The 30-Card BW-On Format

pokebeach.comHey 6P people. My name is Rahul Reddy, and you probably don’t know me because I don’t really post here that often. But, I do enjoy reading the great articles on this website in particular. This article is my first (obviously), and I wanted to discuss something out of the ordinary. The thing that I want to talk about with you guys today isn’t about Regionals and it isn’t about Battle Roads; it’s about Black and White-on 30-Card.

You guys may be wondering at this point, “Where did this kid come up with such a crazy idea?” Well, that’s what I am going to talk about in the article. I’ll also include a decklist, the MVPs of this format, and a mini-tournament report.

The rules are simple and its a really fun format to play in:

  • 30-card decks.
  • No more than two of any card other than basic energy in a deck.
  • Black and White-on (so just BW through EP + Promos).
  • 3 Prize cards instead of 6.
  • Each round is 15 minutes with +3 turns at the end.

Let’s go back in time for a small, possibly insignificant, yet enlightening story. I walked into my league on one fateful Friday afternoon. Like any league, you would meet up with your buds and play a few games right? So this was shortly after Emerging Powers prereleases began and me and a couple of friends were discussing Gothitelle and Beartic. My league leader then made us stop a game we were playing to go sign in on his sign-in sheet.

This sign-in sheet was where my fateful encounter with the 30-Card Black and White-on format occurred. I saw the sheet for 30-Card sign ups, and questioned my League Leader about this, and he replied that he had some extra packs and he wanted to find a new and fun format for us to play in.

I saw that they were conducted in 8-Man Pods, and I took a place in the sign up sheet and began to think about a deck idea. This is where we take a break in the story to discuss some of the MVPs of the format.

Here are my Top 11 Cards that should be played in this format, #1 being the best of course.

Honorable Mention: Emolga EP #32

The reason this card gets an honorable mention, is because it’s one of the few cards in the format that has free retreat. But I wouldn’t use it for that one purpose. Its first attack, Thundershock, for one L Energy does 10 and you flip to paralyze your opponent.

In the 30-Card format, even one turn can be crucial to setting up over your opponent and dealing the damage you need. But unfortunately, this card has a Fighting weakness which just makes it an easy late game prize.

#11: Switch

This card makes a great asset in 30-Card, because it lets you switch out your heavy retreaters or a Pokémon that you don’t want to burn energy on. It can help you bring up a Pokémon that you really need to get active to do some damage.

#10: Potion

This card is an amazing thing in 30-Card. Because you and your opponent are most likely running high-HP Pokémon (which will be mentioned in the top 11), 30 health can be crucial to staying alive long enough to secure an extra prize, or for keeping a staller up active while you set up something on your bench.

#9: Crushing Hammer

This is one of my favorite 30-Card techs of all time. Because the games are so fast paced, and energy drops matter a lot during the course of the game, one energy can win you a game. Crushing Hammer, takes that fact and uses it in your favor. It can mean the fine line between a Blue Flare, or an Outrage.

#8: Great Ball

pokebeach.comThis card is good in the format, because of the deck size. Deck size matters here because you start with 30 cards and draw 7 to start and place 3 Prizes, leaving you with 20 cards in your deck. Great Ball looks at the top 7 and tries to get a Pokémon that you find there. With barely any cards to go through to get what you want, Great Ball makes it easy to get Pokémon that you need, when you need them.

#7: Beartic EP #31

I chose to put this card in my deck, unlike everyone else, because I saw that 30 damage and auto sleep for one water is great. Not to mention the monstrous 130 health and metal weakness. The amount of Reshiram played in 30-Card is unexplainable and high, so this card is a perfect counter. It cannot be stopped, because it is a beast.

#6: Reshiram BW

This card is way too over powered in 30-Card, only because it can abuse Outrage. Just imagine this scenario: my opponent goes first with active Reshiram and I have a Virizion, he attaches and passes. I attach and pass. He attaches and outrages for 40. I attach and use Giga Drain and he follows with an Outrage for 100 KO. It’s way too good! Just believe me on this one.

#5: Terrakion EP #63

This card is absolutely amazing, because for one Fighting and one Colorless, it does 40. With two Fighting and one Colorless it does 100. It also has 120 HP, which is extremely high and has a Grass weakness. You can attribute this card to the downfall of Zekrom in the 30-Card format. It can take easy KOs and with Potion, it can tank, but it has one fatal weakness, which is coincidentally #4.

#4: Virizion EP #17

I have a soft spot for this card only because it looks amazing. This piece of artwork is great because it can tank with Giga Drain for one Grass and one Colorless. It can also do a 100 for 2 Grass and a Colorless. This card was made to counter Terrakion in the 30-Card format.

Terrakion the massive tank has 120 HP and a grass X2 weakness, which makes it a viable catcher target. It can tank with Potion and Giga Drain, making a force to be reckoned with.

#3: Pokémon Catcher

I placed Catcher at #3 because it is extremely optional to have in decks. It makes a great tool to get cheap KOs, but in my opinion, it’s a waste of two spaces in your deck. It takes a place in the Top 11 for all the obvious reasons.

#2: Professor Juniper

This card is great, because it is one of the only two draw power cards in the format. Its #2 because the other draw power card is better.

#1: Cheren

Yup, you guessed it, Cheren. This Supporter helps you get what you want without you worrying about decking out. It makes for the best draw power in the format and keeps your deck running smoothly without any delay in you getting the wins you need.

Back to story time. So I thought about what I want to run and finally decided on Beartic paired with Virizion. I chose this deck only because it seemed like the fastest one to set up, with a tank stalling and you build a second tank on bench. I played in three tournaments with this deck, and won all of them. But the 3rd tournament is the only report + decklist (don’t worry, I didn’t forget) that you guys are gonna get to read.

First off, here is the decklist:

Pokémon – 6

2 Virizion EP

2 Cubchoo EP 28

2 Beartic EP 31

Trainers – 14

2 PlusPower

2 Cheren

1 Professor Juniper

2 Crushing Hammer

2 Potion

2 Great Ball

2 Energy Search

1 Switch

Energy – 10

5 W

5 G

pokebeach.comTime for explaining why I chose some of the stuff that I did.

I used PlusPower, because, well, extra 10 damage, who wouldn’t want that?

Energy Search is the one card out of the ordinary that I used. I used it because it worked well with getting the energy type I needed and gave me more search options.

The rest are pretty self-explanatory.

Time for the Mini Tourney Report. By the way, this was single elimination.

Round 1 vs Brandon (Reshiram)

Yeah, so this kid was playing a bunch of energy, two Potions and two Reshiram. I went first with Cubchoo active and a benched Virizion, and I started off by attaching to my active and using Powder Snow, but I failed on the sleep flip. He went, attached and passed. I drew and used Great Ball to get the Beartic. I evolved and attached to the active again, hit him for 60, and he stayed asleep. I drew, attached, and used Superpower for the knockout.


Round 2 vs Mark M. (ReshiBoar)

It takes some guts to play ReshiBoar in this format and he somehow pulled off a win the previous round. He started his Reshiram and Tepig to my god start of active Cubchoo, benched Cubchoo and two Great Balls in hand. I go first and draw into a Cheren, which I use and I get both my Virizion, which I hastily bench. I Great Ball and get both of my Beartic and I attach to the active.

He goes, attaches, and passes. I go, double evolve, attach to my benched Beartic, and hit him for 60. He wakes up and has 80 damage on him at this point. He attaches, evolves to Pignite, and uses Outrage for 100. I draw, attach to the benched Beartic again, and Knock Out his Reshiram.

He promotes Pignite and evolves to Emboar. He uses Energy Retrieval to get both energy he lost on Reshiram. He Fandangos four energy to his active – yeah, four – and proceeds to Knock me Out with Heat Crash. I promote Virizion, seeing as all I have is a Switch in hand.

I draw into a Juniper and I use my Switch to go into my Beartic. I Juniper away my hand and draw a fresh seven. I know I have six energy in the deck, but I don’t get any of them. Luckily, my last card was an Energy Search, so I was able to get a Water energy and use Superpower for the knockout.


Round 3 (Finals) vs Anson Rutherford (Serperior/Tornadus/Reshiram)

pokebeach.comThis game was a sad game for both our decks…

He starts lone Tornadus and I start lone Virizion with nothing in my hand. He goes first and attaches before passing.

I go, attach, and pass. He goes, attaches, and uses Energy Wheel, which does nothing. I go, attach, and use Crushing Hammer, flipping heads. I Giga Drain for 30. He goes, shows me the two PlusPowers he had in his hand, and scoops.


So yeah, that was my report. I ended up getting a pack of TM in which I pulled a Magnezone Prime, which I was ecstatic about.

Thanks a lot for reading this, and hopefully this method of playing broadens your horizons to future gaming. I highly encourage that you set up a tournament like this at your league, because it’s fun and is a completely new ways to play. Thanks again for reading and enjoy your life, Rahul out.

Reader Interactions

21 replies

  1. Andrew Carbon

    Interesting format and well written article.  Thanks for the report!

  2. Aron Figaro

    Good format, but see the forums for my comments on your analysis. I feel you haven’t really dug into the format enough to write off cards like Zekrom and Zoroark, and I think you overstate the musketeers a lot.

    • Rahul Reddy  → Aron

      I just felt that with bolt strike doing 40 damage back to Zekrom, Terrakion can easily just use its first attack with pluspower to KO it, and with out a real way to bolt strike fast, Zekrom can be catchered up and be knocked out through Sacred Sword. Zoroark without DCE isnt as good, but it has potential which hasnt really been explored yet, and I plan on making a deck revolving around Zoroark, but I have no real ideas yet

  3. Bernardo Dias

    I also think that Sawk would be a awesome add as a tech, just like Hitmoncham was, with the help of Catcher and Plus Power

    • Rahul Reddy  → Bernardo

      Yeah, I know I didnt put it out there, but I did experiment with Sawk EP and Sawk BW, and they were amazing when everyone was playing Cincinno, but now that the Top cards came down to the musketeers and Reshiram, Its hard to make full use of it. But yeah It can be a tech

  4. Anonymous

    I really like this format and actually recommend it to my friends when they want to play casually (I’m basically the best of my friends and would massacre them if I used competitive-level decks). It’s good because it allows for interesting ideas cheaply, though we play unlimited because most of my friends don’t have many new cards (but loads of old ones).

      • Anonymous  → Anonymous

        It’s just that I’m the only one who can afford a competitive-level deck (and only one other friend ever bothered print out proxies), not that I’m trying to brag or anything.

      • Joseph Moore-Costa  → Rahul

        Oh because when you said the league leader said he had some extra packs I thought you meant to have the draft and then you went on to mention 8 man pods my bad though sorry for the misinterpretation.

  5. Anonymous

    Although I don’t particularly like playing in different formats, I can’t resist this one; I’ll have to try it with  my friends. :) Thanks for posting this, Rahul!

  6. tim h

    I can’t help but think the existence of Reshiram and Zekrom wouldn’t ruin this format. 

  7. Anson Rutherford

    “uses Energy Wheel, which does nothing.”

    Super clutch play. I can’t believe you got out of it.

    Also, at what point did I use that deck? It was pretty bad. Still, SERPERIOR IS SUPERIOR.

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