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GLC Water Deck

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EricHurt @EricHurtDev Monday, September 12, 2022

Revamped Riptide

Hey Gym Leaders, thanks for stopping by. Today I've got a super gnarly water list for you straight from our recent Monday Funday ban event. The ban event removed Shady Dealings Inteleon, Deluge Blastoise and Amazing Rare Kyogre from the card pool. As expected, someone (MrWhatMD) came up with a really unique and powerful list regardless. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more Monday Funday events every week!


Water decks have made a name for themselves as one of the most powerful types in Gym Leader Challenge format, with most decks utilizing AR Kyogre and different rain dancers such as Frosmoth and Deluge Blastoise to power up huge attacks. I wanted to go a slightly different route, building a deck around Feraligatr, one my favorite Pokémon from the franchise. The Feraligatr from Dragon Majesty is a re-imagining of the one printed in Neo Genesis that saw tons of success in the first modified format, and I hoped to recapture the power of that deck.

Setting up for Success

This deck plays 3 different Stage-2 lines, as such it’s important to get those lines out as quickly as possible. Alolan Vulpix and Hisuian Basculin both have free attacks that search the deck for 2 Pokémon which allows for a water to be used to retreat most of the other Basic Pokémon while still allowing them to use their move. Hisuian Basculin will be even more useful with the release of Lost Origin thanks to the Hisuian Basculegion that comes with that set, which has the same attack as Feraligatr, but can use it for free!

With cards like Wally and Rare Candy, you’re able to more easily evolve up into your Stage 2 support Pokémon which allows you to churn through the deck quickly in order to set up Feraligatr’s Riptide attack.

Blastoise’s Powerful Squall accelerates energy from the deck, and with 12 energies in total you’re bound to hit at least 1 every turn. Swampert’s Power Draw allows you to quickly discard cards that are no longer useful to help get down to the bottom of the deck quickly. It also can be used to discard and pull more Water Energy from the deck for Feraligatr to pull off its attack turn after turn.

Cards like Looker Whistle and Random Receiver may seem out of place in a deck like this, but they’re important outs to a Supporter card when you may not have one in hand. Looker Whistle allows you to directly search out Looker, a supporter akin to the generic “rival” cards like Hop or Hau, allowing you to draw 3 cards (albeit from the bottom of the deck). While it may seem fairly weak, when combined with Swampert’s Power Draw it can allow you to dig further into the deck without a discard effect, and can also be recycled with Cynthia & Caitlin to continue drawing turn after turn. And the Looker Whistle can be used as discard fodder for Swampert’s Power Draw ability if Looker has already been pulled from the deck.

Early Game

The priority in the early game is establishing your board. If possible, try to get Alolan Vulpix or Hisuian Basculin into the active to use their attacks to find other Pokémon. If you are unfortunate enough to start Lapras or Kyogre, focus on using cards like Gloria and Brooklet Hill to set up your bench. You should check your deck to find out your prizes and see which of your evolutionary lines are available go begin evolving. Squirtle and Mudkip are more important to set up in the early game; Squirtle is especially important if you started with one of your big basics (Lapras, Kyogre or Articuno) so that you can power them up with Blastoise’s Power Squall. Early game is the time for Lapras and Wishiwashi to shine, so prioritize getting them set up and swinging early and you can establish the rest of your board as the game progresses.

Late Game

So you’ve churned through your deck, Blastoise and Swampert are set up, and your opponent managed to take down your big Basics. You’ve got plenty of water energy in the discard pile, so it’s time to send up Feraligatr to send it all back to the deck. Water Energy in the hand can also be discarded as much as you want by Ferlagatr’s Ability: Riptide. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of energy in the discard pile, let it rip and watch all that energy go back into the deck! After that, if your opponent decides to KO Feraligatr, you now can use Blastoise to set up a new attacker with all the Water Energy you just put back into the deck. If your opponent decides to gust up Blastoise and take it out, you can use Swampert and any other draw cards you have to put the Water back in the discard to do it all over again (don’t forget that even if you have a bunch of Water Energy in hand, Feraligatr can use its ability to discard them as much as you like). If your opponent doesn’t have any bench protection, you can also power up Kyogre with Blastoise and use its Aqua Storm attack to discard the top 5 cards from your deck, and snipe your opponent’s bench for up to 250 damage (you just put all those Water energy back in deck with Feraligatr, right?)

Difficult Matchups

Spread Decks

Spread decks such as AR Kyogre or AR Raikou can give you a hard time if they can snipe your evolving basics. The list plays Manaphy to try and protect against it, but most spread lists play Silent Lab to circumvent it.

Ability Lock

This deck relies heavily on Swampert, Blastoise and Feraligatr’s abilities to function, and any deck that can shut them off can throw a wrench in the game plan. A damaged Wishiwashi can also be KOed if its ability ever gets shut off, which might net the opponent 2 prizes in one turn if they can also KO the active.

Deck List

##Pokémon - 17

  • 1 Alolan Vulpix GRI 21
  • 1 Articuno TEU 32
  • 1 Hisuian Basculin ASR 43
  • 1 Kyogre CEL 3
  • 1 Lapras TEU 31
  • 1 Manaphy BRS 41
  • 1 Mudkip CES 32
  • 1 Squirtle BCR 29
  • 1 Totodile FST 55
  • 1 Wishiwashi EVS 46
  • 1 Croconaw SLG 19
  • 1 Hisuian Basculegion ASR 44
  • 1 Marshtomp FST 63
  • 1 Wartortle UNB 34
  • 1 Blastoise TEU 25
  • 1 Feraligatr DRM 24
  • 1 Swampert CES 35

##Trainer Cards - 30

  • 1 Nessa VIV 157
  • 1 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
  • 1 Aqua Patch GRI 119
  • 1 Ball Guy SHF 57
  • 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
  • 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
  • 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
  • 1 Hapu UNM 200
  • 1 Evolution Incense SSH 163
  • 1 Brooklet Hill GRI 120
  • 1 Wally ROS 94
  • 1 Timer Ball SUM 134
  • 1 Gloria BRS 141
  • 1 Looker UPR 126
  • 1 Looker Whistle UPR 127
  • 1 Field Blower GRI 125
  • 1 Big Parasol DAA 157
  • 1 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
  • 1 Random Receiver DEX 99
  • 1 Ultra Ball BRS 150
  • 1 Stealthy Hood UNB 186
  • 1 Guzma BUS 143
  • 1 Ingo & Emmet TEU 144
  • 1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146
  • 1 Float Stone BKT 137
  • 1 Rare Candy PGO 69
  • 1 Dive Ball PRC 125
  • 1 Acro Bike CES 123
  • 1 Nest Ball SUM 123
  • 1 Trekking Shoes ASR 156

##Energy - 13

  • 12 Water Energy SMEnergy 12
  • 1 Splash Energy BKP 113 Total Cards - 60

** Credit to the original Blastoise artist Hitoshi Ariga