Hello PokeBeach readers! In this article, I’m going to talk about a deck that broke out recently with a 2nd-place finish at the Japan National Championship and is gaining further recognition with a few smaller online accomplishments: Tornadus VMAX. I had completely neglected this card when looking at the Chilling Reign set — at first glance, it doesn’t stand out because it can’t one-shot opposing Pokémon VMAX — but that was before I realized it was a Single Strike Pokémon. This gives it access to Houndoom, boosting its damage and giving it the Energy acceleration it needs to compete with the faster decks in the format. With this damage boost taking it into one-shot range and a flexible Energy base allowing for versatile builds, Tornadus VMAX is poised to be a real threat in the current Standard format.
Tornadus VMAX’s Strengths
The main idea of the deck is to deal huge damage using Tornadus VMAX’s Max Wind Spirit attack with a plethora of damage boosting options, including both Single Strike Energy and Powerful Colorless Energy. To hit specific metagame threats for Weakness, we can also play tech cards such as Tyranitar V and Single Strike Urshifu V, both of which benefit from Houndoom and deal well with Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX or Eternatus VMAX, respectively. For consistency, we can play Capture Energy, which is a huge advantage in a format where the search options are so slim. With built-in consistency, good typing, and the acceleration to keep pace with other decks, Tornadus VMAX should be able to cement itself as a top contender in the Standard format.
Four Tornadus V, Three Tornadus VMAX
I nearly maxed out this line to keep the deck as consistent as possible. Since Tornadus VMAX trades so favorably with most of the format by itself, consistency is key here. I chose to cut one Tornadus VMAX, though, because you only ever use two in a game and because it’s easy enough to find with the deck’s search engine. Tornadus V needs to be a four-of because it’s your best starter, so you want the odds of having it in your opening hand to be as high as possible.
Houndoom is the core of this deck. It lets you keep pace with top-tier decks by increasing Tornadus’s damage output as well as accelerating Energy to it. I went with a full four copies because you want to get it out as fast as possible, and whiffing it for even a single turn can lose you the game. I don’t think I would ever consider cutting a Houndoom, but if you really needed to make space for an important tech, you could cut the fourth. You only ever use two Houndoom in a game anyway.
Tyranitar V’s typing helps against a lot of decks, but the big one is Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX. Tyranitar V is also a decent attacker in general: it has the same base damage output as Tornadus VMAX; the only difference is that Tyranitar can’t use Powerful Colorless Energy. As a two-Prize attacker, though, it’s a great inclusion for winning the Prize trade against fast Tag Team decks. This is a card I would never cut — it’s useful in nearly every matchup and makes some close to autowins.
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!