Hello everyone! I am Elena from Gaia Storm TCG, and it is time for another article here on PoTown Store's Blog. After many months of hype, the wait is finally over, and Lost Origin, the latest set from the Pokémon TCG Sword and Shield era, is here. Many interesting cards will for a sure, shake up the metagame as we know it, but I think we will all agree that there is one that shines above all: Giratina VSTAR. Today, we will be exploring the power of this Legendary Pokémon and discuss whether it will become the next tier S in the format or if, on the contrary, the expectations were too high. Let's dig into it!

Analyzing Giratina

On paper, Giratina is unarguably the most aggressive VSTAR card we've seen so far: if that is very good or very bad, it is yet to be seen. With a massive 280 HP, one of the most relevant traits of the VSTAR card is its typing. Being a Dragon card means it has no weakness, and we all know how broken this mechanic is in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. So, no matter what, your opponent must find a way to reach 280 damage if they want to KO Giratina in one turn, a feat that not every deck can accomplish.

Giratina VSTAR has two very powerful attacks, but they come at a very high cost. Lost Impact requires a weird combination of energies (1 colourless, one grass and one psychic), and it deals a mind-blowing 280 damage points to the opposing Pokémon. This is, of course, more than enough to KO any other VSTAR in the format, including some of the most popular ones like Arceus VSTAR, Palkia VSTAR and so on. If you add a Choice Belt and perhaps a Radiant Hawlucha to the mix, the damage output is now escalating to 340, reaching Pokémon VMAXs in the process. There is one downside, of course, to Lost Impact as it forces you to send two of the attached energies to the Lost Zone.

Giratina Lost Zone

Giratina VSTAR

For those who are very familiar with this term, the Lost Zone is a special "zone" in the game where cards can go after being used. Unlike the Discard Pile, the Lost Zone is inaccessible, meaning that card that lands there will be "removed" forever during the game in progress. As such, Giratina needs to be played carefully, given that it will be difficult to recover the discarded energies in the late game. Then, Giratina has a VSTAR attack called Star Requiem that can only be used if you have 10 or more cards in the Lost Zone. For one psychic and one grass energy, it instantly deletes the opponent's active Pokémon. As such, even if Star Requiem is one of the most powerful VSTAR attacks in the game, it won't be available until mid-game, once you've finished sending enough cards to the Lost Zone. And this is precisely what brings me to my next point: How do we make Giratina work? Playing it alone and relying on manual attachments is too slow, we need a way to accelerate energies as soon as possible to start getting early KOs. Even if I still need to do a bit more testing, I think there are two main ways Giratina can be played: with the Lost Zone Engine or Arceus VSTAR. Let's see the strengths and weaknesses of both strategies.

Pokémon (16)

Trainers (31)

Energy (13)

1x Snorlax LOR 2271x Energy Recycler GRI 1233x Capture Energy RCL 171
3x Giratina V LOR 1853x Quick Ball SSH 1795x Psychic Energy Energy 5
3x Giratina VSTAR LOR 1312x Air Balloon SSH 1565x Grass Energy Energy 1
4x Comfey PR-SW 2421x Marnie CPA 56
1x Sableye LOR 702x Training Court RCL 169
2x Cramorant LOR 504x Mirage Gate LOR 163
1x Lumineon V BRS 1551x Choice Belt BRS 135
1x Radiant Greninja ASR 462x Boss's Orders RCL 189

2x Switch SSH 183

4x Colress's Experiment LOR 155

3x Ultra Ball BRS 186

1x Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146

4x Scoop Up Net RCL 165

1x Ordinary Rod SSH 171

Giratina decklist

This is a sample list of how Giratina can benefit from all the cards that interact with and are powered up by the Lost Zone engine that comes in this set. The main goal of this strategy is to send as many cards to the Lost Zone in the early turns of the game to activate Mirage Gate, an item that attaches energies directly to any Pokémon. Mirage Gate is the central tool of the deck, the one that will allow us to meet the energy requirements from Giratina. In order to be able to activate Mirage Gate, we need at least 7 energies in the Lost Zone. How do we achieve that?

The main engine of the deck is Comfey. This little friend lets you look at the top 2 cards of your deck, send one to the Lost Zone and put the other one in your hand. The idea is to use a couple of Comfey every turn with Switches and Scoop Up Nets and get early access to Colress Experiment, a supporter that can send even further cards to the Lost Zone. In an ideal scenario where we draw very well, Giratina can start attacking in your second turn and possibly use its VSTAR attack in turn 3 or 4. However, Giratina alone is not enough.

We will be playing a couple of other attackers that do directly benefit from the Lost Zone engine. Cormorant is a fantastic attacker during the first turns since it has no energy requirements if you have enough cards in the Lost Zone. Sableye can help you chip the remaining HP from your opponent's Pokémon, spreading damage counters across the board. It is this combination between one-prize attackers and the almighty Giratina VSTAR that make the deck very strong. The only important consideration is to identify exactly in which situations you need to use what.

There is only one negative aspect I see about this deck, and it is that it relies too much on Mirage Gate acceleration. Sometimes, you can miss the turn 2 attack because you were not able to send enough cards to the Lost Zone, and that is a problem. In a format where Arceus VSTAR or Palkia have a turn 2 attack guaranteed, you can't afford to go behind. I've seen some people running Leafeon V from Evolving Skies in an attempt to alleviate the acceleration of energies, but it also requires a certain set-up, so it is not the ultimate weapon.

Use the list above as a skeleton to test the deck out. While there are some cards that need to stay (Comfey, one-prizers, Giratina lines, Mirage Gates, Colress, etc), there is some room to experiment and adapt it to your own personal slide. There are some versions that run Battle VIP pass to help with the set-up, others include water energies to be able to attack with Radiant Greninja & other water attackers, and others run Escape Rope instead of Switch. Until players have more time to play this and we are able to build the most effective version, I think all of these options make sense. Perhaps the one inclusion I will truly consider seeing the state of the meta is Drapion V because it can deal very effectively against Mew VMAX.

Giratina Arceus VSTAR

Arceus VSTAR

As we all know, Arceus VSTAR is now consolidated as one of the most powerful Pokemon Online decks in the game and one of the reasons why it has been predominant regardless of the format is its flexibility. As such, it is a perfect pair to accelerate energies into Giratina! Let's consider the possibilities of a straight Arceus/Giratina:

Pokémon (17)

Trainers (30)

Energy (13)

4x Arceus V BRS 1651x Lost Vacuum LOR 1622x Capture Energy RCL 171
2x Bidoof BRS 1204x Quick Ball SSH 1794x Psychic Energy Energy 5
2x Bibarel BRS 1212x Professor's Research PGO 784x Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
3x Arceus VSTAR BRS 1231x Roxanne ASR 1883x Grass Energy Energy 1
1x Crobat V DAA 1823x Marnie SSH 200
2x Giratina V LOR 1852x Choice Belt BRS 135
2x Giratina VSTAR LOR 1313x Boss's Orders RCL 189
1x Radiant Hawlucha ASR 813x Path to the Peak CRE 148

1x Switch SSH 183

1x Escape Rope BST 125

4x Ultra Ball BRS 186

1x Big Charm SSH 158

1x Raihan EVS 202

1x Evolution Incense SSH 163

1x Ordinary Rod SSH 171

1x Air Balloon SSH 213

arceus giratina decklist

In this list above, we are certainly not reinventing the wheel. The strategy is, as with every Arceus build, to evolve into your Arceus VSTAR during the second turn of the game to attach the necessary energies into Giratina VSTAR. A fully powered Giratina puts your opponent in a very difficult situation because it can effectively remove another VSTAR Pokémon from play. Of course, the downside of all that is that we will most likely need to attack with Arceus VSTAR multiple times to keep replenishing Giratina's energy costs or attach the Double Turbo Energy and use it to send to the Lost Zone.
Another interesting highlight about this deck is the possibility of reaching very high numbers with the combination of Hawlucha and Choice Belt and taking down VMAX Pokemon. Now, this deck is not unbeatable by any means and without having access to Cheren's Care loop, it suffers a lot against one-prize decks. And this leads me to the next build:

Arceus VSTAR Giratina & Flying Pikachu

Flying Pikachu VMAX

Pokémon (20)

Trainers (27)

Energy (13)

4x Arceus V BRS 1651x Lost Vacuum LOR 1621x Capture Energy RCL 171
2x Bidoof BRS 1204x Quick Ball SSH 1793x Psychic Energy Energy 5
2x Bibarel BRS 1212x Professor's Research PGO 782x Lightning Energy Energy 4
3x Arceus VSTAR BRS 1231x Roxanne ASR 1884x Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
1x Crobat V DAA 1823x Marnie SSH 2003x Grass Energy Energy 1
2x Giratina V LOR 1852x Choice Belt BRS 135
2x Giratina VSTAR LOR 1312x Boss's Orders RCL 189
2x Flying Pikachu V CEL 63x Path to the Peak CRE 148
2x Flying Pikachu VMAX CEL 71x Switch SSH 183

4x Ultra Ball BRS 186

1x Big Charm SSH 158

1x Evolution Incense SSH 163

1x Ordinary Rod SSH 171

1x Air Balloon SSH 213

arceus giratina flying pikachu decklist

This version uses the base of the very popular Arceus with Flying Pikachu and swaps the darkness-type attackers (Crobar VMAX, Moltres V) for Giratina VSTAR. The advantage of doing that is that, theoretically, Pikachu VMAX provides an easy out to otherwise unwinnable matchups like Regigigas or Lost Zone Toolbox. The big problem I see with this is that it lacks the consistency of other Arceus builds, and without any pure Darkness attackers, you will have to rely on Path + Marnie to win over Mew VMAX.


It is still very early to determine in which tier Giratina is going to finally consolidate. I think the deck truly has potential, and I am sure that players will refine and experiment with the lists until a very polished version ends up becoming the reference. In my opinion, I think that Giratina Toolbox (the first deck that we covered here) has a lot of potential, but it must not rely entirely on Giratina alone to survey such a varied meta.

Remember that if you are looking to test the deck yourself, you can get the Lost Origin PTCGO codes and all other PTCGO codes for the Pokémon TCG Online and Pokémon TCG Live here at PoTown Store. Thanks for reading!

About the Writer

Elena has been playing Pokémon TCG for years and leads one of the biggest TCG-dedicated channels in the world. You can find her on Youtube & Twitch (@gaiastormtcg) as well as on other social media channels.Don't forget to check them out!