The Best Way to Play Dragapult ex — A Look at Regidrago VSTAR

Hello PokeBeach readers! Isaiah here, and I am happy to be writing another article for you all! Last time, I covered my Lugia VSTAR deck list that I played for the North America International Championship. While I absolutely love playing that deck, I have certainly found things to be a bit boring lately in this format, with Standard feeling mostly irrelevant because the World Championships will have Shrouded Fable legal, and there are no other major events in the current format, instead being limited to only League Challenges and League Cups.

With this pseudo “offseason” period during June, I have spent a lot of time on alternate formats, such as Expanded or the unofficial Eternal Format (a variant of Unlimited), and when I have been putting time into Standard, it has mainly been with decks that I consider to be fun rather than top tier, such as Palafin ex. One of these decks that I decided to try was Regidrago VSTAR, which was coming off of a Top 16 finish at the North America International Championship. While this result was certainly going to be enough to get people to look at a deck, weird rogue decks are known to do well and then immediately fall off the face of the Earth from time to time. As such, I think a fair number of people dismissed this deck, as it seemed like it could not possibly be good enough, right? To my surprise, the deck has felt remarkably good, and I honestly wish I had known about it for the North America International Championship because the deck feels like it could have made an even deeper run in a different timeline. Not only that, but I even think that the deck may be one of the most powerful decks for the upcoming World Championship. Before we get into that, though, how about we take a look at what makes it a good deck in the current format?

What Made Regidrago Succeed at NAIC?

I remember seeing a YouTube video about Regidrago VSTAR when Twilight Masquerade was about to come out. My initial thoughts included that the addition of Dragapult ex seemed appealing, and Teal Mask Ogerpon ex is an extremely powerful card, so any deck that can make use of it is automatically going to be at least decent. The biggest downside that I came up with, though, was that it seemed hard for the deck to justify being better than a Dragapult ex deck or a Raging Bolt ex deck, finding itself as the awkward middle ground between two already powerful strategies, so I ended up writing it off. As I continued to test with both Dragapult ex and Raging Bolt ex for the North America International Championship, I found myself having two big issues; while Phantom Dive was good, I felt like I was missing the firepower needed to win matchups against high HP attackers. On the flip side, Raging Bolt ex was struggling with smaller HP Pokemon, as the deck is almost exclusively Pokemon ex, and the few non-ex Pokemon that it does play are pretty underwhelming as attackers. It should have been at this moment that I realized that potential for Regidrago VSTAR, but I had completely forgotten about it by the time I actually got to testing. See, the biggest mistake that I made when I initially evaluated Regidrago VSTAR was that I looked at Dragapult ex and Raging Bolt ex the wrong way — instead of considering how I could build a focused strategy around either of those cards, I should have realized that they are perfect compliments for each other, offering solutions to many problems.

Aside from a good pool of attackers, Regidrago VSTAR decks are generally built to be streamlined, and that is the perfect start to a successful deck. Teal Mask Ogerpon ex is a low-maintenance engine for both drawing cards as well as putting Energy in play, which then you can move those Energy with Energy Switch to power up Regidrago VSTAR in one turn fairly easily. Cards like Earthen Vessel and Superior Energy Retrieval, which lend themselves as support for the Teal Mask Ogerpon ex engine, also are cards that discard cards from the hand, helping to get critical Dragon-type Pokemon in the discard pile to be copied with Apex Dragon. As I mentioned earlier, the most important attackers here are Dragapult ex and Raging Bolt ex, which offer a great spread option for smaller threats and a large nuke option for high HP Pokemon, respectively. Because of how little space these two take up, you can also play a variety of other attackers, such as Hisuian Goodra VSTAR, Noivern ex, and even Giratina V if you want to cover a variety of matchups that you may face during a tournament. Aside from the Teal Mask Ogerpon ex side of the deck, the deck is mostly built to discard cards and make sure your attackers get moving. Legacy Star is by far the most important part of this deck, though, acting as a pseudo-Starbirth (Arceus VSTAR) a lot of the time. Did you only find one Energy Switch when you needed two? Play your first then get it back right away with Legacy Star. Want to recover Prime Catcher ? Use Legacy Star. Need a Supporter to get out of a dead hand? Legacy Star is effectively a Pokégear 3.0. The possibilities are truly endless, and the best part is that Legacy Star also helps to get attackers in the discard pile in the process. It is a bit difficult to truly talk about where I think this deck’s strengths lie without looking at a deck list, so how about we take a look at the list that got Top 16 at the North America International Championships.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

If you'd like to continue reading, consider purchasing a PokeBeach premium membership! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days.

Each week we post high-quality content from some of the game's top players. Our article program isn't a corporate operation, advertising front, or for-profit business. We set our prices so that we can pay the game's top players to write the best content for our subscribers. Each article topic is carefully selected, goes through multiple drafts, and is touched up by our editors. We take great pride in our program!