Players Cup III — An In-Depth Look Into Eternatus VMAX

Hello to all PokeBeach readers! I’m here again with another Pokemon TCG article about Eternatus VMAX, the deck I’ve been enjoying the most lately and one of my main options for the next phase of the Players Cup III.

Since Eternatus VMAX was released, some deck variants have emerged such as the interesting Poison Eternatus VMAX (Poisonatus), which features Galarian Slowbro V and Toxicroak to deal extra damage with the Poison Special Condition. But even the more traditional version focused on basic Pokemon like Galarian Zigzagoon and Yveltal can have a wide variety of tech cards such as Crushing Hammer, Turbo Patch, Dangerous Drill, and Power Plant. This is because Eternatus VMAX has some free spots to explore these cards without compromising consistency. I noticed there is no consensus among players in online tournaments as to what would be the best tech options for Eternatus VMAX, unlike with Pikachu and Zekrom-GX where all players understand that Crushing Hammer is the best tech for that deck.

The purpose of my article today is to share my experience with Eternatus VMAX and analyze the best options for composing the deck. I will discuss the Eternatus VMAX deck list that I have prepared for use in the second phase of Players Cup III. I believe that the deck is the best option for the tournament, especially considering the upcoming arrival of Shining Fates to the format.

Breaking Down Eternatus VMAX

To better analyze an Eternatus VMAX deck, we first need to define its skeleton list to figure out the essential cards to execute the main strategy of the deck. By knowing how to identify the skeleton list, we have more freedom to customize the deck without affecting the deck’s consistency.

A good tip to know if your skeleton list is well made is to fill in the extra spaces with useless or almost useless cards, then test the deck to see if it is working. If the deck is working minimally well, then it means that your skeleton list is perfect.

Pokemon (18)

4x Eternatus VMAX (SWSH3 #117)4x Eternatus V (SWSH3 #116)4x Crobat V (SWSH3 #104)3x Galarian Zigzagoon (SWSH1 #117)2x Spiritomb (UNB #112)1x Yveltal (TEU #95)

Trainers (24)

4x Professor's Research (SWSH35 #62)4x Marnie (SWSH35 #56)3x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Switch (RG #102)3x Great Ball (SWSH35 #52)2x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)

Energy (10)

10x Darkness Energy (DP #129)

There isn’t an exact skeleton list for Eternatus VMAX and this can vary from player to player, but this is the list I used to create any variant of Eternatus VMAX. It is possible to remove some cards from the skeleton list, but it is necessary to replace those cards with other cards that have a similar effect; at least for the metagame. It is possible that in a future metagame cards like Switch aren’t necessary, so the skeleton list could have Hiding Darkness Energy and Dark City instead. Take note that the Poisonatus variant does not use Galarian Zigzagoon, but instead plays Galarian Slowbro V and Toxicroak to add damage via Poison.

What are the Best Options for Darkness-type Basic Pokemon?

There are some options that we can consider for Darkness-type Basic Pokemon that aren’t Pokemon-GX / Pokemon V. I believe that the minimum number of Basic Pokemon that an Eternatus VMAX list needs is 14 Pokemon, so that you are able to get eight Pokemon onto the Bench on your second turn with reasonable consistency.

Hoopa UNM

I see this Hoopa as a good option to deal with Decidueye as it does not have a Grass-type Weakness. However, Hoopa UNM’s attack depends on the opponent’s list and field. Hoopa UNM is the best option you want a Pokemon exclusively to deal with Decidueye, but in general I prefer Spiritomb UNB for that problem. Besides being a good attacker against Decidueye and Altaria, Spiritomb UNB has the potential to help in many other situations, which I will discuss further below.

Hoopa DAA

This version of Hoopa has a better attack. However, Hoopa DAA has a Weakness to Grass-type, which means it is poor against Decidueye. In most other cases Hoopa DAA will be better, but in the current metagame this Eternatus VMAX deck does not have enough turns to power up any Pokemon other than Eternatus VMAX. With a fast and aggressive metagame, in addition to Crushing Hammer being so impactful and popular, it is difficult to find a turn to attach an Energy to Hoopa DAA. Keep in mind that Eternatus VMAX can deal with all Pokemon in the curent meta, except Decidueye and Zamazenta V. We need to focus our Darkness-type Basic Pokemon to deal with these two Pokemon.

If you choose to attach an Energy to Hoopa DAA early game, it will mess up the rest of your match. If your opponent hits Heads on Crushing Hammer or uses Team Yell Grunt, it means that you will have no way to attack with Eternatus VMAX next turn. For Hoopa DAA to be efficient, I believe the list will have to play cards to put more Energy in the field such as Turbo Patch.

Spiritomb UNB

For me, Spiritomb UNB is the best non Pokemon-GX or Pokemon V attacker available in the format for Eternatus VMAX. In addition to being a good attacker against Decidueye, this Pokemon can deal up to 160 damage with one Energy to knock out Dedenne-GX. If you choose to add Big Charm into your Eternatus VMAX deck, remember that you can attach this Tool onto Spiritomb and increase its attack to up to 250 damage.

Absol TEU

In the previous Standard format, Absol TEU’s Ability was famous to disrupt the popular Jirachi with Escape Board combo. In the current Standard format, Absol can mess with Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX (ADP) / Zacian V decks that need to retreat a lot, but these decks play four copies of Switch so Absol may not be efficient. If you choose not to play Spiritomb or Hoopa on your list and accept an almost autoloss match against Decidueye or Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX, then I recommend playing at least two copies of Absol to improve your matchups against Pikachu and Zekrom and ADP / Zacian V.


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