Searching Standard: Great Tusk EX
Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard, where each and every week I look for new, innovative decks for you to play in Standard. This week, I'm looking at a deck that was recently featured on the YouTube channel of LittleDarkFury. It features Great Tusk ex PAF 53, a very tanky Pokemon which is able to attack for a ton of damage. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck list.
Great Tusk ex PAF 53 is the main finisher for this deck. By attacking with its Great Bash attack, you'll deal a whopping 260 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon, which can't be affected by any effects on that Pokemon. Chances are, though, that you won't want to have Great Tusk ex PAF 53 as your main attacker throughout the entire game due to its Quaking Demolition Ability. This Ability forces you to discard the top 5 cards of your deck if Great Tusk ex PAF 53 is in your Active Spot at the end of your turn. Of course, while Path to the Peak CRE 148 is in play, you'll be able to nullify this Ability, letting you attack without the drawback.
For an early attacker, this deck relies on Garchomp ex PAR 38. With its Hydro Lander attack, you'll deal 160 damage, plus you can attach up to three Basic Fighting Energy cards from your discard pile to your Benched Pokemon however you would like. This can be a great way to power up Great Tusk ex PAF 53.
In order to draw additional cards each turn, this deck relies on Bibarel BRS 121's Industrious Incisors Ability. There is also a copy of Radiant Greninja ASR 46 in the deck, and you can use its Concealed Cards Ability as an additional way of drawing cards. This Ability has the added benefit of putting Basic Fighting Energy cards into your discard pile, helping Garchomp ex PAR 38's Hydro Lander attack be more beneficial.
This pair of Pokemon are useful due to their damage and damage counter prevention Abilities. Manaphy BRS 41's Wave Veil Ability protects your Benched from taking damage from your opponent's attacks, while Jirachi PAR 126's Stellar Veil Ability prevents damage counters from being placed on your Benched Pokemon. While these effects might seem similar, there is a difference between taking damage and receiving damage counters, so both have their purpose in this deck.
A single copy of Slither Wing PAR 107 is included both as a backup attacker, but also as a defense against the Frenzied Gouging attack of Roaring Moon ex PAR 124. While I don't think this is a necessary card to have in the deck, simply based on the number of times I've played against Roaring Moon ex PAR 124, giving up one Prize card is always better than giving up two. With this being such a situational card, you might consider replacing it with something else, but if you do, be aware that Slither Wing PAR 107 is an Ancient Pokemon, for things like Ancient Booster Energy Capsule PAR 159 and Professor Sada's Vitality PAR 170 that are reliant on having that trait.
Most often, you'll want to attach Ancient Booster Energy Capsule PAR 159 to Great Tusk ex PAF 53, thereby giving it 310 HP. That amount of HP is equivalent to that of the most beefy VMAX Pokemon, making Great Tusk ex PAF 53 very difficult to Knock Out without requiring multiple attacks. Since there are three Ancient Pokemon in this deck, playing Professor Sada's Vitality PAR 170 should allow you to power them up more easily.
By playing Grant ASR 144, the attacks of your Fighting Type Pokemon will deal an extra 30 damage. Even though there's only a single copy of Grant ASR 144 in this deck, the fact that you can discard two cards from your hand to move Grant ASR 144 from your discard pile to your hand, making it able to be played multiple times throughout the course of a game.
Every deck needs ways of finding the Pokemon needed for the deck to run smoothly. On your first turn, if you're lucky, you'll be able to play Battle VIP Pass FST 225 to put up to two Basic Pokemon from your deck onto your Bench. As the game progresses, you'll need to rely on Nest Ball SVI 181 for that same effect, though it can only search for a single Pokemon. Finally, this deck includes a playset of Ultra Ball SVI 196, which you can use to find any Pokemon you need. It also provides you with a means of discarding cards, such as Basic Fighting Energy and copies of Battle VIP Pass FST 225 during later rounds of the game.
In order for your attacks to be as effective as possible, you might want to attack specific Pokemon on your opponent's Bench. You can use both Boss’s Orders PAL 172 and Counter Catcher PAR 160 to move one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon to their Active Spot. Boss’s Orders PAL 172 can always be played for this effect, though it will use up your Supporter for the turn. While Counter Catcher PAR 160 is just an item, it too has a drawback. It can only be played if your opponent has taken more Prize cards than you have.
In addition to moving your opponent's Pokemon around, you might find times when you want to move your Active Pokemon to your Bench, moving a Benched Pokemon to your Active Spot. You have a couple of options. You can play Escape Rope BST 125, which also forces your opponent to switch their Pokemon, or you can play Switch SVI 194, only affecting yourself.
The final batch of Trainer cards are general cards that are found in many Standard decks. Earthen Vessel PAR 163 provides you the means to search your deck for a pair of Basic Energy cards. Iono PAL 185 can help refresh your hand, plus it has the benefit of possibly lowering the number of cards your opponent has and shaking up their plans. Finally, Irida ASR 147 lets you search your deck for a Water Type Pokemon and an Item card. This can be a great way of finding Garchomp ex PAR 38 and the necessary Rare Candy SVI 191 required for Gible PAR 94 to Evolve.
While there are some hoops to jump through to make Great Tusk ex PAF 53 a competitive attacker, the reward is well worth it. The amount of damage Great Tusk ex PAF 53 can take and receive is quite impressive, and this deck looks like a blast to play.
What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in the Pokemon TCG. I'll see you then!
- Mike Likes