Hello to all SixPrizes readers! I’m back to bring you new thoughts on Pokémon TCG. I still haven’t had enough time to be able to compete in all the online tournaments I would like; however, I continue to study the game, and I am learning and understanding the current format more and more.
Gradually I realized that players are accepting the idea of having to live with ADP-GX in the format, either because the Pokémon Company will probably not ban the card or maybe because ADP/Zacian V (ADPZ) is not so powerful of a deck.
According to the results from major Pokémon TCG Online tournaments held by the community, ADPZ is a great deck, but I see Eternatus VMAX having even better results. Other decks that have also placed highly are Centiskorch VMAX and Welder/Mew3 Box. Baby Blowns is another deck that has come back strong, but it is slowly disappearing from the metagame. Especially without Fiery Flint in the format, the deck loses the considerable speed and consistency that it had before.
With so many online tournaments going on, and after almost a month with TEU–DAA being the official Standard format, some new developments have appeared recently, such as the return of PikaRom and TinaChomp, in addition to several other ideas. At the end of the day, the best decks are still the decks I mentioned in the paragraph above, but I’m happy to see other decks having the ability to compete.
Above all, the biggest impact on metagame in recent times has been the increase in popularity of Crushing Hammer. In such a fast format, where the game often ends in just four turns, Crushing Hammer has proven to be powerful, especially against ADPZ and Eternatus VMAX. If you only have four turns in a game, then it means that you can only attach four Energies from your hand per game, not counting any form of Energy acceleration. So if you lose two Energies due to Crushing Hammer, you’ve lost half of your manually-attached Energies and this can result in not having enough Energy to attack during one of your four turns. The funniest thing about it is that Crushing Hammer is an Item card and can be placed in any deck. Don’t be surprised if you face ADPZ/Hammers, Eternatus VMAX/Hammers, or even Centiskorch VMAX/Hammers out there.
The main upcoming tournament of 2020 is the Players Cup II and it will start soon (in six days to be exact). Bearing this in mind, my article today will focus on the deck I like most at the moment, which is Welder/Mew3 Box. The best decks are the most used and most talked about, but when it comes to Tier 1 decks, the important thing is details. When a deck is already very strong, minor modifications may be enough to make a predictable and optimal deck less predictable and even better. With that in mind, let’s go to today’s deck!
- Can hit for 300 damage on turn two.
- It is versatile because it has so many attack options.
- 1HKOs VMAXs with the help of Horror P Energy and Volcarona-GX.
- Good consistency.
- It is no longer the best deck in the format (BDIF). And that’s OK, because it’s less on people’s minds.
- Mewtwo & Mew-GX is easy to 1HKO.
- If it gets popular, there are strong counters to it in the format, like Mimikyu CEC 97 and Power Plant.
- It still depends a lot on Welder.
- Many of its matchups are 50/50.
2 Crobat V
4 Horror P
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 18
* 1 Larvesta CEC 34
* 1 Volcarona-GX CEC 35
* 3 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Indeedee V SSH 91
* 1 Latios-GX UNM 78
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Muk & Alolan Muk-GX UNB 61
* 1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20
* 1 Charizard-GX HIF 9
* 1 Incineroar-GX TEU 97
* 1 Naganadel-GX UNM 160
##Trainer Cards - 29
* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 1 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Switch SSH 183
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Big Charm SSH 158
* 1 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197
##Energy - 13
* 9 R Energy Energy 2
* 4 Horror P Energy RCL 172
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82472 ******
This is used against decks with ADP. Clear Vision-GX is still the best proactive response the game has to Altered Creation. Clear Vision will not guarantee victory against ADPZ, but it will make the game much more fair.
From testing, I’ve realized that ADPZ players often don’t know how to play optimally when their deck’s main strategy doesn’t work, and they end up getting lost. This is because all their math changes and it looks like you are playing with an entirely different deck instead of the indomitable ADPZ.
In addition, I thought I would no longer use Tag Purge after the rotation, since Pokémon V and VMAX are the successors to TAG TEAMs. But this is not so, as some Mew3 Box variants have popped up, along with the return of PikaRom-GX and TinaChomp-GX. Tag Purge is useful for Knocking Out Blacephalon UNB as well.
I also like Latios-GX as a starter since it has free retreat.
Incineroar-GX will perform the same functions (although considerably worse) of two cards that were previously mandatory (but are no longer legal) in Welder/Mew3 Box: Solgaleo-GX SM104 and Magcargo-GX.
Solgaleo-GX SM104 was known for attacking on turn one and attaching two basic Energies from the discard with its Turbo Strike attack. The Energy acceleration is gone with Incineroar, but it does still bring a good attack to deal damage on turn one. Crushing Punch hits for 130 and discards a Special Energy from the opponent’s Active Pokémon. Despite being a worse attack and costing more Energy than the Turbo Strike, it is still useful and necessary.
Incineroar bears little similarity to Magcargo-GX, apart from the fact that both Darkest Tornado-GX and Burning Magma-GX can deal virtually unlimited damage. The loss of the Magcargo-GX cannot be made up for, and in the current format Magcargo-GX is especially missed, but with Incineroar we still have the possibility of 1HKOing a Pokémon VMAX. With only 7 damage counters Darkest Tornado is able to hit for 350 and Knock Out anything.
Incineroar-GX was rarely used before because we had better attacks available for Mewtwo & Mew-GX, but it’s now situated in Mew3 Box as an indispensable card.
Still attempting to make up for the lack of Magcargo-GX to do high damage, I decided to include a 1-1 Volcarona-GX line in the deck. Usually, Welder/Mew3 Box has Galarian Zigzagoon SSH to close KOs, but in my opinion Volcarona-GX does a much better job and manages to close even more KOs.
Volcarona-GX flutters into the deck to solve two important equations:
- The first is to be able to Knock Out Crobat V using the Naganadel-GX UNM’s Venom Shot attack.
- The second is to be able to 1HKO Eternatus VMAX.
Although it seems inconsistent, I like to use the 1-1 Volcarona-GX line because I don’t need it in every game, and even in the games I really want it, it is possible to win without it. Remember that Volcarona-GX can be accessed with Cherish Ball.
It is worth mentioning that Volcarona-GX has two attacks that can be useful. Backfire can Knock Out things like Zacian V, Dedenne-GX, or Blacephalon UNB, and Massive Heat Wave-GX is interesting for removing the opponent’s Energies on turn one.
Indeedee V has two important functions against two metagame decks, Eternatus VMAX and Centiskorch VMAX:
- Vs. Exernatus VMAX: Watch Over will heal damage from Galarian Zigzagoons, thus preventing a KOs from Dread End on a Mewtwo & Mew-GX with Big Charm attached.
- Vs. Centiskorch VMAX: Its Psychic attack will be responsible for Knocking Out a Centiskorch VMAX that has at least 6 Energies attached.
Marshadow UNB has been an essential card in Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks, mainly because of Power Plant. Some decks even used two copies, but now nobody cares about Power Plant anymore.
The reason I use Marshadow UNB is because of Chaotic Swell. Although Chaotic Swell does not harm even half of what Power Plant harms, I still think it is necessary to have some way to get Chaotic Swell off the field, because that way I can use Giant Hearth.
I think Giant Hearth is super important for any deck that uses Welder. It may not seem like it, but many games are lost because Chaotic Swell blocks Giant Hearth, which consequently prevents you from finding Energy, which consequently prevents you from using Welder to full effect, which consequently prevents you from using the attacks you need.
If you analyze the metagame, we don’t know which decks will necessarily use Chaotic Swell, but whenever a deck has no specific need for a Stadium, Chaotic Swell becomes their first option. And a deck with no Stadium can easily lose because of Stadiums like Black Market p and Wondrous Labyrinth p, which are powerful enough to decide an entire match. It is natural for Chaotic Swell to be the number one choice for decks that do not need a Stadium, as they can block these annoying Stadiums and considerably hinder any deck that wants to speed up Energies, be it Fire decks playing Giant Hearth or even ADPZ decks using Viridian Forest.
I definitely want to include a 2nd copy of Big Charm in the deck. Big Charm is able to prevent the easy KO that Eternatus VMAX swings for on Mewtwo & Mew-GX. It also forces Centiskorch VMAX to have 6 Energies for a KO, which is good because Indeedee V can then KO Centiskorch with Psychic on the following turn.
Another threat that is slowly becoming popular is Zacian V + Vitality Band + Altered Creation, which hits for 270 (and 1HKOs Mew3).
I included Fire Crystal to have a little more freedom to use Volcarona-GX’s Flaming Shot, which consumes R Energy. In practice, Fire Crystal has been much better than that and has greatly improved the deck with regard to energization.
Muk & Alolan Muk-GX1
Muk & Alolan Muk-GX is in the deck mainly to deal with Decidueye DAA and Galarian Obstagoon SSH. Without Muk, we have no way to damage them. I don’t think the Decidueye/Obstagoon deck is particularly good but it will be successful if it matches up against opponents who don’t have cards to deal with it. I don’t know if you’re going to face this type of deck, so I decided to keep Muk in the list, but in a large tournament like an International Championship I would probably play without it to make room for a card that I would use more often.
The other reason for using Muk is against the early versions of Eternatus VMAX, which did not use Switch. They instead retreated through Hiding D Energy and Dark City. Nasty Goo Mix-GX is incredibly strong if you think your opponent will not be able to find a switch card.
Reset Stamp needs no explanation and its effect is necessary to win some games, but overall I feel that I use this card seldomly to great effect. When I can use it, often the opponent has an out and can use Dedenne-GX or Crobat V to replenish their hand.
One of the reasons for me to keep Reset Stamp in the deck has to do with Nasty Goo Mix-GX. To further decrease the opponent’s chances of having a Switch in hand, we Reset Stamp them to the smallest number of cards possible and then use Nasty Goo Mix-GX. If I remove Muk, I have even more reason to exclude Reset Stamp from the deck.
Amazingly, we are in a format where 270 HP is a low number. To make the Hit Points of Mew3 not be such a problem and avoid 1HKOs, I think Big Charm is an important card.
Big Charm won’t always save you and you won’t always need Big Charm to win, but there are situation in this format where your opponent is able to hit for 270 damage consistently, and that will destroy your entire strategy. However well built, Mewtwo & Mew-GX is nothing if it is unable to resist an attack.
Flareon-GX would be included to perform the function of Solgaleo-GX SM104, which is to energize attackers. Heat Stage hits for 30 damage and allows you to attach up to 3 R Energies from your hand to your Pokémon. This chip damage can be crucial to later Knock Out a Pokémon VMAX with Charizard-GX HIF, and it is nice to have the ability to energize your Pokémon through an attack, especially if you are unable to use Welder.
This is a chronic problem with Mewtwo/Welder decks. There is always a lack of room to include more Energy, and because of that you need to try harder to carry out your attacks while not running out of Energy at the end of the game.
Espeon & Deoxys-GX
This is not a card that I miss seeing widely played, but it is a card that is always good to keep in mind. Espeon & Deoxys-GX originally gained popularity as the best way for Welder/Mew3 Box to deal with Control decks, which play multiple low-HP Pokémon.
Similar to Volcarona-GX, Espeon & Deoxys-GX has the strength to perform several knockouts at once, such as Knocking Out 3 Galarian Zigzagoon against Eternatus VMAX, or even reach for 1HKOs against Decidueye DAA or Galarian Obstagoon SSH.
We have a very fast and aggressive format in front of us, but despite everything, I see a format that makes sense and offers a different way of playing Pokémon TCG. As I mentioned previously, we need to give the game a chance as it is and I find it rewarding that we can learn to adapt to it.
I see fun in the game as it is, and I have had a lot of fun exploring the possibilities that this format offers us. In general, I think the formats change quickly and each format brings us a different way to play the game. Some formats are worse than others, but in the end each format is unique.
I personally don’t feel like playing previous formats or even classic formats. I’ve always played the game intensely in the current format to explore as many possibilities as I can. And in this current format I am no different.
I recently saw an online tournament taking place in a past format (BKT–on/2018), where Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX (ZoroPod) was the strongest deck by a fair margin. I remember at that time many players asking for a ban on the Zoroark-GX, but years later they miss it and want to play that format again.
I will close today’s article with that thought. Enjoy Pokémon TCG in its most varied forms and try to see things on the positive side too. A new set comes out every three months and the format may end up changing completely. Dragapult VMAX was so strong and cool to play and now it is a bad deck. Perhaps this current format will be the last format in which you will still be able to use the traditional Welder/Mew3 Box deck. I have no doubt that in a few years we will see tournaments being held in the current format (TEU–DAA). After all, we just miss old times and value those things that we no longer have.
That’s all, folks. I hope you enjoyed and see you soon!
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