Why Stop At One? — My Top Four Standard Lists

Hello all PokeBeach readers! It’s Gabriel Semedo again with another Pokémon TCG article, and this time, I’m going to talk about my favorite lists for the four best decks in the format.

Many tournaments are still taking place around the world, but the format has essentially stabilized, with four great decks in prominence: Lugia VSTAR, Regis, Lost Box, and Mew VMAX. Other decks like Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX and Vikavolt V / Aerodactyl VSTAR have been doing well here and there, but most of the good results have been achieved by just four decks, something that has become increasingly rare recently. Usually, there are many decks with good chances of success, but due to the absurd power of Lugia VSTAR, many decks have had to retire. Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR and Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX, once staples of Tier One, can no longer compete the way they used to.

This is also a metagame that will see few big changes, as the four top decks really are at a different level of quality. Lugia VSTAR, Regis, Lost Box, and Mew VMAX are completely different decks from each other, but all manage to sustain themselves in Tier One on account of their strengths.

The strongest deck of the four is Lugia VSTAR. It is the easiest deck to play as well, but the most expensive to build. Regis, on the other hand, is the cheapest to build, but the hardest to play. Lost Box is also difficult to play and has balanced matchups against everything. Mew VMAX is easy to play and as strong as Lugia in many ways, but a counter exists in the form of Drapion V, which is very common in the metagame. Some players run up to two copies of Drapion V in their deck to make sure they have a good matchup.

In today’s article, I’m going to share the lists I’m using from these top four decks, and give you my take on them. It is very important to understand why these four decks stand out more than the others in the metagame, both for players who like to use metagame decks and for players like me with a creative profile, who like to bring a different option to go head-to-head with the stabilized metagame. Usually, when we see a very different deck stand out, such as Vikavolt V / Aerodactyl, the creator of the deck dedicated a lot of time to understanding the metagame in order to create a deck with strong responses. That’s why, before creating anything, the ideal is to study the decks that already exist in depth.


Pokemon (19)

3x Lugia VSTAR (SWSH12 #139)4x Lugia V (SWSH12 #138)4x Archeops (SWSH12 #147)1x Radiant Charizard (PGO #11)1x Yveltal (SWSH45 #46)1x Dunsparce (SWSH8 #207)1x Stoutland V (SWSH5 #117)1x Manaphy (SWSH9 #41)1x Pumpkaboo (SWSH7 #76)1x Oranguru (SWSH1 #148)1x Lumineon V (SWSH9 #40)

Trainers (26)

3x Professor's Research (CEL #24)3x Marnie (SWSH1 #200)2x Serena (SWSH12 #164)2x Boss's Orders (SWSH2 #154)1x Bird Keeper (SWSH3 #159)4x Quick Ball (SWSH1 #179)4x Ultra Ball (SWSH9 #150)4x Evolution Incense (SWSH1 #163)2x Choice Belt (SWSH9 #135)1x Lost Vacuum (SWSH11 #162)

Energy (15)

4x Powerful Colorless Energy (SWSH3 #176)4x Aurora Energy (SWSH1 #186)2x Double Turbo Energy (SWSH9 #151)3x Capture Energy (SWSH2 #171)1x V Guard Energy (SWSH12 #169)1x Heat Fire Energy (SWSH3 #174)
Lugia VSTAR is the best deck in format for a number of reasons. Archeops‘s Ability offers incredible possibilities, the deck has high offensive and defensive power, and most lists can afford solid consistency. There is still no great deck in the format that can consistently beat Lugia VSTAR, so for me it’s the best option among metagame decks to use in a tournament. I see no reason to stop using Lugia VSTAR in favor of any other deck.

Regis, Lost Box, and Mew VMAX are always balanced matchups. Lugia VSTAR puts pressure on the opponent, and that in itself is a point in its favor. While you only have to worry about executing your game plan—discarding Archeops, evolving Lugia VSTAR, and bringing the right Pokémon into play—your opponent has to scramble to stop your big threats. They know that a well-timed Stoutland V, Amazing Rare Yveltal, or Radiant Charizard in the Active Spot can be almost impossible to stop, since Archeops can find you up to four Special Energy a turn.

If there is a reliable way to beat Lugia VSTAR, perhaps it is to stop its strongest Pokémon from attacking through Path to the Peak and Temple of Sinnoh. Lugia dedicates a good part of its deck space to strong attackers for different situations, so some lists have few resources for dealing with Stadiums. If Path to the Peak comes in before Lugia VSTAR can use its VSTAR Power, Archeops doesn’t come in and all the deck’s magic doesn’t happen. Pumpkaboo  is the best way to remove this Stadium when that happens, but in return the Lugia player will have to live with Pumpkaboo until the end of the game. Temple of Sinnoh can also cause problems, especially late in the game after a Roxanne. With Temple of Sinnoh on the field, Yveltal and Radiant Charizard cannot attack, while Lugia hits only 220 and Stoutland only 40 damage. Many Lost Box lists use this gambit.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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