The Sword and Shield set for the Pokemon Trading Card Game is out in the West. The tournaments to come will decide which of the new archetypes rise above the rest. But until that happens, it’s worth taking a look at the best Sword and Shield decks for the standard meta.
Below, we look at three highly-competitive lists that can be used as-is or with a few personal tweaks that might fit your playstyle better. To help you figure that out faster, we cover the best trainers and the most favorable matchups for each list.
ADP Zacian Deck
Zacian V is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the latest Sword and Shield set. Combined with Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX from Cosmic Eclipse, it stands as one of the most powerful decks in standard right now.
This deck focuses KOs with Zacian V, after setting up Intrepid Sword with ADP, thus increasing damage.
Zacian V doesn’t require that many Pokemon to be successful. Outside of ADP and Zacian, you will only need Jirachi to search for Trainer cards, which are integral for this deck.
These are the most crucial trainers for getting your Pokemon combo pieces and attaching energy for maximum damage:
- Metal Saucer
- Quick Ball
- Tag Call
- Professor’s Research
- Aurora Energy
Here is one of the possible lists that you may change according to cards that are available to you:
The ADP Zacian archetype is good against almost every list in the Standard meta, including:
The only deck that could pose a threat is the AB Zard archetype. That’s because it can deactivate Zacian, your only active Pokemon.
Like ADP Zacian, this is another energy-based deck. However, it is a bit slower than ADP Zacian, which can go off on turn two if all the combo pieces are in place.
Pikachu and Zekrom GX are now capable of doing something similar with the help of the new Tapu Koko V card from Sword and Shield.
Using the Full Blitz ability, it can KO any opponent in two turns and even slow down the entire set-up of ADP Zacian and other decks.
Since this deck relies more on Energy than combo pieces like ADP Zacian, it requires slightly different Trainer cards:
- Electromagnetic Radar
- Quick Ball
- Energy Switch
- Professor’s Research
Many players opt for more Pokemon cards in this deck besides Pikachu and Zekrom, including Zapdos and Dedenne.
PikaRom can easily deal with slow decks or decks that set up their combos through a series of moves. Its sheer speed means it can beat:
Cinccino Mill Deck
Every mill deck wants to burn through your opponent’s deck as fast as possible, and this Cinccino build for Sword and Shield meta is just incredibly good.
This deck relies on Cinccino’s Make Do ability that allows you to quickly draw all the tools for quickly milling your opponent, such as Bellelba and Brycen-Man.
Magcargo GX and Lillie’s Poke Doll can help accelerate this process, and soon your opponent will be left with zero cards in their deck, which automatically makes you a winner.
Most of the trainers in this deck focus on milling, but you can also pick up some other cards that may fit your own build. Here are the main Trainer cards you need for this build to work:
- Bellelba and Brycen-Man
- Lt. Surge’s Strategy
- Crushing Hammer
- Lillie’s Poke Doll
The rest is up to you, but don’t neglect the draw power of Quick Call and Tag Call cards.
Most players are more inclined towards the list presented below, but many other players like to switch a few cards for Stealthy Hood, Team Yell Grunt, and Mallow and Lana.
This deck is a beast and can mill even the most potent decks, such as:
But it can easily lose to ADP Zacian due to its fast nature and AB Zard for its disruption techniques.
That’s it for the best Sword and Shield decks for standard meta, and check out more Pokemon TCG guides in the list below: