need several ways of switching. Although I would prefer to run three copies of Float Stone, there simply isn’t any more room to fit it. I opted for an Escape Rope here so that we have the ability to play around a baby Yveltal or Volcanion without having to use a Lysandre for the turn. As for Olympia, it’s always nice to have a form of retreat that we can utilize multiple times in a game via VS Seeker, and it’s also nice to heal 30 damage from a damaged Primal Groudon.

*Updated Explanation*

At first, I didn’t realize how amazing escape was in this deck; however, the more I played against Turbo Darkrai and Volcanion, the more apparent how necessary this card became thus warranting its second copy in this build. Additionally, since we added two Lucky Helmet to this build, running three float stones becomes less logical so we need to replace it with another form of Retreat.

1 Assault Vest

Assault Vest makes numbers extremely difficult for the likes of M Rayquaza, Giratina EX, Yveltal EX, and Decidueye GX to hit. It will make sure that we can consistently score two KOs against our opponent with a single Primal Groudon. I would love to run two, but there are other decks in the format that don’t run any Special Energy and this would ultimately end up as a dead card in those match ups. I’m perfectly fine with a 1-1 split between this and Enhanced Hammer to deal with decks that rely on Special Energy.

2 Scorched Earth, 2 Shrine of Memories, 1 Parallel City

I know a total of five Stadiums seems like a lot, however, our main source of damage output relies on us having a Stadium in play in order to take OHKOs. Additionally, we need to account for when we need to discard a Stadium via Professor Sycamore and also when our opponent replaces a Stadium we opted to play down before a KO is taken.

The reason I’ve opted for a heavy count of Scorched Earth is because I wanted to add additional consistency to this deck. In expanded, we have the luxury of Tropical Beach and Korrina, but since we don’t have those cards in standard, I’ve opted to run a heavier line of a Stadium that will help me both draw cards and set up my Mega Turbos. The 1-1 split between Silent Lab and Parallel City are here to help address Giratina EX and M Rayquaza respectively. Silent Lab allows us to essentially “Lysandre and Hex in the same turn” and shut off Giratina EX’s ability so that we can take a KO on it. Parallel City will force our opponent to have produce five additional Pokémon to try and score a KO against our Primal Groudon once we go on the offensive. This Stadium paired with an Assault Vest will give us a fighting chance in this matchup.

*Updated Explanation*

The obvious change to this stadium line up is the addition of Shrine of Memories. The inclusion of this card is due to the strong presence of Turbo Darkrai and its spawn, Darkrai Dragons. Shrine gives us the ability to KO lower HP Pokémon without discarding our Stadium. This becomes valuable against the likes of Giratina EX because we can KO a Darkrai EX without discarding a Stadium which allows us to play around the Stadium lock of Giratina EX. This means that we are now free to play Hex Maniac and take an instant KO against it. This strategy has proven to work across the board better than Silent Lab because of the option it gives us to save our Stadiums. Overall, Shrine of Memories is a great addition, but I’m still iffy on including two since I would much rather have a second Parallel City since it is great against Mega Rayquaza and Turbo Darkrai.

2 Lucky Helmet

I’ll be honest, I saw this card pitched for this deck on Virbank City and it intrigued me instantly. It adds consistency to the deck by forcing Volcanion and Turbo Darkrai players to attack into a Wobbuffet and giving us two cards. Additionally, this card help mitigate N by allowing us to take KOs with a Primal Groudon and not be susceptible to an N to four or two. Overall, I’ve fallen in love with this card because it puts pressure on faster decks such as Volcanion and Turbo Darkrai and provides us with draw power we need to keep up with the pace of these decks.

Dropping to 6 Fighting Energy

I’m still iffy on this count, but it’s doing the job for now. There are times when I will miss energy turn after turn and wish that I had more in my deck. I’m still testing this count, but I wanted to communicate that this count has a high chance of climbing back to seven after some last minute testing before Roanoke Regionals.

Other Cards to Consider

Pokémon Center Lady and Super Potion

In Expanded, we rely on healing a single Primal Groudon over and over again and make it impossible to kill because we have Focus Sash; however, in Standard, we need to take a different approach and utilize energy denial and run a heavier 3-3 line of Primal Groudon compared to the increasingly popular 2-2 line found in Expanded. Although the healing can help in crucial turns, consistency cards had to be added to compensate for the lack of Korrina and Tropical Beach. With these factors considered, I ultimately decided to take out the healing cards and marry to the energy denial strategy, while relying on the fact that I need to build two Primal Groudon.

Steven and Ace Trainer

Both of these cards are absolutely amazing in this deck; however, they were cut to ensure that I could fit all the tech options I wanted to fit into the deck. Steven is a great consistency cards in terms of ensuring I can get an energy attachment for the turn and threaten to Lysandre on the following turn. It forces our opponent to N us if they know the Lysandre is coming. As for Ace Trainer, its great mid to late game if we managed to influence our opponents into taking out an odd amount of Wobbuffet. This is because when our opponent manages to take a KO on a Primal Groudon (when we’ve had a rocky start and only took a single KO) and get ahead in a prize trade, we can utilize Ace Trainer to draw six cards while still disrupting our opponent’s hand. It essentially becomes a better late game N; however, I still stuck with four N in this deck to ensure that we can have a solid set up over everything else.

Professor Kukui

This deck relies of Strong Energy to take KO’s on Mega and GX Pokemon. Running Professor Kukui will help ease our reliance on this Strong Energy and help us score KOs on high HP Pokemon all while providing a minimal amount of consistency. Overall, I would love to run this card if I could find the room, but I already cut the fourth VS Seeker and that’s as extreme of a cut as I’m willing to make.

*Updated Explanation*

After a lot of playtesting, this card has proven to be a necessity against the likes of Decidueye and Mega Rayquaza. Not having to rely on solely Strong Energy becomes a luxury I’d rather not live without. Simply put, with the popularity of Decidueye and Mega Rayquaza still around, Kukui lets us hit numbers against these cards with more consistency.

Heavy Boots

Expect this card to eventually make the cut into this deck. It’s ability to add 20HP to our Primal Groudon makes numbers almost unreachable for Turbo Darkrai and will help make that match up easier. It’s essentially out Assault Vest for decks that rely on Special Energy. Overall, this card is currently being heavily considered and will more than likely make the cut.

Matchups

Decidueye Vileplume 60/40 if you start Wobbuffet

The main reason I wanted to make this deck a thing. Sure, we have a disadvantage in terms of weakness, however, we make up for that disadvantage with a full line of Wobbuffet and heavy energy denial. Our main strategy here is to start Wobbuffet. If we don’t start it then we’ve already misplayed and we need to think about how to get better.

In all seriousness, it really is our best strategy against this deck, so get your good luck charms ready and hope for the best. If we don’t start Wobbuffet then it’s going to be an extremely uphill battle. We’ll need to hope that our opponent doesn’t get the turn one item lock so that we can find a way to retreat our Groudon EX into a Wobbuffet so that we don’t die to turn after turn of Feather Arrow. Although I initially thought that leaving the Groudon EX active and sacrificing it would be ideal over digging for a way to retreat, I quickly realized that a smart opponent will just Feather Arrow around it and place all damage on my bench. The new strategy became start applying pressure with Rip Claw and force your opponent to have to KO your Groudon EX. Sure you’re giving up precious energy attachments to apply this pressure, but it’s either that or watch the arrows block out the sun as we try to fight in the shade. Hopefully things don’t get that bad and we’re able to find a way to retreat into a Wobbuffet to execute our strategy and build an OHKO machine while taking away our opponent’s energy. We’ll need two Strong Energy attached to a Primal Groudon before we go on the offensive, and we’ll also want to try and establish a second Primal Groudon before we take our first KO. Additionally, we’ll want to promote a Primal Groudon with an Assault Vest attached to it. This will ensure that they only hit for 140 with Razor Leaf, keeping them out of range of taking a revenge KO on our Primal Groudon. This means a single Primal Groudon should be able to take four prizes before falling to our opponent’s attacks. Luckily we’ve taken the precaution of setting up a second Primal Groudon before going on the offensive. We’ll want to give a shout out to our energy denial cards that allowed us to get to this game state where we can attempt to sweep our opponent’s Pokémon. Special mention goes to Team Skull Grunt and its ability to almost fully negate Hollow Hunt GX, ridding our opponent of those pesky Double Colorless Energy they need to Razor Leaf. I should also mention that despite our tech against this deck, we can run into a major problem if our opponent realizes they can utilize Espeon EX every turn while they’re setting up in order to force us to Mega Evolve and end our turn since we don’t run a Spirit Link. This strategy can be annoying but we can stop it in its tracks with our Team Flare Grunts, and hope that the strategy didn’t buy them enough time to build an unbreakable game state. Overall this match up seriously comes down to starting Wobbuffet: If we get there then we have the advantage; however, if we miss, we have to prepare ourselves for our opponent’s four prize turn as they spread enough damage to KO our Pokémon with Espeon Ex’s Miraculous Shine.

Yveltal/Garb 40/60

This matchup will depend on whether or not the opponent is using Yveltal BKT. If they’re using Yveltal BKT, then this match up goes heavily in their favor since they will steal time away from us and place 60 damage on our Primal Groudon. Additionally, they will also render our Float Stones useless if they’re able to Lysandre a Groudon EX before we can evolve it. Regardless, by spreading 60 damage each turn, they make numbers extremely easy for their Yveltal EX to hit, and leave us with an extremely fragile Primal Groudon. We can utilize our lone Assault Vest in order to mitigate the damage, and utilize Enhanced Hammers and Team Flare Grunt to slow them down in hopes that we can build up Primal Groudon fast enough to stop their aggression. Since this deck isn’t built for speed, the outlook is very bleak for us and chances are we will slowly bleed to death at the hands of Pitch Black Spear. However, if our opponent is not running Yveltal BKT and running the recently popular quad Yveltal EX version, then we stand a fighting chance. We will have the time to build up a Primal Groudon, but we will have to deal with the Fighting Resistance that Yveltal-EX has. In order to do so, we will have to build Primal Groudon with two Strong Energy attached. Additionally, we will need to make two Primal Groudons to secure the game. The reason this is necessary is because Yveltal EX will use our own energy against us and will be able to hit us for 140 damage with Evil Ball. With this amount of pressure, we can assume that a single Primal Groudon will only score two KOs before it gets KO’d itself. Since this is the case, we must remain mindful in building our board to accommodate a second Primal Groudon before we decide to go on the offensive. Overall, this matchup is heavily dictated by the inclusion of Yveltal BKT, however, the amount of pressure Yveltal EX can bring combined with its Fighting Resistance will make this matchup a difficult one to counter.

Darkrai Turbo 50/50

This matchup seems like a breeze on paper, but due to the speedy nature of the deck, they have the ability to overwhelm you with damage before we can get a Primal Groudon ready to go. Due to the slow nature of our deck, chances are our opponent will be able to build a bunch of energy on board and produce high damage numbers. Despite this, our biggest concern with this matchup will be managing our opponent’s Baby Yveltal and taking KO’s on the Darkrai Ex’s with EXP Shares by utilizing Lysandre and Escape Rope. Luckily, Darkrai EX is weak to fighting so we won’t need a Stadium in play to score a KO, instead we will only need a Lysandre once we are ready to go on the offensive. If our opponent manages to get an explosive start and starts to OHKO our Wobbuffet by turn two, we will have to build a second Primal Groudon to make sure that that we can sweep our opponents Darkrai EX while being able to sacrifice one to their early high damage output. Overall, this matchup can go either way, despite our typing advantage, because there is still a decent possibility that our opponent can achieve high damage output early and overwhelm us before we get to build a Primal Groudon.

*Updated Explanation*

With the inclusion of a second Escape Rope and Lucky Helmet, this matchup becomes a little easier to handle. The second Escape Rope can help us play around Baby Yvetal more easily and help ensure that we avoid the seven prize game. The Lucky Helmet makes our opponent think twice about attacking into Wobbuffet with Oblivion Wing because they will effectively have to give us two cards to accelerate their energy. I like this strategy because it takes their pace and uses it against them by helping us dig for the pieces we need to set up Primal Groudon. Lastly, while playing this matchup I found that I was able to get a lead relatively quickly due to Darkrai EX’s fighting weakness. This meant that I was susceptible to N because I didn’t have a chance to thin my deck out the way I normally do when I play at the slower pace the deck is meant to. Lucky Helmet fixed this issue for me and let me remain aggressive throughout the game.

Darkrai Dragons 50/50

The more favorable of the Darkrai Decks in the current format, this deck has seen a rise in play mainly due to the advantages it gains against the meta with the inclusions of Giratina EX and Salamence EX. This match becomes a lot more difficult to handle than its counterpart, Darkrai Turbo, in a sense that we now have to deal with Giratina EX. Luckily, we’re teched for this Pokémon in the form of energy denial, Silent Lab, and Hex Maniac. Although Silent Lab might not seem like a strong tech since Giratina EX can lock us out of Stadiums, we are able to play around our opponent trying to build and protect a Giratina EX on their bench by playing a Silent Lab and Lysandre in the same turn. As for the energy denial, we can run the Giratina EX out of energy to stop its onslaught and set ourselves up for a turn involving Hex Maniac to get us the KO. Also, since we run Assault Vest, we can mitigate any damage that Giratina EX can manage to hit us with by 40. Overall, this match up can go either way depending on how well we can manage our opponent’s Giratina EX.

*Updated Explanation*

The inclusion of Shrine makes this matchup  a lot more manageable. Being able to conserve a Stadium while taking a KO on a Darkrai EX means that a single Hex Maniac turn will shut down a Giratina EX with Gaia Volcano. Additionally, the second Escape Rope gives us an extra form of retreat outside of Float Stone so that we can play around the Giratina lock.

Volcanion 50/50

This matchup is similar to that of Turbo Dark in a sense that they have the ability to go off, especially if you don’t start Wobbuffet. Wobbuffet will ensure that we can buy time to build two Primal Groudon, to deal with the high damage output Volcanion can produce.  Just like the Turbo Darkrai matchup, we will have to Lysandre and Escape Rope around the Baby Volcanion in order to score the KO’s that matter on Volcanion EX and not waste the damage gained from Stadiums in play, all the while avoiding the seven prize game. If our opponent chooses to promote a Volcanion EX to do damage then we will be able to utilize Hex Maniac and take a KO on the Volcanion EX, while making it more difficult for our opponent to take a revenge KO. Overall, this matchup comes down to how much time we can buy with Wobbuffet to build a strong enough board state and utilize a combination of Escape Rope, Hex Maniac, and Lysandre to start sweeping our Opponent’s Volcanion EX.

*Updated Explanation*

Just like the Turbo Darkrai matchup, Escape Rope and Lucky Helmet become invaluable in this matchup. Escape Rope will let us play around Baby Volcanion and ensure that we can can avoid the seven prize game. Lucky Helmet is even more valuable in this matchup because Wobbuffet shuts down Steam Up and limits the Damage output by Baby Volcanion which will increase the amount of cards we can draw off of a single Lucky Helmet.

Mega Mewtwo 50/50

This matchup can get extremely tricky since M Mewtwo has the ability to use our energy against us. Since Psychic Infinity does 10+30 more for each energy attached to both Active Pokémon, it will take a total of eight energy to score the KO on a Primal Groudon. These numbers are normally met with the utilization of Double Colorless Energy and Mega Turbos. Thanks to their dependence on Double Colorless energy to hit numbers, we can utilize our Enhanced Hammers to mitigate their damage output. Additionally, we can utilize our Team Skull Grunt to hit the Double Colorless Energy that they may be keeping in their hand. Ultimately this matchup has almost always been a setup war whenever I sat down to play it. Both players end up sitting there and building a board state that is difficult to disrupt. Luckily for us, they can’t Lysandre our Primal Groudon, so the timer is on them to produce multiple M Mewtwo before we take our first KO. Ideally, we want to wait until we can Lysandre and Enhanced Hammer in the same turn in order to run away with the game. Additionally, we can set up a Lysandre play a turn prior to us planning on taking a KO to either force our opponent to manually retreat or take a KO on a Wobbuffet. This strategy allows us to use a Team Skull Grunt before taking a KO to ensure that our opponent has a lower chance of mounting a comeback. Overall, this matchup is slightly in our favor since we have a decent amount of energy denial.

*Updated Explanation*

Since we no longer have Team Skull Grunt we have to rely purely on our Assault Vest and Enhanced Hammer to play around their Special Energy. Although it seems like a significant loss at first based on the initial strategy I went over, Team Skull Grunt didn’t offer much value in testing and Enhanced Hammer and Assault Vest got the job done without it.

Mega Gardevoir 70/30

This is actually my favorite matchup when playing this deck. It’s extremely difficult for them to land an OHKO on Primal Groudon which means we will more than likely take two KOs with a single Primal Groudon before it gets KO’d. Additionally, Primal Groudon only requires a single Strong Energy to land the OHKO on M Gardevoir which makes us less reliant on drawing multiple copies of the Special Energy. This means we will be able to hit OHKOs earlier with the assistance of Mega Turbo. Ultimately, we will want to try and build two Primal Groudon; however, we do not have to build the second one before we go on the offensive. Usually I like to establish two Primals before going on the offensive, but in this case I know that one Primal will score two KOs before it falls and those two KOs can devastate the momentum of M Gardevoir and make it extremely difficult to claw back into the game since they will need to build a third M Gardevoir before you take your third KO or build your second Primal. Overall, this matchup is heavily in our favor if we are able to build a Primal Groudon with a Strong Energy before they take out a few Wobbuffet.

Mega Rayquaza 60/40

They have the slight advantage in this matchup. We have to start Wobbuffet to slow them down, but even then, they can still manage to setup without utilizing Shaymin EX. We have to build two Groudon in this matchup and try to attach an Assault Vest to at least one of them. Assault Vest and Parallel City will be our trump cards in this match up and will hopefully buy us enough time to score crucial KOs. We can also slow them down with our energy denial and Silent Lab in hopes of buying more time to build our beefy attacker. Overall, just start Wobbuffet like we’re supposed to and we should be able to manage our opponent’s damage output with Assault Vest and Parallel City.

*Updated Explanation*

With the addition of Professor Kukui, this matchup became more manageable by allowing us to get around the fighting resistance of Mega Rayquaza. Additionally, Lucky Helmet ensured that we could play around our opoonent’s N and ensure that we can win the Prize race and ensure that we can take KOs when we want to.

Quad Lapras 80/20

This matchup should be a cake walk once we make a single Primal Groudon. Thanks to Omega Barrier, our opponent’s Crushing Hammers, Enhanced Hammers, and Team Flare Grunts have no effect in this match up. We’ve effectively created a scenario where our opponent is running at least eight dead cards against us. Additionally, since we run a heavy line of N we can shut off the usefulness of Collect. However, before we go assuming we simply walk away with a win here, we do have to watch out for a few things. Team Skull Grunt can take away our Strong Energy, which is vital to us taking an OHKO on a loaded up Lapras with a Fighting Fury Belt attached to it. Since we’ll want to wait to make a Primal Groudon before attaching Strong Energy, there will be a few turns where we will be susceptible to a hurtful Team Skull Grunt play. Additionally, we will need play around our opponent’s Ice Beam GX by either utilizing our Olympia or building up a second Primal Groudon. Since we don’t want to put ourselves in a position that our only out is to draw Olympia, it is wise to build up two Primal Groudon before we go on the offensive to ensure a single Ice Beam GX doesn’t ruin our day. Overall, if we keep our board state simple, manage our Float Stones, and play around Ice Beam GX, this match up will almost always go smoothly for us.

Conclusion

I know this deck seems slow on paper and has a disadvantage in terms of Weakness against one of the hottest decks in format (Decidueye Vileplume), but the inclusion of Wobbuffet and energy denial really make this deck shine. This deck requires a lot of patience to play and a decent amount of foresight to plan out your Lysandre plays; however, I can guarantee that patience will be rewarded when we stream Gaia Volcanoes against our opponents. Thanks again for reading and I hope you enjoyed this almost pun-less article :).