August 3, 2022
Elena - Gaia Storm
worlds2022, Decklist, Pokémon
Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG and it is great to be here once again. After two years of hiatus due to the COVID crisis, the wait is finally over: on August 18th the 2022 Pokémon Worlds Championship will officially begin. Everyone is very excited about going to the biggest event of the year (which will take place in London) and getting the chance to play again in real life. In terms of the competitive scene, no wonder why this is the most anticipated moment of the year.
It is very difficult to predict what deck or strategy will emerge victorious this time because players always surprise us with creative and never-seen-before builds or counters to the most popular decks. But, on paper, we already have enough experience with the format (Sword and Shield to Astral Radiance) to at least identify the strongest candidates to lift the trophy. In today’s article, we are going to look at my top 3 decks for the event: Arceus, Palkia and Mew.
Arceus VSTAR Variant
This is, without any doubt, the most consistent deck in the entire format (of course, that is what you would expect from the Pokémon God itself). Arceus VSTAR has everything you can dream of in a Pokémon card: an ability that allows you to search for any two cards and put them in your hand, an incredible attack and the capacity to accelerate energies to your field. Also, being a colorless Pokémon, it can be combined by many other attackers.
This flexibility is what allows Arceus to always remain a top tier deck because depending on the deck you want to counter, you can adapt the deckbuilding and add secondary attackers to beat certain Pokémon. For instance, Arceus with Flying Pikachu VMAX became the winner of the prestigious North America International Championship last month, beating Palkia VSTAR in a close match where the Lightning type of Pikachu gave Arceus the advantage against the water deck.
As things stand, there are many different Arceus variants that can be found in the format right now, all of them with its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see some of them.
Arceus with Inteleon is probably my favorite because it is as solid as a deck can be. It combines the stability of Arceus with the searching engine of Inteleon, granting you access to whatever trainer you need from your deck. As such, you can decide to use healing cards, damage modifiers or Stadiums to stop your opponent’s abilities. I feel this deck can win against practically every other strategy in the format but it has the “downside” of not having any type advantage. This will probably be the top pick for Worlds.
Arceus Flying Pikachu is, as explained above, a very popular approach because the lightning attackers you run can easily KO Palkia VSTAR (perhaps the most broken deck in the format) in just one hit. Flying Pikachu can also be very useful in certain situations blocking the damage you receive from basic Pokémon, which is ideal if you are running against something that focuses on them. The only issue this deck has is that it is slightly less consistent than the Inteleon variant but it is a force to reckon nonetheless.
Arceus Duraludon VMAX is a very different but pretty efficient variant in certain match ups. Unlike the other Arceus decks, this deck has a more defensive approach in the sense that it revolves around powering up a big Duraludon VMAX and healing it so that your opponent can’t take it down. Also, Duraludon has a very unique ability that acts as a shield against Pokémon that have any special energy card attached and that alone can be enough to win against some decks.
Palkia VSTAR w/Inteleon
Palkia VSTAR is just crazy. When you combine it with Inteleon, the possibilities become endless. You get an engine that gives you access to your entire deck during every single turn of the game with the addition of the powerful attack of Palkia. In fact, Palkia puts a lot of pressure -pun intended- on the opponent side, forcing them to not bench many Pokémon (reducing their playing options) for fear that Palkia will get an early KO. With the rise of Palkia, many decks have tried to counter it including Lightning-type Pokémon which Palkia is weak to. In fact, that is the reason why Arceus Flying Pikachu became a deck in the first place.
But the fact that Palkia keeps making it into the top cut of the biggest tournaments in spite of the counters is the greatest proof that the deck is very strong. I don’t have any doubts that Palkia has the potential to make it to the Worlds final but we will see how it deals with the possible bad match-ups that have become more and more popular.
This might be a bit of a controversial choice because Mew VMAX does not have the success it used to in the previous format but I think the deck remains powerful enough to be considered a thread. Mew VMAX is the fastest deck in Standard, allowing you to draw an unbelievable amount of cards every turn thanks to the ability of Genesect V. It is a very aggressive strategy that can defeat you before you’ve even had the chance to start your game. But of course, not everything is perfect for Mew.
In order to work, you need to get your combo pieces in a very particular order and sometimes, this is easier said than done. Another problem that Mew has is that it is completely dependent on Genesect’s power to draw cards and most of the decks right now have ways to shut down abilities. If the Mew player is not able to find a way to get abilities back again, there is nothing else to do in the game. The reason why I think Mew VMAX can still be an interesting contender is because I feel that the meta has shifted to counter Palkia and, as a result, players might feel overconfident when playing against Mew.
Predicting what will happen in the Pokémon Worlds Championship is a very difficult task because we’ve seen many surprising movements in the previous editions (maybe one day I’ll write a post about how Audino became a World Champion) but I am willing to bet that the decks covered above will make it to the top positions. Something I really like about this format that we have is that there are a lot of powerful strategies and viable options so I expect to see a wide variety of strategies. I can’t wait to see what happens in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!
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.