Overview of the New Format

Hello guys! I’m here to talk about the new format for those who are just getting in to the game and thinking of playing competitively. I’ll just talk about the meta decks, core strategy, their counters, and some decks that people did not expect to be performing as well as they are now.

So to start off, I think it’s only fair to talk about the top decks of the format. Currently, the dominating decks are:

1. LuxChomp
2. DialgaChomp
3. VileGar

On the other hand, there are some decks thats seeing some play and with a fair success such as the Arceus deck, but I will discuss those later in the article.


pokebeach.comWe’ll begin with the almighty LuxChomp. For those who have been playing for a while, this is your best friend and your worst enemy. Ever since the release of Double Colorless Energy, it has dominated the tournament scene (including a 1st place finish at Worlds this year).

Why is LuxChomp so good?

1. The new format hardly affected the deck.
2. It abuses the SP engine.
3. There is a lot of room for techs to counter a lot of decks.

The core strategy of the deck? To me, personally, there is no strategy; you just attack with your best 2 attacking Pokémon SP, Luxray GL LV.X and Garchomp C LV.X. Luxray GL LV.X’s Poké-Power will let you drag up any Pokémon from the bench when it is played from your hand. You can choose to “Flash-Impact” for an easy 60 damage or stall while Garchomp C LV.X will heals all your Pokémon SP, then use it to snipe for 80 damage.

Overall, because of the SP engine, it is too quick for many decks to compete with, and even with for trainer locking decks it’s hard to win because LuxChomp can kill the source of your lock fast.

So what are LuxChomp’s counters?

pokebeach.com1. Machamp
Machamp has the attack “Take Out” which automatically KOs the active Pokémon if it is a basic. This basically kills LuxChomp and any other SP Variant. However, it is Stage 2 and if you choose to run a Machamp deck, as it stands now, it is not a very formidable deck against other popular decks like VileGar.

2. Donphan Prime
Donphan Prime is a fighting Pokémon, 120 HP, and has the type advantage against Luxray GL LV.X. He also has a great body “Exoskeleton” which reduced all damage by 20. It is a better tech against Luxray GL LV.X than Machamp in my opinion as it is a stage 1 Pokémon and for 1 fighting energy, it can still 1HKO Luxray GL LV.X and serve as a good donker.

3. Relicanth SV
I really do not see people using this anymore but it is a fairly good counter. For 1 fighting energy, it does 30 damage for each Pokémon Tool and Stadium the opponent has in play. This means it can snipe and has type advantage. Against most SP decks you will see 2 Energy Gains in play, which means you will be 1HKOing an active Luxray GL LV.X.

pokebeach.com4. Ambipom G
Ambipom G is a counter used against Garchomp C and can serve as a good donking card. For 2 C energy or 1 colorless and Energy Gain, it does 60 damage to the active if the active has no energy attached. This makes for a perfect counter for Garchomp C LV.X after he uses “Dragon Rush” as you have the type advantage and Garchomp C LV.X will most likely not have any energy on him.

5. Dragonite FB
It is an all around SP Counter. His first attack “Mach Blow” does 80 damage to an Pokémon SP for 3 C energy or 2 colorless and a Gain. 80 damage can Knock Out any non-leveled up Pokémon SP in most cases, and can 1HKO Garchomp C LV.X with type advantage.

6. Trainer Locking
Cards like Spiritomb and Vileplume lock trainers, making them very deadly against LuxChomp and other SP Variants. However, LuxChomp can easily work around it with the Poké-Power “Bright Look” to move your Spiritomb to the bench or to get your Vileplume to active to snipe it out in 2 turns.

I’m sure there are many more counters to LuxChomp, but these are the most commonly used and if there are any I forgot, you can add them in the comment box below.


pokebeach.comDialgaChomp is another SP variant, much slower than LuxChomp but very potent. Its strategy revolves around tanking with Dialga G LV.X with special metal energies and using the attack “Deafen” to trainer lock and stadium locking your opponent while non SP Poké-Bodies are blocked by Dialga G LV.X’s Poké-Body. When Dialga G LV.X is about to die, it uses Warp Energies to switch into Garchomp C, only to level up to its LV.X and heal all Pokémon SP, including Dialga G LV.X. You then retreat Garchomp back to Dialga G LV.X and repeat the process. It is very deadly and worthy of being in the top 3 decks.

What are DialgaChomp’s counters?

1. Ambipom G/Dragonite FB
DialgaChomp also snipes around with Garchomp C and is an SP deck, so like LuxChomp, Ambipom G and Dragonite FB are good techs against DialgaChomp.

2. Blaziken FB LV.X
This is a great card against Dialga G LV.X and other decks. He has a great disrupting attack “Luring Flame” which brings a benched Pokémon to active and burns it. Its LV.X card has a Poké-Body which deals 40 more damage to a burned Pokémon. Regardless, his attack “Jet Shoot” will almost always 1HKO Dialga G LV.X, making it the perfect counter to Dialga G LV.X.

3. Fire Decks
Decks like Charizard and Arceus do wonders against Dialga G LV.X due to Dialga G LV.X’s weakness to fire.

Dialga G LV.X does not much counter as LuxChomp, however, as it is a much slower deck, giving other speedy decks a higher chance of winning against it. Nonetheless, it is a great deck and you should watch out for it.


pokebeach.comVileGar is a new deck that came out just a few weeks ago upon the release of HeartGold SoulSilver Undaunted. It uses Spiritomb as a starter for early trainer lock and to evolve Oddish in to Vileplume and Gastly in the Gengar SF. Vileplume from Undaunted, with its Poké-Body locks all trainers while in play. When your opponent has a hand full of unused trainers, you use your Gengar SF’s attack “Poltergeist” to 1HKO almost anything in the way. Gengar also has a great Poké-Power “Fainting Spell” which lets you flip a coin when your Gengar is Knocked Out, and if you get heads, the attacking Pokémon is also Knocked Out and you take a prize.

What are some counters to VileGar?

1. Blaziken FB LV.X
I briefly talked about this card earlier, but I will go a little further. Although Vileplume has x2 weakness to Psychic, not Fire, Blaziken FB LV.X can use the attack “Luring Flame” to bring Vileplume to the active and burn it. Next turn, Blaziken FB LV.X will use “Jet Shoot” for the 1HKO.

2. Dialga G LV.X
Dialga G LV.X’s Poké-Body shuts off all non-SP Poké-Bodies, which means that the Vileplume which used to be a threat to you is now a useless Pokémon. However, watch out for the Poké-Power “Level-Down” from Gengar LV.X.

3. Uxie LA
Not much of a counter, but it is a good card that can go around the Poké-Power “Fainting Spell”. After hitting for 20 damage for 1 energy, or 40 with Expert Belt, you can return Uxie to the bottom of the deck, evading “Fainting Spell”.

pokebeach.com4. Umbreon Prime
Umbreon Prime has a great attack called “Moonlight Fang” which does 30 damage for 1 darkness energy. It also has a great effect which prevents Umbreon from taking any damage from Pokémon with Poké-Bodies or Poké-Power. This is a great counter because every Pokémon in standard VileGar deck has a Poké-Power or Poké-Body and they cannot use trainers such as Pokémon Reversals to remove Umbreon from the active. Also with Gengar’s weakness, you will be hitting 60 for 1 dark energy.

Overall, VileGar is a very good deck. However, I believe that it is far too early to be called perfect because it allows itself to be countered in many ways with almost no answers.

The Other Decks

I will just be mentioning some additional decks that are getting recognition from Battle Roads. I will not be listing the counters to these decks, but their main strategies.

Decks that are seeing some play in Battle Road with a fair amount of success are:

1. Arceus
2. Scizor Prime
3. Machamp

Arceus is a very cool deck in my opinion. Surprisingly it is doing very well, and if used correctly, it can easily counter DialgaChomp and LuxChomp. A well built Arceus deck will be supporter based, running maxed out Pokémon Collector, Bebe’s Search, Professor Oak’s New Theory, Cynthia’s Feeling, and other drawing cards. It will only run 2 or 3 trainers like Beginning Door and 4 stadiums which are Ultimate Zone.

Arceus revolves around hitting for the opponent’s weakness using it’s Arceus LV.X’s Poké-Body to use any of the Arceus attack thats in play. It is very reliant on Ultimate Zone, so getting rid of the Ultimate Zone will give you a few turns to catch up, but you will find yourself in lots of trouble when your opponent is taking a prize per turn while you can’t get set up due to Arceus’ 80 damage snipe with “Sky Spear” and hitting for your weaknesses.

Scizor Prime
This is also a new deck that came out with the release of the Undaunted set. Its Poké-Body prevents Scizor Prime from taking damage from Pokémon with Special Energies attached. Decks such as DialgaChomp and LuxChomp runs many special energies preventing them from damaging Scizor Prime. Since Scizor Prime is a metal Pokémon, it can abuse special metal energies. It uses Skarmory from UD as a starter to put many special metal energies as possible on Scizor Prime to tank and hit hard with “Metal Scissor”.

With the increase in SP decks, Machamp is also seeing an increase. For 1 fighting energy, it will automatically KO all Basic Pokémon in the active, making it an ideal counter to Pokémon SP and for fast donk. However, if it misses the donk, it has hard time competing with other stage decks and it is easily countered by trainer lock deck such as the VileGar.

So thats it! It is a fairly long article, but I hope this can help many players who just got in the game!

This is Peter Bae, and I am going to bed!

Reader Interactions

37 replies

  1. Martin Garcia

    Good article, but i thnik its a lot too soon to go around saying “these 3 decks are whats hot this season”. Sure, luxchomp is dominating as it was last format, and dialgachomp was expected to be good, vilegar is also a nice deck option, but its still too early to tell. There hasnt been enough premier matches to say what is good and how the meta has changed, and there is still a new set that can (and in my opniion, WILL) change the format, with a handful of great supporters, trainers, stadiums (lost world, anyone?) and pokemon.
    I belive the new format will bring gyarados back, and create at least one new deck based around the lost world. Also, with the adittion of so many lost zone related cards, the meta might take a turn to use this feature that was almost completely ignored up to now, except for dialga and palkia.
    Still a good article, i dont deny that, but i think its not the right time for it.

    • Collan Baker  → Martin

      “So to start off, I think it’s only fair to talk about the top decks of the format. Currently, the dominating decks are:”

      Key word here is currently.

      Read then comment.

      • Martin Garcia  → Collan

        I read the article, otherwise i wouldn’t bother commenting. That single phrase doesn’t change the fact that making an article about the metagame condition right now is pretty much useless, since in 20 more days it will change.

        Read the full comments, then answer.

        • Peter Bae  → Martin

          lol you guys need to relax XD. i know the triumphant set is going to change the meta alot with the lost zone stuff + machamp prime and such. However, i wrote this in article hoping to help those newer players who wants to play competitively.

  2. Ryan Graham

    “The core strategy of the deck? To me, personally, there is no strategy; ”

    HA HA!
    This is arguably the hardest deck to play correctly in the entire format.

      • Anthony Desiata  → Zachary

        zach seriously? bad canadian bad. i give it that its harder to play than luxchomp with no claydol to be honest its not that good with out it but vilegar is by far the hardest to play of the three sure you can tech for some situations but not all and it puts you in so many bad situations vs luxchomp you just want to rip out your eye sockets.

        • Anonymous  → Collan

          Agreed. I find myself just drawing and saying “Poltergeist” a lot when I play VileGar.

        • Alan Johnson  → Anthony

          There’s nothing wrong with Poltergeist when you know perfectly well that you can do enough damage for a knockout that turn due to an opposing SP deck being stuck with a bunch of trainers and supporters. He’s playing it right though. I’ve played twice against him using SP. The first time, I was stuck with a ton of trainer draws and no way to dispose of them, so he poltegeisted for the easy win. The second one was closer because I found ways to break the trainer lock and reduce my trainer/supporter count to 1 or 2, and he used the other attack options then. He’s just referring to the cases where the opponent can’t break the lock from Vileplume and is loaded up on trainers, giving way for easy KOs every turn.

        • Perry Going  → Anthony

          i agree. its all about the correct placement of the damage counters… I may use Poltergeist once or twice a game… its all about the shadow room and shadow skip…

        • Zachary Lesage  → Anthony

          Man, VileGar is kinda a scrub deck, it’s autopilot :/

          You stall with Plume and beat a deck down if it can’t recover GG

          Newer DialgaChomp lists are soooooooo flexible and they have sooooooooooo many options. It is the hardest deck to play right now

    • Peter Bae  → Ryan

      that is my personal opinion in the deck. it is just 2 best SP put together to possibly disrupt, stall, or just hit hard. IMO, SableLock and DialgaChomp is the hardest to play right

  3. thomas clip

    A belted Umbreon combined with Darkrai X can do 60 for for 1 energy. Not bad.

    • Peter Bae  → Eric

      lmao i personally used to love sablelock when i first won BR, but its just not as good this format, all of the starting pokemons nowadays seems to be like Spiritomb or SP Pokemon, making sableye donking chance that much lower, not even that, trainer locking is really really heavy this season right now XD but they are still doing good this format regardless

      • Sebastian Inks  → Peter

        I play SableLock right now, and I disagree that it is not as good in this format. It has been performing very well for me, and it can be teched against today’s format.

        • Peter Bae  → Sebastian

          i’ve seen ppl tech blaziken FB to counter vileplume and DGX but i just dont think it is as good as last format when trainer locking wasnt as intense as it is now

  4. Joshua Pikka

    How can Jet Shoot, which does 80 damage, knock out Vileplume which has 120 HP?

    Yes if the person is unable to retreat (which is unlikely if they are setup) and they hit two tails on the burn flip, it can do it. But thats a lot to ask./

  5. George

    Great article! You covered all of the decks I’ve seen thus far at Battle Roads (except for a couple – Charizard and Gyrados).

    I have seen Gyrados teched with two Kingdra Primes. The theory is to use Gyrados’ Tail Revenge attack combined with the two Spray Splash powers to hit for 110 per turn.

    Charizard is built on speed with Pokemon Collector to load the bench and Rare Candies to get to Charizard AFAP!

    Thanks for the overview!

  6. JDarok SRMXP

    Charizard cant counter Dialga, Dialga G Lv X body stop both charizard and rapidash (if teched) bodies.

  7. John Rea

    Very nice overview on the decks.
    I need some help with a Arceus deck list,

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