Posted by Elena from Gaia Storm on 8/15/2022 to Articles
Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG, and it is a pleasure to be here again at Po Town Store. Today, we will cover the most consistent and reliable deck in the entire format: Arceus Inteleon. Let’s see what makes this a strong pick for Worlds and any other competitive tournament!
Why play the Inteleon version?
There are currently a lot of possible Arceus variants in the format due to the incredible versatility that Arceus VSTAR has. To name a few, I am sure you are familiar with decks like Arceus Duraludon VMAX, Arceus Gyarados VMAX, Arceus Malamar VMAX or Arceus Charizard.
Because Arceus VSTAR can be combined with practically every other card in the format, it lets the player alternate between different attackers to make sure there is always a way out in every wave of the metagame. Don’t forget that the last North America International Championship winner was none other than Arceus with Flying Pikachu VMAX because the Lightning type gave it the advantage against Palkia VSTAR, another very powerful strategy.
All of the variants listed above are great and have their weaknesses and strengths, but if I had to pick one, I would know my decision: Arceus Inteleon. Unlike the others, the Inteleon build revolves purely around Arceus. It does not run any secondary V Pokémon that can hit for weakness, but it is the most solid deck in existence. I would dare to go even further and say that the deck has no real lousy match-up of weakness, considering you don’t prize your key cards or that you open with an unplayable hand.
There are two main reasons why I think Arceus Inteleon is so strong:
- Inteleon gives you access to almost any card you need, turn after turn, as opposed to relying on supporters or random draws to get them. Sure, many Arceus versions also run a consistent drawing engine with Bibarel from Brilliant Stars. Still, at the end of the day, if you are looking for a particular card, you need to rely on probabilities and percentages to get them. Inteleon gives you fewer resources, but they will be the ones you need.
- It is one of the very Arceus versions that can miss the turn one energy attachment and still attack in the following turn. Let me elaborate more on that point because it is crucial. As you know, an Arceus player will always want to put down an Arceus on the field and attach energy so that next turn, they can use the VSTAR ability, search for the Double Turbo Energy and go from there. However, if you don’t open with energy in your hand, you are in trouble, which will typically result in a great tempo loss. With Inteleon, however, you can overcome this situation if you send water energy to the discard pile, use Drizzile to search for a Melony and use it into Arceus. This live-saver play can make the difference between winning and losing.
Now that we have already laid the bases of the deck, let’s go together through a sample decklist:
|4x Arceus V BRS 166||1x Roxy PR-SW 121||2x Capture Energy DAA 201|
|1x Dunsparce FST 207||3x Level Ball BST 181||2x Double Turbo Energy ASR 216|
|3x Arceus VSTAR BRS 184||2x Big Charm RCL 206||6x Water Energy CIN 124|
|1x Manaphy BRS 41||2x Cheren’s Care BRS 168|
|4x Sobble CRE 41||1x Roxanne ASR 188|
|4x Drizzile SHF 99||1x Ultra Ball SUM 161|
|2x Inteleon SHF 100||1x Avery CRE 187|
|2x Path to the Peak ASR 213|
|2x Boss’s Orders RCL 189|
|2x Scoop Up Net RCL 207|
|1x Choice Belt ASR 211|
|1x Pal Pad SSH 172|
|1x Professor’s Research SSH 201|
|4x Quick Ball SSH 216|
|1x Raihan EVS 202|
|3x Evolution Incense SSH 163|
|1x Ordinary Rod SSH 215|
|1x Training Court FST 282|
|1x Melony CRE 195|
Of course, there are a few changes that you can make so that this list fits your playing style, but I think it is a very solid starting point.
Since Arceus is our most crucial Pokémon, we must run four copies of it and a very thick line of Intelon and its pre-evolutions. Searching cards is, in my opinion, more important than putting damage counters in the field, so that is why we run two copies of Intelon from Sword and Shield instead of a split line with one copy from Chilling ReignInteleon. Inteleon and Arceus are basically all that we need during the games unless we are playing against something that can hit us for weakness or that can spread damage. In that case, we will search for Manaphy and/or Dunsparce and bench them as soon as possible.
A possible addition to the Pokémon side will be the inclusion of Zigzagoon from Sword and Shield. It can help reach very key numbers against non-evolved V Pokémon. Considering Arceus has a Double Turbo Energy attached and a Choice Band, Zigzagoon can provide you with the extra counter you need to KO Pokémon that has 220 HP like Arceus, Palkia, Dialga and some others.
Something that I really like about this deck is that it has access to very disruptive cards that provide a great advantage. The most important element here is that you have virtual access to 4 copies of Cheren’s Care (the two that you are running and the use of Pal Pad), which will allow you to heal your Arceus VSTAR fully and negates prizes for your opponent. If you can successfully pull the “Cheren loop” for a couple of turns, it is very difficult for your opponent to win. Roxanne from Brilliant Stars can completely change the course of the game, and Avery is a pain for decks that rely a lot on benching Pokémon like Regigigas or Palkia.
Then, if you find some space, I would also recommend you consider adding more copies of Ultra Ball. Ultra Ball has a cost but will help you search for any Pokémon you need, and getting the turn 2 Arceus VMAX in play is a must.
As I said before, I think that as long as you don’t draw awfully, Arceus has a very decent match-up against everything in the metage, and, in fact, most games will be decided by who goes first and starts attacking. But Arceus Inteleon doesn’t have a very unfavourable match-up against virtually no other deck.
Palkia: Even/Slightly Unfavorable
The star match of the format. To be honest, I’ve tested this a lot, and it is very, very close. The player that wins the coin flip and can start damaging the opposing VSTAR typically has the advantage, but Arceus can perfectly compete against the almighty Palkia VSTAR. If Arceus limits its bench space effectively, Palkia has a very difficult time to KO it, and it all comes down to how many Cherens the Arceus player can use.
One Prizers: Very Favorable
One prizer decks (that is, decks that focus on attacking with cards that only give one prize if they fall, like Malamar from Chilling Reign, Regigigas or Zoroark Toolbox) can’t do much against continuous Cheren’s Care loops. They struggle to get the necessary amount of damage to KO Arceus in just one hit because, bear in mind that Big Charm gives Arceus a total of 310HP. As such, all Arceus needs to do is to use Cheren a couple of times to negate prizes and/or use Dreo to punish their set up.
Mew VMAX: Even / Slightly Favorable
Of course, because Mew is one of the most aggressive Pokemon TCG/Online decks in the format, it can easily win against Arceus if it KOs the only Arceus you have on the field before it can attack. However, I am inclined to say the match is overall slightly favourable to Arceus because of the number of Charms you run and the fact that Roxanne + Path to the Peak can effectively leave Mew without resources in the late game.
Other Arceus Variants: Slightly Favorable
Of course, this type of match-up has different layers because the one that attacks first (and accelerates energies) has a huge advantage, but I think that Arceus Inteleon has a slightly better game overall because of the searching power of Arceus Inteleon. The only problem is that these games can last forever because Cheren makes it almost impossible to get quick KOs.
Choosing the right deck for Worlds or other big tournaments is not easy at all, but sometimes, it is better to stick to something that you know will give you a close chance against the rest of the strategies than trying to reinvent the wheel. Arceus Inteleon is one of the most consistent decks we have right now and a very safe play. It has virtually no hard counters and can perfectly compete against the rest of the decks in Standard.
If you want to build this amazing deck, remember that you can get your PTCGO codes here at PoTown Store and have it available in the blink of an eye. Thanks so much for reading, and we will see each other soon!
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!