We’re Back! — A Look at the First Regionals since 2020

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here with another article. In my last article, I took a look at some of the most impactful new cards in Brilliant Stars, and since then, the metagame has had some time to settle in the online tournament space. If I said I was surprised by its current state, I would be the biggest liar of all time — to absolutely no one’s surprise, Mew VMAX continues to find itself at the top of the meta thanks to the introduction of Choice Belt, Double Turbo Energy, and most importantly, Ultra Ball. Between the deck’s initial strength in the Fusion Strike format and its gaining pretty much every card it could ever want in Brilliant Stars, it seems to have attained a never-before-seen stranglehold on the Standard metagame, only rivaled by the infamous 2012 metagame, which saw Darkrai-EX as the centerpiece of 19 decks in the Top 32 of the World Championship, including seven Top 8 spots.

In the interest of countering Mew VMAX, many players have sought out Darkness-type decks, most of them centered around Galarian Moltres, but even those decks fail to consistently produce the win rate needed to hold Mew VMAX back from being the best deck in the format. Additionally, while these decks focus on taking down Mew VMAX, they have another massive roadblock to handle, and that’s the newly released Arceus VSTAR.

Pretty much everyone expected Arceus VSTAR to be good, but I’m not sure that I expected it to produce the results that it has. Perhaps that was because I was concerned for its Mew VMAX matchup. However, even with Mew’s presence, Arceus VSTAR has taken the metagame by storm, though not in a way that I would consider unfair. In a way, it reminds me of Zoroark-GX in its ability to be partnered with almost everything while remaining incredibly powerful by itself. Even still, it has the ever-present barrier of Mew VMAX preventing it from taking the top spot in the metagame.

Amid these developments, we have, at long last, come to the point that we’ve all been waiting for since March 2020: Pokemon Regional Championships have returned! I can’t begin to state how happy this makes me, and I’m sure you feel the same way. This Saturday, for the first time since January 2020, there will be a Regional Championship in the United States, and preparing for the event has been a wonderful reminder of what makes me love this game, and while I’m unfortunately unable to attend myself, I’ve been enjoying helping several of my friends test for the event.

However, while the upcoming Salt Lake City Regional Championship is the first event on United States soil, it is not the first Regional Championship overall. Over this past weekend, we saw the first official live Pokemon tournament since 2020 take place in Brisbane, Australia. This tournament was significant in a multitude of ways, not just because it was the first event back in two years, but because it gave us our first live look at a new metagame.

Brisbane Regionals Metagame

Thanks to data gathered by PokeStats, we can look at the Top 16 of the Brisbane Regional Championship, but unfortunately, not much is known about the event’s deck distribution overall. In Brisbane, the 16th- through 9th-place decks consisted of:

And from there, in order of final standings, the Top 8 included the following:

  1. Mew VMAX
  2. Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX
  3. Galarian Moltres / Arceus VSTAR
  4. Mew VMAX
  5. Mew VMAX
  6. Suicune V / Arceus VSTAR
  7. Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon
  8. Mew VMAX

To nobody’s surprise, Mew VMAX took down the competition pretty easily, with Natalie Millar, the first-place finisher, not even dropping a match the entire tournament. However, the list that took down the tournament is a somewhat unique take on Mew VMAX — with this list, Natalie was able to chain together attacks in a manner that has never been seen before in Mew VMAX. With that in mind, let’s break it down.

Natalie Millar’s Mew VMAX Deck

Going into Brisbane, I talked with a few of my Australian friends, Natalie Millar included, and learned that almost all of them had the same plan: build a Mew VMAX list that was as perfect as possible, including optimization for the mirror. Most of them never even considered playing a deck other than Mew VMAX, simply because the deck is too absurd to consider other options. Between the deck’s consistency, its speed, and its sheer power, it has everything a deck could ever want. As such, I would feel reasonably confident in saying that Mew VMAX is the best deck of all time.

At this point, everyone should be familiar with Mew VMAX’s basic strategy: use Mew VMAX to copy attacks like Genesect V‘s Techno Blast while using Genesect V’s Fusion Strike System to draw rapidly through your deck every turn. Most of the time, thanks to the amount of draw Genesect V provides, the deck has no need for conventional draw Supporters like Professor's Research or Marnie, focusing instead on “power Supporters” like Elesa's Sparkle and Boss's Orders, which normally have to sacrifice card draw for their powerful effects. If that wasn’t enough, Meloetta also boasts an incredibly powerful attack in the form of Melodious Echo, which, with relatively average luck, can reasonably expect to do 210 damage as soon as the second turn of the game.

Now for the most important part: what makes Natalie Millar’s list different? One of the most notable choices is the lack of any Fog Crystal or Psychic Energy, an unconventional choice prior to Brisbane, instead focusing on consistency cards and pumping the Double Turbo Energy count from the typical single copy up to three. In addition, Natalie used this newfound space to include an pivotal tech card, Echoing Horn, on which I’ll elaborate more later. Overall, between all the Mew VMAX lists I’ve seen since the release of Fusion Strike, Natalie’s probably takes the cake.

Deck List

Pokemon (14)

3x Mew VMAX (FST #114)4x Mew V (FST #113)4x Genesect V (FST #185)2x Meloetta (FST #124)1x Oricorio (FST #42)

Trainers (39)

3x Boss's Orders (RCL #154)3x Elesa's Sparkle (FST #233)4x Battle VIP Pass (FST #225)4x Cram-o-matic (FST #229)4x Power Tablet (FST #236)4x Quick Ball (SSH #179)4x Rotom Phone (CPA #64)4x Ultra Ball (BRS #150)2x Choice Belt (BRS #135)2x Escape Rope (BST #125)2x Switch (SSH #183)1x Echoing Horn (CRE #136)2x Rose Tower (DAA #169)

Energy (7)

4x Fusion Strike Energy (FST #244)3x Double Turbo Energy (BRS #151)

Card Inclusions

Mew VMAX Line

The 4-3 VMAX line should come as no surprise, regardless of deck. It’s critical to find two copies of your main Pokemon V, in this case Mew V, on the first turn to ensure that your only copy does not get Knocked Out. However, in this deck, it’s even more important that you find multiple copies because it also increases the number of cards you draw off of Fusion Strike System every time you use it. Mew V also has no Retreat Cost, so it makes an excellent pivot following a Knock Out, Switch, or Escape Rope. And if that wasn’t enough, Mew V also has one of the deck’s most important and underutilized attacks, being Psychic Leap. Now that Double Turbo Energy exists, allowing Mew VMAX to copy Psychic Leap in just one attachment, the attack might as well say, “If your opponent can’t do 310 damage in a single attack, you win the game.”

As for Mew VMAX, it’s the perfect card. Free retreat, a helpful Resistance, a Colorless attack that copies other attacks, and even a wallbreaking attack that does moderate damage. I don’t have much to say about this card, aside from the fact that it lets you use any attack in the deck for a Double Turbo Energy, which includes Meloetta‘s powerful Melodious Echo.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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