Three Approaches to Building a Charizard Deck by Pokémon TCG Experts


To Knock Out Pokémon VMAX in one hit, we need to do around
320–340 damage. Playing the last Leon with the other three in the discard pile will
bring Charizard to 330 damage. That’s still 10 damage short of Knocking Out Eternatus VMAX, so I decided to
include Galarian Zigzagoon to
make sure I could Knock Out virtually any Pokémon in one shot. With Charizard
doing a base of 300 damage, playing two Galarian Zigzagoon with the Headbutt
Tantrum Ability will be enough to Knock Out Pokémon VMAX sitting at 320 HP, like
Centiskorch VMAX and Inteleon VMAX.

A natural conclusion would be to include Scoop Up Net in the list to
reuse Galarian Zigzagoon for these crucial numbers. If I’m going to commit to
Scoop Up Net, using Jirachi also
feels like a good idea. Their natural synergy allows Jirachi to be used
multiple times in the same turn. Plus, since our main Pokémon is a Stage 2, we
would be best off to speed up the process by using Rare Candy to evolve our Pokémon faster. Finding Rare
Candy and Charizard in the same hand could be frustrating, but Jirachi makes it
easier to find the missing piece by either picking up the Rare Candy or a Pokémon Communication for
Charizard. Adding a number of Switch
cards makes using multiple Jirachi each turn easier, as well.

Since it could be important to use a Leon for a big Knock Out
in the late game, I decided to include Mewtwo
to be able to get a Leon back if we already happened to discard them
all. Mewtwo can also be reused with Scoop Up Net, making it a good fit for our
engine. Oranguru could also
be used together with Mewtwo to get the Supporter directly into hand. It also
has good uses being able to put a Rare Candy or Charizard on top of your deck,
before using Marnie, to give yourself a better chance of drawing both pieces in
the same hand. After setting up Charizard, you can put a card on top of your
deck that you want to discard with Charizard’s Ability—Leon, for example.

Since the deck is mainly single-Prize Pokémon, Oricorio-GX could be
activated multiple times and draw us a lot of cards throughout the game, so
that also seemed like a natural inclusion. I also added one Dedenne-GX just to make
sure we have an out in case we run into a weak hand early. It can also be used
aggressively in the late game to draw the remainder of the deck to guarantee to
find the game-winning cards.

Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
and Mewtwo & Mew-GX
have been very popular lately, and both have strong snipe options
against the opposing Bench with Tag Bolt and Venom Shot (via Naganadel-GX). Since this
would be rather problematic, I added a Mew
from Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds to deal with the issue.

For Pokémon search, using a full allotment of Quick Ball seems mandatory, as
it is the best Pokémon search card available. Since I now have a relatively
high amount of Pokémon (19), I decided to add three Pokémon Communication. These can find both Basic Pokémon and
Charizard and should find plenty of use with the healthy amount of Pokémon.

Since Charizard needs only two Energy to attack, I figured
we could get away with a low count of Fire Energy. It will still be important
to find them, so my deck list includes six Fire Energy and three Giant Hearth. That gives the deck
the chance of attacking with three Charizard during a game. That seemed a
little low to me, especially with a chance of Fire Energy landing in the Prize
cards or discard pile, probably bringing the total down to two Charizard
attacking in a game. Using two copies of Ordinary Rod
helps recycle any Energy and the Pokémon that get Knocked Out, giving us the
chance to attack with up to five, but more probably around four, Charizard
during the game.

What I found the most difficult was how to balance the Supporter
cards. Using Professor’s Research
looked like a risky choice to me, as we could be forced to discard a lot of
important pieces like Rare Candy and Ordinary Rod. I still wanted some good
draw power, so I decided to go with Marnie.
Marnie also has the added effect of disrupting our opponent’s hand, meaning we
can get away with not playing Reset Stamp
in the list. I think we could charge up one or two Charizard with only
manual Energy attachments while setting up, but when we start trading Knock Outs
with our opponent, we’ll need better acceleration. I added two Welder to the deck for some extra
draw power and Energy acceleration so the deck can keep up. Finally, I added a Boss’s Orders, so we also have
the option to Knock Out something on the Bench. Since these are also reusable
with the Mewtwo, I was content with playing them in smaller numbers.

We now have a deck that, in theory, seems to have all the
necessary options needed for it to function. A strong early game in Jirachi and
the Scoop Up Net / Switch engine, and multiple ways to get Leon in the discard
pile using Giant Hearth, Quick Ball, and Charizard’s Ability combined with
Oranguru. Ordinary Rod helps us get our important resources back and set up for
that big one-hit Knock Out in the late game, where we hopefully have assembled
all our cards so we can hit for up to 340 damage.

I look forward to trying out this card; it has multiple
things going for it and could be a ton of fun! Being a Stage 2 Pokémon is often
a struggle these days with the format being so fast-paced, but maybe this card
has the extra power needed.

There you have it: one card, three different decks. It shows that there’s no one right way to build a deck, and the journey toward a final deck can be extremely fun and rewarding. Now it’s your turn to make a great deck with Charizard!

For more Pokémon TCG strategy and analysis, be sure to keep checking Pokemon.com/Strategy.

Christopher Schemanske

Christopher Schemanske is a contributing writer for Pokemon.com. He’s been playing the Pokémon TCG since 2010, with a streak of Worlds invitations between 2012–2018. Nowadays, he enjoys splitting his Pokémon time between playing and being part of the awesome Professor staff teams at major events.

Ellis Longhurst

Ellis Longhurst is a contributing writer for Pokemon.com. She has been competing in high-level Pokémon TCG tournaments since 2006 and creating written content for the Pokémon community since 2011. Now she brings some Australian flavor to the Play! Pokémon commentary teams at the International and World Championships.

Tord Reklev

Tord Reklev is a contributing writer for Pokemon.com. He is a longtime player from Norway, playing the game since he was 6 years old. He is notable for being the only Masters Division player to win the North America, Europe, and Oceania Internationals, and he recently made Top 4 at the World Championships. Outside of the game, he is a student and enjoys playing tennis. You can find him at most big events and can follow him on Twitter at @TordReklev.



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