Detective Pikachu Deck Tips: Greninja

The cards from the special Detective Pikachu expansion have a striking CGI look, making them super fun to collect, and all of them are legal for use in your regular Pokémon TCG decks. If you want to try out cards from this set—or if you saw Jit Min Lim at the Europe International Championships showing off a fun deck centered around a popular amphibious Pokémon, and you want to try something similar—here's a deck we know you'll enjoy. (We can feel it in our jellies.)

This deck centers around Greninja, a slippery Pokémon with powerful tricks on both offense and defense. Its Furious Shurikens attack does 50 damage to 2 of your opponent's Pokémon, letting you work toward multiple Knock Outs simultaneously and pursue Pokémon that have retreated to the Bench. It'll be tough for foes to return fire against the sneaky Pokémon because its Evasion Jutsu Ability means it's always just a coin flip away from dodging their attacks.

Greninja's Furious Shurikens attack pairs nicely with other Pokémon that can do damage to multiple opponents at once, so many players combine it with the Tapu Koko promo card. The other main contributor to the “spread damage” assault is the Pokémon that evolves into Greninja, Frogadier, because of its Gale Shuriken Ability. The other cards in this deck are selected to help these Pokémon do just enough to pick up Knock Outs.

  • Greninja
Pokémon
  • 3
    Greninja
    9/18
    det 9
  • 4
    Frogadier
    23/131
    sm6 23
  • 4
    Froakie
    22/131
    sm6 22
  • 4
    Tapu Koko
    SM30
    smp SM30
  • 1
    Ditto ◇
    154/214
    sm8 154
  • 1
    Jirachi
    99/181
    sm9 99
  • 1
    Larvitar
    115/214
    sm8 115
  • 1
    Oranguru
    114/138
    sm5 114
  • 1
    Tapu Lele
    94/138
    sm5 94
  • 1
    Tapu Lele-GX
    60/145
    sm2 60
Energy Cards
  • 4
    Double Colorless Energy
    sm1 136
  • 4
    Counter Energy
    sm4 100
Trainer Cards
  • 4
    Cynthia
    sm5 119
  • 4
    Lillie
    sm5 125
  • 3
    Guzma
    sm3 115
  • 3
    Shrine of Punishment
    sm7 143
  • 4
    Nest Ball
    sm1 123
  • 3
    Ultra Ball
    sm1 135
  • 2
    Choice Band
    sm2 121
  • 2
    Escape Board
    sm5 122
  • 2
    Pokémon Communication
    sm9 152
  • 2
    Rescue Stretcher
    sm2 130
  • 1
    Energy Loto
    sm2 122
  • 1
    Pal Pad
    xy2 92
More Info Copy Deck List

Deck Strategy: Aim to build a task force of Greninja as quickly as possible by getting Froakie on your Bench with cards like Nest Ball and Pokémon Communication early in the game. You'll ideally want to get Tapu Koko into play as your first attacker—it needs only a single Double Colorless Energy to attack, and it provides great flexibility because it has no Retreat Cost. Start getting damage on the board with its Flying Flip attack, and further weaken foes with Frogadier's Gale Shuriken to set up Knock Outs for Greninja later in the game.

Key Cards: This deck uses only Special Energy—four copies each of Double Colorless Energy and Counter Energy. Tapu Koko and the cheeky single Larvitar can attack using only a Double Colorless Energy, and every Pokémon can attack with the help of Counter Energy—as long as you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent. This deck normally falls behind early because of its “Knock Out by a thousand cuts” strategy, but you may want to try to win by Knocking Out two Pokémon with your final attack to avoid having your Counter Energy go offline for good.

Parting Shots: Choice Band and Shrine of Punishment won't enable many nifty one-hit Knock Outs the way they do for some other decks, but they're crucial tools to make sure you're doing just enough damage to finish off weakened Pokémon. Shrine of Punishment also provides a necessary means of removing your opponent's Prism Star Stadium cards (since they're otherwise resistant to removal), and getting extra damage on the board creates more opportunities for mischief with Tapu Lele's Magical Swap attack. Finally, take note that unlike most other decks that include Stage 2 Pokémon, this deck does not include Rare Candy—you don't want to skip Frogadier and miss out on the free damage from Gale Shuriken. Check back to Pokemon.com/Strategy soon for decks from the most recent expansion, Sun & Moon—Unbroken Bonds, and for other Pokémon TCG and video game tips and strategy.

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