Cursed Swap (TCG)
The Cursed Swap Deck is a type deck found in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Fossil Expansion Player's Guide. The deck is classified as one of the tournament winning decks, containing more rare cards and strategy than other easy-to-build decks.
CONCEPTS: The "Curse of the Gengar" adds a whole new dimension to traditional Alakazam decks. This deck (affectionately titled "Cursed Swap" is significantly more true to the roots of Damage Swap decks than the "Psychic Buzz" deck shown earlier. Here we aren't sacrificing the stalling aspects necessary to ensure Alakazam's safe arrival like the Lightning/Psychic deck does, and stalling to victory is not necessarily out of the question. There are a lot of options in this deck to make use of, and a versatile Pokémon trainer will never be at a loss for winning strategy.
TIPS FOR PLAYING: Against another Stall deck your "Cursed Swap" should definitely be going for the K-O. There is too many necessary card drawing trainers in here. Besides, Gengar will scare your stalling opponent into using their Pokémon Centers early. And if they are foolish enough to leave a benched Pokémon only 10 damage away from fainting, make use of Gengar's Cruse to finish the job. There are plenty of weapons here to get that damage flowing. Kadabra, Gengar, Mr. Mime and even Chansey are all offenses to fear. Keep a Haunter available to force opponents asleep with his Nightmare attack move. With a few lucky coin flips (unlucky for your opponent) the opposing Pokémon will be sleeping like a baby instead of concentrating on stalling like it should.
Against an evolution machine like Rain Dance or a Vileplume deck, definitely look to stall your opponent out. The key will be to get Alakazam in play along with several Chanseys for damage soaking. Mr. Fuji is included to heal a single benched damage sponge, and fill your deck with cards to keep you safely behind your opponent in the race to the end of your decks. Pokémon Center was made for this kind of deck — in a single turn eliminate many rounds of damage that your opponent worked so hard to inflict.
Against a beat-down deck like Haymaker, "Cursed Swap" can go either way. Both Stall and Psychic offense are at your disposal in this situation. Let the opponent's deck provide the cues necessary to "Cursed Swap" correctly. Keep your eye on their weaknesses and their speed. A quick flurry of activity by a Haymaker player will mean they are sacrificing the long game to apply pressure. Use Pokémon Trades and Professor Oak to get your Damage Swap lock in place so you can sit this one out. However, if the Haymaker opponent is slower to jump into their deck and is sporting lots of fashionable Fighting Pokémon (which are usually weak to Psychic), don't be afraid to beat them at their own game. Nothing frightens away a Hitmonchan like a fully powered Kadabra!
In a stall situation, if your Scrunching Chansey is failing a fair share of coin flips and taking a lot of damage, just retreat it out. Likewise, if Chansey applied pressure with a Double-edge attack you'll want to get it back into your bench ASAP. Once benched then play Mr. Fuji on it. It will return to your deck along with the energy cards attached to it, which should give you some additional insurance against decking yourself. The added energy returned to your deck will be appreciated later in the game as well, as this deck has to sacrifice several energy slots to make room for more Pokémon and Trainer cards. As if these were not reasons enough for you to revel in the beauty of Mr. Fuji, keeping your opponent from drawing a prize card is the pinnacle of its usefulness.
Professor Oak is included in "Cursed Swap" as the major card advantage component of the deck. Typically Gambler with its ability to let you put an entire hand of unneeded Pokémon or energy cards back into your deck is more appropriate for a Stall deck. However, the uncertainty that Gambler brings with it is the key reason that this deck will stay away from using it. An easy variant to experiment with here would include a few copies of each Professor Oak and Gambler. After some play testing it should be a relatively easy task to decide which card drawing machine fits your playing style the best.
PITFALLS: Muk is the single biggest threat to a deck like this. Without the use of Pokémon Powers, Alakazam is a lame duck Pokémon with no hope for lasting in battle more than a few rounds. In this situation, stick to Kadabra for offensive damage and Haunter for status effects. With mindful use of Pokémon Centers and retreating Chanseys there may be hope for pulling out a stall victory.
Also, there is a severe lack of energy cards in this deck. A few Energy Retrieval cards have been included to combat this, but against an opponent packing four of each Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal will be very difficult to create an offense against. Revert to your stall tactics and use Fossil Gastly's Energy Conversion attack move in a worst case situation. Be mindful of your energy drops, selecting only those monsters that you have in play that really need them to obtain your goal.
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