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 Lost Origin format.
Pokemon VMAX is getting another refreshment with Kyurem VMAX. It has a very powerful attack and you can easily combine it with Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR and Oranguru for the best combination.
In an era of Pokemon VSTAR, Kyurem VMAX manage to stand out as one of the best in the current format. First, its ability, Glaciated World, is actually a strong one because you can easily have an energy acceleration and it is not limited to VSTAR Power or once per Pokemon with the same name. This ability can easily be combined with Oranguru to make sure you always have the energy on top of your deck. However, it can easily be shut down by Path to the Peak. But I don’t think it is quite impactful because we have way less Path to the Peak in this current format and you can still use Melony or your own stadium card to bump Path to the Peak.
Then we look at its attack, Max Frost. With 3 Water Energy, you can deal an easy 270 damage to your opponent. However, unlike Max Lance from Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX, this attack doesn’t have any Energy cap. So, you can easily pile up 5 Energy and deal an astonishing 370 damage or even 400 damage with Choice Belt meaning you can easily knock Hisuian Goodra VSTAR even with the damage reduction.
Even though Max Frost’s attack cost is 3 Water Energy, this attack can easily be filled with its own ability, Glaciated World, Melony, or even Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. I think this is very reachable because you also have a Capacious Bucket. This way, you can use Max Frost combined with Oranguru while having a manual attachment and also use Melony or Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR to have at least 3 Water Energy in a single turn.
As for how much damage you do to your enemy, discarding 3 Energy means that you will deal 270 damage which is a very easy number to increase with Choice Belt so you can knock any Pokemon VSTAR. Then for 4 energy, you can knock Mew VMAX or Flying Pikachu VMAX. As for 5 energy, I think 370 damage can easily knock any Pokemon in the game even Hisuian Goodra VSTAR.
I think this card is very strong even though there is some downside which is still manageable. For the general count, I think a 3-3 line is the most general line for Kyurem VMAX that is paired with Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. However, there are some unique decks that combine Arceus VSTAR and Kyurem VMAX where they only bring a 2-2 line of Kyurem VMAX.
Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR
As always, if you have a Water-type Pokemon V to play, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR will be first in your mind. This card is just too strong and its VSTAR Power can easily accelerate energy to any Water-type Pokemon which is quite busted. Based on that, it turns out that the Kyurem VMAX deck also need Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR because it can attack by itself to disrupt the 3-3 prize trade and utilise its VSTAR Power to fill up Kyurem VMAX after it attacks the opponent and discards the energy attached. However, the same problem lies in Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR where its VSTAR Power is an ability that it can easily shut down by Path to the Peak. Another problem also arises where if your opponent doesn’t play too many Pokemon on the bench, because you can’t do your full damage and potentially not knock out your opponent’s Pokemon.
But still, this is a powerful card to play with and fortunately, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR works well with Kyurem VMAX. As for how many cards you want to bring, some decks bring a 1-1 line of Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR and it has the risk of getting prized. So I think the sweet spot is a 2-2 line.
Now on to the next important card, Oranguru. This card hasn't been looked at in a long time and finally, Oranguru can be really useful because you can easily combine Oranguru’s ability with Kyurem VMAX’s ability and do an easy energy acceleration. You can also use this card to try to dig for cards so you may find a card that you need. However, in terms of consistency, I think this card is still a ‘gacha’ for me and not fully consistent. But because Kyurem VMAX can utilize this card, many decks implement Oranguru in the Kyurem VMAX deck. You also need to take note of this card because this card is not for attacking as Oranguru’s attack cost is fairly high and there’s not much
As for how many cards you need to bring. I think 2 copies of Oranguru is the sweet spot for this deck. Bringing more than that can be quite risky because you can use it for another card that is more useful. Less than that, your Oranguru can easily be prized.
Up next is Radiant Greninja. As always, its ability is very useful for drawing cards and fulfilling Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR's VSTAR Power. This can be a very great addition to the Kyurem VMAX deck because you can cover up Oranguru's ability and you can have more cards. You can also attack with Radiant Greninja because this deck uses Water-type Energy. But, there's a catch in this card. Radiant Pokemon is a Rule-Box Pokemon so you need to be careful of Path to the Peak.
Its attack, Moonlight Shuriken, can be an easy way to snipe your opponent. Even though we are in the format where Manaphy is around, we can still give the enemy a surprise attack because Kyurem VMAX and Palkia VSTAR can easily charge Radiant Greninja in a single turn.
Other Things to Consider
Not only Pokemon but there are some Trainer cards that make the Kyurem VMAX a very strong deck right now. Let's take a look!
Then, as I stated before, how can you utilise Oranguru’s ability and Kyurem VMAX’s ability while also still having a manual attachment or using Radiant Greninja’s ability? It's Capacious Bucket! This item rises to the limelight starting from the Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR deck because of how easy to search for Water-type Energy so you can use Radiant Greninja’s ability then followed up by Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR’s VSTAR Power. The same thing happens in this Kyurem VMAX deck. You can utilise Capacious Bucket that way, or try to use Oranguru’s ability followed up by Kyurem VMAX’s ability and do a manual attachment.
Also, as this is an Item card, you can easily search it using Irida while also finding your Water-type Pokemon. I think this is a must-have card in your deck as this can opens up a lot of combo in your deck. As for how many copies to bring in your deck, I think the minimum amount is 2 copies because if you already used it once, you may be stuck in the late part of the game because you have too little Water-type Energy and don’t have a way to search for it.
Rotom Phone is also one of the most important cards in this deck. You can easily use Rotom Phone to find any cards you want from it and put it on the top of your deck. This means that you can easily utilise this card to follow up with Kyurem VMAX’s ability or Oranguru’s ability. However, because you can only see the top 5 cards of your deck, the cards may not be what you are looking for so it still has its drawback. But still, this is a great card to play in the Kyurem VMAX deck.
As for how many cards you want to bring, some Kyurem VMAX decks actually do not bring Rotom Phone at all and just rely on Oranguru and their other card. But when some decks bring this card, the sweet spot is around 2-3 copies because you can just fill your deck with other cards and not go all the way to 4 copies of Rotom Phone.
First, we will look at the Top 4 of 2023 Regionals Peoria by Yehoshua Tate. Here is the decklist:
First, we look at the Pokemon list. A solid 3-3 line of Kyurem VMAX is the sweet spot for the Kyurem VMAX deck and followed by a 2-2 line of Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. Then we also have 2 copies of Oranguru and 1 copy of Empoleon V where both of which is a solid numbers to play. Then for the supporting Pokemon, Crobat V and Lumineon V are included as well. I think this is a very standard number to play Kyurem VMAX and only a handful of people really want to cut the Kyurem VMAX or Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR number because it will decrease their consistency by having fewer cards. Empoleon V is also a very great addition because Lost Zone Box is still around.
As for Supporter cards, Yehoshua brings a full copy of Irida and 3 copies of Melony. Irida is a very important card in this deck because setting up the board and getting out Item cards in this deck is very important because this deck need so many cards to set up, especially Kyurem VMAX itself and Capacious Bucket. As for Melony, because you will be discarding your Water-type Energy to the discard pile, Melony will be your answer to recycle it back again while also keep drawing cards. Then, 1 copy of Boss's Orders for gusting which I think is a very straightforward option. 1 copy of Roxanne is also a late-game disruption card and bringing 1 copy is a fine choice because Lumineon V can easily get it for you. Then, the fun part here is 1 copy of Cheryl. Cheryl is a very strong card because after you are using the Kyurem VMAX attack and most likely discarding all of your energy, you will be attacked by your opponent. If you don’t get OHKO, Cheryl can be your option to heal up all your damage. But this is a very risky move because you will need to fill up your Kyurem VMAX attack cost all by yourself and not fill it up by using Melony. But I think this is still manageable because you still have a manual attachment, Oranguru, and Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR itself.
Now we look at the searcher cards in this deck. 3 copies of Quick Ball and 2 copies of Ultra Ball are quite thin for a searcher. But because you can use Irida to search your searcher straight away, I think this is not too big of a problem to face. This deck also play 1 copy of Battle VIP Pass which I think is a very low count and it is just the same as not relying on it at all. But if you go second and play Irida, I think you can search for this card so you can set up the board faster. Last but not least, 1 copy of Hisuian Heavy Ball is a great addition to the deck because you sometimes prized your Oranguru or another important Pokemon and using Hisuian Heavy Ball can easily take those Pokemon out of the Prize card area.
Then for switching cards, 1 Switch and 1 Scoop Up Net is the general Item card this deck play. However, there are 2 copies of Cross Switcher that I think can be a great Item because you can use this instead of Boss’s Orders. You can also search for Cross Switcher using Irida so I think getting 2 copies of it is quite an easy task.
For the other cards:
Capacious Bucket: This is a very important card for the Kyurem VMAX deck because most of the time you will be using this to find your energy so you can utilize Oranguru’s and Kyurem VMAX’s ability while also using your energy to use Radiant Greninja’s ability. For the sweet spot, 2-3 copies are already enough for this deck and I think playing 4 copies is just too much.
Rotom Phone: Rotom Phone will be your next top deck card that can help your Kyurem VMAX. But some decks prefer not to play it and even when you play it, I think 1-2 copies is already enough as this deck does too.
Energy Retrieval: You cannot rely on Melony alone because you will almost constantly discard 3 Water-type Energy every turn. Hence, Energy Retrieval is played and this is an interesting choice because it serves similarly to Capacious Bucket but you take the Water-type Energy from the discard pile.
Choice Belt: I think this is pretty straightforward because even with 3 Water-type Energy, Kyurem VMAX only hit for 270 damage. That’s why Choice Belt is often seen in the Kyurem VMAX deck so you can do an OHKO to the opponent.
Lost Vacuum: Last but not least, Lost Vacuum is a great Item card because it serves as a ‘lite’ Field Blower which you can easily use to discard your opponent's tool or Stadium card where Path to the Peak can be annoying.
As for stadium cards, Yehoshua decided to play Training Court and Lost City. Training Court is a must for the Kyurem VMAX deck because you need as many as possible recycling option that you can put your energy back into your hand. As for Lost City, this can be an option for you if you face a deck that relies on 1-of Pokemon or they have multiple important cards
But wait, there are 2 copies of Wash Water Energy. This is also a very important card because it can prevent you from getting OHKO by Giratina VSTAR’s VSTAR Power.
That’s all for Yehoshua’s deck and I think this is a very solid deck. Also, I don’t think I can comment too much because this is just generally how the Kyurem VMAX deck is built.
Next, we have Zakaray Krekeler who also got 4th in the 2023 Regionals Peoria.
For Pokemon choices, Zakaray plays the same amount of Kyurem VMAX but chooses to cut the Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR line to 1-1 line. Instead, Zakaray decides to put those numbers to add 1 more Empoleon V and a Drapion V. I think Drapion V is a reasonable choice because it can easily knock Mew VMAX without using any energy. I think this is a risky move, especially the Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. But I think this is still manageable and the result speaks for itself.
As for supporters, the only difference here is the number for each supporter where Zakaray cut down Irida to 3 copies and increase Melony to 4 copies. Zakaray also adds 1 more Boss's Orders while swapping Cheryl for Marnie. Marnie is also a reasonable card because nobody everybody still needs a hand disruption at least once in their deck. However, Zakaray decided to drop Roxanne where I think this is because Marnie is already there and Melony or Irida is still more important because you need to set up your Kyurem VMAX quickly.
As for searchers, Zakaray plays the same amount of Quick Ball and Hisuian Heavy Ball as Yehoshua does but increases the number of Ultra Ball to 3 copies and increases the Battle VIP Pass count to a full copy. Now, this is where Battle VIP Pass becomes an important card because you need to at least play it at your first turn to set up your board quicker.
Then for the other cards, the item choice is fairly similar but Zakaray doesn’t play any Cross Switcher and swaps out Scoop Up Net for Air Balloon. Zakaray also doesn’t play Lost City and goes for the third Training Court. I think there’s not much that you can experiment with here because the deck runs by some cards that you just can’t change. The only difference is how many cards you play for each of them.
As you may see, there’s not much difference between these decks and it only depends on how many cards you play for each of them. This can be an easy way for you to play because you can just try to experiment with the same cards to find your perfect number for each card rather than experiment with a ton of different cards just to end up bricking at your game.
Now we come to the tier conclusion. Based on limitless, the Kyurem VMAX deck share is below 10% at 9.75% and I think the deck is very strong but lost its popularity to the Lost Zone Box/Giratina VSTAR because the deck is similarly strong but relatively cheaper in price so people tend to build the deck easier. But, if you see the big tournament result over this format, Kyurem VMAX is yet to see a win. However, as I’m writing this article (October 30, 2022), Kyurem VMAX finally get to see a win in Indonesia Regionals (No decklist available yet) and it is a very strong performance by the Kyurem VMAX deck where the finalist are both playing the Kyurem VMAX deck.
As a result of its achievements this month, I will award this deck a Tier 1 rating. I simply hope that this deck continues to perform well in the new format even though we will get to see Lugia VSTAR in 2 weeks.
What do you guys think of Kyurem VMAX? In this era of VSTAR, Kyurem VMAX manages to show us a very strong performance throughout all tournaments managing to get at least a Top 32 finish. It is also fairly easy to play Kyurem VMAX rather than the Lost Zone Box where you need to have proper sequencing and proper judgement. Let’s just see how Kyurem VAMX perform in the upcoming set. I think this means that even a Pokemon VMAX can still compete in a Pokemon VSTAR environment. I just really like the deck diversity in this format.
This is an ongoing 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.
Life is too short to be anything but happy! - Arelios
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.