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What’s New with Standard Single Strike?

Hey everyone! It’s Isaiah back again with an update to Single Strike. I wrote about this deck at the start of this format, but my list has changed significantly in the past month. With the rise of Meloetta Mew, Suicune and Duraladon V, we had to make some changes. However, while the list has changed, the archetype is still as broken as ever. So let’s get into it!

 

 

PTCGO Code

##Pokémon - 21
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 4 Houndour BST 95
* 1 Morpeko FST 179
* 4 Umbreon V EVS 94
* 4 Houndoom BST 96
* 3 Umbreon VMAX EVS 214
* 2 Single Strike Urshifu V BST 85
* 1 Single Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 86
##Trainer Cards - 31
* 4 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Tower of Darkness BST 137
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Tool Jammer BST 136
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Professor's Research SSH 178
* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 4 Urn of Vitality BST 139
* 4 Great Ball SUM 119
* 1 Boss's Orders RCL 154
##Energy - 8
* 4 Capture Energy RCL 171
* 4 Single Strike Energy BST 141

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I would highly suggest reading the last article I wrote on this deck before you read this article. I structured this article to be less of a repeat and more of a “part two.” To stop from repeating myself, I left out descriptions I would have usually put here. If you want to find out why the counts are what they are, basic plays with Single Strike, and sequencing tips, this article is for you!

 

Header - The Changes

Cram-o-matic (229/264)Battle VIP Pass (225/264)Single Strike Urshifu V (085/163)Urn of Vitality (139/163)Evolution Incense (163/202)Morpeko (179/264)Tool Jammer (136/163)

Honestly, the first list ran great, and there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, but I was losing games for a reason I didn’t expect: I didn’t have an answer to what my opponent was playing. I built the first list for pure consistency but soon realized that you needed additional techs to keep up with the top decks.

Two – One Urshifu VMAX

Single Strike Urshifu VMAX (086/163)

I soon realized that vs. Jolteon VMAX, you needed a second Urshifu V to be comfortably favored. If you go first, the matchup is almost unlosable. You can set up multiple Houndoom, take a turn two KO with Umbreon VMAX and then finish off the game with a single Urshifu VMAX. However, if you go second, it’s a lot harder. Jolteon can target down your Houndour, Fan of Waves your attachment and make it very difficult to attack. This is even more of a problem because Urshifu V restricts you from attacking the next turn. This means that you’ll need to either evolve it into Urshifu VMAX or retreat into a new Urshifu V. Playing two Urshifu V makes it more likely for you to find it on turn one and gives you another out to win the game if you have to discard your VMAX or prize it.

Additionally, the second Urshifu V is essential vs. the “big basics” deck that has been popular lately. Galarian Moltres V and Suicune V both have 210 HP. This means Umbreon V needs three Single Strike Energy to get a KO, but Urshifu V only needs two Single Strike Energy. If you can only set up two Houndoom, this can be the difference between getting a KO and missing one. Additionally, Urshifu V can evolve into Urshifu VMAX, which takes an OHKO on a Suicune V, even if they have a Cape of Toughness attached.

Finally, vs. Duraladon VMAX, you need Urshifu VMAX to be able to damage them. While you can win the game with a single Urshifu V, it is a lot harder. I like to lead the game by aggressively taking KOs with my first Urshifu V and then evolving the second into Urshifu VMAX and taking the OHKO. 

If these matchups weren’t enough, Urshifu V is just a good card in general. It’s the most powerful attacker in your deck and often sweeps the late game for you. More than this line tends to clog up your deck, especially when most of your matchups are won through Umbreon VMAX. The 2-1 line of Urshifu has been perfect for me and should be the optimal line in the future.

Fourth Urn of Vitality

Urn of Vitality (139/163)

The idea behind three Urn of Vitality was that Cram-O-Matic could grab you one if you needed it, essentially giving yourself four more outs to the card. However, I ended up needing all four Urn again and again. Additionally, if I had to Research away an Urn early, it could be game-losing with only three. Three Urn was a mistake, and adding the fourth Urn has won me plenty of games.

Fourth Evolution Incense

Evolution Incense (163/202)

Cutting an Evolution Incense made sense to play Cram-o-matic, but the Incense has to come back in without it. It’s a really good consistency card, and consistency is the name of the game with this deck! I tried cutting an assortment of Great Ball and Incense to try four Battle VIP Pass, but in the end, it ended up being worse.

Morpeko

Morpeko (179/264)

This little guy is sick! I didn’t believe he could do anything at first; I just assumed that he was worse than playing another consistency card. But after playing vs. Mew VMAX with Meloetta over the past few weeks, Morpeko definitely makes an impact. If your opponent uses Meloetta early, Morpeko allows you to respond without putting many resources or a two-prize attacker in the way. Of course, it isn’t used every game, but if your opponent gets an early Meloetta attack, you will almost certainly lose without Morpeko to respond. It’s also useable in one-prize matchups to force your opponent to take seven prize cards. Morpeko might not look like a lot, but secretly, he is one powerful rodent that will help you win against Mew VMAX. 

Tool Jammer (136/163)

Finally, two Tool Jammer is included as a tech against many of the most popular decks currently. One of the most popular ways to have a good matchup against Single Strike is to make your Pokemon hard to KO. Duraladon VMAX plays Big Charm to survive GMAX One Blow, and Cape of Toughness is in every deck that revolves around a basic V Pokemon attacking. What is the perfect solution to this problem? Tool Jammer! Playing two copies makes it easy to find when you need it and lets you take care of multiple tools throughout the game.

Tool Jammer is better than Tool Scrapper for many reasons. First, Tool Scrapper has to be found at a particular time, while Tool Jammer can be played onto your board at any moment. Second, Tool Jammer actively shuts off tools while Tool Scrapper is only used reactively. What do I mean? If you attach a Tool Jammer to your active Umbreon VMAX, then your opponent can’t use Elemental Badge to attack with Jolteon VMAX or Air Balloon to retreat their active. These may seem like minor annoyances, but they can often be the difference-maker in games. Finally, you can play Tool Jammer out of your hand to thin your hand for Crobat V, while Tool Scrapper cannot. Overall, Tool Jammer is a fantastic card in the meta and a necessary inclusion in the deck. 

Now that I’ve explained the additions, I’ll revisit matchups since I last wrote an article on this deck.

 

Header - Updated Matchups

First off, I want to say that I like this deck so much because if you set up, you should beat every deck in the format. This means that the deck is much better in best of three sets than in best of one because you can afford to dead draw one game and still win the series. However, this deck is still very good in a single-game format and favored against almost the entire meta.

Mew VMAX: 70-30

This matchup is as good as ever and one of the reasons I would still encourage you to play this deck. You know you’re doing something right whenever you have a 70 percent matchup against the BDIF.

You want to lead this matchup by attacking with Umbreon VMAX and KO any energy they have in play. If they ever use Meloetta, you should respond with Morpeko. Otherwise, keep using Umbreon until you win! One important thing to note is that not benching any extra Pokemon V can be very good in this matchup. Mew can steal games by gusting around your Umbreon VMAX and taking one-shots on three Pokemon V. As long as you’re aware of that, it’s easy to prevent, and you should coast to victory.

Suicune V/Big Basics decks: 60-40

Not quite as easy as the Mew VMAX matchup, but you should beat any of the big basics decks that are running around. Lead with an Umbreon VMAX with three Single Strike Energy, and take KOs on Pokemon V whenever you can get them. Umbreon VMAX is your ideal attacker in this matchup if you can set it up – they’ll never be able to one-shot you, so you will always come out ahead in the prize trade (you attack twice for four prize cards, they attack twice for three prize cards). Whenever you draw Tool Jammer, behind Umbreon VMAX, you should set up three Houndoom so you can instantly power up an Urshifu V or Umbreon V when your active gets KO’d. If your opponent plays Path to the Peak, hold your Tower of Darkness in hand until you need it. Once again, benching too many Pokemon V can be dangerous, so limit your bench if you can. This matchup should be easy as long as you can get one big attacker set up with a Tool Jammer.

Duraladon VMAX: 65-35

This matchup is simple. Pressure early and take out Zacian V as soon as you can, and then OHKO Duraladon VMAX. You should start with Urshifu V to kill Zacian V (and hopefully a Duraladon V) and then transition into Urshifu VMAX later in the game. You need to use Urshfu V and not Umbreon VMAX because if you attack with Umbreon VMAX, then you need three Single Strike Energy to take the KO on a Zacian V.

The problem with this is that then you can’t retreat off all of the Single Strike Energy you have attached (Umbreon VMAX has a retreat cost of two), meaning Urshifu VMAX cannot OHKO Duraladon VMAX as long as your Umbreon VMAX is alive. When you use Urshifu V, you don’t have to worry about that because you can just evolve it into Urshifu VMAX and use any Single Strike energy you have attached to KO the Duraladon VMAX.

Without Tool Jammer, this matchup is miserable. You don’t have any way to one-shot Duraladon VMAX, and you definitely won’t have enough resources to KO two. However, with two Tool Jammer, you can easily stack all four Single Strike Energy onto an Urshifu VMAX once or twice and finish off the game.

Sableye/Weezing: 55-45

Different versions of Sableye V have been popping up all over the place, and they all should be a good matchup for you. The name of the game in this matchup is to pressure their consistency. Kill Sobble, Drizzile and free-retreat Pokemon until they can’t respond to your attacks. Constant Marnie and Dark Signal should set them back enough where you can get ahead on the prize trade, so them being a single prize deck doesn’t matter. Finally, using Morpeko in this matchup is a great tool to get a free prize card without using a VMAX.


That’s all for today, everyone! I hope that you enjoyed this update to Single Strike and that this list works as well for you as it has for me. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment down below or message me on Twitter @IsaiahBradner.

Stay safe everyone,

Isaiah

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