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Comparing Rapid Strike Urshifu Decks from the EUIC

So, the European International Championships happened last weekend. Almost everyone in the Pokemon community expected Mew VMAX and Arceus VSTAR to perform in the tournament, but in fact Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX took Frankfurt by storm with five different players using it making the top 8! In this article, I will go over the four (yes, four) different lists which made the top 8 at EUIC and examine their similarities and differences.

Before I go over each list individually, I’m first going to discuss all the cards which were shared between them.

 

 

Header - The Similarities

Shared Cards

##Pokémon - 12

* 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87
* 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
* 4 Sobble CRE 41
* 3 Drizzile SSH 56
* 1 Inteleon SSH 58

##Trainer Cards - 18

* 3 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 3 Level Ball AOR 76
* 3 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 1 Energy Search BLW 93
* 1 Boss's Orders RCL 189
* 1 Cheryl BST 123
* 1 Raihan EVS 152
* 1 Klara CRE 145
* 1 Pal Pad FLF 92

##Energy - 8

* 4 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7
* 3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140
* 1 Fighting Energy SMEnergy 6

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Don’t worry, I know this doesn’t add up to 60 cards! This is just a list of all the cards which are shared between the top 8 lists, and it really goes to show the diversity of Urshifu deck lists in the format right now, as there are 22 cards which were not uniform in that top 8!

Only four Supporters were shared between all the lists: Boss’s Orders, Cheryl, Raihan and Klara. I was very surprised to not see cards like Cynthia’s Ambition or Bird Keeper on this list as those cards tend to be crucial to this deck’s strategy. Also, interesting to see is the lack of uniformity between the search cards, with three Quick Ball, three Level Ball and three Evolution Incense. Interestingly, a card which was completely absent from all the lists was Ordinary Rod, which was played in Robin Schulz’s Regional winning list. Now, let’s talk about what was different between all the deck lists!

 

Header - Brander/Bokhari's List

First off, this is the list that Isaiah Bradner and Justin Bokhari both played in the top 8.

PTCGO Code

Pokémon (21)
4 Sobble CRE 41
4 Drizzile SSH 56
1 Inteleon SSH 58
1 Inteleon CRE 43
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
2 Mew CEL 11
2 Galarian Moltres EVS 93
1 Hoopa DAA 111
1 Medicham V EVS 83
1 Passimian CRE 88

Trainer (30)
1 Professor's Research BRS 147
1 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138
1 Bird Keeper DAA 159
1 Raihan EVS 152
1 Klara CRE 145
1 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Cheryl BST 123
1 Peonia CRE 149
4 Evolution Incense SSH 163
4 Quick Ball FST 237
3 Level Ball BST 129
3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
2 Energy Search SSH 161
1 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Pal Pad SSH 172
1 Choice Belt BRS 135
1 Air Balloon SSH 156
2 Training Court RCL 169

Energy (9)
5 Darkness Energy BRS D
3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140
1 Fighting Energy BRS F

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There are several aspects of this list which stand out from the others. First, the count of consistency Pokemon is increased, including the fourth copy of Drizzile SSH and having two copies of Mew CEL.

Mew (011/025)Jirachi (99/181)

Mew has seen almost no play recently, even though it is reminiscent of Jirachi TEU, a card which was heavily played. In this deck, Mew gives you a consistent pivot with Air Balloon to use when promoting a Pokemon after a knockout or a Bird Keeper. However, playing the extra consistency Pokemon required some sacrifices from the consistency items. They only played three copies of Level Ball and only three Scoop Up Net!

Level Ball (129/163)Scoop Up Net (207/192)

While I can understand the three Level Ball as they also had four Evolution Incense, I think playing three Scoop Up Net in this deck is incredibly low because it is so important to have access to as many as possible against almost every single matchup! While they have the Air Balloon as an extra switching card, they are missing Tower of Waters as they decided to play two Training Court instead. The main utility of Scoop Up Net in this deck is not to switch; it usually is to reset the abilities of your Drizzile SSH, Inteleon SSH and Inteleon CRE, especially as they also play Medicham V.

There are lines in certain matchups which become open with Inteleon CRE and Medicham V, but most notably those cards are useful against Rapid Strike Malamar, where you can set up to clear their entire board of Malamars in one turn which is devastating against that deck. They do have Passimian CRE in their list as well, which seems slightly out of place without Telescopic Sight. I would assume Passimian is played in this list to set up GMAX Rapid Flows for 150 on Lumineon V and Crobat V to later use to fulfill a Yoga Loop. They also decided to play an Escape Rope, which was never seen before EUIC. Escape Rope has turned out to be a very strong card in this deck in my testing and it’s utility with not just Cheryl but also to pivot into Mew definitely makes it a worthwhile inclusion.

Lastly, I would also like to discuss the Energy line of this list. The American players chose to play one less Energy than the other lists, choosing to play five Darkness Energy, three Rapid Strike Energy and one Fighting Energy. Only having a single copy of Fighting Energy seems very scary in games where you’re using Urshifu but having the double Training Court to recover it as well as Peonia to potentially pull it from the prize cards makes the low count seem less risky.

Overall, this is an interesting list, the extra consistency Pokemon and pivots in Mew help with setup and flow through the game but there are some scary counts such as the one Fighting Energy and 3 Scoop Up Net.

 

Header - Reklev's List

Tord Reklev also finished in top 8 with this list!

PTCGO Code

Pokémon (20)
4 Sobble CRE 41
3 Drizzile SSH 56
1 Inteleon SSH 58
1 Inteleon CRE 43
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
1 Remoraid BST 36
1 Octillery BST 37
1 Medicham V EVS 83
1 Galarian Moltres EVS 93
1 Hoopa DAA 111
1 Snorlax VIV 131
1 Manaphy BRS 41

Trainer (30)
2 Sonia CPA 65
1 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138
1 Bird Keeper DAA 159
1 Avery CRE 130
1 Raihan EVS 152
1 Klara CRE 145
1 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Cheryl BST 123
1 Peonia CRE 149
4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
4 Evolution Incense SSH 163
4 Level Ball BST 129
3 Quick Ball FST 237
2 Energy Search SSH 161
1 Pal Pad SSH 172
1 Choice Belt BRS 135
1 Tower of Waters BST 138

Energy (10)
4 Darkness Energy BRS D
3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140
2 Fighting Energy BRS F
1 Water Energy BRS W

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Tord’s list from this event is very interesting because it is focusing the most on non-Mew VMAX decks and trying to shore up the Arceus VSTAR and mirror matchups. Tord only played four copies of Darkness Energy as well as only one Galarian Moltres and one Hoopa, a very small package of Dark Pokemon. He played four copies of Scoop Up Net unlike the previous list but he is on three copies of Quick Ball, choosing to make his consistency sacrifice in that area. He also played Medicham, but this time chose not to include Passimian CRE, indicating to me that he is using Medicham more to follow up from attacks with Hoopa DAA instead of following up from a GMAX Rapid Flow.

Tord’s list also starts a trend we see through all the other lists: including a copy of Avery. Avery is very strong when combined with Rapid Flow to pressure opposing setups because supporting Pokemon on the bench have become increasingly more important in this format. Tord also played a 1-1 line of Octillery as a way to make fetching Rapid Strike Energy easier, however Octillery can be tough to set up sometimes so I’m not sure if Octillery will continue to be played in this deck.Tord also included two copies of Sonia, which is in stark contrast to the previous list’s zero. Sonia can be used as a setup supporter early in the game and it can be used to find Energy cards later on to help chain attacks with Galarian Moltres.

Tord’s Energy line was very interesting as well. He played four Darkness Energy, two Fighting Energy and one Water Energy. While he is sacrificing consistency by cutting a Darkness Energy, the copy of Water Energy allows Inteleon SSH to attack.

Inteleon (058/202)

Inteleon can be a very strong attacker in certain matchups as a single-Prize Pokemon with 160 HP, which is very difficult to knock out. This list also includes Snorlax VIV which can be used as a way to fill your hand up in the early game. The previous list chose to play Mew CEL in this slot. While Mew requires more deck space, it has better uses in the later turns so it still remains to be seen which option is superior.

Finally, this list chose to directly counter the mirror match with Manaphy BRS.

Manaphy (041/172)

Preventing bench damage is huge in the Rapid Strike Urshifu mirror match and Tord was able to leverage the use of Manaphy the entire event. Overall, this list focused on taking care of the non-Mew matchups more than the Mew matchup and it definitely paid off! 

 

Header - Torres's List

Meanwhile, Pedro Eugenio Torres played this list to the top 4!

PTCGO Code

Pokémon (21)
4 Sobble CRE 41
3 Drizzile SSH 56
1 Inteleon SSH 58
1 Inteleon CRE 43
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
1 Remoraid BST 36
1 Octillery BST 37
1 Medicham V EVS 83
1 Galarian Moltres EVS 93
1 Hoopa DAA 111
1 Snorlax VIV 131
1 Gossifleur SSH 20
1 Eldegoss EVS 16

Trainer (29)
2 Sonia CPA 65
1 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138
1 Bird Keeper DAA 159
1 Avery CRE 130
1 Raihan EVS 152
1 Klara CRE 145
1 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Cheryl BST 123
1 Peonia CRE 149
4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
4 Evolution Incense SSH 163
4 Level Ball BST 129
3 Quick Ball FST 237
1 Energy Search SSH 161
1 Pal Pad SSH 172
1 Echoing Horn CRE 136
1 Tower of Waters BST 138

Energy (10)
5 Darkness Energy BRS D
3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140
2 Fighting Energy BRS F

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Pedro’s list is similar to Tord’s in some ways, but differs in others. Pedro played the same line of Dark attackers, with one Galarian Moltres and one Hoopa. However, Pedro is playing five Darkness Energy and no Water Energy. Pedro also played several tech cards: Gossifleur SSH, Eldegoss EVS and Echoing Horn!

Gossifleur (020/202)Eldegoss (016/203)Echoing Horn (225/198)

Both the Gossifleur and Eldegoss have utility in this deck. First, Gossifleur is a solid starter with the Call for Family attack giving you essentially a fifth card to use Keep Calling with. It also evolves into Eldegoss, whose ability Cotton Lift gives you access to extra basic Energy throughout the game, which definitely seems useful at chaining Galarian Moltres attacks. The Echoing Horn in this list is also interesting, but currently I struggle to see a specific matchup where it would be useful. My best guess would be that he used it against Arceus decks which played Manaphy to take a knockout on another Arceus V to close out the game.

To accommodate for some of these inclusions, Pedro cut to one Energy Search, which would make this deck struggle a lot if it doesn’t set up Eldegoss. However, Energy Search would quickly become redundant with Eldegoss, so cutting one does make sense.

Pedro didn’t include Choice Belt like the other two lists either. Choice Belt seems like a very strong inclusion against Arceus VSTAR lists with Big Charm but it likely had to be cut here to accommodate for the extra tech cards.

Pedro shares a ton of aspects of his list with Tord with the Snorlax, the two Sonia, the Avery, the three Quick Ball and the 1-1 Octillery line. Overall, this list seems like it is making less concessions to Mew, but it definitely would suffer in the mirror because of the lack of Manaphy.

 

Header - Wada's List

Finally, Gustavo Wada played this list to become the two-time European International Champion!

PTCGO Code

Pokémon (18)
4 Sobble CRE 41
3 Drizzile SSH 56
2 Inteleon SSH 58
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87
2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
2 Galarian Moltres EVS 93
1 Galarian Moltres V CRE 97
1 Crobat V SHF 44
1 Snorlax VIV 131

Trainer (32)
2 Avery CRE 130
1 Professor's Research BRS 147
1 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Cheryl BST 123
1 Raihan EVS 152
1 Sonia CPA 65
1 Piers CPA 58
1 Klara CRE 145
4 Quick Ball FST 237
4 Level Ball BST 129
3 Evolution Incense SSH 163
3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
2 Escape Rope BST 125
2 Energy Search SSH 161
1 Energy Switch SSH 162
1 Energy Retrieval SSH 160
1 Pal Pad SSH 172
1 Choice Belt BRS 135
1 Tower of Waters BST 138

Energy (10)
5 Darkness Energy BRS D
3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140
2 Fighting Energy BRS F

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There are a ton of aspects to this list I really like, and a few which I find interesting. The first thing which stands out when looking at Gustavo’s list is the lack of Medicham V, Hoopa DAA and Inteleon CRE. This allowed him to streamline his Dark package with a second copy of Galarian Moltres as well as help his consistency by playing two copies of Inteleon SSH. Because of the lower one-ofs, this list chose to not include Peonia, instead choosing to rely on a more aggressive game plan with two Escape Rope, two Avery and Galarian Moltres V.

Escape Rope and Avery can be a devastating combo with GMAX Rapid Flow, which would tear apart opposing decks using the Inteleon engine. The inclusion of Galarian Moltres V makes a ton of sense given the more aggressive approach. Galarian Moltres V allows you to punish a Mew VMAX player who leaves their VMAX in the active in the early game, chain GMAX Rapid Flow with Energy Switch and counter Whimsicott VSTAR, which definitely helped out Gustavo in the finals! Galarian Moltres V can also have utility in the mirror match, however it is not as impactful as Manaphy in that specific matchup.

This list also included Crobat V and Piers!

Crobat V (044/072)Piers (069/072)

Piers gives you a consistent way to search out Rapid Strike Energy without having access to Raihan. It also allows you to grab Darkness Pokemon, so in conjunction with Crobat V, it acts as a draw Supporter! Obviously, Crobat V is a massive liability in the current format, but having the option for Piers to draw extra cards would definitely come up in a tournament as long as EUIC.

Gustavo also included one copy of Energy Retrieval, which would help significantly with using Galarian Moltres EVS and Boss’s Orders in the same turn. Interestingly, all the lists I’ve focused on today have cut one search item, and Gustavo’s is no exception with his list including three Evolution Incense. He also played three Scoop Up Net, which can be doable with having the second Inteleon SSH but still seems like a low number given how important having access to Scoop Up Net is in this deck. This list also includes Tower of Waters as the Stadium, which makes sense as it has the Energy Retrieval to supplement getting energy to use Galarian Moltres in the late game.

Overall, this list is extremely solid and has aggressive options for every matchup.

 

Header - Wrapping Up

When looking at all of these lists together, it goes to show how varied your options are for Rapid Strike Urshifu in this format. Some takeaways I would have for this tournament are to play Manaphy in any non-Mew deck right now, even Urshifu. Manaphy is an effective roadblock against Urshifu but not a hard counter, you can still lose to them even if you include Manaphy, so be careful!

Another takeaway I would have is to play around Galarian Moltres V. I’m certain multiple Mew VMAXs were taken by surprise when Gustavo placed that Galarian Moltres V on his bench and it can completely swing a game if left unchecked. If I were going to Indianapolis this weekend, I would be practicing against all four versions of Urshifu as they all have their merits in the metagame going forward. Good luck if you’re going!

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