Discussion Is there any way to beat Shrine decks effectively? Does Shrine destroy the meta?

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by FlashRayquaza, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. FlashRayquaza Rayquaza Fan


    While I thought about what to play for my next tournament one big problem came up: I found no reliable way to beat shrine decks (especially Baby Buzz/Garbodor and Baby Buzz/ULP Weavile).

    The problem took me hours and hours until found an acceptable solution. When I'm close to finding a solution it gets crashed by other decks like Zororoc, VikaRay,...

    So I want to start a discussion: What do you think about Shrine? Is there a way to beat it? Is it almost invincible? Do you think it's unfair/destroys the metagame (like Zoroark did once)? Do you see any potetial counters coming up in the next expansion(s)?

    I'm interested what your point of view is.

  2. PokeMedic Don't talk to me or my Pokemon ever again

    Articles Staff Activities Staff Member

    I went against a deck that used Shrine but no GX Pokemon. He was using Tapu Koko PRSM #SM30, Weavile BUS, Sneasel ULP, Tapu Lele ULP, Buzzwole FOL, and Shining Jirach SHL. Wrecked my Greninja. I could only get one prize card per knockout and even though the max HP of his Pokemon were so low, and I could OHKO with Greninja GX if were active, I kept losing by prize cards.

    It felt like a generation gap had been bridged. All the power-creep of the last several years just got shut down by non-Ex/Gx Pokemon deck that played like something I would have seen in Platinum or HG/SS on.
  3. TorchHG Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    Quite honestly, I think Shrine is a strong deck for the format. Right now, I haven’t seen a whole lot of it, so I’m fine taking the loss against it thus far. Now, as it becomes more prevalent, I think that deck building and strategy should more or less keep it in consideration as opposed to straight up countering with decks. Some of these deck building considerations should be being able to function without playing so many item cards (I played against a Garbodor deck with Dusk Mane / Magnezone only using 3 items the entire game), using less abilities (working on deck cycling without needing Tapu Lele GX or utilizing othr tech attackers), and possibly even getting around Sledgehammer turns.

    I don’t think it’s unbearable to deal with, but it will definitely require some more deck building constraints in an already new metagame.
  4. RisingRaichuu Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    Max potions :)
  5. SquirtleRules Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    More than just deck building. How one plays against shrine and spread also matters. I’ve played a lot of spread, and the top players hold off on loading their bench as much as possible. So, if u don’t have to put a gx in play, then don’t. This was also the case with spread, and some spread decks would carry captivating pokepuff to increase the bench size. It also helps to have an attacker that can do 120 to OHKO all the one prize attackers. Without that, it’s very tough.
    K_la and CharlesNXS like this.
  6. Mega Mewthree... A new threat has appeared.
    Mega Mewthree...


    I have found that Beast Box decks do really well against shrine.
    1. Ultra Wall can stop tapu koko in it's tracks.
    2. Running 4 ultra space makes it easy to get rid of the shrine.
    3. Naganadel incredibly efficient attack can end the game before it is started.
    4. Against weavile variants you can chose just to play down naganadel as it has no ability.
    CharlesNXS likes this.
  7. SquirtleRules Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    Sorry for short response earlier - was on the phone.

    The way to describe how to beat a spread or shrine deck is to first break down what they want to do. In general, they want to:
    a) build damage,
    b) as early as possible, and
    c) get to about 600 damage on the board (at this point, a spread deck wins over 90% of the time.)

    So, to beat one of these decks, defeat each of these separately. The details will sometimes depend on what you are playing, but ...
    a) resist loading the bench and playing GXs until you absolutely need to. If the spread deck will not KO your necrozma any time soon, then don’t put a second on the bench. Also, if you use stadiums, eg brooklet Hill, then save them until AFTER they play shrine. You don’t want brooklet loading your bench anyway. Like restraint with items when playing against Garb, a little restraint against a spread/shrine deck goes a long way.
    b) try to target his attackers according to the damage they can do to your specific deck. So, if you have restraint on items, then leave trubbish alone. If you loaded your bench (Malamar decks), then KO Tapu Koko asap, if u have lots of abilities- then target sneasel asap, etc.
    c) look for ways to reduce the damage on the board - max potion, acerola, etc. Most decks carry Tapu Lele GX - if you have the energy, then Tapu Cure is priceless late in the game to pull 150 damage from 2 GXs. When playing spread, I lost a lot of games to Tapu Cure.
    CharlesNXS, Fredrik and TorchHG like this.
  8. JumpluffTCG Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    Add to what SquirtleRules said, you should aim to take out their Diancie Prism early on for Buzzwole builds. Baby Buzz really struggles to do meaningful damage without that 20 damage bonus.

    In terms of deckbuilding, you should probably aim somewhere in the neighborhood of 4+ in some combination of Field Blowers and counter stadiums for GX heavy builds. Some options include:

    -Devoured Field for Zoroark builds
    -Brooklet Hill for Fighting and Water decks
    -Mt. Coronet for Magnezone
    -Aether Paradise Conservation Area in Bulu/grass builds, though this stadium kinda sucks lol

    Teching in attackers that can do 130 with little/no drawbacks do especially well against shrine decks. Examples of these include Tapu Koko GX, Magnezone (if you have two with Mt. Coronet in play, you can just Zap Cannon, retreat, and attach to Zap Cannon with the other one), Lycanroc GX if you have Diancie in play, Zygarde GX, grass Dhelmise. Notice I had the nerves to put GXs in that list. You will actually win the prize trade if you can one-shot Buzzwoles/Garbodors and they only deal 30-80 damage to you each turn (reminder to take out Diancie Prisms early to make this happen).

    130 really is the golden number here. You'll be able to OHKO anything found in Shrine decks because they're all basic/stage 1 non-GXs so they rarely exceed the 130 HP mark.

    The other thing I've noticed playing Shrine decks myself is its tendency to brick from time to time. You're dealing with split energy types and a couple of evolution lines, leading to awkward situations. Sure there's Oranguru + Magcargo, but if you're one-shotting their attackers every turn, searching out just one card a turn won't save them, and they'll get overwhelmed and fall behind.

    So in summary:
    -Aim for the Diancie Prism early
    -play attackers that can hit for a flat 130 relatively drawback-free
    -aim to one shot their attackers turn after turn and you'll eventually break through
    -play more Field Blowers and counter stadiums
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    CharlesNXS and SquirtleRules like this.
  9. FlashRayquaza Rayquaza Fan


    So, here is my opinion.

    1. Shrine is definitely good, and a meta-dominating deck, but it is not broken nor unbeatable. It's just a deck that has no "obvious" counters.

    2. There are some decks which are very unlikely to beat shrine. Those will propably lose a game against shrine.

    3. This are the decks that imo can beat shrine:
    - Any deck that plays Max Potion, Acerola, Stadium cards, no GX Pokémon, can do 130 damage each turn, don't rely on Ability that much, have high HP and/or have no Fighting-/Psychic-/Darkness weakness have a better chance to kill shrine.

    These are a few of the decks that, in my opinion, can beat Shrine:

    - Zoroark Lycanroc
    Hits consistently good numbers, and Lycanroc can get Sneasels and Trubbishs down fast enough, it is a tough MU but you can win if your know how to play.

    - ZoroPod
    It has access to Max Potion and Acerola, and does not have that many abilities, Golisopod has no F/D/P weakness

    - Beast Box (Naga/Metal) is flexible enough to beat Shrine. It has not that many abilities, has a counter Stadium, hits Buzz and Garb for weakness, uses Max Potion and Acerola
  10. PokeMedic Don't talk to me or my Pokemon ever again

    Articles Staff Activities Staff Member

    Watch how many GXs you are going to play to the bench. The guy I played did Shrine and Tapu Koko. Took way too many hits to survive once any of the bench made it to active position.
  11. Audiofreak19 Aspiring Trainer


    I played last now guy and I think we it of 12 games I played 9 of them were against some sort of spread deck wether buzz/garb or shining Archeus Koko. The other 3 were zoro pod decks. I think I lost a total of 3 games out of them all with my zoro/roc deck. One was vs zoro pod. But most of the shrine decks comes down to the last prize or last two prizes.
  12. pikachuuuu101 Custom Title


    I tried playing spread.dek, and I have to say it feels very under powered, as the spot removal is very weak, a single big pokemon can probably take out the deck, and by only playing 2 pokemo you can beat it easily
  13. birdboy2000 Bird Keeper


    If you really wanna cheese shrine decks, there's a little card called metal frying pan... not the only way to troll them but it's definitely up there.
  14. FlashRayquaza Rayquaza Fan


    Metal decks have a good shrine matchup, because of Max Potion healing, high HP and the frying pan you named. (Maybe i should try out if a frying pan helps me solving this shrines in BotW, or if it's a good way to keep mosquitos away)
  15. Yog Rogue



    Tapu Lele likes this.
  16. cardgjammer Aspiring Trainer


    Seems like the game can't wait for October, unless the Newgaleo is somehow delayed again:

    1. Dhelmise's ability enhances damage by 1 more damage counter.

    2. Newgaleo's attack can do 120 base, and if Dhelmise is benched, it can KO 130 HP pokemon like Buzzwole, as well as the spreaders, thanks to the Dhelmise support, just 1 DCE...

    3. Its associated deck uses Max Potion.

    4. Sky Pillar could be used to ensure the bench is spared the 20s from Koko, any Rule of Evil shenanigans, among other spreader means, until the Shrine is re-established...

    ^ The question is, is the game waiting for the right pokemon to come to the streets? Or will the relevant non-GXes(Weavile, Shining Arceus, Tapu Koko promo, Lele Prism, among other spreaders), even with their Shrines, dominate until the bulk of such non-GXes rotate?

    The answer will come eventually...
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  17. Lord Goomy Got Goomies?
    Lord Goomy


    Greetings. Is there any appropriate matter upon which you would like to converse?

    Ah. The reign of Non-GX Pokémon has returned.

    How to beat it? Simple:
    Win the game in as little moves as possible. If they play ANY GX's in that deck, wreck them first.
    Play Enhanced Hammer. After all, there is NO special energy retrieval anymore.

    That's what I think. See ya!
  18. Laurier_Ex Ninja master


    My answer to your question is Acerola. And since Acerola is only good if you can avoid OHKO, the other card you need is Weakness Policy. Those are the 2 cards that I believe can allow someone to beat the current Shrine decks. The other thing is that you need to reliably be able to draw into Acerola each turn so Zoroark-Gx with Magcargo is king.

    Here is the core of my current standard list:

    Pokemon 18

    4-4 Zoroark-Gx line
    2-2 Magcargo line
    2-2 Garbodor line
    2 Tapu Lele Gx

    Trainers 31

    4 Acerola
    3 Guzma
    2 Lillie
    1 Judge
    1 Cynthia
    4 Mysterious Treasure
    4 Ultra Ball
    3 Nest Ball
    2 Rescue Stretcher
    2 Weakness Policy
    2 Choice Band
    1 Pal Pad
    1 Field Blower
    1 Switch
    1 Poke Nav
    1 Energy Loto
    1 Enhanced Hammer

    Energy 8

    4 Double Colorless
    4 Psychic

    Basically the idea is to use Acerola and rotate Zoroak-Gx attackers every turn hence the 4 copies with the Pal Pad. Garbodor allows OHKO late game and can also deal with Baby Buzzwole early for a single prize. You can get Garbodor or Lele out with Mysterious Treasure. Most lists using Shrine I have seen so far use 1 Field Blower so playing 2 Weakness policy can counter Baby Buzzwole. If they play more Field Blowers, play more Weakness Policy.

    Ps: I would play this deck over any spread deck for a tournament.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  19. FlashRayquaza Rayquaza Fan


    Not bad, not bad. This deck can beat Shrine but there's one problem: it gets crashed by Zororoc, Buzz GX, VikaRay... Well Weakness Policy may help for the first two, but it can be blowered or opponent can Guzma around, and Garb may help against VikaRay. Still, I would play it with Golisopod instead, as it has no popular weakness, and uses both Max Potion and Acerola.
  20. Champions festival

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