Dark types haven’t quite left the meta since Zoroark-GX and Darkrai-GX’s reign from three years ago. Since then, we’ve had cards like Eternatus VMAX dominate the format, and the game keeps churning out even more dark types. Because of this, the Dark Box deck has been evolving over the years and has several variations to it, each full of Dark Pokemon and Energy that have synergy between them and give you a variety of options as far as attacks are concerned. Here’s a new Dark Box deck for the 2022 Expanded format of Pokemon TCG Online, which Canadian player Christianlabella scored 12 points in a recent tournament with.
The Dark Deck has always been most viable in Expanded, where you have cards like Dark Patch and Max Elixir to make Dark decks super-fast and consistent, helping them retain their place in the meta in spite of power-creep.
Dark Box Expanded deck for 2022 for Pokemon TCG Online
Here’s the Dark Box deck list for the 2022 Expanded format of Pokemon TCG Online:
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon – 12
* 2 Crobat V SHF 44
* 1 Darkrai-EX DEX 63
* 2 Darkrai-GX BUS 88
* 1 Galarian Moltres V CRE 97
* 2 Greninja & Zoroark-GX UNB 107
* 1 Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX UNM 126
* 1 Sneasel UPR 73
* 1 Weavile-GX UNM 132
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 195
##Trainer Cards – 35
* 3 Professor Juniper PLB 84
* 1 N FCO 105
* 1 Colress PLS 118
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 216
* 4 Max Elixir BKP 102
* 4 Dark Patch DEX 93
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 3 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear PHF 92
* 2 Ultra Ball FCO 113
* 2 Hypnotoxic Laser PLS 123
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Dangerous Drill TEU 138
* 1 Escape Rope BST 125
* 3 Sky Field ROS 89
##Energy – 13
* 13 Darkness Energy Energy 7
Total Cards – 60
Deck composition and substitutes
The Dark Box deck is pretty flexible and you can switch counts of your Dark Pokemon except for Crobat V (and Dedenne-GX, which is an Electric-type but will help you draw cards). For example, if you don’t have Hypnotoxic Laser or only have one, it also makes sense to take off one Darkrai-GX because the two cards work together. This deck will also help you figure out which of these cards work in synergy so that you can adjust your counts according to your preferences or availability of cards, as not all of these cards are as useful in other decks.
I wouldn’t change the Energy card counts or try to use any Special Energy because those do not work with the important cards in this deck such as Max Elixir or Dark Patch. You can add in a Boss’ Orders instead of Colress, and a different Ace Spec instead of Computer Search. Dangerous Drill is also not necessary if you don’t have it, and you can replace Escape Rope with Air Balloon.
Staple Dark Box cards
Max Elixir and Dark Patch are the reason why only Dark-type has a deck like this. Max Elixir lets you fetch and attach Energy from the first few cards of your deck, and Dark Patch lets you fetch and attach Energy from your discard pile. While Fire-type decks do have cards like Welder to accelerate Energy, they are Supporter cards and can’t be spammed like these.
Sky Field is another great card for Dark Box decks and synergizes well with cards like Greninja & Zoroark-GX and in other decks, the basic Zoroark-GX. Because of Darkrai-GX’s ability, Sky Field also doesn’t hurt you that bad if it is discarded and your bench size goes back from 8 to 5. Darkrai-EX is another staple card for Dark decks, as it gives free Retreat Costs to all of your Pokemon that have Dark Energy attached to them.
I recommend grabbing all four of these cards if you enjoy using Dark decks, as these are a staple in most of them. Galarian Moltres V can help you further accelerate your Energy using its Ability that can attach Energy to itself from the discard pile (without ending your turn), and if you have Sky Field, you will have space for it as well.
Darkrai-GX and Hypnotoxic Laser
Darkrai-GX can get some crazy surprise knockouts with the right combination. For starters, it can revive itself from the dead. It also fetches Energy from the discard pile when you do that.
Once during your turn (before your attack), if this Pokémon is in your discard pile, you may put it onto your Bench. Then, attach a [D] Energy card from your discard pile to this Pokémon.
Now add an extra Energy manually and one with Dark Patch or Max Elixir, and you’re ready to pull off its GX attack.
If your opponent’s Active Pokémon is affected by a Special Condition, that Pokémon is Knocked Out.
Wondering how you’ll get that Special Condition? Simply use Hypnotoxic Laser, which can make your opposing Pokemon fall asleep.
Why Battle Compressor?
The Darkrai-GX’s OHKO chain is pretty easy to pull off, and you can further make it easier by using the Item Card Battle Compressor to discard Darkrai-GX and Dark Energy from your deck. Battle Compressor lets you search your deck for up to three cards and discard them.
This card also synergizes well with VS Seeker, a staple Item card that lets you fetch discarded Supporters. Using Battle Compressor, you can simply discard the Supporter you’ll need, and fetch it back using VS Seeker.
Greninja & Zoroark-GX
This card is your best bet for being a pure attacker in this deck because of its attack:
Dark Pulse: 30+
This attack does 30 more damage times the amount of [D] Energy attached to all of your Pokémon.
With Max Elixir, Dark Patch, and Darkrai-GX’s ability, this can easily do a lot of damage really quickly. Its GX attack is also pretty good, but unfortunately, you can only use one of these per match and I’d honestly save for Darkrai-GX except for some super-specific situations.
Other Dark cards
Weavile-GX is another broken Dark card because of its ability:
Ability: Shadow Connection
As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may move a basic [D] Energy from 1 of your Pokémon to another of your Pokémon.
It is often paired with Guzzlord, and it further improves your Darkrai-GX chain to pull off that OHKO by letting you move Energy around as much as you want. This card is great, but it would honestly be a lot better if it were a Basic than a Stage 1.
Lastly, you have another attacker in Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX, which has a 210 damage attack that lets you get +1 Prize card if you used it to knock out a GX or EX card, which are pretty easy to come across in Expanded. You also have a super-broken GX attack, and if you can pull it off, I’d go for it just to witness the sheer power of this card.
If this Pokémon has at least 5 extra Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), discard the top 15 cards of your opponent’s deck.
There’s a good chance that if you manage to pull this off, with its 5-Energy cost (those aren’t a problem in this deck), your opponent will rage-quit.
Unlike the Toolbox decks that feature different types of Pokemon to counter different meta cards, this deck focuses on making the most of everything Dark-type cards have to offer. It helps that Dark-type Energy-acceleration cards are still legal in Expanded, as it lets these cards do well in the format even though other types keep getting cards that can do more damage with fewer Energies.
If you’re looking for a dark deck that features fewer types of Pokemon and focuses on a single strategy, check our Eternatus VMAX and Zoroark-GX Expanded deck. For more Standard, Expanded, and Theme deck guides and lists, be sure to check out our Ultimate Pokemon TCG Online guide and resource list.