Is Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX Good Right Now?

Hello PokeBeach readers, this is Gabriel Semedo again with another Pokemon TCG article. This time, I’m going to talk about another deck that I considered using in the Regional Championships here in Brazil, especially in the most recent one, which is Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX.

In my previous article, I revealed the “secret deck” that I almost played in Joinville Regionals. It was a deck that I ended up discovering over the course of my tests, but I didn’t have the time and dedication I would like to find a proper deck list that made me 100% happy. The whole creative process to arrive at the final Vaporeon VMAX idea was very interesting, it was a bit of a combination of what I felt was needed when playing Arceus VSTAR / Inteleon plus a little inspiration from the Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX  / Inteleon and Inteleon VMAX / Inteleon deck lists. If you want to know more, take a look at my last article on Vaporeon VMAX.

Another deck that caught my attention during my tests and that started to gain traction in the metagame because of some recent changes was Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX. At the beginning of the SSH-BRS format, Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX was being tipped to be one of the best decks in the format, mainly because the deck was quite successful in Japan. But outside that country, the success of Duraludon VMAX did not last long. At the Brisbane Regional Championships in Australia, Mew VMAX beat Duraludon VMAX in the finals thanks to the use of Echoing Horn. After that, all the Duraludon VMAX players abandoned the deck, because the main reason to use this deck was to have a good matchup against the best deck in format (not the other way around). Now with Duraludon VMAX out of the metagame, other decks made an appearance in major tournaments around the world like Arceus VSTAR / Beedrill and Whimsicott VSTAR. The techs that players added to their decks to beat Duraludon VMAX started to lose relevance, because only a few players continued to believe in the alloy Pokemon. For example, several Mew VMAX players dropped Echoing Horn from their deck lists.

The simple reasoning to understand why Duraludon VMAX is good in the current Standard format is because its Ability is capable of getting in the way of the main decks of the game, such as Mew VMAX, Arceus VSTAR (pretty much any variant), Whimsicott VSTAR, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, Malamar, and even Gengar VMAX. That is, the best decks in the format are somehow impacted by Duraludon VMAX’s Skyscraper Ability. However, being affected by Duraludon VMAX’s Ability doesn’t mean you have an advantage in these matchups, it just means you have a good resource at your disposal, but know that all these decks have some way of dealing damage to Duraludon VMAX. I’ll talk more about this in the matchups section below, but for now keep in mind that for Duraludon VMAX to remain competitive in the current format, the deck needs to have a lot more resources than just relying on the Skyscraper Ability. Because of that, you need the support of other cards to truly make this deck tick, such as Avery, Boss's Orders, and Hyper Potion.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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