Hello PokeBeach readers! With the official release of Vivid Voltage there is a lot to talk about in the Pokemon TCG. The first part of my article will be a revised tier list for the new format. Next, I will be going through a deck I think can rival the top decks and sneak its way into tier 1.
To start, let’s look at the first few post-Vivid Voltage online events. We have seen players finding success with Coalossal VMAX and Whimsicott, two cards I thought would fall flat upon release, but have seemingly made a name for themselves in this meta. Coalossal VMAX is fighting for the bulky deck spot in this meta, rivaling Lucario and Melmetal-GX that has continued its success from pre-Vivid Voltage. Coalossal VMAX is a bit underwhelming as it has a hard time dealing with Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX (ADP) / Zacian V, because they can gust around your Coalossal VMAX. However, the deck has a ton of upside with the ability to tank multiple hits from any attacker, plus it can OHKO Eternatus VMAX. As for Whimsicott, I don’t think this deck has a place in the current meta due to its horrendous ADP / Zacian V matchup and lack of upside in matchups it’s supposed to win.
Many decks that saw success prior to the release of Vivid Voltage remained good or gained some favorable matchups. Firstly, ADP / Zacian V has terrorized the game since its release (with the majority of the community asking for it to be banned) so it should come as no surprise that it remains the best deck in the format. I believe it is so dominant with its new additions that it is the only tier 1 deck in the current meta because nothing else can keep up. The two biggest additions to the deck were Leon and the Amazing Rare Jirachi. Leon allows the deck to turn a close Lucario and Melmetal-GX matchup into a very favorable matchup because ADP / Zacian V can now OHKO an opposing Zacian V. Leon also provides the deck with the utility to OHKO Mewtwo and Mew-GX and Pikachu and Zekrom-GX with Big Charm attached, two decks that could stand up to ADP/ Zacian V in previous formats. Jirachi isn’t as impactful in any specific matchup, but it makes the deck more consistent and gives a much stronger out to Reset Stamp. Jirachi combined with Air Balloon allows the deck to get an extra card every turn, making the late game combos or a Turn 1 Altered Creation GX easier to hit. Jirachi provides the deck with a pivot too — previously the deck would send up any Pokemon with Air Balloon attached, but not get any value from the Pokemon itself. Now with Jirachi, the deck has an efficient pivot that provides an extra level of consistency.
As for the other decks that have transferred into the new format, Lucario and Melmetal-GX has already won an online event taking down Pikachu and Zekrom-GX in the finals, both of these decks took some hits coming into the meta but remain seemingly viable. I feel the Lucario and Melmetal-GX deck is as strong as it was last format, but takes a harder ADP matchup because of Leon. This can be solved with the addition of Cape of Toughness, but the matchup isn’t easy. The new decks Coalossal VMAX and Whimsicott are fairly good matchups for Lucario and Melmetal-GX too, so that helps its standing on a ter list. For Pikachu and Zekrom-GX, I feel like this deck has finally reached a point where it should not be played any longer. It takes a very bad ADP matchup with the addition of Leon, plus it cannot beat Coalossal VMAX. With that said, Pikachu and Zekrom-GX can hold its own against the rest of the format and nearly auto-wins Whimsicott, but those bad matchups are too much for it to overcome. Next is Eternatus VMAX, which was dominant prior to Vivid Voltage. Eternatus VMAX has seen many variations of how it should be built, but most seem to fall closer to a speed version of the deck that plays Power Plant and Reset Stamp. Eternatus VMAX is a deck that has room for techs as well as a versatile Energy cost, giving it access to Weakness Guard Energy and making Coalossal VMAX not as much of a threat. Eternatus VMAX isn’t hurt by any additions that ADP acquired either, so that matchup realistically hasn’t changed and remains 50 / 50. With no new threats and matchups staying similar for Eternatus VMAX, I feel it will be dominant in this format due to its consistency.
I have excluded some decks in tier list because I feel they are too fringe to be considered a staple of the meta. The tier list has been kept to three tiers because anything that falls bellow tier 3 shouldn’t be played if you are trying to win.
- ADP / Zacian V
The current tier list revolves around Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V since it is overwhelmingly the best deck in the format. Tier 2 features decks I believe can beat ADP / Zacian V, as well as having solid matchups across the board. Lucario and Melmetal-GX and Eternatus VMAX both have winnable matchups against ADP / Zacian V, but I wouldn’t call it favorable so for this reason I think they are tier 2. Eternatus VMAX lacks OHKO potential in many matchups as well as falling flat to some specific counters, while Lucario and Melmetal-GX is an underwhelming deck that thrives off its consistency rather then actual good match ups. Orbeetle VMAX has seen a small amount of play but lists are not defined yet. The card itself is underwhelming with how much HP most Pokemon have, but it does have some upside due to its low Energy cost and access to healing cards. Orbeetle VMAX has the worst ADP / Zacian V matchup out of any tier 2 deck, but I do believe it is winnable especially with the inclusion of Pheromosa and Buzzwole-GX to swing the Prize trade in your favor. Centiskorch VMAX is the closest a deck comes to breaking into tier 1. However, its inconsistencies and reliance on Welder keep it shackled to tier 2 with no real chance of progressing. Centiskorch VMAX’s Fire-type gives it an easy ADP / Zacian V matchup along with a good Lucario and Melmetal-GX matchup. Centiskorch VMAX easily handles most opposing Pokemon VMAX decks as they can’t OHKO a Centiskorch VMAX, but Centiskorch VMAX can OHKO any opposing Pokemon VMAX. Centiskorch VMAX’s hardest matchup comes from Whimsicott because Whimsicott is a single Prize attacker that can 2HKO a Centiskorch VMAX. It is nearly impossible for Centiskorch VMAX to keep up the Prize trade.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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