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GLC Fire Deck

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Zeno @ZenoVilly Monday, August 8, 2022

Double the Heat

Charizard is one of the hottest new cards from the Pokémon Go Expansion and has greatly affected the way most fire decks are constructed in GLC. This article will serve as an overview of my version of the fire deck. It starts with a general overview of the deck’s strategy and goes more and more in depth over the course of the article. This way the article should be interesting for every GLC player out there, beginners and experts alike.

General Strategy

Your main goal with this deck is to set up your strong support Pokémon Charizard, Magcargo and Salazzle and use them wisely to stream your attackers. Charizard’s Burn Brightly ability doubles up all Basic Fire Energies you have in play and thus it helps you tremendously with streaming attackers and launching off big attacks. Magcargo has an ability called Smooth Over, which allows you to choose any card in your deck and put it on top of the deck. This ability allows you to have one perfect card per turn at your disposal and is one of the strongest selling points fire has to offer. And finally we have Salazzle with its Roast Reveal ability. It allows you to draw 3 cards once per turn if you discard a Basic Fire Energy from your hand. 

So ideally you smooth over the card you want to play during your turn and then use Roast Reveal to draw into it right away, then you end the turn by launching off a big attack for a low amount of Energy thanks to Charizard. Sounds neat right? But how do we manage to get there?

Early Game

As mentioned before, the deck works best by setting up all 3 support Pokémon. Therefore,  your main goal in the early game is usually to get those up and rolling as fast as possible. To make this happen as frequently as possible, the deck plays Brigette, Gloria and Ball guy, as well as Pokégear 3.0 and Trainers’ Mail to give you even more ways to find those setup Supporters in the early game. If you go second, you have another very strong option at your disposal - Volcanion’s Flare Starter attack. It allows you to accelerate 3 energies from your deck directly to your Pokémon, and can allow you to get two attackers set up right away. This is the biggest reason why you always want to go second with this deck. If you have to go first however, your ideal starter Pokémon usually is Ho-Oh. Its Sacred Fire attack allows you to either soften up some valuable Pokémon on your opponent's side of the field or even knock out some evolving basic Pokémon in one hit.

Mid and Late Game

In GLC the mid-game generally starts after 2-3 setup turns. This is when you and your opponent start launching off big attacks and try to stay ahead in the prize race. Here the fire deck mainly focuses on streaming its basic attackers each and every turn and is trying to OHKO your opponents Pokémon. With your various basic attackers and your damage boosting tools you have plenty of ways to deal 120-140 damage each turn which will take out a good amount of the opponents Pokémon. However, most types in Gym Leader Challenge play a couple bigger attackers with 150-180 HP, and a few even have one gigantic Pokémon at its disposal with 190-200 HP. To knock out these guys you will need to attack with Arcanine, Charizard or Castform, or even get the crazy 180 damage bench snipe off with Heatmor.

The full effect of Heatmor’s Exciting Flame attack is one of the strongest attacks in the whole format and will usually win you the game, if you manage to get it off. But whenever you’re playing a strong opponent they will know that and therefore will try to disrupt you before you have the chance to do that. One of the best ways your opponent can prevent a fully powered up Exciting Flame is to gust up and knock out Charizard or its pre-evolutions early on. So whenever you’re facing off against a good player, there’s a big chance that you are going to play without Charizard for a big portion of the game. This is where your secondary strategy comes into play: accelerating a lot of fire energies into play turn after turn, because otherwise you won’t be able to stream your quite costly attacks every single turn. In games where you have to rely on this secondary strategy, Magcargo and Arcanine are your most important Pokémon. Magcargo allows you to always have the right trainer card to accelerate some energies into play (Welder, Raihan, Blacksmith, Magma Basin). Arcanine on the other hand does the Energy accelerating part all by himself, while he’s still ditching out a good chunk of damage.

Supporter Lineup

Outside of the Pokémon, the Supporters are one of the most important parts of GLC and can make or break any given deck. In this fire deck I have focused my Supporter lineup a lot on being as consistent as possible early on in the game. Because the deck always performs well when you get your support Pokémon out fast, I’ve made the decision to leave out some Supporters that can be very strong later in the game, but don’t help you if you have them in your opening hand. The main cards I cut due to this decision are Colress and Teammates. Instead I added Marnie and Avery, which help me draw cards and disrupt the opponent. They also function very well with Magcargo because sometimes you don’t have Salazzle set up or the necessary spare Basic Energy in hand to use its Roast Reveal ability, so having other ways to get the smoothed over card into your hand is very important.

Wrap Up

This fire deck is by far my favorite deck to play in GLC because of all the cool plays you can make with it and all the different strategies that can lead to a victory. From choosing the right card every turn with Magcargo, to managing your Energy acceleration and your damage output this deck has a lot of intricacies. It can be quite a challenge to efficiently play the deck for newer players, but is super rewarding once you get the hang of it. I hope you enjoyed this write up about the “Double The Heat” deck and hopefully you’ve also learned some new things about the fire type in the GLC format.

At the end of this article you’ll find some rapid fire matchup tips, if you’re interested in that. The target audience for these tips is mainly advanced players and experts, but I’d suggest everyone who’s interested to take a look.

Rapid Fire Matchup Tips and Tricks


  • Pressure early on with Ho-Oh or even with the first attacks of Entei or Heatmor (ideally with a Muscle Band attached) to get some early KOs due to weakness.
  • Keep it simple and stream your 120 damage attackers.
  • Reserve your big Castform attack for Torterra.
  • Avery is very effective at disrupting their strategy.


  • Pressure early on with Ho-Oh or even with the first attacks of Entei or Heatmor (ideally with a Muscle Band attached) to get some early KOs due to weakness.
  • They usually play only a single Energy accelerating Pokémon (Bronzong or Magnezone), so targeting that down is effective.
  • Highly value Field Blower in this matchup and use it to get rid of Metal Frying Pan or any damage reducing tool on Copperajah.
  • Set up Arcanine to be able to OHKO Copperajah even if it has the Coating Metal Energy attached.


  • Fighting can be very explosive and has many ways to deal 120 or more damage on turn 2. Therefore try to leave a 130 HP basic Pokémon in the active to make it harder for them to get the turn 2 KO.
  • Be aware that you will often go behind on prizes vs fighting, but have lots of ways to catch up because they will often miss attacks later in the game due to their poor consistency.
  • Set up Arcanine or Charizard with a Muscle Band to OHKO Steelix.
  • Keep your Field Blower to get rid of HP increasing tools, because the fighting Pokémon already have above average HP without them.


  • Target down Slakoth or Vigoroth early, because Slaking is their best attacker vs fire.
  • If they are getting Slaking up, try to set up a Castform with a damage boosting tool on it to OHKO the Slaking.
  • Targeting down the Porygon line is also very effective.
  • Colorless often has some slower setup turns where they draw cards with Snorlax. Therefore using Ho-Oh to snipe around the Snorlax and weaken some of their benched Pokémon is a good strategy.


  • Targeting down the Dragonite or the Garchomp line early is very effective, because these are their best support Pokémon.
  • Keeping Field Blower to get rid of their HP boosting tools is important.
  • Keep your Escape Rope or a gusting Supporter at the ready to get around Garchomp’s Sonic Slip ability.
  • Entei is an efficient way to KO many of their Basic Pokémon, so try to prioritize setting up Entei.


  • Lightning relies a lot on having Flaafy or Eelektrik set up. However Both of their pre-evolutions have 50 HP or less, so target those down early with Ho-Oh. A second reason why going in early with Ho-Oh is good, is that it is weak to lightning and therefore easily knocked out later in the game. However their early game attacker usually is Zapdos, which doesn’t hit for weakness and therefore doesn’t OHKO Ho-Oh.
  • Most of their best attackers have 110 HP, which makes Volcanion a very good attacker in this matchup.
  • Lightning relies a lot on Zebstrika to draw cards, so targeting that down early is also a very useful strategy.
  • Avoid benching Castform if possible, because lightning has a lot of ways to snipe the bench and take multiple KOs at once. The low HP of Castfrom helps them a lot at executing this strategy.


  • Keep your Escape Rope or a gusting Supporter at the ready to get around Wobbuffet’s Bide Barricade ability in the early game.
  • In the early game avoid playing some consistency cards like Trainers’ Mails or Pokégear 3.0 unless they are absolutely needed. That way you will have more outs to draw out of an early Let Loose ability of Marshadow.
  • Make it a priority to gust Dreepy or Drakloak early, so you don’t need to rely on a coinflip to knock out Dragapult.
  • If they play a damage spread build, avoid benching too many Pokémon and especially avoid benching Castform due to its low amount of HP.


  • Use Float Stone and the free retreat of Castform in the early game to heal off poisoned Pokémon from Galarian Weezing’s Sever Poison attack.
  • Once you have your support Pokémon set up, use Escape Rope or a gusting Supporter to get around Weezing.
  • By knocking out Liepard early you can greatly limit their draw power, because it is usually their only draw Pokémon.
  • Make sure to have Castfrom at the ready to OHKO your opponent's Guzzlord.


  • Due to weakness this is your worst matchup, but it is still possible to win if you play it smart. Ho-Oh is your only Pokémon that is not weak to Water. Therefore you want to start your game out with Ho-Oh in the active, because that makes it much harder for your opponent to take early knockouts. Later in the game you want to recycle Ho-Oh with Super Rod or Rescue stretcher and use it again. This time you ideally attach the Fighting Fury Belt to it, to make it as difficult as possible for your opponent to knock it out.
  • Avery is very effective at disrupting their strategy.
  • Targeting down Frosmoth and Blastoise or their pre-evolutions early on gives you the highest chance to win the game.
  • Use Arcanine with a muscle band to OHKO their Wailord.

Deck List

##Pokémon - 14

* 1 Charmander VIV 23

* 1 Charmeleon VIV 24

* 1 Charizard PGO 10

* 1 Slugma CEC 26

* 1 Magcargo CES 24

* 1 Salandit DRM 13

* 1 Salazzle UNB 31

* 1 Growlithe FST 32

* 1 Arcanine UNB 22

* 1 Volcanion UNB 25

* 1 Castform Sunny Form CRE 22

* 1 Ho-Oh CEL 1

* 1 Entei CEC 28

* 1 Heatmor FST 41

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 1 Gloria BRS 141

* 1 Brigette BKT 134

* 1 Ball Guy SHF 57

* 1 Professor Juniper BLW 101

* 1 Cynthia UPR 119

* 1 N FCO 105

* 1 Marnie CPA 56

* 1 Avery CRE 130

* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148

* 1 Guzma BUS 115

* 1 Boss's Orders RCL 154

* 1 Welder UNB 189

* 1 Blacksmith FLF 88

* 1 Raihan EVS 152

* 1 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182

* 1 Trainers' Mail ROS 92

* 1 VS Seeker PHF 109

* 1 Nest Ball SUM 123

* 1 Level Ball NXD 89

* 1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146

* 1 Ultra Ball SUM 135

* 1 Heavy Ball NXD 88

* 1 Evosoda XY 116

* 1 Evolution Incense SSH 163

* 1 Rare Candy PRC 135

* 1 Field Blower GRI 125

* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130\

* 1 Super Rod NVI 95

* 1 Escape Rope BUS 114

* 1 Float Stone PLF 99

* 1 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99

* 1 Muscle Band XY 121

* 1 Giant Hearth UNM 197

* 1 Training Court RCL 169

* 1 Magma Basin BRS 144

##Energy - 11

* 11 Fire Energy SWSHEnergy 2

Total Cards - 60