Discussion in 'Guru Deck Challenge & Strategy Topic Discussions' started by Rogue Archetype, Jan 24, 2011.

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  1. Rogue Archetype

    Rogue Archetype Moderator <br> Contest Host

    This week, we need to discuss the secret weapon that every tournament champion has in common: DECK SYNERGY.

    In this thread, let's discuss the meaning of deck SYNERGY and how to build a deck where cards support each other.


    The best way to stack the field against your opponent is to align an Army of Pokemon and march forward.

    Too many new players build a deck of several "big hitters" and they HOPE to get one up and swinging before the game ends.

    If you find yourself saying "I LIKE this Pokemon but there's just something wrong with using it. I can't make it work."

    I always THOUGHT I understood synergy (how well cards work together with other cards), until I found myself loosing to a 13 year old kid CONSISTENTLY.
    This kid was playing rogues that were just SILLY and he was setting up fast and SMASHING me to pieces... it was (and still is when I think back.. LOL!) embarrassing beyond belief.
    I hadn't a single deck that the kid couldn't bring down.

    That kid was CHANMAN (a Canadian Seniors player back then).

    I would just marvel at the combos the kid would play down and say "WOW! That's Sick!"
    Every card in that deck had a purpose; every card in that deck was designed to carry out the strategy of the deck (WHATEVER deck he was playing).

    I took the experience to heart and started building better decks.

    I think this little kick to the ego (and to the rump!) truly got me away from building "DIFFERENT" decks and helped me to build decks with the intent to WIN. (there is a difference!)

    There's some perspective.​

    TOPIC = Deck SYNERGY - what is it?

    Let's go!

    Note: Anyone, old and new, may contribute to this discussion. Ask questions or answer them! This is how we build :smile:
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  2. kwisdumb

    kwisdumb Active Member

    Great point R_A, I agree!
  3. Shino Bug Master

    Shino Bug Master Front Page News Editor

    Dead and lost. I'll make a reply with actual content later, but really, there hasn't been true synergy in ages.
  4. pkmn202

    pkmn202 New Member

    If you're looking for the definition of synergy:
    dictionary version: the working together of two things to create a greater effect than the sum of their individual effects.
    pokemon version: it's kinda the same: two cards that work together and help each other (well, that's what i think synergy is).
    In my opinion hippowdon rr and flygon rr have at least a bit of synergy:

    hippowdon is a pretty good attacker, but has a heavy retreat, luckily flygon's pokebody nullifies the retreat cost if he has a fighting energy attached.

    with this combo, these two cards might even beat luxchomp!

    and that's my opinion on synergy
  5. Ignatious

    Ignatious New Member

    How? How is the synergy between Luxray X and Garchomp X, or Gengar and Vileplume debatable?
  6. Nintendan

    Nintendan Active Member

    Simply put, without synergy, your deck won't be able to pull of effective combos to give you the upper hand.
  7. Darkmot

    Darkmot Active Member

    A Deck without synergy would be 60 cards randomly put together from your cards without looking at them when choosing.....
    Everything else always has synergy for the player.

    The hard thing is to follow the synergy of a players Deck.
    And yes the synergy gets more directed/concrete the more you want to fit it into a Metagame and that's the difference between a newbies Deck (and Fun Decks) and a experienced Player's Deck.

  8. Rogue Archetype

    Rogue Archetype Moderator <br> Contest Host

    Newbie Questions:

    1. What are some popular decks that have synergy?

    2. What cards in those decks go together so well?
  9. baby mario

    baby mario Front Page Article Editor<br><a href="http://pokeg

    As far as I’m concerned, synergy is simple: it’s when the cards in your deck help each other to do the job they are meant to do.

    There is a lot of mystery (and even snobbery) about the word that I think is misleading.

    Synergy does not only mean something uber combolicious like Lugia EX/Blastoise EX/ Steelix EX/Pidgeot/Holon stuff, it also means Vileplume stopping your opponent playing Trainers while Gengar SF’s Poltergeist punishes your opponent for having Trainers in their hand.

    Synergy is nothing to do with playing skill, level of difficulty, imagination, or obscurity. It can be as simple as using Skuntank G with Toxicroak G. It doesn’t have anything to do with a deck being ‘rogue’ either: for example, SP decks completely rely on the synergy between the Pokémon and the SP Engine (try playing SP without it . . . it’s rubbish). Is it hard to use? No. Does it require much thought to put those cards together in a deck? Nope. Does it rely on a complex interaction of several Pokémon? Nu-uh. But it’s still synergy. Just like . . . really obvious synergy. So obvious that you don’t even think about it.
  10. Scipio

    Scipio New Member

    Synergy these days:
    Putting 2 broken cards together with broken support and call it synergy. Also see: Luxchomp.
  11. Chanman

    Chanman New Member

    Just got the chance to look at this. While it's hard to get some rogue together with synergy, it can be good is you are dedicated and make it as consistent as possible: Refer to the consistency thread

    Ands thanks for the mention (even though I don't play RS anymore) :(
  12. Barkjon

    Barkjon Active Member


    1. Pretty much all the popular decks, but specifically LuxChomp (hit fast and hard), Sablelock (disrupt and then hit hard), and VileGar (lock, hit hard).

    2. Well, in the SP decks, the SP engine is what makes it work. Like BM said, without the engine SP stinks. In VileGar, it's the combination of Vileplume/Spiritomb's lock with a Gengar SF up to do good damage is what makes it work. And the abundance of Supporters that make it work.
  13. kwisdumb

    kwisdumb Active Member

    I think a really simple way of explaining synergy at the moment is looking at LuxChomp last format. The combination of being able to Bright Look a Claydol active and then snipe around it is a great example. Oh, I guess mitigating Luxray's Flash Impact damage with Garchomp's Healing Breath is also a good example of it.
  14. jpulice

    jpulice Member

    Synergy is the key to making consistency win. When multiple cards are able to come together for a greater purpose they begin to add to the consitency of the deck. When you are limited to 4 of one kind of card in a deck, if 4 more cards allow you to have the same effect (or very similar) now you have 8 possibilities.

    Let's deconstruct a typical Gdos deck (framework) and look at it's where there is synergy. This is a rough skelton....
    Pokemon (16):
    4 sableye
    4-3 gyarados
    1 regice (Synergy alert)
    1 azelf
    2 crobat g
    2 uxie

    Trainers/Stadiums/Supporters (34)
    4 Broken Time Space
    4 Collector
    4 Volkner's (Synergy alert)
    2 Bebe's Search
    2 Pokemon Communication
    2 Expert Belt
    2 Pokemon Rescue
    1 Luxury Ball
    1 VS Seeker
    4 Junk Arm (Synergy alert)
    4 super scoop
    4 poke turn

    Energy (6)
    3 rescue (Synergy alert)
    3 warp

    Tech spots = 4

    Question: How do you get magikarps in the discard pile?
    Answer: I can use regice after a collector to put 2 in the discard pile. More than 1 or 2 Regices will take precious deck spots and fill you hand with useless pokes later in the game. If you can't get to regice Junk Arm 2 karps! or Volkern's 1 away while you try to draw into the necessary cards you need. There are 9 cards in the deck which get cards into the discard pile.

    Question: Later in the game I have all of these extra Sableye's but how do I get rid of them from my hand?
    Answer: See above. No worries regice, junk arm and volkners, problem solved. This works for the extra broken time spaces if you know your stadium won't be replaced or your opponent play BTS.

    Question: How do I recover after gdos is knocked out?
    Answer: Well there is pokemon resuce to bring back a karp back. But it's only 2 cards. But wait Junk arm again to the rescue! Now we have 6 cards which have the possibility to pull karp back out. Yes you have to use a resuce first. Oh wait! Why not try to save Gdos before he's knocked out? Superscoop to the rescue. Now there's 10 cards to save your pokes, you can Junk Arm for those also! Wait theres more. Rescue energy can bring gdos back to your hand. 3 more cards are at your disposal. 13 cards to rescue Gdos from the brink or the discard pile.

    Question: Everyone keeps picking on regice, they bring him active ALL the time, what do I do, especially since I need him once maybe twice?
    Answer: Super scoop, warp energy, and .......... JUNK ARM for more scoops. 11 cards to get you out of the jam.

    There are other examples in the deck for synergy but this is getting to long and I've overkilled Junk Arm (sorry for the commercial on junk arm)


    There are other examples of synergy - Energy use

    Why is Uxie used in most every deck?
    Draw power is so important to every deck. But why can you use him? Simple it's because his versital attack. For 1 colorless he hits for 20 and can go back into the deck. ONE COLORLESS is the key. Every deck uses energy (yes some less than others) and you don't need to add any special energy to make him work.

    Why is Garchomp C in every SP deck?
    Well there are a few reasons. An awesome power to heal all of the SP in the field. Yes please. (Multiple poketurns with out using a trainer) Oh wait colorless attacks even better. Again like uxie you don't have to work in another type of energy to fit into the deck. Free retreat.... The icing on the cake.

    There are other expamles:
    Spreaders - review decks with Abamasnow
    Disprution - see R_A sablelock discussion
    Trainerlock - see vilegar discussions
    Lost Zoning - see LostGar
  15. Kayle

    Kayle Active Member

    I think, for people completely unfamiliar with the term or idea, synergy is best shown and explained by example.

    In Pokemon, there's good synergy, amazing synergy, bad synergy, and terrible synergy.

    Terrible synergy means the two cards work AGAINST each other. For example, trying to play Arceus AR-5 and use Ripple Swell in the same deck as Ditto TM, or really anything that has to sit on the bench. Arceus needs 6 Arceus in play, and taking up space for anything else is just not a good idea.

    Bad synergy means the cards don't work together in any way at all (but aren't necessarily hurting each other). Decks with bad synergy are often, but not always, focused on two Pokemon of different types. Try mixing Raichu Lv. X and Palkia G Lv. X. While they both have sniping attacks and so you might THINK they should go together, note the following differences:
    - Raichu needs cards in hand; Palkia needs them attached
    - Palkia uses the SP Engine; Raichu does not
    - Raichu uses Lightning energy; Palkia uses Water energy
    By putting them together, you've made a deck where each loses their advantages and are simply the cards that they are... which is not that great. Cards are only ever great when combined with each other!

    GOOD synergy means that you have two cards that loosely work together. Try putting Infernape MD and Rayquaza LA together, along with Stark Mountain or Energy Switch. Infernape's Mega Bravo attack DISCARDS energy, but Rayquaza's power GAINS energy, and you can use Stark Mountain or Energy Switch to move them to Infernape - helping make the downside of discarding energy as small as possible!

    Consider also Vileplume and Gengar; Vileplume forces your opponent to hold their trainers in-hand, and Gengar does more damage depending on how many they've got. Excellent example of practical synergy.

    AMAZING SYNERGY!! It's very rare these days. I've gone and combed the Researching Tower looking for cards that really work together well enough to fit this description. Sure, you've got Lost World and Gengar, you have Luxray GL and Garchomp C, you have Vileplume and Gengar, but those just don't quite fit what I want.

    Two cards that have amazing synergy were basically MADE for each other. It's not just one aspect of the card that gets along with another - the two cards bond in every way possible. Anything you do with one, helps the other, even if those benefits are not obvious, even if they don't go towards and particular goal.

    These are really kind of bad cards, but consider them as an example:

    Okay. So these two cards work together brilliantly (especially with stuff like Junk Arm). How?

    • Shoot Spark triggers Absorb Spark, and allows you to - instead of just putting a card from the discard into your deck - get it straight back into your hand.
    • Shoot Spark allows you to discard energy for Recycled Lightning.
    • Short Circuit allows you to discard energy for Recycled Lightning.
    • Recycled Lightning returns energy to your deck so you can get it back with Short Circuit.

    Really, pretty much anything you do with either of those cards, helps the other one. See what I mean?
  16. Yoshi-

    Yoshi- New Member

    Synergie was something that was used during the delta era to make decks stronger, cards like metagross ds and dragonite ds were put in a deck together cause they took each other beyond a level that one of them could hope to reach on its own. Cards like Steelix Ex were bad on their own but comboes with the right cards they made a great deck. I think thats the main point about true synergie, cards work BECAUSE they work together, luxchomp is just 2 overpowered cards stuffed in one deck, a true synergie is something were the strength lies within the combo, not within the individual cards.
    Blastoise Ex / Lugia Ex / Steelix Ex were all more or less terrible cards. Vilegar comboes 2 rather mediocre cards to make them stronger (I hate the deck but I gotta admit it really is a perfect combo/synergie)
  17. raw19

    raw19 Active Member

    Claydol GE was synergy for a lot of decks. Feraligatr Prime and Blastoise UL are a good type of Synergy. As were Mesprit LA and Gardevior (PlOX). Admittedly, other then with the the upper-most tier of decks, True Synergy has been rarer then a Legendary.
  18. Rogue Archetype

    Rogue Archetype Moderator <br> Contest Host

    Some of this isn't clear.

    "Claydol GE was synergy for a lot of decks" - It provided draw, but I'm not getting the synergy part.

    "True Synergy has been rarer than a Legendary" - I don't get what you're saying at all there.

    There are some GREAT examples hidden in there though ...

    "Mesprit LA and Gardevior (psychic Lock)" - wen't very well together. That's a great example of synergy. You're not really helping the reader unless you EXPLAIN HOW when you make these name-drops though.
  19. MegaVelocibot

    MegaVelocibot <a href="

    Synergy is how well one card “combos” with another, or how well the two (or more) cards work together as a team. A synergistic pairing of cards usually allows for more consistent gameplay, reducing the amount of luck a player needs to do what they want to do.

    Usually, there is a trade-off between how well a card works (once in play) and how much effort is required to put that card into play. For example, we'll take a look at Pokemon that can induce the Burn Special Condition using a Poke-Power. Torkoal from Unleashed, a Basic Pokemon, has a Poke-Power that can Burn the Defending Pokemon, but only on a heads on a coin flip, as well as only on the turn it is put into play from the Trainer's hand. It only takes one card to get this effect, but its Poke-Power is not reusable, unless you invest additional cards to find a way of returning it from your Bench to your hand. Houndoom from Undaunted can use the same effect of that Poke-Power every turn, but is a Stage 1 Evolution card, requiring the Basic Houndour to first be played and evolved. This would require the investment of at least two cards, the Basic and Evolution, but provides a re-usable effect. Blaziken from Platinum guarantees the Burned Condition, no coin flip needed to cause it, but is a Stage 2 Pokemon, needing to get from the Basic Torchic to its Stage 2. This can typically be accomplished either by normal evolution through the Stage 1 Evolution Combusken, or by usage of Rare Candy to skip to Blaziken. Either way, it requires at least three cards to ensure the Burn every time it goes from your turn to your opponents', but reduces the amount of luck required in order to pull off causing the Burn. Jumping the gun a bit, you could say there's synergy between Blaziken's Poke-Power and first attack, Clutch. If one uses the Poke-Power, and then the attack, Clutch goes from being a 40 damage attack that prevents retreat, to one that also requires the opponent to flip two coins, putting two damage counters on the Defending Pokemon for each tails they flip. As you might realize, these two effects work well with each other, seeing how Special Conditions would be recovered from, if that Pokemon could retreat to the Bench.

    For some examples of what I would call synergy, consider the Japanese Leafeon vs Metagross Expert Deck kit, which contained two 60-card decks. Although not perfect, these decks exhibit a greater degree of “synergy” than your average English theme deck. (For this reason, I keep a spare copy of each, using their English prints, as an educational tool at the League I attend, also allowing players to borrow either, so that they may learn from them.) Before you continue reading, I suggest you look over the deck lists.

    Let's start with the Leafeon deck. In here, there are a few different combos to be found that increase overall deck synergy. Leafeon has two attacks. The first does 50 damage for each Special Condition affecting the Defending Pokemon. An attack that does no damage (assuming no Special Conditions) does Leafeon no good, but even causing one condition makes the damage jump up to 50. Tempting, no? Here is where the gears should start turning, if you think about synergy. The next thought would typically be “here is a very cheap attack, in terms of damage done to Energy needed to use it. How can I cause a bunch of Special Conditions on their Defending Pokemon?” That is a very good question. Many decks your opponents could use might have ways of switching their Pokemon; the Bench cures Special Conditions, wasting the time spend to inflicted them. Its second does 30 damage, and induces the Sleep condition, which has a 25% chance of carrying over into the beginning of your next turn. Although the effects are good for its cost, you might imagine it would be more efficient finding ways to Poke-Power up the first attack (and make it the more attractive option to use), relying on the second attack as a last resort for dealing damage.

    Fortunately, the Leafeon deck has some tricks up its sleeve to help Leafeon out. Roserade from Unleashed has a Poke-Power that induces Special Conditions on the Defending Pokemon. This combos well with its attack, which does 20 damage for each Energy attached to it. Not only are you rewarded by its Poke-Power for attaching Energy to it, but also by its attack, which become more powerful the more Energy you attach. A keen eye would realize that Energy Signal also helps out Leafeon, who only needs one Energy to attack; after that initial investment, so Leafeon can use its attacks, any subsequent Energy can be attached to Roserade, causing Special Conditions that boost the power of Leafeon's first attack. The Poison damage between turns further adds to damage their Pokemon takes, even if you don't have enough Energy to attack with anything. Compare this to Roserade from Supreme Victors. Notice how the increased Retreat Cost and high cost of Poison Seed (as well as the lack of useful Poke-Power) do little to nothing to help Leafeon. This would be an example of a card that does not help the deck's synergy.

    Torkoal as previously described has a chance of causing a Burn to the Defending Pokemon, but only when coming into play. Though it combos with Leafeon, helping what the deck wants to accomplish (cause extra Special Conditions so Leafeon can hit harder), it is not very consistent, relying on luck to “hopefully” add more damage, instead of ensuring it. Thus, Torkoal's synergy with Leafeon is weaker than Roserade's is.

    How could we further increase the synergy of this deck, with cards not included in this deck? Here are just a few examples, though by no means are these perfect ones.
    Leafeon Lv.X: Transforming Leafeon's Fire x2 Weakness to a +30, as well as giving it 20 more HP (at the cost of an increased Retreat Cost), Leafeon Lv.X has a Poke-Power that further increases the rate at which you can attach Energy to your Pokemon. Its attack works in synergy with its Poke-Power, dealing additional damage just for having more Energy in play.
    Dawn Stadium: Rainbow Energy puts a damage counter on the Pokemon it is attached to. Why not reduce the cost to nothing when attaching to your Grass-type Pokemon, like Roserade, who can now induce both Special Conditions without taking any harm? This also removes a damage counter any time you put a Grass Energy onto a hurt Pokemon. The only drawback is that your opponent can also use this effect on their Water or Grass-types.
    Seeker: Clever use of this card after putting Shaymin on your Bench and moving all the Energy from a damaged Pokemon onto less-hurt ones would allow you to recover a Benched Pokemon on the verge of being Knocked Out, which would drag all cards attached to it down to the discard pile with it. Seeker could even allow you to reuse Shaymin's Energy-moving power. Just remember that your opponent could use it to return an injured Benched Pokemon, or something that has a useful “from-hand-to-Bench” power like the Shaymin has. Seeker combos well when your opponent only has one Benched Pokemon, and an Active you know you can Knock Out, to leave them with no Pokemon left in play.
    Broken Time-Space would help this deck get from Basic to Stage 1 in the same turn; given how this deck sacrifices HP for increased offensive power and set-up speed, this could save you a turn that could win you the game.
    Skuntank G: The benefits of “free”, consistent Poison, at the cost of also Poisoning any Pokemon that isn't an SP (i.e. everything previously mentioned in this deck). Saves you from attaching Energy to Roserade in a pinch.

    I'll delve into the Metagross deck when time permits. I've focused on the Leafeon deck simply because I believe its Pokemon provide an excellent example of synergy.
  20. raw19

    raw19 Active Member

    (True Dat. xDD Gardevoir of Secret Wonders - [​IMG] - had a deck around it known as PLOX, which was simply about keeping your opponent from using Pokemon Powers. It's attack did that pretty well, but setting up a stage 2 pokemon to attack has never been the most fast thing to do. So along comes Legends Awakened Mesprit , - [​IMG] - who can do Gardevoir's job instantly and without attacking while you're getting your actual attacker (Gardevoir) all nice and energized. These two working together as such made this deck not only one with good Synergy, but one that was upper-tier in level.)

    Hope I helped to unravel my puzzles! ^-^
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011

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