Highlighted by one of the best cards from Chilling Reign, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX is one of the top Expanded decks in Pokemon TCG Online. Since Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX does more damage depending on the number of Energy you have in play, it largely benefits from the extra cards in Expanded, the format where you can technically pile on more than two Energy during your first turn. There are a bunch of cards such as Max Elixir that provide crazy Energy acceleration to your Pokemon but have rotated out of Standard. Pikarom is a classic example of the Expanded upgrade, where the deck goes from S-tier to God-tier when you upgrade it from Standard to Expanded.
In this guide, I’ll be taking you through the Expanded version of the Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX deck that uses the best Trainer cards and Pokemon from Expanded to get easy OHKOs.
Shadow Rider Calyrex Expanded deck list for Pokemon TCG Online
Here is the Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX Expanded deck list for Pokemon TCG Online:
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon – 11
* 1 Gengar & Mimikyu-GX TEU 53
* 4 Shadow Rider Calyrex V CRE 74
* 2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
* 4 Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX CRE 75
##Trainer Cards – 33
* 2 Professor Sycamore BKP 107
* 2 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Acerola BUS 112
* 1 N FCO 105
* 4 Fog Crystal CRE 140
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 3 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 3 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 4 Max Elixir BKP 102
* 1 Computer Search BCR 137
* 1 Field Blower GRI 125
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 3 Float Stone BKT 137
* 3 Silent Lab PRC 140
##Energy – 14
* 14 Psychic Energy Energy 5
Total Cards – 58
The upgrade from Standard is massive, isn’t it? Along with entirely skipping on Crobat V, you also have additions such as Gengar & Mimikyu-GX and the king of Expanded, Tapu Lele-GX. You also have a bunch of Item cards that weren’t there in the Standard lists that allow you to set up faster, get more Energies on your Pokemon in fewer turns, and be able to deliver high-damage attacks early on.
N, Acerola, Sycamore (or Research), Guzma, Float Stone, and Computer Search are super helpful for most Expanded decks, and this one isn’t an exception. If you don’t have Computer Search, you can go for another Ace Spec, or an extra N/Sycamore. The Field Blower and Ordinary Rod can be replaced if you’re not playing competitive matches, and for the Stadium card, you can go for Path to the Peak instead, if it is getting in your way.
How to deal with Calyrex’s Dark-type Weakness
One modification that I’ve seen people make to this deck is using 13 Psychic Energy + 1 Weakness Guard (or 12+2) Energy to protect your Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX from Eternatus VMAX. Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX has a Dark-Type weakness, and Eternatus is one of the top decks in the Expanded format and poses a serious threat to this deck.
Depending on how often you’re encountering Eternatus, I would highly suggest making that replacement if you have the Energy. While it’s not a Psychic-type Energy and doesn’t inherently fit with the strategy of this deck, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX does have Colorless Energy in its attack and you’ll only be missing out on 30 extra damage. This is much better than having to deal with the 2x damage buff that Eternatus will get due to your weakness.
How Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX works
Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX’s main attack is Max Geist, which does more damage depending on your Psychic Energy in play. The entire deck is reliant on pulling off this attack, and getting more Energy onto your Pokemon as fast as possible.
Max Geist 10+
This attack does 30 more damage for each Psychic Energy attached to all of your Pokémon.
Since you don’t have Alcremie VMAX in this deck, you don’t have to worry about discarding Energy. Fog Crystal is a useful item card for all Psychic decks, as it lets you fetch Psychic Pokemon or Energy.
Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX also has an ability that synergizes with this attack.
Ability – Underworld Door
Once during your turn, you may attach a Psychic Energy card from your hand to 1 of your Benched Psychic Pokémon. If you attached Energy to a Pokémon in this way, draw 2 cards.
Since you’re also drawing 2 cards after attaching Energy, you do not need the Crobat V in this deck. Instead, we have Tapu Lele-GX and Gengar & Mimikyu-GX.
Supporting Psychic Pokemon
Tapu Lele-GX is a staple addition to any Expanded deck because of its ability that lets you fetch any Supporter card you want when you put it on your Bench. However, with this deck, you can also actually use its attack:
Energy Drive: 20×
This attack does 20 damage times the amount of Energy attached to both Active Pokémon. This damage isn’t affected by Weakness or Resistance.
You can also use its GX attack to heal two of your benched Pokemon
Gengar & Mimikyu-GX is your secondary attacker with its attack doing damage depending on the number of Trainer cards in your opponent’s hand.
Your opponent reveals their hand. This attack does 50 damage for each Trainer card you find there.
This attack is especially powerful in Expanded, where every deck is loaded with Trainer cards. On top of this, Gengar & Mimikyu-GX also has a great GX attack:
Your opponent can’t play any cards from their hand during their next turn. If this Pokémon has at least 1 extra Psychic Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), each player draws cards until they have 7 cards in their hand.
This is great for stalling early on, but I wouldn’t bother going for the conditional card-drawing effect unless you really need it. Your Psychic Energy cards are better reserved for your Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX.
Important Trainer cards
This deck’s biggest strength lies in its Trainer cards. Max Elixir is the big one here, and is an absolute game-changer:
Look at the top 6 cards of your deck and attach a basic Energy card you find there to a Basic Pokémon on your Bench. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck.
This deck runs four copies of Max Elixir to get as many Psychic Energy onto your Pokemon as possible.
Mysterious Energy lets you find any Psychic Pokemon you want, and if you’re not going for the Calyrex, this can act as your link to Tapu Lele-GX, and then the Supporter card you get from Lele’s ability. Once you’ve got your board set up, you can also use Silent Lab to block all abilities of Basic Pokemon, disabling a bunch of meta cards such as Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, and Darkrai-GX that all rely on abilities to drive their respective decks forward. While this can affect your Tapu Lele-GX, it will not affect your Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX, as it is a Stage 1 Pokemon.
Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX is a solid deck for both Standard and Expanded formats in Pokemon TCG Online, and Expanded cards such as Max Elixir only make it better. We have guides for two unique decklists for the Standard format if you’re looking to convert your Expanded deck: the Turbo and Zacian V versions, and the Alcremie VMAX version. Its main weakness lies in Eternatus VMAX and Umbreon VMAX decks, both of which are pretty popular in the meta right now.
For more Standard, Expanded, and Theme deck guides and lists, be sure to check out our Ultimate Pokemon TCG Online guide and resource list.