Hey, what's up, everyone! Gabriel Smart here with another article! To say I am stoked to begin talking about Brilliant Stars would be a massive understatement! The largely anticipated release of Brilliant Stars has given me a huge boost of motivation to begin working on awesome decks for you peeps! Today, we are going to be going over one of my favorite decks that I have been working on! First and foremost, if you are looking for any cards, then PTCGO Store is the best place to acquire PTCGL Codes on the cheap! Make sure to use code SmartTCG for 5% off all purchases! Now, let's get into the article!

Light and Dark collide!


Arceus VSTAR (Brilliant Stars) is the by far and away, the most anticipated card to be on the horizon in the new set! Its attack “Trinity Nova'' deals an incredible amount of damage to the opponent, and its ability “Starbirth”, allows you to search for any cards that you want! Although Arceus is strong on its own, it does need other support Pokemon to help it thrive! With darkness weak Pokemon like Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX (Chilling Reign) and Mew VMAX (Fusion Strike) running around the meta, then Gengar VMAX (Fusion Strike) is the attacker for you! The strategy of this deck is relatively simple. Attack with Arceus VSTAR in the early game, and then transition to attack with your Dark type attackers to clean up the game! This deck is awesome, and let's take a dive into the list!

Arceus VSTAR Gengar VMAX Deck

Pokémon - 16

2 Arceus V BSR
2 Arceus VSTAR BSR
1 Crobat V PR-SW 110
3 Gengar V FST 156
3 Houndour BST 95
3 Houndoom BST 179
2 Gengar VMAX FST 271

Trainer Cards - 32

3 Marnie PR-SW 121
2 Air Balloon SSH 213
1 Switch SUM 160
4 Professor's Research CEL 24
3 Boss's Orders RCL 189
1 Karen's Conviction CRE 144
2 Choice Belt BSR
4 Ultra Ball SUM 161
4 Quick Ball SSH 216
3 Urn of Vitality CRE 229
1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
2 Path to the Peak CRE 148
2 Tower of Darkness BST 137

Energy - 12

2 Hiding {D} Energy DAA 175
4 Single Strike Energy BST 183
4 Darkness Energy EVS 236
2 Double Turbo Energy BSR

Total Cards - 60


Key TCG Cards


Arceus VSTAR


Arceus VSTAR

Arceus, without a doubt, is the shining star from the Brilliant Stars expansion! Its attack “Trinity Nova” for 3 colorless energy, deals a respectable 200 damage. Although this amount of damage may seem average at best, its added effect is what really takes the deck card to the next level. “Trinity Nova’s” added effect allows us to attach 3 basic energy cards from our deck, to any of our Pokemon! This allows us to easily power up our Gengar VMAX (Fusion Strike) to deal massive damage with its “GMAX Swallow Up” attack! Now you might be thinking, that this card is already pretty strong right? Now, what if I told you that it only gave up two prize cards! As the Pokemon Trading Card Game begins to transition to a two prize metagame, VSTARS are what will be taking the place of our widely controversial three prize behemoths. The icing on the cake for this card is its ability “Starbirth”. Starbrith allows us to search for two of any cards and put them into our hand! Similar to the former GX mechanic, VSTAR attacks/abilities it limits us to one use of that attack/ability per game! Although it is a one use only, it still is incredibly powerful, and changes the entire game! Without a doubt, Arceus VSTAR is a force to be reckoned with, and is positioned to thrive in the meta!

Gengar V


Gengar V

The beginning evolution to Gengar VMAX is Gengar V (Fusion Strike)! Its first attack Dark Slumber, deals a solid 40 damage, and puts your opponent to sleep! There are very few occasions where the sleep sticks, but when it does, it will completely alter the game! Its second attack, Pain Explosion, is incredibly powerful, being able to one shot multiple V Pokemon, with just a couple Single Strike Energy attached to it. Gengar V is a fantastic attacker against V Pokemon, and is very strong in the early game. With that being said, the big dog on campus is Gengar VMAX (Fusion Strike)!

Gengar VMAX


Gengar VMAX

Our main attacker towards the middle to end game is Gengar VMAX (Fusion Strike)! Clocking in at a huge 320HP it is able to survive most of the most powerful attacks in the metagame! Its first attack, Fear and Panic, deals damage depending on the amount of V or GX on the opponent's side of the field! This attack forces the opponent not to over bench those types of Pokemon, or they put at risk their attackers being knocked out incredibly easily! What makes this card an absolute beast is “GMAX Swallow Up”! Dealing a massive 250 damage, you may be thinking that that isnt enough to knock out most three prize Pokemon. Although that may be true, this is why our deck plays Single Strike Energy! Being able to turn our 250 damage attack into a potential 330 damage attack! Singe Strike Energy turns Gengar VMAX, from a good Pokemon, into an incredibly powerful one! 330 damage is enough damage to hang with the biggest of Pokemon, and Gengar has become one of the most powerful Single Strike Pokemon in the game!

Houndoom


Houndoom

Although this deck has Arcues VSTAR’s (Brilliant Stars) Trinity Nova attack to attach energy, it is critical to be able to attach Single Strike energy as well! Without Single Strike energy our Single Strike Pokemon would not be able to hit proper numbers to be able to take those big VMAX knockouts! Along with this, having energy disruption protection is critical in this format! With so many decks playing Crushing Hammer, or Fan of Waves (Battle Styles), being able to attack a fruitful amount of energy is critical in being able to attack consistently.

Ultra Ball


Ultra Ball

One of the greatest cards of all time has returned to the Pokemon Trading Card Game! Rising from the dead, Ultra Ball (Sword and Shield) is back, and is ready for vengeance! Over the past DECADE! Ultra Ball has been one of the most powerful cards to grace our game! It has been widely viewed as a four of stable in over 99 percent of decks, and shaped our meta for so long. Finally, it has returned, and it is still just as good! For people that do not know, Ultra Ball can search for any Pokemon, if you discard two cards from your hand! This card promotes resource management, and adds consistency to the game! This card will help all decks immensely, but it helps this deck more than most. Single Strike decks in the past, never really struggled with matchup spread or power level, it simply struggled with consistency. With the addition of Ultra Ball, much of Single Strikes inconsistency issues get washed away! Without a doubt, Ultra Ball will be a staple for years to come, and I am so happy to see it back in our standard format!

Karen’s Conviction


Karen’s Conviction

Now, this is a card that has seen next to no play since its release in Chilling Reign. Karen's Conviction (Chilling Reign) powers up your Single Strike Pokemon's attacks more and more depending on how many prize cards your opponent has taken! Although this card may seem strong on paper, it is incredibly hard to use, due to it being a supporter card that does not either draw cards or help set up the board. This makes it an incredibly hard supporter to play in abundance of. With that being said, this is where Starbirth comes into play! Arceus’s (Brilliant Stars) ability, allows us to search for Karens when we need it, and turns this card from mediocre, into a secret weapon!

Choice Belt


Choice Belt

Whether it be Muscle Band (Flash Fire), Choice Band (Guardians Rising), Fighting Fury Belt (Break Point), Vitality Band (Sword and Shield), and more damage modifying tool cards have been game changing cards in the Pokemon Trading Card game! Choice Belt (Brilliant Stars) is just another amazing tool card! Choice Belt increases our Pokemon's attacks by 30 damage on Pokemon V’s! This makes it significantly easier to knock out VMAX Pokemon, and really begins to counter the power creep in Pokemon! If Arceus and Ultra Ball were the best cards, then this would be right after it.

Double Turbo Energy


Double Turbo Energy

Brilliant Stars, in many ways, revives many old cards, into new forms! Double Turbo Energy, reminds us of Double Colorless Energy (Guardians Rising) that has dominated the Pokemon Trading Card game for decades! Since its release all the way back during the early ages of the Pokemon TCG, energies that provide more than one energy have been relevant in the Trading Card Game! Double Turbo Energy Provides two colorless energy, but reduces the attack strength of our Pokemon by 20. Although our damage is reduced by 20 damage, Choice Belt easily makes up for this! It is super refreshing to have a new special energy in the format that is going to provide an incredible amount of versatility!

Conclusion

Brilliant Stars without a doubt is going to live up to the hype! The set is incredibly powerful, and really turns the meta upside down! I am excited to see what new Pokemon online decks come out, and what brilliant ideas some of our brightest minds in the game come up with! Without a doubt, Arceus VSTAR is a force to be reckoned with, and I cannot wait to explore more archetypes! That is all for me today! If you are looking for any cards in this article, make sure to check out PTCGO Store for Codes! Release of the Brilliant Stars expansion is at the end of February, so make sure to stay tuned for those! If you are looking for discounted product, make sure to use code SmartTCG at checkout for 5% off your next order! That's all for me today, I appreciate you all very much, and I hope to speak with you again soon!

About the Author

Gabriel Smart is a contributing article writer for PTCGO Store. Gabriel currently resides in the Sacramento, California area and has been playing the game casually since 2010 and competitively since 2018. He streams on Twitch under the name GabrielSmartTCG, creates competitive Pokemon content on Youtube under the name SmartTCG, and posts about his tournaments results and life on Twitter @SmartTCG. Outside the game, he is a huge baseball and basketball fan and loves everything to do with athletics.