Pokemon TCG: 10 Decks That Defined 2022 (2023)

With many impactful sets and game-warping cards released, 2022 was a great year for the Pokemon TCG. On top of releasing the new app Pokemon TCG Live, the cards themselves underwent an impactful design trajectory, with powerful effects and combos printed more frequently.

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While some of these decks dominated the format for a few months, 2022 was a relatively healthy year for the game, with lots of variations of similar decks and even some rogue decks that took the meta by storm. None of these decks can be titled the best of 2022, but they are all among the best that made an impact, and it's the perfect time to look back at them.

10 Arceus VSTAR & Duraludon VMAX

Pokemon TCG: 10 Decks That Defined 2022 (1)

Arceus VSTAR is one of the strongest cards to ever be printed in the history of the game. That is mostly due to how deck-agnostic its effect is and how easy it is to find a place for it in any deck. One great deck that made use of Arceus VSTAR in 2022 is Duraludon VMAX.

Duraludon focuses on preventing the damage done to it and dishing out consistent damage. Arceus VMAX is a great card to allow you to find the cards you need, and Duraludon VMAX really appreciates that since it's better the earlier you play it. This deck especially became a great counter to Lugia VSTAR decks in the later months of the year.

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9 Kyurem VMAX & Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR

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Both Kyurem V and VMAX are great energy accelerators for Water-type decks. This makes the deck work amazingly well with Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. This deck can also utilize other Water-type Pokemon with semi-situational effects, such as Empoleon V and Radiant Greninja.

With Kyurem being the lynchpin that keeps the deck together, you never run out of options with this one. Since so many cards in this deck get you to what you need, the consistency is infinitely high, and thus, the deck saw tons of play throughout the year.

8 Giratina VSTAR Lost Zone

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Giratina VSTAR and many of the Lost Zone synergetic cards in this deck were released in the Lost Origin set. The set instantly changed the meta, as Giratina VSTAR took a huge chunk out of the Arceus VSTAR dominance.

This deck utilizes several cards that benefit from having cards in the Lost Zone, such as Mirage Gate, Lost Vacuum, and Cramorant. The deck is easy to pick up and learn, extremely consistent, and fun to play, which made the deck popular as soon as the cards were available.

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7 Arceus VSTAR & Flying Pikachu VMAX

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While Flying Pikachu VMAX feels more like a meme card at first glance, it's surprisingly effective, especially when combined with the powerhouse Arceus VSTAR. Although unlike the anime, where Pikachu is a glass cannon of sorts, it acts more as a tank in the TCG.

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Pikachu VMAX's move Max Balloon prevents damage done to it by basic Pokemon on the following turn. With cards like Path to the Peak and Collapsed Stadium in the decklist, Flying Pikachu VMAX can be an annoying stun tool to take out. Even if your opponent manages to take it down, you'll have set up with other Pokemon and even Arceus VSTAR itself by then.

6 Regis

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Single prize decks are a rare sight to see in the Standard Format in the Pokemon TCG nowadays, and it's been like that for a few years now. However, every once in a while, a deck emerges that refuses to use cards that yield more than one prize card.

Regis are a set of legendary Pokemon that all have specific uses. Their Abilities and moves range from highly damaging to pure draw power. The deck's boss card, Regigigas, is an absolute VMAX destroyer and can dish out significant damage to other cards as well. This deck made a mark in 2022 as one of the two best single-prize decks and is way too better than it had any right to be.

5 Lost Zone Box

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Speaking of single-prize decks, Lost Zone Box is the other culprit in that department. This deck utilizes a lot of the same cards as a classic Giratina VSTAR deck, except it leaves Giratina out. There are a lot of cards released in Lost Origin alongside Giratina that are able to take advantage of the lost zone, and this deck plays pretty much all of those cards.

Attackers such as Cramorant and Sableye, combined with utility cards like Comfey, make this deck both strong and consistent. While no card in this version may reach the explosive damage potential of Giratina VSTAR, at least they give out only one prize at a time and can easily steal games with more indirect damage dealing.

4 Arceus VSTAR & Inteleon

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Yet another deck that uses Arceus VSTAR is its pairing with Inteleon. Uniquely, this deck uses Arceus as the primary damage dealer instead of a consistency tool only. Inteleon is a great utility Pokemon itself, grabbing Trainer Cards from the deck upon each stage of evolution.

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With that being the case, the deck has a ton of powerful Trainer Cards and uses them to gain an edge. While this deck may seem like it's lacking in damage output at first, both Arceus VSTAR and Inteleon can chip at the opponents, and all the Trainer Cards you'll be amassing help keep them healthy enough to outlast your opponents.

3 Lugia VSTAR & Archeops

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While Arceus VSTAR may have taken 2022 by storm, one of the strongest decks of the year was built later in the year, with the release of Silver Tempest in November, which had many chase cards, to begin with. Lugia VSTAR has the amazing Ability Summoning Star, which allows you to play two Normal-type, non-rule box Pokemon from your discard pile onto your bench. That pick is almost always Archeops.

Archeops, which was also released in Silver Tempest, can accelerate two Special Energy from the deck to a benched Pokemon. With this combo, you can instantly charge up Pokemon who struggle to amass the right energy otherwise. Charizard, Amazing Rare Yveltal, and other cards with hefty attack costs become incredibly easy to charge up and make this deck one of the best of the year.

2 Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR

Pokemon TCG: 10 Decks That Defined 2022 (9)

With the release of the unique game Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the TCG also introduced some Sinnoh love and released both Origin Forme Palki and Dialga. Surprisingly, unlike the video games, Palkia happened to be the better one of the two.

Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR is a great Water-type energy accelerator and, as such, loves to be surrounded by strong Water-types. This deck uses the likes of Radiant Greninja, Inteleon, and Empoleon V to make the best use of Palkia's VSTAR Power. Finally, some spotlight on Palkia.

1 Mew VMAX & Genesect V

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This is one of the decks that has existed for the longest time, dating back to the early months of 2022. However, despite the other shiny toys that have come out since then, Mew VMAX and Genesect V remain absolute powerhouses. The deck focuses entirely on Fusion Strike Pokemon, giving it more cohesion.

Mew VMAX is a beefy attacker and can take advantage of your other strong Fusion Strike Pokemon, such as Meloetta and Deoxys. Genesect adds some much-needed consistency to the equation. In the end, this combination of smaller Pokemon's Fusion Strike attacks being used by Mew VMAX turns out to be incredibly strong.

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