With various cards getting lots of hype, and certain decks being considered for BDIF already, I figured it might be a good time to explore the “weaker” parts of any new format, that is, finding “counters” to each major deck/Pokémon of the new meta. With HGSS on, hitting for weakness is a HUGE deal, as various stage one Pokémon can get OHKO revenge kills for little investment, so long as they hit the type advantage.
I’ll be going by type. Not the type of the Pokémon, but the type that Pokémon are weak to.
First is Psychic type. The two Pokémon weak to Psychic that have been seen in any discussion so far are RDL (Rayquaza & Deoxys Legend) and Machamp Prime. RDL clocks in at 140 HP, and has a x2 weakness to Psychic. This means a Psychic type attacker must deal 70 damage to ohko it (for two prizes, at that).
RDL has no “good” Psychic type counter, so we’ll touch on normal types than can kill it later. As for Machamp Prime, the answer is Xatu UL. For a single Psychic energy, the psychic bird will do 80 damage x2 weakness for 160 and an OHKO.
This, of course, assumes the Prime is using “Champ Buster” to attack with. If it only has three energy, you simply add a PlusPower.
Now for the Darkness type. Major attacking Pokémon weak to Dark are Gengar Prime, and… well, really, that’s about it, unless we see some Mismagious/Vileplume running around. A Darkness type that can do 70 damage is the ideal. We have several options for that. Mandibuzz’s second attack will easily OHKO the Gengar.
Umbreon is a much less useful option, as it’ll take a Special Dark and hitting heads on the second attack. Drapion TM will OHKO for DDCC, but that’s an investment of three energy. Tyranitar can OHKO, but requires a heavy stage 2 line and a lot of investment.
Houndoom Prime is a decent option, for DDC it does 70 damage, and it has a Poké-Power that can help other matchups by burning your opponent, denying them their Poké-Powers (such as Blastoise) Scrafty does it for DDC. Umbreon Prime can do 70 for one Special Dark and another eeveelution in play, but that’s alot of space, again.
Liepard can do it for a single Special Darkness Energy. So the best choice here is probably either 1-1 Houndoom Prime or 1-1 Liepard. An honorable mention goes to Absol Prime, who can one-shot it for DC, but putting a Pokémon into the Lost Zone helps your opponent too much.
Next up is hitting for a Grass weakness. Not many Pokémon are weak to grass. The notable one is Feraligatr Prime, which WILL see some play. Yanmega would be the first thought of many, however, “Sonicboom” has the unfortunate wording that you do not apply weakness.
However, for free, you can still do 80 (40×2) to 2HKO the ‘Gatr while only taking 60 damage yourself. And to be honest, that’s the best grass has, really. Grass attackers have very low damage outputs, so short of teching in large stage two grass lines, there’s nothing better than Yanmega Prime, or just hitting ‘Gatr with your beefy main attacker.
Next up is hitting for Fighting weakness. Cards weak to fighting include Zekirom, Magnezone Prime, Lanturn Prime, Ampharos Prime, Smeargle, Stantler, Mr. “Do the Wave”, and the Affro Buffalo. There is one card that everyone thinks of instantly. That, of course, is Donphan Prime.
For one Fighting energy, it hits for 60 damage, enough to OHKO many Lightning/Normal types. Marowak TM, for the cost of CC (meaning it’s DCE compatible, and requires no teched energy types) has you flip two coins, and it does 60 damage for each heads.
That means, on average, you’re doing the same amount of damage as Donphan, but without the self-damage to your bench. Both are valid options.
Hitting for Water weakness is an interesting one. The target Pokémon that are weak to water are Donphan, Emboar, Reshiram, and Typhlosion. Each of these has a very high amount of HP, so it is very important to hit for a large amount of damage, preferably enough to OHKO.
The issue, however, is that water attacks that have high damage outputs are very costly, usually costing two or three Water energy paired with some Colorless. For this reason, the currently “best bets” are ones that 2HKO. Those options are Swanna BW, Lanturn Prime, Red Gyarados (HGSS secret rare), Octillery paired with a resistant card, or Suicune & Entei Legend.
The best bet, in my opinion, is the Red Gyarados. It has a high retreat cost, but being able to do large amounts of damage for a single colorless energy is very valuable. Next set, we’re expected to get Beartic, which will serve as the water counter of choice for most.
What about Lightning weakness? Cards weak to electric include 90% of the water metagame (excluding Feraligatr), Yanmega Prime, Mandibuzz, Honchkrow, and most other flying types. There are several options to hit for this weakness. Lanturn Prime, Zekrom, Electivire, Ampharos (non-Prime), and Zebstrika all serve as valid options.
If your deck runs Rare Candy, Ampharos might be the best option, as the first attack serves to accelerate your energy attachments while still putting out a nice amount of damage, too.
Now for Fire weakness. See: Entire Grass metagame excluding Yanmega Prime, and most Metal types. This one really needs little discussion, as pretty much any stage 1, stage 2, or “medium to high power” Fire basic can OHKO everything Grass typed, and Metal types fold to Fire quickly as well. Reshiram, for example, can be splashed into darn near everything.
Normal type is an interesting weakness, with only one major metagame card possessing this weakness. We talked about it above, of course, I am talking about Rayquaza & Deoxys Legend.
For this card, your best bet is either Mr. Affro Buffalo (Bouffalant BW #91) or Mr. “Do the Wave” (Cinccino BW). Both will get the revenge OHKO, assuming your bench is full, or assuming you got KO’d last turn.
Hitting for Metal weakness is not really valid to our metagame, as there are no major players that are weak to metal. On the off-chance that you for some reason need to hit for metal weakness, Scizor (both Prime and non-Prime) are safe bets, needing little investment for high damage.
And there you have it folks, the most-talked-about techs to fight each type. Next time, I’ll be back with techs for various other situations, like board control, and type support.
~Zackary “Cabd” Ayello