As strategy games continue to churn out content on a long-term basis, one of the things that can keep new content exciting is if it is objectively better than what’s already in the game. Pokemon TCG Online has always had a constant power creep, and there are times when the game has seriously overdone it. From cards that don’t let your opponent play their turn, to cards that grant the player a permanent advantage for that game, here are 7 of the most broken decks in Pokemon TCG Online.
Note that these decks aren’t listed in any particular order, and all of them were termed as “broken” at the time of their yearly rotation and may not fare well in the current Pokemon TCG Online meta.
Nope, I’m not talking about Eternatus VMAX in Standard. Yes, that was still pretty powerful, but Eternatus in Expanded is a whole new game. Here’s a deck that I’ve been using to farm wins in Expanded for over a year now.
We’ve had a bunch of new sets with power-creeped Pokemon that have been unable to do anything about its quick setups and 2-Energy attacks. This deck uses Eternatus VMAX as the main attacker, with Zoroark-GX and Darkrai-GX being secondary attackers. Eternatus expands your bench to a point where you can simply use the 2-Energy attack to do 270 damage, and nothing else in the game comes close. Zoroark draws cards and also does damage based on the number of Pokemon you have in play. You also have Crobat V to draw cards, and Darkrai-GX to pull off a surprise attack with its GX move and Hypnotoxic Laser.
The deck is incredibly consistent; it rarely tanks, and the synergy between the cards is absolutely insane.
Since we’re discussing Zoroark-GX, can we just acknowledge just how it elevated otherwise mediocre decks to the S-tier? This card has been relevant in the meta since 2017, and while it has shifted from Standard to Expanded, it is still pretty good.
Zoroark has always been great at drawing cards with its ability, but not too long ago, its attack was pretty dangerous too. Power creep has balanced it out and pushed it below average, but around 2017, when Tapu Lele-GX was legal in Standard, Zoroark was the reigning king.
You had Zoroark-Lycanroc and Zoroark-Buzzwole as the two primary decks, and if you used these in tournaments, you were almost guaranteed to win. There wasn’t any solid synergy between Zoroark and the cards it was paired with, but it was just too convenient to have a 2-Colorless Energy attack on him. You could splash him in any deck you wanted, and the only price you had to pay was not being able to use that GX attack.
Shiftry Donk decks were one of those decks that could win turn one. The strategy was to use Giant Fan to shuffle the other player’s cards into their deck, so that they have nothing to play next. Now, this is a winning condition in itself, and you needed to go second if you wanted to pull this off right. It was almost as if the Shiftry card was made to fulfill this condition.
To evolve Shiftry, we had the infamous Forest of Giant Plants card, a Stadium that let you evolve your Grass Pokemon easily. Additionally, if you go second, there’s a good chance that your opponent will put a bunch of Pokemon on their bench already.
This deck was out during the reign of Shaymin-EX, a staple card that could draw cards efficiently, along with Devolution Spray that would let you devolve and evolve your Shiftry to use its ability again.
Psychic Lock Gardevoir
The “Psychic Lock” Gardevoir and Gallade deck and its several variations were one of the strongest decks from the Diamond and Pearl+ era and went on to destroy tournaments for a pretty long time.
To simplify the concept, the deck was based on keeping the opponent “locked” using Gardevoir’s attack, and was pretty consistent at it. Gallade would then come in as the big bad attacker and use Psychic Cut to destroy the opposing Pokemon.
This deck has also won the 2008 World Championship, and it later evolved to use Weavile to accelerate Energy onto its Pokemon. You also had cards such as Celio’s Network and Roseanne’s Research in this era, which made this deck even deadlier than otherwise.
Here’s a detailed deck guide on the ADP/Z deck. This deck ruled the 2020/21 rotation, and it has won a sizeable portion of the tournaments in this period.
With Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia in one card, it had to be the best card in the game, but its abilities were beyond powerful. As if the deck wasn’t broken enough, TPC also made it easily accessible, to the point where it got sickening to go against it. You had a Zacian V giveaway and a box set that allowed you to acquire the main cards from the deck pretty easily. This combination has definitely created one of the most broken decks in the history of Pokemon TCG Online.
ADP essentially gave you a damage boost for the rest of the game, and every time you got a KO, you could take an extra Prize card. On top of that, ADP’s only attack, which was pretty easy to fuel, would also let you attach 3 Energy cards from your deck to any of your Pokemon.
The deck has existed in the age of 2-Prizer VMAX cards and knocking out two VMAXes victory for the ADP/Z player. Zacian V and Zamazenta V were the two other attackers in this deck. Zacian was a great attacker that could accelerate energy onto itself, and Zamazenta was completely immune to VMAX attacks.
This deck is a big reason why I didn’t play a lot of Standard in 2020/21 and had shifted to Expanded, where you could actually counter it.
Mega Rayquaza EX looks like it has a pretty good attack even according to the current meta, and is still useful in Mew3 decks. Back then, you could easily evolve Rayquaza-EX with the Evolution Ancient Trait, and use Sky Field to increase the number of Pokemon on your Bench. You would then use Mega Turbo to accelerate Energy from your discard pile onto Mega Rayquaza and be able to use its attack within the first few turns.
Getting OHKOs early-game was pretty common with these decks, and it got even more efficient with the release of Hoopa-EX, which would let you fetch any EX Pokemon card from your deck. This was also during the Shaymin-EX era and it was pretty easy to draw cards, so filling your (upgraded) Bench wasn’t a big deal.
This deck was one of the top decks in the 2014-15 format, and was widely regarded as the best deck in the game at that time. Genesect EX was the main attacker of the deck, with Virizion-EX fueling its attack after switching your opposing Pokemon. Virizion’s Emerald Slash was great for bringing Energy in play, and would help you get your Genesect out and ready. You also had Skyarrow Bridge that would let you switch between Pokemon easily.
The Ace Spec G Booster, made specifically for Genesect-EX, could help Genesect deal 200 damage consistently. The deck was pretty efficient in setting up this attack, and back then 200 was a huge deal. With the right setup, you could pull off this attack on your second turn itself.
For more Pokemon TCG Online listicles and guides, check out our Ultimate Pokemon TCG Online guide and resource list.