Snorlax Stall for EUIC and Beyond

Hello again everyone! The European International Championships are fast approaching, and the Temporal Forces metagame is rapidly evolving. Many players have been complaining about a high prevalence of Snorlax Stall at the top end of the Pokemon TCG Live ladder, so I decided to try it out! The deck feels similar to the previous format in the way it operates: you trap something that can’t attack in the opposing Active Spot and prevent it from retreating with Snorlax’s Block ability, then wait for your opponent to deck out. A dedicated retreat lock deck has never been a top contender before, so this is new for the Pokemon TCG!

On the surface, this deck seems easy to defeat. After all, you can just avoid putting non-attackers into play. However, the Snorlax deck has access to Erika's Invitation, which can pull Basic Pokemon out of the opponent’s hand and put them into their Active Spot. Even without Erika’s Invitation, the Snorlax Stall deck plays four copies of Counter Catcher, which will be active for most of the game as Snorlax never intends to take early Prize cards. The Snorlax deck plays very few Energy cards, so you have tons of space to play specific answer cards. Mimikyu is one — even if a deck has an answer to Mimikyu, they are often unable to KO it in one attack, so you can gain time by promoting it.

Your main draw engine in this deck is Rotom V; as you usually never attack, you can end every turn with Instant Charge. While three cards at a time doesn’t seem like a lot, you quickly amass a massive hand and get close to the bottom of your deck. Once this happens, you have two copies of Cyllene, two copies of Pal Pad, and one copy of Team Yell's Cheer to slowly loop your Supporters over and over again. Every time you hit a heads on a Cyllene, you can recover a Pal Pad, which recovers two more Cyllene. This loop can fail, but it involves flipping double tails on Cyllene multiple times in a row and is made very unlikely by the inclusion of the second Cyllene and Team Yell’s Cheer. Since you have no access to your Prize cards now thanks to the rotation of Peonia, you also have a Pidgeot V, which will prevent you from ever decking out. If you have a Cyllene in the Prizes, your loop has the potential to fail with just four tails in a row, which is relatively likely given the amount you will be using Cyllene.

This deck got a huge boost from Temporal Forces with the introduction of Eri , which looks at your opponent’s hand and lets you discard up to two Item cards from it. This is incredibly strong in this type of deck, as it lets us strip the opponent’s switching cards from their hand before they use them. Knowing the opponent’s hand is also very important for this deck, as we can use it to time our Erika’s Invitation properly.

Sometimes, opponents will discard their entire hand with multiple Ultra Ball and just set up one attacker, but we can play an Iono in this situation to force them to draw more cards, setting up either an Eri or an Erika’s Invitation for the following turn. We also use Arven as a setup engine since it lets us find a Forest Seal Stone and a Nest Ball for a Rotom V. There are also other useful Tools we can get with Arven later in the game, like Bravery Charm and Hero's Cape to make Snorlax more difficult to Knock Out. There are a ton of variations in the archetype, and I’ll take this article to go over what I have found to be most preferable!

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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