Hi, I’m jjkkl. For those of you who know me, I’m the one who slogs through Pokégym’s grammar, syntax, and diction for their Front Page articles. For those who don’t know me, well, now you know me. My plan here is to discuss with all of you the general basics of Energymite, predominantly in the context of the two major variants that run it: CoKE (Cobalion, Kyurem, and Electrode) and LaKE (Landorus, Kyurem, and Electrode).
This article will look at four major components. First, we’ll be looking at Energymite in an overall, metagame whole, and possible decks that could benefit in the upcoming format from Electrode Prime.
Second, we’ll be looking at skeletal lists of Cobalion/Kyurem/Electrode (referred onwards as ‘Coke’) and how they can be managed and tweaked based upon modes of play, major local deck metagames and preferred strategies.
Third, we’ll be looking at the major comparing variant of Landorus/Kyurem/Electrode (referred onwards as ‘Lake’) in a similar fashion to Coke. Finally, I’ll be discussing general facets, myths, deck construction notes, and modifications that can and cannot work when working with either Coke or Lake.
Ultimately, much of the focus will revolve around the decks of Coke and Lake themselves, but my position is that Electrode’s efficacy is not limited to simply two decks in the format. Electrode Prime is an incredibly useful card, and can be utilized in a variety of decks that otherwise do not benefit from their own type-based Energy acceleration (as opposed to Fire, Electric, and Water types, for example).
Context and Caveats
There’s going to be a lot of things in this article that many, many players may flat out disagree with – that’s fine. The fact is that fluidity is a major part of both Coke and Lake, and therefore many players may prefer to play different play styles and focus on different things.
However, to provide a context of the general idea from where I’m discussing this deck, I would like to place what little qualifications I have in regard to this deck. In the recent Cities marathon, of the three I went to, I made Top 8 twice and Top 4 once, putting my ratio in terms of Top Cutting at a 1:1. I’ve played against many very good Canadian players such as Matthew Koo, Jacob Lesage, and Kant Shen, and I’ve held my own against them. Therefore, I would like to think that I have a reasonable knowledge of dealing with competitive decks.
Furthermore, I do a lot of testing. Testing is crucial, and what decklists I provide will also be provided with details, rationale, and information based on testing. I do not operate within a vacuum – I work with a small, close group of friends (both on Skype, Redshark, and in person) to ensure optimal deck ability.
Section I: Energymite
The first component we’re going to look at is an overarching, general view of Energymite and Electrode Prime. In essence, Energymite is a big-risk, big-reward play. It’s a gambler’s Poké-Power, as the ability to attach up to seven Energy cards by your second turn is a massive benefit to any deck play. However, that’s a highly ludicrous optimal situation; most scenarios will involve – depending on your Energy count – anywhere from zero to four Energy cards and the rest are discarded.
What ramifications does this have with decks running Electrode Prime? It means that Energymite expects a few conditions for you to fully utilise its Poké-Power.
First, it presumes you have your intended attacker already set up and in play. To most basic Pokémon, this is not a problem – just simply use Pokémon Collector and you’re good to go. However, to many Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon, the scenario is hardly as easy. Decks running larger attackers are more dependent on other cards (such as Pokémon Communication, Rare Candy, etc.) to ensure a more expedient setup. This puts strain on a deck player’s initial resources, and coupled with Electrode Prime’s fragility, requires immensely careful and disruptive against your opponent.
Second, it allows a more efficient use of Rainbow Energy. When I say ‘efficient’, I mean that in the context of being able to utilise Rainbow Energy’s ‘works as any Energy type’ without the drawback of placing one damage counter. This can be a game changing attachment, and in decks with a variety of different Energy-type attackers with 130 HP this can be critical as it no longer places them in range of enemy Bolt Strikes or Blue Flares (Kyurem is the most obvious example).
Third, Energymite forces you to play a rebound-possible game. Energymite’s “discard the other cards” clause means that without prior setup or without a sufficient infrastructure, you’re putting your own deck into harm’s way. Critical non-Energy cards such as Twins, Professor Juniper, Rare Candy, Pokémon Collector, Pokémon Catcher, and Junk Arm may be discarded as a result of Energymite. The ramification of this clause is that without preparation, you risk harming your long-term game significantly.
Fourth, Energymite allows you to more effectively control the use of specific come-from-behind cards such as Twins and Black Belt. Putting your opponent ahead in prizes in the current format is a highly favorable manoeuvre, as it gives you a crucial tactical ability. A turn 2 or turn 3 Twins or Black Belt can be game changing when played with considerable carefulness.
Decks with Energymite?
pokemon-paradijs.comNow that we’ve established a rudimentary understanding of the implications of Energymite on the arc of play, we can take a look at what Energymite can do for many cards. Energymite’s biggest (and possibly only, depending on the context) advantage against other Energy accelerators is its indiscriminate Energy clause: “as many Energy cards”. Double Colorless, Rainbow Energy, Prism Energy, Special Dark and Special M Energy are all viable Energy cards to be attached by Energymite.
What this means is that heavy hitters such as Tyranitar Prime can benefit immensely from the detonation of an Electrode Prime using Energymite. Theoretically, you may be able to acquire the four Energy needed to utilise Megaton Tail quite early. Likewise, Twins may allow you to grab further crucial cards (missing Energy, Pokémon Catcher, etc.) to establish a swift, looming pressure.
The focus is not necessarily to look at Energymite in the context of “these are all the decks that can benefit from them”, since such an article would be far too expansive and cover too many possible cards. Rather, the focus on Energymite is to understand its dynamics and its ramifications, not only on the two major decks we will be looking at, but also for future rogue players who wish to try and make the most of this Poké-Power in the future.
Section II: CoKE
The first Energymite metagame-relevant deck is Cobalion / Kyurem / Electrode, or more known as CaKE / CoKE. As stated earlier, I will be referring to this generally as ‘Coke’. Coke, in essence, relies on the use of Kyurem to sweep an opponent’s field with its second attack, Glaciate. The use of Energymite in this deck allows a swift, early Glaciate, establishing early pressure. The ramifications of an early Energymite and subsequent Glaciate (especially Kyurem) accomplishes one of two things.
First, it pressures decks that rely on setup (such as Magnezone / Eelektrik and Chandelure) to evolve as quickly as possible. A single Glaciate on a field of Oddishes, Magnemites, Litwicks and Tynamos puts tremendous amounts of pressure on the opponent to last the next turn through some sort of evolution. Accomplishing a second-turn Glaciate is foundational to that pressure, and a second-turn Energymite is what makes this possible.
Second, against decks that utilise large amounts of high-HP Pokémon or use primarily Basic Pokémon (such as Six Corners, ZPST, other ‘KE’ variants), a fast Glaciate puts them close to 1HKO ranges. This is becoming more important in the age of Pokémon-EX, where a few select Basic Pokémon carry monstrously high HP and can prove difficult for mid-range attackers such as Cobalion, Terrakion, or Landorus to deal with by themselves. Glaciate, if only for a turn, puts them closer into a range where they can be Knocked Out much more easily.
Cobalion’s use in this deck is more focused on disruptive ‘lock’ and Kyurem counters. Just as how you can put pressure on enemy decks, you yourself are susceptible to enemy Glaciates. Cobalion provides a powerful counter against enemy Kyurems with Energy Press, which will 1HKO (1HKO) a Kyurem with the Energy for Glaciate, regardless of Eviolite.
Cobalion’s second attack, Iron Breaker, is used as a disruptive play. Though not completely helpful in the context of a Switch replete format, Iron Breaker in a situation where opponents cannot sufficiently counter or circumvent the effects can be game-changing. A single attack loss on your opponent can buy you enough time to either establish the upper hand or to equalize.
Iron Breaker, furthermore, is incredibly handy against enemy Kyurems that do not have Energies attached – this is critical against opponents that prefer to stack benched Pokémon while walling with an Active.
A basic decklist for Coke looks like so:
Pokémon – 14
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 27
Energy – 14
4 Special M
2 Basic Metal
This leaves five spots for modifications and changes. The numbers of each card are variable and can be changed, but some spots are more non-negotiable than others (Collectors, Super Rod, the Energy, Electrode Primes, etc.). Much of the focus is on establishing a swift Glaciate and then sweeping an opponent’s weakened Pokémon using Iron Breaker and Energy Press. Collectors – and their maxed numbers – are a must to ensure at least two Voltorbs on the first turn. Assume at least one Voltorb will be Knocked Out, and such paranoia will serve you well.
Section III: LaKE
pokemon-paradijs.comThe second (and more popular) Energymite variant is Landorus/Kyurem/Electrode, also known as ‘Lake’. As stated in the previous Coke section, the role of Kyurem is twofold: pressure and softening. The major difference between Coke and Lake, however, is a slight modification in terms of the Trainers and Supporters List, a moderate change in the Energy makeup and count, and a drastically different main attacker.
Compared to Coke, Lake is a much more metagame-resistant deck. While Coke flourishes against a Kyurem metagame, Lake flourishes against a Magnezone metagame. Landorus replaces Cobalion as the main attacker, and what you trade in terms of disruption and Kyurem-countering you make up in terms of sheer type advantage and spread synergy.
With an Eviolite, Landorus can trade hits with a powered Zekrom (Eviolite will make Bolt Strike do only 80 damage), putting it at a much better position than Cobalion. In regard to Kyurem, its function is similar in Lake as in Coke. However, Landorus fulfills a much different set of functions than Cobalion.
First, Landorus is much more mobile than Cobalion. This is incredibly relevant against (and with) decks that prefer to play a Skyarrow Bridge to give their Pokémon either one or free retreat. Landorus in this scenario benefits immensely from Skyarrow, as it carries only one Retreat Cost compared to Cobalion’s two. In decks that run few Switch, Landorus is more capable of movement.
Second, Landorus has a higher chance of a second turn Gaia Hammer than Cobalion having a second turn Iron Breaker. In other words, Landorus is generally faster and more consistently able at attacking quickly than Cobalion. With Abundant Harvest, a second-turn Gaia Hammer is hardly theorymoning – it’s a litmus test standard for many Landorus-based Energymite variants to work effectively.
Third, Landorus’ Gaia Hammer allows Landorus to sync perfectly with Glaciate. Though the attack does damage to your own bench, the 10 to the opponent’s Benched Pokémon can Knock Out any Tynamos and Oddishes left behind or unattended by your opponent.
Fourth, tanking Cobalion implicitly requires Special Metals, which puts you at the behest of enemy Lost Removers. Landorus, due to a lack of Special F Energy, is more resistant against enemy disruption.
A basic decklist for Lake looks like so:
Pokémon – 14
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 27
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 14
Again, this leaves five spots for modifications and changes. Aside from the Landorus, the major modification is the inclusion of a Sage’s Training, a weaker N line, and a weaker Twins line. The purpose is simply because by the second turn, an active Landorus has a higher chance of utilising Gaia Hammer through a discarded F Energy from Abundant Harvest. Less emphasis is on disruption and clutch controls and more focus on heavy, immense pressure.
So, which to choose?
- I’ve briefly outlined a general overview of the decks and strategies revolving around both variants. To summarise, Coke is more effective against other Kyurem variants and Chandelures. Locking down enemy attackers as a ‘heavy’ hitter after a few Glaciates puts Cobalion at an advantage against other Kyurem-based decks.
In comparison, Landorus is much better against an overall metagame. What Landorus lacks in countering Kyurems, it makes up for in countering Magnezones, Zekroms, and slower decks. It has a much more difficult time against Kyurem variants due to the fact that a single Glaciate can put Landorus very close to knockout range, and Gaia Hammer will make an enemy Kyurem’s Outrage phenomenally more lethal.
The decision, ultimately, is a metagame and familiarity choice. Either deck are capable of working regardless of the metagame, but ultimately require some sort of modification and practicing to get otherwise simple matchups right.
If you’re less familiar with working on Electrode Prime decks, then Landorus is the better option due to its ability to self-power, faster hit speed, more solid metagame matchups, and synergy with Glaciate. If you’re more familiar with disrupting board control or more familiar with your metagame, then Cobalion will serve you just as well, or perhaps even better.
Section IV: Cities, Decks, Contrast and Comparison Cards, and Matchups
What was my deck?
The points expressed earlier, of course, are somewhat moot if I do not at least put my own deck up for comparison and booing criticism to the hivemind that is the internet. As a I stated earlier, of the three Cities I attended (I have to a job to attend otherwise I would have gone for all of them), I finished 4-2, 5-1, and 4-1, putting me at 13-4. The decklist used for Cities is as follows:
Pokémon – 16
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 28
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 16
4 Special M
In all honesty, I do not suggest playing this build. Despite my success with the deck, it plays a version that is tailored toward aggressive Cobalion plays and heavier Energymite attachments. This deck is immensely difficult for many players to grasp around working, but it does show some significant modifications and departures from the staple lists I provided above.
First, there are only three Voltorbs rather than four. Much of this is for the fact that the fourth Voltorb’s role in the early game is so insignificant in the first few turns (regardless of consistency) that an extra Energy card is much more useful. One Energymite, rather than two, is the preferred method of operation for this decklist, and thereby a thicker Energy line is used in lieu of a thinner Voltorb line.
Second, there are thicker Trainer lines. Pokémon Communication, I believe (and continue to still believe) is a vastly superior card in many respects to other search cards as it is indiscriminate in its functionality – any Pokémon can be taken, and in a situation where you have multiples of attackers but only need one (you will rarely use more than two Cobalions in a match, for example), Communication outshines competitors. Likewise, I ran a thicker Catcher line to counter Victini and Terrakion drops.
Third, I ran Research Record instead of Twins. This is an area of contention among many Coke and Lake players, mainly since it shows a shift in one direction versus another in terms of strategic makeup. Twins allows the Coke or Lake player to search out for missing Energy cards, Catchers, and Eviolites from their decks after an Energymite. Research Record filters decks for a more successful Energymite.
Many competitive players choose to not play Research Record at all. That’s fine, and I’ve omitted Research Record from my staple lists because, truthfully, Research Record isn’t needed! Twins, in many situations, are a far better card than Research Record, and therefore choosing to switch out Research Records for Twins instead is equally valid.
Why then, did I run Research Record rather than Twins? The answer is Professor Juniper. Research Record, while it’s less consistent than Twins (and by extension, means I am breaking a cardinal rule of proper deck-building, I know), allows me to effectively ‘sort’ viable top decks with Juniper. Research Record allows me to sort through 4-8 top cards through my deck, sorting them through for a Juniper-Energymite chain.
In other words, I use Research Record to look at the top four cards, see if I need them, and then sort accordingly. It allows me, in other words, to control half of my Juniper draw, and at the same time allows me to minimise otherwise destructive Energymites. In turn, I sacrifice the search of controlled demolition with Twins. This is purely a personal shift in play style – I do not suggest that you switch Twins with Research Record unless this is your play style and you are incredibly familiar with the costs and benefits involved.
Fourth, I ran a Shaymin. This is critical, because at many points you may get an incredibly successful Energymite, but only have one or two Pokémon or these Pokémon are incompatible. Consider, for example, drawing two Special Metal and a W Energy with your Energymite, but having no Cobalions in play. This becomes useless without Shaymin. Celebration Wind, in other words, reworks your field into something much more functional, and allows a more fluid change in strategy to work against your opponent’s plays.
Fifth, and most jarring, is the lack of a fourth Collector. I will be honest – do not do this. Although I still did perfectly well and Top Cut at all the events, there is no super secret special reason for not having played the fourth Collector. The reason why my Cities list for Pokémon Collector wasn’t four was for the simple fact that I did not have a fourth Collector.
I share my cards with my friends, who were all playing. Unfortunately, we did not have enough cards for four Pokémon Collectors in four decks, so my friend and I opted for three Pokémon Collectors in each of our decks. In response, I ran an extra Pokémon Communication. In all sane scenarios, however, I would have run a fourth Pokémon Collector.
How does it change for Next Destinies?
Next Destinies modifies my deck in a few, critical ways. I’m always testing and working on my deck, but always mindful of changes. I will only be showing the current decklist. My caveat is that this list is by no means permanent – consider it more transitory and constantly in change as I progress with testing than anything definitive.
Pokémon – 16
1 Kyurem EX
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Victini NVI #15
Trainers – 29
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 15
4 Special M
2 Basic Metal
Many players will, understandably, want my blood on this. The decklist is incredibly unorthodox, even for the things I taught at the beginning. This is a result of a few things.
Terrakion is really fat. This was a critical loss in many of my games. Terrakion’s usefulness is only when it has Energy, and otherwise it serves very little use. Theoretically, you’d want to only drop Terrakion down when you have the Energy to Knock Out an opponent, but that’s easier said than done. This is, of course, even worse when starting with Terrakion.
Furthermore, Terrakion is theoretically handy against Zekrom-EX since a Land Rush or activated Retaliate will Knock Out Zekrom-EX. However, this is difficult to accomplish when the opponent attaches an Eviolite onto their EXs, which tend to become more and more common. In all other respects, I opt for Landorus since Landorus is ultimately a much better starter, and the early turns are what matter to me.
Kyurem EX is a crucial heavy hitter. While Hail Blizzard has an atrocious cost and condition, Kyurem EX is useful in that it’s the only Pokémon in the entire deck that can break past the 80 damage limitation. This is helpful considering that while Hail Blizzard is a 1-off, it’s usually used against a soften opponent. I would very much like to use Frozen Wing, but so far the first attack’s effectiveness eludes me.
Why not Shaymin EX? I don’t have it. I’ll test it when I get it. That sums it up.
Five ‘multiple’ Energies is a very good balance. Only one Rainbow Energy has been kept, mainly to provide clutch final attachments, especially against opponents running Lost Removers. One damage counter is a good cost for powering up critical last minute moves when one really needs it, and can throw off enemies expecting only four Prisms.
Victini is very handy against Virizions. A major problem deck is Six Corners, as a single Virizion with Eviolite can do a lot of damage before you can get set up. V-Create, while putting you at Catcher risk, is handy in taking down early Virizions to prevent enemy Terrakions from accelerating effectively. Though not entirely optimal, it makes a fairly difficult match more manageable.
Don’t ask me about Mewtwo EX. I don’t have it, so my testing against it is limited. I’m in the process of using proxies, and I would rather not theorymon about its role in the deck, so I cannot say anything about it.
Dealing with Matchups
The focus of this article, ultimately, is about variants of Energymite. The look is not simply just at one deck, but rather two. Additionally, as I mentioned, certain variants are much better than others at handling particular metagame decks. While you can deal with any metagame deck with either of them with enough play and practice, some matchups will become invariably easier than others depending on a skillful and careful choice of techs and cards.
That said, none of the matchups are a ‘walk in the park’. They’re all difficult, and you should always expect the worst. Play carefully, mindfully, and you should be generally alright.
Against Magnezone / Eelektrik, your preferred variant should be Lake. Landorus is a fast, solid hitter and candisrupt and cripple enemy Magnezones before they set up properly, preventing them to stabilize against you. The 10 damage on their field from Gaia Hammer is very helpful against the opponent, but always be mindful of the enemy’s Energy setup. Regardless of your good matchups, a Magnezone / Eelektrik deck can always overwhelm if you give them the chance. Your priority targets should be Magnezones and your major focus should be Landorus and Kyurems.
However, if you’re playing Coke, then your focus should be using Kyurems to keep pressure against their field. Use what resources you can to get an early Glaciate as soon as possible, softening up their Pokémon so they can be put into Iron Breaker range. The matchup with Coke is not easy, but not impossible either. A Terrakion tech in this situation may be a good one-turn equalizer against a loaded Magnezone.
Against Chandelure, your preferred variant should be Coke. Cobalion is not only resistant to Eerie Glow (to the extent that one Eviolite and one Special Metal will negate all damage other than Confusion and Burn), but a well-placed Iron Breaker on a Chandelure with Energy can put them back in the long run, as Chandelure decks run very precise and low amounts of Energy.
Two strategies can work against Chandelure – either you aim for a swift Glaciate to put immense pressure on them to evolve, or you use Catcher on their Oddishes and hit with Iron Breaker to Knock them Out. Vileplume is an incredibly dangerous obstacle to combat.
Should you be playing Lake, then a fast Kyurem should be your ultimate priority. Gaia Hammer’s tendency to hit your own bench can stack up dangerously high when factoring in Cursed Shadows, so you would best be working with Kyurem.
Against Six Corners, both Cake and Lake are fine. Cobalion’s Iron Breaker is a handy disruption tool against the enemy, but Cobalion is susceptible to a fast Victini-Shaymin combination. Kyurem in this matchup is very difficult to combat should the opponent play Virizions, so be wary. Likewise, if you use Lake, Landorus is prey to Kyurem Outrages as you have no effective means of Knocking Out Kyurems with Gaia Hammer without putting yourself in danger. V-Create Victini is highly recommended in this matchup, if only to hunt down early Virizion attachments until you can effectively stabilize.
pokemon-paradijs.comAgainst Reshiplosion, Lake gives you a far better board, if only because you are not susceptible to weakness andcan accelerate from enemy Flare Destroys. Aim, if you can, to hit any and all Typhlosions with Landorus in the beginning to the best of your ability, and then seek to start sweeping with Glaciates. Taking down Typhlosions are critical, and thereby timing your Catchers are vital. If you’re using Coke, you’re going to be looking far more at using and recycling a constant string of Kyurems to keep yourself afloat. Cobalion, unfortunately, is useless in this matchup, and is complete fodder for enemy prizes.
Against Durant, Coke is the better option in this scenario. A single Cobalion with a string of Energy and an Eviolite can bombard an opponent with Iron Breaker, forcing Durant players to consume Switches, Junk Arms, and precious Energy to continue their assaults. Locking down an attack on a Durant can be crucial to the game, as the more effort the Durant player must take to continue Devouring, the better long-game position you’ll be in. Hoarding Junk Arms and Super Rods for later turns can be the difference between a win and a loss.
Landorus, in comparison, isn’t as effective. As Gaia Hammer has no useful condition other than softening up benched Durants, which is a benefit that can be easily negated by Eviolites. While in theory Abundant Harvest can retrieve lost F Energy from Crushing Hammer, the strategy there falls apart as it gives Durant players another turn.
So, what can we learn from this? Well, a few things.
First, I play Research Record, which will likely ostracize me from the vast majority of other competitive deck players. Second, I don’t play Twins, which will likely ostracize me from the vast majority of other competitive deck players. Third, an entire of my article is focused on the virtues of Energymite for rogue decks, yet ironically I only touched upon two decks which are both quite mainstream.
So, in lieu of my tiredness, take what you will.