Exploring the Dark Side: Dark Explorers Review

Dark Explorers is the last set we will get before Nationals, and undoubtedly will make as big an impact as Next Destinies did for our format and metagame. While Mewtwo EX shined in the spotlight in our latest metagame as the BCIF, the newer Pokémon-EX look set to take over that throne, and it won’t be an easy victory for anyone.

For starters, let’s take a look at the list and break them down:

Of the six, only Tornadus EX is sitting in limbo on whether it will be printed or not; the rest have already been confirmed. For completion’s sake, I’ll add in Tornadus EX into the mix as well, just in case.

Kyogre EX



Seriously, that is the best description it deserves. Lightning weakness, heavy Retreat Cost and low damage output. It does, however, offer you a chance to snipe for 50 to any two of your opponent’s Pokémon, but that amount is only enough to snipe Tynamos and babies in this format.

The only other thing it has going for it is a hit-and-run strategy à la Magnezone SF 6, but a paltry 30 damage per turn isn’t going to win you matches anytime soon. Ferrothorn EPO does a much better job at this.

Groudon EX

This card was slated as THE card to bring The Truth back to life. That didn’t happen, so people have looked to Kyurem EX instead, as it has the same HP and max damage (120). However, by now everyone knows that even the hefty 180 HP can be taken down in one shot by Mewtwo EX, so it looks like Truth decks aren’t making a comeback anytime soon.

BulbapediaThe good news is that Groudon EX is extremely compatible with Quadbulls, so that deck will be getting more firepower, especially with the hyped Raikou-EX in the horizon. Tromp has the same spreading effect as Landorus NVI, albeit at a (much) lower damage output to the Defending Pokémon. Fortunately, Giant Claw makes up for this, even though other Pokémon can easily do 120 without needing two damage counters on the Defending Pokémon.

The Water weakness is excellent in the current format, and the Lightning resistance even better.

Darkrai EX

The second most hyped Pokémon-EX, this ghost gives a pseudo Balloon Berry effect to any Pokémon as long as it has a D Energy attached to it, similar to Metagross UL, but being a Basic Pokémon means it is much more splashable than the metallic hunk, and when paired with Rainbow/Prism Energy, certainly will live up to its hype.

Its attack isn’t too poor either, doing a reasonable 90 and 30 more to a benched Pokémon. Just when you thought 30 HP Tynamos are safe to play, once again a fast sniper returns to kick it back to the binder. There’s also the fact that, being a Dark type, it can abuse Special D Energy and Dark Claw for even more damage; in fact, Dark Claw gives Darkrai EX the ability to hit the “other” magic number 110 to KO Tornadus EPO and Thundurus EPO.

But the hidden gem in this Pokémon’s use is its ability to pair it with one very underrated card engine now: Musharna NXD. The pseudo-Uxie LV.X never got a chance to shine because of its Retreat Cost, but that looks set to change. A member at my league has been testing out this strategy with some success (Musharna makes a mean secondary attacker with sleep condition).



Apparently no one seems to bother taking a second look at this poor lion, and it’s easy to see why. Choice one is to do 30 plus Burn, while the other does 90 and powers up your benched Pokémon with a discarded R Energy. Not too bad, but not great either.

However, I beg to differ.

Coupled with the new Volcarona (increases Burn damage to 4 damage counters) and counter Stadiums, Entei-EX could very well be the answer Truth decks are looking for. Unlike Kyurem EX who only threatens users of special energy, the boosted Burn condition is a real threat under Item lock, and counter Stadiums provide a more than sufficient answer to Skyarrow Bridge.

And with Grand Flame’s ability to power up a backup Entei-EX by itself, it can safely retreat out of harm’s way, or power up either Reshiram, Regigigas-EX, or Mewtwo EX for bigger oomph. With Water decks looking extremely scarce nowadays, there isn’t much that can threaten the return of the Lion King.

In fact, one deck I am seriously looking at right now is an Entei-EX version of Quadbulls. The one weakness of Terrakion was how it was highly dependant on Exp. Share. Grand Flame offers the perfect solution to this problem, plus you can spam Seeker/Super Scoop Up due to its high HP. Seeker works because you don’t have to rely on Switch to pull it to the bench as the next Entei-EX can charge up your recovered Entei-EX.


BulbapediaIt snipes for 100, can be powered by the eels, can snipe Vileplume, and has free retreat with Skyarrow Bridge. Most hyped EX since Mewtwo EX. ‘Nuff said.

Or so I thought.

A second look at the card reveals a serious flaw in the plan. Volt Bolt requires you to discard all lightning energy attached to it. Unlike Zekrom-EX that could be continuously charged by DCE alone, or Raichu Prime who breaks Eelektrik’s attach-to-bench rule, Raikou-EX has no backup plan if the eels fail to evolve, and will fail even harder if Skyarrow Bridge is absent.

The initial solution was simple: attach a non-Lightning energy, preferably Rescue Energy, so you only need to discard two lightning. This way, you can be powered by only one Eelektrik, with the second attachment done manually.

This solution was quickly dismissed for a very simple reason: the solution ASSUMES that you actually have the luxury of attaching that energy down before the Dynamotor. But this forces you to require two Eelektriks on the bench, which was the problem in the first place.

Ultimately though, a pure Raikou-EX deck will never work simply because it suffers from the same problem as Tyram: energy discards. And unlike the beefy Typhlosion Prime, the 90 HP Eelektrik simply cannot defend itself.

It works great in existing Zekeels, make no mistake about this. Just don’t expect it to be the main attacker any time soon.

Tornadus EX

It brings the ‘T’ in CMT. Sporting the same Retreat Cost as its predecessor, it does a pretty heavy 60 with just a DCE when there’s a stadium in play (30 otherwise), and a heavier 100 with one more energy, with a 50-50 chance of discarding one energy card attached to it. Booyah donking power.

The only weakness it has is that lightning decks are very rampant, and every main lightning attacker (Thundurus needs a PlusPower though) can easily 1HKO the white (or green) genie with ease. Nonetheless, more donking power can’t be bad, right?



Ultra Ball


Ultra Ball will finally be printed, giving eel-based decks even more speed and consistency. I don’t believe Magnezone Prime will make a comeback with speed decks leading the metagame, but evolution decks have a better engine now, so we should see a higher concentration of them, particularly Zoroark, especially when it has perfect synergy with Dark Patch.

For those who don’t know what it does, Ultra Ball allows you to discard two cards from your hand to fish out any Pokémon card from your deck.

Random Receiver

The “other” Pokégear. It allows you to flip the top cards of your deck until you reveal a Supporter. Decks not running Pokémon Collectors now have a better option available to them. You may not have the option of choosing your Supporters anymore, but a guaranteed Supporter allows you to run thinner Supporter lines and more support for your strategy.


Dark Patch

Energy acceleration as a Trainer-Item? Oh yes, please.

Even if it’s only limited to Basic D Energy and only to Dark-type Pokémon, with Junk Arm in the format, this will be one card you definitely need a playset of, especially when this year’s format is all about energy acceleration. Combine with Shaymin UL for a more universal accelerator, or just to take even more advantage of Darkrai EX’s ability. This is what allows previously unusable cards like Hydreigon NVI and even Absol Prime to truly shine.

Dark Claw

BulbapediaIt’s no Expert Belt, but it’s dangerous in its own right. A permanent double PlusPower for all Dark-types, coupled with the already abusable Special D Energy, and you just know that Dark decks are going to swarm the metagame immediately after the set’s release.

Although Zoroark DEX (just guessing the abbreviation for now) has a lot of potential, our old friend Zoroark BW will get just as much punch as its successor. Foul Play just got even more dangerous, and the bigger attacks available make it even more so. Even Tyranitar Prime gets a new lease of life, now being able to dish out a maximum of 50 to the active for one energy plus spread, although the spreading won’t see much play if Dark decks rule the meta.

Twist Mountain

I doubt this will make it into the next set though; however, if it does, Skyarrow Bridge is going to get some serious competition. Aerodactyl DEX provides a free PlusPower to everyone, and Twist mountain is what allows the only non-evolving fossil Pokémon to be very playable.

Biker Team

Sorry, but the Japanese name for the card is just really bad. Anyway, for a coin flip, you get to send three cards from your opponent’s hand back into their deck. It’s an exact reprint of The Rocket’s Trap in supporter form, and you have to wonder if TPC is going to reprint the entire hand trap combo.

Back to the review, I can’t say I like this card. Like Bill, this card lost its worth when it devolved into supporter form. You can try it for the novelty, but there are better cards out there if disruption is your thing.

Remodeling Hammer

A reprint of Lost Remover, except it sends the energy to the discard pile [and can only discard from the active]. Not that it makes a difference, unless you’re playing Steelix Prime or Bisharp NVI 82.

Pokémon Catcher




BulbapediaForget Cincinno BLW or Jumpluff HS, Zoroark is now the king of swarm. For a single DCE, it can dish out up to 120 just by filling your bench with nothing but Dark Pokémon, and with Special D Energy and Dark Claw, that number shoots up to 150.

What makes Zoroark especially dangerous is its pre-evolution. Zorua has the incredible Ascension as an attack, and you instantly have a deck reminiscent of the old Banette ex.


It’s no Nidoqueen d, but has the same ability to fish out any Pokémon card from your deck once per turn. Will this be the return of evolution-based decks? I highly doubt it.

Apart from being a Stage 2, Venusaur also sports a heavy four Retreat Cost and an equally heavy attack cost that does a paltry 70 plus Poison. You could try Celebi Prime as an accelerator, but Meganium Prime works better with that combo, and can abuse Max Potion as well.


I guess most people missed this card when reading the spoilers. It has the same base stats as Accelgor NVI, and for a DCE, attacks for 50 plus auto Poison AND Paralysis, but at the cost of sending itself and everything attached to it to the deck. And generally, that secondary effect seems to be the nail on the coffin.

Then I remembered Sunflora HS.

Like Vanilluxe NVI and Lilligant EPO, Accelgor could very well make it to the top tiers with the right build, especially since it doesn’t require any flips to set the lock. Celebi Prime can take care of the energy attachments, and Vileplume takes care of the Switches. The only real problem the deck has is Raikou-EX, which gives up 2 Prizes anyhow, and a second Vileplume can easily be set up.


BulbapediaDurant haters, rejoice, for now there is a card splashable in any deck to finally send the ants to the grave… not.

I may be biased toward this card because I’m a Durant player myself (don’t hate me), but the reason Durant is such a good deck is because it has so much room for techs to deal with the ever-changing metagame. So just like how it has been able to remain on top despite the new decks, a single tech isn’t going to help your deck get an auto-win on Durant. There’s also the problem of starting with it against non-Durant players, or Heatmor itself being milled before it can unleash havoc.

However, the fact remains that this is THE best counter to Durant ever printed, and if your meta is still very infested with these pests, you’d be wise to tech in a copy in your deck.


The dream of every Jumpluff player was for Claydol GE to be reprinted. With Empoleon, you are getting the raw power of Jumpluff and the draw power of Claydol all rolled into one (and sadly, Claydol’s Retreat Cost too).

You can even go aggro with the draw with a 2-2 Musharna line, and even throw in Battle City for toppings. Switch allows you to ignore the Retreat Costs, or you could tech in Darkrai EX and 4 Rainbow Energy.

Unfortunately, it’s not all candy sweet for this card. The lightning weakness is only too glaring, and like Jumpluff, suffers from the nerfing of Rare Candy. Also, because the Ability is on Empoleon itself, you can’t use your engine until Empoleon is out, and you lose your engine the moment you lose Empoleon.


Plusle is like Cleffa on steroids. If Minun is on the bench, you refresh your hand for EIGHT cards instead of six. That’s a lot of cards. However, it is also true that you are taking up two bench spaces just for this, so Plusle may turn out to be nothing more than a sideshow than a show stopper.


BulbapediaKrookodile is like the evil twin of Shaymin EX. Where the latter punishes the opponent for being ahead, Krookodile rewards the user for being ahead, doing 40 per prize taken. 4 Prizes and Darkness Claw are all you need to 1HKO any non-Eviolited Pokémon-EX in the format. Its attack cost can be made negligible due to Dark Patch. The only flaw it has is that it is a Stage 2, and therefore slow to set up.


Free PlusPower. Doesn’t get any better than that. However, do take note that because it has the exact same effect as PlusPower, recoil damage may also be increased by 10. Like Twist Mountain, I highly doubt it will be released, but I included it just in case.

New Decks, New Meta

Obviously everyone wants to know how this new set affects the meta. Now I haven’t tested much with the new cards, so I can’t exactly say for sure, especially since we still don’t know what cards are in and what aren’t.

What I do know, however, is that Dark decks will be everywhere during Battle Roads. In fact, I expect upwards of 30% of the decks you will encounter to be based on Dark Pokémon. Namely Darkrai EX and Zoroark (both).

Raikou-EX will definitely see some play. Just as how Zekrom-EX helps to put some pressure with big damage, Raikou-EX puts pressure by threatening KOs on every Eelektrik and Zoroark on the field. It won’t be a deck by its own, but it’s a perfect tech.

Durant haters will definitely try out the new Heatmor, and maybe they will see some success. Knowing Durant though, it will probably have some tricks to deal with it.

pokemon-paradijs.comIn my own humble opinion, however, Darkrai EX is the one that will cause the death of Durant. It has everything built into its own deck that counters everything Durant throws at it. Dark Cloak negates Pokémon Catcher and Cobalion, Dark Patch negates removals, and Dark Claw, or just a single Special D Energy, breaks the 100 barrier. And it has Psychic resistance to deal with those pesky Mewtwo EX tech, too. Not to mention that Rotom UL needs to hit it three times to deal a KO.

Celebi/Mewtwo will get a huge boost if Tornadus EX is released, but Dark.dec will give a run for its money. Black Belt allows Zoroark to easily reach the 170-190 mark, negating even Eviolite, and all Dark Pokémon already have Psychic resistance. I for one wouldn’t want to face a Darkrai EX with Eviolite on it.

QuadBulls, however, will be dancing for joy. It is already gaining popularity as an anti-Lightning meta breaker, and Dark Pokémon having the same weakness will only boost its popularity. And Terrakion NVI undoubtedly has better recovery than Zoroark, being a Basic Pokémon.

Thinking about QuadBulls go me thinking about a relatively underused tech: Stunfisk NVI 68. It is easily teched into any standard Zekeel, has the ability to Paralyze, and best of all, can 1HKO either Zoroarks, and with Black Belt, even Darkrai EX. If my prediction on Dark.dec proves true, then I expect my prediction that Stunfisk will be heavily played will be equally true.

And with that, let’s get to the decklists.


Pokémon – 9

4 Zorua DEX

2 Zoroark DEX
1 Zoroark BLW

2 Darkrai-EX DEX

Trainers – 24

4 Pokémon Collector


4 Junk Arm
4 Dark Patch
4 Pokémon Catcher
3 Dark Claw
2 Ultra Ball
2 Switch
1 Revive

Energy – 11

6 D – Basic

3 Double Colorless

2 Darkness – Special

This is as barebones as it gets. Between the Junk Arms and Ultra Balls, I’d say the chances are high of you being able to discard Basic Dark energy very early in the game. Dark Patch is the reason why DCE and Special D Energy are not maxed out; your energy accelerator can only use Basic Dark energy. Revive is in there because, like Jumpluff, you need a full bench to max out your damage, and Revive does this better than any other card.

Now let’s look at what else can be included.

Absol Prime/Sableye DEX

BulbapediaThese cards are here for one and only one reason: bench fillers. With Zoroark as your only evolution card, I’d personally recommend a MINIMUM of twelve basics in this deck.

Also, Absol Prime functions as an excellent starter, being able to instantly reduce any of your opponent’s Pokémon’s HP by 20. If your opponent is foolish enough to drop a Mewtwo EX, then congratulations, you just got two free prizes. As stated earlier, Zoroark can hit up to 150 with Dark Patch and Special D Energy.

One trick Sableye DEX can do is to recover two Item cards from your discard pile. This is especially useful in recovering any of the Dark tools or Pokémon Catcher in the absence of Junk Arm. Granted, the number of times you will use him won’t be high, but it’s always good to know your options.

Rescue Energy

I personally don’t recommend this if you are using the Dark Patch engine. However, it does allow you to instantly recover Zoroarks and Darkrai EXs.

Lost Remover/Crash Hammer

Both do the same thing. With all the special energies running around, now is as good a time as ever to include them in your decks. Excellent against the mirror.

Hydreigon NVI/Krookodile DEX

pokemon-paradijs.comWhile Darkrai EX is a formidable attacker in its own right, sometimes it’s good to have other options available. And at 150 HP, they’re no lightweights ether.

Hydreigon NVI, if you don’t already know, hits 60 to the active and 40 each to TWO benched Pokémon (babies and Tynamos instantly come to mind). But the best thing about Hydreigon is that is can be powered up by literally any energy at all, including Rescue Energy. DCE was slow, but Dark patch may change things yet.

Krookodile DEX is reviewed above, so I won’t go into detail. It is, in my opinion, a perfect partner to Zoroark. While the latter hits hard and fast, Krookodile hits harder and lasts longer.


Remember that deck idea I was suggesting with Entei-EX? This is my rough draft:

Pokémon – 4

4 Entei-EX

Trainers – 44

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


4 Heavy Ball
4 Switch
4 Junk Arm
4 Catcher
4 Super Scoop Up
3 Pokégear 3.0
3 Seeker

3 Energy Switch

2 Eviolite
1 Revive
1 Lost Remover

Energy – 12

12 R

Mark A. HicksThe idea is simple. SSUs and Seekers keep the KOs at bay while I pile on the damage. Exp. Share is excluded because you’re not supposed to get KO’d in the first place, and Energy Switch handles that job just fine. Past that, the deck functions the same way as QuadBulls.

I’m still on the fence on Shaymin UL. It’s great in supporting the energy movement, but starting with it is a real pain, even with four Switches.

The full list of Dark Explorers may probably be out by the time this is posted, so I apologise if some sentences above don’t make sense. That said, I hope this article may prove useful to your game.

Thanks for reading!

Reader Interactions

57 replies

  1. Max Douglas

    For Darkness.dek you should run a Weavile line, they fill the bench and you can hunt down your opponent’s supporters to make a late game N devastating

      • Max Douglas  → bowser

        How so? It’s an easy prize but you should have a T2 Zoroark 95% of the time so you can easily revenge them afterwards. It also has free retreat so it is solid for powering up Brutal Bash against Durant. Not to mention Weavile’s attack can pick off Tynamo (preferably after catchering an Eel or uncharged attacker) and can finish off an EX that took 140-150 from Brutal Bash that tried to escape to the bench.

        • theo Seeds  → Max

          You only really get the T2 Zoroark if you start Zorua/Free Retreater, or get a DCE+Dark+Collector+Zoroark/Ultra Ball, this happens a lot still but it’s not 95% of the time.

    • Micah Tate  → Max

      Don’t forget about Sneasel being a semi decent attacker/going along with the strategy, and free retreat allows for a Absol prime start as long as you go first.

      • Max Douglas  → Micah

        Well that Sneasel was once considered so broken that it was banned, now its okay for getting the last bit of damage to finish a Pokemon off but I wouldn’t plan on using it to attack.

        I don’t like Absol in Dark.dek, I don’t like anything outside of Zoroark, Weavile, and Darkrai. I want to get a T1 ascension off every game and starting with anything outside of Zorua or Sneasel prevents this. I know Dark Patch exists but I wouldn’t rely on it T1, I see it serving the same role Exp. Share does in fighting decks.

        However my beta list only has 9 basics and Absol would be #1 on my list of potential choices if I go looking for more basics.

        • Micah Tate  → Max

          With Dark patch, it has a potential to donk T1 if you get the right setup, same goes for Absol, tynamo starts will still be a thing. It’s also just nice to have a free-retreater on your bench for when your active get’s KOed.

          Absol has also proven to be effective in non-dark decks before such as the 2nd place ECC deck, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a one-of in every dark deck. But I can see why it could get cut if you really think ascension is a good attack. I would honestly choose spread damage from Absol over T1 ascension any time I won the coin flip.

        • Micah Tate  → Mark

          Do you really think it had nothing to do with the ability of putting Mewtwo in strong volt range? Or even vicious claw+disaster volt range, or putting tynamo in early outrage range, or later Eeelektrik in disaster volt range? I think the Power did quite a lot for that deck and that Chandelure wasn’t the only reason it was included.

        • Mark Hanson  → Micah

          I agree it can do that, but it’s not a more versatile option of doing that. Tornadus and Thundurus do a much better job of helping combo-kill EX’s.

          Provided you can get Absol into the active slot first turn, it’s definitely both annoying and a powerful pokemon to have. But at the same time, you could have used a Thundurus Charge first turn, setting yourself up better for the T2 80 damage.

          I don’t think it made the deck better, I think it made it different. You can play around Absol in the same way you can play around Regigigas. Powerful if you let it be. But I would nonetheless say that it’s only 2 useful strengths are putting Mewtwos into Strong Volt range, and being a Chandelure counter. And if you have Absol out between turns, you weren’t attacking last turn, which is just asking for your opponent to decide what they want to do for their turn. Most likely, it’s catcher around Absol to KO something else. Or just take a cheap prize for 80 damage since they’re offering.

        • Micah Tate  → Mark

          Either you waste your opponent’s catcher first turn or preserve your pluspowers for later KO’s, seams like a win/win to me. I would agree that T1 charge would be better for that particular deck, but Absol was definitely the 2nd best start. Also, one should keep in mind that the deck only ran 1 Thundurus, if I remember correctly.
          As for Thundurus/Tornadus for combo killing, you would preserve a pluspower if you had started Absol.
          I also don’t really think that the Regigigas comparison is very fair, since Absol is utilized early game when catchers are more scarce/luck of the draw, and the pressure comes completely from absol being active rather than from attack.
          My main point is that if you can see the benefits of running Absol in decks that aren’t even darkness based, it should definitely be utilized in pretty much every dark deck.

      • Max Douglas  → Micah

        Well that Sneasel was once considered so broken that it was banned, now its okay for getting the last bit of damage to finish a Pokemon off but I wouldn’t plan on using it to attack.

        I don’t like Absol in Dark.dek, I don’t like anything outside of Zoroark, Weavile, and Darkrai. I want to get a T1 ascension off every game and starting with anything outside of Zorua or Sneasel prevents this. I know Dark Patch exists but I wouldn’t rely on it T1, I see it serving the same role Exp. Share does in fighting decks.

        However my beta list only has 9 basics and Absol would be #1 on my list of potential choices if I go looking for more basics.

  2. Vinay Patel

    Nice article, +1.
    A few things I want to point out:

    -Raikou-EX+Eels will definitely not be a full-on deck. With Catcher in the format the snipe is less impressive. It’s still very good, because you don’t have to waste a Catcher, but it won’t make a full deck on its own. I would run it as a 1 or 2 of in Zekeels.

    -“Entei EX could very well be the answer Truth decks are looking for.”

    Ross dec. is honestly not worth it post-DEX. Along with the problems it has at the moment, Raikou-EX can snipe a Reuniclus off the Bench, ruining the whole point of the deck. Setting up another Reuniclus while getting hammered by Strong Bolts and needing to use Twins for other stuff…nah, I don’t see it being wothwhile.

    -Crash Hammer only discards Special Energies off the Active. It’s useless pre-rotation.

    -I agree that Heatmor won’t make every deck have an autowin to Durant. It has to be stressed that it’s an entirely different anti-meta tech than, say, Terrakion. Terrakion is not a dead card if you’re not facing Zekeels, for instance. In contrast to that, Heatmor is entirely useless against any other deck (assuming no one is ludicrous enough to add in a Fire to use its second attack).

    -However, there’s honestly not much you can tech for to stop you losing one ant per turn right from the get go, and you are very open to the possiblity of a donk no that everything can do it T1. The meta decks that may need a Heatmor are CMT(EX), Terrakion and the mirror (and maybe Empoleon, in the scenario it becomes a playable deck) which can find a spot for it fairly easily. Tyram, Zekeels and Dark dec. (and Entei EX, if that works out. That is one awesome deck idea) already have strong matchups against Durant. I would call it a dead deck when DEX comes out.

    -Even with Darkrai EX, I don’t think Musharna will be worth it. It’s still Catcher bait, which is only made worse with Raikou. Things like Eelektrik can get away withy being Bench sitters because you run at least 3-3 line. I wouldn’t do that for Musharna. Same goes for Aerodactyl.

    • Mark Hanson  → Vinay

      I used to be of the opinion that Heatmor wouldn’t kill Durant, but you just reminded me of the fact that it gives decks a chance at 1st turn donk.

      I think Pure-Durant might die as a deck, but I have an article in reserve right now on Durant that might be worth posting once DEX comes out. The focus would become “How to make Durant viable in a metagame with Heatmor.” Instead of just promoting diversity with Durant (like it was before)

      • Eli Norris  → Mark

        Heatmor won’t kill Durant, although it will give it trouble.

        However, the two predicted BDIFs, Zekeels and Dark Toolbox, have a good matchup to near autowin against Durant.

        A lot of people don’t realize this for some reason.

  3. draconash

    Just pointing out a typo before anything: in the QuadLions list Professor Oak’s Research is there over Professor Oak’s New Theory.

    On the article, I thought it was a great read and while I don’t agree with ALL of the ideas and insights, they’re new material, and that deserves a +1 on its own. The reviews of new cards that are sure to have an impact was greatly appreciated, and you point out some things that most people haven’t noticed (although I harbor a hatred for the part about Accelgor; the people at my league won’t shut up about it). +1

  4. Brandon Scott

    I like the Solo Entei idea.

    I can’t wait to try Darkrai in EX corners, giving all of my EX pokemon free retreat is awesome.

  5. Aaron Minjoot

    +1 for a nicely written article. While not all points are easily agreed upon, some more so than others, I find the article a very good read with new ideas and lesser known pointers about the new set.

    Especially liking the QuadLions idea, though the deck loses some ground compared to QuadBulls since Terrakion easily hits for weakness on the most popular deck in the meta right now. Still, one heck of an awesome idea.

    On another note, I would fancy some chance (even if its close to 0%) of a English-only Suicune EX in place of the Tornadus EX. If that happens and if Suicune is a little bit playable either as a standalone or part of a new meta deck, QuadLions wouldn’t be so prominent. But that’s like asking for a miracle from TPCi.

    (BTW, I’m Aaron, brother of the Truth player you met at Malaysian States. Nice to know you’re also on 6P.)

    • Mohamad  → Aaron

      Lol, small world eh? Great game against your brother, he totally deserved the win after my early game misplays.

      QuadLions is supposed to be played like Truth; it doesn’t get KOs, it prevents it.

      • Aaron Minjoot  → Mohamad

        Indeed, congrats on some good results back in Singapore..

        As for QuadLions, definitely a brilliant idea, and one which I will surely try out if I can. One card I think could work would be Max Potion. Switch out of being active, Energy Switch an energy or two, Max Potion, and reattach to the bench-ed one with the attack. Or just Switch out and heal off if the other Entei has enough energy on it already.

  6. bowser

    great article, looks so cool… best of all, i love the vader reference, star wars rules ! (-:

  7. Dakota Streck

    I disagree on a couple points here and there, but overall it was a fresh and entertaining read! Very strong article! +1

  8. nicholas inzeo

    love to see how many people will use dark decks. Thinking of doing another theme deck tournament in my seeing how my store opens friday with a grand opening pokemon tournament taken place saturday.

    I can’t wait to use t-tar again. ^.^ some how get the feeling donphan prime is going to show up a bit more

  9. bowser

    ooops… metagross UL is psychic not metalic…i know b/c i like that silly card! long live metagross, thanks for giving him press

  10. Ramon Raya

    Darkness decks are going to have be built with a fighting counter in mind. Or at least some kind of answer. I’m thinking tornadus/tornadus EX (if it is released). If people neglect that, I know I’m testing terrakion in depth as soon as the new set comes out. lol

    • theo Seeds  → Ramon

      Nope, start testing GroudRekkion, I want my bench filled with dark types. Unless Honchkrow counts as a counter (fighting resistance)

  11. bowser

    quadlion is a cute idea, but whereas terrakion can take the blows and is specifically targeting a prime deck, quadlions is focusing on no one imparticular and is giving a hefty two prize cards for each knockout.

    • Mohamad  → bowser

      Zoroark OHKOs Terrakion. Nothing in the current meta OHKOs Entei EX except Mewtwo. I’m banking on this to help the deck’s idea of tanking, which is the sole difference between this and Terrakion.

  12. Caleb Cline

    Why’d you have to let everyone know about quad-entei? ;-;

  13. Willy Doehring

    Awesome article! Here’s my bit in the conversation:

    First off, Tornadus EX is confirmed. We just don’t have an English scan yet.

    I really want to run Groudon EX with Tornadus and Terrakion (and maybe Landorus/Tornadus EX/Heatmor/Mewtwo if I can afford it techs) for an anti-meta deck. I want to run T-tar as well, but I don’t have any Tyranitars and can’t really afford him or Darkrai.
    Also, I love QuadLions! I previously thought that Entei was kinda useless, but now I really want to try out the deck!
    And finally, I’m going to use Kyogre with Feraligatr and Kyurem as my fun deck. ‘Cause I like spread decks… And WHALES. :)

  14. Mohamad

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    On Tornadus EX, I only found out about its confirmation after posting this, and totally forgot to edit it. Ah well.

    Regarding the Hammer, Pokebeach’s translation is off. The original text mentions “your opponent’s Pokemon”, instead of “your opponent’s battle Pokemon”, if it was intended to target only the active. The editors added in that bracketed part, but from what I read from the card directly, it can be targeted anywhere.

    I assume that every other source uses Bangiras/Pokebeach’s translation, hence the misunderstanding. This is why it’s so worth it to learn Japanese =D

    And thanks for the support for QuadLions! I hope to make it successful, wish me luck!

  15. Twan van Vugt

    Nice article showing us the insights of the new set. AS of now I think QuadBulls or fight.dec will be strong since dark.dec and zeels are so popular. WithtGroudon EX it gets more firepower. Of course running too many pokemon would be bad, but a few landorus and a groudon could make this deck strong.
    Nice article and definitely +1 ;)

  16. Joshua Pikka

    good article. just amd that another author doesn’t know the difference between a review and a preview.

  17. theo Seeds

    Secondary attackers for Dark.dec should include: Bisharp NVI, Honchkrow UD, Mandibuzz EP, or anything decent that’s Stage One.

    Sableye really isn’t very good, it takes up an attack. Absol sends your pokemon to the Lost Zone, so you can’t fill your bench with them later.

    Stage Two’s are too big and fat. Krookodile needs 2 Dark patch + DCE to work, same with Hydriegon and Tyranitar.

    Trust me, I started testing Dark.dec the minute I got home from Regionals.

    • Helge  → theo

      There are more than one way to make dark decks work, and there are more than one way to play a deck. That’s why you have to find out what works out best for you.

      On the other hand, you do quite have a point. A darkness stage 1 rush would be quite sufficient.

      • theo Seeds  → Helge

        You are right, Absol could be the thing that ends up working best. That’s why I’m gonna buy some to trade/sell when they go up. It also has a pretty sick combo with Bisharp NVI. But sending pokemon to the Lost Zone isn’t always the best thing to do. Setting up Stage 2’s isn’t always your best bet with Catcher. That’s why I like the Stage Ones. Weavile is also pretty cool, and you can also play the NEX Weavile as a tech.

    • Ramon Raya  → theo

      Honestly man, you’re putting way too much emphasis on ‘putting dark pokemon on the bench.’ Yes, it makes ONE pokemon’s attack stronger, and they’ll have free retreat with darkrai out. But who says everything has to have free retreat?

      Also, fighting decks are gonna be a much bigger threat than you’re giving them credit for. You have to play reactively to the metagame as well as in every game itself in this format. Being obsessed with having nothing but dark types is gonna leave you with no options against those kind of decks.

      • theo Seeds  → Ramon

        Fighting decks are one other reason to play Honchkrow/Mandibuzz, they are both fighting resistant. I never said they wouldn’t be good, I said that you should be playing a dark pokemon with fighting resistance it help the matchup.

        Yes, I am putting emphasis on making my main attacker stronger. If Mewtwo did damage for pokemon and energy, people would play more pokemon in CMT.

  18. Helge

    This was marvellous. Will you please consider doing a review like this on Dragon Rush when that set is on it’s way? This was very helpful.

    Have anyone thought of how CMT will look like? I mean, don’t anyone think Celebi Prime might be replaced with Dark Patch? I do think Celebi Prime still will see play, but some might replace it with Dark Patch.

  19. Grant Manley

    Aw man someone beat me to the set analysis. You guys won’t mind another one though right? (Well, it’s going up anyway because I’ve already written a lot). It is a little different from this though. I’m testing 4 new decks a lot too so it’s going to be a little while before mine gets up. @roarkiller, One thing I noticed right off the bat which was funny: You said someone was testing Darkrai EX/Musharna NXD. You also said that Musharna can be a mean backup attacker because of the attack’s effect. I don’t think you realized that Musharna puts ITSELF to sleep. It is indeed a mean attack, to yourself.

  20. Grant Manley

    Also, I don’t think it’s very good to post a set analysis/reveiw/preveiw/whatever (thanks a lot pikkdogs) before the set list for the set is actually out. A lot of the cards you mentioned are not confirmed (as of now) and I just don’t think it’s very good to make an article on a set that is only like halfway confirmed or so. I know that I said I myself was working on a Dark EXplorers set review but I’m only covering confirmed cards and tested decks until the full complete set list is out; at which point I will go back through and add in newly confirmed cards. I’m interested into how the mono-Entei EX deck is testing. A lot of people here like it but I didn’t think it was that good. I really don’t know though because I haven’t tried anything remotely close to it but that’s how I just think of the deck on paper. For an obscure deck like that results would be nice (from a reader’s standpoint). Definitely not a bad article though. Something about the only Gold Catcher on ebay going for 130$ would’ve been cool too but expecting that is irrational.

    • Mohamad  → Grant

      Big whoops about Musharna. Guess I was thinking about the other one. Still, it kills tynamos… XD

      Most of the cards in Dark Rush will be released in virtue of the size of the set (108). I neglected to mention this, but the only reason I believe Twist mountain won’t be included is because there’s already a fairly large number of TSS, and having more broken abilities in the format cannot be good.

      Either way, I’ll be proven right/wrong by this weekend anyhow, so do please post your set analysis when the set is revealed. More good articles can’t be bad :)

  21. indercarnive

    terrakion still smacks dark decks AND lightning decks. so i not scared. and groudon Ex allos me to a change in weakness.

  22. Johnny Y

    I can’t wait to get me some Raikou. I plan on going to three spring BRs to make up for my Regionals absense (I need two PP, my cousin needs 3 so I may as well go with him.)

  23. Chuck Rancor

    I questioned Ditto as a Zoroark counter, but the cons aren’t with the pros

    Does anyone else think Quadbulls or Landorus/Terrakion can work with a Darkrai/4 Prism Energy tech? I think it’d be a formidable option to solving the retreat cost.

  24. Lee

    I do hope dark decks explode so we can just continue abusing Terrakion and hitting for weakness the vast majority of the meta.

  25. lodge grand

    I like the fact that each card is useful, but I sure do hope that they come up with cards that can eventually defeat Mewto, and when Zekeels are not used anymore – then I would like to know how to make a really good darkness deck!

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