Hello CFB Pro readers! Chilling Reign has now been out for over a week and let me just say that I knew this set would be impactful, but I think even I’ve been surprised as to how impactful it has been.
New archetypes have emerged, with Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX variants and Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX already doing exceptionally well at online events every day, along with Green’s Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX cementing itself as a powerful deck. There are less popular options such as Rapid Strike Malamar or Blaziken VMAX-focused decks that are also slowly paving their way into the metagame.
Alongside the new decks, plenty of previous decks have been upgraded such as Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX with the new Rapid Strike Passimian and the Rapid Strike Inteleon line adding consistency and extra damage output, Eternatus VMAX with Galarian Moltres V, and the versatility it offers, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX decks gaining Echoing Horn, Mewtwo & Mew-GX can now combat Eternatus VMAX more effectively with Galarian Zapdos V.
This set feels so impactful that a week is far from enough time to define a metagame or even specific lists. However, Path to the Peak is clearly a gamebreaker. I listed this card at number four in my top 10 Chilling Reign cards, but after this week, I can say this card should unarguably be number one. Its impact has been immediate and it is an integral part of both Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX and Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX decks.
Even though Shadow Rider has its fantastic Underworld Door, the most successful variants so far have been pairing Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX with it and Path to the Peak. This way you have hand/resource denial through Marnie plus Night Watch, Energy denial through Pale Moon GX and Ability denial with Path to the Peak. If Peak gets countered, you gain your Abilities back, if it doesn’t, then your opponent is probably in a tough situation. Either way it’s a beneficial situation for you! To top things off, you can use Marshadow’s Resetting Hole Ability to take out your own Path to the Peak, use your Abilities and then go ahead and play another to continue the lock, sort of how Zoroark-GX combined nicely with Garbotoxin Garbodor to deny Abilities, despite having an amazing one of its own. It included including cards such as Field Blower to reactivate Abilities if need be. Check the deck out in action:
As Path to the Peak becomes more popular and widely played, I fully expect a big shift of supporting Pokemon included in decks to focus on the Inteleon and Cinccino lines, as they are not Rule Box Pokemon and thus can be relied upon under any circumstance. I especially think seeing a full four-four-four line of Inteleon will be a very common sight soon. Shady Dealings offers targeted search for Trainers, something that isn’t easy to come by and thus gives more flexibility when deck-building to play single copies of cards. With it, you can rely on Boss at specific points much more reliably.
The fact that cards that help you search for your supporting cast of Pokemon, such as Quick Ball, Pokemon Communication and Evolution Incense, can search for the main Pokemon of your deck as well just adds to the synergy of including these cards. To top things off, the constant and reliable bonus damage from Quick Shooting is a very welcome addition to decks such as Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX or Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX which might’ve struggled to close out some KOs otherwise.
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is weak to Shadow Rider decks, especially ones focused on Path to the Peak. Shutting off Jirachi-GX’s is quite rough, but if you dodge that matchup, Inteleon adds so much support to Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX that it will surely remain a top tier deck.