Discussion [Article] Everything Origin Palkia - Comparing it to Suicune, Versatility, and more (Sword & Shield Base - Astral Radiance)


NO 3 S's is not a typo
DISCLAIMER: This was written before the full set lists for Japanese sets Time Gazer & Space Juggler were officially revealed. Some new cards might not be mentioned and taken into consideration simply because they didn't exist yet.

With our First look at the Time Gazer & Space Juggler Japanese sets, there are many new cards to get us thinking ahead to When Astral Radiance eventually launches to the Western Side of the World. Many new interesting cards have been shown; Origin Form Dialga VSTAR seems like a strong Attacking force, Hiusian Decidueye has some interesting niche options & some Supporter cards including Irida and Adaman certainly boost consistency to their respective types. In this article however, I want to take a deep dive into the Best of the VSTARs revealed alongside the rest of Time Gazer & Space Juggler, and what I believe to be the 2nd Strongest of the Pokemon VSTAR we have seen revealed so far (Arceus VSTAR of course taking the #1 Best VSTAR crown) - Origin Form Palkia VSTAR.

On the face of it, Origin Form Palkia VSTAR (For the rest of this article I will refer to it as OPalkia of convenience) Seems quite vanilla - a semi-mediocre attack that can hit for decent damage. The VSTAR Power seems okay but not great in comparison to Arceus' Search for any two cards. Suicune V may seem like a better option, since it is a Basic Pokemon, has access to Ludicolo, a great built-in Ability to draw a few extra cards, plus the ability to utilize Capture Energy. OPalkia on the other hand, has Suicune's exact same attack, except it does and additional 40 Damage base compared to Suicune's 20. This will lead us to the first point of this article; is OPalkia better or worse than Suicune?

HP Difference

Suicune V has a mere 210 HP; Quite low these days and will get OHKOed by any deck that has any chance of surviving in this metagame. Many decks that use Suicune V as a main attacker turn to Cape of Toughness to give Suicune's HP an increase, allowing it to survive a hit from Zacian V, Mew VMAX without playing any Power Tablets, Single Strike Urshifu V, and even Jolteon VMAX despite Weakness and damage counters from Galarian Zigzagoon. OPalkia, on the other hand, has 280 HP - without any HP increases - and is worth the same 2 prizes that Suicune is worth when it kets knocked out. Obviously this is much better than Suicune; Mew has to do much more digging for Power Tablets and a Choice Belt to knock out your Palkia. They will eventually run out of Power Tablets though, so your Palkias will eventually become pretty tough for a Mew player to overcome in the lategame with many of their resources used up, like the aforementioned Power Tablets as well as Fusion Strike Energy to take a one hit knock out at some point in the game with a Meloetta. Though, the best part of having a Natural 280 HP on your Palkia is simply the fact you don't need a tool to do it. Not having to attach a Cape of Toughness means you can attach an Air Balloon, or a Tool Jammer to disrupt your Opponent. Or it means you can attach a Choice Belt, increasing your damage from doing 40 more damage than Suicune to doing 70 More Damage than Suicune. That's just 30 Damage away from doing exactly what a Ludicolo does for Suicune, without having the hassle of having to find a Rare Candy to go along with your Ludicolo. the final 30 Damage is filled in easily via Quick Shootings from Inteleon. Oh? and did I forget to mention, along with this efficient attacker, we are running the Inteleon engine, along with the new Irida Supporter card as the main engine of the deck. Irida allowing you to search your deck for and item as well as a Water Type Pokemon, in this deck essentially reads "Search your deck for 2 cards". That will really put into perspective how good Irida will be in this deck. Since every card in your deck is searchable either just being a trainer card searchable with Drizzile or having an Item card that searches it out (Such as Capacious Bucket searching out your Water Energy) Irida is essential to set your board with Pokemon on your bench to increase your damage output or just grab the Choice Belt and Scoop Up Net to get Another Quick Shooting off to get the numbers you need for a knockout. Now why not just play Irida in Suicune, you may be asking? This brings us to the 2nd point of this article: Origin Palkia VSTAR's VSTAR Power.

VSTAR Power: Star Portal

The first thing you need to know about effects like Star Portal VSTAR power is that they always are incredibly versatile. Attaching 3 Water Energy to any Water Pokemon you want is incredible way to power up your board. We see similar "Rain Dance" Effects like this all the time, with Pokemon like Blastoise from Base Set, most recently Frosmoth, 2 Different typed Magnezones, and also an Emboar. Pokemon like these usually allow you to attach infinite of their respective type energy, and it's alway from your hand. The thing about these Pokemon is they are usually always printed on a Stage 2, requiring a full deck built around them so you have space for the likes of Rare Candy and Evolution search you would need to play along side them. The only time we have seen Pokemon experiment with breaking this rule with Frosmoth. Frosmoth only accelerated energy to the bench however, making it possibly worse than its Stage 2 counterparts. How then, do I know that OPalkia VSTAR will see play Simply for its VSTAR Power? Splashability. Like I previously mentioned, Decks that included Magnezone, Blastoise, Frosmoth or Emboar had to leave space for the Rare Candy (or in Frosmoth's case, Switching outs). This caused those decks to only play 1 attacker that took full advantage of being able to flood to board with Energy, such as Lapras VMAX, Keldeo-EX, Rayquaza-EX or Solgaleo-GX. OPalkia However can be naturally played in any Water deck, doesn't require nearly as much deck space and actually has a useable attack that can keep decks that like to have large benches (I'm looking at you, Mew / Genesect) in check. Since the energy accelerated with the VSTAR Power is from discard, it doesn't create as much hand pressure when playing something like an Ultra Ball; with the other "rain dancers" you have to have the energy in hand along with your card-discarding search card like Quick Ball and Ultra Ball, and a draw supporter for either this turn or next turn. You will have to either make some hard sacrifices or simply not have enough cards in your hand to pull it off at all in order to establish your Energy acceleration or get more energy into play. On top of reduced hand pressure, it also allows you to more appropriately respond to one of your Pokemon getting Knocked out rather than having to play an Energy Retrieval or use Training Court to get your energy back and reaccelerate.

Now, back too Suicune. Why don't you just play Irida in a Suicune deck if it's so good? In Suicune, the only acceleration in the deck is Melony, which is a supporter. Because your Suicunes have such low HP, you will be playing Melony as your supporter for turn instead of something like a Boss's Orders, Marnie, or in this specific case, Irida. But, because of OPalkia's VSTAR Power, you can Both power up your board, as well as Play a Boss to take an important KO, or play and Irida to establish your board and set up.

Finally, let's talk about the different decks and ways you could utilize Palkia's Star Portal VSTAR Power. I mentioned earlier that this ability is incredibly versatile - so versatile it could merit an entire article of it's own. What decks can use it best though? Right off the bat, Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX is one of the strongest Water Pokemon VMAX. Why not play Palkia with it in order to both gust with Boss's Orders and recover your discarded energy from a previous Max Lance attack in the same turn? Or play it with the non Rapid Strike Inteleon VMAX in order to power it up quickly and in one fell swoop instead of having to mess around with Melony or Frosmoth. You could play it with Glaceon VMAX to both provide a quick and easy way to power up you VMAX "wall" Pokemon, as well as giving your deck a nice way to KO regular Pokemon V that might try to hit through your Glaceon's Crystal Veil ability in the form of Palkia's Hydrospace Swirl attack. And, I haven't even mentioned that in all these decks you could play Cheryl to get and instant heal as well, and then just use OPalkia's ability to reattach those energy discarded with the Cheryl.

Sparkling Greninja

Sparkling Greninja is a must in a straight Palkia list in my opinion - the Secret Asset Ability can get you Water energy in the discard ready for them to be put into play by OPalkia's Star Portal VSTAR Power. It also draws you 2 cards, which on a basic Pokemon is amazing. It basically turns Irida into a draw supporter if you search out a Capacious Bucket. You could play Sparkling Hawlucha if you like to try to reach VMAX one hit knock out numbers. But, the main reason I think that Sparkling Greninja is the best in a Straight Palkia deck is the attack, Moonlight Shuriken. Hitting 2 of your Opponent's Pokemon for 90 Damage is really, really good. it can help you clean up knock outs your OPalkia might have missed lategame, but also can put pressure on earlygame to small 1 prize support Pokemon that are looking to evolve, Sobbles and Houndours mainly. The reason decks like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, Jolteon VMAX, and Dragapult VMAX have seen success in the past is because with their powerful sniping attack. They can shut down decks that rely on these support Pokemon to draw cards or get energy into play by eliminating them from the bench early, while combo-ing with something like a Path to the Peak to keep your Opponent from playing a Crobat V to recover from losing their Pokemon that are crucial to set up. Origin Palkia VSTAR gets all the advantages I just mentioned through Sparkling Greninja - built in via a single card. No need for the Galarian Zigzagoons that Jolteon VMAX and Dragapult VMAX need to hit the 60 HP mark of Sobble and Houndour to get these benched knockouts. No need for the Rapid Strike Energy to use G-Max Rapid Flow. Just use Origin Form Palkia VSTAR's VSTAR Power to attach energy to your Sparkling Greninja, and you can eliminate these Pokemon that your opponent desperately needs to get their deck up and running. Finally, this dual 90 damage snipe pushes you over the edge in terms of Being better or worse than a Suicune V / Ludicolo deck.

The List

If you've read this far into the article, thank you! Here is the list I've been referring to this entire article so far. In my testing this list has felt very consistent and streamlined. If you want to more about it, I posted a video on this exact decklist on my Youtube Channel. Cards that have multiple standard-legal prints with different text are linked below.

4 Origin Form Palkia V

4 Origin Form Palkia VSTAR

4 Sobble

4 Drizzile

2 Inteleon

1 Inteleon

1 Sparkling Greninja

4 Irida

2 Boss's Orders

1 Melony

1 Raihan

1 Leon

4 Quick Ball

4 Level Ball

3 Evolution Incense

2 Capacious Bucket

2 Scoop Up Net

2 Choice Belt

1 Switch

1 Echoing Horn

1 Ultra Ball

1 Training Court

11 Water Energy

Thanks so much for reading my first Article! I had a lot of fun writing this and hope to do more. I hope you enjoyed it! Happy Training!

-professsorpoke, aka James Simms