Preparing for the arrival of the "151" Special Collection (Pokémon Card 151 or 151 Kanto Sub Set): Deck Techs for the Standard format with theories for the new cards coming in Mid-September for the western audience.
It's worth emphasizing that the cards are numbered and coded based on the eastern version, i.e., sv2a, which cannot be used in tournaments! They can only be used when they come to the west with the American translation and the sv3a code.
In this article, I will show a Charizard ex list with a hypothetical setup that may undergo future adjustments.
Terastral Charizard ex: Fire Archetype Energy Accelerator
- Ability Infernal Reign: When you play this Pokémon from your hand to evolve any of your Pokémon (either through Charmeleon in the classic way or bypassing evolution using Rare Candy with Charmander), you can search your deck for 3 basic Fire energies and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you like.
- Attack Burning Darkness (F)(F): Deals 180 damage plus 30 for each prize card your opponent has taken in play.
What interests us is its ability, as if it evolves, it can fetch 3 basic fire energies (F) and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you like. We'll use it for Charizard ex sv3 125 or Charizard ex sv2a 6, which, in this particular case, is one of the Pokémon with the worst energy costs because, besides requiring 4 pure fire energies to use its second attack Detonating Vortex (even though it deals a raw 330 damage), it still loses 3 energies to fulfill the cost.
Unfortunately, in the Scarlet & Violet Standard, we don't have cards to favor the Fire archetype like we did in Sun & Moon. So for this typing, it becomes very complicated, relying on the ability of Terastral Charizard ex; and also on Charizard PGO 10 to duplicate basic fire energies, in addition to the Stadium Magma Basin BRS 144.
Charizard ex (151 Kanto Sub Set): Last Resort Attacker, the "Glass Cannon"
- Attack Resolute Wings (F): Deals 60 + 100 damage if this Pokémon has any damage counters on it.
- Attack Detonating Vortex (F)(F)(F)(F): Deals 330 damage and discards three energies from this Pokémon.
This is the brute force that Charizard is known for, but it came at a bad time in the format because there aren't good enough cards to help complement Fire Pokémon, and the format is heavily skewed towards Water types.
Charizard ex sv2a 6 can go head-to-head against the counters of Terastral Charizard ex, which has a grass weakness (due to its dark type), and many players have started using forgotten Pokémon like Shaymin VSTAR BRS 14, Serperior VSTAR SIT 8, and even Toedscruel ex sv3 22 - so Charizard ex sv2a 6 is the answer against them because if you use the effect of the Stadium Magma Basin BRS 144, you'll energize Charizard ex, and it receives two damage counters, making the effect of the Resolute Wings attack deal 160 damage and applying the weakness, 320 damage in one hit, with just one fire energy!
As for the Detonating Vortex attack, it's for dealing with high HP Pokémon like VMax or high HP ex Pokémon, and you can also use a Boss’s Orders wisely for the knockout.
Charmander and Charmeleon: The Differences
The pre-evolutions of Charizard from Obsidian Flames are not great because they have low HP and deal damage to themselves.
- Charmander with Heat Tackle (F): Deals 30 damage and this Pokémon deals 10 damage to itself.
- Charmeleon with Heat Tackle (F)(F): Deals 70 damage and this Pokémon deals 20 damage to itself.
And they are easy victims of Sableye LOR 70 using the attack Lost Mine, which is a tremendous headache.
Now, when compared to the pre-evolutions from 151, you only gain benefits:
- Attack Burn to the Ground (F): Discard a Stadium in play.
- Attack Steady Firebreathing (F)(F): Deals 20 damage.
In the first attack, you discard the most annoying stadiums to deal with in the meta, such as Lost City LOR 161 (in the case of discarding your Pokémon and sending them to the Lost Zone); Path to the Peak CRE 148 (which can lock your Terastral Charizard ex's abilities in the future); and Collapsed Stadium BRS 137 that can disrupt your bench.
And the second attack doesn't have recoil damage like its Obsidian Flames version, not to mention that you have 60 HP.
- Attack Combustion (F): Deals 20 damage.
- Attack Steady Firebreathing (F)(F)(F): Deals 90 damage and discards an energy from this Pokémon.
We're off to a good start because this Charmeleon has 100 HP, in addition to two attacks of your choice, unlike the previous version which only has one and still takes recoil damage. Plus, the second attack is slightly better than in other versions, even if it's not a dream.
Entei V: Alternative Attacker
Ability - Fleet-Footed: If this Pokémon is your active Pokémon, during your turn, you may draw a card from the top of your deck.
Attack - Burning Rondo (F)(C): This attack deals 20 damage + 20 damage for each Pokémon on both players' benches.
Since it's easy to set up, it's very useful for top-decking cards; and in case the Terastral Charizard ex counter is ready on the field, Entei V BRS 22 hits its weakness.
As the metagame always needs to fill the bench to have more resource options, you're guaranteed to deal at least 100 damage with Burning Rondo, thus providing a secure 120 damage (applying weakness for 240 damage) from your opponent's bench filled with Pokémon. Moreover, you'll likely fill your own bench with your Pokémon, further increasing Entei V's damage output.
Chi-Yu ex: Alternative Energizer and Saboteur
Attack - Jealously Singe (F): Makes the opponent discard 2 cards from the top of their deck.
Attack - Flame Surge (F)(F): This attack deals 100 damage and allows you to choose up to 3 Pokémon from your bench. Then, search your deck for 3 basic fire energies and attach one to each of those 3 chosen Pokémon. Shuffle your deck afterward.
Chi-Yu is an excellent resource for the fire archetype, as it has the function of burning the opponent's deck (even if only a few cards), while simultaneously dealing damage and energizing your fire Pokémon on the bench. This sets up not only the Entei V BRS 22 but also your Charmander sv2a 4.
Radiant Charizard: Emergency Attacker
Ability - Excited Heart: For each prize card your opponent has taken in the game, reduce the colorless energy cost of Radiant Charizard's attack by one.
Attack - Combustion Blast (F)(C)(C)(C)(C): This attack deals 250 damage and cannot be used again next turn.
Radiant Charizard is here to deal with extreme situations in the late game, thanks to its ability.
The attack is quite strong and generous with 250 damage, but it has the downside of not being usable next turn - however, you can bypass this effect by retreating Radiant Charizard and promoting it back to the active position. And if it has the Defiance Band sv1 169 attached, it can deal 280 damage, destroying any VStar Pokémon.
- Bidoof CRZ 111 has Carefree Countenance, preventing it from taking damage on the bench from attacks, which is very useful for evolving it into Bibarel.
- Bibarel BRS 121 brings its ability Industrious Incisors: you can draw cards until you have five cards in hand each turn.
With this, even if you have few cards in hand, when using Iono sv2 185, you'll always have consistency and draw power in the game, aiding in setting up your deck. With Bibarel's ability, you'll never run out of cards in hand.
- Charizard PGO 10 comes with its ability Burn Brightly, where basic fire energies (F) attached to your Pokémon count as two energies at once.
This is the secret to using with your Charizard ex. If you use the ability of Charizard ex sv3 125 to perform energy attachments, with just one fire energy, it fulfills the attack's energy requirement, while with Charizard ex sv2a 6, with two fire energies, you'll have four energies, making it easier to use the Detonating Vortex attack.
- Manaphy BRS 41 has Wave Veil, preventing damage against your benched Pokémon from your opponent - remember, it's snipe damage, such as from Radiant Greninja ASR 46, Kyogre CRZ 36, Kyogre CEL 3, Heatmor FST 41, and Greninja VUnion, not spread damage markers, such as from Sableye LOR 70 and Mewtwo VUnion.
- Zinnia's Resolve EVS 164 allows you to discard two cards from your hand to activate its effect: draw a number of cards from the top of your deck equal to the number of Pokémon on your opponent's bench.
- Worker SIT 167 allows you to discard a Stadium in play and then draw 3 cards.
Used to bring out a specific Pokémon from your opponent's bench for knockout purposes or to expedite prize card drawing.
This is useful when you want to target a high HP Pokémon of your opponent, a strong and well-prepared Pokémon, whether it's a VMax or a 330 HP ex Pokémon, using Charizard ex sv2a 6 for the decisive play.
Iono sv2 185 is extremely powerful, as it combines the effects of its predecessors N FCO 105 and Marnie SSH 169: you and your opponent shuffle your hands and put them at the bottom of your decks. After that, you draw cards from the top of your deck equal to the number of prize cards in play, in this case, for each player's own game.
For example, if your opponent has 2 prize cards and you have 4 prize cards and you use this card's effect, you both shuffle hands to the bottom of the decks, and then the opponent draws only 2 cards and you draw 4 cards.
- Ultra Ball sv1 196 is used to search for any Pokémon, whether evolution or basic, whether common or ultra rare (it doesn't matter), as long as you meet the requirement of discarding two cards from your hand to play it.
- Super Rod sv2 188, a reprint from the Black/White era, serves as another recycling option as it recycles 3 cards, including basic energies and Pokémon back to the deck.
- Capturing Aroma SIT 153 serves as a Pokémon search: you flip a coin - if heads, search for an evolution Pokémon, reveal it to your opponent, and put it into your hand; if tails, search for a basic Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand.
- Rare Candy PGO 69 is a crucial card for accelerating the game since it skips evolution stages of your Pokémon, considering that this list doesn't have a sequential line of Bulbasaur > Ivysaur > Venusaur; this is to save deck space and evolve as quickly as possible.
- Pal Pad sv1 182 is an item to recycle two Supporter cards from the discard pile back into the deck.
Gives an additional 30 damage points to the Pokémon it's attached to if you're losing the game.
It's essential to have it on Charizard ex sv3 125 when your opponent takes 4 prize cards and it deals 330 damage; or for Radiant Charizard CRZ 20 to deal 280 damage and destroy any VStar in the format.
The Magma Basin BRS 144 is used to power up your fire Pokémon in the following way: you search a fire Pokémon in your bench for a basic fire energy in this discard pile, and if you do, this powered Pokémon will receive 2 damage counters .
It's something useful for Charizard ex sv2a 6, because with its first attack, Resolute Wings (F), it deals 60 + 100 damage if it has any damage counter; And with these markers that the stadium provides when taking a fire energy to attach it to it, it is an effective synergy.
Within Psychic Pokémon, which are weak to the Dark type, we have:
- Mew VMAX LOR TG30 deck.
- Gardevoir ex sv1 86 deck.
- Decks that contain any Mewtwo VUnion due to weakness.
And in upcoming future decks, certainly Alakazam ex sv2a 65 will also suffer at the hands of Charizard ex Terastral.
- Serperior VStar deck.
- Venusaur ex deck.
- Wo-Chien ex deck.
Water archetype decks such as:
- Chien-Pao ex sv2 61 deck.
- Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX ASR TG29 deck.
- Inteleon VMAX FST 266 deck.
- Gyarados ex sv1 225 deck.
As it's a deck with a relatively slow setup, Pokémon with explosive setups like VStars can easily disrupt your plans.
Grass decks that cause double damage due to the weakness of Charizard ex sv3 125, which enters a paradox of "advantage" against other strong fire attackers versus the fragility of this Charizard.
- United Wings decks, being a "full single prize" deck.
- Decks that heavily use the Stadium Path to the Peak ASR 213.
Remember that this is just an initial deck idea, and you can modify it as you prefer!
Charizard has always been known for having high damage cards but with poor energy costs to pay for these tributes.
It also presents the slowness of needing to evolve from Charmander > Charmeleon > Charizard to ensure this setup, as well as needing Bibarel to be a constant draw in the deck.
But with these mentioned challenges, it's extremely aggressive and potent, sometimes being a "glass cannon" that, when hit efficiently with a well-thought-out play, is devastating, like every good Charizard!
Until next time!