Nothing Too Crazy

How I’m Approaching the Players Cup II and My Two Current Favs, ADPZ and Eternatus VMAX
Starting in T-minus 10 days.

What’s up everyone, Jon here with another article. Since my last piece, we’ve seen the progression and growth of the online circuit thanks to the many great organizers that have taken one for the team to host these events. I personally have been playing in the Hegster events whenever I find the time to. Outside of a Top 16 finish, I haven’t found much success in them though. I’ve noticed that online events have been harder for me as I for some reason can’t put the same effort and care into them that I do for IRL events.

Regardless, we also got the announcement of the second Players Cup which I am excited to play in, as I didn’t the first due to me not having any tournament tickets. In this article I’ll be going over how I plan to take on the Players Cup II by going over some decks that I like going into the qualifier period along with other strategies to consider. With that being said, let’s go!

How I’m Approaching the Players Cup II

To start, I’ll do a brief summary of how the qualifier period of the Cup is structured:

  1. Unlike the original Players Cup, Pokémon has now added Tournament Keys to the game. These keys are given to every account to ensure that everyone has the same amount of opportunities to qualify. You are only given 50 Keys, so use them wisely. My plan is to space out the tournaments I play in over the entire month. My main goal with this is to use very few Tournament Keys early, when you know everyone will be hungry to play, including the better players. If you just sit on your Tournament Keys for a bit I predict you’ll have an easier time.
  2. The next thing I plan on doing is a Jon Eng classic: not playing anything too spicy and keeping it consistent. I predict that qualifying won’t be too tasking, so playing something that is proven and you know will get you the best overall finishes is probably the best move. More on that when I go over my favorite decks to qualify with.
  3. Lastly, I’m definitely going to pay more attention than usual to how the meta is evolving throughout the tournaments. This will be generally hard to do as we cannot see the decks of the people we don’t play against, but if I notice a general shift in what’s popular, that may affect what I bring into the tournaments.

Now that I’ve gone over some strategies for qualifying, here are my favorite decks at the moment.

Fav #1: ADPZ

Pokémon (12)

4 Zacian V

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

2 Crobat V

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Eldegoss V

1 Mawile-GX

Trainer (37)

4 Boss’s Orders

4 Professor’s Research


4 Cherish Ball

4 Energy Spinner

4 Energy Switch

4 Metal Saucer

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Quick Ball

3 Switch


2 Air Balloon

Energy (11)

9 M

2 W


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 12

* 4 Zacian V SSH 138
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 176
* 1 Mawile-GX UNM 246

##Trainer Cards - 37

* 4 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170
* 4 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 3 Switch SUM 132
* 4 Pokémon Catcher
* 4 Energy Switch CES 129
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178

##Energy - 11

* 9 M Energy SMEnergy 17
* 2 W Energy SMEnergy 12

Total Cards - 60

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

Until it’s banned, this is BDIF.

If you have been even somewhat active in the community in recent time, you 100% have seen the controversy surrounding ADP-GX. I personally don’t have too strong of an opinion on the card, but I do acknowledge how powerful it is, and I can totally understand why people want a ban on it. But until we see ban, I think it is undoubtedly the BDIF. Its ability to end games extremely quickly and aggressively has never been seen before in the game, at least at this level.

The list I’m currently in favor of plays as few non-aggressive cards as possible. The way I see ADP is that you should focus on winning the game as fast as possible. The only card I would still maybe want to include is Turbo Patch, to help set up Zacians quicker or aid the turn one Altered Creation, but this is the list I’ve been liking.


Eternatus VMAX: 55% WR

This is one of your more challenging matchups as your ADP can get Knocked Out immediately after you Altered Creation, meaning you’ll have to set up two in any combination of Zacian or Mawile to KO 2 Crobat Vs to win. Turbo Patch would help in this matchup as you can stream attackers a lot better with them. If your ADP lives, however, you’ll be pretty much in the clear. Between the 4 Boss’s Orders, 4 Pokémon Catcher, and 1 Eldegoss V, you’ll find the gust you need to win the game. You can even just double-swing into Eternatus VMAX and gust up only one support Pokémon and still win. This goes without mention, but a well-timed Mawile-GX can also mess with your opponent’s early game greatly.

Blacephalon UNB: 45% WR

This is another challenging matchup due to their ability to nuke your ADP after you Altered Creation. You playing no disruption, such as Reset Stamp or Marnie, also means that if they get that first big knockout with ease, the next ones will be even easier. This is another matchup where Turbo Patch would be useful to help stream attackers after your ADP goes down.

Tapu Fini UNM could help in this matchup, but it actually isn’t as useful as people think. It doesn’t help the Prize trade at all because ADP-GX + Tapu Fini + Zacian V/Mawile-GX = 6 Prizes. And you’re pretty much only looking for two 3-Prize KOs to win the game, which Fini doesn’t do. Nature Wave is an easily generated attack, however, so it could show some use.

Baby Blowns is a bad deck in my opinion, so it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that your opponent just draws suboptimally and you are able to run through them in normal ADP fashion.

Inteleon VMAX/Frosmoth SSH: 65% WR

As long as you play your cards and get Altered Creation off, you’ll probably win. They don’t have the damage output to win should you draw averagely. You can go for the standard KO two little GXs (for 3 Prizes each), or you can KO a VMAX (for 4 Prizes) and a single-Prize Pokémon (for 2).

Welder Mew3: 50% WR

Your early game should pretty much be the same every time: Altered Creation and see their response. You’ll probably notice that if your ADP survives to use Ultimate Ray after you Altered Creation, you almost never lose. This is no different here. If your ADP does get taken down by Flare Blitz, however, you are in more of a sticky situation. You’ll need to generate attacks with Zacians on 2 little GXs to win. Playing a Galarian Zigzagoon SSH could be good in this matchup, in that it allows your Zacians to actually 1-shot the Mew3-GX, meaning you don’t have to dig for gust. Turbo Patch would also help.

ADPZ: 50%

This mirror gets written off as “whoever gets the first GX attack off wins,” and there is a lot of truth to that, but there are a few things you can do to give yourself the edge.

  1. To start, you should always opt to go first.
  2. I know that the T1 Altered Creation is possible, but you shouldn’t really ever bank on getting it off. Getting it usually also involves benching Dedenne-GX and Crobat V which are cards you want to avoid benching in this matchup for obvious reasons.
  3. You could play Crushing Hammer as a mirror tech, but that would involve shifting the list greatly, and I’ve already gone over my philosophy when it comes to ADP as a deck and how I think it should be built.

Centiskorch VMAX: 60% WR

Contrary to mirror, you should always opt to go second against this deck. One of the big issues with ADP as a deck is how challenging it is to close out games should your ADP-GX get nuked after you Altered Creation. Forcing your opponent to go first eliminates their ability to use (1) Flare Starter for the boosted effect and (2) 2 Welders before you Altered Creation. If they have those tools at their disposal, it is possible that your ADP will be KO’d and you could be in trouble.

The next deck I want to go over that I am quite liking right now is Eternatus VMAX.

Fav #2: Eternatus VMAX

Pokémon (19)

4 Eternatus V

4 Eternatus VMAX

4 Crobat V

4 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Hoopa DAA

1 Sableye V

1 Yveltal TEU

Trainer (32)

4 Boss’s Orders

4 Professor’s Research

2 Marnie


4 Great Ball

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

2 Dangerous Drill

2 Pokégear 3.0

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Reset Stamp


2 Viridian Forest

Energy (9)

9 D


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 19

* 4 Eternatus V DAA 116
* 4 Eternatus VMAX DAA 117
* 4 Crobat V DAA 104
* 4 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
* 1 Hoopa DAA 111
* 1 Sableye V SSH 120
* 1 Yveltal TEU 95

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 4 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 2 Dangerous Drill TEU 138
* 2 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Switch SUM 132
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 4 Great Ball SUM 119

##Energy - 9

* 9 D Energy Energy 7

Total Cards - 60

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

This list is a pretty standard one that has been showing success in online events and I think that it is near perfect. It is consistent and doesn’t try to do anything too crazy, which I should honestly make my motto at this point. I think that the other versions of the deck, namely the versions that include Scoop Up Net, are great as well, but I’ve found the most success with this version.


Eternatus VMAX: 50% WR

To start, going first is the correct decision in this mirror, but if you go second and can get a Power Accelerator off onto a Benched Eternatus V, you set yourself up for a potential huge tempo swing. If they whiff the knockout on your Eternatus V with their Eternatus VMAX, then you are ahead on Energy and on board most of the time. Should they hit the knockout though, you’ll want to swing into their VMAX with yours while getting ready to set up another VMAX on the Bench. They are at 4 Prizes now, so even when this VMAX of yours goes down, they’ll go to 1 Prize. That is when you want to Reset Stamp them and swing with a fresh Eternatus VMAX.

You are basically (1) trying to get them to whiff Boss to win and (2) giving yourself the best odds of winning. Sableye V can have niche usage in this matchup should you get ahead on Energy attachments, as you need very little damage on an Eternatus VMAX to 1HKO it.

Blacephalon UNB: 60% WR

They do have the ability to 1HKO you, but it is rather hard for them to get that off given that Baby Blowns has lost a lot its tools to find these KOs due to rotation. You’re going to want to reach for as many Prizes as you can with a VMAX early, then generate a knockout with Hoopa DAA in combination with Zigzagoons.

Lastly, you’ll want to Stamp them low while gusting up their Oricorio-GX. KO the Oricorio with your 2nd VMAX. This makes it hard for them to find that last KO. By then, you’ll probably have won the game.

Inteleon VMAX/Frosmoth SSH: 60% WR

This matchup is quite similar to ADP in that you overrun them with your damage output. Their out to winning is carefully placing damage on the board so they can clean up their 6 Prizes just before you would win. Something cool you can do is, if you notice them stacking the 60 snipe damage from Max Bullet on a Crobat V, stagger the evolution of your Eternatus VMAXs so that when the first one goes down, you discard your Bench, damaged Crobat V included. This is a pretty specific situation, but if you pull it off, you should be in the clear to win. Overall, they need to hit a bit more than you do to win.

Welder Mew3: 60% WR

This matchup is favored because you play 4 Switch. Their main way of winning is using MukMuk-GX’s Nasty Goo Mix-GX attack to stall you for a turn and get 3 Prizes out of it, but if you are able to find a Switch and get out of the Paralysis, you just win. Dangerous Drill helps with Big Charm so that you can find knockouts easier as well. Overall, this is another “play your cards and win” matchup.

ADPZ: 45% WR

See above for how this matchup goes. The main points are that you should (1) be digging hard for that early ADP KO and (2) hoping they cannot stream two attackers from there while gusting 2 Crobat Vs, which honestly isn’t a huge ask. The matchup is so close because it comes down to whether the ADP goes down or not.

Centiskorch VMAX: 50% WR

Same deal, opt to go second to avoid getting overrun with Energies. If you get ahead, you can try toying with the Prize trade to stick them with a Stamp late game (e.g., chaining a VMAX into Hoopa DAA to finish up the KO on an opposing VMAX).

A major thing to look out for is Wondrous Labyrinth p. If they are able to stick this against you along with Stamp you could be in trouble. Be conservative with your Viridian Forests to avoid getting punished by it.


That’s all for now. Hopefully I was able to help you in some way when it comes to preparing for your next online event, whether it be the Players Cup II or one of the many ones going on elsewhere. Pokémon just announced that there will be no live events for the remainder of 2020, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but it is a sad reminder of the reality we currently live in. I’ve been missing IRL events a lot more lately, and I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love, but until then, good luck to you all on any future endeavors.

– Jon

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Reader Interactions

3 replies

  1. Bnawbary

    Really like this article, I dont think many high level players are talking about how they will approach the PC2. Would love more articles like this where Top players discuss how they prepare or general mindset for each deck they play. Great Article!

  2. Bnawbary

    You didn’t mention Luc-metal , would be curious on that MU for you. Would you consider that deck a “flavor of the month” kinda deck?

  3. Sebastian Lashmet

    Hi, great article! I’m just wondering how the Yveltal TEU helps with Eternatus.

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