Every now and then, someone posts a strategy article on here, most are good, some not so good. but all are interesting at the very least. Though these articles we can see that many people have similar techniques but at the same time, they have their own twists to them. So in the spirit of this board being a community I think it'd be nice to have a strategy thread where everyone interested posted their own ideas on the subject and maybe we can all get some good insight. With that, I'd like to start with what is often neglected, energy. personally, I like to figure out what my most ideal bench is for my deck then see how much energy I'd need to power everything up. then use that as my starting point for how much energy I need in my deck. for example, lets say I'm playing a dustox/grumpig deck with a few other things in there for good measure. ideally I want to have a dustox active, one on my bench for backup, 2 grumpigs, a dunsparse and a rosilia. dustox needs 3 energy, 1 grass, grumpigs need 3 energy 1 psyic, dunsparse needs 1 energy, rosilia needs 1 energy. so that comes out to (3+3+3+3+1+1) 14 energy for an ideal fully powered up bench, there is a nessessity of only 3 grass and two psychic that are needed for this bench, so I can mix them relativly equally, at 7 of each, however, since I'd be counting on rosilia for getting more energies out and it can only get out grass, I'll modify that slightly and put in more grass than I would psyic, making it about 10 grass and 4 psy (basically doubbling what my minimum need to be psy for my bench). Thats my basic starting point, then I usually considder things like, how much over that I'd need to retreat, and a few more for insurance incase of a knocked out pokemon (say 2 more for retreats, 3 more for a knocked out pokemon, keeping the pre-estabilshed ratio of 10 to 4, or in this case roughly 3 more grass, 2 more psy) bringing us to 19 energies. then I considder any sort of energy retriving trainers I might be using, say 2 energy restores, (av. 1.5 energies restored, for a total of 3), remove those from my 19 to make it 16, using the rough ratio going with 11 and 5. from there I check to see if I can replace any of them with utilitarian special energies. always keeping atleast double what my pokemon need to be specific energies with a full bench. in this case, 6 grass, and 4 psy. that leaves me with 6 energies that I can potentially change into things like warp energy cyclone energy and so on. in this case, grass energies can still be placed by means of rosilia so I want to keep some of the "extras" as grass, but I can easily replace a few of the extras with something good. so I take two of the energies with cyclone energy in hopes of using them to bring up a defending pokemon that's weak. replacing 2 grass energies (grass being the most above min needed energies) this gives us 16 energy 9 grass 5 psy 2 cyclone You'll notice that I keep a running division of energy thoughout all my steps as opposed to many who do energy division last. This is mostly personal preferance, but I find it really helps me keep all my pokemon in mind if I do it early on in deciding energy needs. I feel that no one system is perfect, and as always, decks should be play tested and modifed on the results of those matches. but I think this method is a good jumping point for starting a fresh deck.