Hello 6P – it has been a while since I wrote an article. I find I don’t write anything unless I really have something to say, which can sometimes be nothing or a lot. I began writing an in-depth guide to every Trainer/Supporter/Stadium in modified format, but had already written five pages (single-spaced) before I even finished the HGSS set. I would love to finish this, however, I feel it may be outdated before I actually finish every set.
Anyway, enough distraction. I felt it better to move to a COTD (seems like we have had a slowdown of these – perhaps I can pick up the pace a little bit) which I was amazed to find had never been written. This is for Kyurem – the “other” dragon.
(NOTE: This COTD focuses on Kyurem in the slot of his own focus, in other words, CaKE and LaKE decks rather than just as a tech or slotted into something else running a count of one. This analysis also focuses more specifically on individual cards rather than matchups against decklists since our meta is and will be shifting with Next Destinies. Finally, as not everything is still confirmed yet for ND, there is some speculation involved in here.)
Although the standard damage output will be shifting a little as move into EX territory (150 damage becoming a more realistic threat), as of right now generally 120 is still the magic number as far as what we can expect from an attack by the likes of Reshiram/Zekrom and thus a PlusPower is in order for a 1HKO. Eviolite abuse boosts this even further, and thus we find that Kyurem can and will stick around for a little while in a game.
This past Cities I played CaKE myself and realized I could have dropped one of my Kyurem as well as a Revive and still have been fine with a 3/2 Kyurem/Cobalion line. While the looming 150 damage from an EX will come into play in ND, we must remember that Zekrom and Reshiram-EX both require a 3 Energy drop (2 Basics and a DCE) to pull this off.
The more immediate threat comes from a Mewtwo EX who can drop a DCE in one turn and pull off any Energy Ball against you – since Kyurem needs to hit 3 Energy for his magic Glaciate, this can result in a dead T2 Energymited Kyurem. Yuck!
TyRam is declining in popularity, and while Reshiram-EX will see play, the Water type is not as important as it once was (certainly more worthwhile than the likes of Grass, however, Psychic and Fighting are quite savory at this point in time in our meta with Mewtwo EX, EelZone, and Zekrom in all his various forms). Thank goodness Kyurem’s weakness is Metal, however, and not Lightning.
While Cobalion does 1HKO Kyurem, Kyurem pairs with the little guy well and drama can be avoided rather easily in a CaKE deck (and even more so in something like 6-Corners. Only a deck inherently dependent on Kyurem with nothing else would automatically fold to a Metal-type. And hopefully this is just not the case with your deck).
It is also my theory that CaKE will see less play with EX running about, Glaciate being not quite so poignant against 170/180 HP basics and thus Cobalion may take a small dip there (more on this later). Still, the dragon can be expected amongst the ranks of 6-Corners, however, or many different rouges for the type threat and early offensive or late-game clincher.
With Skyarrow Bridge being announced in the next set, Kyurem is looking at a nice one retreat when the card is in play (the Stadium also boosts his already favorable matchup to Vileplume decks like Chandelure that run Tropical Beach as it throws their expensive card out the window until replaced, negating their use while boosting your maneuverability).
This is truly fantastic – one of the falls of Kyurem I found in CaKE was the trouble you could find yourself in after Energymiting your active Kyurem only to have a naked Kyurem (that you suddenly realized should not have been placed when you started the match) pulled up, delaying you by a very precious Glaciate turn.
The typical Outrage is ever so pleasant to have on a 130 HP basic. Not too much needs to be said here with the abuse of DCE. Glaciate, however, we shall break down:
The attack loses a lot of power once a game hits its mid-point and moves onward to late-game. While of course there may be exceptions (you run a rogue list or 6-Corners with a lone Kyurem and are facing a Ross variant who has tons of damage on his bench and close to KO), generally you need to be up and Glaciating by T2 or T3 (thus Electrode Prime finally found his home in securing a T2 Energy acceleration method for the dragon – Level Ball is good news for this smiley dude as well).
This onslaught is mindlessly effective – if you pull it off and are not disrupted (Catcher/Cobalion), very rarely is there much an opponent can do to stop you. Therein lies why consistently getting a T2 Glaciate is so important – if you fail to do this, your opponent sets up without any pressure for a few turns and the tables quickly turn against you (EelZone being a great example of this).
At this point, say you begin Glaciating by T5, it doesn’t really matter as your Kyurem will die in one or two swift strokes by their setup and now you find yourself scrambling to secure another three Energy to another Kyurem or Cobalion or Landorus. In a soft manner, the likes of Cobalion can help delay a game, as can a Cleffa sleep-walling, if you find yourself not pulling off the early Glaciate, however, these are by no means always going to pull you through a slump.
To recap and sum this attack up: Glaciate is a very powerful spread attack if it comes early and does not stop – in other words, Kyurem does not die until another is ready to go for a relentless flow of 30 damage hence the T2 push. This is why Kyurem has such favorable matchups against slow decks or decks with a high bench count.
On the flip side, however, if your opponent can consistently disrupt you, you start Glaciating too late, or your opponent has a small bench of very high HP Pokémon (EX!), you can encounter problems. This stratagem is based around decks in which Kyurem is the focus – CaKE/LaKE being examples of this.
As a tech, a mix-in in 6-Corners, or whatever various rogue Kyurem may find himself in, this of course is not entirely the case. As mentioned before, Glaciate can be very helpful in pushing a benched Pokémon with a lot of damage on it just over the edge or putting extra pressure on your opponent who thought their benched Pokémon were fine due to Vileplume being active.
So! While of course you can use Outrage to help this damage output (assuming you avoid that 1HKO) – what sort of numbers are we facing as far as Glaciate goes?
To KO the following of popular Pokémon in our current and upcoming format right now, you need X number of Glaciates:
- Zekrom BLW: If active, 4 (and PlusPower) otherwise 5
- Reshiram BLW: If active 2 (and PlusPower) otherwise 3, and on bench, 5
- Magnezone Prime: 5
- Zekrom/Mewtwo EX: 6
- Reshiram-EX: If active 3, on bench 6
- Mew Prime (I think will see a jump in play with Mewtwo EX out): 2
- Cobalion NVI: 4 (nasty counter)
- Virizion NVI: If active 11, on bench 4 (nasty counter)
- Terrakion NVI: 5
- Landorus NVI: If active 2, on bench 4
- Tornadus EPO/Thundurus EPO: 4
So! Obviously these are rather high counts. I list primarily Basics here as ND will simply ensure their dominance for some time (Skyarrow Bridge/Prism Energy). Let us also not forget that Eviolite causes Kyurem some trouble as well – thankfully people seem content without ever maxing out this card, but it is still scary. While this does mean EX will pose a greater threat to Kyurem, it also boosts our lovely Kyurem as well.
Skyarrow Bridge pairs very nicely with the likes of Landorus for a LaKE deck – since you blow up Electrode Prime, this would leave you probably with a Landorus out, and with the stadium out Landorus has free retreat (as do Virizion/Tornadus/Thundurus) thus cards like Catcher, Carnavine TM, and Lampent NVI do not pose as great a threat.
On top of that, with Prism Energy you can now throw in 4 Rainbow and 4 Prism to ensure even more flexible Energy draws. Yay! On top of that, Landorus with Kyurem both respectfully counter Zekrom/Zekrom-EX and Reshiram/Reshiram-EX.
But, enough of me promoting LaKE – the future is rocky enough for Kyurem without any hype – essentially in the form of Pokémon Center (all the more reason to run a nice solid count of Skyarrow Bridge to push all other Stadiums out the window since you are dealing low, steady spread damage – Bronzong maybe? Ack! Too much theorymon!).
Going back to the physical count of Glaciate it takes to KO a Pokémon, we also must remember not to be too daunted by these numbers if you actually are consistently pulling off a Glaciate by T2 or T3 since 6 turns would actually net you the game, not just KO a single Pokémon.
The problem is, against the likes of something like Mewtwo EX, how do you continuously pull this off? Hard to say. I don’t want to pull away too much theorymon in this analysis and this is already beginning to look more like an article rather than a COTD.
Hope this helped shine a little more light on Kyurem or at least made you think a little more about the watery dragon. If there is anything you totally disagree with, please post away and let me know!