Dark Box – an approach focused on consistency

The main problem players have with Dark Box is bad variance. They can win four games in a row and feel like the deck beats everything, then lose four in a row and feel like the deck is garbage. I kept this in mind when building my list. If Dark Box can be consistent, it is without a doubt a very powerful archetype. The match up spread looks fantastic with no unfavorable match ups against any of the top tier decks. That is why Dark Box has been my favorite puzzle to attempt to solve. The reward for fitting all the right pieces together seems to be beating everything. I will not make a claim as bold as ‘my Dark Box list beats every deck’ because frankly that is false and arrogant. What I will say is, I feel I have the most consistent Dark Box list out of all the different lists I have seen thus far. One of my goals with this article is to disprove the idea that Dark Box is just a run-hot deck and has to be built as one.

Lets start with a skeleton.

Dark Box Skeleton

Pokémon – 12 Trainers – 26 Energy – 10
 2 Weavile GX  4 Cynthia  4 Custom Catcher  10 Dark
 1 Sneasel (73/156)  3 Lillie  4 Pokemon Communication
 2 Sneasel (86/168)  1 Erika’s Hospitality  2 Mysterious Treasure
 1 Ditto Prism Star  1 Copycat  2 Switching cards
 2 Naganadel  2 Cherish Ball
 2 Poipole (107/214)  2 Viridian Forest  1 Reset Stamp
 1 Umbreon Darkrai GX
 1 Mega Sableye Tyranitar GX

Dark Box is very open to different ways of being built. Just to name some of the cards you can include in the deck with the remaining spots, there are:

  • Jirachi/Escape Board
  • Beast Ring
  • Dedenne GX
  • Darkrai Prism Star
  • Zoroark Greninja GX
  • Nanu
  • Super Scoop Up
  • Hapu
  • Tate & Liza
  • Steven’s Resolve
  • Switch
  • Hoopa GX
  • Ultra Space
  • Dark City
  • Choice Helmet

Needless to say, we have quite a few options. I have tested all of these additions in the deck and there is an argument for including almost all of those cards (not all in the same list obviously). However, no matter which of those cards you include, the skeleton you see above will still apply. The only aspect of that skeleton that may not necessarily need to be there is the two switching effects. With that being said, Raichu Tag Team is a huge problem without any movement cards.

In creating my list I tried to keep the more risky cards out of the list whenever possible. For example Hapu can give you situations where you are forced into discarding one of your two Weavile GX, then making it possible for your opponent to knock out the only one you have left. Super Scoop Up is another excellent example of a risky inclusion for obvious reasons. This is the list I have sleeved up right now:

Dark Box

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