Donk Format is Here? The New Black & White Rule and its Effects

Hey guys! Long time no see! As you all know, I’ve been on a trip to Korea for the last month and a half so I did not have the time to write any Six Prizes article. In fact, I will be excluded from the voting this month. I will be finishing my Magnezone article soon but I wanted to get this through first.

So basically, I found out today that the new Black & White rule and errata change will go in to effect this season. So what do we get?

Well first of all, the biggest change we get is that the very first turn of the game, Supporters, Trainers, and Stadiums can be played. This definitely causes trouble for the meta with cards like Sableye, Expert Belt, Crobat g, Poké Turns, Poké Blower+, etc. still viable.

pokemon-paradijs.comThe second change we get is the Pokémon Abilities. Starting Black & White set, there will no longer be Poké-Powers or Poké-Bodies, but Abilities. This means that the Abilities the new Pokémon will have will not be affected by cards that can block Poké-Power or Poké-Bodies. Nor would the damage changes caused by attacks. For example, “Shadow Room” from Gengar SF will only drop 3 damage counters on a Pokémon with Abilities.

The third change we get is the ruling change on Rare Candy. With the new rule, Rare Candy can no longer be played on a basic Pokémon that has just been put on the bench to evolve to a stage 1 or 2. It is also not usable on your first turn. Also it can no longer be used to evolve a Stage 1 Pokémon to Stage 2 using the Rare Candy.

Last change is just some Card text changes that doesn’t cost too much of an issue.

So wait, why am I mentioning to us SixPrize readers who already probably knows about this news? Well the changes we will be getting brings us a new deck that can Donk you on the first turn! I have already made a deck list, and has been testing it out. It can consistently get 50~100 damage on board without attacking via Crobat g + Poké Turn + Super Scoop Up, and PokéBlower+. And deal out a huge amount of damage first turn using Sableye. Yes, the deck I have made is the SableDonk.

I am sure that many other people have thought about SableDonk when they read the new ruling changes. I have never got around making the deck until now because I believed Pokémon will not bring in such a huge rule change mid season. But they did, so I decided to write about it. In fact, I will be talking about my Sable Donk deck.

Deck List

Pokémon – 174 Sableye SF
4 Unown R LA
1 Unown Q MD
3 Crobat g PL
3 Uxie LA
1 Unown Dark
1 Regice LA
Trainers – 374 Pokédex Handy 910s
4 Victory Medal
4 Super Scoop Ups
4 Poké-Turn
1 Luxury Ball
4 Junk Arm
2 Quick Ball
4 Poké Drawer+
4 Poké Blower+
2 Expert Belt
1 Seeker
3 Dual Ball
1 Alph Lithograph TM4
1 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 44 Special Darkness Energy

Card-to-Card Analysis

4 Sableye

For obvious reason why it should be maxed out. It is your starter of the deck, and your attacker. Running 3 wouldn’t be bad, but 4 is optimal. Starting with it can easily grant you to not waste any resources on an unwanted active Pokémon. It is also used to get yourself out of a Trainer Lock when you do not have a Regice starting hand as it can access you to the 1 lonely Pokémon Collector in the deck via “Impersonate”. The main attack that is used will be “Overconfident” which does 10 damage for 1 dark, or 20 with a Special Darkness Energy.

However, if the defending Pokémon has fewer HP than Sableye, the base damage is 40. Although Sableye only has 60 HP, with Expert Belt, it increases it by 80, topping most basic Pokémon. Not to mention that you have Crobat g and PokéBlowers at your disposal to reduce your opponent’s HP. Also it has the Poké-Body “Overeager” which makes you start first if Sableye is your active. This would be bad if you could not use your trainers first turn, however, with the B&W rule, it is to your advantage.

4 Unown R

Unown R is a great deck thinner used in almost all speed decks that focuses on Donking. Unown R, when bench, can discard itself to the discard pile, along with all other cards attached, and let’s you draw 1 card. With 4 in the deck, thats 8 cards you will be thinning out from the deck.

1 Unown Q

This is really not that useful as you have Crobat g which will be your free retreater of the deck. But it is used to retreat an active Uxie or Unown R when they are pulled active, or you start with them.

3 Crobat g

This is what makes the deck work. I’m sure most readers know what it does. The Poké-Power “Flash-Bite” let’s you place 1 damage counter on any of your opponent’s Pokémon when you play it down. With conjunction of 4 Super Scoop Ups and 4 PokéTurns, you are putting down total of 9 damage counters with just 1 Crobat g, if you get all heads with the Super Scoop Ups. This is used to reduce your active’s HP so that you are in range to OHKO it with Sableye’s “Overconfident”. It can also sometimes get you a KO just by placing damage counters with it

3 Uxie

Great Deck thinner and drawing engine. Normally you’d go through 2 in a game, leaving you 3 bench spaces for Unown Dark, Crobat g or a Regice. With a deck like this, you can easily draw 7 cards with Uxie alone.

1 Unown Dark

It’s good to have, but not necessary. Unown Dark let’s you grab any Dark energies from the deck. It can be used to thin your deck by grabbing your Special Darks, or to just grab it when you can’t draw in to them. It is still being tested.

1 Regice

Your Spiritomb counter. You discard 2 cards from your hand to switch your opponent’s active Pokémon if it is a Basic Pokémon. Not to mention that it can reduce your hand size by 2, allowing you to draw more with Uxie.

4 Pokédex Handy 910s

This is a trainer form of Uxie LV.X. It let’s you look at the top 2 card from your deck, and pick one to your hand. The other goes to the bottom of your deck. Also used to thin your deck

4 Victory Medal

The hardest card in the deck to get, but it is well worth it and well needed. It let’s you roll 2 dice, and for 1 head, you get to draw 1 card, or for 2 heads, you search your deck for any card you need. Great card indeed for a Donk Deck.

4 Super Scoop Ups

It can be used to heal your damage Pokémon, if the game was prolonged. It is also used to reuse your Uxies, Crobat g, Regice, or any other Pokémon with Poké-Powers. It can also be used to get Pokémon out of the active, mainly Regice due to the 3 retreat cost. Of course, you would need to roll a die and get heads.

4 Poké Turn

It can only be used with Crobat g. It is a 100% Super Scoop Up just for your SP Pokémon, A.K.A, Crobat g

1 Luxury Ball

Let’s you fetch any Pokémon from the deck. I don’t think I can say much more lol

4 Junk Arm

Man, is this card great. You discard 2 card from your hand to pick up any Trainer cards from your discard pile.However, it cannot get you another Junk Arm from the discard pile. This can reuse your Poké-Turns, Poké-Blowers, Luxury Ball, and Trainer in the deck. Not only that, it reduces your hand size for your Uxies.

2 Quick Ball

A great Pokémon searcher. You reveal the top of your deck until you find a Pokémon and add it to your hand. Sometimes you get lucky and get what you need. It is mainly used for further deck thinning though.

4 Poké Drawer+

Another great deck thinner. You can use 2 at a time or just play 1. When you play 1, you get to draw 1 card. However, when you play 2 at the same time, you can search your deck for any 2 cards in the deck.

4 Poké Blower+

Just like PokéDrawer +, you can use 2 at a time. When you play just 1, you get to roll a die, and if you roll heads, you can place a damage counter on any of your opponent’s Pokémon. However, if you play 2 at the same time, you get to switch your opponent’s active with your choice of their benched Pokémon.

2 Expert Belt

This card makes your Sableye have higher HP, and increase your damage output. With Sableye at 80 HP, even SP Pokémon become easy to donk. With this card, any Pokémon at 70 HP will be OHKOed by Sableye as “Over Confident” will now do 60 damage, + 10 more due to special dark.

1 Seeker

This card will usually guarantee you to get a donk in almost all swiss match ups where the opponent has 2 Pokémon in play. When you play Seeker, you and your opponent has to pick up 1 Pokémon from their respective Bench.

3 Dual Ball

Just like any other Balls in this deck, it is used to grab Pokémon from your deck. Flip 2 coins, and for each heads, you can put a Basic Pokémon from your deck to your hand.

1 Alph Lithograph TM4

WHAT?! Alph Lithograph?! Yes, Alph Lithograph. This card is possibly the best Alph Lithograph ever created. It only let’s you look at your prizes, but for a Donk deck, that could mean everything. In a Donk deck, 1 or 2 missing cards can spell disaster. However, with Alph Lithograph, you can easily fish out where the card you need in your prizes are, allowing you to pin point out your prizes when you take them.

1 Pokémon Collector

I’ve explained above why this is in here. Not because of the fact that it grants you 3 Basic Pokémon, but because it can be played through a trainer lock, and that it can be searched out by Sableye in the case of you running in to a Spiritomb trainer lock.

4 Special Darkness Energy

With the high draw power this deck has, 99% of the time, you will draw in to your energies, therefore, having a basic dark energy is almost useless. Not to mention that Unown Dark can fish out ANY dark energies, making special dark, just as easy as searching out your basic dark.

Pros and Cons

Pros

– It can Donk 90% of the time if your opponent only put down 1 bench and a starting Pokémon

– It will 99% of the time, get you a prize on your starting turn

– Very high early game damage output

– Does very well in this Gengar infested format (the whole Gengar Line has darkness weakness)

Cons

– Very squishy Pokémons, you can easily get Donked yourself

– It is donking… you most likely won’t be able to enjoy the game, nor your opponent

– Very low mid and late game damage output

– Donking is viewed “bad” by most players

Conclusion

Well, this is Peter’s original donk deck that I’ve created ever. Quite frankly, I am very happy with this deck. Of course, being a double edged sword makes it all the more thrilling for me. Since the deck is still in development, maybe I’ll make a 2nd article on it depending on how the reviews are. Thank you everyone for reading this article and I’ll see you guys next time! :D

Reader Interactions

26 replies

  1. Anonymous

    I personally do not have the card pool to run this or I likely would.

    However, there is still the possibility of a mid-season rotation where sableye would be gone.

    The counter to this is going to be having multiple Spiritomb in play. Just good luck drawing two to open the game.

    • Caleb Cline  → Anonymous

      They can’t take advantage of regice on turn one. Just run 4 tombs, 2-4 sableye, 4 collectors, 4 call. Even then you’re not full proof, but at least you’ll have a good chance of avoiding the OTK.

  2. Ash

    haha well if u think about the changes and how people who play the metagame use cards into the ground, everyone will probably run Sableeye as a starter making overeager a mute point. So it will again go back to the ol’ coin flip. Yay Metagame……

  3. Curtis Hill

    I’m Seriously frustrated at TCPI for going with these rules changes, as I can’t make regionals due to school the next time I can play will be with these incredibly unbalanced rulings. As much as a rotation would help it still doesn’t solve the problem that the person who goes first has a significant advantage over his opponent. I also really doubt that TCPI will make a rotation as their record pretty well shows they don’t make the best decisions for the format. So the next time I play will probably be in a format where you either get donked or can’t play trainers for most of the game neither of which is fun to me.

  4. Sam Marshall-Smith

    Well I play Shuppet and I just got 4 Sableye off Ebay, so I’m pretty much ready for this format…

      • Ron Routhier  → Ash

        They had their chance last year when they should have rotated ALL of D&P out, along with Platinum to slow the meta down, then we wouldn’t have such a dreary meta like we do now. People would actually have to build decks, and not rely on an engine exclusevly for certain cards.

        • Ash  → Ron

          Well lets wait and see how this all plays out before we all burn those new rule inserts in the starter decks.

  5. Martin Garcia

    I dont have anything against you peter, but people making lists for these types of decks that are made to abuse bad rules really make me sad.
    Its not like i wasnt expecting players to abuse this thing, but i really would like they didnt.

  6. Tamao Cameron

    My problem with this list is that against trainerlock, you aren’t very likely to have that one copy of Collector in your hand, which makes regice fairly redundant. Impersonating for a collector only gives your opponent a chance to get that second Spiritomb out anyway. It’s also a horrible potential starter. The best thing you can do against spiritomb is to run that 4th Crobat G to give you better odds of starting with one. Also the Unown D seems like wasted space on the bench when you could just mill through the deck and find the energies instead.

    • Saturn  → Tamao

      Does it just go back to a coin flip if both people start with Sableye? Sableye maybe it’s own counter…>_>

      • Ash  → Saturn

        pretty much! thats wat i was saying. If everyone uses sableye, then it’ll b down to the coin flip. It’s a dumb setup but just as Lost world wasn’t the threat everyone made it out to be, I don’t think Sableye Donk will be either.

  7. Jair Ramirez

    Looks like I’ll be starting with 2 spiritombs as much as possible.

  8. Jair Ramirez

    Looks like I’ll be starting with 2 spiritombs as much as possible.

  9. Ed Mandy

    I don’t think you’ll need 4 Energy AND a Unown Dark. You have to decide if you’re going just for a turn-1 win or if you want to sustain after that. If you’re going for the triple-donk (or whatever), then the extra energy is going to hurt. If you want to sustain for some turns after the first, then you might need an alternate attacker. No longer can Uxie recurse itself with Plus Powers, and Sableye will be fairly worthless if they can put out a defender with more HP after you’ve spent all your Poke Turns.

  10. jordan baker

    Why not play a few more energy and some exchangers?

  11. Travis Yeary

    The problem isn’t the rule change, but that they need to wait on changing them until the donking pokemon are gone. Sableye is the perfect example of a card that benifits 100% too much from trainers on first turn.

  12. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    It’s not like this wasn’t predicted.

    People have been dreading this ever since the JPN rules got translated.

    The screw up is obvious – we are having to use rules that were never designed for MD-on. They are for HGSS-on. Why do we have this crap? I dunno. Because it’s easier than delaying the rulebook, bans, or mid season rotations I guess.

    It won’t shock anyone if this gets played a whole lot. It’s not like there aren’t already a ton of players who choose to use dumb donk decks that could be built and played by a poorly trained monkey.

    • Edgar F  → Jak

      Obviously this will be played a lot, and again the reason comes down to TPCi deciding to not do any development in North America. They release what they see with no changes, just like every other bad import TCG. It’s days like this I REALLY miss WotC.

      • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Edgar

        To be fair they did do something to help the format – not releasing Pokemon Catcher. I honestly don’t know how much freedom TPCI have. Is it even possible for them to do mid-season rotations/bans/rule delays? Would they be allowed to? Would it hurt their business too much? (Most of their business isn’t competitive players at all).

        I still like to think that TPCI do their best for the players under cricumstances which they don’t choose and can’t do much about.

  13. Jacob AG

    Something I’d like to point out about this deck is that it’s fantastic in the new format, but only early game. Whom ever goes first gets the chance to donk, but it’s no guarantee. As long as you can lock untill 2-3 of your Pokemon are above 90 or so health you’ll be sweeping their field like no one’s business, due to their weak late game build.
    To be truthfull, I’m looking forward to the new format. Decks like Donphan, and other Stage 1’s and 2’s will become more popular. Spiritomb is the obvious counter to Sableye, and Spiritomb accelerates evolutions, making those deck’s more playable or course. Once again, as long as you can out live a few turns, slow them down in other words, you’ll be fine.

    Back to talking about the article though, good job. There are some tech’s I probably wouldn’t put in but still not bad. Sableye’s a bit of a sensitive topic right now, and it’s good to see someone cover this controversial card.

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