Damage Swap

Built around Alakazam's Damage Swap power.

Details

Damage Swap decks use Alakazam's Damage Swap power to move damage between the Active Pokémon and the Pokémon on the bench. Damage Swap decks generally fall into two groups: defensive Stall decks and offensive attack decks that use cards like Sabrina's Golduck.

Damage Swap is the Pokémon Power that belongs to base Alakazam. When Alakazam is in play on your side, as often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may move one damage counter from one of your Pokémon to another as long as you don't Knock Out that Pokémon. The effect is that you can move your damage around from one Pokémon to another. Of course, this power can't be used if Alakazam is Asleep, Confused, or Paralyzed.

There are three basic uses for the Damage Swap power: removing damage from the Active Pokémon, moving damage to Pokémon that have attacks based on damage, and stalling.

Defense

The most obvious use of Damage Swap is for defense. Move damage from the Active Pokémon to other Pokémon on your bench. It may seem obvious, but it really is an effective strategy. It's most effective when you use Alakazam to back up a heavy-hitting, high HP Pokémon such as Blastoise or Wigglytuff. High-health Pokémon such as these can withstand more damage per turn

The damage that you swap has to go somewhere. It's not a good idea to load this damage onto Alakazam works great in a combo with Basic Pokémon with high HP. The king of these is Chansey, although a number of basic Pokémonsuch as rares Kangaskhan and Snorlax and uncommon Lickitunghave suitably high HP to fill the role if you can't get a Chansey.

The following deck uses Alakazam and a number of high-HP Pokémon to back up Wigglytuff.

3 Alakazam
3 Abra
3 Wigglytuff
3 Jigglypuff
3 Chansey
3 Likitung
3 Bill
3 Computer Search
3 Gust of Wind
3 Pokémon Breeder
3 Pokémon Center
3 Professor Oak
2 Switch
10 Psychic Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Full Heal Energy
4 Potion Energy

Damage Manipulation

A number of Pokémon have attacks that do damage based on the damage that is already on the card. This is useful in a Damage Swap deck because you can move this damage from other Pokémon to the Active Pokémon. The flip side is that most of these Pokémon do not remove the damage, so they are vulnerable to Knock Out on the next turn. It's a sacrifice move, one that can be very effective if you're in the lead or can Gust out one of your opponent's major players.

Sabrina's Golduck is the best Pokémon in this category. For (P)(P), you move one damage counter from each of your Pokémon that has damage to the Defending Pokémon. With a full bench and Alakazam, that's 60 damage per turn that's no longer on your Pokémon. This move has been described as "what goes around, comes around."

Rocket's Mewtwo also has an attack, Juxtapose, that can move damage. This attack move the damage from each Active Pokémon to the other Active Pokémon. However, Juxtapose requires a coin toss. If you get tails, Mewtwo is a sitting duck. So I do not recommend using this attack.

Of the cards that have a damage-based attack that does not remove damage, Tauros is the best. Its Rampage attack, energy cost (C)(C)(C), does 20 damage plus 10 damage for each damage counter on Tauros. Tauros has 60 HP, so you can do 20+(60-10)=70 damage. This is very high damage, especially for (C)(C)(C). 70 damage will Knock Out most Pokémon in one turn. The attack also carries a chance of Confusing Tauros, which is a minor concern since you expect Tauros to be Knocked Out in the next turn.

Here's a sample deck that uses Damage Swap, Sabrina's Golduck and Tauros:

3 Alakazam
3 Abra
4 Sabrina's Golduck
4 Sabrina's Psyduck
4 Tauros
3 Bill
3 Computer Search
3 Gust of Wind
3 Pokémon Breeder
3 Pokémon Center
3 Professor Oak
2 Switch
15 Psychic Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Full Heal Energy

Stalling

Damage Swap is also widely used in stall decks. The same priniciple applies: Move damage around to avoid getting Knocked Out. In a stall deck, however, you want to keep doing that for the entire game, until your opponent runs out of cards. Typically, stall decks do not attack.

Here's a sample stall deck:

4 Abra
4 Alakazam
4 Chansey
4 Lickitung
3 Computer Search
4 Gambler
3 Pokémon Center
2 Item Finder
2 Nightly Garbage Run
2 Scoop Up
4 Pokémon Breeder
2 Professor Oak
4 Scoop Up
2 Switch
2 No Removal Gym
10 Psychic Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy

Decks Using This Archetype

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