Arceus VSTAR — Can It Win Another World Championship?

Hello, all PokeBeach readers! Here is Gabriel again with another Pokemon TCG article, and this time the subject is Arceus VSTAR and how this Pokémon can become a two-time world champion.

A year ago, Arceus VSTAR starred in the London World Championships 2022 Finals in the Master Division, and as if that wasn’t enough, both players in the final were using this Pokemon. In fact, the lists of the two players were quite similar. Now, after so long, Arceus VSTAR remains one of the top favorites to win Worlds, but with a different build.

Arceus VSTAR dominated much of last season, sometimes losing ground to Mew VMAX, and towards the end of the season, it faced challenges from the broken version of Lugia VSTAR paired with Amazing Yveltal, Stoutland V, and Powerful Colorless Energy. In this current season, Arceus VSTAR lost some momentum due to the Standard format rotation and the arrival of new decks, but it has consistently remained in Tier 1 of the competitive metagame. Gardevoir ex, Mew VMAX, Lost Box, and Lugia VSTAR gained more popularity during this time, while Arceus VSTAR had a variant that truly achieved results — Arceus VSTAR / Giratina VSTAR. However, in most recent tournaments, especially the North America International Championships (NAIC), Arceus VSTAR has returned but now with a new ally, Umbreon VMAX.

In today’s article, I will talk about Arceus VSTAR / Umbreon VMAX and analyze all the elements that make these two Pokemon a great combination. It’s a fact that just these two Pokemon together can solve many challenges in the current Standard format, but one more Pokemon is still needed to help in matchups where they may not perform as well. That’s where Duraludon VMAX comes in, to beat Lugia VSTAR. However, it’s not just Duraludon VMAX that can be considered the third piece to complete the deck; there are other Pokemon that can bring different and better results depending on the metagame that will be seen in the upcoming World Championships. Having played Day 2 of Worlds a few times and Day 1 a number of years, I can say that the difference in the metagame from one day to another is huge. On Day 1, the metagame is a little more predictable and mostly composed of decks that have already been expected, with lists we already know. On the 2nd day, everything changes because the most talented and creative players in the game enter, the level increases significantly, and the best way to stand out in a tournament where everyone is very skilled is to bring an exceptional and well-suited list. Our previous world champions managed to do this.

Why Is Arceus VSTAR Still So Good?

The truth is that it’s highly unlikely for Arceus VSTAR to be ineffective in the current metagame. There’s simply no reason for that. Consider looking at a Pokemon match in three stages — early, mid, and end game — Arceus VSTAR remains one of the best Pokemon in the first two stages. Even in the third stage, an Arceus VSTAR deck can still perform well, as you can easily switch to another Pokemon in the deck, such as Giratina VSTAR, Duraludon VMAX, Flying Pikachu VMAX, or any other suitable option.

I see many similarities between Arceus VSTAR and the already rotated Pikachu and Zekrom-GX. Both decks have a key Pokemon that deals heavy damage and powers up other Pokemon effectively on the Bench with Energy cards from the deck. Additionally, both decks utilize cards like Judge, Reset Stamp, and Iono to reduce the opponent’s hand size and employ strategies like Path to the Peak (or, in the case of Pikachu and Zekrom-GX, Power Plant or Lysandre Labs) to disrupt your opponent’s gameplay. As we know, that Tag Team Pokemon remained relevant until it was rotated out of the Standard format.

Returning to the subject and discussing Arceus VSTAR in the current metagame, the advantage of this Pokemon is that it provides your deck with a strong, consistent, and secure first and second turn. This is combined with a strategy that puts pressure on the opponent and disrupts their strategy, utilizing the Judge plus Path to the Peak combo. Towards the end of the game, the situation for the opponent worsens as Iono becomes more and more impactful based on the number of Prize cards the opponent has taken. These days, it’s possible to have a decent deck with only Arceus VSTAR, but for it to be optimal, it is necessary to combine it with other Pokemon. Winning a mirror match without Giratina VSTAR or Aerodactyl VSTAR to secure one-hit KO on the opponent’s Pokemon would be quite challenging.

If Arceus VSTAR ever becomes ineffective in the future, it might be because Pokemon ex cards have become even stronger or Pokemon V cards have become obsolete.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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