Hello again readers, I’m back with you today to talk about another card from Battle Styles that’s piqued my interest. Today’s article is a bit shorter than usual, intended more as a spotlight on the deck itself, not as an in-depth guide.
As I have mainly been playing Centiskorch since its release back in Darkness Ablaze, I tend to look at new sets with the thought, “What cards could cause me problems if I continue playing Centiskorch?” The last two sets, VIV and SHF, caused no real problems for me. However, Battle Styles is bringing a few different things to the game.
The first of which is a healing card, in the form of Cheryl. Until Battle Styles, the best form of Standard healing was Mallow & Lana, which really isn’t the most impressive healing card. Now that healing is an option, my brain has shifted to trying to extend the game rather than blitz through everything by praying for some good luck. Another thing that longer games would result in is less Crushing Hammer variance, something which I think all of us could celebrate. Cheryl has the same cost as Max Potion of the past, so it’s limited to decks that can attach multiple Energy per turn, move attached Energy around freely, or decks that attack for a low Energy cost. Today, I’m going to be talking about a deck that abuses the second of those options.
I was sitting around scrolling through my Twitter feed on the day that this card was revealed and when I read everything it did, I immediately started texting a few of my friends about how broken this card is. I honestly can’t remember if Corviknight or Bronzong was revealed first, but the synergy between these two cards is so blatantly obvious. But what makes Corviknight better than the other two Metal type VMAXs that have already been released? There’re a few different answers to that question.
By far the best answer is that Corviknight VMAX has a built in Stealthy Hood-like Ability that literally cannot be turned off by anything in Standard. Lucmetal / Zacian with Stealthy Hood to make the Centiskorch matchup manageable was something that popped up a few months ago. That didn’t really do anything to make Fire matchups much better, because you needed to find the Stealthy Hood. However, when the Stealthy Hood is literally built into the card, it’s so much easier to cause Centiskorch some problems.
The next best answer to the posed question is that Corviknight is just better. It does 240 damage for three Energy, with an attack eerily similar to Zacian V’s Brave Blade. It also has something that no Metal-type Pokemon has had for at least 11 years, probably more: a Retreat Cost of zero. What does it matter if you can’t use your attack the following turn if you can just retreat for free? You don’t even have to waste your Pokemon Tool slot on an Air Balloon or anything. Simply put, in every aspect aside from total HP, Corviknight VMAX completely outranks its competition.
I already know that some of you are going to dismiss Corviknight as a worse Zacian V deck. As I have already stated, my goal was to have a deck that successfully prolonged games by using Cheryl to heal. Turbo Zacian can’t do that. I want a deck that is less about drawing everything I need and more about winning the war of attrition. This deck stemmed from the “Is Centiskorch going to have problems with this set?” mindset and has grown into something that I think is genuinely very good. To my knowledge, there has almost never been an Energy movement Ability that hasn’t been at least somewhat playable. Bronzong being printing was something that genuinely surprised me because of how much Metal-type Pokemon didn’t need even more support. Even better, it doesn’t have the Basic Energy only caveat that Weavile-GX has, so Coating Metal Energy is free to move as well.
Turbo Zacian likely struggles with Centiskorch and other Fire decks to some extent, but I think Corviknight has a much better chance of getting over the hurdle presented by those decks. Having a Stealthy Hood Ability, 320 HP without Metal Goggles, and no Weakness with Coating Metal Energy makes Corviknight the most likely to beat a Fire deck. What’s more, it gets to abuse the incredibly broken engine that Metal decks have been given. You get to play Zacian V as both a support Pokemon and as an alternate attacker to deal with things like Zamazenta. Here’s the list: