“What is the best deck in the game?” is the most timeless question in any card game. 2020 has introduced some of the best cards and decks Pokemon TCG Online has ever seen, and the meta has evolved quite a bit through some of the newer expansions. Sword & Shield and Darkness Ablaze have made some of the most significant additions to the meta, with some older decks like PikaRom continuing to shine.
How do we determine the “best” Pokemon TCG Online decks?
The list below is made using a combination of my own in-game experience and Standard tournament results from the last three months. We’re talking 100+ player tournaments, and not just the in-game Events.
Due to the nature of Pokemon TCG Online, it is often hard to compare two decks that don’t have an obvious Type advantage against each other. The decks in the list below aren’t in a strict order, but we do start with the obvious meta-winners at the top, and go down to those that don’t win tournaments very often but still hit really good standings consistently.
Here are the top 10 Standard decks in Pokemon TCG Online:
ADP/Z (Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX)
Main Pokemon: Arceus Dialga & Palkia-GX and Zacian V
Deck Guide: ADP/Z – deck guide
Pros: Yes. All the pros use it. On a serious note, the main advantage of this deck is how well ADP’s Steel Energy requirement goes with Zacian V. ADP is weak against Fairy Types, a type that was discontinued earlier this year. The Altered Creation GX is an absolutely broken attack, since it gives all of your Pokemon +30 damage for the rest of the game. As if that wasn’t enough, you also take +1 Prize card every time you get a knockout. Also, putting “Ban this deck” in your post title gives you 99% upvotes on Reddit.
Cons: One day you’ll take a break to test a non-ADP deck in Versus, and you’ll encounter an ADP deck and realize what you’ve done to the hundreds of players you defeated on turn two.
PikaRom (Pikachu & Zekrom-GX)
Main Pokemon: Pikachu & Zekrom-GX and Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX
Pros: Sets up quickly with Boltund V, has great support in the form of Tapu Koko Prism Star, and on top of that, PikaRom-GX racks up Energy quickly. This deck has been top-tier in the meta for over a year now.
Eternatus VMAX Poison variant
Main Pokemon: Eternatus VMAX
Deck Guide: Eternatus (poison variant) deck guide
Pros: Sets up quickly and hits like a truck. Poison also makes it easy to go against cards like Decidueye. Even with Coalossal VMAX having Type-advantage against it, it isn’t an auto-loss because of how quickly Eternatus VMAX can set up.
Cons: Along with Coalossal VMAX, the upcoming Battle Styles Pokemon have some Fighting type Pokemon that look really good.
Main Pokemon: Blacephalon, with lots of draw support
Deck Guide: Blacephalon deck guide
Pros: 1-Prizer attacker that has Type-advantage against some of the most commonly encountered Pokemon in the game (Zacian V and LucMetal).
Cons: The deck requires a lot of Energy, meaning you will have consecutive turns where you keep drawing Energy. I won’t call it inconsistent, but it can give you a hard time.
LucMetal (Lucario & Melmetal-GX)
Main Pokemon: Zacian V and Lucario & Melmetal-GX
Deck Guide: Zacian V / Lucario & Melmetal GX deck guide
Pros: Very consistent, super-tanky, and hits hard.
Cons: Auto-loss to deck like Centiskorch VMAX, Blacephalon, Green’s Reshizard, and Charizard-Leon. Also the lack of Crobat V and Dedenne-GX can result in some dry turns.
Main Pokemon: Centiskorch VMAX and Volcanion
Deck Guide: Centiskorch VMAX deck
Pros: Crazy damage ceiling. If you get Volcanion out and Centiskorch V on your Bench early, the deck is pretty hard to beat. It also has a Type-advantage against Steel, which is always good. Centiskorch also powers itself up by fetching Energies from the discard pile.
Cons: There isn’t really a backup plan if your Volcanion is knocked out before you can get your VMAX powered up.
Main Pokemon: Coalossal VMAX and Oranguru
Deck Guide: Coalossal VMAX deck
Pros: Super-effective against PikaRom and Eternatus VMAX. Very, very tanky with Buff Padding and Stone Energy. It’s also a very simplistic deck. Once you have the VMAX out and Oranguru on your bench, you’re good to go.
Cons: Needs a little bit of momentum. Not a long setup, just needs Oranguru and Coalossal going.
Green’s Reshizard (Reshiram & Charizard-GX)
Main Pokemon: Reshiram & Charizard-GX and Charizard & Braixen-GX
Deck Guide: Green’s Reshizard deck guide
Pros: Flare Strike, Outrage, and Brilliant Flare are excellent attacks. Lots of damage, and fetching specific cards is invaluable.
Cons: Struggles if you don’t get that magic Volcanion turn.
Mew3 (Mewtwo & Mew-GX)
Main Pokemon: Mewtwo & Mew-GX and a bunch of sidekicks
Deck Guide: Mewtwo & Mew-GX deck guide
Pros: The most versatile deck in the game. You can pair any Type with this Pokemon, but “Welder Mewtwo” (Fire), “Blastoise Mewtwo” (Water), and Psychic Mewtwo are the most consistent variations. Lots of attacks to pick from, and super-fun to use.
Cons: The deck relies on EX/GX cards, and the recent packs have only had V/VMAX as the hard-hitters. The deck is great right now, but what happens a year later when we have even stronger Pokemon that won’t be EX/GX cards?
Whimsicott Tool Engine
Main Pokemon: Whimsicott
Deck Guide: Whimsicott Tool Engine deck guide
Pros: 1-Prizer with a single-Energy attack that hits very, very hard. Island Challenge Amulet also keeps your benched Crobat V and Dedenne-GX from being liabilities.
Cons: Whimsicott discards Tool to deal damage, which makes it a bad option against stall decks that keep healing and never let you get the KO.