The Attacking Control Deck – TogeMAX in Expanded

Hello everyone — Grant here with a neat Expanded deck for you all! Togekiss VMAX is a deck that’s recently attracted some attention in the Expanded format, and the deck looked like a fun one to try. As it turns out, Togekiss VMAX is quite strong in Expanded right now, especially considering the fact that Lusamine is about to become unbanned. The deck is built as a disruption deck with the Green's Exploration engine; Green’s Exploration along with Togekiss VMAX’s Max Glide ensure that you’ll always have exactly what you want in your hand, trading a bit of damage output for perfect consistency and tons of options.

The lists I’ve seen are all somewhat similar with a bit of variation between them, and I’ve tried the deck out myself and tweaked it along the way. Today I’ll go over my current lists for the deck — one list with Lusamine and one list without. Lusamine is effectively unbanned on March 5, though some online Expanded tournaments are allowing it already. That said, if you want to play PTCGO ladder or some specific Expanded events, you will have to use the non-Lusamine version until March 5. I’m not sure if my build is perfect, there may be some optimizations to be made. This is the best I’ve got right now, however, and the deck certainly works well.

Non-Lusamine Build

Pokemon (8)

4x Togekiss VMAX (SWSH4 #141)4x Togekiss V (SWSH4 #140)

Trainers (44)

4x Green's Exploration (UNB #175)2x N (DEX #96)1x CARD NOT FOUND1x Guzma (BUS #115)1x Team Flare Grunt (GEN #73)1x Gladion (CRI #95)1x Faba (LOT #173)1x Cynthia and Caitlin (COE #189)1x Acerola (BUS #112)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Nest Ball (SM #123)4x Max Potion (GUR #128)3x Enhanced Hammer (GUR #124)2x Weakness Policy (BUS #126)2x Field Blower (GUR #125)2x Evolution Incense (SWSH1 #163)2x Pal Pad (SWSH1 #172)1x Ultra Ball (FLF #99)1x CARD NOT FOUND1x Energy Loto (GUR #122)1x Special Charge (STS #105)1x Computer Search (BCR #137)3x Silent Lab (PRC #140)

Energy (8)

4x Triple Acceleration Energy (UNB #190)4x Double Colorless Energy (GEN #74)

This is the version I’m playing with now. Togekiss VMAX has 310 HP, meaning that not much can OHKO it. It also deals decent damage with each attack, and continuously gets the exact cards it needs. Max Glide may be the only attack you’ll ever use, but it’s also one of the best attacks ever printed. Imagine if Sylveon-GX did 120 damage with each Magical Ribbon back in the day.

This deck is consistent and adaptable and you can include techs for any situation or matchup.

Sometimes this deck can get donked before Togekiss V will evolve, however, and this is more likely to happen when your opponent wins the flip and forces you to go first if they’re playing something like Pikachu and Zekrom-GX or Zacian V. This can also only happen if you don’t find any of the three remaining Togekiss V or four Nest Ball. All things considered, it’s actually quite an unlikely scenario to get donked, but it still can happen every so often and it’s fairly annoying. I’ve included four Nest Ball, an Ultra Ball, and Computer Search as the Ace Spec to minimize this chance as much as possible. Silent Lab can slow them down as well, though it’s nerve-wracking to rely on it. I think of Silent Lab as a sort of soft out to not getting donked.

Once Togekiss VMAX starts attacking, you gain so much control over the game. At that point, things mostly come down to list construction and the individual player skill. This means that Togekiss MAX is one of the more skilful decks in Expanded, so you’ll need to practice it a lot before bringing it to a tournament. I learned this quickly. For my first few games, I thought to myself: “wow, I am so bad at playing this deck.” It’s not quite as intuitive as it looks, and the games become dynamic quickly. This is especially true before Lusamine becomes unbanned, as you’re working with limited resources as opposed to an infinite supply.

List Breakdown

Four Togekiss V, Four Togekiss VMAX

The general plan is to keep two Togekiss VMAX and one Togekiss V in play. The VMAXs tank hits and attack, while the backup Togekiss V can evolve immediately when you use Acerola. Opponents can gust up the Basic Togekiss V with Guzma and KO it for two Prizes, but that doesn’t matter since they still have to fight through two VMAX afterwards. You could get away with playing a 4-3 Togekiss line, but I wouldn’t go any lower than that. The fourth VMAX is simply extra consistency, as this deck doesn’t play a whole lot of Supporters for the early game. Since Togekiss VMAX’s attack searches for any two cards, it functions as a powerful consistency card on its own.

One Nest Ball, 2 Evolution Incense, One Ultra Ball

Ultra Ball is more or less a fifth Nest Ball for consistency and resistance to getting donked. Evolution Incense is great from turn two onward, and it’s a common pick off Green's Exploration. I considered Repeat Ball over Ultra Ball, but I think the option to search for a turn-two VMAX is worth the discard.

One Cynthia and Caitlin, Two Pal Pad

The Supporter engine is set up for the deck to get as much use out of the various one-of Supporters as possible. You already know why cards like VS Seeker Acerola and Guzmas are good. Team Flare Grunt and Faba offer Energy control, and CARD NOT FOUND is the tech for Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX that also helps against other niche matchups.

Aside from the four VS Seekers, we also play Cynthia and Caitlin and Pal Pad to get our Supporters back. Cynthia and Caitlin functions as a wildcard Supporter in conjunction with Pal Pad. For example, you can shuffle in Cynthia and Caitlin along with Team Flare Grunt, and it’s as if you’ve recovered two Team Flare Grunt. This applies across the board for all of the one-of Supporters — with only VS Seekers, this deck sometimes runs out of Supporters it wants to use. This is because of Togekiss VMAX’s low damage output and control-style for some matchups. Games can get drawn out, which means there are more opportunities to use Supporters. Pal Pad essentially makes the deck as strong as possible and reduces the chances of running dry on resources. Additionally, Togekiss VMAX itself can immediately search for the cards recovered with Pal Pad.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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