East to West Vol. 2

The Rebel Clash Up-and-Comers, Including Falinks V, Malamar VMAX, and Lost March Rebooted

Hello, SixPrizes readers! Rebel Clash is finally here, and I couldn’t be more excited. The Japanese meta has seen the introduction of a mini-set and a couple of starter decks that we won’t see until August, so we might as well catch up as much as we can with filling out the rest of how Rebel Clash will impact things! Last article, I discussed how the format was forming around some old favorites and new front-runners like Dragapult VMAX and Toxtricity VMAX. Thanks to some shared weaknesses among the top decks, we’ve seen some decks capitalize and succeed.

To start off, we have Falinks V, a Fighting-typed brute reminiscent of Passimian SUM decks from a couple of formats ago. The deck utilizes Falinks V’s Iron Defense Formation Ability to decrease damage done to your Falinks’ by 20 damage. This pairs incredibly well with your main attacker, another Falinks! This single-Prize version does 30 damage for each of your Benched Falinks. With all 4 Vs and a 5th Falinks on board, you’re attacking for 150 with no other buffs and having damage reduced by 80, effectively giving Falinks at least 170 HP. Even better, the deck sets up incredibly well using Falinks’s other attack, Call for Family, searching for 2 Basic Pokémon and putting them onto the Bench.

Pokémon (8)

4 Falinks RCL

4 Falinks V

Trainer (39)

4 Professor’s Research

3 Boss’s Orders

3 Guzma & Hala

3 Marnie

3 Sonia

1 Cynthia & Caitlin


4 Quick Ball

3 Crushing Hammer

2 Ordinary Rod

2 Reset Stamp

2 Tool Scrapper


4 Big Charm

2 Air Balloon


2 Martial Arts Dojo

1 Galar Mine

Energy (13)

4 Capture

4 F

4 Twin

1 Weakness Guard


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 8

* 4 Falinks RCL 109
* 4 Falinks V RCL 110

##Trainer Cards - 39

* 3 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 3 Sonia RCL 167
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 3 Marnie SSH 169
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Crushing Hammer SSH 159
* 2 Tool Scrapper RCL 168
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 4 Big Charm SSH 158
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 2 Martial Arts Dojo UNB 179
* 1 Galar Mine RCL 160

##Energy - 13

* 4 Fighting Energy Energy 6
* 4 Capture Energy RCL 171
* 4 Twin Energy RCL 174
* 1 Weakness Guard Energy UNM 213

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=80810 ******

Wow that was a lot of new cards! On top of both of the Falinks, there’s also Sonia, Tool Scrapper, Galar Mine, Capture Energy, and Twin Energy. Sonia is a beautiful new tool to help decks set up, allowing you to search for either 2 Basic Pokémon or 2 basic Energy. Tool Scrapper is a card some of the older players may be familiar with. This card lets you discard up to 2 Tools in play and was commonly used when Garbotoxin was first introduced in the game. Now it has a great use in discarding pesky Tools like Big Charm, letting you take easier knockouts. Galar Mine pairs nicely with Boss’s Orders to lock certain Pokémon in the Active Spot to set up a 2HKO on them. Onto the Energy, Capture Energy lets you search for 1 Basic Pokémon and put it onto the Bench, whereas Twin Energy provides CC when attached to a Pokémon that isn’t a Pokémon-GX or Pokémon VMAX.

Some of the play patterns with this deck are a bit murky at times. This is mainly due to having to occasionally decide between setting up and attacking. The ideal setup involves attaching 1–2 Capture Energies, attacking with Call for Family, and using a Quick Ball or two. From there you start swinging with Team Play for as much damage as you can, prioritizing 1HKOs.

One of my favorite pieces of technology in this deck is Guzma & Hala. A unique search engine, Guzma & Hala allows you to run lower counts of tech Special Energy, Stadiums, and Tools. Against Psychic-type attackers, Guzma & Hala can quickly find your Weakness Guard Energy. Or versus a big TAG TEAM-GX, you can search your Galar Mine to trap it in the Active and trade up a 1-Prizer for a 3-Prizer. Need to retreat? Guzma & Hala for your Air Balloon. The card has a billion uses and allows for endless toolboxes.

Falinks preys on Fighting Weaknesses, but with Dragapult VMAX running around, sometimes that’s not the right choice. Capitalizing on Dragapult VMAX’s D Weakness, Malamar VMAX has been seeing certain amounts of success as well.

Malamar VMAX

Pokémon (17)

3 Malamar V

2 Malamar VMAX

2 Sneasel UPR

2 Weavile-GX

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Darkrai p

1 Guzzlord CEC

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Mew UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Umbreon & Darkrai-GX

Trainer (31)

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research

3 Boss’s Orders

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Mallow & Lana

2 Red & Blue


4 Quick Ball

3 Tag Call

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Scoop Up Net

2 Tool Scrapper


1 Black Market p

Energy (12)

8 D

4 Capture


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 17

* 3 Malamar V RCL 121
* 2 Malamar VMAX RCL 122
* 2 Sneasel UPR 73
* 2 Weavile-GX UNM 132
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Darkrai p UPR 77
* 1 Guzzlord CEC 136
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Mew UNB 76
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Umbreon & Darkrai-GX UNM 125

##Trainer Cards - 31

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 Red & Blue CEC 202
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 2 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 2 Tool Scrapper RCL 168
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 1 Black Market p TEU 134

##Energy - 12

* 8 Darkness Energy Energy 7
* 4 Capture Energy RCL 171

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=80810 ******

In my talks with Loc Nguyen about this archetype, he compared it very much to his Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX/Malamar. The deck aims to play a midrange game by controlling what your opponent can play via stripping resources by attacking. The ideal setup is to Marnie your opponent to 4 cards, then choose one of those cards to tuck on the bottom of their deck with Malamar VMAX’s Max Jammer. Repeating this every turn starts to close the window on what your opponent is able to play and how they can close out the game, all while presenting your own impending clock.

Attaching 3 Energy to Malamar VMAX can seem a bit daunting at first, but thankfully, Dark has what is perhaps the most unique Energy acceleration in Standard at the moment. Darkrai p’s Nightmare Star Ability allows you to attach up to 2 Dark Energy cards to it when you play it to the Bench. This is repeatable thanks to Weavile-GX’s Shadow Connection moving the Energy onto another Pokémon and Scoop Up Net picking up the Darkrai p to be played again later.

With 2 Scoop Up Nets, you can play up to 7 Energy in a single turn, including your attachment! Even further, with Red & Blue, you can attach another 2 basic Energy cards, meaning you can play all 8 Dark Energy cards in one fell swoop!

Thanks to Weavile-GX, the deck has a certain element of being a quasi-toolbox deck. Your main attacker is obviously going to be Malamar VMAX, but Guzzlord CEC and Umbreon & Darkrai-GX both help in interesting scenarios. Guzzlord has been used since its release in Dark decks with its Red Banquet attack granting an extra Prize card on successful knockouts. This makes it prime to attack into single-Prize Pokémon such as Falinks RCL, Blacephalon UNB, Jumpluff LOT, Jirachi TEU, and so on.

Umbreon & Darkrai-GX, on the other hand, helps against your larger threats. Black Lance’s damage output pairs nicely with Malamar VMAX’s Max Jammer. The 150 front-end damage allows for you to Knock Out anything up to 330 HP with Max Jammer, while the 60 snipe damage allows for knockouts on anything up to 240 HP. Black Lance also has the added benefit of taking knockouts to work around Horror P Energy, which specifically only works when the Pokémon is in the Active Spot. That’s not even the end of Umbreon & Darkrai-GX’s tricks either! Its Dark Moon-GX attack Trainer locks your opponent for a turn—that’s full Trainer lock, not just Items—and can potentially take a guaranteed knockout on any Pokémon your opponent may throw into the Active Spot. This card is so amazing in this deck and especially in a Dragapult-focused format that I could see a very strong argument for including a 2nd copy. It is perhaps the most underrated card in the deck. If your opponent ever has 2 Dragapult VMAXs on the board, it is game over.

So far in the game, we’ve seen every Prism Star Stadium except for one make a massive splash on the metagame. Now it’s Black Market p’s time to shine. By attaching D Energy to any of your D Pokémon, your opponent will take one less Prize card when it’s Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack. This is a massive momentum swing in your favor as the Malamar VMAX player. It turns your GXs and Vs into single-Prize attackers, TAG TEAMs and VMAXs into 2-Prize attackers, and, most importantly, single-Prize Pokémon into no-Prize Pokémon. This forces your opponent to have to stretch themselves even further on already scarce resources in order to claim victory. Additionally, Black Market p effectively counteracts Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX’s Altered Creation-GX’s Prize-boosting mechanic, leveling the playing field.

This all being said, one drawback to Black Market p is that it specifically states “damage from an opponent’s attack.” This is important because if a Dragapult VMAX takes a KO through the damage counters it places via either Max Phantom or Horror P Energy, then Black Market p will not reduce the number of Prize cards taken. As a smaller—but equally important—note, our 1 copy of Black Market p is our only Stadium. Because of this, we have to play at least 1 copy of Marshadow UNB as an insurance against a preemptive Chaotic Swell.

Lastly, Capture Energy is critical in this deck. The deck requires a good deal of both setup and draw, and it’s difficult to do both in this initial iteration. Thankfully, Capture Energy helps to offset this by finding your Basic Pokémon such as Malamar V or Sneasel UPR.

If Falinks helps beat down PikaRom, and Malamar takes out Dragapult, then what attacks ADP? The answer: Lost March of all things. Surprisingly, we’ve had all the pieces we’ve needed for the deck except for two since Cosmic Eclipse. But the two pieces we needed were absolutely critical—Scoop Up Net and Twin Energy.

Lost March

Pokémon (30)

4 Hoppip LOT 12

4 Skiploom LOT

4 Jumpluff LOT

4 Cottonee CEC

3 Whimsicott UNM

4 Trumbeak LOT

3 Emolga TEU

1 Eldegoss V

1 Natu LOT

1 Oricorio-GX

1 Phione CEC

Trainer (24)

4 Professor Elm’s Lecture

2 Diantha

1 Boss’s Orders

1 Professor’s Research


4 Evolution Incense

4 Lost Blender

4 Pokémon Communication

3 Scoop Up Net

1 Net Ball

Energy (6)

4 Twin

2 G


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 30

* 4 Hoppip LOT 12
* 4 Skiploom LOT 13
* 4 Jumpluff LOT 14
* 4 Cottonee CEC 147
* 3 Whimsicott UNM 144
* 4 Trumbeak LOT 165
* 3 Emolga TEU 46
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Natu LOT 87
* 1 Oricorio-GX CEC 95
* 1 Phione CEC 57

##Trainer Cards - 24

* 4 Professor Elm’s Lecture LOT 188
* 2 Diantha FLI 105
* 1 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 1 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 4 Lost Blender LOT 181
* 3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 1 Net Ball LOT 187

##Energy - 6

* 4 Twin Energy RCL 174
* 2 Grass Energy Energy 1

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=80810 ******

Since rotation, we lost the ability to have a Double Colorless effect on most of the attackers in the deck. However, with the release of Rebel Clash, we now have Twin Energy, letting us swing with Cottonee CEC or Natu LOT out of the blue. Additionally, Scoop Up Net lets us abuse our brand new consistency engine. The deck has shifted from Natu as a secondary attacker to Cottonee, allowing us to use Whimsicott’s Prowl Ability. A common play pattern with the deck is to:

  1. evolve Cottonee to Whimsicott,
  2. use Prowl to find a Diantha or Twin Energy,
  3. Scoop Up Net Whimsicott,
  4. replay Cottonee,
  5. retreat an Active Jumpluff, and
  6. attack with Cottonee, even hitting for Weakness against ADP.

Additionally, Scoop Up Net allows us to use multiple Nuzzly Gatherings in one turn from Emolga without wasting more Bench Space. It even allows for us to pick up a Floral Pathed Jumpluff and throw it away with Lost Blender or find a new Pokémon with Pokémon Communication! The possibilities are endless.

In addition to Whimsicott, we also have Oricorio-GX and its Dance of Tribute Ability. When playing Lost March, we concede that our Active will be Knocked Out every turn. Oricorio-GX capitalizes on that and allows us a “free” draw 3 in return. These two engines work in conjunction to drastically improve the consistency issues the deck had when it first entered the meta in Lost Thunder.

Because Cottonee is one of our main attackers, Diantha fits naturally right in, allowing us to constantly rebuy Cottonees and Twin Energies. We can even loop Diantha to a degree a time or two with Eldegoss V.

Boss’s Orders and Phione CEC both work to help us pick and choose where and when we want to take our knockouts. If an opponent sticks a Pokémon in their Active that’s just outside of our KO range, it would be much smarter to instead move a different Pokémon that we can KO into the Active. Phione can easily be found again after use thanks to Whimsicott, and Boss’s Orders can be rebought with Eldegoss V.

So how does all this come together to beat ADP? In the early game while your opponent is setting up Altered Creation-GX, you directly threaten their ADP-GX thanks to Cottonee. All you need to KO ADP is 7 Pokémon in the Lost Zone, which is more than doable. Taking this one step further, you are often trading up on the Prize race, even after Altered Creation-GX. You’re guaranteed one knockout on an ADP, so from there you only need to take 1–2 more KOs. Zacian V, while being a bit tougher to KO than ADP, is still manageable. 11 Pokémon in the Lost Zone is still well within your range! To take this even further, you ensure your opponent will have a hard time setting up Zacian V since they won’t be able to risk dropping a 2nd ADP out of fear of a Boss’s Orders. This is a matchup where you will constantly have the drop on your opponent and is incredibly in your favor.

On the flip side of the matchup list, you have Dragapult VMAX. Unfortunately, you never want to play Lost March in a meta where you expect this deck to show in high numbers. Dragapult can easily set up turns where it KOs anywhere from 3–5 Pokémon while also taking 2 KOs on the low end consistently. If that’s not hard enough, 320 HP is incredibly difficult for Lost March to hit without finding Weakness. Sadly, there’s no D-type Lost Marcher. This matchup could not be more outside of your favor if it tried. In general, you will often struggle against VMAX decks, as 300+ HP is just so incredibly difficult to hit on even a good day. This being said, if you expect to see low amounts of VMAX decks, Lost March would be my snap choice almost every time.

I haven’t been playing in the Limitless Qualifiers yet out of timing issues, but I’ve been keeping a very close eye on them so far! I can’t wait to see how Rebel Clash hits the ground running for the last two Qualifiers and what new concoctions players bring to the table. Take care and stay safe!

Reader Interactions

2 replies

  1. EchoBear

    Just a heads up that Black Lance unfortunately can’t target a Dragapult VMAX or V, as the attack only allows you to snipe GXs or EXs. Great article!

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