So this happens to me all the time: in my mind I get a great idea for a combo.  In my mind, I have success with this theoretical archetype.  I can envision it having success, taking prizes, and earning wins as I move up the ladder on PTCGO.  I can see in my brain the exact situations where this mythical pairing of Pokemon maybe isn’t the BDIF but should be able to win at least some matches.

And then I hit the PLAY button on PTCGO and it all completely comes apart.

And so is the brief experiment involving Greninja GX and Alolan Sandslash:

So technically I’ve gone 2 W 2 L with this duo.  I won one match but then decided to overhaul it and remove all of the awful Timer Balls and replace them with Cynthia.

I then proceeded to play three matches and recorded them (link below)… and whew were they BAD.  My opponent quit in the second match, but I’m guessing that was because he knew he had an easy autowin and just too pity on me and my terrible idea of a deck.

In all seriousness, I do think this deck is better than what it showed on the video, but clearly Guzma absolutely annihilates any possibility of this deck being even remotely possible in the current format.  If you want to see three NOT awesome matches, the video is here (but watch at your own peril):


  1. The problem with Greninja in general is that it’s slow right now on top of Alolan Sandslash being low hp, on top of Grass flourishing in Standard right now.

    There was a time where The Crobat Line was amazing, but that was due in part to the free retreat offered by the Golbat and Crobat. Greninja and Frogadier don’t, on top of not having a single energy attack like Skillful Dive or Swoop down. And lastly: the GX factor hurts it the most.

    Is there a way to play the deck differently? Well, yes. Use the usual Greninja/Volcanion/Koko Spread with Ditto Prism to help in one key factor: speed. Slap in some rare candy and now you could jump into Greninja, while having potentially 3 Froakie and a ditto ready to become Frogadiers for spread (theoretically speaking).

    Another theoretically idea that could work but fails due to spread being so prevalent in the meta is none other than Celebi Prism Star. Why? Well you get to devolve your mons and put the evolutions in your hand. Basically you would do something as madening as say, Devolving three Greninja GX, and next turn throwing down 3 damage counters per frog. And you could keep shrine since you’ll just devolve. But again: spread is a thing so you’re boned without a Machoke to protect ya.

    Then there’s Alolan Ninetales GX to help with setup too. Just be sure to add Acerola to retreat her out and whatnot.

    Either way, I miss the Shadowstitching Greninja line: that frog line from Breakpoint set the standard to what an amazing stage 2 can be (which the Jumpluff line has kinda done in our current format). But till then: just hold out hope that this guy doesn’t see Kommo-o GX levels of mediocrity.

    1. Yeah I probably need to add the energy back in, I just wanted to try it without energy and see if it were competitive. I’m actually up to 5 W 5 L so it wasn’t as bad as the video but the non energy archetype definitely has a low ceiling.

      But yeah I’ll add some energy and get Celebi Prism in there and we’ll see how it does. I will say this though: I thought Greninja would be an autowin against Lost March but I just beat a promo Tapu Koko Greninja GX deck a few minutes ago, so it’s not an impossible match up.

      1. Interesting…guess there’s some hope for him yet. Best of luck to the deck then! Side note: I took on a very weird deck involving Donphan, Last Chance Potion, and Shedinja for Life Vessel….without field field blower it really got annoying, but I give it props: it was neat. Was I salty even after winning? Yeah: could’ve won in the first two turns, but wasn’t able to set up anything to knock out the Phanpy. Oh well. Still, interesting idea.

        1. That’s really interesting. I remember Professor K (from you tube channel Th e Pokémon Evolutionaries) had built a Donphan deck one time, and it did really good. (That was like 5 years ago)

          1. I think that might have been the one that comboed well with Strong energy and Robo sub, but yeah! this Donphan deck took me by surprise. I’ll share the opponent’s deck in a follow up comment later tonight when I can. Maybe it might just work for someone out there.

          2. ****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

            ##Pokémon – 18

            * 1 Ditto {*} LOT 154
            * 1 Diancie {*} FLI 74
            * 4 Phanpy LOT 111
            * 4 Donphan LOT 112
            * 3 Nincada LOT 29
            * 2 Ninjask LOT 30
            * 3 Shedinja LOT 95

            ##Trainer Cards – 30

            * 4 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
            * 2 Sky Pillar CES 144
            * 2 Timer Ball SUM 134
            * 1 Judge FLI 108
            * 3 Tate & Liza CES 148
            * 3 Nest Ball SUM 123
            * 2 Switch SUM 132
            * 3 Cynthia UPR 119
            * 3 Guzma BUS 115
            * 1 Energy Recycle System CES 128
            * 4 Last Chance Potion CES 135
            * 2 Lillie UPR 125

            ##Energy – 12

            * 4 Double Colorless Energy NXD 92
            * 8 Fighting Energy 6

            Total Cards – 60

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

            Here’s the list that I faced days back.

            Super side note: I saw the ending to Samurai Jack…jesus that pulled on my heartstrings. What a way to reflect on the show I saw as a kid.

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