Pokemon TCG

This Donphan Deck Will Make Games Chaotic by Switching Pokemon Around

This Donphan (Celestial Storm) deck has a lot of potential to make the game chaotic by forcing your opponent to switch their Pokemon while you hide behind Lillie’s Poke Doll.

Donphan’s Rapid Spin attack costs two Colorless Energy and one Fighting Energy — it does 50 damage and “switch this Pokemon with one of your benched Pokemon. If you do, your opponent switches their active Pokemon with one of their benched Pokemon.”

There’s a lot going on with this attack, but it essentially forces your opponent to switch while you can hide behind one of your Pokemon.

The perfect “Pokemon” to combo with Donphan’s Rapid Spin is Lillie’s Poke Doll because it gives no prize cards and if it somehow survives, you can shuffle it back into your deck.

However, there are a lot more moving parts in this deck that makes it all come together.

The Pokemon

Since this deck is so reliant on Lillie’s Poke Doll, Jirachi (Team Up) is a must-have. Jirachi’s Stellar Wish will help you find Lillie’s Poke Doll or important supporters like Welder.

It would be nice if there was a way to recycle the Poke Dolls, but there just aren’t any great recycle cards in Standard right now except for Florges, which is a Stage 2 Pokemon.

This deck needs a contingency plan if you happen to run out of Poke Dolls, which is why I run one copy of Reshiram & Charizard-GX.

After you’ve run out of Poke Dolls and already put considerable damage on your opponent’s Pokemon with Donphan’s shenanigans, you can use Donphan to switch into Reshiram & Charizard-GX, which will survive almost anything. Then you can use Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s Outrage attack to clean up the game.

And you’re running Welder anyway, so Reshiram & Charizard-GX fits right in.

But there’s an easy way to counter Donphan’s shenanigans that needs to be addressed. What’s stopping your opponent from just switching into a Pokemon with free retreat? That’s where Absol (Team Up) comes in.

Absol (Team Up) increases the retreat cost of Basic Pokemon by one, which means Jirachi won’t be able to freely retreat with just an Escape Board. This could make the game very difficult for your opponent.

This deck also runs one copy of Diance Prism Star (Forbidden Light) for a little extra damage from Donphan.

The Trainer cards

As mentioned earlier, this deck relies on Welder to accelerate Energy.

But you also run Fighting Energy, which makes it a little difficult to get all of the Energy you need. Viridian Forest and Energy Spinner should help out in that regard.

Pokegear 3.0 is also really important in this deck because it will help you find Welder early in the game.

And like most decks that run Stage 1 Pokemon, Pokemon Communication is necessary to find your Pokemon.

How to play

You probably already get the gist of this deck by now. You’ll want to get your Donphan set up as fast as possible — that’s your main goal during the first two turns.  Use Welder to get two Fire Energy on Donphan and search for the last Fightning Energy with Energy Spinner or Viridian Forest.

After getting Donphan ready to go, you’ll need to make sure you have a Lillie’s Poke Doll and a Jirachi on your bench. If you can’t Rapid Spin into a Poke Doll, you’re defeating the purpose of the deck. And you’ll want a Jirachi prepared in order to find more Poke Dolls your next turn.

Throughout the game, you can search for your Diancie Prism Star, ReshiZard, and Absol (if necessary). You should also try to get more Donphan prepared. I recommend leaving ReshiZard in your hand until you’ve run out of Poke Dolls.

After you’ve put down enough damage with Donphan and you’ve run out of Dolls, it’s time to clean up with ReshiZard. You can either Rapid Spin into a ReshiZard to set up a powerful Outrage, or if ReshiZard is at risk of being knocked out, you can wait to safely switch it in.

Example decklist

Pokémon – 15

1 Absol TEU 88
1 Diancie {*} FLI 74
4 Phanpy CES 72
4 Donphan CES 73
1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20
4 Jirachi TEU 99

Trainer Cards – 31

3 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
3 Viridian Forest TEU 156
4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
1 Bill’s Analysis TEU 133
1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
4 Welder UNB 189
4 Cynthia UPR 119
2 Escape Board UPR 122
2 Switch ROS 91
4 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
3 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182

Energy – 14

9 Fire Energy
5 Fighting Energy


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1 comment on “This Donphan Deck Will Make Games Chaotic by Switching Pokemon Around

  1. Kanga Rewster

    I love this idea, I have a caturday deck that attacks with spell tagged mews and uses phione to avoid damaging the active (to mess up mallow and lana). I might borrow the spirit of this but I’m thinking hitmontop instead due to set up speed and space, with dojo and roxie to boost damage and espurr to finish. Possibly dolls and a honedge or two to retreat into.

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