Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here and I am glad to be bringing you another article on the Team Up to Chilling Reign format! Last time, I talked about taking massive one-hit Knock Outs with Single Strike Pokemon such as Tornadus VMAX and Single Strike Urshifu. This time, however, I am going to take a look at some more methodical decks that incorporate an Evolution line that has gone overlooked for far too long: Inteleon.
What’s up with Inteleon?
With the release of Chilling Reign last month, one card that was a hot topic was Inteleon CRE. Bearing a strong resemblance to Decidueye-GX, Inteleon CRE’s Quick Shooting Ability has proven to be a fantastic method for spreading around damage counters to your opponent’s Pokemon to either clean up or set up Knock Outs. One Pokemon that takes especially good advantage of this is Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, which can set up Knock Outs with Gale Thrust and then chain together G-Max Rapid Flow attacks with Passimian and Telescopic Sight. This can easily take Knock Outs on many of the format’s support Pokemon, like Dedenne-GX and Crobat V, as well as taking multi-hit Knock Outs on various other Pokemon V and Pokemon VMAX.
Alongside Inteleon CRE, we saw the release of Sobble CRE, a card that was likely not expected to be as significant as it is. Sobble provides an attack called Keep Calling which is absolutely incredible for setting up. In most decks that incorportate the Inteleon Evolution Line, the only Pokemon that is searched with Keep Calling is another Sobble. However, in Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, you are also able to find your Rapid Strike Urshifu V and Passimian CRE, turning Sobble into an excellent setup tool. It’s not just these two powerful cards either. The Inteleon line gets even better when we jump back to Sword & Shield Base Set.
When Sword & Shield came out, two cards that caught my eye were Drizzile SSH and Inteleon SSH. The glaringly obvious power of their ability to search out any Trainer at a moment’s notice certainly showed potential, but they never made it to the level of the rest of the format. I distinctly remember desperately wanting to make a deck that worked with them, but with Jirachi being at the forefront of every deck at the time, there was no place for our reptilian friends. As time would go on, the rotation to Team Up-on provided a general improvement in the viability of an Inteleon engine, but with no good way to hit multiple turn 1 Sobble into multiple turn 2 Drizzile, the engine would end up being written off in favor of the more traditional Dedenne-GX and Crobat V engine. The reprint of Level Ball in Battle Styles gave the Inteleon engine a massive buff, but it still never panned out. Finally with Chilling Reign, we got the two cards I’ve already mentioned: Sobble CRE and Inteleon CRE. These two cards finally brought the power of Drizzile SSH and Inteleon SSH into the spotlight, and I honestly could not be happier.
I’ve already addressed the massive boost in consistency that the Inteleon line has received over the past few sets, but one aspect of these cards that is a bit harder to understand has to do with their exact position in the current metagame. Notably, Drizzle and both Inteleon are not Rule Box Pokemon, so they are unaffected by the powerful new Stadium Card, Path to the Peak. Naturally, this caused some decks that were previously weak to having their Abilities shut down to shift to the Inteleon engine in order to find the pieces that they need. However, the other side of this double-edged sword means decks that used to rely on support Pokemon like Dedenne-GX can even include Path to the Peak when they shift away from using Dedenne-GX and the like. Overall, the Inteleon line has already started to prove its place in the current state of the metagame.
Now that we better understand the power of the Inteleon line, let’s take a look at two decks that include this powerful Evolution line. The first deck that I will be discussing is a relatively traditional Decidueye / Inteleon list and the other will be an Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX / Inteleon list that I used to get 2nd place in a recent online event with about 47 players.
Decidueye / Inteleon
Last time I wrote about Decidueye, I wrote about Decidueye / Galarian Obstagoon in preparation for Players Cup III. Looking at that list in comparison to how lists look for Decidueye now, it would be a lie to say anything but the deck has gone through a massive transformation. Switching the focus from Jirachi and Rosa, this deck’s new strategy is to pull out an extremely swift army of Decidueye from early points in the game thanks to Drizzile. From that point, if you are unable to completely wall your opponent out with the Decidueye’s Deep Forest Camo Ability, you can easily swap to a game plan centered around using Inteleon CRE to set up Knock Outs and take the conventional six Prize cards instead. As long as you do not make the error of putting out too many free Prize cards for the opponent and instead force them through two, three, or even four Decidueye, most matchups should be a breeze.
Four Decidueye and Four Rowlet
As the heart and soul of this deck, it only makes sense that we play four each of Decidueye and Rowlet. Decidueye’s greatest strength comes from its Deep Forest Camo Ability which is frequently enough to win the game on its own, with many decks playing few (if any) counters to the card at all. If Deep Forest Camo is not enough, you can also rack up damage on the board to take multi-Knock Out turns with Splitting Arrow. With a relatively solid 140 HP, Decidueye is also excellent at surviving hits from some of its more prominent threats, such as Cresselia and Inteleon SSH.
Of note, you may have noticed that I have changed my Rowlet of choice since my last Decidueye article, choosing to include Rowlet CEC over Rowlet DAA. This change is quite simple, as it exclusively has to deal with the change in HP. With the advent of Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX in the metagame, a new threat to Rowlet presents itself in the form of Shadow Rider Calyrex V‘s Astral Barrage which could take multiple Rowlet Knock Outs with ease if we chose to play one with less HP.
I would also like to address the elephant in the room, being the lack of any Dartrix. I have had quite a few games that I have missed Dartrix and would not mind including one or even two, but I am not certain what my cut should be.
Some notable decks that have to include a dedicated tech to have a good chance against Decidueye include but are not limited to: Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Zacian V, Arceus and Dialga and Palkia-GX / Galarian Moltres V, Lucario and Melmetal-GX / Zacian V, and Eternatus VMAX.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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