Secret Agent #818

Thoughts on Players Cup II, Theories on the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge (the What??), and the Archenemy of My Dear Centiskorch, Inteleon VMAX/Frosmoth

Hello again readers, I’m back with you today with a deck that I am heavily considering for the Players Cup II. I’ve been playing a lot of Pokémon over the past month, and this was one of the decks that stuck out to me as capable of beating pretty much everything. I’ll also go over my thoughts on the structure for the Cup.

Players Cup II

Competition starts on Monday at 2 PM EDT.

The announcement of this event was something that I fully expected, and was happy to hear about. There are a lot of similarities between this event and the first Players Cup, but there are also some notable differences. My favorite change is that there’s no longer an invitational where one of the favored players gets to skip the hardest part of the Cup.

There is also the new method of qualification. Rather than rely on Event Tickets, we now have Tournament Keys, which are exclusively for the Players Cup. The Tournament Rep system has also been redone into a much better distribution system. No more losing in the first round and receiving up to half of what you would for winning. Overall, this change rewards skill and consistency much more than the previous system did.

The difficult level is likely ramping up.

I am slightly worried about how much more difficult this event will be to qualify for with what’s likely to be many more players attempting to qualify. I haven’t talked to many people about it, but almost every single person I have talked to says that they’re going to attempt to qualify. Logically, I know that this is a good thing overall, because the better players should actually qualify, unlike last time. Emotionally, there will always be that part of me that says, “What if you’re not good enough?” This is honestly a really terrible mentality to have about it, because a poor mental state while playing leads you to play worse. If you expect to do poorly, chances are that you’re going to meet those expectations.

New Official Online Tournament Series?

In the announcement regarding the cancelation of play in the rest of 2020, there’s a little note at the bottom. This note says, “We will also be providing additional details about a new Pokémon TCG Online series named the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge launching later this year.” I have heard literally nobody talk about this. Why? Did everyone simply miss it? Pokémon has literally announced that they’re going to running an additional online series alongside the Players Cup(s).

Let’s break down what this series could entail. It’s a team challenge. Whatever that means. It is implied that this will be played on PTCGO, which means that it’s either normal gameplay somehow done in a team fashion, or that PTCGO is about to receive a massive update to include a new method of playing.

The idea of an actual team within games is honestly mind-boggling. Ages ago, cards were worded to allow for “2-on-2 battles” (see: §14.1), but that concept has been dead for years. When I hear team, I imagine a number of separate matches being played by team members and whatever team wins the majority is the overall winner. A big question burning in my mind is whether or not we will be able to choose our teams. Is this about to be a series absolutely dominated by a few groups of the top players working together as literal teams?

Inteleon VMAX/Frosmoth

This is pretty much a complete turnaround from playing Centiskorch like I have been recently. While I still believe Centiskorch is incredibly good, I also can’t write another article detailing the exact same lists. Go to either my Twitter or my last article for two really good Centiskorch lists. On to Inteleon.

Inteleon VMAX was a hot topic right at rotation in late August, but the deck sort of dropped off immediately after the first Players Cup. (So almost immediately after it gained attention.) Why? Probably because of the reemergence of Mew3 and LucMetal as powerful archetypes. I’ll admit that both of those matchups can be incredibly hard for Inteleon. On the bright side, Mew3 is easily fixable.


Pokémon (20)

4 Inteleon V

3 Inteleon VMAX

3 Snom SSH

2 Frosmoth SWSH007

1 Lapras V

1 Lapras VMAX

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Crobat V

1 Mimikyu CEC 97

Trainer (31)

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research

3 Boss’s Orders


4 Pokémon Communication

4 Quick Ball

3 Scoop Up Net

2 Capacious Bucket

2 Evolution Incense


3 Air Balloon


2 Training Court

Energy (9)

9 W


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 20

* 4 Inteleon V RCL 180
* 3 Inteleon VMAX RCL 195
* 3 Snom SSH 63
* 2 Frosmoth PR-SW 07
* 1 Lapras V SSH 49
* 1 Lapras VMAX SSH 50
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
* 1 Crobat V DAA 182
* 1 Mimikyu CEC 97

##Trainer Cards - 31

* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 200
* 2 Capacious Bucket RCL 156
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Training Court RCL 169
* 3 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 3 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 209
* 4 Marnie SSH 208

##Energy - 9

* 9 W Energy Energy 3

Total Cards - 60

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

This is the list that my friend Josh Frink and I played for Atlas Mini #4. Neither of us did amazing, but I at least feel safe blaming my performance on my inexperience with the deck. I was making crucial misplays that were costing me games. I’m certain that had I been playing at my best, I would have easily made top cut in the event. The thing about Inteleon is that every matchup is very winnable, but every matchup is also very losable aside from Centiskorch. Let’s break down this list.

Card Choices

1 Crobat V

This list was heavily based on Tord’s from the Players Cup. We really didn’t see any reason to play 4 total Crobat V + Dedenne-GX. Crobat is the worse of the two, so we cut one.

1 Mimikyu CEC 97

With Mew3 being an incredibly powerful deck in the format, it feels important to beat it. Normally Mew3 can play around Mimikyu by attacking with ReshiZard-GX. However, that line of play is a lot less successful when the ReshiZard is incredibly easy to KO thanks to its Weakness. There are also a couple of fringe uses for Mimikyu against decks like Blacephalon UNB and ADP, which both play Oricorio-GX in some lists. Mimikyu is one of the most valuable techs you can have right now, assuming your deck is capable of placing damage anywhere on your opponent’s board.

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

I really didn’t like playing more than one of these, especially while playing only 3 Scoop Up Net. After playing many games with the deck, I’ve realized that Galarian Zigzagoon is one of the better Pokémon you can open the game with. Everything else is either a Dedenne-GX/Crobat V, an attacker, or a Snom which is almost always at risk of being KO’d if left in the Active Spot.

1-1 Lapras VMAX

This is by far my biggest innovation in this list. Tord simply played a Lapras V in his list in a rather futile attempt to deal with Zamazenta V. I’m still playing it for that reason, but I saw no reason to not add in a Lapras VMAX. Part of this deck’s issue was that it was incapable of taking a 1HKO on anything big, and sometimes couldn’t even 2HKO some Pokémon VMAX. Obviously you don’t play that many Energy, so it’s not realistic to hit an Eternatus for a 1HKO, but a 3-Energy Lapras VMAX does take a KO on an Eternatus VMAX that has taken a 160 hit from Inteleon VMAX. Also, Lapras VMAX is the only thing capable of a 1HKO on Zacian V.

3 Air Balloon

Getting an attack off on your second turn is incredibly important. That’s a really good reason to play Air Balloon or Switch. In Frosmoth decks, you’re very likely to need to dig for the pieces required to attack. There’s no guarantee that you’ll draw them in the order you want. If Air Balloon was Switch instead, then you would need to find the Switch after you have found all of the Energies required for an attack. With Air Balloon, it doesn’t matter when you find it.

3 Scoop Up Net

Scoop Up Net feels really weird in this deck to be honest. You definitely need it for a multitude of reasons, but it still feels very out of place. There are no Jirachi TEU, and you only have 5 Pokémon that can be targeted by it. Its most important role will be to act as a switch on turn two, but it also can act as a reusable Zigzagoon, as well as a way to clear your Bench. There will plenty of times where having Frosmoth in play is obsolete, because you’ve already attached all of the Energy you’ll need for the entire match.

9 W Energy, 2 Training Court

I’ll be the first to admit that I really hate this. Training Court has never felt good to me, but I think it’s the best way to achieve what it does. Using the same Air Balloon/Switch logic, it’s somewhat safe to say that Training Court is superior to Energy Retrieval.

9 feels like a very low number of Energy in a deck that relies on hitting multiple Energy on its second turn in order to attack. Capacious Bucket mitigates this a bit, but I still don’t like it. There’s an argument for more Energy because of Lapras VMAX as well.

Potential Inclusions

Giratina UNB

I clearly have an addiction for teching this card into lists, and then taking it our right before I actually use them. Like Centiskorch, Inteleon can use Giratina to its maximum potential against Eternatus. That is, if they’re still playing any Special Energy. Giratina currently isn’t in the list, but is always in the back of my mind when I consider this deck. Inteleon VMAX has the option to return an Energy to your opponent’s hand, so when paired with Giratina, it can prevent an Eternatus player from attacking for at potentially multiple turns.

Cramorant RCL

Decidueye DAA is something that’s seeing more and more success as time goes on. Currently, our list has no answer to that. I don’t like not having an answer to Decidueye. This is similar to Tord’s Suicune DAA, except that it is capable of doing even more damage. It technically requires 5 Energy to 1HKO a Decidueye, but it can easily be knocked down to 4 Energy with a Galarian Zigzagoon ping. I probably wouldn’t ever play this in the deck, but it’s something to consider if Decidueye grows more powerful.


This would be included for Eternatus VMAX, because with 7 Benched Pokémon, Resolute Blade-GX does 350 damage. I’ve played games with and without it, and honestly have not found it to swing the matchup much either way. I’ve found Lapras VMAX to be a superior inclusion.

Ordinary Rod

There have been a lot of games where I’m forced to discard a large number on important Pokémon in order to stay in the game. Having Ordinary Rod would be a very nice way to have a safety net for bad early discards. Ironically, that’s also the reason I’m not playing the card. I tried it and found that I was rarely using it because it always ended up being discarded before I needed it.

The Matchup Spread

ADPZ: Slightly Favored

This is the matchup that Josh and I were worried about the most when we decided to play Inteleon. Every single game I’ve lost to ADP with this list has been due either to my own stupidity or to very unfortunate luck that I did my best to play around. The biggest thing you need to be aware of for this matchup is that your opponent will likely be trying to ignore your VMAX and target down any stray GX or Pokémon V on your Bench. Even if you don’t bench any yourself, a well-timed Mawile-GX can be the end of you. This means that it is vital to try and never end your turn with a GX or Pokémon V in your hand. Sometimes this can lead to some rather gross plays that involve discarding your Dedenne-GX or Crobat V without ever being able to use them, but it’s better to not have them than to lose because your opponent benched them for you.

However, it is also important to realize that you can’t entirely play around benching them. There will always be games where you strictly need to bench a Dedenne-GX, and it’s definitely not optimal, but you still need to do it. It’s better to give your opponent an out to winning rather than guarantee that they win because you never played the game out of fear.

Centiskorch: Heavily Favored

I really do love Centiskorch, but even I can’t deny that it takes a terrible matchup to Inteleon. Yes, there have been times when Centiskorch has triumphed over Inteleon, but those victories are few and far between. This matchup is really straightforward. Get Frosmoth in play, load up on Energies, and KO stuff. If you’re not careful and your opponent draws decently well they could 1HKO your Inteleon VMAX on their second turn. Sometimes you won’t be able to answer that and you’ll lose that game. Cramorant V, which has seen increased popularity in the deck recently, can also cause you no end of problems. I firmly believe that almost every loss Inteleon takes to Centiskorch can be avoided by playing perfectly, but that’s an unrealistic expectation.

Eternatus: Even–Slightly Favored

This is the closest matchup your deck has, and depends almost entirely on how well you draw in the first few turns. There are also two different paths you can take toward winning this matchup:

  1. The first path involves using a lot of Boss’s Orders and KOing a bunch of Crobat V and Galarian Zigzagoon. The biggest issue with this path is that it requires you do find Boss for at least two straight turns. Not impossible, but also not overly likely.
  2. The second path is much more safe in my opinion, and there are a few ways to take it. This one involves using Lapras VMAX as your second attacker rather than another Inteleon VMAX. Rather than aim to KO a bunch of smaller Pokémon, this path aims to KO the Eternatus VMAX as quickly as possible. As I mentioned earlier, Lapras VMAX is very good at cleaning up a KO on Eternatus. You’re going to want to hit once with Inteleon, switch into Lapras V or VMAX (depending on if your opponent took an early KO or not), and then KO that Eternatus. Presumably your opponent will then attack with a 2nd Eternatus VMAX, which you’ll hit into with either Lapras VMAX (if you evolved the V) or your damaged Inteleon VMAX.
    1. If you used Lapras VMAX, you opponent should be forced to retreat into something else, and then all you need to do is find a Boss to win.
    2. If you used your damaged Inteleon, you also have the option of using Boss on a Crobat or Sableye V and sniping a Zigzagoon in order to set up the win for next turn using Inteleon V and/or Galarian Zigzagoon.

Welder/Mew3: Favored

Is that a Mimikyu in this list? Yeah, that makes this matchup incredibly easy compared to how it used to be. There’s no real game plan beyond damaging the all Mew3-GX in play and having Mimikyu in play at the same time. Watch out for things like Incineroar-GX TEU and Indeedee V. Indeedee V is the reason you can’t just load up a Lapras VMAX and sweep the game.

Final Thoughts
“So long, Trainer!” (Thanks for everything, Alex. It’s been an absolute pleasure.)

Oh, I finally got here? Yikes. This part is going to be hard for me to get through. After roughly two years, 59 articles, and 150,000 words, I will no longer be posting articles here at 6P. Things are changing for me, and opportunities have arisen that have led to this decision. I’m sure the reasons will be out there soon enough.

Just over two years ago my brother, Christopher, offered to let me write for 6P. I was maybe decent at best as a writer back then. Since then, writing has really started to play a major role in defining who I am, and I can’t thank Christopher and Adam enough for giving me the opportunities to grow as a player, writer, and most of all as a person. I wouldn’t trade the last two years here at 6P for anything.

I also have to thank you, the readers, for all of the incredible support you’ve shown me over the years. I literally wouldn’t be here writing this if y’all didn’t exist.

So, thank you.

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.

Reader Interactions

3 replies

  1. Bnawbary

    Great article, Thoughts on ADP Inteleon? Also Are you going to continue writing on a different platform? Thanks!

    • Alex Schemanske  → Bnawbary

      Hi, yes I’ll be continuing to write for another platform, but don’t want to advertise anything here.

      As for ADP Inteleon, I would consider it, but I don’t think it’s ever a better ADP Zacian

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.