Hey everyone, and welcome to another UNDNTD Standard deck profile! This week's deck takes a turn from the VMAX- and Tag Team-heavy archetypes Le Bui and I have looked at over the past few weeks. In fact, it is a deck consisting entirely of single-Prize Pokémon— specifically, Decidueye (swsh3-13) and Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119)

Dubbed "DeciGoon" or "DeciGoons," this deck aims to counter a large portion of the existing Standard metagame through Decidueye's Deep Forest Camo Ability (which prevents damage from Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V) and Galarian Obstagoon's Obstruct attack (which prevents damage from Basic Pokémon). With some careful planning, the deck can find great success at tournaments simply off the strength of its matchups—assuming you read the metagame correctly!

I'll give some advice at the end of the article on when to play DeciGoon and when not to, based on metagame prediction. But let's start things off with a look at my favorite list currently, including the key cards in the deck, and routes to take in different matchups. 

As someone largely unfamiliar with DeciGoon until recently, when I wanted to pick up the deck to help grind Players Cup III events, I wanted to make sure I picked a good list with which to learn the archetype. I settled on my friend Bart Musser's list that he took to top 8 at a recent Chill TCG tournament. Bart believes the list is pretty much perfect, and noted that even in his losses during that tournament, he was a single turn away from winning each time!

Pokémon - 19

1 Snorlax (swsh4-131)
2 Galarian Zigzagoon (swsh1-117)
2 Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119)
4 Rowlet (swsh3-11)
1 Dartrix (swsh3-12)
3 Decidueye (swsh3-13)
3 Jirachi (sm9-99)
1 Mew (sm10-76)
1 Mewtwo (smp-SM214)
1 Phione (sm12-57)

Trainer Cards - 32

1 Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (swsh2-154)
1 Marnie (swsh1-169)
4 Pokémon Communication (sm9-152)
2 Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171)
4 Bird Keeper (swsh3-159)
4 Quick Ball (swsh1-179) 
4 Rare Candy (swsh1-180)
4 Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165)
4 Rosa (sm12-204)
4  Professor's Research (Professor Magnolia) (swsh1-178)

Energy - 9

2 Capture Energy (swsh2-171)
2 Darkness Energy (xy12-97)
3 Aromatic Grass Energy (swsh4-162)
2 Grass Energy (xy12-91)

Total Cards - 60

If you aren't too familiar with the archetype, or with the current competitive Standard format in general, you might think this list looks incredibly clunky. Two Stage 2 lines? In this format, which many players have maligned for its lack of Evolution support? However, in many of your matchups, just a single Stage 2 line can carry you throughout the entire game, and the deck has an engine dedicated to assembling that line as consistently as possible. As a slower deck that aims to establish an undefeatable lock rather than swiftly run over the opponent, DeciGoon also has plenty of time to find all those pieces and set up gradually while preventing the opponent from winning quickly. 

Rosa (sm12-204) is the core Trainer card that really glues this deck together; there is a full count of four in the list for this reason. Your opponent is most likely going to need to take Knock Outs to progress towards their win condition, but as soon as they do so, you can activate Rosa (sm12-204) to search for exactly the Stage 2 Pokémon you need and a Rare Candy (swsh1-180) to bring it into play, plus an Energy to attach. 

The deck is mostly built around consistently finding Basic Pokémon in the early turns and then finding Rosa (sm12-204) to pull off larger combos once your opponent starts taking Knock Outs. I'll go through each card individually to explain them in more detail. 

4-1-3 Decidueye

Decidueye (swsh3-13) is your most important attacker in the largest percentage of your matchups, so it is the thickest of the deck's Pokémon lines. A full four Rowlet (swsh3-11) count is needed to make it as easy as possible to get multiple copies onto the Bench in the first couple turns of the game, as board positions where only one is in play are frequently vulnerable to a Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (swsh2-154) or other gust from your opponent, essentially setting you back a turn. 

Don't underestimate Rowlet (swsh3-11) as an attacker! With four Bird Keeper (swsh3-159) in the list (see below), you are frequently able to activate Wind Shard to spread some damage around or pick off a weakened Pokémon. 

Because Decidueye (swsh3-13) is so important in this meta, one Dartrix (swsh3-12) is included as an additional out to getting multiple Decidueye into play. It also gives you a way to actually play Decidueye (swsh3-13) should you encounter a Vikavolt V (swsh3-60), which would prevent you from playing Rare Candy (swsh1-180)

2-0-2 Galarian Obstagoon

Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119) is not as universally good as Decidueye (swsh3-13), since VMAX decks can easily get around it just by evolving, so the line is thinner— but the card is still necessary for this deck to thrive in this format. Most importantly, you will use it in the Blacephalon or Welder Toolbox matchup, in which Blacephalon can easily run through your Decidueye (swsh3-13) but can do nothing about a Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119) using Obstruct every turn. (In that matchup, be sure to Bench your Mew (sm10-76) to prevent snipes from Cramorant V (swsh1-155)!)

As with Rowlet (swsh3-11), don't underestimate the strength of Galarian Zigzagoon (swsh1-117), too! The extra damage can be critically important in setting up some Knock Outs and it can add up quickly since you can reuse the Ability with Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165). Also remember that Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119) gives you another three damage counters when it comes into play. The amount of spread damage this deck has to play with gives it a fairly high skill cap and lots of room to outplay opponents. 

3 Jirachi, 1 Snorlax, 1 Mewtwo

These are your "support Pokémon," and while you're probably used to seeing Dedenne-GX (sm10-57) and Crobat V (swsh3-104) in most other meta decks, this deck doesn't want to put any more Prize cards on the board than it absolutely has to. Jirachi (sm9-99) helps you draw through your deck to find combo pieces throughout the game, and with four Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165) and four Bird Keeper (swsh3-159), you shouldn't have much trouble pivoting it out of the Active Spot. Snorlax (swsh4-131) is your ideal early-game consistency Pokémon; often you will be looking to switch (via Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165) or Bird Keeper (swsh3-159)) or Retreat into it on the first turn of the game to use the Gormandize Ability to build up your hand. Finally, Mewtwo (smp-SM214) provides consistency throughout the game by recovering a Supporter from the discard pile; with Stellar Wish, Gormandize, or another Supporter, you can draw right back into that Supporter immediately. 

1 Mew, 1 Phione

One of DeciGoon's potential weaknesses is attacks that can damage the Bench— for example, Cramorant V's Spit Shot or Pikachu & Zekrom-GX's Tag Bolt GX. Mew (sm10-76) takes care of that problem, and it can even be a useful attacker in a few niche situations. Phione (sm12-57) is a solid form of disruption for your opponent that can force them to burn Energy. It can also push for switching cards to switch back into their previous Active Pokémon, or force a heavily damaged Pokémon to the Bench where you can KO it with Splitting Arrow while dealing more damage to the new Active Pokémon. 

One important use of Phione (sm12-57) comes in the Lucario & Melmetal-GX (sm10-120)/Zacian V (swsh1-138) matchup. After Full Metal Wall GX is used and with Metal Goggles (sm9-148) in play, Decidueye (swsh3-13) deals 0 damage to a Zacian V (swsh1-138)  or Zamazenta V (swsh1-139); the LucMetal player could then attempt to win by decking you out. Phione (sm12-57) prevents you from ever decking out, so you should always be able to at least force a tie against LucMetal. You can attempt to set up a Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119) in the matchup to at least do some damage to their Pokémon, but be aware of their Energy denial that could make you miss a turn of using Obstruct. 

Supporters

I discussed the importance of four Rosa (sm12-204) cards; that is the card that really makes this archetype competitively viable. Four Professor's Research (Professor Magnolia) (swsh1-178) also feels necessary to make the deck as consistent as possible. Some DeciGoon lists cut down to less than four Bird Keeper (swsh3-159), but one thing I like about Bart's list is the maximized count of that card, as well. It gives you more ways to switch your Snorlax (swsh4-131) and Jirachi (sm9-99) into your attackers and gives you more opportunities to use Wind Shard to your advantage. 

The "tech" Supporters are Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (swsh2-154) and Marnie (swsh1-169). Marnie (swsh1-169) is the only form of hand disruption you have, so save it for when you absolutely need it. Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (swsh2-154) should also be used only when absolutely needed, either to stall by bringing up a high-Retreat Cost Pokémon when you're desperate, to set up a multiple-KO turn with your spread damage, or to get the first hit in on a potentially threatening Pokémon your opponent is setting up. Remember that Mewtwo (smp-SM214) can give you extra uses of these single-copy Supporters if needed. 

4 Scoop Up Net

Making the most of your Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165) is one of the most skill-intensive aspects of DeciGoon. This card has so many functions in the list— pivoting Jirachi (sm9-99) or Snorlax (swsh4-131) into your attacker, re-using Galarian Zigzagoon (swsh1-117) or Galarian Obstagoon (swsh1-119), or picking up excess support Pokémon so you can lock your opponent out of the game— but you are limited to the four copies with no way to recover them, so you need to make sure each one is giving you the maximum value possible. Plan out Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165) usage over the course of your game so you don't make a mistake. 

4 Pokémon Communication, 4 Quick Ball, 4 Rare Candy

As I mentioned, in a deck with two Stage 2 lines, maximum consistency is key. Don't cut any of these counts lower! If you can't find your Basic Pokémon in the first few turns of the game, or run out of Rare Candy (swsh1-180), you will find it very difficult to win with DeciGoon.

Against ADPZ decks, remember that they play a Mawile-GX (sm11-141). You can use Pokémon Communication](Pokémon Communication (sm9-152)) and Quick Ball (swsh1-179) accordingly to remove any extraneous Pokémon from your hand and make yourself "Mawile-proof." Unless ADPZ plays a counter such as Aegislash V (swsh4-126), it has absolutely no way to deal with a board of a single Decidueye (swsh3-13), so it will try to use  Mawile-GX (sm11-141) to pull Basic Pokémon from your hand; it can then use Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (swsh2-154) to try to steal the Prize cards it needs to finish the game. Play smart with these cards and you can prevent that from happening!

2 Ordinary Rod

I like the insurance of the second Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171) and probably wouldn't play the deck with just one, especially considering the low basic Energy count in Bart's list. Remember proper sequencing with Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171): for example, don't use Stellar Wish before Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171) so you lessen your chance of seeing a bunch of Pokémon and Energy; but you may wish to Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171) before playing something like a Bird Keeper (swsh3-159) if you are trying to draw into Pokémon or Energy. 

Energy

Two Grass Energy (xy12-91) and two Darkness Energy (xy12-97) should be pretty straightforward—just use good judgment when attaching them. They are very limited resources, even with Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171), and Energy denial is prevalent in this format. 

Capture Energy (swsh2-171) is one of the most underrated cards in the list; the two copies effectively serve as a fifth and sixth Quick Ball (swsh1-179) , which greatly increases your chances of finding all the Basic Pokémon you want in the early turns. Often, I will even attach Capture Energy (swsh2-171) to my starting Pokémon to grab Snorlax (swsh4-131), then use the Energy to Retreat into the Snorlax. 

Bart chose to run three Aromatic Grass Energy (swsh4-162) because of the metagame he was expecting. The main Special Conditions that Aromatic Grass Energy (swsh4-162) insures against are Paralysis from Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX (sm11-54) in Pikachu & Zekrom-GX (sm9-33)  decks, and Poison from some variants of Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117) decks. PikaRom will pretty much be a Standard staple as long as it's legal, but if you expect a meta with little Poison Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117), you could swap one Aromatic Grass Energy (swsh4-162) for a third Grass Energy (xy12-91), especially if you expect more Energy denial than usual in the meta. More Basic Energy means more Energy that can be recovered by Ordinary Rod (swsh1-171)

Closing Thoughts

That's DeciGoon in a nutshell! This primer should give you a firm grasp on how all the cards in the deck function to make it consistent and powerful, despite its two Stage 2 lines. 

This is one of the most difficult decks to play in the current Standard format. It is very punishing to both improper management of resources and improper setup of your board; one minor mistake can have crushing repercussions down the line! It is not a deck I'd play in a tournament without significant practice, but if piloted well, it is a deck that can be quite literally impossible to beat in a wide swath of matchups. 

I did mention I'd give some tips for when to roll the dice and bring this deck, with its very polarized matchups, to a tournament and when to stay away. Generally DeciGoon is strongest when the meta is centered around ADPZ, Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117), and PikaRom—all decks it should handily beat. When Welder decks such as Centiskorch VMAX (swsh3-34) and Blacephalon make up a larger share of the meta, DeciGoon becomes worse. LucMetal is also not a matchup I would want to face more than once in a tournament. 

ADPZ also has the ability to include a one-card tech— Aegislash V (swsh4-126) or Duraludon (swsh2-138)— that completely changes the DeciGoon matchup from poor to very favorable. If you notice that DeciGoon saw success in a string of recent tournaments or has been receiving more hype than usual, it it usually best to avoid playing it, since ADPZ decks will likely decide to include that tech when they think DeciGoon will be played more. DeciGoon is at its strongest when the majority of players do not respect it in their deckbuilding and metagaming. 

More questions about the article? Interested in coaching? Just want to talk Pokémon? As always, I am reachable on Twitter; also give a follow to my team, @UNDNTD, if you haven't already. I'm sure I'll be seeing you again here soon, but until then, good luck testing, competing, or just having fun with the game!