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Zach Lesage

The Rebel Clash Metagame

Zach shares his thoughts on the 18 decks that exist in the Rebel Clash metagame so far.

03/19/2020 by Zach Lesage

Rebel Clash on My Mind

What’s up everyone? It’s your homie, Zach Lesage, and I am here with a busted article that peeks into the future of the Rebel Clash metagame. Rebel Clash? Yeah, you read that correctly, I am writing about Rebel Clash early! Amidst the global pandemic of coronavirus, I am giving up on the Sword and Shield format. If you wanna know about that format, it is mainly comprised of Zacian V (S&S; 138) / Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team GX (CoE; 156) , Blacephalon (UBO; 32) , and Cinccino (S&S; 147) decks. With Pokémon cancelling all events until early May, our next format will include Rebel Clash. The goal of this article is to jot down my early findings on archetypes and to expand on concepts in future articles. For access to my past article that goes over the buy list, feel free to check that out here. One last thing before we dive in... If I missed an obvious concept or a card doesn’t get released, I am dealing with an incomplete set list. Most of these concepts should be released and I don’t think I missed any large portion of cards getting released. Some decks might never see the light of competitive play, but these are all of my best hunches right now - let’s see what we are working with!

All cards are based on the translations provided by Limitless.

Galarian Cursola / Malamar

Cursola is a throwback to Gengar from Stormfront, a concept that performed well, and I think we might be able to live that glory again. Having a single Prize Card Pokemon that can get a freebie KO on a coin flip has some spooky vibes and Corner isn’t a bad attack either. I have a vision of a play that uses Boss’ Command, Corner, and your opponent can’t respond. What I’m saying is that that Corner should stick at some point. I don’t know if I want to include Spell Tag (LT; 190)  in the deck to prey on low HP Pokémon like Jirachi (TM; 99) , but I’ll make that decision when I build the list. I’m also hesitant on Malamar (FLI; 51)  because Corner isn’t a super expensive attack, but I have learned that “chip” damage over time with single Prize Card decks adds up. For all I know Cursola will end up being played with a Hit and Run Pokemon like Hitmonchan (TM; 74) . When I finally get around to testing this concept, I’ll write a follow up article! 

Fire Toolbox

With my success at the 2020 Oceania Internationals, becoming a finalist, this deck will always remain an option for me. With the deck already having an established base, there are only two cards that I plan on adding into the deck right now. If you are looking to learn about this deck, this video article shows how to play the deck and this article explains anything missing. The two cards I want to add in? Ninetales V and Dubwool V! Ninetales V seems like it could help the deck in various ways because its first attack can copy any attack from the Defending Pokemon! So if you find yourself against an Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team GX (CoE; 156) , you can use Ultimate Ray or even Altered Creation GX! I wouldn’t be surprised if Ninetales V / Welder (UBO; 189)  eventually sprouted into its own archetype or if it controlled what Pokémon your opponent would even play down. Dubwool V is strong, but it might find its way to being more of a situational tech. Revenge Blast is an interesting attack that can do upwards of 270 damage if your opponent has drawn five Prize Cards. While that sounds rewarding, I seriously doubt many top players will plan their game around drawing five Prize Cards if there is a more efficient route available. Similar to M Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff Tag Team GX (CoE; 165) , Dubwool V might just come out of nowhere and surprise your opponent for that game winning OHKO!

Dragapult VMAX / Malamar 

Trust me, this article isn’t only about Malamar (FLI; 51) decks, but Malamar (FLI; 51)  did seem to get a few new partners in this set. VMAX Pokémon haven’t been very playable so far, but it might change in Rebel Clash. Dragapult V gives you the option to attack for two Energy, something that Malamar craves sometimes, and it has a healthy amount of HP. Dragapult VMAX is a thick beast of a Pokémon with a whopping 320 HP. Max Phantom doesn’t look amazing. At first, but the lack of the damage in the front might be the best part. Malamar (FLI; 51)  has always performed best when you control how the game plays out and the bonus of spreading five damage counters is a huge plus! When you combine that with Spell Tag (LT; 190) , you have a compelling deck. I fully assume that this concept is a modern Malamar (FLI; 51)  / Psychic tech build that squeezes in a 2-2 Dragapult VMAX line, but that is going to require some more testing on my behalf. 

Copperajah VMAX / ZADP

For the short lived time, and only due to coronavirus event cancellations, Zacian V (S&S; 138) Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team GX (CoE; 156)  dominated everything. I am sure it would continue to dominate everything - this deck was the real deal. While Copperajah VMAX doesn’t fix every single problem we have, such as a wonky mirror match, it does allow us to make a few bold plays. Copperajah VMAX has a large amount of HP, it can’t get gusted forward by Great catcher (CoE; 191) , and it can swing for 240 base damage. After you factor in Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team GX (CoE; 156) s +30, 270 damage is enough to OHKO some relevant numbers. Adding Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143)  and Vitality Band (S&S; 185)  are surely ways to get a Knock Out on almost anything that isn’t a VMAX. I am still determining if it is better to run ZADP with or without Copperajah VMAX, but it seems like a viable tech option at the very least. The only other card that I have added into my list is Boss’ Command to help with the gusting problem that the deck has always faced. With Pokemon Catcher (S&S; 175) , Custom Catcher (LT; 171) , and Great catcher (CoE; 191)  being the only “gust” cards in existence prior to Rebel Clash, the deck was never being played at its full potential. Now that we have a spiritual Lysandre (FLF; 90)  reprint, as Boss’ Commands, the deck can laser beam whichever target it wants now!

Toxtricity VMAX / Garbodor


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