When players ask me which Gym Leader Challenge type is best for getting started, I usually point them to Grass. That doesn’t mean that Grass is a beginners type or anything like that. Far from it! Grass won the second Full Grip Games GLC 1K and it took expert-level piloting by Mike Gibbs of Michigan to beat long time pros Grant Manley and Azul Garcia Griego in Top-4 and the finals respectively. Grass is just a lot of fun to play, relatively easy to set up and many of the support Pokémon are recently released or easily obtainable. In my mind, Grass embodies all the things that make Gym Leader Challenge fun and exciting! So if you think you’ve got a green thumb and wanna become a Grass Gym Leader on the level of Erika, Gardenia or Milo, you’ve come to just the right place!
Grass support is absolutely incredible. It has the best Pokémon search engine out of any type with Grovyle‘s Sunshine Grace and Shiinotic‘s Illuminate, both of which allow you to search your deck for a Grass Pokémon and put it into your hand. With these Stage 1 Pokémon in play, you can set up your board and get attacking quickly and consistently. Rillaboom, Cherrim, and Venusaur form the core of most Grass decks, with Cherrim and Rillaboom both accelerating Energy into play, and Venusaur doubling up the Energy you have in play with its awesome Jungle Totem Ability.
Shining Genesect, Zarude and Sceptile all thrive when you are able to pile tons of Energy in play with Rillaboom or Cherrim. With three Energy attached, Zarude‘s Repeated Whip attack does a solid 120 damage. If you have Venusaur‘s Jungle Totem online, those three Energy become six Energy, and that 120 damage becomes a whopping 180 damage instead! There are also Grass attackers that take a more low maintenance approach. Accelgor and Jumpluff can both do 120 Damage for a single energy while Shaymin and Buzzwole have respectable two Energy attacks. Which attackers you choose will depend largely on which direction you want to take your Grass deck!
The insane thing about Grass is that once you get Grovyle or Shiinotic online, the whole deck sets itself up. Roserade jives really well with the Grovyle / Shiinotic engine, making it so that you can turn your Pokémon search into anything-search by utilizing Roserade‘s Le Parfum Ability. The only designated attackers in this list are Shining Genesect, Zarude and Sceptile, which is more than enough when you consider this list’s multiple recovery cards. In a pinch, Rillaboom can swing for 140 with Hammer In!
Taking a different approach, Dave has developed a more “turbo” Grass deck that relies on the excellent synergy between Cherrim and Eldegoss to accelerate Energy into play. What’s awesome about this list is that there is no limit to how much Energy you can pump into play once Cherrim is online! With Venusaur in the deck as well, it’s easy to build up huge OHKOs out of no where with Zarude and Shining Genesect!
Grass type Pokémon are known for inflicting Special Conditions, and this list really plays into those strengths by tapping Pokémon that are sure to leave your opponent dazed and confused (and also probably Paralyzed and Poisoned). Weepinbell (BST), Butterfree (FST), and Dustox (LOT) all leave your opponent with Special Conditions when you evolve them while Vileplume (UNB) lets you pick a Special Condition to inflict on a coin flip. If you love Special Conditions, this may be the deck for you!