I cooked up this list because I'm a big fan of Chandelure, but after playing some games with it I found out it's surprisingly strong. With a spread strategy in mind, it was obvious I had to include the most broken Psychic Spread attacker: Mismagius from Silver Tempest. With Dusk Stone it's possible to attack on your first turn with Mismagius, or to evolve Litwick into Chandelure in a single turn even without Rare Candy. Dusk Buddies has had a lot of success both casually and competitively, and it's easy to understand why if you've ever played the deck, so let us take you through why it's so strong!
Setting up with Dusk Buddies pretty much comes down to how early you can find Ralts and evolve it into Kirlia. Because Psychic plays so many items that search for basic Pokémon, Dusk Buddies can afford to cut Brigette and Gloria, instead opting for flexible options like Ball Guy and Apricorn Maker. This Deck is incredibly consistent thanks to Marshadow's Let Loose ability. Marshadow essentially turns any basic Pokémon search into a Judge, making it tough to brick.
Once Gallade is in play, you can do just about whatever you want any given turn thanks to it's Buddy Catch ability. Need to finish establishing your board? Buddy Catch for Ball Guy. Need an attacker to respond to a knockout? Buddy Catch for Rosa. The possibilities are endless as long as they're accessible with Buddy Catch, so make sure the supporters you're planning to play in the coming turns are in the deck!
Third deck doesn't play like traditional Psychic Spread, and only aims to spread damage for a few turns early in the game. After some damage counters are on the board, Sigilyph and Wobbuffet can comfortably take knockouts thanks to Chandelure's Cursed Shadow ability. Every time the opponent takes a knockout, Chandelure gets to place 3 damage counters wherever it likes as long as it has a Float Stone, Air Balloon, or Mystery Energy.
The deck catches up on prizes by taking double knockouts and by denying the opponent prizes. With Wobbuffet and Galarian Articuno it's possible to deny prizes by shutting off key abilities with Wobbuffet, or by knocking out an integral support Pokémon with a Psylaser from Galarian Articuno. I recently decided to cut Galarian Articuno, but I thought I'd mention it since it's still finding success with Saramachus.
The moment I saw Watto post his initial list, I thought the promise of using Chandelure as a viable Pokémon was too good to be true. Chandelure makes an appearance in one of TrickyGym’s Halloween videos, but the build is in the very early stages of GLC; not many of the decks from that time feel optimal by today’s standards. I’ve tried Psychic spread builds with Dusknoir and Lunala, but wrote off the archetype after not being able to close out games.
Lunala and Dusknoir have been the go-to stage 2 Pokémon for Psychic spread decks because of the strong payoffs they promise. Lunala can double the damage counters on every Pokémon, while Dusknoir can precisely move damage counters anywhere it pleases.
In my opinion Chandelure is better than Lunala and Dusknoir, allow me to explain:
You still get to double damage counters like Lunala, but it is easier because you’re using basic Pokémon to attack. Sigilyph and Wobbuffet come with other valuable effects that Lunala doesn’t have. With Lunala, you’re removing threats from the board later than you would like, and not removing threats early makes it easier for the opponent to find Boss’s Orders to knock out Lunala.
Placing damage counters anywhere with Chandelure gives you the fine-grained control that Dusknoir provides, and isn’t simply a damage swap. When Dusknoir is used, a psychic spread player can lose control because the number of damage counters on board can only do so much. Dusknoir can also leave you in an awkward spot if it gets knocked out. It's difficult to reason what the optimal play is; often, there isn’t one.
Chandelure is unique in that it has access to a special item card that enables a quick evolution. Between the ability lock, sniping potential, and constant hand disruption, this deck puts on pressure that traditional Pyshic spread lists just can’t apply.
Watto doesn't run this card, but one of my favorite cards in my list is Ace Trainer, which is a shuffle draw 3 for your opponent and a shuffle draw 6 for yourself if you’re behind on prizes. I find that with a low hand size, your opponent isn’t likely to Boss's Orders up Chandelure or Gallade. It was originally a substitute for Iono, but after extensive play I've decided it's earned a permanent spot in the list!