Kenny’s Wisdom: Face of Modified SPTs 2012

pokemon-paradijs.comBeing one week away from SPTs this year, it’s only natural that I’m back with a Face of Modified article. For those unaware, Face of Modified breaks down the current metagame, what competitive decks exist in said metagame, how those decks work, and which decks I see doing the best. I’ll be giving out my own personal decklists for a lot of these, and will be highlighting tech choices, matchups, and all the other information I feel is relevant.

This is also one of my favorite article series to write because it’s a springboard for discussion, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

I’d like to think that I’m more prepared for States than I’ve been for a tournament since Regionals of last year. They’re kind of my last shot at qualifying, as I whiffed Cities and may be unable to attend Nationals without the help of the travel reward, so I’ve prepared much more extensively than I have for other recent tournaments.

Although I’m not 100% confident on lists (I never am until the weekend of the tournament, really), I do feel like I have extensive knowledge of how decklists and the metagame overall will shake out.


In my mind, this is the forerunner of this metagame, and one that (to my knowledge, at least) has not been getting the hype it deserves. Last format we had a battle of aggressive Electric decks between ZPST and EelZone. ZPST was faster and much more explosive, but often had a less than impressive mid to late game, whereas EelZone had much more raw power, but often couldn’t keep up with some of the faster decks around, and sometimes would outright lose before it got it’s Stage 2 and multiple Stage 1 lines online.

With EelKrom, we inch closer toward a middle ground — you’ve still got your Zekroms and Thundurus and other early game Pokémon, but you gain mid-game acceleration by playing Eels, and have late game finishers in Zekrom and Mewtwo EX. A good comparison to this deck would be Lanturn/Eelektrik, except without all the bad cards.

Pokémon – 14

4 Tynamo NVI 39
3 Eelektrik NVI
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

2 Zekrom BLW

1 Zekrom-EX

1 Thundurus EPO
1 Cleffa CL

Trainers – 32

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Juniper

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

3 N


4 Junk Arm

4 Pokémon Catcher
2 Pokégear 2.0
2 PlusPower
2 Level Ball
2 Switch
1 Super Rod

Energy – 14

10 L
4 Double Colorless

This is the list I’ve been testing for the past few weeks, and it’s been doing remarkably well. A few thoughts on the it…– I’d love to have more Thundurus, as it’s the best starter in the deck (bar none) and, as we’ve found with his big brother Tornadus, turn two 80 is amazing. If I were going to cut anything, it would be to find more room for Thunduruses.

– 2 Zekrom BLW/1 Zekrom-EX is probably perfect. I experimented with cutting the EX entirely, adding another copy of it, adding another Zekrom, etc. but I could never justify switching from the 2/1 plan. I still need to tweak a few things (which I’ll talk about later), but I’m pretty confident in the line we have now.

– A full set of Tynamo NVI 39 is absolutely correct. Chandelure won’t be seeing much play, and although I think Kyurem decks are still somewhat relevant, I don’t believe they’ll make up a huge percentage of the metagame either, at least not enough to justify not having access to 4 free retreat starters + Cleffa that can act as an out to Thundurus.

– I want a Zapdos NDE. In testing I’ve seldom run into situations that a Zapdos would save me from, but they’ve still occurred and it’s still quite a fantastic card. I’ve considered cutting a Catcher or the second Switch for one, but could just never justify it. Zapdos is absolutely ridiculous though, and should be pretty good in here, particularly if you expect a lot of mirror/EelZone/Truth.

– I’m constantly messing with the Supporter line-up. For instance, I’ve tried all of these and have found them all to work just fine…

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Professor Juniper
2 Sage’s Training
2 N


4 Sage’s Training
4 Professor Juniper
2 N
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory… and the list goes on. Essentially, if it’s any combination of Sage’s Training, Juniper, N, or Oak, I’ve probably tried it (and, don’t tell anyone, but there’s probably been some Bianca and Cheren action in there too. Our little secret ;) ).

– 2 each of Pokégear, PlusPower, and Level Ball are excellent. A high Supporter count + 2 Pokégear means infinite consistency, and although we started the list with 3 PlusPower, I’m nearly 100% sure that 2 is perfect. Level Ball is also a very clear play and is very good, but topping out at 2 is fine. I would be hard pressed to cut any of these cards.

I won’t go through the matchups all by themselves as I feel this format is very wide-open and with the pure number of decks and variants on those decks, it’s hard to establish how “good” something is outside of a specific metagame, but I did want to comment on something I feel a lot of players are missing: the Durant match.

Whatever you think of Durant, you have to know that it will be played. It’s a cheap deck to build with an incredibly easy-to-understand win condition, doesn’t require Mewtwos or any other hard to find cards, and is actually very viable. I’ve heard a lot of players complain about the EelKrom vs. Durant matchup and how Durant is favored, and I just can’t imagine where they’re getting this kind of information.

I’ve had incredibly success vs. Durant by applying early game pressure with a Zekrom BLW while building up a Mewtwo EX on the bench. Nothing more, nothing less.

Setting up Mewtwo can be an issue due to his retreat, but if you play your cards right and conserve resources correctly, you should be fine. The pressure of two big, basic attackers should be enough to make most Durant players scoop. Obviously there’s still the chance that they get incredibly lucky on mills and flips and you’re dead before the game has even started, but in that case you just have to take the good with the bad.

The rest of this decks matchup have been very solid, ranging from anywhere from a 50/50 to a 65/35 in EelKrom’s favor. The one match I haven’t quite been able to crack, though, is…


pokemon-paradijs.comThere are three versions of this deck going around. The first, the “classic” version, is Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus, relying on Tornadus to provide early and mid game pressure, and falling back on its 3-4 copies of Mewtwo to win the Mewtwo war and mop up for the lat few prizes.

Next we’ve got a stripped down version that runs literally only Celebi and Mewtwo, with the idea being that Mewtwo is the best card in the format and you’ll win any Mewtwo wars you come across through having the most Mewtwos and the easiest access to said Mewtwos.

The last version is commonly referred to as “CeleBasics” when trying to draw a line between the decks, and is the Celebi/Metwo/Tornadus deck, but with the addition of Shaymin EX, Terrakion NVI, and sometimes a few other techs. The idea here is that you feed off of the Celebi/Skyarrow Bridge acceleration engine and have enough mix of type variety and raw power to win almost any matchup, with Shaymin EX as your finisher.

All of these variants have seen some success and, through the virtue of being consistent decks that run very good cards, are all viable. However, I’m guessing most of you know this and haven’t read 1,200 words thus far to hear me tell you what you already know about decks that you’re probably already playing. With that being said, I absolute abhor the Celebi and Mewtwo only deck, and have never been given a compelling reason to ever run it.

You’re basically just taking the majority of the good cards out of the other two decks, and giving yourself far less outs in other matchups for the advantage of being slightly more fast, streamlined, and consistent. If there’s one thing I love in this world (besides Voltron, obv) it’s consistency, but even I can’t really get behind that deck.

The other two are fine and I wouldn’t chastise anyone for choosing one over the other, although my bias definitely leans toward the CeleBasics version. I do love the idea of going all-in with Tornadus, Mewtwo, and Celebi, but when I can have all of that plus fantastic cards like Shaymin EX and Terrakion, the choice is pretty clear for me.

I know it’s not as clear for others though, so here’s a sample decklist of each. Mind you that this is the deck that’s changing the most out of any of the decks I’m currently working on, but I still feel like both are the best I’ve seen floating around anywhere.


Pokémon – 12

4 Celebi Prime
4 Mewtwo-EX NXD
4 Tornadus EPO

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Juniper

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 N


4 Junk Arm

4 Dual Ball

4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Eviolite
3 PlusPower
2 Switch

2 Pokégear 2.0
1 Super Rod


2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 12

8 G

4 Double Colorless

As I said, these lists are changing all the time, but I think this is pretty solid. To be completely honest, it’s hard to screw up this kind of list, and the only thing that could really be tinkered with are the numbers of everything (I’ve really loved having more energy, for instance).

As I feel this deck is very simple and straightforward, I don’t have much to discuss on it, but feel free to e-mail me directly or ask in the comments if you’d like more information or have thoughts to share about this (or any of the other) decks talked about in this article.


Pokémon – 12

4 Celebi Prime

3 Tornadus EPO
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Terrakion NVI
1 Shaymin UL
1 Shaymin EX

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 N


4 Junk Arm

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Dual Ball
2 PokéGear 3.0
2 Switch

2 PlusPower
1 Eviolite

1 Super Rod


2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 15

8 G

4 Double Colorless
3 F

– As you can see, the lists are very similar.– The only real “innovation” in my list is the lowered Switch and Eviolite numbers for the higher-than-normal energy numbers. I wouldn’t blame someone for going either way with the deck, but I feel as if Eviolite has been slightly overhyped, and more importantly I love having as much energy in here as possible. I’ve also always been fine with 2 Switch, but I must admit I’d like the 3rd. Still not as important to me as the 15th energy though, obv.

– The Supporter lines can obviously be messed with a bit, but I’m not a fan of Collector in here at all, and I think the way I’ve got them laid out now is very solid. With a ridiculous Basic count and a pretty strong draw Supporter count, I’ve never had problems getting the Basics when I’ve needed them (I also just run hot on Dual Ball!).

– Terrakion is an absolute must, in my opinion. With all of the Lightning that’s floating around now, I love having the assurance of the Terrakion, particularly with the Shaymin UL there for a possible surprise energized Terrakion. I fiddled around a bit with having two, but I’ve found that single copies of both Terrakion and Super Rod (or Revive, if you swing that way) are equal or better, given the situation.

Overall this deck is the closest to a “BDIF” that we’re going to get for now. It plays all very solid cards that are inherently synergistic with one another, and is very quick at putting on pressure, and most importantly very consistent.

If States were tomorrow I would probably be playing the EelKrom deck, but by a very narrow margin, most of which boils down to the fact that I’ve tested with it more, and the fact that dragons and fish are way better than cats and whatever Celebi is supposed to be.


Pokémon – 7

4 Durant NVI
1 Rotom UD
1 Mime Jr. CL
1 Ditto TM OR 1 Smoochum HS

Trainers – 42

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Juniper
3 Twins
3 N
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory


4 Junk Arm

4 Crushing Hammer

4 Revive

3 Eviolite
2 Pokégear 2.0
2 Level Ball
2 Lost Remover

2 Pokémon Catcher
2 Super Rod
1 Switch

Energy – 11

5 M – Basic
4 Metal – Special
2 Prism

This is probably the most innovative/unique list yet. I didn’t realize that I was so far off of the standard lists until I went back and started reading some of this months’ Underground articles to make sure there were no decks I was missing, and realized most everyone was running a much more thinned back Pokémon line, and typically a very different Supporter line. Here’s what it boils down to for me…

pokemon-paradijs.comRe: Pokémon line — Mulliganing sucks, and it’s not something you can afford to do right now. Giving your opponent extra cards in a format where a Celebi, Tornadus, DCE, Grass, and a Skyarrow Bridge are just five cards — the majority of which are run as 3/4 (or even 8!) ofs — that will absolutely ruin your day is a very dangerous road to travel.

Mime Jr. can be quite clutch in various situations (including flipping 8 perfect flips in a row if you’re cool like me), and Ditto/Smoochum, depending on which one you go for, also help pad the Basic count while at the same time accomplishing something legitimate. Given all of the room for Energy and Supporters that you have anyway, I can’t imagine cutting down to a lowly 5 Basics.

Speaking of Ditto/Smoochum, the issue is this: Ditto absolutely destroys V-Create Victini techs, which were an issue during Cities and may or may not be an issue now. It also helps vs. EelZone and Chandelure, which both require a lot of bench space to work perfectly. The issue is that Victini very well may be a non-issue, and EelZone and Chandelure are positive matchups anyway. I don’t classify Ditto as a complete win-more as he does have various uses and can be clutch, but he’s certainly not an auto-inclusion.

Smoochum, on the other hand, directly solves less puzzles, but does a lot more against a lot more decks, and is also usually a better starter. Getting to disrupt your opponent’s energy is fantastic right now, with a lot of decks relying on a “Fill Mewtwo with energy and then attack for 6 turns to win” strategy, and Smoochum potentially protecting itself during the next turn is even better. However, even I think running 9 Basics is a little bit of overkill, so you’re forced to decide between this and Mime.

If I had to make a snap decision, I would play the Smoochum as it’s never bad and has free retreat, but it’s almost completely dependent on your metagame. Neither is inappropriate, and if I could somehow work my gypsy magic I’d love to be playing both.– Moving onto my Supporters, you’ll see that once again we’ve got the 12 draw Supporters and 2 Pokégear suite, which (if you couldn’t already tell) I’m absolutely in love with. Unlike the majority of players, I’ve never wanted Twins or N as 4-of, but they are obviously very good and need to be at 3. Professor Juniper is mandatory, and 2 Professor Oak’s New Theory rounds out the 12 Supporters and gives us outs when we want a new hand but can’t afford to N.

Going into States, I was sure that Durant was one of the best decks. I thought it would be inherently good against Mewtwo, didn’t expect EelKrom to have such a presence, and overall was very excited about being able to perfect a Durant list that could run the tables on everything, particularly the mirror. After getting deeper into the States testing sessions I’ve learned that I was mostly incorrect.

While Durant is very good and will see play, it has too many holes in it to be as good as it once was. Zekrom is everywhere now, the aforementioned strategy of powering up a Mewtwo is very powerful, and, most importantly of all: players know how to play against it now.

After suffering defeat at the hands of it over and over again at City Championships, most players have turned their bitter berries into actual results, and all have game plans for overcoming the hungry Ants. Having the surprise and frustration factor taken away does nothing but diminish the decks potential. The players at the top tables of States have all tested against Durant enough to know what lines of plays to run at which times, and can’t be as easily taken advantage of as they once could.

However, not all hope is lost! Durant is still a very good deck that for the most part has 50/50 matchups against the board. The only factor which pushes Durant into advantageous territory is your luck on flips and what you mill. There have definitely been games, and there will be games in the future, where the non-Durant player has a near-overwhelming advantage…and then the Durant player gets Collector, Special Metal, Eviolite, 4 Durants, heads on Crushing Hammer, and Devours 2 DCEs and 2 Junk Arms, and doesn’t let up from there.

romeert.deviantart.comDurant also picks on decks that require a lot of set-up, such as EelZone, The Truth, and Chandelure, and is naturally good against anything running Electrode. Maybe it’s fallen from grace a bit, but it’s undoubtedly a contender.

Another factor, which is one of some debate, is that Durant will be played in droves. I’m of the opinion that there will be a number of semi-competitive to competitive players who don’t own or otherwise don’t have access to Mewtwos, and who will look to Durant as their saving grace.

While I agree with what a lot of what Jay said in his latest article, and I’m typically a strong proponent of “card availability means almost nothing to competitive players,” this situation is a bit different as players had limited time to pick up Mewtwos in the short window between Next Destinies release and the first weekend of States.

Not to mention that we haven’t seen prices like these in a long time; even Luxray GL LV.X was widely available under $50, and it was nowhere near as hyped as Mewtwo in its early days, meaning it could be picked-up by the smart player for relatively cheap before it got its major tournament shine.


Pokémon – 18

4 Magnemite TM
2 Magneton TM
3 Magnezone Prime
3 Tynamo NVI 39
3 Eelektrik NVI
1 Cleffa CL
1 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Zekrom-EX

Trainers – 28

4 Pokémon Collector
4 N
4 Sage’s Training
2 Twins


4 Junk Arm

4 Pokémon Communication
2 Rare Candy

2 Switch
1 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod

Energy – 14

10 L
4 Double Colorless

If you know me, you know I’m absolutely in love with Magnezone. Ever since Isaiah Middleton reported back from Japan about a little deck called MagneBoar that was supposedly the BDIF in HS-on, I’ve fallen head over heels. It’s a Lightning type, it’s a magnet, it has built-in draw power, and it literally one shots anything! What’s not to love?

pokemon-paradijs.comWell, to some, the hefty retreat, the fact that it’s a Stage 2, and the fact that it’s attack requires you to permanently rid yourself of resources may be a few things not to love. Even still, I think EelZone is a completely legitimate deck that is getting overlooked by some due to it’s inherently slowness as compared to its big brother EelKrom.

To solve some of the speed issues, I’ve added a card that I’m legitimately surprised to see no one else playing, in Twins. Although you aim to be the fastest you can possibly be, I’ve found the Twins to be very helpful in situations where a faster deck takes advantage of you, and you’re left without crucial pieces to your combo. Whether it’s tutoring for Candy + Zone, an Eelektrik and a DCE, or even something as simple as Mewtwo/DCE, I’ve never been unhappy about the Twins and would be very hard pressed to cut it.

You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, though, and we were forced to cut down to 2 Rare Candy and 1 Pokémon Catcher for the inclusion of Twins. The rationale behind the Candy is just that with 2 Twins you actually have more outs to it, and I’ve never been a huge fan of Catcher in Magnezone based decks in the first place.

In addition to all of that, Magnezone also had the advantage of being fantastic against EXs. You have to play the Mewtwo and the Zekrom as easier, most efficient answers, but when the dust settles, if they’ve run out of Mewtwo (or just have one left) and you’ve still got Magnezones and Eelektriks up, you’re in a fantastic position.

I’ve said it before, but the fact that you have to discard 4 energy isn’t as big of an issue as most are making it out to be. After all, LZing 8 of your Lightnings should net you 4 Prizes, which still leaves a full playset of DCE and 2 Lightnings to be used to take the last few prizes with either a Zekrom or Mewtwo EX.

Boiling it down to even simpler terms, 12 energy in the LZ KOing EXs spells the game, whereas 12 energy in the LZ vs Reshiram, Zekrom, or any other 100-150 HP monster of last format will only give you 2 Prizes. Note that expending every one of your energy toward Lost Burn is highly unlikely, but facts are facts.

The Truth

Pokémon – 25

3 Oddish UD
2 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
1 Bellossom UD
3 Solosis BLW
2 Duosion BLW
2 Reuniclus BLW

2 Phanpy HS

2 Donphan Prime

1 Kyurem EX
1 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Regigigas-EX
1 Shaymin EX
1 Cleffa CL
1 Pichu HS

Trainers – 23

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Twins

4 Cheren
2 N

1 Seeker


3 Pokémon Communication
3 Rare Candy


2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 12

4 Double Colorless
4 Prism
4 Rainbow

This is the deck I tested the most heavily and the one that I wanted to make work the most out of any in the format. I’ve always loved the Truth in general (except for the first night I saw it, but I was a little indisposed then, and I thought it was a Tyler deck, so who can blame me!), and this format is particularly weak to Vileplume. Plus, I’ll take any opportunity I can get to play Kyurem EX.– I think the list is pretty standard, particularly on the Pokémon front, with the only real stand-outs being the lessened numbers of Regigigas and Mewtwo EX and the inclusion of the Bellossom. As for the single copies of Mewtwo and Gigas, I’ve tested it with 2 copies of each and with 1 and I’ve found that, assuming you play the deck correctly and manage everything correctly, you should only ever need one of each. I would certainly like to have multiple copies of Regigigas, but I just don’t think it’s worth cutting anything else.

– The Bellossom came about after our initial testing phase when Tyler Ninomura and I found that without a dedicated heal engine and with the high majority of cards giving up 2 Prizes, you needed some way to not be put in awkward damage swapping positions late game. We considered Pokémon Center for a while, but our testing showed that Beach was far too important, and we couldn’t find the room for more than a single copy anyway.

Plus, we found that giving your opponent healing opportunities was pretty poor in several matchups. I wouldn’t say that the Bellossom is absolutely crucial, but it’s a neat addition to the deck that I fully stand behind.

Outside of that my list is pretty standard, I’d like to think (I’ll admit that I’ve been busy testing with my teammates and haven’t combed through all of the newest tech on message boards/articles in the past few days). The biggest issue this deck faces is its Durant matchup, which, admittedly, I’m still unsure how to crack. A 1-of Victini seems like it could do the trick, but that tested poorly for us, and none of the other options seemed very stable. If you can get the trainer lock early and draw decently you’ll be alright, but it’s definitely not fun.

The upsides to the deck are obviously huge though, as they’ve always been. Setting up an almost unwinnable game state for your opponent is ridiculously good, and it’s probably the most consistent deck in the format (as long as you can avoid Durants). It also has a ton of options vs different matchups, which isn’t common for a deck that’s as consistent as it is.

Closing Thoughts

The five decks I’ve outlined here are the decks that I feel are the best plays for States. There are certainly other decks that are mediocre/good/viable, but I only have so much word space and so much time, so I did what I could and cut the best of the best. Plus, unknown to me the “my top 5 decks” was becoming a big of a trend, so I guess it all worked out for the best.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Writer of the Month polls have changed to counting Likes on articles instead of end-of-the-month polls, so if you could all do me a favor and Like this article, that would be a huge help. Getting ranked highly in WOTM can lead to getting Underground gigs, so it’s not unfair to say that my livelihood is at stake here (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). If you REALLY enjoyed the article and are a fantastic person you’ll e-mail and let him know how much you enjoyed it and vouch for me getting work in the future.

I should be back the week after States with a (hopefully 1st place) report. See you then!


Reader Interactions

36 replies

      • espy87  → Kenny

        I’ve played bellossom since the fall BRs and now someone finally posted it on here. There goes the suprise factor for most noobs. lol.

        But anyways, I still think the Truth is the strongest deck. I run a completely different list than what you have posted but they all generally work the same way.

        During cities I went X-1 during swiss at every event I went with it except for one.
        I bubbled three times missing a top 4 cut and I placed second once and 3rd/4th twice.
        Back then I ran Steelix Prime/Kyurem NV/Jirachi/DCL/V-Create Victini/Terrakion. It was all teched out but it worked every game. Now I obviously had to reshape it for the big basics.

        Otherwise. This was a good read. I don’t generally care for deck lists being posted because then I play against bad net decking players at tournaments but I suppose it helps people out.

  1. Eli Norris

    Bellossom is great, and I would even drop the Donphan Primes for more Kyurems, Terrakions, and supporters.

    For Durant, I have always like 3-4 of Pokemon Catcher and 3 Lost Remover. I also have one Battle City for a soft counter stadium and just to draw more cards.

    As for CMT, 2 Mewtwo should be enough. The goal is to take quick, cheap prizes so you should be around 3-4 once Tornadus has lasted its usefulness, and the Mewtwo wars would then be in your favor. Opponent Mewtwo takes out yours, you take out his, he takes out yours, then you take out his for game. Just my opinion.

    But overall, a great article!

  2. Brendan Restly

    The Truth is too slow in this format in my opinion. Bellossom is a great card its just not able to keep up healing with faster decks like Zekeels/MTC in the format. I tested a very similar list and even when I got all 3 of my stage 2s setup I would get locked up without energy (ran the same energy line as you) or be too busy figuring out a way to move my damage around without a way to heal it off fast enough.

  3. theo Seeds

    I don’t understand why Donphan is still in Ross, I think focusing on Kyurem and Regigigas would be better, but having a 1-1 line can’t hurt.

  4. Stephan Blake

    Why do you run DCE in Magnezone? When you LZ it, it only does 50 damage.

  5. Chuck Rancor

    One thing I’m not understanding- Why Kyurem EX in truth?

    Also, that lightning list would seem better imo if you could incorporate at least one Terrakion.

    • Joe Yang  → Chuck

      Kyurem EX is insanely hard to kill in Truth. Since you’re moving damage counters all over the place, Kyurem EX’s Frozen Wings (60 plus discard Special Energy) is insanely good against decks that rely on special Energy.

      There are only 2 Pokemon that can come close to knocking out Kyurem: an Energy loaded Mewtwo (which requires at least 5 Energy on a 4-Energy Kyurem (which doesn’t happen often), which is near impossible when they’re discarding your Double Colorless Energies out the wazoo, or a Cobalion Energy Press, but that requires special Energy and in most builds and for Kyurem to have 4 energies on him (which is unlikely if the opponent is anticipating Cobalion).

      Technically, Magnezone can knock out Kyurem, but that’s kind of a crap argument, since you can say that for anything. Magnezone decks tend to have problems against set up Truth decks anyhow since Truth players can just spam Terrakion retaliates until they run out of viable attackers. For all other matches, a set up Kyurem-Truth build is both immensely tankable and monstrously disruptive.

      Kyurem’s weakness in truth allows it to tank against its Steel weakness, while it can whittle away incessantly at any challenger against it. Hail Blizzard isn’t a great attack, sure, but Kyurem is rarely going to be OHKOing anything – it’s primary strength is in its ability to resist Mewtwo’s X-Ball effects, disrupt the opponent, and set up Hail Blizzard KOs all in the same single attack.

      tl;dr he discards special energies and doesnt afraid of anything

      • indercarnive  → Joe

        everything has problems with set-up truth. the reason truth loses is it cant get that set-up without having your opponent get set-up.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Chuck

      Jjkkl had most of the points down. Kyurem is ridiculously good for blowing up special energy, which sort of acts like a soft Mewtwo counter.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Lynx Meche

    I like Bellossom in Truth, I always have a harder time beating it with that in play. Better than when Serperior is put in, easier to get out. But I don’t understand why I’m suddenly seeing multiple Truth lists with Donphan Prime in them again. Too much can OHKO it and Earthquake practically negates Hustle Step for healing, so is there a reason? You have a list with FOUR Mewtwo EX, so it’s not like getting more Kyurem EX or Regigigas EX is a concern on price.

    Speaking of Mewtwo EX, seconding Captain’s question on why there are so many instead of only two or three.

    Mime Jr. is a tech in Durant I understand and see pretty often, even if it may fall asleep instead of milling the next turn. Ditto I see often in Durant because it doesn’t need to attack and blocks V-Create. But Smoochum? A lot of Mewtwo decks are running Shaymin, and a turn using Smoochum is a turn not milling and probably just vaguely annoying your opponent. Most decks have such high Energy counts that I can’t see it doing more than “Well now I can attack with/retreat that one if it’s Catchered up.” (That’s personal experience in facing Smoochum, so I don’t see it as entirely effective.)

    Otherwise, it’s informative and has some good information to think about. But those are some odd choices chewing at my mind at the moment.

    • Micah Tate  → Lynx

      As for Donphan in Truth, from my testing it greatly improves the Magneel matchup, since that matchup basically comes down to whether or not your opponent has the energy to lostburn at the end of the game. Donphan is also great against Zekrom EX. That’s IMO though, IDK if the author has other reasons, mybe to fuel regigigas?

    • Joe Yang  → Lynx

      RE: Donphan – It’s likely an answer to Zekrom EX. Volt Strike does 150 – 40, so that means it can’t kill Donphan. In comparison, sure Terrakion will knock out Zekrom EX without Eviolite, but the downside is that if they have a dedicated Eelektrik engine running (2-3 Eels, which tends to be the norm if the Zekrom player isn’t hindered in their setup, a very likely scenario considering Truth), they can recharge their attackers instantaneously, putting you attachments behind.

      The benefit Donphan has is that with Earthquake you’re 2HKOing, sure, and you’re damaging your bench, but if you have a set up Truth build the Zekrom player literally cannot OHKO Donphan (unless they run something moronically clutch like Regigigas). This forces Mewtwo EX plays on part of the Zekrom player, which means a much easier game for the Truth player (Collector counter-Mewtwo EX, wait until they have enough energy, then attach and X-Ball on their Mewtwo).

    • DrMime  → Lynx

      I also like Bellossom in Truth, but it slows the game down a lot–nobody’s doing very much damage any more–and I find it hard to play fast enough to close the game out in 30 minutes against a player who’s playing slowly (but not so slowly that a judge would call them on it). But maybe it’s just me.

      • Lynx Meche  → DrMime

        In Ross’s original build, it was used as a draw engine because you could use a Supporter AND Beach, or in case you couldn’t hit a Beach, to my knowledge. A confused opponent was still setting up, or hitting for only 120 damage and unable to take out your attacker even though you skipped a turn of attacking. It still should work in Truth, but might not be 100% required anymore since Pokemon are hitting for more and more. No personal testing done on that though, purely theory on how important it is.

        I know in almost every Truth match I play, I win because of time. If we play with no time limit, I end up losing around the hour mark if my deck doesn’t last longer, if I can’t flood the field with damage in time (hard with Bellossom), or if Typhlosion Prime can’t discard all their Energy (hard once they pick up on your strategy).

        • indercarnive  → Lynx

          and for shock value. gets a card fo going to the tourny adn ends up using it during the tourny. and don’t forget how he would use a pichu on t1 most times(ish) and then sometimes he could just beach up new hands while waiting for pichu to get killed to use twins.

      • Kenny Wisdom  → DrMime

        Re: Bellossom — I would argue that more damage is being done now than ever, actually. I see what you’re saying, though.

        Re: Beach — I really like the Beach. It’s definitely not as good as it used to be as you have many more attackers now and don’t durdle as much, but there’s still a fair amount of downtime in the deck.

        Thanks for reading. :D

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Lynx

      Re: Donphan — I really like the Donphan for it’s one energy attack, and for the fact that it’s slightly better vs. Zone and Zekrom.

      Re: Mewtwo — I really like 4 in the straight-up CeleTwo list, but I could see going to 3.

      Re: Durant Techs — Smoochum is actually pretty great for disruption. It’s definitely true that there’s more energy acceleration now than ever, which makes it slightly worse, but it does something pretty strong and pads your basic count.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad that, at the very least, I could inspire some thought. :)

  7. Ross Gilbert

    THIS is the kinda article i like! None of this pretending you were at the ECC and telling us (again) what thetopcut told us weeks ago! Just a nice article, conveniently timed, looking at the top decks for states. Well written and informative.

    The only thing i will say is that you’re starting to sound kinda vain. A couple sample phrases:
    – “I still feel like both are the best I’ve seen floating around anywhere”
    – “I do feel like I have extensive knowledge of how deck lists and the metagame overall will shake out”

    I hope you do well at states. Unfortunately, if you don’t, it’ll make comments like these look silly. Especially as in previous articles you have stated what a good player you are. Good luck!

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Ross

      Thanks, I think.

      Also pretty sure I’ve never talked about good of a player I am. I am fine, but certainly nothing to brag about.

      I do feel like my lists are the best though, or else I would just change them into whatever I thought was best. I also feel like I have extensive knowledge of decks and the meta, or else I wouldn’t be writing an article about it.

      Thanks for reading, good luck to you at SPTs as well!

      • Ross Gilbert  → Kenny

        Ha ha, it was most certainly a complimentary comment :D

        I like your lists mostly and i’m sure they’re the best for you. Personally i’d shy away from proclaiming them the best. Maybe it’s just me.

        I finally posted a list online recently and it is getting TRASHED on Heytrainer though so what do i know ;) Still, if i keep winning tournaments with it maybe someone, somewhere will admit it’s good :p

        • Kenny Wisdom  → Ross

          Haha, thanks.

          And that’s fair enough, I’m just a big proponent of belding confident and bold with my statements, but that’s definitely gotten me into hot water before.

          Haha, what’s your HeyTrainer name? As long as it works for you, just keep on winning. :D

  8. Isaiah Middleton

    Best article in format. All of the other articles on here are pretty mediocre.
    But Kenny Wisdom rises above all the rest and creates the best content on the net.

  9. Isaiah Middleton

    Best article in format. All of the other articles on here are pretty mediocre.
    But Kenny Wisdom rises above all the rest and creates the best content on the net.

  10. killerpotatoe

    this article, for non-underground one, deserves way more than +15(ok, +1 for me)
    I encourage 4 durant, 1 rotom, and a 1-1 weavile. I agree that that the deck needs more than 5 basics,
    but space in durant, space is a much worse issue than I thought it would be.
    I am also a firm believer that you should have a 3-3-3-3 crushing hammer/lost remover/catcher/eviolite


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