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Shiftry/Delcatty/Furret (referred to in this article as S/D/F) was a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype that saw success toward the end of the 2003–2004 season, after the release of EX Hidden Legends in June 2004. It lacks a more concise name; players of the era would likely refer to it simply as Shiftry, which is a bit of a misnomer (at least in a historical context) because the deck would not have functioned without the support provided by Delcatty and Furret. S/D/F saw extensive success at the Grinder before the 2004 World Championships, and William Hung piloted it in the main event, albeit to a poor finish. However, Kenneth Wong took the deck to a Top 8 finish.
The deck's strategy revolved around utilizing Delcatty, Furret, Desert Shaman, and a number of other supporting resources to manipulate the player's hand size to be the same as his or her opponent, thus increasing the damage output of Shiftry's Supernatural Power attack. Furret's Scavenger Hunt Poké-POWER was useful to decrease the player's hand size if the opponent's hand was small, and Delcatty's Energy Draw Poké-POWER was useful to increase the player's hand size if the opponent's hand was large. Because S/D/F relied on three types of Special Energy, Scavenger Hunt was also useful for rooting out the most useful Energy card at the right time. Energy Draw provided general consistency, particularly in combination with Oracle.
S/D/F's Supporter line was split between cards that provided optimal consistency (Steven's Advice and Oracle) and cards that equalized hand size (Copycat and Desert Shaman). Desert Shaman also functioned to disrupt the opponent's set up by dropping them down to four cards. Like most decks of the era, S/D/F relied on Dunsparce's Strike and Run attack to set up early in the game.
- Shiftry - Shiftry was the deck's main attacker. For a cost of , its Supernatural Power attack did 40 damage plus 40 more damage if the two players' hand sizes were equal. As an Evolution card, Shiftry was capable of utilizing Double Rainbow Energy and Boost Energy; as a Dark-type Pokémon, it was also capable of using Special Darkness Energy. Shiftry's Push Aside attack was also very useful; taking a Knock Out with Push Aside whenever possible could serve to severely disrupt the opponent's strategy.
- Delcatty - Delcatty's Energy Draw Poké-POWER was used to help the S/D/F player reach an opponent's high hand size, and for general consistency (particularly in combination with Oracle.
- Furret - Furret's Scavenger Hunt Poké-POWER was used to help the S/D/F player reach an opponent's low hand size, and to search the appropriate Special Energy out of the deck to attack with Shiftry.
- Dunsparce - Because the deck was reliant on a number of different Evolution lines, Dunsparce's Strike and Run attack was critical to get the necessary Basic Pokémon in play early in the game.
- Desert Shaman and Copycat - These two cards served similar purposes: for general consistency, and to equalize the players' hand sizes.
- Rare Candy - A staple in most Stage 2-based decks, Rare Candy allowed the user to get out Shiftry more quickly.
- Desert Ruins - Desert Ruins allowed S/D/F to better keep deal with the higher HP of Pokémon-ex.
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 list shown assumes an Expedition through EX Hidden Legends format. Potential later additions may be listed in the Possible tech cards section.
Possible tech cards
The following cards were often used in Shiftry/Delcatty/Furret in place of certain cards included in the above list.
- Mr. Briney's Compassion - Mr. Briney's Compassion could be used to return a damaged Pokémon to the player's hand, denying the opponent a Prize or preserving valuable resources (such as Special Darkness Energy attached to a Shiftry).
- Warp Energy - William Hung included one Warp Energy in his list, and advocated it as a "solid" and versatile Energy that could lead to a number of otherwise impossible plays.
- Town Volunteers or Fisherman - These two cards provided a means to retrieve Grass Energy discarded through Energy Draw.
- Professor Elm's Training Method - Given S/D/F's reliance on Evolutions, Professor Elm's Training Method provided a valuable method of search for a player concerned about the deck's ability to set up through draw consistency (such as Energy Draw and Steven's Advice) alone.
- Pokémon Reversal - Pokémon Reversal provided a means to pull up an opponent's Benched Pokémon, either to disrupt their strategy or to take an unexpected Knock Out.