What’s up, PoTown readers? Are you all excited for the release of Battle Styles? I’m beyond hyped to play around with these concepts and share my findings with our Pokemon community. That’s where I got the idea for this article - what if I shared all of my early findings here in this article? You would gain multiple resources, including my personal list of cards I’m looking to acquire in the set (so you know which cards to pick up and trade for) and a handful of early lists to test once the set goes live on PTCGO! I’m sure I’ll flesh these decks out in the future once the format is a bit more stable, but they should be a great place to start day one. That being said, let’s hop into it.


Acquire These Cards


After doing an early set review on my YouTube channel based on the Japanese scans, I was instantly hyped for some of the cards coming out in this set. I recently went back and looked at all of the English scans to see if my opinion has changed. After a handful of testing games, many late-night Discord calls with my testing group, and my own theory - here is my list of cards that I’ll be picking up on PTCGO. Feel free to pick up more or less, but these cards seem like they will be able to stand the test of time and generally rise above the rest. My 15 years in the game have certainly allowed me to develop a knack to understand cards right away and filter between playable cards and not. Hopefully, this list cuts down some of your testing time so you can start enjoying the new set immediately.


Playable & Fringe Playable Cards


 

Playable

Fringe Playable

1x Kricketune V4x Bellsprout
4x Cherubi4x Weepinbell
3x Cherrim4x Durant
2x Victini V4x Tapu Bulu
4x Victini VMAX4x Salandit
2x Emboar4x Salazzle
4x Remoraid2x Tepig
4x Octillery1x Pignite
1x Empoleon4x Horsea
1x Mimikyu2x Seadra
4x Single Strike Urshifu V1x Tapu Koko V
4x Single Strike Urshifu VMAX3x Tapu Koko VMAX
4x Rapid Strike Urshifu V4x Orbeetle
4x Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX4x Mankey
4x Houndour4x Primeape
4x Houndoom4x Mienfoo
1x Tyranitar V4x Mienshao
3x Bronzong4x Rolycoly
4x Corviknight V2x Carkol
4x Corviknight VMAX1x Falinks
4x Bruno4x Zubat
4x Cheryl4x Golbat
2x Energy Recycler3x Crobat
4x Escape Rope1x Stoutland V
4x Exp. Share4x Tool Jammer
4x Fan of Waves
4x Korrina’s Focus
4x Level Ball
2x Phoebe
3x Rapid Strike Scroll of Swirls
4x Rapid Strike Stance Mustard
3x Single Strike Scroll of Scorn
4x Single Strike Stance Mustard
4x Tower of Darkness
3x Tower of Waters
4x Urn of Vitality
4x Rapid Strike Energy
4x Single Strike Energy

The playable cards on this list seem like they will add new archetypes to the game, enhance previously existing decks, and/or see a competitive play at some point in their lifespan. The fringe playable cards on this list seem to be lacking in some quality compared to the playable cards, but they might see play in decks / are semi-viable. It’s not always easy to predict 150+ cards and their viability before the set release, so take this list as a guideline to help you choose which cards to pick up.


New Decks


Battle Styles is being viewed as a light at the end of the tunnel to many Pokemon TCG fans, and I totally agree! Our format has been dominated by the same decks, like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX (Team Up) and Eternatus VMAX (Darkness Ablaze), since Vivid Voltage was released all the way back in November. This new set seems to shake up the metagame by adding a bunch of new viable decks, like Victini VMAX (Battle Styles), Single Strike Urshifu VMAX (Battle Styles), and many others. I have started my testing early by importing Japanese scans into Tabletop Simulator to bring some solid deck list foundations and concepts in general. Feel free to test these ideas out and provide feedback if you like. In my future articles, I will dive more into specific list inclusions, strategies, and more. Let’s peep out these decks!

Single Strike Urshifu VMAX



Pokémon (18)

Trainers (31)

Energy (11)

3x Single Strike Urshifu VMAX BAS3x Tower of Darkness BAS7x Fighting Energy SWH
4x Single Strike Urshifu V BAS4x Professor’s Research SHF4x Single Strike Energy BAS
4x Houndoom BAS4x Marnie SWH
4x Houndour BAS3x Boss’s Orders SHF
1x Dedenne-GX UNB4x Quick Ball SWH
1x Jirachi-GX UMI4x Switch SWH
1x Crobat V SHF3x Single Strike Scroll of Scorn BAS

3x Pokemon Communication TEU

3x Urn of Vitality BAS

Single Strike Urshifu VMAX (Battle Styles) packs a large punch, and it is comparable to the already successful Reshiram & Charizard-GX (Unbroken Bonds) card. Single Strike Urshifu V (Battle Styles) brings self Energy acceleration, Houndoom (Battle Styles) brings even more Energy acceleration, and Single Strike Scroll of Scorn (Battle Styles) allows you to add an outraged attack to your arsenal. This deck seems basic on the outside, but it packs strategy in the layers that create the DNA of this deck. Let’s look at it.
 
This is likely the best new deck coming out of Battle Styles and is certainly worthy of a few testing sessions.

Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX



Pokémon (15)

Trainers (35)

Energy (10)

3x Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BAS2x Martial Arts Dojo UNB6x Fighting Energy SWH
3x Rapid Strike Urshifu V BAS4x Professor’s Research SHF4x Rapid Strike Energy BAS
3x Jirachi TEU4x Marnie SWH
1x Galarian Zigzagoon SHF2x Boss’s Orders SHF
1x Dedenne-GX UNB1x Mallow & Lana CEC
1x Jirachi-GX UNM1x Cheryl BAS
1x Crobat V SHF4x Scoop Up Net REC
1x Mimikyu CEC4x Quick Ball SWH
1x Mewtwo UNB3x Pokemon Communication TEU

4x Switch SWH

2x Reset Stamp UMI

2x Escape Rope BAS

1x Telescopic Sight VIV

1x Great Catcher CEC

Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX (Battle Styles) certainly differs from its Single Strike version by taking inspiration from Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX (Unified Minds), Pikachu & Zekrom-GX (Team Up), and Golisopod-GX (Burning Shadows). That means it packs a punch when you swap it from the Bench to the Active Spot to hit with its first attack, and you can snipe Pokemon with its other attack. This card certainly benefits from the reprint of Escape Rope (Battle Styles) and the usefulness of Switch (Sword and Shield) in our current Standard format. While this deck is undeniably strong, it has been a mystery how to build this deck properly. This list is my best attempt so far!
 
Will Jirachi (Team Up) and other techs end up being the way to play this deck? Only time will tell!

Victini VMAX



Pokémon (20)

Trainers (29)

Energy (11)

2x Victini VMAX BTS3x Giant Hearth UMI11x Fire Energy SWH
2x Victini V BTS4x Welder UNB
1x Victini V SWH2x Boss’s Orders SHF
2x Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB4x Scoop Up Net REC
1x Cramorant V SHF4x Quick Ball SWH
1x Heatran-GX UMI4x Switch SSH
3x Jirachi TEU3x Pokemon Communication TEU
2x Dedenne-GX UNB2x Reset Stamp UMI
2x Volcanion UNB2x Fire Crystal UNB
2x Crobat V SHF1x Great Catcher CEC
1x Galarian Zigzagoon SWH

1x Eldegoss V CHP


This is certainly a concept that a lot of peeps don’t seem to understand, or maybe they are sleeping on Victini VMAX (Battle Styles) in general. This deck takes cues from Centiskorch VMAX (Darkness Ablaze) and Zacian V (Sword and Shield) because Victini VMAX can swing for a decent bit super quickly! After you Welder (Unbroken Bonds) to this Pokemon, you can attach your Energy for your turn to another Pokemon! It is quite rare to see Pokemon do a bunch of damage for only two Energy, but when they do, they are quite successful! Once GX Pokemon rotate out of our game later this summer, Victini VMAX will only get better as our game sees more Pokemon V being played in decks! Let’s look at my list.

Will this deck live up to other powerful Fire-type decks, such as Blacephalon-GX (Lost Thunder)? It seems like this one might take the baton from this popular type and start running even further!

Corviknight VMAX



Pokémon (17)

Trainers (31)

Energy (12)

3x Corviknight VMAX BAS1x Chaotic Swell CEC9x Metal Energy SWH
3x Corviknight V BAS4x Professors Research SHF3x Coating Metal Energy VIV
2x Bronzong BAS4x Marnie SWH
3x Bronzor TEU3x Boss’s Orders SHF
2x Zacian V SWH2x Cheryl BAS
1x Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB4x Metal Saucer SWH
1x Dedenne-GX UNB4x Quick Ball SWH
1x Eldegoss V CPA4x Switch SWH
1x Crobat V SHF3x Pokemon Communication TEU

2x Metal Goggles TEU

Corviknight VMAX (Battle Styles) is a funny-looking bird, but funny doesn’t mean weak by any means. This deck takes inspiration from other Energy swapping decks from the past and seems to add a new twist with Bronzong (Battle Styles) and Cheryl (Battle Styles). Layer that on top of a modified Zacian V (Sword and Shield) / Zamazenta V (Sword and Shield) deck, and you have one of the best concepts in the game. This deck is all about having a bunch of cool tech Pokemon that you can use when you want them, solidify that with the sturdiness of Corviknight VMAX, and heal with the new combo. Let’s look at my list.

Let’s see if this bird can take a flight to new heights and truly reinvent the popular Metal-type decks.


Catch Ya on the Ladder


Writing this article has me amped up for the release of Battle Styles, and I’m stoked to play some games on the PTCGO Ladder once this set officially drops! I currently plan on celebrating this set release by pushing a bunch of cool gameplay videos on my YouTube channel featuring these new decks and live streaming on set release day to share my love of Battle Styles with everyone! If you have any other questions that you couldn’t find in this article, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Social Media. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this article, and I hope to create more great content for Po Town. Best of luck on your Pokemon journey!


About the Writer

 
Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PoTownStore.com. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full-time career. Under the moniker of theloneblown, he creates YouTube content, streams on Twitch, and provides hot takes on his Twitter. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as the 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and the 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside of the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokemon events and follow him on Twitter @ZachLesagePTCG.