Charizard and the Prevalence of GX vs non GX Decks

We’re just over three weeks into the new format, and we all have seen the impact that Shrine of Punishments has had on the game early in this new season.  How many non GX decks are out there, though?  How much has Shrine discouraged people from playing decks with GX Pokemon as their feature attacker?  Let’s quantify it.

We know that in the IRL meta, Shrine hasn’t prevented players from running GX decks.  One small tournament in Brazil was dominated by non GX feature Pokemon (non GX archetypes took seven of the eight top spots).  However, only two of the top eight spots were non GX decks in Philadelphia.

On PTCGO, I have played 238 matches this month.  175 of those matches have been against GX featured Pokemon archetypes – 73.5% of the matches I play on PTCGO are against decks that play multiple GX Pokemon as their feature attackers.

So I figured this would still be a good time to try Charizard DRM out.  And in one match against Lurantis GX, Zoroark GX, it was magnificent.  My first attack against Lurantis GX hit for 680 damage including weakness and all of the GX Pokemon (including Tapu Lele GX) my opponent played.

The four other matches I played with this deck were all against non GX decks, and I got beat handily in each match.  You can watch the video here, but I’m just warning you, if you’re looking for a video that shows off Charizard DRM… well… this ain’t it.

And here’s my decklist – again undoubtedly this is NOT the ideal list for Charizard.


  1. Ya know, I’ve wanted to try Charizard out. But I haven’t. Why? I dunno. But it does seem like a potent play. But, let’s go off topic here for a minute. Question, Pokemon. Why doesn’t Squirtle get any love. He was one of the 4 original pokemon probably ever thought of (Squirtle, Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander) and we haven’t seen him in a set since the B&W era. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they thought, oh, let’s make a good blastoise then make every other blastoise ever again terrible and never print Squirtle in a set. Now, why do I care so much about this? Well for one, and this is not a very good reason at all, but Squirtles my favorite pokemon of all time. And two, what about us newer players, huh? I’ve only been playing since mid 2016, and where their any good blastoise then. No.. so what I’m saying is, Pokemon, step up your game. You’ve featured almost every starter so far except for (correct me if I’m wrong) Tepig, Cyndaquil, Chikorita, and Squirtle. Is it too hard to ask for? No. Sorry, off topic.

    1. Maybe we haven’t seen Squirtle since the BW-era because Blastoise (BCR, PLF, PLB) was such a strong deck they figured it could chill for a while? 😉 Yeah, yeah… the real reason is that the last few Blastoise were Blastoise-EX and with so. many. Pokémon out now it is just really hard for them to keep up. XD

  2. Blastoise was the stuff of legends a few years back when it allowed you to attach water energy at will. It paired with Keldeo it won the 2015 world championship … without Squirtle or Wartortle! Here’s a link to the decklist:

    I actually found a pretty good build for Typhlosion with Teammates and Skyla and Oricorio GRI 14 shortly before rotation in August of 2017. Chikorita and Tepig, sorry… but looking forward to Chikorita on Pokemon GO community day tomorrow (Saturday)!

    1. We’re actually getting an awesome Meganium sometime in the future. Clunky, but with the ability to evolve your mons to their stage 2 forms without rare candy is quite fun, so there’s hope. And just wait for a Blastoise card to come out: with Let’s go Pikachu/Eevee coming out, we’ll probably get one in 2019.

      On another note: a new Jirachi card was revealed today and for many decks this can improve consistency by some extent, or get you out of a dead hand.

      Ability: Wishing Star- If this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon, you may use this Ability. Once during your turn (before your attack), you may look at the top 5 cards of your deck. Choose 1 Trainer card you find there, reveal it and put it into your hand. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck. This Pokemon is now Asleep.

      If Sleep hinders you from liking this, just know you could use Guzma, Tate and Liza, and my personal favorite card for this guy: Escape Board. Let me say this: If this comes out and you are a Solgaleo GX fan, this is the one for you, given that Ultra Road helps maneuver about your mons once a turn, which is really all you need to set the board up to victory.

      Side note I was trying out the Blaziken deck that I found…thankfully I won against a Fire weak deck myself, but for set up I actually went and used the fire Oricorio from Guardian’s Rising, which places down 3 fire pokemon from the deck to your bench, same as Strike and Run, without the Run. And you can use Kindle for disruption as well, especially if they don’t have a one attachment mon like Buzzwole. Fun card for a fire deck.

  3. I’m curious if you tried the deck without Blaziken. Yes, I know Charizard has massive Energy needs, but it also has Charmeleon. Is it just too difficult to build a deck with enough [R] Energy and Pokémon search for Charmeleon to prove reliable, or is there just no time to Evolve Charmander => Charmeleon => Charizard?

  4. I did not try with the new Charmeleon. My initial thought is that it might cost too many resources. I’m only running eight energy in this list and hoping to take advantage of counter energy. If I add four energy and subtract out the counter energy, then I’m up to twelve, but even that is only 1 / 5 of the deck… meaning on average four of the five cards will be resources discarded. I’m just a little skeptical of this. Maybe if you can play recycler a couple of times at the end of the game and then play Charmeleon, but even then I’m not real hot on that idea.
    But again I have not tried that out specifically, and my theorymon isn’t always the most accurate (ahem Sableye GRI).

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