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Standard Deck Tech - Gyarados VMax + Arceus VStar - Sacramento Regional

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Check out this list from Sacramento (California, USA) Regional's Runner-Up, Niccolo Abate - who surprised all with the unusual Gyarados VMax, a card that had been left behind among the VMax types!

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Hello to all. I am Rodrigo, bringing news about Pokémon TCG, in general. With the regional championship that happened in Sacramento, California, USA, we were pleasantly surprised as a very different deck got to the final round in the Master category: the player Niccolo Abate surprised everyone with Gyarados VMAX EVS 29.

Let's analyze how this list works.

Arceus VStar + Gyarados VMax: the Sacramento Runner Up


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Arceus V & Arceus VStar: Hybrid Between Attacker and Energy Supporter


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Regarding Arceus V BRS 122, what interests us to set up energies to your Pokémon V is the Trinity Charge (C) (C) attack, which, with the help of Double Turbo Energy BRS 151, accelerates this process, besides being useful to other Pokémon too, such as Arceus VSTAR BRS 123, Gyarados V EVS 28 and Gyarados VMAX EVS 29.

Let's analyze Arceus VSTAR BRS 123. It is an attacker/supporter which, besides being able to pick up the pace fast and deal damage, also has its VStar ability (which is very strong and important) which searches for specific cards in your deck, helping you filter it, and adapting it to what you need in that specific game state.

Gyarados V & Gyarados VMax: The Main Pokémon

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Regarding Gyarados V EVS 28, let's highlight some of its pros:

Its first attack, Get Angry (W)(W)(C), deals damage according to the damage counters it has (in this case, 20 times for each damage counter) - and considering it has 220 HP, the maximum damage it can deal, with 10 HP left, is 21 damage counters times 20 damage, reaching a total of 420 damage, which is more than enough to destroy any Pokémon in the format.

As for its second attack, Heavy Storm (W)(W)(W)(C), it deals 180 damage, which is already a considerable amount against support Pokémon such as Lumineon V PR-SW SWSH250, Genesect V FST 185 and Squawkabilly ex sv2 169 - and I don't even need to mention, but it deals double damage to Fire type Pokémon.

As for Gyarados VMAX EVS 29, let's highlight some pros:

The Hyper Beam (W)(W)(C) attack, which deals 120 damage and discards one energy from the opponent's active Pokémon, is a good way to delay your opponent.

If, by any chance, your opponent uses too many special energies - as it is common in Lugia VSTAR SIT 211 archetype decks - it would be great to remove a Double Turbo Energy ASR 216 from any of these Pokémon, as in this format you can't recover special energies.

Max Tyrant (W)(W)(W)(C) deals 240 damage, defeating several basic Pokémon V in the format, such as Giratina V PR-SW SWSH259, Dragonite V PR-SW SWSH154, Arceus V BRS 122 (if you're in a mirror match against any), and, of course, the most popular basic Pokémon ex, such as Chien-Pao ex PR-SV 30.

Slaking V: Brute Attacker

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This Pokémon must go into play after you use Arceus VSTAR BRS 123's VStar ability, because then the stadium Path to the Peak CRE 148 will go into play, which locks down "Rule Box" Pokémon abilities (both yours and the opponents). The strategy is: by playing this stadium, it will make Slaking V PGO 58's ability (Kinda Lazy) useless, as it disrupts this Pokémon's attack conditions, and, with that, you'll be able to deal 260 damage to your opponent very bluntly and directly. There's also two ways you can boost your damage, them being:

1) Use Choice Belt sv2 176 to deal an extra 30 damage to your opponent's Pokémon V, VStar, VMax and VUnion, reaching 290 damage.


2) If you're losing the game in terms of Prize Cards, and your opponents have fewer cards to the point they can win the game, you can use Defiance Band sv1 169, which provides an additional 30 damage to the Pokémon that has this tool attached.

Recursive Pokémon


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- Bidoof CRZ 111 has its ability Carefree Countenance, which prevents damage to the bench from attacks, which gains you time to evolve it to Bibarel and avoids sniper strikes from a possible Radiant Greninja ASR 46 in a match.

- Bibarel BRS 121 has Industrious Incisors, which allows you, once per turn, to draw until you have five cards in hand.

With a metagame filled with Iono sv2 185, that won't be an issue, as you'll always have the guarantee you can refill your hands with cards with this Pokémon in play.

- Radiant Greninja ASR 46 has Concealed Cards: in your turn, you can discard one energy from your hand and discard 2 cards.

Starting Hands

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In this case, if you are the first to play, it will be more to your advantage.

Place Arceus V BRS 122 up front as the active Pokémon, and play Nest Ball sv1 181 to catch Bidoof CRZ 111, attaching the Water energy on it (don't attach Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 to it straight away, because your opponent might use a card that removes your energy from play, so it's best to save it as a precaution). That because, on your next turn, you'll evolve your Arceus V BRS 122 into Arceus VSTAR BRS 123, and then, you'll be able to attach Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 on it, besides playing Bibarel BRS 121 to have its "draw power" guaranteed. Afterward, you'll use Arceus' VStar ability, trying to speed up your game plan as fast as you can.

Trainer Cards

Energy Supporter to your Pokémon V

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Supporter with a "Catcher" Role

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Hybrid Supporter with the "Catcher" Role for V Types and "Draw Power"

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Supporters to Sabotage your Opponent's Hands

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Supporter to Heal Colorless Pokémon

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Pokémon Searcher Items

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Item to Sabotage your Opponent

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It is essential to discard any Stadium Trainer card and Tool cards from play.

Item to Recycle Supporters

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Its main use will be to return your Cheren's Care BRS 134 whenever necessary to heal your Arceus VSTAR.

Tool Items to Attach to your Pokémon

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- Defiance Band sv1 169 is ideal when you're losing the game, because it grants your Pokémon attacks 30 extra damage.


- Choice Belt sv2 176 grants your Pokémon 30 extra damage to attack the opponent's Pokémon V, VMax, VStar and VUnion.

- Vengeful Punch sv3 197 is activated only when your active Pokémon is knocked out, placing 4 damage counters on the opponent's active Pokémon as a sort of "counter-attack".


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Path to the Peak (applies to both players) locks down abilities from Rule Box Pokémon. In this case, after you use your Arceus VSTAR BRS 123's VStar ability, it is ideal to play this card to sabotage your opponent; not to mention the advantage it gives to Slaking V PGO 58.

Special Energies

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- V Guard Energy SIT 169 is useful to reduce by 30 the damage taken from your opponent's Pokémon V.

- Jet Energy sv2 190 is a sort of Switch: by placing this energy on one of your benched Pokémon, it is automatically promoted to the active position, even speeding up this Pokémon's promotion process. Like so, you don't need to retreat the previous active Pokémon "by force" spending your energies or wasting Trainers, such as Switch sv1 194.

- Double Turbo Energy BRS 151 is like a Double Colorless Energy, however, when equipped to your Pokémon, it reduces your attacks by 20 damage. It's worth mentioning that it is useful only as a colorless energy!


It is a consistent, easy to pilot deck, that is quite aggressive and straightforward in its structure.

1) You have Arceus, which in its V VStar form has attacks that accelerate your energy setup, which makes it easier to prepare your attacking Pokémon and filter your deck's energies in the game, optimizing your card draws.

2) We have relatively high damages, around 200 points guaranteed by Arceus VStar and 260 points guaranteed by Slaking V, not to mention the tool cards that can boost these damages.

3) We count with the presence of Gyarados V, which uses the first attack as a sort of Outrage. The more damage counters it has, the more damage it deals, besides its VMax form, which, besides discarding your opponent's energies with its first attack, deals 240 damage with its second attack. This amount is always welcomed - and it is a great counter to decks that use Fire type Pokémon, such as Entei V BRS 22, which has been stealing the spotlight lately.

Archetypes in the Format


- It locks down decks that depend a lot on Rule Box Pokémon abilities with Path to the Peak CRE 148.

- It is strong against the Fire archetype, thanks to Gyarados VMAX EVS 29.

- It is strong against Charizard ex sv3 125 decks, which depend on using its ability to energize it and other Pokémon.

- It is strong against decks that need stage 2 evolution lines to have a better set up, and this slowness is advantageous to your Arceus VSTAR BRS 123 as it can hit fast even though it is only a "stage 1" evolution.


- It is weak against decks that use Temple of Sinnoh ASR 155, which cancels your special energies.


- It is weak against Scizor decks, which hit more for each ability you have in your Pokémon, such as this onelink outside website.

- It is weak against Lugia VSTAR SIT 139 decks which use attackers that aren't "ultra rare" Pokémon, such as Stonjourner BST 84 and Luxray sv2 71.

- It is weak against Alakazam ex PR-SV 50 decks.

- It is weak against Fighting type decks, such as Lucario ex PR-SV 17 or Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BRS TG30.

- It is weak in a mirror match with Arceus VSTAR BRS 123 if they use Lucario VSTAR PR-SW SWSH291 and Flying Pikachu VMAX CEL 7.

- It is weak against Lost Box decks.

Final Words

It is a deck that is simple to build, and straightforward when it comes to set up energies and deal high damages in just a few turns. The most expensive card in this deck is precisely the 4-4 line with Arceus, but Gyarados itself is a cheap card that was underestimated by many, which just shows how we can always surprise ourselves.

See you next time!