Written by Zach Lesage on 3/4/2023 at category Deck Lists
Cruising All of the Way to Finals
What’s poppin’ PTCGO Store readers? Are you ready to enter into the darkness? Well, it seems like recent Knoxville Regionals Runner Up, Brandon Salazar, has with their Eternatus VMAX [Darkness Ablaze] / Galarian Weezing [Shining Fates] deck! Yeah, you read that right! Eternatus VMAX is seeing success in 2023! I know that I can’t be the only one surprised by this deck seeing success, but I think what is more surprising is that we didn’t think of this deck earlier. While this deck hasn’t seen too much success, since its early days as a top deck versus Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX [Cosmic Eclipse], it has silently been picking up some solid Regionals placements in our Sword and Shield to Silver Tempest / Crown Zenith format. My good friend Iyla Sutherland has been a believer in this deck since the beginning of the format, and she actually played the deck first! Iyla played Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing to a top 32 finish at Orlando Regionals, and Brandon took the exact same 60-card list to a Runner Up finish at Knoxville Regionals. I could ramble on about the past history of this deck, but there is a lot of ground to cover on this awesome Pokemon TCG deck! In this article, I’ll share this successful PTCG list, the strategy, go in-depth on some key cards, and more! If you need any of the cards to build this deck, you are at the right place! Pick up some Darkness Ablaze, Shining Fates, or even Eternatus VMAX Promo Codes to input into PTCG Live! The PTCGO store offers instant email delivery, and you start playing this deck ASAP! As an added bonus, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on all of your Pokemon TCG Live codes. That being said, let’s look at this Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing deck list:
Iyla’s Eternatus VMAX Deck
You might be wondering, if Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing hasn’t been topping as many events as Lugia VSTAR / Archeops, then why is it seeing success right now? Well, that's a great question! You see, our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenithmetagame is composed of only a handful of popular archetypes:
- Lugia VSTAR / Archeops [Silver Tempest]
- Mew VMAX / Genesect V [Fusion Strike]
- Lost Zone Box
- Regigigas [Astral Radiance]
- Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] / Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies]
The rest of the metagame is composed of decks that aren’t as successful as those above, decks trying to beat the above decks and some homebrewed decks that are typically labelled “just-for-fun” decks. In this case, Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing has looked at the top decks in the metagame, formulated a list around seeing success against them, and has pulled through! Galarian Weezing slows down Lugia VSTAR and Regigigas. Darkness-type decks, especially those that play Drapion V [Lost Origin], should see success against Mew VMAX, and Eternatus VMAX has enough damage output to deal with Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX, and Eternatus VMAX has enough HP to take a few hits from Lost Zone Box. I’m not going to say that it is outrageously favoured against all of those decks, but in the right circumstances, it has enough tools to deal with our current Standard format. Does that mean this deck is ready to win Vancouver Regionals next weekend? Maybe? But I’m sure we’ll see the amount of this deck played tick upward because players love to replicate the success of top-performing decks. Let’s check out the Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing list, and then I’ll dive into the strategy below!
4 Koffing SHF 41
3 Galarian Weezing SHF 42
4 Crobat V SHF 44
3 Eternatus V DAA 116
3 Eternatus VMAX DAA 117
2 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117
1 Drapion V LOR 118
1 Radiant Hisuian Sneasler LOR 123
4 Marnie CPA 56
3 Judge FST 235
2 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Serena SIT 164
4 Quick Ball FST 237
4 Ultra Ball CRZ 146
2 Escape Rope BST 125
2 Dark Patch ASR 139
1 Boost Shake EVS 142
1 Switch CRZ 144
2 Forest Seal Stone SIT 156
1 Choice Belt BRS 135
1 Big Parasol DAA 157
3 Temple of Sinnoh ASR 155
7 Darkness Energy 7
1 Hiding Darkness Energy DAA 175
The Deck Strategy
Each game can play out differently, but the early game is going to remain mostly the same. We want to use Koffing [Shining Fates] to quickly Evolve into Galarian Weezing to slow down our opponent. We either went first and get a chance to manually Evolve, or we go second and quickly Evolve via Koffing’s attack! Let’s look at the general strategy of this deck:
- Go first and manually Evolve into Galarian Weezing or if you have to go second, use Koffing’s attack to Evolve ASAP. This is to slow down your opponent so that they can’t use impactful Abilities, like Lugia VSTAR’s Summoning Star VSTAR Ability.
- While you slow down your opponent with Galarian Weezing, build up Eternatus VMAX in the background to sweep the few / only attacker(s) they have in play.
- If your opponent starts setting up, Temple of Sinnoh [Astral Radiance], Marnie [Sword and Shield], and Judge [Silver Tempest] can throw them a curveball
The above strategy is pretty tried and true! Ability lock has largely been a successful strategy since the beginning of the Pokemon TCG. Even looking at other successful decks in the format, they utilize Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign], Aerodactyl VSTAR [Lost Origin], and sometimes even Empoleon V [Battle Styles]. Sometimes you gotta under Bench your Pokemon or only have Galarian Weezing in play because a Boss’s Ordersor Serena can get around your Ability lock. In other games, you might opt for being a pure Eternatus VMAX deck if they don’t have impactful Abilities to stop. While this deck can play slightly linearly, I do think it's important to share the importance of some individual cards. Let’s start off by jumping into the Koffing and Galarian Weezing line!
Koffing and Galarian Weezing
As I’ve explained above, many of your early-game strategies are going to involve slowing your opponent down with Galarian Weezing. That being said, aim towards getting Koffing / Galarian Weezing in the early game to lock down your opponent’s strategy, and build up Eternatus VMAX in the background. You can use Radiant Hisuian Sneasler [Astral Radiance] to increase your Poison damage, but you want to effectively plan KOs so that they are heading back into your turn. Try to use Galarian Zigzagoon [Sword and Shield], Radiant Hisuian Sneasler, and Galarian Weezing as effectively as possible. In the late game, you might be able to use Judge, send up Galarian Weezing, and buy yourself a much-needed turn to build up Eternatus VMAX. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Ability lock is an often underrated mid-to-late game strategy against many different decks in the format. Additionally, putting Poison damage on a Pokemon with large amounts of HP, like a Duraludon VMAX, can line up a KO with Eternatus VMAX a turn later. Always look for opportunities to lock a game down with these cards.
Crobat V [Darkness Ablaze] is the glue that holds this deck together. Before we even get to talking about the main function of our deck, Eternatus VMAX, I gotta explain the importance of getting those consistent draws. Crobat V is that card! You can draw plenty of cards with Crobat V! You do need to thin your hand down to maximize the use of your Dark Asset Ability, but you can always Bench another Pokemon, use Ultra Ball [Brilliant Stars] to discard a few cards from your hand, or even Evolve a Koffing into a Galarian Weezing. With Eternatus VMAX’s Ability allowing us to have up to 8 Darkness-type Pokemon on our Bench, we can put down extra Bench Pokemon to draw extra cards and there is an added bonus. In order for Eternatus VMAX to do extra damage with its attack, you need to have more Pokemon on your Bench. Crobat V does count towards that number, and you can also thin cards out of your hand by Benching other Darkness-type Pokemon. When in doubt, Crobat V can also attack in a pinch, and you can use Radiant Hisuian Sneasler to increase the Poison damage.
Here we have it, the main attacker of this Eternatus VMAX deck - Eternatus VMAX itself! As I’ve explained above a bit, we want to use this card in the mid-to-late game to sweep our opponent’s remaining attackers, and ultimately win the game. In addition to being our big late-game sweeper, Eternatus VMAX allows us to Bench up to 8 Darkness-type Pokemon with its Ability! It might not seem like much at first, but it does give you the option to Bench extra Crobat V to draw extra cards, you have extra Bench space to utilize tech Pokemon like Radiant Hisuain Sneasler, and you have room for Galarian Weezing too. One of the ebay things about Eternatus VMAX is that its damage output is outmatched by very few cards in the game and 270 base damage (with 8 Benched), and you can even scale that further. Both Galarian Zigzagoon and Choice Belt allow us to reach new heights with Eternatus VMAX, and we can score some massive OHKOs.
Temple of Sinnoh, Marnie, and Judge
Similar to the Galarian Weezing strategy above, all three of these cards are in the deck to disrupt your opponent! While a simple Judge by itself often can’t entirely disrupt your opponent, having Galarian Weezing in the Active Spot while playing Judge can really set your opponent back. The same could be said for Marnie. Even if you aren’t attacking with Galarian Weezing or shutting off their Abilities, you can use this strategy elsewhere in the deck. You can place Temple of Sinnoh down, play a Marnie, and really hope your opponent doesn’t have a full response. Try to combo these cards together because the more hurdles you throw at your opponent, the higher chance they have of missing one of the needed combo pieces to properly respond.
Overall, this deck is usually going to play out as simply as using Galarian Weezing to slow down your opponent in the early game and using Eternatus VMAX as a late-game sweeper. There is definitely more depth than that in some games, but Ability lock and disruption cards can end games super quickly! Be sure to give this Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing Pokemon TCG deck a whirl!
I hope this article has helped you learn more about Eternatus VMAX / Galarian Weezing, and maybe you’ll even get a chance to play it on the Pokemon TCG Live Ranked Ladder! I recommend building this deck sooner than later because both Eternatus VMAX and Galarian Weezing are both heading to the Expanded format in our upcoming Pokemon TCG Rotation in mid-April. We still have about a month left to play this deck in its full Standard glory, and I’m sure it will pick up a few more in real-life results at Pokemon TCG majors held around the world. I'm starting to become a bit more of a believer, and you might catch me on stream playing this deck in Vancouver, Utrecht, Charlotte, or Fort Wayne - it's just that good! As for me, I’m going to continue to put my best foot forward in our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format in an attempt to finish out my invite to the 2023 Pokemon TCG World Championships in Japan! In the meanwhile, I’ll be writing about the best decks in the format, event recaps, massive Pokemon TCG news, and more! Again, if you need any Pokemon TCG Live codes to finish any of your decks, use code zlesage5 to save 5% at the PTCGO store. I appreciate you all reading this, and I can’t wait to share my next article with everyone.
About the Writer
Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PTCGOStore.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. 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.