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GLC Dragon Deck

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pkmnJohn @pkmn_john Friday, July 1, 2022

A Dance with Dragons

pkmnJohn joins us for our latest deck tech with his Wednesday Night GLC winning "A Dance with Dragons" deck! He gave us the scoop on his full list and why he added some unique and interesting cards not commonly seen in other dragon lists.

Deck Playing Philosophy

Taming Dragons is no easy task, and if you wish to take up the mantle of Dragon Gym Leader you will have to be comfortable with a few things. Firstly the Dragon archetype is known as the DONK Deck. On your first turn (going 2nd), a Dragon deck is the only type in GLC that can output 160 dmg. Fighting comes close to this power by being able to output 120 dmg on their second turn (going 1st). This is a unique attribute of the dragon deck as it is able to apply huge early pressure. I leaned heavily into this attribute to ensure my opening Pokémon have the greatest DONK potential. Second, while Dragon's hit like a truck they are generally glass cannons. While I do play Fighting Fury Belt and Cape of Toughness in the deck list, your main attackers are usually too squishy to do much damage without some buffs from tools. Third, as a trade off to not having a single type weakness dragon type Pokémon have varying energy costs for their attacks. With help from the GLC community we’ve found the optimal combination of energy types (as of now) are Fire, Water, Fighting. Resource management is the hardest part about playing dragon and those conflicting energy costs can sometimes lose the game for you. In terms of set up, you will generally want to get Gabite and then Dragonite up on the bench as soon as possible.

Once Dragonite is up and running it is generally very hard for a Dragon type user to lose the game, especially with the inclusion of Pal Pad you’ll be able to recycle Raihan/Teammates multiple times in a match. Raihan/Teammates/ and Guzma & Hala are the most important supporters in the deck because they can set up an attacker in a single turn. If you’re able to get Garchomp into play you will be guaranteed 2 Prizes due to the Sonic Slip ability. This is great but try to use Garchomp sparingly as the discard effect can hurt you badly. I try to only go in with Garchomp after my opponent has KOed Drampa/Regidrago AND I have Druddigon with at least 1 energy on bench. Otherwise Garchomp is a great end game attacker to take the last 2 prizes needed.

Unique Includes

Paying homage to the deck nickname I personally run a 1-1 evolution line of the BRS Axew and the XY-BREAKthrough Haxorus with the Dragon Dance attack.


This evolution line is the only Pokémon in GLC that can become a Stage 2 on your first turn (going 2nd) using Axew's ultra evolution attack. Haxorus after Dragon Dancing once can also deal 160 dmg for a single energy, which feels REALLY good. A Dancing Haxorus will usually force your opponent to burn their gusting options which can be used to your benefit. Due to this Haxorus has become my ACE Pokémon in the deck and is sort of a mascot of my Dragon list. I decided to include Haxorus when I went to my first Pokémon tournament at the FGG 1K GLC tournament in Feb and placed 11th/104. For supporters and card combos in the deck list I love my starter pack of Lusamine+Avery+Parallel City. These 3 cards should be included in any list that struggles in the matchup against Fire/Water/Grass.

Strong and Weak Matchups

With the current iteration of the list, Dragon does very well against Fire, Water, Colorless, Dark, Metal, Psychic. For Grass, due to how fast they can set up sometimes Parallel City and Avery are not enough, which is why I include the Leon in order to deal with Torterra. Leon can definitely be swapped for any other tech card of choice, but for me I’d rather get rid of Torterra in one shot as opposed to 2. Since dragon doesn’t have that much recovery it is very important to make sure your attackers are used efficiently. For Lightning, since we both set up with Stormy mountains it can be tough to out-speed AR Raikou. With AR Raikou being able to take out an attacker and support Pokémon in one turn it can be hard to recover and get a solid footing. For Fighting, it is tricky because they like going first and Dragon likes going second. However, if you don’t get GuzHala going second that 120 damage incoming is going to KO the majority of the dragon team. Sometimes against Fighting it is better to opt to go 1st in order to buy more time and deny their early pressure.

Lastly against Dragon whoever goes 2nd typically will be able to take the game. Fairy is a free matchup unless miraculously they Boss/Guzma your Gabite early and stop your developmentscenarios the deck may have to play around: Gabite is the most valuable piece to the dragon deck and thus you should be prepared to have it be targeted down by a knowledgeable player. Apart from that it is very important for a Dragon Gym Leader to understand EVERY card in their list. Prizing is such a critical part to the dragon deck because a single piece of the puzzle missing can cost the game. This is why I play Gladion and Hisuian Heavy Ball. It is important to know what Tools, Energy, Special Energy, Pokémon, and Supporters you have at your disposal.

Last Note

For those nervous to tame a 1-1 Axew/Haxorus line some alternative dragons are available at your disposal. While I personally like the option to have a 160HP beat stick appear from the deck onto the field, I understand sometimes you’ll flip heads on Ultra Evolution and Haxorus is prized. That can definitely sting but the other times where Haxorus does come into play can be extremely satisfying. If I were forced to remove those 2 cards from the list I’d consider these 3 dragons as replacements.

  • Ultra Necrozma + Silent Lab
  • Turtonator + Dragon Talon
  • Zygarde + Rapid Strike Energy

These 2 card combinations are all viable and can easily replace the Haxorus line for those wanting to try something a little different.

Deck List

##Pokémon - 11

  • 1 Axew BRS 110
  • 1 Drampa EVS 119
  • 1 Dratini SUM 94
  • 1 Druddigon BRS 113
  • 1 Gible UPR 96
  • 1 Regidrago ASR 118
  • 1 Dragonair SUM 95
  • 1 Gabite DRX 89
  • 1 Dragonite TEU 119
  • 1 Garchomp BRS 109
  • 1 Haxorus BKT 111

##Trainer Cards - 37

  • 1 Lusamine CIN 96
  • 1 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
  • 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 228
  • 1 Boss's Orders RCL 154
  • 1 Trainers' Mail ROS 92
  • 1 Evolution Incense SSH 163
  • 1 Pal Pad SSH 172
  • 1 Teammates PRC 141
  • 1 Nest Ball SUM 123
  • 1 Rare Candy SSH 180
  • 1 Quick Ball FST 237
  • 1 Raihan EVS 152
  • 1 Stormy Mountains EVS 161
  • 1 Guzma BUS 115
  • 1 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
  • 1 Team Magma's Secret Base DCR 32
  • 1 N FCO 105
  • 1 Level Ball BST 129
  • 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
  • 1 Sonia RCL 167
  • 1 Green's Exploration UNB 175
  • 1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146
  • 1 Float Stone BKT 137
  • 1 Marnie SSH 169
  • 1 VS Seeker PHF 109
  • 1 Bird Keeper DAA 159
  • 1 Cape of Toughness DAA 160
  • 1 Field Blower GRI 125
  • 1 Avery CRE 130
  • 1 Parallel City BKT 145
  • 1 Leon VIV 154
  • 1 Tag Call CEC 206
  • 1 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
  • 1 Special Charge STS 105
  • 1 Ultra Ball DEX 102
  • 1 Revive ROS 88
  • 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130

##Energy - 12

  • 2 Fire Energy XYEnergy 4
  • 1 Double Dragon Energy ROS 97
  • 1 Rainbow Energy BKT 152
  • 2 Fighting Energy XYEnergy 3
  • 2 Water Energy XYEnergy 9
  • 1 Prism Energy NXD 93
  • 1 Blend Energy {W} {L} {F} {M} DRX 118
  • 1 Aurora Energy SSH 186
  • 1 Counter Energy CIN 100

Total Cards - 60

Final Thoughts

I'd like to thank pkmnJohn for taking the time to write this up. If you haven't participated already, I'd recommend stopping by his Friday Night GLC tournaments. There is great competition and tons of fun to be had there. Stay tuned for more community spotlights!