Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Feelin Crabby- A Look at Crabominable in Standard

Jose goes over a deck that made Top 8 at a League Cup which caught people off guard.

09/19/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello, fellow 60cards readers! There was a player by the name of Brian Ortiz who had made Top 8 at a 7 round League Cup in California with Crabominable which I had to make an article on this deck because it's been getting some hype lately. Brian, unfortunately, had ended up losing in Top 8 to Gardevoir-GX which the person who took down Brian ended up being the eventual winner of the League Cup which is no surprise seeing Gardevoir-GX dominate even after Worlds. I believe Brian started 5-0-0 which if a deck can do that it's hard to ignore so for this next article I'll be analyzing Brian's deck, Crabominable. The League Cup was actually streamed on fadgames Twitch channel so feel free to check out Brian's deck in action as well as some top players such as Sam Chen who made the finals of yet another event only this time with Greninja.

With that said, let go straight into Brian's list.


No one would have thought this deck could go so far and quite frankly I don't blame them. However, Brian thought outside the box and decided to play Crabominable at a 7 round League Cup. It's quite impressive he actually made Top 8 with the deck. Maybe the deck is better than people had first anticipated. Some of the key advantages going for Crabominable is that it's a stage 1 attacker that takes just a single Fighting Energy to start dishing out solid damage. On top of that Crabominable is a Fighting-type which can one hit KO Drampa-GX fairly easy as well as other Fighting-weak Pokémon. It has a solid 140 hit points, however, Pokémon such as Garbodor and Gardevoir-GX can hit those numbers easily. Obviously, a 4-4 line is ideal if it's strictly the main attacker of the deck which is what Brian went for. There is also two Regirock-EX simply to make Crabominable's damage output higher. With one Regirock-EX on board Crabominable can do 90 base damage and with two it goes up to 100 damage for just 1 Fighting Energy. If you add Strong Energy into the mix then well now we are talking. A base 100+ damage for 1 Fighting Energy seems like it can fair well with the format the more I think about it. Some of the other Pokémon inclusions Brian added were also two Tapu Lele-GX which of course every deck should be playing a minimum of two unless its Greninja. Now that VS Seeker is no more in the Standard format as well as Shaymin-EX its no surprise to see higher counts of Tapu Lele-GX and supporters which honestly I don't miss VS Seeker one bit. A cool addition Brian added to his Crabominable deck that I had no idea even existed until I saw his list is Sudowoodo and I'm not talking about the Roadblock one.

No no, I'm talking about the one from Breakpoint in which has an attack called Watch and Learn which personally I love that attack name. It basically copies the exact attack your opponent's Pokémon used the previous turn. I actually saw Brian one hit KO a Gardevoir-GX on stream with Watch and Learn which was insane. Brian ended up winning that game which was a nail-biter. The only downside is that Sudowoodo has a two energy attack cost. However, since Crabominable takes 1 energy anyway that means you should just attach to Sudowoodo early on first just to have the option to Watch and Learn at a moments notice. You never know when copying your opponent's attack can be more effective than your own especially when you have damage modifiers like Strong Energy and Choice Band to hit those extra clutch numbers. I like the inclusion of Oranguru because late game you don't want to get Ned into a dead hand which this deck may not be able to afford. Now brings me to Hoopa which can double snipe two of your opponent's Pokémon for 20 damage a piece. Hoopa actually can set up some solid KO's such as if you were to hit two Trubbish for 20 each then you can now follow it up with a Strong Energied Crabominable to finish the Garbodors off. Hoopa itself is weak to Psychic so it's likely you will just get one Hyperspace Punch off but that might just be enough to give them a fight. Moving on we can see Brian opted to max out N as opposed to Professor Sycamore. This makes me believe that this deck can't afford to discard too many resources as most of them are a big part of the deck's success. I love the four Guzma especially in a deck that only takes 1 energy to attack because it's likely that you will take cheap KO's early on. With VS Seeker gone you definitely have to up your supporter counts and I wouldn't be surprised to see players running four Professor Sycamore, N, and Guzma and if the deck needs it then one copy of Brigette. I don't know why I see lists with two copies of Brigette.

It literally makes no sense to me because even with VS Seeker decks didn't play two and it's rare to use Brigette twice in a game anyway. Sorry, I got off track but that's my personal opinion on that matter. Now Acerola is a card that is optional as opposed to the other supporters which are necessary. In this deck, if you don't get one hit KOed will make Acerola a great card. However, whats not to say the next turn Crabominable will get one hit KOed for sure. I wonder if just dropping both Acerola for two more Max Potion is the way to go. This way you can still use another supporter. Brian did play the two Max Potion as I mentioned so it's possible that they may be more effective than Acerola even though it forces you to discard your energy. But like I said Crabominable only needs 1 energy to attack anyway. Brian's Tools of choice were four Choice Band and two Float Stone. With Choice Band, Crabominable can realistically max out at 150-170 damage if two Regirock-EX is out as well. Honestly, if you aren't one hit KOing things with Choice Band then I see no reason to play them especially if you are two shotting everything anyway with 1 Strong Energy and two Regirock-EX. Although I probably would still play a couple just in case but four seems like too many for my taste.

Brian's switching effects aside from Guzma are two Float Stone and two Switch. With Regirock-EX having a hefty retreat cost you need to make sure you can easily get them out of the active. Especially if you open with one or Oranguru as well as Sudowoodo. Some recovery cards Brian went with was two Rescue Stretcher and a single copy of Super Rod. I can get with this simply because Crabominable is somewhat fragile in a sense so you want to make sure you are able to stream them non-stop and threaten an army of crabs. Super Rod can also get back Basic Energy which is ideal given that Brian only played just six. Two copies of Field Blower makes sense because you don't want Regirock-EX to be useless and to get rid of Tools that would otherwise bump your opponent's hit points higher such as Fighting Fury Belt and Body Building Dumbbells. Moving towards the end Brian went with Brooklet Hill as his stadium of choice and in this deck makes perfect sense. You can literally search almost half of Pokémon in the deck with the exceptions being Crabominable because it's not a Basic as well as Oranguru, Tapu Lele-GX, and Hoopa because they aren't Fighting-types. Still, Brooklet Hill can be great in this type of deck so you don't have to use Ultra Ball as much unless you're searching out Crabominable. Overall I think Crabominable as a whole in the right meta can go far but personally not my cup of tea.

Other card options

Octillery BKT 33:

Brian ended up playing Oranguru which is fine however Octillery nets you more cards except its a stage 1. I can see dropping Hoopa and Oranguru for a 1-1 Octillery line as I feel Hoopa isn't that great of a card in general.

Garbodor GUR 51:

You can add Garbodor as a secondary attacker which helps fight against opposing Garbodors since Crabominable can't easily one hit KO them unless you have two Strong Energy attached which you most likely rather not have to do. Early game you go aggro Crabominable and then in the late game you clean stuff off with Garbodor.

Professor Kukui:

The 20 extra damage can come in handy if you want to try and one hit KO something with 120+ hit points easier. However with no VS Seeker to reuse it with then it may not be worth the spot.

Body Building Dumbbells:

Because Crabominable is a stage 1 Pokémon it can take advantage of Body Building Dumbbells making it so it has 180 hit points. If you are still able to two shot things with Body Building Dumbbells over Choice Band then I see no reason not to play it if you can potentially survive a one hit KO. Then you Max Potion and go from there. Crabominable would also survive a one hit KO from Golisopod-GX's GX attack if you have a Body Building Dumbbell attached.

Special Charge:

This deck thrives on the added bonus damage Strong Energy provides given that the decks main attacker is in fact Crabominable. Getting back a couple Strong Energy doesn't seem so bad especially since Crabominale attacks for just a single Fighting Energy.

Nest Ball:

This card can basically search out every Pokémon in this deck aside from Crabominable. Grabbing a Regirock-EX without having to discard cards with Ultra Ball seems like Nest Ball can be slightly better in a sense because some cards like Max Potion you can't afford to really discard.


Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on Crabominable. It'll be interesting to see if players end up piloting the deck at more upcoming League Cups. Personally, I'm not a fan of the deck simply because I feel as if Crabominable is too fragile in the meta seeing how its weak to Psychic-types such as Garbodor. The Gardevoir-GX matchup I feel is rough as well and you need a lot of luck to take them down. Still, for 1 energy Crabominable can do some big damage and if it doesn't get one hit KOed then the deck functions pretty well I would say. However, in this format, there are a lot of things that can one hit KO Crabominable so maybe the deck was a one-hit wonder after all. I'll have more articles this month so stay tuned for those when they are published.

Like always, if you haven't already, check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll and Rahul Reddy. If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokémon-TCG for tons of decklists from great players. My Twitter handle is down below if you want to follow me.

If you have any questions, then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook. I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible.

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-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

[+13] okko


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