Good evening Pokémon trainers! It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the expanded format on our blog, but today I wanted to talk about a recent breakthrough. Sander Wojkic, aka PythOn on Limitless TCG’s servers, is a powerful player specializing in stall and mill-style decks. He grew to fame by playing interesting decks, such as Heatmor/Raichu and perhaps most notably crazy Control variants; this type of deck is relatively uncommon in standard, yet he still opts to pilot them because they are his favorite. In light of the surprise factor, many of his opponents fall prey to his extremely potent playstyle of securing his win condition via controlling the game's tempo and ending up losing due to their lack of preparation against Sander’s archetypes. He recently brought Orbeetle to the most recent LOS Major event and finished in 5th place with a final record of 11-3-1. Losing in Top 8 to Pikarom, his deck is nearly invincible once setup and needs to draw the right cards at the right time. While the expanded metagame is diverse in nature due to its wide card pool, this Orbeetle deck can always adapt which Stage 2 Pokémon it can get into play via the Evomancy attack to rise to the top. Let’s talk about one of my favorite Bug-type Pokémon, Orbeetle, and why it’s making such a big splash right now!

I booted up my Pokémon Trading Card Game Online app, loaded up some PTCGO codes, and then traded those Pokémon online codes to trade for this deck. I was very excited, and it honestly didn’t take that many PTCGO codes to make the deck. If you’re looking to buy some codes, we sell them here on PTCGO Store, and I highly urge you to check out our competitive pricing and swift delivery! Let’s talk about Orbeetle in the expanded format today.


Strategy


Robin Schulz slated his take on this Pokémon deck perfectly:

Orbeetle from the Sword & Shield - Battle Styles expansion is an interesting card to build a deck around, as its Evomancy attack is a unique concept that opens up a lot of possibilities. Setting up multiple Stage 2 Pokémon is usually difficult, but Orbeetle can help with that by putting them directly from the deck onto the Bench. The key to making the attack worth it is Triple Acceleration Energy. Setting up an Orbeetle to look for one other Stage 2 Pokémon wouldn't be very efficient, but when we get three of them at once for just a single Energy attachment, it gains a lot of value.”

Orbeetle really gains value from being able to abuse Triple Acceleration Energy to search out multiple Stage 2 Pokémon and put them into play as opposed to having to waste three turns attaching energy manually. By then, our 110HP Orbeetle would easily get KOed, and our game plan would be foiled. The idea is to use Evomancy with a Triple Acceleration Energy to search out whichever Stage 2 we see as viable in the matchup to disrupt our opponent. Generally, Magnezone and Vileplume with the “Allergy Pollen” ability tend to be top picks, seeming as immediately it will allow us to Item-lock the opponent while simultaneously allow us to play multiple Supporters each turn. By doing this, we immediately become far faster than our opponent and can shut them out of the game by abusing Team Flare Grunt over and over alongside Lusamine being able to loop. We’ll unveil more strategies once we go over more techs in our “Key Cards” section of this article. Let’s look at a sample deck list engineered by Sander himself.


Deck List


Pokémon - 20
4 Blipbug BST 17
1 Dottler SSH 18
2 Orbeetle BST 65
2 Jirachi TEU 99
1 Vileplume AOR 3
1 Vileplume BUS 6
1 Munchlax UNM 173
1 Stoutland BCR 122
1 Unfezant ROS 80
1 Galarian Obstagoon CPA 37
1 Magnezone PLS 46
1 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
1 Zacian V SSH 138
1 Aegislash RCL 135
1 Dusknoir VIV 71

Trainer Cards - 31
4 Steven's Resolve CES 145
3 Teammates PRC 141
2 Lusamine CIN 96
1 Gladion CIN 95
1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
1 N FCO 105
1 Cheryl BST 123
1 Team Flare Grunt GEN 73
1 Guzma BUS 115
1 Pokémon Ranger STS 104
1 AZ PHF 91
1 Plumeria BUS 120
1 Team Rocket's Handiwork FCO 112
1 Faba LOT 173
4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
3 Rare Candy SSH 180
1 Computer Search BCR 137
1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
1 Field Blower GRI 125
1 Silent Lab PRC 140

Energy - 9
4 Capture Energy RCL 171
4 Triple Acceleration Energy UNB 190
1 Double Colorless Energy SLG 69


Key TCG Cards



4-1-2 Orbeetle – It’s been a while since I’ve written about the expanded format, let alone a Stage 2! Orbeetle breathes fresh air into Standard by allowing us to bring Stage 2 Pokémon into play via unconventional means. Very reminiscent of “Lifesplosion” Cradily, Orbeetle isn’t in our deck to do damage (we don’t even play the Psychic Energy necessary to use Zen Headbutt). Rather, with Triple Acceleration Energy, we can spoof the remaining cast in our deck onto our bench. 110HP is very low, so we’ll always assume we will get KOed on the following turn after Evomancy is used. We play four Blipbug because we want two in play minimum to guarantee that at least one will live through an attack (Rapid Strike Urshifu’s G-Max Rapid Flow can cause problems for us). One copy of Dottler is that we can evolve while underneath Item-lock from a Seismitoad-EX or a Vikavolt V. Two Orbeetle is all we need because we can search it out with Steven’s Resolve or perhaps even a Teammates.


2 Jirachi – These are great consistency crutches that are searchable with Capture Energy. Finding Steven’s Resolve/Teammates can change the course of the game so positively for us. Heck, even finding a Rare Candy at opportune times allows us to gather more pieces of our deck and setup Evomancy quickly.


1 Zacian V – We use Zacian’s Intrepid Sword to capitalize on drawing extra cards to setup our Orbeetle. We can find Zacian V via Capture Energy or Pokémon Communication which is perfect! Be sure to be careful when you bench this Pokémon, as it is a 2-Prize liability.


1 Lucario & Melmetal Tag Team GX “Lucmetal” – Lucmetal is a very potent way for us to discard all energy off of our opponent’s active Pokémon with Full Metal Wall GX. This is our only GX attack in the deck, and it is used for getting rid of all of the energy on a single threat within a single turn. We can use the full effect of this GX attack by attaching our one copy of Double Colourless Energy onto Lucmetal, and we can find it using Teammates or Steven’s Resolve.


1 Munchlax – We use this little guy to find resources in the discard and recycle them and ensure that we don’t deck out. It can also help us if we prize a Lusamine or Cynthia & Caitlin. Since many of our turns end with us passing instead of attacking, Snack Search is a great way to end our turn.


1 Aegislash – This is really used for its ability, making our Pokémon take 30 less damage from attacks. Not only does it make our Pokémon bulkier, but it also ensures that we can loop Cheryl over and over without fear of being KOed. Aegislash is in here for matchups such as EggRow, where they hit for 150 over and over with Calming Hurricane. If we have Aegislash active, alongside its Resistance, we can -60 damage from their attack.


1 Galarian Obstagoon – This Pokémon is actually one of the few rare attackers we play in our deck! While the ability is very disruptive and fits into the theme of our deck, the attack is actually used to OHKO, a Dragapult VMAX for Triple Acceleration Energy. The ability is a great way to beat up on other Stall decks, though.


1 Vileplume BUS – This card is a win condition against any deck that solely utilizes basic Pokémon to attack. It can take out a handful of decks in expanded on its own!


1 Vileplume AOR – We play this Pokémon for its Irritating Pollen ability, which prevents both players from playing any Item cards from their hand. This means no VS Seeker, no Ball cards of any kind, and no gusting effects in the form of an Item! There also can’t be any Pokémon Tool cards, which means no Float Stone for either player. Vileplume is usually used in combination with the other Vileplume OR Stoutland, depending on the matchup you encounter.


1 Stoutland – This is our ideal stall wall in the action because it is so disruptive in our end game strategy! Disabling our opponent from playing Supporter cards from their hand is probably the strongest locking ability in the expanded format. This means no using Guzma to target the bench, and it also means that you can’t use Marnie to reset your hand.


1 MagnezoneDual Brains allows us to play two Supporters every turn! Since games go long with Orbeetle, we can get so much value out of looping Lusamine for infinite access to Supporters. We have access to infinite Faba, Team Flare Grunt, Team Rocket’sHandiwork, and Plumeria.


1 Unfezant – This is one way we can reset our opponent’s field after they have accelerated a ton of energy onto it. Pikarom is an example of a deck that can become very hurt by Unfezant shuffling in all resources. Unfezant is one of our more situational attackers but is necessary if the opponent has multiple threats that are threatening our field.


1 DusknoirThis is probably my favorite Stage 2 in this Pokémon deck! Being able to nullify Special Energy in play, Dusknoir can actually make interaction possible where Triple Acceleration Energy actually stays in play once you get Dusknoir out because its ability removes the “discard” clause of the Special Energy! This is actually important so you can potentially use Evomancy the following turn. Dusknoir can absolutely ruin decks that exclusively use Special Energy such as Primal Groudon, Mad Party, and Coalossal, for instance.

1 Team Flare Grunt – One way to win the game is by discarding all of our opponent’s energy. This can be achieved by using Team Flare Grunt.

1 Plumeria – This can also discard all of our opponent’s energy, but this card can remove it from the bench.

1 Faba – Lost Zoning key cards (especially against Stall) can be huge. Sometimes just discarding cards isn’t enough because in expanded, you can often still recycle cards in the discard. You, however, can’t recycle things from the Lost Zone.

1 Team Rocket’s Handiwork – You can win by milling your opponent until they have no cards left in their deck. This is another win condition for this deck. Team Rocket’s Handiwork also allows you to win quicker, which means you will lose/tie less due to time in 2/3 formats.

1 Cheryl – You can mill your opponent out if they are unable to KO your active Pokémon. Cheryl abuse alongside Lusamine and Dual BrainsMagnezone means we can never be KOed by some Pokémon, and our opponent will deck out eventually.

2 Lusamine – Played to loop disruptive Supporters infinitely.

1 Cynthia & Caitlin – A soft “3rd” copy of Lusamine, while also being a drawcard.

1 Gladion – Can fetch us something key out of the Prize Cards since we play so many 1-of.

Pokémon Ranger – Used to remove the effects of Altered Creation from an ADP.

4 Steven’s/3 Teammates – Used to consistently setup Orbeetle in our games and search out key pieces.


Conclusion


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