Primal-Groudon-EX was a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype mainly played in the 2014-2015 season and became a contender in the Expanded format up to the 2018-2019 season. The deck's strategy revolved around stalling tactics to setup Primal Groudon-EX in the bench to deal powerful one-hit knockouts once the Pokémon had the necessary energy to attack. Primal Groudon-EX had a unique spot in the metagame thanks to its Ω Barrier Ancient Trait, which prevented the opponent from playing Lysandre and other harmful Trainer cards while the Pokémon would be set up. This deck was popular at the first day of the 2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships and ranked 2nd place in the Juniors Division. Runner-up of the Junior Division Alejandro Ng-Guzman's version was printed as a promotional World Championships deck, Primal Groudon.
Primal-Groudon-EX differed from archetypes such as Night March in that it did not focus on fast first turn set up to maximize the damage output. Rather, the deck would optimally set Wobbuffet in the active spot, since its Bide Barricade Ability negated Abilities from non- Pokémon, and setup Groudon-EX in the bench, aiming to evolve it the next turn since only the Evolution card had the Ancient Trait. Primal Groudon-EX's Gaia Volcano Attack would deal 100 damage plus 100 by discarding a Stadium card in play, ensuring Stadium cards were part of the decklist. For a four energy cost, the player could deal up to 300 damage if Primal Groudon-EX had four Strong Energy attached to it and Fighting Stadium was in play, being able to knock out every Pokémon by then in a single attack.
Up to two copies of Mega Turbo for energy acceleration were used in common decklists, as additional numbers used to hurt deck consistency; because of that, an unfortunate player would sometimes need four turns to attach energies. Primal Groudon-EX's big Hit Points and the use of Hard Charm to tank attacks, however, made the Pokémon sturdy even when it was being set up in the active spot. By the time the player could use Gaia Volcano, the opponent would have already gotten a few prize cards due to knocking out Wobbuffets but should fall behind once it struggled to knock out Primal Groudon-EX. As a Mega Evolution/Primal Reversion ruling, the player end his or her turn by evolving Groudon without the respective Spirit Link card. Including this card was not a concern, since Primal Groudon-EX could evolve in a turn it would not be able to attack.
Other cards helped Primal Groudon's setup engine to work. Korrina was used to find Pokémon and valuable Item cards in the deck. Robo Substitute was an expendable Pokémon that denied the opponent's prize cards when knocked out and could be discarded from the active position, but as an Item card could not be played on the first turn.
- Primal Groudon-EX - Primal Groudon-EX's Gaia Volcano attack could knock out virtually every Pokémon in the format with a Stadium card in play and Strong Energy. Thanks to its high HP, it could also survive attacks from many Pokémon in the metagame.
- Wobbuffet - While in the Active position, its Bide Barricade Ability slowed down many Ability-based decks while Primal Groudon could be charged on the bench.
- Bunnelby - Bunnelby is a resource shuffler in critical moments, since attaching an energy on it instead of a Groudon-EX is almost a wasted turn. Also rarely a win condition by making the opponent run out of cards in the deck with its second attack.
- Strong Energy - Each Strong Energy added 20 damage to Primal Groudon-EX's attacks, allowing it to knockout Primal/Mega Pokémon with a Stadium card and other Pokémon without needing one.
- Korrina - Korrina searched Pokémon and Item cards in the deck.
- Hard Charm - Allowed Primal Groudon-EX to survive more attacks than usual, also compensating the early prize card disadvantage.
- Robo Substitute - Alternative expendable Pokémon that granted no prize cards when knocked out.
- Silent Lab - Silent Lab prevented Abilities from Basic Pokémon that Wobbuffet could not block from working. Also allowed Primal Groudon to attack Pokémon immune to damage by Abilities.
- Fighting Stadium - Fighting Stadium added 20 damage to attacks against Pokémon-EX.
Alejandro Ng-Guzman's decklist at the 2015 World Championship
Possible tech cards
The following cards are often used in Primal-Groudon-EX in place of certain cards included in the above lists.
- Regirock - Secondary attacker that also had the Ω Barrier Ancient Trait. Mainly useful at recycling Stadium cards to the player's hand.
- Psychic Energy - One copy of Psychic energy allowed Wobbuffet to attack at critical moments without hurting the deck's integrity, though it was never favorable to attach energies on this Pokémon instead of a main attacker.
- Scramble Switch - An one-time trick to prevent an attacker from being knocked out, moving its energies to the new Active Pokémon.
- Focus Sash - Focus Sash was useful against other Primal Groudon-EX decks and, later on, Pokémon that hit Groudon for Weakness.
- Shrine of Memories - An aggressive approach that allowed Primal Groudon-EX to use Groudon-EX's Rip Claw attack while it was being set up and Massive Rend to not discard a Stadium card in play.
- Tropical Beach - Tropical Beach allowed the player to draw cards in a turn it could not use an attack, being an useful but physically expensive Stadium to this deck in Expanded tournaments.
- Pokémon Center Lady - A healing option that could prevent Primal Groudon-EX from being knocked out the next turn.
- Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick - Due to Groudon-EX's vulnerability to Trainer cards, Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick allowed the player to skip the evolutionary stage at the cost of building their deck around activating this card on the first turn.
Reasons for the loss of playability