Experts' corner

Caleb Gedemer

Turbo Turtles — Turtonator-GX in Standard

Turtonator-GX just burst onto the scene in the Expanded format, now it's time to see what it can do in Standard!

12. 09. 2017 by Caleb Gedemer

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Hey everyone, welcome back to 60cards. Since we last met, I played in the Fort Wayne Indiana Regional Championship, where I finished 5/3/1. I took home 30 Championship Points, and while I was disappointed in my finish, it was nice to see that the deck I played, Night March, ended up winning the event. That event was conducted in the expanded format and is still very relevant, but the next big expanded event won’t be for a little while.

For now, I’ll be focusing on the standard format, since most league cup events are being held in that format, and in addition, the next upcoming regional championship is going to be played in standard as well. Hartford, Connecticut is a new regional championship location, as is the format that’s going to be played, so it’s going to be exciting to see what happens from all angles!

A format without the legality of VS Seeker is going to be a sight to be seen, and I’m very happy about the card’s rotation. While it was nice and all, it prevented players from properly conserving resources, and encouraged sloppy play. The card added a larger element of luck to the game, and without it, the game should almost indefinitely be more balanced and fair.

One of the first decks I started tinkering around with, in the new format, was a Turtonator-GX deck, something that also coincidentally placed well in the expanded Indiana regionals. While the deck is quite different in the standard format, it doesn’t make it any less powerful.

Burning Energy is a card you probably weren’t expecting to read about in this article, but you will be! I think the card couples amazingly with Turtonator-GX, and without Silent Lab or Hex Maniac in the format anymore, there isn’t much stopping Turtonator-GX from being the powerhouse that the game designers clearly wanted it to be. Without further ado, let’s talk about Turbo Turtles in the Standard format!


Volcanion decks have evolved a lot over time, from playing Max Elixir, to not, and then back again. Most recently, however, the addition of Turtonator-GX has garnered a bit of attention. While the deck does still play Volcanion-EX, the volcano is more of a sidekick, since it is generally just used as a support Pokémon using its Steam Up ability. Bright Flame is an incredible attack, swinging for 160 damage right off the bat with no damage modifiers. After a couple uses of Steam Up, and maybe a Choice Band or Fighting Fury Belt (depending on which one you play), you’ll be taking one-hit knockouts left and right!

Burning Energy is what makes this deck tick in the standard format since the card pool does not include Blacksmith like it does in expanded. With a single Burning Energy attached to a Turtonator-GX, you’ll essentially be using Bright Flame for a single energy drop each turn. A first turn Kiawe can load up a Turtonator-GX for the first couple turns, so getting that combination off immediately is amazing.

In this type of a deck, I like to play Starmie in the Standard format. If you can set it up, you’ll have a never-ending supply of fire energy to keep getting your Turtonator-GX to hit the numbers it needs for one-hit knockouts. Overall, this strategy is simple, and without many ways to lock abilities outside of Garbodor in the standard format, this deck is a very safe play at tournaments!

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