Recently, I’ve been tinkering around with Expanded some, but until there are official bans made in the format, it’s a headache. That said, I’ve spent some time the past few days getting to know one of the first major players from Darkness Ablaze, Eternatus VMAX.
First of all, frankly, I don’t see anything stopping this deck from becoming the clear-cut best deck in Standard. Dragapult VMAX (the former title-barer) is going to be all but dead with the rising popularity of Eternatus VMAX. There is absolutely no chance that the Darkness-weak Dragapult VMAX will be able to hang any longer, it may still square up favorably against the rest of the format, but playing a Darkness deck is going to slam the breaks on any run. Eternatus VMAX is almost entirely composed of new cards, clearly, this was a deck that the card design team thought up and wanted to be successful (at least for the time being).
New Decks to Expect
Moving forward in the pre-rotation Darkness Ablaze Standard format you can expect to see:
- Baby Blacephalon
- Centiskorch VMAX
- Dragapult VMAX (rendered obsolete)
- Eternatus VMAX
- Mad Party
- Pikachu and Zekrom-GX
- Some Decidueye deck
- Some Golisopod deck
- Vikavolt V
- Zacian V
Out of these, the Fire-type decks are the scariest since they can one-shot you, although that’s quite difficult. Golisopod is also potentially problematic and Decidueye could be annoying, depending on the list. It’s also worth mentioning that Vikavolt V could be an irritant itself, but only in the early game when you’re trying to set up.
Why Eternatus VMAX
Eternatus VMAX brings one-hit Knock Out potential to the table as well as massive HP for itself. It’s a nearly indestructible tank that brings the necessary offensive power for success. It’s low maintenance, and Eternatus V can Power Accelerator to charge up an Eternatus VMAX, the two go hand in hand. Capture Energy goes well in this deck, and if not Capture Energy, you could even play Draw Energy. Dread End has that all-important Colorless Energy in its cost, so you have some flexibility in your Energy lineup.
Crobat V is the perfect support Pokemon for this deck and has enough HP to withstand a hit or two. the Eternatus VMAX deck practically builds itself since you have to play strictly Darkness type Pokemon, there’s not a lot of room for ingenuity in the Pokemon lineup. The personal flair you get to put on comes in the form of your non-GX/V Pokemon techs, and there are a few that are available. This deck clearly reminds a player of M Rayquaza-EX, however, that deck did not do well against one of the format’s most popular decks at the time: Night March.
This deck brings a little different tempo to the table and can even hang with single-Prize decks because of Galarian Zigzagoon and its Ability. You can gain Prize advantage back by taking a Knock Out per game with Headbutt Tantrum. My list contains four of them, they’re great Bench sitters, and Scoop Up Net lets you reuse them. One of my first observations with the following list is that there might not actually be enough Basic Pokemon to function as consistently as I would like, there’s still more to learn about this deck… Let me walk you through my journey with it thus far.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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