From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Haymaker deck archetype was a strong competitor in the early days of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. It was overused due to its ability to often win the game before the opponent could even get their strategy together.
Early versions of Haymaker were tested almost immediately after the Base Set came out. The archetype was an instant success because it used the fastest strategy possible at the time.
Key cards in the deck are Base Set Hitmonchan and Electabuzz, and Fossil Magmar. Because of their low Energy cost and status as Basic Pokémon, the time required for set-up is minimal. Furthermore, they are of three distinct types, don't share any weaknesses, and each have a reasonably high HP of 70. These factors brought many players to dread the archetype, with several decks created specifically to be anti-Haymaker.
- Hitmonchan's Jab is a quick hit for 20 damage from the beginning, and it also has 70 HP, which was good for a basic Pokémon at the time.
- Electabuzz provides a low Energy attack for good damage in Thunderpunch, which is its main use, but it is a good starter as well due its Thundershock. It is also a basic Pokémon with 70 HP.
- Magmar is good for stalling the opponent with its Smokescreen and 70 HP, while its stronger attack, Smog, provides the opportunity to poison the opposing Pokémon.
- Oddish is in the deck to evolve into Dark Vileplume.
- Dark Gloom is also in the deck to evolve into Dark Vileplume.
- Dark Vileplume's Pokémon Power, Hay Fever, negates all Trainer cards, meaning that the game will depend more on immediately accessible power, which this deck excels at.
- Ditto is a good choice because this deck uses many types of Energy, which count as any kind while attached to it.
- Erika's Clefairy's Moonwatching move searches the player's deck for any basic Energy card, which comes in handy due to the many different types of Energy used in the deck.
- Bill provides minor drawing support.
- Computer Search searches any card out of the player's deck, for a cost, which is useful for obvious reasons.
- Item Finder is like Computer Search, but it can only search Trainer cards from the discard pile.
- Gust of Wind gives the player field control by allowing them to choose what Pokémon their opponent has active.
- Professor Oak provides hand refreshment, allowing the player to discard their hand and draw seven cards.
- Pokémon Trader swaps a Pokémon from the hand with one from the deck, which can help the player get whatever Pokémon is most useful in their current situation.
- PlusPower can provide that extra boost a Pokémon needs when attacking. It's also stackable, so if a player gets four onto their Pokémon, they'll be doing huge damage that turn. This deck is all about attacking.
The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.
The Haymaker deck, being comprised mostly of cards made in the first few sets of the TCG, was one of the first to be essentially, but not explicitly, banned from play as the cards were taken out of Pokémon Organized Play. Due to its loss, however, the TCG was allowed to grow, and new strategies were eventually able to take root.
However, due to the release of Platinum, both the Base Set Hitmonchan and Electabuzz are able to be played in Modified format games, along with Jungle Scyther.