Feel the Flames


What’s poppin’ PTCGL Store readers? Obsidian Flames is our latest Pokemon TCG set, and it has already set our Standard format ablaze! Mew VMAX [Fusion Strikewon the 2023 Pokemon TCG World Championships in Yokohama, Japan, but if you have Charizard ex [Obsidian Flames] in your deck, you shouldn’t worry too much about it! Why might that be? Well, Charizard ex is now Darkness-type, silly! Rocking its new Tera Crown, the regular Fire-type Dragon is now a completely different type! I’ve done a crazy amount of testing in our new format, to the point where at the time of this writing, I am currently ranked in the top five players globally for the 2023-2024 Pokemon season, and I have cooked up a couple Charizard ex decks for you to play around with! Is Charizard ex the best deck in the format? Right now, no, but it certainly can hold its own! In this article, I’ll share a couple of Charizard ex lists, strategies, and more! If you wanna nab a few Charizard ex on Pokemon TCG Live for your own testing, be sure to buy some PTCGL Codes using code zlesage5 to save 5% on your order at the PTCGL store! That being said, lemme share why Charizard ex is actually good right now!

Why is Charizard ex Good?

Charizard ex

What makes Charizard ex so good? That's a solid question! Lemme break it down!

Type Advantage vs. The Metagame

Type advantage matters a lot in Pokemon because if your Pokemon does damage to another Pokemon, you can do double damage if you have a type advantage. In this case, Charizard ex is Darkness-type, and most Psychic-type Pokemon have a Weakness against that typing. In particular, Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] and Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] are both popular archetypes, and both have a Darkness-type Weakness. This can allow for Charizard ex to nab some Prize Cards a little easier against those decks, and any other deck that suffers from a Darkness-type Weakness.

It is a Bulky Pokemon

330 HP is pretty spectacular on a two Prizer Pokemon because it is tough to OHKO. Gardevoir ex will need to power up a bunch of Energy on a Zacian V [Celebrations] to OHKO it, and Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin] can only OHKO by using its VSTAR attack! Most other Pokemon will be forced to 2HKO this Pokemon while you can respond back with attacks of your own!

It Self Accelerates Energy

Most Pokemon require you to have a partner Pokemon to power them up like Chien-Pao ex [Paldea Evolved] needing Baxcalibur [Paldea Evolved] or Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR [Astral Radiance] to accelerate Energy, but Charizard ex has it baked into its Infernal Reign Ability! You might need to deal with Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign], but if you can get past that, Charizard ex is ready to attack!

Burning Darkness is a Powerful Attack

It might seem a little weaker, starting at only 180 damage, but it goes up by 30 damage for each Prize Card your opponent draws. That means after they draw two Prize Cards, you can OHKO popular Pokemon, like Giratina V, on your opponent’s Bench with ease! As the game progresses, Charizard ex can max that damage out to 330 damage (without any outside modifiers), and that can easily take care of any Pokemon ex, Pokemon V, Pokemon VSTAR, Pokemon VMAX, or any Pokemon in general!

Grass Type Weakness is Acceptable

Most Pokemon have a Weakness, and we need to accept that, but I’ll gladly accept a Grass-type Weakness in this metagame. Similar to how being Darkness-type is great in our current metagame, having a Grass-type Weakness is solid too! Sure, you might face a Leafeon VSTAR [Crown Zenith] in an Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] deck, but that is really the extent of it! Grass-type isn’t currently a popular type in our metagame, and if it ever becomes an issue, you can power up Fire-type with your Infernal Reign Ability.

Charizard ex / Arceus VSTAR Deck

Arceus VSTAR

Looking at the most popular of the two Charizard ex decks that I’ll be covering in this article, here we have Charizard ex / Arceus VSTAR. While you might think that pairing Charizard ex with Arceus VSTAR is an unlikely duo because it isn’t a Pokemon V / VSTAR / VMAX / VUNION, you have to look at Arceus VSTAR’s Starbirth Ability first. We are able to flip that VSTAR marker over as early as turn two to nab whatever missing pieces you need to get off an early Infernal Reign. If you already have a Charmander [Obsidian Flames] down on your Bench, all you’ll need is a Charizard ex, and a Rare Candy [Scarlet and Violet]. You can then power up Arceus VSTAR with Infernal Reign so that you can swing for some easy turn two damage!

Most players are running this deck with Pidgeot ex [Obsidian Flames] that also came out of this set, but I think it might be better to run it with Bibarel [Brilliant Stars]. Why? Well, you don’t have to worry about Path to the Peak anymore. Starbirth, Infernal Reign, and Quick Search all fold to Path to the Peak, but you can still draw up to five cards with Bibarel. I kinda wanna add a Skwovet [Scarlet and Violet] into this deck to be able to draw out of some rough situations if my hand gets clumped up, but there just isn’t enough Bench space. If you really want to cut the Bibarel line, you can easily swap it for two Pidgey [Obsidian Flames], and two copies of Pidgeot ex.

One of the cards that I often get asked about is Jacq [Scarlet and Violet] because it is never played - like never ever played. In this case, we are relying on Battle VIP Pass [Fusion Strike], Nest Ball [Scarlet and Violet], and Artazon [Paldea Evolved] to search for our Basic Pokemon, but what about our Evolution Pokemon? Ultra Ball [Scarlet and Violet] is great, but it might not take us as far as we want! If we get off a turn two Starbirth or naturally draw into Jacq on our own, we can search for the missing Evolution Pokemon to complete our entire combo! This deck might require quite a few moving pieces, including Evolving up to three different Pokemon as early as turn two, but when it works, it works! Below is my current list for the deck so be sure to copy and paste it into PTCG Live to try for yourself!

4 Charmander OBF 26
2 Arceus VSTAR BRS 123
2 Arceus V BRS 122
2 Bibarel BRS 121
1 Mew CEL 11
2 Bidoof CRZ 111
1 Manaphy BRS 41
1 Radiant Charizard CRZ 20
3 Charizard ex OBF 125

4 Ultra Ball SVI 196
1 Switch SVI 194
4 Rare Candy SVI 191
1 Jacq SVI 175
4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225
4 Iono PAL 185
1 Super Rod PAL 188
2 Nest Ball SVI 181
4 Colress's Experiment LOR 155
1 Choice Belt BRS 135
3 Artazon PAL 171
3 Boss's Orders PAL 172

8 Basic {R} Energy SVE 2
2 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151

Charizard Ex / Arceus VSTAR deck

Total Cards: 60

Lost Zone / Charizard ex Deck


If you’re looking for anew way to enjoy Lost Zone Box variants, maybe try Charizard Ex out for a spin! After playing in a League Cup in Canada, I was surprised to see my friends Mark Dizon, and Tyler Annaert making a top cut with their own spin on Charizard Ex - Lost Zone Charizard Ex. After the event, they were gracious enough to share their list with me, I made a few changes, and my wife, Michele Lesage, was able to make the top cut at another League Cup the next day! Why does this deck work? Well, it gives you different options than a normal Lost Zone Box deck, and plays out like a different version of Giratina VSTAR!

This deck can play out one of two ways: Be a normal Lost Zone deck or be an aggressive Charizard ex deck. Comfey and Colress’s Experiment [Lost Origin] allow us to play towards an early attack with Cramorant [Lost Origin], or get closer to Evolving into Charizard ex. Selective drawing with our Abilities and Supporters allows us to get to Rare Candy, and other Charizard ex pieces fairly easily. The more pieces you get into your Lost Zone allows you to open other options up, like attacking with Sableye [Lost Origin], which can take complete control over the late game!

After playing this deck for around 50 games, I’ve noticed that it can be a little inconsistent, but it usually finds a way to stay relevant in the game. Charizard ex can always come backin the late game with a well-timed Roxanne to OHKO your opponent’s Pokemon and leave you unscathed. Other games have you playing out your final turns using Hawlucha [Scarlet and Violet], and Sableye, to OHKO two of your opponent’s weaker Pokemon to steal a game! This is arguably the most interesting deck in the entirety of the current Pokemon TCG Standard format because the pieces are all in front of us, but it just needs something else. Maybe that card is a Delphox V [Lost Origin] to keep your opponent guessing, maybe it's a RadiantCharizard [Pokemon Go] for a strong late-game sweeper, or maybe this deck needs a little bit more luck! Either way, this deck is a great starting point, and it is certainly a viable way to get your ‘Zard on!

3 Charmander OBF 26
4 Comfey LOR 79
1 Hawlucha SVI 118
2 Sableye LOR 70
1 Manaphy BRS 41
1 Radiant Greninja ASR 46
2 Cramorant LOR 50
3 Charizard ex OBF 125

1 Ultra Ball SVI 196
2 Switch SVI 194
4 Switch Cart ASR 154
2 Escape Rope BST 125
3 Rare Candy SVI 191
2 Lost Vacuum CRZ 135
4 Battle VIP Pass FST 225
2 Super Rod PAL 188
2 Pokégear 3.0 SVI 186
1 Roxanne ASR 150
2 Nest Ball SVI 181
4 Colress's Experiment LOR 155
3 Artazon PAL 171
2 Boss's Orders PAL 172

6 Basic {R} Energy SVE 2
3 Basic {P} Energy SVE 5

Lost Zone Charizard Ex deck

Total Cards: 60

Time to Test

Well, that's what I have cooked up for this article, PTCGL readers! Charizard ex is the real deal, but might need a little bit more time in the metagame to see the success I know it can have! Pokemon 151 is releasing soon on PTCG Live, so maybe the new Charizard ex from that set will end up making this deck the real deal! I have faith! If you wanna rock the ‘Zard right now, make sure you are playing it in the right metagame! It can hold its own against Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike], and Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin], and can see success against Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] too! If you see a bunch of Lost Zone Box decks, you might want to stick to the Arceus VSTAR variant! I’ve already played Charizard ex to one of my local League Cups in Canada, and I might even consider playing it for one of the upcoming Regional Championships in the United States! If you’re considering it too, use the code zlesage5 to save 5% at the PTCGL store on your next order of Obsidian Flames Pokemon TCG Live codes! I’ll catch up with you all next time!

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for ptcglstore.com. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokémon content as his full-time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as the 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokémon events and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/ZachLesagePTCG.