I was hoping to talk about Morpeko V or Stonjourner VMAX today, but both of those decks turned out to be hot garbage. Instead, I’ll be going over what’s set to be the most popular deck at upcoming Standard format tournaments: Zacian V. The card is broken–whenever you don’t attack, you can draw cards and maybe attach some Energy. It benefits from high HP, and while it has a relevant Weakness, you can escape the threat with Metal Frying Pan to disregard that factor completely.
Zakary Krekeler went over Zacian V for PokeBeach about a month ago now, so I figured an updated piece would do you guys some good. So where to start? Zak took a look at two updated Japanese lists for the deck, one defensive and the other offensive. While I concur that these two sects are where the deck is seated right now, my testing has deviated even further away from these lists. He covers relevant matchups in his own piece, so look back to that for those references if you’re interested. I’ll be dissecting my lists, other options, and other random thoughts and ideas that spring to mind as I sell you on these builds.
A Proper Look at Zacian V
Before we begin let’s talk about something; Zacian V is set to be as polarizing a deck as anything else. It is truly a new “best deck” injected into an already lively metagame, however, the field is now filled with new uncertainties, with a completely new set of cards, and first turn rule changes. My favorite part about Zacian V is that it’s completely comfortable playing first in most games, regardless of the version. The Intrepid Sword Ability can get you a turn or two ahead if you hit an Energy, and the extra cards drawn are always desirable.
A couple of years back at Collinsville Regionals, the first where Ultra Prism set was legal, the Metal Magnezone was hyped up. Ironically, Zacian V follows in its footsteps but I expect it to actually do well. The Magnezone deck was the most-played at that tournament with over one hundred pilots and quite literally zero of those players making it to Day 2; that’s sad. While this isn’t analogous as far as the deck’s strengths are concerned, I expect the same kind of burst of popularity to rise all at once like at those Regionals. pretty much all of the Zacian V decks are simple to pilot and much more consistent than the Magnezone deck and certainly more powerful, all as a Basic Pokemon.
On its own Zacian V is enough to forge a deck, which is another reason why it’s so great. You have ample space to fill your 60 cards out in whichever direction you choose. If you want something aggressive, the space is there. Something that always one-shots? Again, the space is there. Defensively, you have options too, Zacian V doesn’t always need to be an attacker. The Ability is so good that some decks will play it purely to have something to do at the end of their turns–drawing three cards is nothing to scoff at; see Tropical Beach for a similar effect in Expanded. You can also consider Zacian V as some mill deck’s new best friend. from Japan, a Magcargo-playing deck with four Bellelba and Brycen-Man surfaced, along with three Zacian V. The later count makes no sense, but I’ll elaborate on this some more further on. Zacian V gives this deck something to do while it leaves a Lillie's Poké Doll! One last thing: Zacian V is relatively safe as a Bench-sitter because Great Catcher can’t gust it up. Now, Custom Catcher and Pokémon Catcher can, but those are harder to pull off. Enough rambling, time for lists, in similar fashion to Krekeler, I’m going to use the titles of “defensive”, “offensive”, and for a special surprise, “mill”.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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