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Deck archetype (TCG)

Example of a sucessful archetype at the 2004 World Championships, later printed as a non-legal deck

A deck archetype is a deck, built by players of the Trading Card Game, that utilizes one set structure, although various players may have slight differences between their own decks of the same archetype.

An example of a now-defunct archetype is Haymaker, which commonly used Base Set Hitmonchan and Electabuzz, and Jungle Scyther. While these cards are usually a staple of the Haymaker archetype, they are not required to make a Haymaker deck. For example, instead of using the Jungle Scyther, a player may choose to instead focus on the Fighting-type in the deck, and utilize Fossil Hitmonlee. The exact number and kinds of Trainers used with an archetype may also differ, with some users of Haymaker preferring the drawing power of Professor Oak despite its disadvantage of discarding the entire hand, while others would choose Bill instead.

Contents

Deckbuilding guidelines

These guidelines apply to building any tournament legal deck of Pokémon cards.

In a standard legal deck, only four cards of the same name may be included, except for Basic Energy cards and Arceus (in Generation IV), of which there can be as many as a player desires to fill the deck to 60. This four-card rule includes cards with the same name but different effects: a player may have three Stormfront Pikachu and one Majestic Dawn Pikachu, but only four which have the name "Pikachu". Cards that have a different name (Dark Crobat and Crobat, for example) count differently, and thus players may have four of each in their deck. δ Delta Species Pokémon count as the same as their non-δ counterparts.

List of well-known archetypes

This is a list of many of the most competitive decks that were legal during their respective eras of play. Note that variants of some archetypes may have been played in multiple seasons of play. These will be listed during the most recent format in which they were viable.

Base Set-onward

Team Rocket-onward

Neo Genesis-onward

Expedition-onward

EX Ruby & Sapphire-onward

EX Hidden Legends-onward

EX Deoxys-onward

EX Holon Phantoms-onward

Diamond & Pearl-onward

Majestic Dawn-onward

HeartGold & SoulSilver-onward (2011-2012)

Black & White-onward (2012-2013)

Next Destinies-onward (2013-2014)

Boundaries Crossed-onward (2014-2015)

XY-onwards (2015-2016)

Primal Clash-onwards (2016-2017)

BREAKthrough-onwards (2017-2018)

Sun & Moon-onwards (2018-2019)

Ultra Prism-onwards (2019-2020)

Unlimited