ReshiBoar Battle Roads Report + 6 Things I Learned

pokebeach.comHey guys, Captain here with a short little Battle Roads Report (MD-on). Let me preface this quickly by saying that this report isn’t as much about how I did and is more about what was there and what it means for deck builders and the format.

I decided to play ReshiBoar because that’s a powerful but easy to play deck that I happen to be quite familiar with already. Unless something drastically changes, it’s the deck I plan to run next season. I am, however, going to also test Reshiram with Typhlosion instead of/with the addition of Emboar.

I suppose I’ll start off with my slightly unorthodox ReshiBoar list. Unlike most other lists I’ve seen that focus on the mid to late game, this one is all about consistency in the beginning. I’ll need to make some modifications down the line, but so far it’s pretty solid and also fast.

The reason I like this list it that it consistently sets up on the 3rd turn. Occasionally it will be set up on turn 2, and occasionally you get unlucky, but turn 3 is the average. I actually put that list together rather quickly, and it happened to set up very well in solitaire testing.

Pokémon – 21 

4 Reshiram BW
3 Tepig BW #15
2 Pignite BW #17
3 Emboar BW #20
1 Emboar BW #19
2 Vulpix UL
2 Ninetales CL
4 Stantler UL

Trainers – 20 

2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Pokémon Collector
3 Rare Candy
2 Fisherman
2 Energy Retrieval
4 Professor Elm’s Training Method
1 Flower Shop Lady
3 Interviewer’s Questions

Energy – 19 

2 Double Colorless
2 Rescue
15 R

Now time for the tournament report itself. It was a fairly small tournament (can’t expect a ton from a Battle Roads, though) with 22 people in the Masters Division. There were several “Poké-parents” there, and I may have actually been the youngest person in the division (I barely made the cut being born in December of ’95).

Game 1 vs. Tyranitar

Tyranitar Primepokebeach.comTyranitar was a matchup that I was a bit worried about because of the fact that I can’t 1-shot Tyranitar in any way. The only way I would be able to would be with theme deck Emboar and PlusPower, and I didn’t run PlusPower. So as soon as I noticed that I was playing against a Tyranitar, I became a bit worried.

There actually isn’t a ton to say about this game. I had a solid turn 3 start, and ended up ripping through my opponent’s Pokémon, many of which had low HP to start with (I recall Knocking Out a Spiritomb early on, and I think I also Knocked Out a Sableye).

My opponent only got 1 Tyranitar set up, and I beat it with 2 hits, without it being able to do a ton of damage. I felt pretty good after winning this game with a 3-Prize lead.


Game 2 vs. Forretress/Emboar

Let me first say that this deck is a super cool deck. I imagine that it and Magmortar/Emboar (which works similarly) would both be a lot of fun to play. Anyway, there was an article written about this deck recently, but I’m just going to briefly describe how it works.

There’s an HGSS Promo Shuckle that has a Poké-Body, which allows you to draw a card every time you attach an energy to it. You basically use Emboar to attach a ton of energy and draw a ton of cards. Then you get those energy back in your hand somehow and attach them to Forretress. Every time you attach one to Forretress, you flip a coin. If you flip tails, all Pokémon except Forretress take 20 damage.

Anyway, this ended up being a pretty close game. I was ahead by 2 Prizes when my opponent finally set up his Forretress with and starting attaching energy to it. He cleared the field of Pokémon except for my Emboar, his Emboar, and his Forretress. I had 1 Prize to go and was insanely close to winning, but he used his Emboar’s Heat Crash to clear my field and win. I think I should mention that he actually placed in the top 4 with the deck.


Game 3 vs. ReshiBoar

pokebeach.comThere’s not a ton to say about this game. My opponent got incredibly unlucky and couldn’t set up. After me taking 2 Prizes and almost clearing his field, he scooped.


Game 4 vs. FlyChamp

This was it. This was the defining game. I just needed to win this and I would make top cut.

While my opponent and I were drawing cards, he had to mulligan 2 times. However, even with the 2 extra cards I got to draw, I had a terrible start. I started with 2 Reshiram and it took me a while to get going. The problem is that Machamp would 1-shot my Reshirams. I was down by a lot because of this, but managed to still pull something together.

I started making a large comeback, but the game ended with my opponent winning and me having 2 Prizes to go. Theme deck Emboar was seriously helping me out, and Reshiram still took some prizes. If I had a good start, I could have very possibly won this game. And with that, I just barely missed top cut.


I finished the tournament with a record of 2/2 and placed 10th out of 22.


  • Overall doing well. One match I lost was very close, and the other would have probably been a victory if I had a good start.
  • Tournament for being very well run.
  • Making some good trades on the side.


  • Coming so close to winning Game 2, then losing by running out of Pokémon on the field.
  • Bad luck in Game 4.
  • I played my opponent from Game 4 again just for fun and had a terrible starting hand again.

6 Things I Learned

  1. Masters Division was about a 50/50 split between MD-on and HS-on decks.
  2. There were a lot of ReshiBoar, but I (surprisingly) don’t recall seeing much DonChamp or Zekrom in any division. My suspicion is that DonChamp was a bit too expensive for most people, and Zekrom seems questionably good, plus takes more skill to play.Therefore, being able to play well against ReshiBoar might be very important down the line. I should also mention that I saw at least 1 MagneBoar there, as well as the Emboar/Forretress I played, so Ampharos Prime might end up being a largely useful tech.
  3. I also didn’t see much Sabledonk. I know there was one in the Junior Division, and there may have been one in Masters. Thing is, because it didn’t make a massive showing, chances of early rotation might be somewhat lessened.
  4. 2 Energy Retrieval is enough for ReshiBoar, but PlusPower is definitely something to work in. I imagine that 2 might be enough, but if you can successfully fit in 4 without losing speed that would be great. Don’t forget that Pokémon Catcher will probably prove very useful later on, though.

    Switch is also something that will be good, but maybe Dodrio is a better choice if you can work that in. It will help massively if you ever have to retreat an Emboar and don’t have the energy to spare. Dodrio would help a lot with the Beartic/Vileplume matchup, which is predicted to be fairly strong when Beartic is released.

    Also, the theme deck Emboar is something I really like keeping around since it almost helped pull off an epic comeback in the last game.

  5. Energy and energy recovery isn’t immensely important in ReshiBoar. I used Outrage more than I expected.
  6. Now is the time to trade. People have their own values assigned to certain cards that they think will either be big next season, or a part of their future (or even current) deck, and so you can sometimes get very good “deals”.I traded an assortment of cards worth maybe $10-15 total several times and ended up with a Donphan Prime, 2 Vileplumes, and the contents of a BW booster pack, among a few other potentially useful cards (total value about $20-25).

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Reader Interactions

17 replies

  1. Lee

    I understand that people wanted to test their HGSS+ only decks at BR, but I still feel bad for Heatran Lv. X in MD-on format with BW. I think people simply overlooked or forgot about this card. Why bother playing Reshiboar when you could play Reshitran? For those of you who don’t remember this big guy, he is a card from SF that unlike Emboar you can set up by T2 (without Rare Candy), and has a Poke-Power called Heat Wave that says whenever your active fire or steel Pokemon discards basic energy cards using an attack, you may attach up to 2 of those energy back to that Pokemon. In my opinion this is just a better card than Emboar all around (except for using the other Emboar for his 150 damage). Sadly, as it is now June and Battle Roads comes to a close, this forgotten guy will never really have a chance to shine with Reshiram except in Unlimited format assuming HGSS+ rolls over July 1st. *Sniff*

    • Anonymous  → Lee

      1. Heatran Lv.X has a retreat cost of 4, so you’ll basically need Warp Point, Warp Energy, or Switch.
      2. How do you expect to get 3 energy on Reshiram T2 without Emboar?

      • Lee  → Anonymous

        1. Emboar has a retreat cost of 4, so you’ll basically need Warp Point, Warp Energy, or Switch.
        2. If you feel you MUST have Reshiram ready by T2, then simply run 4 Growlithes from RR, attach a fire energy turn one, use Stoke to place another fire energy on him from your deck, then on turn two attach a fire energy to Reshiram and place a Shaymin UL down to move the energy to Reshiram. Then use Warp Point, Warp Energy, or Switch (as you pointed out I will need) to have Reshiram out and ready by T2. You would definitely want to max Pokemon Collector to pull this off (basically Zekrom style), but regardless with only three Rare Candy and only two cards to refresh your hand, its not like you are averaging an Emboar out by T2 anyway. If you are then I am amazed as I certainly do not with my testing that runs four Rare Candies, four Pokemon Collector, and three Pokemon Communication.

        • Anonymous  → Lee

          Now that’s an interesting idea. Of course I’m not averaging Emboar T2, it’s just that I didn’t see how you would get so much energy on Reshiram so quickly.

  2. Emil lumen

    Why doesnt your deck run any pokemon communication!?!?!?

    • Jorge Davila  → Emil

      I agree with this
      No communication could be bad.You shoulda ran like 2-3 instead of 4elms training
      and 3interviewer’s question NOT GOOD!!!!!

      Also 19energys, too much the most you should have, is about 15-17
      13Fire energys 1DCE and 2rescue..3-2-4 of emboar isn’t consist..(just trying to help)

      • Anonymous  → Jorge

        So far, no Communication actually hasn’t been a big deal as setting up generally goes very well. I personally prefer Elm over it, but will no doubt test it anyway. My biggest concern right now is how to squeeze in PlusPowers (and later Pokemon Catchers) and so I’ll probably drop a few Fire Energies. I’ll probably end up redoing the whole list at some point soon, though, until I find something I’m particularly satisfied with.

        • Emil lumen  → Anonymous

          I don’t see the use for flower shop lady, when you already run 2 fisherman and 2 energy retrieval and 2 rescue energy. You may wanna add a 2-3 junk arm to reuse energy retrieval when you want too. Take out elm for pokemon communication. (some not all, up to you)
          3 Emboar (20) is a lot…Your good with 2 in your deck. Interviewer’s question is really unreliable, your better off using an oak or juniper to get a fresh hand. You can also drop the pignite and just run 1 since you have 3 rare candy so you can add in Pluspower. Emboar (19) is good, its up to you, if you take him out, you can take out the DCE. 
          You can also add in Revive to reuse your Reshiram. 

  3. joe horth joe horth

    Zekrom takes a lot less skill to play than Reshiram but okay lol. When will you ever need 3 ability emboar ever? unless your losing the game already you will never need 3 and 3-2-4 line? the heck? what made you think this was a good idea?

  4. Ross Gilbert

    I love the dedication to testing new decks but i don’t like the build i’m afraid. I’ve been testing Reshiboar and i found 2 energy retrieval to be too few (unless you run junk arm). It also looks like a lot of supporters. Was it a conscious decision not to run dual ball or communication? If so, can i ask why?

    Also, what would you do with this deck if you came against a good, fast water deck?

    I played against a very good player running Reshiboar today and it was AWESOME. Although Uxie, BTS and Expert belt help the deck an insane amount (and we’re losing them).

    Having said that, i have also been testing a Crobat Prime deck so maybe i’m not the best person to give advice ;)

    • Travis Yeary  → Ross

      I play a pretty sweet ReshiBoar myself, and to answer you about the water deck, Blastoise/Floatzel is tough if they draw the first prize or snipe out a tepig/pignite, but if Rehiboar can set up about the same time it turns into a prize race. The biggest problem is Samurott/Feraligatr. The second set is slower but it’s just brutal how much damage Samurott can do without any chance of Reshiram returning the OHKO. It would litterally take 4 pluspowers in one turn. The only answer I can think of to it is Lanturn Prime. It helps in the Mirror, and counters Reshirams weakness.

      • Ross Gilbert  → Travis

        There’s a guy at my league who plays Feraligatr / Samurott! It’s tough but Ninetails gives the speed edge. Generally i just have to 2HKO the Samurott and hope i have enough of a lead. It takes 2 Stage 2s and at least 3 energy to attack AND it has no proper draw engine.

        Having said that, if he sets up faster, he wins!

  5. Travis Yeary

    “2 Energy Retrieval is enough for ReshiBoar, but PlusPower is definitely
    something to work in. I imagine that 2 might be enough, but if you can
    successfully fit in 4 without losing speed that would be great.”

    0.o how do you get away with only two? I use all 4 + my 2 fisherman in most games, as well as using anywhere from 2/4 to 3/4 junk arms on the retrievals. Very impressed if you can pull it off with two.

    Also, I highly suggest pluspowers, I run 4 in my Reshiboar, and it’s insane how many 1 turn Ko’s they give you. They’re even stronger now that you can junk arm them right after playing them.

    • Anonymous  → Travis

      For one, I run a slightly excessive amount of energy, but secondly is the fact that I actually used Outrage quite a good amount.

  6. Ian Sedelow

    Playing this deck at a MD-on event was an awful choice. I think with some testing this deck could be BETTER in a BW-on format. Your problem lies in lack of plus power, junk arm, and communication.

  7. samuel roach

    I played Reshiboar for 2 strait BR’s. I’m surprised that you didn’t have Spiritombs in here. They would’ve helped out so much in this format at least. You could have used more draw power too. Next format Cleffa’s, and 2 Lanturn Primes would be great. because lanturn OKO’s those water Pokemon for ya.

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