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Searching Standard: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX / Zacian V Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. Last week in my Flash Forward column, I had a request to showcase an ADP (Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156) / Zacian V deck, so that's what we'll be taking a look at today. This deck came in first place at a Japanese tournament back in December, and since it's comprised of cards that are in our current Standard pool, it could be a top contender at current tournaments. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck.

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With Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156, you'll want to use their Altered Creation GX attack as quickly as possible. It's definitely best to use this attack when you have both a Metal Energy 8 and a Water Energy 3 attached in order to get the extra damage and extra Prize card. Once you're able to, attacking with Ultimate Ray will allow you to power up the rest of your team with ease.

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Zacian V SSH 138 allows you to use its Intrepid Sword Ability instead of attacking during your turn. This can be a great way to both power up Zacian V SSH 138's Brave Blade attack and find the other cards you need to make your deck run smoothly. That ability to accomplish multiple things at the expense of attacking for the turn is what has made Zacian V SSH 138 one of the most sought-after cards from Sword and Shield.

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The combination of Jirachi TEU 99 and Escape Board UPR 122 has been around for a number of months, but it's still just as powerful as ever. Use Jirachi TEU 99's Stellar Wish Ability to filter through your deck finding the Trainer cards you need. Then attach an Escape Board UPR 122 to Jirachi TEU 99 to allow it to retreat for free, even while asleep.

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Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117 is in the deck for the use of its Ability only. With Headbutt Tantrum, you'll be able to put a damage counter on any of your opponent's Pokemon when you play Galarian Zigzagoon SSH 117 onto your Bench. Use this if your opponent retreats a Pokemon that's on the verge of being Knocked Out.

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Quick Ball SSH 179 and Pokegear 3.0 SSH 174 both allow you easier access to the things you need. With Quick Ball SSH 179, you'll be able to search for any of the Pokemon at the cost of discarding a card. Pokegear 3.0 SSH 174 helps you find the Supporters you need quicker than waiting to simply draw them. Both of these also help make your deck more consistent since you're able to get the card you want instead of a random card of that type.

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This grouping of cards all helps out with your Energy. Energy Spinner UNB 170 can be amazing if you play it on your first turn and you're going second, but it's still a solid card to play if that doesn't apply to you. Energy Switch SSH 162 and Tag Switch UNM 209 both allow you to move Energy from one Pokemon to another, usually as a way to keep your momentum going in the face of one of your Pokemon getting Knocked Out. Remember that Tag Switch UNM 209 can only move Energy from Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156 to another Pokemon you have in play (which could also be another copy of Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156.

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This group of cards allow you to gain an advantage by somehow boosting the Pokemon these Items are attached to. Vitality Band SSH 185 allows you to deal 10 more damage to the opponent's Active Pokemon with your attacks. That 10 damage can be the difference between getting a KO or being Knocked Out yourself. Big Charm SSH 158 gives the Pokemon its attached to an additional 30 HP. Metal Frying Pan FLI 112 allows Zacian V SSH 138 to take 30 less damage from your opponent's attacks as well as removing it's Weakness to Fire Type Pokemon. That damage reduction should allow you to stay in the game longer and use Brave Blade more often.

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By using Great Catcher CEC 192, you'll be able to make an opponent's Pokemon-GX their Active Pokemon. You can use this to great effect to score a Knock-Out and draw an extra Prize card after you've used Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156’s, you'll want to use their Altered Creation GX attack.

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Both Switch SSH 183 and Mallow & Lana CEC 198 allow you to move a damage Pokemon from the Active position to your Bench. You'll usually want to discard two other cards when you play Mallow & Lana CEC 198 to heal that Pokemon of 120 damage, as this will allow that (likely) powered up Pokemon to get in at least one more powerful attack later on and will deny your opponent any easy Prizes.

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This batch of cards all allows you to return things that have gone to your discard pile. Metal Saucer SSH 170 allows you the use of a Metal Energy 8. Ordinary Rod SSH 171 lets you shuffle up to two Pokemon and up to two basic Energy cards back into your deck. It's a great way to allow you to use Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156 or Zacian V SSH 138 again after they've been KO'd. Finally, Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189 returns a Supporter card to your hand and offers the chance to draw additional cards. You only have a couple of options for the Supporter, but Mallow & Lana CEC 198 is usually the right choice.

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Clay CEC 188 is the final Supporter in this deck. He's not often played since doing so requires a critical mass of Item cards in your deck. However, since this deck has 31 Items in it, you'll average finding close to four Items each time you play Clay CEC 188.

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Reset Stamp UNM 206 continues to be the best card to play if you've found yourself behind in the match up. It can help to slow down your opponent's momentum and buy you the additional time you need to get your team set up.

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Since this deck only runs two Pokemon-GX, Shrine of Punishment CES 143 can be a good Stadium to play against a deck that includes a bunch of Pokemon-GX. Even if they only have a couple, the extra damage that Shrine of Punishment CES 143 deals can make it easier to score a KO and potentially draw three or four Prize cards.

Wrapping Up

Sword and Shield brought us one of the most powerful Pokemon currently in the game. Zacian V SSH 138 currently holds the highest price tag for any regular card in Sword and Shield, but it does so for good reason. Being able to accelerate the amount of Energy attached to itself to enable an attack that deals 230 damage as early as turn two means that we'll be seeing Zacian V SSH 138 as a staple card in competitive decks for quite a while.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. Also, check out my new column, Flash Forward, where we take a look at decks using cards from upcoming releases. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in the Pokemon TCG. I'll see you then! 

- Mike Likes
 


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