From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
This was never a real deck. It should never have been written, but I can't bring myself to delete it. So here it sits.
Barrier Swap is a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype that is centered around the cards Erika's Dratini and Alakazam. It focuses on getting Chansey and Alakazam on the bench, while making Erika's Dratini the Active Pokémon.
The Barrier Swap deck was first publicized in the Gym Heroes Strategy Guide for the TCG in August of 2001. It rose in popularity when the idea of a combination between Erika's Dratini and Alakazam was realized and it became part of that format's metagame.
An ideal starting Active Pokémon is Erika's Dratini, with an Abra and a Chansey on the bench. The player would then want to evolve their Abra into Alakazam as soon as possible, possibly using Pokémon Breeder. Then, a player would probably want to Damage Swap any damage Erika's Dratini takes onto Chansey, letting Erika's Dratini's Tail Strike move do 10 or 30 damage per turn, depending on the result of the coin flip. After Chansey takes considerable damage, it should be returned to the player's hand using Scoop Up, and then placed back onto the bench to take more damage.
- Alakazam's Pokémon Power, Damage Swap, allows a player to move a damage counter on one of their Pokémon to another.
- Erika's Dratini's Pokémon Power, Strange Barrier, ensures that it only takes 10 damage for each time it is attacked.
- Chansey is typically never used as an Active Pokémon, but rather sits on the player's bench, having all of Erika's Dratini's damage counters Damage Swapped to it.
- Pokémon Trader is crucial to rooting needed Pokémon out of the player's deck.
- Scoop Up is used when Chansey is close to being knocked out to essentially remove all damage from it.
- Bill draws extra cards.
- Erika's Maids adds Erika's Dratini and Erika's Oddish from the deck to the hand.
- Full Heal is to help ensure that Strange Barrier does not stop working because Erika's Dratini is affected by a special condition.
- Gust of Wind is a power card to control the opponent's field and make sure they do not have an Active Pokémon that can negate Strange Barrier.
- Nightly Garbage Run is in case all a player's Chansey, Erika's Dratini, or Alakazam are knocked out, or if the deck will not work without a specific card that is in the discard pile.
- Pokémon Breeder speeds up the deck by allowing a player to skip the Kadabra evolution stage and go straight from Abra to Alakazam.
- Professor Oak is used to refresh a player's hand when they need something other than what they have.
- Double Colorless Energy is used to quickly attach energy to Erika's Dratini to allow it to use its Tail Strike attack.
- Psychic Energy is in the deck in case something goes wrong and Erika's Dratini is knocked out without other backup. A situation in which this could happen is if a card was played that negated Pokémon Powers.
- Full Heal Energy is to help ensure that Strange Barrier does not stop working because Erika's Dratini is affected by a special condition.
The deck list appearing below is not official, and 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.
Barrier Swap was banned from tournament play some time ago, due to the key cards, such as Alakazam and Erika's Dratini, being too old for Pokémon Organized Play use. The sets they were in were removed in a Rotation, so the cards were no longer allowed. While Alakazam and Chansey were later reprinted in the Legendary Collection set, the deck could not function without Erika's Dratini, and was never revived.