Chandelure and FUN

Hey guys back again. Hope everyone has been doing well and having fun at Cities! I have not been able to make any yet, but I’ll be heading to one, if not two, this weekend. I have been playing as much as I can to prepare, and my testing has focused around three decks, Chandelure, Magnezone/Eelektrik, and Truth. I think these three decks are the best decks in the format, with Zekrom coming in at (a distant) fourth.

None of the other decks in the format look to pack the same punch or versatility of the aforementioned decks, and therefore I do not think have as much of a place. I hate filler so let’s go:


pokemon-paradijs.comI really did not look too much into NV before it came out, so when I saw Chandelure for the first time I got pretty excited. It looked to have so much potential: three counters anywhere and you can do it with more than one a turn! And you can still attack! And Tropical Beach is kind of in the format! Everything seemed to fit in my mind for it to be a top contender and so I immediately went to make a list.

I looked at some sites to see if anyone had posted ideas or lists for Chandelure, and I could only find one: Aaron Curry’s thread on HeyTrainer, then with only a few posts. I got more excited at this because I thought I had realized the potential of this card before the most, but alas in the past few weeks more and more people have caught onto the awesomeness of the card.

Since I first started looking at Chandelure almost a month ago now (since after Regionals), I have followed HeyTrainer’s Chandelure thread and might be one of the only people to have, for better or worse, read every single post on that thread (haha). My lists of Chandy have morphed and changed so much since testing it, and I am still not sure anyone has found the “ideal” build for it.

I will go into a bunch of the different variants of tried, comment on a bunch of lists, and what has and hasn’t worked for me. Hopefully this will give you guys inspiration to try these and other partners with Chandelure, as I feel it is a very versatile card that can be abused in a variety of ways.

First up, let us take a look at Chandelure/Yanmega, something that I have not seen a list for on the internet yet:

Pokémon – 20

4 Litwick BW27

2 Lampent NVI

4 Chandelure NVI
4 Yanma TM

3 Yanmega Prime
2 Bouffalant BLW 91
1 Cleffa HS

Trainers – 36

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
4 Copycat
2 Judge
2 Tropical Beach
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Rare Candy
4 Switch
4 Junk Arm
2 Pokégear 3.0
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Lost Remover

Energy – 4

4 Double Colorless

This was about how far I got with the concept before I decided to go and explore other options with Chandy. However, this list has a lot of positives going for it and is very fun to play, and in theory has a lot of power! I probably would drop the Yanmega line some now looking back at it, as you do not need to attack with Yanmega all too often.

However, you are able to keep only one or two Chandy out at a time and spread with Yanmega too. You can often do 100 anywhere in a turn with two Chandelures, some Switch and DCE. I’ve even done 130 to a benched Pokémon a couple times, which is pretty unreal. Buffalo and Lost Remover are here to try and give it somewhat of a Zekrom match, as otherwise it is near impossible.

Also the idea is to be able to hit the active hard after a KO with Buffalo, and be able to spread a lot of damage with Yanmega and Chandelure. In theory has a lot of bases covered. Unfortunately, Buffalo doesn’t quite cut it in hitting the active. 30 from Chandy + 90 from Buffalo doesn’t even the magic 130 needed to break a lot of Reuinclus locks.

I guess that is the main problem with this deck: it seems great in theory, but its actual matchups are not so strong. Zekrom is an uphill better. Truth (and really any Trainer-lock deck) is tough, because you can only effectively do 100 (30+70) or 120 to an active or 70 to a benched Pokémon in one turn.

Your best against something like Truth is to just hit the active with Yanmega and hope you can overload their damage healing capacity. Unfortunately this takes awhile, and they can often get something to just start rolling through Yanmegas that Buffalo still cannot touch.

In any case, I do not want to spend too much time on this list, just providing it so ya’ll can maybe garner some ideas from it. It is definitely a fun play!

pokemon-paradijs.comIn another idea, which ended up having similar matchups to the Yanmega list, I tried Mew/Chandelure. I unfortunately do not have my original list, but I really did like it. It played Cincinno BLW, Crobat Prime, and Zoroark BLW for See Off targets, along with a Buffalo, 7-8 Psychic, 4 DCE, a thick Chandelure line and a pretty similar Trainer line to the Yanmega list as well.

It suffered from having to See Off and not being able to abuse Tropical Beach as much in the early game, but had a stronger late game and was interesting because it COULD hit the 130 damage mark on the active, with Chandelure + Cincinno doing 100. Crobat was interesting, because you could Poison as well and also have the ability to snipe for an extra 30 a turn (go through a Chandy or two and then get an extra).

I have not seen anyone try this either, and if people are interested, I can look more for my list (or just post a new one on the forums). One of the main reasons I stopped testing it was because Kyurem destroys Mew pretty good, and if you get with two Mew on the field and you cannot 1HKO Kyurem back after it uses Glaciate the first time, you are in a bad position. I cannot imagine its Magnezone/Eel matchup being too great either, unfortunately.

I have one more list to share without Vileplume that has been my “go-to” non-Vileplume Chandelure list now for the past week or two. It is far more basic than the two ideas above, and resembles more the non-Vileplume lists you might see on sites like HeyTrainer. I was not a big fan of running Dodrio in the non-Vileplume version, though, so my list omits that in favor of DCEs and heavy Switch:

Pokémon – 15

4 Litwick BW27

2 Lampent NVI

4 Chandelure NVI

2 Bouffalant BLW 91
2 Terrakion NVI
1 Cleffa HS

Trainers – 38

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
4 Sage’s Training

2 N
2 Twins

3 Tropical Beach
4 Rare Candy
4 Junk Arm
4 Switch
3 Pokémon Communication

2 Defender

1 Max Potion
1 Super Rod

Energy – 7

4 Double Colorless

3 F

pokegym.netThe idea is similar to when I had Buffalo in my Yanmega list, except that now I have Terrakion as well, and more room for draw and some defensive stuff, which the list I think was lacking. With this it gives it a bit better matches vs the field, including EelZone and Zekrom. Trainer Lock still remains hard, but as my two games with this list vs fellow writer John Kettler went, it can beat it.

John was playing Truth and in both our games I was able to get out fast enough Chandelures to rid his field of Solosis/Duosion before a Reuniclus saw the field, and in both I ended up winning. Having 16 Supporters and three Tropical Beach gives you pretty decent odds of getting multiple Chandelure out within the first couple of turns, and you can overwhelm some other Stage 2 decks with this onslaught of damage. Especially if you do not take a knockout and they cannot use Twins for a while, you can really out speed and get ahead in the race.

I think my biggest problem with this list is that it unfortunately cannot beat the Trainer Lock version of Chandelure. There is just no way. Even if I could get it to beat every single other deck in the format, if it is losing to Chandelure/Vileplume, it has a hard time seeming viable to me, as Chandy/Plume is slowly becoming one of (in my opinion) the three best decks in the format.

So without further ado, I’ll introduce my Chandy/Vile list, which is pretty similar to the one Fulop posted in his article the other day. I want to talk about the list and various techs and such that others and myself have been trying:

Pokémon – 30

4 Litwick BW27

4 Lampent NVI

4 Chandelure NVI

3 Oddish UD

2 Vileplume UD

2 Gloom UD

3 Doduo UD

2 Dodrio UD

2 Chansey HS

2 Blissey Prime

1 Jirachi UL

1 Cleffa HS

Trainers – 25

4 N

4 Twins

4 Sage’s Training

4 Pokémon Collector

3 Tropical Beach

4 Pokémon Communication

2 Rare Candy

Energy – 5

3 P

2 Rescue

Okay pretty similar, so let me explain some of the different things:

– 4-4-4 Chandelure is pretty awesome. You do not worry so much about discarding a Lampent or Chandelure off a Sage nearly as much, and you get them out faster than with a skinnier line. Lampent is a great tool to use in a lot of matchups, so I think running four of him is a good idea as well.

– 2 Candy, 2 Gloom. This might seem counterintuitive with running Sage, but what I have found is that I often go for two Oddish and two Lampent in the beginning of the game. If one of them gets KO’d, I can simply Twins for Candy/Vileplume and be on my merry way. If they do not take a KO though, I have to sit there and either a) fish for a Rare Candy, which I may or may not hit (especially if you run 3 instead of 4, your odds decrease), or b) go for Gloom (which may be prized if I have just the 1).

In most of my games with this deck, I’ve found when put in situation two, when they’re not KOing me, going for the Gloom is just a superior play in most matchups. Granted, the counter-argument to mine is that you will not always have Twins. True, but I think I’d rather take that risk than my alternative. I really do not like 4 Candy in here, because it is such a dead card after the first Vileplume is out, and I’d almost always evolve my Chandelures through Lampent anyway.

So essentially my reasoning is that 2 Candy is better than 3, and probably about as good as 4, which comes down to personal preference.

– 3 Doduo because if one dies and you prize one, you lose. I’ve had a couple games where this has happened. Having three Doduo also allows you to get one out early and try to bait a Catcher/KO on it while still having two more to go back to after a Twins now for Candy/Vileplume. Not sold on 3 Doduo, but it seems decent right now.

– My Supporters are a bit different, but I think I like Sage in here with so many Pokémon that can be discarded throughout the game. N and Twins are self-explanatory. Might like a Juniper in here to get rid of a bunch of dead Pokémon later in the game.

– 2-2 Blissey > Seekers. Seeker has never sat well with me in this deck. The whole point is to spread damage around your opponent’s side of the field, and Seeker can disrupt that process. There are some times when you NEED to Blissey again, and the only way to do that is Seeker, and you are then giving your opponent free healing.

2-2 Blissey solves that to an extent, allowing you two heals a game, and many times surprising opponents. I have also put up Blissey to stall for two turns while I set up my Chandelures that have died, and this becomes easier and more effective with multiple in the deck.

– I am pretty sure 3 Tropical Beach is the play in these Vileplume lists. It sets the deck up so nice, and it is an absolute fantastic card. If you cannot get your hands on three, I am sure you can get away with it, but if you have three, play ‘em.

Now some of the ideas I have been trying and have seen tossed around between friends, on HeyTrainer, and other sites:

Cobalion NVI. This is probably my favorite addition to the deck. Curry and meesie on HT have had success with Cobalion in their lists, and it seems like it would fit pretty nicely. Being able to do 80, stop them from attacking, and then save Cobalion once you are ready for a KO seems great, as you can then just use Cobalion again for the next guy that comes up, while Chandelure takes the KO and the hit next turn from whoever they bring up.

My most recent list with Cobalion has completely changed the Energy, and I am running 4 Special Metal, 2 Basic Metal, and 2 Rescue, with 2 Cobalion. Jirachi is cut out and Blissey is bumped down to 1-1 (with 1 Seeker), as healing is a bit less of a priority withCobalion in the list, as you are more likely to get one big heal with Blissey. Definitely try this out.

Kyurem NVI. I tried this out and was less of a fan. The idea is to get him out and Glaciate twice, putting 60 on their field, and then proceeding in the normal Chandelure fashion of spreading. You can do this at any stage in the game. The problem with Kyurem is that it doesn’t really add a new dimension to the deck, and therefore doesn’t solve some of the problems Chandy/Plume faces in the first place.

Magnezone can just 1HKO it, and a lot of decks can shrug off 30 anywhere but just downplaying their bench, which a lot of decks do against Chandelure anyway.

More Energy. See Esa’s report on The Deck Out for his list: it runs 8 Psychic and 4 Rescue to maximize attacking with Chandelure. This is actually the next approach to the deck I wanted to test, and now that I see it has done well I am even more excited to give it a go. A lot of people on HT have been bashing it the past couple of days, but I think it seems really good.

Being able to Confuse and Burn is very strong, and with most of the standard Chandy/Plume lists, attacking happens once or twice a game. With this list, you are attacking a lot and really taking advantage of the Trainer lock. Blissey is omitted from the list because of this, but the goal then becomes to just get more Chandelures out quicker and more often with the use of max Rescue Energies. I’ll hopefully report back with some positive results with this idea.

While I do not want to delve too deep into matchups for this deck, as I do not feel I have played quite enough games with it to actually explain the matchups (although I can play them fine I think), I will do an overview of them, and try to show why I think Chandelure is such a good in this format.


This matchup has me pretty baffled to be honest. Magnezone should have a pretty big advantage in that it can KO Chandelures without getting return KO’d back too easily, and it has the acceleration to do so. Cobalion really puts a wrench in this plan though, and even if they do not have Cobalion, getting a quick Vileplume can mess with a Magnezone deck if they cannot find Magnetons quickly enough.

Eels can also be gusted up by Lampent, so if they do not have an Energy on them, they can just sit there for a turn while you are forced to pass and they get a free turn of 60 anywhere. With Rescues in EelZone, the matchup evens out a bit, as you can get back your Magneton-edMagnezones to reuse them.

Zekrom in the matchup helps if they are running Cobalion, as you resist it and you can hit it for 120, but you can easily retreat out of the lock and hopefully score an easy KO on the Cobalion.


pokemon-paradijs.comIt depends. Reuniclus decks are tough to deal with if they get Reuniclus out because they can just move your damage around. Again, Cobalion helps in making their high-retreating, high-HP attackers pretty useless, and they are forced to pay heavy costs to get them out of active to combat Cobalion. Truth decks are also so versatile that it is a hard matchup to call.


This is a pretty easy one if you can get past the first few turns. The lock hurts them pretty hard, and then healing your 120 damaged Cobalions is good. Not too much to worry about, and unlike Gothitelle, Zekrom cannot play Mew to combat you.


This is certainly a tough matchup, and I think the more Energy version would fare better against this then the Blissey one, ironically. You are trying to get out so many Pokémon that Kyurem really hurts and the damage adds up quickly. Being able to slow them down with Burn and Confuse seems like it would be very beneficial to your game plan. Cobalion helps too in the same fashion.

Pretty much all the other matchups should be easy I imagine, or at least favorable. Emboar/Magnzone could prove difficult, but using Lampent’s gust is a fairly easy way to combat them I’d think. Typhlosion doesn’t have too many outs against this. If you cannot tell by the way I really like the Cobalion version right now, as I think it really adds something to all of your matchups.

One last thing before I stop talking about Chandelure: Smeargle UD. I hadn’t really thought too much about him until I saw it on HT the other day and then Fulop proceeded to mention it in his article. I am not sure if I like him too much, I would have to give it a try.

pokemon-paradijs.comRunning 4 Smeargle in a non-Vileplume version seems cool, as you could theoretically power through your deck and get two or three Chandelures out very quickly almost every game, by abusing Switch and retreating to use multiple Smeargle powers and then obviously multiple Chandelure powers.

Overall, Chandelure is a force to be reckoned with. Like I said in the intro of Chandy, I do not think the full potential has even be realized for this guy, so I will be working with him from now till infinity (+1 to whoever gets the song reference).


While I have spent less time playing with this guy, I think it is probably the best deck in the format now when it comes to matchups and raw power. There are less ways to play this then Chandelure of course, so I will just give my most current list (which is changing far less than my Chandy lists are). It is different from Fulop’s in a couple ways, and quite frankly (sorry Chris!) I think it is a lot better.

I’ve been playing solely this for the past week or so, as I am almost positive this is what I am going to bring to my first CC this weekend:

Pokémon – 19

4 Magnemite TM

2 Magneton TM

3 Magnezone Prime

3 Tynamo NVI 38

1 Tynamo NVI 39

3 Eelektrik NVI

2 Zekrom BLW

1 Cleffa HS

Trainers – 26

4 Pokémon Collector

4 N

3 Sage’s Training

4 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Communication

4 Junk Arm

2 Pokémon Catcher

1 Switch

Energy – 15

13 L

2 Rescue

Again I’ll outline some things about my list:

– 4-2-3 Magnezone is the way to go in this format. I said in my last article that I thought 4-1-3 is the best line to run for Magnezone in almost any deck, and I am still confident in that…but Vileplume is still in the format, and it is increasing in popularity, especially with Chandelure being a top deck now. 2 Magneton is necessary to beat trainer lock decks. Period. I had 4 Magnezonefor a while, but with Rescue I am pretty sure it is not needed, though it would be nice to have.

4-3 Eelektrik is also the right play I think in this deck. You enjoy having more basics, and throwing in the 4th Tynamo as a free retreater is nice as well. Opponents often go for the Tynamo/Eelektrik first, so being able to lay down a bunch of them continuously to make sure you have your energy accelerators out is important. Running this bigger line also makes less need for Super Rod, which I really do not like in this deck.

– Zekrom > Thundurus. I do not like Thundurus in here at all. Zekrom is just simply better: it hits harder, has more HP, and while it may be attacking one turn later, its other attributes outweigh this one negative. You push Zekrom up against ZPST and Typhlosion and they have to deal with it. If they go after Eels, you still take KOs.

If they go after Magnezones, you still take KOs, without extending many resources. It also more easily takes KO in the early-midgame in general, because it is doing more damage. It also makes your Durant matchup much better than with Thundurus.

– The Energy line. Rescues, like I mentioned, are fantastic vs Vileplume decks, especially Truth, because you can actually keep a swarm of Magnezones for them to deal with. I think ideally my Energy line would actually be 13 Lightning/3 Rescue. 16 Energy would be a great number to have, as then you could grab a KO with Zekrom in early in a Truth matchup, and then be pretty safe in assuming that you can KO enough things with Magnezone to win the game. I think 15 gets the job done most of the time, though, and space is tight.

– My Supporters might seem a little light, but they have worked fine for me. With Magnezone being Magnezone, it is easy enough to get it out and go to town and draw with him. I do not like Engineer’s Adjustments really, never have, and I do not think even this deck can convince me otherwise. The 4th Sage would be nice to have, though. As would the second Switch.

So to be honest, I see no reason why this is not the far and away best deck in the format. It has answers for pretty much everything, is consistent, fast, and deals a lot of damage. It has good Energy acceleration and can recover quickly. Truth and Chandelure certainly can give it problems, but I think they have to get luckier than EelZone does to pull out games, at least from what I’ve found.

Besides Donphan decks (with more than 2-2 Donphan), every other matchup is favorable I think. This deck is essentially Magnezone/Yanmega and Typhlosion/Reshiram combined as it has all the disruption and Pokémon-draw of the former, with the raw power and Energy acceleration of the latter.

Unfortunately, I do not think I have too much more to say about this deck, except that I think my list is pretty close to optimal for right now and that I think it is the best deck in the format. 99% sure I will be playing this in my upcoming CC(s) this weekend, so I will post on the thread how I do after the weekend is over.


This and Chandelure look to be the most versatile decks in the format. Because of this, they are unpredictable when you play against them, so you have to be ready for a lot of different things and you have to try and recognize early on which of the many options they run, as it can help you formulate a game plan from the get go and not be left guessing halfway through the game, and then thrown for a loop when they play something down you didn’t expect.

pokemon-paradijs.comMost of the Truth lists are pretty streamlined now, with them all looking pretty similar and differing mostly when it comes to big Pokémon and therefore their Energy lines. I’ll outline some of these options, their pros/cons, and some points about Truth lists in general.

– First, in almost all builds, I think it is foolish to drop below 12 Energy. The deck already kind of struggles with getting attackers up consistently and often, so cutting Energy will only further hinder this. Especially with more big attackers entering the mix, having the option to actually power up multiple 3-Energy attackers in a game is strong.

Further, 4 Rainbow/4 DCE should be in almost every list, with the last 4 Energy being allocated to the big hitters that you play. Without 4 DCE, you lose a lot of your buffer against things like Lampent and *gasp* Bellsprout TM. Plus it makes starting with a Dragon, Phanpy, Chansey, and other non-ideal two-retreat Basics a pain to get out of the active without a ton of DCE to play with.

– I think again 3 Tropical Beach is the ideal number in here as well as in Chandelure. It is been beaten to a pulp already, so I’ll spare any explanations, but Tropical Beach is a God-send for this deck.

– The rest of the list is pretty stagnant across most builds. Supporters, rest of Trainers, main Pokémon lines all stay pretty much the same, with slight fluctuation based on playing style, so I will not talk too much about them

Now let us look at the various options that you can now play in Truth. I am taking Fulop’s list from last article and expanding it:


These guys belong together. In Truth, they function almost identically, with one getting the nod over the other simply based on type. For a long time, Zekrom has been the go to dragon, but many have switched over to Reshiram lately, with the decline of Yanmega and the rise of Cobalion and other potential Metal threats.

Personally I do not think either of them are particularly strong at this point in the metagame, but would play Reshiram over Zekrom simply because a lot of your other available tools deal with Yanmega almost as well, but Metal Pokémon are a different story.


pokemon-paradijs.comThe last of the three dragons and the one that I think deserves a space in the deck. While I am not sold on it as a counter over SEL to Typhlosion per se, I think against a lot of decks it is very strong to have it sit there and Glaciate over and over again without getting return KO’d. Unfortunately, against most of the decks that this strategy is most effective against, they have some way to 1HKO Kyurem. If you could get three Glaciate off against EelZone, you would have the game won, but alas Magnezone comes in to ruin your day.

After talking to some X-Files guys, here is the reason I am not sold on Kyurem as an effective Typhlosion counter: you send up Kyurem against a fresh Reshiram. You Glaciate, hitting for 60/30 bench. They either Outrage or pass. You Glaciate again…putting them at 120, and ready to Outrage you in the face for a 1HKO. You would think there are some fancy plays to try and get around this, but in fact it becomes quite difficult; the math just isn’t in your favor.

If you Outrage first, you do 40 to them (remember you cannot even leave a single damage counter on Kyurem otherwise it gets 1HKO’d). You still cannot Glaciate the following a turn, as that then puts the Reshiram at 100 damage, only 10 shy away from an Outrage KO. But they play this card that puts a damage counter on them…so that doesn’t work.

Your only option then is to Outrage for 40 TWICE before using Glaciate once, which in that time they can often get another Reshiram out to take 80 in the active, where then if you Glaciate, you put the orginial Reshiram (now on the bench) at 110, which, guess what, can now 1HKO you. I think this proves that while Kyurem is strong in this deck, you cannot rely on it to win you the Typhlosion matchup (or any other single matchup that I can think of), and is simply a nice thing to have.

It still might be the best of the dragons to play, but I am unsure; I am not so sold on it as I was when NV first came out.


Originally, I said hell no to this guy. I felt there was no reason to play him when you can simply play Donphan and accomplish the same thing and then not have a 4-retreater in your deck, waiting to open with. I have since changed my stance I think. The ability to run just one or two of these and save the spaces that would go to Donphan allows you to play other basics that help you in a more wide variety of matchups, and Terrakion accomplishes many of the same goals Donphan does.

I also did not realize he had that second attack, which is the better equivalent of Donphan’s Heavy Impact. So after grabbing a return KO on something like Zekrom or Magnezone, Terrakion doesn’t have to just sit there and wait to be KO’d if it doesn’t want to – it can start swinging for a solid 90 every turn until the opponent wants to deal with it (if they even can, as it has the magic 130 HP). Card seems stronger in Truth than I initially thought.


pokemon-paradijs.comIn the same vein, Donphan is also a strong option right now. Fighting Weakness runs rampant in two of the other three top decks, so running either Terrakion or Donphan is a must. Donphan provides a little bit more of a buffer playing against Magnezone, as with its Body and Resistance, Magnezone has to Lost Burn four Energy instead of three for Terrakion, which can drain their resources pretty fast.

I have seen some people running both Donphan AND Terrakion, and this I do not agree with. Running one or the other (in multiples) increases your chances of playing with either one of them during a game. With, let’s say, a 1-1 Donphan and 1 Terrakion, you are stuck if one of your Donphan pieces is prized, and left with just a lone Terrakion against Magnezone if they [one of the Donphan pieces] is unavailable to you. Also makes Sage discards less brutal I would think.


As you could probably tell in the Chandelure section, I am currently in love with Cobalion. Its synergy with Vileplume is actually incredible, and as a Metal Pokémon it gets to abuse Special Metal. Do not have 130 HP, Cobalion? No worries! Cobalion acts as a softer counter to Truth’s biggest threat, Magnezone, and provides coverage against a wide variety decks. No excuse not to play this guy IMO.

Steelix Prime

I am less of a fan of this Metal guy. I think it comes down similarly to Donphan vs Terrakion, except that Steelix has even less going for it then Donphan does in the head-to-head vs Cobalion. Steelix does not deal with any trouble matchups, and simply provides a 140 HP beat-stick.

Its pros are that it powers itself up, so that five-energy attack looks less daunting than it actually is, and that it cannot be affected by Special Conditions, which helps against one matchup: Vanilluxe. I see no real reason to run this over Cobalion, as it takes more space, and does not do anything the deck does not already have.

Suicune & Entei LEGEND

I am actually still quite a fan of this guy. He gives you the win against Typhlosion, and can often come out in random matchups and perform well. His sniping attack can win games in weird situations that would otherwise be unwinnable, and provides a nice threat to keep other cards in check. Great card to have in the mirror match if they are not packing a Kyurem or Zekrom (or do not have enough damage on the field to Outrage you back after you attack with it).

Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND

This card was played a lot in Battle Roads around here in Truth. While I find it interesting, it probably is strictly worse than SEL, as it should win the same matchups SEL does (Typhlosion and maybe another one or two), but does not provide the real versatility that SEL does. It can “steal” games if the opponent gets down to a dangerously low deck, but this does not happen often and the opponent can begin to plan for it if they know you run KGL.

I think that about covers it. My current list runs multiple Cobalion, SEL, two Terrakion, and a single Reshiram as a damage soaker and a counter to other Cobalion. This deck is incredibly strong and in theory does not lose to really anything. There is a chance I will play this in my CC this weekend as well, so again I will let you know what goes down.

Now that I’ve talked about my three favorite (and IMO best) decks in the format, I want to comment on two others that I have far less experience with thus far, but ones that I find interesting and have not been talked about too much.


pokemon-paradijs.comJason K. took this to a City win this weekend. While I do not have a concrete list at the moment, I do not think it would be too hard to scratch one out. It seems pretty strong in that Lanturn Prime has no damage ceiling and therefore this deck can deal with Chandelure and some of the cards in Truth pretty well. Thundurus provides a great T2 attacker for the deck to go off and start taking prizes early with Catcher (which I assume it plays 4-of).

Eelektrik was the missing link to provide the constant energy acceleration and speed up Lanturn’s attack. Unfortunately I think this deck actually loses to its bigger brother, EelZone, as it cannot deal with the constant disruption of N that accompanies the matchup.

The deck begins to lose steam at some point in the game, coupled with having trouble recovering from N, makes its late game vs EelZone (and other set up decks) pretty weak. That is, if the game goes to a late game. This deck certainly has the ability to win games outright in the early and midgame, taking 6 Prizes very quickly.

It almost may have some trouble against ZPST, as ZPST is simply faster and more disruptive, and Zekrom can more easily 1HKO Lanturn than the reverse. Playing Zekrom in here may help the matchup some, but if they have Eviolite it can still be rough.

So while I do not think this is one of the best decks in the format, it is certainly a contender now and one to make sure you are prepared for so you do not get caught off guard when you sit across the table from it.


pokemon-paradijs.comAgain Chris talked about this the other day (I feel like he stole a lot of my thunder :P), and I think it is a more viable deck than a lot people might give it credit for. However, the reason I initially thought Magneboar would be a real threat stems from the fact that we now have a total of three come-from-behind cards now: Twins, N, and Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND. Well what is the one deck that can abuse all of these? Magneboar of course!

I have not been able to play around too much with the list, but mine looks pretty similar to Chris’s, with RDL definitely thrown in there. I also like the idea of running 4 Pichu HS, to get out your basics out quickly, which has always been an important factor in the success of Magneboar in any given game. Running a bunch of Twins makes this more viable, as you do not really care if Pichu gets KO’d early on.

I think I would almost want a little bit more recovery than Chris’s list has, maybe with an Energy Retrieval thrown in there for good measure. Again though, I have not played around too much with it, so I am not positive on any of the counts. Make sure you watch out for this deck too in the future, as I could see it surprising some people and winning some tournaments.

Lastly, I just want to end with a few random musings of mine:

Importance of Marathons this Year

With the introduction of Championship Points, I think this year, more than ever, these marathon events going on between Christmas and New Year’s will be important for players seriously trying to gain ratings invites. Being able to play in an extra 5+ Cities has always been an advantage, but now that you can more likely get those five quality tournaments in to get points, I would not be surprised if a large chunk of players walks away from Cities with 20+ points.

To be able to compete with this if you do not go to a marathon, you would need to do well at almost every City you go to. Basically the marathon gives you more opportunities to do well and eliminates some of the variance in tournaments like these.

“Safe” deck to play in order to top cut

In this same vein, I have seen some talk on what deck is the “safest” to ensure that you top cut, as top cutting and winning are separated by so few CPs that maybe you would rather just go for the safe four points. So, what decks do this? I would think decks like Durant and ZPST have the highest top cut rating of most decks out there, while not having the highest actual winning percentage.

Durant actually seems quite strong in Swiss, as it is not farfetched that you can deck the majority of your opponents, and lose a game or two to worse matchups. A lot of people are not taking Durant into account, which is a mistake because people WILL play it and it can and will beat you if you are not prepared for it. I know a lot of my friends on Lafonte have lost to Durant and were quite vexed by it.

There is a simple solution though: play a deck that has a plan for it! It is not hard, you just need a Pokémon that can deal 100 damage a turn fairly easily, in that you do not need to burn a ton of resources each turn to do it.

I had something else to say too, but it is late the night before this article is due, and I cannot seem to remember. If I remember I will post it on the thread for this article.

From now and into the future, I am going to end each of my articles with a question. I imagine in the future it will be more Pokémon-related, but right now I want to know how I can improve my writing, so pretty simple:

Do you guys enjoy my writing style?

Mark A. HicksI realize my style in these articles is much more conversational than some of the other writers, and I want to hear the readers’ opinions of it. I took a writing class this semester and it has made me self-conscious of my writing (though I think it has strengthened it as well), so I want to adapt my writing style to what you all want to read. As the old saying goes, the customer is always right!

With that, this article is complete. I hope that you all get something from here, as this is my most up to date information and such. I love reading reports, so if you post them I will read them (even if I do not comment on them, I WILL read them haha). Good luck in Cities all!

Till next time,


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