With the release of the Scarlet/Violet: Obsidian Flames set, we have the most iconic figure in the set: Charizard ex, with its type switching mechanic based on the game's lore with the "Terastal" transformation, which changes Pokémon's types.
Charizard ex Terastal + Arceus VStar
Charizard ex Terastal: The Star of the Deck
As a brief introduction, its previous evolutions, Charmander and Charmeleon, have quite simple and bad attacks, which deal ”recoil” damage to them, as follows:
- Charmander with Heat Tackle (F): deals 30 damage to an enemy, and 10 damage to itself.
- Charmander with Heat Tackle (F): deals 70 damage to an enemy, and 20 damage to itself.
So, let's move on to the most important piece, which is Charizard ex:
- Ability Infernal Reign: when playing this Pokémon from your hand to evolve one of your Pokémon (be it Charmeleon in the classic way or by cheating out the evolution using a Rare Candy with Charmander), you can look in your deck for 3 basic Fire energies and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you'd like.
- Attack Burning Darkness (F)(F): deals 180 damage plus 30 more for each Prize Card your opponent won in the game.
Generally, you need to sacrifice your Pokémon on purpose, so your opponent gets Prize Cards, as this will increase your Charizard's power. In this case, your Arceus VSTAR BRS 123 always needs to be the sacrifice.
Suppose your opponent has won 4 Prize Cards, and your Charizard ex has Defiance Band sv1 169 equipped, you'll be dealing 330 damage for just two energies (180 base damage plus 120 from the 4 Prize Cards your opponent has - 30 damage each - and 30 more due to Defiance's effect)!
Arceus VStar: Resource and Sacrifice
Arceus' set isn't useful when it comes to set up energies to your Pokémon, as it is only useful with Pokémon-V, and as mentioned, there are only copies of it in a 2-2 proportion. Its roles here are:
1) Using its VPower (VStar ability) Starbirth: you can look for any two cards you'd like in your deck and place them in your hand. (Every VPower, be it a VStar attack or ability, can only be used once in the entire game). Therefore, it is extremely useful to use this ability to speed up your resource search in your deck and start setting up.
2) It is the sacrifice piece for your opponent to knock out early on so that they draw Prizes, and give your Charizard-ex its extra attack bonus.
Pidgeot ex: Movement and Resource Searcher
- Ability Quick Search: once per turn (before attacking), you can look in your deck for any card, and place it in your hand. It isn't possible to use this ability more than once per turn, which means, you can't stack this.
- Attack Fierce Winds (C)(C): deals 120 damage, and you can discard a Stadium in play.
Each turn, with its ability, you'll be able to draw any card you want from your deck and place it in your hand. And, alongside Arceus VStar's VStar power, you have the possibility to search in a turn up to any three cards you'd like.
Finally, we have Fierce Winds' attack effect, in which, besides dealing a considerable amount of damage (to knock down baby Pokémon), you can also remove those troublesome stadiums in the metagame, such as Collapsed Stadium BRS 137 and Path to the Peak CRE 148, for instance.
Radiant Charizard: End-Game Direct Attack
Here this one is also very straightforward: it is useful for the end game. Its ability Excited Heart activates each time your opponent gets a Prize Card. Radiant Charizard's colorless energy cost isn't taxed which means, with its attack Combustion Blast (F)(C)(C)(C)(C), those colorless energy costs will be exempt, and you'll be able to attack spending as fewer energies as possible, dealing 250 damage - that if you don't have Defiance Band sv1 169, which can deal an extra 30 damage.
- Mew CEL 11 has Mysterious Tail, which allows you to look at the 6 top cards in your deck and search for an Item card, show it to the opponent and place it in your hand. Afterward, place all six cards back on top of your deck and shuffle it.
- Manaphy BRS 41 comes in with Wave Veil: if this Pokémon is in play, all your benched Pokémon are immune to "sniper" damage coming from your opponent's Pokémon. It prevents damage from Pokémon such as Kyogre CRZ 36 and Heatmor FST 41, for instance.
- Zinnia's Resolve EVS 164 is useful as "draw power" with the tax of discarding cards from your hand: you discard two cards from your hand to play its effect, and, in that, you'll draw one card from the top of your deck for each Pokémon on your opponent's bench.
- Jacq sv1 175 is useful to search Pokémon evolution cards, as you can search for two evolution cards.
It replaces Evolution Incense SSH 163, which rotated out last "season". Of course, as it is a "Supporter" card, you lose a turn doing that, by playing this Supporter card, but it is the only current resource we have to look for evolution cards.
- Worker SIT 167 has two effects: discard a Stadium in play and then draw 3 cards.
Cyllene ASR 138 is essential due to its Pal Pad combination, besides always recycling important cards which were lost to the discard pile at some point in the game.
This way, you'll always recycle Pal Pad and another key card, such as a Rare Candy, Defiance Band or Super Rod from the discard pile.
Boss's Orders (Ghetsis) sv2 172 is useful to pull a specific Pokémon from the opponent's bench to deal the damage to victory.
- Iono sv2 185 is extremely powerful, as it is the fusion of its predecessor's effects, N FCO 105 and Marnie SSH 169: you and your opponent shuffle your hands and put them at the bottom of the deck. After that, you'll draw cards from the top of your decks equal to the number of Prize Cards you have in play, in case, in each player's game.
Example: if your opponent has 2 Prize Cards and you have 4 Prize Cards, and you use this card's effect, you'll shuffle your hands into the bottom of the deck, and then your opponent will draw only 2 cards, and you will draw 4.
- Battle VIP Pass FST 225 is useful only on your first turn in the game: look for two basic Pokémon in your deck and then place them directly on the bench.
- Ultra Ball sv1 196 is useful to look for any Pokémon, evolution or basic, common or ultra rare, as long as you fulfill the requirement of discarding two cards from your hand to play it.
- Super Rod sv2 188: this is another recycling option, as it recycles 3 cards, in this case basic energies and Pokémon, back into the deck. There are two copies of it in the deck, to make up for the lack of energy and Pokémon searches.
- Capturing Aroma SIT 153 is useful as a Pokémon search: you toss a coin - if it's heads, look for an evolution Pokémon, show it to the opponent and place it in your hand; but if it's tails, get a basic Pokémon, show it and place it in your hand.
- Rare Candy PGO 69 is a vital card to speed up the game, as it is with it that you'll skip certain steps to evolve your Pokémon, as this list, doesn't have a straight line of Pidgey > Pidgeotto > Pidgeot ex; precisely to save up card slots in the deck to evolve as soon as possible.
We also have the example of Charmander to Charizard ex, which is another use for it.
- Pal Pad sv1 182 is an item that recycles two Supporter cards from the discard pile back into the deck.
Ideally, you'll recycle Cyllene ASR 138 as many times as you can, because you create an infinite recycle "loop" with this Supporter card.
This card is useful to give your Pokémon 30 extra points if they have it attached, in case you're losing the game.
It is essential you attach it to Charizard ex, to deal even more damage.
Artazon sv2 171 is useful for both players. Each turn, you'll look for a non Rule Box basic Pokémon in your decks and place them directly on the bench, as a sort of ”two Nest Ball” or a ”Battle VIP Pass”.
Considering the Psychic Pokémon which have weakness to the Dark/Darkness type, in the current metagame we have:
- Mew VMAX LOR TG30 Decks.
- Gardevoir ex sv1 86 Decks.
- Decks which have any Mewtwo VUnion, due to the weakness.
In future decks, surely Alakazam ex sv2a 65 will also struggle against Charizard ex Terastral.
- Chien-Pao ex sv2 61 decks.
- Lost Box decks, in case the opponent manages to set up a dynamic boost of resources and therefore attack faster, such as in decks using Giratina VSTAR CRZ GG69.
It is a very strong deck, with a growing destructive power. It is quite objective, made for those who enjoy Charizard, besides having the practicality of always being able to use Pidgeot ex any time you need a card.
But sometimes it can be quite slow to set up, and some cards need a "coin" to favor the setup, such as Capturing Aroma and Cyllene, which are this deck's risks.
Be sure it will conquer its space of relevance in the metagame, even more so with the switching types mechanics, which will make the game more dynamic here on out.
Now it's up to you: what did you think of the deck? You're welcome to comment down below!