Hey everyone! It’s Charlie and I’m happy to be back with another article. I took a good time away from the game again during the spring, but have started up playing again this summer and am excited to attend a few in-person events in early August! I’ll be back for another article then, with a recap of those, but for now, I want to share this super fun deck I have been messing around with; Rapid Strike Box!
The origins of this deck were simple — everyone knows that Blaziken VMAX / Zeraora V is a match made in heaven, but although this deck can do a ton of cool things, it’s lacking the raw power typically required for decks to do well in this current Standard format. I love all the cheeky damage manipulation you can do, but at the end of the day, you’re no match for a Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX deck that sets up quickly. It’s more consistent and puts out significantly more damage than you, even if you’re hitting the Bench with every attack and making a lot of cool plays. Luckily, Rapid Strike is a diverse card classification, so I started digging into all the options available to us, from support Pokemon like Inteleon and Octillery to tech attackers like Kecleon. In this article, I’ll share two lists for this deck, each using a different support engine but both featuring the tech options that allow you to take favorable matchups against Shadow Rider variants and even decks like Lucario and Melmetal-GX / Zacian V.
Let’s get right into it with the first list!
Rapid Strike Box – Octillery Style
Deck List Breakdown
While this list overall looks pretty similar to a classic Blaziken VMAX / Zeraora V list, there are a few key differences I want to note. I’ll go through most of the important inclusions and describe the techs below.
Two Blaziken VMAX, Two Zeraora
These are your main attackers in almost every matchup, but you can get away with these lower counts because Blaziken VMAX is worth three Prize cards, you’re only ever using two of each of these at maximum, and you have a copy of Ordinary Rod in the list. However, this is the bare minimum, so unless you’re adding in a few copies of Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX to fill in the gaps, I wouldn’t drop any of these.
I was originally skeptical of how good this card could be. It’s limited to once-per-turn and can only search Rapid Strike cards, so since there’s nothing that’s immensely broken it can search out every turn, how good could it be?
Boy was I wrong.
Octillery is extremely good in this deck because it can almost always find you the missing piece. While I was right that no single Rapid Strike card is that broken, the versatility of being able to get any of your Pokemon other than Dedenne-GX and Tapu Koko Prism Star, get Supporters like Korrina's Focus to draw, and even get out Rapid Strike Energy is amazing. I love this card in this deck and it fits well in a list designed to be extremely versatile.
Now, this is where things get a bit interesting. Kecleon is included to combo with Rapid Strike Scroll of the Skies and its Ability — with a Darkness and Lightning Energy, you can OHKO a Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX with three Energy! This is extremely powerful, and with the support of Blaziken VMAX, Octillery, and Tapu Koko Prism Star, you can set this combo up pretty reliably. You can also hit for 90 pretty easily with its built-in attack and power it up quickly with Rapid Strike Energy, so having this as a single-Prize attacker is extremely good.
I love this inclusion, and the only thing I’d take it out for would be if there were a Darkness type Rapid Strike Pokemon. That would allow us to forgo the inclusion of basic Darkness Energy since we would no longer need to change Kecleon’s type. You can literally hit every Weakness in the game with this (even Fairy for Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX — something can finally hit it for Weakness that isn’t a bad deck!); the versatility is perfect for a deck like this and it makes so many matchups better.
One Tapu Koko Prism Star
The inclusion of Tapu Koko Prism Star is pretty standard here; you’re using it to accelerate to everything in the deck, especially Kecleon and Zeraora V. You can now power up either of those attackers in one turn, which gives you way more flexibility with setting up attackers in the later stages of the game, plus it gives you the speed you might need to set up an early attacker if you can’t find Rapid Strike Energy. The extra pace that Tapu Koko Prism Star provides is what makes the basic Lightning engine important, otherwise, I might be inclined to move to Spiral Energy for the extra versatility.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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