It’s time to forget about building your own deck and grab one that’s been expertly crafted for us, as we check out the best Pokemon Theme Decks!
Though deck-building has been an integral and fun component of trading/collectable card games from their very beginnings in Magic: The Gathering, sometimes players either don’t quite have enough decent cards or the time to craft a deck that’ll be useful against an opponent, even in casual play.
Or maybe players are just looking to get a deck that’ll allow them to test new strategies.
Whatever the reason, Theme Decks are a great way to get a fixed deck with clear strategies that tend to be reasonably casual player-friendly – and yet can still hold their own against all but the strongest decks.
Though set-related Pokemon Theme Decks are now being replaced by V Battle Decks (or at least have been since the Vivid Voltage set from the Pokemon Sword and Shield series), they’re often still to be found at retail.
So we took a look at some of the best ones that are still, for the moment at least, reasonably accessible to buy.
Which ones on offer are the best though?
Let’s find out, as we check out the best Pokemon Theme Decks!
5. Pokemon TCG: Inteleon Theme Deck
Though at first glance the Inteleon Theme Deck seems somewhat underwhelming, used correctly it can be a surprisingly effective deck.
The showcase Pokemon is, of course, Inteleon – with an exclusive ‘cracked ice’ holo foil version of its card included, along with a second copy in standard print.
The reason this deck feels so underpowered at first is because of the Inteleon itself; stack this deck up against the powerhouses featured in more recent V Battle decks and it seems destined to lose.
Yet there’s a reasonable speed element to the Inteleon Theme Deck – most of the Pokemon it includes can be powered up in a turn or two, then there’s also the fact that it’s laden with Water type creatures.
Being a single Energy type deck does leave it entirely open to Weakness against Electricity, but also that mono type focus does help to ensure that you should always have the Energy you need to keep your moves powered up!
One of the coolest things Inteleon does is to remove Energy from opposing Pokemon as well as deal damage, which can really slow down your opponent!
Other Pokemon such as Mantine, Cramorant, Kingler and Drednaw will keep your Bench stacked and provide backup if needed too.
It may not be the best deck in the world, but if Water type Pokemon are your thing, you could do a lot worse than take the Inteleon Theme Deck out on the waves!
4. Pokemon TCG: Zacian Theme Deck
Populated by mostly Metal type cards – with some Colorless and one Fighting type Pokemon (Nosepass) who only uses Colorless moves, this Zacian Theme Deck scores some points just for having pretty versatile cards that you’ll be able to make good use of beyond the confines of these 60 cards.
Part of the Rebel Clash expansion for Pokemon Sword and Shield, the deck is built around Zacian, the Legendary Pokemon from the video game version of Pokemon Sword.
Zacian itself can do a pretty decent 120 damage attack, using two Metal and any other type of energy. Yet this attack – Smashing Edge – also carries a risk, in that you lose two energy from Zacian on a coin flip of tails, any time you use the move.
It does mitigate this with its one Metal, one Colorless attack Energy Stream, which deals 30 damage and allows you to re-attach a Metal energy card to Zacian from your discard pile.
Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that Zacian is, of course, a Basic Pokemon – so there’s no need to worry about drawing or using other Pokemon to evolve it.
You get two Zacian cards in this deck too, along with a varied selection of other Pokemon and some excellent Supporter cards, so it isn’t without backup when required!
You’ll find a variation of Zacian on our strongest Pokemon list too!
3. Pokemon TCG: Zamazenta Theme Deck
Video game Pokemon Shield is where Legendary Pokemon Zamazenta originally hails from.
It’s easily the better deck against Zacian, especially given Zacian’s 50/50 risk of losing energy whenever it uses its main attack!
Similar in terms of Energy and types to the Zacian deck – with Metal energy cards only, plus a good mix of Metal and Colorless Pokemon – main card Zamazenta has a slightly similar issue to Zacian.
That comes in the form of its two Metal, one Colorless Power Rush attack, which deals 120 damage, but also can result in Zamazenta not being able to attack at all the following turn (if the coin flip it also undertakes when attacking results in a tails outcome).
However, when using the weaker of its two attacks – the one Metal, one Colorless Guard Press – Zamazenta will dish out 30 damage as well as protecting itself from 20 points of damage from attacks during its opponent’s next turn!
Zamazenta – who occupies a spot on our best dog Pokemon list – also has superb reinforcements.
The powerful Duraludon is able to retrieve Metal energy from the discard pile to attach to any of your Pokemon with Metal Sharpener, which also deals 30 damage to the opposing Pokemon. Duraludon also has the two Metal, one Colorless attack Power Beam – which does 110 damage and has no drawbacks!
Corviknight, with a 50 point attack that costs just a single Colorless energy and a one Metal, two Colorless 130-point attack too (which can reduce damage done to Corviknight by 100 if two energy cards are discarded) also add up to make the Zamazenta Theme Deck a fantastic choice!
2. Pokemon TCG: Charizard Theme Deck
Though based around Charizard – one of the most well-represented and powerful characters in the game, in most incarnations; you’ll find it on our strongest Pokemon cards list too – the Charizard Theme Deck (from the Vivid Voltage set of the Sword and Shield series) has a secret weapon.
That’s right, the Legendary Pokemon – who first appeared way back in second generation video game Pokemon Silver – is in this deck and is a really effective card, especially when you’re stalling in order to evolve your way to Charizard itself elsewhere!
It has Gust, which does 30 damage at the cost of a single Colorless energy, but also has Energy Loop – which does 130 damage and moves an energy card from Lugia to your hand.
This allows Energy to either go back to Lugia or to help power up your other Pokemon; it’s incredibly useful.
The Charizard itself is no slouch of course, with an ability that lets you check out the top three cards of your deck and put one in your hand – once per turn. That’s in addition to the card you draw each turn – which is incredibly useful indeed!
Royal Blaze is Charizard’s only attack, but it does 100 damage for just two Fire energy – and an extra 50 for each Leon Trainer card in your discard pile.
Given that this deck is pre-built with two Leon cards, that means you have the opportunity to do 200 damage, with the measly cost of just two Fire energy!
Impressive stuff – but we still think there’s one recent Theme Deck that we’d place at the top of the Best Pokemon Theme Decks list – as you’ll soon see!
1. Pokemon TCG: Galarian Darmanitan Theme Deck
So here’s our choice for the best Pokemon Theme Deck – with this one part of the Darkness Ablaze set of Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Not only is that ‘cracked ice’ version of Galarian Darmanitan an excellent card to base the deck around, but – and this is particularly unusual – that Pokemon itself comes in two different flavours.
That’s right, in this deck you get two Water type Galarian Darmanitan cards, as well as a Fire type Galarian Darmanitan.
Fire type Galarian Darmanitan does a great Attack called Frozen Heat – costing two Water and one Colorless energy – which does 110 damage, plus a further 60 if you discard all of its Water energy!
Meanwhile, Water type Galarian Darmanitan does Blizzard, for the cost of one Water and two Colorless energy, which does 80 damage plus 10 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon!
That’s not all, as it can – for two Water and two Colorless energy – use Crushing Headbutt. This does a massive 170 damage, though can’t use this attack two turns in a row.
Guess what? That’s not even all of it.
Just like the Lugia hidden in Charizard’s Theme Deck, Galarian Darmanitan hides a secret weapon too: Suicune!
Suicune – the Pokemon Crystal cover star – has a 30 damage attack costing just one Water energy, but Aurora Loop – which costs two Water and one Colorless energy – does an impressive 130 damage (though will also remove two Water energy and put them back in your hand when used!).
So it’s clear that the Galarian Darmanitan Theme Deck is an obvious choice for the very top of the best Pokemon Theme Decks list!
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.