NAIC 2024 — Top 6 Pokémon TCG Decks to Play

NAIC is fast approaching. Here are the decks to use this weekend if you want to compete at a high level.

The North America International Championship is bringing together the most competitive Pokémon TCG from around the world as they duel in New Orleans for their last chance at getting points towards qualifying for Worlds. Are you competing on June 7 or looking to follow the action? Here are the top cards in the meta, according to top Pokémon TCG players in the scene.

1. Dragapult ex

Dragapult ex

Dragapult ex is the most promising card from the Twilight Masquerade expansion. Pros believe it'll shake up the meta going into NAIC thanks to Phantom Dive's high damage output to the bench for so little energy. Without Manaphy or Jirachi present to protect benches anymore, it will be quite difficult to avoid its attacks.

It's unclear which version of the deck will be the most powerful at NAIC but it's predicted that decks will probably focus on acceleration since Dragapult ex requires two different energy types to attack. Think Xatu or Charizard ex. It's even possible to see supporter card Mela in some Dragapult decks. Dragapult ex is looking very strong and consistent going into NAIC.

2. Lugia VSTAR


Lugia VSTAR continues to be a consistent threat going into NAIC after winning the first Temporal Forces format in Japan. The new ACE SPEC card Legacy Energy and Carmine are two new cards that will keep making Lugia VSTAR more of a threat going forward.

Pros believe the biggest boost to the deck is Legacy Energy, which can provide one of any type of energy and forces opponents to take one extra prize card when they KO the Pokémon its attached to. Expect Lugia VSTAR decks to welcome Iron Hands ex, Wellspring Mask Ogerpon ex, and Lumineon V thanks to how easy it will be to power them up now. Lugia VSTAR may be set back by Enhanced Hammer however.

3. Miraidon ex

Miraidon ex TCG

Due to the threat of Lugia VSTAR and Dragapult ex, expect to see a lot of trainers countering with Miraidon ex. Basically, Miraidon's Tandem Unit ability paired with Electric Generator will allow Miraidon ex to power up very early and create problems for top decks early on. Dragapult ex is weak to Electric types while Lugia VSTAR's Archeops can be knocked out in one hit with Iron Hands ex's Amp You Very Much for an extra prize.

Some pros believe Miraidon ex may not have what it takes to have staying power at NAIC but others think its power and speed have potential in the new meta.

4. Gardevoir ex

Gardevoir ex TCG

Gardevoir ex is still here! Even though Twilight Masquerade doesn't have many new tools for Gardie, the deck is still pretty promising going into NAIC. The energy acceleration and additions of companions like Scream Tail have given Gardevoir ex a lot of consistency throughout the last few months but it seems like only top players have been able to really show the deck's true potential.

Some pros worry that Gardevoir ex may not do well in the best-of-three, 50 minute format of NAIC since it can take a while to evolve Stage 2 cards. You'll have to avoid losing any games if you want to win the match. If you aren't already familiar with piloting this deck, maybe avoid it going into the new meta.

5. Charizard ex

Charizard ex TCG

We meet again, Charizard ex. This deck continues to be one of the best decks in the game even in the new format. But there are a few more challenges going into NAIC.

Like usual, Charizard ex should use Pidgeot ex and/or Bibarel as support 'mon. Your goal is to evolve into Charizard ex as fast as possible and start accelerating your energy, setting up your board fast to dominate opponents.

Unfortunately, the new meta has some challenges that may throw off this straightforward strategy. First, Dragapult ex looks to be an answer to Charizard's dominance and will trade KOs with you evenly by spreading damage onto your bench. Legacy Energy in the Lugia VSTAR deck will also make this opponent a bit more imposing.

Try using Radiant Tsareena to heal the damage spread by Dragapult ex. Some pros suggest also using Temple of Sinnoh to keep up with Lugia VSTAR.

Olivia Richman


Olivia is a long-time esports journalist and editor who covers just about every game but has a deep love for the FGC. Her goal is to find community-driven stories that bring a new perspective to the esports scene. In the past, she has worked for Team Liquid, Rogue, Inven Global, Dot Esports, Upcomer, and more. Outside of esports, Olivia enjoys Kirby, Pokemon TCG, Fallout, and writing science fiction. She can be found trying out new foods, traveling, or hanging out with her two orange cats.  Fun fact: Olivia can do some video game and cartoon impressions!