Hello to all CFB readers! Nathalia here again with another Pokémon TCG article, and this time we’re talking about Eternatus VMAX. With the great popularity of Mew VMAX and the consequent drop of Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, it’s possible to rethink using Eternatus VMAX once again as a competitive option. But what is the best way to do this? What is the best version of Eternatus VMAX for the current metagame?
My desire to dig a little deeper into the possibilities of Eternatus VMAX clearly came from the need to get a good matchup against Mew VMAX, but also from the desire to find a new deck option that can stand out in the metagame. After all, if you use a deck that has an advantage against Best Deck in the Format (BDIF) and still has balanced matchups against the rest of the metagame, you have a good deck on your hands. In today’s article, I will show you three versions of Eternatus VMAX with great competitive potential. The first and most traditional, with Umbreon VMAX, then the most popular version at the moment, with Galarian Weezing, and finally an unpopular version that I’m really enjoying and I believe has potential, with Thievul.
According to LimitlessTCG, Mew VMAX is by far the most used deck in online tournaments. In the last 305 tournaments hosted by the site, Mew VMAX was used by 3673 players, while Jolteon VMAX was used by 1842, Umbreon Urshifu by 1792 and the sequel Rapid Strike Urshifu with 1304 players. Not only is Mew VMAX at least twice as used as any other deck in the format, but it also has a positive win rate of 52.57 percent, while most other decks have a rate of less than 50 percent, i.e. more lose than gain.
I used all this data just to say that if you participate in an online tournament, the chance of you having to face Mew VMAX is high, and if you’re not properly prepared, the chance of you winning will be less than the chance of winning. With that in mind, Eternatus VMAX, which was a bit overlooked in the metagame due to the popularity of Rapid Stirke Urshifu and Single Strike Urshifu decks, now has a chance to return to the metagame due to bears low and good matchup against Mew VMAX.
Regardless of which version of Eternatus VMAX you use, you’ll have a natural advantage against Mew VMAX, but that’s not to say that advantage is too big. Some versions have more advantages than the other, but basically it all depends on the initial setup of each one, so don’t be impressed if you lose games to Mew VMAX because you can’t make a good setup.
Despite Mew VMAX being the BDIF, there are still several other popular decks that make up the metagame. Returning to the numbers, among the 305 online tournaments, there were 21,008 players participating and 3673 of these players used Mew VMAX – that is, all the other 17335 players did not use Mew VMAX. If only 17 percent is Mew VMAX, then you need to know more about the other decks that make up 83 percent of the metagame.
The worst matchups are Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and Single Strike Urshifu, but lately these decks have been on the downswing due to the great success of Mew VMAX, which continues to grow. Thanks to the fall of the bears, Jolteon VMAX rose to prominence again and became the second most popular deck in the metagame, with a higher win rate than Mew VMAX. The matchup of Eternatus VMAX against Jolteon VMAX is hard for Eternatus because of Path to the Peak, but depending on the version of Eternatus VMAX used, this disadvantage may be smaller.
Despite all that, I see Eternatus VMAX as a healthy metagame option, full of balanced and playable matchups. Below are three versions of Eternatus VMAX for you to choose from and each one has a totally different strength. The first is with Umbreon VMAX and the main idea is to be aggressive and get quick and important knockouts. The second version is with Galarian Weezing and goes a little contrary to the previous strategy, as the idea of Galarian Weezing is to disable the opponent’s Abilities to disrupt the setup, something that usually increases the duration of the match since the opponent will not be able to make the plays they would like and the objective is to use that extra time to prepare the game for Eternatus VMAX to destroy everything next. And the third version is with Thievul, a Pokémon that has an Ability very similar to Marnie’s effect and the idea of this version is not to have to worry so much about using a Draw Supporter and thus make you more relaxed to use other good Supporters more easily, like Boss’s Order and Piers.
4 Eternatus V 3 Eternatus VMAX 2 Galarian Moltres V 1 Liepard V 4 Crobat V 4 Umbreon V 4 Umbreon VMAX 4 Professor's Research 3 Marnie 2 Boss's Orders 1 Flannery 4 Quick Ball 4 Great Ball 2 Evolution Incense 2 Energy Switch 4 Air Balloon 4 Tower of Darkness 8 Darkness Energy
I consider this version the most synergistic of Eternatus VMAX since Evolving Skies came out due to the good combination with Umbreon VMAX, because thanks to the Eternatus VMAX’s Ability Eternal Zone, it’s possible to bench some Umbreon V on the field without worrying about bench space. In using the full set of Umbreon VMAX, this opens up the possibility of using the Tower of Darkness stadium, the only stadium among all those available in the Standard format that really helps Eternatus VMAX, as all others, even Galar Mine in the Thievul version, don’t add much to an Eternatus VMAX deck.
- Boss effect without Boss: The Ability to bring the opponent’s Pokémon to the active spot goes against the possible 270 damage that Eternatus VMAX can do on the second turn, which means you can Knock Out any opponent’s Pokémon V on the second turn, even if it has a Cape of Toughness. If you manage to knock out three Pokemon V, then you’ll win the game in four turns, with three attacks. This is the main strategy of this version, which is the same strategy of Mew VMAX and many other decks.
- Tower of Darkness: As I said, this stadium is the only one that helps Eternatus VMAX in some way, as it allows you to discard some unnecessary Umbreon in order to be able to draw two cards to help with consistency. Because of Path to the Peak, every Eternatus VMAX deck needs to use stadium cards to prevent your opponent from having eight Pokémon on the bench with Eternatus VMAX, as well as preventing you from drawing cards with Crobat V or bringing any Pokémon on the Bench opponent’s with Umbreon VMAX.
- Flannery: Since the deck relies on Umbreon VMAX to bring some Pokémon on the opponent’s bench, it’s not necessary to use Boss’s Orders often. Instead, your Supporter for the turn can be used on Flannery, which has the effect of discarding a stadium and an opponent’s Special Energy. Flannery’s main idea is to have one more way to get rid of Path to the Peak, but removing Special Energy also has its advantages in the metagame, as decks like Jolteon VMAX use both Path to the Peak and Special Energy. Another advantage of Flannery is being able to discard in the Tower of Darkness to draw cards.
- Liepard V: The Hidden Claw Ability is great in the matchup against Jolteon VMAX to remove Elemental Badge, great against Leafeon VMAX to remove Tool Jammer, as well as being useful to remove other more popular tools like Air Balloon and Cape of Toughness.
- Linear strategy: The strategy of this version is to make the Eternatus VMAX in the second turn and thus knock out the Pokémon you want from the opponent with the help of Umbreon VMAX. The deck manages to deliver this strategy very well, but having just this strategy to resolve all the threats in the metagame is not always enough. I miss a good attack to use on the first turn and I miss the Eternatus VMAX not being able to KO a Pokémon VMAX with one attack.
- Gengar VMAX: This version of Eternatus VMAX with Umbreon VMAX is a list that has 15 Basic Pokémon V, something terrible against Gengar VMAX because the damage caused by the Fear and Panic attack will do enough damage to knock out Eternatus VMAX with just one attack. The other two versions that will be presented have Pokémon Single Prize, something that helps a lot to make Gengar VMAX less lethal.
4 Eternatus V 3 Eternatus VMAX 2 Galarian Moltres V 4 Crobat V 4 Koffing 3 Galarian Weezing 4 Professor's Research 4 Marnie 3 Boss's Orders 4 Quick Ball 3 Great Ball 3 Evolution Incense 4 Switch 2 Energy Switch 3 Galar Mine 7 Darkness Energy 3 Hiding Darkness Energy
This is the version that has the most advantage against Mew VMAX, as Galarian Weezing is devastating by shutting off Genesect V’s Abilities and preventing the deck from enjoying its absurd consistency. In addition, Galarian Weezing is sensational for disabling the Abilities of Drizzile and Inteleon, other Pokémon that are widely used in several other decks in the metagame to help with consistency. Depending on the situation, Galarian Weezing is able to bring victory early in the game, as by deactivating the opponent’s Abilities, he can run out of moves to make, consequently being unable to develop his setup.
Unlike a traditional Eternatus VMAX deck, in this version the idea is to start the game with Galarian Weezing and use as much Galarian Weezing as possible. Only at the end of the game will Eternatus VMAX appear to deal it’s possible 270 damage.
- Choose the game pace: As I said before, the idea is to start the game with Galarian Weezing to deactivate the opponent’s Abilities, slow the game down so that you can do your setup calmly, but if by chance you start the game, can choose to simply attack with Eternatus VMAX on the second turn.
- Galar Mine: Of the stadium options we have, Galar Mine is the least worst, to be honest, it makes some sense with Galarian Weezing. In theory, by disabling the opponent’s Ability and inflicting the special poison condition of 40 damage between turns, Galar Mine aims to increase the opponent’s recoil cost so that they will not be able to retreat and thus remain poisoned by Severe Poison. In practice, the opponent most of the time will have some other stadium to take out the Galar Mine or else they will have Switch or Escape Rope to get out of this situation. The good part is that you can repeat this move a few times, which forces the opponent to keep looking for resources to get out of this situation. After the first or second attempt, consequently the opponent will have less and less resources to get rid of.
- To lessen the impact of Galar Mine on yourself, the deck has four copies of Switch and three copies of Hiding Energy to promote mobility even with your stadium on the field.
- No Ability for the opponent: If Path to the Peak is already extremely strong for taking away Pokémon V’s Ability, then imagine the Neutralizing Gas Ability that takes away the Ability of all Pokémon. There isn’t a deck in the format that isn’t minimally impacted by Galarian Weezing. Mew VMAX has Genesect V, Jolteon VMAX has Drizzile and Inteleon, Zacian V cannot use Intrepid Sword, Suicune V cannot use Fleet-Footed and Ludicolo. In short, there are many cases. The bad part is that Galarian Weezing is a Pokemon with only 130 HP and a relatively weak attack, so if you want to keep the opponent without Ability, you will have to evolve two or three Galarian Weezing in the game, as they don’t last very long in field and has difficulty performing knockouts.
- Too slow sometimes: The other versions of Eternatus VMAX featured in this article have more aggressive or consistent characteristics than Galarian Weezing. While in the Umbreon VMAX version you don’t have to worry about using Boss’s Orders and in the Thievul version you don’t have to worry about using Marnie, in this version there are no support Pokemon, so you need to spend your turn Supporter on Marnie or Boss’s Orders if you need these effects. Because of this, Galarian Weezing’s function is to disrupt the opponent’s setup so that they lose speed, that way you have time to use your Supporters. The problem is that if the opponent is not so impacted by Galarian Weezing’s Neutralizing Gas, it’s possible that you’ll have problems in the match.
- Inconsistency issues: The list is as consistent as possible, but unlike the other versions, Galarian Weezing is not a support Pokemon, but a single prize attacking Pokemon with low HP. If the opponent is able to knock out Galarian Weezing consistently since the second round, then you probably won’t be able to hold back the opponent’s pressure for long and will have to follow the game with Eternatus VMAX but not being able to rely on Umbreon VMAX or Thievul to help you.
4 Eternatus V 4 Eternatus VMAX 2 Galarian Moltres V 4 Crobat V 4 Nickit 4 Thievul 4 Professor's Research 4 Piers 4 Boss's Orders 4 Quick Ball 4 Great Ball 4 Switch 3 Galar Mine 7 Darkness Energy 1 Hiding Darkness Energy 1 Capture Energy
This is the version less popular, but at the same time it’s the version of Eternatus VMAX that I have liked the most so far. Of all the three lists presented, this is the one I have the most doubts about the final list, because Thievul’s Fumbling Hands Ability surprised me so much that I still don’t know what to do with the advantage of having a similar effect available to Marnie’s without having to use a Supporter to do so. To test Thievul’s limits, I decided to make the most of the draw power of his Ability to be able to use four copies of Piers and Boss’s Orders, which are not Draw Supporter but have important effects for the deck, Piers for consistency and Boss’s Order to get prizes.
- Piers: With the advantage of being able to use Crobat V and Thievul in the same turn, Piers becomes a good Supporter to help with setup and find the right cards. Thanks to Piers, you don’t need to use Evolution Incense in the list, as one of the effects is to search for a Dark Pokémon, at the same time you can search for an energy as well. To further explore the effect of Piers, the deck has a Capture Energy to help with the setup of your Pokémon and a Hiding Energy to offer a free retreat to Dark Pokémon when the opponent pulls one of your Pokémon to buy time. It’s also a great tech against Leafeon, as Hiding leaves any Pokémon with a free retreat cost, causing Leafeon VMAX’s Grass Knot attack to deal no damage.
- More consistency: As I said before, I was lost with the draw power offered by Thievul. Maximizing Piers and Boss’s Orders counts is one way to exploit this advantage, but there are other Tech Supporter options that might work, such as Avery,
- Marnie effect with no Marnie: The effect of putting the opponent’s hand at the bottom of the deck is necessary, but being able to do this without having to use a Supporter has its advantages. For example, you can use Thievul together with Boss’s Orders, something that normally the opponent doesn’t want as it is not possible to use Marnie and Boss’s Orders in the same turn. In the case of the Eternatus VMAX version with Umbreon VMAX, this move is also possible as Umbreon does the Boss’s Order effect while you use Marnie.
- Lack of a good stadium: The list has three copies of Galar Mine to be able to take Path to the Peak out of the field, but the truth is that the effect of this stadium does not add much to the strategy, but among all the available options, it’s the least worst option. I don’t know how long Eternatus VMAX will be without a good option to get rid of Path to the Peak, but this has been a constant issue with the deck since rotation.
- Nickit and Thievul’s low HP: Nickit and Thievul’s HP are not low for the Single Prize Pokemon they’re actually quite reasonable values, but the other two versions of Eternatus VMAX presented don’t offer low HP Pokemon for the opponent to KO. For example, against Jolteon VMAX, Thievul can be easily knocked out by the Max Thunder Rumble attack.
Among the three versions presented, Eternatus VMAX with Thievul would be my preferred choice for playing a tournament, as it’s the most consistent version and the Fumbling Hands Ability allows you to make big plays. Maybe not the best option for the current metagame, as Galarian Weezing is in a good position, but I still prefer to invest in Thievul’s consistency.
At the end of this article, I realized that none of the three versions presented has the option to make Eternatus VMAX knock out a Pokémon VMAX with one attack. The traditional Eternatus VMAX with Galarian Zigzagoon and Scoop Up Net is still good, but the list seems clunky and Zigzagoon is a good target to be KO’d by Jolteon VMAX or Quick Shooting from Inteleon CRE.
As much as Mew VMAX is the best deck in the format, I would never choose this deck to play a major tournament right now, as all players who want to win this tournament know that they need to choose a deck that has at least a balanced matchup against Mew VMAX or just use Mew VMAX itself in the tournament. Regardless of what happens, if you have a deck that beats Mew VMAX and ranks with the rest of the metagame, then your choice is already better than Mew VMAX. I believe that Eternatus VMAX is capable of achieving this positioning in the metagame.
That’s all for today, I hope you liked it and until next time!