That’s right, you read that title correctly. Eternatus is back!
Ignore me if you want, but while I was mulling over potentially untouched decks in this Standard format, Eternatus VMAX stood out like a sore thumb. The deck could one-shot everything in format with ease! Since the beginning, I have been an Eternatus lover, so when I thought this card had potential, I set out to make a list.
The first thing that I needed to accomplish was making a list that I was confident could beat Mew VMAX. As funny as it seems, Mew VMAX is a close matchup for Eternatus. If they go first, they can get a turn two Boss KO on your Eternatus V and make it difficult for you to respond with a KO. There were two things I knew had to happen for this deck to boast a good Mew VMAX matchup:
- It needed to be able to get two non-V Pokemon down when going first (and have one in the active)
- This removes all ability for Mew to take a two-prize KO on the first turn.
- It needed to slow down Mew VMAX when going second.
- This would (hopefully) make it difficult for Mew VMAX to get a two-prize KO and allow you to get ahead in the prize trade.
With these goals in mind, I was scrolling through cards on PTCGO when I realized a deck that could do exactly what I wanted! So I threw together an initial list, played a bunch of games on ladder and settled on the following list:
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 22 * 4 Crobat V DAA 104 * 4 Eternatus V DAA 116 * 2 Galarian Moltres V CRE 97 * 2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117 * 4 Koffing SHF 41 * 2 Galarian Weezing SHF 42 * 4 Eternatus VMAX DAA 117 ##Trainer Cards - 31 * 4 Tower of Darkness BST 137 * 4 Ultra Ball FLF 99 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 179 * 3 Air Balloon SSH 156 * 2 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 4 Professor's Research SSH 178 * 2 Marnie SSH 169 * 3 Great Ball SUM 119 * 2 Energy Switch SSH 162 * 3 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 ******
Galarian Weezing is the perfect way to slow down Mew VMAX just enough for you to win. Going first, you just need to get a Koffing in the active and on the bench to play around Escape Rope. Going second, you want to use Ascension into Galarian Weezing. This should prevent them from popping off and getting the KO on your benched Eternatus V. Obviously, past the first few turns of the game, your deck trades extremely favorably with Mew. Eternatus VMAX just has too much HP – Mew needs all five damage modifiers to one-shot an Eternatus, something that is almost impossible to do. Meanwhile, your Eternatus VMAX will slice through their attackers like butter!
Past Mew VMAX, the deck has tools to handle everything in format. Weezing takes care of one prize decks (Mad Party, Malamar, Single-Prize Dark Box, Wormadam, etc.), and Eternatus VMAX hits huge numbers on VMAXs and Arceus VSTAR. Put these two together, and the deck has a real chance.
Four – Four Eternatus VMAX
You will never find me playing only three Eternatus V or VMAX in a list. You need an Eternatus V on turn one and Eternatus VMAX on turn two. Unlike most VMAX’s, drawing Eternatus VMAX at the beginning of the turn makes a huge difference. If you draw Eternatus VMAX at the start of your turn, you will likely be able to bench more Darkness Pokemon (and thus do more damage) than if you had benched it at the end of the turn. Especially in a deck playing a heavy Great Ball count, having high counts of your important Pokemon is necessary.
Four – Two Galarian Weezing
You want Galarian Weezing in your active spot whether you go first or second, so of course, you want to play four Koffing. You only use Weezing in the first few turns of the game in most matchups, so playing two is a fine count. You need a Weezing to Ascension into, but you aren’t worried about chaining them throughout the game.
Two Galarian Moltres V
Galarian Moltres V is necessary to allow you to attack after your Galarian Weezing dies. Moltres puts a second energy on your board, which you can then energy switch on to Eternatus VMAX to get an attack off. However, Moltres is not only good as a support Pokemon. Moltres is a great self-sustaining attacker in many matchups, and your best way to respond KO a Zapdos V. Finally, Moltres V allows you to attack if you don’t get an energy attachment on turn one. This might not seem important (and it doesn’t happen that often), but in such a fast-paced meta, having the additional out to attack can keep you in games.
Two Galarian Zigzagoon
With a full bench and Choice Belt, Eternatus VMAX maxes out at 300 damage. This is 10 damage short of OHKOing an Arceus VSTAR with a Big Charm and 20 damage short of KOing Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX. How can we fix this problem? Galarian Zigzagoon of course! If the ability weren’t good enough, Zigzagoon is also just good because it is an additional one-prize Pokemon you can bench when going first against Mew and a Dark Pokemon to add damage to Dread End! Zigzagoon is perfect for this deck and necessary in any format where 310 HP Pokemon are popular.
Four Crobat V
This one’s pretty easy – draw, draw, draw! Eternatus is a deck that wants a lot of cards in the first few turns, and Crobat is your primary way of finding those cards. You want to play a Crobat V every turn of the game if you can, so of course, you’ll play four.
Two Energy Switch
Energy Switch allows your Galarian Moltres V to act as a “Dark Patch” that can attach Darkness Energy anywhere. This is great for pulling off surprise attacks, retreating or even just setting up future attackers. Specifically, Energy Switch lets you stay in the game if you have to use Ascension on turn one and your Koffing dies. With so many solid uses for the card, there’s no question it deserves a spot.
Four Tower of Darkness
Tower of Darkness? In a deck with zero other Single Strike cards? Yup! Tower of Darkness is the best Stadium for this deck because it thins itself out from your hand with the effect of the Stadium. Draw two of any other stadium? You Crobat for one less card. Draw two Tower of Darkness? You get two more cards and get the lousy stadium card out of your hand. You need to play four Stadiums because both Path to the Peak and Collapsed Stadium are prevalent right now – two stadiums you need to bump to attack. Because these stadiums are so damaging to you, if your opponent is playing them, it is usually better to hold your second Tower of Darkness in hand instead of discarding it.
- Always start Koffing if you don’t know what your opponent is playing. While starting Eternatus V has its upsides, you will usually want to Ascension on turn one, and the risk of your opponent’s Meloetta blowing you up is too high. Yet, if there’s a matchup where you are going first, and you know they won’t damage you on turn one, then you can go ahead and start Eternatus V.
- If your opponent has any relevant abilities (Drizzile, Arceus, Genesect, Bibarel), you should try and attack with Koffing on turn one and stick them without abilities from your first turn. Energy Switch will make up for your Energy attachment, and more often than not, they won’t be able to draw out of the ability lock.
- If you have an Energy Switch on turn one, using it from Moltres V onto Koffing is just as good as moving the energy to an Eternatus VMAX. If you Energy Switch onto Koffing, just attach for the turn to Eternatus V.
- If you have a supporter and a Crobat in hand, I would Crobat first if you’re drawing five cards. If not, I would wait to use the ability and then hope to draw a more Bat-able hand off whatever supporter you play.
Mew VMAX: 70-30
This matchup is why I considered this deck, and it has not let me down. Mew VMAX cannot deal with the pressure of ability lock from Weezing and OHKOs by Eternatus VMAX. As mentioned earlier, if you go first, you need to get two single-prize Pokemon down and put one into the active spot. If you go second, you should use Ascension to shut down their abilities. From here, attacking with Eternatus VMAX should be smooth sailing. The one crucial thing in this matchup is never to let your opponent get all four Fusion Strike Energy in play. If they have four Fusion Strike Energy in play, they can feasibly OHKO your Eternatus VMAX. After removing one Fusion Energy with a KO, take your prize cards as fast as possible, and enjoy blowing up Mew VMAX!
Arceus Duraludon: 60-40
Arceus Duraludon is a slower deck than you, and you can take full advantage of that. The name of the game in this matchup is pressure. You want to explode on turn two and take an OHKO on an Arceus V or VSTAR. After you kill their Arceus VSTAR, you should Boss KO any Duraludon V your opponent puts down. Finally, two-shot Duraludon V to finish off the game. One of my favorite plays is to use Galarian Weezing to Poison Duraludon VMAX. Poison essentially will do 120 damage to the Duraludon, leaving it with only 210 HP, which is a piece of cake for Eternatus VMAX to reach.
Another essential part of this matchup is Collapsed Stadium. Most Duraludon lists play four Collapsed Stadium, which can completely shut down this deck if you aren’t careful. As long as you hold your Tower of Darkness, don’t play down extra benched Pokemon until you need to (for instance, if you’re two-shotting Duraludon VMAX, then you can do 150 damage the first attack and bench more Pokemon to finish off the KO) then you should have enough Pokemon to get you through the game.
Finally, Weezing is amazing in this matchup! If you go second, you want to try to Ascension into Weezing and shut off their turn two Starbirth. This matchup is very close, but thanks to the consistency and one-shot power Eternatus has, it usually comes out on top.
Gengar VMAX: 60-40
This matchup is weird, and you will need to play well as the Eternatus VMAX player to win some games. And then, some games… Weezing will just shut them down.
This matchup comes down to Gengar VMAX’s “Fear and Panic” attack, which does 60 damage for each V or VMAX you have in play. If you bench five V Pokemon, Gengar can easily reach 340 and destroy you. However, if you limit your bench to only four V Pokemon (at least early in the game), then it will be almost impossible for Gengar to keep up with you. You can take one prize early, OHKO a Gengar VMAX (they have to bring themselves to under 300 HP with Single Strike Roar), and then find your last two prizes on a V.
Even past the attacking advantage, Gengar often just loses to Weezing. The deck heavily relies on Crobat V and Houndoom to get set up, so sticking a Weezing in the active spot will give you the time you need to set up your board. The same reasoning also applies to later in the game. If you happen to miss a KO on a Gengar VMAX, then finishing it off with Weezing is amazing! Not only does it leave a one-prize attacker in the active spot, but it also prevents your opponent from using Single Strike Roar, which makes it almost impossible for them to respond with a KO.
Once again, stadium cards will be your worst enemy in this matchup. Path to the Peak turns off Eternatus completely, so be sure to hold Tower of Darkness in hand until you need to play it, and never use the effect of Tower of Darkness to draw more cards. As long as you don’t get cheesed by Path to the Peak, this should be another great matchup for Eternatus.
Rapid Strike Malamar: 65-35
This is the advantage Eternatus has over the rest of the VMAX decks; Weezing destroys single-prize matchups! Malamar struggles like crazy to set up under ability lock and has no way to get out of it because they don’t play any Boss’s Orders! So while Eternatus is the MVP of the VMAXs matchups, Weezing is the MVP here.
The game plan is simple: use Galarian Weezing early and often. By the time they’ve managed to kill your Galarian Weezing, hopefully, you’ve taken at least three prize cards. At this point, you just send it. Next, you evolve into Eternatus VMAX, play Marnie, and see if they KO you! They will rarely be able to KO back-to-back Eternatus VMAX (they need to shuffle in nine cards for each of them), and so your last two attackers can take your last three prizes and seal out the game.
One cool thing is that if you go second, you can KO Inkay on turn one with Power Accelerator. From there, I would evolve into Eternatus VMAX and continue to put pressure on them. One great thing about Galarian Weezing is that it’s just as good in the middle of the game as it is on turn one. Malamar needs their abilities each turn to refill their hand, and there will be times when they will leave themselves with only one or two cards in hand. In these situations, Weezing can sweep in and take over.
I hope you all enjoyed this article! I love Eternatus in this format and can’t wait to play the deck more. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to message me @IsaiahBradner or comment down below.