A Budget Guide to ‘Guardians Rising’ Theme Decks

Theme decks are great way to learn and play the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) on a budget. Sun and Moon 2 Guardians Rising brings us with two pre-constructed decks: Steel Sun and Hidden Moon featuring their respective legendries- Solgaleo and Lunala. Each theme comes with the bare essentials: a 60 card deck, 2-player paper playmat, Rulebook, 1 flip coin, Deck Box and Damage Counters.

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Keeping in mind the limited viability a theme deck has by itself, I have come up with a few tips to optimize your theme deck into an affordable, competitive deck. This serves as a starting guide for new players wanting to create a competitive deck from their new theme decks without too much monetary investment.

Add more draw supporters!

Recommended Inclusions

  • Professor Sycamore
  • N
  • Lillie
  • Professor Kukui

Optional Inclusions

  • Mallow
  • Misty’s Determination

The amount of draw supporters can make or break a consistency of a deck. It is important to have a good supporter count to filter through your deck during your turn. In any case, running 4 Professor Sycamore and N would be a good start with one copy of Professor Kukui. Other options if you don’t want to discard resources is running Lillie in the place of Professor Sycamore.

However, I would advise against it since budget evolutions decks need to get through their resources quickly in order to bench and power up enough attackers. Mallow and Misty’s Determination are quite niche cards that help get what you need in the following turn without drawing through your deck. However, too many of these cards can clump your deck so I suggest running one copy of either card if you are not fond of discarding too many resources.

Add more items!

Recommended Inclusions

Search Cards:
  • Ultra Ball
  • Nest Ball
  • Level Ball
  • Timer Ball
  • Great Ball
Cycle Draws:
  • Trainer’s Mail
  • Acro Bike
  • Professor’s Letter
Recovery Cards:
  • Rescue Stretcher
  • Super Rod
  • Energy Retrieval
Tools:
  • Choice Band
Others:
  • Rare Candy

Items help to further your Pokemon’s attack output as well as giving recovery, deck thinning options and a way to evolve Pokemon at a faster rate. They are not as crucial in making your deck function but are necessary in accelerating your board state and having consistent answers to your opponent’s Pokemon. Rare candy is essential in evolution decks and I would always run 4 copies of the card. Consistent search cards that lets you gather the evolution lines you need is important. I would recommend running 4 Ultra Ball and possibly 1 Nest Ball to ensure you have the cards you need. Recovery cards are great but not essential and I would run low copies of 1 or 2.

Cut away unnecessary cards and add the essentials

Since adding trainers’ to Steel Sun or Hidden Moon, we can lower the energy count in both decks and remove filler Pokémon. The main goal is to remove unnecessary cards in order to create a basic skeleton of a competitive deck.

When making decisions on what cards to remove, it is important to let go of assorted cards that do not help in developing a main attacker. In this case, removing evolution lines that do not lead to either Solgaleo or Lunala. Alongside your main attacker, you need cards that filter through your deck and accelerate energy to your main attacker. This way, you can consistently develop a self-sustaining board of Pokemon. This is an example basic deck skeleton I’ve created from the suggestions I have written.

Note: Some of the counts of Pokemon Cards are not provided n the theme deck and will require to be purchased externally.

Steel Sun

  • 4 Cosmog
  • 1 Cosmoem
  • 4 Solgaleo
  • 3 Rayquaza
  • 1 Dhelmise
  • 3 Escape Rope
  • 1 Switch
  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 4 N
  • 2 Hex Maniac
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 1 Professor Kukui
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 1 Nest Ball
  • 3 Choice Band
  • 4 Trainer’s Mail
  • 4 Rare Candy
  • 1 Rescue Stretcher
  • 1 Super Rod
  • 1 Altar of the Sunne
  • 4 Double Colourless Energy
  • 7 Metal Energy

Hidden Moon

  • 4 Lunala
  • 1 Cosmoem
  • 4 Cosmog
  • 3 Rayquaza
  • 3 Escape Rope
  • 1 Switch
  • 4 Professor Sycamore
  • 4 N
  • 2 Hex Maniac
  • 2 Lysandre
  • 1 Professor Kukui
  • 4 Ultra Ball
  • 1 Nest Ball
  • 3 Choice Band
  • 3 Trainer’s Mail
  • 4 Rare Candy
  • 1 Rescue Stretcher
  • 2 Super Rod
  • 4 Double Colourless Energy
  • 9 Psychic

With all that in mind, the best thing you can do with your theme deck to make it competitive is to be familiar with how the deck plays and the possible decisions you could make with it in a game. After all, practice makes perfect! If you are looking to order some cards highlighted in this article on a budget, feel free to check out Troll and Toad. To know more about Guardians Rising and its featured cards, visit the Official Pokemon Website for more details!

A big thank you to Banter Toys and Collectibles for providing the theme decks used in this article.

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