Today I’m going to be reviewing the newly released Durant from Noble Victories.
So what do we have with Durant? Durant is a Basic Metal-type Pokémon with 70 HP, no Ability, a Retreat of 1, Weakness to Fire, Resistance to Psychic, and 2 attacks. His first attack is Devour which for 1 M Energy allows you to discard cards from the top of your opponent’s deck equal to the number Durant you have in play. Meaning, with all of your Durants in play, you can discard 4 cards a turn for just 1 M Energy. Durant’s second attack, for Double Colorless, allows you to use Vice Grip for 30 damage.
Since the scans of Noble Victories where posted, Durant has generated a lot of hype. But, why is this? Obviously it isn’t for Vice Grip, as there are far better uses for Double Colorless Energy. So, it has to be for Devour. An attack that can potentially eat away at your opponent’s resources.
As I noted above, with 4 Durant in play you can mill the top 4 cards of your opponent’s deck each turn. At first doesn’t sound like a lot, but turn after turn it soon causes a problem as more and more resources hit the discard pile and the options to counter get fewer.
How quick can Durant mill? Well, every deck contains 60 cards. Removing 13 for set-up leaves 47. Ideally, Durant should be milling 4 a turn in addition to your opponent’s draw at the start of their turn. So, each turn your opponent looses 5 cards from their deck, not including any search or draw cards they might use. 47 divided by 5 = 9 remainder 2. After 9 turns your opponent will have 2 cards in their deck at most (excluding the use of cards like Flower Shop Lady) if your Durant count is continually at four.
From above you can see that the deck is pretty fast. Of course there is the question of how to get 4 Durant in play turn 1, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s simply a case of running as many Basic search cards as possible. There’s Pokémon Collector, which is run at 4-of in most decks already. There’s also the option of using Dual Ball. Being a Trainer Item, Dual Ball can be used more than once a turn (but, of course, it involves luck).
Dual Ball isn’t bad, though. You’ll want it to increase your chances of drawing into a card that can grab a basic or 2 from your deck. However, I wouldn’t put my money on it being the card that makes or breaks this deck. Which does raise another question though: What if I don’t get a turn 1 Collector?
Well, while we do have Dual Ball, I’d also like to suggest Pokégear 3.0. If you have no Collector in hand, and potentially 4 still remaining in your deck, there is a decent chance that a Collector will be hiding within the next 7 cards.
What other obstacles could impede Durant’s set-up? Personally, I see Durant’s biggest problem is having one or more Durants Prized. How do we fix this? The best way that I’ve come up with is to use Alph Lithograph 4 from Triumphant and Rotom from Undaunted.
Using the above combination, not only can you see if there are any Durants in your prizes, but you’re able to arrange your Prizes so that you know where they are. Next, you can then use Rotom to swap the prized Durant with the top card of your deck. Assuming you’ve managed to set-up the rest of your Durants, then swapping your top card should be a safe move as you won’t be swapping 1 Durant for another.
Now that we’ve covered Durant’s setup, we have to make sure that we can keep milling our opponents deck. There are a couple of aspects which need to be taken into consideration when trying to maintain the decks setup, but most of them are easily covered.
The first aspect we need to cover is recovery. If a Durant is Knocked Out then the milling capability of the remaining Durants becomes limited. So, we need to make sure that if a Durant is Knocked Out that we can get it back onto the field as quickly as possible. There are 2 cards that easily allow us to recover Durants and take advantage of the fact they are basics, those cards are Revive and Rescue Energy.
Both of these cards pair perfectly with Durant being a basic. Revive can place him straight onto the bench and Rescue Energy returns him to your hand so you can play him back onto the bench during your turn. Some people will say that you shouldn’t play both, but I’d advise that both be found in your list simply for the sheer fact that they cover each others drawbacks. Revive is instantaneous, but useless against Trainer Lock. Rescue requires you to use an energy attachment, but gets around Trainer Lock with no difficulty.
The second aspect is trying to prevent your opponent from Knocking Out Durants in the first place. The easiest method for this is to play Catcher and drag out anything that wont be able to attack, buying a turn or 2. Or you can run a tech for the sake of stalling your opponent. The most popular techs at the moment are Roserade from Unleashed and Hypno from HeartGold & SoulSilver.
Both of these techs hold merit in their own regard and which 1 you play is entirely up to your own playstyle and preference. Both are used for their Poké-Powers. Roserade’s “Energy Signal” can be used of you trade out some of the decks M Energy for Rainbow Energy allowing you to inflict both Poison and Confusion onto the opponent’s active.
The advantage of this is the fact that your opponent now has to flip to attack, and will even take damage if they flip tails. The downside is that the opponent’s active can retreat out of Confusion and using the ability does take away an Energy attachment that could be used to ready a second Durant or to place Rescue on the active.
On the other side of things though we have Hypno’s “Sleep Pendulum”. Which, on a coin toss, can put the opponent’s active Pokémon to sleep. While asleep the opponent’s active canot attack or retreat. The downside with Hypno is the chance of the opponent’s Pokémon falling and staying asleep is only 25%.
Personally, I’d choose Hypno over Roserade because sleep is a better status to inflict while we have free retreat Pokémon like Yanmega in format.
So what are your opinions on Durant? Is it worth the hype? Or will it fall short? Feel free to comment below on your thoughts about Durant and any suggestions you might have on how to play it.
I’m also still taking requests for future reviews on cards that aren’t yet in format. Feel free to drop me a line here or on my new fanpage.
Signing off for now,