Psychic

So you can read thoughts and bend spoons and now all of a sudden you think you got what it takes to be a Psychic type Gym Leader? Psychic Pokémon have a wide range of possibilities in Gym Leader Challenge, boasting Energy acceleration, Ability lock, draw power, Bench protection and more. They also have access to arguably the best spread game in all of Gym Leader challenge with multiple Pokémon that place damage counters with attacks and Abilities. Psychic is probably one of the more difficult types to play, but also a tricky type to play against since there are so many strategies available to it and no single Weakness across the type’s variety of attackers. As proof of its potential, Tricky Gym moderator, Tre McCarden, was able to pilot his Psychic deck to a stunning victory over JW “FlexDaddyRighteous” Kriewall’s Lightning deck in the finals of the first ever Gym Leader Challenge 1K hosted at Full Grip Games.

Support Pokémon

Psychic has great Ability lock options with access to both Wobbuffet and Garbodor. It also has the best Bench protection in the format with both Mew and Mr. Mime (PLF) sporting the Bench Barrier Ability. Malamar and Gardevoir are great options for getting additional Energy into play, which can be further supplemented by one of the best Stadium cards ever printed, Dimension Valley.

Attackers

If you’re like me, then you love Dragapult from Rebel Clash. There are few greater feelings in Pokémon than flipping heads, denying your opponent’s attack, then proceeding to use Phantom Force multiple turns in a row. Players from the Sun and Moon era will also be pleased to see that Giratina from Lost Thunder is back in style with Gym Leader Challenge and stronger than ever. Shadow Impact hits the magic number in GLC, 130, and what’s better is that you don’t ever have to waste a recovery card to recover it thanks to its Distortion Door Ability. Dragapult and Giratina are strong, but possibly the biggest menace in Psychic’s arsenal is Blacephalon from Cosmic Eclipse. Blacephalon’s Fireworks Bomb attack places an incredible 12 damage counters on the opponent’s board if they have three Prizes remaining. BEWARE THE THREE PRIZE TURN! If your opponent fails to respond to Blacephalon immediately, Fireworks Bomb can sweep the rest of the game.

Deck Lists

Dragapult

There are many different routes to take when building a Psychic type Gym Leader Challenge deck. Selecting which direction to take can be tough! This list aims to reign in all the best Psychic attackers and play to their unique strength in damaging Benched Pokémon. Malamar allows you to power up Golurk and Necrozma with ease. Once Dragapult is set up, it can wreak havoc on your opponent with its Infiltrator Ability and awesome Phantom Force attack.

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Spread

Credit: Skylon

This list leans all the way into Psychic’s spread potential by utilizing nearly every spread attack in Psychic’s arsenal. Once damage is placed on the opponent’s board, Lunala‘s Lunar Pain attack can double the amount of damage on the opponent’s Pokémon! As a finishing move, Dusknoir can move damage exactly where you want with its Sinister Hand Ability to take pointed KOs and stop the opponent in their tracks!

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Garbotoxin

Ability lock is one of the most powerful effects in the Pokémon TCG – most GLC decks rely heavily on abilities to set up and power up their Pokémon. So stopping your opponent from using these abilities they’ve built their decks around can allow you to decimate the game unopposed. As the name implies – this deck revolves around Garbodor’s Garbotoxin ability – attaching one of the deck’s five tools to Garbodor will turn off all abilities on the field. Because of this, the deck is built to rely on as few abilities as possible. Exeggutor (UNM), Golurk, and Necrozma all hit incredibly hard, and can tear through opposing Pokémon who can’t rely on their abilities.

Budget Options: Cresselia CRE, Jubilife Village

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