Hey guys, today I’m here with the newest set, Dark Explorers. I realize that there have been many Dark Explorers articles so far, but I started this one before all of the others, and I really feel that this article can add something.
I’m pretty excited for this set and what it will bring for Battle Roads. This set has been getting a fair amount of hype, and for good reason. There are quite a few good cards in this set, and it will certainly change the field for Battle Roads.
If any of you don’t know, this is the 5th set in the Black and White series, and the second set that brings us somewhat broken, powerful, and infamous EXs. This article will cover a lot of this set’s cards, as well as insight for the Battle Roads meta. This includes new decks and how it will affect current decks. Alright, let’s get to the cards! Enjoy!
BulbapediaThe first final evolution of this set looks pretty interesting at first glance. Can it bring anything to the table? The 140 HP on a Stage 2 is pretty typical, and not that bad, but still is at risk from all of the hard-hitting Basics of the format. It has an ability called Floral Scent, which lets you search your deck for any Pokémon and put it in your hand. The Ability itself is good and would be fantastic on a Basic, but I think it just can’t work on a Stage 2.
Its attack is called Poison Powder and it does 70 damage and Poison for GGCC, which is really not that good, and is just worse than Nidoking TM’s attack. If you are already running a fun Grass deck and think you might want to put Venusaur in because it seems to “fit,” then just go with Sunflora HS. It is a Stage 1 which makes it easier to get out and has the same ability as Venusaur for Grass decks.
Venusaur’s resistance is pretty much void and its Fire weakness just lets Reshiram BLW 1HKO it. What really brings this card down though is its retreat cost. It has a ridiculous four retreat, so it will never really find a place in any competitive decks anytime soon.
My overall rating for Venusaur: 1.5/5
This card looks fun. Unfortunately, 90 HP on a Stage 1 is pretty low. Not low enough to make a card bad, but still low. Its weakness to Fire really makes it fall to Reshiram-EX’s Glinting Claw and Typhlosion Prime’s Flare Destroy, which hurts, but luckily they are not played that much. The absent retreat cost is pretty convenient in some situations, but cannot be put to good use because of its attack’s effect.
The first attack, Hammer In, is pretty bad, doing only 20 damage for g. However, the second attack, for only a DCE, is quite nifty. It is called Deck and Cover (lol), and does 50 damage, along with Poison and Paralysis. Then, you have to shuffle Accelgor and all cards attached to it to your deck.
I can see this being a mean combo with Gothitelle EPO 47. You hit them with Deck and Cover, status-ifying them, then after you return Accelgor to the deck, bring in Gothitelle. This will essentially lock your opponent for the turn as they cannot Switch out, retreat, or attack, and you get free damage out of it!
There are a few problems with this strategy but they can be fixed. I will get more into the deck itself later.
My overall rating for Accelgor: 3.5/5
BulbapediaAh, now we come to this set’s first EX. It has the tied-for-highest HP of all the EXs at 180. As already established, 180 HP on a Basic is insane, but the EX rule essentially lowers it to 90, so it’s not as outrageous as it first seems. However, it has pretty awful stats on the bottom of the card. Three retreat ties it with the EX Dragons, and absent resistance is never nice. The Water weakness isn’t too much to complain about, but it does get 1HKO’ed by Kyurem EX.
Its first attack, Fire Fang, is pretty mediocre, doing 30 damage and Burn for RC. The second attack is interesting, and I’m not sure what I think of it. The second attack is called Grand Flame and it does 90 damage for RRC, as well as grabbing a Fire Energy from the discard and slapping it on a Benched Pokémon. This can be okay with the amount of Fire acceleration but overall this card is really not that good.
My overall rating for Entei-EX: 2/5
Heatmor, Heatmor, Heatmor. There are varying opinions about this little anteater. If you don’t already know what this does than here is a quick (no, it’s actually kind of long) rundown of the only four things you need know about it. It has 90 HP, it is a Basic, and it is Fire type. Now, what destroyer of dreams is weak to Fire? Of course, Durant.
The fourth and final thing you need to know about this, is that it has attack for c, called Hot Lick, which does a pitiful 10 damage. However, if the Defending Pokémon just happens to be named Durant, Heatmor decides to tack on 50 damage, which, with Durant’s weakness, 1HKOs Durant except under highly exceptional circumstances which will never happen. Sorry for the run-on but that is, in my opinion, the best way to put it.
Now, it is easy to think at first that every deck will just tech Heatmor and that Durant is dead forever. And some people think that. Others think that Durant will just be able to tech around it like it did for the States format; and still others think that Durant is still a good play because the odds of a sole Heatmor tech being prized, milled, or unable to attack are too high; and still others have the mindset that most people will think the way of the first opinion and not play Heatmor with the assumption that people will think that Heatmor will be widely played and thus think that no one will play Durant, so Heatmor will be a waste of space. Sheesh, this card is complicated.
romeert.deviantart.comI think that people will still play Durant and only decks with abnormal problems with Durant will play Heatmor. Here are two final things to think about. The first is the donk factor. It is extremely common for a Durant deck to open a lone Durant and if they open something else than they are in a bad position anyway. So, if you go first, with a Heatmor/a way to get it and attack with it T1, and your opponent opens lone Durant, you get the donk. Simple as that.
I don’t remember who, but someone said in the comments on this site: “It can’t be a good feeling going into a tournament knowing that you can be donked by any deck in the format.” The second thing to think about Heatmor however, it is obviously a one-trick pony, and will quite often go through a tournament as Junk Arm fodder.
It is worthless against anything but Durant so it is hard to predict what Heatmor will do to the format. If you read all that on a card you already know then I honestly commend you. It really is interesting though.
My overall rating for Destroyer of the Destroyer of Dreams: 3/5
BulbapediaThis is another letdown of an EX. It’s okay, but not worth it for an EX. See what I mean… It has 170, which is a pretty standard HP range for an EX, but, like Entei-EX, the weakness, (absent) resistance, retreat cost, and to some extent, its attacks, are what brings it down. It has a whopping four retreat and a weakness to Lightning. This alone makes it basically unplayable.
For WC, Smash Turn does 30 damage and gives you the option to switch out with a Benched Pokémon. I don’t see why the effect would have any use at all, because how can you switch a Pokémon to your Bench if you don’t even play it?!?! It’s second attack, Dual Splash, lets you whack two Pokémon on your opponent’s field for 50 for WWC.
This is kind of good, and I imagine Kyogre EX would be highly played if you took away the EX rule. I guess these bad EXs make up for Mewtwo EX.
My overall rating for Kyogre EX: 1/5
140 HP for a Stage 2 isn’t bad at all. But Lightning weakness and two retreat are, especially with no resistance to back it up. Its attack and Ability look interesting, let’s check them out. Well, its Ability, Diving Draw, gives us a new draw-engine, but it’s unfortunately on a stage 2, so it’s pretty deck-specific. It lets you discard one card from your hand, in exchange for two from the top of your deck. I think that is nice, and Empoleon can see play if its attack holds it up.
Well, for W you get a Jumpluff HS’s Mass Attack. 10 damage for each Pokémon in play. This won Worlds a few years ago, so it can’t be that bad now. That was my reasoning when I first saw it, however, now we don’t have Broken Time-Space, nor a broken Rare Candy, so swarming these will be difficult. Also, a smart opponent will lower your already not-that-great maximum damage output to even less.
It seems like a good card, but sadly, the fact that its weakness is extremely popular, as well as the fact that its damage output can be controlled somewhat by your opponent, banishes it to the binder or the realm of fun decks. I really, really hope that someone will make this card playable because I really like it, but it cannot stand up in this format. Sorry, Empoleon.
My overall rating for Empoleon: 2/5
BulbapediaThis is another card that struck my eye. I don’t know how much it will be played but it looks neat. The Fighting weakness makes it get 1HKO’ed by Donphan Prime, which kind of stinks, but it doesn’t make it any more susceptible to Terrakion NVI at least. Free retreat is cool, and absent resistance is boring. It has 90 HP as a Stage 1 which, as stated about Accelgor, isn’t very good.
Its first attack, Electrigun, does 20 for c and you may discard a Lightning Energy attached to it for an extra 40. Just a little interesting. Its second attack is much like Zapdos NXD’s Thundering Hurricane. It lets you flip four coins, and each heads nails you 40 damage, but it costs one colorless energy less than Thundering Hurricane, meaning it is still compatible with DCE. I don’t think Jolteon is going to be played that much, really, but it is pretty nifty.
My overall rating for Jolteon: 2.5/5
Ooh, now we get a good EX. This one’s getting a lot of hype, so let’s see why. It has 170 HP, dreaded Fighting weakness (which could be helped with Eviolite), absent resistance, and an amazing one retreat! This makes it have free retreat with Skyarrow Bridge!
The first attack, Thunder Fang, is really nothing special, it does 30 damage for LC with flip for Paralysis, which may be helpful at times, but its second attack is much better. For LLC, the funny-named Volt Bolt attack lets you snipe anything for 100! Then you have to discard all Lightning Energy attached to it.
This just begs you to play Eelektrik and Rescue Energy with it, as well as SAB so you can snipe 100 every turn. Too bad Terrakion NVI just gives the deck fits. There is a neat solution to this later in the set though…
My overall rating for Raikou-EX: 5/5
BulbapediaI honestly don’t understand the hype, and although many people do, I’m going to try and explain my best to help people understand that this card is not as good as Cleffa HS/CL. Sure, it has double the HP as Cleffa and an actual attack, but we already had this argument with Manaphy UL, and look how that turned out. At least Manaphy had free retreat; Plusle can’t even boast that!
Also, it can be 1HKOed by a minimum-powered Retaliate thanks to weakness, so why is it hyped at all? Well, it’s because of its first attack, which lets you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw four cards. Oh yeah, and it costs an Energy. But, if you have Minun on your bench, you get eight cards instead.
Still, it requires a slot on the Bench, and with all of my above points, I just can’t see Plusle being played over Cleffa.
My overall rating for Plusle: 2/5
This has a unique ability called Solar Revelation, which prevents all effects of attacks done to your Pokémon with Energy attached to them. I can’t see this being used because nothing in the format as of now has an attack that does an effect to your Pokémon (Donphan Prime, Mewtwo EX, Terrakion NVI, Durant NVI, Tornadus EPO, Zekrom BLW and Reshiram BLW etc.). I know there are some low-tier Pokémon that do, such as Kyurem EX and Gengar Prime, but that is no reason to use this card.
However, I wanted to mention it because I’m not sure if things like Raikou-EX’s snipe would count as “effects of attacks” because the damage is not printed next to the attack name. If Volt Bolt can be blocked against with Espeon, then I’m sure Espeon will see play but if not, not. Nothing else about Espeon is really worth talking about.
[Editor’s note: It doesn’t block damage from sniping like Volt Bolt, but it does block Special Conditions like the Paralysis from Thunder Fang.]
My overall rating for Espeon: 1.5/5 OR 4/5
BulbapediaHere is a funny card. Two retreat is pretty bad, but I suppose you can’t really expect a coffin to move around that much. The weakness to Dark may be written off at first, but then you remember that the set is named Dark EXplorers, so you can assume there will be viable Dark-types in the set. It has 100 HP as a Stage 1, which is a little better than what we’ve been seeing, but still not on the level of Donphan Prime.
Its first attack is called Chuck, and it lets you trash as many Pokémon Tools from your hand as you like and deal 40 damage for each Tool you choose to discard. I like this. Mienshao NXD comes to mind because, although it is a Stage 1, it is the only reliable way to get Tools out from your deck. Mienshao can also double as your dark counter.
The second attack is much like Azelf LA’s Lock Up, except for double the energy cost and double the damage. I cannot see that being used. One problem with (attack #1) is that, besides Junk Arm (and Good Rod and Recycle), there is no way to recover Pokémon Tools. So you cannot rely on Cofagrigus for an entire game, much like Magnezone.
I can see this being somewhat good with Rocky Helmet being attached and a whole other host of Tools. You can discard 3 Tools against a musketeer or dragon (besides Virizion, in which case you would just KO), leaving it with just a little HP, and if they want to attack, then Rocky Helmet would just finish them off. Just a fun idea.
My overall rating for Cofagrigus: 3/5
Aerodactyl, the only “Revived” Pokémon in the set and only the third ever so far. Thankfully, it is much better than the other Revived Pokémon. Its Ability is called Primal Scream, and it adds 10 damage to your attack power. This alone is pretty good, and, to my understanding, it is stackable. Not that this will matter much; it is hard enough to get out being a Revived Pokémon, and I think it will only see play in the future if there are good Revived Pokémon.
I think that because no deck really has room to fit in the necessary cards just for the Ability. But wait! It has an attack too! Oh… never mind… just 40 damage for CCC. Maybe later Aerodactyl.
My overall rating for Aerodactyl: 1.5/5
BulbapediaThis big, scary, earth-monster thing brings us to our fourth EX of the set. As a card, it is quite interesting, and there are varying opinions about it. It has 180 HP, which is tied for the highest of an EX, as stated before with Entei. Its weakness and resistance are almost as good as you can ask for, but the four retreat is awful.
It resists Lightning, which is pretty much the most played type, and any damage done by Lightning Pokémon is reduced by 40 if Groudon EX holds an Eviolite. This turns Bolt Strike into a 3HKO, Disaster Volt into a 5HKO, and Glinting Claw is now out of the question even more than it was before!
Also, this barely makes Magnezone Prime have to Lost Burn five energy for the 1HKO. That’s a record, by the way.
Let’s see if its attacks can hold it up. Tromp is the first attack, and, like Kyogre EX, the first attack is pretty mediocre. This one might actually be able to be put to use, but it’s still pretty bad. For FC it does 20 damage and 10 to everything else on your opponent’s field.
Giant Claw is the second attack for FFC. It is much like the various “Second Strike” attacks we have seen. Giant Claw deals 80 damage, plus 40 more if the defending Pokémon already has two damage counters on it. That is pretty solid, and I can start to see Groudon EX get some spotlight because of it’s resistance to Lightning and Giant Claw. We shall see…
My overall rating for Groudon EX: 4/5
When I first looked at this guy, I was like: “Ugh.” But then I thought a little and he/it could be useful. As a Stage 1, he has 120 HP, which is really good, even though basics have higher HP nowadays. It has a resistance to Lightning, which is always welcome, and also protects it from being 1HKO’ed by Bolt Strike.
It has three retreat which, in my opinion, is totally unnecessary. It also has a weakness to Water, like Groudon EX, which is a nice type to be weak to. Unfortunately, this also means that the rare Kyurem NVI’s Glaciate will 2HKO it.
The first attack is called Tunnel Strike, and all it does is snipe for 30, which is fair, but not that good. Its second attack, however, is pretty eye opening. For FF, Dig Uppercut deals 50 damage and you can pick out any card from your discard pile and put it into your hand!
Guess what, we just found another potential partner for Cofagrigus! It reliably gets Tools back, and doubles as a Dark counter! While on the weak side, it can be useful and is the type to be.
My overall rating for Excadrill: 3/5
Umbreon DEX 61
BulbapediaI’m just going to go over the attacks on this one because it’s not very good but deserves a little mention. For c, Confuse Ray deals 20 damage and Confusion which is not really that bad of an attack but it’s on a Stage 1. For DCC, it’s going Sharpedo TM style. Shadow Shutdown deals 60 damage, and if you land two heads out of two flips, all of the Defending Pokémon’s Energy go to the discard!
If you are lucky, you could run this with Sharpedo TM and Fliptini for a fun and annoying deck. Just wanted to mention that and Umbreon could prove handy. Also, it could fit into Leafeon/Amoongus deck.
My overall rating for Umbreon: 2/5
Ohmygosh, another Cofagrigus partner! This one is actually highly viable though. 70 HP for a Basic is solid for it not being a legendary, and the absent weakness and resistance can’t really hurt. The one retreat means it is very mobile with SAB as well. So far, pretty good.
So what makes this card viable? Well, it’s certainly not its Confuse Ray attack, which does 10 damage and a flip for confusion for c, but rather its second attack, Dumpster Diving.
Okay, whatever, it’s actually called Junk Hunt, but I’ll still call it Dumpster Diving, because that’s just more awesome. Anyway, for a single Dark Energy (or a Prism/Rainbow), you get any two Items from your discard pile! This is amazing! If you are trying Cofagrigus, forget Excadrill! Sableye’s your go-to here. Dumpster Diving is especially good because you can also grab Junk Arms which can later be used for anything you need.
I imagine this being a staple in any deck that already runs Dark, Prism, or Rainbow Energy and perhaps beyond that! Of course not in Vileplume though. That’s a funny thought. “I’ll use Dumpster Diving for two Trainers that I can’t use so I can Juniper them next turn”. That’s not going to happen.
My overall rating for Sableye: 4/5
Alright, here is another one of the most hyped cards in the set. It is a 180 HP dark-type EX. It has a very unfortunate weakness to Fighting, but a very nice resistance to Psychic. The semi-sore retreat cost of two is easily taken care of by its nifty Ability, Dark Cloak.
Dark Cloak states that any of your Pokémon with any Dark Energy attached to it has no retreat cost. I think this is quite nifty, especially since Prism is pretty played and because it can be counted as Dark as well as the energy needed to attack.
Darkrai’s attack is pretty good too. For DDC you deal a solid 90 as well as a snipe for 30. Too bad with the expected uprise in 40 HP Tynamo play, you won’t be able to snipe Tynamo that often. At least you 3HKO Eels, but the past advantage of surprise 30 snipes are gone.
The attack cost and resistance means that a Mewtwo EX needs eight Energy to 1HKO a fully charged Darkrai EX with Eviolite. I don’t think Darkrai EX deserves this level of hype, but it will be the cornerstone of the armada of new Dark decks sure to come
My overall rating for Darkrai EX: 4/5
Vile, vile Krookodile. This Pokémon has always had disruptive aspects to it since it came out in Black and White, but was never really played. Lets see if the first Dark-type Krookodile to be printed can outshine the others. Well, its first attack keeps the disruptive trend going. It is Dark Clamp and for DCC, it does 60 damage with a retreat lock.
This isn’t that useful because most decks run Switch, so it could only be useable with Vileplume. Even this wouldn’t be that good, because it is hard enough to get two Stage 2s out in this format, and you’re only doing 60 damage for DCC. It helps a lot, though, that it is compatible with DCE, Special Dark, and Dark Claw (more on that later). For a Stage 2, its 150 HP is really good, as well as a nice Psychic resistance.
Unfortunately, like most dark Pokémon, it is weak to Fighting. It has a disgusting three retreat, but that is easily taken care of by Darkrai EX’s Dark Cloak, which should be played in all dark decks. Moving on to Krookodile’s second attack, Bombast. Is that even a word?!?! It sounds quite funny actually.
Anyway, for DDCC, it does 40 damage for each Prize card you have taken. Immediately, for me, the words: “reverse Revenge Blast” come to mind. Normally, this attack on a Stage 2 would be quite awful, but, as stated about Dark Clamp, it is compatible DCE, Special Dark, and Dark Claw which might make this card at least semi competitive. It really seems like this card has potential, even if it’s just for the kind of gimmicky deck that I would use.
My overall rating for Krookodile: 2.5-3/5
There is only one thing about this card worth mentioning, which puts above all the other Zorua as the Zorua of choice; that is, unless you’re playing Stage 1s, in which case you would use Zorua BLW. Well, no one plays Stage 1s anymore anyway. The thing that makes it better than the other Zorua (I want to put an S to pluralize that so badly!), is its first attack, Ascension.
Ascension requires a Dark Energy and states: “Search your deck for a card that evolves from this Pokémon and put it onto this Pokémon. (This counts as evolving this Pokémon.) Shuffle your deck afterward.” It’s not great, but it’s handy, and it’s enough to make it Zorua of choice, so I wanted to give it a shout-out.
My overall rating for Zorua: 0.5/5 (I mean, come on, it’s a pre-evolution, it’s awful by itself)
Now, I definitely wouldn’t mention Zorua if there wasn’t a noteworthy Zoroark, so here it is. A 100 HP stage 1, pretty typical. Resistance to Psychic and weakness to Fighting, like almost all Dark types. Two retreat, pretty bad. Wait! What? Two retreat on a Zoroark?! What is this madness? (Darkrai says hi.) Oh yeah, hi Darkrai.
Now I feel better, but still, two retreat on a ninja, stealth, illusion fox thing is pretty high. Now for its attacks. For CC, it has this brutal attack called… Brutal Bash. It does 20 damage for each Dark Pokémon you have in play. This means, that in a full-fledged dark deck, you can consistently be whacking for 120. This is absolutely wonderful for just a DCE!
Also, there is the yet-to-be-mentioned Dark Claw, which just makes this card even better! It has a second attack too, but who needs that when you have something as good as Brutal Bash? Well, I’m not going rushing to the next card just yet, Zoroark’s Dark Rush attack is nothing to scoff at. For DD, it does 20 damage for each damage counter on it.
So, without Dark Claw OR Special Dark Energy, you can 1HKO a non-Eviolited EX if you have 90 damage on Zoroark. Of course, like all dark Pokémon’s attacks, this just gets better with Special Dark and Dark Claw, so we can start to see why the dark type is getting the hype it is. At least the Pokémon creators kept the game fair and didn’t make Zoroark a Basic.
My overall rating for Zoroark: 4.5/5
BulbapediaHere is another good EX. And by good, I actually mean awesome. This card is the saving grace for all Dark and Lightning decks, which would otherwise be screwed over against Terrakion NVI. Tornadus EX, being a Colorless type, easily becomes a staple and, with an Eviolite, requires Terrakion NVI to 4HKO it or 3HKO it with two PlusPowers. Do the math.
Never mind, I’ll do it for you. Tornadus EX has 170 HP, and a resistance to Fighting. Unfotunately, like Tornadus EPO, it has that horrible weakness to Lightning. This means that Raikou-EX or Zekrom BLW can 1HKO it if it’s Active. Uh-oh. Well, you just need to keep reminding yourself that it is Lightning’s and Dark’s best bet against Fighting, and to try to avoid dropping it against Lightning.
The one retreat cost is helped with SAB. Its first attack, Blow Through, requires just a DCE, and does 30 damage. This alone is pretty pitiful, but its effect is nice. If there is a Stadium in play, you do 60 damage instead!
Its second attack, Power Blast, does 100 damage for CCC, with a flip to decide if you discard an Energy attached to it. This shouldn’t matter in the Lightning or Dark decks it’s going to be played in because they have back-from-the-discard acceleration, but could be a pain to CMT players. This is definitely a good card.
My overall rating for Tornadus EX: 4/5
Woo-hoo, now for the Trainers.
Hmm. It looks cool, but it’s just a worse version of Lost Remover. At first I wondered why the heck they even made this card, but then I remembered there was such thing as a rotation, so they (the card makers) probably wanted Special Energy removals after the rotation. This obviously implies that there will be a rotation to BLW-on.
Also, I saw a scan for Drifblim from the dragon sets on The Beach which did more damage for each Special Energy in your opponent’s discard pile, so that is obviously supposed to be used with Enhanced Hammer.
My overall rating for Enhanced Hammer: 1/5
My overall rating for Enhanced Hammer after rotation if rotation is to BLW-on: 3.5/5
Dark Claw and Dark Patch
BulbapediaI wanted to cover these two together because they are so closely tied in that they bring dark decks to life. Dark Claw is a tool, only to be used on Dark Pokémon, that adds 20 damage to that Pokémon’s attacks. This is just phenomenal, and makes it so that it is not too hard for Zoroark DEX to 1HKO EXs. That is quite scary.
Dark Patch is an item that, believe it or not, provides Energy acceleration for Dark types. It basically just provides a one-time Dynamotor for Basic Dark energy. This and Dark Claw will drastically shift the format in favor of Dark types from where they were. Now it is easy to see why the Dark type has the hype that it does, and just remember Tornadus EX if Terrakion NVI keeps popping in your head like it does to me.
My overall rating for Dark Claw: 4/5
My overall rating for Dark Patch: 3.5/5
This card, I believe, is getting justly hyped as the Pokégear 3.0 replacement. It’s an item that says to reveal cards from the top of your deck until you hit a supporter, which you have to keep. I’m sure everyone knows how frustrating it is to whiff Pokégears, something that happens all too often, so this guarantee card is bound to see play.
Also, this will encourage Dual Ball over Collector, just because most of the time you would want hand refresh over Basic search.
My overall rating for Random Receiver: 4/5
BulbapediaA lot of people already know what this does because it was supposed to be released in nEXt Destinies, but wasn’t. It is an item contributing to the “ball engine,” which lets you discard two cards from your hand in order to search your deck for a Pokémon.
I still think Pokémon Communication is better, but this could be useful in things like RaiEels (name sounds a little like RaiEggs, doesn’t it?) to get Lightning Energy in the discard.
Not really much else to say about this card, but I am very unsure of how it will effect decks. I think saying it will replace Communication is a bit over-hyping, but we shall see.
My overall rating for Ultra Ball: 3/5
Twist Mountain is a Stadium that lets each player flip a coin once per turn, and if that player nails heads, they get to play a Revived Pokémon from their hand that could normally only be played with the unreliable effect of a Fossil. Too bad Archeops and Carracosta are unplayable.
Well, at least Aerodactyl is pretty good, but I don’t know if any deck will have enough room to actually play one or two copies of this and one to three copies of Aerodactyl just for the Ability. I don’t think Twist Mountain is very viable right now. Maybe in the future if they make some good Fossil Pokémon will the Fossil deck idea finally be alive again.
My overall rating for Twist Mountain: 1.5/5
Phew, that’s a lot of interesting cards for one set! So…
Will Dark EXplorers Effect Current (pre-DEX) Decks?How
This section is going to be a mini breakdown of some of the pre-DEX decks, including new tricks and what will happen to them.
Zekeels (or Zeels)
BulbapediaThere are varying opinions about what will happen to Zekeels. For sure it will include Raikou-EX, and that will help for various reasons and various uses. It does get Ultra Ball, which will be played in it so that you can get early search and early Lightning Energy discards which are both helpful. Of course, Random Receiver will replace Pokégear 3.0 and Tornadus EX will just boss off Tornadus EPO as the Fighting counter. Overall, Zeels is still a contender.
The “T” in CMT will definitely get replaced. Well, kind of. It will go from Tornadus to Tornadus EX so it is still similar. Tornadus EX has more donking power for the same amount of energy and just provides more protection against Terrakion NVI. As a result of Tornadus EX replacing Tornadus EPO, and because Tornadus EX is much better against Fighting, I expect Eviolite to become more popular in CMT as well as Virizion EPO being less popular.
However, this deck is terrible against full-fledged Raikou-EX decks. This is obviously because of Tornadus EX’s weakness and because Raikou-EX discards Energy after its attack, thus making Mewtwo EX weaker. Also, Tornadus EX can be 1HKO’ed by either Zeel’s or RaiEel’s Zekrom’s Bolt Strike, which is just another two prizes down the drain.
BulbapediaSo, because if this, CMT can be shifted a bit to a Terrakion-focused version or just quicker and more focused on taking out Tynamo early. But, if you want to go with the straight CMT, kill-Tynamo-fast version, you still have to think about DarkArk. Tornadus EX thankfully can 1HKO Zoroark DEX, but the matchup is still unfavorable because all (or nearly all, if you play interesting techs) of the Pokémon in DarkArk are resistant to Mewtwo.
It just seems that CMT will struggle with DarkArk unless they play two or three Terrakion NVi and use them wisely. Also, I’m just going to get this out of the way now so I won’t have to say it about every deck, Random Receiver will replace Pokégear 3.0 in all decks that don’t play Collector, which as we all know, CMT should not play Collector. Overall, CMT will probably see some play, but will struggle in the long run.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is basically covered in the Heatmor section, but not completely. All I have to add is this; Some players will find clever ways to have a surefire way to beat Heatmor (besides just throwing in extra attackers), but most players will avoid Durant just because of the threat of Heatmor, regardless of how much Heatmor is actually played.
Mono-Terrakion and Landorus/Terrakion
Mono-Terrakion still might be a solid play because of all the Dark and Lightning, but I don’t think it will because of Tornadus EX. Also, it can struggle with aggro-Mewtwo attempts. Landorus/Terrakion is still a good play because it can beat Mewtwo with Mewtwo and it could easily tech in a couple Zekrom BLW to create a psuedo-Donphan/Dragons deck with Landorus to at least have a chance against Tornadus EX.
Groudon EX is something that these decks will include and might even replace Terrakion NVI as it is better in most aspects.
I honestly don’t know much about Troll and how it plays. I’ve never played a game using Troll but I get that the basic strategy is: 1) Get cheap KOs early with Tyrogue HS/CL and Pokémon Catcher. 2) Use Tornadus EPO as early-early mid-game attacker while powering up multiple Terrakion NVI. 3) Use a bunch of Terrakion as heavy hitters. 4) Abuse Super Scoop Up, PlusPower, and Rocky Helmet all the way.
Based on this knowledge (someone correct me if I’m wrong), Troll has a decent chance at staying alive. Any deck with Terrakion and an alternate attacker is automatically in the running just because Dark and Lightning are so good. Also, considering you can run over four Tornadus and Tornadus EX combined, Troll can include Tornadus EX for more power against non-Dark or -Lightning decks, but then you would probably want to run Energy Retrieval because of Power Blast’s effect.
Tyrogue doesn’t exactly lose anything either. With two PlusPowers, Mischievous Punch can 1HKO Zorua DEX, which is really all it gains from Dark EXplorers, but nothing to scoff at.
pokemon-paradijs.comLast but not least, here is Reshiphlosion. It has always been a solid deck, and even won Worlds, but it is really losing popularity because its T2 Blue Flare ratio is not consistent enough. It gets Entei-EX to play with, and I’m sure some die-hards will play Reshiphlosion, but I’m not sure it will stand up in the coming format. I am interested in how it does at BRs though, as I really don’t have a solid guess for it. Oh yeah, and it gets Ultra Ball which is nice.
The aforementioned decks, in my opinion, were the only ones worth mentioning. I did not mention things like Reshiboar or Truth, nor decks like DarkArk, because that section was only for the high-performance decks for the States-Regionals format.
Also, this article is getting long enough already, and decks like Reshiboar and Truth are kind of dead. Not completely, and they may make a comeback with Groudon EX and Entei-EX, but they would be kind of a waste. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, here are the…
Of course, with every new set, there are completely new decks created, focused around cards from that set. Dark EXplorers is certainly no EXception. I have created four decks built upon Pokémon found mainly in Dark EXplorers, but obviously, no deck can have Pokémon from only one set, so the decks have some Pokémon from other sets. All of the decks have been tested, but most of them have not been tested that much.
Also, know that I will not give a full analysis on each deck, but just give an overview and matchups for some of them. Two of the decks are completely rogue and two are completely predictable. So, without anymore of a wait. Here are my favorite four Dark EXplorers-based decks!
This deck also goes by Dark.dek or Dark Rush, but I prefer DarkArk. Here is the list I have been using:
Pokémon – 17
3 Darknessrai EX
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 32
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 11
7 Darkness – Basic
4 Darkness – Special
pokemon-paradijs.comAs you can see, this is very mainstream. The strategy is to go aggro Zoroark DEX early, and gradually shift to Darkrai EX. Multiple Absol can fill the bench as Dark-type Pokémon, as well as putting EX Pokémon into Zoroark DEX range with the handy-dandy Eye of Disaster Poké-Body. It can also donk if you get lucky enough!
Although mainstream, this deck has a little tech-iness to it. Zoroark BLW, Cleffa, and Shaymin have all proved themselves multiple times and are amazing in this deck. Zoroark BLW can easily 1HKO EXs with or without Absol’s help because it can abuse Dark Claw and Special Dark.
Outside of EXs, Zoroark is helpful in other situations too, again because of Special Dark and Dark Claw. It can easily 1HKO Genies and Dragons. There is seemingly no end to what this guy can do! Shaymin helps with instantly charging the active with Dark Patch and is always a generally helpful card. Cleffa is the big surprise here. I found it amazing clutch and used it in many, many games.
Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed the abscence of Tornadus EX here. Before building this deck, I believed that all Fighting-weak decks needed a counter to Fighting, preferably Tornadus or Tornadus EX. But, I found while testing this deck, that Tornadus EX is actually not good in this deck. I almost couldn’t believe it, but there were numbers staring me in the face, so I cut Tornadus EX.
Tornadus EX is still a great Fighting-counter for other Fighting-weak decks, but there are reasons why it’s bad in this. One, it ruins the point of Zoroark DEX, have as many dark Pokémon in play as possible. But Shaymin and Cleffa do that too. Two, the damage output. 100 damage in this deck is really, really low. Well, you could say, Darkrai EX only does 90. But, keep in mind, Darkrai’s attack can be boosted by Special Dark and Dark Claw, Tornadus’ cannot.
Also, Darkrai snipes. Against Fighting, I found it is just better to beat down with Dark, exchanging KO for KO, instead of 2HKO’ing with Tornadus EX, letting your opponent Catcher around and taking valuable prizes.
Note: Wins and losses are from DarkArk’s side. This will be the case for the other decks as well. Also, I did not do a set amount of games for each matchup. I did what I thought would be best. For example, if I went 4-0 against a deck, I would not continue to test because I have already “proven” that the matchup is at least somewhat favorable.
Wins (version with Tornadus EX): 1 Losses (with Tornadus EX): 4
Wins (without Tornadus EX): 3 Losses (without Tornadus EX): 2
Wow. Tornadus EX sucks! Just kidding, as talked about before, it is not ideal in this deck. After I revised the deck to the list above, without Tornadus EX, it came down only to which deck went first each game. Every game, the deck that went first always got T2 KO’s with Earthquake/Brutal Bash and the deck that went second fell behind on the prize race on T2 before it got a chance. And yes, it is that easy to 1HKO a Donphan.
So, if you lose the opening flip against this deck, then you basically lose unless the deck/player is sub-par or they whiff the T2 Donphan. I don’t even know why I tested against this deck, it’s not that popular, but I suppose it was good to because DarkArk is weak to it.
Wins: 3 Losses: 3
In my testing, whoever went first won. It was like with Donphan; T2 Brutal Bash and T2 Disaster Volt, with some EXs getting in on the action later. If you opponent whiffs on a T2 attack then you have to go super-aggressive as fast as possible. Obviously, it is great to abuse Catcher to pick off Tynamo, Eelektrik, and Smeargle (if they run it) with Absol. Absol’s use is kind of limited so any opportunity to use it is great.
One thing that is kind of obvious but I found interesting, is that Zoroark BLW is great here. With only one Special Dark and a Dark Claw, you can 1HKO Thundurus EPO, Tornadus EPO (again, if they run it), Zekrom BLW, Zekrom-EX, and potentially Mewtwo EX. That is something to keep in mind for this matchup. Also, in case you were wondering, I was not testing against the same Zeel I used for States, but a more normal one.
Wins: 2 Losses: 4
I don’t really know what to say about that win/loss record. RaiEels not that different from Zeels. Also, the games were not determined by who went first. The games did not really have anything worth noting; except that there was a Volt Bolt donk. RaiEels can’t really abuse Catcher because of Dark Cloak, which is good. And it is easy to pick off Eels, which is good, so I really don’t know how DarkArk didn’t have a positive record. Maybe six games is just not enough.
As for how to play this matchup, you need to go really aggressive on the Eels, and baiting Volt Bolts is great too. It is really inconvienient that Zoroark has 100 HP exactly. At least the Zoroark BLW trick tech can copy Volt Bolt and easily pick off Eels, and with Absol/Pokémon Catcher helping, winning this matchup, in theory, shouldn’t be too hard. I will provide my Raikou/Eel list later, as it is a new deck.
Wins: 4 Losses: 0
I figured that four straight wins against a former giant in the metagame was enough to prove that DarkArk should be able to take this matchup. Try to take cheap prizes with Zoroark DEX against Tornadus and Celebi when you can, but it is also great to go aggro Darkrai. Mewtwo can’t 1HKO Darkrai, and Darkrai can’t 1HKO Mewtwo either. But, Darkrai can 2HKO it, as well as setting another Mewtwo up for an 1HKO by one of your two Zoroark, or 2HKO a Celebi by sniping.
There are two problems with this matchup, one which is beyond the player’s control. With four Absol, four Zorua, a Cleffa, and a Shaymin, it is easy to get Tornadus donked. It is somewhat easy to get two Basics in your starting seven. However, even if you have a lone Basic, if you go first, and if you start out with any of the 12 draw Supporters or four Dual Ball then you’re probably okay.
The second problem, similar to the first, is that so many Pokémon in DarkArk are in Tornadus range. Which means that they can get many cheap prizes with most CMTs running four Catcher and four Junk Arm. You could just not drop Pokémon down, but that would ruin Zoroark DEX. That is another great reason to go straight Darkrai.
Wins: 4 Losses: 0
(Same first sentence as CMT) It is just so easy to plow through everything with Darkrai. Just get two set up and you’re good to go. Here is one very important thing to remember when facing Durant with this deck: never, ever, be tempted to use Zoroark DEX (or Zoroark BLW, because that will fail).
Even if you start Zorua, you need to keep too many Pokémon on your bench for it to 1HKO Durant. Even with Darkrai’s Dark Cloak in effect, you cannot keep energy on ALL of your Pokémon, especially against Durant. Always steamroll with Darkrai.
One other thing that this matchup has going for DarkArk, is that Durant is bound to Devour some Basic Dark Energy in this first few turns so you can speed up your set up with Dark Patch, which is very helpful. As with all EXs that sweep Durant, pile many Energy onto your attacker because of Lost Remover and Crushing Hammer. Don’t stack enough so that Rotom/Mewtwo + Black Belt can 1HKO you, but just so that you can be somewhat safe against the onslaught of Energy Removals.
Wins: 3 Losses: 3
Hey look! Another even record! Pretty much the same thing. T2 Gaia Hammer or T2 Brutal Bash. Even if you do go first, though, this matchup is still difficult. You need to swarm Zoroark and just beat them down, trading prize for prize each turn.
Whenever you can, since you only can use 4 Zoroark, it is important to take KOs on Landorus with Absol at any opportunity. This is easier said than done, because you need two Special Darks and a Dark Claw to 1HKO, but it is still possible and is very helpful.
It is also very important to hold onto all of your Darkrai EX because they can easily be Catchered and 1HKO’ed by Terrakion NVI. Groudon EX may seem intimidating, but it does give up two prizes. It can easily be 2HKO’ed. So, even if they get it out, you can still maintain a prize trade. Remember when I said to hold on to all of the Darkrai? Well, if everything goes decent, you should be able to keep up a prize trade until the last prize; one prize for each Zoroark, and one cheap KO with Absol.
Then, you can play Darkrai to easily take the last prize. Overall, if the builds of these two decks are good, and neither one gets unlucky whiffs, then it really boils down to who goes first despite the Fighting weakness. DarkArk, and other variants of Dark for that matter, are surely strong contenders for Battle Roads.
Why I Think This Variant is Best
Mark A. HicksI think Zoroark/Absol is better than Zoroark/Weavile because Absol is an amazing opener. Putting some EXs in Special Dark + Dark Claw + Brutal Bash range really can put you ahead and is better than some petty one-card disruption and takes up less space. Also, since Absol will have Energy on it a lot because of retreating into Darkrai on T2 (w/ Dark Cloak), Shaymin should be treated as a necessary staple for this deck.
As for Darkrai EX/Tornadus EX; it is more of a different deck than a different variant, but it utilizes the Dark engine so I’ll include it here. It simply does not have enough power. The attackers are nice and bulky but they are EXs, and any deck with not-very-many EX attackers can have trouble. Also, it is just plain easier to go with something you have tested for hours than something you have not.
I myself will not play any Dark decks at Battle Roads, because I have no way (unless I want to go broke for a couple BRs) to get all the cards needed, but expect them at yours.
The Next Deck, Gothigor
Pokémon – 23
1 Karrablast NVI
1 Gothorita EPO 45/46
1 Smeargle UD/CL
2 Mewtwo EX
2 Doduo UD
Trainers – 29
1 Junk Arm
Energy – 8
youtube.comThis deck is very complex and odd-looking so it may take awhile to explain. I mentioned this deck idea in the Accelgor section. I thought it was a great idea so I followed through with it. The basic idea is to hit every turn with Accelgor’s “Deck and Cover” attack. (Where did they come up with that name anyway? Deck and Cover, really?) After you return Accelgor to your deck, you bring in Gothitelle EPO 47. This essentially locks your opponent out of their turn. Gothitelle blocks all Items, most importantly Switch and Catcher, while Paralysis blocks attacks and retreats.
You can use Accelgor’s attack nearly every turn with the heavy draw engine and ball engine, while using Dodrio to free retreat Gothitelle every turn. Speaking of ball engine, I’m sure you noticed I chose to run Poké Ball over Pokémon Communication and Ultra Ball. Now, I wouldn’t blame you if you thought: “Wow, Grant’s not very smart, he runs Poké Ball. Wait. What is Poké Ball?”
However, I have a good reason for running Poké Ball. But, since it is a card pretty much never played, even though it’s been out since Jungle, I want to give you a quick refresher. It is a simple Item with “ball” in it’s name, fitting nicely into the ball engine, and it simply states: “Flip a coin, if heads, search your deck for any Pokémon”. I think this is pretty good actually.
pokemon-paradijs.comI chose this over Communication and Ultra Ball because the whole game until the last few turns there are really no cards to burn. On Communication: you will need nearly every Pokémon you can get until the lock is established and in this deck I prefer a flip over a Pokémon trade. As for Ultra Ball, this deck cannot stand early/mid-game discards, especially for just a Pokémon; that is the same reasoning I used for only having one Junk Arm, two discards is not worth an Item in this deck.
Also, you can search out any Pokémon besides Gothitelle with just Dual Ball and Level Ball. However, even if the whole game goes well, your opponent can still attack immediately after a KO. Not much can 1HKO a Gothitelle without PlusPower, but most decks have something that can, which is why it’s good to set up another Gothitelle. If you have another Gothitelle set up, then you can just continue the lock.
However, in some cases you may not want to. This is because most decks’ only option to revenge KO a Gothitelle is Mewtwo EX. Mewtwo EX needs four energy to 1HKO a Gothitelle. So, you could just drop one of your own Mewtwo + DCE for the revenge KO, putting your opponent at the bad end of the Mewtwo war as well as behind on resources.
This is great because if you save both of your Mewtwo, and your opponent sees you’re playing a lock deck, they will probably think you don’t run Mewtwo, so they will be reckless with theirs. This is also a lifesaver against CMT. Smeargle was thrown in the deck because it is great for clutch and starting, and the deck already had Dodrio UD.
Wins: 4 Losses: 2
Just go with the basic strategy for this matchup. Accelgor lock. Set up another Gothitelle if possible in case of the surprise Zekrom-EX + DCE + Double Dynamotor revenge KO. Then lock it back up. If they revenge Gothitelle with Mewtwo, obviously start the wars, because this deck runs two and most Zekeels run two. Make sure you save the Mewtwo in your hand as long as possible so your opponent won’t see it coming.
Since no non-EX Pokémon can 1HKO a Gothitelle in this deck (besides a lucky Zapdos NXD), you should easily get ahead in the prize trade once the lock goes up. Definitely a favorable matchup.
Wins: 1 Losses: 3
Despite the numbers, this is not that bad of a matchup. It is easily winnable unless your opponent knows exactly how to play against the deck. Most Accelgor decks will play Sunflora and Vileplume instead, so your opponent will be a bit flustered when they cannot Volt Bolt your Accelgor-getting engine.
The natural reaction for most players would be to go aggressive on the Goth line, which is great for you, because that just isn’t consistent and won’t work. Maybe they will even try to target all of the Shelmet! However, the key to beating Gothigor with RaiEels is to go after the Dodrio at every possible opportunity. That is the key. Rescue Energy and Super Rod help a little with this though.
Gothigor will win if they don’t go after the Dodrio, but most likely if you aim after the Dodrio/Doduo all game then the RaiEels player should win. The only reason Gothigor won one is because I didn’t even know how to play for RaiEels for the first game and went after other stuff.
Wins: 4 Losses: 2
pokemon-paradijs.comThis matchup is in your favor, and if you get set up then you pretty much have the win sealed. Gothitelle is priority here, like with most matchups, and avoid benching Doduo until you have Accelor/Goth lock ready to go, because of Catcher. Obviously, also because of Catcher, you want to bench multiple Shelmet and Gothita early on so you can get set up.
Don’t worry of they get ahead three or four prizes, that’s what CMT does, and this deck can easily come back. Mewtwo surprises is the big lifeline here, and you have to play smart. The only reason, I think, that Gothigor didn’t have more wins, is because both decks (mainly Gothigor) had extremely odd luck.
This can be expected sometimes with the flippy ball engine, and you can play around it, but CMT is a great matchup if you do everything correctly and don’t go something like 0-4 on flips early game.
Wins: 5 Losses: 1
I honestly thought about teching in Heatmor for this seemingly unfavorable matchup, but going with the normal strategy should definitely work. Trainer lock shuts down Durant completely and just forget the common sense of not using draw supporters. Keep up the lock and take an easy win.
If for some reason you are forced into an unfriendly corner, go aggro Gothitelle. It’ll actually be fine if you know they cannot retaliate with something like Rotom + Black Belt or Mewtwo. If there is a threat of Mewtwo than obviously don’t stack energy on a Gothitelle, but build up your own Mewtwo.
DO NOT wait for the surprise (Mewtwo + DCE) drop thinking that they will need 4 energy for the 1HKO on Gothitelle because they have Black Belt. You can build up Mewtwo, they won’t be able to use Catcher under Gothitelle. But, to avoid complications, try and keep up the normal lock under (almost) any circumstances.
Wins: 3 Losses: 3
pokemon-paradijs.comI thought this would be a better matchup honestly. If they play Shaymin UL or Smeargle, that is great because it’s a free prize because you can KO them with poison going back to your turn, which is a really, really, good thing to be doing. Oh, yeah, in my testing, whoever went first won, so if you go second you’re screwed.
Just kidding, it’s not guarenteed. It’s pretty even because it’s kind of hard to get twelve back to back Deck and Covers while maintaing Gothitelle backup for each one KO’ed by Terrakion/Landorus. And early Catcher prizes really hurt.
Why I Think This Variant is Best
There is really only one other variant to talk about here, and that is Accelgor/Vileplume/Sunflora. Mainly, it is just easier to go with something you’ve tested with and has done decently, than an untested variant, but I really do think the Gothitelle version is better. This deck NEEDS access to Items. Catcher prizes against a built up Mewtwo with your own or a free prize on a 70 HP Pokémon is great.
Random Receiver, although not in my list, can also be a great addition to this deck, and with or without Sunflora, you need setup trainers. Also, Sunflora can be sniped, balls cannot (in this game). Additionally, when you Knock Out something with Deck and Cover or poison going into your opponents turn, you basically have to send in something that you don’t want Knocked Out.
With the Gothitelle variant, you have more bench room and can build up another Gothitelle, so, if your opponent can 1HKO a Gothitelle, you can easily maintain the lock. The only reason to choose Vileplume/Sunflora over Gothitelle is because of consistency, but if you falter at the very end you can clean up with Mewtwo.
Overall, after testing, I would recommend this deck if you haven’t decided, but want Accelgor. Also, you could use Communication over Poké Ball, but I haven’t tried it. I just like Poké Ball more in here. On to the next deck…
Deck #3, RaiEels
Pokémon – 17
2 Tornadus EX
2 Zekrom BLW/NXD
1 Mewtwo EX
2 Smeargle UD/CL
Trainers – 28
3 Junk Arm
Energy – 15
pokemon-paradijs.comNow, most Eel decks will be more Zekrom or tech based, and will run 1-2 Raikou. This is a full-fledged Raikou deck that is fun and effective. The ideal strategy is to get out 2 Raikou, 2-3 Eelektrik, an SAB, and a Rescue on both Raikou. With that you can snipe for 100 every turn, which is amazing. However, it is a little hard to get all of those out, but the deck can still work without that exact strategy.
Tornadus EX is obviously there because it is the ultimate Fighting-counter boss, and, paired with Eviolite, can give fighting a hard time. Zekrom is there because Raikou-EX and Tornadus EX just don’t have the raw power to strike the active, but serve different purposes. Feel free to try Zekrom-EX, I’m sure it would be helpful, but I chose not to include it in this list because there are already a lot of EXs.
I don’t have matchup sections for this deck or the next, but the goal is simple. Against Eelektrik decks, snipe Eels. Against Celebi decks, snipe all the Celebi, or Catcher + KO Tornadus EX if they play it down, or just 1HKO it if it’s already active. Against DarkArk or Zoroark Rush, prize trade, set up multiple Eels, and 2HKO Darkrai when you can. Against Fighting, go aggro Tornadus/Mewtwo.
Smeargle is to be sent up in between KOs and is excellent clutch draw, should you ever need it. It also can force your opponent to play awkwardly, to avoid giving you a supporter that you probably don’t even need, with your ample supply of supporters. Most of the other odd choices were explained in my last article about Zeels, which is a very similar deck.
And, Last But Not Least, Cofashao
Pokémon – 17
4 Mienfoo NXD
3 Mienshao NXD
1 Darknessrai EX
1 Heatmor DEX
Trainers – 32
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 11
3 Darkness – Basic
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is a fun little rogue deck that I thought of when I saw Cofagrigus DEX. I have built it and played with it, but not nearly enough to give it a matchups section, or to have me sold on taking it to BRs. I mentioned the vague idea in the Cofagrigus section, but here is a breakdown of the deck.
Most of the time, get Mienshao Hauling In on T2. However, for some games against fighting-weak decks, you might want to T1 use Mienfoo’s Triple Smash, and finish it off with Mienshao’s Meditate on T2. Once your hand is full of tools with the help of draw supporters, top decks, and Haul In, start attacking with Cofagrigus.
Cofagrigus can 1HKO anything, but most things you would have to waste an extra tool because it has just a little over an amount divisible by 40 of HP. e: Zekrom BLW. So, it would be helpful to equip a Cofagrigus with a Rocky Helmet, which is an extremely underrated tool by the way.
If/when you run out of steam with Cofagrigus, start attacking with Darkrai or Sableye. Sableye is preferred so you can start steamrolling with Cofagrigus again after 1-3 Junk Hunts. Darkrai is helpful for Dark Cloak and can soften things up with its snipe for Cofagrigus.
I didn’t use any draw/discard Supporters such as Sage’s Training or Juniper because you kind of need as many resources as possible in this deck, unless you’re Littering them away. This deck itself has serious problems with Durant so Heatmor is there just in case you face it.
dublejmedia.comI think that’s all I have to say about Dark EXplorers, so, to wrap it up, I’ll give what I think will be the top 5 decks:
1. and 2. Dark and Eel variants. I cannot put one over the other at this point, they will dominate BRs.
3. Fighting variants. Troll, QuadBulls, and Fighters (Groudon, Terrakion, Landorus, and Exp. Share) are all in the race and are great because the top two are weak to it, even though they do get Tornadus EX
4. Accelgor/Plume and Accelgor/Gothitelle. They will certainly not be the most played, but some players will put in the proper amount of testing and realize that this deck just might be the play for BRs. (like me)
5. Celebi variants. This includes the traditional CMT, CMTechs, and CMTerrakion. They definitely lost power due to Raikou-EX, Tornadus EX, and to some extent Darkrai EX, but they maintain the same strengths and will do well in BRs.
Honorable Mention ~ Durant. This pesky ant will still see some play and I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a couple early BRs, just because people would not prepare for it under the assumption it was dead because of Heatmor. Make sure to take precautions, Durant still will be played.
Mark A. HicksI really hope you enjoyed this extremely long (10,000 + words) article. I aplologize for the lateness. I started this even before Roarkiller’s Dark Explorers article, expecting it to be done at a proper time, but I really took the hours to test and think out this article.
Please let me know any comments, disagreements, or questions you have regarding this article, and remember to clike “like” if you think this article deserves it. Thanks for reading and helping me become a better writer.