Hello everyone! The Pokemon World Championships concluded last weekend and the results were pretty interesting! The World Championships is the culmination of the whole Pokemon season, and it was amazing to attend one again after being unable to attend for several years! With the results of the World Championships, I have had several thoughts about decks leading up to the rest of the Regional Championships which will occur in this format, and I’m going to examine one of those decks in this article.
Flying Pikachu VMAX dominated the World Championships this year with three out of the top four decks all featuring the Balloon Pokemon! However, the most interesting part of those decks were the two Arceus VSTAR / Pikachu VMAX lists which included Jolteon VIV and Memory Capsule.
A general consensus among my testing group going into the World Championships was that the Palkia VSTAR / Inteleon versus Arceus VSTAR / Pikachu VMAX matchup was around even, and while Pikachu VMAX hits Palkia VSTAR for weakness, Palkia has several tricks up its sleeve. These involve using Radiant Greninja or Cross Switcher to attack the Flying Pikachu VMAX before it has a chance to attack your Palkia VSTAR. Jolteon VIV throws a wrench into that plan by giving the Flying Pikachu VMAX deck another must-KO threat because Jolteon shuts down the entire Palkia deck.
With this, I started thinking of other ways to use Jolteon. During the World Championships, I played against a Palkia VSTAR / Jolteon VIV deck which was similar to the Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX deck but wasn’t intended to be such a hard counter to opposing Palkia VSTAR decks. After this, I wanted to try and experiment with various Jolteon VIV decks, mostly using Arceus VSTAR. While the obvious idea is to just play the deck which came second at the World Championships, I wanted to have access to some form of a built-in consistency engine.
If you watched the stream this weekend, the Arceus VSTAR / Pikachu VMAX / Jolteon VIV deck struggled against anything which didn’t use the Inteleon engine. Even though it has access to Starbirth, you often need to use it just to get the turn two Trinity Nova. While the deck was an excellent call for the World Championships, I wanted to try and find a deck which had a more solid matchup into other Arceus VSTAR decks. While Hisuian Decidueye VSTAR might be a solution for other Arceus VSTAR decks, it actually ends up being very inconsistent and difficult to use if you go second because your Hisuian Decidueye V is at risk of getting knocked out before it’s able to deal damage.
Hisuian Decidueye VSTAR is still strong enough to play in a vacuum, but since it did so well at the World Championships, I would expect to run into more people who decide to play Dunsparce FST. With Dunsparce FST rising in popularity, I wouldn’t expect Hisuian Decidueye VSTAR to be as potent as it was last weekend.
I tried to play a Bibarel BRS line in addition to Arceus VSTAR and Jolteon VIV. This made sense to me at first – you have Bibarel to see more cards and set up your other attackers. However, shoving Bibarel into the existing Arceus VSTAR / Jolteon VIV / Pikachu VMAX deck proved to not be fantastic. Having so many Basic Pokemon you need to find on the first turn puts a lot of pressure on your recourses and often forces you to decide between setting up your Bibarel and your Jolteon. I still wanted to play some kind of consistency engine in an Arceus VSTAR / Jolteon deck, which let me to revisiting the Mew CEL engine.
At the Melbourne Regional Championships, my group and I played an aggressive Palkia VSTAR deck which used Mew CEL and Trekking Shoes to keep itself running throughout the game. Usually, I think that Inteleon is stronger than relying on Mew and Trekking Shoes in a vacuum, but playing Mew and Trekking Shoes let’s us play Jolteon in our own deck to disrupt opposing Inteleon decks. I also didn’t feel like playing Flying Pikachu VMAX would be a good idea in this deck, as the Mew CEL engine tends to be very hungry for deck space and I didn’t expect to be able to play Arceus VSTAR, Jolteon, Flying Pikachu VMAX and Mew reasonably in the same deck. However, I still wanted to play an alternate attacker because Arceus VSTAR becomes a very predictable attacker later into the game. After some thinking, I came to Radiant Charizard.
Radiant Charizard is a very light attacker. We didn’t have a required Energy type in this deck yet, so it became easy to just make all the Basic Energy Fire. I also was able to include Magma Basin as a counter Stadium which incidentally powers up the Radiant Charizard throughout the game. With these concepts, I put together a deck list which is featured below.
Arceus VSTAR / Jolteon / Radiant Charizard
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 21 * 3 Arceus V BRS 165 * 2 Eevee EVS 125 * 3 Arceus VSTAR BRS 176 * 2 Crobat V DAA 182 * 1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117 * 1 Radiant Charizard PGO 11 * 2 Jolteon VIV 47 * 2 Diancie ASR 68 * 4 Mew CEL 11 * 1 Pumpkaboo EVS 76 ##Trainer Cards - 28 * 2 Magma Basin BRS 144 * 4 Boss's Orders RCL 200 * 2 Air Balloon SSH 156 * 2 Scoop Up Net RCL 207 * 2 Choice Belt ASR 211 * 4 Ultra Ball BRS 186 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 * 2 Professor's Research SSH 209 * 2 Memory Capsule VIV 155 * 4 Trekking Shoes ASR 156 ##Energy - 11 * 2 Capture Energy RCL 171 * 6 Fire Energy SMEnergy 2 * 3 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
This list went through a couple of iterations, but I’m pretty satisfied with this version. While the other Arceus VSTAR decks which play Jolteon aren’t usually that aggressive and typically rely on hitting for weakness, this deck can easily use a Boss’s Orders on turn two as well as a Choice Belt and Galarian Zigzagoon to hit for 220 and one-hit KO a basic Pokemon V. This list also plays two Diancie ASR as an answer to Mew VMAX.
While initially this deck seems to fold to Mew, there are games where you are able to race them by knocking out three Genesect V before they win the game. Diancie facilitates this game plan by allowing you to stall for a turn with one Diancie active and one on the bench, preventing your opponent from using Boss’s Orders or Escape Rope to attack your benched Pokemon. With this, I would often have enough time to accumulate three Boss’s Orders in my hand to go after the three Benched Pokemon V the Mew VMAX player had.
There are some cards which I considered including which ultimately didn’t make the cut in this list, and I’ll explain them now.
Cross Switcher was a card I wanted to include in this list for a long time but couldn’t find space for it in the end. Because it’s an Item card, you are able to find it off a Mysterious Tail and even use it after playing a Professor’s Research. However, this deck ended up being too tight on space for me to include Cross Switcher. I would only include the Switcher if I were able to play two Boss’s Orders in addition to four Cross Switcher, so it ended up being considered redundant.
Fourth Arceus V
Interestingly, I rarely lost games because of only having three copies of Arceus V when I was playing this deck. The main reason is that starting Arceus V as your active Pokemon isn’t that good because if you’re going second, it lets your opponent get a free attack into it and if you’re going first, you risk it getting knocked out by a turn one Meloetta out of Mew VMAX. Starting Mew or Diancie is much more preferable, as Mew finds you more cards and Diancie prevents your opponent from getting around it with Boss’s Orders.
While Raihan might make sense to include in a deck playing Radiant Charizard, it never ended up being necessary when I tried it. Even when I still played Lumineon V, Raihan always felt unnecessary and a worse supporter than Boss’s Orders or Professor’s Research. This is a proactive deck, so having a card as reactive as Raihan didn’t make much sense to me, as you would often rather be attacking their bench with Boss’s Orders or trying to see large amounts of cards with Professor’s Research. I never had issues getting the Energy on the Radiant Charizard by using Magma Basin and putting my spare attachments onto it, so ultimately Raihan was cut from this deck.
Hisuian Heavy Ball
Hisuian Heavy Ball is the 61st card in this deck. You have a lot of very important basic Pokemon which aren’t played in high numbers: the three Arceus V, one Radiant Charizard, two Eevee, two Diancie ASR, one Galarian Zigzagoon, etc. The reason why I decided against including the Hisuian Heavy Ball over something like the fourth Trekking Shoes is because you can’t search it out in this deck. While you do have Mysterious Tail, that only lets you reach slightly further than your current hand and is nowhere near close to the utility of something like the Shady Dealings Drizzile. If you have a game with this deck where you really need Hisuian Heavy Ball, there will always be times where you just don’t see the card. Because of its unreliability, I decided against including it in this deck
Thank you for reading! I think that Jolteon VIV is going to be a large portion of the metagame currently, so finding engines which can function properly without using Water Pokemon is very important. Give this deck a try; it’s a very nice feeling to knock out somebody’s V on the bench while restricting their abilities!