Building Around Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team

Luke Morsa
November 13, 2019

In today’s article I will be covering an exciting new archetype for standard that is made possible by Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team (ADP) from Cosmic Eclipse. I will be referring to the archetype as ADP Keldeo but you may see or hear it referred to as Payday or maybe KADP. This archetype is currently being built around ADP’s GX attack and using Keldeo-GX as a natural partner due to ADP needing metal and water energy. 


ADPLuke Morsa Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX Drampa (159) Dedenne-GX Jirachi (99) Keldeo-GX Phione (57) Escape Board Cherish Ball Tag Switch Switch Mallow & Lana Reset Stamp Chaotic Swell Cynthia Pokégear 3.0 Great Catcher N's Resolve Acro Bike Water Energy Metal Energy


To understand the strategy of this deck, take note of ADP’s GX attack Altered Creation: 

“For the rest of this game, your Pokémon's attacks do 30 more damage to your opponent's Active Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). If this Pokémon has at least 1 extra Water Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack's cost), when your opponent's Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from those attacks, take 1 more Prize card.”

I have done my best to build this list with consistency in mind, since teching for an unknown metagame can be difficult and sometimes unnecessary. This list is built to use Altered Creation GX on the first turn possible. Going first I’d say it is close to guaranteed that you will use Altered Creation GX for the full effect on your second turn. Going second the deck can get off a two energy Altered Creation on turn 1 more than 50% of the time thanks to how many slots of the deck have been dedicated to making this strategy happen as early and consistently as possible. 

This is the main card of the deck, so only playing two can seem a bit greedy. I have played dozens of games with this list so far and have yet to run into a single instance where I ever wanted more than two ADP. Maybe this is luck, or maybe 2 is just fine. There are plenty of games where you don’t need to use both ADP, so prizing one is usually not a huge deal. 

ADP’s first attack Ultimate Ray is basically a better Full Blitz (Pikarom’s first attack) as it does 150 damage for three energy and allows you to search your deck for up to 3 basic energy and attach them to your Pokemon however you like. With the altered creation buff, Ultimate Ray does 180 damage which one-shots all single prizers and two shots all tag team Pokemon even if they Choice Helmet. 

Keldeo-GX is the best partner for ADP that I have found thus far. I will go into other possible attackers after covering my current list, but I think you are always keeping Keldeo-GX in the list regardless of what other attackers you try. 

Keldeo-GX has the Pure Heart ability which prevents incoming damage and effects from your opponent’s GX Pokemon which can wall out a ton of good attackers and even some entire decks. I think that the Pure Heart ability is something that players are now preparing for with single prize attackers and Power Plant, but luckily our deck is naturally strong against single prizers and Power Plant. 

Since we want to use ADP’s GX attack almost every game, Keldeo’s Resolute Blade GX doesn’t get much love in this deck. However, there have been recurring situations in testing where Keldeo’s Resolute Blade is actually the preferred GX attack for the deck. 



Finding a balance of support in this deck is tricky since it is a brand new archetype. I have tried to make the deck as consistent as possible with a mixture of speedy draw cards like Acro Bike and Dedenne-GX, and more conservative options for consistency and draw like Poke Gear and Jirachi. I started with a full 4 Jirachi, but that was taking up way too much deck space for my liking. I have come across entire games where I have not used a single Dede Change or a single Stellar Wish, but I would not be comfortable taking either out entirely just yet. If you were to cut one of these support Pokemon, I would probably make it Jirachi since you sometimes need the burst draw from Dede Change to dig for the extra energy, switch, or N’s Resolve you need to get going. 

I’m not too sure how known this inclusion is, but I think it is very good in many situations against many decks. Dragon Arcana does 140 damage if Drampa has two types of energy attached which is an easy requirement to fill with this deck so just assume that Drampa will always be dealing its maximum damage. With the buff from Altered Creation GX, Dragon Arcana does 170 which means it one-shots Dedenne-GX and Keldeo-GX while taking 3 prizes for knocking out either. In the mirror, if your opponent knocks out Drampa and either a Keldeo-GX or Dedenne-GX that is only 5 prize cards taken. If the opponent is not playing their own Drampa that means you’ll likely be facing down only ADPs and Keldeos and potentially be able to set this tricky prize trade in your favor. 

The major downside of Drampa is that we cannot search it out with my current list, but I have considered maybe using a Mysterious Treasure or two if I find any other single prize psychic or dragon Pokemon for the deck that are also not Cherish Ball searchable. 

Lopuff is really good versus Pikarom, Mewtwo & Mew, and even mirrors. If your opponent over benches GX Pokemon or had to use an extra Dedenne-GX to set up, you can really punish them with Jumping Balloon.

Lopuff is an absolute bomb that this deck allows you to drop out of nowhere thanks to Tag Switch being a super useful Item in this deck. You can potentially get a Jumping Balloon off even if you started your turn with no energy on board if you N’s Resolve at least two energy to an ADP, attach to Lopuff, and then Tag Switch from ADP to Lopuff. 

Last but not least for the Pokemon, Phione is such a great utility Pokemon and I can safely say that I would have lost several games so far in testing had it not been for this card. Whirlpool Suction acts as a repel or escape rope, but it is reusable since it sends itself back into the deck after use and you can play it down to your bench to use later when you need it. Getting around Tag Purge or another Keldeo-GX is a common use of Phione, and it also great if your opponent has a board of weak support Pokemon hiding behind their main attacker - sometimes forcing your opponent to send up something like Jirachi or Dedenne-GX which will give you prize cards or send up a powered up attacker that they don’t want damaged. 

I am not going to cover all of the Trainers of the deck since many of their inclusions are self explanatory, but I want to highlight just how good Mallow & Lana has been in this deck for me. I feel Mallow & Lana rewards deck building and smart play, especially with ADP’s HP being 280. 


Possible Inclusions


1 Lucmetal is a consideration since its second attack one-shots a Gardeon. If Gardeon is a matchup you expect to see and you want to be able to beat, then I definitely think Lucmetal deserves a spot in this deck. 


If you are experiencing issues with the numbers of our core Pokemon, adding another copy of one or both of these is completely within reason. 

Articuno-GX’s attack has a base of 130 damage which means it deals 160 damage after Altered Creation. 160 one-shots Dedenne-GX which automatically makes this a considerable option, along with the fact that Articuno-GX’s ability allows it move into the active and take energy from other Pokemon on the board which can potentially go well with a Mallow & Lana turn or just taking energy off of a damaged Pokemon. 

This card can be very cute in the deck, but I really think it can be lethal as well. I haven’t put time into a list with Misty & Lorelei included, but in a list that utilizes Tag Call to have a guaranteed search for it I could see this being an incredible card to swing the course of the game and use Keldeo-GX’s Resolute Blade as your second GX attack of the game. 


Great Catchers are very useful and give us more room in the deck for techs and consistency cards, but I did try Custom Catchers in the deck for just a handful of games and when you are able to pull it off they can steal a game away since you only need to knock out 1 tag team and 1 single prize Pokemon after using Altered Creation. 

Rayquaza-GX could be a backup energy acceleration plan for games where turn 1 N’s Resolve doesn’t happen. Do I think this is a good idea? Probably not. If enough people try it will it yield good results for someone? Probably so. If you were going to, you'd want to swap Tag Switches with Energy Switches. 



Vs. Pikarom - Favored

Vs. Mewtwo & Mew - Favored

Vs. Green’s Reshizard and/or Green’s Braixenzard - Favored

Vs. Malamar - Favored

Vs. Blacephalon-GX - Favored

Vs. Pidgeotto Control - Unfavored

Vs. Gardeon - Unfavored without Lucmetal, Favored with Lucmetal

Vs. Baby Blowns - Unfavored

Vs. Ability Zard - Unfavored 



I think that KADP is a very strong Tier 1 Archetype going into LAIC, but I do not think that this deck has broken the format by any means. Something to note is that Pidgeotto Control is an unfavored matchup on paper for ADP, but if ADP gets turn 1 Altered Creation followed by 3 turns of knock outs, ADP is sometimes able to win before Pidgeotto Control can establish a lasting lock. Another deck I think is very good and potentially overlooked at the moment is Spiritomb. I will leave you with the Spiritomb list that you can find on my youtube channel that I have been working with. I think this list is still missing something and I have yet to crack it, but it is definitely a viable rogue archetype in my opinion. 


SpiritombLuke Morsa Ditto Prism Star Pidgey (121) Pidgeotto (123) Spiritomb (112) Buzzwole (77) Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX Jynx (76) Mew (76) Mimikyu (97) Nihilego (106) Snorunt (37) Froslass (38) Professor Elm's Lecture Hustle Belt Pokémon Communication Brock's Grit Cynthia Switch Reset Stamp Pokégear 3.0 Judge Great Catcher Shrine of Punishment Erika's Hospitality Tate & Liza Beast Energy Prism Star Water Energy Darkness Energy Rainbow Energy


Good luck if you are competing in LAIC this weekend! I will be watching from home and brewing up new ideas and meta analyses for next week!


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