Upgrading the Urshifu V League Battle Decks

     The Urshifu V Battle Decks released today and have been a surprisingly hot seller- I think this is the first time a theme deck release has seen us move an entire case of stock in less than a day! But everyone had the same question: What do I need to do with this deck to make it competitive-play ready? The answer: Not too much, honestly! I'm genuinely surprised that these mostly tournament-ready decks have hit the shelves and are only a "Level 2"- it makes me wonder what Pokemon has in store for their future "Level 3" decks! That being said, let's dive into some changes we've made to these decks!

     We'll start with the Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX Deck because it needs the least amount of changes to be competitive. If you look at recent tournament winning lists for Rapid Strike Urshifu, you'll see almost all of the same Trainer cards- Boss's Orders, Evolution Incense, Level Ball, Marnie, Professor's Research, Rapid Strike Energy, Tower of Waters- there's honestly not a whole lot you're left looking for in the Trainer department. These are insane inclusions in a theme deck because a lot of those cards have been incredibly difficult to find, with their only other printings being in earlier Sword/ Shield sets that are no longer easy to get in stores.

Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX

     However, the big thing it is missing is the Inteleon line. Many players have already picked up their Sobbles, Drizziles and Inteleons, so it'll be a quick and easy deck to update if you have those pieces already. If you don't, start searching now- it's reasonably easy to find the Sobbles and Inteleons, and they're pretty inexpensive, but Drizziles are currently sitting around the $7 mark and are very difficult to find. If you can't swap some cards for the Inteleon line, the deck does come pre-built with a Minccino and Octillery line to help your draw and search power, which are still pretty good cards on their own. You'll also want to find some Telescopic Sights- they should only run you about 50c each.

Drizzile (056)

     The only other changes you're looking to make with this deck is to add some Melonys to accellerate your energy, and more Urshifus. You can pick up 2 decks to get your full Urshifu V/ VMAX lines, then you'll also have 4 copies most staple trainers in the format. Passimian, Blaziken V & Blaziken Vmax are optional add-ins to help against the Fusion Strike and Shadow Rider matchup- You want to avoid putting up your Urshifus in those matchups due to their 2x weakness to Psychic.

Blaziken VMAX

Here's how I updated my Rapid Strike deck:

Rapid Strike Urshifu V x4
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMax x3
Sobble x4 (CRE 41)
Drizzile x4 (SWSH 56)
Inteleon x2 (CRE 43 Quick Shooting)
Inteleon x2 (SWSH 58 Shady Dealings)
Blaziken V x1 (CRE 20)
Blaziken VMax x1 (CRE 21)
Remoraid x1 (BST 36)
Octillery x1 (BST 37)
Passimian x1 (CRE 88)

Cheryl x1
Marnie x2
Melony x2
Boss's Orders x2
Professor's Research x3
Evolution Incense x4
Level Ball x3
Switch x2
Quick Ball x4
Fan of Waves x1
Telescopic Sight x2
Tower of Waters x3

Rapid Strike Energy x4
Water Energy x3

     Your ideal first turn involves getting as many Sobble out as possible and a Remoraid- this will set you up to use Drizzile's Shady Dealings and Octillery's Rapid Strike Search to search out cards you'll need over the course of the game. Attach a Rapid Strike Energy to your Urshifu, Melony to get a water on him, and start swinging! With Passimian and Telescopic Sight, you'll be hitting 180 on two seperate Pokemon using G-Max Rapid Flow, setting you up to take tons of prizes in one turn. Finish them off with some of Inteleon's Quick Shootings and the game is yours!


     Give the deck a try and see what works best for you! We added a lot more Pokemon, but even the out-of-the-box deck runs really well. The entire deck only costs about $100 to build using two of the pre-constructed decks and the changes noted above. Not bad for an easy to build, competition ready deck!

Single Strike Urshifu VMAX

     Next let's take a look at Single Strike Urshifu VMax! Single Strike has been having a moment in the format lately with Umbreons and Gengars dominating recent events, and for good reason- The deck is fast, consistent, hits hard and has a favourable matchup against other top decks. If I were entering a tournament today, I'd be bringing either Single Strike or Fusion Strike, so let's get to upgrading this pre-con deck!

Umbreon VMAX

     Off the bat you have your Urshifu counts taken care of- a 2-2 Line is perfect, if not a little generous given the various other attackers we'll be adding. You have your Houndooms to accellerate energy, tons of Trainers that will make the final cut, and your special energies already included. Some Pokemon you'll want to add include: Crobat V to draw up to 6 cards, Umbreon V and VMax to hit certain matchups and bring up your opponent's benched Pokemon to attack, and Gengar V and Vmax to punish decks that rely on big benches and lots of Vs. Unfortunately, these Vs and VMaxs are a little hard to get ahold of, and more expensive than most, but you get what you pay for and this deck is of the best in format right now. Let's take a look at how we updated this deck:

Urshifu V x2
Urshifu VMax x2
Houndour x4 
Houndoom x3
Umbreon V x2  (EVS 94)
Umbreon VMax x2 (EVS 95)
Gengar V x2 (FUS 156)
Gengar VMax x2 (FUS 157)
Crobat V x2 (DAB 104)

Boss's Orders x2
Professor's Research x4
Marnie x3

Evolution Incense x3
Urn of Vitality x4
Ordinary Rod x1
Quick Ball x4
Switch x2

Tower of Darkness x4

Single Strike Energy x4
Darkness Hiding Energy x4
Dark Energy x4

     As you can see, we're basically using all the same counts of Trainers as they gave us in the box. We scrapped the Tool Scrapper, Scroll of Scorn, Bruno, Stonjourner and Oranguru to make room for a more Dark-type focused roster and bring out the best in Single Strike. Play around with the list a bit- depending on your meta, it may be okay to cut down on the Dark Pokemon and add more Urshifu. The list above currently costs around $185 including the theme deck, with the majority of the cost being in the Gengar and Umbreon VMaxs. But this list is great if you're likely to run into Fusion Strike or Shadow Rider, since both these popular decks are weak to Gengar and Umbreon.

Gengar VMAX

     You want to be setting up several Houndour on your first turn- this will help make sure you can get your Houndooms up quickly and start attaching energy to your attackers. Depending on the board state, you can deal some serious damage with Urshifu, pull up a benched Pokemon to attack using Umbreon's Dark Signal, or hit for heavy damage using G-Max Swallow Up to punish your opponent for benching their V Pokemon. All the Pokemon in this deck pull their weight and compliment each other very well- no wonder it's such a tough deck to take down!

     Which deck do you think is better? The set-up and search heavy Rapid Strike Urshifu that deals damage to two Pokemon at once, or the quick and heavy hitting Single Strike Urshifu that one-hit KOs tons of other decks in format right now? They're both fantastic choices- now made easier to build and play with thanks to the Urshifu V Battle Decks!