An Arceus VSTAR World

What’s poppin’ PTCGO Store readers? Have you played around with Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] yet? This deck has seen quite a bit of success since its release in Brilliant Stars, including winning the 2022 World Championships, and it is still doing great at events to this day! In this article, I’m gonna share the two best ways to play Arceus VSTAR, top decklists for both, and the strategies for these decks too! If you are planning on attending any events in the Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format, including the PTCGO Store sponsored Late Night Events on the Play Limitless site, these decks will be great options. If you are missing any cards to play these decks, consider picking up some Pokemon TCG codes right here at to finish them up! As an added bonus, use code zlesage5 to save 5% off your order of codes! Since both of these decks rely on a typical Arceus VSTAR strategy, I figured the best place to share that is right here. Arceus V [Brilliant Stars] and Arceus VSTAR are both powerful Pokemon that can accelerate Energy very quickly to any Pokemon V. We’ve seen this card paired with Corviknight VMAX [Battle Styles], Malamar VMAX [Rebel Clash], and countless other Pokemon V attackers. Most games are as simple as attaching a Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars] and using Trinity Charge or getting another Energy attached and going for Trinity Nova. Once your Pokemon are powered up to your liking, it's really off to the races to see who can win the game first! With countless major wins under its belt, Arceus VSTAR decks are some of the most successful decks to have ever touched this game so be prepared to start winning a bit more! That being said, let’s jump into the decks!

Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX

Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies] has become the default partner for Arceus VSTAR for a while now and it is arguably the most successful partner in our current format. The goal of this deck is to use Arceus VSTAR to quickly power up Duraludon V [Champions Path] / Duraludon VMAX and start attacking with Duraludon VMAX! Duraludon VMAX has a hefty amount of HP compared to most Pokemon VMAX, but it can really deflect hits with its Skyscraper Ability that prevents damage from Pokemon with Special Energy attached. In a metagame where Regigigas [Astral Radiance], Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike], and Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] all run exclusively off of Special Energy - Skyscraper is certainly an asset! I most recently played this deck to a 62nd place finish out of nearly 850 players at the recent San Diego Regionals:

Pokémon (11)
4 Arceus V BRS 122
2 Arceus VSTAR BRS 123
2 Duraludon V CPA 47
3 Duraludon VMAX EVS 123

Trainer (36)
4 Colress's Experiment LOR 155
4 Boss's Orders BRS 132
3 Marnie CPA 56 
1 Single Strike Style Mustard BST 134
4 Ultra Ball BRS 150
3 Quick Ball FST 237
3 Pokégear 3.0 SSH 174
2 Hyper Potion CPA 54
2 Evolution Incense SSH 163 
1 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Switch SSH 183
3 Big Parasol DAA 157
3 Lost City LOR 161
1 Temple of Sinnoh ASR 155
1 Training Court RCL 169 

Energy (13)
6 Metal Energy 8
4 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
3 Fighting Energy 6

My list is a traditional build, but it does feature a few cool strategies to help tackle the metagame. In order to tackle Echoing Horn [Chilling Reign] from bringing back our Pokemon V, I decided to include Lost City [Lost Origin] to Lost Zone our own Pokemon! It is impossible for them to bring back our Pokemon with Echoing Horn if they never make it into the Lost Zone. Lost City is also a great answer to Regigigas decks and Lost Zone Box decks too! You can always use it to target down their key attackers so that they will never ever come back from the Lost Zone. I see a lot of lists including only two copies of Big Parasol [Darkness Ablaze], but I think three copies is much better. You always want to have a Big Parasol on your Duraludon VMAX so that your opponent can’t OHKO it with Yveltal [Shining Fates] and you can even Prize one when you have three. I’ve been toying around with adding in Choice Belt [Brilliant Stars] or Tool Jammer [Battle Styles] for the Yveltal [Celebrations] Control matchup, but I’m still undecided. I might also cut Lost City for Collapsed Stadium [Astral Radiance] because it might end up being the better Stadium. In most cases your Stadium card is used to bounce Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign] out of play and you just need a little justification to play one Stadium over another. Collapsed Stadium can still slow down Regigigas by reducing their Bench and it can certainly lower the damage output of Eternatus VMAX [Darkness Ablaze] too! I still have plenty of testing to do with this deck, but most cards in the list are perfect. As long as you avoid Rayquaza[Vivid Voltage], Path to the Peak, and a few other counter cards - this deck is fantastic.

Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX / Aerodactyl VSTAR

Looking at another successful Arceus VSTAR deck from San Diego Regionals has me pulling up Makani Tran’s Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX [Celebrations] / Aerodactyl VSTAR [Lost Origin] Toolbox deck that attempts to counter the majority of the metagame. As is the case with most Arceus VSTAR decks, the goal of Arceus VSTAR is to accelerate Energy to your various attackers while searching out key pieces from its Starbirth VSTAR Ability. This deck is kinda like a create your own adventure deck - you are gonna use different Pokemon depending on the matchup. Flying Pikachu VMAX can sometimes take control against Lost Zone Box decks and Regigigas decks. Similar to Duraludon VMAX, but for Basic Pokemon, Flying Pikachu VMAX can definitely deflect some damage from Basic Pokemon. Considering Lost Zone Box archetypes don’t typically play anything except Basic Pokemon, they can only hit you with effects of an attack (no damage). That’s where Espeon VMAX [Evolving Skies] cues in with its Ability that blocks all effects of attacks for each of your Pokemon that have Energy attached. If you have Flying Pikachu VMAX and Espeon VMAX out in play, most Lost Zone Box decks have very limited (if any) outs to actually doing anything meaningful. The same can also be said for Regigigas decks that typically have even less answers than a Lost Zone Box deck. Where does that leave us for the rest of the metagame? Well, Drapion V [Lost Origin] can definitely take care of some Mew VMAX decks and Aerodactyl VSTAR attempts to steal games against Lugia VSTAR. You can use its VSTAR attack to stop their Pokemon V from using Abilities and that means they can’t summon Archeops [Silver Tempest] to power up their Pokemon! COming fresh off of a top cut placement at San Diego, let’s check out this list!

Pokémon (19)
4 Arceus V BRS 122
3 Arceus VSTAR BRS 123
1 Aerodactyl V LOR 92
1 Aerodactyl VSTAR LOR 93
1 Flying Pikachu V CEL 6
1 Flying Pikachu VMAX CEL 7
1 Espeon V EVS 64
1 Espeon VMAX EVS 65
1 Empoleon V BST 40
1 Lumineon V BRS 40
1 Crobat V SHF 44
1 Drapion V LOR 118
1 Yveltal CEL 19
1 Pumpkaboo EVS 76

Trainer (28)
4 Marnie CPA 56 
3 Professor's Research BRS 147
2 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Cheren's Care BRS 134
4 Quick Ball FST 237
4 Ultra Ball BRS 150
3 Evolution Incense SSH 163 
2 Hyper Potion CPA 54
1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146
1 Switch SSH 183
2 Air Balloon SSH 156 
1 Collapsed Stadium BRS 137

Energy (13)
4 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
2 Capture Energy RCL 171
2 Lightning Energy 4
2 Water Energy 3 
2 Psychic Energy 5
1 Fighting Energy 6

I love how this list shows a complete change in deck building from the above Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX deck because it fits in so many other unique attackers. Consistency is always the problem and the solution when it comes to these “toolbox” styles of decks, but it does feel great to have answers against nearly everything. There are quite a few cool cards that I didn’t necessarily discuss above, so I’ll dive into it here. Empoleon V [Battle Styles] gives you an answer against random matchups, but I mainly use it as a Miltank [Astral Radiance] counter if you ever run into an Eldegoss V [Rebel Clash] Control deck. Empoleon V’s Ability shuts down Miltank’s Ability so you now have an out to that matchup. Cheren’s Care [Brilliant Stars] adds a great layer of depth by giving your Arceus VSTAR an option to pseudo-heal and get out of play! Playing into the Flying Pikachu VMAX strategy above, you’ll want to avoid giving up too many other Prize Cards to effectively lock your opponent out of the game. A key tip is to not put down too many Pokemon because they might be easy targets for your opponent with Boss’s Orders [Rebel Clash] / Serena [Silver Tempest] and you often need space for your consistency clutch Pokemon. Those Pokemon would be Crobat V [Darkness Ablaze] and Lumineon V [Brilliant Stars] that will allow you to draw some more cards or search out a Supporter when your hand doesn't have much else to offer. There are plenty of awesome cards in this deck so be sure to explore it! It has answers for most things and can always be adjusted to react to the current metagame.

Happy Testing

Well, that's a wrap on this Arceus VSTAR themed article PTCGO Store readers! Both of the above decks are tournament proven successful and they are relatively easy to play compared to some of the other decks in the format, like Lost Zone Box. If you don’t have all of the cards to build either one of these decks, you might just be in luck with a recent gift from PTCG Live. Most recently PTCG Live gifted all players a copy of the 2022 World Championship winning Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX deck and that means most readers should have access to the core of either of these decks. You can easily pick up some Pokemon TCG code cards right here at and pull the remaining cards for your deck or craft the exact cards you need! As always, using code zlesage5 save you 5% off your order of codes so be sure to get that extra discount in! I’ve personally been playing the Arceus VSTAR deck as my main deck to official Pokemon TCG Regionals and it has netted me plenty of Championships Points towards my invite to the World Championships later this year. I’m sure I’ll find my way playing some form of Arceus VSTAR at some upcoming events so hopefully I end up seeing some more success with it soon! As for me, I’ll be traveling to Orlando, Melbourne, Knoxville, Vancouver, Utrecht, Charlotte, and Fort Wayne in our Crown Zenith format so I hope to share many experiences with our community! Stay tuned for my future articles on the best decks, interesting cards, and more!


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. 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