Scarlet and Violet is Here


What’s poppin’ Po Town readers? Are you ready to explore our new Paldea Region? You might be wondering what I’m even talking about, but lemme explain! We are switching from our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format to our new E-block on format. Add our new Scarlet and Violet set in there, too, and the Standard metagame has flipped on its head. I’ve heard talk from many top players on Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike], Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet], Lost Zone Box, Miraidon ex [Scarlet and Violet], and Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin] decks, but I have a different idea! Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] / Giratina VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX [Celebrations] is here and ready to shake up the metagame! Arceus VSTAR is great at accelerating Energy, Giratina VSTAR can OHKO anything, and Flying Pikachu VMAX should be able to deal with most single Prize Card attackers, right? Well, that's the theory of this deck and I’m hyped to share the strategy with you in this article! Stay tuned for my list, explanation of card choice, strategy, and more! If you need any Pokemon TCG code cards to finish this deck on Pokemon TCG Live, head over to the PoTown store and pick some up! Let’s jump into the list!

Arceus VSTAR / Giratina VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX Deck

Giratina VSTAR

In a world where Arceus VSTAR decks are presumed to be “dead”, I actually think they are really good! Lost Zone Box decks are all the rage right now, and I find that Trinity Nova is a strong response to a Cramorant [Lost Origin] that just used Spit Innocently. Considering this deck plays Cheren’s Care [Brilliant Stars], that damage can easily be negated, and you can jump into a different attacker. The matchup should be good, but I wanted to make sure I had options against other decks, like Miraidon ex, so Flying Pikachu VMAX has to be good, right? I’m not sure if Flying Pikachu VMAX is going to stay in this deck, but it provides enough support against random decks that it has to have some value. Giratina VSTAR is really gonna be the big sweeper of this deck because it can hit for 280, and you can even turn that into a magical 310 damage with a Choice Belt [Brilliant Stars]. If you’ve built up enough cards in your Lost Zone with Colress’s Experiment [Lost Origin] and Giratina VSTAR’s first attack, you can even swing for an OHKO with your VSTAR attack! I like the options available in this deck and my list has been testing well too!

Pokémon (20)

Trainers (27)

Energy (13)

4x Arceus V PR-SW 2042x Boss's Orders 4x Double Turbo Energy ASR 216
3x Arceus VSTAR CRZ-GG 702x Cheren's Care CRZ-GG 582x Basic {L} Energy EVS 235
2x Giratina V LOR 1861x Raihan CRZ-GG 653x Basic {G} Energy FST 283
2x Giratina VSTAR CRZ-GG 694x Ultra Ball BRS 1863x Basic {P} Energy CRE 232
2x Bidoof CRZ 1114x Nest Ball SUM 1581x V Guard Energy SIT 215
2x Bibarel CRZ-GG 253x Path to the Peak ASR 213
1x Radiant Gardevoir LOR 691x Lost Vacuum LOR 217
1x Flying Pikachu V CEL 64x Colress's Experiment CRZ-GG 59
1x Flying Pikachu VMAX CEL 71x Escape Rope BUS 163
1x Lumineon V CRZ-GG 391x Switch SUM 160
1x Drapion V CRZ-GG 492x Choice Belt ASR 211

2x Judge SIT-TG 251

Arceus / Pikachu / Giratina decklist

Deck Strategy

Arceus VSTAR

Each game can play out differently, but the early game is going to remain mostly the same. In most games, you’ll wanna set up Arceus VSTAR quickly to accelerate Energy to your desired Pokemon V / VSTAR / VMAX. After that, attack as efficiently as possible to win the game! I’ll explain it as more of step-by-step here:

  • Attach an Energy to Arceus V [Brilliant Stars] so that you can use Arceus VSTAR’s Trinity Nova the next turn.
  • If you don’t have a Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars], use Star Birth to search one out and attach it to Arceus VSTAR. Use Trinity Nova to power up your desired attacker.
  • If you are facing a deck that features mainly Pokemon VSTAR / VMAX, Giratina VSTAR is going to be your best attacker. It can swing for OHKOs with relative ease.
  • If you are facing a single Prize Card deck, you can often use Flying Pikachu VMAX to stop them right in their tracks

It might not sound too exciting, but having an Energy accelerating Pokemon as your main strategy really works! Arceus VSTAR has been featured in many top-performing decks, including the 2022 World Championship-winning deck, and it will continue to see success as long as Pokemon V / VSTAR / VMAX Pokemon are in format. This deck generally works well because you can counter most of the metagame by using big attacks with Giratina VSTAR or using Flying Pikachu VMAX to lock down Lost Zone Box decks. Sure, Sableye [Lost Origin] might be a bigger issue than I’m anticipating, but maybe we can add Espeon VMAX [Evolving Skies] to this list. Maybe we can take out Flying Pikachu VMAX? I’m honestly just excited to play around with this deck and get it just right for the expected metagame. Speaking about different cards, there are a few cards that I wanna explain because they might not necessarily jump out as obvious inclusions.

Tech Card Choices

Flying Pikachu VMAX

Sometimes tech options are really easy to explain, and sometimes they go right over my head. I want to make my articles as digestible as possible, so lemme explain some of the more interesting choices in the deck.

Flying Pikachu VMAX
I’ve explained this tech card a few times in this article, but lemme go over some specifics. In Lost Zone Box decks, they don’t have too many different attackers to choose from. Cramorant, Zamazenta [Crown Zenith], Radiant Charizard [Pokemon Go], and Snorlax [Lost Origin] all can’t attack a Flying Pikachu VMAX after it uses Max Balloon. I can only imagine that Miraidon ex would have similar struggles, but they could still attack with Regieleki VMAX [Silver Tempest] if they really needed to. I don’t know if this is a solid addition to the deck, but it might end up pulling its weight in random matchups. If we look at successful Arceus VSTAR decks of the past, many include a thin Flying Pikachu VMAX line in their decks, and I’m gonna say it just works sometimes.

Drapion V
In a format where Mew VMAX is really good, Drapion V [Lost Origin] is an easy choice to include in this deck. The dream is to drop this down from your hand, look at four Fusion Strike Pokemon, and then take a huge OHKO! Gardevoir ex is also weak against Darkness-type Pokemon, so you can always use Trinity Nova to power up Drapion V and take the OHKO there. And with Lugia VSTAR decks playing Single Strike Pokemon, a lot of the time, you can reduce your Energy cost against those decks for a freebie attack with Drapion V.

Radiant Gardevoir
Radiant Gardevoir [Lost Origin] isn’t a big attacker, but it does use its Loving Veil Ability to reduce damage taken from opposing Pokemon V. It might not seem like much, but it could be the difference between surviving an attack or not! You can also pair this with V Guard Energy [Silver Tempest] to reduce the damage done to you by an additional 30 to make it a total minus 50 damage. That is a lot of reduction and will surely have Pokemon V / VSTAR / VMAX missing some crucial OHKOs.

Bibarel [Brilliant Stars] is going to be our way to boost consistency throughout the game by allowing us to draw cards with its Industrious Incisors Ability. It isn’t much, but having the option to draw cards until you have 5 in your hand means we can consistently thin our hand, search for cool tech cards, and gain leverage each turn. Some tech cards we might want to draw into are Path to the Peak, Choice Belt, and Cheren’s Care. Even just drawing into an early Double Turbo Energy could mean the difference of using Star Birth on Arceus VSTAR or using Star Requiem on Giratina VSTAR.

Path to the Peak
Locking down Abilities is cool, and there are a lot of Abilities to stop in this format! You can stop Gardevoir ex from accelerating Energy, Regieleki VMAX from increasing the damage of Lightning-type Pokemon, Genesect V [Fusion Strike] from drawing cards, and even Lumineon V [Brilliant Stars] that can grab Supporters. You can always use Bibarel when Path to the Peak is down and Star Birth is an option before you place down Path to the Peak. As the metagame develops, Path to the Peak will either be a great inclusion or an oversight, but we can only find out once Scarlet and Violet shape up our metagame.

Cheren’s Care
Pseudo-healing cards are always decently playable, and it isn’t any different here. The idea is pretty simple - Use Trinity Nova, power up a Pokemon, take damage, Cheren’s Care and you dodged an attack. Dodging an attack is the equivalent of your opponent passing so that alone can be huge! This is the type of card that I might want to shave down to only one slot, but that will require some more testing on my behalf. Until then, it seems like a solid game plan against decks that can’t hit 280 damage consistently.

I could see this deck eventually dropping the Flying Pikachu VMAX line if it doesn’t pull its weight in the Lost Zone Box or Miraidon ex matchups. That would leave some valuable space for other cool options in this deck, but I would have to go back to the drawing board for anything cool! If you want any inspiration for your own take on this list, there were quite a few successful Arceus VSTAR / Giratina VSTAR decks at the 2022 Warsaw, Poland Regional Championships. And with the deck not really sessing success again until maybe now, you might be wondering why? Well, Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] / Archeops [Silver Tempest] is in a weakened state that makes Giratina VSTAR more playable in general! I guess we will see how this deck does at EUIC and other Post Rotation major events!

Time to Test

Professor’s Research

I’ll be honest, this deck is either gonna be hot or not! I don’t even mean by a default metagame placement but in terms of setup. Arceus VSTAR decks have always been quick to set up or quick to crumble, but that makes them pretty explosive on the right day of a tournament! These types of decks are also really open to being experimented with, and there are many tech options to choose from. Maybe we don’t need Flying Pikachu VMAX because Lost Zone Box decks have found a way around it or maybe Drapion V isn’t a great option due to the metagame shifting! I guess I gotta go back to testing! At the time of writing, Scarlet and Violet releases on PTCG Live tomorrow, and I’m hyped to start testing for upcoming major events! I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel to London, United Kingdom for the 2023 European International Championships, where Scarlet and Violet and this new format will be legal for the first time ever! Will I play Lugia VSTAR? Uhhh, I honestly don’t know! I have so much more of this format to explore and I can’t wait to share my findings right here! Again, if you need any codes to finish this deck off, grab some PTCG Live codes right here at the PoTown store! I’ll catch up with all of y’all later - happy testing!

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 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.