Contrary Malamar Deck: Where Failure is Guaranteed

Hey hi howdy and hello, college is out and I’m back to scraping the bottom of the barrel for any semblance of a playable card. Contrary Malamar is one of the most disgusting cards ever to grace the TCG, and I, of course, decided to build around it. That said, let’s get that opponent flipping tails after tails with Contrary Malamar.

Contrary Malamar

To give you a gist of just what’s going on here, Malamar makes every coin your opponent flips magically land on tails. However, instead of using this power to set up a really bad casino, I’ve decided to harness it for a more sinister purpose. There are a few cards in the game that force your opponent to flip coins to do regular actions on their turn, but our Contrary Malamar has something to say about that.

In addition to Malamar’s Contrary ability, it also has the attack Conform. If you’re holding the same hand size as your opponent on use, Conform confuses the opponent’s Active Pokémon. This isn’t normally great, but since Confusion forces a coin flip to attack, your foe won’t be doing damage to you any time soon.

Contrary Malamar Combos

In addition to Contrary Malamar’s own Conform attack, there are a number of devious little combos on hand that make your opponent’s life that much more miserable. All of these involve coin flips, and all of those coin flips will be tails.



Ah, Dunsparce, everyone’s favourite snake-fairy-abomination. Normally a rather angelic creature, this Dunsparce holds the unique ability to confuse and retreat at the same time. This is the easiest method of obtaining the Confused Special Condition in the deck, and it combos famously with our build-around Contrary Malamar.

Dunsparce also carries with it the Down Draw attack, which while not part of the main combo, can provide useful draw support in an early game situation lacking other draw power.

Espeon ☆

Espeon Star

I couldn’t leave this list without an Eeveelution somewhere, so of course Espeon ☆ was the mon of choice. It has the ability to Confuse both Active Pokémon when played onto the Bench, which sounds bad, since you can’t attack with Malamar; however, we play an Inkay with the ability to Evolve from the deck only when it is Confused. In this way, it’s a win-win situation—for us at least.

Chaos Gym

Chaos Gym

This is it, the most evil card of all in the entire deck. Chaos Gym states that in order to play a Trainer card that is not a Stadium, that player must first flip a coin. If heads, the card is played as normal. If tails, the card is discarded and nothing happens. This is annoying at the best of times, but Malamar turns this card into a hard Trainer lock. It is advised to play this late in your turn, since it affects you as well, but that’s a small price to pay for unending pain on your opponent’s part.

Other Cards of Note



This ghostly jellyfish has the Ability Stickiness, which increases the Retreat Cost of your opponent’s Pokémon by one. When you stack multiple of these up at once, you can stick your foe in the Active Spot to prevent retreating, which clears Confusion.

Copycat / Judge

These two Supporters allow you to get an equal hand size to your opponent. This allows Contrary Malamar to activate its Conform attack’s effect and Confuse the Defending Pokémon, locking them out of attacking.


We deliberately play the Inkay from the XY Base Set for its Ability, Upside-Down Evolution. This allows it to Evolve from the deck while Confused, a condition that can either be satisfied by Espeon ☆ or its own attack, Confusion Wave.

Contrary Malamar Deck List

Pokémon – 23

4 Inkay XY
4 Malamar XYP
4 Dunsparce LM
1 Espeon ☆ POP5
4 Frillish NXD
4 Jellicent BCR
1 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X

Trainers – 28

2 Judge
2 Copycat
1 Guzma
1 Lysandre
1 Tate & Liza

4 Challenge!
4 VS Seeker
4 Dark Patch
1 Luxury Ball
1 Warp Point
1 Ordinary Rod
1 Dowsing Machine

4 Chaos Gym
1 Black Market ◇

Energy – 9

4 Darkness Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
1 Rainbow Energy

Deck Analysis

The game plan for this deck is to get Malamar out as soon as humanly possible and start forcing your opponent to flip some coins. Uxie and Uxie LV.X are here for draw power to facilitate that, as is Challenge!, which either searches you a full Bench of Basics or draws you two cards. We play a fairly sparse Supporter lineup, with Copycat, Judge, and Tate & Liza as our main draw power. We also run a playset of Dark Patch, to power up our Contrary Malamar, in addition to our DCE count. Lastly, we play a single Black Market ◇ to complement our Chaos Gyms, which denies your opponent prizes when they Knock Out your Dark-type Pokémon.

Overall the deck is pretty simple, but incredibly frustrating to play against. At this point in time, I still want to tool with it a bit more, and I might come out with a version 2.0 sooner rather than later after some more extensive testing. I think the draw supporter count might be a bit too low, and I also want to mess around with an Energyless mill/stall variant at some point.

Thanks so much for reading if you got this far! I love making fun decks like this when I get the chance, so feel free to subscribe if you’re interested in getting notified about these. I don’t post very often on account of the college workload, but when I get an idea like this one I have to share it. Again, thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time.

One thought on “Contrary Malamar Deck: Where Failure is Guaranteed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.