From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Ferocious Commons Deck is a type deck found in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Fossil Expansion Player's Guide. The deck is classified as one of the tournament winning decks, however, it contains more common and easy to obtain cards than the other listed decks.
CONCEPTS: It's lean. It's mean. And it's cheap! All the best firs turn attacking common cards in the game have been thrown together in maximum quantities to make up "Ferocious Commons". Combined with all the disruptive trainer cards necessary to hurt the opponent as much, and as fast as possible, this deck should earn plenty of respect for its Pokémon trainer. And due to its simplicity in construction and strategy it can be great fun for beginning players to start with.
TIPS FOR PLAYING: Rattata, Staryu, and Machop are all willing and able to attack for 20 damage on the first turn. There is no other deck where the "who goes first" coin flip is so important! These little monsters need to be taking the lead in the race to deal damage. Only Rattata will see minor support from an evolution card as the game progresses. However, do not expend additional resources on Raticate as Hyper Fang is so frequently less useful than the Energy cards that it takes to power it. Just keep plugging away with 20 base damage per round from each of these monsters. Don't slow up. Each of your attackers should stay in battle to the bitter end!
Of course, retreating to avoid a bad match-up in weakness for yourself, or preferably making the most of a bat match-up is perfectly acceptable here. "Ferocious Commons" is extremely low in its energy consumption, so a minor discard here and there for retreat purposes is acceptable. But only when the retreating Pokémon is replaced with another fighting machine ready to attack. Every single round needs to end with you dealing at least 20 damage.
This deck was designed to wield the fastest possible attacking deck with the fewest number of expensive cards. The only four rare cards in this deck are all Super Energy Removals and these could be easily replaced with something less valuable. Recycle would easily fit the theme here with its ability to put those Energy Removals or PlusPowers back on top of your deck pile for quick reuse.
Professor Oak, Bill, and Energy Search all give you card advantage. Card advantage is a very simple concept: If you have more cards than your opponent can deal with, you will have the upper hand. Bill is never a bad draw. Using 4 Bill cards increases your normal one-card draw for that turn into two cards, and giving you more options in your hand to work with. Also, 4 Bill in a deck effectively reduces the deck size to 56 cards and increases the probability that every random draw will be a good one. Energy Search is included here for all these same reasons. Every copy reduces your "random" deck size as well as wielding the exact energy card needed in any situation. And of course Professor Oak provides card advantage like no other card can. It is potentially the most powerful card in the game. In this "Ferocious Commons" deck, Professor Oak should always be used as soon as you have depleted all options in your hand. Don't worry about which few cards you may be saving for some future event. Use Professor Oak—better cards are sure to come!
PlusPower and Gust of Wind are included as "surprise" cards. Try to catch the opponent off-guard when you use them. PlusPower is remarkably useful during the early rounds of a match. Its great to see another player's face when four PlusPower on a Rattata dishes out as much as 60 damage on the first round. And if this 60 damage is best dumped onto one of your opponent's benched monsters, use the mighty Gust of Wind to invite them to the party first!
PITFALLS: Be careful to use your trainer cards wisely and choose targets that have the potential to create the most problems for this deck. There is no depth to "Ferocious Commons". Typically, if you can't force an opponent completely out of Pokémon in-okay and finish the game early, you will see your Pokémon faint faster than you can draw new ones out of your deck. Again, Professor Oak will be key to your strategy. If your hesitate to toss your existing hand when victory is potentially only one attack away, the opportunity may very well be lost for good.
Damage Swap decks are the death of "Ferocious Commons". Luckily, most of these decks are pretty darn slow, and they will rarely be able to get an Alakazam or even a Slowbro into play to whisk away your attacks. If your opponent does manage to get one of these monsters out, use a quick Gust of Wind to bring them forward and introduce them to the business end of Raticate!