Charizard archetype (TCG)

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Charizard and Ninetales
Types used Fire
Major cards Charizard, Ninetales, Typhlosion Prime
Era 2010-2011

Charizard was a semi-competitive deck archetype in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Upon the release of the Arceus expansion in late 2009, players recognized Charizard as a potentially decent attacker and attempted to make a deck around it. It was moderately successful, placing well at a number of small tournaments over the course of its existence. Probably the most notable reason for the Charizard archetype's playability was its strong draw engine based around Ninetales from HeartGold & SoulSilver, giving it above-average consistency.


Charizard's straightforward strategy relied on getting as many Charizard, Ninetales, and Typhlosion Prime in play as quickly as possible. The deck did not have a designated starter Pokémon, and Unown Q was capable of rectifying any unfavorable start. Since Ninetales provided the deck's drawpower with its Roast Reveal Poké-Power, a Charizard player would often aim to get at least one Ninetales in play before expending resources to get up Charizard or Typhlosion Prime. From there, Charizard was capable of knocking out most Pokémon in one or two hits with Fire Wing or Burning Tail, and Typhlosion Prime's Afterburner made it easy to keep energy in play and swarm attackers.

Key Cards

  • Charizard - Charizard's viability as an attacker stemmed from its Fire Formation Poké-Body, which made Charizard's attacks deal 10 more damage for each Fire-type Pokémon on the player's bench. With a bench full of Fire-type Pokémon, Fire Wing did 80 damage for only Fire, and Burning Tail did 130 damage for FireFireColorless.
  • Typhlosion Prime - Burning Tail, Charizard's second attack, required the player using it to discard one Fire Energy attached to Charizard. Typhlosion Prime's Afterburner Poké-Power could reattach that Energy to any Pokémon in play at the cost of placing one damage counter on it. Ninetales' Roast Reveal Poké-Power, and Junk Arm in later variants of the deck, also could discard Energy for later attachment through Afterburner. Typhlosion Prime could also provide a powerful backup attacker in a pinch, with Flare Destroy. Although Flare Destroy did less damage than Burning Tail for the same energy cost, it had the added effect (situationally) of discarding an energy card attached to the Defending Pokémon. Against decks without energy acceleration, this could make it difficult for an opponent to build up enough energies to attack.
  • Ninetales - Main article: Roast Reveal engine
  • Pokémon Collector/Roseanne's Research - These two Supporters served essentially the same purpose, allowing the Charizard player to search Basic Pokémon out of their deck. Since the archetype needed at least three different evolved Pokémon in play to function ideally (Charizard, Typhlosion Prime, and Ninetales), getting their respective Basic Pokémon in play quickly was vital.
  • Rare Candy - The Charizard archetype focused primarily on two Stage 2 Pokémon into play. Rare Candy provided a means to do this more quickly. Since Charizard existed prior to the rules change at the advent of the 2011-2012 modified format, it was possible to utilize Rare Candy to evolve on a player's first turn. This allowed for occasional donks with Fire Wing.
  • Broken Time-Space - Broken Time-Space served much the same purpose in the deck as Rare Candy. Rather than skipping an evolution stage, though, it permitted a player to evolve multiple times in a single turn.

Typical decklist

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.

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Charizard Fire Rare Holo
Charmeleon Fire Uncommon
Charmander Fire Uncommon
Typhlosion Prime Fire Rare Holo
Quilava Fire Uncommon
Cyndaquil Fire Common
Ninetales Fire Rare Holo
Vulpix Fire Rare Holo
Uxie Psychic Rare
Unown Q Psychic Uncommon
Roseanne's Research Su Uncommon
Bebe's Search Su Uncommon
Pokémon Collector Su Uncommon
Professor Oak's New Theory Su Uncommon
Rare Candy T Uncommon
Pokémon Communication T Uncommon
Expert Belt T Uncommon
Luxury Ball T Uncommon
Night Maintenance T Uncommon
Broken Time-Space St Uncommon
12× Fire Energy Fire E

Possible Tech Cards

  • Junk Arm - After its release, Junk Arm was considered a staple in Charizard, along with most other archetypes. However, the above variant does not include Junk Arm, as it is based on an early version of the deck. Junk Arm's extreme usefulness stemmed not only from its ability to retrieve any Trainer card from the player's discard pile, but also because it allowed the player to discard any two cards from their hand. Typhlosion Prime was the deck's main source of energy acceleration and only functioned if there were Fire Energy in the discard. Thus, by giving the player the option to discard Fire Energy, Junk Arm indirectly contributed to the deck's ability to attach additional Energy quickly.
  • Poké Healer + - Because both of Charizard's attackers (Charizard and Typhlosion Prime) had a high amount of hit points, they were unlikely to be knocked out in one attack. Thus, Poké Healer + would often have the opportunity to heal a large amount of damage off one of them. This in turn allowed for more attacks before a Pokémon was knocked out.