Searching Standard: Charizard VSTAR - Revisited

Mike Likes
June 08, 2023


Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard, where each and every week I look for new, innovative decks for you to play in Standard. This week, I'm looking at a deck that was recently featured on the YouTube channel of LittleDarkFury. It features Charizard VSTAR BRS 18, dealing out a ton of damage. Let's get started by taking a look at the deck.

Charizard VSTARLittleDarkFury Radiant Charizard 11 Growlithe 31 Arcanine ex 32 Charcadet 40 Armarouge 41 Drapion V 118 Bidoof 111 Bibarel 121 Charizard V 17 Charizard VSTAR 18 Manaphy 41 Arven 166 Exp. Share 174 Judge 176 Nest Ball 181 Professor's Research 189 Switch 194 Serena 164 Escape Rope 125 Klara 145 Boss's Orders 132 Choice Belt 135 Magma Basin 144 Ultra Ball 150 Fire Energy 92


You'll be able to Knock Out any opposing Pokemon with a single attack when you use Charizard VSTAR BRS 18's Star Blaze attack VSTAR Power. This attack deals 320 damage, but comes with some drawbacks. First, it requires you to discard two Energy from Charizard VSTAR BRS 18. Second, it can only be used one time per game. While nothing can be done about the second drawback, there are ways to turn the first drawback into something you can use to your advantage. Magma Basin BRS 144 can be used to return a Fire Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokemon, but doing this will place 2 damage counters on that Pokemon. By using the power of this Stadium while Charizard VSTAR BRS 18 is on your Bench, you can refuel it while also enabling it to attack with its Explosive Fire attack for its maximum damage.


Backup attackers for this deck include Arcanine ex SVI 32 and Radiant Charizard PGO 11. Arcanine ex SVI 32 has two great attacks that are similar to those of Charizard VSTAR BRS 18. Raging Claws deals additional damage while Arcanine ex SVI 32 has damage counters on it, and Bright Flame requires you to discard two Fire Energy from it when it is used. Radiant Charizard PGO 11 has the Combustion Blast attack, which can deal 250 damage. This attack is also easier to use if your opponent has taken some Prize cards throughout the game, thanks to Radiant Charizard PGO 11's Excited Heat Ability.


You can make sure your Active Pokemon always has just enough Energy to attack by having Armarouge SVI 41 on your Bench. With its Fire Off Ability, you can move Fire Energy from your Benched Pokemon to your Active Pokemon. One great thing about this Ability is that it doesn't care about the type of Pokemon the Energy is going to, it only cares that the Energy being moved is Fire Energy.


As a means of drawing extra cards each turn, this deck includes Bibarel BRS 121. By using Bibarel BRS 121's Industrious Incisors Ability, you can refill your hand to five cards once per turn. Manaphy BRS 41 is included in this deck to help protect your Benched Pokemon from receiving damage from your opponent's attacks, thanks to its Wave Veil Ability.

The final Pokemon in this deck is Drapion V LOR 118. It's included to be used as an attacker against certain decks that are weak to Darkness Type Pokemon.

A single copy of Arven SVI 166 is in this deck to help you find either Choice Belt BRS 135 or Exp. Share SVI 174. Choice Belt BRS 135 helps your Pokemon deal an additional 30 damage if your opponent's Active Pokemon is a Pokemon V. Exp. Share SVI 174 helps keep some Energy you're previously attached in play in the event that the Pokemon it is attached to gets Knocked Out. In addition to either of these Pokemon Tools, there are a number of Item cards you can find when you play Arven SVI 166.


You can play Boss's Orders BRS 132 to move one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon to their Active Spot. This can allow you to get an easy Knock Out. You can do the same with Escape Rope BST 125, but you'll also have to exchange your Active Pokemon with one from your Bench. This shouldn't cause you any problem as long as you have Armarouge SVI 41 in play. Finally, you can play Switch SVI 194 to change the positioning of your Pokemon when you don't want to discard any Energy to Retreat.


Serena SIT 164 is a very versatile Supporter. She can act as a Boss's Orders BRS 132 card, but only to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with a Benched Pokemon V they have. Alternatively, she can allow you to discard up to three cards and then draw until you have five cards in your hand. In addition to Serena SIT 164, you can use both Professor's Research SVI 189 and Judge SVI 176 as ways to draw new cards. Judge SVI 176 can also be played to reset your opponent's hand, which can be especially useful if they've searched their deck for a card that they haven't yet played.


The final batch of Trainer cards all help you get the Pokemon you need either into your hand or onto your Bench. Nest Ball SVI 181 can only search your deck for a Basic Pokemon, which then goes directly onto your Bench. Ultra Ball BRS 150 can be used to find any Pokemon from your deck to put into your hand. Finally, Klara CRE 145 can return up to two Pokemon from your discard pile to your hand. She can return up to two basic Energy cards to your hand as well.

Wrapping Up

It's been over 15 months since I last wrote about Charizard VSTAR BRS 18. While some cards have rotated out of Standard, others have been introduced that have allowed Charizard VSTAR BRS 18 to remain as one of the most powerful Pokemon to build a deck around. Fire type decks have all of the tools needed to remain competitors for the foreseeable future. As an added bonus, decks like this one are a blast to play.

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in the Pokemon TCG. I'll see you then!

- Mike Likes