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Gym Leader Challenge - Crazy Code Colorless

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Geffrey Van der Veken @Geffrey_vdv Sunday, May 12, 2024

Let's Get Crazy!

Well, it's about time I gave credit where credit's due. This might be a tad overdue, but hey, better late than never, right? Back in the early GLC days, when PTCGO was still buzzing, I was a staunch advocate for Darkness decks. I thrived on their aggressive yet adaptable nature. However, after a season of duking it out in the Cardboard Warriors' GLC League Season 2, with my trusty Guzzlord by my side, I felt it was time for a change. Enter Matthew Houtput, one of our local GLC aficionados, who was an early adopter of the Colorless archetype. We used to go head-to-head frequently, and let me tell you, he consistently handed my butt to me with his Colorless decks. You can blame Matthew Houtput for my eventual conversion into one of Colorless' biggest stans.

Matthew Houtput’s Crazy Licks (Brilliant Stars Meta)

I began championing Colorless decks consistently in the Cardboard Warriors' GLC Leagues, starting from Season 3. That season, I made it to the play-offs as the Colorless Gym Leader with a commendable record of 9-3, running the Porygon-Z Slaking variant. Although I made it to the finals, I faced defeat at the hands of Wheatr and his Extreme Speed Fire list. Season 4 was all about redemption for me. I went all in with Colorless once again and clinched the top spot overall with an impressive record of 20-6. Despite my efforts, I stumbled in the play-offs, falling short of top cut.

But I wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. I decided to give it another shot in the Async League Season 1, and finally, the stars aligned in my favor. I emerged victorious, claiming the title of the first-ever Async League champion with my trusty Porygon-Z Slaking deck. With the release of Paldean Fates and the game-changing Technical Machine Crisis Punch, my deck-building senses were tingling. I set my sights on the Roaring Skies Swellow with its Ancient Trait, reminiscent of the good old Darkness days. It had that familiar vibe, akin to Guzzlord, capable of snatching multiple prizes in a single knockout.

And that's where we stand today. I debuted my new Porygon-Z Swellow deck at the Cardboard Warriors' inaugural Spring Championship, clinching the title and finishing the event with a flawless 7-0 record.

So here's to Matthew, the Colorless champion who sparked the fire, and to the journey that led me to victory in the Spring Championship. It's been one heck of a ride, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for Colorless decks in the GLC.


Consistency, redundancy, and comeback mechanics are the holy trinity of this archetype, and I make sure they're front and center in every variation of the deck. After all, there's nothing worse than being stuck without options or falling behind in the prize trade with no hope of recovery.

Consistency is key to keeping the engine running smoothly. Whether it's through draw supporters, search cards, or reliable Pokémon abilities, I try to ensure that the deck operates like a well-oiled machine from start to finish.

But redundancy is equally important. Having multiple options for key cards or strategies ensures that even if one avenue is blocked, we have a backup plan ready to go. It's like having a spare tire in the trunk – you hope you'll never need it, but it's there just in case.

And let's not forget about comeback mechanics. In this fast-paced game, momentum can shift in an instant, and having the tools to claw your way back into the game is essential. Whether it's through powerful attacks, disruptive abilities, or clever strategic plays, I make sure the deck is equipped to handle whatever curveballs the opponent throws our way.

The shell of the deck

Crazy Coding

Let's dive into the heart of the deck's strategy: setting up Porygon-Z with its Crazy Code ability and kickstarting the energy acceleration. Crazy Code is Colorless' equivalent to Water's Deluge or Super Cold abilities but for Special Energies. Hereby bending the rules of the game by allowing multiple energy attachments per turn. And being Colorless gives us the freedom to cherry-pick from some of the best Special Energies out there.

First up, we have the classics: Double Colorless Energy, Twin Energy, and Double Turbo Energy. These babies provide two energies in one attachment, pushing the boundaries of the one-energy-per-turn rule even further.

Counter Energy steps in as a pseudo-double energy when you're trailing behind on prizes, while Recycle Energy bounces back to your hand after a knockout, offering infinite energy potential.

Powerful Energy boosts your damage output by 20, while Capture Energy acts like an Energy Nest Ball, letting you fetch a basic Pokémon from your deck straight to your bench.

Jet Energy pulls double duty, offering both a switch and an energy attachment in one fell swoop. Therapeutic Energy is your wake-up shot for any sleepy Snorlax, while Gift Energy provides protection against hand disruption.

And then there's Draw Energy, the most interchangeable of the energy lineup. Depending on your local meta, you might swap it out for Weakness Guard Energy or Mist Energy. But hey, sometimes all you need is that extra card draw to pull off that clutch Guzma play for the win.

With Porygon-Z leading the charge and this arsenal of Special Energies at your disposal, you'll be unstoppable on the battlefield.

Just draw the nuts

Ah, the Colorless lineup of support Pokémon. A veritable dream team, if you ask me. Bibarel, Cinccino, Pidgeotto, Dodrio, Dudunsparce, Pelipper, Skwovet, and Oranguru (cue Turbo Lax PTSD). These guys are the backbone of consistency in this archetype, and let me tell you, they're worth their weight in gold.

Let's break it down, shall we?

Bibarel's Industrious Insuror is like having insurance against N and Iono at the end of the game. Plus, it keeps your hand nice and cozy at a minimum of five cards throughout the entire match.

Cinccino's Make Do is the MVP of drawing cards, especially when your hand sizes exceed the five-card mark. And let's not forget the beauty of thinning your deck, because as the saying goes, "Thinning is winning."

Pidgeotto's Air Mail is a close cousin to Make Do, albeit with a slight twist. Sure, you only get to keep one card, but shuffling the other one to the bottom of your deck keeps things fresh. You lose the thinning aspect of Cinccino’s Make Do, but you get to save valuable resources.

Dodrio's Zooming Draw may not be the top dog in terms of draw power, but it more than makes up for it in damage potential. This bird can pack a punch, reaching up to a whopping 280 damage with the right setup.

Dudunsparce's Run Away Draw offers burst draw while doubling as an additional switch-out option when you activate the ability in the active spot. Plus, it evolves from the ever-reliable Strike and Run Dunsparce, the king of Call for Family attacks.

Pelipper's Hearsay is downright bananas. Searching your deck or discard pile for a supporter? Sign me up! Sure, Pelipper itself can be a bit elusive, but with the right setup, it's game over for your opponent.

Oranguru's Instruct is like Bibarel's little cousin, offering similar benefits at a lower cost. It only draws you until you have 3 cards in hand, but since it’s a basic you can use it on the turn it hits the field.

Skwovet's Nest Stash may not seem like much on its own, but paired with Bibarel and Oranguru, it's a game-changer. Drawing an entirely new hand when yours is full of unplayables? Now that's what I call clutch.

The Colorless dream team, here to ensure your deck runs like a well-oiled machine. With these guys by your side, you'll find all your winning pieces and deny your opponent a comeback, making victory all the more likely.

Guzma for game

Let's delve into the realm of Power Supporters. While having a stellar draw engine is fantastic, it's not always enough to secure victory on its own. That's where Power Supporters come into play, manipulating board states and disrupting your opponent's game plan to tilt the odds in your favor.

First up, we have the heavy hitters: Boss's Order, Guzma, and Hex Maniac. These cards are like the tactical masterminds of disruption, pulling the strings behind the scenes to throw a wrench in your opponent's strategy. Whether it is gusting up that crucial benched Pokémon or shutting down your opponent’s key abilities.

But wait, there's more! Enter Leon and Kukui, two unsung heroes of the Power Supporter world. While gusting cards like Guzma and Boss's Order are often used to target benched Pokémon when a knockout on the active isn't feasible, sometimes the best course of action is to take down your opponent's biggest threat head-on. That's where Leon and Kukui shine, providing that extra boost in damage to help secure those crucial knockouts.

And let's not overlook the bonus draw power that Kukui brings to the table. Drawing an additional two cards might just be the edge you need to turn the tide of battle in your favor.


Crazy Punch

Introducing the "Crazy Punch" deck! It's not just your average Pokémon TCG strategy; it's a whirlwind of Swellow swooping in with style and the Technical Machine Crisis Punch packing a punch like no other.

Picture this: Swellow, our feathered hero, takes center stage as the master of prize trades. With its nifty Ancient Trait, Delta Plus, Swellow can snag extra prize cards for each knockout, making it the ultimate cleanup crew for those pesky low HP Pokémon or those self-damagers like Spiritomb and Dodrio (seriously, watch out for those guys).

With just a smidge of damage boost, Swellow's Wing Attack reaches a whopping 70 damage, hitting a sweet spot on one of the key GLC HP breakpoints. And then comes the pièce de résistance: the Crisis Punch. This bad boy delivers a whopping 280 damage, basically obliterating anything in its path in GLC, except for those few beefy Pokémon hiding behind their Luxury Capes, like Wailord and Torterra.

Now, here's where the real fun begins. You're in the final stretch of the game, your opponent's eyeing that last prize card, and you're trailing behind by just one. That's when you whip out the Crisis Punch, and oh boy, does it work its magic! It's like the grand finale of a fireworks show, except instead of colorful explosions, you're dishing out a knockout for the ages.

But, of course, every hero needs a sidekick, and in this case, it's the trusty tool remover. You never know when those Luxury Capes might make an appearance, so keeping any form of tool removal handy is crucial. But at the same time, if your opponent slips up and misplaces a Luxcape, well, that's just asking for trouble. With some quick math and a stroke of luck, you could be looking at a three-prize swing faster than you can say, "Goodbye Luxcaped Snorlax!"

Lazy Code

Behold the OG version of how I used to roll with Crazy Code Colorless. Back in the day, before we had all these fancy Technical Machine shenanigans, Slaking reigned supreme in the realm of Colorless decks. But let me tell you, if you manage to get that Slaking up and running, it's still the heavyweight champion of this deck.

Let's talk about Slaking's ace in the hole: Lazy. This ability is like the bouncer of the Pokémon world, blocking all abilities of your opponent's Pokémon as long as Slaking's holding down the fort in the active spot. Picture it: your opponent's deck is all about abilities, relying on them like a crutch, and then bam! Slaking comes in and shuts down their whole operation. It's like pulling the rug out from under them, leaving them scrambling to come up with Plan B.

Slaking isn't just a one-trick pony. With a beefy 160 HP and an attack that packs a punch at 160 damage, it's the complete package. You've got the muscle to withstand hits and the firepower to dish them out in return. It's the kind of Pokémon that makes your opponent sweat bullets just looking at it across the table.

Crazy Spread

Let's dive into the Spread version of the shell, shall we? Brace yourselves, because this variation is the outlier of the bunch, requiring the most swaps compared to its basic counterparts and playing quite differently from the other versions.

Now, calling this a full-on spread deck might raise some eyebrows, but hear me out. The magic starts early with a dash of spread action from none other than Spinda and its Dizzying Spin attack. It's like adding a little spice to the mix, making the deck truly shine. And oh, did I mention the combos?

We've already sung praises for Swellow's ability to snatch multiple prizes with Crisis Punch, but guess what? The party doesn't stop there. Enter Technical Machine Blindside. This bad boy comes into play when your opponent's Pokémon already sports at least one damage counter on any of their Pokémon. And what does it do? It deals a solid 100 damage to any of those unlucky targets, triggering the Ancient Trait Delta Plus for an extra prize. Talk about a double whammy!

But wait, there's more! Say hello to Bunnelby, armed with the Ancient Trait Delta Barrage. This little critter can attack twice. Picture it: back-to-back Crisis Punches, each packing a hefty 280 damage. It's a one-two knockout punch that leaves your opponents reeling. And let's not forget about the double 100 damage snipe on two of your opponent’s Pokémon in the early to mid game. Ouch!

Now, onto Iron Jungulis. This guy's Homing Headbutt attack offers a straightforward way to KO those pesky small basics without the Technical Machine Tools. Sure, you might need to spread a few more Spinda spins in the early game or use Headbutt twice, but hey, it gets the job done.

And if all else fails, fear not! You've got solid backup attackers in Snorlax and Kangaskhan. Because hey, when in doubt, just Thump that Snore!

Now, keen observers might have noticed something different about the version. That's right, it's not your run-of-the-mill Aero Ball Lugia. I decided to bring in the Energy Loop Lugia this version for its more consistent midrange damage output and its ability to preserve those precious double energies, essential for pulling off those Technical Machine combos.

Crazy Roll

One exciting prospect that's been lingering in my mind is testing out the new Special Roll Cinccino as an attacker. However, to make this work, we'll need to make some adjustments. Say goodbye to Dodrio and hello to Pidgeotto to restore the consistency we lost from swapping out Cinccino's Make Do. 

Now, let's talk about Cinccino's Special Roll. A 70x multiplier? That's no joke. It's a tank buster of epic proportions, ready to wreak havoc on the battlefield.

To all you daring souls out there itching to try out this combo, I urge you to report back on your findings. Who knows? With your feedback, this Crazy Code deck could become even crazier!

So go forth, fellow trainers, and let's see just how far we can push the boundaries of this already insane deck.

Redundancy is key!

Kukui the GOAT

Let's tackle the Kukui debate, shall we? Now, all jokes aside, a lot of folks might glance at these lists and immediately think, "Kukui? Meh, I'll pass." But hold on a second, because Kukui might just be the unsung hero of these decks.

Sure, on the surface, drawing two cards and adding 20 more damage might not seem like the flashiest move in the playbook. But trust me, that extra 20 damage can be a game-changer in so many situations. And hey, redundancy is key, my friends! While you've got Powerful Energy and Muscle Band in your arsenal, having multiple options for boosting damage is crucial.

Now, let's talk strategy. Your draw engine is top-notch, but you're lacking the tutoring capabilities of some other decks. No Shady Dealing, no Buddy Catching... you get the picture. This is where having cards that serve a similar purpose comes into play. And damage manipulation and switch-outs are at the top of that list.

Picture this: you're facing off against the Hydro Pump Wailord, with its hefty 200 HP. To take down this behemoth, your Snorlax needs one of Muscle Band, Powerful Energy, or Kukui. And if you're up against the Special Wave Wailord, your Snorlax needs all three of these damage mods, or alternatively, one damage mod and Hex Maniac to neutralize that pesky -30 reduction from the Jumbo-Sized ability.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You can't play Kukui and Hex Maniac in the same turn. But fear not! You can save your Kukui for a different Knock-out. And here's where Slaking swoops in to save the day. With his built-in Hex Maniac-esque ability, he's a resource-saving machine, needing just any two of the three damage mods to secure a knockout.

Enter Kangaskhan and its Rally Back attack. Boosting its base 120 damage, when your opponent has taken a KO the previous turn, to anything over 130 is where the magic happens. Why? Because just like 70 and 90, 130 is one of those key HP breakpoints in GLC. And since Kangaskhan is your most efficient attacker, requiring only 2 energies, you'll want to recycle that bad boy as much as possible.

So there you have it, folks. Kukui might not steal the spotlight at first glance, but it's the glue that holds these decks together, turning them from good to great in the blink of an eye.

Lazy boys

Ah, the big fellas. Snorlax and Slaking may pack a punch, but let's face it, they're not exactly the most proactive Pokémon on the block. Snorlax likes to take a nap after swinging, while Slaking needs a bit of a shuffle to get back in the game. That's where our trusty switch-outs come into play.

So why did I opt for those old-school draw supporters in Bird Keeper and Tate & Lisa instead of the shiny new ones like Iono and Colress' Experiment? Well, let me tell you, sometimes the classics are just what the doctor ordered. And when you're dealing with sleepy giants, you need all the switching help you can get.

Of course, no GLC deck would be complete without a Guzma for that extra oomph in the gusting department. But let's talk about the new kid on the block: Jet Energy. Say goodbye to Warp Energy and hello to Jet Energy, folks. This special energy lets you attach it to any of your benched Pokémon, allowing you to switch that Pokémon into the active spot and by doing so giving you the flexibility to reset Slaking and Snorlax with ease.

Ever heard of hidden switches? Meet Cyclizar, the unsung hero of switch cards. With its free retreat, it's the perfect target to switch into with any of your switch-outs, allowing you to seamlessly transition back into the action with Slaking or Snorlax. Having a semi-switch searchable with ball search, Artazon or Winona is very key for your early game and the Cyclizars attack’s are clutch as well, offering both draw and damage potential.

I already talked about Snorlax’s wake-up shot in Therapeutic Energy but let's not forget about Recycle Energy. This little gem can save the day by helping you retreat Cinccino, Dodrio, or Swellow once you've got Porygon-Z online. Paying the one retreat cost with Recycle Energy gets the energy back into your hand, ready to be reattached to any of your Pokémon. Talk about value!

Last but not least, Float Stone. No deck is complete without at least one Tool Switch card as a protection against stall tactics on high retreat Pokémon. And Float stone is the premiere tool in that slot. When it comes to switch options, you can never have too many tricks up your sleeve.

With a little help from our switch-out squad, those sleepy giants will be back in action in no time, ready to wreak havoc on the battlefield.


With all that being said, I firmly believe that each of these decks serve their purpose and meet the criteria I seek in a Gym Leader Challenge deck. Sure, they might not be the simplest decks to master, but with dedication and practice, they have the potential to triumph over any opponent in the format.

The most valuable lesson I can impart to you all is this: keep grinding those games. Practice makes perfect, as they say. And as you hone your skills, remember to build your decks with careful consideration of the CRC (consistency, redundancy, and comeback mechanics) principle. Take stock of what other traits are currently in the format and adapt accordingly.

So, fellow Gym Leaders, keep at it, keep refining your strategies, and above all, keep pushing yourself to be the best you can be. Victory awaits those who are willing to put in the effort and strive for greatness.