Hello readers! It’s a busy time in the world of Pokemon TCG Online, with a new set of Evolving Skies and a new format being dropped at practically the same time. So many new pokemon online decks, so many old decks are leaving… It’s the perfect time to be playing a ton of Pokemon TCG, which means it’s also the ideal time to explore some new Pokemon online decks! People have been making predictions about the post-rotation format for months, but now we get to play the format for real. All the speculations about what the BDIF is or if Rapid Strike Urshifu will single-handedly destroy the game will finally be answered. If you are looking for some PTCGO codes, you are in the right spot. PTCGO Store is the best place for you to buy some PTCGO codes, and the best part is that the Pokemon TCG online codes are delivered instantly to your email address! This article will take a look at two decks that have shown up and done well this week: One expected, the other unexpected.

The Expected: Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX

Rapid Strike Urshifu Vmax

Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX (Battle Styles) is a deck that people expected to be incredible out of the gates, and so far, it has lived up to that potential. It has already racked up solid results, winning and acquiring numerous other placements in online tournaments. Post rotation has finally done away with the bane of Rapid Strike, which is Mew. Without a bench barrier ability to stop it, G-Max Rapid Flow can damage anything on the board at will. The deck’s great control over where damage is placed makes it a top choice amongst a lot of high-level players.

Galarian Moltres V

One major issue that the deck has is the loss of Jirachi-GX. Jirachi-GX was a saving grace in the Shadow Rider matchup, and without it, Urshifu will likely struggle. The matchup is definitely still winnable, just significantly harder now that Shadow Rider can easily reach OHKOs on Rapid Strike Urshifus, which are feeble against it because of their psychic weakness. Some players have explored an option to play a Rapid Strike Urshifu/Galarian Moltres V hybrid deck. Galarian Moltres is a great counter to Shadow Rider and also combines with Energy Switch to enable back-to-back G-Max Rapid Flows. Most lists that go down this route utilize Octillery over Inteleon, which means that Quick Shooting isn’t an option. The Moltres variant is also slightly less consistent because of the heavy basic Darkness Energy count that is required. Overall, Rapid Strike Urshifu/Inteleon is probably the stronger version of the deck, but the idea of Moltres is something that is nice for Urshifu players to have in their back pocket as a nifty meta-call.

Decklist 

Pokemon - 22 

4 Sobble CRE 41
4 Drizzile SSH 56
3 Inteleon CRE 43
1 Inteleon SSH 58
1 Rapid Strike Urshifu V PR-SWSH 107
3 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
1 Crobat V SHF 44
1 Medicham V EVS 83
1 Passimian CRE 88

Trainer Cards - 30 

4 Professor's Research SHF 60
3 Marnie CPA 56 
2 Raihan EVS 152
4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 
4 Quick Ball SSH 179 
4 Level Ball BST 129 
2 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Energy Search SSH 161
1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171 
1 Air Balloon SSH 156 
1 Telescopic Sight VIV 160
1 Tool Jammer BST 136
1 Tower of Waters BST 138

Energy - 8 

4 Fighting Energy 6
4 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140


Tool jammer

This list was piloted to a 12th place finish in the most recent CelioStats event by Cody. It’s basically a very streamlined version of the Inteleon variant of the deck, but with a few interesting tech cards for specific situations. Tool Jammer is a great card because most decks rely on Air Balloon, and the promo Rapid Strike Urshifu V can be useful in niche scenarios. If I were to play in a tournament right now, this is definitely the list I would be rocking.
Overall, this is a great list to test with because it provides a solid baseline for the deck while still leaving room for creativity. Cards like Tool Jammer could be swapped in and out based on what decks you predict to be popular. If you’re interested in trying out Rapid Strike, I highly suggest you start with this.

Matchups

Shadow Rider: Heavily unfavored

Shadow Rider is definitely going to be one of the most problematicmatchups for Rapid Strike based solely on weakness. Once Shadow Rider stabilizes, it will be knocking out your VMAXs with ease and finesse. However, Rapid Strike can still win. Your main goal should be to use G-Max Rapid Flowwith either Passimian or Telescopic Sight (or both at once) twice on two VMAX pokemon. Use Inteleon CRE’s Quick Shooting ability to finish this VMAXs off. The Shadow Rider deck has become a lot more inconsistent with the rotation and a lot less explosive/aggressive as well, which can create crucial openings that the Rapid Strike player can take advantage of.

Ice Rider: Favored

Rapid Strike’s total domination over the opponent’s board really shines in this matchup. G-Max Rapid Flow can decimate Ice Rider’s Sobbles and Drizziles, making it incredibly difficult for Ice Rider to consistently draw well throughout the game. Ice Rider can still win, but luck will definitely have to be on their side.

Leafeon: Favored

This matchup should be relatively similar to the Ice Rider matchup. The constant Galar Mines that they have access to can be annoying to maneuver around, but Leafeon’s reliance on the Inteleon engine should usually end up being the deck’s downfall against Rapid Strike.

Dragapult: Heavily unfavored

This matchup seems pretty dreadful. If they go first, they have the potential to completely obliterate your board by knocking out an Urshifu V and a Sobble at once, although this probably won’t happen super often. Even if they don’t get a lucky start, the fact that Dragapult hits for weakness and can load the bench up with damage counters should carry them easily through the matchup. If theRapid Strike player plays Cheryl or can knock out multiple Sobbles/Drizziles, they may stand a chance.

Eternatus: Insanely favored

This matchup should be free. You can do insane amounts of damage for little investment due to weakness and the Eternatus player usually is forced to stack their bench with low-HP Pokemon. As long as you don’t brick horribly or get your only Urshifu V knocked out on the Eternatus player’s second turn, you should be completely fine.

Zacian: Unfavored

While this matchup is definitely unfavored, it’s pretty list dependent and skill-based. Zamazenta is going to be what makes this matchup troublesome, but if the Zacian player can’t skillfully weave in and out of using it as well as Zacian, they can whiff attacks and be heavily punished by the pressure that Urshifu puts on. Zacian decks can also have slow starts if they whiff energy or don’t draw into Metal Saucers, which can provide an opening for Urshifu. If the Zacian player effectively spams Zamazenta, Urshifu is in trouble, but if they can’t, Urshifu can stay in the game with cautious and skillful play.

Suicune/Ludicolo: Favored

I feel a bit like a broken record describing Urshifu’s favored matchups, but this one again comes down to G-Max Rapid Flow. Although the Suicune deck is very consistent and fast, it can struggle to set up without Sobbles/Drizziles sticking on the board, and can have a hard time getting knockouts without access to Ludicolo. As the Rapid Strike player, your priority should be to prize-map efficiently while also ruining their set-up and board state by KOing pieces of the Inteleon line, as well as Lotads/Lombre. If the Suicune player can get the crazy Ludicolo combo off, they stand a chance, but otherwise, Rapid Strike should usually win.

The Unexpected: Dragapult VMAX

ドラパルトVドラパルトVMAX

Dragapult VMAX (Rebel Clash) is a deck that completely caught me by surprise. I admit that I was convinced that it didn’t have what it takes to compete with fellow VMAXs due to its low damage output. Recently, Dragapult has proved its worth with the help of disruption cards like Crushing Hammer and Path to the Peak. It turns out that all Dragapult needs to succeed is a little havoc being caused on the opponent’s side of the board.
Similar to Rapid Strike, Dragapult leans heavily into prize-mapping and careful planning. You never want to just throw down the Max Phantom damage counters randomly. Make sure to have a reason for every bit of damage that you place. Another advantage that the deck has is that Dragapult is a very low-maintenance pokemon to set up, unlike cards like Single Strike Urshifu VMAX and Eternatus VMAX. This leaves room for plenty of disruption cards and other options that make up for the slightly lower power level of Dragapult. Players have filled that extra room in the deck with lots of different cards, including things like Inteleon, Crushing Hammer, Path to the Peak, and even Altaria occasionally. The build that I like the most is the Inteleon version due to the fact that it can easily access all the obscure techs that the deck plays. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the list Henry Brand piloted to a 1st place finish at the Late Night Series #5.

Decklist 

Pokemon - 19 

4 Dragapult V RCL 92
4 Sobble CRE 41
4 Drizzile SSH 56
2 Inteleon CRE 43
1 Inteleon SSH 58
1 Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117

Trainer Cards - 34 

4 Marnie CPA 56 
3 Professor's Research SHF 60
2 Boss's Orders SHF 58
1 Raihan EVS 152
4 Level Ball BST 129 
4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 
4 Fog Crystal CRE 140 
3 Quick Ball SSH 179 
1 Switch SSH 183
1 Scoop Up Net RCL 165 
1 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Suspicious Food Tin CPA 66
1 Tool Jammer BST 136
4 Path to the Peak CRE 148

Energy - 7 

4 Horror Psychic Energy RCL 172 
3 Psychic Energy 5


Path To the Peak

Henry Brand went for a very teched out list, which normally would make a deck brutally inconsistent. However, because Dragapult only needs two energies and nothing else to get up and running, it doesn’t matter if you have a bunch of cool options that fill up the gaps in the list. With a deck like Eternatus, you need not just two energies on your VMAX but 8 whole bench pokemon to do your maximum damage output. The deck is forced to put all of its slots towards cards that help fulfill this goal, leaving no room for anything else. Dragapult is the sheer opposite, seeing as it needs so little set up, leaving room for 1-of cards like Tool Jammer, Suspicious Food Tin, Escape Rope, and a 4-of Path to the Peak count. While these cards manipulate the board and mess with the opponent, Dragapult itself provides a consistent stream of damage to both the active and bench, and can effectively cripple the opponent’s board.

Matchups

Shadow Rider: Even

The Shadow Rider matchup comes down to one simple thing: Will Path to the Peak stick? If it does, Dragapult can use the turns of no energy acceleration to spread more damage and keep up with the power of Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX. If Path doesn’t stick, Shadow Rider can accelerate tons of energies and OHKO Dragapult with Alcremie VMAX, outspeeding and overwhelming the deck's slow, disruption-based strategy.

Ice Rider: Favored

Dragapult does a decent job of dealing with the Inteleon engine and is able to stream damage out-of-the-gates. Ice Rider will have to get pretty lucky to keep up, but is still very much capable of winning. Misplaced damage counters and whiffing attacks can spell disaster for Dragapult, but generally, you should effectively control the board and limit Ice Rider’s options, eventually winning the game.

Leafeon: Favored

This matchup should be really good. Suspicious Food Tin can come in clutch and turn two-hit KOs into three-hit KOs, and Dragapult can pressure the opponent’s Inteleon engine. You also have a bunch of stadiums at your disposal that can counter the opponent’s, Galar Mines. If I were playing Dragapult in this matchup, I’d definitely be very confident.

Rapid Strike: Heavily favored

This matchup should be a breeze. You can decimate their Urshifus due to weakness and annoy the opponent with a well-timed Suspicious Food Tin. Even Dragapult’s fightingresistance can be a headache to deal with for the Rapid Strike player. Something to be careful of is bench management in this matchup, seeing as G-Max Rapid Flow will be able to pick apart your Sobbles/Drizziles. Overall, weakness usually should single-handedly carry the Dragapult player to a quick win.

Eternatus: Insanely unfavored

This matchup, along with most other Dark-type matchups, is abysmal. All Eternatus needs to do is breathe to knock out Dragapult. Dragapult’s one saving grace is Path to the Peak, but even if you can stick one in play, the Eternatus player barely needs anything to start chaining knock-outs. It’s still worth playing out, but don’t expect too much.

Zacian: Slightly Favored

This matchup is generally pretty close. The stadium war is going to basically decide the outcome of the game, seeing as without Path to the Peak, Dragapult VMAX can’t damageZamazenta V with anything except for Shred or Max Phantom’s bench snipes. Both player’s stadiums will have a massive effect on the game, with Path shutting down Dauntless Shield and Intrepid Sword, and Crystal Cave countering Dragapult’s spread damage. Dragapult should be able to handle the deck decently enough most of the time, but if you draw unfortunately, or start having to discard stadiums for whatever reason, things can easily go downhill.

Suicune/Ludicolo: Slightly favored

I’m not super knowledgeable of this matchup, but am confident enough to say that it should usually end up in favor of Dragapult. Max Phantom can shred through the weak Sobbles and Lotads that Suicune has to have sitting on the bench in the early game. Path to the Peak should usually stick, slightly hindering the drawing power of the Suicune deck. If the Suicune player can get a huge OHKO with Ludicolo + Blizzard Rondo, they should be in a pretty solid spot, but this can be played around by the Dragapult player. As long as you don’t bench anything that isn’t totally necessary, Blizzard Rondo’s damage can be significantly hindered.

Closing thoughts 

Hopefully, I’ve piqued your interest in some of the new Pokemon online decks that are emerging from Evolving Skies and from the new format. The decks that I talked about can compete at the top level and take you far in any tournament. If you're concerned about lacking the cards required to build these powerful Pokemon online decks, you’re in luck! Seeing as you're reading this article, you’re already on the PTCGO Store website, which is the best place to buy PTCGO codes!
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or additional thoughts about anything that I covered in this article. I’ll try my best to respond. I’m super curious to learn about what other people have noticed about the meta. Thanks so much for reading, and have fun exploring the new format!