Yo everyone! It’s Isaiah, fresh off a top eight finish at EUIC. I’m here today to go in-depth on my Urshifu list and why I believe it’s the best.
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ****** ##Pokémon - 21 * 2 Galarian Moltres EVS 93 * 1 Hoopa DAA 111 * 1 Medicham V EVS 186 * 1 Passimian CRE 88 * 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87 * 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88 * 2 Mew CEL 11 * 4 Sobble CRE 41 * 4 Drizzile SSH 56 * 1 Inteleon SSH 58 * 1 Inteleon CRE 43 ##Trainer Cards - 30 * 1 Escape Rope BST 125 * 1 Peonia CRE 149 * 4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 * 2 Training Court RCL 169 * 1 Pal Pad UPR 132 * 1 Cheryl BST 123 * 1 Bird Keeper DAA 159 * 4 Quick Ball SSH 179 * 2 Energy Search SSH 161 * 1 Raihan EVS 152 * 1 Klara CRE 145 * 1 Air Balloon SSH 156 * 3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165 * 1 Cynthia's Ambition BRS 138 * 1 Choice Belt BRS 135 * 1 Professor's Research SSH 178 * 3 Level Ball NXD 89 * 1 Boss's Orders RCL 154 ##Energy - 9 * 1 Fighting Energy * 3 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140 * 5 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7 Total Cards - 60 ****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******
Simply put: this deck is broken. The combination of pressure from Urshifu VMAX, huge damage with Moltres and comeback with Yoga Loop make it so difficult for any given deck to beat. It has a favorable matchup against all of the popular decks in format, and can even beat decks when they specifically tech for it. Going into the event, I had hundreds of games with this deck and felt confident in whatever I would face. With Urshifu to handle Arceus, Moltres to handle Mew and Medicham to deal with everything else, this deck can beat anything.
Four – Four – One/One Inteleon
We had three Drizzile for almost the entirety of our testing, but the night before Justin and I realized that one big reason we were losing to Mew was that they would Boss KO a Drizzile, and we would have one Prized, meaning we only had one for the entire game until we played Klara. If they hunted down that Drizzile, we often lost on the spot.
The fourth Drizzile upped consistency, gave us insurance against discarding/prizing and allowed us to stabilize if they chased our Pokemon. The one/one Inteleon split is staple. You need Shady Dealings Intleleon to set up your combos, and Quick Shooting Inteleon allows you to use Medicham effectively.
Two – Two Urshifu VMAX
Urshifu is the face of this deck and enables so many insane comebacks through GMAX Rapid Flow. KOing two Malamar, Dunsparce and a Drizzile, a Meloetta and an Oricorio – this card can do it all! And thanks to Raihan and Rapid Strike Energy, this attack is possible in a single turn! Past how powerful Rapid Flow is, Urshifu VMAX is good because it can attack the turn you use Cheryl. This allows you to Gale Thrust with the same Urshifu multiple turns in a row, even when it’s being attacked. With a Fighting typing that lets you hit weakness on one of the best decks in the format, this card has everything!
Two Galarian Moltres
While only one Moltres was the usual count in the deck before this event, two is, without a doubt, the optimal number. The second Moltres is essential vs. Mew VMAX – you almost always use two in a game, and in many games, you don’t have time to Klara for the first one back. The second Moltres is also helpful against Malamar and any Arceus deck playing Hoopa V. Finally, prizing Moltres when you only play one is often game-losing. In an event where I expected to play against a ton of Mew, that wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.
Why no Galarian Moltres V?
This is a question I get almost every time someone looks at my list – you don’t play Galarian Moltres V, so how do you beat Mew? Funny enough, in our testing, Galarian Moltres V was irrelevant against Mew in most of our games. If the Mew player finds out that you play Moltres V, they can use Psychic Leap into the four-Prize turn and render your Moltres V useless. If the Mew VMAX player doesn’t play optimally, this card can be helpful, but the matchup was good enough without it anyways that it wasn’t worth the inclusion.
Hoopa is necessary in this deck, and I can’t believe Gustavo didn’t play it in his winning list. Hoopa allows you to KO Meloetta (or set up the checkmate scenario if they have Oricorio down), takes prizes vs. Malamar, take cheap KOs on Sobble and is just a great attacker in general. After EUIC, this card is even more critical because it sets up good numbers against Whimsicott and can KO Dunsparce with a Big Charm if your opponent has Manaphy on the bench.
Passimian is good with no Telescopic Sight in the deck? That’s right! This card is fantastic vs. Mew VMAX and plenty good by itself. Against Mew, you can use Fling on Passimian to do 50 to a Genesect V that’s sitting on the bench. Then, you can use Hoopa with a Choice Belt to do 120 damage, which pushes Genesect V to 170. This sets Genesect up for a Yoga Loop, which easily lets you checkmate your opponent by the end of the game. Passimian is also great against Whimsicott VSTAR; if you can fling for 50, you can Hoopa for 90 to put the Whimsicott to 140. After they KO your Hoopa, you can Moltres for 120 to finish it off. Passimian was great for me in the tournament and opened up enough lines in the Mew matchup to be worth its spot if you expect to play against Mew.
Here it is, the card that makes everything possible! Yoga Loop is one of the most interesting attacks ever printed, and it fully shines in this deck. It singlehandedly makes Malamar and Mew favorable matchups while also having utility against other decks. At EUIC, Medicham V won me rounds against Ice Rider, Whimsicott V and the usual matchups. I won’t bother trying to explain all of the situations where the card is good here. You’ll understand as you read the article.
The addition to my list that caught most people’s eye was two of the Mew from Celebrations. This card was thought up by me Tuesday night before I flew out and is so good in this deck. The great thing about Mew is that it acts as an extra Drizzile every turn, but on a basic! It also protects you against Marnie and gives you more Pokemon to sacrifice vs. Mew.
Another benefit of Mew was that it gave us two more good starters – our list we played to EUIC had a 66 percent chance to start a Pokemon we wanted (Sobble or Mew), which is much higher than the percentage the list Robin won Liverpool with had to start Sobble (49 percent). Mew upped the deck’s consistency and gave it the reach it needed to win games – I believe it should be included in every list in the future.
One Cynthia’s Ambition, One Professor’s Research
Thanks to Inteleon, this deck runs smoothly with the help of barely any draw supporters, but these two are essential! Cynthia’s Ambition lets you fill your hand up to eight cards on turn two, which sets you up for the rest of the game in most matchups. Research is crucial because it allows you to have a draw supporter left in your deck if you use Cynthia’s Ambition and get Marnie’d down to a low hand size. It’s also needed in many situations where you want to play more aggressively and attack with Urshifu. For example, if your opponent hasn’t taken a KO, if you have bad cards clogging up your hand or if you prize Cynthia, Research ensures you have a good draw supporter to play.
One Bird Keeper
Bird Keeper was added near the end of our testing but quickly earned its spot. It’s important to have an out to switch your active Pokemon in many different situations, but Bird Keeper is also just great as a way to draw three cards whenever you want to build your hand. There were plenty of times over the weekend when I wanted to draw cards, but I couldn’t afford to discard my hand, and Bird Keeper fills that role perfectly. Finally, Bird Keeper is an excellent card in your opening hand, which is more reason to play it!
Klara is one of my favorite cards in this deck because of how unique the design is. It’s not powerful by itself but has enough utility with other cards to earn a spot in every deck that plays Moltres. Along with instantly getting you a Moltres attack, it also can be used to get back Sobble and Drizzile in the middle of the game if you need to. Finally, Klara makes it acceptable to play one of copies of many of your utility Pokemon because you can get them back at any time!
This card is so good in this deck and makes many of your combo plays possible. Because Medicham states, “you take another turn,” and Raihan says, “during your opponent’s last turn,” you can double Raihan on the turn during and after using Yoga Loop. Even if you don’t do this, Raihan allows you to search for your Rapid Strike Energy (which is especially important against Arceus decks) and sets up Urshifu VMAX with the basic energy it needs to attack! It is also a decent card throughout the game and can help you pull off Moltres attacks whenever you wouldn’t have enough energy in hand otherwise.
Another card that makes this deck possible, Peonia makes running 18 one-ofs feasible! With the power of Prize-checking, you can know what you have Prized in every game and choose to play Peonia when it best suits you. There is no worse feeling than prizing the cards you need to win the game, and thanks to Peonia, that fear is eliminated.
One Cheryl, One Boss’s Orders
These cards are self-explanatory in this deck, so I won’t waste time writing about them. Cheryl is broken because it allows you to heal your Urshifu if it doesn’t die in one hit (it has 330 HP, by the way). Boss’s Orders is a staple in every deck; the ability to bring one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon into the active spot is too good not to play.
Four Quick Ball, Four Evolution Incense, Three Level Ball
We had to cut a search card to fit the fourth Drizzile, and Level Ball was the one to go. We knew that Evolution Incense was necessary – finding Inteleon and Urshifu was too important – but the choice between Level Ball and Quick Ball was more challenging. Ultimately, Level Ball was the correct cut because Quick Ball was the only out to find our basic attackers, while Level Ball was only for Drizzile past turn one.
Three Scoop Up Net
You want a fourth Net in this deck, but there’s no room. So three it is! Scoop Up Net is such a good card when combined with Inteleon! It allows you to use extra Shady Dealings, use two Quick Shooting in one turn, work as a pivot to move your active and much more! Three Scoop Up Net was completely fine for me at EUIC, and unless a card magically becomes cuttable, I’ll stick with this count going forward.
Two Energy Search
Finding energy is one of the most challenging things for this deck, so two Energy Search is necessary. Because Moltres only needs three basic energy to attack (and Klara can easily set up a second one), double Energy Search means you only need to draw one basic energy throughout the game to attack with it. Finally, Mew can grab Energy Search, so playing a second makes it more likely you can get it off of Mew, which can help you set up combo plays.
One Pal Pad
Pal Pad is another staple of this deck – it turns out when you play eight one-of Supporters, being able to get them back is pretty good! Because Cynthia’s Ambition is the draw Supporter you use most often, you rarely discard Pal Pad, so you can hold it to get value later in the game. One of the best plays with Pal Pad is using Raihan to Medicham V, using Pal Pad, and then getting Raihan onto Urshifu VMAX. This card is far too good not to play.
One Escape Rope
Rope is insane in this deck, and I can’t believe it wasn’t played in every Urshifu list. The main matchup where Escape Rope shines is Mew VMAX. There are many situations where they will only have one single-Prize Pokemon in play, and Escape Rope forces them to put a two-Prize Pokemon active. In addition, Escape Rope is an additional way to reset Gale Thrust other than Air Balloon. Rope is also very impactful vs. Malamar because you can’t KO Malamar with Rapid Flow through Resistance, so you need to move it to the bench. All-in-all, this card is very impactful in this deck and will win you plenty of games.
One Choice Belt
Choice Belt is another card that I expect to be standard in Urshifu lists. It allows you to set up Yoga Loop plays (70 into 100 with Hoopa on Genesect if they bench Oricorio, 180 on the three prize turn on Genesect, 50 from Passimian +120 with Hoopa), KO Mew V on turn two, KO Mew VMAX on turn three with Quick Shooting, two-shot Urshifu VMAX with Gale Thrust into Rapid Flow in the mirror, one-shot an Arceus with a Big Charm and so much more. The card is impactful in almost every matchup and gives you even more options to set up for Yoga Loop.
This card is amazing in this deck. Where do I even start? When put on Mew, it allows you to gain a free item every turn, which essentially makes you Marnie-proof. I set this up against every Mew player that I didn’t prize Balloon against, and I beat all of them. In addition, it gives you an easy way to maneuver Urshifu VMAX out of the active spot, allows you to Gale Thrust the same turn you play Cheryl (Air Balloon retreat into an Inteleon or Drizzile and Scoop Up Net) and allows you to conserve energy on Medicham V after using Yoga Loop. I can’t praise this card enough; it was one of the best inclusions last weekend.
The final Trainer in this deck, Training Court holds this deck together. The first thing Court does is give you more outs to basic energy off of Inteleon. Without it, I quickly realized that pulling off Moltres in the middle of the game without Klara was almost impossible. Court also makes it so you can Inteleon for all of the pieces of the Cheryl combo. Next, you can get Training Court, Cheryl and Scoop up Net to heal and attach another Fighting Energy. Without Court, you’d have to have the Fighting in hand already, which doesn’t always happen. Finally, Training Court works perfectly with Cynthia’s Ambition or Professor’s Research in that you can use the draw cards and then get your energy after. As if it weren’t good enough, you can effectively court twice on Yoga Loop turns! I honestly don’t know how the other lists survived without Training Court; it is undoubtedly the correct stadium in the deck.
There it is everyone, that’s the deck! In the future, I would consider dropping the Passimian for either a Manaphy (for mirror) or an Avery (for teched-out Arceus), but this base list is also extremely strong. I hope this article helped you better understand this crazy deck – if you have any questions feel free to message me on Twitter @IsaiahBradner, and I’d be happy to answer them!
See you in Indy!