Single-Prize Showdown — Single-Prizers Come Back Into Standard
Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here and I am happy to be bringing you another article about the Sword & Shield to Fusion Strike format! In my last article, I covered a personal project of mine, Galarian Moltres V / Leafeon VMAX, which I specifically designed to take down the format’s biggest threat, Mew VMAX / Genesect V. As I have continued to work on that deck from my previous article, I have found other options for keeping up with the threat of Mew VMAX. I briefly mentioned that Meloetta in particular as a problem card for my Galarian Moltres V / Leafeon VMAX deck.
When I was talking with my friend Tate Whitesell about the deck a while back, we both agreed that Meloetta could be problematic, and the natural solution to this problem was to find a single-Prize attacking option. As I scoured the databases, I was looking for a card that could both be a single-Prize attacker to counter Meloetta while being a Pokemon that could threaten Mew VMAX itself, and I eventually stumbled on Galarian Moltres which, while it cannot do it during the first turn or two, it fit the exact purpose I was looking for. As of now, I have not actually done much testing for this tech, but it got me thinking about what potential existed for single-Prize attackers in general.
One of the first decks I thought about was the ever-present Malamar which offers a powerful option when it comes to taking one-hit Knock Outs on the massive Pokemon VMAX in Standard. Not long before I started thinking about it, Malamar began doing really well in the online scene, so I thought that it would be the best place to start. As of now, I do think the list that has circulated as conventional wisdom is the best list to use, with almost every card in the deck either being Rapid Strike or a way to find a Rapid Strike card.
Rapid Strike Malamar
This deck’s strategy is super simple: Build a hand of Rapid Strike cards, use Rapid Strike Tentacles, and repeat. However, when it comes to accomplishing this strategy, things can get a bit more complicated. Commonly considered one of the best decks to practice “sequencing” (a term which describes the skill of playing cards in the proper order to maximize the odds of making the play you want) Malamar can test your ability to put together the best play based on the cards you are given, frequently pushing you into troubling situations where you have to make game-breaking decisions on what order to play certain search cards, use certain Abilities, and more.
As is typical with main attackers, we play a thick line of Malamar. In this particular deck, we play the full 4-4 line to make sure we absolutely do not run out of them before we have won the game. As for the card itself, it has just one attack to use and that one attack is all we need. At first glance, Rapid Strike Tentacles doesn’t seem to be too powerful, but its damage output racks up quick. With just five Rapid Strike cards in your hand, you are taking one-hit Knock Outs on many Pokemon V, and with a sixth Rapid Strike card, you are able to take a Knock Out on most of the rest. Looking at the Pokemon VMAX HP bracket, eight Rapid Strike cards is the one hit Knock Out number on most of the most relevant Pokemon VMAX, such as Mew VMAX or Umbreon VMAX, and those that eight does not Knock Out, a ninth typically does the trick. While the number of Rapid Strike cards you need for these big one-hit Knock Outs may seem intimidating, between the high volume of cards to build our hand and even higher number of Rapid Strike cards in general, it is not nearly as it seems. Notably, even Malamar and Inkay themselves are Rapid Strike cards, so extra copies are always attack fuel.
One of this deck’s most important hand-building tools is Octillery. Once per turn, Octillery allows us to search out a Rapid Strike card, giving you an automatic out to 40 extra damage. While this damage may seem somewhat insignificant, it can often be the difference between doing 280 and 320. In addition to being a damage boost, Octillery can also find pieces of our Malamar line or a Spiral Energy to make sure we are able to continue a steady stream of attacks until we have won the game. The best part of Octillery? It is also a Rapid Strike card!
What makes this line good is that we have Drizzile to search cards, and it evolves into Inteleon to search more cards or the Rapid Strike Inteleon to put a little extra damage on the board.
While the direct purpose of Shady Dealings Inteleon and Drizzile is critical to this deck’s success, it is honestly impossible to overstate how good it is. The most simple purpose of Shady Dealings is that it searches for Bruno to refill our hand after a Knock Out, meaning that we are able to chain together massive one-hit Knock Outs repeatedly. Additionally, Shady Dealings can go find any of many Trainers that are either Rapid Strike cards themselves or search for other Rapid Strike cards, with Inteleon essentially being two Rapid Strike cards for just one hand slot, which is one of few ways to increase your hand size beyond seven cards.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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