Water

So you want to be a Water type Gym Leader, following in the footsteps of Nessa and Crasher Wake? You’ve come to the right place. Water type Pokémon have a wonderful history in the Pokémon TCG, after all, the Pokémon TCG’s very first Energy accelerator was Water type! If I have to pick a type, I may be a Water Gym Leader myself. Water Pokémon have some of the best support across any type, with access to multiple Energy accelerators, draw support, Energy recovery and search options! What can I say? I love me a good Rain Dance deck.

Support Pokemon

Blastoise and Frosmoth have great synergy together, allowing you to attach as many Water Energy from your hand to your Pokémon in play as you like. Having two Rain Dancers gives Water some excellent protection against Prizing, as you only need to set up one of them in order to get moving, which is really powerful in GLC. Alolan Vulpix is also arguably the best lead in all of Gym Leader Challenge with its free Beacon attack, which allows you to search your deck for two Pokémon and put them into your hand. Beacon combined with Octillery or the Inteleon line can allow for some explosive early turns! When a Water deck is set up, it feels like you have complete control over the board, with multiple powerful Abilities firing off per turn.

Attackers

What Water lacks in “low maintenance” attackers, it makes up for with substantive bulk and damage output. Wailord and Wishiwashi are two of the biggest fish in the sea with 200 and 180 HP respectively. Many Water attackers have Hydro Pump style attacks, which do more damage for each Water Energy attached to that Pokémon. These attackers thrive once Frosmoth or Blastoise have hit the board! Water also has access to some of the best spread attackers in the game, with Amazing Rare Kyogre, Shining Volcanion and Kyurem (NVI) on the roster.

Deck Lists

Rain Dance

This deck aims to power up Water’s biggest attackers as fast and consistently as possible with Frosmoth or Blastoise. In my mind, this is the “quintessential” Water deck, and one of my favorite decks to pilot in Gym Leader Challenge.

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Amazing Kyogre

Credit: Andrew Wiesniewsky

Many would argue that Amazing Rare Kyogre is the strongest attacker in GLC, and it’s not hard to see why. Dealing 80 damage to every one of your opponent’s Pokémon is an incredible power – using this attack twice will win most games by itself, so the other 59 cards in this deck are all geared toward satisfying the hefty cost of Amazing Surge. Alolan Vulpix and Hisuian Basculin are great starters, assembling your support Pokémon in the early turns for no energy investment. Articuno (TEU) is a great sacrifice Pokémon, requiring your opponent to knock it out instead of gusting up your support Pokémon. Or, you can knock out your own Milotic (FLF) to charge 3 energy onto Kyogre at once. As you lose some easy prizes in the early game, you can activate cards like Lt. Surge’s Strategy and Counter Energy to slingshot ahead in the game. By utilizing your recovery cards and energy acceleration smartly, you can decimate your opponent’s board with just two attacks, making for a decisive and climactic victory!

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Rapid Strike

Credit: Card_Artisan

A perfectly on-theme deck, this Rapid Strike Water deck has lots of different attackers for every scenario. This deck has amazing spread options like Lapras (FST), and Cloyster, as well as OHKO potential with Wishiwashi (EVS) and Starmie (FST). Opting to use Octillery (BST), you can search out any of your various Pokémon with ease.

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Primal Law

Credit: Jeoshua “Babautette” Obladi

Of all the Water GLC decks, this might be the most unorthodox. It all revolves around Dracovish (DAA)‘s Primal Law ability, which completely locks the opponent out of evolving their Pokémon. This can cripple most decks in the format, who rely on evolution Pokémon for offense or support. Because of how strong this power is, especially in the early game, the deck has plenty of tools to get Dracovish out as early as possible. Wally and Boost Shake are great ways to “cheat” Dracovish into play early, and Peony and Green’s Exploration can set up an evolution play as well. As you chip away with Hammer In while your opponent struggles in the early game, you can start setting up your other attackers, namely Black Kyurem and White Kyurem — slow but strong Basic attackers that can finish off whatever Pokemon your opponent manages to knock Dracovish out with.

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