Hello everyone! I recently won a major online event in the Expanded format, and I wanted to share and discuss the deck I used: Snorlax Stall. I know that stall is quite a polarizing archetype, but this deck is just so good! For one thing, it’s extremely skill-intensive. One particular point of interest is how it interacts with an open-list format, which is what most online events use nowadays. Snorlax Stall takes advantage of decklist knowledge more than any other deck I’ve ever seen — for reasons I’ll explain in detail a bit later.
Last time, I wrote about Togekiss VMAX, and I mentioned how broken it became with the unbanning of Lusamine. Shortly afterward, I came across this Snorlax Stall deck, a version of which apparently won a previous online Expanded event. After testing and making several changes, I realized that this deck was even more broken than Togekiss — if only because it demolishes Togekiss in addition to everything else. It has some similar things going for it, too — like Togekiss, the unbanning of Lusamine made the deck truly insane.
Although the event I won was held before Battle Styles came out, the new set doesn’t change much for Snorlax Stall. The deck remains as broken as ever, countered only by certain infinite Energy acceleration Pokemon like Rillaboom. Here’s my current list.
Note: In my tournament list, I made one huge error — which, luckily, I didn’t get punished for! I forgot to include Regirock in the deck, simply because I didn’t think about it. (I’ll explain why Regirock is so important momentarily.) The only change I’ve made since the tournament is adding in Regirock for what was previously a Nest Ball. Although it really hurts to cut consistency cards from the deck, as Nest Ball can grab Zacian V for draw power, it’s also quite difficult to find space in this list.
Pokemon (9)3x Snorlax (PLS #101)2x Zacian V (SWSH1 #138)1x Bunnelby (PRC #121)1x Girafarig (LOT #94)1x Lucario and Melmetal-GX (UNB #120)1x Regirock (PRXY #XY49)
Trainers (44)1x Faba (LOT #173)1x Team Rocket's Handiwork (FAC #112)1x CARD NOT FOUND1x Team Flare Grunt (XY #129)1x AZ (PHF #91)2x Professor Juniper (DEX #98)2x Gladion (CRI #95)2x Guzma (BUS #115)2x Lusamine (CRI #96)4x Steven's Resolve (CES #145)4x N (DEX #96)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x CARD NOT FOUND3x Robo Substitute (PHF #102)3x Counter Catcher (CRI #91)2x CARD NOT FOUND1x Ordinary Rod (SWSH1 #171)1x Field Blower (GUR #125)1x Enhanced Hammer (GUR #124)1x Target Whistle (PHF #106)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)2x Power Plant (UNB #183)
Energy (7)1x Double Colorless Energy (LTR #113)2x Fire Energy (XY #133)4x Capture Energy (SWSH2 #171)
This deck operates a little differently than typical stall or control decks. It has more of a focus on Snorlax’s Block Ability as a win condition. This works due to the Expanded format’s excessive reliance on Guzma and Float Stone as switching cards. Snorlax blocks retreating, and opposing Guzmas only work if there’s a valid target on our Bench. If Snorlax is our only Pokemon in play, opponents cannot use Guzma. And if Regirock is the only Pokemon on our Bench, Guzma doesn’t actually work. This means that Snorlax can trap Pokemon that can’t attack in certain decks such as Dedenne-GX, Crobat V, Sudowoodo, etc. Once the opponent is unable to attack, it’s a matter of time until they deck out.
The deck is built around setting up a situation where Snorlax can win the game by trapping something.
Even if opponents have outs to Snorlax such as Escape Rope, Stealthy Hood, etc., these are finite resources that can be depleted. Open-list formats benefit this deck greatly because you can account for exactly what options the opponent has available. You also know your exact win conditions. This deck is insanely strong in pretty much any scenario, but it’s straight-up unfair when you have knowledge of an opponent’s list.
It’s important to note that this deck can win through routes other than Snorlax locking, so you should be on the lookout for easier win conditions. However, it’s usually much easier and more practical to aim to win by trapping something in the opponent’s Active Spot. Snorlax isn’t necessarily needed for this, but it’s usually an important part.
Snorlax’s Block is our main win condition because it prevents retreating. Therefore, it nullifies Float Stone — the preferred mobility option in Expanded. Don’t let your Snorlax die needlessly, because you’ll usually need one at the end to win the game. That being said, it’s okay to sacrifice Snorlax if it makes the opponent use up one of their counters to it. In fact, this is actually one of Snorlax’s main uses: make the opponent expend resources, and pave the way for a future Snorlax to lock up the game once they’ve run dry.
We have three Snorlax and Ordinary Rod in the deck, so budget them carefully. Use your first few Snorlax to force your opponent to burn switching cards, and then once they have no more of them, implement the lock and win from there.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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