“Lock ’em Down” — Vileplume in the Standard Format


Hey, Cut or Tap readers! Let me take this moment to introduce myself! I am Caleb Gedemer, a recently turned eighteen-year-old high school graduate and Pokemon Trading Card Game player hailing from the great state of Wisconsin in the United States. I have been playing competitively since the 2013-2014 season of play, earning an invitation to the World Championships in that year as well as in the three following years. I have had some big finishes thus far, including trips to the finals in both Regional and State Championships as well as multiple Top Fours and Top Eights in other Regionals and States.

Outside of Pokemon, I devote most of my time to work, as well as spending time with my friends and my wonderful girlfriend. I will be starting up school again this coming autumn semester, working towards an accounting degree. I enjoy American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Futurama and other satirical-esque television. I love some alternative, electronic, hardcore, indie, pop punk and rap music. Some of my personal favorites at the moment include Balance and Composure, Circa Survive, Foxes, New Found Glory, Psychic Babble, Rixton, Saosin, Seasons Change, Title Fight, Tove Lo, Troye Sivan and Turnstile.

In my first article, I will discuss a variety of Vileplume decks which I think are all great choices for upcoming competitions. Each option will include a deep breakdown of each archetype along with decklists and match-up analysis for each. Enjoy!


Well, for starters, let us introduce the concept of Vileplume. Vileplume is a 130 HP Grass-type Stage 2 Pokemon. Normally, it would be regarded as generally unplayable due to its Stage 2 nature and the clunkiness, and time it takes to evolve your Pokemon turn after turn to actually get it into play. Here is where Forest of Giant Plants comes into play. This Stadium card completely breaks evolution rules and allows each player to evolve as many times as they like during their turn, but only if the Pokemon evolving is of the Grass type. This Stadium, as well as some other draw cards, are what make this deck click; we will get to those later on though.

So let us create a skeleton for this type of a deck, shall we?

Vileplume Deck Skeleton

Pokémon -9 Trainers -16 Energy -4
3 Shaymin EX 2 Professor Sycamore 4 Ultra Ball 4 Double Colorless
2 Vileplume AOR 4 Trainer’s Mail
2 Gloom AOR 2 Float Stone
2 Oddish AOR
4 Forest of Giant Plants
31 Open spots

So here we have the bare bone minimums of a Vileplume deck. Obviously, it is missing a lot of things (even more so than most skeleton decklists), but that will vary depending on which type of ‘Plume deck we decide to build. These decks focus on a strong turn-one setup that should often, if not always, result in a turn-one Vileplume in play. Being able to achieve this can often decide the winner of the game immediately. Most decks in the Standard Format simply cannot handle the power of a quick Vileplume. Items are the basis for nearly every competitive deck, even a Vileplume deck itself (although we generally only play Items for one or so turns).

Usually Shaymin-EX counts are maxed at a playset of four copies, but just for now we have three. Shaymin-EX is pertinent to this type of deck, due to its ability to keep digging through the deck and searching for combinations of cards that will get us the ‘Plume combo we desire. Two copies of Vileplume, Gloom and Oddish are the lowest I would ever consider going on this staple of the deck. Most times they are seen in higher numbers, but we will get to that later on.

Clearly, without Forest of Giant Plants, none of this would ever be possible and four of that very Stadium is an absolute must. Professor Sycamore is the best draw Supporter in this given format and that being said, two is a must in its own regard. Most versions do end up playing more, but that is for another paragraph. Float Stone is how we retreat Vileplume. Essentially, it is really just defense to a pesky Lysandre trapping Vileplume in the Active position. Since most Vileplume decks only play four Double Colorless Energy cards, it would make it necessary to burn two of those to simply just retreat! This requirement is almost always a game-loser if the ‘Plume is stuck in the Active spot. Float Stone gives us a way to circumvent this nuisance.

Next up is Trainers’ Mail, the most powerful form of Item draw that the Pokemon Trading Card Game has to offer at this point in time. This card helps us find any Trainer card in the game and can be specifically useful to find an Ultra Ball which will yield a Shaymin-EX to keep on digging. Alternatively, it can often snatch a Stadium so we can start evolving at will. Finally we have Ultra Ball, which we just mentioned. Ultra Ball is in here to find the Pokemon that we need, when we need them. Many times it finds a Shaymin-EX for its Set Up Ability, and sometimes it finds a part of the Vileplume line to get moving on that.

Energy counts can be tricky in decks like this, but I would say that nine times out of ten, every Vileplume deck will play four copies of Double Colorless Energy. This is the most powerful and versatile card in the game and can be used in combination with so many different Pokemon for a variety of dangerous and interesting attacks.


After establishing the necessity of the aforementioned cards, it is about time we get into some juicy bites to swallow. Vileplume has so many interesting combos for attacking Pokemon at its disposal, there are almost too many to cover! Here are the two archetypes that we will cover in this feature:

  1. Vileplume/”Niche Attackers”
  2. Vileplume/Vespiquen

As a prelude to covering these decks, we should create a list of the most popular decks so that we can keep those in mind we sculpting these builds. Here is a general list encompassing the top contenders of this Standard Format:

  1. Bronzong BREAK Decks (EX, Non-EX)
  2. Crobat Decks (Manectric-EX, Raichu, Seismitoad-EX)
  3. Darkrai-EX Decks (Garbodor, Giratina-EX, Max Elixir)
  4. Greninja BREAK Decks (Jirachi)
  5. M Manectric-EX Decks (Garbodor)
  6. M Rayquaza-EX Decks (Jolteon-EX)
  7. Night March Decks (Gallade/Marowak, Garbodor, Puzzle of Time, Vespiquen)
  8. Seismitoad-EX Decks (Barbaracle, Garbodor, Giratina-EX, Max Elixir)
  9. Trevenant BREAK Decks (Absol, Wobbuffet)
  10. Vileplume Decks (Glaceon-EX, Jolteon-EX, Vespiquen)
  11. Yveltal Decks (Gallade, Zoroark)
  12. Wailord-EX Decks (Aegislash-EX, Carbink)


So off to the first one, which is kind of a rouge concept – Vileplume/”Niche” Attackers. There are many ways to create a deck like this, but some of my favorites include Glaceon-EX and Jolteon-EX. Generally when we build a deck like this, it should include attackers that serve a specific purpose. In this case we have Glaceon-EX for Evolved Pokemon and Jolteon-EX for Basic Pokemon. Both of these attacks seem pretty strong, so why not combine them in a single deck? Yeah, let’s do that! Now we have coverage against nearly every deck!

Vileplume/ Niche Attacker list

private accessYou must have a Stage 2 Membership to see the rest of this post. If you don't have a Stage 2 account, you can Sign Up for one here.