Choosing the Right Techs for the Right Matchups

  • Hello, to all PokéBeach readers! It’s Gabriel Semedo again bringing another Pokémon TCG article and this time I decided to write an article quite different from usual…

Generally, I write about the decks I’m playing on or a new idea, but this time I want to write about something I’ve been noticing since the arrival of Battle Styles — with so many tournaments taking place on the Limitless TCG online platform, and with easy access to the list of all players participating in these tournaments, we can follow which are the most popular decks of the format.

More than that, we can follow in depth which are the most used cards and variants of each of the most popular decks.

With access to so much information as well as different lists, it’s even difficult to know which is the best variant of a deck for a given metagame; It’s possible to find more than ten different lists of Eternatus VMAX or Zacian V  / Lucario and Melmetal-GX in the same tournament, and it’s almost impossible to find a deck that has its 60 cards defined in consensus by the players.

That said, I decided to take three decks that were protagonists of the previous format and that had to adapt with the arrival of Battle Styles, in order to better understand what are the techs that can be interesting and effective in the current metagame.

Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX


Pokemon (8)

4x Zacian V (SWSH1 #138)2x Lucario and Melmetal-GX (UNB #120)2x Zamazenta V (SWSH1 #139)

Trainers (38)

4x Professor's Research (SWSH1 #201)3x Marnie (SWSH1 #169)3x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)2x Cynthia and Caitlin (COE #189)2x Mallow and Lana (COE #198)1x Guzma and Hala (COE #193)4x Switch (RS #92)4x Metal Saucer (SWSH1 #170)3x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)3x Metal Goggles (TEU #148)2x Tag Call (COE #206)2x Lillie's Poké Doll (COE #197)1x Reset Stamp (UNM #206)1x Cape of Toughness (SWSH3 #160)1x Stealthy Hood (UNB #186)2x Power Plant (UNB #183)

Energy (14)

10x Metal Energy (EVO #98)3x Coating Metal Energy (SWSH4 #163)1x Capture Energy (SWSH2 #171)

Cape of Toughness

Only with Cape of Toughness is Zacian V is able to resist an opposing Zacian V which has a Rusted Sword and after Altered Creation GX in the matchup against  Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX. Despite being the main reason for using this Tool (since in most cases Metal Goggles ends up being a better option) it is still a Tool that has synergy with the defensive strategy of the deck.

Stealthy Hood

Coating Metal Energy is no longer considered a tech in Zacian V / Lucario and Melmetal-GX, so much so that Fire decks are already prepared to remove this Special Energy with Giratina or Fan of Waves. Unfortunately, we have no way to deal with the Fan of Waves, but against Giratina, we have Stealthy Hood to protect against the Ability.

In addition to Giratina UNM, there is another very interesting situation where Stealthy Hood can turn an unfavorable matchup into one that is at least winnable; Decidueye. The strategy to beat Decidueye without Aegislash V is to beat the opponent by deck-out; use Lucario and Melmetal-GX’s Full Metal Wall GX attack to reduce 30 damage, then promote Zacian V or Zamazenta V for its Grass Resistance and attach Metal Goggles to reduce an additional 30 damage, totaling a 90 damage reduction against Decidueye.

Generally, Decidueye players are already warned to this and play Phione to not lose by deck-out, however, if our Active Pokémon has Stealthy Hood attached then Phione’s Ability is prevented, making this Pokémon unable to return to the deck and thus allowing the opponent to eventually lose by decking-out.

Don’t forget that both Cape of Toughness and Stealthy Hood can be easily accessed by Guzma and Hala.

Power Plant

Some Zacian V / LucMetal lists play Chaotic Swell and others don’t even run a Stadium, but I believe that Power Plant is a great call as it improves some matchups that are balanced, such as Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and ADP / Zacian V. These two decks usually play only one Chaotic Swell and also play Pokémon-GX with Abilities like Dedenne-GX, Mawile-GX and Mewtwo and Mew-GX.

Power Plant may not help much if the opponent plays Dedenne-GX and Mawile-GX before the Stadium comes into play, or if the opponent plays Chaotic Swell right after Power Plant, but on the other hand, Power Plant may have a devastating effect — especially if you can play it on the first turn and your opponent needs to play Dedenne-GX to get setup.

In addition to these matchups, Power Plant can be incredible against Fire decks like Tempo Reshiram and Charizard-GX, Mewtwo and Mew-GX / Welder and Fire Box, since these decks depend much more on Dedenne-GX or Oricorio-GX to draw cards.

Chaotic Swell is also very good for preventing the opponent from playing Giant Hearth, but Power Plant, depending on the moment (and especially with Marnie or Reset Stamp) can make the opponent whiff a single move, causing the matchup to change completely in your favor.

Reset Stamp

One of the most classic techs of the format — I believe that in Zacian V / LucMetal this Item has an efficiency above expectations, especially in matchups against Fire decks.

Usually, our game plan is to make the opponent stay for just one Prize by them Knocking Out a Lucario and Melmetal-GX and a Zacian V or Zamazenta V, which of course already makes Reset Stamp strong in any game.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

If you'd like to continue reading, consider purchasing a PokeBeach premium membership! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days.

Each week we post high-quality content from some of the game's top players. Our article program isn't a corporate operation, advertising front, or for-profit business. We set our prices so that we can pay the game's top players to write the best content for our subscribers. Each article topic is carefully selected, goes through multiple drafts, and is touched up by our editors. We take great pride in our program!