February 7, 2023
Elena - Gaia Storm
Countering the meta
Hello everyone! Welcome to another
article about Pokémon TCG. It’s been a while since we last looked at
what was going on in the competitive scene, so I thought this could be a
great opportunity to talk about how to effectively use counter strategies to guarantee the win against some of the most popular strategies right now.
But what are we countering, exactly? If you have been disconnected from the game and decide to go to a tournament, I can guarantee that more than half of the rounds are
going to be against Lugia VSTAR and some sort of Lost Box deck. There
are many options to go against them but bear in mind that what effectively works against Lugia might falll short against Lost Box so it makes no sense to use something that will have a great match-up against one of the most popular decks but a very bad one against the other.
Here we will find three suggested strategies that perform very well against both of them and can help you bring the victory home!
This is perhaps the safest of the choices since Duraludon can also wall other decks apart from Lugia and Lost Box. The strategy here is pretty
simple and purely revolves around Duraludon VMAX from Evolving Skies.
You need to start with Arceus V, attach an energy and bench a Duraludon
V. In the next turn, it is as easy as evolving your Duraludon and using
Trinity Nova (Arceus’ attack) to power Duraludon up. And that is it.
Repeat that strategy against any match-up you find in the tournament
until you win.
I am only hlf joking here. Duraludon
only has one unique line of play but it is a very effective one. Once
you’ve powered up your Duraludon, Lugia can’t basically touch it unless
it wastes a lot of resources powering up an Amazing Yveltal, but even
that can be avoided by simply attaching a Big Parasol to Duraludon.
Against Lost Box, the strategy is basically the same. Parasol blocks the
attack from Sableye, which is very important in late game, but what you
really need to focus on is on finding your healing cards at the right
moment. If you are able to use some potions on Duraludon, you can
basically secure your win because Lost Box lacks resources to get prizes
easily. Last thing I want to mention is that this deck can be heavily
teched against other decks depending on what you expect to find, like
including Lost City against Regigigas.
This deck operates very similarly to Arceus Duraludon in the sense that it revolves around a very bulky attacker that cannot be easily taken down either by Lugia’s attackers or by Lost Box’ ones. When Goodra attacks, it puts a shield around it that makes it
take -80 damage every time your opponent attacks. If you combine it with some healing cards like Hyper Potion or Crystal Cave, suddenly Goodra can survive 2 or even 3 attacks, which is going to turn the prize race into your favor.
There are different ways in which you can play Goodra but the most popular and good ones are Lost Box engine or Arceus. I think it makes sense for Goodra to be paired with Lost Box because that way you will always have access to their VSTAR ability and heal all the damage of your board.
While I think this deck is a bit more inconsistent than Arceus Duraludon, I can completely see that this is a very viable strategy as things stand. The only real menace that Goodra has (not counting that it has a certain tendency to brick) is facing something that can effectively KO it in one hit, but there are not many decks in the format that can achieve that.
A while ago, I wrote about the power of item lock and how it is one of the most difficult limitations to deal with in the Pokémon TCG game. Of course, Vikavolt is not as powerful as Seismitoad EX was in the past but it is a deck to watch out for a number of reasons.
There are two main weapons you have available. Vikavolt is your main attacker, the one that gets the item lock stated. This alone can single handedly deal with a Lost Box deck because they can’t just use their resources. It is not that the item lock slows them down, as it happens with other decks, the thing is that they can’t use some key cards like Scoop Up Gate and Mirage Gate. And without access to these cards, they can’t attack. And if they can’t attack, they can not win. As simple as that. It is true that if they go
first and have a good start, they might be able to threaten your board state but it is a very favorable match-up for Vikavolt nonetheless.
And then we have Lugia. While item lock is definitely nice, the real
problem is if Lugia is able to use Summoning Star and bench two or even
just one Archeops. So the best way to prevent this from happening is not
just using Vikavolt to item lock your opponent, you need to play your
second weapon: Aerodactyl VSTAR. If you go first, the plan is to have it
ready by turn two, attach an energy and use its VSTAR movement, which
basically cancels all the rest of VSTAR plays during the game. If Lugia
is not able to use its VSTAR ability, it can not accelerate energies and
directly loses. Of course, this is easier said than done but if you are
able to get that play, Lugia basically becomes a free win.
While I am not a very big fan of these types of strategies (I am more
like an aggro player) I can assure you that they are really good picks
to counter the metagame at the time I am writing this article. But, you
need to remember one thing: countering the meta is great but it has one
big risk. If you play against a non-meta deck, you might not win. But
hey, if we had an unbeatable deck, where would the fun go? Thanks for
reading and don’t forget to try these decks out!
Elena - Gaia Storm
Elena has been playing Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2011 and has never stopped. With her partner, she runs Gaia Storm, one of the largest Pokémon TCG Youtube channels in the world. She has a problem remembering the names of all the Pokémon but tends to open the most broken Pokémon packs.