Riptide (TCG)

Feraligatr and Pichu
Types used WaterLightning
Major cards Feraligatr
Era 1999-2000

Riptide is a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype based around the Riptide attack of Feraligatr.


The idea for Riptide spawned soon after the Neo Genesis expansion was released. Combined with cards that could place Energies in the discard pile at will, it became apparent to players that Feraligatr's Riptide attack could prove deadly.


The point of the deck is to charge up Feraligatr and discard as many Energies as possible quickly. Then, the deck can attack with Riptide for massive damage. While no Energies are discarded from Feraligatr, the downside is that all the Energies in the discard pile are shuffled back into the deck. However, the rest of the deck is packed with combos to cycle Energies into the discard pile at an alarming rate. Trash Exchange switches the discard pile with the deck. This is amazingly useful to swap out all the Energies in the deck, dealing enough damage with Riptide to knock out any Pokémon in the game (at the time). Many other ways exist, such as Professor Oak, or Misty's Wrath. The Baby Pokémon in the deck are techs against other popular archetypes at the time that this deck was legal.


Key cards

  • Feraligatr is the main attacker for the deck, using Riptide to hit for 10 damage per turn, plus 10 more damage for each Water Energy in the discard pile.
  • Trash Exchange shuffles the discard pile into the deck and discards the first cards on the top of the deck. This gives Feraligatr plenty of Energy to boost Riptide's damage.

Other Pokémon

  • Totodile is mediocre by itself, and wouldn't be used except to evolve into Feraligatr.
  • Croconaw can deal pretty good damage for a stage one, but its main purpose is still to evolve into Feraligatr.
  • Elekid helps mount some form of offense when the player is focusing on more important things, like powering up Feraligatr.
  • Pichu hits any Pokémon with a Pokémon Power for 20 damage, annihilating most decks that competed with Riptide as many decks at the time relied on Pokémon Powers to succeed.
  • Cleffa provides hand refreshment and increases the player's chances of drawing whatever card they need to get out Feraligatr.

Other Trainers

  • Professor Elm is an alternative to Cleffa if the player doesn't wish to waste their attack on getting different cards in their hand.
  • Misty's Wrath lets the player pick two cards in the top seven of their deck and add them to their hand, while discarding. In Riptide, the discard may actually benefit the player more than the drawing, by increasing Feraligatr's damage.
  • Gust of Wind can ruin the opponent's strategy by swapping out their ideal Active Pokémon with a useless one with a high retreat cost.
  • Focus Band can give any Pokémon the extra turn it needs to score that crucial Knock Out or retreat.
  • Time Capsule can save a player from decking out in a pinch, which seems to be the biggest problem with this deck.
  • Pokémon Trader trades any Pokémon in the player's hand with any one from their deck, which can really speed up the deck.
  • Pokémon Breeder lets the player skip an evolution, like Totodile to Feraligatr, while normally Croconaw would be in the middle.
  • Secret Mission lets players draw cards and discard Energies.
  • Narrow Gym can disrupt the opponent's strategy by limiting bench Pokémon amount for both players. If any player has five Benched Pokémon, then they must discard one of them and any cards (including Energy) attached to it.

Energy cards

Typical deck list

The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Trash Exchange T  
Professor Elm T  
Misty's Wrath T  
Gust of Wind T  
Focus Band T [Tool]  
Pokémon Breeder T  
Secret Mission T  
Time Capsule T  
Pokémon Trader T  
Narrow Gym T [St]  
15× Water Energy   E


The Neo Genesis expansion has been banned for play in Modified Format, so this deck is currently unplayable for any official tournament. All of the other expansions represented in the deck have been removed as well, so any variation on the deck will most likely be unsuccessful.


  This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.