Make Way

Charizard VMAX/Volcarona-GX and ADPZ for the Post-Rotation Format (TEU–DAA)
What 300 damage looks like.

Hello SixPrizes readers! How are you? Well, I hope. I’m back for another article to talk about the new Darkness Ablaze set, which will be released on August 14th—that is, in just a few days. This time I will talk about two more decks that I’ve been testing: Charizard VMAX and ADP/Zacian, which are both good and competitive.

One of the things that most caught my attention in the post-rotation format (TEU–DAA) is that we have started the new season in a very fast format, with Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, and several options for Energy acceleration and reaching high damage. If the format is fast now, I don’t even want to imagine what it will look like six months from now. I’m not saying this is bad—the Pokémon TCG is always changing and bringing us different ways to play the same game—but without a doubt we will be playing at a very different pace.

The two decks that I will analyze today are indicative of how I see the post-rotation format: very fast and aggressive, but each in its own way. While Charizard VMAX will rely on high damage to Knock Out anything it wants, ADP/Zacian will be concerned with Knocking Out Dedenne-GX and Crobat V to win games. Just as Crobat V and Dedenne-GX are primarily responsible for making the format so fast, it will be common for these same Pokémon to be the reason for defeat, as they are low-HP Pokémon that give up 2 Prizes.

Charizard VMAX/Volcarona-GX

The deck is somewhat inconsistent and slow compared to other decks of the format like ADPZ or Eternatus VMAX. To tell you the truth, when I started testing Charizard VMAX I didn’t expect much from it, but little by little I started to understand the strength of the deck.

It is true that the deck has its problems, but we also need to realize that the format has changed. There is no Pokémon capable of KOing an opponent’s Pokémon VMAX in a single attack without a tremendous effort behind it.

Even with a little inconsistency and delay to be able to energize and evolve, Charizard VMAX will be able to recover the lost setup turns with immediate knockouts. While other Pokémon VMAX—like Eternatus VMAX or Salamence VMAX—need two attacks to KO, Charizard VMAX may need only one attack with the help of Volcarona-GX, meaning that turns lost at the start can be compensated for at the end game with less attacking turns.

Another interesting thing about Charizard VMAX is that it’s a Fire type, which now has a better advantage against Metal decks like Zacian V because Metal Frying Pan no longer exists. (And, of course, Fire is effective against possible Grass decks, like Decidueye.)

But just as Fire typing can be seen as an advantage, I believe that soon we will see this as a disadvantage. Since Lightning loses many resources with the rotation, Water can start to see more play in the forms of Inteleon VMAX and Lapras VMAX.


Pokémon (17)

3 Charizard V

3 Charizard VMAX

2 Larvesta CEC

2 Volcarona-GX

3 Volcanion UNB

2 Crobat V

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Eldegoss V

Trainer (29)

4 Welder

2 Boss’s Orders

2 Professor’s Research


4 Pokégear 3.0

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

3 Fire Crystal

3 Pokémon Communication


3 Giant Hearth

Energy (14)

12 R Energy

2 Heat R Energy


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 17

* 3 Charizard V DAA 19
* 3 Charizard VMAX DAA 20
* 2 Larvesta CEC 34
* 2 Volcarona-GX CEC 35
* 3 Volcanion UNB 25
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19

##Trainer Cards - 29

* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 2 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Switch SSH 183
* 3 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197

##Energy - 14

* 12 R Energy Energy 2
* 2 Heat R Energy DAA 174

Total Cards - 60

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

Key Cards

3 Volcanion UNB

In addition to being responsible for helping to energize Charizard VMAX, Volcanion UNB is important to deal with the new Decidueye. Without it, we cannot cause damage to Decidueye due to its Ability which prevents damage from Pokémon-GX and V.

Volcanion can be a good attacker in general too. Although its attack does only 110 damage, that number is more than enough for Charizard VMAX to complete any knockout with its 300 damage.

3-3 Charizard VMAX

ebay.comThe idea here is to be able to develop at least one Charizard VMAX per game but have the possibility to make two if necessary. Charizard VMAX is not an overpowered card and the creators were careful to adjust small details so that it was not too good:

  1. G-Max Wildfire hits for 300 damage, which is really high, but not high enough to 1HKO an opponent’s Pokémon VMAX.
  2. The cost of 5 Energies to attack is also higher than normal, but it would be easier to chain if you were not forced to discard 2 Energies after using the attack.

Because of these two factors, the deck will need to spend more slots in the list in order to solve these problems and make Charizard VMAX viable.

2-2 Volcarona-GX

Volcarona-GX will be responsible for transforming the 300 damage of Charizard VMAX into 320, or 340, or 360… and thus be able to 1HKO any Pokémon in the format. Its Flaming Shot Ability allows you to deal 2 damage counters to any of the opponent’s Pokémon if you discard a R Energy. In general, Volcarona works better than I expected and is currently the best way to augment the damage output of Charizard VMAX.

Volcarona-GX is a reasonable attacker and has an interesting GX attack which discards an Energy from each of the opponent’s Pokémon.

With little reason for opponents to use Great Catcher in the post-rotation format, Volcarona-GX is a little safer on the Bench because the opponent will need to use Boss’s Orders to gust it up in most cases.

2 Crobat V, 1 Dedenne-GX

ebay.comFor the Charizard VMAX deck, I prefer Crobat V a little more than Dedenne-GX, as the Crobat allows you to keep resources in hand. If you have Welder in hand but you don’t have the Energy, you can use Crobat V and try to draw Energy or Giant Hearth, but with Dedenne-GX you will be forced to discard Welder.

There will be times when Dedenne-GX will be better, so it all depends on the moment. And of course, there will be times when you will need Dedenne-GX and Crobat V in the same turn to make a strong play. At times I think the 2nd copy of Dedenne-GX would be interesting, but the problem is not having enough space on the Bench for so many Pokémon.

1 Eldegoss V

Eldegoss V, despite being another Pokémon that takes up a slot on the Bench, is a Pokémon that I like to have in this deck, as it greatly increases the chances of me not failing to Welder during the game. A Welder can be the difference between hitting 300 damage or nothing.

2 Professor’s Research

This is a deck where you would not like to use Professor’s Research so much. The ideal is to Welder every turn, but in the post-rotation format I find it difficult to achieve this without Escape Board (for Jirachi TEU) and Acro Bike.

2 Boss’s Orders

The ideal would be to use Ninetales TEU (for gust) to not have to use a Supporter besides Welder, but Bench space is a serious problem in this deck and we already have the Volcarona-GX taking up a slot on the Bench. In addition, Volcarona also needs to discard Energy from your hand in order to activate its Ability.

4 Pokégear 3.0

Without Acro Bike in format and Escape Board for Jirachi TEU, we are left with Pokégear 3.0 to help us find Welder.

12 R Energy, 2 Heat R Energy

ebay.comAs with most Fire decks, the more Energy the better, but as this deck already has little space, 12 basic R Energies was the maximum I could include.

Regarding Heat R Energy, I think it is important for Charizard VMAX to have at least 1 Heat R attached on it, as its HP goes from 330 to 350. Against Eternatus VMAX, Heat R Energy makes a difference depending on the opponent’s list, as Heat R will force the opponent to drop two more Galarian Zigzagoon SSH to 1HKO Charizard VMAX.

No Triple Acceleration Energy

I saw some lists that use Triple Acceleration Energy. In theory, it seems like a good and necessary Energy for Charizard VMAX to attack easily, but in practice I didn’t like it. It adds inconsistency to the deck, and in the end it was not impactful enough to receive a spot in a tight list like this. Triple Acceleration can only be attached to Evolution Pokémon, which means that you won’t be able to attach it until you have a Charizard VMAX on the field.

Besides, the current format doesn’t seem like one where you will need to do many attacks. In many cases, three G-Max Wildfires will be enough to take 6 Prizes. It is perfectly possible to carry out three attacks without needing Triple Acceleration Energy.


ADP/Zacian has been my favorite deck and if Worlds 2020 was tomorrow (in the TEU–DAA format) I would probably play with ADPZ. The main strategy remains the same: taking 6 Prizes with few attacks after Altered Creation-GX.

The big difference that makes ADPZ stronger is the arrival of Crobat V, which gives you a lot more draw power in a single card, which frees up slots in the deck and brings more chances to Altered Creation-GX on turn one.

We also have the arrival of the Turbo Patch, which allows you to attach a discarded Energy on a coin flip. This will allow you to further improve the energization of the Zacian V, which already has Metal Saucer and Intrepid Sword to accelerate Energy.

Most interesting of all is that ADPZ is able to exploit at the same time the best strengths and weaknesses of the format, which are Crobat V and Dedenne-GX.

While the deck needs Crobat and Dedenne to draw cards and perform a complex combo in a single turn, ADPZ focuses precisely on Knocking Out Crobat V and Dedenne-GX, as they are Pokémon with low HP that (1) can be Knocked Out by both ADP-GX and Zacian V and (2) give up 3 Prizes after Altered Creation.


Pokémon (14)

3 Zacian V

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Crobat V

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Oranguru SSH

1 Duraludon RCL

1 Eldegoss V

1 Zamazenta V

Trainer (35)

4 Professor’s Research

3 Boss’s Orders

2 Marnie

1 Erika’s Hospitality


4 Metal Saucer

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

3 Cherish Ball

3 Energy Switch

2 Turbo Patch

1 Reset Stamp


2 Air Balloon


2 Viridian Forest

Energy (11)

8 M Energy

2 W Energy

1 Aurora Energy


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 14

* 3 Zacian V SSH 138
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Duraludon RCL 138
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Zamazenta V SSH 139

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 1 Erika’s Hospitality TEU 140
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170
* 2 Turbo Patch DAA 172
* 3 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 11

* 8 M Energy Energy 8
* 2 W Energy Energy 3
* 1 Aurora Energy SSH 186

Total Cards - 60

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

Key Cards

1 Duraludon RCL

Duraludon RCL is in the deck to deal with Decidueye DAA. We don’t know how popular Decidueye will be, but its “Safeguard” Ability has historically always been good and popular. From what I tested with Decidueye, I think the deck has a number of problems in the format, such as Duraludon RCL itself.

Duraludon manages to 1HKO Decidueye DAA and take 2 Prizes after Altered Creation. And to make matters worse, Decidueye is unable to 1HKO Duraludon back, as Duraludon RCL has 130 HP and Grass Resistance.

2 Oranguru SSH

I like Oranguru very much in several other decks, but of course in any Zacian V deck it ends up being even better for helping Zacian V to connect more Energy off of Intrepid Sword.

The reason I use 2 copies of Oranguru SSH goes beyond consistency. Against Decidueye DAA, Oranguru becomes a decent attacker too.

If Decidueye is not popular, then it is possible to use only 1 Oranguru.

2 Crobat V, 2 Dedenne-GX

The most impressive thing about the post rotation format is being able to use Dedenne-GX and Crobat V in the same turn. With these two resources together, plus a Supporter for the turn, you can draw practically half of your deck, which makes it possible to perform complex combos, such as a turn one Altered Creation.

1 Eldegoss V

ADPZ is all about using Boss’s Orders on the opponent’s Bench to Knock Out Dedenne-GX and Crobat V, so I think Eldegoss V is important. It considerably increases the chances of having access to Boss’s Orders on the turn you need it.

1 Erika’s Hospitality

I wanted a Supporter in the deck that was not as aggressive as Professor’s Research so that I can preserve resources in hand, but at the same time I wanted a Supporter which could draw cards without altering the opponent’s hand (like Marnie does). We have Cynthia, but post-rotation I believe that Erika’s Hospitality ends up being the better option.

Decks in general are using a lot of slots on the Bench, so Erika’s Hospitality will work very well. It is worth mentioning that against Eternatus VMAX, Erika’s Hospitality can give you the chance to draw up to 9 cards, since the opponent can have up to 8 Pokémon on the Bench.

2 Viridian Forest

Viridian Forest was used little this season because the Stadium is so good that your opponent will be happy if you played it on the field for them. But, in the case of ADPZ, I think it is worth using Viridian Forest.

ADPZ has a very strong and effective strategy. If you manage to perform Altered Creation-GX on turn one, often the opponent will not have much to do, so it will not make much difference if they have access to Viridian Forest.

Viridian Forest helps ADPZ find W Energy, discard cards in hand (like M Energies for Metal Saucer), and it is of course a Stadium card to counter strong Stadiums like Wondrous Labyrinth p or Black Market p, which are capable of completely ruining ADPZ’s strategy.

4 Metal Saucer, 3 Energy Switch, 2 Turbo Patch

These are the cards needed to perform the Altered Creation-GX combo on turn one. Turbo Patch is not extremely necessary, because we are talking about a flip card and flip cards can go wrong, but without a doubt it is a strong card when it works. It is possible to find space for 4 Turbo Patch, but I think that is overkill.

1 Reset Stamp

When the deck’s strategy is dependent on drawing a lot of cards and consequently discarding a lot of cards, it is difficult to use Reset Stamp, especially when playing only 1 copy. It is also worth remembering that, with the arrival of Crobat V, decks now have an extra out for the dreaded Stamp to 1 card.

Even so, I think it is necessary to use Reset Stamp. Without this card I always feel that the deck is missing something. With 2 Oranguru SSH it’s doable to preserve the Reset Stamp for the end of the game. And as we know, Reset Stamp is always a chance to overcome a lost game.

8 M Energy, 2 W Energy, 1 Aurora Energy

I find this number of Energy consistent and adequate. I like Aurora Energy because it works as my 3rd W Energy and 9th M Energy.

Final Thoughts

From one to the next.

In general I think the 2020–2021 rotation was very smooth. Sometimes I don’t even feel that there was rotation. This is very different from the past rotation where we lost incredible cards like Guzma and Ultra Ball. In most of the rotations I feel a strong impact—especially with regard to consistency—but with this rotation little is affected, particularly because of the arrival of Crobat V. The same combos and objectives that we wanted to accomplish in UPR–on will continue to be achieved in TEU–on. Anyway, maybe this was the least impactful rotation I’ve had since I started playing Pokémon TCG in 2012.

If last season we had one of the most impactful rotations, we now have one of the lightest. But that is no reason to think that the post-rotation format is not going to be interesting. We are entering more and more into the era of Pokémon VMAX and saying goodbye to the era of Pokémon-GX, and with that comes a different way of playing Pokémon TCG.

I really don’t know what to expect from the format regarding strategy or fun. I personally manage better in slower formats, with more turns develop a strategy. With more turns you can overcome a losing position or develop a more complex strategy. Now, with fewer turns available, any mistake can be critical. Or sometimes it’s not even a mistake—you just got off to a bad start and your opponent got off to a good start.

In any case, I am totally in favor of the change and I am prepared to play this new format. I am also happy to know that, if necessary, the Pokémon Company is willing to ban cards to keep the game healthy. The ban on Bellelba & Brycen-Man and Mismagius UNB is a good example of this.

That’s all, folks. I hope you enjoyed and see you soon!

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Reader Interactions

4 replies

  1. Ramon Raya

    Since with this list, Viridiana Forest is not searchable, and maybe I’m missing something, wouldn’t it make more sense to run Energy Search instead since all you need really is that one water at the beginning of the game and this way your opponent doesn’t benefit from it too. Viridiana becomes pretty useless in the mirror.

    I guess I can see that it’s be nice to be able to discard a metal and search a water in the process.

    But, opinions?

      • Gabriel Semedo  → Ramon

        Hi Ramon!

        I understand what you mean and I usually say in my articles that Viridian Forest is such a good stadium, that unfortunately it ends up helping the opponent too. Virtually every deck of the format wants to seek basic energy from the deck.

        But I still like Viridian Forest because the benefits that this card brings pay off the help I will give to my opponent.
        I will give some of benefits of Viridian Forest:

        – Viridian Forest is a stadium and is good to counter Black Market in Eternatus VMAX and other stadiums
        – You can play Viridian Forest on board and then play Dedenne-GX or Professor’s Research
        – Viridan discard a card from the hand, which is good and some situations like draw more cards with Crobat-V or discard a metal energy for Metal Saucer.
        – Viridian can stay on the board for more than one turn and use the effect again.

        Energy Spinner will be legal on post Rotation and it is better than Energy Search, so if you choose to play with this, I suggest you to play at least a Chaotic Swell, just to counter an annoying Black Market for a entire game.

        In mirror match Viridian Forest can help your opponent in specifics scenarios, but it still can search energies for you. In a format where you can play Crobat V and Dedenne GX in the same turn, I think your opponent will find energies often too, so I don’t know if you will help a lot your opponent in the end.

  2. Gabriel Semedo

    To do a Altered Creation GX on turn 1, you will need to achieve all these steps:

    – (find adp if needed)
    – ADP on board
    – (find energy if needed)
    – Attach energy on ADP
    – (find a Metal pokémon if needed)
    – Metal Pokémon on board
    – (find a metal energy if needed)
    – (find Aurora, Quick ball, Research or Dedenne GX to discard energy if needed)
    – Put an energy to the discard
    – (find a metal saucer if needed)
    – Use Metal Saucer
    – (find energy switch if needed)
    – Energy switch to ADP
    – (switch ADP to active if needed)
    – Altered Creation GX

    Viridian Forest can help to achieve two goals of the combo, which is find energy and discard energy.
    ADPZ is a deck that if you can achieve the combo on turn 1, you will be in a very good spot.

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