Mewtwo & Mew-GX Pokémon TCG Deck Strategy

By Christopher Schemanske, Contributing Writer

Despite helping Henry Brand earn the Masters Division Champion title at the 2019 Pokémon World Championships, Mewtwo & Mew-GX might still be the most mysterious presence moving into the first major events of the 2020 Championship Series. The strength of this TAG TEAM is in the versatility of its Perfection Ability, which allows it to use attacks of all kinds from out of nowhere. A full suite of Pokémon-GX in the Standard format offers boundless options to explore, and top players have done just that—although six Pokémon TCG players brought decks built around this card to a Top 8 or better finish at Worlds, the decks offered plenty of variation. The wealth of options is truly what made Mewtwo & Mew-GX successful at Worlds, and it's what will make it successful moving forward.

The Fundamentals

Even with so much variance, I first want to look at a number of cards that make the strategy function in any Mewtwo & Mew-GX deck. All of the top-finishing deck lists at Worlds had at least a few Trainer cards in common, but perhaps the card that stood out the most was Welder. Effective Energy acceleration is often the biggest challenge faced by otherwise promising deck concepts, and Welder's added draw power is what makes this a particularly effective approach. Giant Hearth helps, too, allowing easy discarding of Pokémon-GX to use with Perfection, as well as access to essential Fire Energy. Cherish Ball, another mainstay, is the best Pokémon-GX search possible.

Players have been less in agreement on which supporting Pokémon to include. Dedenne-GX is widely considered a must-include for its draw power that doesn't use up a Supporter card, further enabling explosive Welder turns. One of the only other Pokémon the top lists at Worlds agreed on was Jirachi-GX, whose Psychic Zone Ability makes playing against other Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks a lot less messy by eliminating Weakness to Psychic for all Pokémon in play. The sky really is the limit on diverse deckbuilding with this TAG TEAM.

  • Mewtwo & Mew-GX
  • 4
    Mewtwo & Mew-GX
    sm11 71
  • 3
    sm10 57
  • 1
    sm7 28
  • 1
    sm9 106
  • 1
    sm11 152
  • 1
    sm11 79
  • 1
    sm11 78
  • 1
    sm10 81
  • 1
    sm11 160
  • 1
    Reshiram & Charizard-GX
    sm10 20
  • 1
    smp SM104
Energy Cards
  • 9
    Fire Energy
    nrg1 27
  • 4
    Unit Energy { Lightning }{ Psychic }{ Metal }
    sm5 138
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    sm10 189
  • 2
    sm11 200
  • 1
    sm6 108
  • 3
    Giant Hearth
    sm11 197
  • 1
    Heat Factory ◇
    sm8 178
  • 4
    Cherish Ball
    sm11 191
  • 4
    Custom Catcher
    sm8 171
  • 4
    Pokégear 3.0
    sm10 182
  • 3
    Mysterious Treasure
    sm6 113
  • 2
    sm7 147
  • 1
    Fire Crystal
    sm10 173
  • 1
    Pal Pad
    sm5 132
  • 1
    Reset Stamp
    sm11 206
More Info Copy Deck List

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.

Heavy Hitters

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.

Energy Accelerators

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.

Bench Hitters

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 this deck.

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.

Protective Attackers

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.

Flex Options

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 explore.

Trainer Tactics

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.

Energy Supply

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 Pokémon-GX.

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.

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About the Writer

Christopher Schemanske
Christopher Schemanske is a contributing writer for 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.

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