Players Cup III — My Top Four Decks for the Tournament By: Gabriel Pino Semedo Posted 1 month ago to Premium Article Hello to all PokeBeach readers! I’m back for another Pokemon TCG article. This time I’m going to talk about my four favorite decks to use in the qualifying phase of the Players Cup III, where each player can play up to 50 Pokemon TCG Online mini tournaments. For the past two weeks, I have been playing several online tournaments and have been able to test various decks to play in the Players Cup III. I’ve shortlisted four decks that I liked the most and intend to use during the first stage of the tournament. In this article, I will explain why I’ve decided on these four deck archetypes and analyze the lists I’m playing with. ContentsEternatus VMAXZacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GXFire BoxPikachu and Zekrom-GXFinal Thoughts Eternatus VMAX My fourth favourite deck in the current Standard format is Eternatus VMAX. My list is a variation on the one used by Gabriel Massaroth to win a recent online tournament. Gabriel’s deck focused on beating Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX (ADP) / Zacian V, Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and Centiskorch VMAX, but accepting an almost autoloss from Decidueye / Galarian Obstagoon and Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX. The biggest difference in my list is the ease of using Eternatus V‘s Power Accelerator attack to energize another Eternatus V. The list was built to increase the chances of carrying out this attack in the first turn. One of the most important cards in the current format is Crushing Hammer — one of the best ways to mitigate the effect of that card is by attacking with Power Accelerator in the first turn, so you have the possibility to attack with Eternatus VMAX on your second turn if your opponent hits a Crushing Hammer on one of your Eternatus V. This is the right deck if you don’t expect to face Decidueye / Galarian Zigzagoon or Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX. It also takes an even matchup against Blacephalon and Centiskorch VMAX decks. Eternatus VMAX / Pokemon Catcher / Energy Spinner Deck List Pokemon (21)4x Eternatus VMAX (SWSH3 #117)4x Eternatus V (SWSH3 #116)4x Yveltal (TEU #95)4x Crobat V (SWSH3 #104)4x Galarian Zigzagoon (SWSH1 #117)1x Hoopa (SWSH3 #111)Trainers (31)4x Professor's Research (SWSH1 #178)3x Marnie (SWSH1 #169)1x Bird Keeper (SWSH3 #159)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Great Ball (SWSH1 #164)4x Energy Spinner (UNB #170)4x Pokémon Catcher (SWSH1 #175)3x Switch (SWSH1 #183)2x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)2x Power Plant (UNB #183)Energy (8)8x Darkness Energy (CL #94) Four Yveltal The idea of using four copies of Yveltal is to increase the chances of being able to use Eternatus V’s Power Accelerator attack in the first turn. Yveltal’s free Retreat Cost makes this Pokemon excellent to start the game with as we don’t need to use Switch to retreat. Four Energy Spinner The addition of Energy Spinner is another interesting idea from Gabriel. If you use it on your first turn going second, you can search up to three Energy cards, which guarantees more than enough Energy to power up two Eternatus V with Power Accelerator. The second advantage is that Energy Spinner is an Item that can be easily discarded from the hand, so you can draw more cards with Crobat V. Four Pokemon Catcher It seems crazy not to use Boss's Orders, but it makes sense if you think that the deck was built mainly to beat Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and ADP / Zacian V. Against these two decks, Eternatus VMAX can KO any Pokemon that is in the Active Spot. That’s why you don’t necessarily need Boss’s Order, you only need to perform an average of three strong Eternatus VMAX Dread End attacks. Maintaining consistency and the need to use draw Supporters is more important than using Boss’s Orders, especially in the early game. With Pokémon Catcher, you have the possibility to target Pokemon from the opponent’s Bench while setting up with Professor's Research or Marnie. Plus, Pokemon Catcher is an Item card. Just like Energy Spinner, it can be easily discarded from the hand so you can draw more cards with Crobat V. Two Power Plant I played against Gabriel Massaroth in the online tournament that he won. I lost both games due to his Power Plant. I was playing Pikachu and Zekrom-GX with no Stadium, which made Power Plant a very impressive card. The idea of Power Plant is to focus on another weakness of Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and ADP / Zacian V decks — the lack of a Stadium. Usually those decks only play one copy of Chaotic Swell to help against other Stadiums, but lately players have been choosing not to play any Stadium card at all. Blacephalon and Centiskorch VMAX can suffer from Power Plant too. In addition to removing Giant Hearth, it can prevent the Abilities of Oricorio-GX, Dedenne-GX, and Silvally-GX. Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX Third place among my deck options for the Players Cup III is Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX. This deck has a big advantage against Eternatus VMAX with Zamazenta V, as well as balanced matchups against Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V. That said, Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX is a good choice as it manages to deal with the three best Tier 1 decks in the metagame. Free Wins With Aegislash V or Galarian Stunfisk In almost every online tournament I play, I end up facing Decidueye or Altaria. Usually these decks represent about 3% to 6% in tournaments of about 200 to 300 people. This is considered few, but these few players end up doing well because many lists in the tournament end up having no answer for these Pokemon. No player wants to lose slots on their list or modify a strategy to deal with an unpopular Pokemon, but Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX can do that for using one card — Aegislash V or Galarian Stunfisk. Which is better? In general, I prefer Aegislash V. With Stunfisk SSH the games against Decidueye / Galarian Obstagoon and Altaria are favorable but the opponent has a much better chance of winning because Stunfisk is a fragile Pokemon. Aegislash V on the other hand, has more HP and stronger attacks. It is almost impossible for the opponent to overcome it. Both these Pokemon are useless in typical metagame matchups. However, I believe that Aegislash V gets in the way less because it has the highest HP and it makes no difference to the deck losing a Pokemon for one Prize or two Prizes. Stunfisk’s Snap Trap Ability didn’t help me at all except against Decidueye / Galarian Obstagoon and the fact that it was a single Prize Pokemon only helped me once in about 25 games. Is it Better to Take the Autoloss? The disadvantage comes from Blacephalon, Centiskorch VMAX, or any Fire Box deck. Even with Coating Metal Energy and Chaotic Swell, I see the match being slightly unfavorable for Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX, even if the opponent is unrepared to deal with your techs. Cards like Marshadow to remove Chaotic Swell from the field and Giratina to remove Coating Metal Energy may be present depending on the opponent’s list. If you have no problem taking the autoloss matchup for Fire-type decks, then I recommend using a version of Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX without Coating Metal Energy and Chaotic Swell, as these cards are normally used to deal with Fire-type weakness and Giant Hearth. In return, we can use these slots to invest in extra consistency to improve other matchups. Below are the lists of Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX with Coating Metal Energy and Chaotic Swell that I made Top 8 in one online tournament and a straight Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX build that I made Top 16 in another online tournament. Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX Deck List Pokemon (9)4x Zacian V (SWSH1 #138)2x Lucario and Melmetal-GX (UNB #120)2x Zamazenta V (SWSH1 #139)1x Galarian Stunfisk (SWSH1 #132)Trainers (36)4x Professor's Research (SWSH35 #62)3x Marnie (SWSH1 #169)3x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)2x Mallow and Lana (COE #198)1x Cynthia and Caitlin (COE #189)1x Guzma and Hala (COE #193)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Metal Goggles (TEU #148)4x Metal Saucer (SWSH1 #170)4x Switch (SWSH1 #183)2x Lillie's Poké Doll (COE #197)2x Tag Call (COE #206)2x Chaotic Swell (COE #187)Energy (15)12x Metal Energy (HS #122)3x Coating Metal Energy (SWSH4 #163) Tag Call Engine This is a deck that does not play Dedenne-GX and Crobat V, meaning access to specific cards becomes much more difficult. A simple task like searching for Energy can be rough with only draw Supporters. With Tag Call, you have access to Lucario and Melmetal-GX and Supporters like Cynthia and Caitlin, Guzma and Hala, and Mallow and Lana, all with only one Item. I think Cynthia and Caitlin is fundamental because it allows you to draw cards and rescue a Supporter from the discard pile, guaranteeing a Supporter card for your next turn. It can be scary, but it is normal in Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX that you have a turn without a Supporter in hand. Guzma and Hala makes it easier to find Coating Metal Energy, Metal Goggles, and Chaotic Swell. Against Fire-type decks it is the perfect Supporter because it finds these three cards that are needed to fight these decks. Against other matchups, Guzma and Hala ends up being more useful than it looks as it can save you from a turn without Energy. Mallow and Lana needs no explanation, a card required in any version of Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX with or without Tag Call. 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