Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"The Big Short" - A Look at ArchieStoise for Dallas Regionals

Jose examines ArchieStoise for Dallas Regionals this weekend.

01/17/2019 by Jose Marrero



What's going on, 60cards readers?! I'm back again with another article — this time looking at ArchieStoise for the upcoming Dallas Regionals this weekend. First, I'll be dissecting a 50-card list that I think is the perfect 50 to start off with. Next, I'll talk about more options that you can play to make up the last 10 cards in the deck. Finally, I'll share a 60-card list that I'd likely go with should I play the deck in Dallas this weekend. Dallas should be exciting and I can't wait to see everyone there.

A quick update; I recently achieved my 7th consecutive Worlds invite by winning a League Cup a couple weeks ago. Right now I am sitting at 562 Championship Points, which puts me ranked 10th in the US/Canada ranking zone. I'm very happy to have netted my invite so early and I'm not going to stop anytime soon because the next goal is to secure a Top 16 spot for Day 2 Worlds. I was very close last year, so I'm even more hungry to get it this time. Fun fact: last season at Dallas Regionals I placed in 5th out of over 1050 players, so I am hoping to finish strong this time as well.

With that said, let's take a look at how a 50 card ArchieStoise list should look like then go from there.

50 card-ArchieStoise

2 Blastoise BCR 31

These are the bread and butter of the deck. Without Blastoise on board, the deck won't function properly, so it is crucial to get Blastoise out on the first turn with Archie's Ace in the Hole. Its ability, Deluge, lets you attach as many Water Energy from your hand to any of your Pokémon as often as you like. Deluge is how you power up your attackers in one turn. You can use Blastoise as an attacker if you have to. Try not to though, because you want it at bay and away from danger.

2 Magikarp & Wailord-GX

A beast of a card that was newly released as a Promo and is legal for play this Friday. Magikarp & Wailord-GX will make this deck even stronger, without a doubt. Its first attack, Super Splash, does 180 damage for just 5 Water Energy. Add a Choice Band and now it's doing 210 damage and taking big KO's. However, it's GX attack, Towering Splash GX does a measly 10 damage to the active, though it also does 100 damage to each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon should you have 8 Water Energy attached. Having 8 Water Energy is actually easier than one might think. Towering Splash GX will cripple decks that are evolution decks especially if you go first and the opponent does not play Mr. Mime.

2 Shaymin-EX/2 Tapu Lele-GX

These cards will make it easier to get Archie plays going. Shaymin-EX will be more useful in the late-game since it can help draw more cards quicker without using a supporter yet. You can use Sky Return to set up KO's and break Focus Sashs. You can use Tapu Lele-GX to search out Archie's Ace in the Hole which will likely be used a lot on the first turn of the game depending on how your hand looks.

2 Exeggcute PLF 4

This is a great card for using Computer Search, Ultra Ball, and Superior Energy Retrieval without having to toss away resources.

2 Archie's Ace in the Hole

Strictly the only way to get Blastoise out. You also get a fresh hand of five, which is nice. Try your hardest to get Blastoise out on the first turn because if not you will likely already be far behind.

1 Guzma/1 Professor Sycamore

Guzma serves, of course, to take KOs on the bench if needed. Professor Sycamore is basically in case you do miss the turn 1 Archie.

4 VS Seeker

VS Seeker lets you reuse supporters from the discard. Once you use Battle Compressor, you can then VS Seeker for whatever supporter you discarded.

4 Battle Compressor

This is a crucial card that helps thin the deck but also lets you achieve Archie's Ace in the Hole more effectively. Usually turn 1 you are wanting to put Archie's Ace in the Hole in the discard on top of Blastoise, Exeggcute or one other card. It depends on what your opening hand is of course. Putting multiple Water Energy into the discard will also come in handy for when you need to use Superior Energy Retrieval.

4 Trainers' Mail

Great card to help dig for what Trainer card you are wanting to find. Usually, Ultra Ball or Battle Compressor early on or Superior Energy Retrieval in the late game is what you are mainly going to look for.

4 Ultra Ball

Nothing special here, of course. Ultra Ball helps thin the deck and makes your hand into smaller amounts to make for more successful Archie plays.

4 Order Pad

Usually, flipping heads even once with Order Pad should net you a successful Archie's Ace in the Hole. Even in the late game, Order Pad is still very useful because it can grab VS Seekers, Superior Energy Retrieval or that crucial Choice Band for a one-hit KO. Maxing out on Order Pad is a staple in the deck for sure.

4 Superior Energy Retrieval

Another staple card in this deck as it'll get back 4 Water Energy at a time if needed. Superior Energy Retrieval will help you fuel attackers a lot easier once found even for free because the deck plays 2 Exeggcute.

1 Choice Band

This card is needed so that you can hit better numbers easier. Making Super Splash hit for 210 damage as opposed to 180 damage can make a huge difference in taking GX KO's or not in one blow.

1 Computer Search

Definitely the best Ace Spec in this deck. If you ever open or find Computer Search it'll almost always turn into a successful Archie's Ace in the Hole. 

10 Water Energy

In testing 10 Water Energy has been enough but you can add more if you feel the need.

Other card options

(10 spots left to add)


1-2 Shaymin-EX

The deck plays 2 Shaymin-EX already. However, adding 1-2 more can help dig a little more for energy once Magikarp & Wailord-GX is on board.

1 Keldeo-EX

Its ability, Rush In, is pretty useful against status effects. Its attack, Secret Sword, does 50 base damage and 20 more damage for each Water Energy attached to it. Secret Sword can potentially one-hit KO a lot of Pokémon depending on how many Waters it has attached of course.

1 Kingdra-GX

It's first attack, Hydro Pump, is what you are mainly wanting to use with Kingdra-GX. It does 10 base damage but 50 more damage for each Water Energy attached to Kingdra-GX. This means with just 4 Water Energy Kingdra-GX is doing a massive 210 damage. However, Kingdra-GX is a stage 2 Pokémon so you will have to Archie it out. Hydro Pump can take down Multiple Zoroark-GX with ease making Kingdra-GX a big threat to Zoroark-GX decks as it also has 230 hit points which Zoroark-GX usually can only cap at 210. Hydro Pump can also one hit KO an opposing Magikarp & Wailord-GX for just 6 Water Energy making Kingdra-GX a worthy inclusion in my opinion.

1 Wishiwashi-GX

This card is mainly useful for its GX attack, Blue Surge GX. Doing 220 damage will basically take down whatever you want and on top of that, you can move the energy onto Wishiwashi-GX back to your Benched Pokémon in any way you like.

1 Lugia-GX

Overall this is a strong card that can be more useful in certain situations than others. Its first attack, Psychic, does 30 base damage and 30 more damage for each energy attached to your opponent's active Pokémon. A great attack in the mirror if the opponent loads up a Keldeo-EX, Kingdra-GX, or Magikarp & Wailord-GX. Or against a loaded up Gardevoir-GX. It's second attack, Pelagic Blade, does 170 damage and you can't use that attack next turn. If you have a Choice Band attached then hitting for 200 can take some easier KO's. Now, its GX attack, Lost Purge GX, is what Lugia-GX will likely best be used for. In the mirror match, putting your opponent's active Pokémon with 5+ Water Energy into the Lost Zone can be crucial. Lugia-GX is a Basic Pokémon and all of its attack take Colorless Energy, making it an easy attacker to use in this deck.

1 Volcanion Prism Star

This is an excellent single-prize attacker other than Articuno. Volcanion has a solid 160 hit points, making it somewhat of a tank. It's ability, Jet Geyser lets you discard a Water Energy and if so your opponent switches their active Pokémon with 1 of their bench Pokémon. Jet Geyser is useful for those odd situations where you have multiple Water Energy in hand or if you simply rather KO a different Pokémon than what's currently active. Not only that, but it's attack, Sauna Blast does a solid 100 damage and 20 damage to each of your opponent's bench Pokémon. Very useful attack to set up KO's later on in the game, especially with Towering Splash GX.

1-2 Articuno ROS 17

This is arguably the best attacker against low hit-point Pokémon such as Zorua, Ditto Prism Star, Combee, Rockruff, and so on. Potentially taking 2 prizes on the first turn with a 1-prize attacker is extremely powerful and worth it.

1-2 Unown AON 30

Unown is a great card against Exodia decks because Unown can bail you out of a dead hand. On top of that Unown can help get Archie's Ace in the Hole more effectively and in the late-game Unown is nice just to have that extra draw for insurance purposes.

1 Giratina LOT 97

There are a couple reasons why Giratina can fit nicely in this deck. The first to be able to one hit KO opposing Shaymin-EX's with Towering Splash GX. The second so you are able to break Focus Sash then take out multiple Riolu with Towering Splash GX.

1 Marshadow SLG 45

Usually the smaller your hand size the easier it'll be to achieve Archie's Ace in the Hole. However, Marshadow can be useful for other reasons as well. Obviously to lower the opponent's hand size but also useful against decks that play Unown HAND.

1 Oranguru SUM 113

This is another great card against Exodia decks because if you can get Oranguru down then they basically can't keep your hand dead unless they also get Alolan Muk out.


1 Faba

Faba will help to get rid of Tools on Garbodor, Focus Sash on Fighting-types or those pesky Parallel City Stadiums. Faba gives the deck more options in disrupting the opponent. Being able to reuse Faba multiple times thanks to VS Seeker just might be better than Field Blower unless you decide to play them both.

1 Acerola

Magikarp & Wailord-GX is very beefy so it won't be easy to one-hit KO them. Because of this, Acerola can actually be very useful in this deck. Healing a Magikarp & Wailord-GX to full and attacking again can be game-changing.

1 Tate and Liza

You can opt to go with this card over let's say Float Stone as a means to retreat a Pokémon like Blastoise which has a beefy retreat cost. Tate and Liza can also get you a fresh 5 cards which can come in the clutch against decks that try to deck you out. Shuffling a big hand back into the deck can be more important than you know. It is also reusable with VS Seeker. However, the extra supporter in deck sometimes makes for more awkward Archie's Ace in the Hole plays.

1 Fisherman

The deck already plays four copies of Superior Energy Retrieval. However, Fisherman can also get back four Water Energy and be reused multiple times if needed. A Fisherman is a personal preference because the deck can still work well without it and it just depends if you rather have the extra supporter in the deck or not for easier access to Archie's Ace in the Hole.

1 N

Manipulating the opponent's hand is crucial at times if you think they have the game-winning card next turn. Even if your hand is too clunky and full of important resources is where N is much better than Professor Sycamore at times.


1 Choice Band

The deck already plays at least one copy of Choice Band. However, a second copy can be nice to one hit KO consecutive Pokémon EX/GX with at least 210 hit points namely Zoroark-GX.

1 Muscle Band

Mainly clutch for when attacking with Articuno as it'll make the one-shots easier to achieve on low hit point Pokémon. However, usually, you would just need to flip 1 out of 3 heads to KO what you are trying to take down so really Muscle Band likely is just not needed anymore unless you are playing multiple Articuno.

1 Float Stone

When attacking with Magikarp & Wailord-GX you might be in an odd spot to where the opponent can potentially run you out of energy or a way to retreat and have Blastoise stuck in the active spot. Playing at least one Float Stone is ideal so you can use it in this scenario when needed. Also having the ability to Rush In and out freely is nice.

2-4 Professor's Letter

Adding this card to the deck should help attack faster especially if you are trying to get a t1 or 2 Towering Splash GX off. You can always fail them when using Archie's Ace in the Hole.

1-2 Field Blower

Without a doubt, one of the most played decks going into Dallas this weekend will be Zoroark-GX/Garbodor. It wouldn't hurt to have Field Blower just to give yourself an option of breaking the Garbotoxin lock. Not to mention, Field Blower is also nice to get rid of Focus Sash so you can one-hit KO Lucario-GX or whatever Fighting-type has it attached.

1 Mysterious Treasure

Useful card to assist in getting your hand lower in count to make for easier access to Archie's Ace in the Hole. Mysterious Treasure also lets you grab a Tapu Lele-GX. If you play other Psychic-types like Unown, Giratina, or Marshadow then even better.


Silent Lab

I would have to say including Silent Lab would strictly be for decks that play Mr. Mime to make Towering Splash GX useless. You only really need that one turn to use Towering Splash GX to basically cripple the opponent's bench and take multiple prizes in one turn.

Rough Seas

Mainly useful against decks that do spread damage such as Trevenant BREAK. Other than that I probably don't see a reason playing Rough Seas other than bumping other Stadiums.

With that said, let's add the remaining 10 cards and see how a 60 card ArchieStoise list can look like. Obviously, you can choose 10 different cards. However, this is how I'd likely play the deck.

60 card-ArchieStoise

This list can easily change, because there are quite a few cards that can fit nicely in the deck. There are a couple different ways you can go about playing the deck. It all really comes down to your own play style and what you want the deck to achieve. I basically added a little bit of everything to give the deck as many options as it can have without messing up the consistency. The deck has plenty of attackers you just have to find out which ones are better against certain matchups and focus on those more. Usually, your t1 attackers will be Articuno, Keldeo-GX or Volcanion if you choose to play those. Then turn 2 likely Magikarp & Wailord-GX if you are wanting to try and use Towering Splash GX. If you can pull it off turn 1 then even better. I hope I was able to give you at least somewhat of a way to play the deck even if you don't like the list above. At least the 50 card staple list should almost be perfect in my opinion so I would definitely start there.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on ArchieStoise. I expect the deck to gain popularity come Dallas, particularly due to the legality of Magikarp & Wailord-GX. If you see me in Dallas this weekend, be sure to stop by and say hi. It should be exciting to see what deck and player ultimately ends up winning Dallas this time. I actually finished in 5th place out of over 1000 players last season in Dallas. Hopefully, I can finish somewhere close to that this time around as well.

If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook: "Team ARG Pokémon-TCG." There you can keep up to date with all the players on the team. We recently added Pablo Meza Alonso to the ARG team roster so be sure to show him some love when you see him. Also, don't forget to check out to pick up some awesome dice and GX markers. They also have Ability Markers for sale so be sure to pick some up if you haven't already.

If you are interested in taking coaching lessons from me then feel free to either PM me on Facebook or on Twitter. My Twitter handle is below if you want to follow me for when I post lists and other exciting news.

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.

As always, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas below, and I'll consider them. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

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