Grass

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!

Support Pokémon

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.

Attackers

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!

Deck Lists

Classic Rillaboom

The insane thing about Grass is that once you get Grovyle or Grotle online, the whole deck sets itself up. Roserade jives really well with the Grovyle / Grotle engine, making it so that you can turn your Pokémon search into anything-search by utilizing Roserade‘s Le Parfum Ability, and take big OHKOs with Torterra and Shining Genesect.

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Cherrim/Eldegoss

Credit: Mask_Dave

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!

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Spread

Credit: Joshua “Babautette” Obladi

A unique deviation from the usual big hitting Grass decks, this spread deck aims to spread damage on your opponent’s board. Get your opponent’s Pokémon in Jumpluff‘s Spinning Attack knockout range, and its Fluffy Barrage ability allows you to attack twice!

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Control

Credit: Plant Fan Club

This Grass list aims to disrupt and disturb its opponents at every opportunity. Many Pokémon in the list can afflict status conditions on the opponent (including Carnivine (SLG) and Roserade (UPR) who bring up Pokémon from the bench), all of which combo with Cradily (CEC)‘s oppressive Swaying Struggle Ability. The list plays few Item cards, relying mostly on Grovyle and Grotle to search out Grass Pokémon, so Vileplume (AOR) is a great inclusion to lock your opponent out of Item usage. Combine this with Orbeetle (SSH)‘s Bug Radar Ability to ensure your opponent can only draw into the Items that they can’t play!

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Tank and Heal

This Grass list might look quite similar to many popular Grass lists – using Rillaboom to accelerate energy from the deck to powerful attackers like Torterra, Shining Genesect, and Zarude. But this deck also includes of support Pokémon to boost your defense, like Kricketune to boost your HP, Leavanny to reduce damage taken, and Buzzwole which can heal itself as it attacks. Combined with cards that further increase your defenses like Aether Paradise Conservation Area, Herbal Energy, Gardenia, and Mallow & Lana, you’ll find that your opponents struggle to uproot your mighty Grass Pokémon!

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