The Best Decks from Temporal Forces | Pokémon

The Pokémon TCG as we know it is actively changing, and our current Standard metagame is about to absolutely be shaken up. We are shedding all E-block cards (which is roughly Battle Styles to Fusion Strike), we are seeing the release of Scarlet and Violet: Temporal Forces, and there are a handful of major tournaments coming up like the 2024 European International Championships. 

I’d say we are in the early metagame, but the metagame hasn’t actually formed outside of Japan. Japan has hosted one major event, the 2600 player Champions League Fukuoka, and that was back in February. Players were allowed to change their decks from day one to day two which might have messed with the results a bit, and the metagame has certainly changed since.

Right now, Japan is hosting 60 player City Leagues all over the country, and that is the rest of the worlds option for trying to understand this metagame heading into EUIC. Well, that and maybe this article! I have been researching hundreds of those City League tournaments, and I’m going to share three archetypes in this article that have been performing well in Japan - lists included! Grab some new Katana Sleeves, unbox that fresh Sidewinder, and get ready to build your next Championship winning deck - let’s jump into my number three pick!

3. Lugia VSTAR / Cinccino Deck | Pokémon

Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] was the best deck in format from late 2022- to late 2023, and has seemingly fallen out of the metagame since the release of November’s Scarlet and Violet: Paradox Rift. Since Lugia VSTAR uses Archeops [Silver Tempest] to load up Special Energy to various Pokémon, it usually needs powerful Special Energy to attach, and/or a powerful Pokémon to attach them too. In this case, Temporal Forces give us both in the form of Cinccino [Temporal Forces], and Mist Energy [Temporal Forces].

Cinccino can OHKO most Pokémon in the game with its big attack that does 70x for each Special Energy card attached to it, and that could be as simple as slapping on two Energy to Knock Out a Cramorant [Lost Origin], or loading up five Energy to make a Charizard ex [Paldean Fates] vanish. Mist Energy stops any effects of attacks from affecting the Pokémon it is attached to, and that means Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin] can’t use Star Requiem to KO, and V Guard Energy [Astral Radiance] stops Lost Impact from getting there too. The strategy is as simple as getting those Archeops in the discard pile, summoning them with Lugia VSTAR’s Ability, and loading up your Energy where you see fit! Let’s check out my current version of the archetype here!


1 Lumineon V BRS 40
3 Minccino BRS 124
3 Cinccino SV5K 60
3 Lugia VSTAR SIT 139
4 Archeops SIT 147
4 Lugia V SIT 138
2 Snorlax LOR 143


1 V Guard Energy SIT 169
4 Gift Energy LOR 171
2 Mist Energy
1 Therapeutic Energy PAL 193
4 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
4 Jet Energy PAL 190


1 Master Ball PLB 94
4 Ultra Ball SVI 196
3 Iono PAL 185
2 Great Ball PAL 183
4 Capturing Aroma SIT 153
2 Serena SIT 164
3 Professor's Research SVI 189
2 Collapsed Stadium BRS 137
2 Boss's Orders PAL 172
1 Jacq SVI 175
Looking to protect your Lugia VSTAR / Cinccino deck in style? The Boulder 100+ Synergy Blue / White matches the colorway of the cards for this archetype, and is an amazing hard-shell deck box. Check it out here!

2. Chien-Pao ex / Baxcalibur Deck | Pokémon

While Lugia VSTAR / Cinccino gained new attackers, new Special Energy, and is essentially a "new" archetype, Chien-Pao ex [Paldea Evolved] / Baxcalibur [Paldea Evolved] is almost the same deck as the pre-rotation list. The archetype has lost Battle VIP Pass [Fusion Strike] and Cross Switcher [Fusion Strike], but those are easily replaced by a few new cards from Temporal Forces. Buddy-Buddy Poffin [Temporal Forces] allows us to search out Frigibax [Paldea Evolved], and Bidoof [Crown Zenith], and no longer has the turn one reliance of all or nothing.

Cross Switcher is a bit more difficult to replace, but Prime Catcher [Temporal Forces], Boss’s Orders [Paldea Evolved], and Ciphermaniac’s Codebreaking [Temporal Forces] take those spots up with ease. The strategy of the deck remains the same as before, using Rare Candy [Scarlet and Violet] to Evolve into Baxcalibur early, raining Water Energy to Chien-Pao ex, and OHKOing whichever Pokémon you like. I’ve put a lot of effort into testing my list, so I’m excited to share it with you here - let’s check it out!


1 Frigibax PAF 17
2 Bibarel BRS 121
2 Baxcalibur PAL 60
1 Iron Hands ex PAR 70
1 Kyogre CRZ 36
3 Chien-Pao ex PAL 61
1 Radiant Greninja ASR 46
2 Frigibax PAL 57
2 Bidoof CRZ 111


8 Basic {W} Energy SVE 3
1 Basic {L} Energy SVE 4


2 Ciphermaniac's Codebreaking
4 Ultra Ball SVI 196
4 Irida ASR 147
3 Rare Candy SVI 191
1 Canceling Cologne ASR 136
2 Earthen Vessel PAR 163
1 Prime Catcher
1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146
4 Buddy-Buddy Poffin
1 Counter Catcher PAR 160
2 PokéStop PGO 68
4 Superior Energy Retrieval PAL 189
2 Super Rod PAL 188
4 Nest Ball SVI 181
1 Boss's Orders PAL 172
I love color-matching my decks with sleeves that are a similar color as the main Pokémon or theme of the deck, and Blue Katana sleeves pair nicely with this deck. You can check those out here!

1. Charizard ex / Bibarel Deck | Pokémon

Charizard ex has been a leader of the Standard metagame for a long while, and it didn’t lose much from our Standard Rotation. Similarly to Chien-Pao ex, the only real loss was Battle VIP Pass, and that is the same easy replacement for Buddy-Buddy Poffin. Being able to grab a Charmander [Obsidian Flames], and Bidoof, at any point is an upgrade if anything, so the change is actually welcomed here. Ciphermaniac’s Codebreaking is also a cool tech card in this list because you can put any two cards you want on top of your deck, like Rare Candy and Prime Catcher, and draw them with Bibarel [Brilliant Stars].

You can also use Skwovet [Scarlet and Violet] to draw a Bibarel, and then draw the other card you put on top. Lots of cool strategies to uncover with this deck, and I’m sure we’ll see it at the top tables of EUIC! I’ve arguably put the most time into this archetype, and it is one of the best performing decks in Japan right now, so let’s check out my list!


1 Charmeleon MEW 5
1 Charmander PAF 7
3 Charizard ex PAF 54
1 Skwovet SVI 151
1 Jirachi PAR 126
1 Charmeleon PAF 8
3 Charmander OBF 26
2 Bibarel BRS 121
1 Radiant Charizard CRZ 20
1 Manaphy BRS 41
3 Bidoof CRZ 111


7 Basic {R} Energy SVE 2


1 Counter Catcher PAR 160
1 Ciphermaniac's Codebreaking
2 Nest Ball SVI 181
4 Arven OBF 186
4 Buddy-Buddy Poffin
3 Boss's Orders PAL 172 PH
2 Technical Machine: Evolution PAR 178
2 Super Rod PAL 188
1 Lost Vacuum CRZ 135
3 Rare Candy PAF 89
1 Collapsed Stadium BRS 137
1 Prime Catcher
4 Iono PAF 80
4 Ultra Ball SVI 196
1 Defiance Band SVI 169
1 Switch SVI 194
Your Darkness-type Charizard ex will definitely pop out nicely compared to the Red backdrop of one of Ultimate Guard’s Play-Mats! Check it out here!

Time to Break the Format!

Our new Temporal Forces format is exciting because plenty of new cards are seeing success in both new archetypes, and previously established ones, on top of the Standard Rotation forcing some changes to the metagame. No longer will Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] dominate our format, and we can finally lay that deck down. With many tournaments like EUIC, Orlando, and more coming up soon, I’m excited to see all of the different strategies emerge, and play some exciting games of Pokemon TCG.

I’ll be in attendance for EUIC, Orlando, Indianapolis, and local events around Toronto so I’ll have a chance to experience this great format first hand! Maybe I’ll even play one of these decks from this article, but just know that I’m always cooking up some interesting lists as a major Pokemon fanatic! I appreciate all of you reading this article, and I can’t wait for my next article to share with our Ultimate Guard community!

Autor: 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.