It’s a Scarlet and Violet World

Gardevoir ex

What’s up PTCGO Store readers? Where are you right now? Well, you are in our newly discovered Paldea Region! Welcome to this new world where E-block on cards are Standard legal, and we have access to Scarlet and Violet! Some things look eerily similar, hi Nest Ball and other things look brand new, hi Gardevoir ex. In our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith Standard format, Lugia VSTAR / Archeops [Silver Tempest] was arguably the most powerful deck in that format. Well, Lugia VSTAR didn’t rotate, Archeops didn’t rotate, and so didn’t a lot of other cards in that deck? Why would it not be the best deck in our new E-block on format? Well, I’ll explain that in this article! Expect to go through a whirlwind of learning, get access to a solid list for the new way to play Lugia VSTAR, and more! Need any of the cards to build Lugia VSTAR? I gotcha! Use code zlesage5 to save 5% on PTCGL codes here at the PTCGO store. Let’s start off by looking at the old Lugia VSTAR list!

Good Old Lugia

Powerful Colorless Energy

Towards the end of our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format, Ian Robb won the 2023 Vancouver, Canada Regional Championships with Lugia VSTAR / Archeops - arguably the best Pokemon TCG deck in that format. What makes Lugia VSTAR so good? It can summon two Archeops with its Summoning Star Ability and start accelerating Special Energy. Considering Crown Zenith is the last set in the Sword and Shield block of cards, there are plenty of Special Energy to choose from. Let’s look at f the Energy available in this deck:

  • Powerful Colorless Energy [Darkness Ablaze] gives your Colorless Pokemon +20 damage for each Powerful Colorless Energy attached. This means Lugia VSTAR can OHKO Pokemon VSTAR / VMAX with ease, and Stoutland V [Crown Zenith] can OHKO single Prize Card Pokemon to draw extra Prize Cards.
  • Aurora Energy [Sword and Shield] provides any Energy type you need but comes at the cost of discarding a card from your hand. This cost is often waived by accelerating the Energy from your deck with Archeops to your various attackers that normally need difficult-to-obtain Energy costs. If you attach this Energy early, it can help discard Archeops from your hand for Summoning Star.
  • Capture Energy [Rebel Clash] is a consistent Boost to be able to search out important Pokemon, like Lugia V [Silver Tempest], at the beginning of a game. If you use it in the later stages of the game, you can grab out valuable tech Pokemon, like Yveltal [Shining Fates].
  • Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars] gives you a freebie extra attachment at the cost of doing -20 damage. It can be the difference between attacking or not, Retreating, or the damage might not matter when Radiant Charizard [Pokemon Go] is doing a lot of damage
  • Heat Fire Energy [Darkness Ablaze] is an extension of Aurora Energy for Radiant Charizard and Yveltal but can provide an additional 20 HP if it's attached to a Fire-type Pokemon
  • Speed Lightning Energy [Rebel Clash] is an extension of Aurora Energy for Raikou [Vivid Voltage] and can draw two cards from your deck if it's attached to an Electric-type Pokemon
  • V Guard Energy [Silver Tempest] reduces damage by -30 from your opponent’s Pokemon V. This can be the difference between getting OHKOd or being able to attack again the next turn.

All of those Energy directly change the way the deck is built, the way it's played, and interactions with your opponent. Let’s take a look at Robb’s list before I explain our dilemma with Special Energy.

Pokémon (19)
3 Lugia V SIT 138
2 Lugia VSTAR SIT 139
4 Archeops SIT 147
2 Lumineon V BRS 40
1 Stoutland V CRZ 116
1 Radiant Charizard CRZ 20
1 Yveltal SHF 46
1 Raikou VIV 50
1 Oranguru SSH 148
1 Pumpkaboo EVS 76
1 Manaphy BRS 41
1 Dunsparce FST 207

Trainer (25)
3 Professor's Research BRS 147
3 Marnie CPA 56 
3 Boss's Orders BRS 132
1 Irida ASR 147
4 Quick Ball FST 237
4 Ultra Ball CRZ 146
4 Evolution Incense SSH 163 
1 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Lost Vacuum CRZ 135
1 Choice Belt BRS 135

Energy (16)
4 Powerful Colorless Energy DAA 176
4 Aurora Energy SSH 186
3 Capture Energy RCL 171
2 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
1 Heat Fire Energy DAA 174
1 Speed Lightning Energy RCL 173
1 V Guard Energy SIT 169

Lugia VSTAR decklist

With our rotation to E-block on, we lose quite a few Special Energy. Which ones? Well, Powerful Colorless Energy, Aurora Energy, Capture Energy, Heat Fire Energy, and Speed Lightning Energy. Without any easy replacements, like Quick Ball for Nest Ball, the whole construction of the deck will have to change. Let’s dive into the new build of Lugia VSTAR!

The New Lugia

パンギラス V

In a world where all of the best Special Energy are gone, we have to pivot to the next best Special Energy. In this case, we go back to Battle Styles and find Single Strike Energy [Battle Styles]. That starts to adjust our deck because you can only attach Single Strike Energy to your Single Strike Pokemon. What are the best ones? Well, パンギラス V [Battle Styles] can swing for a bunch of damage, and Stonjourner [Battle Styles] is a great single Prize Card attacker. Maybe Yveltal [Fusion Strike] could be a great option too? Like Powerful Colorless Energy, Single Strike Energy increases damage by +20 for each Single Strike Energy attached. It is a bit of watered-down Aurora Energy, but it does provide Darkness Energy or Fighting Energy for your Single Strike Pokemon. It works! Well, kinda! We are trying, at least! We still keep V Guard Energy and Double Turbo Energy, so we have some familiarity with our Special Energy. What else is new? Well, we have Gift Energy [Lost Origin] that can be a great consistency boost when our Pokemon are Knocked Out. Regenerative Energy [Silver Tempest] is another new inclusion, but it is treated as a general attachment, with a possible chance at healing a bit of damage from Lugia V when it Evolves into Lugia VSTAR. If we look forward to our next set, Paldea Evolved, Jet Energy is another great option. What I’m saying is that we need to give this archetype time to heal and replenish some Special Energy! Let’s look at the list that I’ve finished working on earlier this morning!

Pokémon (19)
4 Lugia V
3 Lugia VSTAR
1 Stonjourner
2 Tyranitar V
2 Lumineon V
4 Archeops
1 Drapion V
1 Radiant Tsareena
1 Snorlax

Trainer (28)
4 Ultra Ball
4 Capturing Aroma
2 Urn of Vitality
2 Nest Ball
4 Professor's Research
4 Mesagoza
2 Boss's Orders
1 Professor Burnet
1 Serena
2 Judge
1 Arven
1 Choice Belt

Energy (13)
4 Single Strike Energy
3 Double Turbo Energy
2 V Guard Energy
2 Gift Energy
2 Regenerative Energy

Lugia VSTAR / Tyranitar V decklist

As you can see, it mainly looks the same, but there are a few differences. No Quick Ball, but that is an easy replacement for Nest Ball and Capturing Aroma [Pokemon Go]. Similarly, Mesagoza [Scarlet and Violet] gives this deck another consistency boost that should make it one of the more consistent decks in the format. I’m still working out if Irida [Astral Radiance] is better than Arven [Scarlet and Violet], but I’m sure I’ll figure it out with some more reps with this deck. There are a few cards that I wanna explain because they might not necessarily jump out as obvious inclusions.

Tech Card Choices

Radiant Tsareena

Sometimes tech options are really easy to explain, and sometimes they go right over my head. Even when I was researching Japanese decks to find a solid skeleton, I had to message my friend Kenny Packala to learn why every list was including Radiant Tsareena [Silver Tempest]. Sometimes it's good to ask questions, and this section is gonna explain some of the more interesting choices in the deck.

パンギラス V
パンギラス V is our huge OHKO Pokemon in the deck, similar to Lugia VSTAR, with four Powerful Colorless Energy from the last format! If you attach a few Single Strike Energy and a Choice Belt [Brilliant Stars], Single Strike Crush is gonna sweep whatever is in front of you. With Gardevoir ex and Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] both having a Darkness-type Weakness, this is a great inclusion. If you need more Single Strike Energy in your deck, feel free to use Urn of Vitality [Battle Styles] to reload your deck!

Beyond being a Pokemon that you can slap Single Strike Energy on, it is a solid answer to Miraidon ex [Scarlet and Violet] / Regieleki VMAX [Silver Tempest] decks or any PTCGL decks that still run Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars]. Type advantage is always going to be a huge aspect of the Pokemon TCG, and we want to exploit it wherever possible. It is also good at matching the tempo of opposing single Prize Card decks by matching their Prize Card output.

Radiant Tsareena
Without access to Aurora Energy, there isn’t a market for many Radiant Pokemon that would’ve otherwise found their way into this deck. Radiant Tsareena is an answer to the numerous popular Lost Zone Box decks to reduce damage, slow down Hawlucha [Scarlet and Violet] + Sableye [Lost Origin] plays, and maybe even Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance] plays. Some other people have been trying out Radiant Jirachi [Silver Tempest], but I like Radiant Tsareena more.

カビゴン [Lost Origin] is another single Prize Card option that can help you take down other single Prize Card decks or swing big! Considering you’ll get the Knock Out most of the time, you can use Double Turbo Energy on this Pokemon to require less Energy overall!

Drapion V
Drapion V [Lost Origin] has always been looked at as just a Mew VMAX counter, but we can easily load this Pokemon up against a Gardevoir ex deck to swing for an OHKO. With Single Strike Lugia VSTAR variants playing Single Strike Pokemon, Drapion V can score a freebie / reduced attack against those matchups in a pinch.

There are other options to consider when it comes to building this deck, but I like the way the deck works right now. It has enough interesting options, a focus on consistency, and it tries to replicate the success of a Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith Lugia VSTAR list wherever possible. We can only hope for pseudo-reprints of Aurora Energy to have more options, but this works great for now! Maybe a Rapid Strike or Fusion Strike build will challenge it too? You never know!

Happy Testing

Oinkologne ex

Well, that’s it! You’ve learned about the new Single Strike Lugia VSTAR deck, and it might end up being one of the better decks in our E-block on format! The Pokemon TCG is an interesting game because it is filled with familiarity and massive change at the same time - kinda like this article! At the time of writing, Scarlet and Violet releases on PTCG Live tomorrow, and I’m hyped to start testing for upcoming major events! I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel to London, United Kingdom for the 2023 European International Championships where Scarlet and Violet and this new format will be legal for the first time ever! Will I play Lugia VSTAR? Uhhh, I honestly don’t know! I have so much more of this format to explore, and I can’t wait to share my findings right here! If you wanna support me on my journey, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on Pokemon TCG Live codes here at the PTCGO store! I gotta do a lot more testing to do so I’ll catch up with all of you later! Much love and happy testing!


Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for the PTCGO store. 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.