The Long Con — Two Control Decks to Dominate the New Format

Hello everyone! This is Grant Manley, and it’s good to be back writing after some time off. Unbroken Bonds just dropped, and this new set has some crazy stuff in it. There are a lot of things I still have yet to try, and today I will be discussing two of the most promising decks for the new Standard format. Neither of these decks revolve too heavily around the new cards, but they are both control decks that have the potential to be absolutely broken for as long as people don’t counter them. The first deck I’ll talk about is one that I came up with awhile back that has caught on quite a bit recently — Oranguru / Shedinja. The next one is a Vileplume variant that has been working very well in testing.

Infinite Shedinja

Pokemon (22)

3x Oranguru (ULP #114)4x Shedinja (LOT #95)4x Nincada (LOT #29)4x Zebstrika (LOT #82)4x Blitzle (LOT #81)1x Ditto Prism Star (LOT #154)1x Durant (LOT #128)1x Mew (UNB #76)

Trainers (34)

4x Lillie (ULP #125)4x Ingo and Emmet (TEU #144)2x Gladion (CRI #95)2x Brock's Grit (TEU #135)1x Faba (LOT #173)1x Tate and Liza (CES #148)1x Lt. Surge's Strategy (UNB #178)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)4x Nest Ball (SM #123)2x Pokégear 3.0 (UNB #182)1x Pal Pad (ULP #132)1x Counter Catcher (CRI #91)1x Enhanced Hammer (GUR #124)1x Crushing Hammer (SM #115)1x Sky Pillar (CES #144)

Energy (4)

2x Double Colorless Energy (NXD #92)2x Fire Energy (BLW #106)

The strategy of this deck is to use Shedinja‘s Ability to equip it to your Active Oranguru, which prevents your opponent from taking a Prize card when the Oranguru is KO’d. Oranguru’s Resource Management recycles Brock’s Grit among other things, so you have an infinite stream of Shedinja to prevent your opponent from ever winning. The draw engine featuring Zebstrika and Ingo and Emmet is designed to thin the deck out as quickly as possible, and to always draw back into Nincada and Shedinja. This creates an infinite game state where it is theoretically impossible to lose. Your opponent will eventually run out of cards in their deck, and Durant can help this process along.

When I came up with this deck a couple of months ago, I wasn’t really expecting to be taken seriously. However, after I posted the deck on Twitter, a few European players made some significant modifications to the list and ended up reaching day two in the Berlin International Championship. This was cool to see, however it meant that this annoying deck became more popular as a result. If you compare the Berlin lists with this one, you may notice some major differences. That’s because this list is takes elements from my original one and combines it with some of the changes the European players made. For example, I really dislike Professor Elm's Lecture, Tapu Lele-GX, Great Ball, and Slowking from the Berlin list. However, I love the thin disruption package and the inclusion of Durant. I also used to run Jirachi and Escape Board, but it turns out they are not needed.

This deck can more or less function no matter what you do with the list, but of course we should always attempt to make any given list as optimal as possible.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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