Lightning Strike

Post-Rotation Inteleon VMAX and Vikavolt V, the Two Ends of the Lightning-Nerfed Spectrum
Today’s forecast: Cloudy with a chance of Hydro Snipe.

Hello to all SixPrizes readers! How are you? I’m great! I’m back to bring you another article and this time I’m going to talk about Inteleon VMAX and Vikavolt V, two decks that have a lot of potential in the post-rotation (TEU–DAA) format.

Last weekend we had the Pokémon Online Global (POG) Championship, which was a world-class tournament held in the UPR–DAA (pre-rotation) format. Unfortunately, I couldn’t play because I was moving and I was still without internet in my new home. Far from being an online World Championships, the tournament was quite interesting and you can already see the impact of Darkness Ablaze on the metagame. The long-awaited Eternatus VMAX managed to make Top 8, but the tournament champion was good old PikaRom.

Now with the rotation coming, some things will change and consequently the metagame too. The biggest difference involves the Lightning type, which will lose powerful cards like Thunder Mountain p, Electropower, and Zeraora-GX.

The purpose of my article today is to explore the post-rotation metagame involving the Lightning type from two points of view. In one point of view, the metagame will be without a big Lightning deck, which allows free reign of Pokémon with Weakness to Lightning, like Inteleon VMAX. The other point of view is to build a competitive Lightning deck, even with all that lost strength.

The results of my testing and studies you can see now. Let’s read!

Why Inteleon VMAX?

I believe that the post-rotation metagame favors Inteleon VMAX for three main reasons:

  1. No PikaRom or any big Lightning decks
  2. Good matchup vs. Eternatus VMAX
  3. Favorable typing against Fire decks, like Centiskorch VMAX

It’s funny how a Pokémon so mediocre in the previous format can theoretically become super suitable in the current format. Inteleon VMAX has two good attacks and they have a direct impact on the main matchups of the new format, which are ADPZ, Eternatus VMAX, and Fire decks in general.

I don’t think Inteleon VMAX is a super powerful deck, like Eternatus VMAX which can hit for 270 on turn two or ADPZ which can hit hard and draw extra Prizes, but I think of it as a good anti-meta deck. It seems strange to talk about anti-meta at a time when the format hasn’t even started yet, but I see Inteleon VMAX as an interesting option throughout the season.

Speaking of matchups, I believe that the ability of Inteleon VMAX to KO an Eternatus VMAX along with a Galarian Zigzagoon SSH on the Bench in two attacks makes the matchup at least balanced, because you then only need to Knock Out 1 Pokémon VMAX to win the game. Against ADPZ, the matchup is pretty even; Inteleon VMAX is able to delay ADPZ’s game plan with its Energy removal strategy. Against Fire decks like Centiskorch VMAX, Water naturally has a big advantage.

Decklist

Pokémon (15)

4 Inteleon V

4 Inteleon VMAX

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Crobat V

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Giratina UNM

1 Mewtwo UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

Trainer (37)

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research

2 Boss’s Orders

1 Team Yell Grunt

 

4 Capacious Bucket

4 Quick Ball

4 Scoop Up Net

4 Turbo Patch

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Switch

1 Reset Stamp

 

2 Air Balloon

1 Vitality Band

 

1 Chaotic Swell

Energy (8)

8 W

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 15

* 4 Inteleon V RCL 49
* 4 Inteleon VMAX RCL 50
* 2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
* 1 Crobat V DAA 104
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Giratina UNM 146
* 1 Mewtwo UNB 75
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148

##Trainer Cards - 37

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 1 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Capacious Bucket RCL 156
* 2 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Turbo Patch DAA 172
* 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 1 Vitality Band SSH 185
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187

##Energy - 8

* 8 W Energy Energy 3

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82281 ******

Cards Explanation

4-4 Inteleon VMAX

Inteleon V is not very good—the focus here is Inteleon VMAX. Its first attack, Hydro Snipe, is stronger than it looks and can bring you victory, as it can delay the opponent’s energization. Against ADPZ this attack is typically good, but I use it a lot against Eternatus VMAX too. Hydro Snipe is such an interesting attack that there are lists focused on it along with Crushing Hammer to further delay the opponent, but I still think that Max Bullet should be your focus.

Max Bullet is what makes Inteleon VMAX good against Eternatus VMAX and Fire decks. The attack deals 160 + 60 damage to a Pokémon on the Bench, which allows you to almost KO most Pokémon VMAX in two attacks and almost KO Pokémon with more than 60 HP, such as Galarian Zigzagoon SSH or Jirachi TEU, in one attack.

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

In order to complete the missing damage we use Galarian Zigzagoon together with Scoop Up Net. Without Galarian Zigzagoon or Roxie + Weezing CEC, Inteleon VMAX would be horrible, as it would not be able to complete knockouts on the popular Pokémon in the meta.

1 Oranguru SSH

I’m a big fan of Oranguru SSH in general. I don’t need a big reason to use it in the deck; I believe that its Ability helps a lot with consistency.

Here we use Scoop Up Net to reuse Primate Wisdom. We also use Mewtwo UNB, so we want Oranguru to retrieve the Supporter that Mewtwo will place at the top of the deck with its Mind Report Ability.

1 Mewtwo UNB

Since we use Scoop Up Net and Oranguru, I decided to include a copy of Mewtwo, mainly for greater access to Team Yell Grunt and Boss’s Orders when needed.

1 Giratina UNM

I believe that Giratina will be even more effective in the post-rotation format, as we have enough Special Energy in the format and the main decks can make use of them.

Along with Inteleon VMAX’s Hydro Snipe attack, it is possible to remove 2 Energies in the same turn from the opponent’s Active Pokémon, which can be devastating. If an Eternatus VMAX loses 2 Energies, it will only be able to immediately attack again with a heads on Turbo Patch.

1 Dedenne-GX, 1 Crobat V

I believe this is the minimal line to avoid problems of consistency.

4 Professor’s Research, 4 Marnie

They are the best draw Supporters currently.

2 Boss’s Orders

The ideal would be to play with 3 Boss’s Orders, because Inteleon VMAX is designed to Knock Out Pokémon VMAX or TAG TEAM in two attacks, but 2 copies have worked.

1 Team Yell Grunt

In addition to the Hydro Snipe and Giratina UNM, we also have a copy of Team Yell Grunt to disrupt Energies.

4 Quick Ball, 3 Pokémon Communication

For me these has been the ideal numbers so far, and I prefer Pokémon Communication over Evolution Incense for its versatility in being able to get the Pokémon I want.

4 Capacious Bucket

I like Capacious Bucket because it guarantees me at least two turns of energization. In addition, Capacious Bucket makes it much easier to discard Energy to be able to use Turbo Patch.

2 Switch, 2 Air Balloon

To ensure good mobility and not suffer problems from of a lack of switching.

4 Turbo Patch

This is one of my bets to make Inteleon VMAX more competitive. I didn’t really like Frosmoth SSH to energize Inteleon, as I see the deck requiring a lot of extra effort to get another Evolution into play so that I can attach 1 or 2 extra Energies per the turn.

In many games you will need only 1 Turbo Patch to work for the entire game. Some games you will not even need Turbo Patch, and there will be games that you will need to hit 2 or 3, but in general the deck is not very dependent on extra Energies.

4 Scoop Up Net

It improves the deck’s mobility some and allows you to reuse the incredible Abilities of the deck’s non-Vs and non-GXs.

1 Vitality Band

With Vitality Band, Max Bullet will hit for 170 instead of 160, which makes it perfect for Knocking Out Eternatus VMAX (which has 340 HP) in two attacks.

1 Reset Stamp

It is a necessary card in the format. Every deck I play without Reset Stamp I feel something is missing.

1 Chaotic Swell

To counter annoying Stadium cards like Black Market p and Wondrous Labyrinth p.

Vikavolt V: Is it still good?

Lightning lives in a complicated place in the post-rotation format. Without Electropower and Thunder Mountain p, all Lightning decks have lost strength and speed. PikaRom is practically retired without these cards and Vikavolt V also lost a lot.

To compensate for these losses, I decided to focus on Vikavolt V and Energy removal. With the very strong, Item-locking Paralyzing Bolt attack, we can disrupt the opponent and hinder their entire strategy.

Decklist

Pokémon (15)

4 Vikavolt V

2 Crobat V

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Giratina UNM

1 Mewtwo UNB

1 Oranguru SSH

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko V

Trainer (33)

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research

2 Boss’s Orders

1 Team Yell Grunt

 

4 Crushing Hammer

4 Quick Ball

4 Scoop Up Net

3 Switch

2 Great Ball

1 Dangerous Drill

1 Reset Stamp

 

2 Cape of Toughness

 

1 Chaotic Swell

Energy (12)

8 L

4 Speed L

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 15

* 4 Vikavolt V DAA 60
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
* 1 Giratina UNM 86
* 1 Mewtwo UNB 75
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko V SSH 72

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 1 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Great Ball SSH 164
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 4 Crushing Hammer SSH 159
* 2 Cape of Toughness DAA 160
* 1 Dangerous Drill TEU 138
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187

##Energy - 12

* 8 L Energy Energy 6
* 4 Speed L Energy RCL 173

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82281 ******

Cards

1 Tapu Koko V

In one of the initial versions of the deck that I was testing, I decided to include 2 copies of Tapu Koko V, mainly because of its free Retreat Cost. Despite being a small detail, the free Retreat Cost helped a lot with the mobility of the deck, so I decided to keep a copy.

Tapu Koko V is a reasonable attacker too. Spike Draw gives you a turn one attack and draws 2 cards, but, honestly, it is an attack I almost never use. Thunderous Bolt is more interesting. It does 10 more damage than Vikavolt V’s Super Zap Cannon and doesn’t discard any Energy, so every time I need to use Super Zap Cannon to do high damage I try to use Thunderous Bolt instead as it is a slightly better attack.

4 Vikavolt V

Vikavolt is your main attacker and a good starter if you go first.

1 Tapu Koko p

Tapu Koko p survived the rotation and it is responsible for Vikavolt V being able to Paralyzing Bolt on turn one without depending on Turbo Patch.

2 Dedenne-GX, 2 Crobat V

The deck needs to dig sometimes, either to attack on turn one or find resources to remove the opponent’s Energy.

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

Galarian Zigzagoon is not essential to this deck in the same way that it is to Inteleon VMAX, but Zigzagoon will allow for interesting plays here. You realize that Vikavolt V enjoys the company of Zigzagoon only after you play with the deck a lot, because you are often missing 20 or 30 damage for a knockout.

Vikavolt V’s Paralyzing Bolt only hits for 50 damage, so as you attack, your opponent’s Pokémon will have 100 damage… 150 damage… 200 damage. But HP is often 160 HP, 170 HP, 180 HP… 210 HP, 220 HP… 320 HP, etc.—that is, you will always be 10, 20, or 30 damage short of a knockout.

So: Galarian Zigzagoon + Scoop Up Net serve to replace the extra damage from Electropower but with a little more versatility (and less explosiveness).

1 Oranguru SSH, 1 Mewtwo UNB

As I said before, I like this combo with Scoop Up Net.

1 Giratina UNM

Giratina enters the deck to further bolster your Energy removal strategy.

4 Marnie, 4 Professor’s Research

Marnie is the most important Supporter in the deck, but Professor’s Research is still essential to set up, especially on turn one.

The Marnie + Item lock combo is naturally strong against any deck in the format. That’s the bread and butter of Vikavolt.

2 Boss’s Orders

I would like to find space for the 3rd copy, but two are OK.

1 Team Yell Grunt

In addition to Crushing Hammer, Giratina UNM, and Dangerous Drill, we have another way of removing Energy.

4 Quick Ball, 2 Great Ball

With relatively few Pokémon in the deck, Pokémon Communication won’t work very well, so I prefer the Great Ball in this scenario.

3 Switch

I use Switch infrequently one the game gets going, but it is necessary to be able to attack with Vikavolt V on turn one.

4 Crushing Hammer

If we don’t have the additional damage from Electropower to speed up knockouts, then we have to delay the opponent so that they play at the same slow pace as ours.

2 Cape of Toughness

Cape will not help much against ADPZ if they get off Altered Creation, but it will help a lot against Eternatus VMAX and Fire decks. +50 HP is a lot, leaving Vikavolt V with the HP of a TAG TEAM practically.

1 Dangerous Drill

I started testing Dangerous Drill in Eternatus VMAX and I really liked the result, so I decided to test the idea in Vikavolt V, since I have 4 Darkness-type Pokémon. The advantage of Dangerous Drill is that I can remove Special Energy from my opponent’s Bench, in addition to being able to remove Tools and Stadiums.

1 Reset Stamp

The Reset Stamp is not great in this deck, as all my attackers give up 2 Prizes—that is, I can almost never Stamp to 1.

1 Chaotic Swell

Mainly to counter Black Market p and Wondrous Labyrinth p, but it helps to block Giant Hearth as well.

8 L Energy, 4 Speed L Energy

I felt that I could even play with 7 L + 4 Speed L, but I’m afraid of missing the Paralyzing Bolt T1.

Final Thoughts

Although they are completely different decks, it is possible to see many similarities between Inteleon VMAX and Vikavolt V. I decided to use the same structure to enhance their best attributes, making the necessary adaptations. For example:

In such a fast format, Vikvavolt V and Inteleon VMAX decks try to compensate for their lack of speed in other ways. Inteleon VMAX bets on multiple knockouts and a light Energy removal strategy, while Vikavolt V bets on Item lock and a lot of Energy removal.

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


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Reader Interactions

3 replies

  1. DesDaddy

    When you wrote “If an Eternatus VMAX loses 2 Energies, it will only be able to immediately attack again with a heads on Turbo Patch.” how is this possible if Turbo Patch only works on Basic pokemon and Eternatus VMAX is not a Basic pokemon? Thanks!

    • Jordan Morris  → DesDaddy

      And indeed there are numerous ways that an Eternus VMAX could immediately attack again, e.g. Tag Switch, Energy Switch, Hydreigon, Weavile-GX, or Rose.

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