Skyscraperin’ Over the Competition

Duraludon VMAX

What’s Poppin PTCGO store readers? Brilliant Stars has been out for about three weeks now and I’ve had my fair share of time to test most of the new decks. While we already have seen Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies] decks winning in the past, there are new ways to play this deck in Brilliant Stars. At the 150 player Full Grip Games Event, we saw Riley Hulbert take down the entire event with a new take on the deck - one featuring Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars]. This article will feature both of these decks to share why they’re each viable and explain how the concepts work! If you’re missing any cards for these decks, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on your next order of PTCGO codes right here at the PTCGO store. That being said, let’s hop into the strategy of Duraludon VMAX and see how it looks. And away we go!


Boss's Order

While both of the decks featured in this article have different strategies, Duraludon VMAX remains consistent between both of them! The reason why Duraludon VMAX is powerful is because of its Ability, Skyscraper. The goal of this deck is to wall off your opponent’s Pokemon while forcing them to draw as many Prize Cards as possible. Whether you’re playing Zacian V [Sword and Shield] or Arceus VSTAR, you want to force your opponent into an eight Prize Card game. My ideal setup is one-two Prize Card Pokemon (Zacian V or Arceus VSTAR) and two Duraludon VMAX to wall with Skyscraper. If you have a choice to attack certain Pokemon with Boss’s Orders [Brilliant Stars], try to Knock Out Pokemon without Special Energy attached to keep Duraludon VMAX standing throughout the game. It should be noted that the amount of Special Energy in the game right now is incredibly high! Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars] is played in many decks, thanks to Arceus VSTAR being incredibly popular, and almost every deck has something going on! Capture Energy [Rebel Clash], Hiding Darkness Energy [Darkness Ablaze], Single Strike Energy [Battle Styles], and Rapid Strike Energy [Battle Styles] are almost all played in their respective decks. I could continue to list matchups that each play Special Energy, but I’d rather jump into each respective deck to share why they are relevant. Let’s get it!

Duraludon VMAX Deck

ザシアン V

This is more of a traditional Duraludon VMAX deck that really started to see success in the Fusion Strike format! The goal of this deck is to use Zacian V’s Intrepid Sword to draw cards and use it as a shield to tank a few hits. After sacrificing Zacian V, you want to wall with two Duraludon VMAX and start using G-Max Pulverization to take down your opponent's Pokemon. This build is starting to gain less popularity when compared to the Arceus VSTAR build, but it does offer something unique to this deck, healing, and disruption. You might be able to hold off your opponent long enough by using Team Yell Towel [Shining Fates] to heal or ripping their Energy off with Crushing Hammer [Sword and Shield]. It should be noted to try and avoid discarding your opponent's Special Energy because you want to keep them from attacking Duraludon VMAX because of Skyscraper. Let’s check out this list!

Pokémon - 8 

3 Duraludon VMAX EVS 220
3 Duraludon V CPA 47
2 Zacian V SSH 211

Trainer Cards - 40 

4 Team Yell Towel SHF 63
4 Crushing Hammer UPR 166
1 Sonia RCL 192 
3 Big Charm RCL 206
4 Crystal Cave EVS 230
3 Switch SUM 160
3 Professor's Research CEL 24
2 Avery CRE 187
4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
3 Boss's Orders RCL 189 
4 Adventurer's Discovery FST 224
1 Tool Scrapper RCL 208
1 Pokémon Center Lady VIV 185
2 Raihan EVS 202
1 Flannery CRE 191

Energy - 12 

8 Metal Energy EVS 237
4 Fighting Energy CRE 233

Duraludon VMAX decklist

Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX

Arceus VSTAR

This build takes a different route than the last because you wanna start with Arceus V [Brilliant Stars] and attach an Energy on your first turn. If you go first, attaching any Energy is fine, but if you go second you’ll wanna attach a Double Turbo Energy to attack with Arceus V to power up a Duraludon V [Champion’s Path]. Star Birth can eventually get you specific pieces for whatever situation you’re in, but you can also abuse it with Ultra Ball [Brilliant Stars] and Single Strike Style Mustard [Brilliant Stars] to special summon a Duraludon VMAX in play. After testing this deck for a dozen or so games, I’ve fallen in love with the concept and I truly believe this is the future of the archetype because it runs so smoothly. Long gone are the days of self-powering up a Duraludon VMAX due to the sheer power of Arceus! Let’s check out this list that Riley Hulbert won Full Grip Games with.

Pokémon - 11 

4 Arceus V BRS 166
2 Arceus VSTAR BRS 184
3 Duraludon VMAX EVS 220
2 Duraludon V CPA 47

Trainer Cards - 35 

4 Marnie PR-SW 121
2 Big Charm RCL 206
2 Switch SUM 160
4 Professor's Research CEL 24
1 Escape Rope BUS 163
1 Single Strike Style Mustard BRS 214
4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 233
4 Boss's Orders RCL 189 
1 Choice Belt BRS 135
4 Ultra Ball BRS 186
4 Quick Ball SSH 216 
4 Collapsed Stadium BRS 137

Energy - 14 

7 Metal Energy EVS 237
4 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
3 Fighting Energy CRE 233

Arceus VSTAR Duraludon VMAX decklist

Happy Testing

Single Strike Style Mustard

I hope this article has you hyped to pick up all of the Pokemon TCG online codes you need to grab to finish any of these competitive Pokemon online decks! Both of them seem like they will have a chance to shine in our PTCGO metagame and have a shot to become some of the best Pokemon online decks available. If you’re looking to pick up cards for these decks or anything else in-game, use code zlesage5 at the PTCGO store to save 5% on your next order of PTCGO codes. I’m going to continuously work on discovering the newest archetypes in this set and let you know which ones have a chance in our metagame. Thanks for reading,


Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for 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 the 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and the 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.