Hey, I’m back again. While Vancouver Regionals and Bremen Regionals happened last weekend, lots of eyes are upon the new set: Astral Radiance. And while there are several new options like Palkia VSTAR or Hisuian Samurott VSTAR, I wanted to instead write about Mew VMAX, and what new options it gains from Astral Radiance!
First, I’m going to go over where I was with Mew VMAX prior to the release of Astral Radiance.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 14 * 1 Oricorio FST 42 * 4 Genesect V FST 254 * 2 Meloetta FST 124 * 4 Mew V FST 250 * 3 Mew VMAX FST 269 ##Trainer Cards - 39 * 3 Boss's Orders RCL 200 * 4 Rotom Phone CPA 64 * 2 Rose Tower DAA 169 * 1 Pal Pad FLF 92 * 2 Switch SUM 160 * 2 Escape Rope BUS 163 * 2 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 4 Ultra Ball BRS 186 * 4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225 * 4 Power Tablet FST 281 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 * 3 Cram-o-matic FST 229 * 3 Elesa's Sparkle FST 260 * 1 Marnie SSH 208 ##Energy - 7 * 3 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 * 4 Fusion Strike Energy FST 244 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
There are some unusual counts in this list, so I’ll go over them now.
3 Double Turbo Energy
While most Mew players have recently gone down to two or even one Double Turbo Energy in favor of playing more Basic Psychic Energy, I still stuck to playing three Double Turbo Energy.
With Mew VMAX, the biggest strength of the deck comes from being able to consistently use Boss’s Orders on turn two to knock out an opposing Pokemon V, ideally the only one in play. This allows you to gain significant edges against many VSTAR decks such as Arceus or Palkia and was one of the main reasons I chose to play Mew VMAX at Brisbane Regionals. The three copies of Double Turbo Energy make this very consistent and significantly reduces the number of cards you need to find to pull this off. It also reduces your reliance on Elesa’s Sparkle to attack, letting you use Boss’s Orders and Marnie with less restriction. While you can suffer against Whimsicott VSTAR, after practicing that matchup I have found that Pal Pad is more impactful than a Psychic Energy.
While my previous statement may be confusing, it’s something which has come up for me. While I initially didn’t like Pal Pad in Mew VMAX because it felt slow and tough to use, with recent changes with the metagame I have grown to appreciate the utility it provides. Against Whimsicott VSTAR, you can shuffle back in copies of Elesa’s Sparkle to continue attaching Energy under Trick Wind and Fan of Waves. Pal Pad also has other utilities in this deck, you can get a second use of Marnie against Galarian Moltres EVS decks to further disrupt them and you can get extra uses out of Boss’s Orders if you happen to draw into multiple copies of them early. Overall, I found Pal Pad to be a solid card and worth its inclusion in the current list.
I have seen some Mew VMAX lists play Gutsy Pickaxe, and I don’t really know why. It isn’t worth it to play Fighting Energy in this deck, so Gutsy Pickaxe is only used as a pure cycling card. However, a card which just cycles itself isn’t worth it in Pokemon, and never has been. In Team Up, we saw the printing of Judge Whistle, a card which essentially just cycled itself.
Judge Whistle saw almost no competitive play, and I don’t think Gutsy Pickaxe will either.
Trekking Shoes does have a lot more merit to it over Gutsy Pickaxe. First, Trekking Shoes doesn’t reveal the card you see to your opponent, which is a minor bonus. Second, and the main reason this card is worth considering, is that if you don’t like the top card of your deck, you can discard it and draw a new one. At first this seems like a strong option as even a nerfed version of Acro Bike can still be playable.
However, I don’t think this card quite makes the cut in Mew VMAX. Acro Bike really shined in decks which could use the discard pile, like Mewtwo & Mew GX or Night March. Mew is almost the complete opposite – there are a ton of cards in your deck which you absolutely don’t want to discard like Fusion Strike Energy, Boss’s Orders or even excess stadium cards. Trekking Shoes can force you to discard important resources to try and draw into other cards and I think that the risks of playing it outweigh the benefits.
Grant is a very interesting card in Mew VMAX. While the first effect essentially does nothing, it is the second effect that causes Grant to be a consideration. If you are ever able to discard a Grant, you can bring it back to your hand from your discard pile for the “cost” of discarding two cards.
In this deck, discarding two cards is the main reason to want this effect. However, I think the problem with this card is having to get it in the discard pile in the first place. You already have a ton of discard options with four Quick Ball and four Ultra Ball. Grant is also useless in your opening hand and if you don’t draw one of these other discard options, it will continue to clunk up your hands. Because of this, I wouldn’t play Grant right now in Mew.
Cards Must Be Better Than Old Options
One topic of discussion I often see come up when new cards are revealed is debating whether those cards are good enough to play in a deck. However, this often isn’t what needs to be worked out when making a deck.
What I usually try and figure out is whether these new cards are worth it over older cards, and in this case, I think the answer is no. The current selection of cards Mew VMAX has access to are incredibly powerful, and I think more consistency isn’t what the deck needs. While it is often tempting to cut Cram-o-Matic, I think it has proven its worth multiple times. Being able to discard any spare copies of Battle VIP Pass is incredibly useful, and if you hit heads, being able to search for any card will often win you the game on the spot.
A metric I’ve had of evaluating a flip card is if I flip one heads in a game with this card, is it worth it? I think that Cram-o-Matic is worth it even if you only get one heads a game. The sheer strength of searching for any card and discarding an item whenever you play it makes Cram-o-Matic too strong to cut right now in my opinion.
The other option to remove is Rotom Phone, a card which I have publicly said many times is incredibly strong. My opinion of Rotom Phone hasn’t changed; I still think it’s an incredibly strong card and worth it to play four copies of. Rotom Phone is always a burnable card and is useful in almost any hand. It helps you with piecing any combination of cards together and is never a liability like Trekking Shoes is. It also allows you to play around Marnie by leaving strong cards on top of your deck, which is a nice utility for a card you already want to play. Because of these reasons, I’m not including any new Astral Radiance cards in Mew VMAX.
Path to the Peak and Roxanne
However, there are still updates which Mew needs to make. Roxanne in conjunction with Path to the Peak is very scary and can often result in a massive turnaround in a game. To combat this, I have decided to play Pumpkaboo EVS.
Roxanne will often be combined with a knockout and Pumpkaboo turns any Quick Ball or Ultra Ball into a out to remove Path to the Peak and continue drawing with your abilities again. I haven’t liked Pumpkaboo too much in the past because of the risk of starting it, but I think that it’s currently worth it just to try and stabilize easier against a Roxanne.
With that lets look at my current Mew VMAX list!
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 14 * 1 Oricorio FST 42 * 4 Genesect V FST 254 * 2 Meloetta FST 124 * 3 Mew V FST 250 * 1 Pumpkaboo EVS 76 * 3 Mew VMAX FST 269 ##Trainer Cards - 39 * 3 Boss's Orders RCL 200 * 4 Rotom Phone CPA 64 * 3 Rose Tower DAA 169 * 2 Switch SUM 160 * 2 Escape Rope BUS 163 * 2 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 4 Ultra Ball BRS 186 * 4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225 * 4 Power Tablet FST 281 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 * 4 Cram-o-matic FST 229 * 3 Elesa's Sparkle FST 260 ##Energy - 7 * 3 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 * 4 Fusion Strike Energy FST 244 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
This is similar to the list I showed for pre-Astral Radiance. The main differences are the addition of Pumpkaboo and the fourth Cram-o-Matic in this one and the removal of Marnie and Pal Pad in the previous list, as well as the addition of the third stadium. All these changes were to make my deck better against Path to the Peak with Roxanne while remaining as consistent as possible.
Overall, the main strength of Mew VMAX is still present. You’ll still have those games where you use Boss’s Orders on turn two and knock out your opponent’s only Pokemon V or take a knockout turn one going second with Elesa’s Sparkle and Melodious Echo. These options are the biggest things to consider when building your Mew deck and not overcomplicating your deck, and just relying on it’s inherent strengths.
Good luck to anyone who plays Mew VMAX in the future, and I’ll be back with another article after Melbourne Regionals!