Searching Standard: Hisuian Arcanine
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 The Sableyes. It features Hisuian Arcanine LOR 84 making attacks for zero Energy. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck list.
Hisuian Arcanine LOR 84 is the main attacker in this deck. It has the Very Vulnerable attack, which can be used without having any Energy attached. The main problem with this attack is that it only deals 10 damage. However, if you can manage to use this attack while having no cards in your hand, this attack will instead deal 160 damage. That's enough damage to Knock Out nearly any opposing Pokemon with just two attacks. As you'll see, there are ways of getting rid of cards in your hand that we'll talk about later on, some of which are a bit counterintuitive.
By using Zoroark EVS 103, you have the means to reuse any copies of Hisuian Arcanine LOR 84 that have made their way to your discard pile. This is thanks to its Phantom Transformation Ability. There are also some other Stage 1 Pokemon in this deck that are excellent ways to utilize this Ability.
Both Slowbro PGO 20 and Mightyena ASR 96 are playable in this deck simply thanks to Zoroark EVS 103's Phantom Transformation Ability. Slowbro PGO 20 has the Twilight Inspiration attack, which can allow you to steal the game if you use it at the right time. Mightyena ASR 96 will be able to use its Wild Tackle attack for free if your opponent has any Pokemon VMAX in play, thanks to its Hustle Bark Ability. This is another attack for 160 damage that is usable with no Energy attached. As a bonus, you can often hit for double damage due to your opponent's Pokemon having a Weakness to Dark Type Pokemon.
Altaria EVS 106 is the final Stage 1 Pokemon that Zoroark EVS 103 can 'transform' into, however you can also Evolve it from Swablu CPA 48. Altaria EVS 106's Tempting Tune Ability will allow you to search your deck for a Supporter card to put on top of your deck. This is a great way to find any of the three Supporters in this deck whenever you need them.
For a deck that needs to have no cards in hand when you attack, it seems a little counterintuitive to play Radiant Venusaur PGO 4 or Rose Tower DAA 169, as each of these allow you to draw extra cards. However, you might find yourself in a situation where you cannot play everything in your hand. For those times, drawing extra cards can help you find cards that allow you to discard cards, or other things to allow you to play everything in your hand. Oranguru SSH 148 can help with this too by using its Primate Wisdom Ability to switch a card from your hand with the top card of your deck.
With Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117's Headbutt Tantrum Ability, you can deal a little damage to any of your opponent's Pokemon. You can do this repeatedly with the help of Scoop Up Net RCL 165. This extra damage can help pick off a Pokemon that you couldn't quite finish, or soften one up for your next attack. The final Pokemon in this deck is Manaphy BRS 41, who will help keep your Benched Pokemon safe from damage with its Wave Veil Ability.
Peony CRE 150 is your key Supporter in this deck. He allows you to discard your entire hand and search your deck for up to two Trainer cards that you can then put into your hand. Searching is optional, since it says 'up to'. You are certainly welcome to search for zero Trainer cards, if you want. Piers CPA 58 also allows you to search your deck, and you'll be able to find an Energy card and a Dark Type Pokemon to put into your hand. This is a great way to find the only copy of Twin Energy RCL 174 in this deck when you need it.
You want to be able to find the Pokemon you need as quickly as possible. That's what this next couple of batches of cards do. Battle VIP Pass FST 225 might only be able to be played on your first turn of the game, but it will certainly help you find the Basic Pokemon you need to get things started. Quick Ball SSH 179 also helps you find Basic Pokemon from your deck, but it requires a card to be discarded to be used. This helps you empty your hand.
While Level Ball BST 129 can only help you find a Pokemon with 90 HP or less, there are a lot of Pokemon that meet that requirement in this deck. Evolution Incense SSH 163 helps you find Evolution Pokemon to put into your hand. Those Pokemon can then either be played, Evolving as usual, or they can be discarded so that you can play them with Zoroark EVS 103's Phantom Transformation Ability. You can use Ultra Ball BRS 150 to find any Pokemon you need from within your deck, plus it requires you to discard two other cards to use it. This is a great way to get rid of cards like Battle VIP Pass FST 225 that might otherwise get stuck in your hand.
When you play Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146, you get to look at your Prize cards. This gives you perfect information about what cards are missing from your deck. This knowledge will help you plan your future turns better. Ordinary Rod SSH 171 and Pal Pad SSH 172 both help you return things from your discard pile to your deck. You can reuse up to two Supporters, Pokemon, or Basic Energy with these cards.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your attacks, you'll usually want to attack whichever of your opponent's Pokemon you can Knock Out with a single attack. Boss's Orders BRS 132 and Cross Switcher FST 230 both help with this, as you will be able to choose one of their Benched Pokemon to switch with their Active Pokemon. Echoing Horn CRE 136 can be used to return a Pokemon that doesn't have many HP to your opponent's Bench, allowing you to Knock it Out again.
This deck might not hit for the most damage each turn, but it is quite challenging to play. Needing to discard your hand or play all of the cards from it each turn in order to attack for any significant amount of damage gives this deck a unique feel. If you're looking for something to play that's off the beaten track, you might want to consider this deck.
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