Hey everyone! It’s Isaiah back again, this time tackling one of the most complicated decks in our current Standard format and looking forward to why I think it’ll have an even stronger place in the meta once Brilliant Stars drops. So, let’s get into Galarian Weezing / Dark.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 20 * 2 Galarian Moltres EVS 93 * 1 Hoopa DAA 111 * 3 Koffing SHF 41 * 1 Sableye V SSH 120 * 2 Galarian Weezing SHF 150 * 4 Sobble CRE 41 * 4 Drizzile SSH 56 * 1 Inteleon SSH 58 * 2 Inteleon CRE 43 ##Trainer Cards - 33 * 3 Evolution Incense SSH 163 * 2 Training Court RCL 169 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 179 * 2 Energy Search SSH 161 * 2 Raihan EVS 152 * 2 Klara CRE 145 * 1 Air Balloon SSH 156 * 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165 * 4 Professor's Research SSH 178 * 3 Marnie SSH 169 * 4 Level Ball NXD 89 * 2 Boss's Orders RCL 154 ##Energy - 7 * 7 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
Honestly, the first time I saw this deck, I thought it was absolute trash. What even is a 3-2 Weezing line good for? Why do you play one Sableye? And how does it even win games? But, the more I played against the deck (and the more I lost to it), the more I realized just how powerful it was. Full disclosure, as I mentioned in the opening, this deck is hard to play. There are some general formulas that you can follow each game, but you’ll have to adapt to each hand and situation, especially against off-meta decks.
This deck is one of my favorite decks to play currently because of all its options. Some games you want to lead Weezing, others Hoopa is right, and sometimes it’s right to pass. This deck is at its best whenever the player knows it from the inside out and learning how to play it has been both challenging and enjoyable for me. Of course, not all decks with lots of options are good, but this one is! The consistency of Drizzile added with the power of Sableye V and Moltres makes for a devastating combination. Finally, this deck is so good because it’s almost entirely made of single-prize Pokemon. This means you can have a bad opening, fall behind a few prize cards, and still win the game.
I’ll start by explaining the role each Pokemon plays in the deck and then talk about how I would play this deck.
Weezing fills multiple unique roles for this deck. First off, Weezing is the perfect way to set up damage on your opponent’s Pokemon for Sableye V and Moltres. Neither of them can OHKO most Pokemon in format, so getting this damage is essential.
However, Weezing does much more than just set up damage. While it does do a crazy amount of damage for one energy (if your opponent doesn’t find a Switch, you’ll end up doing 120 damage in a single turn), it’s just as useful for slowing down your opponent’s setup. Weezing completely stops Inteleon decks, Single Strike decks, Genesect V, you name it! Almost every deck in format right now starts to fall apart without abilities. Combine slowing your opponent down with an insane attack, and Weezing is perfect for this deck.
As if this wasn’t good enough, Koffing has the most broken attack of all time on an evolving basic: Ascension! Now, you can lock your opponents on your first turn, going second. With the turn one supporter rulemaking, turn ones much weaker, this play can be game-winning by itself.
Moltres is your big finisher. You’ll almost always end up scraping the last few prizes of the game with a Moltres attack or two. At the beginning of the game, Moltres is awful – three energy for 20 damage is literally worse than the attacks on most Magikarp. However, Moltres is precisely what this deck needs when the game is close to finishing. For only one manual attachment, Moltres hits 270 damage and should be able to finish off almost anything your opponent throws at you.
In addition to the raw power, what makes Moltres shine is Klara. This card allows you to pick up Moltres from your discard pile and slam it right back down. Thanks to Klara, the otherwise almost impossible task of chaining Moltres attacks is easy. Finally, Moltres is so good because it OHKO’s Mew VMAX once they’ve taken three prize cards. This means that you can go the entire game with only taking one prize card against Mew VMAX and then win through two Moltres attacks on the final two turns.
Honestly, at first, I thought Sableye V was garbage. I didn’t see the point, and I assumed I could use Moltres for the same purpose. Then, I tried cutting it, and I realized how needed it was.
Sableye V is the only way you can put pressure on your opponent. Without Sableye V, the turn two Weezing that does 80 or Hoopa that does 90 or even Quick Shooting for 20 is next to meaningless. However, with Sableye V, you can turn those insignificant amounts of damage into huge KOs. Sableye V allows you to take prizes on Vs and VMAXs in the early game so that you can reliably finish off the game with Moltres. Without these prizes from Sableye V, it’s often difficult to finish off the game because Moltres can’t one-shot VMAX Pokemon like Sableye V can.
Once again, the Trainers make the Pokemon effective. Thanks to Raihan, the two energy attack cost on Sableye V can be filled in one turn, meaning you never have to leave Sableye V on the bench unprotected.
Hoopa is included because it can do minor chip damage to set up KOs easier and more consistently than Weezing. While Weezing has a much higher damage ceiling, they can also have a Switch and just remove the Poison entirely. Hoopa guarantees 90 damage and puts almost everything in format within range of being KO’d. Hoopa is also important because it takes care of Meloetta vs. Mew. This forces your opponent back into attacking with Mew VMAX, which feeds you easy prize cards!
And here it is, the reason the deck works so well. The Inteleon line is the backbone of this deck and what carries you through games. Quick Shooting damage allows you to set up KOs with Sableye V, and Shady Dealings makes sure you can string attacks multiple turns in a row. And, once again, the basic (Sobble this time) has an amazing attack that helps you get set up each game.
As if this weren’t enough, this line is even more effective thanks to the four Scoop Up Net this deck plays. Net allows you to use Drizzile repeatedly and can even give you access to two Shady Dealings Inteleon in the same turn! Inteleon provides the deck with the consistency it needs to be competitive. I’m confident that even when more draw options such as Bibarel and Luminion V get printed, Inteleon is still your best bet.
30 more damage to V’s? Yes, please!
Well, that’s the deck! Because I explained most of the unique trainers within that section, I’m going to move on to how you should play the deck.
- First off, always go second. This is probably my biggest takeaway from playing this deck. Going first really restricts your options. You can’t draw many cards, you can’t bench much unless you get lucky and you don’t need to attach energy. Going second, you get to draw more cards, and you get the advantage of using one of your powerful basic’s attacks. In particular, I plan to go second and use Keep Calling in almost every matchup. Occasionally (such as vs. Single Strike), it can be better to use Ascension to lock them out of abilities on turn one, but most of the time, Keep Calling is what you should use.
- With four Sobble and three Koffing, you have over a 77 percent chance to start with an excellent basic Pokemon that you want to attack with on turn one. That’s insane! And, if that wasn’t enough, you’ll start Sableye V less than five percent of your games, so in almost every single game you play, you’ll be able to get a good starter or Scoop Up Net into one. Going second honestly changed my entire perception of this deck, and I have no doubt it’s optimal.
- Saying this, always start Sobble. You want to Keep Calling, so you should play into that. If you can’t start Sobble, Koffing is the second-best, followed by Hoopa, Moltres, and finally Sableye V.
- After you use Keep Calling, you generally want to go into Weezing. Weezing slows them down, and puts a ton of damage on board
- Make sure you know what the best plays for each turn are at the start of your turn. This is important for every deck, but with so many Drizzile and Scoop Up Net, this is especially important – there are decisions around every corner. If you have a clear goal in mind when starting the turn, it will be a lot easier to accomplish what you need to, instead of re-evaluating the situation with every card you draw.
- This is also a general thing, but prize mapping is crucial with this deck. You need always to be thinking about where your following prizes will be coming from and how you can position yourself to get them. Do you need to attack with Weezing? Do you need to attack with Hoopa? Do you need to KO with Sableye V? Whatever it is, make sure you have a reason for doing it.
- Klara is usually better to save until you can use it to get back Moltres, but sometimes it can be beneficial to recover additional copies of Weezing – for example, against most one prize decks, Single Strike and Ice Rider decks, Weezing is good enough that you want to recover more copies to keep your opponent ability locked.
- I would almost always bench Moltres, even if you only get to attach one energy to it or even none. If you attach a single Energy then you can always use Raihan to power it up, and if you don’t have any Energy, then you can still use Scoop Up Net to pick it up and use it later!
This deck’s claim to fame is the Mew VMAX matchup it boasts., and it doesn’t disappoint. The combination of early pressure with Hoopa and OHKOs with Moltres and Sableye V is too much for Mew to deal with.
You want to start this matchup by using Keep Calling. Using Weezing on turn one may seem tempting to shut down Genesect V, but honestly, that barely ever does anything. They will attach energy and KO your Weezing, and then you’ll be in a bad spot. Not only is your Weezing dead, but you will barely have anything else on your bench to back it up. Keep Calling makes sure you can attack throughout the game and sets you up for victory.
If they use Meloetta, you want to respond with a Hoopa KO immediately.
This single prize is enormous for you and means you can finish off the game by KOing a Mew VMAX and a Genesect V. Past this initial KO, you should generally waste time by letting them KO Weezing while you set up your benched Pokemon. Giving them Weezing is good because it slows them down, meaning that they’ll have trouble effectively using Psychic Leap or finding Boss’s Orders. Once they get down to three prizes, it’s time for the real attackers to come out. You need to attack with Moltres twice to win from this point in the game. As long as you can do that, you should cruise to a victory. One thing to keep in mind is that Mew generally plays no hand disruption, so if you have Moltres and multiple energy in your hand, it’s often better to hold your hand instead of playing a Research or Marnie.
Additionally, Quick Shooting is pretty useless in this matchup, so you should leave your Drizzile unevolved so you can use Shady Dealings Inteleon multiple times a game with Scoop Up Net. Finally, keep in mind Psychic Leap at all times. There can be situations where you think you’ve checkmated your opponent, but they can Psychic Leap away and leave themselves without a VMAX on board. There might be turns where you have to take KOs that you could otherwise wait to take (for instance, if you have three prizes left and your opponent has two – you need to take a KO this turn or else they can Psychic Leap and prevent you from winning the game on the next turn). Keep track of your resources set up damage, and this matchup should be a breeze.
Single Strike: 65/35
Another top deck, another great matchup for us. Single Strike is favored, in part because Weezing gives you so much time to set up. This is one of the few matchups where I would choose to go first. They can’t KO you on turn one, and getting the turn two Ascension is imperative. If you can get the Weezing active early, you can not only shut down their energy acceleration but also their primary form of gust! With their deck shut down, your Weezing should sit in the active for a while and do quite a bit of damage to their board. I would also set up your second Weezing for whenever the first one goes down because you don’t want to give up ability lock until you have to.
Sableye V is huge in this matchup because Moltres won’t one-shot until they have only one or two prize cards remaining. In addition, they damage themselves with Houndoom, making a Sableye KO a breeze! Sometimes, I’ll even use Sableye V, Klara for it, and then use it again for my last two prize cards. However, Moltres is no slouch itself and can do enough damage to kill anything by the end of the game. Quick Shooting Inteleon is really good in this matchup, so I would focus on evolving into that one if you can. Often, I set up damage over two or three turns – for example, I’ll do 270 to a VMAX and then use Inteleon to kill it over a few turns. Finally, remember that your opponent does play hand disruption, so if you can leave a Sobble unevolved on your bench at all times. This way, every out to Drizzile in your deck is an out to a draw supporter.
Jolteon VMAX: 30/70
Honestly, there’s no way around it: this matchup is awful. Even when I played Manaphy to test it out, I still lost. Their deck is simply too fast! They will kill your Drizzile early and never stop the pressure throughout the game. I honestly think that your best chance in this matchup is to go for an early Weezing and hope that it sticks them with a dead hand.
Any One Prize Deck: 65/35
I lumped all these decks together because there are too many to talk about. Wormadam, Mad Party, Rapid Strike Malamar, you name it! All of these matchups are very easy. Just stick a Weezing active, hit them with some Severe Poison, and you should get far ahead in the prize trade before they can get anything set up. After your Weezing goes down, you can keep up through Quick Shooting, Hoopa, and Moltres.
Why do I expect this deck to be good once Brilliant Stars drops? First off, Mew VMAX will be the best deck in the format, and this deck will still be very favored against it. That fact alone makes it worth considering. However, I think this deck is well-positioned into the coming meta even past that. Single prize matchups are favored, Single Strike is favored, Arceus decks are favorable (shutting off their VSTAR power crushes their consistency) and Entei should be favorable (the 20 damage from the stadium makes a world of difference). With Jolteon VMAX and Urshifu VMAX taking a hit from the rise of Mew and printing of Manaphy, this deck is positioned to take the format by storm.
I hope you all enjoyed this article! This deck might not make sense at first, but I promise if you take the time to learn it, it’ll be worth it. As always, if you have any questions, please comment below or message me on Twitter @IsaiahBradner.