I Think Arceus / Flying Pikachu Is Still Viable

Hello all PokeBeach readers! Here’s Gabriel again with another Pokémon TCG article, and this time I’m going to tell you about my participation in the Latin America International Championship (LAIC), and the deck I chose, Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX.

LAIC was the first official Pokémon TCG tournament with Silver Tempest legal and the first International Championship of the season, so it’s where we first saw Lugia VSTAR‘s huge impact on the metagame. The supremacy of this new deck is indisputable, with Lugia VSTAR taking both the champion and runner-up spots in the Masters division, in addition to several other good placements. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a single deck stand out this much in a tournament, especially an International Championship.

Over the past season and during the current season, we saw other great decks gain significant prominence, such as Mew VMAX and Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR, but none of them came close to achieving the absolute success that Lugia VSTAR did at LAIC. There are some reasons that explain the success of the deck in terms of popularity and the competition’s circumstances, but it is undeniable that the deck is extremely strong in its own right. When Mew VMAX was released, I was very impressed with how easily it was able to draw 15 or 20 cards per turn, and later, when Palkia VSTAR came out, I was again impressed with how easy it was for Palkia VSTAR to take Knock Outs on Pokémon V. Even though these two decks are considered above average, the format had found a good balance to stop them. To contain Mew VMAX, it was enough to use a good Darkness Pokémon or a deck capable of playing four Path to the Peak, and to try to contain Palkia VSTAR, the best way was to invest in a strong Lightning Pokémon, such as Flying Pikachu VMAX. But how do you stop Lugia VSTAR?

Lugia is a Pokémon that has no Weakness, thanks to Dunsparce, and that does not suffer so much from Stadium cards, since Lugia’s lists have Pumpkaboo, Collapsed Stadium, Lost Vacuum, and even Lugia’s own attack to remove Stadiums. In addition, it has several single-Prize Pokémon with incredible attacks, such as the Amazing Rare Yveltal. I never thought that it would be possible one day to power up an Yveltal with five Energy, three of them different types, in the same turn.

In short, Lugia VSTAR arrives with a power superior to that of any other deck, with reasonably good consistency and a good metagame presence as well. It is a deck capable of adapting to different situations, since you can attack with whatever Pokémon you want.

Before LAIC, we could already guess at the deck’s great power due to results and lists in Japan, and it was enough to play a few games with the deck to realize that it was above average. My idea for LAIC was to try to fight the main decks of the format and not focus only on Lugia VSTAR, so the deck I chose should have balanced or favorable matchups against Lost Box, Regis, and Mew VMAX as well, the four best decks in the format that were a little above the others. Other decks like Palkia VSTAR, Kyurem VMAX, Vikavolt V / Regieleki VMAX and Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX are part of Tier Two, and it wasn’t so much my focus to get good matchups there, but the Arceus / Flying Pikachu list I used has balanced matchups against all of them.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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