Terrakion and Landorus: Partners Meant For Fighting

pokemon-paradijs.comMan, it has been a while since I wrote an article. A little bit about me: the last time I wrote an article, I probably wasn’t a legitimate source of information, as I had never made top cut. However, this year (my last year of Seniors) has been a great year for me. I could only go to three Fall Battle Roads, so I was not aiming for a Worlds invite early on in the season.

During Fall Regionals, I made top cut for the first time. There were over seventy people in my division with a top 16, and I advanced all the way to 3rd place with a deck based around Tyranitar Prime. My dad, who had traveled with me to the tournament hadn’t expected me to the make top cut and didn’t even bring a change of clothes for the overnight stay.

Because of my location, it was easy for me to attend the Chicago Marathon, so I managed to acquire enough points to stay competitive. For the first weekend of States, they were all too far away, so I sat at home lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a Mewtwo or any other EXs. But I heard about Curran Hill winning with Quad Terrakion, so I used a Durant skeleton to build my own. The next week, I took the deck to top 8 in Indiana. I went 5-1 and was seeded 2nd, but I embarrassingly lost to the only Zekeels I played that day due to absolute lack of testing.

After that, I added two Landorus and got 2nd at Illinois States, losing in the finals to the (at the time) number one in Championship Points in North America. At Spring Regionals I made top 16, but we only had 63 people, which kind of sucked since it meant we were one person away from having a top 16 cut. I then took the deck to win two Spring Battle Roads and get 2nd at another.

From Regionals to Regionals I was ranked in the top 40, but after the 2nd weekend of Spring Battle Roads, I went to Ecuador to visit family and have slipped down to spot 46. Hopefully I am still a credible enough source to write up this deck analysis.

My list as it is built right now:

Pokémon – 6

4 Terrakion NVI

2 Landorus NVI

Trainers – 40

3 Sage’s Training

3 Professor Oak’s New Theory

2 Professor Juniper

3 N

3 Random Receiver


4 Junk Arm

4 Exp. Share

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Heavy Ball

2 Switch

2 Revive

2 Lost Remover

2 PlusPower

1 Crushing Hammer

1 Super Rod

Energy – 14

14 F

Some quick notes: as soon as I get home, I am going to make the following changes, -1 Judge, -1 Random Receiver, -2 Dual Ball, +1 PlusPower, +1 N, +1 Professor Oak’s New Theory, and +1 Heavy Ball.

The list has been evolving since I first built the deck. It started out as a mono-Terrakion deck, but new changes were made. For my second tournament, I added Landorus, and for Battle Roads after the release of Dark Explorers, I changed the Pokégears to Random Receivers and added a third one.

Terrakion is the main attacker of the deck. It has a lot of synergy with Exp. Share that lets it attack for two Energies for 90 damage and follow up with another 90 next turn with another Energy. It is also type-counters Darkrai variants and Zekeels; it has a Retreat Cost of three which lets it be searched out with Heavy Ball.

Landorus is your desired starter and your Darkrai-Hammers counter. It has synergy with Sage’s Training and Juniper. If you have an Energy in your hand, you can hopefully use Sage’s Training to discard another, letting you get the turn two Gaia Hammer. If you have an Energy and Juniper in hand, you can Juniper away an Energy to get a turn two Gaia Hammer.

This is your donk potential and way to start attacking quickly. There are other ways to get the turn two Gaia Hammer involving Junk Arm, but these are usually less common. Landorus also helps in the CMT matchup, or against any other deck that runs Skyarrow Bridge because that gives it a Retreat Cost of zero.

PlusPower is useful for getting the knockout when you are short just a little. Some situations where I have used it is on turn two when only two Energies are attached to KO a Smeargle, on an Eviolited Darkrai or Regigigas or such, or in the mirror using two on a Landorus to turn the tide for the 1HKO.

Heavy Ball is the easiest way to search out Terrakion. I have been flipping badly on Dual Ball recently, so I am taking those out because they are not needed. I have never really needed to search out Landorus, it isn’t as powerful as Terrakion late-game.

Switch is very important for the deck because it is a common stall tactic to Catcher a Terrakion. This helps counteract that.

Super Rod is for when your Revives just aren’t coming up, as they are more convenient, or if you don’t immediately want a Terrakion, or you want more Energy in the deck.

Pokémon Catcher is because you want to take a lot of cheap prizes. Often I can 2HKO an EX, but after I hit them they retreat. Catcher helps me get those 2 Prizes that I deserve. Also Catchering up Darkrais and Regigigases is a lot of fun.

Junk Arm is a card that I will never cut any of, just like Catcher, because every single game I use them all usually. I usually end up Junk Arm-ing for Catchers.

Lost Remover is a disrupter that can hopefully help every matchup, especially CMT. It is leftover from the Durant skeleton that I based the deck off, as is Crushing Hammer.

Random Receiver is a consistency booster, and in theory, the more you run, the fewer Supporters you can run and the better your Smeargle matchups are. A balance is necessary, however. The more Receivers you run in relation to Supporters, the better you can do against Smeargle. But the fewer Random Receivers you run, the better your Vileplume matchups are, especially as Vanilluxe is becoming more popular. Right now I’m thinking that three is the best number, but it depends on how popular one think Vanillluxe or Smeargle will be.

Professor Oak’s New Theory is my favorite Supporter in this deck because I can dump what I need from my hand and get a fresh one.

Sage’s Training and Professor Juniper are mostly added in to help get the turn two Gaia Hammer, but I prefer playing PONT to them, and I prefer playing Juniper to Sage´s.

Whenever people ask me why I run Judge, I say Judge is for when you are winning, and N is for when you are losing. But early game I would still prefer to have a fresh hand of six than four, so I am not taking full advantage of it, which is why I am taking it out.

Fourteen F Energy is probably a bit much, but I still whiff occasionally. If someone really needed a spot, they could take one out.

If you have any questions about things that I am not adding, I would be happy to answer in the comments.



Zekeels is an easier matchup, but it is definitely not an auto-win. You have to get rid of the Mewtwo before it has too much Energy on it, and Zapdos NXD, Tornadus EPO, and Tornadus EX are all very annoying when they have Eviolites on them. I have lost to Zekeels several times in a tournament. A slow start on your part with a faster start on theirs can lead to a possible loss.

One problem that almost every deck has with the Eels matchup is that if you have to attack their active if it is a threat, it almost forces you to do that for the rest of the game because as soon as you Knock it Out, they can get that Energy on a new Pokémon with Eelektriks. So if there is ever a lull in their action, a good idea would be to go for the Eels for the Catcher-KO

CMT is my least favorite matchup because Tornadus is incredibly annoying. If this ever got especially popular, this would not be the best play. The matchup is definitely winnable, but not is the level of your opponent is high enough. This is a good matchup to use Lost Remover and Crushing Hammer, especially Lost Remover, and if you can, Knock Out where the Energy is.

The most recovery they usually run is Super Rod, so it is possible to make them run out of Energy, and I have done that before. Also, it is important to take prizes, as it gets difficult late game (see Eviolited Tornadus EX). So take those cheap prizes and go for the 2HKO on the Mewtwos to get those 6 Prizes.

Troll seems about an even matchup to me, but it all depends on SSU flips. Against the Troll lists that I have played against, they seem slightly less consistent than my deck but more versatile, with SSU and Tornadus. Everything is a 2HKO, so go for 2HKOs on Mewtwos (if they are forced to bench them or start with them), 1HKOs on Shaymins, and try for the double PlusPower KO on Landoruses to turn the tide in your favor.

Darkrai is a deck that I have not done enough testing against. I assume the counter to Sableye DEX and Hammers is to get a Landorus active, but I can think of problems with that theorymon, such as Catcher stalling. Another mistake I have made is underestimating the power of Slowking HS, Darkrai, and N. Watch out for Slowpokes, you may want to play it safe and Catcher-KO them. Finally, so many decks are playing Terrakion, so use the fact that you play four Terrakion to your advantage and KO Darkrais!

Hopefully you enjoyed the analysis of a deck that got me 18 Points when I had no EXs (but don’t worry, I own a Mewtwo now), and see you all at Nationals!

Reader Interactions

25 replies

  1. Garrett Williamson

    The first thing I noticed in the list was only 2 landorus. Being the decks starter I stongly feel that it should be at 4. Getting a turn 2 gia hammer is made a lot harder when you start terrakion. Also I prefer rescue energy over revive. The deck already gets hit hard enough by trainer lock.

    • Mark Hanson  → Garrett

      Landorus isn’t the main attacker. Terrakion makes a fine starter. Otherwise Mono-Terrakion would always start bad.

      • killerpotatoe  → Mark

        mono terrakion wants to start with terrakion. otherwise it wouldn’t be mono. and it can’t be a bad starter if it is the only starter

    • Red Ados  → Garrett

      I used to run Rescue Energy, but when I could, I never played it down for fear of being Lost Removered. So I took them out for Fightings.

      Terrakion is fine for a starter. Landorus is not useful late game, and a T2 Gaia Hammer is not always possible or optimal (ex. Reshiphlosion matchup)

  2. Zach

    I don’t see why people are posting articles about the last format. We need to focus on BW-on, and with that, most decks fall apart due to lack of PONT and Junk Arm. The donking era is officially over.

    • Bohdan Pelekh  → Zach

      “last” format?
      Rotation didn’t happen yet as far as I know.
      Decks will not fall apart without junk arm and PONT. You sound like one of those crazy people on the sidewalk yelling: “The end is near”.

    • killerpotatoe  → Zach

      you need to stop posting comments like this. rotation hasn’t happened yet. and 6P is for serious players that are going to nats and/or worlds. if you are not going, either you’re not serious enough to appreciate these articles or your new and don’t have enough play/champ points to go to nats/worlds and you need to be patient.

    • airhawk06  → Zach

      To add onto what others have said, you can learn about the game from any article covering any format. I could write a Haymaker article and you would complain about it being “the first format.” Yet, you would miss the reasoning and the insight gained through the process.

      Also, Rotation has not happened. Some Nationals and Worlds have yet to take place. There is over a month left until the next format.

      Finally, stop complaining about “decks falling apart” without Junk Arm and PONT. Yes I will miss PONT, but the net effect will be just the opposite. The Basic decks will still work, AND set up decks will have a better shot at competing because the format slows down without Junk Arm and PONT.

    • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Zach

      Again? How wrong can someone be in such a short post?

      We get it – you are not going to Nats/Worlds and want to spend 3 months getting bored with your Battle Roads deck. The rest of us like to read about the current format.

      If you are so keen on BLW-on, why don’t you test it? I’m assuming you haven’t or you wouldn’t post that nonsense about decks ‘falling apart’ (again).

      If you think the era of donking is over, wait until you see what little Rayquaza does to Dragon decks.

    • Johnny Y  → Zach

      Is this all you’re going to do until September 1st? Whine about how there aren’t enough BW-on articles?

      …Hey, you wanna know secret? It’s why people are writing articles about THIS (not last, rotation hasn’t happened yet) format.
      It’s because THIS FORMAT ISN’T OVER. Nationals and Worlds. Big Tournaments. /Important Tournaments./
      If you’re so concerned about this, write your own article.

      And OMG, yes, Junk Arm and PONT will be gone. This happens every year. We get new cards, there are new strategy. We aren’t even IN the next format yet, you never know what type of freaking cards will come out. Get out.

    • Gage  → Zach

      This format is not over. There is a thing called Nationals this week in the U.S. and the U.K. Also Worlds is still a thing, contrary to popular belief. I have no desire to say BW-ON anything until after Nationals. If I were playing in Worlds, I still wouldn’t care about BW-ON, but at least then it would make sense for the articles about BW-ON to be printed since not everyone will be at Worlds. Also donking will likely be worse in Black & White on because of Fast Ticket and Tornadus EX. And decks do not fall apart with out PONT or Junk Arm. PONT gets replaced with more Juniper, N, Random Recevier, and possibly Cheren/Bianca. And Junk Arm hasn’t been around every format, yet somehow the decks seemed to function just fine. Everyone has the same disadvantage anyways without these cards, so it isn’t going to be devastating to the game. Anyways, bottom line is to worry about the current format. Sorry, if I came across a little harsh but this is kind of a pet peeve of mine. Sure, I have glanced at the new cards; but I have no desire to do anything more than that with Nationals this week or even when it was 3 weeks ago. Just my $.02

  3. theo Seeds

    This was like the Klinklang article, I expected it to go for a while, was happily reading it, and then it stopped. Just like the Klinklang article.

    Although it’s cool to see how you’ve grown as a player, and how success without Mewtwo is possible.

  4. Roarkiller Master

    Well… it’s short.

    Anyway, Sage is definitely the to-go supporter early game for landorus, which is the to-go pokemon early game. On that note, you ought to be playing ultra ball instead of heavy ball, because (1) you need the energy discard, and (2) heavy ball can’t get landorus.

    Also, 14 is energy is too much no matter what you say. Having energy search improves your opening better because it can be junk armed, and energy retrieval gives you the mid and late game presence.

    Crushing hammer is played in 3s or 4s. One is redundant to the point of being useless; change it to switch. Likewise, replace a revive for landorus so you can start with it more.

    • Red Ados  → Roarkiller

      I usually don’t have a problem getting the energy discard for the T2 Gaia Hammer. Heavy Ball over Ultra Ball because for this deck, you really need the cards in your hand, junk arm already hurts a ton because you have to choose what to discard. Also I have NEVER had to search out Landorus. Completely useless middle and late game (minus sableye matchup).

      Vileplume decks are the reason I don’t run energy search. And I run a lot because I have run myself out of energy before.

      There isn’t space for more Crushing Hammers, and 1 is still helpful. I have won games with that card, and it is junk arm-able if I really need it for the matchup. I especially use it when I’m about to Juniper and have nothing else to Junk Arm for, and it really does help.

  5. Oliver Barnett

    Short. Not sweet though tbh, I personally expect at least a bit more than this on the FP ah well, different lengths for different minds

  6. Joshua Pikka

    Since everybody is rioting because the article is not 5,000 words I might as well join in.

    This article is like Kristen Chenoweth. Nice, but too short.

  7. Gage

    I liked the article, but as everyone else has said, it is a little short. I think going 3/3 on Landorus/Terrakion
    and going 2/2 on Dual Ball/Ultra Ball would be a better play than 4 Heavy Ball. If you really hate Dual Ball that much, I would go 3 Ultra Ball/1 Heavy Ball. Also, I think -1 Supporter/RR and – 1 Energy for +2 Crushing Hammer would be a great idea that will allow you to have a better chance at getting set-up and disrupting your opponent.

    • Red Ados  → Gage

      I usually use more than 4 Terrakions per game (with Revive/Super Rod), I really do need all four. Also, Landorus is a waste of space late game. Also, as I posted somewhere else in the comments:

      “I usually don’t have a problem getting the energy discard for the T2 Gaia Hammer. Heavy Ball over Ultra Ball because for this deck, you really need the cards in your hand, junk arm already hurts a ton because you have to choose what to discard. Also I have NEVER had to search out Landorus. Completely useless middle and late game (minus sableye matchup).”

  8. Sky Shaymin

    This deck will be a threat to any electric deck, and it will certainly be viable. The best part is the fact that there are only 6 Pokémon, so you have a small chance of winning before the first turn.

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