Lesson in Zeal — Mew VMAX After Its Success at Worlds

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here, and I am happy to be writing another article for you all! Last time, I talked a bit about pure Arceus VSTAR decks, including the deck I played for the 2023 World Championships, as well as a new variant with Pidgeot ex. In the weeks since then, the Pidgeot ex variant seems like it has largely fallen off, perhaps because it is just a little too weak. The build that I played at the World Championships, however, which included a Slaking V, has continued to see success at various local-level events. In the time since Worlds, I have largely found myself not playing this deck anymore, but not because I think it is bad — I’ve simply been choosing to work on other archetypes that I think are a bit more potent.

As of late, I have been heavily focused on Charizard ex (I recommend reading Grant Manley’s article about this, as our lists are quite similar) and the deck piloted by this year’s World Champion, Mew VMAX. At this point, nobody should be a stranger to Mew VMAX. The deck has been a major part of the metagame ever since it released in November 2021, but over the last few months the deck seems like it has gotten considerably better, even with the release of Spiritomb. For a long time I had largely stopped playing Mew VMAX: while I always thought the deck was fun to play, its bad matchup against almost all variants of Lugia VSTAR in history always led me to play decks that could better stand up to Lugia VSTAR’s wrath. While Lugia VSTAR is still popular, it is certainly nowhere near the over-30% usage rate that it had in the Silver Tempest format. The deck also has a less reliable early game now, opening a window for the Fusion Strike Energy variant of Mew VMAX to maybe Knock Out the only Lugia V in play to secure an easy win.

The deck’s success at the World Championships was something of an eye-opening experience to me. The deck is much better than I realized it was, boasting a variety of good matchups against many of the most hyped-up decks in Standard right now. It will probably be a good play for the season’s early Regional Championships. As of now, I actually still believe that Vance’s list from the World Championship is pretty much perfect — so how about we jump right into his deck?

Vance Kelley’s Mew VMAX Deck

In general, the strategy of the Fusion Strike Energy variant of Mew VMAX has not changed. It is, at its core, still a Mew VMAX deck, meaning that it uses its incredibly effective draw engine to turbo through the deck, finding Double Turbo Energy, Boss's Orders (Ghetsis), and Power Tablet as needed to take efficient Knock Outs. This strategy is quick, simple, and low-maintenance, which has been enough to keep Mew VMAX decks at the top of the metagame for the card’s entire legality.

Aside from this basic strategy, there are two more schools of thought: the hyper-streamlined four Double Turbo Energy variant; and the less consistent, but more potent, Fusion Strike Energy variant. From about this time last year up until the release of Paldea Evolved, the Double Turbo Energy variant was considered drastically better than the Fusion Strike Energy build because the consistency and ability to abuse Path to the Peak was much more valuable, but now that Spiritomb is a part of the format, it is almost necessary to play the Fusion Strike Energy variant. Fusion Strike Energy makes Genesect V immune to the effects of Spiritomb’s Ability, meaning that you can continue to dig through the deck with impunity.

The other massive pro to playing the Fusion Strike Energy variant of the deck is that you are able to abuse the strength of Meloetta as a Basic Pokemon that can very realistically hit for at least 220 damage on your first turn (if you go second). This makes the outcome of the coin flip much less significant to a Mew VMAX player — they are okay with either option, and it is more about possibly denying the opponent the ability to go first in any particular game.

Vance Kelley’s Mew VMAX deck is far from a unique take on the deck, largely because there is not a ton of room left to innovate the archetype. A very streamlined approach was certainly a major factor in his success at the World Championships this year. With that said, let’s examine the deck list.

Deck List

Pokemon (13)

3x Mew VMAX (SWSH8 #114)4x Mew V (SWSH8 #113)4x Genesect V (SWSH8 #185)1x Meloetta (SWSH8 #124)1x Oricorio (SWSH8 #42)

Trainers (40)

2x Boss's Orders (Ghetsis) (PEV #172)2x Elesa's Sparkle (SWSH8 #233)1x Iono (PEV #185)1x Judge (SVI #176)4x Battle VIP Pass (SWSH8 #225)4x Ultra Ball (SVI #196)4x Cram-o-matic (SWSH8 #229)4x Power Tablet (SWSH8 #236)2x Nest Ball (SVI #181)2x Lost Vacuum (SWSH11 #162)2x Switch Cart (SWSH10 #154)1x Escape Rope (SWSH5 #125)1x Pal Pad (SVI #182)3x Forest Seal Stone (SWSH12 #156)2x Choice Belt (PEV #176)1x Box of Disaster (SWSH11 #154)2x Lost City (SWSH11 #161)1x Crystal Cave (SWSH7 #144)1x Path to the Peak (SWSH6 #148)

Energy (7)

4x Fusion Strike Energy (SWSH8 #244)3x Double Turbo Energy (SWSH9 #151)

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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