Cats Out of the Bag

Water Mew3 Box and Silvally-GX/Alolan Persian-GX, Two Crazy Decks to Compete with Tier 1
“Who’s a good cat that would like to scratch up Tier 1?”

Hello to all SixPrizes readers. How are you? Well, everything is fine here, as far as possible I am able to study, work, and have fun during the quarantine period. The news about the pandemic in Brazil is not very encouraging, so I believe it will take a long time to have face-to-face tournaments again. But to be honest I don’t really care about that—I always liked and played Pokémon TCG over the internet, even before the official app for Pokémon TCG Online (PTCGO) existed.

Into the digital realm we go.

With each passing day the game has adapted to the online universe, and recently we had two major online tournaments, the Limitless Invitational and the Players Cup Kickoff Invitational. Both tournaments showed us interesting things. While the Limitless Online Series showed that it is possible to hold large and complex tournaments, even with the limited tools that PTCGO offers, the Players Cup Kickoff Invitational showed that in addition to the Pokémon Company International (TPCi) having an interest in promoting competitive Pokémon TCG over the internet, they are also capable of providing a very beautiful and well-produced event in an all-online scenario, with the official caster team, sound, image, and video editing with the quality expected from a large company like TPCi.

Regarding the Players Cup, I would like to congratulate SixPrizes writers Rahul Reddy and Pablo Meza for their invitations to participate in the Kickoff Invitational, in addition to my girlfriend and training partner Nathália Fernandes, who, despite not currently playing a lot of Pokémon TCG, I was able to help with her preparation for the tournament in the short time we had.

With these big tournaments finished, it was clear to me that the metagame has stabilized on five big decks: Dragapult VMAX, PikaRom, Baby Blowns, Zacian Combo, and Spiritomb. These decks have different strategies, but they are all consistent and strong enough to belong to Tier 1 of the current metagame. It is difficult to say which is the best deck, as each has good and bad matchups between them. And we will still have further developments and adaptations in these decks as the metagame fluctuates.

When a metagame is stabilized, as is the case now, in most tournaments we will see these same decks in the best positions. In addition to being strong, consequently these decks are also popular, because at the end of the day, competitive players want to win competitions.

But what if you had a deck that was able to play against these five decks, and in exchange it might not be very suitable against other less relevant decks? That would be fun at least, wouldn’t it? Especially if you’re tired of seeing those same decks do well.

My article today is about decks built specially to beat Tier 1 of the current metagame. The result of this experience resulted in two different ideas from what we are used to seeing and I confess that I had a lot of fun researching, testing, and building these decks.

The Big Five of UPR–RCL

If I had to list in order the best decks of the format, this would be my list:

  1. Dragapult VMAX
  2. PikaRom
  3. Zacian Combo
  4. Baby Blowns
  5. Spiritomb

1. Dragapult VMAX

Dragapult VMAX is my favorite deck due to the extremely strong attack and high HP of Dragapult VMAX. If you get a Dragapult VMAX with two Energies on turn two, you don’t need anything else to play against most metagame decks. By focusing the deck on being consistent to do this, you already have enormous strength in your hands. The deck doesn’t need Crushing Hammer, Giant Bomb, Spell Tag, or any other techs, it just needs to do the simple thing.

Its weaknesses are Darkness-type Pokémon; however, the Dark decks that we currently have are not good and the best Dark Pokémon is Spiritomb UNB, which despite being able to Knock Out a Dragapult VMAX in one attack is also very easily Knocked Out itself. Another way to counter the deck is to remove Energy, but the best way to do that is with Crushing Hammer, which requires a flip coin and some luck.

2. PikaRom

PikaRom is my second favorite deck. I like PikaRom for the great turn one that the deck can provide, being capable of putting enormous pressure on any opponent, in addition to all its diversity in attacking the opponent. The deck is capable of causing high damage to the Bench with the PikaRom-GX, paralyzing the opponent with the ChuChu-GX, or even reaching high enough damage to 1HKO a Pokémon VMAX with Boltund V. The problem is that the deck has a bad matchup against Baby Blowns and a slightly bad matchup against Spiritomb.

3. Zacian Combo

The Zacian Combo is a deck that can play against everything. Zacian V remains an incredible Pokémon, both for its Ability and its attack. But the strength of Zacian V alone isn’t able to bring it to Tier 1 of the metagame, so “the Combo” (Jirachi p + Oranguru SSH + Mr. Mime DET), which allows the deck to take extra Prizes, brings the deck the strength it needed to become great.

The weakness of the deck, in my view, is that it always needs to adapt to the metagame with cards outside its main strategy, because unlike Dragapult VMAX, Zacian V doesn’t have the strength alone to deal with all the threats of the game. For example, against Dragapult VMAX, you need Metal Goggles or Zamazenta V to help, while against PikaRom you may need Dusk Mane Necrozma SM124, Shrine of Punishment, or Mew UNB, and against Baby Blowns a Tapu Fini UNM would be perfect to make the matchup more even.

With all of this in mind, I’ve found that the deck has issues consistently performing “the Combo” or finding the right tech cards at the right times.

4. Baby Blowns

Regarding Baby Blowns, I think it depends a lot on the metagame. When PikaRom was considered the best deck in the format (BDIF), Baby Blowns was incredible, but when Dragapult VMAX and Spiritomb started to gain prominence, the deck wasn’t that great.

As I said before, Baby Blowns is great against TAG TEAM/VMAX decks, good against Pokémon-GX/V, and bad against non-Pokémon-GX. Dragapult VMAX is a different case because its Max Phantom attack is great for Knocking Out low-HP Pokémon, as is the case with the Baby Blowns deck, where its main attacker has 120 HP and its main consistency Pokémon is Jirachi with 70 HP. In addition, Dragapult’s 320 HP forces Baby Blowns to discard 7 Energies.

Apart from the dependence on the metagame, Baby Blowns also began to suffer from Trainer cards such as a Power Plant, which is capable of preventing Oricorio-GX from drawing cards, and Marnie, which reduces a hand to 4 cards and forces Baby Blowns to re-find the cards needed to perform another knockout.

5. Spiritomb

Finally, we have Spiritomb. In my view, Spiritomb took so long to appear in the metagame due to the old Malamar/Giratina/Spell Tag deck, which stayed in the format for so long and only now has stopped being popular. Dragapult VMAX does everything Malamar/Spell Tag does, only better and more consistently, but it gives 3 Prizes and has a Darkness Weakness. With the suitable metagame for Spiritomb, the deck became the biggest surprise of the UPR–RCL format. It arrived as a fun idea and is now one of the best decks of the format.

Despite being a very fun deck to play, in my view it is the weakest of the five Tier 1 decks. Just as it can beat all of the Tier 1 decks, it can also lose to all of them. Spiritomb is fragile and can be Knocked Out by any Pokémon, in any way. I’ve seen myself Knocking Out Spiritomb UNB with Pokémon that I wouldn’t even dream of using to attack. Nowadays it is common to see Jirachi TEU in Zacian decks being used as an attacker, which is somewhat funny, but this clearly shows the weakness of the deck.

Due to Spiritomb’s fragility, the deck finds itself in a constant obligation to find new Spiritombs, find Energy, accumulate damage, find the Hustle Belt, and then make a new strong attack. At some point in the game you can fail any of these tasks.

Countering the Top Tier

After a quick review of the best decks of the format, let’s go to the creations focused on playing against all of Tier 1. The result of this is very different decks with unpopular cards that we didn’t even know had potential. Often when we create something with the metagame in mind, the biggest challenge is to make every creation synergistic and consistent, so the biggest challenge, besides creating something new, is to make everything work reasonably well.

Water Mew3 Box

The idea of Water Mew3 Box came to mind even before Rebel Clash arrived. When I saw the Ultimate Mewtwo deck, I noticed that the deck used Blastoise-GX for its strong Rocket Splash attack, but I also took note that Giant Geyser-GX is also an interesting attack. The problem would be having 5 W Energies in hand to make it worthwhile. With the release of Capacious Bucket, I imagined that this attack could be more viable.

My first idea was to use Giant Geyser-GX to power up a Lapras VMAX as to not rely so much on Frosmoth SSH. But I soon realized that it wasn’t worth that much effort and many slots in the deck.

Instead, I decided to build a Water Mew3 Box and thus research all of the Pokémon-GX that could fit the deck. Then I went to investigate if this idea had already been explored, because in my view it is not a difficult concept to imagine. I found one idea or another in Japan, but nothing in the West. Some time ago I was practicing with the deck on stream, and one of my subs gave the list to Azul to record a video, but my final list is different.

It was born just as an interesting idea, but in the current metagame it is well positioned. At the very least, it is a new way to play with the versatile Mewtwo & Mew-GX.


Pokémon (17)

3 Dedenne-GX

3 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

2 Blastoise & Piplup-GX

2 Blastoise-GX

1 Eldegoss V

1 Jirachi-GX

1 Kingdra-GX

1 Mew UNB

1 Solgaleo-GX SM104

1 Starmie-GX

1 Tapu Fini UNM

Trainer (31)

3 Professor’s Research

2 Boss’s Orders

2 Mallow & Lana

2 Marnie

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Misty & Lorelei


4 Cherish Ball

3 Capacious Bucket

3 Quick Ball

3 Switch

3 Tag Call


1 Big Charm


2 Viridian Forest

1 Training Court

Energy (12)

12 W


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 17

* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 3 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 2 Blastoise & Piplup-GX CEC 38
* 2 Blastoise-GX UNB 35
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Jirachi-GX UNM 79
* 1 Kingdra-GX DRM 18
* 1 Mew UNB 76
* 1 Solgaleo-GX PR-SM 104
* 1 Starmie-GX HIF 14
* 1 Tapu Fini UNM 53

##Trainer Cards - 31

* 3 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Misty & Lorelei CEC 199
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 3 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 3 Capacious Bucket RCL 156
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 1 Big Charm SSH 158
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 1 Training Court RCL 169

##Energy - 12

* 12 W Energy Energy 2

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: ******

The deck’s strategy is simple: energize the field with Blastoise-GX, then hit with Blastoise & Piplup-GX while you heal and energize even more, and finally use Blastoise-GX’s Rocket Splash attack to Knock Out whatever you want. This is the main strategy of the deck, but several other lines of play are also available. You don’t always have to follow this script, and your starting hand won’t always allow you to adhere to it either.


Vs. Dragapult VMAX (70/30)

The idea is to heal almost all damage done with Blastoise & Piplup-GX, including damage done to the Bench. Mallow & Lana helps this task even more. Once your board is energized, Rocket Splash will allow you to Knock Out Dragapult VMAX in one hit.

Vs. PikaRom (50/50)

The game is balanced. If possible, let the opponent start and try to do Giant Geyser-GX. Then try to play according to what happens in the game. Perhaps healing with Blastoise & Piplup-GX is necessary or an aggressive knockout with Blastoise-GX is the best option. Kingdra-GX also allows you to do high damage without having to shuffle away the Energies. If you make a Mewtwo & Mew-GX with 5 Energies, Knock Out a TAG TEAM, and not get Knocked Out on the following turn, the victory is practically yours. Mew UNB helps not to lose the game to Tag Bolt-GX.

Vs. Zacian Combo (60/40)

This match can be favorable as the Zacian Combo deck can only Knock Out Mew3 in two attacks. Your main goal is to avoid being Knocked Out. For that, you have Mallow & Lana and Blastoise & Piplup-GX to heal the damage you need. Mallow & Lana alone is just a tech against some matches, but Mallow & Lana together with Blastoise & Piplup-GX can heal 280 damage, the whole HP of Mewtwo & Mew-GX. In addition there is the GX attack of Solgaleo-GX SM104 that allows you to heal all damage for 2 Energies. It is a bad attack, but at least you can buy time until you do your setup. We know that the Zacian Combo deck can win games just by Knocking Out Dedenne-GX and Eldegoss V, so you need to avoid benching too many.

Vs. Baby Blowns (40/60)

Tapu Fini UNM helps a lot and forces the opponent to have to do at least 3 KOs to win the game. Mew UNB helps not to lose the game to Cramorant V Knocking Out Dedenne-GX. Finally, we have 2 copies of Marnie to decrease the opponent’s hand.

The ideal is to start is to use Solgaleo-GX’s Turbo Strike on the second turn to take a knockout and energize your next attacker. Then use Tapu Fini and finally use your other Mewtwo & Mew-GX.

Vs. Spiritomb (70/30)

Here we have several resources to handle the match. Tapu Fini can be a good attacker as it hits for 20 damage with a W Energy, it can hit for more as the opponent plays Ultra Beast Pokémon as well. Mew UNB is also a good attacker. In addition, we have Kingdra-GX, which can Knock Out a Spiritomb with its Reverse Thrust attack that hits for 30 and sends Kingdra back to the Bench. We also have its Maelstrom-GX attack, which deals 40 damage to all of the opponent’s Pokémon. If your opponent doesn’t pay attention to Kingdra-GX, you can Knock Out several Spiritombs at once. And of course, we have the main strategy that allows us to heal all damage done by Spiritomb, since Spiritomb needs two hits to KO a Mewtwo & Mew-GX.

Other Tech Cards

Aurora Energy, ADP-GX, Naganadel-GX UNM

I really like Altered Creation-GX, especially when I start games. It could give me an advantage against Baby Blowns depending on the situation and the extra damage would help me close some math.

Naganadel-GX gives me the option to Knock Out Oricorio-GX and Dedenne-GX. Besides being an always-interesting attacking option, it could also help against the Baby Blowns matchup.

Silvally-GX CEC/Alolan Persian-GX/Marshadow & Machamp-GX

This deck was made with the help of Lucas Araujo, my Playground team partner. The idea here is to use the right Pokémon for each matchup. Silvally-GX brings consistency to the deck, but it is also capable of 1HKOing a Zacian thanks to Fire Memory, while Alolan Persian-GX is great against Baby Blowns, Dragapult VMAX, and Spiritomb, and finally Marshadow & Machamp-GX (MarshChamp-GX) is good against PikaRom. The challenge is to make these so different Pokémon work in the same deck. Before MarshChamp-GX, we tried to use Lucario-GX, but MarshChamp-GX proved to be more effective in the end, both for being a better attacker and for consistency.

I believe that if the deck is able to carry out its strategy it has good games against everything, but the biggest challenge is consistency. I am still in the process of making the deck even better, as we had this idea recently, but I am already enjoying the results.


Pokémon (16)

3 Type: Null UNM

3 Silvally-GX CEC

3 Alolan Meowth LOT

2 Alolan Persian-GX

2 Marshadow & Machamp-GX

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Diancie p

1 Eldegoss V

Trainer (33)

4 Cynthia

2 Boss’s Orders

2 Red & Blue

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Guzma & Hala

1 Mallow & Lana


4 Pokémon Communication

4 Quick Ball

3 Tag Call

2 Switch

1 Reset Stamp

1 Tool Scrapper


2 Air Balloon

2 Fire Memory

1 Counter Gain


2 Martial Arts Dojo

Energy (11)

6 F

3 D

2 Unit FDY


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 3 Type: Null UNM 183
* 3 Silvally-GX CEC 184
* 3 Alolan Meowth LOT 118
* 2 Alolan Persian-GX CEC 129
* 2 Marshadow & Machamp-GX UNB 82
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Diancie p FLI 74
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 2 Red & Blue CEC 202
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 2 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 2 Fire Memory UPR 123
* 1 Tool Scrapper RCL 168
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Martial Arts Dojo UNB 179

##Energy - 11

* 6 F Energy Energy 6
* 3 D Energy Energy 7
* 2 Unit Energy FDY FLI 118

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: ******


Vs. Dragapult VMAX (60/40)

Alolan Persian-GX is the main attacker because it can bop for Weakness, it has Psychic Resistance, and the opponent cannot use Horror P Energy, because its Ability prevents damage from Pokémon with Special Energy attached. Without Horror P Energy, the Dragapult VMAX deck will only have 4 or 5 basic Energies available in the entire deck to combat you with.

With the help of the Martial Arts Dojo, Alolan Persian-GX is even able to Knock Out Dragapult VMAX in a single attack. We also have Mallow & Lana to keep Alolan Persian-GX alive.

Vs. PikaRom (60/40)

MarshChamp-GX is our main attacker and it should be energized as soon as possible, but Alolan Persian-GX is also interesting to buy some time, since the opponent uses TAG TEAM Pokémon and Speed L Energy.

Vs. Zacian Combo (40/60)

This matchup is really not very good, but it is not that bad either. Silvally-GX with Fire Memory can 1HKO Zacian V and MarshChamp-GX can Knock Out a Zacian with Acme of Heroism-GX + Diancie p. On the other hand, Zacian also manages to Knock Out Silvally-GX in one hit. Theoretically the match could be 50/50, since both of them manage to make knockouts, but there comes the consistency factor.

Vs. Baby Blowns (70/30)

Here Alolan Persian-GX does all the work. The opponent can use Victini p or Victini V, which can be difficult, but still do not guarantee the match. But the majority do not use them and rely instead on Cramorant V.

Vs. Spiritomb (90/10)

Another match in which Alolan Persian-GX does all the work. Spiritomb decks play only Special Energies and Alolan Persian-GX prevents damage when Special Energies are attached.

Final Thoughts

If you are tired of using or facing the same Tier 1 decks, then these are interesting new options to play with. It is difficult to counter five decks that are so effective and so different in their strategies, so even so, the decks shown today have their flaws. As much as the decks presented today aim to play well against Tier 1 decks, it does not mean that you will lose to other popular decks. The Water Mew3 Box does very well against Fire Box and so many other meta decks, while Silvally/Persian also has an incredible match against Ultimate Mewtwo thanks to the Alolan Persian-GX.

See the decks shown today as a deck-building exercise as well. It is important to always exercise creativity and test new things. An idea tested today can serve as a lesson and repertoire to create something better later, to be used in a large tournament.

For today it’s just personal, I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time!

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