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Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR Deck Strategy

Our example deck list features a solid line of Origin Forme Palkia
VSTAR, as it will be our main attacker. Another new card from the Sword
& Shield—Astral Radiance
expansion is Starmie V; its Energy Spiral attack is excellent for
punishing the opposing player for attaching Energy cards into play. This attack
offers an especially effective defense against Arceus VSTAR and its Trinity Nova attack—it forces the
opponent to think twice about putting additional Energy into play. Starmie V is
also one of the few Basic Pokémon that has no Retreat Cost, making it a great
opening Pokémon. Retreating into a Sobble on the first turn of the game with
Starmie V can turn a mediocre start into an excellent one.

Manaphy is
mainly here for its Wave Veil Ability. As previously mentioned, Radiant
Greninja is extremely effective at targeting opposing Sobble and Drizzile,
which gives Manaphy a very important role in protecting the precious Inteleon
engine.

As you can see, we have chosen to pair Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR
with the now well-established Inteleon engine. There are several strong
arguments for this. Committing an Energy card for use with Sobble’s Keep Calling
attack on the first turn of the game will not be a problem for this deck, as
Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR’s Star Portal Ability can accelerate enough Energy
into play on the second turn of the game regardless. Filling up the Bench with
Sobble will allow Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR to do more damage, and
simultaneously set up for a stream of Shady Dealings Abilities from Drizzile
and Inteleon. Utilizing the Inteleon engine also allows for a sea of tricks in
the Trainer lineup, making the deck flexible going into different matchups. The
Inteleon with the Quick Shooting Ability can also come in handy as it gives the
deck even more reach.

Finally, a Lumineon V
has been added to the list. Lumineon V really shines during the first
turn of the game, as its Luminous Sign Ability enables Quick Ball and Ultra Ball to be used as
additional ways of finding Irida.
Having a low-HP Pokémon V in play can often be a liability, but keep in mind
that Inteleon V can also be fueled by Star Portal in a pinch, allowing Lumineon
V to swiftly escape back into the deck with its Aqua Return attack.

One of my favorite cards from Sword & Shield—Astral
Radiance
is the new Supporter card Irida. This card will be a great fit for
any deck featuring the Inteleon engine, but it’s especially good in this one
since every Pokémon is a Water type. Picking up a Shady Dealings Drizzile or
Inteleon and an Item card will indirectly give access to any two cards in the
deck, making it one of the best and safest ways to set up a strong field. Irida
is also the reason why this list includes only one Battle VIP Pass—you will have plenty of ways to search it
out with Irida. Remember that Lumineon V can search out Irida, which means a
Quick Ball or an Ultra Ball can eventually turn into a Battle VIP Pass. Irida’s
flexibility makes it worthy of filling four spots in our deck.

It shouldn’t be surprising to see Boss’s Orders in here either, as targeting your opponent’s
Benched Pokémon will forever be one of the strongest effects in the game.

With the help of the Inteleon engine and the Shady Dealings
Ability, this deck can afford to run a lot of single copies of Trainer cards. As
you can see, this deck plays four single copies of Supporter cards that all
have their unique uses. For instance, both Raihan
and Melony can
help accelerate Energy into play after the VSTAR Power is used. While Raihan
can be used only after the opponent has taken a Knock Out, it’s not limited to
Pokémon V, meaning you could potentially pull off another big attack with
Radiant Greninja should the opponent choose to target other Pokémon instead.
Using Raihan to fuel Inteleon’s Aqua Bullet attack will also be an attractive option.
Melony can be played at any point and can help accelerate Energy onto Origin
Forme Palkia V or VSTAR, Lumineon V, and Starmie V. One Pal Pad ensures that the deck
can reuse any of the Supporter cards an additional time, too.

For recovery, this deck uses Nessa.
Since every Pokémon and Energy is Water type, Nessa becomes truly powerful.
Streaming attackers and Energy attachments for the next few turns after a Nessa
will be a breeze, and recycling Energy cards is also great for additional uses
of the Concealed Cards Ability.

Finally, the card I have been the most excited about from Sword
& Shield—Astral Radiance
: Roxanne.
Until now, Marnie has been the strongest hand disruption card available in the
format. Leaving the opponent at four cards before their turn is usually not
enough to prevent them from doing what they want, but being able to set the
opponent down to only two cards, on the other hand, changes things drastically
and makes for a much better comeback card. With the inclusion of Roxanne, the
deck will be able to punish weakly developed board states and potentially turn
an unfavorable game around.

The Pokémon search lineup is mostly what you would expect from a
deck featuring the Inteleon engine, but with another new addition from Sword
& Shield—Astral Radiance
. Hisuian Heavy Ball
has a unique effect, letting the player search their Prize cards for a
Basic Pokémon to swap out with the Hisuian Heavy Ball. Playing this card will
make sure that prizing one of those crucial Basic Pokémon is much less likely
to happen. Radiant Greninja will for sure be the most important one, but having
insurance against awkward Prizes in general is a welcome addition.

Scoop Up Net’s main
purpose in this deck is to reset some of the Abilities, enabling them to be
used multiple times in the same turn. In the early rounds, using multiple
Concealed Cards Abilities can help fuel Star Portal even faster while
simultaneously drawing a lot of cards. Later, Scoop Up Net can be used to pick
Inteleon back up for additional uses of Shady Dealings and Quick Shooting.

Yet another new card from Sword & Shield—Astral Radiance
is our deck’s Stadium card, Temple of Sinnoh.
This card will make all Special Energy cards in play lose their effects and
provide only a single Colorless energy. Many great Energy cards like Rapid Strike Energy, Single Strike Energy, and Fusion Strike Energy will lose
their potency. Saving this Stadium card until the later stages of the game to
be paired with a Roxanne can be especially impactful against certain matchups.

For Pokémon Tool cards, we have Choice Belt
and Tool Jammer.
The Choice Band will provide some extra reach against Pokémon V, while the Tool
Jammer works as a defensive option against opposing Choice Belt and even Supereffective Glasses. With
the raising popularity of Big Charm,
Tool Jammer can also be used offensively.

Right now, Water decks are spoiled by their way of searching out Energy,
Capacious Bucket. While
every other type of Basic Energy must use the Energy Search Item card to grab a
single Energy card, Capacious Bucket can search out a pair of Water Energy.
Irida and Shady Dealings both give easy access to the Capacious Bucket and
ensure that the deck has both hand attachments and fuel for the Concealed Cards
Ability.

We mentioned earlier that what makes this deck so strong is the
combination of Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR and Radiant Greninja. Their Abilities
have great synergy, but their attacks are also a perfect fit. Radiant Greninja
will tempt the opposing player to play down Manaphy to protect their Benched
Pokémon, but that will play straight into the Subspace Swell attack from Origin
Forme Palkia VSTAR. This sort of double pressure makes it a very difficult deck
to go up against, and players might have to choose between playing around
Moonlight Shuriken or Subspace Swell.

A common trick in the Pokémon Trading Card Game is forcing your opponent
to take more Prize cards than necessary to gain an advantage. This deck does
that naturally, as it typically wants to attack with Radiant Greninja once. This
will give up a single Prize card, opening the way for a stream of Origin Forme
Palkia VSTAR afterwards. At the end of the game, your opponent will then be
forced to either find a way around the Active Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR or
perhaps spend an additional attack for the Knock Out.

Water-type Pokémon make up a lot of the strong cards in the new Sword
& Shield—Astral Radiance
expansion, and this deck flows in perfect
harmony. Irida combined with the Inteleon engine enables a safe route for
setting up your board and is a ton of fun to play, too. You should strongly
consider trying this deck out for yourself if you haven’t already!

Look for more Pokémon TCG strategy and analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.

Tord Reklev

Tord Reklev is a contributing writer for Pokemon.com. He is a longtime player from Norway, playing the game since he was 6 years old. He is notable for being the only Masters Division player to win the North America, Europe, and Oceania Internationals, and he recently made Top 4 at the World Championships. Outside of the game, he is a student and enjoys playing tennis. You can find him at most big events and can follow him on Twitter at @TordReklev.

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