What’s up Po Town readers? I’ve been testing a bunch of new decks for the past month or so. Of those new decks, Gengar VMAX [Fusion Strike] has been performing better than most other new Pokemon online decks! Gengar VMAX is a deck that I’ve tested for countless hours in the Sword and Shield to Fusion Strike format so I already had a base to work off of, but what if I told you the deck got even better?!?! With many players gravitating towards Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] and that makes Fear and Panic even better! Fear and Panic does 60x the amount of V, VMAX, VUNION, and VSTAR Pokemon in play - this is huge with so many decks focusing around Arceus VSTAR’s Star Birth Ability. A few more cool cards are added to this deck, so let’s dive into the strategy! If you’re looking for any Pokemon TCG Online codes to build this deck, consider picking up some PTCGO codes from Po Town to get your closer to being built. Let’s get it!


Gengar VMAX

The strategy of this archetype starts at the core of the deck and that means using Houndoom [Battle Styles] to power up Gengar V [Fusion Strike] with Single Strike Roar. The most common misconception with this deck is to attack exclusively with Gengar VMAX, but it ends up being Gengar V most of the time. Pain Explosion tones down your Prize Cards and is great at exchanging Knock Outs against two Prize Card Pokemon with its Pain Explosion attack! After attaching a few Single Strike Energy [Battle Styles] and the option to increase your damage even further with Choice Belt [Brilliant Stars]. Most decks don’t have access to increasing their damage, but +20 here, another +20 there, and an additional +30 can go a long way. If you need to hit super high numbers, Gengar VMAX can hit for a lot of damage with Fear and Panic or G-MAX Swallow Up - it might even survive an opposing attack! Upon first glance, that's the deck's entire strategy, but that would be forgetting the key component of Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign]. In a world where Zamazenta V [Sword and Shield] or Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies] have Abilities that can lock you out of attacking, Path to the Peak allows you to proceed on! On top of that, you can improve your already extremely favorable Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] matchup by stopping their Genesect V [Fusion Strike] from drawing any cards. The following list isn’t updated with Brilliant Stars cards yet, but will act as our skeleton list to upgrade later in the article.

Gengar VMAX / Path to the Peak Deck

Path To The Peak

Before we dive into the list, there are a few key things that I wanna go over. Single Strike Urshifu V [Battle Styles] is a solid tech to help beat Jolteon VMAX [Evolving Skies] and other Gengar VMAX mirror matches. A lot of peeps always ask why to play Crobat V [Darkness Ablaze] and Path to the Peak, which is a fair question, and the goal is to avoid locking yourself out of Dark Asset. I look at the game of Pokemon as a pyramid in a lot of ways - a successful turn one often leads the path to victory with an established base. Crobat V is used to have an explosive turn one or to get out of a jam as long as you aren’t locked by Path to the Peak. That’s why this list plays Battle VIP Pass [Fusion Strike] to get out Houndour [Battle Styles] to set up the foundation. Let’s check out this list!

Pokémon (17)

Trainers (36)

Energy (7)

2x Crobat V PR-SW 1104x Marnie PR-SW 1214x Single Strike Energy BST 183
3x Gengar V FST 1563x Evolution Incense SSH 1633x Hiding {D} Energy DAA 175
4x Houndour BST 952x Switch SUM 160
4x Houndoom BST 1792x Tower of Darkness BST 137
3x Gengar VMAX FST 2714x Professor's Research CEL 24
1x Single Strike Urshifu V BST 1512x Boss's Orders RCL 189

4x Battle VIP Pass FST 225

4x Quick Ball SSH 216

3x Urn of Vitality CRE 229

3x Path to the Peak CRE 148

1x Karen's Conviction CRE 193

4x Cram-o-matic FST 229

Gengar VMAX decklist

Gengar VMAX / Arceus VSTAR Deck


This list is a little different than the above, but the core strategy remains the exact same! With Arceus VSTAR added into this deck, the goal is to use Star Birth once during the game to swing the game in your favor. Star Birth can net you any two cards which should make this deck more consistent. Whether you use that Ability early on to get out of a dead hand, mid-game to swing the game in your favor, or late game to grab game-winning combos - Star Birth is extremely important. A few other noticeable differences are replacing Single Strike Urshifu V for Stonjourner [Battle Styles] to tone down the amount of Prize Cards with the expected Single Prize Card decks in the Brilliant Stars format. Decks such as Mad Party [Darkness Ablaze], Malamar [Chilling Reign], etc. are expected to make a comeback and Stonjourner helps with that. It also serves the same purpose to KO Jolteon VMAX and opposing Gengar VMAX decks. Ultra Ball [Brilliant Stars] takes over from the somewhat inconsistent Battle VIP Pass list because it offers a consistent searchable out to all Pokemon available in the deck. In the same sentence, Arceus VSTAR takes over for Cram-o-matic [Fusion Strike] because it can search for anything in the deck. With added consistency, this deck is better than ever - let’s check out my list!

Pokémon (19)

Trainers (34)

Energy (7)

1x Arceus V BRS4x Marnie PR-SW 1214x Single Strike Energy BST 183
1x Arceus VSTAR BRS2x Switch SUM 1603x Hiding {D} Energy DAA 175
2x Crobat V PR-SW 1102x Tower of Darkness BST 137
3x Gengar V FST 1564x Professor's Research CEL 24
4x Houndour BST 951x Escape Rope BUS 163
4x Houndoom BST 1794x Ultra Ball BRS
3x Gengar VMAX FST 2713x Boss's Orders RCL 189
1x Stonjourner BST 842x Choice Belt BRS

4x Quick Ball SSH 216

4x Urn of Vitality CRE 229

3x Path to the Peak CRE 148

1x Karen's Conviction CRE 193

Gengar VMAX Arceus decklist

Happy Testing

Professor's research

With many looking to Brilliant Stars to save us from our stale Sword and Shield to Fusion Strike Standard format, I truly think we entered into one of the best formats in years! With many fan-favorite cards being reprinted, spiritual reprints, and more - this set seems great! I want to add Manaphy [Brilliant Stars] into so many decks to try and beat Jolteon VMAX, I want to use Choice Belt to OHKO Mew VMAX, I want to search out VUNION cards with Ultra Ball… What I’m trying to say is that there is so much to explore and for the first time in months, I feel excited to explore our Pokemon format! The above Gengar VMAX list has been testing extremely well and I hope it works out for you as you try this new format out. If you’re missing any cards for the deck, try picking up some PTCGO codes right here at Po Town to get closer to finishing this deck! Until next time, happy testing!

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for the PoTown store. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full time career. As Zach Lesage PTCG, 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.