Hello CFB Pro readers! Battle Styles is finally here and if you’re keeping up with the online chatter surrounding the set, I believe it’s undeniable how exciting this new set is – the hype surrounding it is here to stay. There are brand new archetypes in the metagame, comebacks of older ones, huge numbers in the online tournament scene and tons of innovative ideas being tried.
It is still extremely early to call what exact decks will be considered tier one and how things will evolve (it has been just less than a week). There are some very clear fan favorites at the very least for now!
Four out of the six Pokemon VMAX in the set have already established themselves as solid plays, with Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX being the most widely played in a variety of combinations. The sole existence and popularity of this card is basically forcing everyone to include a copy of Bench Barrier Mew in their deck. Combine this with a multitude of pairings, it’s becoming harder to cover for every single option.
##Pokémon - 17 4 Minccino SHF 166 4 Cinccino SHF 167 3 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 153 3 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88 1 Mew UNB 76 1 Jirachi-GX UNM 79 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 195 ##Trainer Cards - 32 4 Marnie SSH 200 3 Cheryl BST 159 3 Boss's Orders RCL 189 2 Professor's Research SSH 201 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 4 Level Ball BST 181 3 Switch SUM 160 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 196 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163 2 Air Balloon SSH 213 1 Pal Pad SSH 172 1 Karate Belt UNM 201 1 Escape Rope BUS 163 ##Energy - 11 4 Rapid Strike Energy BST 182 4 Fighting Energy GRI 169 3 Capture Energy DAA 201
To name a few of these, there’s the pure Rapid Strike archetype combination with Urshifu VMAX and Octillery. The most successful one so far is the Cinccino version, resembling the old Zoroark-GX / Golisopod-GX combination. That deck and this one let a player use non-draw Supporters more frequently each turn like Boss’s Orders or the new Cheryl. Finally, the same Urshifu sometimes gets combined with Dragapult VMAX – the two together cover each Weakness quite effectively. Also, the Bench damage from Max Phantom combines nicely with G-Max Rapid Flow in setting up KOs and eliminating Mew.
##Pokémon - 14 3 Dragapult V RCL 92 3 Dragapult VMAX RCL 93 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 153 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88 2 Crobat V DAA 104 1 Mew UNB 76 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19 ##Trainer Cards - 34 4 Professor's Research SSH 178 4 Marnie SSH 169 4 Boss's Orders RCL 154 4 Switch SSH 183 4 Quick Ball SSH 179 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206 2 Fan of Waves BST 127 2 Escape Rope BST 125 2 Air Balloon SSH 156 1 Tool Scrapper RCL 168 2 Power Plant UNB 183 ##Energy - 12 4 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140 4 Psychic Energy 5 4 Horror Psychic Energy RCL 172
Single Strike Urshifu VMAX has seen a decent amount of play as well – G-Max One Blow is incredibly powerful and can OHKO literally anything in the metagame with the support of Single Strike Houndoom to power up. However, the Single Strike strategy is a lot less versatile and thus it’s much easier to know exactly what to expect from it; it becomes very one-dimensional. The deck is powerful, but it struggles to close out games. Houndoom is necessary, but it doesn’t offer the consistency boost that Octillery does. Nonetheless, this deck is a force to be reckoned with and you should expect it to be an important part of the metagame in the coming months.