Hello to all CFB readers! Nathália Fernandes here for the last time with another Pokémon TCG article, and this time I’ll leave you a farewell gift especially for you – the best and my favorite Arceus VSTAR list!
First, I would like to thank everyone at ChannelFireball for the opportunity to be able to write Pokémon TCG articles. It was an honor to be able to work with you over this period of a little over a year. I would like to thank you as well, the readers. Thanks for taking the time to read and subscribe. I hope I’ve helped you in some way to become a better player! I’ll remain active in the world of competitive Pokémon TCG and will always be open to new opportunities, so I will be around for a long time to come.
Now going back to the main subject of this article, I’ll talk about my Arceus VSTAR list with Crobat VMAX and Psychic Zacian V. I’ve always liked Arceus VSTAR’s gameplay since it came out – after all, it’s one of the best Pokémon in the game. Its high HP, strong attack and incredible effects make Arceus VSTAR an incredible Pokémon that opens up the possibility of incredible plays and lists. The idea in today’s article is precisely to explore even more possibilities that Arceus offers, mixing Pokémon and energies of Dark and Psychic types.
4 Arceus V 3 Arceus VSTAR 2 Bidoof 2 Bibarel 1 Dunsparce 1 Pumpkaboo 1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 1 Manaphy 1 Crobat V 1 Crobat VMAX 1 Zacian V CEL 3 Marnie 1 Professor's Research 1 Avery 2 Boss's Orders 2 Cheren's Care 1 Pal Pad 4 Quick Ball 4 Ultra Ball 3 Great Ball 1 Switch 1 Escape Rope 2 Scoop Up Net 1 Big Charm 1 Choice Belt 3 Path to the Peak 5 Psychic Energy 3 Darkness Energy 4 Double Turbo Energy
Four Arceus V, Three Arceus VSTAR
Independent of its Starbirth ability, Arceus VSTAR is one of the best attackers in the format. With 280 HP and an attack capable of knocking out other Pokémon V while fetching three Energies from the deck and binding your Pokémon, Arceus VSTAR is practically a complete Pokémon, even more so with the help of other cards to increase its strength, such as Dunsparce to take away weakness. Cheren’s Care even prevents the opponent from getting the knockout with two attacks!
Two Bidoof, Two Bibarel
After the second or third turn, you’ll need Bibarel on the field. After probably using Starbirth and battling with Trinity Nova, your biggest need will be to find the right Supporters for the right times, something that’s very difficult with just BIbarel, but it is still possible to gain reasonable control over your resources. It’s possible to filter a lot of cards in this list to make thin the deck so you only get the cards you need to finish the game. Arceus VSTAR’s Trinity Nova attack takes three Energies out of the deck, while the 11 Pokémon search cards take more Pokémon out of the deck.
The big challenge of playing Arceus V with Bibarel is sequencing. The better you know how to filter and save resources, the better your control with your resources and the better your consistency. The consistency offered by Bibarel’s Industrious Incisors ability will never be superior to Drizzile’s and Inteleon’s Shady Dealings Ability, but with proper deck building and sequencing, it’s possible to reduce the difference and the advantage of using Bibarel is to gain space to invest in other tech, such as Zacian V and Crobat VMAX.
If Arceus VSTAR is one of the best Pokemon in the format, then it’s only natural that they have some Fighting-type Pokemon trying to KO on weakness. The most popular Pokémon are Galarian Zapdos V and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, but Lucario VSTAR and Lycanroc VMAX may appear as well.
The idea is that you grab Dunsparce whenever you suspect your opponent’s deck is running Zapdos, because Galarian Zapdos V is a Pokémon that can be inserted into several lists, as it only takes one Fighting Energy to grab a Knock Out. Usually, Galarian Zapdos V is used in decks with Inteleon or decks with Arceus VSTAR, while Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX appears with Inteleon or Sylveon VMAX. If your suspicion is confirmed, grab Zacian V too and put some Energy onto it with Trinity Nova.
If you’re playing Arceus VSTAR with Bibarel and Path to the Peak, then you need Pumpkaboo. With 11 Pokémon search cards in the deck, it’s very easy to have access to Pumpkaboo and thanks to it, you can remove the opponent’s Path to the Peak and use Arceus VSTAR’s Starbirth and Crobat V’s Dark Asset whenever necessary.
Even in my version of Arceus VSTAR with Inteleon, I still prefer Pumpkaboo. Even though I can use Shady Dealings in the second turn to look for another Stadium, the idea is to avoid having to use Shady Dealings to solve a small problem like this, as Shady Dealings on the second turn has the possibility to bring in a much better Trainer to make a more effective play.
One Galarian Zigzagoon
If you’ve ever played Arceus VSTAR, then you know that the possibility of knocking out your opponent’s Arceus V on the second turn is real and can happen if you have the necessary cards in your deck. With Choice Belt and Galarian Zigzagoon, it’s possible to do 220 damage with Trinity Nova even with Double Turbo Energy. However, another advantage of Galarian Zigzagoon is that, along with Scoop Up Net, it can do 220 damage with three basic Energy and without needing a Choice Belt.
One Manaphy (or Oranguru SSH)
After the European International Championship, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX became a very popular deck and considered by many to be the best deck in the format. If you expect Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX in your region’s metagame, I recommend Manaphy so that you have a really good matchup, because with Manaphy, Dunsparce and Psychic Zacian V, you can stop the many ways this deck has to beat Arceus VSTAR.
However, if you think Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is not popular, then my suggestion is to swap Manaphy for Oranguru. Here in Brazil, RS Urshifu VMAX is not popular and Mew VMAX and Arceus VSTAR end up being the main choices, so using Oranguru by Manaphy helps me with consistency and better resource management.
The biggest advantage of Oranguru is being able to return the basic Energy from the hand to the deck and this way, Arceus VSTAR’s Trinity Nova attack will always find extra energies, something that’s great in the Arceus mirror match. With each Cheren’s Care, you accumulate basic Energy in your hand and the only way to get those Energies back and thus reconnect again with Trinity Nova is with Marnie, another Supporter that you don’t want to use on the mirror, because it helps the opponent to return their Energies to the deck too.
One Crobat V, One Crobat VMAX
To further increase the chances of you getting Arceus V with Energy attached on the first turn, Crobat V is a necessary card. In the Arceus VSTAR version with Inteleon, it’s acceptable to start the game without Arceus V and Energy (albeit terrible). In the Arceus / Bibarel version, it’s unacceptable because you have more resources to make a better setup and because of that, you have less resources in the middle and end of the game to be able to turn a match. The early game is very strong and important for this list and a weak turn can cost you victory.
Crobat VMAX is the best tech in the format to beat Mew VMAX. You can say that Galarian Moltres and Path to the Peak are much better, but none of those techs are as easy to fit into this list as Crobat VMAX. Just put in a Pokemon and three Darkness Energy and you already have a strong and effective tech against the strongest deck in the format, while Galarian Moltres requires a number of conditions on the list to work, such as Training Court, high Darkness Energy count, Klara and Ordinary Rod. Path to the Peak, on the other hand, depends on a list all designed to not rely on Pokémon V with Ability, something that greatly restricts your options.
In addition to Mew VMAX, Crobat VMAX is also effective against Rapid Strike Malamar as the first Stealth Poison attack manages to knock out Malamar and go to the Bench, and thanks to that, you can promote single Prize Pokemon for the opponent to knock out. If you get a Prize before the opponent, it’s very difficult for you to lose.
One Zacian V (Psychic)
Here’s the big difference in the list and I think Psychic Zacian V solves all the new threats from the recent metagame, which are Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, Whimsicott VSTAR and Single Strike Beedrill, in addition to being a good Pokémon for the first turn to help power up Arceus V.
Zacian V’s first function is to use Roar of the Sword to power up on the first turn, whether you start the game or not. If you start the game, then you can use Zacian V’s ability to link up to two basic Energy on Arceus V. That way, you probably won’t need to get an Energy from Starbirth so you can get any other card in the deck. Also, attacking on the second turn with three basic Energy is great for preventing Beedrill. If you don’t start the game, then a good option for the first turn is to make two Arceus V on the field with one Energy on each one – one from hand and the other from Zacian V’s ability. The advantage of this move is to prevent an opponent’s strong turn, such as Mew VMAX or Arceus VSTAR knocking out on the second turn.
Another advantage of Roar of the Sword is against Whimsicott VSTAR. The main strategy of this deck is to remove your basic Energy with Crushing Hammer and prevent you from having Special Energy on the field with the Trick Wind attack. While the opponent does everything to remove your energy, Zacian V will help you grab at least two base Energy per turn, greatly reducing the time you would be stuck in the game due to lack of Energy. If in the first turn the opponent needed to hit Crushing Hammer to avoid Trinity Nova in the second turn, now it’s necessary for them to have to hit two Crushing Hammers in the first round.
But the main advantage and real reason to have a Psychic Zacian V in this deck is to fight Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. It’s much simpler to put a Hoopa V in the deck, but I’d prefer another option, as Hoopa V only helps me for this matchup, while Zacian V helps me in several other situations. Besides, it’s more expected that opponents look for some counter to Hoopa V, like Celebi Amazing Rare, than for Zacian V, something that only I (and now you) use.
In the current format, Marnie is a good Supporter. Against Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and Mew VMAX, Marnie is more than just a Draw Supporter, but rather fundamental tech to win.
Against Mew VMAX, your strongest move to win is to use the Marnie plus Path to the Peak combo because if the opponent doesn’t find any Stadium in the following turns, you’ll gain a huge advantage and contain the absurd pressure of Mew. Against Rapid Strike Urshifu, the opponent’s best plays involve time and a good amount of resources in the hand. The idea is to preserve the Marnies for the endgame, but on this list you don’t necessarily need to do that, as it has three Marnies and Pal Pad, so play normally and the Marnies will come when you need them.
One Professor’s Research
The Supporter with the best draw power in the game isn’t as necessary for this strategy, but it’s still good to have at least one copy at your disposal. I often end up using Professor’s Research in the second turn, having easy access with Starbirth, but as the game progresses, you’ll find a good time to use these Supporters.
When you’ve already established your setup, you don’t want to change your opponent’s hand and the cards in your hand are practically useless, Professor’s Research is the Supporter of your dreams.
Until a month ago, Avery was one of the best Supporters in the game, but with its rapid popularity in Regionals around the world, Avery has already become feared and known by players, losing the great surprise effect it had. It’s still important to have a copy of this Supporter in your deck because that way you have the possibility to punish your opponent for a great setup.
Arceus / Bibarel is a deck that has its best turns at the beginning and then loses some consistency and strength. The vast majority of the format is the opposite; they have a bad start to the game and gain strength and consistency later on. Avery has a bit of a role in disrupting the opponent’s setup, which will likely be stronger than yours throughout the game.
Two Boss’s Orders
I’ve always played with three Boss’s Orders in Arceus / Bibarel because of the whole issue regarding access and consistency. With no Shady Dealings available, you’ll need to buy a lot of cards until you find the Supporter you need.
However, the more I played, the more I realized that I didn’t need Boss’s Orders that much because at the beginning of the game, my preference is to use a draw supporter for setup and in the middle to the endgame, I was sharing my Supporter preference with Cheren and Boss. In the end, two copies of Boss’s Orders with Pal Pad became the ideal count.
Two Cheren’s Care
Cheren’s Care is a questionable Supporter for many players, but so far I haven’t found the best way to get a balanced matchup against other Arceus decks without this Supporter. It’s true that Cheren’s Care doesn’t advance your game state – that is, it’s not a Supporter that improves your setup or helps you buy Prizes – but for the Arceus / Bibarel version, buying time is very important.
As I said before, for Bibarel to become more and more effective, you need time to filter your deck and make it thin so that Bibarel can buy the cards it needs. The function of Cheren’s Care is to nullify an opponent’s attack, which in practice is to win a game turn. With an extra turn in the game, you can filter your deck a lot more.
One Pal Pad
If you really want to get the most out of Cheren’s Care, then you need to go overboard. With two copies of Cheren and Pal Pad, you can use this Supporter up to four times, so you’ll have plenty of time to settle into the game and come up with the best plan for winning. Other functions of Pal Pad is to return Boss’s Orders and Avery to your hand.
Four Quick Ball, Four Ultra Ball, Three Great Ball
The four copies of Quick Ball and Ultra Ball are self explanatory. They’re the best cards in the game to search for basic Pokémon and still discard resources to buy more cards with Bibarel. The great difference of the list are the three Great Balls and also the main reason this list fails less than expected.
With three Great Balls in addition to the other eight Pokémon searchers, you increase your setup much more in the first turn, while throughout the game you have more access to your other tech cards and evolutions. In addition to filtering the deck, it’s an item that gets out of hand easily. Also, it reduces your cards in the hand to buy more in Bibarel.
One Switch, One Escape Rope
In many games, you’ll only need a Switch and in some games, you’ll not even need a switching card. Everything will depend on the Pokémon you start with or some unconventional situation. The idea of using two switching cards is to ensure that you have at least one of them available, even if one of them falls into the Prize pool. However, if neither of them is in the Prizes, you still have Escape Rope available, another switching card but with a interesting effect. You don’t always want the Escape Rope effect, but sometimes it can be a card that gives you a much better play than you were expecting, especially in the first few turns where the opponent may not make such a good setup.
Two Scoop Up Net
The initial idea of Scoop Up Net is to have another form of a switching effect, but only for single Prize Pokemon. In practice, I liked the effect much more, especially along with Galarian Zigzagoon. With a Zigzagoon’s ability and two Scoop Up Net, you have the ability to deal up to 30 damage to your opponent however you want, something that can help you close a lot of accounts. Against Mew VMAX, it’s often necessary to put in 10 damage for your Arceus VSTAR to be able to knockout by hitting 180 damage with Trinity Nova.
One Choice Belt, One Big Charm
These two tools are essential for Arceus VSTAR. I know that many players have already tried to make a list without these tools, but there are many situations where these tools can simply save your game.
Against Mew VMAX and Arceus VSTAR, Big Charm has a chance to avoid a critical knockout for the opponent to win. Big Charm with Crobat VMAX forces the opponent to use four Power Tablets to get the KO, while Arceus VSTAR cannot KO Arceus V on the second turn, even with Choice Belt and Galarian Zigzagoon.
Three Path to the Peak
If Mew VMAX is one of the best decks of all time, then it’s impossible not to be forced to use the best cards available to try to stifle the strength of it. Path to the Peak is a great answer to beating Mew VMAX, although you need a little luck for it to actually work. With four copies, you improve the matchup even more but hinder all the others, while just two copies is not enough to stop Mew VMAX consistently.
The good part is that Path to the Peak is not just a tech against Mew VMAX and the format also has several other decks and Pokémon V with abilties, one of them being other Arceus VSTAR decks.
Five Psychic, Three Darkness, Four Double Turbo Energy
For Zacian V to knock out Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, it takes four Psychic Energy on Zacian V or three Energy and Choice Belt. The easiest way is to KO by linking four Energies, as three of them are placed with Trinity Nova. You just can’t knock out RS Urshifu if three of your five energy are in the prize. Crobat VMAX is the same situation – you need two of your three Darkness Energy to attack.
In both cases, the Energies are at their limit, but if you know how to manage and have a little luck, it will be enough. So far, I haven’t had any problems with this. Another thing to remember is that even if these techs don’t work, you still have the ability to win the matchup against Mew VMAX without Crobat VMAX and beat Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX without Psychic Zacian V.
As for the four Double Turbo, the idea is that you need to use Starbirth less and less to seek Energy. In addition, Double Turbo works as a switching card, since all your Pokémon retreat with up to two Energies and the power of the deck is largely done by Arceus V and VSTAR.
This is the best Arceus VSTAR / Bibarel list in my opinion because you can play against the main metagame matchups with good options, while the deck is one of the most consistent versions. Maybe this is not the version with the most offensive power and maybe you miss Shady Dealings, but the feeling of having a strong initial setup and knowing that regardless of victory or defeat you’ll be able to at least play and fight for it is a great feeling. My problem with Arceus / Inteleon is that in many games, I lose without even having a chance to try because my setup was so weak that on the second turn, the opponent already uses Boss’s Orders to knock out my Arceus V.
And so ends my latest article for ChannelFireball. Thank you again for the opportunity and thank you readers for following my work. I will remain active in the game and explore the most diverse possibilities that this amazing game has to offer us.
Hope you enjoyed today’s article and see you around!