Expanded is the most interesting format in Pokemon TCG Online. Everything that rotates from Standard finds its way into Expanded, and it turns into this wild battleground of all sorts of Pokemon and Trainer cards. You also have counters to popular strategies, like ADP/Z only having a hard counter in Expanded while it was the best deck in Standard.
This leads to the format being future-proof and having a lot of variety, and you’ll rarely be encountering the same deck over and over again, which means that not everyone will be carrying that counter with them either. Here are 10 of the best Expanded decks for the 2022 Expanded format of Pokemon TCG Online.
10. Wall Stall
Stall decks are back! With Lusamine being unbanned, this deck is back in full swing and is one of the best budget decks in the game. Snorlax simply blocks your opponent from retreating and relies on stalling the game forever, which will almost always make your opponent quit.
9. Cinccino control
Cinccino control decks have a lot of variety and aren’t the easiest to use. Cinccino is great for drawing cards (powered by Exeggcute), Bunnelby for its Oranguru-esque ability, Alolan Muk for discarding your opponent’s cards, Girafarig for sending cards to the lost zone, and Aricuno-GX for discarding all Energies from your opponent’s Pokemon.
8. ADP deck(s)
Enough has been said about ADP already, and while we’re glad that it’s gone out of Standard, it is still strong in Expanded. You can counter it using Pokemon Ranger, but who’s going to carry a Supporter card just for that? ADP has this crazy broken ability that skews the entire game in your favor:
Altered Creation-GX – For the rest of this game, your Pokémon’s attacks do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). If this Pokémon has at least 1 extra Water Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), when your opponent’s Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from those attacks, take 1 more Prize card. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
7. Garchomp & Giratina-GX
This one’s a pretty fun, cheap, and strong deck that I would recommend to anyone who has the cards. Garchomp & Giratina-GX use their attack to one-shot cards like Pikarom easily:
Calamitous Slash (160+): If your opponent’s Active Pokémon already has any damage counters on it, this attack does 80 more damage.
To trigger this attack, you can simply use Galarian Zigzagoon. Then you have Nanganadel & Guzzlord-GX with their GX attack that can easily win you easy matches:
Turn all of your Prize cards face up. (Those Prize cards remain face up for the rest of the game.) If this Pokémon has at least 1 extra Psychic Energy and 1 extra Darkness Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), take 2 Prize cards. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
6. Zacian deck(s)
Zacian has a great ability and a 230 damage attack:
Once during your turn, you may look at the top 3 cards of your deck and attach any number of Metal Energy cards you find there to this Pokémon. Put the other cards into your hand. If you use this Ability, your turn ends.
Being the poster-boy of Sword & Shield, this card isn’t going away for a while and can be paired with all kinds of cards, the most popular ones being ADP and Lucario & Melmetal-GX.
5. Snorlax VMAX and Zoroark-GX
Here’s another incredibly consistent deck that is a lot of fun to use. This deck uses Triple Acceleration Energy to fuel Snorlax VMAX’s attack and Special Charge to recycle that Energy. You also have the good old Sky Field to expand your bench, after which you can make full use of Snorlax’s attack:
G-Max Fall : 60+
This attack does 30 more damage for each of your Benched Pokémon.
Here’s the deck guide to the Snorlax VMAX Expanded deck.
4. Mad Party
Mad Party is one of the best one-prizer Expanded decks in Pokemon TCG Online (except for the use of Dedenne-GX) that rely on a bunch of seemingly weak Pokemon that all have one attack:
Mad Party 20x
This attack does 20 damage for each Pokémon in your discard pile that has the Mad Party attack.
Pikarom either makes your opponent quit, or never gets going and becomes an even matchup. Fusion Strike’s Boltund VMAX is the newest addition to this deck that makes it even stronger, but even without that, it has been one of the best decks in the game. Pikachu & Zekrom-GX brings some serious firepower, with the ability to attach Energies onto your Pokemon. Moreover, the deck has plenty of Item Cards that take it to the next level and make it super-consistent to the point where you’re getting 3-4 Energies onto your Pokemon on turn one.
Here’s the deck guide to the Pikarom Expanded deck.
2. Coalossal VMAX
Coalossal VMAX is so high on this list only because it hard-counters the #1 and #3 decks on the list. This deck relies on the VMAX’s 240-damage attack, and its first attack:
Eruption Shot 40+
Discard the top card of your deck. If that card is an Energy card, this attack does 90 more damage, and attach that card to this Pokémon.
To make sure you have Energy at the top of your deck, you have Oranguru and Magcargo as the main engine of the deck. It’s pretty straightforward and can one-shot every single card in Pikarom and Eternatus decks. However, against any other opponent, it goes one tier lower but still manages to be pretty strong.
1. Eternatus VMAX and Zoroark-GX
This deck has aged exceptionally well and doesn’t see a lot of use in tournaments because a lot of people are running Coalossal VMAX decks, which absolutely wreck it due to type advantage. However, on the Expanded ladder, this deck will give you some pretty good match-winning streaks because barely few people are using Coalossal there. It is certainly one of the best Expanded decks in Pokemon TCG Online and has transitioned pretty well through the 2021 Rotation.
This deck uses Eternatus VMAX to expand your bench space to 8, and then uses its 2-Energy attack that does 30 damage for each Dark Pokemon you have in play. Your other dark Pokemon are Darkrai-GX and Zoroark-GX. Zoroark has an attack similar to Eternatus and can also draw cards each turn. Darkrai-GX on the other hand can resurrect itself (and an Energy) from the discard pile, and comes with a wild GX attack that can KO your opponent if it has any special condition. To put that condition onto that Pokemon, you use Hypnotoxic Laser.
Just a note for those of you who are into serious competitive tournaments: you might also come across tourneys that only allow single-Prizers. For such tournaments, Cinccino is an obvious pick from this list, but Blacephalon also does very well. Blacephalon doesn’t compete well with the V/VMAX decks from this list, but it is a pretty good pick for single-Prizer Expanded tournaments. Here’s a good Blacephalon deck list for Expanded that has done well in tournaments.
If you’re interested in other formats as well, do check out our list of the Best Theme decks and Best Standard decks for 2022. For Standard and Expanded deck guides and lists, check out our Ultimate Pokemon TCG Online guide and resource list. Expanded cards don’t rotate like Standard, and you’ll find plenty of good ones on our resource list as well.