Hello again readers, I’m back with you today with what is actually my first article about Rebel Clash. It’s also my 50th article written on SixPrizes, which is kinda cool. I had hoped to do something different for number 50, but I ended up having a rather cool deck to show today, and it feels like a good time to talk about it now rather than later because of the Limitless events occurring in the coming weeks.
I haven’t gotten to do near as much testing in this format as I would have liked, partially due to how expensive TCGO codes/cards are right now. Fortunately, that issue was remedied for me recently, and I have spent a decent bit of time playing these decks online in the past week or so. Today, I’m going to be sharing my favorite deck to come out of Rebel Clash so far, and then I’m going to conclude today with what could be called a tier list, but is essentially my first impressions of the format so far.
4 Speed L
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 20
* 4 Grubbin RCL 16
* 4 Charjabug UNB 58
* 4 Vikavolt RCL 66
* 3 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Boltund V RCL 181
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
##Trainer Cards - 29
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 3 Switch
* 1 Escape Board UPR 167
* 1 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Rare Candy
* 3 Pokémon Communication
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 215
##Energy - 11
* 5 L Energy XYEnergy 6
* 2 Twin Energy RCL 174
* 4 Speed L Energy RCL 173
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=81131 ******
A lot of people who are close to me can vouch for the fact that I’ve been talking about this deck a lot. When I first saw Vikavolt RCL, I was amazed that they were allowing Twin Energy to count as 40 damage for Powerful Storm. At this point, I hadn’t even remembered that Charjabug UNB was a card, and I already thought the deck was decent. And then I remembered that there’s 160 damage in free attachments just laying around in Charjabug. The really high damage numbers needed to be viable in this format became obtainable for Vikavolt.
I think Vikavolt is one of the only viable Stage 2 decks that has existed in a very long time, which is partially due to Malamar and ADP being so powerful. Malamar appears to be on its last legs due to Dragapult VMAX, which removes that issue from the equation, and ADP is a very winnable matchup if you win the coin flip. For the most part, the format has shifted to high-HP tanky Pokémon, which is just what Vikavolt needs to see success. Currently, I think the biggest obstacle to success for the deck will be Blacephalon UNB.
My initial list was a lot less focused on burning through the deck to find cards, and was thus a bit less consistent and fell short of the high damage output needed to be viable. This meant that I needed to convert to an engine that involved Professor’s Research and another Dedenne-GX. However, with the heavier discard and draw engine, I found that I was losing pieces that I needed to function, which led to the inclusion of Oranguru. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense to include this in any Stage 2 deck because of how powerful it is to leave a Rare Candy on top before playing a discard-and-draw card.
There’s another Grubbin out there (Grubbin UNB) with an attack that makes it seem better, but I feel like if you’re using Grubbin’s attacks, you’re already in trouble. That Grubbin also has a 2 Retreat Cost, compared to Grubbin RCL with a much more reasonable Retreat Cost of 1.
I wanted an attacker that would be able to help me preserve my Charjabugs and also act as a place to attach Speed L Energy in the early turns on the game. Boltund V ended up being the best card for that job. As an added bonus, when you go second you are able to attack with into accelerate 2 L Energy into play, which offsets the extra turn that your opponent has by a decent amount.
Boss’s Orders, 4 Cynthia, 2 Professor’s Research2
This Supporter count honestly doesn’t feel great to me, but in my testing it’s been good enough to not warrant a change. I’m still skeptical of playing 2 Boss in a deck that discards so many cards, but it’s been fine so far. 4 Cynthia is something that we haven’t seen in a lot of decks recently, and that’s because we’ve seen a shift from conserving resources to playing cards as fast as you can. In this deck though, you need to save both your Rare Candies and your Vikavolts, so the shuffle draw is necessary.
Evolution Incense, 3 Pokémon Communication1
I thought I had finally seen the end of Pokémon Communication with the introduction of Quick Ball and Evolution Incense. Unfortunately, I was wrong. This deck requires you to conserve most of your Pokémon for when they are needed. Pokémon Communication acts as another way to keep things in your deck when you need to Dedechange or Professor’s Research. I still have 1 Evolution Incense in the list because of how strong it is for finding either Vikavolt or Charjabug.
L Energy, 2 Twin Energy, 4 Speed L Energy5
This Energy count looks really weird, but it actually runs rather smoothly. 5 L Energy is enough to provide you with one Electrify from Boltund V, and still leave enough Energy in deck to have an effective Tapu Koko p. I only run 2 Twin Energy because while it’s strong on Vikavolt, it’s worthless for Boltund V. I’ve found that I need to attach Speed L Energy much more often than I’ve needed Twin Energy.
I already play Dedenne-GX, so it’s not like having a different GX on the Bench would make it worse, right? I personally haven’t seen enough value out of Oricorio-GX to justify the spot, and that’s because of a pretty large difference between it and Dedenne-GX. Unlike Dedenne-GX, Oricorio-GX is helpful during the turns after it comes into play, which means that your opponent gains more than just an extra Prize card by KOing it. They prevent you from drawing more cards, which is added motivation for them to target Oricorio on your Bench rather than your Active Pokémon. Basically, in a Prize card race, you want to give your opponent as few reasons as possible to target down a GX or Pokémon V. There is also the fact that it just felt underwhelming in my games with it.
This would be in place of Boltund V. Instead of accelerating Energy, you draw more cards on your first turn. It’s not bad, but the biggest drawback is that it isn’t an alternate attacker and it doesn’t trigger Speed L Energy.
PikaRom appears to be on the rise again, which means it’s time to play Mew again. If you think you need to beat PikaRom more often, find a spot for Mew.
I really want to play one of these, and it is likely the 61st card. This is potentially the best way to recover Charjabugs, but after I flipped 2–3 tails five games in a row, I swapped it out for Ordinary Rod, which is a guarantee of 2 Pokémon back into the deck.
Thunder Mountain p
I’ve seen lists playing this, and while I think it’s an alright card, I don’t think it’s worth a spot in this deck. My issue with it is that there are so many other Stadiums right now—especially Chaotic Swell—that it would be nearly impossible to get more than one turn of use out of it. On top of that, it doesn’t add to the damage of our attacks, which means that you still need the Energy attached somewhere anyway. The biggest reason to play it is the potential conservation of a single Energy card into the next turn.
The Matchup Spread
The meta hasn’t really been defined yet, so I’m probably going to gloss over this portion a bit in favor of going more into the overall gameplay of the deck. The matchups I do mention are going to make the deck look worse than it actually is. In reality, Vikavolt is good because it can capitalize on slow starts by the bigger decks, while still being able to hold its own when they draw well.
A lot of your matches are going to come down to how well you are able to set up. Getting Vikavolts down is your priority, but it is important to remember that if you only have 1 Vikavolt down, all of your available Charjabugs will be attached to a single Vikavolt, and thus all be discarded when that Vikavolt is KO’d. Sometimes, it is going to be better to hide behind a Jirachi for a turn in order to set up better and be able to spread out your Charjabugs. Of course, this isn’t going to work in matchups like ADPZ and Blacephalon UNB, but if your opponent is playing a slower deck, then buying a turn is a viable strategy.
Honestly, taking a 50/50 against this matchup is way harder than it should be. ADP is a dumb card that limits creativity so much, but that’s a rant for another time. This matchup is defined by who wins the coin flip in a lot of the games. If you are able to KO the ADP-GX before it uses Ultimate Ray, the game should end in your favor. If not, then you’re probably going to lose. In this matchup, it’s realistically better to try to use Boltund V’s Bolt Storm to take the ADP KO, because it only requires 9 Energy/Electropowers to do it. Vikavolt requires 9–11 depending on how many Electropowers you have. On top of that, by using Boltund early on, you might even be able to survive the Ultimate Ray turn if you miss the KO.
Dragapult VMAX: Slightly Favored
This is another coin-flip-based matchup, but less so than ADPZ. Rather than getting completely out sped and losing on Prize cards, you’re more likely to have your setup completely crippled by Dragapult. It is vital that you time benching your Grubbins well in order to prevent your opponent from KOing all of your Vikavolt lines at once. In order to prevent this, there are times where you will be forced to evolve into Charjabug rather than attach it. Yes, this harms your overall damage quite a bit, but it can also keep you in the game and allow for 2-shots on their VMAXs.
I actually haven’t gotten to play this matchup nearly as much as I would have liked. In the games I did play, I usually won when they didn’t get Tag Bolt-GX on Turn 2. PikaRom has decently low HP compared to everything else in the format, so it is entirely possible for you to KO it before Tag Bolt-GX is usable. There will be games when they destroy you, and that’s okay. Every deck will have those games against PikaRom. That’s part of why PikaRom is so good. This is a matchup where Boltund V is going to be very important. The game is going to be a blitz, and keeping Vikavolts in play is vital to winning.
Blacephalon UNB: Slightly Unfavored
Finally, a matchup that’s a war of attrition rather than a race. Your opponent might take the early lead if they are able to find a Welder on their first turn and then convert that into an attack. However, their deck is almost always going to be forced to bench a GX or a Pokémon V, and once they do that, the game is as good as yours as long as you don’t fall behind by more than 1 Prize. Your plan will be to force them to Welder every turn, and if they ever miss, you take the lead; if they hit Welder every turn, they still can Boss’s Orders up a Dedenne-GX if you end up benching one. Conserving your Ordinary Rod and all of your Pokémon is vital in this matchup though, and it is entirely possible that you run out of Pokémon that can attack before you win.
Something to be careful of in this matchup is the potential that they play the Jirachi p combo. If you see them bench an Oranguru SSH, it is vital that you get it off the board as quick as possible, unless you would be using your only Boss’s Orders, in which case, you need to hope and pray that they eventually miss a Welder.
Tentative Tier List
I’m not putting Vikavolt on this list, because it’s not a popular deck and there are still a lot of the more fringe matchups that I need to test.
- Dragapult VMAX
- Blacephalon UNB
- Inteleon VMAX
- Toxtricity VMAX
- Fire Box
- Malamar VMAX
- Rillaboom VMAX
- Malamar/Spell Tag
I’ve spent a majority of my time playing against the top four decks, so I’m still unsure of how functional the rest are, but these are my first impressions of each deck. I think that Vikavolt ends up being in Tier 2 or maybe Tier 1.5, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s not a really strong deck. However, it’s still a Stage 2, which means that it could easily fall victim to bad luck. I think it’s probably better in a Bo3 format rather than the Bo1 of the Limitless events, but it still not a bad choice.
There are a lot of other concepts that I want to spend some time testing, Vikavolt just so happened to be first on the list of cards I really loved from this set. I’ll be back later this month with what will probably be one or two more decks that I’ve worked on in the following weeks.
Why am I still building and testing decks, but not participating in the Limitless events? Fun, and to keep myself from getting really bored during this extended break from the game. I also just really miss playing Pokémon, and the time I spend with my friends at events.
That’s probably the biggest reason I haven’t wanted to play the Limitless events. The online events lack the player interaction and the time spent with my friends that has really defined Pokémon for me in recent years. Either way, I’m incredibly happy that they’re running this circuit for the community. It’s pretty hard to complain about a free event series.
I’m going to stop here for today, I hope that everyone is staying safe and sane while this situation goes on. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or whatever else you want to talk about.
Until the next one.
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