Drive Change – Mew VMAX / Genesect V Blasts into SSH-FST

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here, happily bringing you all another Standard format article! Last time, I discussed one of my favorite decks in the Sword & Shield to Evolving Skies format, Leafeon VMAX with Scoop Up Net. However, since last time, something quite significant has happened: the release of a new expansion!

On Friday, the eighth Sword & Shield expansion, Fusion Strike, was released, containing about 280 new cards. Naturally, each expansion has a deck expected to take the top tier by storm, and while some of these decks pan out, like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX in Battle Styles and Chilling Reign, respectively, some decks fail to live up to expectations, like Rayquaza VMAX in Evolving Skies. While there are several new archetypes in the new expansion, none have gotten as much attention as Mew VMAX, especially in partnership with Genesect V.

As we finish up the first full week of Fusion Strike‘s legality, Mew VMAX / Genesect V has already started to make a name for itself. It has taken down three online events this past weekend, the biggest with 131 players, proving that the deck is most certainly here for the long haul. One of the three winning decks was a little different, though—I was the one piloting it! While my event was only 51 players, I won with a record of 9-0-1 (win-loss-tie), making me the only player to win with the deck undefeated so far. As with every tournament, I don’t know if my deck list was anywhere near perfect, as I often felt things were missing as I played through the event. The main focus of this article will be on investigating potential improvements. With that in mind, how about we take a look at my tournament-winning list?

Initial Deck List (1st of 51, 9-0-1 record)

Pokemon (13)

3x Mew VMAX (SWSH8 #114)4x Mew V (SWSH8 #113)4x Genesect V (SWSH8 #185)1x Latias (SWSH8 #93)1x Oricorio (SWSH8 #42)

Trainers (38)

4x Peony (SWSH6 #150)2x Boss's Orders (SWSH45 #58)2x Elesa’s Sparkle (SWSH8 #233)4x Power Tablet (SWSH8 #236)4x Evolution Incense (SWSH1 #163)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Cram-o-matic (SWSH8 #229)3x Cross Switcher (SWSH8 #230)3x Switch (SWSH1 #183)2x Fog Crystal (SWSH6 #140)1x Battle VIP Pass (SWSH8 #225)2x Old Cemetery (SWSH6 #147)2x Crystal Cave (SWSH7 #144)

Energy (9)

4x Fusion Energy (SWSH8 #244)4x Capture Energy (SWSH2 #171)2x Psychic Energy (EVO #95)

Tournament Matchups

Round 1: WIN vs Leafeon VMAX
Round 2: WIN vs Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX / Melony
Round 3: WIN vs Inteleon VMAX (FST)
Round 4: WIN vs Sylveon VMAX
Round 5: TIE vs Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX (ID)
Round 6: WIN vs Inteleon VMAX (FST)

Top 16: 2-0 vs Jolteon VMAX
Top 8: 2-1 vs Galarian Obstagoon (FST)
Top 4: 2-0 vs Mew VMAX / Genesect V
Finals: 2-1 vs Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX

Initial List Goals

This first deck list was given to me by my friend Luke Morsa, who is best known for running the Celio’s Network YouTube Channel, and it was built to be pretty straightforward with minimal techs, aside from some slight variations from typical card counts. Alongside a pretty conventional 4-3 line of Mew VMAX and four Genesect V, we see a Latias and an Oricorio as our tech Pokemon. The most interesting aspects of this deck list lie in the Trainer lineup, which is focused on direct search rather than heavy draw. This design is largely because of Genesect V and its ability to draw a bunch of cards in a single turn, so supplementary search to boost this draw feels like the best approach. Search is also very strong when it comes to power-swing turns where you need several copies of Power Tablet at once.

As a whole, I felt Luke’s list was super solid and it worked out well for me with my experience (or rather, my lack of experience) with the archetype—I had legitimately never played a game with the deck prior to round one. I even sent this Tweet shortly before the event started:

“I received cards from [Luke Morsa] and I don’t know what they do. WISH ME LUCK”

However, as you might expect, after the first few rounds with the deck, I started to notice some things with the list that I felt were imperfections. The most immediate flaw by far was the low count of Cross Switcher—Luke’s list ran three rather than four. There were so many games where not having four Cross Switcher was significant, even if I ended up winning them in the end anyway. In many matchups, it’s extremely strong to go for the early Knock Out on a Pokemon V if you can, as it allows you to play a 2-3-1 Prize card map, and bulking up the Cross Switcher count makes such a plan much more consistent. In addition, while the search focus felt strong, having zero conventional draw Supporters felt a bit awkward.

Ultimately, many of these issues are somewhat difficult to fix, especially when it comes to space. Making some of these changes, though, is an absolute must. I do not know the exact cuts that are “ideal” as of now, but I have some initial ideas, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at my updated list.

Mew VMAX / Genesect V (Updated)

In general, the strategy of the deck is quite simple: use Mew VMAX and its Cross Fusion Strike to copy your Fusion Strike Pokemon’s attacks. In most cases, Mew VMAX will be copying Genesect V’s Techno Blast, as it has the highest base damage output of the deck’s attackers. Additionally, alongside its powerful attack, Genesect V has one of the most powerful Abilities that the game has ever seen, frequently allowing you to draw at least three cards per Genesect V every turn, which opens many options for combo plays that involving numerous copies of Power Tablet, or even just digging for that critical game-winning Boss's Orders. With this immense consistency and solid damage output, this deck can quickly and easily produce huge amounts of damage and maintain constant pressure throughout the game starting as soon as turn two. As a result, it has found itself as one of the clear top decks in the format.

While many different builds exist right now, the prevailing wisdom prescribes a Peony engine for search, and I think this is for a good reason. Search cards allows you to pull together exactly what you need, and then when it does come time to draw cards in bulk, Genesect V is more than able to fill that role. Additionally, Peony acts as an additional out to critical Stadium cards, making sure we can avoid being shut down by Path to the Peak. However, I do think my list deviates a bit from the prevailing wisdom in other respects, so let’s take a look next at what I currently have.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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