Scarlet & Violet Triple Play: Dondozo, Arcanine ex, and Oinkologne ex

The Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet growth welcomes Paldea into the Pokémon TCG with a flurry of highly effective Pokémon. Amongst them are a bunch who’ve distinctive strengths and are desperate to get into the motion of your subsequent TCG battle. Dondozo, Arcanine ex, and Oinkologne ex aren’t projected to be world-beaters, however that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t get pleasure from them (and their paintings) all the identical—you could even unlock their true potential!

We’ve requested three Pokémon TCG consultants to take these playing cards for a spin and put collectively decks which can be value a re-assessment when it comes time to battle!

By Xander Pero

Dondozo and Tatsugiri are two of my favourite Pokémon from this new Scarlet & Violet period. I benefit from the storytelling of Pokémon pairs, corresponding to Plusle and Minun, or Oranguru and Passimian. What’s distinctive about Dondozo and Tatsugiri is that they aren’t simply counterparts, however in addition they have a symbiotic relationship—and their card interpretations mirror this!

Dondozo’s assault, Launch Rage, does 50 injury for every Tatsugiri within the discard pile. It stands to cause, then, that when constructing a deck round Dondozo, our primary precedence shall be together with methods to look and discard Tatsugiri to energy up Launch Rage. Playing cards like Degree Ball and Extremely Ball shall be our major methods of discovering Tatsugiri. Supporters like Professor’s Analysis and Serena will enable us to discard Tatsugiri as soon as we draw into them.

Let’s check out how this all comes collectively. Dondozo and Tatsugiri are our major Pokémon, so we want as many copies of each as we will match. Moreover, every Articuno has a function: the Articuno from the Pokémon GO growth boosts all Water-type Pokémon’s assaults by 10 injury, which may be helpful to succeed in particular numbers that we in any other case couldn’t with the 50-damage increment of Launch Rage. Then again, the Articuno from Sword & Defend—Silver Tempest can doubtlessly soften up a Pokémon VSTAR whereas making it Paralyzed. Dondozo can then clear up on the next flip.

Most of our Objects are devoted to establishing shortly. To that finish, we now have 14 “Ball” playing cards, together with two Hisuian Heavy Ball in order that we will retrieve Dondozo or Tatsugiri from the Prize playing cards if wanted. Furthermore, Trekking Footwear and Pokégear 3.0 contribute to the deck’s velocity and synergize properly with PokéStop. Pokémon Catcher is the one exception to this: Since we’ll possible have to play a draw Supporter every flip, Boss’s Orders is just too gradual. Serena can convey up Pokémon V, however it’s restricted by the truth that it can not goal Pokémon ex. Subsequently, completely satisfied flipping with Pokémon Catcher!

The Supporters are centered round Professor’s Analysis and Serena, which each present extra methods to discard Tatsugiri. Cynthia’s Ambition has sufficient worth to warrant a spot because it can be discovered by Pokégear 3.0. Lastly, Miriam doubles as a draw Supporter and a restoration card. Now we have solely 4 copies of Dondozo, however the opponent should take six Prize playing cards to win. Miriam can get well Dondozo or Articuno and draw three playing cards besides.

The ultimate items of the checklist are the Pokémon Instruments and Power. Selection Belt and Exp. Share are the Instruments of selection. Selection Belt boosts injury in opposition to Pokémon V, which may end up in simpler Knock Outs in a pinch. Exp. Share is required to preserve Power since Launch Rage requires two attachments with out Double Turbo Power. Now we have ample Water Power for single attachments and synergy with Tatusigiri’s assault, Mise en Place. Double Turbo Power can also be vital as a result of it fulfills Launch Rage’s assault value completely.

Your primary precedence ought to be to search out Tatsugiri so you’ll be able to improve the injury output of Launch Rage. I like to save lots of Extremely Ball for Tatsugiri, and as a substitute attempt to get Dondozo with Nest Ball solely. You may survive with solely two Dondozo at a time (one to assault, one for backup), whereas that you must attain 4 Tatsugiri as quickly as attainable. Discovering Articuno is essential if the extra 10 injury or Paralyzed issues.

Beginning with an Energetic Tatsugiri generally is a little bit of a ache: you can not discard all 4 and easily assault with Dondozo repeatedly. Fortunately, Tatsugiri has nice assaults! Mise en Place can speed up two Water Power to a Benched Dondozo, which units up for a future Exp. Share and readies an attacker for the next flip. Tatsugiri’s second assault, Curl Up, places it again into your hand so you’ll be able to discard it on the next flip. Needless to say you could promote a brand new Energetic Pokémon—possible a Dondozo—which can be attacked. I often use Mise en Place as soon as, then Curl Up if my Tatsugiri was not Knocked Out.

Sequencing your playing cards accurately can tremendously enhance your odds of with the ability to discard a number of Tatsugiri. For instance, let’s say you’ve got Degree Ball and Professor’s Analysis in hand with a PokéStop in play. It’s right to make use of PokéStop earlier than Degree Ball, since taking part in Degree Ball reduces the variety of Tatsugiri within the deck. Subsequently, you’re decreasing your odds of hitting Tatsugiri off PokéStop. Should you even have a Nest Ball in hand, you must use Nest Ball to seize Dondozo earlier than utilizing PokéStop, as doing so will increase your odds of hitting Tatsugiri off PokéStop! Apply makes excellent.

One ultimate factor to recollect is that you could shuffle in at the very least one Pokémon with Miriam to attract three playing cards. Subsequently, it may be helpful to purposely discard a Dondozo or Articuno as a way to keep away from shuffling in Tatsugiri. If Miriam is your solely Supporter, you may need to take action anyway.

I’ve had a blast placing collectively this deck. It’s extraordinarily satisfying to Knock Out Pokémon V in a single assault for a single Power attachment. Dondozo’s 160 HP makes it exceptionally resilient in opposition to different single-Prize attackers. Should you can fish out your Tatsugiri in time, you’re in for a enjoyable match with Dondozo!

Natalie says: Single-Prize Pokémon virtually at all times have a slight edge over multi-Prize Pokémon due to the Prize commerce, particularly once they can dish out 200-plus injury! I believe that Xander’s deck mitigates the excessive setup necessities that Dondozo has, with tons of Pokémon search choices and a number of Hisuian Heavy Ball. Prizing a single Tatsugiri on this deck is extremely detrimental, so with the ability to discover Hisuian Heavy Ball early is tremendous essential! Total, Dondozo is an excellent thrilling deck to check out, and to attempt to commerce favorably in opposition to different decks!

Ross says: I actually like Xander’s inclusion of each Articuno. Articuno’s Wild Freeze hitting for 80 injury and Paralyzed, adopted up by 210 from Dondozo, will Knock Out many common Pokémon VSTAR and ex within the format. That’s an efficient mixture. It additionally offers this deck one other assault choice with out introducing a multi-Prize Pokémon as a goal. I additionally like Pokémon Catchers in additional combo-heavy decks like this that may’t afford to make use of Supporters for something however setup early on.

I’m somewhat stunned Xander determined to not embrace Raihan. Raihan would give this deck one other method of powering up an attacker in a single flip while you don’t have Double Turbo Power. Going with Raihan over Exp. Share would additionally maintain your choices open for attaching Selection Belt.

By Ross Cawthon

The Scarlet & Violet growth brings again Arcanine ex (17 years after the primary one launched!), this time as a Tera Pokémon. Just like the Pokémon V from the Sword & Defend period, Pokémon ex have increased HP, increased assault powers, and quit two Prize playing cards once they’re Knocked Out. Nonetheless, some Pokémon ex like Arcanine ex convey a key distinction: they evolve from common single-Prize Pokémon.

This is a vital element. For instance, earlier than the highly effective Lugia VSTAR card may be introduced into play, the weaker Lugia V have to be in play for a flip. In lots of video games, an opponent will goal and Knock Out a Lugia V instantly, and you may be down two Prize playing cards earlier than even attacking.

In distinction, Arcanine ex evolves from Growlithe. Whereas Growlithe has simply 90 HP, it solely offers up one Prize card. This implies you’ll be able to preserve the potential of an enormous assault with Arcanine ex subsequent flip whereas solely having single-Prize Pokémon on the sphere to your opponent to focus on. This might cease opponents from taking huge leads in opposition to you.

Arcanine ex’s huge assault is Vivid Flame, which requires 3 Fireplace Power to do 250 injury. The very best Power accelerator for Fireplace-type Pokémon within the Commonplace format is Magma Basin. Nonetheless, Magma Basin can solely cost Pokémon on the Bench. Which means each flip, you’ll possible have to energy up a Pokémon on the Bench, after which make it Energetic to assault.

One technique to tackle this problem is with a “pivot” Pokémon—a Pokémon that you simply attempt to place within the Energetic Spot each flip, with the intent of getting it return to the Bench whilst you assault with one thing else. Lately, the most well-liked pivot Pokémon have been Comfey and Mew. Mixed with a card like Air Balloon, these playing cards can help you use an Means, then retreat free of charge every flip, permitting you to convey up your charged attacker. Air Balloon has now rotated out of the Commonplace format, although, so many decks will change to the brand new Seaside Court docket Stadium to take away the Retreat Value for his or her Fundamental Pokémon in play. Nonetheless, since this deck focuses on Magma Basin, we will’t play Seaside Court docket. This conundrum led me to a pivot Pokémon not seen in too many decks: Altaria.

Altaria is finest recognized for its Tempting Tune Means, which lets you seek for any Supporter and put it on high of your deck. It is a highly effective Means, however the second cause I believe Altaria matches this deck is its Retreat Value: zero! Altaria can retreat free of charge each flip and be the “pivot”.

Right here is the checklist I’ve gone with:

In addition to Arcanine ex, I’ve Moltres for early-game attacking and Radiant Charizard for the late recreation. An amazing associate Pokémon to Altaria was Oranguru, which may draw you the highest card of your deck after Altaria put a Supporter there. Since Oranguru has rotated out, I’ve determined to attempt a brand new card, Skwovet, which additionally attracts the highest card of your deck. Whereas the price is increased (placing your complete hand to the underside of your deck), Skwovet has the advantage of being searchable through Degree Ball. And at any charge, there are additionally conditions by which placing your hand again in your deck is a bonus, corresponding to while you wish to use Professor’s Analysis however don’t wish to discard any Arcanine ex or Magma Basins. I’ve included one Lumineon V for cases the place you don’t have the assets early within the recreation to search out each Altaria and Skwovet.

Professor’s Analysis and Serena are good Supporters to get you going and put Fireplace Power within the discard pile. Serena additionally offers you the choice of concentrating on Benched Pokémon V, like the favored Genesect V, which is weak to Fireplace. Raihan is a key Supporter midgame; you’ll be able to have an Arcanine ex with zero Power, however in a single flip it may be powered as much as do 250 injury with Raihan plus Magma Basin plus an Power attachment. And because of Altaria, discovering Raihan shouldn’t be an issue. Klara additionally works nicely with Radiant Charizard—with this Supporter, you’ll be able to get well Radiant Charizard and Fundamental Fireplace Power to your subsequent assault. Within the late recreation, you’ll be capable to pull off an assault for only a single Power due to its Excited Coronary heart Means!

Along with many Ball playing cards to search out Pokémon, I’ve three Change playing cards in case I can’t get an Altaria into the Energetic Spot or have to get Arcanine ex again to the Bench. For some further injury, I’ve the brand new Defiance Band along with Selection Belt. Defiance Band offers you some flexibility in that it provides injury in opposition to any Pokémon (if you’re behind in Prizes), moderately than simply Pokémon V. For instance, a Moltres can KO the favored Cramorant with a Defiance Band.

Arcanine ex offers a chance to do huge injury with out putting weak multi-Prize Pokémon in play till you’re prepared. Give this deck a attempt to see if it has the firepower to compete within the new Commonplace format.

Xander says: With Magma Basin and Raihan, Ross has added some ways of powering up Arcanine ex. After you discard Power with Vivid Flame, you’ll be able to merely connect another Power and use Raging Claws after Arcanine ex has taken some injury. Defiance Band and Selection Belt enhance your injury output as much as 280, which is sufficient to Knock Out related Pokémon VSTAR corresponding to Giratina VSTAR and Lugia VSTAR.

One card I’d prefer to see is a Boss’s Orders. As a result of Serena can solely goal Pokémon V, there’s a refined weak point in concentrating on Pokémon ex or single-Prize Pokémon. Altaria can discover Boss’s Orders on demand. Pyukumuku—due to Degree Ball and its Pitch a Pyukumuku Means—can present synergy with Altaria, as nicely.

Natalie says: I like the addition of Altaria to this deck; it fills the position of each being a pivot and serving to you discover extra playing cards! Mix Altaria with Skwovet, and I don’t suppose this deck will wrestle with discovering Supporters all through the sport—positively a pleasant bonus! I additionally actually like that Selection Belt and Defiance Band are included. Each Arcanine ex and Radiant Charizard solely do 250 injury; the additional 30 injury pushes each assaults over the 280 threshold, which might allow you to take a one-hit KO on most Pokémon VSTAR. It is a very aggressive deck that I believe will run over quite a lot of opponents within the early recreation!

By Natalie Millar

Oinkologne ex is the most recent iteration of one of the vital traditional Pokémon TCG deck archetypes: tank and heal. With 260 HP, Oinkologne ex is certainly no slouch on the subject of the “tank” half in absorbing assaults, staying just about on par with Pokémon VSTAR. Oinkologne ex additionally has two good assaults in Maddening Scent and Heavy Stomp: whereas Heavy Stomp does an honest quantity of injury, the Power value and the potential draw back of not attacking subsequent flip usually makes it robust to make use of. Maddening Scent is a pleasant callback to Zoroark’s Thoughts Jack assault, which noticed tons of success within the Commonplace format of its time.

Nonetheless, the true energy of Oinkologne ex is that it evolves from the single-Prize Lechonk. Lately, decks that use Pokémon VMAX or VSTAR to attempt to take in assaults have struggled in opposition to aggressive methods that use Boss’s Orders to Knock Out the evolving Pokémon V when it doesn’t have as a lot HP. Whereas that technique continues to be attainable in opposition to Lechonk, they solely surrender a single Prize card every, whereas the Pokémon V that evolve into Pokémon VSTAR and VMAX surrender two Prize playing cards.

This considerably restricts the facility that aggressive decks have in opposition to Oinkologne ex, as a result of the one two-Prize Knock Out is the star Pokémon itself! With that, I needed to construct an Oinkologne ex deck in a technique to pressure my opponent to Knock Out as many Oinkologne ex as attainable. To do that I needed to have two issues: therapeutic playing cards to undo my opponent’s final assaults and disruption playing cards to stop my opponents from saying assaults. With that in thoughts (and after some trial and error), right here’s my deck checklist:

The very first thing to note about this deck is the shortage of Pokémon: it’s actually simply the Oinkologne and Bibarel strains! The explanation for that is, as I discussed earlier, to pressure my opponent to Knock Out as many Oinkologne ex as attainable. Due to this, the checklist consists of 4 Lechonk and 4 Oinkologne ex. You at all times wish to evolve your Lechonk as quickly as attainable, and carrying the utmost depend of Oinkologne ex helps with that. Sure, your opponent can chase Bibarel and take simple Prize playing cards off it, however I imagine that it’s nonetheless a vital addition. With this deck, you’ll usually need to play Supporter playing cards that don’t draw playing cards. For instance, utilizing Cheryl on consecutive turns will usually depart you with no playing cards remaining to play, making Bibarel a superb match to refill your hand.

Talking of Cheryl, I imagine that it’s the most effective therapeutic card for this type of deck. Whereas Oinkologne ex is a Colorless-type Pokémon and thus can use Cheren’s Care, having to choose up the Oinkologne ex and all playing cards connected to it could actually truly be a draw back on this technique. Your opponent might play a Boss’s Orders to Knock Out the Lechonk you simply put down, which implies the Oinkologne ex could be caught in your hand and you’d be unable to attract playing cards with Bibarel!

One other enormous upside of Cheryl is that it does not heal simply one among your Evolution Pokémon, it heals all of them. A standard sample with this deck is that after your opponent assaults your Oinkologne ex, you’ll retreat or change a Benched Oinkologne ex to the Energetic Spot and your opponent will assault it once more. Then, you play Cheryl and heal off the injury from each assaults. Whereas Cheryl does discard all Power from the Pokémon it heals, Maddening Scent solely prices a single Power to make use of, so you’ll be able to connect one once more and get proper again into the motion.

Two different Supporters I selected to incorporate on this deck had been Decide and Boss’s Orders. Decide is a superb card in Bibarel decks—it always restricts your opponent to a low hand dimension, which prevents them from assembling huge mixtures of playing cards. Boss’s Orders can also be a fantastically versatile card. You need to use it to convey up Pokémon that you have already got attacked as soon as to complete them off, convey up a Pokémon with a excessive Retreat Value to stall for time, and even choose off assist Pokémon with low HP, corresponding to Comfey.

The final Supporter on this deck is Professor’s Analysis; two copies of it are included for further draw energy in the midst of the sport. It’s there as a result of, though you’ll usually wish to play both Decide or Cheryl, having the choice of drawing seven playing cards directly continues to be as engaging as ever.

The 4 Nest Balls and 4 Extremely Balls are there that can assist you discover your Pokémon early on. Extremely Ball does double obligation on this deck as each a technique to discover Oinkologne ex and a technique to decrease the dimensions of your hand for Bibarel’s Industrious Incisors. There are additionally two copies of Change in case you begin with Bidoof as your solely Pokémon, or that you must transfer your broken Oinkologne ex to the Bench. Since our technique revolves particularly round Decide and Cheryl, the 4 copies of Pokégear 3.0 are there to assist discover these Supporter playing cards extra persistently.

There are two extra Coach playing cards within the deck that each work due to Oikologne ex’s lack of an Means. Towards decks that attempt to assault Oinkologne ex a number of occasions, Full Face Guard can forestall as much as 60 injury on a single Oinkologne. Don’t overlook which you could nonetheless connect it to Bibarel if all of your different Pokémon have Instruments on them, so you’ll be able to draw extra with Industrious Incisors. Path to the Peak additionally enhances this technique, shutting down Skills like Miraidon ex’s Tandem Unit, Genesect V’s Fusion Strike System, and Lugia VSTAR’s Summoning Star, which is particularly highly effective when mixed with Decide.

Since Oinkologne ex’s assaults use Colorless Power, you get to make use of the robust results of a number of Particular Power obtainable within the present format. V Guard Power synergizes with our deck particularly nicely, serving to to stop injury. The identical is true for Fortunate Power; ideally, Oinkologne ex would get attacked a number of occasions, which might allow you to attract a number of playing cards from it. Double Turbo Power features each as an Power to make use of Maddening Scent and as a technique to pay for Oinkologne ex’s Retreat Value. Lastly, the deck consists of one Reward Power since you do want a excessive quantity of Power when Cheryl discards them, and the “reward” may be precious to attract playing cards within the early recreation.

I might suggest giving this deck a shot! It’s extremely annoying to play in opposition to with all of the disruption and therapeutic—and it’s surprisingly efficient!

Xander says: Oinkologne ex is a chunky attacker. Its first assault, Maddening Scent, caps at 160 injury. However when mixed with Cheryl, Full Face Guard, and V Guard Power, Oinkologne ex can survive opposing assaults and do vital injury over a number of turns. Importantly, Maddening Scent solely requires a single Colorless Power—you’ve got Particular Power at your disposal and may successfully meet its value after utilizing Cheryl. As a result of Oinkologne ex isn’t probably the most aggressive attacker, I just like the defensive choices in Decide and Path to the Peak. Different decks require extra shifting items to operate, so these playing cards can throw a wrench in an opponent’s plans.

Ross says: It’s harmful to face Oinkologne ex. My favourite a part of Natalie’s deck is the synergy between her Supporters and Bibarel. It’s usually tough to make use of a card like Cheryl a number of occasions per recreation, because the flip you employ it you often aren’t drawing any further playing cards. Bibarel’s Industrious Incisors solves that drawback, and there are only a few Pokémon in Natalie’s deck to “clog” her hand.

Natalie makes a superb argument for going with Cheryl over Cheren’s Care on this construct. This method depends on utilizing the Maddening Scent assault a bit extra usually. Its reliance upon your opponent taking part in down Pokémon does fear me, however Heavy Stomp is probably going sufficient to Knock Out most Pokémon in two hits (as lengthy you’ll be able to hit for at the very least 100 injury). This technique can also be aided by Scoop Up Internet getting rotated out of the Commonplace format.

Ross Cawthon
Ross Cawthon is a longtime participant, beginning to play tournaments in 2000. He’s the one participant to compete in all 18 Pokémon TCG World Championships, ending as a finalist in 2005 and 2011, and a semifinalist in 2016. He’s recognized for creating many new “rogue” decks over time. Ross has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and research darkish vitality (to not be confused with Darkness Power playing cards).

Natalie Millar
Natalie has been taking part in Pokémon casually since late 2013 however began attending extra aggressive tournaments in late 2017. She gained the primary Regional Championships again from the pandemic in her dwelling metropolis of Brisbane, Australia, and has been attending most main tournaments since. Outdoors of Pokémon, she studied psychology, but it surely doesn’t assist with studying opponents as a lot as you’d suppose. You’ll find her at most main tournaments and may observe her on Twitter at @nataliem9999.

Xander Pero
Xander Pero is a contributing author for Pokemon.com. He was an avid fan till discovering sanctioned tournaments in 2009. He previously traveled usually for the High 16 circuit, however now spends his time specializing in college, the place he research industrial engineering. You’ll find him at varied tournaments, in addition to on Twitter at @xanderpero.


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