The Age of Calamity — A New Era for Roaring Moon ex

Hello PokeBeach readers, Isaiah here, and I am happy to be writing another article for you! Last time, I talked a lot about my preferred way to play Mew VMAX, which is the Fusion Strike Energy build with Meloetta. Despite my love for this archetype, it continues to be the less popular and less successful of the two variants, with the highest placing Fusion Mew VMAX list at the Charlotte Regional Championships being played by Xander Pero, who had an incredible 9-0 start Day 1, but he had a rough Day 2, landing him a 75th place finish at the end of the weekend. While this finish was by no means bad, it pales in comparison to the Double Turbo Energy build’s fresh 1st place finish at the Liverpool Regional Championships in the hands of Fabrizio Inga Silva. It is currently pretty clear that Double Turbo Energy Mew VMAX is the better of the two decks for the current metagame. However, the deck does have one particularly rough matchup (even though Fabrizio went 4-0 in the matchup in Liverpool), and that is Roaring Moon ex.

I do not think there is a single deck that I have ever seen that has gone through as many ups and downs as Roaring Moon ex has. When it was about to come out, many players believe that the deck was absolutely the best deck in the format, with it being one of the most popular decks on the Pokemon TCG Live ladder and having an incredible win rate in online tournaments. But by the time the Latin America International Championships came around, the deck had fallen off almost completely, largely due to its fairly bad Gardevoir ex matchup which saw a huge uptick in play around that time. Following the Latin America International Championships, Gardevoir ex generally fell off, to the surprise of many, only occasionally putting up results, instead being swept over by the rise of Giratina VSTAR and Charizard ex. The rise of these two decks also lead to the resurgence of Mew VMAX, the deck that never goes away, thanks to a favored Giratina VSTAR matchup and a passable Charizard ex matchup.

With these three pieces in place, a deck that is somewhat efficient at handling all of them was bound to sweep in, and it certainly did in the form of Roaring Moon ex. At first, a lot of success with Roaring Moon ex was seen with a turbo build using some of the format’s generic “make my deck go fast” cards such as PokéStop, Trekking Shoes, and Squawkabilly ex. These builds were built to hit turn 1 attack going second, which is somewhat strong in a lot of matchups, especially in any matchup with a lot of Pokemon V or Pokemon ex, such as Mew VMAX or Miraidon ex. Additionally, many of these lists included a large volume of Energy Switch and a few Water Energy in order to power up Radiant Greninja‘s Moonlight Shuriken to gain an edge against the matchups with more frail Pokemon, including Giratina VSTAR and Gardevoir ex. While these builds were reasonable, they were fairly vulnerable to Charizard ex, which does not have to put out any multi-Prize Pokemon in the early game until you take a Knock Out, and then it gets far enough ahead with a Counter Catcher on Squawkabilly ex or Mew ex. As a result, Roaring Moon ex decks were forced to adapt with more Pokemon Tool cards like Bravery Charm and Ancient Booster Energy Capsule to survive some of this early pressure. To get an indication of what these deck lists looked like, here is an older deck list that I played a bit in late December.

My Old Roaring Moon ex Deck

Pokemon (9)

4x Roaring Moon ex (PAR #124)1x Morpeko (PAR #121)1x Radiant Greninja (SWSH10 #46)1x Lumineon V (SWSH9 #40)1x Mew ex (MEW #151)1x Squawkabilly ex (PEV #169)

Trainers (42)

4x Professor Sada's Vitality (PAR #170)1x Boss's Orders (Ghetsis) (PEV #172)4x Battle VIP Pass (SWSH8 #225)4x Ultra Ball (SVI #196)4x Earthen Vessel (PAR #163)4x Cross Switcher (SWSH8 #230)4x Dark Patch (SWSH10 #139)4x Trekking Shoes (SWSH10 #156)3x Energy Switch (SVI #173)2x Switch Cart (SWSH10 #154)2x Ancient Booster Energy Capsule (PAR #159)2x Bravery Charm (PEV #173)4x PokéStop (PGO #68)

Energy (9)

9x Darkness Energy (DP #129)
My deck list was overall pretty non-optimized, partially because it was early in the “new age” of Roaring Moon ex decks, but I felt the list was pretty solid. With the knowledge that I have now, I do not think I would play this style of the deck, at least not without significant changes, but I think that it illustrates the direction lists were going. The focus on the HP buff Pokemon Tool cards, like I said previously, was largely for Charizard ex decks, and they worked wonders. With this step, the only issue that Roaring Moon ex decks had anymore was being reliable after the first turn of the game. Oftentimes you would run out of gas and be unable to play a long game. If someone were to figure out how to make Roaring Moon ex more sustainable, the deck was well positioned for being one of the most powerful decks in the Standard format.

Of course, this happened just a week after I played my above deck list.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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