Into the Darkness — Dark Box in Both Formats

Hello PokeBeach readers!

It’s Isaiah back again and I am happy to be bringing you all another article! Since my last article about the emergence of the Inteleon Evolution line in the current metagame (which included deck lists for Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX / Inteleon and Decidueye / Inteleon) the Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX deck has continued to prove its dominant position in the metagame, while Decidueye has had mixed results.

In my honest opinion, the Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX deck is in strong contention for being the best deck in the format, with only its Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX counterpart being in contention for that spot as the best deck. As for Decidueye, I am a profound believer that the deck is never lower than “Tier 1.5” so to speak, where it is always one good metagame away from absolutely running through an entire tournament. Through the Team Up to Chilling Reign format, Decidueye has had two prominent results at high-stakes events — one event was early in the format, where we saw Decidueye pull together an incredible four Top 8 slots and taking up both sides of the tournament Finals, where an Inteleon build took down a Tag Call build. The more recent bout of Decidueye success was actually during the third week of July where Decidueye took up both Finals spots in a 65 player tournament, with yours truly taking down the tournament!

With both of these decks on their rise to the top in the current metagame, we have also started to see a massive explosion of one other type of deck, and those decks feature Galarian Moltres V, so how about we take a look into what makes Galarian Moltres V so good and why I think it is the best card in Chilling Reign.

What makes Galarian Moltres V so good?

As I mentioned, I believe that Galarian Moltres V is the best card in Chilling Reign, and that opinion is not a baseless one — first, looking at the basics; Galarian Moltres V’s solid 220 HP and Grass Weakness makes it a powerhouse that can pretty realistically survive a hit against most decks, with the most threats that could Knock it Out in one hit, requiring either extensive setup (for example, Eternatus VMAX or Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX) or large resource commitments (for example, typically multiple attachments or Metal Saucer are required from Zacian V). Far more important than its natural bulk, however, is its insane attack and even better Ability.

Aura Burn is one of the better attacks on a Basic Pokemon that exists in the current format, dealing a highly respectable 190 damage with the ever so minor drawback of taking 30 rebound damage. This attack is excellent at taking out some of the game’s most critical support Pokemon such as Dedenne-GX and Crobat V with ease. In addition, Galarian Moltres V can set up a lot of solid two-hit Knock Outs, with two Aura Burn hitting a combined 380, claiming a two-hit Knock Out against almost everything in the format.

However, Galarian Moltres V can also combo into a variety of other attacks. One of Galarian Moltres V’s more atypical attacking partners being Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX boasts excellent mathematical synergy. Of note, 190 from Aura Burn plus 150 from Gale Thrust (or a G-Max Rapid Flow boosted by Passimian or Telescopic Sight) sets up a two-hit Knock Out on every VMAX Pokemon that does not have a form of HP boost (for example, Big Charm) or damage reduction (such as Stone Fighting Energy). As a whole, Galarian Moltres V is already one of the most potent new attackers in the format, but we have not even touched on its Ability.

Galarian Moltres V’s “Direflame Wings” Ability is in strong contention for one of the best Abilities printed on a Basic Pokemon in the Sword & Shield block, only narrowly bested by Zacian V’s “Intrepid Sword” and Crobat V’s “Dark Asset”. Direflame Wings is fundamentally identical to the classic Item Dark Patch, attaching a Darkness Energy from your discard to Galarian Moltres V every single turn. I cannot overstate how absurd this Ability is. Direflame Wings allows you to have a constant flow of at least one Energy per turn onto an attacker, and with the addition of manual attachments, your Energy presence starts to overwhelm anything that an opponent could try to put together.

This becomes even more insane with cards like Energy Switch allowing you to take the Energy you attach and move them to other, more powerful attackers. The most notable deck that includes Galarian Moltres V for the combo of Direflame Wings plus Energy Switch is Eternatus VMAX. Historically, Eternatus VMAX has struggled with the ever so infamous Crushing Hammer, but now with Direflame Wings and Energy Switch, you are able to power up an Eternatus VMAX in a single turn, completely eliminating any tempo loss from a successful Crushing Hammer.

Going a step further, there is only one card in the game that is more efficient at moving around Energy attached by Direflame Wings, and that is the true topic of today’s article: Weavile-GX.

Weavile-GX / Mewtwo and Mew-GX (Standard)

Way back when Weavile-GX released in Unified Minds, the first deck that came together in people’s minds was a Dark Box deck that featured Naganadel as the primary form of Energy acceleration, but this decks would ultimately not be powerful enough to compete with the likes of Welder / Mewtwo and Mew-GX and other top decks in the format at the time. Over the next year and a half, however, little things would start to switch in the Dark Box deck’s favor, especially with the release of Cosmic Eclipse adding Red and Blue as a form of searching out Weavile-GX, and the Silvally-GX released in the same set, while also attaching Energy to the board.

With that said, nothing would ever boost this deck as much as the new release of Galarian Moltres V, allowing you to ramp into your extremely expensive attacks far faster than ever before.

Deck List

Pokemon (21)

3x Weavile-GX (UNM #132)3x Sneasel (SWSH6 #30)2x Silvally-GX (COE #184)2x Type: Null (UNM #183)2x Galarian Moltres V (SWSH6 #97)2x Mewtwo and Mew-GX (UNM #71)2x Umbreon and Darkrai-GX (UNM #125)1x Mega Sableye and Tyranitar-GX (UNM #126)1x Greninja and Zoroark-GX (UNB #107)2x Dedenne-GX (UNB #57)1x Marshadow (UNB #81)

Trainers (28)

3x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)3x Red and Blue (COE #202)1x Cynthia and Caitlin (COE #189)1x Mallow and Lana (COE #198)1x Guzma and Hala (COE #193)1x Professor's Research (SWSH45 #60)4x Tag Call (COE #206)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Pokémon Communication (TEU #152)2x Air Balloon (SWSH1 #156)1x Cherish Ball (UNM #191)3x Viridian Forest (TEU #156)

Energy (11)

10x Darkness Energy (HS #121)1x Capture Energy (SWSH2 #171)

Weavile-GX Line

Being the absolute core of this deck’s strategy, it should come as no surprise that we include a 3-3 Weavile-GX line. There honestly is not much to say about this card, as its purpose is extremely straightforward; Move Energy.

The three copies of Weavile-GX is actually an important count, though, as you want to make sure that you have a copy not in your hand, but in your deck, as on the second turn you can have an easy Red and Blue play to accelerate some Energy onto the board. As for our Sneasel of choice, most Sneasel in the current Standard format have lackluster attacks, unlike Sneasel UPR or Sneasel CES, so we go with Sneasel CRE because it is a Rapid Strike Pokemon, so it gains a free Retreat Cost if Tower of Waters is in play.

Silvally-GX Line

Acting as the definitive backbone of this deck’s draw engine, we include 2-2 Silvally-GX. Alongside its excellent draw engine in the form of Disk Reload, Silvally-GX also brings a reasonable attack to the table, doing 120 for two Energy if you have played a Supporter during the same turn.

While this attack is lackluster by most standards, a two-Prize Pokemon that can set up a two-hit Knock Out should never be underestimated. Additionally, it can snatch a Knock Out on a Dedenne-GX that has been damaged by Umbreon and Darkrai-GX‘s Black Lance if need be. The most important part of Silvally-GX, however, is that it’s another Pokemon-GX that can be searched via Red and Blue, acting as another way to get some Energy on the board. We include Type: Null UNM as our Type: Null of choice because it has a Retreat Cost of one, making it easier to move in a pinch.

Two Mewtwo and Mew-GX

At this point, I have talked about this card so much that I do not even know what to say anymore.

The versatility that comes from Mewtwo and Mew-GX is unlike anything that I have ever seen in my nearly ten years of Pokemon TCG experience. In a toolbox like this deck, however, the value that is seen from including Mewtwo and Mew-GX is unbelievably high. In this deck, Mewtwo and Mew-GX is able to effectively act as all of your attackers at once, saving an astounding amount of space on your Bench for critical support Pokemon and your main engine of Weavile-GX and Silvally-GX.

In addition, Mewtwo and Mew-GX fills a similar role to its role in Pikachu and Zekrom-GX from the Team Up to Battle Styles format, where it perfectly covers the deck’s Weakness to Fighting-type Pokemon like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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