As a follow up to my Eternatus VMAX Standard deck profile, I feel compelled to share my Expanded list. If you thought Eternatus was fast in Standard, then you haven’t seen anything yet! This list has many common counters but when left unchecked, you can punch right through your opponents.
Expanded is an extremely kind format for lovers of Dark Pokemon. So much so that almost every card shares an intrinsic synergy with the rest of the deck. Let’s dive into specific cards.
Here I am experimenting with a 3-3 line rather than a traditional 4-4 line. The main reason is space, but also since this deck is much faster and more consistent than its Standard counterpart, I feel confident cutting this line down. Additionally, Expanded lets us play the best ball search in the game – Ultra Ball which can directly search for the VMAX.
Some veteran Expanded players might question my decision to include 4 Crobat since we run Sycamore with VS Seeker, but I wanted to experiment with a count that allowed me to extend my reach into the deck. 4 copies of Crobat V gives me that added security, particularly for the Darkrai-GX/ Hypnotoxic Laser combo I will discuss later.
For fans of the older Turbo Dark builds, you might have already noticed that this list does not play any Dark Patches. Unlike previous iterations of this archetype, the “Turbo” is no longer based in the amount of energy on board. Instead, the focus has shifted to the number of Pokemon in play. For that reason, I have opted to play a high count of the recurring Darkrai-GX and a single copy of Moltres V. While Darkrai-GX has a clear role in filling the bench, the energy recurring Moltres V might seem like a strange pick. My reasoning is that both are excellent energy switch targets. The only problem is that after Darkrai-GX comes back with an energy (which you can Energy Switch to an Eternatus) you must rely on Moltres V to provide a more constant supply. In other words, from an energy management perspective, Darkrai-GX is a single use vs the multi use Galarian Moltres V.
Beyond its usefulness in filling your bench, Darkrai-GX serves yet another important purpose in the deck: Its GX attack when combined with Hypnotoxic Laser can knockout any Pokemon in the game! What’s even more exciting in this build is that with Galarian Moltres V (which compels the addition of energy switch), this 3 energy attack actually becomes more consistent.
Consider the following situation: your opponent develops a VMAX Pokemon and begins to attack your Eternatus VMAX. Instead of opting to trade blows, you can revive a Darkrai-GX with an energy attached, manually attach the second and energy switch the third off Moltres. With that sequence, simply finish the turn by playing Hypnotoxic Laser and declaring your GX attack. You will take a guaranteed knockout whilst threatening a follow up with Darkrai-GX’s main attack.
In my previous Standard Eternatus VMAX deck profile, I mentioned how Zigzagoon and Liepard V are excellent tools to help with the ADP matchup. If you read my other ADPZ Expanded deck profile, you will see that it is a similarly popular archetype in Expanded. Thus, we continue to play these options but with even more targets, especially for Liepard V. Darkrai-EX gives us the much needed flexibility in terms of free retreat and saving deck space that would otherwise be occupied with Float Stone.
The trainer choice for this build is relatively straight forward. I touched upon some of them already but I will reiterate them here with more detail.
This deck aims to be very aggressive in both its attacks but its setup. Playing 4 copies of Professor Sycamore will allow you to consistently access the contents of your deck. Guzma on the other hand is simply a mandatory inclusion in any Expanded deck and 2 copies is sufficient, especially when the list runs 4 VS Seeker.
I am admittedly unsure about the correct count for these 2 cards. I am tempted to shift towards 3 Battle Compressors and 2 Lasers. However, each subsequent copy of Battle Compressor played becomes less useful. Your first instance of Battle Compressor will be to discard as many Darkrai-GX as possible and a key supporter that you wish to access in the early game. The second copy is immediately less useful because at best, it will send a few Dark energies to the discard and thin your deck out a bit. But with 4 Crobat V, Sycamore, and Ultra Ball, your ability to access your deck should not be an issue.
On the other hand, Hypnotoxic Laser is a critical piece in the Darkrai-GX combo. Playing it at 3 copies makes this combo much more likely to happen at critical moments. Furthermore, this card is actually useful by itself. I have played many games where I flipped heads on sleep, forcing them to actually pass the turn. Considering a single Zigzagoon can make ADP a reachable knockout, the same can be said for Hypnotoxic Laser.
Eternatus VMAX’s ability allows this deck to finally commit to a different stadium than Sky Field. Traditional “Turbo Dark” builds included Sky Field to allow you more space to revive Darkrai-GX each turn but also provide the space needed to use draw support Pokemon. Chaotic Swell finally allows us to achieve added Stadium security.
This is a flexible spot in the deck. This list only runs 9 basic energies so your odds of hitting an energy off Max Elixir are decent but not great. I included them in the list because if they do land, this deck really feels like its on fire. I will leave it to you the audience to determine its worth in the deck. What I recommend instead for those that want to see more consistency is a 4th Energy switch and additional 1-1 line of Eternatus to maximize your odds of developing the VMAX on turn 2.
The Turbo Dark archetype has been an expanded fan favorite for years. Till now, the focus has been accelerating energies and using attackers like Greninja & Zoroark Tag Team GX to secure big one hit knockouts. The Expanded format meta-game nowadays is starting to form around VMAX Pokemon with 300+ HP ceilings. The old Turbo Dark builds hit numbers in the 200-300 range allowing it to one shot the threats of those days. These days, those numbers are actually 2-shot numbers against VMAX Pokemon. Thus, why not switch to Eternatus VMAX and hide behind a higher HP number (especially if it’s the same prize card value)? Furthermore, Eternatus VMAX’s damage is much easier to maintain. I challenge my readers to give this list a shot! While it may be easily countered by certain cards (like Roadblock Sudowoodo), they aren’t very prevalent in the meta right now. What better time to play Eternatus VMAX than now?
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