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Everything Lapras VMAX — Deck Guide & Matchups

What’s up ChannelFireball readers! My name is Justin Bokhari. I’m a player from the Northeast area. I’ve been playing since 2008. This past season was my best season, where I was able to win two out of the eight Regionals in North America before the shutdown of the season. I was able to carry over some of my success to the online circuit, where I placed Top 8 at Limitless Qualifier #4, and Top 32 at the POG Championships. Today I’m going to be talking about an underrepresented deck. Today’s deck isn’t going to be tier one due to the current meta we are in but it’s fun and can win a lot of games. The idea for this deck came when I was looking through twitter one night and I saw Andrew Mahone tweet about a deck he was playing. I was intrigued and I wanted to give the deck I try. I was pleasantly surprised to the power output of the deck and how consistently it was able to set up. Let’s get into it!

PTCGO Code

##Pokémon - 17
4 Snom SSH 63
2 Frosmoth RCL 204
3 Lapras V SSH 49
2 Lapras VMAX SSH 50
2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
2 Crobat V DAA 104
1 Keldeo-GX UNM 219
1 Blastoise & Piplup-GX CEC 38
##Trainer Cards - 31
4 Professor's Research SSH 178
3 Marnie SSH 200
3 Boss's Orders RCL 189
4 Quick Ball SSH 179
4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
3 Switch SSH 183
3 Energy Retrieval AOR 99
3 Capacious Bucket RCL 156
2 Air Balloon SSH 156
2 Training Court RCL 169
##Energy - 12
12 Water Energy Energy 3

Four Snom and Two Frosmoth

This deck wants the max count of Snom because it’s the most important Pokemon to find turn one. If you go first, you most of the time only need to get one Snom into play. Most decks will struggle to Knock Out the Snom on their first turn. Going second you need to double that. You need to get the second Snom in play because it’s a lot easier for opposing decks to target down your Snom when they get an extra turn. The deck only needs two Frosmoth because you only need to set up one per game. Once you set up a Frosmoth, it usually leads to a big Lapras. So, if your opponent targets down the Moth instead of your Lapras then that Lapras will just run away with the game.

One Keldeo-GX and One Blastoise & Piplup-GX

These two Pokemon are the best auxiliary Pokemon for this deck. Keldeo-GX gives the deck another option against Eternatus VMAX. If the Eternatus player overextends and benches to many Pokemon, then Keldeo-GX can use Resolute Blade GX and easily one-shot it. Keldeo-GX also gives you an option against Altaria and Decidueye. The Blastoise & Piplup-GX is mainly in here for the Lucmetal match-up. It allows you to heal your damaged Lapras VMAX and give you the edge in the two-shot war. You can also use Blastoise & Piplup-GX to heal your Keldeo-GX in the Altaria/Decidueye matchup. Blastoise & Piplup-GX attack can also be used in if you need an extra turn to close the game.

Three Capacious Bucket and Three Energy Retrieval

The higher count of Capacious bucket is because this deck needs to find Energy in a hurry if you want to do big damage fast. I found this deck operates similar to Blacephalon in that respect. Both decks want to get an abundance of Energy into their hands so they can start one-shotting the behemoths of the format. The high count of Energy Retrieval is something that gives this deck that extra damage push. It can be used to get back Energy you had to discard early or the Energy from your first VMAX.

Two Training Court

Power Plant has become increasingly popular the past couple weeks. The deck needs a counter stadium so you can use your Dedenne-GX. Training Court is better than Chaotic Swell in my opinion because there are some turns where you need that extra Energy to get the Knock Out.

12 Water Energy

This decks plays a lot of Energy but you need it so you can hit those big numbers. I wouldn’t go any lower than this because if you want to take one-shots on most of the Pokemon VMAX you need a minimum of eight Energy. The higher count of Energy helps you find them easier, mitigates poor prizing, and gives you extra insurance if you have to discard a few early.

Matchups

ADPZ: Favorable

One of the main reasons why I like this deck so much is because of this matchup. The matchup isn’t an auto win but I believe it’s one of the few decks that boast a favorable matchup. This matchup usually plays out the same way. ADPZ will almost always GX before you get an attack off. However, the race starts right after that. Right after they GX you need to be able to respond with a one-shot with a Lapras VMAX. Once that happens they need to set up back-to-back attackers with gust or they lose the game. This is incredibly difficult and more times than not this does not happen. One thing to keep in mind is Mawile-GX. This list has the ability to play around Mawile-GX because of the heavy Communication count. As long as you have a Supporter for the next turn, you should always Comm away a Dedenne-GX or Crobat V in your hand, so your opponent can’t get value out of Mawile-GX

Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GXZacian V

Eternatus: Favorable

This matchup plays out similarly to ADPZ but you have an extra one-shot option with Keldeo-GX. The thing that makes this matchup favorable is the fact that Lapras VMAX can one-shot Eternatus VMAX but Eternatus VMAX can’t one-shot Lapras VMAX. Ideally you want to map your attackers Lapras VMAX, Keldeo-GX, and then close with the second VMAX. If you go second and Eternatus is able to take a Prize on their second turn, then I would go back-to-back Lapras VMAX unless you are closing the game with Keldeo-GX. The reason for this is Eternatus can one-shot Keldeo-GX fairly easily. So if they were able to take a Prize turn one than they can map their Prizes with their Knock Out turn one, the Lapras VMAX, and Keldeo-GX.

Eternatus VMAX

LMZ: Even

From my experience this matchup is usually drawn out and played to the final turns. If I had to give and edge I would give it to Lapras because it has the ability to run away with the game because of the decks damage output. Your best two attackers in this matchup are Lapras VMAX and Blastoise & Piplup-GX. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to bench the Blastoise & Piplup-GX to early. You want to save that for later in the game or for when the Lucmetal player goes Zacian. The reason for this is because you would put two three-Prize Pokemon into play and would give your opponent an easier roadmap to victory. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to overcommit too many Energy to Lapras VMAX just to take a Knock Out. If you commit too many Energy to Lapras VMAX, the Lucmetal player can use its GX attack and strip you of a lot of resources. This will make it difficult to close the game. Once the Lucmetal player has used its GX attack you can be more loose with your Energy and start setting up Lapras VMAX to take one-shots on Lucmetal and Zacian. Just make sure there is enough Energy to use Blastoise & Piplup-GX for when your opponent starts to use Zamazenta V. Blastoise & Piplup-GX attack can also be used too by your self an extra turn or set up the two-shot on Zamazenta V.

Lucario & Melmetal GXZacian V

Centiskorch: Very Favorable

As you can imagine, the type advantage gives you a huge edge in this matchup. Even if Centiskorch plays Weakness Guard Energy, you can still one-shot the Centi with a big Energy Lapras VMAX. The only thing you have to worry about is if you do build up a big Energy Lapras, there is a chance it gets knocked out by a Victini V. If you have a backup Lapras VMAX to take out the Victini V it shouldn’t be a problem.

Centiskorch VMAX

Pikarom: Very Unfavorable

This is the thing that is holding Lapras back in my opinion. The type disadvantage makes this matchup incredibly difficult but not impossible. The two routes to victory in this matchup are by either knocking out both tag teams or taking the Knock Out first with a two-prizer and Prize racing from there. The matchup usually plays out like this. They will sit behind Boltund to start building up their Pikarom. You have to respond with a Knock Out with Lapras V and can’t have a three-Prize Pokemon in play. From there they will Knock Out your Lapras with Pikarom. Then you want to use Lapras VMAX to Knock Out Pikarom. After they Knock Out your VMAX, you want to either use your second VMAX or Blastoise & Piplup-GX to take your final Prize cards. Either of those Pokemon should be able to Knock Out whatever your opponent has active, unless it’s a ChuChu-GX. If it’s a ChuChu than you have to use Lapras VMAX or you have to use Boss on a Bench-sitter. As you can see there is a route to victory but it’s just usually hard to pull off consistently.

Pikachu & Zekrom GX

Conclusion

Lapras is an incredibly fun deck to play. It posts good matchups against two of the most popular decks and has enough versatile attackers to handle different types of decks. However, this deck is held back by its poor Pikarom matchup. With Pikarom increasing in popularity, that probably puts Lapras at tier two at the moment. The deck is strong but not format defining strong. However, if you are looking for something else to try I suggest you give this deck a try.

I hope you enjoyed my first article! If you have any questions, you can message me on Twitter where I also post Pokemon and ChannelFireball content. Thanks for reading – until next time!

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