Hello! You may remember that I recently wrote about Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX in the Chilling Reign metagame:
In that article, I argued for what seemed to be, going by the results from Japan, the most successful Urshifu variant. My timing was a bit off, though, as the article came out right as Shadow Rider Calyrex started popping off in online tournaments. There’s no question that Urshifu is a very solid deck, able to win tournaments, thanks to even or good matchups against a good part of the metagame (among others like ADP, Eternatus, Ice Rider Calyrex, etc.), but it does struggle with Shadow Rider Calyrex due to its Psychic Weakness and Shadow Rider’s Fighting Resistance plus high HP.
But what if I told you that there’s a way to beat Shadow Rider with Urshifu? The formula is simple and it’s one that multiple decks have used to deal with Shadow Rider.
Step One: Add Galarian Moltres V.
Step Two: Add some Darkness Energy.
Step Three: Attach enough Darkness Energy to Moltres and OHKO a three-prizer (Shadow Rider VMAX or Gengar & Mimikyu-GX), twice!
The fun part is that Moltres isn’t even weak to Fighting, so Shadow Rider can’t use Zapdos in the matchup. Sure, they can KO Moltres with Max Geist, but they’ll have to expose their VMAX to a second Moltres.
What’s more, Moltres isn’t useful only for its Darkness typing. It provides Energy acceleration to the deck, which means that, with Energy Switch, you can power up an Urshifu out of nowhere and use G-Max One Flow even if you didn’t have any Energy in play beforehand. This allows you to use that powerful attack several turns in a row if needed, with a good enough hand. It also gives the deck more options in the early game, especially going second: with the right setup, you can use Urshifu V’s Hundred Furious Blows on the first turn of the game. It’s not particularly common, but even the threat of it may force your opponent to play more carefully.
Since Moltres and the support around it (Energy Switch, as well as Viridian Forest to both discard and draw Energy cards) take space in the deck and on the Bench, it’s harder to add an Inteleon line to this deck. However, the good news is that you can use Jirachi instead! Rapid Strike Urshifu and Jirachi form a combination that was one of Battle Styles’ best decks and I see Urshifu / Moltres as the evolution of that deck. Jirachi helps this deck be more effective by finding cards like Energy Switch, faster than Inteleon would. Thanks to Moltres’ higher damage output, you don’t really need Inteleon CRE to add more damage to the board and when you just need one extra damage counter, you can use Galarian Zigzagoon, which fits well in a deck that uses Scoop Up Net.
I recorded some games to show this deck in action and you can see them in the following video:
However, if you’d like a more in-depth discussion of the deck, how to build it and how to play it, read on!
Here’s a decklist to get you started: