These two Fusion Strike Pokémon can combine their attacks and Abilities to work together to bring down your opponent.
By Tord Reklev, Contributing Writer
In the short time since its release, the latest Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, Sword & Shield—Fusion Strike, has already made a massive impact on the metagame. This can be credited specifically to one archetype that emerged from the set: Mew VMAX paired with Genesect V. Using a plethora of the new Battle Style cards with the Fusion Strike label, Mew VMAX has become the deck on everyone’s mind. Today, we’re going to dive into what makes the deck so powerful and how to best take advantage of the Fusion Strike engine.
4Fusion Strike Energy
2Boss’s Orders (Giovanni)
You may remember an earlier Sword & Shield—Fusion Strike article by Ellis Longhurst that discussed some of the new cards from the set, including Mew VMAX and Genesect V. These two cards are the main components of this deck, which primarily focuses on taking advantage of Mew VMAX’s attack. This move can be used to copy Genesect V’s powerful Techno Blast attack—for only two Energy—or other useful attacks from Benched Pokémon.
Before moving on to the main strategy, let’s start by explaining the purposes of the different cards in the list:
The star of the show is Mew VMAX. This will be the main attacker in almost every game. For only two Colorless Energy, this Pokémon can use its Cross Fusion Strike attack to copy any attack of a Benched Fusion Strike Pokémon. The best attack to copy will usually be Genesect’s Techno Blast, which does an impressive 210 damage but removes the option to attack on the following turn. Luckily, Mew VMAX has no Retreat Cost, meaning it can easily retreat from the Active Spot to reset the effect. In addition, Mew VMAX has a secondary attack, Max Miracle. Its 130 damage might not seem like much, but the attack can crush any pesky effect standing in the way. This means Mew VMAX has a built-in answer to troublesome Abilities like Decidueye’s Deep Forest Camo or Zamazenta V’s Dauntless Shield.
With the Mew VMAX card being as good as it is, it can be easy to overlook the strong features of its Basic version, Mew V. Mew V also has no Retreat Cost and comes with two very solid attacks: Energy Mix and Psychic Leap. For a single Psychic Energy, Mew V can search the deck for any Energy card and attach it to 1 of your Fusion Strike Pokémon—which, in this deck, means any of your Pokémon. This is an excellent attack to use on the first turn of the game to help set up a backup attacker. The Psychic Leap attack does 70 damage and can shuffle Mew V back into the deck. Although Mew V will rarely be in a good position to use this attack, Mew VMAX can take advantage of Psychic Leap by using Cross Fusion Strike to copy it. A heavily damaged Mew VMAX can then be shuffled back into the deck, essentially removing all damage from itself.
The card that functions as the deck’s engine is Genesect V. Its Fusion Strike System Ability allows the player to draw cards until their hand size matches their number of Fusion Strike Pokémon in play. As far as consistency cards go, this is nothing short of amazing. With a full Bench of five Pokémon, Fusion Strike System functions the same as Crobat V’s Dark Asset Ability, except that it can be used multiple times every single turn. To take maximum advantage of this Ability, the list is constructed in such a way that most cards drawn can be played immediately, freeing up the hand and allowing multiple Fusion Strike System Abilities to effectively dig through the deck.
To use Techno Blast, Genesect needs three Energy attached. Since Mew VMAX can copy the attack for only two Energy and has considerably more HP, focus on powering up multiple Mew VMAX instead of charging Genesect V directly.
To round out the Pokémon, one copy each of the Fusion Strike Pokémon Latias and Oricorio have been added. Latias provides a powerful attack for Mew VMAX to copy in Dyna Barrier, which does 70 damage and on the following turn prevents all damage done to the user by the opponent’s Pokémon VMAX. It’s a similar effect to Zamazenta’s Dauntless Shield Ability. Oricorio gives the deck the useful Ability Lesson in Zeal, which reduces by 20 all damage from your opponent’s Pokémon’s attacks done to your Fusion Strike Pokémon. That can sometimes mean the difference between getting Knocked Out or barely surviving. Combining this with Psychic Leap can be especially difficult for your opponent to overcome. Mew VMAX can also copy Oricorio’s Glistening Droplets attack to finish off heavily damaged Pokémon on the Bench.
When choosing Trainer cards for this archetype, it’s important to keep Genesect’s Fusion Strike System Ability in mind. For that reason, this deck doesn’t run a single card-drawing Supporter; that job is left to Genesect V. Instead, this list features three different powerful Supporters: Peony, Elesa’s Sparkle, and Boss’s Orders (Giovanni).
Peony is the perfect fit for this archetype, as it allows the player to search out any two Trainer cards from the deck at the cost of discarding their whole hand. What is usually a huge drawback for other decks is turned into an advantage here, as Fusion Strike System can refill the hand in an instant. This is comparable to using Professor’s Research, but instead of drawing seven random cards, the player can first search out two Trainer cards they want, use them, and then draw up to six cards.
Elesa’s Sparkle attaches a Fusion Strike Energy from the deck to two of the player’s Fusion Strike Pokémon, which gives the deck some additional Energy acceleration. When facing opposing Fan of Waves or Crushing Hammer Item cards, this can be a lifesaver, since being an Energy short of an attack can quickly spell disaster. In a pinch, this also allows Genesect V to be powered up in a more reasonable number of turns. That could be relevant if the opposing Pokémon is a Darkness-type Pokémon (which threatens Mew VMAX) or is weak to Metal-type Pokémon.
Boss’s Orders (Giovanni) is an invaluable inclusion in every attacking deck, giving the main attacker access to the opponent’s Benched Pokémon. This deck will have plenty of time to play this card, since draw Supporters are not competing for Supporter usage.
Further, the list is running a heavy amount of Pokémon search cards. Quick Ball, Fog Crystal (for Psychic types), and Great Ball are all great for finding Basic Fusion Strike Pokémon in the first few turns. Fog Crystal also doubles as a way of finding a Psychic Energy card, letting the deck get away with a relatively low Energy count. Evolution Incense only has one target, Mew VMAX, so you don’t need to run a lot of them. After the initial setup, all these Pokémon-searching cards can be used for no effect (since you can always “fail to find” when searching your deck)—which will result in fewer cards in hand, allowing Fusion Strike System to draw even more cards. Quick Ball is extra helpful here since it allows the player to discard excess cards that would otherwise be stuck in the hand.
Rotom Phone can be surprisingly helpful for this deck as it can always be played. Manipulating the top card of the deck has great synergy with Fusion Strike System, making it a lot easier to find specific cards at the right time.
Switch might seem redundant at first, since both Mew V and Mew VMAX have no Retreat Cost, but often the deck will find itself in a position where only one Mew VMAX is available. Remember that Mew VMAX cannot attack the next turn after using Genesect V’s Techno Blast, but using Cross Switcher or Switch to send Mew VMAX to the Bench will reset all effects, including this one.
Cross Switcher is another Fusion Strike card that fits perfectly into this deck. These cards can only be used in pairs, granting the effects of both Switch and Boss’s Orders at the same time. Remember that Peony can be used to fetch a pair of Cross Switchers out of the deck, guaranteeing that they’ll be usable at some point during the game. This is great for resetting Mew VMAX’s attack and accessing the opponent’s Benched Pokémon. These cards make the deck a lot more flexible and are especially useful in the early turns.
Power Tablet boosts Fusion Strike Pokémon’s attacks by 30 damage. There’s no limit to how many of these can be played in the same turn, so using all four of them results in an additional 120 damage. They’re always playable and can help Mew VMAX achieve one-hit Knock Outs on opposing Pokémon VMAX. Another good use for this card is to make sure that copying Latias’s Dyna Barrier or Mew V’s Psychic Leap can still threaten to Knock Out a Pokémon VMAX on the following turn by using one or more Power Tablets.
For Stadium cards, this deck runs Rose Tower and Training Court. The main purpose of these Stadiums is not the effect they provide, but rather to counter the opponent’s Path to the Peak, which turns off Genesect V’s Fusion Strike System and poses a major threat to the deck’s consistency engine.
Rose Tower can still be helpful on its own, as the player will often have very low hand sizes when using this engine. Activating Rose Tower before Fusion Strike System can result in some additional cards drawn, if the cards from Rose Tower are playable.
The deck runs a low number of Energy cards, meaning Training Court can help in the later stages of the game to recycle that precious Psychic Energy.
This deck doesn’t want to play a lot of Energy cards in total since they’ll clog up the hand and make Fusion Strike System less effective. Cross Fusion Strike also needs only two Energy cards to work. It’s still worthwhile to include a full playset of Fusion Strike Energy for Elesa’s Sparkle and a few Psychic Energy for Fog Crystal and Training Court.
Fusion Strike Energy provides 1 of any type of Energy when attached to a Fusion Strike Pokémon, and if that wasn’t enough, it comes with an additional effect. The Pokémon it’s attached to is immune to opposing Pokémon’s Abilities—most notably Inteleon’s Quick Shooting.
As already mentioned, this deck’s focus is using Mew VMAX’s Cross Fusion Strike attack to copy powerful attacks from Benched Pokémon. To do so, the player needs a Mew VMAX with two Energy attached. Like most other top Pokémon VMAX decks in the standard format, it’s important to get a Basic Pokémon V of the main attacker in play with an Energy attached on the first turn of the game. Make attaching an Energy to Mew V the primary goal of the first turn. This will allow for evolving, attaching another Energy, and unleashing powerful Cross Fusion Strike attacks as early as the second turn of the game.
Additionally, since this deck’s engine is centered around Genesect V’s Fusion Strike System Ability, try to get as many Pokémon as you can in play as quickly as possible. This allows Fusion Strike System to draw more cards and increases the chances of finding the cards needed.
With the help of Peony, a devastating turn is never far away. Using all four Power Tablets in the same turn can happen frequently by combining the power of Peony and Fusion Strike System, allowing for big one-hit Knock Outs on opposing Pokémon VMAX.
Tips and Tricks
In some matchups where a player may want access to Mew V’s attack Psychic Leap, make room for three Mew on the field. This will enable the player to have one backup Mew VMAX and one Mew V to copy.
When playing against Path to the Peak, make good use of Rotom Phone. A common combo to strip away the Fusion Strike deck’s options is playing Path to the Peak combined with Marnie. Use Rotom Phone in anticipation of this happening and put a Stadium card on the top of the deck before ending the turn.
Sometimes it can be better to hold Rotom Phone in hand when you have multiple Genesect V in play. Wait until the last Fusion Strike System Ability is used before employing Rotom Phone for maximum reach.
If Peony needs to be used before a proper field with Genesect V is established, consider searching for Quick Ball and Rose Tower.
The Mew VMAX deck is arguably the strongest deck in the current Standard format—it’s efficient, it’s powerful, and it’s a ton of fun. If you haven’t done so already, consider trying this deck out for yourself. The number of options the deck presents in gameplay is way more than expected initially—you don’t want to miss out!
Look for more Pokémon TCG strategy and analysis at Pokemon.co.uk/Strategy.