Pokemon TCG: Five Strongest Decks from Base Set to Fossil Era

Rain Dance, Haymaker, Damage Swap and more! Shuffle up and explore these five strongest decks from the Pokemon Trading Card Game’s early years.
Pokemon Trading Card Game. Courtesy of The Pokemon Company
Pokemon Trading Card Game. Courtesy of The Pokemon Company /
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Haymaker Screenshot of Base Set Electabuzz from Pokemon TCG (1)
Pokemon Trading Card Game. Courtesy of The Pokemon Company /


Fast, Powerful And Dominant

This was a fun deck to play if you liked “aggro” strategies. As its name might suggest, the Haymaker archetype was all about delivering as much damage as fast as possible – defeating your opponent before they even had a chance to set up their game plan.

Built around basic Pokemon that boasted a combination of high hit points and strong, inexpensive attacks, Haymaker was a major force on the competitive Pokemon TCG scene well into the Fossil expansion.

Starting off in Base Set with Hitmonchan and Electabuzz, two 70-HP basic Pokemon with a powerful one-energy attack and an even stronger secondary attack that required more energy, Jungle gave the archetype a major boost when Scyther was printed.

Another 70-HP ‘mon with two attacks, Scyther was able to be slotted into the deck due to its only damaging attack being reliant on colorless energy. Furthermore, Scyther had no retreat cost, meaning it was the perfect pivot for the Haymaker deck, and it made the archetype run incredibly smoothly.

The Fossil expansion saw the deck get another toy in the form of Magmar. It was actually the second printing of the card after its Base Set version, but it was the Fossil form that was a terrific addition to the Haymaker archetype, as it added both evasion via its one-energy attack Smokescreen and the ability to poison with its two-energy attack Smog.