Single Strike, Single Prizers – Standard Stonjourner

Hello PokeBeach readers! After my past two articles exploring Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, I’m finally trying out some Single Strike cards. When I first looked at the set, I thought Houndoom was the only viable Single Strike Pokémon, so I thought the archetype would be lackluster until more sets were released. To my surprise, I was wrong! In this article I will be going over my Stonjourner Single Strike deck.

The idea with Stonjourner is that it’s a single-Prize Pokémon that can two-shot any Pokémon in the game. Along with the ability to two-shot, Stonjourner has great typing in this format due to the prominence of Pikachu and Zekrom-GX and Eternatus VMAX. In a format dominated by three-Prize Pokémon and Fighting-weak Pokémon, this single-Prize Stonjourner deck has the potential to be the best deck in the format.

What Makes Stonjourner Good

Aside from Stonjourner’s typing and the fact that it only gives up a single Prize, this deck also comes with some major upsides that give it an edge against most of the meta. Firstly, you don’t need to draw many cards once you’re set up, which allows the deck to cut down on the two-Prize draw Pokémon (think Dedenne-GX, Crobat V) to make space for my favorite combo in the game: Reset Stamp and Power Plant. Lowering your opponent’s hand size and then locking some of the usual ways to get out of it is a potent enough combo for any deck, but for a single-Prize deck, it’s even better. In most games, you’ll have a couple turns where they’re low on Prizes to use Reset Stamp to full effect, and since they have to burn through so many resources getting through your early-game attackers, it’s that much harder to find a way out of the Power Plant lock.

Having Power Plant as the main Stadium in this deck also gives it a better matchup against the decks it isn’t specifically built to counter — those decks being Centiskorch VMAX and ADP  / Zacian V, which both rely heavily on Dedenne-GX to get set up quickly. Now Stonjourner has a favorable matchup against Pikachu and Zekrom-GX, Eternatus VMAX, ADP Zacian, and Centiskorch VMAX, as well as having naturally solid matchups against Mad Party and Blacephalon because they are more reliant on two-Prize Pokémon than Stonjourner is. Another nice bonus with this deck is that it naturally beats Decidueye — while Decidueye isn’t a very popular deck nor is it the best deck, it does see play and Stonjourner naturally beats it.

Another upside that comes with being a single-Prize Pokémon is the ability to take full advantage of Bruno. Bruno is almost always going to be a stronger Supporter for this deck than Marnie because you expect your Pokémon to get Knocked Out every turn.

With a consistent engine and these favorable matchups, I believe Stonjourner is the best deck in the format. The majority of decks simply can’t outpace a single-Prize Pokémon that can two-shot anything in the game.

The List

Pokemon (17)

4x Stonjourner (SWSH5 #84)4x Houndoom (SWSH5 #96)4x Houndour (SWSH5 #95)1x Single Strike Urshifu V (SWSH5 #85)1x Tepig (SWSH5 #23)1x Mew (PRSM #SM215)1x Phione (COE #57)1x Crobat V (SWSH3 #104)

Trainers (34)

4x Professor's Research (SWSH1 #178)4x Bruno (SWSH5 #121)2x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Great Ball (EPO #93)4x Urn of Vitality (SWSH5 #139)3x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)2x Reset Stamp (UNM #206)1x Great Catcher (COE #192)1x Ordinary Rod (SWSH1 #171)3x Air Balloon (SWSH1 #156)2x Power Plant (UNB #183)

Energy (9)

4x Single Strike Energy (SWSH5 #141)5x Fighting Energy (RS #105)

Stonjourner

As far as single-Prize attackers go, Stonjourner isn’t amazing. It doesn’t do a ton of damage without buffs, and its attacks are pretty lackluster. The reason Stonjourner is the attacker of choice is because it’s a Single Strike Pokémon. While there are other viable options such as Primeape, Stonjourner is more consistent, and does exactly what we want it to do anyway. When combined with Single Strike Energy, Houndoom, and Urn of Vitality, Stonjourner is hitting a consistent 160-180 damage every turn. (This allows the deck to function similarly to Malamar / Giratina, where you would attack with a new Giratina every turn. While Stonjourner is a bit more inconsistent than Giratina, you get the advantages of higher damage output and better typing.) Being able to attack for three Energy is perfect for a deck like this, and the consistent damage with no drawback is what allows this deck to thrive against the big VMAX Pokémon.


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