A New World

What’s up, Po Town readers? Have you been exploring our new Post Rotation Sword and Shield to Evolving Skies metagame? I personally have been grinding games on the Versus ladder on PTCGO, recording lots of content for my YouTube Channel, and trying to find the best decks to play with. I’ve been on a tear writing as many articles to share my findings on most of these decks right here at Po Town, but this article is a little different than most I’ve written so far. This article will focus on the most critical aspect of this format, and it’s something that affects every person playing the game. We’ll dive into that throughout this article, and I’ve found a handful of solutions that might work. Oh, and a bunch of decklists is included too. If you find yourself missing any cards for these decks or you want to fill up your collection, be sure to pick up some PTCGL codes right here from PoTown Store. There are lots of great codes to choose from, and instant email delivery comes with every purchase. That being said, what is the problem with this format???

Addressing Early Format Problems

Old PC

The biggest gripe about our Post Rotation format is that the coin flip is too important. Since Tag Team Pokemon have left the format, such as Pikachu & Zekrom-GX (Team Up), the most popular decks feature Pokemon VMAX. Since Pokemon VMAX, such as Victini VMAX (Battle Styles), need to Evolve, going first is the absolute best way to play. Coupled with most decks playing Drizzile (Sword and Shield) Shady Dealings engines, most decks need to Evolve to see some form of success. For the few decks in this format that don’t need to Evolve, such as Zacian V (Sword and Shield), they still want to go first to get a bonus Energy attachment. With our recent Rotation, our format is relatively bare bones - there aren’t enough complex strategies to even think about going second. In the past, Tag Team decks could bounce back into the game, or Welder (Unbroken Bonds) was more desirable going second - we aren’t there yet. With going first being a key factor in winning games, it is wise to play decks that have some options that make going second digestible. I’ll share a few of the strategies that I’ve developed that can boost your win rate if you happen to lose the coin flip. Let’s check them out.

Going Second Perks


It is currently better for most Pokemon online decks to go first in this format and the same can be said for Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX (Chilling Reign). Even though it contains Cresselia (Chilling Reign), it is better to go first. Players often get confused because Crescent Glow allows you to attach three Psychic Energy to one of your Pokemon if you use that attack going second on your first turn of the game, but it is merely a way for your deck to save itself. That being said, most decks don’t have a fall back plan if they do go second, which puts Shadow Rider Calyrex above most of the other decks in the format. Let’s check my list out:

Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX / Alcremie Deck

Pokémon (16)

Trainers (32)

Energy (12)

1x Crobat V PR-SW 1103x Marnie PR-SW 12112x Psychic Energy CRE 232
2x Alcremie V CPA 224x Fog Crystal CRE 227
2x Cresselia EVS 2284x Evolution Incense SSH 163
1x Pumpkaboo EVS 761x Pal Pad SSH 172
1x Shadow Rider Calyrex V PR-SW 1313x Training Court RCL 169
3x Shadow Rider Calyrex V CRE 1721x Phoebe BST 161
2x Alcremie VMAX CPA 232x Switch SUM 160
4x Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX CRE 2053x Boss's Orders RCL 189

4x Professor's Research SSH 201

4x Quick Ball SSH 216

3x Air Balloon SSH 213

Shadow Rider vmax deck

Healing Techs


If you can’t go first, it’s often best to nullify your opponent’s damage by using some kind of healing card like Cheryl (Battle Styles) and Suspicious Food Tin (Champions Path). I think the best use of this kind of strategy comes from Michael Catron’s take on Jolteon VMAX (Evolving Skies). The deck focuses on using Chatot (Rebel Clash) and Scoop Up Net (Rebel Clash) to continuously grab back Cheryl. This can take away turns from your opponent and make up for you missing the opening coin flip. Let’s look at his list:

Jolteon VMAX / Inteleon Deck

Pokémon (20)

Trainers (33)

Energy (7)

1x Chatot RCL 1424x Marnie PR-SW 1213x Lightning Energy EVS 235
1x Galarian Zigzagoon SHF 1511x Cheryl BST 1594x Speed Lightning Energy RCL 173
4x Jolteon V PR-SW 1514x Level Ball BST 181
3x Jolteon VMAX EVS 513x Elemental Badge EVS 147
4x Sobble CRE 411x Escape Rope BUS 163
4x Drizzile SHF 994x Evolution Incense SSH 163
1x Inteleon SHF 1001x Energy Search SSH 161
2x Inteleon EVS 2271x Boss's Orders RCL 189

3x Scoop Up Net RCL 207

1x Tool Scrapper RCL 208

2x Professor's Research SSH 201

4x Quick Ball SSH 216

4x Path to the Peak CRE 148

Jolteon Vmax deck

Disruptive Answers

Crushing Hammer

Another way to slow your opponent down is to take down their Energy with cards, like Crushing Hammer (Sword and Shield), and add turns on to their game. Going first is basically gaining an extra turn in this format so if you effectively stop your opponent for two complete turns, you’re now ahead in the game. Dragapult VMAX (Rebel Clash) seemingly does the best job at abusing Crushing Hammer in this format so let’s look at this list:

Dragapult VMAX Deck

Pokémon (19)

Trainers (34)

Energy (7)

1x Galarian Zigzagoon SHF 1514x Marnie PR-SW 1214x Horror Psychic Energy RCL 172
4x Dragapult V RCL 924x Level Ball BST 1813x Psychic Energy CRE 232
3x Dragapult VMAX RCL 934x Fog Crystal CRE 227
4x Sobble CRE 413x Evolution Incense SSH 163
4x Drizzile SHF 991x Switch SUM 160
1x Inteleon SHF 1004x Crushing Hammer UPR 166
2x Inteleon EVS 2272x Boss's Orders RCL 189

1x Scoop Up Net RCL 207

3x Professor's Research SSH 201

2x Quick Ball SSH 216

4x Path to the Peak CRE 148

1x Raihan EVS 202

1x Tool Jammer BST 136

Dragapult Vmax deck

Blocking Popular Pokemon

Zamazenta V

Another strategy that has been working particularly well is making sure that your opponent can’t attack your Pokemon. Zamazenta V (Sword and Shield) has proven to be extremely helpful against Pokemon VMAX decks and Duraludon VMAX (Evolving Skies) can stop Pokemon with Special Energy attached. While there are a bunch of popular decks featuring these cards, I’ll share my personal favorite, Duraludon VMAX. Let’s check this one out:

Duraludon VMAX Deck

Pokémon (14)

Trainers (32)

Energy (14)

3x Duraludon VMAX EVS 2203x Marnie PR-SW 12110x Metal Energy EVS 237
2x Bronzor BST 1012x Cheryl BST 1594x Aurora Energy SSH 186
3x Duraludon V CPA 474x Metal Saucer SSH 214
2x Zacian V SSH 2113x Evolution Incense SSH 163
2x Zamazenta V SSH 2123x Crystal Cave EVS 230
2x Bronzong CRE 2234x Switch SUM 160

3x Boss's Orders RCL 189

4x Professor's Research SSH 201

4x Quick Ball SSH 216

2x Air Balloon SSH 213

Duraludon Vmax

Exploring the Game

Hopefully, this article has shown you a few successful strategies if you lose the dreaded opening coin flip and that you can boost your win rate up a bit. Winning the coin flip isn’t a secure win because the game still has many factors to consider, but it certainly is important based on the data I’ve collected from objectivedeck.com. While there are plenty of amazing pokemon online decks to discover in our Post Rotation Pokemon TCG metagame, I think the above decks stand above the rest. I thoroughly recommend trying these decks out and exploring these decks for yourself. And again, feel free to path any holes in your collection by picking up some PTCGO codes right here at PoTown store. I wish you luck when it comes to exploring this format and enjoying our new format on PTCGO.

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PoTownStore.com. 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 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.