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Alt. Format Post Rotation: Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX Deck List


Nessa/Milotic Dream Team
Hello all. It's been a long while for me and am debating picking up a deck after rotation since LGSs in my area don't have locals yet due to the pandemic.

As a bit of a Nessa fan I wanted to play something water (that includes Nessa) that would be at least somewhat decent.

This is something I've been working on that I think could use a few tweaks to reach its max potential.

Pokemon x20

3x Ice Rider Calyrex V (Chilling Reign)
3x Ice Rider Calyrex VMax (Chilling Reign)
2x Suicune V (Evolving Skies)
4x Sobble (Chilling Reign)
4x Drizzile (SwSh Base)
2x Inteleon (SwSh Base)
2x Inteleon (Chilling Reign)

Supporter x12

3x Professor's Research (Shining Fates)
3x Boss's Orders (Rebel Clash)
3x Melony (Chilling Reign)
2x Marnie (SwSh Base)
1x Nessa (Vivid Voltage)

Trainer x18

4x Quick Ball (SwSh Base)
4x Level Ball (Battle Styles)
4x Evolution Incense (SwSh Base)
2x Capacious Bucket (Rebel Clash)
2x Switch (SwSh Base)
2x Air Balloon (SwSh Base)

Stadium x2

2x Path to the Peak (Chilling Reign)

Energy x8

8x Water Energy

I'll do the card by card as I always do with my deck lists

3/3 Ice Rider Calyrex Line - Still the deck's primary win condition, however dropped to 3/3 as the need for Ice Rider is not as great with Suicune V in the list as well as the maxed out Inteleon line to search your quick balls and evo incense to basically get you Ice Rider Calyrex incredibly consistently anyway, even at 3/3.

2 Suicune V - I'll be completely honest - I almost want to run this card at 4. Suicune V is a complete monster of a card and honestly the Pokemon I want to start every game. Free draw 1 every turn and an amazing attack with a 220 damage ceiling (280 vs Eternatus VMAX) that can be accelerated in 1 turn with Melony. You will often be able to swing on the first turn of the game for a healthy amount of damage going second with this in the active. The main reason why I abstained is because Sobble has a great going 2nd first turn attack as well. People are probably wondering why I'm doing Suicune V in a deck with Path to the Peak, and that's because I get to choose the timing of when I no longer need or want my ability. I don't have to intentionally hold it to play Crobat V first and draw 1 less card before playing it, or have to play it down and then can't Dedenne GX. And depending on the match up (like the mirror match), I won't even be playing down path to the peak anyway. And when I want to start attacking with Ice Rider VMAX and its no longer in my active, then Path to the Peak doesn't hurt me at all.

4/4/2-2 Inteleon - I'm not sure why I didn't consider this sooner, but this is the best support line up for Ice Rider VMAX. Drizzile and SwSh Base Inteleon searches you every card in your deck. Buckets to search energy, Pokemon search cards, supporters exactly when you need them, Path to the Peak exactly when you need it. Instead of randomly hoping to draw 2 into the outs that you need, just search for them instead. Drizzile and Inteleon can also guarantee that you see quick ball to discard 1 energy to accelerate with Melony while also getting you a basic Pokemon in the process. This deck is monsterously consistent with Inteleon. 4 Drizzile and 4 Level Ball is the equivalent of playing 8 computer search on a stage 1 Pokemon. The Sobble from Chilling Reign also lets you just get all the Sobble in play ASAP, which not only thins your deck but gives you a fantastic going second option.

The SwSh Base Inteleon is also how you survive Decidueye/Altaria match ups. 120 ping 20 to the bench kills 2 Decidueye at once in 2 turns (boss up the bench one with 20 damage, hit it for 120 and ping the previous active for 20 for two 140 damage totals), or you can set up 1 Chilling Reign Inteleon to ping 20 in advance to get the OHKO and string momentum. Against Altaria you just OHKO them every turn and it's basically an auto win.

Additionally, if you are already drawing well or the Drizzile searches are already enough, you can evolve up into the Chilling Reign Inteleon and get everything in range. Chilling Reign Inteleon putting 20-40 damage on something means that you can often just take 2 hit KOs on VMAXes with Ice Rider VMAX's first attack or Suicune V and never have to discard any energy which opens up the ability to play supporters besides Melony or set up back up attackers and get further ahead in momentum. If you can get 2 of them in play, you can just ping a Pokemon V to 80 in 2 turns and deny your opponent from wanting to go VMAX since Lance for 250 would be lethal.

Inteleon is strictly superior to the Cinccino engine I was running before. You get greater concistency, less frail Pokemon on the bench that don't immediately die to one Rapid Strike Urshifu for free, and something that fixes your match up against Decidueye/Altaria while making your already efficient main attackers even more efficient with free bonus damage. An even better upside is the 1 retreat cost. Don't see your primary attacker on turn 1? Attach to Sobble. Next turn, find your Suicune/Ice Rider, attach to that, retreat Sobble to get energy in discard, evolve into Drizzile, search for Melony, Melony onto Suicune/Ice Rider. Draw 2 cards doesn't come close to all of that.

3x Professor's Research - Dropped to 3 for more Melony. I also don't feel the urge for 4 of them when you can't play a supporter going first turn 1 anymore, and Melony is always the ideal supporter going second turn 1 anyway. You still want lots of Research as this deck doesn't have good draw power outside of it.

3x Boss's Orders - I play 3 of whatever gust supporter is around in every deck. I find it to be the most successful ratio. Despite being searchable with Drizzile/Inteleon, I still want 3 because I want to boss 3 times per game, not 2. Sometimes bossing the 1 prize basic support Pokemon before it evolves is the best play.

3x Melony - And you don't need 4. Inteleon based lists can guarantee the Melony when you need it, and extra 20-40 damage for free every turn means you should only ever need to Melony once in a good game since you can claim 2 hit KOs on VMAX and OHKOs on Vs without discarding.

2x Marnie - The way this list runs means I have the ability to play Marnie when I have to since you don't need to Melony more than 2 times in any game. A staple I was sorely missing in my previous list.

1x Nessa - Nessa unironically is good in this list. You can Research hands without regret and are often going to be finding yourself researching away VMAXes and Inteleons and Drizziles in order to find a play. Nessa lets you do that without cornering yourself. Mid to late game your discard pile just becomes a second deck. Searchable so you can get her when you need her.

4x Quick Ball - A staple

4x Level Ball - Searches Sobble and Drizzile, which leads to Drizzile searching anything else that you need. Level Ball is fundamentally a card that says "search for anything in your deck." Every trainer card in this deck searches for every other piece of my deck.

4x Evo Incense - Searches Drizzile, Inteleon, and the VMAX. This card, like Level Ball, simply says search for anything in your deck. If grabbing an Inteleon, it says search for 2 of anything in your deck.

2x Capacious Bucket - Now that this is a pure Melony list with no more Frosmoth and the card is searchable, just 2 is fine now.

2x Switch - Standard retreat option ratios. Don't need more with Inteleon engine.

2x Air Balloon - Everything in this deck is 2 retreat or lower. No matter what active I start I'm fine.

2x Path to the Peak - My deck doesn't rely on rule box abilities. This helps me against Shadow Rider Calyrex, another out to Zamazenta V, Glaceon VMAX if people play it, Crobat V, you name it. Only ran at 2 because it's not all that great versus a lot of decks, and it's searchable with Drizzile and Inteleon. Urshifu VMAX doesn't care, you don't actually want to use it against Eternatus VMAX unless they outspeed you since you benefit from their bench size as well and Melony means you'll be attacking sooner than them. Right now, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX is the biggest card I'd be worried about, and then Umbreon VMAX once people realize that Gengar VMAX/Umbreon VMAX is a tier 1 deck and have access to it. A lot of the best Pokemon abilities are on 1 prize Pokemon nowadays, so this card is not as good as everyone thinks it is after rotation.

8x Water Energy - Just need around the standard 8 to see energy often enough when you need it.

Considered Cards

Here are some cards I've thought of or seen in lists over in Japan but don't see myself running.

Froslass (1/1 or 2/2) -
Froslass I think is simply unneeded, and getting good ratios for this Pokemon is very unideal. If you run a 1/1 line you risk prizing either piece and you likely are not getting it when you actually need it. As far as my deck would be concerned, I'd be Drizzile/Inteleon searching for quick and level balls to set up a Snorunt instead of a Suicune V or Ice Rider V/VMAX which doesn't seem correct. If you run a 2/2 line to see it more often, you're clogging 4 spaces of your deck to an effect you can get off of Melony and you're probably better off just running 4 Melony instead of 3 at that point.

The other part of it is bench real estate. In ideal game states, I have 4 Sobble/Drizzile/Inteleon in play with either Ice Rider VMAX + a back up Ice Rider or Ice Rider VMAX + Suicune V, or if I'm feeling really spicy, double Suicune V. Those are the 6 Pokemon I want in play at all times. Since you always need to keep your momentum with a back up attacker, in order to play down a Froslass you must cut into the number of Sobble. One less Inteleon line means that you are searching 3 less cards, or searching 1 less card and losing 20 free damage every turn just to accelerate 1 energy. This creates an inherent contradiction with this list because the whole point of my deck is that I'm Max Lancing no more than twice in a game. I'm taking constant 2 hit KOs with Ice Rider VMAX's first attack and/or Suicune V with Inteleon pinging damage every turn to fix my math for if my opponent tries to play around me by limiting their bench. Running Froslass means you intend on spamming Max Lance. That's not what my deck wants to do.

The final issue with Froslass, as well as Frosmoth and Cinccino, is the 90 HP. Remember that this is a post rotation list. I'm making some bold guesses as to what the meta will look like, but in a world where Rapid Strike Urshifu is very popular because of Gengar VMAX completely countering Shadow Rider Calyrex, you do not want 120 HP or lower bench sitters. Rapid Strike Urshifu can take a 4 prize turn by rapid flowing Ice Rider VMAX and your Froslass/Frosmoth/Cinccino. You basically lose the game at that point. Inteleon being 150 or 160 HP is incredibly important to not giving free avenues to Rapid Strike Urshifu.

Scoop Up Net (1-2) - I've thought about Scoop Ups to scoop up the Inteleon line in order to replay them. It also acts as a Switch when you get KO'd. You can promote an Inteleon and scoop it up. Scoop Up Net can also let you reuse Froslass, but only if you play at least a 2/1 line. If you play a 1/1 line and scoop, it will take way too long to drop down the basic, wait a turn, then get your energy. That's no longer energy acceleration anymore if it takes 2 turns. This then comes back to the issue of bench space. If I'm playing Scoop for Froslass, then I want to have 2 Snorunt in play at all times so I can scoop and replay them instantly. That means 2 Snorunt, 2 Inteleon, 2 attackers as my 6 Pokemon, and I'd probably be constantly leaving a Drizzile up so I can scoop and play down Inteleon right away.

It's a different way to approach the deck. The way I see it is that after I search 5-8 cards over the course of the game between Drizziles and Inteleons, I should have made the best choices at the time to not need to replay my Inteleons.

Cheryl (1) - A card that you can only play in Froslass builds or Frosmoth builds. People tend to read Max Lance, not read the fact that the first attack is Zoroark GX but better, and just think to themselves "hey, you'll have 0 energy anyway which means you can play Cheryl!"

Why I don't buy into this statement is because Ice Rider is an agro deck, not a stall or control deck. The deck doesn't gain anything from playing Cheryl, attaching for turn, then passing. Ice Rider is threatening because of the fact that it can just Melony and attach at any point in the game and immediately push for 130 or more damage. Stalling only gives set up style decks like Eternatus and Shadow Rider more time to establish their perfect scenario. So if you're gonna go Cheryl, at least play it with Froslass so you can heal without giving up aggression. However, Cheryl + Froslass still makes you lose hand advantage by not drawing with Marnie/Melony/Research and not searching with Drizzile/Inteleon though, so I still think it's just incorrect.

EDIT: I know about the new Milotic as anti-Marnie tech, and I am thinking about doing an Eevee Heroes Zoroark strategy so I can run Frosmoth, Cinccino, and Milotic via Zoroark's ability. It would look something like 4/4 Zoroark, 2 Frosmoth, 2 Cinccino, 1 Milotic, and Evolution Incense would go to 4 and Level Ball would drop to 2 since Zoroark and Milotic can't be Level Ball'd. I'm not sure it's worth the trade off, but I also don't want to run just a 1/1 Milotic line.

EDIT 2: Massive changes to the list with new knowledge of Suicune V and also realizing that the Inteleon line is absolutely insane and better than Cinccino in many ways.

EDIT 3: Added a list of cards I don't play and why I don't think you play them.
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Dark Espeon

Dark Avatar
Hi Duo,

Long time no see. Nice list. Consider these modifications:

- 1 Cramorant (would rather like to have a fourth Ice Rider V to start with)
- 1 Nessa (not needed that bad in this deck since you have Melony)
- 1 Capacious Bucket (three is more than sufficient in this deck)

+ 1 Ice Rider V (best starter in this deck)
+ 1 Path to the Peek (great stadium card)
+ 1 Switch or Air Balloon (battle field mobility)

To tell the truth I do not think that you will need Nessa at all. Cinccino is a great partner for Ice Rider Vmax since he draws and can get [W] in the discard pile to activate Melony. my own variant works fine with a pure Cinnccino combined with Melony engine and you could run Pal Pad to retrieve discarded supporters when needed.


Nessa/Milotic Dream Team
Hi Dark Espeon, glad to see you're still around and thanks for the feedback.

I've seen other Ice Rider Calyrex decks not run any Nessa, so I do believe I am technically hindering myself by running the card, but since it's what I want to play in the deck that's a limitation I'm putting on myself and will have to accept the potential of lowering the deck's ceiling by doing so.

About the only thing I think I disagree with is cutting Cramorant. I don't think the deck has a way to function against Decidueye without something like Cramorant since Cinccino and Frosmoth are never getting you there. I don't know how common Decidueye will be in the post rotation metagame (I imagine it will exist to a certain extent since it will also be able to make the new V-UNION cards do 0 damage as they are still Pokemon V), but I was advised to watch out for it. If anything I would cut the Keldeo V for a 4th Ice Rider since at least Path to the Peak turns off Zamazenta V, so Keldeo V is technically extra when Ice Rider VMAX is grabbing OHKOs on Zamazenta V and Zacian V anyway.

So I will basically take all of your advice except replace Cramorant with Keldeo V as the cut. The necessity for bucket drops without Keldeo V since it's the Pokemon that's sucking up the most energy to do the job I want it to do, but Ice Rider VMAX + Path to the Peak does that job more efficiently.

I have also decided on doing 3 Level Ball and 3 Evo Incense instead of 4 and 2. I ran some numbers on draw probability and running a 3/3 split is overall more consistent. This deck absolutely can and wants Ice Rider VMAX out on turn 2 of the game and go super turbo damage. Level Ball helps me find my utilities, but so does Evo Incense while also getting me to my win con faster.


Nessa/Milotic Dream Team
Bumping the thread as I have made some very significant changes after doing some more research, including researching winning Japanese deck lists and adapting them for our post rotation.

Dark Espeon

Dark Avatar
Hi Duo,

Nice post-rotation list. Consider these modifications:

Supporter and Stadium:

- 1 Nessa (not needed at all in this deck even though you seem to be attached to it)
- 1 Boss's Orders (two suffice with the Inteleon and Drizzle engine)

+ 1 Marnie (still want to retain a stable draw supporter count and Marnie combos well with Path to the Peak)
+ 1 Path to the Peak (great stadium card that helps to slow down a considerable number of decks)


- 1 Capacious Bucket (one energy search card should suffice in this deck)
- 1 Evolution incense (three are sufficient)

+ 1 Air Balloon, Escape Rope, or Switch (another switch card seems to be needed)
+ 1 Pal Pad (retrieve two supporters of your choice is nice with the Inteleon line)

Another option would be to use Leon instead of Pal Pad. With two Inteleon from Chilling Reign on the bench Leon would enable Ice Rider to achieve an occational ohko.

Hope this provides some assistance.
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Aspiring Trainer
I found this thread when searching for ideas on how to put this deck together (mainly for my 11 year old). Reading your thoughts on the cards was super helpful. Thanks!!!