Experts' corner

Kevin Clemente

Turbo Zacian for POG

While a lot of people are getting excited for the new Pokemon forming new archetypes, I believe a trainer card combined with a new meta gives us a new archetype using an "old" card. Turbo Zacian has the speed and power to compete with all the decks I have seen coming out of the UPR-DAA meta and I believe it is being slept on.

08/18/2020 by Kevin Clemente

Coming up for POG there is a lot to test and a lot of those decks are mostly the same we’ve seen. In my previous article I went over some of the basics on where I’ll be testing which was also the biggest decks in the new meta and thankfully nothing has really changed from that article in terms of how I am testing which is going to give us a better idea of the POG meta. Before reading, if you haven't I would go check out what POG is and consider joining. The tournament is free and has some solid cash prizing and, most importantly to me, gives us a reason to play Pokemon for the next few weeks until rotation occurs. 

The big change between the UPR-RCL and UPR-DAA meta is we lose Dragapult taking multi-prize turns on innocent little Jirachi making their late game stamp even more devastating. Due to this, I think the format has the ability to speed up as we might be looking at a format with no comeback decks. I have been messing around with a Turbo Zacian deck and I believe it has a place in this format as Zacian is, in my opinion, easily the top 2 prize attacker. The beauty is, the deck is also quite techable. The version I have now is not particularly teched but I will go over the changes to make depending on how the meta looks.

Table of contents

Deck List



Card Choices

4 Zacian

It’s a Zacian deck…. But if you’re wondering why 4 we want to get a Zacian turn 1 every game. If we go 1st getting the Intrepid Sword is incredibly important and if we go second, we need a Zacian to achieve our goal of swinging with Brave Blade turn 1.

3 Jirachi

This gives us 7 out of 13 Pokemon as ideal starters which should give us an ideal starter in just shy of two-thirds of the games (The math isn’t quite simple division because if you have more than one Pokemon in hand you get to choose). A 4th Jirachi would be nice but doesn’t increase our odds of getting an ideal starter often enough to find the room considering the list is already pretty tight.

2 Hoopa

Yeah, we have 2. Hoopa hits hard for one energy and allows us to easily pick off Jirachi turn 1 or late game to fix our prize trades in our favor. It also hit Vmaxs just hard enough to fix the math Brave Blade is missing. So in theory we can go, Hoopa+Zacian to take 3 prizes on a Vmax, Hoopa a Jirachi off the bench then Brace Blade a Dedenne/Crobat for game. Or we can take down 2 Vmax by going Zacian+Hoopa on each. This deck needs an efficient attacker and with the way I think decks are going to be built Hoopa feels like the perfect choice. The second Hoopa slot may be replaced with a variety of other options listed later in the article depending on how you expect the meta to look.

1 Phione

This might be a weird inclusion but it serves an important purpose. Versus ADP Zacian, the ADP is bait and we do not want to fall for it. A good ADPZ player will not bench a single prizer in this match-up making the difference between KOing the ADP and KOing anything on their bench negligible. So when they shove an ADP in the active we Phione to take two prizes. It has also come up against Eternatus who may retreat into something like Hoopa turn 1 in order to avoid getting an Eternatus V knocked out, Phione can force them to bring up a Crobat or Eternatus off the bench. Sure, they can have a second single prizer on the bench but the Phione still forces it. It can also be used versus something like Centiskortch if we’re in a situation were they try to stick a big Vmax in front of us and we just need to KO anything else on their field.

1 Mewtwo/1 Oranguru

This is a debatable inclusion. The 4 Acro Bikes/4 Research made me think playing a Mewtwo is worth it. Oranguru is just plain good in this deck to preserve cards like switch and Metal Saucer but the Mewtwo makes the aggressive discard a potential benefit because late game a Quick Ball/Net becomes an out to a Boss’s Orders for game. As I get more games in the Mewtwo might just be better served as a third Boss but the scoop up Nets have served a valuable purpose allowing for a second Stellar Wish or a 2nd switch when taking a Zacian out of the active and if they stay in the deck Mewtwo stays.

4 Metal Saucer/4 Turbo Patch

This is the main “turbo” part of the Turbo Zacian. These are must have cards. If you do not like the idea of relying on coin flips like Turbo Patch this is probably not the right deck for you. We do not need to flip more than 2 heads to win typically but admittingly you will go 0/4 or flip a tails in a crucial turn to lose the game sometimes.

4 Acro Bike

I do not think I would ever cut these, we want to go fast and the 8 energy recovery cards, 4 Zacian plus Mewtwo means we have quite a few cards in the deck we can freely discard with Bikes. I know a lot of you know the importance of Bikes in this deck but I see a lot of people as they test cut Acro Bikes for techs and this is not a deck where I think this is a good idea because we are trying to play out of our discard as well as dig deeper.

2 Viridian Forest

Viridan Forest is arguably the best stadium for every deck but we have this unwritten rule that no one plays it because it is good for every deck to use. We are going to embrace the power of Viridian because we are built to win before our opponent can. Getting energy down and getting the extra discard are too valuable to do the tired old strategy of “add a Swell and call it good”. The only match-up we want to be careful with putting Viridian down is the ADPZ match-up. Otherwise I believe we can reliably win before our opponents do thus making the aggressive and consistent Viridian Forest out best choice. Viridian also offers us the ability to Stellar Wish into energy which is very valuable turn 1 going first if you already have a Zacian down and comes up a lot more often than you would expect.


As mentioned, this list is streamlined and not made for any specific meta, moreso a deck that is able to beat various 3 prize decks and 2 prize decks. Currently we are going to struggle against some potentially popular plays and these techs are things we should fit into the deck if it looks like the POG meta is going to change to favor a specific deck.

Tapu Fini

Right now we lose to Baby Blacephalon about 100% of the time. A Fini would help as it gives us the efficient one energy attacker that can OHKO a Blacephalon in addition to having a Hoopa that can punish leaving a Jirachi active or an early bench of Oricorio GX due to its dark weakness. Fini does not make the match-up favorable but it does change it from a near autoloss to a 40-60 which offers the ability to outplay your opponent at least.

Mawile GX

Mawile offers a few nice uses. It can hit for 250 damage for 2 energy against an Eternatus with a full bench, making it a great second attacker in the match-up, it can attack multiple turns in a row making it the ideal attacker versus control and mill and the ability can be incredibly powerful. I played one Mawile GX in the Limitless Qualifier 1 and in just the one tournament I used it to force a mill to bench their Mewtwo, an ADPZ to bench a 2nd ADP, a variety of decks to put down Dedenne and the biggest was to gain hand knowledge so I could play around my opponent’s plays. The problem is that this deck can play the entire game without benching a great catcher target so using Mawile becomes a weaker option than it was in ADPZ during the UPR-SSH meta but it is worth a consideration for its utility against Eternatus, mill and control.

Zamazenta V

Zamazenta offers a solid wall against VMax Pokemon such as Eternatus, can punish Centiskortch decks that bench or use their Heatran GX too soon and can come in handy if you run into any other random VMax decks are are attempting to take advantage of the new Turbo Patch to power themselves up faster. Zamazenta, like Mawile GX above, offers an option against mill and control decks because, unlike Zacian, it can attack every turn. I am not sold it is needed but it is a valid option.

Metal Frying Pan

This is primarily for if we feel Fire Box becomes a deck again (It seems solid at least) but it would serve its purpose against all fire decks as Centiskortch would need 6 energy to OHKO you instead of 3 which is a much bigger ask for them to get built up. It would also help against Blacephalon but not too much, 3 extra energy for that deck isn’t particularly difficult to get. Pan would also mean Eternatus would need a full bench to OHKO you with no Zigzagoon pings. Metal Goggles would also be an option to really force Eternatus to have a strong board because then Zigzagoon’s ability wouldn’t place damage counters, but it has no uses in any other match-up.

Cape of Toughness

This is a specific tech, but it is good if we expect an ADPZ heavy meta and they do not play Tool Scrapper. Cape gives +50 HP which puts us out of range of a boosted Brace Blade from our opponent and can swing a tough match-up very much in our favor. There are not many reasons to play Cape over Pan outside of the ADPZ match-up but that match-up could be so important and prevalent it is worth mentioning as an option.

Bird Keeper

This is one I need to test more and is the most promising of the techs to be a staple in the deck. Zacian obviously has the difficult caveat of needing to be moved out of the active every turn and Bird Keeper offers that as a non-item, good against Vikavolt, a draw supporter, drawing you 3 cards to increase hand advantage as well as being recyclable with Mewtwo unlike regular switch.

Cyrus Prism Star

I had originally posted on Twitter about Cyrus as an Eternatus counter half serious and half as a meme but the Tweet kind of took off and I’d be lying if I said the hype around it didn’t make me re-consider this as a valid counter. I do not think we need it as a counter with out aggressive discard, but it is an option that we can use to make it difficult for them to get the return KO on us.


I really like Zacian as a card and am interested in putting more time in with Turbo Zacian to really see if the power level can hold up as people refine their lists of other archetypes and if we can refine our techs around the evolving meta. Regardless, if you’re looking to play with some new stuff but may be lacking some of the new cards I think this deck is worth your time and it is certainly worth my own time.

As always with my articles, I am 100% open to questions and happy to answer anything or hear ideas you have that might be better than mine that you're curious about and willing to share. You can DM me on Twitter, ask in chat during one of my Twitch streams or join my Discord.


Copy this, then in PTCGO you can go to create a new deck, import and it will build the list automatically. I'll try to do this for all of my articles from now on so you can easily import it but they'll be at the bottom so not to distract from the rest of the text.


****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 13

* 1 Oranguru SSH 148
* 2 Hoopa UNM 140
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 195
* 3 Jirachi TEU 99
* 4 Zacian V SSH 138
* 1 Mewtwo PR-SM 214
* 1 Phione CEC 57

##Trainer Cards - 35

* 4 Switch HS 102
* 2 Viridian Forest TEU 156
* 4 Metal Saucer SSH 214
* 3 Marnie SSH 200
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 2 Boss's Orders RCL 189
* 1 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 4 Acro Bike CES 123
* 4 Turbo Patch DAA 172
* 4 Professor's Research SSH 201
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192

##Energy - 12

* 12 Metal Energy HS 122

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online ******

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