Kyurem (Noble Victories NVI 34) – Card of the Day

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 I would love to finish this, however, I feel it may be outdated before I actually finish every set.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:

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!

Reader Interactions

27 replies

  1. Vinay Patel

    Oddjob, your COTDs are the best (even though you’ve only done two). The Beartic and Kyurem articles go over so much, and so well. You need to write here more dude!

  2. Pokémon 31337

    Could it be…? Stadium wars coming back? Anyway, Kyurem always seems like the weird one among the three dragons, but that spread damage always kills me mid-game (with feraligatr, it can come earlier and deadly, even against an active grass). It will surely take a while to give in.

    • Lee Caffee  → Pokémon

      I certainly think there will be some form of stadium wars at least with a deck like this – since most decks will naturally want a Skyarrow Bridge out, it won’t be so intense, but once you run into the decks that NEED something like Tropical Beach or Pokemon Center, it will be an all-out struggle or else the deck will have to fade away into time and memory.

  3. Aaron Minjoot

    Yay Kyurem! Nicely done article, a good COTD. You didn’t mention other energy accelerators though, like Feraligatr (even though it isn’t commonly played). Nonetheless a very elaborate COTD.

    • Lee Caffee  → Aaron

      Gatr certainly is an option – the issue I always had with him was he just didn’t come out fast enough for the energy acceleration to be as viable as an Electrode since it would put the Glaciate at around T3 or T4 anyway. I also found the Twin abuse and lack of a bench clutter too nice to pass up with our friendly smiling Pokeball. He deserved an honorable mention though – how I wish he could work faster and more consistent (I have several just collecting dust).

      • Aaron Minjoot  → Lee

        Before NV came out I got myself just the 3 I have, and yeah it is definitely slow to set up. Much like Emboar for Reshiboar I would say. Nevertheless whenever a T2 Gatr gets rolling with a stream of Kyurems, its hard to stop. ^_^

        • Anonymous  → Aaron

          cobalion. steelix prime. durant. GG

          that’s another reason why it never was popular. since feralgatr only works for water pokemon then they cant put in reliable counters to metals(or Ex’s)

        • Aaron Minjoot  → Anonymous

          The one tech which did find its place is SEL. Its not the best deck nor does it have a great tech for its weaknesses, but its a tech, and a good tech at least.

  4. José Yago De Alberto

    Great article, though you seem to focus way more on glaciate and forgeting a litlle bit about kyurem´s outrage.

    • Lee Caffee  → José

      This is certainly true. I find it rather hard to go in depth on a move that is as situational as Outrage – what happens specifically in each game varies how/when to use the attack. What I can say is Outrage of course boosts Kyurem’s self-defense as far as your opponent’s failure to OHKO – just like Zekrom/Reshiram, there is not a better feeling than when a naked dragon gets pulled up and nearly KO’d, then next turn you drop a DCE for the retaliation. Eviolite/Skyarrow Bridge are/will boost this attack even more with more flexibility, and since Mewtwo EX likely will not be one-shotting you (two-shotting tho!), Outrage becomes even more viable. Not to mention Landorus gives a little more incentive for the attack to benched Kyurems as well.

  5. Lynx Meche

    A new CotD, and it’s relevant to the metagame! Not that I have a problem with the fun ones, but useful ones are good too. This was something I liked reading, and very informative. Instant +1

  6. Dan W

    I loved reading this article!
    It goes into pretty deep analysis of the decks that kyurem is used and the the future meta, something I rarely see here on CotD. Keep up the excellent work!!!

  7. Anonymous

    once mewtwo comes out cobalion will shift to become a bigger card in the deck. i love cake but honestly can’t see a huge amount of it being played. cobalion 3 hits mewtwo and all you opponent needs to do is play switch. kyurem is still nice against all these electric type decks because they use electrik.

    • Lee Caffee  → Anonymous

      Yeah, the Cobalion/Mewtwo EX relationship is an odd one – Cobalion’s resistance only stops the effect of one energy being attached to a Pokemon from X Ball – so Mewtwo is still hitting him for 80 if the Cobalion is ready to Iron Breaker (so a two-shot kill as early as T2, basically how Mewtwo does a lot his dirty work)… but Skyarrow Bridge only weakens the effect of Iron Breaker more – just not too hard to Switch/Retreat in this world as I learned from Cities the hard way. I think if Mewtwo EX is really a big problem for the deck, a more realistic counter is teching in a Mew Prime with something else to abuse Prism Energy to OHKO the monster for a two-prize take. I can’t speak with much authority on countering Mewtwo EX as of right now due to limited testing, but he will be here sooner than we know.

      • Anonymous  → Lee

        also i learned terrakion can be really nice. it 2-shots a mewtwo and with retaliate you only have 2 energy on it. for a 130HP pokemon(or 150 with eviolite) then mewtwo eneds 5-6 energy on him to OHKO.

  8. beyblade1410

    when you mean a jump in play for mew prime you mean it will be popular right?

  9. theo Seeds

    Why has this been the card of the day this long? Is nobody doing this anymore?

  10. theo Seeds

    This article was put on to the site on January 20th, 2012. It is now February 6th, 2012 (in my time zone at least) and it is still the newest COTD. That means that 17 days have gone without a new COTD.


  11. Scott O’Brien

    ….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….
    Yes, because we all put fighting types in Zekrom decks. MY EELZONE’S PHANPY IS UNSTOPPABLE!

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