Going Nuclear

The Success of Crushing Hammer and Power Plant, PikaRom/Hammers, Eternatus VMAX/Power Plant, Green’s BraixZard, and My Wet Mew3 (Updated)

Hello readers! How are you? I’m back to bring you more news about the competitive side of Pokémon TCG. We are in the middle of October and until the end of this month (the 26th, to be exact) we have the qualifying period of Players Cup II, which consists of playing in up to 50 small tournaments and accumulating as much Tournament Rep as possible. Unlike the typical tournaments we are used to participating in, Players Cup II is a long tournament, the first stage of which can take up to 150 games to complete. To be successful in such a competition, it is necessary to be prepared to adapt as the metagame changes.

I am currently at 56 Tournament Rep and I have 29 Tournament Keys remaining, which means that if I continue at this pace I will be able to advance without issue. As I mentioned in my previous article, I started off very well with Water Mewtwo & Mew-GX (aka Wet Mew3) after having been not so successful with popular decks like ADPZ and LucMetal/Zacian.

There are reasons that I think can explain my success with Wet Mew3, which go beyond just it being a strong deck, but I do see it being well positioned in the metagame. I did an analysis for Wet Mew3 in a previous article, so I will not do another analysis of it today, but I will share my updated list and explain why the deck has been so effective for me during Players Cup II qualifying.

Still, in today’s article, I want to comment on three lists that caught my attention recently, which are:

  1. PikaRom/Hammers,
  2. Eternatus VMAX w/ 4 Power Plant, and
  3. Green’s BraixZard.

These decks have been successful in online tournaments: PikaRom won three tournaments in a row by three different players, while former 6P writer Pablo Meza made Top 4 in a tournament with Eternatus VMAX/Power Plant, and Green’s BraixZard has been placing well in some tournaments—but what caught my attention were the tech cards used in these decks: Crushing Hammer and Power Plant. Both cards are strong in the metagame, can go in multiple decks, and can bring a huge advantage in certain matchups.

The Success of Crushing Hammer and Power Plant

I have commented in previous articles on the success of Crushing Hammer, but what strikes me is that it is still quite successful weeks later, which proves that it is very difficult to deal with Energy removal. With the possibility of drawing many cards in one turn with Dedenne-GX and Crobat V, you can dig to find 2, 3, or even 4 copies of Crushing Hammer on the first turn, and often all you need to do is remove 1 Energy to gain a big advantage and win the match.

Power Plant is a card that has begun to be noticed recently, according to the evolution of the metagame. The main strength of Power Plant is to prevent Dedenne-GX from using its Dedechange Ability, but with the return of the Mew3, Power Plant has ended up gaining even more strength.

I honestly didn’t think Power Plant would become popular again, as the Pokémon-GX era is coming to an end and Pokémon VMAX are in full swing, but the metagame is favorable for Power Plant at this point with many decks leaning on Dedenne-GX. Those decks that rely on Dedenne often end up using few Stadiums, which makes the perfect scenario for Power Plant to have a devastating effect.


Pokémon (12)

2 Boltund V

2 Dedenne-GX

2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX

1 Crobat V

1 Eldegoss V

1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX

1 Tapu Koko p

1 Tapu Koko V

1 Vikavolt V

Trainer (35)

4 Marnie

3 Boss’s Orders

3 Professor’s Research

1 Team Yell Grunt


4 Crushing Hammer

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

3 Electromagnetic Radar

3 Energy Switch

2 Reset Stamp


2 Big Charm

1 Air Balloon


1 Chaotic Swell

Energy (13)

10 L

3 Speed L


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 12

* 2 Boltund V RCL 67
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33
* 1 Crobat V DAA 104
* 1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
* 1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 54
* 1 Tapu Koko p TEU 51
* 1 Tapu Koko V SSH 72
* 1 Vikavolt V DAA 60

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 3 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 1 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Electromagnetic Radar UNB 169
* 4 Switch SSH 183
* 1 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 3 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 4 Crushing Hammer SSH 159
* 2 Big Charm SSH 158
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187

##Energy - 13

* 10 L Energy Energy 4
* 3 Speed L Energy RCL 173

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82700 ******

It is difficult to understand how PikaRom can be such a good deck even after two years of existence. New Pokémon have more HP and hit for higher damage, and dynamic cards like Thunder Mountain p and Electropower are gone, but this seems to have made no difference to PikaRom. What is going on?

In my opinion, there are a few reasons why PikaRom is still a strong deck. The first reason is consistency. As I said in previous articles, the deck has very good consistency cards that are only available to Lightning types, such as Electromagnetic Radar and Speed L Energy.

In addition, both PikaRom-GX and Boltund V have attacks that search for and attach Energy from the deck; that is, the field gets stronger and the deck gets thinner. A strong field means that you will be less dependent on the cards in your hand and deck, so disruption cards like Reset Stamp and Marnie have less of an impact on you. Because of this, PikaRom can play disruption cards itself, such as Team Yell Grunt, Crushing Hammer, and Marnie, since what you need to function is already on your field and not in your deck.

Without Thunder Mountain p and Electropower, the deck has lost the characteristic that made it so famous: its speed combined with its strength. Since PikaRom is no longer super fast or strong, the idea now is to slow down the opponent with cards like Crushing Hammer, Team Yell Grunt, Marnie, and Reset Stamp to even the playing field.

But good consistency and a good way to disrupt the opponent are not enough for a deck to be great. PikaRom is still a top tier deck because it has good Pokémon and good attacks as well. PikaRom-GX has Tag Bolt-GX, Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX has Tandem Shock, Vikavolt V has Paralyzing Bolt, and Boltund V has Bolt Storm (which means multi-Prize KOs, auto-Paralyzation, Item lock, and unlimited damage). No other deck in the format has so many good attacking options.

Eternatus VMAX/Power Plant

Pokémon (17)

4 Eternatus V

4 Eternatus VMAX

4 Crobat V

3 Spiritomb UNB

2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH

Trainer (33)

4 Marnie

4 Professor’s Research

3 Boss’s Orders


4 Great Ball

4 Quick Ball

4 Switch

4 Turbo Patch

2 Pokémon Communication


4 Power Plant

Energy (10)

10 D


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 17

* 4 Eternatus V DAA 116
* 4 Eternatus VMAX DAA 117
* 4 Crobat V DAA 104
* 3 Spiritomb UNB 112
* 2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 4 Marnie SSH 169
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Great Ball SSH 164
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 4 Switch SSH 183
* 4 Turbo Patch DAA 172
* 4 Power Plant UNB 183

##Energy - 10

* 10 D Energy Energy 7

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82700 ******

This list is interesting because it shows how Eternatus VMAX has space to adapt its strategy without losing strength and consistency. A skeleton list of Eternatus VMAX is about 50 cards and the other 10 cards you can choose according to what you think is best. In this case, Pablo Meza decided on 4 Power Plant and 4 Turbo Patch, which are exactly the main subject of this article.

Power Plant works well in the deck because, clearly, the deck does not play any Pokémon-GXs with Abilities, but, in addition, the deck has no real need for a specific Stadium. We know that Eternatus VMAX can use Stadiums like Dark City, Black Market p, or Viridian Forest, but none of these Stadiums are really necessary; you can achieve nearly the same effects of these Stadiums in other ways. Power Plant can be extremely strong against ADPZ, Centiskorch VMAX, all variants of Mewtwo & Mew-GX, PikaRom, and several other decks that depend on Dedenne-GX. In contrast, Power Plant will be useless against the Eternatus VMAX mirror match, all decks focused on Green’s Exploration, and LucMetal/Zacian.

Turbo Patch is a direct counter to Crushing Hammer. One of the reasons why Crushing Hammer is so good is that it hinders Eternatus VMAX a lot. To avoid losing games to Crushing Hammer, Turbo Patch is included to recover the Energy attachment for turn lost by Crushing Hammer. Like Power Plant, Turbo Patch can be an unusable card if the opponent does not play Crushing Hammer, as Eternatus VMAX normally does not need Energy acceleration.

This is a very meta-dependent list. Today it may make a lot of sense, but maybe next week this list won’t be playable anymore.

Green’s BraixZard

Pokémon (7)

4 Volcanion UNB

2 Charizard & Braixen-GX

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX

Trainer (41)

4 Green’s Exploration

4 Welder

2 Boss’s Orders

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

1 Mallow & Lana

1 Team Yell Grunt


4 Crushing Hammer

4 Pokégear 3.0

3 Quick Ball

2 Reset Stamp

2 Tag Call

1 Energy Spinner

1 Fire Crystal

1 Great Catcher

1 Great Potion

1 Pal Pad

1 Scoop Up Net

1 Switch


2 Big Charm


2 Giant Hearth

2 Power Plant

Energy (12)

9 R

3 Heat R


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 7

* 4 Volcanion UNB 25
* 2 Charizard & Braixen-GX CEC 22
* 1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20

##Trainer Cards - 41

* 4 Green's Exploration UNB 209
* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 2 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 1 Team Yell Grunt SSH 184
* 1 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174
* 1 Pal Pad SSH 172
* 3 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Tag Call CEC 206
* 1 Energy Spinner UNB 170
* 1 Fire Crystal UNB 173
* 1 Switch SSH 183
* 1 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 1 Great Potion UNM 198
* 2 Big Charm SSH 158
* 4 Crushing Hammer SSH 159
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 2 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 2 Power Plant UNB 183

##Energy - 12

* 9 R Energy Energy 2
* 3 Heat R Energy DAA 174

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82700 ******

PikaRom relies on Crushing Hammer, and Eternatus VMAX on Power Plant, so naturally Green’s BraixZard relies on both resources. The deck has started to appear because it’s well positioned to deal with the main decks of the meta. BraixZard lists have varied widely; there is no consensus among players on how best to build Green’s BraixZard. Some bet on the Jessie & James + Chip-Chip Ice Axe combo, but I prefer to focus on Crushing Hammer and Team Yell Grunt.

The deck has specific features to combat the meta. Against ADPZ, the deck has the advantage of not using Dedenne-GX or Crobat V, so the opponent will not be able to take easy Prizes. In addition, BraixZard has Power Plant to prevent Dedechange, Crushing Hammer to remove Energy from ADP, and Fire typing to hit Zacian V for Weakness. The matchup may still be unfavorable if ADPZ is using Milotic V, however, which has started to see play because decks like this one and Green’s Centiskorch VMAX have appeared.

Against Eternatus VMAX, the first goal is to not get 1HKO’d, so we play Big Charm and Heat R Energy. Great Potion will be critical if the Eternatus VMAX deck uses Galarian Zigzagoon SSH and Super Scoop Up Net to add damage. Crushing Hammer and Team Yell Grunt are also instrumental in delaying the opponent from attacking.

BraixZard has a very favorable matchup against LucMetal/Zacian, which, in my opinion, is one of the best decks in the format. It has a good matchup against Mew3-GX variants; the Power Plant + Reset Stamp combo is devastating if the Mew3 player doesn’t have a good answer, like Marshadow UNB or Chaotic Swell. Against PikaRom and Baby Blowns, I would say that BraixZard matches up evenly, and against Water decks, like Inteleon VMAX, BraixZard doesn’t have much it can do.

My Wet Mew3 (Updated)

Pokémon (20)

3 Snom SSH

3 Frosmoth SSH

4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX

2 Blastoise-GX

2 Crobat V

2 Dedenne-GX

1 Cobalion-GX

1 Keldeo-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

1 Starmie-GX

Trainer (30)

4 Professor’s Research

3 Boss’s Orders


4 Capacious Bucket

4 Cherish Ball

4 Quick Ball

2 Energy Switch

2 Evolution Incense

2 Pokégear 3.0


3 Air Balloon


2 Viridian Forest

Energy (10)

10 W


Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 20

* 3 Snom SSH 63
* 3 Frosmoth SSH 64
* 4 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 2 Blastoise-GX UNB 35
* 2 Crobat V DAA 104
* 2 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Cobalion-GX TEU 106
* 1 Keldeo-GX UNM 47
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81
* 1 Starmie-GX HIF 14

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 4 Professor’s Research SSH 178
* 3 Boss’s Orders RCL 154
* 2 Energy Switch SSH 162
* 2 Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 3 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Capacious Bucket RCL 156
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156

##Energy - 10

* 10 W Energy Energy 3

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=82700 ******

The biggest differences from my previous list to the current list are: (1) the inclusion of the Cobalion-GX, (2) the departure of Blastoise & Piplup-GX, and (3) the removal of some tech cards to further increase the deck’s consistency and speed.

Cobalion-GX is a wonderful inclusion because, thanks to its Iron Rule-GX attack, the deck gains a strong feature: the ability to buy a turn to improve its setup (and be able to 1HKO practically any Pokémon). As for Blastoise & Piplup-GX, I realized that it was more distracting than helpful. In general, the strategy remains the same as in the previous list.

What I like about this deck is that I feel I have good answers to everything that is happening in the metagame. Against ADPZ, the idea is to KO the ADP-GX right after it does Altered Creation-GX. Thanks to Cobalion-GX, it is sometimes possible to KO the ADP without even allowing it to Altered Creation. If ADPZ starts the game, and on my first turn I use Iron Rule, it means that ADP won’t be able to Altered Creation until turn three, and I may be able to KO the ADP before then.

Against Eternatus VMAX, the deck relies on Keldeo-GX to deal a 1HKO. Against LucMetal/Zacian, the match is favorable because Blastoise-GX’s Rocket Splash causes huge damage. Against Centiskorch VMAX, the match is even, but we have Keldeo-GX to hit for Weakness.

The deck has a bad matchup against Baby Blowns, decks focused on Power Plant, and decks that play Mimikyu CEC 97. Aside from those, I don’t like to face other Mew3 decks either, because of the mirror Weakness and the game ends up being very delicate. Usually whoever gets to KO the other’s Mew3-GX wins, so I don’t end up having much control of the match. Against Power Plant, the deck has 2 Viridian Forest, but I decided to include Marshadow UNB to help even more. Against Mimikyu CEC 97, the best approach is to KO Mimikyu with Keldeo-GX (although Mimikyu is not very popular).

Against the great sensation of the format, Crushing Hammer, the deck ends up suffering little. The deck’s main attack, Rocket Splash, requires only 2 Energies, and even if the opponent manages to remove both Energies, we have Frosmoth + Energy Switch to energize again. In addition, we also have Blastoise-GX’s Giant Geyser-GX to accelerate Energy from hand and Starmie-GX’s Star Stream to attach discarded Energies.

Final Thoughts

You either hit the flip or you don’t.

Although Crushing Hammer and Power Plant are great responses to the metagame, I am not particularly a fan of these cards. Crushing Hammer, however strong, is still a flip card and you have no way of knowing if it will work. I don’t think anyone likes to depend on luck, and what I feel is that some of the decks that use Crushing Hammer really depend on it to work (i.e., flip heads) for the deck’s entire strategy to be effective. On the other hand, the Crushing Hammer is so good that it doesn’t matter which matchup you’re playing—whenever you get heads, it will disrupt your opponent, even if only a little.

You either hit the right matchup or you don’t.

In the case of Power Plant, we have the opposite. Both Power Plant and Crushing Hammer have matchups in which their effects will be extremely strong (and in other matchups less so). But unlike Crushing Hammer, Power Plant can be completely useless, such as against Eternatus VMAX and LucMetal/Zacian. Playing with essentially 4 fewer cards in your deck is not encouraging, but it is the price you pay for trying to metagame.

I believe that these adaptations are causally linked to the competitive moment that the Pokémon TCG is experiencing. With so many online tournaments and Players Cup II being so long and divided, players feel more comfortable playing risky lists, focused on having a great advantage in some matchups and great disadvantage in others. If your idea didn’t work today, then just enter another tournament the next day (or the same day) and try another idea.

For today, that’s all, folks. I hope you enjoyed reading and see you next time!

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