Qualifier: Yellow Version

Investigating the Results of Limitless Qualifier #3, Plus My Glaceon-GX/Barbaracle Decklist for PokéStats Old Format Tournament #4 and Initial Thoughts on the Players Cup
Pikachu is ready to tail us again.

Hey everyone! It’s been a long month since my last article, and a lot has changed since then. For one, my freshman year concluded! Finals were last week and they went pretty well. In the world of Pokémon, Rebel Clash released and TPCi announced the Players Cup. We also had the third Limitless Qualifier, with Pikachu & Zekrom-GX dominating the tournament, taking up 4/8 Top 8 spots and both final spots.

In this article, I’ll give my brief thoughts on the Players Cup and review the results of the Limitless Qualifier. At the end, I’ll post the list that I’m going to play in the PokéStats BLW–UPR old format tournament and give some basic advice on how to play it. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

The Players Cup

The idea of a Pokémon-created online tournament series is amazing. I’m glad that organizations like Limitless and PokéStats have done a great job of organizing their own tournaments, but the fact that TPCi is getting involved takes it to another level. There’s a greater possible outreach through pokemon.com than on Twitter and each organization’s website. There are certainly players who didn’t know about Limitless’s tournaments that know about the Players Cup, and even more people who are motivated to play for the prospect of a free trip to an IC.

I haven’t reviewed Tournament Rep (mentioned here) or the prospect of getting Tournament Tickets yet (detailed here under “Win Cool Rewards!”), but requiring a massive amount of tickets to have a chance seems detrimental to the amount of players competing. I dusted off my old PTCGO account and saw that I had 22 Tournament Tickets, which certainly is not enough if I hoped to qualify. In the time span before it starts, players can get more tickets, but in my opinion it would be beneficial if there were cheaper tournaments and a more specific description of Tournament Rep. More information is always better, and educating the population on qualification requirements would motivate more people to participate.

I’m sure that more information will be released in the future, which I anxiously await.

Editor’s Note: From pokemon.com, regarding Tournament Rep:

About Tournament Rep: Tournament Rep is a reflection of your prowess in Pokémon TCG Online tournaments. The amount of Tournament Rep earned from each tournament is based on the total number of participants and your final placement in that tournament. The better you finish, the more Tournament Rep you earn!

Limitless Qualifier #3


Results: https://limitlesstcg.com/tournaments/?id=263

This qualifier was unique in that Rebel Clash was legal to be played. With its release came the most powerful Pokémon VMAX: Dragapult VMAX, as well as others that are strong but not top tier. However, the most important release is Boss’s Orders. The re-addition of a consistent gust effect to the format is healthy, especially when Great Catcher can’t target Pokémon V. Reducing the amount of flips in a format (due to the previous necessity of Pokémon Catcher) is a good thing. Scoop Up Net is another strong addition, bolstering the strength of Jirachi TEU decks and highlighting support Pokémon such as Giratina UNM and Mewtwo UNB. Eldegoss V rounds out consistency in the decks that choose to play it, now allowing Quick Ball to lead to a Supporter. The direct effect of Eldegoss V, similar to Tapu Lele-GX, is another welcomed addition.

The Top 8

The Top 8 decks were fairly representative of the meta, aside from the lack of Zacian V decks. The full list of Day 2 decks from each pod can be found here. Top 8 decks are here. PikaRom performed incredibly, taking up half of the Top 8. Two Dragapult VMAX, one Cinccino Mill, and one Blacephalon UNB were present as well. To my knowledge, the full statistics of Day 2 decks haven’t been created yet, but the ratio of Day 2 presence to Top 8 presence seems well in line with the popularity of each deck. Dragapult VMAX and PikaRom overperformed, while ADP/Zacian V underperformed.

Editor’s Note: Some Day 2 stats have been compiled by @KashMann27:


Of the four lists, only Dennis Peroff chose to play Jirachi. Other lists increased counts of influential cards like Boltund V, Boss’s Orders, Speed L Energy, Energy Switch, and Dedenne-GX. Of the four lists, I like Kim Pobega’s winning list the most. Here it is for reference.

Pokémon (12)

3 Dedenne-GX

2 Boltund V

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Eldegoss V

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Zeraora-GX

Trainer (34)

3 Boss’s Orders

3 Professor’s Research

2 Marnie

1 Guzma & Hala

1 Mallow & Lana


4 Electropower

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

2 Electromagnetic Radar

2 Energy Switch

2 Tag Call

1 Great Catcher

1 Reset Stamp

1 Tag Switch


1 Air Balloon

1 Big Charm


1 Thunder Mountain p

Energy (14)

10 L

4 Speed L


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 12

* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Boltund V RCL 67
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Zeraora-GX LOT 86

##Trainer Cards - 34

* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 3 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 4 Electropower LOT 172
* 4 Switch SSH 183
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 2 Tag Call CEC 206
* 2 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Tag Switch UNM 209
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Big Charm SSH 158
* 1 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 1 Thunder Mountain p LOT 191

##Energy - 14

* 10 L Energy Energy 4
* 4 Speed L Energy RCL 173

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=81254 ******

Here are a few aspects of his list that I find incredibly important that were lacking in the other three.

Tag Call Engine

The small Tag Call engine of 2 Tag Call, 1 Guzma & Hala, 1 Mallow & Lana is outstanding in practice. The main reason I find it so nice is that it reduces the probability of an awkward turn one hand. With Tag Call going second, you can grab Pikachu & Zekrom-GX as well as Guzma & Hala in order to get your Energy attachment for the turn. When going first, you can grab Pikachu & Zekrom-GX and Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX, should you plan on attacking with it. Tag Call provides versatility in its choices, and allows you to search for Pikachu & Zekrom-GX without discarding cards, unlike Quick Ball or Electromagnetic Radar.

Tag Call encourages the inclusion of Mallow & Lana, which is powerful in mirror and against Dragapult VMAX. Nullifying an opponent’s attack with a Reset Stamp is enough to swing a turn of tempo, potentially saving the game. Eldegoss V allows the repeated use of it, too. Speed L Energy will help replenish your hand size, fulfilling the much-needed niche of card generation without Jirachi.

4 Speed L Energy

Speed L Energy is one of the best cards ever printed. It gives PikaRom additional consistency and increases the probability of the turn two (or turn one!) Full Blitz. Literally, it allows you to get two cards for free while doing something you already would have liked to do: attach an Energy card for the turn.

I imagine that some of the other lists ran 3 Speed L Energy because of Giratina UNM, but frankly that rationale doesn’t hold up in my book. Not every deck is playing Giratina, and those that are manageable matchups anyway. Not to mention Giratina can only target the Active Pokémon, meaning that your Speed L Energy attachment on turn one is safe on the Bench. Once you’ve used Full Blitz, it shouldn’t matter if your opponent knocks off an Energy or two.

2 Marnie

While Marnie may seem like an immediate conclusion in any “fast” deck, only Dennis’s of the other three lists played any copies (he also played two). To me, this is mind-blowing because PikaRom is an aggressive deck that looks to snowball off of Full Blitz. Running Marnie also allows you to get away with fewer copies of Reset Stamp, perhaps only one rather than two.

To relate Marnie to older cards, Marnie is the modern Marshadow SLG and Judge. Both cards held strong places in PikaRom before for their ability to win games on the spot, and Marnie is no different. In any case, a Marnie may force the opponent to put down a Dedenne-GX, creating an easy target for Boss’s Orders or Tag Bolt-GX in the future.

0 Volkner

The entire lack of Volkner is worth noting. Volkner loses a majority of its usage because of the new Supporter rule. (Previously, it was very easy to Volkner for Electromagnetic Radar + L Energy and set up that way.) Now, without that safety net, Volkner almost always seems slow. Custom Catcher is obsolete now too, meaning that the old rationale of searching for the 2nd Custom Catcher is entirely out the window. The single use of Volkner that I acknowledge is searching for a copy of Reset Stamp—the most pivotal Item you’d need to search on command—but even then, proper digging should get you what you need most of the time while being able to play stronger cards in place of Volkner.

Dragapult VMAX

Dragapult VMAX performed very well by taking up two spots in Top 8 while being relatively underplayed compared to other decks. Its 2HKO strategy combined with spread damage gives it enough speed and control to take 6 Prize cards before the opponent. Here’s Haruki Satoyama’s 8th place list, my favorite of the two.

Pokémon (16)

4 Dragapult V

3 Dragapult VMAX

3 Jirachi TEU

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Mewtwo UNB

1 Mr. Mime TEU

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Phione CEC

Trainer (33)

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research

2 Boss’s Orders

2 Mallow & Lana

2 Team Yell Grunt


4 Mysterious Treasure

4 Quick Ball

4 Scoop Up Net

3 Switch

1 Reset Stamp


1 Escape Board

1 Giant Bomb


1 Power Plant

Energy (11)

7 P

4 Horror P


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Dragapult V RCL 92
* 3 Dragapult VMAX RCL 93
* 3 Jirachi TEU 99
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
* 1 Mewtwo UNB 75
* 1 Mr. Mime TEU 66
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Phione CEC 57

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 2 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Escape Board UPR 122
* 1 Giant Bomb UNM 196
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183

##Energy - 11

* 7 P Energy Energy 5
* 4 Horror P Energy RCL 172

Total Cards - 60

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Consistency vs. Techs

Dragapult VMAX is a deck that benefits from playing as much consistency as possible. I’ve seen lists try to get caught up in playing 4 Team Yell Grunt, or Crushing Hammers, and frankly I think those players are taking the wrong approach. In a deck that relies on the turn two attack so heavily, the majority of deck space should be accounted toward pulling off that strategy. Instead of teching for matchups, increase consistency so that your matchup against the entire field improves.

I feel like there’s a different mentality between regions when drawing the line at proper consistency. In recent years, NA has always ran less consistency than EU or JP counterparts. I don’t have memory of LA or OC decklists, but those regions certainly fall between the two extrema. I’m one to try and tech out my lists, but I find myself complaining about consistency during my losses.

11 Energy

The best example of Haruki’s consistency is in his Energy count. James Neria’s 3rd place list only runs 9 Energy cards and 2 Energy Spinner, which is incredibly greedy. If you get an Energy attachment every turn of the game, of course 9 is enough—but that’s rarely ever the case. In game theory, a very strong strategy is to be risk-averse. Playing more Energy cards is an example of that logic.

Yes, I know that Energy Spinner is essentially an Energy card. It can also be found with Jirachi. However, when you use Energy Spinner to get the Energy you essentially eliminate two of your “Energy cards” rather than one. The probability of initial Energy attachments might be the same, but the small dips in probability later in the game may come back to bite you.

1 Giant Bomb

Giant Bomb is a cheeky inclusion that hopes to get some additional damage counters when the opponent misses Boss’s Orders. I like its inclusion because this is a 2HKO deck, and some decks like Blacephalon UNB neglect or run fewer copies of gust effects.

Cinccino Mill

Mill has been a staple of recent formats, whether it be in the form of Pidgeotto Control centered around hand-locking the opponnent, or Cinccino in spamming Bellelba & Brycen-Man to deck out the opponent as quickly as possible. Here’s Wilmer Kolberg Johannson’s 4th place list:

Pokémon (16)

3 Minccino SSH 145

3 Cinccino SSH

3 Zacian V

2 Jirachi TEU

2 Oranguru UPR

1 Articuno-GX

1 Girafarig LOT

1 Mew UNB

Trainer (41)

4 Team Yell Grunt

3 Bellelba & Brycen-Man

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

2 Mars

1 Boss’s Orders

1 Faba

1 Tate & Liza


4 Crushing Hammer

4 Lillie’s Poké Doll

4 Quick Ball

3 Pal Pad

2 Ordinary Rod

1 Chip-Chip Ice Axe

1 Friend Ball

1 Reset Stamp

1 Switch


1 Escape Board


2 Sky Pillar

1 Wondrous Labyrinth p

Energy (3)

2 W

1 Recycle


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 3 Minccino SSH 145
* 3 Cinccino SSH 147
* 3 Zacian V SSH 138
* 2 Jirachi TEU 99
* 2 Oranguru UPR 114
* 1 Articuno-GX CES 31
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Mew UNB 76

##Trainer Cards - 41

* 4 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184
* 3 Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 2 Lt. Surge’s Strategy HIF 60
* 2 Mars UPR 128
* 1 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Crushing Hammer SSH 159
* 4 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Pal Pad SSH 172
* 2 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 1 Chip-Chip Ice Axe UNB 165
* 1 Friend Ball CES 131
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Switch SSH 183
* 1 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Sky Pillar CES 144
* 1 Wondrous Labyrinth p TEU 158

##Energy - 3

* 2 W Energy Energy 3
* 1 Recycle Energy UNM 212

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=81254 ******

There isn’t much to highlight here, as most mill lists run the same stuff. Nevertheless, here are a few interesting aspects of hist.

1 Girafarig LOT

Girafarig wins the mirror match by hitting the opponent’s Energy cards. Once you run them out of Energy, they can no longer Resource Management and will run out of ways to infinitely loop. One caveat to this is that there’s no way to force Recycle Energy to hit the discard pile/Lost Zone without Faba. Keep in mind that Faba and Girafarig work hand-in-hand; both cards are required to skew the mirror match enough to be worth including.

1 Wondrous Labyrinth p

While innocuous when accounted for, misplaying against it can cost you a game immediately. Most decks only run 1–2 copies of Stadiums, meaning that once those are eliminated the Wondrous Labyrinth p will stick forever. This card obliterates Dragapult VMAX decks and does work against PikaRom if Thunder Mountain p has already been used.

Blacephalon UNB

Blacephalon has always been a playable card since its release, and Scoop Up Net increases its consistency to heights not reached before. This is Alexis Hormazabal’s 5th place list:

Pokémon (15)

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Blacephalon UNB

1 Blacephalon-GX

1 Cramorant V

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Mewtwo UNB

1 Oricorio-GX

1 Victini V

1 Zacian V

Trainer (32)

4 Welder


4 Fiery Flint

4 Fire Crystal

4 Quick Ball

4 Scoop Up Net

3 Switch

2 Energy Retrieval

1 Adventure Bag

1 Ordinary Rod

1 Stadium Nav


1 Beast Bringer

1 Escape Board


1 Heat Factory p

1 Ultra Space

Energy (13)

13 R


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 15

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 3 Blacephalon UNB 32
* 1 Blacephalon-GX LOT 52
* 1 Cramorant V SSH 155
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
* 1 Mewtwo UNB 75
* 1 Oricorio-GX CEC 95
* 1 Victini V SSH 25
* 1 Zacian V SSH 138

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 4 Fiery Flint DRM 60
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Energy Retrieval SSH 160
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 1 Stadium Nav UNM 208
* 1 Adventure Bag LOT 167
* 1 Escape Board UPR 122
* 1 Beast Bringer UNB 164
* 1 Heat Factory p LOT 178
* 1 Ultra Space FLI 115

##Energy - 13

* 13 R Energy Energy 2

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=81254 ******

1 Mewtwo UNB, 4 Scoop Up Net

The new engine involving Mewtwo and Scoop Up Net is the new butter for Blacephalon’s bread. No longer does the deck have to worry about hitting Welders every turn when it can simply put them on top of the deck every turn.

Scoop Up Net also increases the number of cards that can take Jirachi out of the Active Spot. The deck has so many ways to find the last card it needs for a win.

1 Cramorant V

Cramorant V is an incredibly important inclusion because it can hit the Bench. Without Boss’s Orders or Great Catcher, the deck can fall prey to a 7- or 8-Prize game. Cramorant V solves this issue by sniping a Benched Dedenne-GX or Jirachi to close out the game.

Gust effects aren’t really necessary because Blacephalon aims to take knockouts every turn. The deck concedes to Mill even if it played gust effects, and can win the Prize trade most of the time against everything else.


Well, this is a blast from the past! Alex Hill, Travis Nunlist, Christopher Schemanske, and myself all played this deck to Costa Mesa Regionals 2018. We had varying degrees of success with slightly different tech cards to close out the list. Here’s what I’m playing in the PokéStats BLW–UPR tournament. The only card I might change is Team Rocket’s Handiwork for Team Flare Grunt or Team Skull Grunt.

Pokémon (15)

4 Eevee SUM

3 Glaceon-GX

2 Binacle FLF

2 Barbaracle FCO

1 Oranguru SUM

1 Oranguru UPR

1 Sudowoodo GRI

1 Tapu Lele-GX

Trainer (33)

3 Cynthia

3 Professor Sycamore

2 Lusamine

2 N

1 Guzma

1 Team Rocket’s Handiwork


4 Enhanced Hammer

4 Ultra Ball

3 VS Seeker

1 Rescue Stretcher


4 Float Stone


1 Computer Search


4 Rough Seas

Energy (12)

8 W

4 Double Colorless


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 15

* 4 Eevee SUM 101
* 3 Glaceon-GX UPR 39
* 2 Binacle FLF 48
* 2 Barbaracle FCO 23
* 1 Oranguru SUM 113
* 1 Oranguru UPR 114
* 1 Sudowoodo GRI 66
* 1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 2 Lusamine CIN 96
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 4 Rough Seas PRC 137
* 4 Enhanced Hammer GRI 124
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 3 Professor Sycamore XY 122
* 4 Ultra Ball FLF 99
* 2 N PR-BLW 100
* 3 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 4 Float Stone BKT 137
* 1 Team Rocket’s Handiwork FCO 112
* 3 VS Seeker PHF 109

##Energy - 12

* 4 Double Colorless Energy NXD 92
* 8 W Energy Energy 3

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=81254 ******

The goal of this deck is to lock the opponent out of the game with Glaceon-GX. You’ll deny the opponent access to Special Energy cards with Enhanced Hammer and Barbaracle, completely shutting down a majority of the format. Rough Seas and the deck’s structure of pivoting Glaceon-GX with Float Stone will provide enough survivability to run the opponent out of resources.

The deck’s easiest matchups are Drampa-GX/Garbodor and Zoroark-GX. These decks rely on Special Energy and cannot take their Prize cards quickly enough. Wailord Stall is an auto-win because of Oranguru UPR and Team Rocket’s Handiwork.

The deck’s harder matchups are decks that play lots of basic Energy, such as Greninja BREAK and Gardevoir-GX. These decks have enough gas in the tank to deal with Glaceon-GX handily, and there isn’t much to be done other than to hope for a quick win by locking their Abilities.

Editor’s Note: Here are more resources on Glaceon-GX/Barbaracle:


That’s all I have for today! I hope everyone’s staying safe and finding ways to be occupied while spending life at home. I’m excited for upcoming tournaments and am preparing to do well in them. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out here or on Twitter.


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Reader Interactions

1 reply

  1. Rudolph


    Player from South Africa here, played in Q1 and Q3 of the Limitless Qualifiers, making day 2 in Q1.

    Being excluded from the Players Cup is pretty shitty, seeing as it’s an online tournament, where everybody should be able to compete.

    Peace ✌🏾️

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