The Pokemon TCG Meta Snapshot is an article that aims to encapsulate the state of the meta for a given 1 month period.
The Pokemon TCG Meta Snapshot also aims to rank decks in a somewhat lesser tier system. The tiers that we will use are as follows:
Tier 1: Highly Competitive Meta Decks. 10% or more of tops based on Limitless Online Tournament Platform deck spread and/or at least WIN a big official event once (Regionals, Internationals, or Special Event).
Tier 2: Semi-Competitive Meta Decks. Less than 10% of tops are based on the Limitless Online Tournament Platform deck spread.
Tier 3: Semi-Competitive non-Meta/Rogue decks. 1-2 tops. Specifically includes decks that only top small events or get lower rankings at medium events. Can also include decks that can potentially top but have not yet in a given format.
Tier 4: Casually Competitive non-Meta decks. Decks that can compete at the local level, but cannot top an event.
Tops = 1st - 8th place.
This article is written based on the Brilliant Stars format.
Whimsicott VSTAR disrupts the opponent's energy flow by utilizing Crushing Hammer and Fan of Waves. Its attack also forbid the enemy from attaching Special Energy and Tool card from their hand which add more misery to the opponent. Bibarel will be the draw engine in some of the Whimsicott VSTAR deck variants.
Table of Contents
The fluffy cotton is finally getting its ground in the top tier of the format. Its job is simple, to make sure your opponent can't attach and/or have any (special) energy from their hand while damaging them with your attack. Its attack is 160 damage which can 2-turn knock most of the Pokemon out there (some need Choice Belt attached). Then its attack cost can be met easily using Double Turbo Energy and one Psychic energy which can be searched easily using Fog Crystal. Yes, you may not get Double Turbo Energy every time you need it, but because your playstyle is energy disruption, you can have some time digging for it while your opponent struggles because of your disruption. This is a very strong attack if you maximize its potential especially since this format has a lot of Special Energy usage.
You also limit your opponent from playing Tool cards. This really helps you because of 250HP that Whimsicott VSTAR has, is quite easy to get OHKO by some Pokemon. Cards like Choice Belt and Air Balloon will be significantly impacted by Tricky Wind because your opponent can’t attach them at all.
Then its VSTAR Power is an OHKO potential because it can snipe your opponent's Bench Pokemon with astonishingly high damage. Also, if you read carefully, you can use Double Turbo Energy too for it so it will be much easier for you to meet the attack cost for certain damage. Yes, you can only use this once, but for knocking out VMAX? I'm in! This is also one of the reasons why Whimsicott VSTAR can still get a grip in the top tier of the format because you can come out of nowhere knocking out a VMAX in your opponent's bench.
Many people try to bring a 4-3 line of Whimsicott VSTAR and I think that is the safest and most efficient number because a 4th Whimsicott VSTAR can sometimes be a liability in your deck where it can be optimised for another card.
Then we have our draw engine, Bibarel. Bibarel got instant love from the Pokemon community because of its ability to draw cards similar to Genesect V. Yes it is a stage 1 Pokemon, but because our format is quite dependent on the second turn (Trinity Nova, Star Birth, evolving into VMAX, etc.), having Bibarel will have a very big benefit to our deck consistency and evolving it in the second turn will have almost little to none negative sides unless it gets knocked because it is considered a free Prize Card if Bidoof get stuck in the active and you have no way of switching it to the bench.
its attack is okay, but we won't be attacking with it most of the time. We will only use Bibarel for drawing and pivot because its retreat cost is in the range of Air Balloon's effect. But if you want, you can try to attack with it because, in the next set, Miltank may become a big problem for this deck.
Usually, some decks bring a 2-2 line of Bibarel because even with only 1 Bibarel on the bench, you can still draw pretty consistently.
Crushing Hammer & Fan of Waves
Another spotlight in this deck is these two item cards. In the current format, Crushing Hammer is very effective (if you hit heads) because most of the decks out there will be utilizing a 2-turn energy attachment (Not for Mew). By discarding 1 energy on their board, you can easily disrupt their momentum if they don't have any Pokemon or item card that can accelerate fast enough so you won't miss your early attack. This is a very strong card since Dragapult VMAX reintroduced this card in their deck and ever since Crushing Hammer is still becoming one thing to fear by the opponent. However, I don't recommend playing this card when you are having a bad day, because bad luck may influence the coin-flipping result and its result may make your day worse.
The same thing applies to Fan of Waves. With the format filled with quite a lot of Special Energy like Double Turbo Energy, Fusion Strike Energy, and Rapid Strike Energy (and so on), making the energy go back to the bottom of the deck is a great way to disrupt your opponent. Yes, it won't be as strong as Crushing Hammer because you are not discarding it but what if you combine them both? It will surely be a hell of a time for your opponent if suddenly all of their Pokemon don't have any energy.
Also, with Whimsicott VSTAR's Trick Wind, this will be one of the strongest energy disruptions in the current format because you can easily make your opponent can't attach their energy, having no energy to attack, and if they do have energy, you can just discard them.
Path to the Peak
What if I told you that the suffering is still not over? Path to the Peak is one of the most loved and hated stadiums because of its effect. You will love it if you use it yourself but you will hate it if you have to face it and get shut down. It really is one of the most used stadiums besides Training Court, and Rose Tower because it can shutdown Mew VMAX (Genesect V)deck and other Rule Box Pokemon like Arceus VSTAR and Crobat V.
The same thing applies in this deck. Because Whimsicott VSTAR has no ability, you can use Path to the Peak without having to think of the downside. You can create a deadly combo with your energy disruption while shutting down their Pokemon like Crobat V or Arceus VSTAR if they are in need of drawing/search power.
Double Turbo Energy
I think Double Turbo Energy is a must for this deck if you play a straight Whimsicott VSTAR because you can do a 2-turn energy attachment and not go to the third turn still not attacking any Pokemon. You will be having some damage output reduction because of Double Turbo Energy’s effect. But because damaging as hard as you can is not the highest priority for this deck, you can cover that lack of damage by having a nice energy disruption so you can safely go for a knockout even though it will take longer.
Now, one of the inconsistencies of this deck comes from this card. Having access to only 4 copies of Double Turbo Energy means that you need to really dig for it, unlike Basic Energy where you can have an unlimited amount of it. That's why some decks use Exp. Share or Zacian V so they can have 3 basic energy attachments. Bibarel also helps the deck to dig for Double Turbo Energy although it is not 100% guaranteed.
Other Things to Consider
Many things that can help Whimsicott VSTAR achieve a more consistent setup. Zacian V for example. Having Zacian V can easily help you attach Psychic energy in your early turn so you don’t have to dig for Psychic energy (even though you can use Fog Crystal) and you can go straight searching for Double Turbo Energy.
Then, Fog Crystal. Fog Crystal seems to be a must-have item for Psychic-type deck (except Mew VMAX, some may use it) because it can easily search a basic Psychic-type Pokemon or Psychic Energy. This item is almost similar to Mysterious Treasure because of its effect but a bit more powerful yet nerfed in a way. Whimsicott VSTAR can utilize this item to help them set up because Whimsicott VSTAR attack with a minimum of 1 Psychic energy (the rest of the 2 is colourless) and Whimssicott V itself is a Psychic-type Pokemon.
Tool Scrapper is also a great choice because you can disrupt the opponent’s tool card like Air Balloon, Tool Jammer, and Choice Belt. That way you can have more ways of disruption and your survivability increase (especially when Choice Belt is discarded).
Other than that, you can try to play cards like Tool Jammer to stop your opponent’s tool card and Ordinary Rod to recycle your Pokemon and energy back to your deck. Exp. Share also can be a great tool card because you can use it for your other Whimsicott VSTAR and don’t need to worry if you don’t find any Psychic Energy from your deck.
Now, let’s see what are the winners’ decklist has.
First, we have Alessandro Cremascoli who won Bilbao 2022 Special Championship.
As you can see, Alessandro decides to use the Bibarel engine as the drawing power. Alessandro also put Crobat V as another drawing power and also play 1 Shadow Rider Calyrex V. Shadow Rider Calyrex V seems to be a great addition to the deck because its first attack is quite similar to Whimsicott VSTAR Tricky Wind but the thing different is instead of Tool card, your opponent can’t attach any Stadium card. But the downside of this attack is the damage is just 10. Although it is only 10, it can be a great damage addition because the Whimsicott VSTAR attack is on the bare minimum for knocking down VMAX in 2 turns. Then its second attack, Astral Barrage can easily damage any Pokemon on your opponent’s board. Yes, it’s only 50 damage for each Pokemon but it can put some pressure on the opponent because your opponent will be more careful from getting gust.
Alessandro also plays Pal Pad in the deck so recycling supporter cards will be easy. Then Alessandro plays Exp. Share and Ordinary Rod too. As I already said, Exp. Share can easily help you with energy attachment and Ordinary Rod will be very useful to recycle your Pokemon
Then as you can see, Path to the Peak is Alessandro's stadium of choice. The disruption itself is already a big problem for decks like Arceus VTAR and Mew VMAX. Because Whimsicott VSTAR doesn’t have any ability, this stadium fits perfectly to increase the disruption that this deck offer.
Double Turbo Energy is also seen in Alessandro’s deck because I think that Double Turbo Energy is still one of the important cards that this deck needs in order to work consistently. Yes, Alessandro brings a full copy of Double Turbo Energy to maximize hitting it when drawing cards.
Then looking at Alessandro’s supporter choice, I think this is quite standard for a Whimsicott VSTAR because you don’t have too much deck space in the first place because of Crushing Hammer and Fan of Waves. Professor’s Research is still one of the best supporters in terms of draw power so I think it is still a very good choice to include it in the deck. Yes, you will discard your hand in order to draw 7 cards. But, because you will be mainly using Crushing Hammer, Fan of Waves, or searchers cards from your hand, you will be left with cards like Pokemon or energy where you can try to put it on your board first then use Professor’s Research. After that, we also bring Marnie. Marnie is also still a very good choice because not only do you get to have fresh cards, but you also disrupt your opponent hand by reducing and/or changing their entire hand. But in the recent future, Marnie will be rotated out and the alternatives for this card will be Judge and Roxanne. So, you may want to prepare those cards in the near future in case the price goes up (very unlikely). Then, Raihan is a perfect choice for a deck like this because Raihan can accelerate energy from the deck and find any card from your deck be it energy, another Crushing Hammer or any other card. Then Avery is also a reasonable card to bring because you can easily disrupt Mew VMAX’s full board momentum and you also get to draw 3 cards as well. Last, we have Boss’s Orders. I still think that all decks need to bring at least one copy for this card because of how a simple gust may turn the tide of the game in your favour. The same thing applies to this deck. Because Whimsicott VSTAR is nowhere near an OHKO damage, the opponent will likely switch out their Pokemon to save it. Having Boss’s Orders will help you to bring that Pokemon back to the active spot so you may knock it out or trap it again. I think this is a very solid supporter in Alessandro's deck because all of them play a vital role especially Raihan and Avery which can easily be one of the winning factors turns before your winning turn.
However, the unique thing here is that Alessandro decides to not bring any switching items besides Air Balloon (well technically it is a Tool). With 3 copies of Air Balloon, it turns out to be enough because you can easily switch between Whimsicott VSTAR, Crobat V, Bibarel or even Shadow Rider Calyrex, you can also save a stuck Pokemon in the active by having Air Balloon.
This is a pretty solid decklist in my opinion and it reflects on Alessandro’s winning the Bilbao 2022 Special Championship. So, congratulations on Alessandro!
Next, we have tostycr who won Liga Inter #4 Season 2.
This time, it is a bit different where tostycr decides to bring Zacian V and Lumineon V to the deck. Zacian V can be a great accelerator and even try to attack using it. Then Lumineon V can use its ability Luminous Sign to find a supporter. Both cards are a great addition to the deck because it gives consistency where Zacian V can get you energy and Lumineon V can get you a supporter.
Then if you look carefully, tostycr decides to not bring Avery in this deck and decides to go with 1 more Marnie. I think this is still a reasonable composition because Marnie also gives you a hand disruption to your opponent.
As for the other cards, tostycr add more Path to the Peak and cut down Air Balloon. tostycr also cut down Fog Crystal in this deck to change it to Evolution Incense and reduce Ultra Ball in order to fit a full copy of Quick Ball. I think tostycr decides to put more Quick Ball because the deck plays more basic Pokemon like Zacian V and Lumineon V. It can help you in the long run, especially Lumineon V where you can use Quick Ball to make your winning scenario happen (Boss’s Orders for the win).
I also think this is still a very solid build for Whimsicott VSTAR. Having access to Raihan is still important and having Exp. Share also proves the same for tostycr’s deck.
Then the last deck that I will discuss in this article will be by GuiPalitos who win Sunday Night Rumble.
The deck itself is quite similar in terms of the usual cards like other decks because GuiPalitos also utilize the Bibarel engine as the drawing power in the deck. GuiPalitos also use Exp. Share and Ordinary Rod for the means of recycling cards. But the thing to take note of here is that GuiPalitos decides to play Peony. This is quite risky if you have a very large hand but if you manage to use Peony, I think the result will be very immense because you can search for 2 Item cards and you can still utilize the Bibarel engine to draw from your zero hands (if you manage to use the searched cards).
Another thing that you can see here is that GuiPalitos decides to go for a second copy of Exp. Share. I find this quite interesting because GuiPalitos also play 2 copies of Raihan which means that this deck have so many energy recycling options. But the tradeoff here is that GuiPalitos don’t play any Choice Belt for damage boost and his Pokemon count is quite low so relying on only drawing cards may be a bit hard to find the Pokemon you want. Hence, GuiPalitos still keeps a reasonable amount of searchers so the deck can still keep finding Pokemon in case the board is running low on Pokemon or in dire need of evolution Pokemon.
I find this decklist quite interesting and I may want to try this deck with a little bit of tweaking because. I find that Peony may have some potential in this kind of deck so you can utilize Crushing Hammer and Fan of Waves more often.
So those 3 are examples of what the Whimsicott VSTAR can do. You can try to play it around those 3 variants and come up with a stronger combo. You should definitely experiment with the deck because playing Whimsicott VSTAR is very fun (although it is not fun for your opponent).
Now we come to the tier conclusion. If you see in Limitless, the deck spread is not even above 5%. But somehow, Whimsicott VSTAR manage to win Bilbao SPE 2022! Whimsicott VSTAR also manage to get some wins in local/online tournaments like I already mentioned above and Top 16 in some big events like Indianapolis Regionals, Lille Regionals, and Perth Regionals. This proves that if you can get your energy disruption working, you can still compete with other top tier decks because your damage can also do a 2-turn knockout.
I will give this deck a Tier 1 because of its achievement in winning Bilbao SPE 2022 and it is not by some sort of luck because this deck really ‘kick’ some energy. But if I’m going, to be honest, I feel like Whimsicott VSTAR is considered a tier 1.5 because of its consistency. But hey, the deck wins an SPE and getting Top 16 in multiple regionals proves that the deck works.
Let’s see how the deck works in Astral Radiance. Will it flop or will it rise stronger than ever?
What do you guys think about Whimsicott VSTAR? I really like its disruption because it is quite similar to the Dragapult VMAX deck but with a more significant impact on the energy side because of its attack effect. The deck also proves that in the highest tier of the format, Whimsicott VSTAR can still compete and even win a big event. Yes, it may not be as consistent as the other top tier decks because sometimes finding Double Turbo Energy is hard. But because this deck relies on another condition to win by discarding the opponent's energy so they can't attack, this deck can easily get its way to the top. You may want to look out if you get hated by your opponent when you manage to flip all heads on Crushing Hammer.
This is a very new project on Pokemoncard.io and I really appreciate all the feedback. I plan to do this on a monthly basis so you can at least grasp what is happening over the month and I think it is a very safe cycle time considering that our set is not released once a month so you guys can still see how the format goes.
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There may be some mistakes and missing points of review in this writing. Please kindly comment to share your correction and point of view too.