Hey everyone! I’m back again with a slightly different article this time. With the Europe International Championships (EUIC) coming up shortly, I decided to write about the top five decks in the current metagame and give one reason to play them, as well as a reason not to play them. I’m also going to provide a starting list for each deck as well as some advice for playing it right now!
The reason to play Mew VMAX is that you will have the most powerful deck in the room.
Mew VMAX is by far the most powerful deck in the current format. You get to draw so many cards with Genesect V and you are the only deck with the option to use a significant damaging attack on turn one going second with Meloetta FST and Elesa’s Sparkle. If you win the coin flip, you’re incredibly favored against any Arceus VSTAR deck because you consistently can use Boss’s Orders on their benched Arceus V (166/172). Against any deck utilizing Pokemon V, you can chase the V if you go first and you have the option of taking a turn one knockout on an opposing Pokemon V going second using Meloetta. No other deck in this format boasts a power level like Mew VMAX and if you play this deck, you will have the most powerful deck in the room.
The reason not to play Mew VMAX is because everyone else will know this too.
Mew VMAX’s absurd power level has been no secret this entire format. When you look at the viable decks outside of Mew, they all in some way try and counter Mew. They try and accomplish this either through use Darkness-type attackers, Path to the Peak or use one-Prize Pokemon. When you look at all the non-Mew decks which have been performing over the Brilliant Stars format, every single one of them has one of those attributes. If I were to play Mew at EUIC, I would fully expecting at least half of my day one opponents to try to hard counter me and every single day two opponent to either play a hard counter to Mew or be playing Mew themselves.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 14 * 1 Oricorio FST 42 * 4 Genesect V FST 185 * 2 Meloetta FST 124 * 4 Mew V FST 250 * 3 Mew VMAX FST 114 ##Trainer Cards - 39 * 4 Power Tablet FST 236 * 3 Boss's Orders RCL 200 * 4 Rotom Phone CPA 64 * 3 Rose Tower DAA 169 * 2 Switch SUM 160 * 1 Echoing Horn CRE 136 * 2 Escape Rope PLS 120 * 2 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135 * 4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 * 3 Elesa's Sparkle FST 233 * 3 Cram-o-matic FST 229 ##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 Mew list is the same as one I posted in an earlier article, which is just my Brisbane list with an extra Rose Tower over a Cram-o-Matic. This deck list is simple and straightforward, something you want in any powerful deck.
The reason to play Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres is that you have an answer to everything.
Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres can answer both other Arceus VSTAR decks and Mew VMAX through weakness. Because you have access to both Galarian Moltres as well as Galarian Zapdos V, Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres can hit for Fighting and Darkness weakness respectively, the two most important types of weakness to hit for. You also have Arceus VSTAR, providing extra consistency through Starbirth as well as a solid attacker against matchups where you aren’t hitting for weakness.
The reason not to play Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres is because your deck isn’t very specialized, you’re trying to do a ton of stuff at once.
Because of the techs you play to cover weakness, Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres lacks the consistency of other Arceus VSTAR variants like Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon. Because of the high number of deck slots required for Galarian Moltres and Galarian Zapdos V, you must cut down to a 3/2 Arceus VSTAR line and two Double Turbo Energy. This stunts your setup in the early game because your Shady Dealings and Starbirth are tied up with searching out your pieces to set up for a turn two Trinity Nova. I think that Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres is a strong deck but can definitely have consistency problems.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 18
* 3 Arceus V BRS 122
* 2 Arceus VSTAR BRS 123
* 2 Galarian Moltres EVS 93
* 1 Galarian Zapdos V BRS 182
* 4 Sobble CRE 41
* 4 Drizzile SSH 56
* 1 Inteleon SSH 58
* 1 Inteleon EVS 227
##Trainer Cards - 32
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Boss's Orders RCL 200
* 2 Training Court RCL 169
* 1 Escape Rope PRC 127
* 1 Raihan EVS 152
* 2 Klara CRE 145
* 4 Level Ball AOR 76
* 2 Scoop Up Net RCL 207
* 1 Ultra Ball BRS 150
* 1 Choice Belt BRS 135
* 1 Cape of Toughness VIV 200
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 216
* 2 Energy Search BCR 128
* 3 Professor's Research SSH 209
* 2 Marnie SSH 208
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 213
##Energy - 10
* 2 Fighting Energy SMEnergy 6
* 2 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
* 6 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7
Total Cards - 60
****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
This list is built to try and be as consistent as possible while still utilizing all the techs. Having two Klara and two Galarian Moltres is very important to pull off two Galarian Moltres a game and the third Arceus V is relevant for opening it.
A reason to play Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon is that you will set up every game.
Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon is the most consistent deck in Standard. Even though Mew can draw tons of cards in one turn, Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon needs so much less to get going that it will set up at a higher rate than any other deck in the current format. Having access to the full Arceus VSTAR line as well as more Pokemon search cards give Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon the leg up over Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres in terms of consistency and Path to the Peak allows you to hopefully slow down Mew VMAX enough to get over the line. Because of your Water Energy, you also can attack with Inteleon SSH, which has ended up swinging the Rapid Strike Malamar matchup.
A reason not to play Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon is that your deck is comparatively very weak to the rest of the metagame.
Having such a consistent deck does come with its downsides. Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon tends to be very linear with its attacks, only being able to use Trinity Nova and sometimes Aqua Bullet. Against Mew VMAX, your only form of counterplay to their strategy is to hope to lock them down with Path to the Peak. However, Path to the Peak loses effectiveness quickly after turn one and most Mew VMAX deck lists right now are playing three or four Stadiums which makes your Path to the Peak likely to get countered. You also struggle against the fighting type Pokemon of the format, Galarian Zapdos V and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. While Dunsparce FST is an effective counter against Galarian Zapdos, it is bait for GMAX Rapid Flow to take easy prizes on. While you do have Manaphy to defend against Rapid Flow, that are still a lot of Pokemon to search for in addition to your Arceus VSTAR and Inteleon line.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 20 * 4 Arceus V BRS 165 * 1 Dunsparce FST 207 * 3 Arceus VSTAR BRS 176 * 1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117 * 1 Manaphy BRS 41 * 4 Sobble CRE 41 * 4 Drizzile SSH 56 * 1 Inteleon SSH 58 * 1 Inteleon EVS 227 ##Trainer Cards - 30 * 1 Big Charm RCL 206 * 3 Evolution Incense SSH 163 * 2 Boss's Orders RCL 200 * 1 Pal Pad SSH 172 * 2 Path to the Peak CRE 148 * 2 Melony CRE 146 * 4 Level Ball AOR 76 * 2 Scoop Up Net RCL 207 * 2 Ultra Ball BRS 150 * 1 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 * 2 Professor's Research SSH 209 * 1 Marnie SSH 208 * 2 Cheren's Care BRS 134 ##Energy - 10 * 2 Capture Energy RCL 171 * 5 Water Energy SWSHEnergy 3 * 3 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
This deck list was focused on maximizing your outs to hit a turn one Arceus V. The extra copies of Ultra Ball and Capture Energy help accomplish this. You can recover if you miss the turn one attachment on the Arceus V, you can still get the turn two Trinity Nova by setting up Melony with Starbirth.
The reason to play Rapid Strike Malamar is that theoretically, you out trade everyone else.
Malamar is currently the strongest deck in the format which only uses single Prize Pokemon, which is a massive asset right now. The Rapid Strike Tentacles attack is very reminiscent of Blacephalon UNB’s Fireball Circus, which was a major player when it was legal in Standard. Rapid Strike Malamar has a near infinite damage ceiling, easily able to reach nine Rapid Strike cards in hand thanks to Cynthia’s Ambition and Shady Dealings on Inteleon and Drizzile. And nine is an important number – it lets Malamar take a OHKO on a Mew VMAX when they have Oricorio FST in play! You want to go second with this deck to hit Keep Calling or Brawly on the first turn and reliably you will be able to do that because all Arceus VSTAR and Mew players, correctly, opt to go first into a blind matchup. While this seems like a minor advantage, always getting to go second usually makes the opening coin flips irrelevant, which is nice while playing at a major tournament.
The reason not to play Rapid Strike Malamar is that theoretically you out trade everyone else
The downside of Malamar is the same downside Blacephalon UNB had, its consistency. It is extremely susceptible to having a suboptimal opening hand or drawing too many non-Rapid Strike cards off a Cynthia’s Ambition. You are also weak to decks such as Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon who can attack with Inteleon SSH which tends to be a roadblock against your deck. This format is incredibly fast, and if your Malamar deck list is consistent enough to take OHKOs every single turn, you have one of the strongest decks in the format. However, it can fall apart quickly if you struggle to set up properly.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 23 * 2 Skiploom EVS 3 * 4 Inkay CRE 69 * 4 Malamar CRE 70 * 3 Remoraid BST 36 * 4 Sobble CRE 41 * 3 Drizzile SSH 56 * 2 Octillery BST 37 * 1 Inteleon SSH 58 ##Trainer Cards - 31 * 4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 * 1 Tower of Waters BST 138 * 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171 * 4 Brawly CRE 212 * 1 Boss's Orders RCL 189 * 3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165 * 4 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138 * 1 Rescue Carrier EVS 154 * 1 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 4 Fog Crystal CRE 140 * 4 Level Ball NXD 89 * 2 Korrina's Focus BST 128 * 1 Turffield Stadium RCL 170 ##Energy - 6 * 4 Spiral Energy CRE 159 * 2 Psychic Energy SMEnergy 5 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
While this list mostly looks standard, there are some cards I would like to touch on. The Choice Belt is in this list as a card which increases the damage of Rapid Strike Tentacles while being playable before a Cynthia’s Ambition. While it adds 10 less damage than a Rapid Strike card, it still contributes to knockouts on Mew VMAX and Arceus VSTAR when it has a Big Charm attached. You can also search it out with a Shady Dealings pre–Cynthia’s Ambition, which made the card strong enough for me to include it. The other card is Boss’s Orders. Boss’s Orders might seem counterintuitive in this deck because it isn’t a burnable card or a Rapid Strike card, but without it the Mew VMAX matchup becomes a lot harder. Being able to spend a turn to play Boss’s Orders and knock out Oricorio is very powerful in that matchup, and you can be punished if you don’t include Boss’s Orders in your Malamar deck.
The reason to play Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX / Galarian Moltres is because you beat everything that isn’t Mew through being Rapid Strike Urshifu and beat Mew with Galarian Moltres.
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is one of the strongest cards in the current format with the most unfortunate weakness. Being able to hit two Pokemon at once is always a good sign for an attack, and the fact that you can target two benched Pokemon makes it even stronger. Fighting is a very good type to be right now as well, with Arceus VSTAR being one of the top decks in the current format.
However, Rapid Strike Urshifu falls apart when you look at it’s Mew VMAX matchup. Psychic weakness is crippling against Mew VMAX and Urshifu can’t even two-hit KO a Mew VMAX by itself. This is where the Galarian Moltres comes in. Robin Schultz won Liverpool Regionals a few weeks ago with this deck, beating several Mew VMAX decks during his run. Against Mew VMAX, this deck attempts to transform into a Galarian Moltres deck, using Cynthia’s Ambition and Zinnia’s Resolve to build up a massive hand. Theoretically, you use your Urshifu game plan to beat every deck apart from Mew VMAX and use your Galarian Moltres game plan to beat Mew VMAX.
The reason not to play Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is because your deck is very exploitable.
Because of the high space requirement of Rapid Strike Urshifu, this deck is only able to fit one copy of Klara and one copy of Galarian Moltres. This makes your Galarian Moltres game plan against Mew VMAX very shaky and potentially exploitable if they attack with two Meloetta. Another issue you face is if the Mew VMAX player decides to go second in games two or three. This deck falls apart quickly going second against Mew; getting your active Pokemon knocked out before you can use Keep Calling is backbreaking against such an aggressive deck. Similarly to the Arceus VSTAR / Galarian Moltres deck, you are trying to put many different strategies into one deck, which now that Urshifu is a known quantity, your low counts of cards will definitely be exploited at future tournaments.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 21 * 1 Snorlax VIV 131 * 1 Galarian Moltres EVS 93 * 1 Hoopa DAA 111 * 1 Medicham V EVS 83 * 1 Passimian CRE 88 * 3 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87 * 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88 * 1 Remoraid BST 36 * 4 Sobble CRE 41 * 3 Drizzile SSH 56 * 1 Octillery BST 37 * 1 Inteleon SSH 58 * 1 Inteleon CRE 43 ##Trainer Cards - 29 * 1 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138 * 1 Peonia CRE 149 * 4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 * 2 Tower of Waters BST 138 * 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171 * 1 Boss's Orders RCL 154 * 3 Quick Ball SSH 179 * 1 Telescopic Sight VIV 160 * 1 Raihan EVS 152 * 1 Klara CRE 145 * 1 Air Balloon SSH 156 * 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165 * 1 Pal Pad FLF 92 * 2 Energy Search BCR 128 * 1 Zinnia's Resolve EVS 164 * 4 Level Ball NXD 89 ##Energy - 10 * 3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140 * 2 Fighting Energy SMEnergy 6 * 5 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
This list is very similar to Robin’s, with the only changes being to remove the Sonia and Cheryl and add a Tower of Waters and an Urshifu V. When you use the Urshifu game plan with this deck, I found an extra copy of the basic V and Tower of Waters to be incredibly impactful at helping you chain Gale Thrusts repeatedly. While Cheryl is strong against non-Mew decks, your matchup against those is so good already that I found the card to be redundant and often just be a “win more” effect.
While there are other relevant decks in Standard, these are the top five I would have on my list going into EUIC. Good luck if you’re playing, I hope these tips have helped!