Hey everyone! Isaiah here, and I am happy to be writing another article for you all. Last time, I wrote about where I felt Charizard ex was positioned in the metagame. It has been quite a while since that article and a lot has changed about the meta, but one thing that I feel that I predicted pretty accurately is that Charizard ex is absolutely here to stay as one of the best decks in the Standard format. Not long after that article was posted, Azul Garcia Griego won his sixth Regional Championship with the archetype, further solidifying its place as one of the best decks in Standard, and maybe even the best deck in Standard.
In that article, I also highlighted the recent success of “Snorlax Control” with its Regional win in Europe. At the San Antonio Regional Championship, Snorlax Control made a few deep runs, with two different versions of the deck in Top 8, one with Pidgeot ex and one without. In my opinion, the Pidgeot ex version of the deck is one of the most powerful control decks the game has seen in a while, but the deck does, unfortunately, struggle with the deck that got second at that event; Lost Zone Giratina VSTAR.
Lost Zone Giratina VSTAR has had one of the most surprising life spans of any deck that I have ever seen, having been the best deck in the game, the worst deck in the game, and everything in between. Currently, I would say the deck is probably the second-best deck in the format, with the ability to navigate almost any board state with its variety of options, including Giratina VSTAR itself, Sableye, and Radiant Greninja. Following its deep run in San Antonio, I had high hopes for the deck at the Portland Regional Championship. While I expected it to do well, I absolutely did not expect it to be both decks in the finals of the tournament. With Jon Eng’s victory at this event, I would say that Giratina VSTAR is absolutely at the front of people’s minds, especially following Isaiah Bradner’s convincing 5-3 victory over Jake Gearhart’s Gardevoir ex deck in a show match this past Sunday, which was originally seen as one of Giratina VSTAR’s harder matchups. It did not explore another one of Giratina VSTAR’s worst matchups, however, and that is the tried and true Mew VMAX.
Unbelievably, over two years after its initial release, Mew VMAX is somehow STILL one of the best decks in the game. Thanks to its good Giratina VSTAR matchup and reasonable Charizard ex matchup, the deck has still been able to find footing in the format as one of the more powerful aggressive decks, and as the best deck to abuse the classic combination of Judge and Path to the Peak. At the Portland Regional Championship, Mew VMAX was the most popular deck in the Top 16 of the event, with SIX total appearances despite making up only around 5% of the 1500-player metagame. Many players expected Mew VMAX to fall off following the release of Spiritomb, but as we saw with Vance Kelley’s World Championship win, the deck is still alive and well. Then again, Charizard ex was seen as possibly being too much for Mew VMAX decks with Fusion Strike Energy to handle, but, with some clever adaptations, the Double Turbo Energy build was able to resurface as one of the best decks, partially because Spiritomb started to fall out of favor. Now, in the present day, Spiritomb and Charizard ex decks both exist in large numbers within the metagame, posing a massive threat to Mew VMAX decks. This was handled masterfully by Ian Robb at the Portland Regional Championship with the addition of a single Elesa's Sparkle and two Fusion Strike Energy to make his Genesect V immune to Spiritomb’s Fettered in Misfortune Ability. While I think this was a good solution, I do wonder if this solution is better than how the 14th place list solved the problem, which was to play two Judge and two Path to the Peak in a more traditional Fusion Strike Energy Mew VMAX list, which is going to be the primary focus of this article!
My Current Fusion Mew Deck List
Even though I largely hoped to swear off Mew VMAX following my poor finish at the Toronto Regional Championship with the deck, I have somehow been sucked back into the trap. In hindsight, I did like the approach that, Jake Santiago, Vance Kelley, and myself collectively took with our Mew VMAX deck list for that event, all playing an identical deck list, even if it did not pan out as well as we would have hoped. We focused a lot on trying to smooth out the Charizard ex matchup, which generally was effective, but it negatively impacted our consistency to the point that it hurt our deck’s overall performance. In that deck list, we only played one copy of Judge but we did play two copies of Path to the Peak to try and refine the Charizard ex gameplan (which is something that I will elaborate on later), but the addition of the second Judge was something that we had entertained but none of us committed to it. I think that this change is one that certainly is a positive benefit to the archetype going forward.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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