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Pokémon TCG: Standard Single Strike Gengar VMAX/Urshifu VMAX with Houndoom Deck

Chill Clinton is a trading card enthusiast and investor who operates an online trading card store.

Both Single Strike Gengar VMAX and Single Strike Urshifu VMAX are heavy hitters that benefit from the same support mechanics.

Both Single Strike Gengar VMAX and Single Strike Urshifu VMAX are heavy hitters that benefit from the same support mechanics.

An Affordable Build That Packs a Punch Against Many of the Meta's Strongest Decks

Since the release of Battle Styles in March 2021, the "Single Strike" designation has offered players new methods of promoting increased synergy among their Pokémon, Energy, and Trainer cards.

Two of the strongest attackers available in the current landscape include Single Strike Gengar VMAX from Fusion Strike and Single Strike Urshifu VMAX from Battle Styles, which players can quickly equip with energies to form massive attacks while absorbing tons of damage from opposing Pokémon before being knocked out.

Let's take a look at the decklist below and then dig deeper into how players can best utilize the build.

Single Strike Gengar VMAX/Urshifu VMAX With Houndoom Decklist

Here's how to build your deck:

Pokémon: 18

  • 4x Gengar V FST
  • 3x Gengar VMAX FST
  • 2x Single Strike Urshifu V BST
  • 2x Single Strike Urshifu VMAX BST
  • 3x Houndour BST
  • 2x Houndoom BST
  • 2x Crobat V SHF

Trainer Cards: 30

  • 4x Marnie SSH
  • 4x Evolution Incense SSH
  • 4x Tower of Darkness BST
  • 2x Urn of Vitality CRE
  • 4x Quick Ball SSH
  • 3x Boss's Orders SHF
  • 3x Switch SSH
  • 3x Professor's Research SSH
  • 3x Fan of Waves CRE

Energy: 12

  • 4x Single Strike Energy BST
  • 3x Hiding Energy SSH
  • 3x Impact Energy CRE
  • 2x Basic Fighting Energy
Houndoom's Single Strike Roar Ability provides an engine for establishing early game dominance, and enabling your Pokémon to quickly attach, overwhelming your opponent's board.

Houndoom's Single Strike Roar Ability provides an engine for establishing early game dominance, and enabling your Pokémon to quickly attach, overwhelming your opponent's board.

Establishing Early Game Dominance Using Houndoom With Gengar V

When starting a game, you will ideally start with Houndour and either Gengar V or Urshifu V in your opening hand. While Houndour alone isn't capable of doing much to help in your first turn, by placing it on the Bench, you can hopefully evolve it into Houndoom by turn two using cards that allow you to search for or draw Pokémon, like Evolution Incense, Marnie, Professor's Research, Tower of Darkness, or Crobat V.

Once you are able to stick your Houndoom to the field, you can start utilizing the Single Strike Roar Ability, which will allow you to search your deck for a Single Strike Energy and attach it to your active Pokémon.

By the second turn, you should be able to attach at least one energy card to your active Pokémon from your hand (if not two) and at least one Single Strike Energy via Houndoom's Ability. Don't forget that, for each Single Strike Energy attached, your attack will deal an additional 20 damage!

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Statistically speaking, you are most likely going to open with Gengar V, so without evolving it to Gengar VMAX, you can either attack using Dark Slumber for 60–100, or Pain Explosion for 210–250. If you do evolve to Gengar VMAX, you can either use Fear and Panic, which will deal 60 multiplied by the number of V cards your opponent controls (plus 20 per Single Strike Energy attached), or G-Max Swallow Up for 270–310.

If you open with Urshifu V, you can also quickly overwhelm your opponent whether you get the Houndoom or not, but be mindful that Urshifu V is a bit more cumbersome to use than Gengar V is.

If you open with Urshifu V, you can also quickly overwhelm your opponent whether you get the Houndoom or not, but be mindful that Urshifu V is a bit more cumbersome to use than Gengar V is.

Opening With Urshifu V

Though you are less likely to start with Urshifu V, you may still find this card in your opening hand as your only option. Fortunately, Urshifu V can quickly load itself with energy and attack whether you get your Houndoom out or not.

Ideally, if you are forced to open with Urshifu V, you will attach a Single Strike Energy from your hand and then use Laser Focus to search your deck for your two fighting energies, and attach them immediately.

Also, if you do go first and can't use Laser Focus until turn two, and you are able to get your Houndoom out and use its Ability, you can move directly to using Impact Blow for 200–240. Or you can evolve Urshifu V to Urshifu VMAX and use Beat Down for 120–160, preparing your Urshifu VMAX to be able to use G-Max One Blow by the next turn for 290–350.

The latter attack should be used sparingly, however, because it will require you to discard all energies attached to Urshifu VMAX. Fortunately, you can return these Single Strike Energy cards back to your deck using Urn of Vitality, allowing you to quickly return them to your active Pokémon using Houndoom.

Fan of Waves can help slow down your opponent's Pokémon while yours recover from using their G-Max attacks.

Fan of Waves can help slow down your opponent's Pokémon while yours recover from using their G-Max attacks.

Remaining Nimble

One of the most challenging aspects of using this deck is remaining nimble, and ideally capable of attacking each turn. Though both Gengar VMAX and Urshifu VMAX can attack for a ton of damage with relatively few energies, both cards' G-Max moves will render these Pokémon incapable of attacking again the next turn.

Because of this, players should only use these stronger attacks strategically, and mostly rely on the less powerful, but still exceptionally strong non G-Max attacks, as well as the attacks of Gengar V and Urshifu V.

Beyond strategically using their attacks, players can prevent their Pokémon from being knocked out by using cards like Switch and Hiding Energy to bring weakened Pokémon to the Bench, as well as Fan of Waves to slow the opponent down by reliably stripping them of their Special Energy Cards.

Happy Battling!

While not the funnest deck I have ever played, this deck has a tendency to win games very quickly by overwhelming the opponent, and gaining the upper hand before they are able to develop their boards.

However, do look out for opportunities your opponent has to knock out your Houndoom, because doing so will definitely make it difficult to maintain pace with other decks in the current meta. Beyond protecting any of your V's in the early game, you should work to keep your Houndooms alive, because believe me, there will be a huge target on them.

But if you can protect your Houndooms, you should have no trouble winning games with ease using the extremely quick moving and powerful Single Strike mechanics and Pokémon!

If you need help learning how to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game, you can check out my Comprehensive Guide!

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