Hello, my name is Grant Manley and today I will be looking at donking decks. I loved Sabledonk and believed that the art of turn one donking decks should live on. I loved the idea of the Zekrom/Pachirisu/Shaymin/Tornadus deck, but it doesn’t really get the donk that much.
After Sabledonk was rotated I tried Tyrogue donk with 4 Tyrogue as the only Pokémon in it. It was pretty interesting. Here is the list:
Pokémon – 4
4 Tyrogue HS/CL
Trainers – 52
4 Junk Arm
4 Victory Medal
4 Good Rod
3 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 4
The obvious strategy with this is to get a first turn donk against your opponent. It has numerous techs to deal with problems that might arise. Let’s look at the cards…
pokemon-paradijs.comThe only Pokémon in the deck. Most people are quite familiar with this Pokémon and its reputation of donking babies. Anyway, here is a quick rundown of the card. It’s a 30 HP Basic that cannot evolve. It has no Weakness, no Resistance, and no Retreat Cost. These are not quite the statistics you are looking for in a Pokémon, but wait until you hear what it can do.
Its Poké-Body, called Sweet Sleeping Face, makes it invincible from direct attacks while it is asleep. That is fantastic… if you had a way to put yourself to sleep. That brings me to its single attack, Mischievous Punch; it deals 30 damage for zero Energy! And, it puts you to sleep!
On top of all that, the attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness or Resistance! So, you can still hit Pokémon like Yanmega Prime and Tornadus EPO for 30! But, you can’t hit things like Zekrom BLW and Magnezone Prime for 60.
Now Tyrogue is starting to look Like a good Pokémon! However, it is still a pretty weak main attacker. So, you’re hitting for 30 on turn 1, you have a 50 percent chance of being invincible, and you have free retreat. That is pretty decent.
You may be thinking that because Tyrogue doesn’t need any Energy for its attack, you shouldn’t have any Energy in the deck. I disagree. Rescue Energy is fairly simple. When the Pokémon it is attached to is Knocked Out; you get it back to your hand. This is very useful because you only have 4 Tyrogue and it is possible that one will be in your prizes.
Of course, this card is completely worthless if you get a first or second turn donk. So, you might not want to run 4-of those. Anyway, it is basically a way to recycle Tyrogues.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis card is fantastic for donking decks. It makes each player pick up one of their benched Pokémon. So, if you go first and your opponent only has 2 Pokémon to start out with, (which is fairly likely) then you use Seeker and kill their active Pokémon with Mischievous Punch and PlusPowers. But what if your opponent’s active Pokémon is something like the oh so popular Reshiram BLW?
This is the deck’s draw Supporter. You can also use something like Professor Oak’s New Theory (PONT) or Professor Juniper as a draw supporter; I don’t think it makes much of a difference. There’s not much to say about it. It gets you cards when you can’t hit an early Seeker.
You can’t kill much with 30 damage so this is used to boost up your damage output. This is how you will win in the harsh world of Cyndaquils, Yanmas, and Magnemites, so you must run 4. This is also how you will donk the unspeakable… Magikarp with Defender! (Collective gasp) (Or Eviolite but Defender is stackable) + = DOOM! A donk deck is not a donk deck without PlusPower. Period.
Now let’s look at its blue brother, Defender. As you can see from the picture, Defender is a Trainer card that you attach to one of your Pokémon. It reduces all damage done to the Pokémon it is attached to by 20 until the end of the opponent’s next turn. And they’re stackable! The obvious reason for having these is because Tyrogue has such low HP and can be KO’d in one shot by almost everything.
pokemon-paradijs.comHowever, the downside is that it is impossible to predict if Tyrogue will stay asleep after its attack, so Defender might go to waste. To counter this problem, you might want to run Eviolite instead. While it is not stackable, it acts as a permanent Defender. Or you could use a combination of both.
Full Heal is used in the unlikely event that you get two tails for sleep after Mischievous Punch. It is more useful than it seems, but you have a 25% chance of staying asleep until your next turn and you really want to be attacking every turn. It also can be used against those rare decks that run special condition inflictors as a surprise counter.
Research Record lets you look at the top 4 cards of your deck, rearrange them as you like and put as many as you like on the bottom of your deck! This is not only great for controlling your topdecks, but also combos well with Victory Medal, Good (great) Rod, and Pokégear 3.0.
Victory Medal has you flip 2 coins (don’t groan). If both are tails, the Trainer fails. However, if both are heads, then you get to search your deck for any card you want and put it in your hand. If only one is heads than you draw one card from the top of your deck. That is why it is good to use Research Record before you use this to know and change what you are going to draw if you get one head.
These cards are hard to get, so you may not be able to get four of them. It is great if you get double heads because that you can potentially get the last card you need to pull of a donk!
pokemon-paradijs.comGood (GREAT) Rod is a relatively unused Trainer/Item card. The name of the card is Good Rod, but I think it should be Great Rod because it is… well… great! When you play it, you flip a coin (this is an extremely flippy deck), if heads, you search your discard pile for a Pokémon and put it on the top of your deck (BOO!). If tails, however, you search your discard pile for a Trainer/Item and put it on the top of your deck (YAY!).
When you think about it, this deck is a very interesting one because you want to get tails half the time! You almost always want to get tails with this because you have recycle your Trainers! The reason it is good with Research Record is because if you get a heads and get a Pokémon that you don’t want, then you can just send it to the bottom of the deck.
Pokégear 3.0 lets you look at the top 7 cards of your deck and take any 1 Supporter you find there. This is great and is obviously mainly used for getting Seeker so you can get the donk. It can also be used for drawing by getting Copycat or N. It is good with Research Record because you can get rid of all non-Supporters in the top 4 cards so you have a better chance of getting a Supporter.
Lost Remover puts one of your opponent’s Special Energy in the Lost Zone. It’s that simple. It makes your game easier and annoys your opponent; especially when you run 4 (evil grin). Run no less than 4, it works!
You flip 2 coins (no, it’s not a bad card), and for each heads, you get a Basic Pokémon. This is so you don’t lose by running out of Pokémon.
Last but not least, we finally come to the final card. At first glance, I thought this was a bad card; you discard 2 cards from your hand and retrieve a trainer-item from your discard pile. Later, after testing it and seeing everyone play it, I realized that this is a really great Trainer/Item and definitely in the top 5 best. So, this is the glue that holds this deck together for long battles.
After my advertising, this seems like a great deck that can donk any deck! Not so. It can often get the donk, but it has some “holes.” Unfortunately, we have to look at the negatives as well as the positives so here it goes…
First off, Trainer Lock decks. It is easy enough to donk Gothitas or Oddishes, if they get their final evolved forms out though, you are done for. This deck has 45 Trainer/Items! The only chance you have is getting all your flips… Yeah… Right.
If your opponent goes first and attaches Eviolite to at least a decently high HP basic (60 or more) than it will be a lot more difficult to donk. Also, your opponent might also run Defender and those are stackable!
Also, if your opponent starts out with 3 or more Basics in his/her starting 7 cards than it will be hard to win because you cannot get the donk. If your opponent goes first with a Pokémon Collector and gets 2 or more Basics than the same thing applies.
pokemon-paradijs.comAnother problem is if your opponent starts with a 120 HP or higher lone Basic (namely Reshiram or Zekrom) than it will be impossible to donk and, if it is Reshiram, Zekrom or Kyurem, you will power up Outrage!
I believe that most (all) decks should have at least 1 Tyrogue in it. And most decks do, unfortunately, that means that if your opponent starts with a Tyrogue, or has a way to get one (Pokémon Collector, Pokémon Communication, etc.), than they can donk you! So, there’s another problem, your only Pokémon is a 10 HP too low Basic.
The last problem is that the deck is too reliant on coin flips and Victini NVI 14/98 (Fliptini) cannot help you! Four major cards in the deck involve flipping! Sadly, that’s the way all donk decks are, flipping their way to victory… or flipping their way to 0-5 records.
Thanks for bearing with me there, that was almost 2,000 words! I hoped you liked this article… because I’m not even halfway done!
Tyrogue Donk was pretty decent, winning some, losing some (I never actually played it in a tournament), but I eventually moved on to….. (EPIC DRUMROLL)….. MARACTUS DONK. I tried Maractus Donk for a while then switched to Hitmontop Donk. The lists are very similar so here they are:
Pokémon – 6
4 Hitmontop HS/CL or Maractus BLW
Trainers – 48
4 Junk Arm
4 Victory Medal
3 Pokégear 3.0
3 Good Rod
Energy – 6
pokemon-paradijs.comHitmontop and Maractus are both unique in their own donking ways, but they also have similar qualities which is why they have practically the same lists. Hitmontop is a 60 HP Basic that cannot evolve and Maractus is a 90 HP Basic that cannot evolve. Hitmontop has a Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and a 1 Energy Retreat Cost; while Maractus has a Fire Weakness (SCREEEEEECH), Water Resistance, and a 2 Energy Retreat Cost.
While Water Resistance is making Maractus look better than Hitmontop’s absent Resistance, Fire Weakness is terrible. Fire is taking over the metagame and Psychic isn’t (sorry Mew).
Anyway, Maractus and Hitmontop both have an attack for one Energy of their type. They both say: “Flip 3 coins” (just as flippy as good old Tyrogue). Maractus’ attack does 10 damage for one head, 30 for 2 heads, and 60 for 3 heads! Hitmontop’s does 20 damage for one head, 40 for 2 heads and 60 for 3 heads. It’s plain to see that Hitmontop’s attack (which is called Triple Kick by the way) is better than Maractus’ attack (Constant Rattle).
They both have a second attack too, which is why you would choose Maractus over Hitmontop if you do choose Maractus over Hitmontop. Maractus’ second attack is Giga Drain. For 3 Grass Energy (stick with Constant Rattle) it does 50 damage (ugh) and heals itself for as much damage it dealt. So, usually you’re healing 50, but if the Defending Pokémon has less than 50 HP than you only heal as much as it has left in HP (curse you Magikarp… w/ defenders!).
So if a Magikarp (yeah I know they’re not played) has 2 Defenders on it, then you do 10 damage and heal 10 damage… for 3 Grass Energy! Luckily, that will never (probably) happen. Hitmontop’s 2nd attack is… different… to be nice.
pokemon-paradijs.comHitmontop is more aggressive. Remember Lucario LV.X? Well, Hitmontop’s attack is like his. For a Fighting and 2 C Energy, it does 60 damage with a drawback of your opponent’s next attack doing 20 more damage to it. And he doesn’t even get a cool Poké-Body to go with it.
All in all it is up to personal preference. Fire might fall with the rise of Water and Psychic will probably rise with Mewtwo EX, Gothitelle, and maybe, just maybe, will RDL w/ Typhlosion see play as a Mewtwo EX counter. I guess it doesn’t really matter though if Hitmontop has weakness to RDL (Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND) because it already has a 90 damage overkill! Anyway that’s enough on these Pokémon.
The other Pokémon in the deck is Victini NVI 14/98 (from now on referred to as Fliptini). I’m pretty sure that everyone that knows Noble Victories exists also knows what this does, so I’ll give it to you in brief. It’s a 60 HP Fire Basic that can’t evolve. Water Weakness. No Resistance and 1 Retreat Cost. It has attack that is worthless and an awesome Ability that is called Victory Star. It is actually fairly complicated and technical.
It lets you erase all the effects of coin flips for an attack once during your turn and start over. The obvious reason for this is because both Maractus’ and Hitmontop’s donking attack require 3 flips! Say you get 1 out of 3 heads with Triple Kick/Constant Rattle. Then you can use Victory Star, but you have to re-flip all 3 coins/dice instead of only re-flipping the 2 tails.
Also, Victory Star Abilities are not stackable. You can only use it once per turn and you can’t use it on Sleep, Confusion, Trainers, Supporters, etc.
Revive, Good Rod, Seeker, Research Record, PlusPower, Lost Remover, Victory Medal, Dual Ball, Junk Arm, Pokémon Catcher, and Pokégear 3.0 were all in Tyrogue Donk so I won’t go over them again; they all serve the same purpose in this deck.
Switch is only to be used if you start with Fliptini or if it is catchered up. Fairly self-explanatory.
Pokémon Collector is a “just in case” card. It’s helped me more often than not. If you can’t get a Dual Ball than you could use this or use Pokégear and Research Record to get it. If you already have the Basics you need and/or get the Collector late-game, than it is perfect Junk Arm trash.
I run 1 Collector and 4 Dual Ball instead of the other way around because you really want to get turn 1 Juniper or Seeker to help you set up but you also need to have Hitmontop/Maractus and Fliptini out on T1. And, it is more convenient because Dual Balls are cheaper than Collectors
Eviolite and/or Defender are both useful in this deck. I personally run 4 Defender, but I think a 2-2 split would also work well. Defenders stackability advantage is not as mandatory as it was with Tyrogue because in this deck your attacker has more HP so it can actually take a hit.
You could try 4 Defender, 4 Eviolite, a 2-2 split, or 3-1 splits. I have only tested with 4 Defender and I don’t know for sure what works best and I am pretty sure that it makes a difference on which you choose to run.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe most obvious card(s) in the deck. Obviously, this card is used to fuel your main attacker and I found that 6-7 Energy is ideal. This list has 6 Energy because that is what I have been testing with and is what I like. In Hitmontop Donk, you could use Double Colorless Energy (DCE) and take out 1 Fliptini for one DCE, but then you would have to rely on Revive + Junk Arm to keep up a steady flow of Fliptini. I don’t think it’s worth it, but deserves a try.
I think the only problems of this deck that wasn’t covered or corrected from Tyrogue Donk is the weaknesses and the low damage output. Like I said, I can’t predict the metagame of the future; right now it is up to personal preference of whether playing Hitmontop or Maractus. I personally play Hitmontop right now, but I’m not sure which is better.
I cannot say if my lists are perfect for these decks, but they are good and viable. If you have an evolution heavy area with not many dragons or Cobalion NVI then I would definitely encourage you to perfect and play this deck. It can almost always pull off T1 60 damage. However, I think all at least semi-competitive areas have dragons and my area especially plays heavy dragons so I have not used these donk decks in a tournament… yet.
Alright, here is my grand finale…
Ho-Oh Legend Donk!
This is also called Legendary Donk; hence the name of the article. This is the only deck out of the three that I unfortunately have not tested yet so I don’t know if it will break the game. Either way, I believe it has amazing potential waiting to be unleashed once it has been perfected and polished until it can be no more. This is just a sample list to give you the idea so don’t take it too seriously.
Pokémon – 5
2-2 Ho-Oh Legend
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 16
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 39
Just kidding. That is a list that I thought of as I was writing this article. It might actually be a decent idea though! ROFL! Anyway, all kidding aside, here is the real sample list:
Pokémon – 15
2-2 Ho-Oh LEGEND
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Rotom UD
Trainers – 31
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 14
I will only go over the unusual cards and/or the cards that were not in the other decks mentioned earlier.
Ho-Oh Legend is the main attacker of this spin-off version of ZPST. It is a 140 HP Legend with a Water Weakness, a Fighting Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. The HP is great considering your opponent doesn’t get 2 Prizes from Knocking it Out like the other Legends. Water Weakness may or may not be all that bad depending on how popular Feraligatr Prime variants will become with Pokémon like Carracosta NVI, Kyurem NVI, Jellicent NVI, Suicune & Entei LEGEND, etc. Also, Vanilluxe might see some play with all the hype it got with the VVV deck.
Fighting Resistance is great against Donphan Prime, the fallen from glory Machamp Prime, and the occasionally seen Marowak TM and Conkledurr NVI 64. Donphan Prime four shots Ho-Oh with Earthquake and 2 shots it with Heavy Impact. A full powered Champ Buster 2KOs it.
An effect boosted Bone Impact 3 shots it and Conkledurr (Ability) also 3 shots it! This is great even though Fighting Pokémon aren’t played much. 2 Retreat Cost is horrible but there isn’t much to get around it so we’ll have to deal with it like ZPS did.
Its Poké-Body is great and is a major part in what makes the deck work (if it does work). The Poké-Body is called “Sacred Rainbow” and it makes all Energy attached to it turn to Fire so it can use its attack easier. Just like Hydreigon NVI’s “Dark Aura” except with Fires! This makes it extremely viable and can even turn DCE into 2 Fires! Its attack abuses this Poké-Body to no end.
Its attack is called “Bright Wing” and requires 4 Fire Energy; if it didn’t have Sacred Rainbow this attack would be horrible. Anyway, it does 100 damage with a very small drawback of having to discard an Energy attached to it. Unfortunately, you have to settle with 2-shotting dragons and it’s risky against Kyurem because Kyurem can Outrage for 1HKO. All in all, Ho-Oh Legend is a great card that may be a little hard to get out.
Babies are so you have a smaller chance of starting with Pachirisu or Shaymin.
Pachirisu and Shaymin are for speed; the same as ZPST. The Self-Generation + Celebration Wind combo is boss. It can be used to power up Bolt Strike, retreat a starting Pachirisu or Shaymin, or help power up Bright Wing if you didn’t get a Legend Box.
Rotom was a never used card. Was… as in the age before the abominable ant. Anyway, you really don’t want a half of Ho-Oh Legend prized. Plasma Arrow is also a help against some heavy energy decks like Gothitelle and Mewtwo EX when it comes out. In fact, Rotom will probably help immensely against Mewtwo EX so you might want to run more when it comes out.
Zekrom is for water matchups and is just better in some situations and also provides a good starter as it can donk dragons.
Legend Box is unique and is a very key card in this deck. Without this, the deck would be Ho-Oh Legend, not Ho-Oh Legend Donk. When you play it, you reveal the top ten cards of your deck and if there is a complete set of a Legend there then you can put it onto your bench. As an added bonus, you can (well, you have to) attach all Energy cards you find there to the Legend that you find there. This is how Ho-Oh Legend can donk.
Research Record helps immensely with Legend Box. As I mentioned before, you can look at the top four cards of your deck and put as many as you like on the bottom of your deck. So when you use this you want to put all non-energy and non-Legend cards on the bottom so you have a better chance of a T1 Ho-Oh.
PlusPower is so you can 1-shot dragons without Eviolite with Zekrom. Energy Retrieval is obviously in here because Ho-Oh Legend’s attack discards energy. You may only want to run one because you run four Junk Arm. You could lower the Energy Retrieval, Pokémon Communication and PlusPower counts by one so you can run three Catcher. I’m really not sure how else to fit Catcher in.
14 Energy may seem like a lot but it is needed for Legend Box. There is no Fire Energy because of Sacred Rainbow.
pokemon-paradijs.comI have not tested this deck so I don’t have a clear idea of how good or bad the matchups are with this deck so will go based of educated guessing. I didn’t do matchups with the other donk decks because they were sort of jokes.
Gothitelle may not be played much, but it is still a force. You only get 1-3 turns of Items so you need to make them count and get out 2 fully charged Ho-Oh Legends. Gothitelle needs 6 Energy to 1-shot Ho-Oh Legend and you should be KOing Gothitelles before they can get that much.
Reuniclus BLW really provides auto-win for Gothitelle so a Bellsprout TM tech would be great because Ho-Oh can 1-shot Reuniclus. Without Bellsprout than you shouldn’t win and with Bellsprout you should win.
The Truth is in the same boat as Gothitelle with the Trainer Lock and Reuniclus. Unfortunately, Vileplume is not weak to Fire like every well-behaved non-meta Grass type so it might be more difficult to get out of the way than Reuniclus. Suicune & Entei LEGEND is weak to Lightning, but super-effective against Ho-Oh Legend. Donphan Prime should be easy to handle with Ho-Oh Legend and the dragons are nothing without Reuniclus.
Durant should be a good matchup, but you need to be ready for the Lost Removers and Catchers. It would be good to avoid benching anything besides Ho-Oh and babies if you can help it. Once you get out 1 Ho-Oh Legend you should not burn any more PONTs or Legend Boxes trying to get more. Avoid Junipers and Sage’s at all costs.
Chandelure might be difficult, so an Absol Prime might be good if you are worried about this matchup. I’m in Seniors and no one plays Chandelure in Seniors so I don’t need to worry. Cursed Shadow can easily kill Rotom, babies, Pachirisu and Shaymin and it’s hard to make the deck work without having those. Absol would be good to use to Lost Zone the aforementioned Pokémon.
pokemon-paradijs.comYou can 2-shot Chandelure with Ho-Oh Legend, but you need to be prepared to switch between Ho-Ohs because of Eerie Glow. If they run Vileplume than you’re in trouble and if they run Kingdra than you can Catcher it up and kill it with Zekrom. Hopefully you can just burn through the Chandelures with Absol. I’d say you really don’t have much of a chance anyway.
CoKE shouldn’t be too hard because Ho-Oh Legend is speedier and can 1-shot Cobalion. Kyurem might be a bit of a problem with Eviolite, but nothing Zekrom can’t handle. If you can kill Voltorbs before they evolve than that would be a huge advantage no matter what deck you’re playing.
ZPST is sort of a mirror match. I’d say that whoever goes first wins because I can’t think of a reason why one deck should beat the other.
Reshiphlosion (I really don’t like Tyram) would be difficult. The same for ZPST, I don’t see why one deck is better. Ho-Oh 2-shots Reshiram and Reshiram 2-shots Ho-Oh. Catcher and Zekrom would be good to pick off the Kingdra(s) because those would be a problem. Since you can’t really 1HKO anything with Ho-Oh it would be better to try and pick off the Cyndaquils.
EelZone is in a similar boat as Reshiphlosion and ZPST. I’d say you have a better matchup against this than ZPST and Reshiphlosion. The reason being is that the deck relies on Eelektrik and you can 1-shot those with Ho-Oh Legend and the help of Catcher. You can also 1-shot Thundurus EPO with Zekrom or Ho-Oh and a PlusPower.
Possible Cards to go in Legendary DONK
Eviolite – To help against the dragons matchup and to reduce Bolt Strike recoil.
Bellsprout TM – Already mentioned to help against Trainer Lock.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. All questions, comments and constructive criticism will be appreciated.
MAY THE DONK LIVE ON!