Speed Decks in Standard – A Look at Three Decks in Standard

Hello again everyone! Treynor here again! I hope everyone had safe trips back from Regional Championships, and I hope everyone enjoyed the action on the streams.

I had a good time seeing some old friends at Fall Regionals in Ft. Wayne. It’s been a long offseason between Regionals and Worlds, and it’s been very hard to not fall out of practice with school starting and no big tournaments on the horizon. Fall Regionals was a lot of fun to cover, and unfortunately, being here in Nebraska made it very hard to travel to these Regionals.

Anyway, the topic of this article is speed decks, decks that hit fast and deal tons of damage. These decks have always been my absolute favorite decks to play! I’ve always been the Red / White player whenever I played Magic the Gathering. I always have liked a fast and furious type of deck, and Pokemon is no different. I’m going to talk about common cards we see in speed decks and a few speedy decks in our Standard format.

This format is new and so is the Pokemon season! Don’t miss out on the advice of the highly experienced writers we have in the PokeBeach staff!

The Meaning of Speed!

Speed decks have always been in our game of Pokemon. They exist in almost every card game that I can think of. The difference between Pokemon and other games is that in most other games, these speed decks try to win in the early stages of the game. In Pokemon, these decks can very easily knock an opponent off their feet in the first stages of the game, but I would argue that Pokemon is a very fast paced game to begin with. Very rarely in Pokemon do you have a turn where less than five or six cards are played. Speed decks in Pokemon are characterized by having a condition to do a lot of damage. Cards are normally played to meet said condition. Consider Lucario-EX. Its first attack does a pretty meager 30 damage, yet cards like Strong Energy and Muscle Band exist to bolster that damage. I’m not saying that Lucario-EX is a card used in speed decks, but small attacks become huge when you combo cards together. Another good example is Yanmega Prime from a past format. It is a quick attacker that hits hard (70 damage was very respectable back then).

You knew he was gonna be in this article…

Speed decks tend to have low HP attackers with small Energy costs that do large amounts of damage. I’m sure you can think of many. These decks typically don’t establish a very powerful board state. They get the resources they need, when they need it, and don’t require much set up. Their attackers have low HP, so you normally have to burn resources to replace the attackers that you lose every turn. Energy is the biggest requirement, since your Pokemon normally don’t have the fortitude to withstand an attack and retain their Energy, so you have to keep replacing them.

Another characteristic of speed decks is how quickly they go through the deck. These decks tend to play their deck down to less than ten cards in two or three turns. They move fast and they keep their decks thin, since they have to continue to draw key cards to respond to Pokemon getting Knocked Out quickly.

These are what speed decks are categorized by. They don’t have cards that are outright powerful such as Seismitoad-EX. They also very rarely disrupt your opponent’s game plan. Lysandre is such an important card in these decks so that they can cripple an opponent by taking out their biggest resources on the field. Let’s go over some more characteristics of these decks in the form of the cards that they play. After that I will explain some of the speed-based decks in the Standard format.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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