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Searching Standard: Gengar VMAX Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard, where each and every week I look for new, innovative decks for you to play in Standard. This week, I'm looking at a deck that was recently featured on the YouTube channel of ZapdosTCG. It features the new Gengar VMAX FST 157, so let's get started by taking a look at the decklist.

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Gengar VMAX FST 157 will often be the main attacker in this deck. With its Fear and Panic attack, you'll deal 60 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon for each Pokemon V your opponent has in play. Against certain decks, this attack can wreck an opponent, as you'll be able to deal a ton of damage with this attack. Gengar VMAX FST 157 also has the G-Max Swallow Up attack that can deal a whopping 250 damage. The downside to this attack is that you won't be able to attack with Gengar VMAX FST 157 on the following turn, but scoring a crucial Knock Out with this attack can often be worth it.

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In order to make sure Gengar VMAX FST 157 is fully powered, you can rely on the Single Strike Roar Ability of Houndoom BST 96. With this Ability, once each turn you can search your deck for a copy of Single Strike Energy BST 141 that you can attach to one of your Single Strike Pokemon. Doing this will also cause two damage counters to be placed on the Pokemon receiving that Energy, but Energy acceleration like this will often be worth it.

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The main reason for including Umbreon VMAX EVS 95 in this deck is for the use of its Dark Signal Ability. When you evolve into Umbreon VMAX EVS 95, Dark Signal allows you to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with a Pokemon from their Bench. This is a great way to ensure you score a Knock Out, and will often net you multiple Prize cards. Since Umbreon VMAX EVS 95 is also a Single Strike Pokemon, it can benefit from receiving a copy of Single Strike Energy BST 141 from Houndoom BST 96's Single Strike Roar Ability, making it a great back-up attacker.

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Since Single Strike Energy BST 141 provides either Darkness or Fighting Energy, it can easily power up another alternate attacker, Single Strike Urshifu V BST 85. While you won't want to make it your attacker often, Single Strike Urshifu V BST 85 can use its Impact Blow attack to deal 180 damage. That's a decent amount of damage for the three Energy needed to use this attack, but it's best used when you can attack a Pokemon that is weak to Fighting Type Pokemon.

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Even though Crobat V DAA 104 could potentially attack with its Venomous Fang attack, the main reason for its inclusion in this deck is for the use of its Dark Asset Ability. This Ability allows you to draw cards until you have six cards in your hand, and is a valuable way to refill your hand when you've already played your Supporter for the turn, or when you have a different Supporter you want to play.

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Speaking of drawing additional cards, this next batch of cards does just that. With Professor's Research CEL 23, you'll need to discard your current hand before drawing a new hand of seven cards. Tower of Darkness BST 137 can allow either player to draw two cards on their turn, but does so at the cost of needing to discard a Single Strike card from their hand in order to do this effect. Finally, Marnie CPA 56 can be used to net you additional cards if you currently have three or fewer cards in your hand, but her primary purpose is to stifle your opponent's progress by forcing them to abandon their current plans and shuffle their hand into their deck to draw a (hopefully) smaller hand.

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Making sure your attacks are as efficient as possible is a key part of the Pokemon TCG. By playing Boss's Orders SHF 58, you can choose a Benched Pokemon of your opponent's to become their Active Pokemon. This allows you to choose a Pokemon that you can guarantee you will Knock Out. Vitality Band SSH 185 increases the amount of damage your Pokemon's attacks will do by 10 damage. That can be the difference between scoring a Knock Out or leaving your opponent on the battlefield, able to attack back on their turn. Finally, Switch SSH 183 allows you to send your Active Pokemon back to your Bench, while one of your Benched Pokemon takes its place. This can be especially useful when you need to move a fully powered Pokemon to your Active Spot to deliver a powerful attack.

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Most decks rely on some Pokemon Items to help find the Pokemon you need. With Quick Ball FST 237, you can search your deck for any Basic Pokemon to put into your hand. On the other hand, Evolution Incense SSH 163 only allows you to search for an Evolution Pokemon. By having both cards available, you should be able to find any Pokemon you need from within your deck.

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The final non-Energy card in this deck is Urn of Vitality BST 139. This Item allows you to shuffle up to two Single Strike Energy BST 141 cards from your discard pile back into your deck. Take advantage of this as often as you can, since you'll always be able to search for these Single Strike Energy BST 141 cards with the help of Houndoom BST 96.

Wrapping Up

This deck is no joke. It recently won a tournament, piloted by Zach Lesage. It's also one of the most expensive decks I've ever written about. If you're looking to give this deck a try, you might consider testing it out with proxy cards in some non-sanctioned matches to make sure it's a good fit for your play style.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, check out my other 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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