Single Strike decks are usually not that subtle, at least in
appearance. In my experience, the best way to build them is to go all-in on
consistency. That’s why I included four copies each of Umbreon V, Umbreon VMAX,
Houndour, and Houndoom.
These Pokémon are the key to the deck, and we want to set them up as fast as
possible, so let’s not cut corners here! In order to help find these Pokémon,
we have the usual Quick Ball and
Evolution Incense, as
well as the fantastic Capture Energy,
which won’t be an issue in the deck since Umbreon VMAX has two Colorless Energy
in its attack cost. There’s another card in the deck that can search for all of
these Pokémon, though: Piers.

Piers can search for any Darkness-type Pokémon and any
Energy card. In this deck, it is surprisingly versatile! In the early game, you’ll
probably get Houndoom with it if needed. But grabbing an Umbreon VMAX at any
point in the game effectively turns Piers into a Boss’s Orders, as long as you have an Umbreon V in play
to evolve. If your hand is getting low on cards, you could instead search for Crobat V to draw some. As for
Special Energy: getting a Single Strike Energy out of the deck turns Piers into
a damage booster, grabbing a Capture Energy allows you to search for one extra
Pokémon, or you could search for a Hiding Darkness Energy
instead if you want to retreat your Pokémon. Only a Single Strike deck
could get that much use out of Piers. (It’s usually recommended that decks don’t
go all-in on Special Energy; such decks could get in trouble against a Shadow
Rider Calyrex V using Shadow Mist, for example. However, Houndoom lets you get Single
Strike Energy directly out of the deck, so you’ll have no issue attacking even
in that situation.)

Not all the Pokémon in the deck are Darkness types, though.
I also included a single copy of Single Strike Urshifu V, which is a great
attacker that can also be powered up by Houndoom. Impact Blow can do 220 damage
on turn two thanks to two Single Strike Energy, and Urshifu V’s typing also
comes in handy against Fighting-weak Pokémon such as Eternatus VMAX.

Urshifu V can also be used against Pokémon that are immune
to Pokémon VMAX, such as Zamazenta V.
Don’t forget about Umbreon V in this situation, either! Since Houndoom damages
the Pokémon it attaches Energy to, Umbreon V’s Moonlight Blade will do at least
160 damage, so it’s a viable attacker on its own.

Remember, though, that you don’t always have to attack your opponent’s
Active Pokémon. Thanks to Dark Signal and the actual copies of Boss’s Orders in
the deck, it’s easy to target Benched Pokémon. Umbreon VMAX will never hit hard
enough to KO another Pokémon VMAX in one attack (unless it hits for Weakness),
but you can Knock Out three Pokémon V to win the game: either the unevolved
forms of your opponent’s Pokémon VMAX, or support Pokémon such as Crobat V and Eldegoss V. The deck list above
is built to help achieve this goal. Are the Pokémon V on your opponent’s Bench
out of reach of your damage? Karen’s Conviction
can help! No Pokémon V on their Bench? Use Echoing Horn to bring one back from the discard pile! No
Gust effect available? Use Escape Rope
to force your opponent to switch to an easier target, even if you can’t choose
which one. The key to this deck is to have a plan to take all six Prizes, and
that plan often entails ignoring the biggest threat to go after easier ones
instead.

While this deck is fairly streamlined, and therefore easy to
play, I think there’s something to be said for how the various cards in the
deck synergize and achieve multiple goals in ways that aren’t obvious at first
glance.

For example, Tower of Darkness
seems to be a simple Stadium that provides a bit more draw power by
discarding redundant cards. However, you can also use it to discard a Single
Strike Energy, which you can then shuffle back into your deck with Urn of Vitality, before
attaching it with Houndoom.

Hiding Darkness Energy
makes it easier to retreat your Pokémon since all of them except one are
Darkness types, but it’s also useful tech against Leafeon VMAX’s Grass Knot (which would otherwise do considerable
damage to Umbreon VMAX due to its Weakness) since it removes Umbreon VMAX’s Retreat
Cost.

Escape Rope moves both Pokémon around, but if you only want
to use it to make your opponent switch their Active Pokémon, that will often
work, since you’ll usually have a Pokémon with free retreat to pivot to (thanks
to Hiding Darkness Energy). On the other hand, if all you want is a Switch, you can also use Dark
Signal after using Escape Rope so that no matter which Pokémon your opponent
chose, the one that ends up Active is the one you want to attack.

When playing Umbreon VMAX, be on the lookout for these sorts
of subtle interactions. And if you don’t want to build a whole deck around it,
feel free to add a smaller Umbreon VMAX line in your Single Strike Urshifu VMAX
or Eternatus VMAX deck. The Moonlight Pokémon is both a strong attacker and a
fantastic support Pokémon, and in my opinion, that makes it the best out of all
the Eevee family Pokémon VMAX!

Flareon VMAX is
distinct in that its attack steers the direction of how the entire deck list
should be built. What way is that? With lots of Energy cards, of course! Max
Detonate discards the top five cards of your deck and does 100 damage for each
Energy card in those five cards. With a maximum damage cap of 500, you won’t
need to worry about doing enough damage when the cards are in your favor. It
need not be said, but there’s a decent amount of luck involved with Max
Detonate. While the damage cap of 500 looks incredibly appealing, it’s much
more likely that you’ll only hit two or three Energy cards, and sometimes even
zero!

One essential partner is Oranguru
from Sword & Shield. With its Primate Wisdom Ability, you can
put a Fire Energy on top of the deck, guaranteeing at least one Energy card
from Max Detonate. And then to reach 200 damage, you need only one Energy card
in the next four cards. With an average of 200 damage per attack, you’ll be
trading equally with most other Pokémon VMAX decks in the Standard format. In
the rare event that you Knock Out a Pokémon VMAX in one hit, then victory is
almost guaranteed.

Fire-type decks lost a few key cards with the recent format rotation,
namely Welder and Giant Hearth. Without those
cards, we need a new way to power up Flareon VMAX’s three-Energy attack. Here’s
where Houndoom comes into
play. Because Flareon VMAX is a Single Strike Pokémon, it can make use of
Single Strike Energy, and therefore Houndoom’s Ability, Single Strike Roar. You
can also play Elemental Badge,
which reduces the cost of Max Detonate by one Colorless Energy. You still need
at least one Fire Energy attached, though.

Here’s a sample deck list for Flareon VMAX.


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