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Worlds Testing: Arceus Inteleon Charizard

Hello all! With the World Championships right around the corner, I am in full on testing mode for the event. In this article I'll briefly discuss the list I've been playing as well as a short tournament report and finally what I may change going forward.

For my initial testing, I wanted to lay a solid foundation with arguably the format's best deck that I admittedly have the least amount of testing with: Arceus Inteleon. One of Arceus' main flaws is that it struggles to reach OHKO numbers, often relying on Crobat VMAX or Pikachu VMAX to hit for weakness. However, with the release of the Pokemon GO set, Radiant Charizard entered as an obvious inclusion for late game power. Charizard can provide an edge against Palkia or the mirror to hit for 280 with a Choice Belt which no VSTAR deck is immune to. I figured that Arceus / Inteleon / Charizard had the potential to deal out some of the most damage in the format when you factor in the survivability of Arceus + Cheren's Care and the opportunity to attack with Charizard two or more times. With this in mind, I entered an online tournament to prove (or disprove) my theories.

In the tournament (which you can watch parts of in the YouTube video above OR on my twitch VOD channel) I finished a solid 5-1. Although the quality of my opponents on average was not particularly high, I still found that by and large it beat playing against random players on the ladder. My most notable matches were where I was able to swing with Charizard for 280, namely in my matchup against the mirror and in a round against Palkia. Theory proved! Charizard made a significant impact in those matchups. In my sole loss, I struggled with overcoming a Mewtwo V-Union deck that set up beautifully.

Here's my current build:

What I appreciated about my build was that it set up consistently, getting a T2 attack nearly every game reliably. While I was able to streamline the early game, I struggled with the mid and late game, often getting Marnie'd or Roxanne'd into not enough resources to perform the optimal plays. While I would still be able to chain attackers, I wasn't able to find that last piece that I wanted, like a Boss or additional Energy. It always felt like I was on the edge of my seat to close out every game. Contrast that to my testing with Palkia VSTAR where I feel very in control of most games from start to finish. Here were my matchups:

R1: W Mirror

R2: L Arceus Mewtwo V-Union

R3: W Palkia VSTAR

R4: W Mew VMAX

R5: W Arceus Pikachu

R6: W Arceus Boltund

Moving forward, there were a few changes I would make. I think it might be best to shift away from the heavy Magma Basin and instead go for multiple Path with either a pumpkaboo or one counter stadium for the turn you need Charizard. I felt like Path would have been better in the early game against other Arceus decks as well as give me some sort of out against Mew VMAX decks.

A combo I was never able to pull off was getting multiple Charizard attacks, so I would also consider dropping the Ordinary Rod and 2nd Choice Belt. Choice Belt + Zigzagoon can be so strong in mirror or to establish dominance against other V decks if you go first, but it wasn't a combo that I felt made much of a difference either in the tournament or in personal testing.

A card I would 100% drop from the list is Quick Shooting Inteleon - it played little to no role in my games and I think another consistency card would have been better in that slot. Heck, even another Shady Dealings Inteleon would have been stronger! I would also consider dropping Manaphy as the only relevant deck it's useful against right now is Palkia, which you want to limit your bench against anyway!

All that said, here is my current build:

Heading forward, this deck is still one of my top picks heading into Worlds, but what will need to be tested further is if Charizard makes enough of a difference to warrant the inclusion.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to the channel for more updates!

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