Altered Creation

Building a Competitive Deck in Three Steps w/ Case Studies on Zacian V/ADP, PikaRom, and Lapras VMAX for OCIC
eshidu.tumblr.com
Scanning the meta in Melbourne 🇦🇺.

Hello SixPrizes, readers! We are again very close to another International Championship, this time in Australia. The Oceania Internationals Championships (OCIC) will be the first tournament with Sword & Shield legal in an official setting, and because of this, many players will be quiet to see which will be the best decks in this new format. For a very valuable tournament and without much information, it is normal for players to hide their best ideas in order to play with them in the tournament. Players and teams who have a good reading of the metagame, creativity, and quality in deckbuilding will have a clear advantage in the competition.

My article today has little to do with it. Unfortunately, I’m not at OCIC, but I am already studying Pokémon TCG with the entry of Sword & Shield. The idea here today is presented on three decks with the new set and explains my entire creative process of deckbuilding.

The process you use to build lists is divided into three stages, which are:

  1. Consistency List,
  2. Skeleton List, and
  3. Competitive List.

I’ll explain each of these steps better and exemplify them in each of the lists, so let’s go to today’s article.

Building A Competitive Deck in Three Steps

Step 1: Consistency List

Whichever deck you choose or create, you need to make sure that that deck can work consistently. In this step, the idea is to create the most consistent list possible so that the main ideas of the deck can work without any problem. Another important point here is that we should not consider the metagame when building the list—that is, this isn’t the step to include tech cards like Phione CEC or Tapu Fini UNM. We will do that later, in Step 3.

Step 2: Skeleton List

jjjjjjjjjjohn.tumblr.comIn fact, there is no exact order as to which is Step 1 and Step 2. It will be normal for you to revisit and adjust the Step 1 and 2 lists all the time, but it is usually easier to extract the Skeleton List from a deck after you have defined its Consistency List. In this step, the goal is to extract as much space as possible from the Consistency List so that the deck can still function satisfactorily.

The idea is to gain as many slots as possible so that we can think of techs to surprise the opponent or improve the deck against bad matchups. It is essential that you are honest with yourself to be able to define what is essential (and what is not essential) in the deck.

A good exercise to find out if your Skeleton List is good is to fill in the slots you got from the Consistency List with blank cards. If the deck is running satisfactorily even with blank cards, then the Skeleton List is fine.

Step 3: Competitive List

After creating the Consistency List and the Skeleton List, it will be much easier to define a competitive list for the deck you choose. At this stage, we must consider the metagame we hope to face and thus prepare for this metagame with the slots we have available.

Time to Put Theory into Practice…

Now that I have explained a little about the creative process that I do to make my lists, I will demonstrate how I applied this process to three decks of the current metagame, which are:

Zacian/ADP

Consistency List

Pokémon (13)

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Zacian V

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

Trainer (34)

4 Professor’s Research

2 Marnie

1 Cynthia

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Metal Saucer

4 Quick Ball

3 Cherish Ball

3 Switch

2 Energy Switch

2 Reset Stamp

1 Energy Spinner

1 Great Catcher

 

2 Escape Board

 

1 Chaotic Swell

Energy (13)

9 M

2 Aurora

2 W

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 13

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 3 Zacian V SSH 138
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 1 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170
* 1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 2 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187

##Energy - 13

* 9 M Energy Energy 7
* 2 W Energy Energy 2
* 2 Aurora Energy SSH 186

Total Cards - 60

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Zacian/ADP is one of the most consistent decks of the format with the new rule of not being able to use a Supporter when going first, precisely because the deck is still favored when going first. Your goal on turn 1 is to bench an ADP and attach an Energy to it and nothing else. And we still have Zacian V to draw cards.

In addition to being consistent, your strategy is strong and simple. All you need to do is Altered Creation-GX to increase the damage of Zacian V and get an extra Prize for each knockout. With this in mind, the Consistency List needs to ensure that this strategy is always implemented.

1 Marshadow UNB, 1 Chaotic Swell

This deck does not necessarily need any Stadium card. For example, Fire Box needs Giant Hearth to work. As the metagame in this step is not taken into account, my idea here was to include at least 2 cards that can discard the opponent’s Stadium. As much as we don’t need a Stadium, it’s important to remove Stadiums from your opponents, like Giant Hearth or Thunder Mountain p.

2 Energy Switch

The more I started playing with the deck, the more I realized that Energy Switch could be a good inclusion. Despite not being the goal of the deck, we have the possibility to Altered Creation-GX on turn 1 with the help of Zacian V and Metal Saucer. In general, Energy Switch solves and speeds up several energizing situations.

Skeleton List

Pokémon (8)

3 Zacian V

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Oranguru SSH

Trainer (27)

4 Professor’s Research

2 Marnie

1 Cynthia

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Metal Saucer

4 Quick Ball

3 Cherish Ball

2 Switch

 

2 Air Balloon

 

1 Chaotic Swell

Energy (13)

9 M

4 Aurora

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 8

* 3 Zacian V SSH 138
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148

##Trainer Cards - 27

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 1 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 2 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187

##Energy - 13

* 9 M Energy Energy 7
* 4 Aurora Energy SSH 186

Total Cards - 48

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Free Spots: 12 cards

In my point of view, Zacian/ADP does not need Jirachi to function, since the deck needs little setup to do. Jirachi is the best starter in the game and brings a lot of consistency to the deck, but it is not necessary. The truth, however, is that the deck has plenty of slots, and in this case Jirachi will always be very welcome.

It is possible to build a Skeleton List that includes the Jirachi package (4 Jirachi TEU, 3 Switch, 2 Escape Board) if you know that you want to use Jirachi, but in this case I wanted to make a Skeleton List that gains as many slots as possible. That way I have more slots to think about more possibilities.

Competitive List

Pokémon (13)

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Zacian V

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Phione CEC

Trainer (34)

4 Professor’s Research

2 Marnie

1 Cynthia

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Metal Saucer

4 Quick Ball

3 Cherish Ball

3 Switch

1 Energy Spinner

1 Energy Switch

1 Great Catcher

1 Reset Stamp

 

2 Escape Board

1 Vitality Band

 

2 Shrine of Punishment

Energy (13)

9 M

2 Aurora

2 W

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 13

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 3 Zacian V SSH 138
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Phione CEC 57

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 1 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170
* 1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 1 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 1 Vitality Band SSH 185
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Shrine of Punishment CES 143

##Energy - 13

* 9 M Energy Energy 7
* 2 W Energy Energy 2
* 2 Aurora Energy SSH 186

Total Cards - 60

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In Step 3, we use the slots we were able to extract from the previous lists in order to prepare for the metagame threats we expect. I decided to keep the Jirachi package because of all its benefits in consistency, so I ended up with just 4 free slots.

1 Phione CEC

It is possible that in the OCIC metagame we will have some decks with Lillie’s Poké Doll, such as Morpeko V/Dolls and Cinccino Mill and Phione is able to take Lillie’s Poké Doll out of the Active position. Because of that, she has become an important card in the deck. I also like her effect for various game situations and it is worth remembering that she goes back to the bottom of the deck after using her Ability.

2 Shrine of Punishment, 1 Vitality Band

Both Shrine of Punishment and Vitality Band are in the deck to increase the damage of Zacian V to Knock Out TAG TEAM Pokémon like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX and Mewtwo & Mew-GX.

PikaRom

Consistency List

Pokémon (14)

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko V

1 Zapdos TEU

Trainer (35)

4 Professor’s Research

3 Volkner

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Electropower

4 Quick Ball

3 Electromagnetic Radar

3 Energy Switch

3 Switch

2 Reset Stamp

1 Great Catcher

1 Stadium Nav

 

2 Escape Board

 

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (11)

11 L

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 14

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko V SSH 72
* 1 Zapdos TEU 40

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 3 Volkner UPR 135
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 3 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 11

* 11 L Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 60

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In this version of PikaRom I decided to chase the turn 1 Full Blitz, so many of the slots in the deck will be used to make this play. Just like in the Zacian/ADP list, here I also decided to remove some TAG TEAM cards like Tag Call, Cynthia & Caitlin, Guzma & Hala, and Mallow & Lana. With the new rule and the arrival of Professor’s Research and Quick Ball, we have the possibility to make Full Blitz T1 or T2 without the need for those cards and with more consistency.

With no Guzma & Hala, I returned the Stadium Nav, which can be accessed by Volkner—or at the least we have the chance to draw it with a Professor’s Research, Jirachi TEU, and Dedenne-GX.

Just like Zacian/ADP, there is no Stadium that PikaRom needs to include outside Thunder Mountain, so that’s why I included Marshadow UNB. It will also be useful to remove an annoying Chaotic Swell to drop the Thunder Mountain p.

Skeleton List

Pokémon (13)

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko V

Trainer (32)

4 Professor’s Research

3 Volkner

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Electropower

4 Quick Ball

3 Electromagnetic Radar

3 Switch

2 Energy Switch

1 Reset Stamp

1 Stadium Nav

 

2 Escape Board

 

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (11)

11 L

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 13

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko V SSH 72

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 3 Volkner UPR 135
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 11

* 11 L Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 56

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Free Spots: 4 cards

As you can see, I was not able to find many slots from the Consistency List, because for the deck to be consistent and able to Full Blitz on T1, a lot of dedicated slots are required for this. Just as I did in the case of Zacian/ADP, it is possible to make a PikaRom Skeleton List without Jirachi TEU and without a focus on making Full Blitz T1, which would result in a very different Skeleton List with more slots. However, I believe that in this format the Full Blitz T1 is not only more viable but also fundamental.

Zapdos TEU is a great attacker to Knock Out the opponent’s Jirachi TEU on turn 1 without having to dig so much to do Full Blitz, but it is not necessary for the deck to run. In addition, Tapu Koko V can hit 80 damage on turn 1 with 2 Electropowers.

I removed an Energy Switch because I see the deck doing Full Blitz T1 without it. I like the 3rd Energy Switch though, because I don’t use Tag Switch and it would help me to energize Pikachu & Zekrom-GX to do Tag Bolt-GX.

Great Catcher is still an important card as almost all decks still use Pokémon-GX such as Dedenne-GX, but Custom Catcher can be enough. Reset Stamp is needed in almost every deck, but now with Oranguru SSH you have the chance to save Reset Stamp to play at the right time, so 1 copy may be enough.

Competitive List

Pokémon (15)

4 Jirachi TEU

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Phione CEC

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko V

1 Zapdos TEU

Trainer (34)

4 Professor’s Research

3 Volkner

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Electropower

4 Quick Ball

3 Electromagnetic Radar

3 Switch

2 Energy Switch

1 Great Catcher

1 Reset Stamp

1 Stadium Nav

 

2 Escape Board

1 Big Charm

 

1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (11)

11 L

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 15

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Phione CEC 57
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko V SSH 72
* 1 Zapdos TEU 40

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 3 Volkner UPR 135
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 1 Big Charm SSH 158
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 11

* 11 L Energy Energy 4

Total Cards - 60

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After testing the deck versus the metagame, I only felt the real need to fit 2 cards, which are Phione CEC and Big Charm. Phione is in for the same reason that I put it in Zacian/ADP, which is mainly the presence of Lillie’s Poké Doll in some decks of the format. Big Charm is to prevent Zacian V from Knocking Out my TAG TEAM Pokémon.

Zapdos TEU and Great Catcher could be free slots, but I don’t need those slots yet, so I decided to keep them in the deck because they are good cards and can be played in almost every game.

Lapras VMAX/Frosmoth

Consistency List

Pokémon (16)

3 Lapras V

3 Lapras VMAX

3 Snom SSH

3 Frosmoth SSH

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Keldeo V

1 Oranguru SSH

Trainer (30)

4 Professor’s Research

2 Cynthia

2 Marnie

 

4 Quick Ball

2 Energy Retrieval

2 Evolution Incense

2 Great Catcher

2 PokéNav

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Reset Stamp

1 Ordinary Rod

 

3 Air Balloon

 

2 Viridian Forest

Energy (14)

14 W

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 16

* 3 Lapras V SSH 49
* 3 Lapras VMAX SSH 50
* 3 Snom SSH 63
* 3 Frosmoth SSH 64
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Keldeo V SSH 53
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 PokéNav CES 140
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 3 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 2 Energy Retrieval SSH 160
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 14

* 14 W Energy Energy 3

Total Cards - 60

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Without considering the metagame, this would be the Lapras VMAX/Frosmoth list that I would play. Unlike the previous lists, here I did not include Custom Catcher. The deck will feel the same need to use Custom Catcher as the other two examples, but I see difficulties in playing 4 Custom Catcher because the deck already has space issues and consistency problems, so in the Consistency List I have already decided to cut Custom Catcher in order to improve consistency.

The advantage of the deck is that Lapras VMAX:

  1. has the ability to Knock Out any Pokémon due to its unlimited damage attack and
  2. is unlikely to be 1HKO’d due to its 320 HP.

Maybe because of that the deck doesn’t miss Custom Catcher so much, but in the end only Custom Catcher or Pokémon Catcher will give you the strong and unique effect of bringing a Pokémon from the opponent’s Bench to Active.

In fact, in none of the lists of this article I am considering Pokémon Catcher. It’s not that I don’t like “flip a coin” cards, but I avoid writing about strategies involving flippy cards, especially when we have the option of using Custom Catcher where luck is not as involved. You can exchange the 4 Custom Catchers from any list for 4 Pokémon Catchers; it is up to you.

Skeleton List

Pokémon (14)

3 Lapras V

2 Lapras VMAX

3 Snom SSH

2 Frosmoth SSH

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Keldeo V

1 Oranguru SSH

Trainer (27)

4 Professor’s Research

2 Cynthia

2 Marnie

 

4 Quick Ball

2 Energy Retrieval

2 Evolution Incense

2 Great Catcher

2 PokéNav

2 Pokémon Communication

1 Reset Stamp

 

2 Air Balloon

 

2 Viridian Forest

Energy (13)

13 W

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 14

* 3 Lapras V SSH 49
* 2 Lapras VMAX SSH 50
* 3 Snom SSH 63
* 2 Frosmoth SSH 64
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Keldeo V SSH 53
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148

##Trainer Cards - 27

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 PokéNav CES 140
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 2 Energy Retrieval SSH 160
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 13

* 13 W Energy Energy 3

Total Cards - 54

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Free Spots: 6 cards

In a deck like this where the setup is complex and requires more cards, we will always use the extra slots to invest in consistency. Here I was also unable to extract much space, since the deck uses two Stage 1s and lots of Energy.

1 Keldeo V

Keldeo V is basically a Lapras VMAX with lower damage and HP. Its advantage is that it gives up only 2 Prizes and is a Basic Pokémon. Both can achieve unlimited damage; it all depends on how much W Energy you have.

In many cases you won’t be able to build 2 Lapras VMAX, but you can start powering up a Keldeo V or it can be your initial attacker while Lapras VMAX is being prepared on the Bench. In addition, Keldeo V has an attack that hits 40 damage for just 1 W Energy. It is a useful attack to build damage for a stronger attack to 1HKO the next turn.

2 PokéNav

This card becomes better with the rule change. Since you cannot use a Supporter T1, you can at least use PokéNav to rearrange the top of the deck and place a better card to draw in the next turn.

Furthermore, I think PokéNav fits well in this list, which contains a total of 27 cards between Pokémon and Energies in the Skeleton List.

PokéNav also interesting with Oranguru SSH. If you have a Supporter among the top 3 cards in your deck, you can reorganize so that Oranguru SSH can get that Supporter and get rid of a bad hand.

Competitive List

Pokémon (17)

3 Lapras V

2 Lapras VMAX

3 Snom SSH

2 Frosmoth SSH

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX

1 Keldeo V

1 Keldeo-GX

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Volcanion p

Trainer (28)

4 Professor’s Research

2 Cynthia

2 Marnie

 

4 Quick Ball

2 Energy Retrieval

2 Evolution Incense

2 Great Catcher

2 PokéNav

2 Pokémon Communication

1 Ordinary Rod

1 Reset Stamp

 

2 Air Balloon

 

2 Viridian Forest

Energy (15)

13 W

2 Weakness Guard

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 17

* 3 Lapras V SSH 49
* 2 Lapras VMAX SSH 50
* 3 Snom SSH 63
* 2 Frosmoth SSH 64
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX UPR 63
* 1 Keldeo V SSH 53
* 1 Keldeo-GX UNM 47
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Volcanion p FLI 31

##Trainer Cards - 28

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Cynthia UPR 119
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 PokéNav CES 140
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 2 Energy Retrieval SSH 160
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 15

* 13 W Energy Energy 3
* 2 Weakness Guard Energy UNM 213

Total Cards - 60

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1 Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX

In theory, Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX with Air Balloon guarantees you a perfect retreat until the end of the game. The problem is that you will most often spend a Quick Ball to pick it up and need to find the Air Balloon for it. In a setup deck you don’t want to have to do more setup. In addition, it takes up more slots on the Bench, where we already have to build Frosmoth, Oranguru, and maybe Dedenne-GX and Volcanion p.

Anyway, I still think it’s worth it for the incredible power that it is to be able to move back freely, especially since the Frosmoth energizes only Water Pokémon on the Bench. In addition, Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX is good for getting rid of Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX’s Tandem Shock effect.

1 Volcanion p

Just as I included Phione CEC in the other two decks, here Volcanion p will do the same job. Its Ability forces the opponent to switch their Active Pokémon, so we can take the opponent’s Lillie’s Poké Doll out of the Active position when necessary. Furthermore, the Volcanion p is a great attacker and its 160 HP should also be considered.

1 Keldeo-GX

It’s just an idea, but I think it can be useful in the match against PikaRom, in addition to other metagame matches. The format still depends on Pokémon-GX, so Pure Heart can still be useful.

Against PikaRom the idea is to send Keldeo-GX to the Active position. Lapras V has a good attack for turn 1 called Body Surf, which lets you attach a W Energy from your hand and switch Lapras for one of your Pokémon on the Bench.

In this list I don’t use any Pokémon-GX, so Keldeo-GX’s GX attack can be used to hit up to 250 damage for just 3 Energies.

2 Weakness Guard Energy

It is impossible to play VMAX Lapras without considering the popularity and strength of PikaRom. Without Weakness Guard Energy, the game against PikaRom is very unfavorable and because of that the deck becomes a terrible choice. With the Weakness Guard Energy, Lapras VMAX becomes incredible, being able to Knock Out any Pokémon of the opponent and will hardly be Knocked Out in an attack.

Final Thoughts

I believe that if you have the dream of winning a big tournament like an International Championship, then you also need to practice deckbuilding and creativity. Yes, the concept of creativity can also be developed with training, as well as deckbuilding. The lists that I have presented are far from being 100% finalized lists and over the weeks I will update each of these lists. Deckbuilding is a constant exercise and there is always room for improvement.

In the biggest Pokémon TCG tournaments, we face the challenge of adapting to a new expansion that came out only a few days ago. To make matters worse, all players who participate in this tournament will avoid giving out information about their testing to other players so as not to lose their surprise factor. In some cases, you will be forced to develop your own format, and that is why it is important to exercise your deckbuilding skills. In addition, if you have a well-built deck in a new metagame where the margin for bad lists is high, you will be stand out in the tournament.

Knowing your deck and understanding it accurately when it comes to the cards you can draw or their place in the deck is important as well. By breaking up your deck into three lists, you get to know the deck’s potential so you can identify whether the deck you are investigating is in fact a good deck or not for the metagame you expect.

For today, that’s all, folks. I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time!


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Reader Interactions

4 replies

  1. The Moses Monroe

    Fantastic article, I love articles like these that go in depth on how you can actually improve as a player!

    • Gabriel Semedo  → The

      Thanks Moses, I’m glad you enjoyed this kind of content!

      My goal is always to improve as a player and everything that I learn I want to share in my articles!

  2. nickseitler

    Adp Zacian is almost auto loss to Goon. Too slow and isn’t even attacking for damage until T3 and that’s too slow. Obstruct hits with one goon and a doll and you’re done. That’s it.

    • Gabriel Semedo  → nickseitler

      Yeah, in theory sounds like you say Nick, but in pratice the consistency factor is a big thing and ADPZ can steal some games, just because ADPZ is consistent and can get prizes fast and Goons is inconsistent, like every stage 2 deck.

      Phione CEC also helps you a lot, even if it’s not a guaranteed tech card to solve the matchup. If your opponent has a lone Obstagoon, that is nothing that you can do about it, but in many cases your opponent won’t be able to do this.

      Phione CEC + Custom Catcher can reset Obstagoon’s Obstruct attack and you will be able to K.O. it.

      If you really want to have a good matchup, so you will need to run an evolved Pokémon or run a basic Pokémon that can hit through Obstruct, like Keldeo GX or Dialga GX.

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