Two Two Two

Two Frontrunners (Eternatus VMAX and ADPZ) and Two Counter Picks (Torkoal V and Welder Toolbox) for Players Cup II

Hello 6P! Welcome back to another article by yours truly! We are now well into the 2020–2021 tournament season and we have a single official tournament to look forward to, the Players Cup II.
50 for you, and 50 for me!

One very positive thing about this event is TPCi addressed the issue of the unfair amount of Event Tickets available to players for the first iteration of the Players Cup, and we now all get 50 Tournament Keys to try and make Top 256 in NA, LATAM, and Europe or Top 128 in Oceania. Evening the playing field should encourage players who opted not to (or couldn’t) participate the previous time to join in on the fun. I’m looking forward to playing in more competitive tournaments on PTCGO, although single elimination is a pretty brutal format with a ton of variance. You could easily win three tournaments in a row and lose in the first round of the next three, so choosing hyper-consistent decks will be incredibly important. There is no difference (other than seeding) between 1st and 256th place, therefore your goal is to make it past Round 1 as many times as possible, rather than winning as many tournaments as possible, in order to accumulate Tournament Rep points.

You’ve got to hand it to Eternatus—the deck rips.

With this in mind, there are two very clear decks that should help you accomplish this: Eternatus VMAX and ADPZ. Based on all the other online circuits, even though there are other decks that can compete against them, such as Lucario & Melmetal-GX or Centiskorch VMAX, these two decks are putting the biggest numbers in terms of portion of the metagame, along with top placements in every tournament. I myself faced five ADPZ decks in a row in the first five rounds of an eight-round LATAM-only tournament recently.

At the time this article is published, the Players Cup II has already started, and these are my variants of the two decks that I highly recommend you stick to to maximize your chances of qualifying:

Eternatus VMAX

Pokémon (19)

4 Eternatus V

4 Eternatus VMAX

4 Crobat V

4 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

1 Hoopa DAA

1 Hoopa UNM

1 Sableye V

Trainer (32)

4 Boss’s Orders

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research


4 Great Ball

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

2 Energy Switch

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 Hoopa UNM 140
* 1 Sableye V SSH 120

##Trainer Cards - 32

* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Great Ball SSH 164
* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 2 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 4 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Switch SSH 183

##Energy - 9

* 9 D Energy SWSHEnergy 7

Total Cards - 60

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

This Eternatus VMAX list is quite standard, Pokémon-wise, with maximum counts on the key Pokémon—the Eternatus line, Crobat V, and Galarian Zigzagoon—with three extra tech Pokémon in the Hoopa duo and Sableye V.

Sableye V is a pretty powerful yet underwhelming attacker if it takes two turns to power up. However, the use of Energy Switch in this list can allow for a turn where you bench the Sableye V, Switch into it, and then Energy Switch to do massive damage to an opponent with Crazy Claws. This “surprise” Sableye V play has come in handy and surprised a ton of opponents during my Versus ladder practice. It is less effective in online tournaments with open decklists because your opponent can see it is a play that you can pull off, but it has still been useful for me regardless.

As far as Trainers go, this list focuses on maximum consistency by maximizing the Professor’s Research, Marnie, and Boss’s Orders counts. Extra disruption comes in the form of 2 Reset Stamp along with the versatility of 4 Switch and 2 Energy Switch. Maximum counts of Quick Ball and Great Ball help find your attackers along and Crobat Vs for draw. 2 Pokémon Communication provide extra search for Eternatus VMAX on turn two.

Even though Energy Switch is useful to pull off an attack with Sableye V, its biggest use is to force opponents to have to continually find and use Boss’s Orders to finish off a previously-damaged Eternatus VMAX. In the mid game, being able to Switch and Energy Switch onto a fresh Eternatus VMAX means you are sort of “healing” Eternatus VMAX. Sure, your opponent can target the Benched, damaged Eternatus VMAX with Boss; however, you are forcing them to have and use that resource as opposed to utilizing Research or even Marnie to disrupt your hand.

Another use for Energy Switch is to help combat the increase in Crushing Hammer play we’ve seen lately in online tournaments, as it allows you to make better use of the extra Energy you might’ve attached through Power Accelerator. Also, if you didn’t have an Eternatus V down on turn one, you can still attach your Energy to something else and then eventually move that Energy onto an Eternatus where it will actually be utilized, thus you don’t waste your Energy attachment.

Finally, 9 basic D Energy + 2 Viridian Forest give you 11 outs to Energy on turn one, and even though Eternatus VMAX’s Dread End attack only takes 2 Energy, it is crucial not to miss a single Energy attachment at any point during a game.

It will be super important to keep an eye on how the metagame develops and evolves throughout the course of the tournaments. There might be adaptations to be made, such as including Dangerous Drill (to deal with Big Charm in ADPZ) or even a whole 4 Turbo Patch (in order to truly compensate for a Crushing Hammer-heavy metagame).


Pokémon (12)

4 Zacian V

3 Dedenne-GX

2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX

1 Crobat V

1 Mawile-GX

1 Oranguru SSH

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 PR-SW 18
* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156
* 1 Crobat V DAA 104
* 1 Mawile-GX UNM 141
* 1 Oranguru SSH 148

##Trainer Cards - 37

* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 170
* 4 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 4 Energy Switch CES 129
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Pokémon Catcher SSH 175
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 3 Switch SSH 183

##Energy - 11

* 2 W Energy SWSHEnergy 3
* 9 M Energy SWSHEnergy 8

Total Cards - 60

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

Arguably the most controversial deck out there right now, yet still one of my favorites after having such good runs at the Players Cup and POG 2020, where I made Top 8. The deck is less strong right now than it was before, due to the loss of Acro Bike and Order Pad. However, the introduction of Crobat V and decks needing to use Crobat V along with Dedenne-GX and Eldegoss V for consistency means games are usually over by turn four.

Mawile-GX’s Captivating Wink allows you to force an opponent to bench those support Pokémon which they might be trying to avoid playing, purely to prevent you from sniping them.

As mentioned, Acro Bike and Order Pad rotated, but we now have Pokémon Catcher in their place in order to have free reign with Professor’s Research while at the same time being able to have a gust effect. Even though it is a flip, you have 4 Pokémon Catcher and you’ll usually only need one heads flip per game, combined with your 4 Boss’s Orders. This list was used to win one of the biggest Hegster tournaments by Christian Hasbani, and I’ve been playing it as-is ever since, and it feels almost as good as my Players Cup list (which I feel probably helped inspire this one!).

The metagame is evolving very rapidly with all the online Cups being held daily, which is why this deck might need to adapt. Eternatus VMAX is currently its biggest rival, and the inclusion of Big Charms would help prevent Eternatus VMAX from scoring a 1HKO right after you use Altered Creation-GX+. However, they might adapt by playing Dangerous Drill or Scoop Up Nets once again, so it’s important to keep paying attention to the lists that are successful at the various online tournaments, like Hegster, Professor Oak, Epoch, Chill TCG, PokeX, and the Sunday Open. The top decks and lists are usually published over here:

Eternatus VMAX and ADPZ are the most popular decks and also the ones accumulating the most wins and top cut showings by far out of all the decks out there. Even though these decks seem to be on a completely other level, the format actually is showing a lot of variety and other decks, like the following, can steal wins against them:

Torkoal V

A rogue deck that I have enjoyed playing lately is a Torkoal V/Welder Toolbox-style deck. The idea behind the deck is that the format is so fast that missing an Energy drop or getting any Energy removed by Crushing Hammer can be game changing. Therefore, removing 2 Energy at once with Torkoal V’s Steam Crush can be completely game changing.

Pokémon (16)

4 Jirachi TEU

4 Torkoal V

1 Cramorant V

1 Crobat V

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Giratina UNM

1 Mewtwo UNB

1 Oricorio-GX

1 Volcanion UNB

1 Zacian V

Trainer (30)

4 Welder

2 Boss’s Orders


4 Quick Ball

4 Scoop Up Net

4 Switch

2 Fire Crystal

2 Great Ball


4 Cape of Toughness


4 Giant Hearth

Energy (14)

10 R

4 Heat R


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 4 Torkoal V SSH 24
* 1 Cramorant V SSH 155
* 1 Crobat V DAA 104
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Giratina UNM 86
* 1 Mewtwo UNB 75
* 1 Oricorio-GX CEC 217
* 1 Volcanion UNB 25
* 1 Zacian V PR-SW 18

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 4 Cape of Toughness DAA 160
* 4 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 2 Great Ball SSH 164
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Switch SSH 183

##Energy - 14

* 4 Heat R Energy DAA 174
* 10 R Energy SWSHEnergy 2

Total Cards - 60

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

The deck takes a page out of Baby Blacephalon’s book with its structure, but it replaces all the Energy recovery spots and excess Energy counts with Heat R Energy and Cape of Toughness to bring the average HP of Torkoal to 280 or 300. This puts it safely out of Zacian V’s Brave Blade after the bonus damage from Altered Creation, and forces Eternatus VMAX to focus their Headbutt Tantrums onto Torkoal V and have a full Bench to be able to take it down with Dread End.

Continuous pressure on an opponent’s Energy drops is crucial, which is why I’m playing 2 Boss’s Orders and a Mewtwo UNB to be able to recycle the Bosses continually. With 4 Jirachi TEU and 4 Zacian V, we have a reliable-enough engine to where we hopefully won’t need to bench either Dedenne-GX or Crobat V against ADPZ.

Volcanion UNB and Cramorant V are there to help support the deck against things like Decidueye DAA and Bronzong TEU, while providing alternate attacking options and Bench damage. Since we are not playing any 3-Prize Pokémon, Oricorio-GX’s Dance of Tribute has a lot of merit in this, but it’s less powerful than when utilized in Blacephalon decks.

Here is a perfect example of a game I played which shows the situations you can put yourself in against ADPZ; they completely crumble to this intense Energy removal strategy:

My opponent at that point can’t KO Torkoal V with Zacian V, and they have to (A) rely on every single Metal Saucer to string attacks or (B) lose a turn to recharge through Intrepid Sword.

So far the deck has felt strong enough against the Eternatus VMAX and ADPZ, but it crumbles to other Tier 2 decks quite badly:

Welder Toolbox

Stemming from my infatuation for Torkoal V, there’s another variant of a Welder Box deck that recently won one of the online Cups and that I’ve been playing around with a bunch, which includes Torkoal V and a wider array of attackers which help cover the popular decks. These attackers include Rhyperior V, Milotic V, and Vikavolt V. Fire, Fighting, Water, and Lightning coverage is a fantastic array of types to have at your disposal as they cover Zacian V, Eternatus VMAX, Centiskorch VMAX, and Inteleon VMAX. They also all conveniently work well with Welder:

Pokémon (16)

2 Crobat V

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Milotic V

2 Rhyperior V

2 Volcanion UNB

1 Dubwool V

1 Eldegoss V

1 Heatran-GX

1 Torkoal V

1 Victini V

1 Vikavolt V

Trainer (30)

4 Welder

3 Boss’s Orders

1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

1 Professor’s Research


4 Pokégear 3.0

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

3 Pokémon Communication

2 Fire Crystal

1 Reset Stamp


3 Giant Hearth

Energy (14)

10 R

4 Aurora


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 16

* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Milotic V RCL 43
* 2 Rhyperior V DAA 95
* 2 Volcanion UNB 25
* 1 Dubwool V RCL 153
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Heatran-GX UNM 25
* 1 Torkoal V SSH 24
* 1 Victini V SSH 25
* 1 Vikavolt V DAA 60

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174
* 3 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy UNB 178
* 2 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 1 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Switch SSH 183

##Energy - 14

* 10 R Energy SWSHEnergy 2
* 4 Aurora Energy SSH 186

Total Cards - 60

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

The only Pokémon we don’t have true Weakness coverage on is ADP-GX, but I couldn’t find any splashable Fairy-type Pokémon to add to the list. With 4 Quick Ball and 3 Pokémon Communication, finding the right Pokémon for the matchup isn’t overly complicated. Even though you’re ideally trying to dish out extra damage thanks to Weakness against the most popular decks, Heatran-GX and Victini V are fantastic attackers on their own, Torkoal V’s Energy removal is nothing to scoff at, and so is Rhyperior V’s. Finally, you even have access to Item lock through Vikavolt V’s Paralyzing Bolt to slow down the pace of the game if you really need to (to help you buy time to find those Welders and power up the right attacker).

This deck differs in the Welder-seeking strategy of my Torkoal V deck in that it uses Pokégear 3.0 to get that extra search rather than the Jirachi + Mewtwo engine. This deck is more versatile but also more fragile overall, as if you whiff a Welder or an Aurora Energy at a crucial time, the deck loses too much momentum and often falls apart.

Still though, winning an 80+ player online tournament while surviving the variance-infested best-of-one Swiss rounds should put this deck on your radar for the Players Cup II. Even if you don’t think you would want to play something as volatile as this, I would expect it to see some play, especially during the first week due to its recent success.

So we have two absolute tried and proven meta decks, with two counter meta picks if that’s what tickles your fancy. 50 Tournament Keys for the Players Cup II sounds like a lot, but I actually wonder if, toward the end, there will be issues of tournaments not filling up quickly enough due to people having already exhausted their Tournament Keys. I’m not sure, but I know I’ll be trying to get my biggest grind in during the first two weeks, so that I can take it easy toward the end.

“Adios, Pablo!” (Till next time, amigo.)

And with that, I conclude my last article for SixPrizes. I’ve had such a blast writing and sharing my thoughts about Pokémon with this community and I cannot thank you, the reader, and Adam enough for the support I’ve received all these years. A new opportunity presented itself that I could not pass up on, and I feel truly blessed that I’ve been able to share all my successes in the Pokémon world these past few years with all of you. Thank you so much for reading, and make sure you stick around to meet the new faces for the next month as Adam has already lined up an amazing roster of writers for you. If you ever need to reach me, feel free to contact me at any of my Tablemon social media outlets. Adios, 6P amigos!

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Reader Interactions

1 reply

  1. Ramon Raya

    It truly feels like a huge loss to lose you from the e roster. You are definitely the writer I look forward to reading the most.

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