Hello again, SixPrizes! You may or may not remember me from my previous article discussing my Top 8 Autumn Battle Roads Report with Darkrai/Hydreigon. In my absence from posting articles (my laptop was severely malfunctioning), I attended a few Cities in my area, where I unfortunately did not perform as well as I would have liked to.
With States coming up fairly soon, I would like to talk about a deck that I feel has gained a lot from Plasma Storm, and the deck that I feel most comfortable playing at States: Speed Darkrai.
Sample Speed Darkrai List
Pokémon – 8
4 Darkrai EX
1 Keldeo EX
Trainers – 40
Energy – 12
How It Works
For those who may not be aware of Speed Darkrai, it is a deck based around Darkrai EX and Sableye DEX to make sure you get to attack with Darkrai EX’s Night Spear as (potentially) early as Turn 1, although a Turn 2 Night Spear is not uncommon. Below I will talk about the cards necessary to make this happen.
His Ability, Dark Cloak, gives all of your Pokémon with Darkness Energy attached a retreat cost of 0. This Ability serves as a great counter to opposing Hypnotoxic Lasers or Pokémon Catchers.
Sableye is by far the best partner for Darkrai EX, and for good reason. Sableye’s second attack Junk Hunt allows you to retrieve 2 Item cards from your discard and return them to your hand for one Darkness Energy. With this, you theoretically have unlimited uses of crucial Items like Pokémon Catcher, or Energy Switch.
This Item card, originally printed in Black and White, does exactly what the name says; it allows you to switch a basic Energy card attached to one of your Pokémon to another of your Pokémon.
This is useful in situations where you may need that extra Darkness Energy attached to Darkrai EX for a Junk Hunt from Sableye, or vice-versa to Night Spear with Darkrai. Because this deck does not run Hydreigon DRX 97, Energy Swtich gives Speed Darkrai a similar form of energy manipulation.
Dark Patch provides excellent energy acceleration for Speed Darkrai, as it allows you to attach a Basic Darkness Energy from your discard to one of your Benched Dark Pokémon. In some situations, it is advised to intentionally discard Darkness Energy via Ultra Ball or Computer Search, if you have the Dark Patch in hand to earn an extra energy attachment.
WIth Dark Patch being an Item Card, it is often picked up with Sableye’s Junk Hunt.
Also known as “The EtherDex Engine,” it provides an alternate form of energy acceleration when you need that extra boost that may not be able to be filled by Dark Patch. Ether makes you reveal the top card of your deck, and if it is a basic Energy card, you can attach it to one of your Pokémon.
A Pokémon Tool that when attached to a Dark Pokémon, it increases the damages of it’s attacks to the Defending Pokémon by 20. This allows Darkrai EX to hit for 110 as opposed to 90 (before Weakness and Resistance).
Arguably the best two cards to come out of Plasma Storm. Hypnotoxic Laser is an Item card that automatically inflicts Poison to the defending Pokémon, and as a bonus, on a coin flip you can also make the Defending Pokémon fall asleep!
As if that wasn’t good enough, Virbank City Gym is a Stadium that adds an additional 20 damage for Poison in between turns. This combo will most definitely help you score crucial KO’s to aid you in your victory.
States will be the first opportunity that Plasma Storm will be able to truly define the metagame, and throughout my testing, I feel comfortable sharing the matchups between Speed Darkrai and other top tier decks that will be present at States.
60/40 vs. Keldeo/Blastoise
Keldeo/Blastoise is a Stage 2 based deck that is reliant on a bit of a slower set up, but once it does, it becomes a tough opponent to overcome. The key to defeat Keldeo/Blastoise is to eliminate their Squirtle as soon as possible.
You don’t want Keldeo EX knocking on your door with a boat load of energy that they just placed down. Keldeo EX denies status effects from Hypnotoxic Laser and cancels out Pokémon Catchers, so it may be difficult for you in the wrong situation.
35/65 vs. Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Lugia EX
Landorus EX is a huge problem for Darkrai EX, and should not be taken lightly. With the new EtherDex engine I’ve mentioned before, I’ve heard stories that it is possible for Landorus EX to perform a Turn 1 Land’s Judgement.
It is recommended to include a single copy of Keldeo EX to counter Landorus EX. Lugia EX will be there to take that extra Prize in the late game, so watch out for that as well.
75/25 vs. Rayquaza EX/Eelektrik
Rayquaza EX having the potential of OHKO’ing anything is tough for any deck to face. However, Eelektrik NVI is arguably the largest Pokémon Catcher bait in the format, and once the Dynamotor engine falls apart, so does the deck.
Fortunately, Darkrai EX OHKO’s Eelektrik, so shutting down their engine becomes child’s play. If you set up quicker than they do, you will almost always emerge victorious.
This is probably the single most difficult matchup for Speed Darkrai. Klinklang PLS’s Ability “Plasma Steel” prevents damage to Metal Pokémon from EX’s. This is considerably difficult when your only non EX Pokémon is Sableye DEX. If in the situation that Klinklang does get set up, take out their non-Metal Pokémon that may be out (Terrakion NVI and Keldeo EX are common techs in Klinklang).
Once that’s done, target that Klinklang that really grinds your gears… This means you’re going to have to attack and kill Klinklang with Sableye’s Confuse Ray. Not a pretty sight, honestly.
Speed Darkrai is a very fast deck that can overwhelm and intimidate your opponent and win you games quickly if you “play your cards right” so to say. So long as you use your resources wisely, you shouldn’t have trouble with many of the competitive decks in the format.
I highly recommend playing this at States; it is relatively cheap to build, and very effective.
I hope you guys enjoyed my second article, and now that I have a laptop to write them on, expect to see more in the future. To those who decide to run this deck because of this article, I thank you, and wish you good luck in your play testing and tournaments.