After Fusion Strike’s release, Mew VMAX quickly took over the format and is widely regarded to be the strongest and most popular deck. Since Mew VMAX is a Psychic-type and even features Fighting-type Resistance, it might seem like a death sentence to any Fighting-type VMAX deck.
Fortunately, Rapid Strike has adapted and its metagame position remains strong.
When Mew from Unbroken Bonds rotated, the best defense against G-Max Rapid Flow also disappeared from the format. Many feared that Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX would take over the competitive scene and stand at the top as the clear best deck – Urshifu had a lot of ups and downs instead. With rotation, Karate Belt also disappeared, making it hard for players to consistently use G-Max Rapid Flow consecutively. Raihan was looking like the card that would fill in for Karate Belt but being limited to after a KO was not the real push Urshifu needed. Using Raihan will often result in back-to-back G-Max Rapid Flow attacks, but very rarely will it be possible to exclusively use G-Max Rapid flow throughout the game.
Convinced this was the best attack available, I made it my job to find a way to make this happen. I was looking over all the different ways in the format to accelerate Energy onto Urshifu VMAX and Melony seemed like the most reliable option. Galarian Moltres V and Energy Switch are another strong alternative, but this forces a Bench space and Item to be used, it’s also very weak to the popular Path to the Peak. Other options I considered were Flaaffy and Rillaboom.
Having to rely on Pokemon to accelerate Energy weakens your board state, an opponent can simply target down the accelerator to slow you down. This is especially problematic when you are playing against other Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, Jolteon VMAX or Dragapult VMAX decks. As a Supporter, Melony cannot be countered right now and accelerates the Energy straight onto the Active Pokemon, which offers another huge advantage in not needing to find a way to pivot between attackers each turn. I still think the biggest downside with using Pokemon as a way of fueling Urshifu is the Bench space it occupies, since there are some extremely good support Pokemon you much rather would want to have on the Bench instead. That said, using Galarian Moltres V became a much more attractive alternative after Fusion Strike’s release, since it can hit Mew VMAX for Weakness. I still think the consistency Melony offers in allowing consecutive G-Max Rapid Flow attacks is worth the tradeoff for Moltres V, but the latter remains a popular way of playing Rapid Strike these days.
For a while I was playing Rapid Strike Urshifu and Melony with a Cinccino engine. My only goal was using Melony each turn to fuel G-Max Rapid Flow, and I wanted to use Cinccino to discard the Water Energy in the first place. The Rapid Strike Energy needed could easily be fetched by Octillery, meaning Melony was the only card that had to be found every turn. After some testing, I realized that having easy access to discard the first water Energy was not worth the risk of missing Melony, so the Cinccino engine were swapped back for the more traditional Inteleon line. After all, getting the first Water Energy in the discard pile can be done in multiple ways, either by using Sobble’s Keep Calling, Quick Ball, or simply attaching twice to Urshifu. This readdition reintroduced Quick Shooting, which goes very well with the overall sniping strategy.
The Melony version picked up some in popularity at the end of the Sword & Shield–Evolving Skies metagame, after some advocating by yours truly. At the time it was running a Vaporeon VMAX line to have a secondary attacker against the Psychic-type decks. Now with Fusion Strike out and Mew VMAX / Genesect V with it, alternative ways for the deck to combat the new threat are needed. The game plan with Vaporeon VMAX is too slow.
This is my current preferred list for the archetype:
##Pokémon - 25 4 Sobble CRE 41 4 Drizzile SSH 56 2 Inteleon CRE 43 1 Inteleon SSH 58 4 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87 3 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88 2 Remoraid BST 36 2 Octillery BST 178 1 Passimian CRE 88 1 Medicham V EVS 186 1 Crobat V PR-SW 98 ##Trainer Cards - 28 4 Melony CRE 195 2 Professor's Research SSH 201 1 Marnie SSH 200 4 Quick Ball SSH 216 4 Level Ball BST 129 4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 2 Telescopic Sight VIV 160 2 Escape Rope BST 125 2 Capacious Bucket RCL 156 1 Scoop Up Net RCL 207 1 Echoing Horn CRE 136 1 Tower of Waters BST 138 ##Energy - 7 4 Rapid Strike Energy BST 182 3 Water Energy 3
I put a lot of thought into the use and count of all the cards in this list – detailed explanations are in order.