How to Beat Snorlax Stall with Tier One Decks!

Hello everyone! Recently, Snorlax stall has seen a spike in popularity online and at major tournaments alike. This archetype received a major buff with the reintroduction of Counter Catcher, and now it is terrorizing casual and competitive players equally.

After making Top 8 at LAIC, Snorlax has just won the Gdansk Regional in Poland. The deck is interesting as it operates vastly differently than every other deck in the format — this causes difficulty for other players when trying to figure out how to deal with it, and it will greatly punish you for any misplays.

Snorlax stall has a dirty little secret, however; it is actually a bad deck. If every player knew how to play against it, it would rarely make Day 2, and it would never make Top 8. In this article, I will go in-depth on understanding the Snorlax stall deck. This will greatly help you learn how to beat it, and I will also discuss its matchups, and how you should play against it as some of the more popular decks in the meta.

Most decks have a decent chance of beating Snorlax, and there are many that will have a positive win rate once you learn the matchup. Many of the Tier 1 decks have a contentious matchup against Snorlax and rely heavily on playing correctly against it.

The LAIC List

For reference, here is the Snorlax list that made Top 8 at LAIC.

Pokemon (7)

4x Snorlax (PGO #55)1x Mimikyu (PEV #97)1x Rotom V (SWSH12PT5 #45)1x Pidgeot V (SWSH11 #137)

Trainers (53)

4x Arven (OFL #186)3x Iono (PEV #185)3x Penny (SVI #183)3x Miss Fortune Sisters (SWSH11 #164)2x Erika's Invitation (MEW #160)2x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)2x Avery (SWSH6 #130)1x Peonia (SWSH6 #149)1x Sidney (SWSH8 #241)1x Giacomo (PEV #182)1x Cyllene (SWSH10 #138)1x Team Yell's Cheer (SWSH9 #149)4x Pokégear 3.0 (SVI #186)4x Nest Ball (SVI #181)4x Counter Catcher (PAR #160)2x Switch Cart (SWSH10 #154)2x Pal Pad (SVI #182)1x Battle VIP Pass (SWSH8 #225)1x Ultra Ball (SVI #196)1x Hisuian Heavy Ball (SWSH10 #146)1x Echoing Horn (SWSH6 #136)1x Super Rod (PEV #188)3x Bravery Charm (PEV #173)1x Luxurious Cape (PAR #166)1x Forest Seal Stone (SWSH12 #156)3x Temple of Sinnoh (SWSH10 #155)

Energy (0)

This is fairly standard as far as stall decks go. If your opponent is playing Snorlax stall, you should expect all of these cards.

Some lists also play Crabominable V, so be wary of that. Crabominable V gives this deck a way to beat an opposing Pidgeot V, as well as a high-HP tank that can apply pressure and mill important resources. I would personally play Crabominable V in the deck, but many lists do not include it. The winning list from Gdansk plays Crabominable V, which helps massively in the mirror and against any deck with a means of infinitely recovering resources. Other than that, and a slightly different Supporter lineup, the lists are practically identical, besides one copy of  Spiritomb — another tech for the mirror, among other things.

Playing Against the Deck

Similar decks have seen play in the past, but it has been a while. Even this deck has been considered unplayable until recently; Erika's Invitation and Counter Catcher are the cards it needed to start seeing success. This deck aims to trap something that isn’t threatening in the Active position and whittle away its opponent’s resources; of course, Snorlax cannot attack without Energy, so it applies pressure with Miss Fortune Sisters, Sidney, and sometimes Giacomo. In comparison to other decks, this pressure is rather tame as they aren’t attacks, and have a chance of failing. All of its ways to apply pressure involve using its Supporter for the turn, so it is rather limited by that as well. In the early-game, Snorlax will need to use Supporters like Arven, Avery, and Iono to set up and stabilize, however, those disruptive Supporters can permanently get rid of crucial resources, so they are powerful and dangerous.


This concludes the public portion of this article.

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Hevz

Aspiring Trainer
Advanced Member
Member
"If Radiant Charizard is prized for Entei V, attack with Entei V and slowly KO Mimikyu with Tachyon Bits — you get 40 free damage per turn as long as you have two Future Booster Energy Capsule in play, so you don’t have to burn switch cards."


How? You can only retreat once.
 

RHowford

Aspiring Trainer
Advanced Member
Member
How is this even good? Can't I just use switch or escape rope and KO Snorlax?
Cool, you used your one switch and took a single prize (Your rope has been milled away or used). Now try to do it five more times, kill a mimikyu and try not to deck out. Also, your hand is now known to your opponent and that Manaphy you were holding is now your active thanks to Erika and it can't retreat. Chip away with it for 10 turns? They use a Penny. You look over at the clock, barely 20 minutes left...
 

ShinyNoivern

Noivern is a cool Pokemon
Member
Cool, you used your one switch and took a single prize (Your rope has been milled away or used). Now try to do it five more times, kill a mimikyu and try not to deck out. Also, your hand is now known to your opponent and that Manaphy you were holding is now your active thanks to Erika and it can't retreat. Chip away with it for 10 turns? They use a Penny. You look over at the clock, barely 20 minutes left...
Chill. I just wasn't sure how the deck is successful. I've never played against one.
 

grantm1999

VileGar
Member
"If Radiant Charizard is prized for Entei V, attack with Entei V and slowly KO Mimikyu with Tachyon Bits — you get 40 free damage per turn as long as you have two Future Booster Energy Capsule in play, so you don’t have to burn switch cards."


How? You can only retreat once.
it's supposed to be 20 a turn, but with 40 on the initial switch out of your attacking entei. and when the mimikyu gets within 40 or 60 of being KO'd, you can go for a switch or two and continue attacking with entei. I should have explained this part better
 

Charmaster:)

Collecting, playing, & making family memories.
Member
it's supposed to be 20 a turn, but with 40 on the initial switch out of your attacking entei. and when the mimikyu gets within 40 or 60 of being KO'd, you can go for a switch or two and continue attacking with entei. I should have explained this part better
When I saw Hevz comment, I thought “hang on, but if you already have an Iron Valiant in the active as well as one on your bench, you can’t use the first one’s ability.” I completely blanked on the fact that it can still use its ability that turn once it has moved to the bench.

And people wonder why the best players still win consistently.
 

blitzle

Aspiring Trainer
Member
and the opponent probably do have energy's and will keep on attacking you and KOing you, so then you'll lose because of lack of pokemon. right?
 

Charmaster:)

Collecting, playing, & making family memories.
Member
and the opponent probably do have energy's and will keep on attacking you and KOing you, so then you'll lose because of lack of pokemon. right?
Ideally Snorlax Stall would avoid this situation by trapping something like Manaphy or Klefki in the active using Erika’s Invitation, something that cannot do very much damage. While doing 20 damage with Manaphy would eventually Knock Out the Snorlax that isn’t damaging the Manaphy, the Snorlax player can just use Penny after several turns to pick up the damaged Snorlax and send up a fresh benched one to take its place. All the time, the Snorlax Stall player hopes to discard your Switch, Warp Point, Switching Cart, and similar cards with Miss Fortune Sisters (or possibly discard Jet Energy with Sidney, but with only one Sidney this would be much harder, so it’s easier to try and negate Jet Energy’s effect with Temple of Sinnoh). Fortunately for the Snorlax Stall player, these decks run 2-3 each of Erika’s Invitation, Penny, and Miss Fortune Sisters, as well as 4 Pokegear to find them and 2-3 Pal Pad, 1 Team Yell’s Cheer, and Cyllene (the latter two of which are Pokegear searchable, even if they aren’t items) to recycle them.

It does mean having to pick your supporter cards very carefully, though, and your supporters can sometimes backfire, which can eventually add up to a game loss. It would be one of the more difficult decks in the format to play, and if the top players read Grant Manley’s article and start playing against Snorlax Stall accordingly, it’s success rate might go down. Might. Manley did say if every player knew how to play against it, not if the top players knew how to play against it. But even if these decks make day 2, they still have to make top 8 to have a chance at winning, which means having to battle through the more experienced players who made day 2 and have invested in their future by paying for the subscription or playtesting the Snorlax matchup until they discover what Manley did.
 

blitzle

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Ideally Snorlax Stall would avoid this situation by trapping something like Manaphy or Klefki in the active using Erika’s Invitation, something that cannot do very much damage. While doing 20 damage with Manaphy would eventually Knock Out the Snorlax that isn’t damaging the Manaphy, the Snorlax player can just use Penny after several turns to pick up the damaged Snorlax and send up a fresh benched one to take its place. All the time, the Snorlax Stall player hopes to discard your Switch, Warp Point, Switching Cart, and similar cards with Miss Fortune Sisters (or possibly discard Jet Energy with Sidney, but with only one Sidney this would be much harder, so it’s easier to try and negate Jet Energy’s effect with Temple of Sinnoh). Fortunately for the Snorlax Stall player, these decks run 2-3 each of Erika’s Invitation, Penny, and Miss Fortune Sisters, as well as 4 Pokegear to find them and 2-3 Pal Pad, 1 Team Yell’s Cheer, and Cyllene (the latter two of which are Pokegear searchable, even if they aren’t items) to recycle them.

It does mean having to pick your supporter cards very carefully, though, and your supporters can sometimes backfire, which can eventually add up to a game loss. It would be one of the more difficult decks in the format to play, and if the top players read Grant Manley’s article and start playing against Snorlax Stall accordingly, it’s success rate might go down. Might. Manley did say if every player knew how to play against it, not if the top players knew how to play against it. But even if these decks make day 2, they still have to make top 8 to have a chance at winning, which means having to battle through the more experienced players who made day 2 and have invested in their future by paying for the subscription or playtesting the Snorlax matchup until they discover what Manley did.
ok thanks
 

L1GHT

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Ideally Snorlax Stall would avoid this situation by trapping something like Manaphy or Klefki in the active using Erika’s Invitation, something that cannot do very much damage. While doing 20 damage with Manaphy would eventually Knock Out the Snorlax that isn’t damaging the Manaphy, the Snorlax player can just use Penny after several turns to pick up the damaged Snorlax and send up a fresh benched one to take its place. All the time, the Snorlax Stall player hopes to discard your Switch, Warp Point, Switching Cart, and similar cards with Miss Fortune Sisters (or possibly discard Jet Energy with Sidney, but with only one Sidney this would be much harder, so it’s easier to try and negate Jet Energy’s effect with Temple of Sinnoh). Fortunately for the Snorlax Stall player, these decks run 2-3 each of Erika’s Invitation, Penny, and Miss Fortune Sisters, as well as 4 Pokegear to find them and 2-3 Pal Pad, 1 Team Yell’s Cheer, and Cyllene (the latter two of which are Pokegear searchable, even if they aren’t items) to recycle them.

It does mean having to pick your supporter cards very carefully, though, and your supporters can sometimes backfire, which can eventually add up to a game loss. It would be one of the more difficult decks in the format to play, and if the top players read Grant Manley’s article and start playing against Snorlax Stall accordingly, it’s success rate might go down. Might. Manley did say if every player knew how to play against it, not if the top players knew how to play against it. But even if these decks make day 2, they still have to make top 8 to have a chance at winning, which means having to battle through the more experienced players who made day 2 and have invested in their future by paying for the subscription or playtesting the Snorlax matchup until they discover what Manley did.
Klefki cannot be bench locked