Blacephalon’s New Friends — A Guide to my Top 8 Malmö Deck

Hello, PokéBeach readers! I’m back from Malmö Regionals and I’m here to talk about Blacephalon.

Why am I writing about Blacephalon? Because it’s become something of a pet deck for me, and I keep having success with it, so I think I’m the best suited at explaining the intricacies of the deck. Yes, despite widely spread misconceptions, the deck is far less linear than you’d think, and you can’t have success with it if you just pick it up expecting easy wins! I managed to reach Top 8 in Malmö with an unusual list, and I want to explain everything that went into that list, and why it’s the best way to play the deck.

More importantly, why should you read about Blacephalon? Simply speaking, because it’s the best deck to use against Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V, the best deck in the format–some would say its only bad matchup! It’s not an auto-win for Blacephalon by any means, but the matchups vary from about even to very good, depending on the exact list. As you saw, Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V dominated Malmö, by all metrics. It was by far the most played deck overall, and it accounted for twelve decks in the Top 32 (more than a third of the field, and three times more than the second-most represented deck). It got first, second and third place, which is pretty impressive. However, using the Blacephalon list I’ll detail in this article, I managed to beat both the winner, Tord Reklev, and the runner-up, Mehdi Hafi, in Swiss rounds; so if you start to despair at Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V’s domination of the metagame, consider the disco clown!

Of course, Blacephalon doesn’t only beat Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V; its matchups against every Tag Team Pokemon-GX deck in the meta are positive or at least even, and although it does have some bad matchups, this new list makes them not auto-losses. Mill is beatable now, and Galarian Obstagoon can be teched for. People also tend to consider Malamar / Spell Tag a bad matchup for Blacephalon but I’m pretty sure I have a positive record overall against it.

Sounds good? Let me guide you through it!

The list

Here’s the list I used to make Top 8 at Malmö Regionals:


Pokemon (14)

4x Jirachi (PRSM #SM161)3x Blacephalon (UNB #32)1x Blacephalon-GX (LOT #52)1x Victini V (SWSH1 #25)1x Cramorant V (SWSH1 #155)1x Oricorio-GX (COE #95)1x Dedenne-GX (UNB #57)1x Absol (TEU #88)1x Phione (COE #57)

Trainers (33)

4x Welder (UNB #189)1x Ultra Forest Kartenvoy (UNB #188)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Switch (HS #102)4x Fiery Flint (DRM #60)4x Fire Crystal (UNB #173)2x Energy Retrieval (SHL #59)2x Escape Board (ULP #122)1x Lucky Egg (SWSH1 #167)1x Beast Bringer (UNB #164)1x Adventure Bag (LOT #167)1x Ordinary Rod (SWSH1 #171)1x Pal Pad (SWSH1 #172)1x Stadium Nav (UNM #208)1x Heat Factory Prism Star (LOT #178)1x Ultra Space (FOL #115)

Energy (13)

13x Fire Energy (HS #116)

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