Experts' corner

Mark Dizon

Be Prepared - The night before Q4

Expect the unexpected in q4

05/29/2020 by Mark Dizon

We are simply hours away from the start of Limitless Q4. What a journey it has been to get to this point. We have gone through two different formats - to huge online tournaments that we have never seen before. This has been a big surprise to us all because who would have ever expected that we would be playing Pokemon Online almost every day. 

What's It isn't a surprise anymore that PikaRom is doing well everywhere or that Dragapult VMAX has the potential to become the best deck in the format - so what separates these decks from the pack? Let me tell you that it's not Professor's Research, Dedenne-GX, or Scoop Up Net - but it's the added techs like Crushing Hammer, Boltund V, and more are changing the makeup of the decks that we ave been used to. 

Boltund V in PikaRom
Boltund V is one of the best cards in Rebel Clash, and it has already made an enormous splash. Plenty of content creators have attempted to make Boltund work as its own deck, but it has not seen the success on it's that it has in PikaRom.  It just gives the deck another angle of attack. It is not a GX, It is not a tag team, and it has more than 160HP. While Pikarom might have been on the back burner during our last format - it has shown that it now the top dog with Boltund. See what I did there, haha. 

One of the main reason's for Boltund's success is the angle of attacks it gives you. Electrify gives you an option to use if you miss a turn one Full Blitz. This alone is enough to run a single copy. PikaRom is one of the most consistent decks in our format, it often hits a T1 or T2 Full Blitz, and T1 Electrify allows you to set up if either your Koko Prism or Thunder Mountain is prized.

Bolt Storm has invalidated Tapu Koko V because it offers a flexible attack that seemingly works hand-in-hand with Full Blitz. Firing with Full Blitz, acquire Energy in play, and attack with Bolt Storm. It is merely a more versatile two Prize Card attacker. The gameplan with PikaRom is to set up a three Prize Card attacker (usually PikaRom), a two Prize Card attacker (typically Boltund V), and another three Prize Card attacker (usually ChuChu). This gameplan is the go-to in most cases and forces your opponent to take more time in the game, forcing them to pivot to knock out each attacker. Boss's Orders can get around it, but I heavily recommend sticking to this specific strategy. As a bonus tip, Bolt Storm can do some quick work against a Jirachi (or other low HP Pokémon), so try to identify ways to take quick Prizes or win in the early game with Bolt Storm!

This is the current Pikarom list I have been testing, and it features two Boltund's to give yourself a second two prize attacker in the situations you might need it. 

Pokémon - 12
1 Eldegoss V RCL 19
2 Boltund V RCL 67
3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
2 Pikachu & Zekrom-GX PR-SM 168
1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX UNM 221
1 Tapu Koko Prism Star TEU 51
1 Zeraora-GX LOT 86
1 Marshadow UNB 81

Trainer Cards - 35
1 Thunder Mountain Prism Star
2 Boss's Orders 
2 Reset Stamp 
4 Quick Ball 
2 Big Charm 
1 Stadium Nav 
2 Volkner 
3 Electromagnetic Radar 
4 Professor's Research 
1 Great Catcher 
4 Electropower 
2 Marnie 
3 Energy Switch 
4 Switch 

Energy - 13
3 Speed Lightning Energy
10 Lightning Energy 


Energy Denial Everywhere!

Another trend you might be experiencing lately on PTCGO is the amount of Energy disruption being played in decks.

This is mainly due to most decks in the format relying on attaching Energy once per turn. Sure there is the odd Welder deck or a Tapu Koko Prism Star in Pikarom, but what about decks like Dragapult VMAX? Dragapult has seen much more success without Malamar than it has with it in the deck, which means it's eight or nine Energy are up for grabs. The most difficult matchups tend to be mirror matchups, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see an influx of Crushing Hammers being played (even in Dragapult). Don't read Hammers as only Crushing Hammers though - there are a handful of other cards that can get the job done too... Let's look at all of the cards that will likely see play during the Limitless Q4 event.

Crushing Hammer
 It is the best Energy Denial card in our format because you can play it at any time. The coin flip aspect of this card makes it incredibly difficult to predict due to randomness, but the card overall is effective in removing Energy. This card is also increasingly annoying every time it works against you and increasingly satisfying every time that you get the heads.

Team Yell Grunt
While it usually only sees play in Control decks, Team Yell Grunt can yank an Energy each turn to stop a single attach process. How so? If Dragapult VMAX doesn't have an Energy attached, you can keep on lifting back their attachment for the turn. This stops them from using Max Phantom and can give you an edge in mirrors. 

Faba goes beyond Energy Denial with its other effects, but for the sake of this list, it can remove Special Energy. While it's popularity has diminished since Sword and Shield, I wouldn't be surprised to see it come back sometime soon. This is because Speed Lightning, Horror Psychic, Aurora, and Rainbow Energy are very popular right now.

Special Energy?  This might be one of the best cards to play this weekend if you have a couple of extra slots in your deck, and you want to disrupt. While the Energy isn't removed from play, it is likely removed from being useful. You can either move Energy on Pokémon you wish to Knock Out to discard them or move Special Energy to "Bench sitters" that won't harm you. It's kind of like Crushing Hammer without the flip, so don't sleep on this card.

Those are the main cards I could think of heading into this weekend, but you might experience a few more. Inteleon VMAX has been on the rise when I have been playing PTCGO, and that card has an Energy Denial based attack. Wait-and-See Hammer is also a card too! The metagame feels like it is shifting to aggression fuelled disruption-based state. That's a lot of words for me to say that Control decks are on the rise, and tech choices for other decks are leaning heavier on disruption cards. Keep your mind alert and prepare for the madness!

Other Trends in Decks
Sometimes I wonder if it's just me, but the metagame feels like it is filled with tech cards at the moment. Baby Blacephalon is a successful deck, so let's toss some copies of Tapu Fini on our list. Dragapult VMAX is weak to Darkness-type, so let's bring back Dark Box, Spiritomb, and Weavile. The list goes on and on, but I wanted to showcase a couple of techs that are likely to stand out, heading into this Limitless Q4 event.

Tapu Fini
This card has been around since Worlds, and it has been popping up in decks since Worlds. Its primary use is to beat Blacephalon, and that isn't stopping anytime soon. Any deck that wants to beat Blacephalon (or has a generally bad matchup against the deck) will be packing one or two copies.

Jirachi Prism Star, Mr. Mime, and Oranguru
The combo of using Oranguru to put Jirachi Prism on top of your deck, using Mr. Mime to move Jirachi Prism from the top of your deck to your Prizes, and drawing Jirachi Prism from your Prize Cards is known, but I think it might see more play this weekend. We have already seen it in Zacian V and Baby Blacephalon decks, and it might see even more play. I have watched other streamers try some Missing Clover techs, Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX, and Guzzlord concepts to steal games quickly. Is the full range of available ideas discovered, or will we see this getting played in other decks during Q4? Keep your eyes peeled.

Fighting Techs and Decks
If you haven't been playing for the past few weeks, let it be known that PikaRom is everywhere. This has brought on a counter side of the metagame, and it means that PikaRom will be high on the list to get countered. Expect to see it all - Excadrill, Aerodactyl-GX, Lycanroc, Buzzwole, and more! If you are scared to hit a few "auto losses," PikaRom might be a deck to avoid. At the same time, most top decks have answers to counter decks by merely being more consistent.


While there might be more techs or decks to be listed, I wanted to make sure to let you know about the main concepts heading into this weekend! My goal at 60Cards has always been to provide our community with the best knowledge, and I hope this article has helped you out. If you have any other questions about this weekend, my DMs are always open. Best of luck at the Limitless Q4 event, and remember it's only a game - have fun! 

[+0] okko


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