Choose Your Fighter
We've seen lists for Mewtwo & Mew-GX incorporate a ton of
different Pokémon-GX for use with
Perfection. For the most part, they can be broken down into a handful of styles:
heavy hitters, Energy accelerators, Bench hitters, and protective attackers. To
be clear, these decks don't typically include just one style, but a combination
of several of them (and sometimes all four). Let's run through the various
options for each category.
In the current era of TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, hitting for high amounts of damage can lead to big success.
There are a number of huge attackers, but creating decks around them can be
infeasible. Letting Mewtwo & Mew-GX
sidestep their setup difficulties makes for a powerful fusion of brawn and
agility. Dragonite-GX is one of the most popular inclusions, as its 270
damage for five Colorless Energy is enough to remove almost any opposing Pokémon
in one attack. However, the high attack cost and discard requirement make it an
attack that's easy to foresee and tough to repeat.
Magcargo-GX was featured heavily at Worlds despite not seeing much discussion
before the event—most notably in Masters Division Champion Henry Brand's
version of the deck. Its base attack cost is relatively low, but to reach that
250- to 300-damage plateau, it'll actually have to discard more Energy than
Dragonite-GX. Helpfully, it can hit for lower damage amounts with less
discarding, should the situation require.
Reshiram & Charizard-GX stars in a deck of its own for good reason, so it's little surprise
that the TAG TEAM features in many Mewtwo & Mew-GX lists, too. Double
Blaze-GX is an important part of many
Mewtwo & Mew-GX mirror matches,
as the boosted effect allows it to get through a Tag Purge from Latios-GX
or other similar effect—often enough to swing a match.
The other pair of options worth considering in this category are fairly
similar: Flareon-GX and Blaziken-GX. Both have high-damage
attacks for three Energy and a requirement to discard two, though their other
attacks serve different roles. Flareon-GX
can be effective in setting up other Pokémon, and in decks that run lots of
Energy, it might be able to pull off some good tricks with Power Burner-GX. Blaziken-GX hits for more
damage, but neither of its other attacks is likely to serve the general
strategy here. The extra 20 damage is often important, though, so this choice often
comes down to what else is included in the deck.
Heavy hitters play an important role in the deck, and an average list should include two or three.
With any deck, setting up more than one attacker is an important part
of most games, as an opponent's situation changes dramatically when pressure is
imminent. Attack-based Energy acceleration can be a valuable way of achieving
this. This wasn't addressed in every list at Worlds, but most players seem to
be in agreement that it's worthwhile going forward. Solgaleo-GX is seen in the role most often, and Turbo Strike's easy 120 damage for
two Energy can help soften up opposing Pokémon for later attacks while setting
up allies on the Bench.
One of the most valuable things in deckbuilding in the Pokémon TCG is a
card that can fill two purposes in the same deck. As mentioned above, Flareon-GX is a great example: while it does
less damage than Blaziken-GX and is a
bit more awkward in accelerating Energy than Solgaleo-GX, it can fill both niches for a single deck slot. With a
constraint of 60 cards, this can make a card very valuable. While I wouldn't
advocate for playing both Flareon-GX and Solgaleo-GX unless it
happens to be a list that can also take advantage of Power Burner-GX, perhaps the former can save a spot
over the latter by filling both of these roles. Just be aware of the trade-off.
With Custom Catcher currently one of the only reliable ways to pull an
opponent's Pokémon into the Active spot in the Standard format, hiding a
damaged Pokémon on the Bench has become a viable strategy. Pressuring an
opponent's Bench can narrow their options, and it's a valuable dimension of
We saw Naganadel-GX from Sun & Moon—Unified Minds a lot at
Worlds, and considering Dedenne-GX's
level of play and 160 HP vs. Naganadel-GX's 170 damage with Venom Shot, this
makes a lot of sense. The other primary option is Espeon & Deoxys-GX. Its Cross Division-GX attack can finish off a damaged Pokémon,
decimate a Bench full of weaker Basic Pokémon before they can evolve, or a
combination of both. In particular, if we see an Evolution-focused deck make a
rise, this will be a great option.
Unlike some of the other categories, there aren't a ton of other
options for Bench hitters. I suspect Ryota Ishiyama's Top 8 Masters Division version of the deck didn't include Naganadel-GX only because the focus of his deck
was a good deal different from the other top finishers at Worlds. I'd make room
for at least one of these.
It's useful to have Pokémon with attacks that prevent the attacks of certain
kinds of Pokémon (say, Pokémon-GX)
from damaging your Pokémon. Some decks are difficult to outrace due to their
strong damage output, but when an opposing attacker is made powerless, it's
possible to play catchup.
The most frequent inclusion to Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks in this
category has been Latios-GX, with Tag
Purge capable of preventing damage from the extraordinarily popular TAG TEAM
Pokémon-GX. Pikachu & Zekrom-GX,
Reshiram & Charizard-GX, and
Mewtwo & Mew-GX are popular and
can't always be easily swapped out. Even in situations where 120 damage isn't
enough, Tag Purge can buy time to set up a different attack. A key to Tag Purge
is making sure it can't be sidestepped by opposing attacks. Here, Clear Vision-GX can be an important tool to shut off
GX attacks, especially against Reshiram & Charizard-GX, whose Double Blaze-GX can be disastrous.
Altaria-GX goes further, with its Bright Tone attack giving it immunity to all Pokémon-GX, but with the trade-off of a far lower damage output. This is
obviously effective against decks playing only Pokémon-GX, but with few of those right now,
its use is more about stalling for time to set up a bigger attack.
If I were building a deck, I'd play Latios-GX for sure, as it
helps so many matchups. Altaria-GX and other cards with similar effects
are a bit harder to justify given the diverse attacking options most decks
have, but they could definitely catch certain opponents off guard.
Outside those roles, a few other Pokémon merit consideration for
inclusion. Cobalion-GX can help you clinch a game with its Iron Rule-GX
attack, giving you an uninterrupted opportunity to attach one more Energy to
one of your hard-hitting Pokémon. And with the right Energy, its Metal Symbol Ability
shines against Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX, whose Tandem Shock can
otherwise be quite a nuisance. Marshadow's Resetting Hole Ability is critical for
removing the Power Plant Stadium card, which is typically one of the most dangerous counters to
the Mewtwo & Mew-GX deck. There are, of course, many more options to
With the Pokémon now sorted out, a few of the Trainer possibilities are
worth checking out. A key consideration is which Supporter to play alongside
Welder. While there are many choices, including Bill's Analysis (particularly great with
Counter Catcher) and Lillie, I'm particularly intrigued by Sightseer and Hapu. The deck includes a lot of cards that
you want to get into the discard pile, or that are useful in limited
situations, and both Supporters are great for thinning those out.
This deck also needs a lot of Stadiums to bump out the threat of Power
Plant, and while Giant Hearth is excellent, others are also worth considering. Viridian Forest
is useful in versions of the deck that play basic Energy, while Lysandre Labs
is a nifty card against specific situations—a key one is Fairy Charm
in the Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX deck. Heat Factory wasn't a unanimous inclusion at Worlds, but I'd encourage it if you're
looking for extra draw power.
When it comes to searching for Pokémon, start with Cherish Ball. Depending
what Pokémon are included, Mysterious Treasure, Electromagnetic Radar, and Pokémon Communication are all other options, though I personally lean
toward Pokémon Communication for its versatility. With more compatible targets,
Mysterious Treasure gets better and better, so your choice can vary depending
on the composition of your deck.
One card I like a lot that didn't see a ton of traction at Worlds is Pal Pad. Often,
the late game comes down to drawing Welder, and I think the added insurance of
having more copies in the deck is invaluable when faced with Reset Stamp
disruption. It's not a Trainer card, but Mewtwo is another way to do this, too.
Custom Catcher saw frequent—but not unanimous—play at Worlds, and
there's still a good amount of debate about its value. There's nothing like its
ability to pressure an opponent, but needing two copies at once makes it a lot
more complicated. Another option for those slots, which Senior Division Worlds Semifinalist
Rowan Stavenow opted for, is Super Scoop Up. This taps into a different dimension of the game
from Custom Catcher, taking advantage of the fact that most decks in Standard
right now can't remove a Mewtwo & Mew-GX
from play in one turn. Especially paired with Solgaleo-GX to create a backup attacker, Super Scoop Up can change the
outlook of a game entirely by neutralizing an opponent's past attacks—but it
can also do absolutely nothing.
With the typical selection of Pokémon-GX in this deck, Fire
Energy is a must, but Psychic Energy, Rainbow Energy, and Unit Energy can all be considered, too. Both of the Special Energy cards offer more
versatility, but they have the drawback of not being searchable by cards like
Viridian Forest. There aren't many ways to hinder Special Energy right now,
though, and I might lean toward believing that they're relatively safe. They
open up a lot more possibilities, and your opponent suddenly has to consider
all sorts of other possible attacks, so they could certainly be worthwhile.
Know Your Foes
How does Mewtwo & Mew-GX stack up against the rest of the
field? As we saw at Worlds, pretty well! While I'm not going to get into the
details of how every single matchup goes, in general, the biggest threats to
the deck are those that can reach the 270 damage necessary for a one-hit Knock
Out. There aren't many of these, but there are a few, and Kaya Lichtleitner's Senior Division World Championships-winning Reshiram & Charizard-GX deck is the most dangerous example. In
her deck, Ninetales's Nine Temptations makes it difficult to hide any damaged Mewtwo & Mew-GX
on the Bench, but more importantly, it largely negates strategies like Tag
Purge. Add in Victini as another attacker that can hit hard, and it's a recipe for a beatdown. Other
decks looking to beat Mewtwo & Mew-GX
can take this road map: be able to mess with the opponent's strategy, either by
switching the Active Pokémon frequently or through a more direct route like
Power Plant, and be able to hit hard enough to pressure the giant TAG TEAM
Mewtwo & Mew-GX is effective against a wide range of decks
due to the range of attacks available to it. Traditional Green's Exploration-based Reshiram & Charizard-GX
decks will struggle with Tag Purge, and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX variants can have trouble with the
sheer number of things the Mewtwo & Mew-GX deck can do. Even in
matchups that look a bit shaky, like against Blacephalon-GX, victory is possible just
through the deck's sheer strength of options.
As more Pokémon-GX make their
way into the Standard format throughout the year, the power of Mewtwo & Mew-GX will continue to grow. Already, Hidden
Fates is offering some new options, like Charizard-GX, to augment the current lineup. While I think its viability
will vary a bit over the course of the year, largely as Power Plant makes its
way into and out of lists as needed, this should be a strong contender
throughout much of the 2020 Championship Series.
Keep up with more Pokémon TCG strategies and event news on Pokemon.co.uk/Strategy.
Christopher Schemanske is a contributing writer for Pokemon.com. After a run of Worlds invitations between 2012 and 2018, he now splits time between playing and judging. Outside of the game, he's at university studying industrial and operations engineering. You can find him at events throughout the Play! Pokémon TCG circuit, as well as on Twitter at @cschemanske.