Hi everyone, my name is Joshua Vanoverschelde, also known as ZapdosTCG, and today I'll be telling you all about my Player Cup 4 experience, how I prepared and how I made it to the Top 16 of Europe with ADP Zacian.

Why I chose the deck:

Arceus and Dialga and Palkia GX

Well, choosing this Pokemon Online deck was something out of the blue. I always go for my trusted Blacephalon deck, but as the meta evolved with Battle Styles, I felt like Blacephalon was not a strong choice. PikaRom saw a huge increase in play, and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX lived up to the hype, and Mad Party was also performing successfully. Those were all bad matchups for Blacephalon, so I started crafting a deck that can beat the entire meta instead.

Zacian V

During my Player Cup 4 key qualifiers, I started playing Mad Party for 5 keys, Blacephalon for 2 keys, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX for 1 key and then decided that my win ratio was not the highest. So, I started creating an ADP Zacian list with Double Mawile GX, 4 Crushing Hammer, and 2Marnie. This disruptive take on ADP worked super well for me as I got countless wins and ended up with 116 tournament Reps thanks to that approach. I will talk about my matchups very shortly and why these keys cards that aren't in a typically ADP list worked out so well.

Deck List

Pokemon (12)
2 Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX (CEC 156)
4 Zacian V (SSH 138)
2 Mawile GX (UNM 141)
2 Dedenne GX (UNB 195a)
1 Crobat V (SWSH098)
1 Eldegoss V (SWSH084)

Trainers (37)
4 Quick Ball
3 Cherish Ball
4 Metal Saucer
3 Switch
1 Escape Rope
3 Energy Switch
2 Energy Spinner
4 Crushing Hammer
1 Great Catcher
1 Rusted Sword
1 Air Balloon
4 Professor's Research
2 Marnie
1 Chaotic Swell

Energies (11)
8 Metal Energies
3 Water Energies

Adp Zapdos Deck List

In my decklist, you will see that I went for some interesting choices. I already said I went for a more disruptive route with Hammers and Marnie and had no 4 Boss's Orders in my list. I just went for 4 Zacian V for the early game to ensure I could draw cards which is way better than the 3rd copy of Dedenne GX. Because starting with Dedenne GX will cost you a ton of games.

Also, with Double Mawile GX, you can always go for a turn 1 Mawile GX if you go first, which can cheese out games if the opponent has a Crobat V or Dedenne GX in their opening hand. Not only is Mawile GX great for its Captivating Wink ability, but it's also a nice, efficient attacker requiring only 1 Metal Saucer and an attachment of turn. Having more copies of Metal Type Pokemon also makes it easier to have a first turn Altered Creation GX as you can Metal Saucer more easily on turn 1.

I'd love a second copy of Chaotic Swell, but the double Marnie helped out against all the fire matchups too. It's basically a consistent ADP list that made room for Crushing Hammer by cutting into the 4th Boss, 3rd Dedenne GX, 2nd Air Balloon, etc...


My matchups and how I got second seed with a crazy 8-1 score (you can check out all the games on my YouTube channel if you want a more detailed explanation):

Round 1 VS ADP Zacian (aka Mirror Match) - LWW
This matchup is quite interesting as typically, the first player that gets off his Altered Creation GX off wins the game, right? Not true in my case. In the mirror, I have the edge with Double Mawile GX (to put his 2-prize support Pokemon on the bench) and Crushing Hammer to discard his Water energy, so he's not able to get off an Ultimate Ray. Try always going first to have a hand advantage because typical ADP decks only run 1 disruptive Marnie card. If they get a first turn Altered Creation thanks to Metal Saucer and Energy Switch, then hope 1 of the 4 Crushing Hammers lands successfully.

Round 2 VS Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX - WLW
This matchup can be tricky if the Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX player can go first and get a second turn Gale Thrust off. You have to make sure you slow them down with Crushing Hammer and make sure Mawile GX can hit a 2-prizer from the opponent's hand. Otherwise, you 2-shot Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and OHKO a little Jirachi. This person didn't play Cheryl, so that was a solid strategy. Also, don't try and bench too many 2-prizers that are weak to fighting. Stick to 1 Dedenne GX or 1 Crobat V, so they don't have the opportunity to G Max Rapid Flow for 4 Prize cards. Always go first in this matchup!

Round 3 VS PikaRom - WW
PikaRom has been historically a difficult matchup for ADP, but ever since we got Rusted Sword in Shining Fates, it has become more manageable. The double Mawile GX really helped a ton in this matchup as PikaRom has many 2 prizers in their deck: some Boltund V, Crobat V, Dedenne GX, and Eldegoss V. Also, you can slow down a potential Tag Bolt GX for a turn with Crushing Hammer, and with Rusted Sword, you can OHKO a PikaRom (even with Big Charm). Going second against this matchup is key, so they can't do the first turn Electrify with Boltund V.

Round 4 VS Tempo Zard - LWW
This is probably the most difficult matchup out of the bunch as they typically can use Charizard & Reshiram GX alone to win the match. Luckily their strategy of Double Blaze GX for 300 or Heatran GX's Hot Burn GX for 300 on ADP doesn't work because of Crushing Hammer. If we get one head, that strategy gets wrecked. Also, running 2 Marnie instead of the typical 0 or 1-off helped out a ton against this matchup. Because Welder decks can brick quite hard that way. Lastly, you always want to be going second in this matchup, so you prevent a turn, one Welder, from their side. And remember, a turn one Mawile GX can win that matchup instantly if you hit a Dedenne GX, Crobat V, or Oricorio GX.

Round 5 VS Temp Zard - WW
The same matchup as round 4, and the strategy went smoothly. Also, in this game, we got an OHKO on a Charizard & Reshiram GX for 4 prize cards, thanks to Rusted Sword!

Round 6 VS Mad Party - WW
Finally, a favorable matchup instead of a 50/50 or worse one. Against Mad Party, you have to make sure you don't have your ADP up in action on turn one because that's the only potential way you could lose. If you can make sure you can use Altered Creation GX before getting damaged, you 100% win that matchup. I also used Boss's Order on Oranguru to get it stuck in action for a turn when using Altered Creation GX, a solid strategy. The game can also be over before you know it when you turn 1 Mawile GX and slap down a couple of their Dedenne (Mad Party), Dedenne GX, or Crobat V. That way, they will clunk up their bench slots. Basically, you go first in this matchup, have something like Zacian V in the active (which they can't OHKO on turn 1), turn 2, you switch to ADP use Altered Creation, and just easily win this matchup by KO'ing 3 Mad Party fellas or 2 Dedenne GX/Crobat V.

Round 7 VS MewMew Rillaboom - LWW
This can be quite close games, and MewMew Rillaboom typically has the edge in this matchup. But because we play Crushing Hammer, we can make sure the Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor GX doesn't get off a Tropical Hour GX with 6 energies in time. With the Rusted Sword, you can OHKO Mewtwo & Mew GX and Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor, which gets you 4 prize cards. So first of all, you need to go after Rillaboom, KO that for 2 Prize cards (thanks to Altered Creation GX), and then OHKO a Tag Team GX. If they have a Big Charm, use Mawile GX, so they are forced to bench a Tag Team GX, which you can either Boss or Great Catcher. I really needed to play quickly in Game 2 to have enough time for Game 3 in this round. I was able to finish the game just in time. Always go second in this matchup btw!

Round 8 VS Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX - LWW
We already went over this matchup in round 2, and in this game, we were fortunate enough to be playing 2 Mawile GX. We KO'd a Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX in the last game and needed to take 2 more prize cards. Unfortunately, we had already used 1 Mawile GX, and the opponent cleverly used Scoop Up Net on all his 1 prize Pokemon. Which meant we needed to 2 shot his last Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, which we didn't have time for (prize race-wise). So after the opponent took a 5-prize turn, we used our second Mawile GX to force the opponent to slap down a Jirachi from hand so we could gust it up for the game.

Round 9 VS Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX - LWL
Our score at this point was 8 Wins and 0 losses. So if we win this one, we would go undefeated into the Top 16. Again this matchup depends a bit on our Crushing Hammer luck, which at this point ran out quite a bit. Also, starting with Dedenne GX in game 1 lost us the game already. We were able to win game 2, but that allowed the opponent to automatically go first in game 3, which is pretty bad for the matchup. In that game, it was the closest game we experienced. I could win the following turn if the opponent didn't have Boss's Orders in hand. He had used up all of his 2-prize support draw Pokemon at that point, so he needed it raw in hand. Which, of course, happened, haha. But in the end, I was pretty happy with my Player Cup 4 Regional Qualifier Run.


The meta for Top 16 will still be Battle Styles meta and has the following decks:
7x Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, 2x MewMew Rillaboom, 1x PikaRom, 1x Tempo Zard, 1x LucMetal, 1x Eternatus VMAX, 1x Mad Party, 1x Munchlax Control, and of course me with ADP.

We were already able to defeat most of these decks, so let's hope things go well for me.

My thoughts on how the deck would change with Chilling Reign:
Well, there are 2 new cards that you could think about when it comes to Chilling Reign.

Echoing Horn

Echoing Horn: Allowing you to put a basic Pokemon from your opponent's discard pile onto their bench. This is perfect if you see a 2-prize support Pokemon in there. Or if you KO'd a Dedenne GX or Crobat V and want to KO it again :D
A definite 1-off maybe cut a Mawile GX for it.


Peony: This supporter allows you to discard your hand and then search for any 2 trainer cards you want. This is perfect if you want to get a first turn Altered Creation GX going second with the help of Energy Switch and Metal Saucer. If you go for the Peony build, you will need to cut your Crushing Hammers for it, as you will also need 2 Kricketune V to build your hand back up. On the other hand, you will also get pretty weak to the new Path to the Peak so maybe think about adding a Resetting Hole Marshadow from Unbroken Bonds.

So Chilling Reign updates:
-4 Crushing Hammers
-2 Marnie
-1 Professor's Research
-1 Zacian V
-1 Mawile GX
-1 Switch

+4 Peony
+2 Echoing Horn
+2 Kricketune V
+1 Marshadow
+1 Air Balloon

And that's it for this Player Cup 4 report. As always, you'll hear all the latest updates on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/ZapdosTCG


Thank you all for reading through this article, and I hope you learned a lot about the insight information and strategies with ADP. Try out the deck for yourself. ADP is now available on the VS ladder, so be sure to use the most broken GX of all time. This was ZapdosTCG signing off, and I'll see you soon!