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Carter Keith

Cacturne: The Overlooked Spiky Menace

With Giant Plant Forest out, the Pokemon commonly talked about using is card are mostly Shiftry, Accelgor, and Vileplume. But there are other Pokemon. One of them is Cacturne from Plasma Freeze. I think that it has a good chance in Expanded. Find out all the tips and tricks here!

09/28/2015 by Carter Keith

It's been months since I wrote and article here, and I'm excited to be back. To put it into perspective, my first deck was in the 300s. The list I'll use in this article is in the 1100s! Anyway, who remembers Cacturne from Plasma Freeze. It's a commonly overlooked card because it's a stage 1. Here's the list I use:

It's first attack is what we're here for. It does 60 damage and 30 to your own bench. While this seems like a giant drawback, we run Cresselia which heals itself between turns, meaning that it will take 18 Rapid-Fire Needles to knock it out, and even then you can alternate Cresselias. 


I can't say much about Cresselia that I haven't already said but most importantly, it's a psychic type so it can't be shut off by Wobbuffet, but it can still be shut off with Silent Lab.


Virizion helps against special conditions, mainly Lasers and Gengar. I only run one because it's a bad starter and it can be shut off with Wobbuffet and Silent Lab

4 Unown and 0 Shaymin?

There are two reasons to this, the real reason, or the reason I'll try to convince you.

Fist the convincing reason. It can be searched out with Level Ball, it can be useful when you have more than six cards, when you damage it with Cacturne you can discard it, and if your opponent has a Dimension Valley out then with a Muscle Band you can knock out Joltik(I did this at an LC).

Now the real reason, my brother uses all our Shaymins(you can replace the Unown with 2 or 3 Shaymin and another VS Seeker and/or Lysandre.)


Since I run Cacturne, why not run an Outrager. I use Zekrom because it hits for weakness on Yveltal, which usually runs Archeops.

3 Level Ball 2 Ultra Ball

The reason I run this unusual line of Pokemon search is because a turn one Cacturne is crucial and you usually don't want to discard that many cards. Also, Level Ball can search out Unown. But, you need Ultra Ball to get out Cresselia, Virizion, and Zekrom.

Super Rod

Alright, this card wins you a matchup(Night March). Cacturne only has 90 HP so it get's knocked out by a lot of things, but not Quaking Punch(just wanted to point that out) so getting it back is great. But, since you only run seven Grass Energy and you probably are going to use some to retreat and if DCE is prized you need two for Zekrom.


Night March

Night March is a good matchup. The problem is, this matchup is based on two things, the coin flip, and whether or not Super Rod is prized. If you go second and you have Super Rod in the deck and you get a turn one Cacturne, which is likely, then you pretty much win if you can keep getting Cacturnes. Even if you go first and Super Rod is prized, it's still winnable because of Unown. Unown is a non-EX attacker that if they play Dimension Valley with a Muscle Band you can knock out Joltiks and save Cacturne's for Pumpkaboos. Another thing that Unown helps for this matchup, this works in any situation, it replaces Cresselia. You don't want to play Cresselia or they can Lysandre it up for two prizes, so use Unown instead. Once you do 30 damage to a bench Pokemon, do it to Unown and then discard it. But, if you can't stream Cacturnes then you probably will lose.


This is a good matchup. If you can get two Cacturnes with Silver Bangles to OHKO Toads then Lysandre up Shaymin(which they'll probably play) and use Zekrom to knock it out then you win. Ariados helps this matchup a lot if they don't play Virizion because two Cacturnes with Muscle Bands and Ariados can knock out Giratina. But if they can lock you out of your Bangles and Bands before you can play them, then it's about 50-50. Another good matchup


You better hope they play Jirachi or else you lose. A Cacturne with Bangle or with Band and Ariados can knock out Jirachi which is crucial to the prize trade. But, you need two Cacturnes to knock out Vespiquen, but Flareon can be knocked out by a Cacturne with a Muscle Band and Ariados coming into your turn. Also, if you can knock out Combees before they become Vespiquens is great, especiall if they can only get one at a time. Also, Zekrom can help this matchup to get one Vespiquen or a Shaymin. But, if they play this matchup carefully, then you lose.


If they don't get Flareon, then you win because you can easily knock out Hawluchas and they need 2 Strong Energy and Muscle Band to knock out a Cacturn in one hit, and you run Xerosic. But, if they can get a couple Flareon out and you can't get them out of play ASAP then you lose. I say this match is probably about 50-50.


If anyone plays this, this is probably your worst matchup. Landorus with a Band and Strong energy and a Golbat knocks out a Cacturne while you're just a sitting duck trying to take your first two prizes with your last Cacturne. This matchup is almost unwinnable. The reason I say almost is because if they start Hawlucha and nothing else a Cacturne and a Band or Ariados knocks it out, same with Zubat except just Cacturne will do it.


Archeops is hard to set up and even though Yveltal can knock out Cacturnes easily, if you stream them and Yveltal can't Dark Patch every turn then you win the prize trade. Zekrom can also OHKO an Yveltal for a big knock out. Also same as GiraToad, Bangle will knock out Seismitoad.


I play Virizion and Cacturne can two shot Trevenants, Wobbuffets, or pretty much anything they put out. But if Virizion is prized(it probably won't be 2 out of 3 games) then they beat you. They also beat you if they play Vileplume.


This deck is incosistent for me so if you can apply early pressure you can do really well. However, if they set up and you don't have 2-3 Cacturnes out then they could run through you with Eggs, but if you can get in situation where you can use Zekrom to take knock outs on Eggs then you should do really well.

Vileplume in General

Turn one Vileplume shuts off everything(Level Balls, Ultra Balls, Trainer's Mail, VS Seeker, etc.) However, if they don't get it turn one then you should be able to easily take prizes off of Miltank, Giratina, or anything else they play.


Even though it has some bad matchups, Cacturne is pretty consistent and powerful, but it has low HP(which is kind of good because you can search it out with Level Ball.) This deck will do well depending on the metagame. If there is a lot of Vespiquen, Vileplume, and Exeggutor, then don't expect to do well. But if there's a lot of Toad, Night March, and Yveltal then it could take you into top cut and maybe even win! But, this deck is a lot harder to play than it looks, especially keeping up with Cresselias(I've been playing this deck for over a month and I still forget to do it most of the time. The way I try to remember is to put both Cresselias together if they're both down and put a hand over them.) This deck is really hard to tech because this list is really tight. 

One last completely unrelated thing...

Think about it(and while you're at it think of a better list :P)

[+2] ok


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