Pokémon: The Top 5 Best Decks for Worlds 2023

The 2022-2023 Pokémon TCG season has seen many exciting results, and many are currently traveling to the World Championships held in Yokohama, Japan! I decided it is great to celebrate Worlds by sharing my top five decks heading into the events and providing lists for each!

If you’re heading to Worlds, you’ll get access to some awesome lists, and if you’re playing locally, you can choose the best deck to earn Championship Points. Our metagame might see variation over the next few weeks, but these decks are currently on top! Let’s jump to our number five deck!

5. Arceus / Duraludon / Umbreon 

While Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] / Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies] / Umbreon VMAX [Evolving Skies] has tumbled down from the absolute top spots at NAIC 2023 to the middle of the list, that may be the secret to its success. This deck aims to counter Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet], Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike], and Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] decks through its VMAX Pokémon attackers, while Arceus VSTAR is strong against Lost Zone Box.

As those decks are all becoming better positioned heading into Worlds, so is Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX / Umbreon VMAX. Timing is everything, and this deck could find its way into the top ranks of the metagame heading into Yokohama!

Arceus / Duraludon / Umbreon Deck | Pokémon

Pokémon (19)

3 Arceus VSTAR BRS
4 Arceus V BRS
2 Duraludon VMAX CRZ
2 Duraludon V CRZ
2 Umbreon VMAX EVS
2 Umbreon V EVS
1 Spiritomb PAL
1 Lumineon V BRS
1 Hawlucha SVI
1 Radiant Alakazam SIT

Energy (14)

4 Double Turbo Energy BRS
4 Basic {M} Energy SVE
3 Basic {D} Energy SVE
2 Basic {F} Energy SVE
1 Luminous Energy PAL

Trainer (27)

4 Iono PAL
3 Adventurer's Discovery FST 
2 Professor's Research SVI
2 Boss's Orders PAL 
1 Judge SVI 
3 Lost City LOR 
1 Path to the Peak CRE 
1 Choice Belt PAL 
4 Nest Ball SVI 
4 Ultra Ball SVI 
1 Escape Rope BST 
1 Switch SVI 

If you wanna play Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX / Umbreon VMAX in style, sleeve it up in Ultimate Guard Cortex Black Sleeves for a great color balance!

4. Lugia

It might be a hot take, but Lugia VSTAR is back on top! With Duraludon VMAX seeing less play and a massive uptick in Lost Zone Box variants, Lugia VSTAR can thrive! The deck still carries the same strategy of getting Archeops [Silver Tempest] in your discard pile to accelerate Energy, so if you’ve ever played this deck before, it should still be familiar.

Single Strike Pokemon fill up the attacking spaces because they are relevant to the metagame right now due to typing and because you can get back Single Strike Energy [Battle Styles] with Urn of Vitality [Battle Styles]. It might not be the best deck in the format, but it certainly holds its own against the developing metagame.

Lugia VSTAR Deck | Pokémon

Pokémon (19)

4 Lugia V SIT
4 Archeops SIT
2 Lumineon V BRS
2 Tyranitar V BST
1 Squawkabilly ex PAL
1 Radiant Tsareena SIT
1 Stonjourner BST
1 Yveltal FST

Energy (13)

4 Single Strike Energy BST
3 Double Turbo Energy BRS
3 Gift Energy LOR
2 V Guard Energy SIT
1 Jet Energy PAL

Trainer (28)

3 Professor's Research SVI
3 Boss's Orders PAL
3 Iono PAL
1 Professor Burnet PR-SW
3 Mesagoza SVI
2 Collapsed Stadium BRS
4 Capturing Aroma SIT
4 Ultra Ball SVI
3 Urn of Vitality BST
2 Nest Ball SVI

I love matching my Pokemon  to my deck box whenever possible, so I recommend flying high with Lugia VSTAR rocking an Ultimate Guard Sidewinder 100+ Synergy in the Blue / White colorway!

3. Gardevoir

Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] is the best deck in the format, but it struggles against many counter decks due to its success. It can still win against every Pokémon TCG deck, but it might be tough. With Gardevoir ex getting countered by many, it has slipped out of the top spot and might find itself winning Worlds in Japan.

It has to be good if a deck can have an autonomous draw engine, a way to accelerate many Energy and attack for OHKOs! I’m sure we’ll see Gardevoir ex go very far in Yokohama!

Gardevoir ex Deck | Pokémon

Pokémon (17)

2 Gardevoir ex SVI
2 Gardevoir CRE
4 Kirlia SIT
3 Ralts SVI
1 Ralts SIT
1 Radiant Greninja ASR
1 Zacian V CEL
1 Cresselia LOR
1 Manaphy BRS
1 Mew CEL

Energy (12)

11 Basic {P} Energy SVE
1 Reversal Energy PAL

Trainer (31)

4 Iono PAL
2 Boss's Orders PAL
2 Worker SIT 
1 Collapsed Stadium BRS
1 Temple of Sinnoh ASR
1 Artazon PAL
1 Sky Seal Stone CRZ
4 Battle VIP Pass FST
3 Fog Crystal CRE
3 Rare Candy SVI
3 Level Ball BST
3 Ultra Ball SVI
2 Super Rod PAL
1 Pal Pad SVI

I love how the green on the whole Gardevoir Evolution line pops when pairing them with Ultimate Guard Green Cortex Sleeves.

2. Turbo Lost Zone Box

Turbo Lost Zone Box is one of the most consistent decks in our format and one of the quickest. Suppose you wanna snipe your opponent’s Pokémon turn two. In that case, you can easily get cards in the Lost Zone with Comfey [Lost Origin] and Colress’s Experiment [Lost Origin], Lost Vacuum [Crown Zenith] a Forest Seal Stone [Silver Tempest] in play, accelerate Energy with Mirage Gate [Lost Origin], and attack with Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance].

That might sound like a long-winded combo, but it often happens by playing multiple copies of the same cards. If consistency is king, Turbo Lost Zone Box is the best deck in the game!

Turbo Lost Zone Box Deck | Pokémon

Pokémon (12)

4 Comfey LOR
2 Sableye LOR
1 Dragonite V PR-SW
1 Drapion V LOR
1 Raikou V BRS
1 Radiant Greninja ASR
1 Cramorant LOR
1 Manaphy BRS

Energy (8)

4 Basic {W} Energy SVE
2 Basic {P} Energy SVE
2 Basic {L} Energy SVE

Trainer (40)

1 Artazon PAL
4 Colress's Experiment LOR
1 Klara CRE
1 Boss's Orders PAL
1 PokéStop PGO
3 Forest Seal Stone SIT
4 Battle VIP Pass FST
4 Escape Rope BST
4 Mirage Gate LOR
4 Switch Cart ASR
3 Trekking Shoes CRZ
3 Lost Vacuum CRZ
3 Super Rod PAL
3 Nest Ball SVI
1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR

While I pair these with Ultimate Guard Red Cortex Sleeves, I’m sure the Lost Zone aura would pair beautifully with Ultimate Guard Petrol Cortex Sleeves.

1. Giratina

kemon in format are still roaming around, you’ll want to have some OHKO power at Worlds!It might be a bit of a newcomer to the top of the meta, but this slower approach to Lost Zone decks seems to work! Even though it's slower, it does gain the combo play of Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign] + Iono [Paldea Evolved] / Roxanne [Astral Radiance]. That and you can OHKO anything with Giratina VSTAR’s [Lost Origin] VSTAR attack! When 300+ HP Pokemon in format are still roaming around, you’ll want to have some OHKO power at Worlds!

Giratina Deck | Pokémon

Pokémon (15)

3 Giratina VSTAR LOR
3 Giratina V LOR 
4 Comfey LOR
2 Sableye LOR
1 Radiant Greninja ASR
1 Manaphy BRS
1 Cramorant LOR

Energy (13)

4 Basic {P} Energy SVE
3 Basic {W} Energy SVE
3 Basic {G} Energy SVE
3 Jet Energy PAL

Trainer (32)

4 Colress's Experiment LOR
2 Boss's Orders PAL
2 Iono PAL
1 Roxanne ASR
3 Path to the Peak CRE
4 Battle VIP Pass FST
4 Mirage Gate LOR
3 Switch Cart ASR
3 Nest Ball SVI
2 Escape Rope BST
2 Super Rod PAL
2 Pokégear 3.0 SVI

Similarly to how Turbo Lost Zone Box, the Lost Zone aura on many of the cards in this deck would pair beautifully with Ultimate Guard Purple Cortex Sleeves.

Pokémon Worlds: See Ya in Japan!

All of the above decks are amazing, and I’m sure they’ll succeed at the top tables of Yokohama! Feel free to copy and paste those lists directly into PTCG Live to give them a whirl for yourself! I’m set on running one of the above, depending on the metagame and what I feel like playing!

Hopefully, I’ll have a deep run this year, but honestly, I’m so excited to visit the birthplace of my favorite game! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for my upcoming articles!

Author: Zach Lesage

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for Ultimate Guard. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokémon 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 Pokémon events and follow him on Twitter.