memphis.eduNow don’t be alarmed, but I actually did some preparation and research for this article. I know! And I’m not even an Underground writer (hint hint).
I had been playing Mewtwo EX / Regigigas-EX for a few tournaments and despite some success (winning a Cities, 33rd at ECC, top 4 at States), I had whiffed top 4 at two States on resistance, and despite running 13 Supporters, the deck has literally not had a T1 Supporter in 50% of my games over Aldershot Special Event (Cities) and Ripley BRs. I figured this was a sign that it was time for a break and a change.
A few weeks ago my friend Jak had pointed me toward a video made by The Top Cut of a guy playing straight Kyurem NVI and though I liked the idea, I was not a fan of the list, what with no Moo2 and Kyurem. I chatted to Jak about this for a while and we both agreed it had potential.
So I turned up to Nottingham Battle Roads (always one of the biggest and most competitive in the UK) with Kyurem made, but with Mewtwo / Gigas also made. I was just about to wuss out and switch away from Kyurem when Jak turned up and, after some discussion, and finding out that he made top 2 with it a couple weeks prior, I decided to give it a shot. He said it would surprise me. I figured I was giving up my chance of top-cutting…
I should not have gone into a tournament with so little testing, but I was going for the surprise factor and so I played a few games on PlayTCG, but did not take the deck to league so that, for the first couple of rounds, nobody had any clue that I was playing. Here’s the list:
Pokémon – 9
2 Kyurem EX
Trainers – 38
4 Junk Arm
2 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 12
4 Double Colourless
Post any questions in the comments section, but briefly:
- Twins because the aim is to glaciate, doing damage without taking prizes early
- 2 Moo2s because nobody would expect this deck to get into a Moo2 war
- 2 Kyurem EX because it’s awesome
- Lost Remover to add disruption and buy more time for Glaciating
- Shaymin / Energy Switch to help recover into more Glaciates
- Everything else should make sense
Round 1: Tamzin (Eels)
pokemon-paradijs.comTamzin was a very charming lady who had come from a big group all the way from Wales. Which didn’t impress me because I go there for tournaments! This was however her first competitive game, so potential banana skin afoot.
I went second in this game and could not get an early KO as she put up a Zekrom BLW to stall and attached energy. I started lone Mewtwo, but could find no Catchers to kill Tynamos so I had to sit there while she used Bolt Strike to deal 120 to Mewtwo (adding to an earlier 20 from Outrage). I had two Water Energy on him at this point, so I used X-Ball to KO her Zekrom and was then immediately a prize down as she returned the KO with Elekid TM!
This however let me go off very nicely. I had 2 Kyurems on the bench with Exp. Share and I was able to Junk Arm for an Energy Switch and attach an energy to get one of my Kyurems using “Glaciate.” First though I Catchered her 40 HP Tynamo and played a PlusPower. With a 30 HP Tynamo and Elekid on the bench, I was then able to take 3 Prizes in one turn!
This left her with just an Eelektrik NVI. She played down a Zekrom and was forced to pass. At this point I used Switch and Shaymin UL to transition from regular Kyurem into Kyurem EX and used Frozen Wings for the KO.
This left her with just a Zekrom which I could kill by dropping a PlusPower and using Hail Blizzard the following turn.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable game here and it showed my deck can work though I felt my nerves were in for a bit of a time of it. I’m used to fast decks that go off T1, not planning to go off several turns into the game!
Round 2: Matt (TyRam)
pokemon-paradijs.comMatt is a guy from the other local league in Ripley, Derbyshire. On a sad note this league closed recently as that shop was being merged with the one where this very tournament was being held. Luckily a very enterprising and sexy young lady has organised a new league in a shop that technically has the exact same address as the old one!
Anyway, back on topic, Matt has been using more meta decks lately and has been vastly improving in skill. Unfortunately, this was a ridiculously good matchup for me.
I go second but start Kyurem EX. On his turn he whiffs the energy attachment and on my second turn I attach DCE and get my first KO on a Cyndaquil HS. He Catchers a benched regular Kyurem, but a DCE and PlusPower turns into a 1HKO on a Cyndaquil. Even Reshiram BLW posed little threat as Frozen Wings provided a 1HKO with only a PlusPower.
As the game wore on, Matt had not taken a prize and reverted to his secret backup plan… Regigigas-EX! He hit my Kyurem for 80, but that allowed an Outrage for 100. He was able to get a KO on the Kyurem, but I then brought up a Kyurem EX and even an Eviolite wasn’t enough to save poor Gigas.
I was loving being at 2-0, but, let’s face it, my matchups has been fairly fortuitous up til now. Let’s see what round 3 holds.
Nicholas is a lovely chap I have been chatting to on Facebook after meeting at tournaments, and we’d played out this exact matchup on PlayTCG not a week before. I won that one, but it was very difficult. If nothing else, it guaranteed a third nice match in a row.
The start of this game was a little frustrating as I (again!) went second and he started lone Oddish UD to my Mewtwo. He was, however, unable to get a second Basic into play, so I still had a chance to get the donk. I had a semi-decent hand, so I play what I can and then Juniper to maximise my chances of hitting the DCE and avoiding a very tricky matchup. I whiff and am forced to pass.
pokemon-paradijs.comOn his turn he grabs a Relicanth CL, attaches to Oddish, and retreats before… getting a T2 Vileplume! From here I take a couple early prizes (one Relicanth and one Mew), but he used Relicanth to get the requisite Vanilluxe and Unfezant into the Lost Zone and put the lock on.
As he got the lock on I was able to Glaciate, and when he KO’d that Kyurem I was then able to get off a second Glaciate to take another 2 Prizes. At this point I knew that two more Glaciates would guarantee me the win, but he had the lock fully on. He actually had both Victinis prized, but got one out with a KO on my Kyurem and didn’t whiff any flips while he didn’t have one.
After a couple turns he KO’d my active Kyurem. My plan was to sacrifice a Kyurem that had a DCE attached to buy time until he whiffed the flip and I could Glaciate again. Then, just in time, I realised that Unfezant BLW’s Fly (with which he got the KOs) meant that I could not attack the active Mew. However, I COULD attack the bench.
So I instead promote a Kyurem with 3 energy and Glaciate, getting me a Prize and leaving me 1 Prize from winning, with 3 Pokémon with 30 HP or less on his bench. He resumed the lock next turn and I attached a Water Energy to my Benched Kyurem, knowing that attaching one more energy would guarantee me the win as he would take a KO and I would then be able to Glaciate for the game.
I waited a couple turns, used Juniper and… still didn’t hit it! I was starting to resign myself to the fact that I would have to sacrifice a Kyurem EX (which I could do without losing), but when he finally hit double tails on Fly I was able to Glaciate for 3 more prizes and game.
I was happy at this, though a little embarrassed that I almost missed the trick and would probably have lost the game if I had. Let this be a lesson kiddies: test your deck!
Tommy Roberts (Mismagius CL / Terrakion NVI)Round 4: “My Good Friend”
pokemon-paradijs.comThis game was very important. In Exeter Tommy’s Zekeels beat my Mewtwo / Gigas after a bad Portrait choice from me and our overall record was now only 4-2 in my favor. This was too close. Luckily, in theory, this matchup should be to my advantage. Before the game Tommy expressed his dismay at the two interesting decks having to play before the last round of Swiss, and I had to agree.
I finally get to go first in this game and I start a Kyurem EX (woop woop). I attach an energy and pass. From here I had complete control. T2 I Catchered his Misdreavus CL with energy and got the 1HKO with Frozen Wing and T3 I did the same.
He used Catcher to bring up a regular Kyurem, but my old buddy Shaymin UL helped me move some energy over and I started using Glaciating. I took 3 Prizes with Glaciate and with his last hope being Terrakion I switched into Kyurem EX, dropped a PlusPower, and used Hail Blizzard to take my last prize and win 6-0.
That was top cut secured so I knew I could sit back, and as me and Jak were the only 4-0s, I knew it would be a tough Zekeels matchup to decide the number 1 seed.
Round 5: Jak (Baby Mario) (Zekeels)
Yeah, you all know Jak so he gets no intro. Unfortunately, he had tested my deck a lot more than me, so I would lose the surprise factor I had for the other Swiss rounds.
stuffpoint.comThis was one of the most fun games I’d had in ages. He won the flip and got a good start, going 2 Prizes up but then I was able to mount a comeback using Catcher and Glaciate, taking out all of his Eels in 3 turns. Alas, he did only use the 40 HP Tynamos though (purely due to Kyurem!), so that made it a little more difficult.
I got down to 1 Prize at which point he had a Terrakion with only 40 HP left. He then dropped N to put me down to one card and I drew: Kyurem EX, Water energy, Exp. Share over the next few turns. Darn.
He was able to pick off a Kyurem EX, and although I was able to get off one more Glaciate, it left me 10 damage off taking out Terrakion and I was powerless to stop him taking out a second Kyurem EX for the win.
It was a very enjoyable game and I ended up 4-1 overall. Matt (from round 2) ended up taking his last game in dramatic fashion (or so I’m told) to finish 3-2 and immediately bump me from 4th seed to 2nd seed. Which was nice.
Turns out I was going into a rematch against a rather good friend of mine. In theory, this was a better matchup for me than Jak or George Boon, who had qualified as 4th seed with his Zekeels deck.
I’m going to deal with these games together because they weren’t very interesting. They were, to be blunt, disastrous.
Game 1 I went second and could not draw a Supporter. Tommy went off well and started taking prizes before I could set up and keep energy on the field. I had one chance to turn the tide, but I could not hit a PlusPower to 1HKO his Terrakion.
pokemon-paradijs.comGame 2 was just as bad. I also did not have a Supporter (well, I only ran 13) and I did manage to grab a win, but only due to Tommy using N to get me a good hand! After the N it went exactly like our game in Swiss with me being set up and picking easy prizes and disrupting his board.
Game 3 was just like Game 1. For the THIRD game in a row I could not draw a Supporter and he wrecked my setup before I could get going.
After my deck running fine for 5 games it then went cold in all 3 top cut games. I literally could not draw a Supporter for the first 3 turns in any game. The odds of that are incredibly small. Add to that the fact that (and I counted) I hit exactly 25% on Dual Ball flips over the 3 games. It was never going to happen.
To be fair, Tommy played the game incredibly well. He used Mumble and also Spiritomb TM’s attack to put 10 damage on my Kyurems. I was confused by this until I realised that this put Kyurem’s HP at 120, a multiple of 30. Those of you paying attention will realise that Mismagius’ attack does 30 times the number of Trainers in your hand…
To further illustrate the pure futility of this match, there were 4 incidents where Tommy played Spiritomb or N in order to refresh my hand, in the hopes of me hitting enough Trainers for Mismagius to get the 1HKO. All 4 times, looking at the number of cards I had to draw and the number of trainers in my deck, it was statistically unlikely that I would draw enough for Tommy to get the KO. All 4 times he did. Like I said, it was not happening.
Having said that, I still made 4th with a largely untested Kyurem deck! I was initially annoyed that Jak lost his top 4 mirror match as that meant that the 3rd and 4th seeds contested the final, leaving me going from 2nd seed to 4th overall and denying me a promo card. I then pulled a Mewtwo from my 2 Prize packs and all was ok again.
In the final Tommy went one game down, but brought it back to win 2 games to 1, putting him on 72 Championship Points to make him officially number one in the world. Go Tommy, Go Tommy!
So, is the deck any good?
Short answer, yes!
One of the biggest things about the deck is that it’s so hard for your opponent to KO anything. Oftentimes they will be facing just Kyurem and then can either hit it, allowing you to drop a DCE and hit then back harder, or they can ignore it, giving you time to get energy and Exp. Shares and set up a Glaciate stream.
Once you set up with Exp. Shares you can use Energy Switch and Shaymin to keep the Glaciate stream going and believe me, when you’re hitting everything on the bench for 30 every turn, you win quite quickly. They’re unlikely to 1HKO you and when they do KO you if you can recover and keep the stream going for a couple more turns you’ll win.
Of course, a lot of the time, you won’t even need to. Outrage is a real star in this deck and a lot of decks (Quad Terrakion, CMT) literally can’t 1HKO a Kyurem, leaving awkward decisions that you can take advantage of as you have the surprise factor. Most people don’t know how to play against this deck.
I see Kyurem EX as the most underrated EX by far, as I stated in a recent COTD. You can often have him going on T2 and 60 damage will usually be enough to grab a prize. If it’s not then you get to remove a special energy, putting your opponent back an energy attachment. This leads to advantageous 2HKOs against card such as Mewtwo and Gigas as you hit for 60, starve them of energy and then hit for 120 and the KO.
Speaking of his second attack, I can’t understand people saying it’s terrible. Let’s face it, with a PlusPower (and you should be running lots in this deck) you 1HKO pretty much everything but EXs. So you have to 2HKO things like Mewtwo, Zekrom-EX and Reshiram-EX. You know what? So does everything else! Except you get to remove special energy and don’t have to discard energy OR self-damage. Seems good to me.
The biggest advantage though is the combination of the 180 HP and weakness to Metal. People talk about Regigigas being hard to KO, but Terrakion says “balls to that.” The only thing that always 1HKOs Kyurem is Cobalion EPO. Yeah, nobody plays that.
Combine all of the above and you have answers for pretty much every deck around at the moment. Sweet! Let’s look at some examples:
pokemon-paradijs.comIf they put out Celebis they will be easy kills with Glaciate. If they use Tornadus your Outrage will 1HKO them with a single PlusPower while they 2HKO with more resources. If they start a Mewtwo war you can kill one or two with Kyurem EX and then use your own Mewtwo(s) to finish it off.
You can also Lost Remover their DCEs and Kyurem EX takes care of Celebi AND Tornadus very easily while they’ll be 2HKOing with Tornadus IF they can find two PlusPowers (they could use Mewtwo but it won’t be a 1HKO and you then get to 1HKO their Mewtwo with yours).
This is legitimately a VERY favorable matchup.
They hit for 90. You have Outrage. Kyurem EX can 1HKO with a PlusPower. Most Terrakion players have no idea how to approach this and if they don’t hit you then Glaciate wins the game very quickly.
Again, a VERY favorable matchup.
This is not quite so good. Their Zekroms can 1HKO your Kyurems with a single PlusPower and they may run Zekrom-EX, which in 3 turns (less with Eels) can 1HKO normal Kyurems and give the EX a run for its money.
It’s not all hopeless. Their Eels fall if you can get some Glaciates off and Kyurem can destroy most of their field but their wealth of strong attackers can cause problems. Mewtwo wars can be won by either side.
These matches will be close and often go down to the last prize but Eels does have the edge here. Against a less experiences player though, it can be a veritable feast.
fakemaket.deviantart.comThank god I didn’t meet any Durants. You basically have to hope you start Mewtwo or Kyurem EX and they hit no Crushing Hammers so you can stack enough energies for the 1HKO. This is unlikely.
When Jak played Kyurem he managed to deck out a Durant player. Do not rely on this. Durant > Kyurem.
What about when Dark Explorers comes out?
Not good for Kyurem. Tornadus EX, Darkrai EX and Zoroark are all very fast and can take out Kyurem and the EX before you get enough energy onto the field. You lose one of the main advantages you have and although it’s not a lost cause I wouldn’t expect people to do well with Kyurem over Battle Roads and Nats.
This sucks because I love the deck and wish I’d used it for more than one tournament, but it was a deck I put together because I thought it was a good call given the current meta. This turned out to be correct, but I just can’t advise this post-DEX. Sorry. I’m already moving on. Be assured though that I won’t forget about Kyurem and at the first opportunity that bad boy is seeing some more play!
My random message for the day: Don’t count out players OR decks! My friend Derek (or D-man if you wanna sound cool) played Gardevoir NXD / Darmanitan NXD / Gothitelle EPO. This is a deck most people have discounted, but he managed to take down a CMT deck that took second at a Regionals, ruining the player’s chance of top-cutting, despite finishing 4-1. During this game Derek KO’d a Mewtwo using a Darmanitan with a single energy. Twice.
This also produced my favorite quote of the day when he was asked if he played Victini:
“Balls to Victini, that’s for people who don’t have faith in their deck!”
P.S. Follow me on Twitter: @thewossy