Pokemon TCG Battle Styles Will Change the Meta

This post is sponsored by Titan Cards, the best place to shop for all the latest Pokémon TCG products!

Urshifu charmed fans everywhere when it was first discovered on the Isle of Armor in the Summer of 2020. Now, the legendary fighting-type Pokémon is ready to make its roaring debut in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. To mark the occasion, Urshifu is set to deliver a sucker punch to the TCG Standard rotation meta. This is all thanks to the new Battle Styles mechanic which the expansion of the same name shall introduce. Battle Styles, the upcoming Pokémon TCG expansion, launches on March 19th, 2021. They announced the expansion here.

Many cards in the upcoming set are branded with one of two Battle Styles: Single Strike Style and Rapid Strike Style. To accompany these subsets, there are two variants of both Urshifu V and Urshifu VMAX. Single Strike Urshifu V/Max focuses on big damage, whilst Rapid Strike Urshifu V/MAX could be great at delivering a quick blow to your opponent. With this new mechanic in tow, one thing is for certain: Battle Styles will change the Pokémon TCG meta considerably.

The TCG Standard meta hasn’t had a significant shake-up since the launch of Team Up, when Tag Team GX cards were introduced. The Pikachu & Zekrom Tag Team GX card became a mainstay for years since, but it is set to be removed from the standard rotation later in 2021. With that in mind, it’s time for new decks to take the spotlight. Judging by what’s happened in Japan since the introduction of the Battle Styles mechanic, it’s safe to say we might now have our first hint at the new meta decks.

The best deck is focused on Single Strike Pokémon. This deck was constructed by World Championship winner Shintaro Ito, and it’s already obvious that it has the potential to become the most popular championship deck. Look at the full list of cards for the deck as used by Shintaro Ito, and then I will break down the strategy involved to show why this has the potential to become the best deck for TCG Championships in 2021.

Battle Styles Primeape deck card list:

As is clear from the set list, Single Strike Primeape is the most crucial aspect of this deck. The card appears four times, so it must be worth taking up so much space in the deck.

This Primeape card does 50 damage for each of your benched Pokémon with damage counters attached. If you have a full bench and every Pokémon has taken some damage, this move could potentially do up to 250 damage each time you attack your opponent.

Although this sounds tricky to balance, it’s extremely simple to set up if you use Houndoom (Battle Styles) and Jynx (Unified Minds) to damage your own Pokémon and spread it evenly around your bench.

Single Strike Houndoom’s ability, Single Strike Roar, allows you to attach a Single Strike Energy to one of your Pokémon, but they take 20 damage in the process. Although this sounds like a negative effect to balance the Single Strike Energy acceleration, that damage is crucial in executing the maximum damage that this deck is capable of. Attach the energy to Primeape, your active Pokémon.

Jynx now becomes important, as it has an ability which allows you to move damage counters between your Pokémon. You can now spread the 20 damage dealt to your Primeape across your bench. If you do this a few times, you could have all your bench slightly damaged. The most crucial part here is that you are in control of the damage, rather than your opponent. Do not rely on them to start dealing damage. Houndoom and Jynx are an excellent combination to do this in a quick, controlled way. This buffs Primeape substantially, as it can now deal 250 damage.

However, you can still push Primeape further. The Single Strike Energy you attached earlier allows Primeape to do 20 more damage, so with two of them it is now doing up to 290 damage. With one little trick, you can push Primeape even further. The card can do upwards of a whopping 320 damage, thanks to the Single Strike Emboar card launching in the Battle Styles set.

Single Strike Emboar has an astoundingly good ability called Fighting Fury Stance. It allows every Single Strike Pokemon in your deck to do 30 more damage with every attack. This means Primeape is now able to deal that stunningly powerful 320 damage, but Emboar is a stage 2 Pokemon so it may be hard to set up. Fortunately, there is one more fantastic card which will help you get Emboar on the bench early in the game.

You can only use the Single Strike Mustard supporter card as the last card in your hand. If you do so, you can place any Single Strike Pokémon from your deck straight on the bench. Every card in this deck has a specific purpose, so it shouldn’t prove difficult to meet this card’s requirement. Use this to get Emboar on to your bench as early as possible so you can gain that extra damage early. Once done, your Primeape will have that crucial damage buff, pushing it to 320 when used alongside the Single Strike Energies.

Attach another Single Strike Energy and it can now knock out any Pokémon Card in one hit. This deck really showcases the Single Strike cards at their best. With a variety of cards to buff Primeape, it can defeat any card across every expansion, even Copperajah VMAX with 340 HP.

What do you think of the upcoming Battle Styles set? Do you agree that it will significantly shake up the meta? Let me know in the comments below, or over on my social media! You can pre-order Battle Styles over at Titan Cards now, and you can get your hands on the latest launch, Shining Fates! You can find more from me below:

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Stay tuned to The Games Freak for more of the latest in the world of gaming soon!

Published by Hayden Hefford

Hi, I'm Hayden! I'm an editor for the site and also a member of the Generation Xbox Podcast! I'm a big fan of RPGs (tabletop and video games!), but I've also got a huge sweet spot for Survival games. Zombie Survival games are a big yes in my book. Oh, and if you still watch The Walking Dead, I'm your guy!

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