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Kiss Mew VMAX Goodbye with Togekiss VMAX!

Hello readers! I hope you’re doing well and are ready for Salt Lake City Regionals this next weekend. Personally, I cannot be more excited to return to the scene. I’m most excited to see friends I haven’t seen for a few years, and overall have a good weekend playing the game I enjoy. Even if you aren’t attending, I bet most players will be active on Twitter about tournament results. And fingers crossed that there’s a stream!

It’s no secret that my top choice for this weekend is Mew VMAX; it’s the deck I’ve played since the release of Fusion Strike. I’ve gone over why I enjoy Mew VMAX so much in my previous article – not much has changed since then. However, today I’ll be covering a deck I’ve been working on recently, Togekiss VMAX. This is the one new deck I wanted to try with the release of Double Turbo Energy and Cheren’s Care. Those cards add plenty of gas to this deck, allowing for easy loops against decks that cannot Knock Out a Togekiss VMAX in one attack.

The motivation for this deck is to completely counter Mew while keeping a chance against other decks. Because Mew is an incredibly linear deck, it’s possible to exploit its weaknesses, specifically its reliance on Fusion Strike System and the Supporter engine. Without Marnie (few lists play one copy, but most play zero), the two cards from Max Glide are untouchable. Combine this with Path to the Peak and you’ve got a deck that can dismantle Mew by locking its draw engine, healing and removing its Energy in play.

Togekiss can employ the same strategy against other decks, simply because Cheren’s Care is an amazing card. Unlike Cheryl, you don’t lose the Energy – it’s a perfect loop. This is similar to Inteleon VMAX and Cheryl, because you can retrieve the Rapid Strike Energy after each attack, then play Cheryl to heal an Inteleon VMAX with zero Energy attached. That deck also has great merit, but I like Togekiss better because you can directly search for the cards without relying on the Shady Dealings engine. Another benefit is Yveltal CEL, which can clear out most Energy on the opponent’s board. 

 

 

 

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 9

* 4 Togekiss V VIV 140
* 3 Togekiss VMAX VIV 141
* 1 Yveltal CEL 19
* 1 Hitmonchan EVS 81

##Trainer Cards - 43

* 4 Crushing Hammer EPO 92
* 4 Ultra Ball DEX 102
* 2 Boss's Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Big Charm SSH 158
* 3 Pal Pad FLF 92
* 1 Hyper Potion SSH 166
* 4 Professor's Research SHF 60
* 1 Roseanne's Backup BRS 148
* 1 Fan of Waves BST 127
* 4 Marnie CPA 56
* 4 Path to the Peak CRE 148
* 1 Capacious Bucket RCL 156
* 3 Cheren's Care BRS 134
* 1 Choice Belt BRS 135
* 1 Karen's Conviction CRE 144
* 1 Flannery CRE 139
* 1 Cheryl BST 123

##Energy - 8

* 3 Water Energy Energy 3
* 4 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
* 1 Fighting Energy Energy 6

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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This list is where I’m currently at. The general deck list hasn’t changed too much from a pre-BRS Togekiss VMAX deck. Togekiss? Check. Healing and disruption cards? Check. Path to the Peak? Check. Besides those three components, the rest is just icing on the cake. 

 

Header - Card Choices

Yveltal (019/025)

Yveltal’s main and only purpose is to strip Mew VMAX of multiple Energy. Most other matchups won’t have multiple Special Energy in play, so it’s best to not put it into play at all. Against Mew VMAX, you should try to time Yveltal with a Marnie and Path to the Peak to maximize odds of not being attacked. Then, you can safely retreat Yveltal without giving up a Prize card.

Yveltal is especially strong against the version of Mew that does not play Psychic Energy that our very own Natalie Millar won Brisbane Regionals with. Because there are only seven Energy cards – which cannot be recovered – stripping multiple of them is incredibly strong. I expect the Psychic version to be played in Salt Lake City, because many decks may simply add an Yveltal to improve a deck’s Mew matchup.

Hitmonchan (081/203)

Hitmonchan is a pet idea I’ve included to improve the Arceus matchup. With its attack Clean Hit, Choice Belt and Karen’s Conviction for +40, you can OHKO an Arceus VSTAR with Weakness. To get through Big Charm, you’ll need an additional +20 from Karen’s Conviction. 

In practice, I’m not sure if this will be incredibly effective. The combo takes up a decent amount of deck space which can otherwise be allocated towards decent cards like Tool Scrapper and more Supporters. In any case, I think it may be smart to run the single Hitmonchan, Fighting Energy and Choice Belt. Togekiss VMAX being able to make use of Fighting Energy and Choice Belt may help some math, specifically in 3 HKOs with -20 Max Glide. Karen’s Conviction may be overkill, but is required to reach a OHKO with Hitmonchan. Instead, you could play Tool Scrapper, so that 100 from Max Glide + 200 from Hitmonchan KO’s an Arceus VSTAR after removing its Big Charm.

Roseanne's Backup (180/172)

This card doesn’t get played often but is instrumental in the games that it does. First, the additional Path to the Peak may be necessary to win the Stadium war against Duraludon. Against Arceus, reusing Hitmonchan can be incredibly strong. With a single Roseanne’s Backup, you recycle Hitmonchan, Choice Belt and the Fighting Energy! 

Karen's Conviction (216/198)

As I said before, this is used to augment Hitmonchan’s damage. Not counting Weakness, Hitmonchan can hit for 200 with all modifiers. This can be especially relevant when trying to take those final Prize cards after you’ve already poked a VMAX or VSTAR with Max Glide. 

Flannery (215/198)

Flannery as a card is lackluster on paper, but it provides a great guarantee against the non-Psychic Mew variant. Flannery is an automatic Energy discard, unlike Fan of Waves or Crushing Hammer. If the opponent has exhausted most of their Energy and has multiple Prize cards remaining, you can set up the math such that you discard their remaining Energy before they can take their remaining Prize cards in time. 

The most important thing to do against Mew is discard one or more Fusion Energy so that their unmodified damage cap is 210. With all four Fusion Strike Energy in play, it’s too easy to OHKO Togekiss VMAX with Melodious Echo. By capping them at 210, the opponent needs all five modifiers to OHKO Togekiss VMAX with a Big Charm attached. Flannery is used less often in other matchups because other decks are not as reliant on their Special Energy. However, it is very strong on the first turn going second, or when you don’t need to play Cheren’s Care in the midgame. 

Cheryl (123/163)

The point of Cheryl is to heal a Togekiss VMAX (or multiple!) without having to pick it up. The benefit of this is that you don’t need Togekiss V on the Bench, which could be vulnerable when the opponent has two Prize cards remaining. The obvious downside is that you need to discard any attached Energy. With four Double Turbo Energy and the potential to use Basic Energy too, you can likely get away with one or two. However, in most other cases, Cheren’s Care is better, which is why there are more copies of that card.

I previously ran four Cheren’s Care and zero Cheryl, but some situations have come up where I’d rather heal the Active, lone Togekiss VMAX, or when I wanted to heal multiple at the same time. It may be detrimental to draw Cheryl when you would have otherwise wanted Cheren’s Care, specifically before the first Max Glide, so it may be worth it to play a fourth Cheren’s Care in exchange for a different card, still playing Cheryl.

Hyper Potion (054/073)

Hyper Potion functions similarly to Cheryl with the added benefit that it isn’t a Supporter. In the case where you’d need to play Roseanne’s Backup or Boss’s Orders, you can get away with healing at the same time. It’s a niche card, which is why I only play one copy. Remember that you can discard Double Turbo Energy to fulfill the entire effect of discarding two Energy.

Fan of Waves (226/198)

Fan of Waves serves a similar purpose to Flannery but is for tempo rather than permanent resource removal. This may be good against Mew when they are about to Knock Out Togekiss VMAX. With Fan of Waves, you can guarantee a removed Energy, which pairs nicely with Marnie plus Path to the Peak. Also, you can combine Fan of Waves and Flannery to remove two Energy in play at the same time, too.

Big Charm (206/192)

This is self-explanatory; a fatter Togekiss VMAX can survive more attacks. You’ll almost always want a Big Charm on Togekiss VMAX. Big Charm is especially strong when attached to Togekiss V because the 30 HP makes a big difference there. Arceus with a Double Turbo Energy cannot OHKO a Togekiss V. Moreover, decks will require more resources to Knock Out the Togekiss V if they try, which will make future Togekiss V and VMAX harder to Knock Out.

Choice Belt (135/172)

The single copy of Choice Belt is to fix awkward math that stems from damage denominations of 90, 100, and 120. You won’t always need Big Charm on Togekiss VMAX, one example being Arceus. If you’re stuck looping for 100 damage with Max Glide, you’ll quickly be outpaced if you cannot guarantee a 3HKO against an Arceus VSTAR with a Big Charm attached. The single copy of Choice Belt fixes math and fits into the Hitmonchan combo.

Energies

Four Double Turbo Energy is required because it pairs so nicely with Togekiss VMAX’s attack cost. Next, we can decide which Basic Energy to play. I went with Water Energy and Capacious Bucket because a single Capacious Bucket guarantees the turn two attack, provided there are two Water Energy in the deck. The single Fighting Energy is for Hitmonchan. Ideally you conceal the Fighting Energy until you use Hitmonchan, or else the Arceus player may put Dunsparce in play. 

It does feel bad playing four Basic Energy when you’ll be using Double Turbo Energy most of the time anyway. I used to run two Capacious Bucket and zero Fighting Energy (before Hitmonchan) but needed the space for the additional Energy card. The three Water Energy is a must because you’ll almost never prize two of them. With only two copies and one prized, Capacious Bucket only finds one Energy, and you’re unlikely to naturally draw into another Basic Energy with only one in the deck (therefore you’d need to draw Double Turbo Energy anyway). This split has a greater probability of the double-Basic Energy attack. 

 

Header - Tips and Tricks

Max Glide Tips

Knowing what cards to grab with Max Glide is the hardest part of this deck. To some extent, it involves predicting what the opponent will do on their turn. This skill can be improved in practice, but it’s also possible to grab one card for each line your opponent will follow. The cards you will grab largely depend on your board state and your opponents, but I’ll do my best to summarize different combinations you’d want. 

  • You always want a Cheren’s Care in hand so that you can capitalize if the opponent attacks into you. You’ll almost never want to grab two copies because you cannot use the second copy immediately. You also play into Marnie
  • Don’t be afraid to grab Togekiss V with the first Max Glide, provided you have an already strong hand. It’s important to get multiple Togekiss V in play, and sometimes you can put multiple Togekiss VMAX in play over time, guaranteeing board security.
  • If your opponent can KO a Togekiss V on the Bench, therefore circumventing the Cheren’s Care, you should grab the cards to capitalize off that. Some examples are Yveltal, Boss’s Orders, Flannery, and Marnie plus Path to the Peak. These allow you to do something with your turn besides simply attack with Max Glide again. The board will tell you which is right. 
  • I never grab Crushing Hammer unless I already have everything I need. Its main purpose is to slow down the opponent when drawn, but not as a reliable countermeasure. The one exception to this is when the opponent is almost out of Energy. Then, you should only use Crushing Hammer and Flannery because Fan of Waves allows them to reuse it. 
  • Big Charm is a surprisingly great card to grab with Max Glide. Two Big Charm in play means that both Togekiss VMAX and Togekiss V are protected.
  • Grab Path to the Peak when you’re against Mew/Duraludon, even if one is already in play. Your game plan against these decks is to loop Cheren’s Care and Path to the Peak. continuously. 

General Tips

This deck is fairly simple to play once you learn what cards to grab off of Max Glide. There are some tips to remember, though, which I’ll go over now in quick fashion.

  • If you’re going first against a deck that cannot OHKO Togekiss V and have an Ultra Ball in hand, save it for Togekiss VMAX. It’s harder to find Togekiss VMAX because of fewer copies and inability to Quick Ball for it, so the first VMAX is very important.
  • Always start Togekiss V, especially if you don’t know what the opponent is playing. Losing Yveltal is extremely detrimental against Mew. Otherwise, the deck doesn’t play any switch effects. It would be a shame to go first and miss the turn two attack because Yveltal or Hitmonchan is stuck active. 
  • You always want at least two Togekiss V or VMAX in play so that you can use Cheren’s Care. If you aren’t threatening the Cheren’s Care into another Max Glide, the opponent can play differently (I know that it’s possible to Cheren’s Care and then use Yveltal or Hitmonchan, but the idea is to threaten the continuous loop of a Togekiss VMAX).
  • Hitmonchan can be a strong attacker, even against decks other than Arceus! With Karen’s Conviction for +60 or more, you can reach beyond the traditional cap of 120, which is often 100 due to the -20 damage from Double Turbo Energy. If the opponent has two Prize cards remaining, Hitmonchan is a free attack and doesn’t get the opponent closer to winning.
  • Togekiss V is also a strong attacker, and a bulky one at that with Big Charm attached. White Wind does 90 damage to an Evolution Pokemon, which is enough to Knock Out Cinccino and other weak Evolution Pokemon. This trick is especially useful when the opponent has three Prize cards remaining. Remember, VSTAR and VMAX are Evolution Pokemon, so they also take increased damage.
  • Almost always use Pal Pad to shuffle in Boss’s Orders or Cheren’s Care if you’ve run out. It’s important to have that option with Max Glide. 

 

Header - Matchups

You’ll generally follow the tips outlined above against every matchup, with the small differences being in if Path to the Peak is useful, the opponent’s damage cap, and quantity of Special Energy. Non-Psychic Energy Mew is very favorable, and Psychic Energy Mew is favorable. Arceus variants are slightly unfavorable or even, depending on the partner. Malamar is even and depends on how easily you can Knock Out their support Pokemon without giving up Prize cards. Most other decks can easily be looped by Cheren’s Care, provided you set up.

 

Header - Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article on this unorthodox deck! When I first built the list, I wasn’t too sure that it would be stable enough to survive against Mew and other decks. After some testing, it can certainly handle Mew’s aggression and respond with enough stability to come back, even when going second. I don’t expect many people to know how to play against this deck, especially if they haven’t read this article. Hitmonchan and Yveltal can come as a surprise because the opponent doesn’t know your deck list at Regionals.

Good luck in Salt Lake City or Liverpool these next few weekends!

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