Hi guys, I'm back with another article and today it's all about Dark-type. With Dark Patch getting reprinted in Astral Radiance, can Dark-type have a viable deck in the format? In today's article, I'll be discussing Eternatus VMAX and Hisuian Samurott VSTAR in a single deck. Enjoy!
This is just an example, if the deck didn’t work for you, you can try to experiment with it yourself and get comfortable with it.
You will be playing like the usual Eternatus VMAX but because right now you have the option of having a VSTAR Power, you can increase your damage output. Hisuian Samurott VSTAR and Galarian Weezing can also attack because this is a single-type deck.
In the past, Eternatus VMAX was in a lower tier of the format mostly because of Path to the Peak and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX (or other Fighting-type decks). Its setup speed is also considered slow for a VMAX Pokemon because you need a full board of 8 Bench Pokemon to hit your maximum damage output of 270. In order to do that, you need to have Crobat V and a handful of searchers in your hand. That's why Eternatus VMAX seems to be struggling in the format.
But right now, because Ultra Ball and Battle VIP Pass is here, Eternatus VMAX may have some chance in the format. But why is Brilliant Stars not the time where Eternatus VMAX shines? Because Arceus VSTAR's weakness is the same as Eternatus VMAX and people can easily use Fighting-type decks to counter them both. But in Astral Radiance, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR rises in popularity and that means many people will try to counter it rather than trying to counter Arceus VSTAR. That's why it may be a good time to play Eternatus VMAX right now. Dark Patch and Hisuian Samurott VSTAR are also the new cards that can help Eternatus VMAX in almost any part of the game.
Let's talk about its ability. Eternal Zone is a good ability because you can utilize Crobat V without having to think about bench space (although it is not recommended to play all 4 of them). It also helps you to increase your damage output. This ability opens up a lot of possibilities because you can play a lot of useful Dark-type Pokemon. But, because it's an ability, it can easily shut down by Path to the Peak or Galarian Weezing. This can lead to a broken momentum that can cost you a game or multiple prize cards.
Then its attack, Dread End, is considered to be one of the easiest attacks (if the conditions are met) to knock out any Pokemon VSTAR because of its own ability and Choice Belt. But because right now Path to the Peak is still a big problem, Dread End sometimes doesn't live up to its potential. But still, this attack is still considered powerful and with the help of some cards, it can easily knock a VMAX Pokemon. Its attack cost is also fairly easy to meet because you can do an easy 2-turn manual attachment.
You can also look at its HP. 340HP is the biggest HP we have so far and knocking this thing will be a challenge. This way, you can also use Eternatus VMAX to tank some damage while still setting up. You can also try to use Big Charm to increase your HP so you can survive more turns.
In this deck, I bring a 3-3 line of Eternatus VMAX because deck spaces are quite limited this deck so I need to cut my fourth Eternatus V.
Hisuian Samurott VSTAR
Then we have our second attacker, Hisuian Samurott VSTAR. Its attack is quite similar to Aggron V but with way less energy to attack and because it is a Dark-type, you can easily accelerate your energy using Dark Patch. Then its damage output can easily knock some of the top-tier Pokemon V (Mew V, Arceus V, & Origin Forme Palkia V). But there's a requirement to do so. In order to maximize your damage output, your opponent needs to have at least 1 damage counter on it. This can be done easily using Galarian Zigzagoon. But if it's still not enough, you can use its VSTAR Power.
Its VSTAR Power, Moon Cleave Star, can do a 40 damage snipe to a single opponent. This may be quite small by today's standards, but because Hisuian Samurott VSTAR's attack relies on damage on the opponent's side, this can be the game-changer for this deck. When facing a high HP deck, this ability can significantly improve your damage output even on Eternatus VMAX.
Then another good thing is that Hisuian Samurott VSTAR is weak to Grass-type. There's almost no Grass-type Pokemon in the top tier of the format right now except Beedrill. This can opens up an opportunity for Hisuian Samurott VSTAR to be an attacker.
In this deck, I bring a 2-2 line of Hisuian Samurott VSTAR because I will be relying more on Eternatus VMAX because of its high HP. But when facing weakness (Fighting), Hisuian Samurott VSTAR can be the attacker because its weakness is different.
Then, we also have Galarian Weezing in this deck. This Pokemon seems to be just perfect because of its ability and its attack.
Its ability allows you to shut down the opponent's ability and it is quite similar to Path to the Peak but it's better. Why? because you can even shut down a non Rule Box Pokémon's ability like the Inteleon line, Manaphy, and Dunsparce. This will surely help you in any part of the game because your opponent will surely lose its momentum unless they play a gusting card (Boss's Orders, Escape Rope, Pokémon Catcher, etc.). But there's a catch with this ability where you need to be in the active spot in order for the ability to activate. I don't think this is a big problem because Dark-type Pokémon are Hiding Dark Energy where you can have a free retreat so you can switch to Galarian Weezing or even try to use Galarian Weezing as a pivot.
Then we have its attack, Severe Poison. With only one energy you can easily attack the enemy by applying poison with 4 damage counters each turn. This may not seem a lot but because you are playing Eternatus VMAX and Hisuian Samurott VSTAR, 40 damage means a lot to them. This damage can make a difference between knocking out your opponent or who will get knocked.
In this deck, I bring a 3-3 line of Galarian Weezing because it is one of the vital cards in this deck and I feel safer when having more single prize Pokemon rather than putting my deck space for Hisuian Samurott VSTAR. Galarian Weezing's ability also proves to be more useful in most of the matches.
Next up we have our draw power. Because Eternatus VMAX's ability allows us to have 8 Bench Pokémon, this makes us freer to use Crobat V. But you need to remember that its ability can only be used once every single turn. You also need to beware of its weakness and HP. Fighting-type Pokemon can easily knock you out for 2 prize cards and even without weakness, Crobat V's HP is considered low and in range for OHKO in most of the viable decks. There are too many moments even at the highest tournament, where Crobat V will be the last target for your opponent to take the win.
I bring 4 copies of Crobat V in this deck because you can put 2-3 Crobat V on the bench.
I also played Galarian Zigzagoon to add damage while filling my bench. This simple card can also be the winning card because you can do an easy 10 damage to one of your opponents and that already activated Hisuian Samurott VSTAR's ability.
I play 2 copies of this card in my deck in case 1 of them is prized.
For searchers, I play 4 copies of Quick Ball and Ultra Ball. This number is enough for me and the other reason for that is deck space. This deck eat a lot of deck space because of how many Pokémon that we bring here. That's why we can only bring 8 searchers. In some decks, people try to switch 1 Ultra Ball for 1 Evolution Incense so they can search for Eternatus VMAX, Hisuian Samurott VSTAR, or Galarian Weezing without having to discard any card. I already tried using this combination but in my experience, I always end up not maximizing my bench space because I can't search for my Pokemon fast enough and end up having Evolution Incense in my hand without using it. I don't know what happened because I only brought 1 copy of Evolution Incense, but somehow it always ended up in my hand in the early part of the game so it became a bit useless because I can still draw using Crobat V while filling up my bench space. That draw is sometimes already enough for me to find my evolution card so that's why Evolution Incense seems a bit useless here. But, your experience may differ.
Then, the latest addition to this deck is Dark Patch. This item really helps me in the middle part of the game because I can charge my second attacker without having to use up my energy attachment slot. Also, because this is an item card, I can use it anytime I want and more than once. This item also makes it possible to cut Galarian Moltres V from the deck because Dark Patch can accelerate to any Dark-type Pokémon on the bench. I only play 2 copies of Dark Patch because it turns out even playing one copy of it is already a big help because all of these Pokemon besides Hoopa V is having 2 energy to attack and that is relatively cheap to charge every single turn. You can also try to increase the amount so you can have more acceleration in case you are the type who likes to discard energy rather than other cards.
As for switching cards, I play Escape Rope and Switch. Escape Rope is an easy way to switch out my stuck Pokémon while disrupting your opponent's formation (even though your opponent chooses themselves). But don't forget Switch, I still play this card because sometimes using Escape Rope is not the best scenario (e.g. your opponent plays Air Balloon or the prize trade when using Escape Rope is bad). You can try to experiment with this card number to your liking.
For another Item card, I play Choice Belt and Pal Pad. Choice Belt is an obvious choice because it can boost your damage but I only play 1 copy of it because I’m relying more on Galarian Weezing or Hisuian Samurott VSTAR’s VSTAR Power. As for Pal Pad, I play this card so I can have a sense of safety when I discard some of my supporter cards. I can just use Pal Pad to recycle them and dig for them to use it again.
As for supporters, I play Professor's Research as my main drawer. Because I bring Dark Patch, I can safely use Professor's Research to draw without worrying I won't find any energy. Then, I also play Marnie because disruption is never a bad thing and I can also still use Crobat V's ability because I only draw 5 cards. Avery is also my disruptive card here because I can easily shrink my opponent's bench while also drawing cards. Then, I also play Flannery so I can remove my opponent's stadium, especially Path to the Peak and a tool card from my opponent's Pokémon like Choice Belt because it can be quite deadly in the late game where 30 damage difference is very crucial. Lastly, I play Boss's Orders as my gusting option. I think the lineup is pretty straightforward where the only thing new here is Flannery because more and more decks are playing Path to the Peak.
For my stadiums, I play Galar Mine so I can trap my opponent while I'm still playing Hiding Dark Energy so I can have a free retreat. Also, to be honest, there are only quite a few stadiums that can be utilised by Eternatus VMAX while disrupting their opponent like Sinnoh Temple.
Other than that, I think your card choice is quite limited in this deck in terms of amount because you already have quite a lot of Pokémon while still needing to have space for energy. You can try to play Crushing Hammer or Fan of Waves to disrupt your opponent while setting up so you can have some time to set up.
Setting up the board is so-so because sometimes you get a very great start or you will get a 2-3 Crobat V start. This is one of the reasons why the Eternatus VMAX deck is very struggling because the odds of drawing 2-3 or even 4 Crobat V in a single turn is there and it can occur for quite some time. But once you get to the middle stage of the game, this deck is pretty consistent because Dark Patch and Ultra Ball really help a lot. You can also try to play Evolution Incense in case you find it hard to evolve some Pokémon.
The main strategy for this deck is to set up at least 1 Eternatus VMAX and prepare for Hisuian Samurott VSTAR or another Eternatus VMAX so you can have a quick retaliation. Crobat V and Galarian Weezing will be your bench filler so you can maximize your Eternatus VMAX damage output. Galarian Weezing can also be an attacker because of its ability to shut down many useful abilities so you can be safer using Galarian Weezing in the active. Usually, you want to finish the game quickly and Galarian Weezing can be a finisher if your other Pokémon didn't finish the opponent.
Gust can be a bit troublesome in this deck because you play a lot of Crobat V. This can be your double-edged sword because your opponent can just do a 2-2-2 prize scheme by hitting Crobat V. In this case, you may want to win the game quickly by maximizing your damage early and try to knock out your opponent attacker early.
Then when facing a weakness deck, this deck can handle it quite well because Eternatus VMAX and Hisuian Samurott VSTAR have different weaknesses. You can easily switch between those Pokémon so you can avoid getting knocked by weakness. Galarian Weezing also helps you in terms of prize trade because it is only a single prize card.
Things also get better when facing a deck that is weak to Dark-type because Hisuian Samurott VSTAR can also dish out considerable damage if your Eternatus VMAX is still not at its highest potential. But you need to beware that if you attack with Galarian Weezing you won't be having double damage because you are inflicting special conditions, not damage.
Hand disruption can be quite scary in this deck. If you fail to find any draw supporter, this deck can brick quite hard because there's no Pokémon that can draw besides Crobat V. You can try Liepard but the deck space will be getting tighter because it is a stage-1 Pokemon.
However, if you talk about energy disruption, this deck can handle it quite well. Dark Patch really helps Dark-type Pokémon in a big way because, in the past, we usually bring Galarian Moltres V with Energy Switch. But because right now we can use Dark Patch, we will be freeing more deck space for another card.
Overall, this deck has been pretty solid in recent days. But still, the obstacles that you need to get through in order to make the deck work are still considered a bit troublesome. You can try to play Liepard or other Dark-type Pokémon that you see fit. But as far as I can tell, there's not much that can help this deck in terms of set-up consistency.
Astral Radiance may be one of the formats that can make the Eternatus VMAX deck rise again because everyone will try to counter Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR and not Arceus VSTAR. Its damage is also enough to OHKO some VSTAR Pokémon and with the additional help of Choice Belt, Galarian Zigzagoon, or even Galarian Weezing, it can even try to OHKO a VMAX Pokémon. But because this deck's consistency is a bit awkward, many people will try to avoid this deck and go for a more consistent choice like Mew VMAX or any Pokémon that incorporates the Inteleon engine.
Don’t forget to comment down below!
Life is too short to be anything but happy! - Arelios