No Tournaments, No Problem: A Look into Decks for Online Tournaments

Hello Tier-X Gaming readers! My name is Arlo Neel and I’ve been playing the game competitively for about three years now and have so far achieved a Top 4 regionals placement last year in Greensboro, North Carolina, as well as high placements in several other regional championship events. Recently, Pokemon has shut down all events until May 14th meaning we don’t have a lot of Pokemon TCG options outside of the Pokemon TCG Online. The community has set up online tournaments to keep the competitive nature in Pokemon alive. My friends Isaac Mialski, Bret Burns, and I created our own Discord that runs multiple pods per day. Most online tournaments are offering pack or cash prizes where the winner receives a large sum of the prize pool similar to eight-man pod side events at regional level events. Since we are transitioning into playing online events, I am going to dive into how to best prepare for them competitively and include some decklists that provide the best chance to win.

Standard Format Online Events:

When signing up for a standard online event, you should choose a deck that can bring you victories through its power and consistency. Also, make sure to choose a deck that has room to outplay your opponents. Keeping this in mind, here are my top picks currently for standard online events. 

Pikachu & Zekrom

Pikachu & Zekrom decks have always thrived in smaller tournament situations as it is such an aggressive deck. The deck is made to get up to six energy into play with a turn one “Full Blitz” attack that can overpower your opponent before they can come up with a counterattack strategy. This deck also matches up fairly decent into ADP/Zacian which is considered to be the best deck of the format. Pikachu & Zekrom is also a deck that has even matchups or better across the board. Its strength comes from its outplay potential when it comes to how you use your different lighting attackers and resources such as Custom Catchers, Reset Stamps, and Electro Powers. Overall, Pikachu & Zekrom GX is one of the best picks for these online tournaments and it would be a deck alongside ADP/Zacian that I would rather play, or prepare for when choosing my deck or finalizing the tech options in a list. Here is my current favorite Pikachu & Zekrom GX list.

Pokemon 11Trainers 38Energy 11
3 Jirachi (TEU)
2 Dedenne GX (UNB)
2 Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TEU)
1 Raichu & Alolan Raichu GX (UNM)
1 Zeraora GX (LOT)
1 Tapu Koko V (TEU)
1 Tapu Koko Prism Star (SWSH)

4 Professor’s Research
3 Volkner

4 Quick Ball
4 Custom Catcher
4 Electro Power
4 Switch
3 Energy Switch
3 Electromagnetic Radar
2 Reset Stamp
1 Great Catcher
1 Stadium Nav
1 Tag Switch
1 Big Charm
1 Escape Board

1 Wondrous Labyrinth
1 Thunder Mountain
11 Basic Lighting Energy

ADP/Zacian V

It’s pretty hard to ignore this deck as the best deck in the standard format when you consider how powerful Zacian V is when paired with Metal Saucer and ADP’s fantastic GX attack. The deck is a very consistent powerhouse that is very difficult to deal with and has done very well at every standard event that happened before the cancellations. This deck’s main strategy is to use ADP’s “Altered Creation” GX attack to boost your attack damage and to take an extra prize card whenever you knock something out. After you have used the GX attack, you want to either use “Ultimate Ray” from ADP to set up your Zacians easily or go in aggressively with Zacian V using Metal Saucer to accelerate energy and pressure your opponent hitting 260 base damage along with damage from Shrine of Punishment. The deck can handle any matchup thrown its way thanks to its versatility and consistency, and it will be a top deck for a long time. Here is my current favorite list, which is consistent and favored in the mirror. 

Pokemon 14Trainers 36Energy 10
4 Zacian V (SWSH)
3 Jirachi (TEU)
2 Dedenne GX (UNB)
1 Oranguru (SWSH)
1 Oranguru (UPR)
1 Cyrongal (UNM)

4 Professor’s Research
2 Marnie

4 Quick Ball
4 Metal Saucer
4 Switch
4 Custom Catcher
3 Acro Bike
2 Energy Spinner
2 Cherish Ball
2 Big Charm
2 Escape Board
1 Great Catcher

2 Shrine of Punishment
8 Basic Metal Energy
2 Basic Water Energy

Cinccino Mill

From my own tournaments I’ve been running, Cinccino Mill has won the most out of all the decks in the standard format. Although Cinccino Mill has a very linear strategy, it carries it out quite well with its speedy set up using Cinccino and Zacian V to draw cards and powerful supporter cards like Bellelba & Brycen-man and Lt. Surge’s Strategy to constantly mill your opponent. The deck also uses Lillie’s Poke Doll to stall your opponent from taking all six prizes before you can fully deck them out. This deck aims to use Bellelba & Brycen-man as much as possible throughout the game and finishes using Magcargo GX’s “Burning Magma GX” either through Mewtwo & Mew GX or through evolving Ditto Prism Star to mill an additional five cards. This deck has been performing well ever since OCIC, and will dominate online tournaments as techs tend to focus on ADP/Zacian V. 

Pokemon 18Trainers 39Energy 3
4 Minccino (SWSH)
4 Cinccino (SWSH)
3 Zacian V (SWSH)
2 Oranguru (UPR)
1 Ditto Prism Star (LOT)
1 Mewtwo & Mew GX (UNM)
1 Magcargo GX (CES)
1 Mew (UNB)
1 Wobbuffet (LOT)

4 Bellelba & Brycen-man
2 Cynthia & Caitlyn
2 Lt. Surge’s Strategy
1 Faba

4 Quick Ball
4 Great Ball
4 Lillie’s Poke Doll
4 Crushing Hammer
4 Pal Pad
3 Tag Call
2 Ordinary Rod
2 Air Balloon
1 Stealthy Hood
1 Pokemon Communication
1 Evolution Incense

2 Basic Fire Energy
1 Recycle Energy


Those are the best decks I would personally play in online tournaments as they are the most powerful and can run over any other deck in the format with their raw aggression and consistent strategies. Especially in online circumstances, consistency is key and should be valued over anything else. With that being said, here are a couple of places you can participate in online tournaments currently. 

TCGO Online Tournaments Discord:

JGB Pokemon Tournaments:

Thank you all for reading this article on the best decks for online tournaments! I hope that the information helps and that you perform well! Stay safe and wash your hands!

Please rate the article and author to help us improve our content (you must be logged in)

We are sorry that this article did not satisfy you.

Please, help us improve by giving us feedback.