Hello SixPrizes UG!
memegenerator.netWorlds is only two weeks away. I can’t believe how fast time flies. However, this article isn’t about nostalgia – this article is about decks. After a non-list article earlier this month, this article will once again “shove a bunch of decklists down your throat” as baby_mario so brilliantly put it. (I’m very good at that you know!)
Since I know that there are UG readers that are going to Worlds and want Worlds analysis and UG readers that are already preparing for BLW-on season, I’ll be providing both – HS-on and BLW-on analysis and decklists in this article. From HS-on I’ll concentrate on decks that have done well, but haven’t been discussed that much in the UG. These decks include:
- Eelektrik (Max Potion version)
- Speed Darkrai EX
- Terrakion/Mewtwo EX
Eelektrik has been analyzed again and again, but I believe that the rise of the “new” Max Potion version makes the deck even more popular for Worlds than it was before. It’s good to refresh everyone’s memory on why Eelektrik is so good.
On the other hand, Speed Darkrai was analyzed in my pre-Nationals article, but I wasn’t convinced about the deck before Tom Dolezal piloted it to Top 8 at US Nationals. I have been testing Speed Darkrai for Worlds and in fact it’s one of my Worlds deck options!
Klinklang is only a natural choice of analysis since it won US Nationals. Other UG articles have covered it as well, but I think it’s still worth discussing if it will be a good play for Worlds.
Fourth, I have the Seniors winning Mewtwo EX/Terrakion deck. There are people who say that Seniors are bad etc. etc., but I think that no deck can be taken for granted if it’s able to win the US Seniors division. Not only did the deck win the Seniors age division, but it has been very popular in Japan and is becoming even more popular in BLW-on thanks to a few new cards.
Fifth, I’ll analyze the mysterious Accelgor. John didn’t analyze it for some reason in his UG article even though he did very well with in the US Nationals, but I’ll try to do my best analyzing it. After all, I have been testing the deck quite a bit for Worlds since it’s pretty obvious that a metagame deck that is still a “secret” will make a showing in the Worlds.
Last, I’ll analyze the equally mysterious Terrakion/Scizor/Vileplume deck that was created by one of the greatest rogue builders of all time – Jimmy Ballard, with the help of some other players (including John Kettler). It was piloted by Jimmy Ballard himself into the Top 32 of the US Nationals. I have always loved rogues and I think this is the greatest rogue built this season.
From BLW-on my picks are the decks that are very close to the decks I’ll analyze from the HS-on format. These are the decks I’ll be covering in the BLW-on format:
- Mewtwo EX/Terrakion/Bouffalant
The reason why I’ll be less concentrated on BLW-on is since I haven’t tested it as much as HS-on format. This list also originally had the Speed Tornadus EX variant, but since First Ticket isn’t released yet, there is no point in the deck yet.
And at the end of the article, I’ll share my top 5 decks for Worlds and I’ll also shed light on my Worlds deck choice. It will once again be a long ride, so let’s cut the chase and get going already! I hope you enjoy!
Max Potion Eelektrik
This deck was piloted by Kevin Nance to a 2nd place finish at US Nationals. The deck is a great mixture of consistency and techs.
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 31
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 12
pokemon-paradijs.comEven though Max Potion might not be new to some players, it was sure a surprise to many players internationally and in the US as well. Max Potion is a perfect card in Eelektrik, because the good thing about Eelektrik decks has always been their consistency and the firepower to defeat any deck.
However, when Darkrai EX was released, things changed. Eelektrik decks needed to adjust and put back the 40 HP Tynamos. This took mobility away from the deck, which is a very crucial thing in a quick format like the HS-on. Eelektrik also has 90 HP, which makes it a perfect Darkrai victim. First of all, Eelektrik is 1HKO’d by Night Spear and second, with 3 Night Spears Darkrai is able to KO a benched Elektrik. This tactic could result in 4 Prizes in 3 turns like this:
T1: 1HKO to Eelektrik, 30 to benched Eelektrik
T2: 90 to Mewtwo EX, 30 to the same benched Eelektrik
T3: KO to Mewtwo EX, KO to the benched Eelektrik
After this exchange, Eelektrik would not only be in a Prize deficit, but would also lose its only Energy accelerating Pokémon. The deck was destroyed. This is where the Max Potion came in. Max Potion’s first use was on Mewtwo EX. It’s big if we look at the T3 of the example above. Of course we can’t use Max Potion on the active Mewtwo EX, but you must first retreat it to the bench and hit with a NEW Mewtwo EX.
After retreating you can Max Potion the damaged Mewtwo EX and save 2 Prizes, which is of course huge. Thanks to Max Potion Mewtwo EX 2HKOs Darkrai EX, but Darkrai EX needs 3 hits to KO a Mewtwo EX. As you can count, this gives you a prize advantage.
The second use of Max Potion is on Eelektrik. Darkrai can easily take cheap prizes from the benched Eelektriks and these cheap prizes usually give the victory to the Darkrai decks. This was very often seen in Battle Roads since Eelektrik decks usually lost to Darkrai in the finals. Max Potion can heal an Eelektrik that has been damaged by 2 Night Spears. A correctly timed Max Potion makes Darkrai player frustrated, because their Night Spears were in vain.
If Max Potion becomes a staple in Eelektrik decks, there will be no point of Night Spearing bench damage to Eelektriks. This probably leads to Darkrai players Catchering all the Eelektriks and Night Spearing the bench damage to the attackers of the deck.
The beauty of Max Potion in a big tournament like Worlds is that, you can never know if your opponent runs Max Potion or not. Even if you know they run Max Potion, you don’t know how many Max Potions they play. This will affect your approach to the matchup and if you’re preparing for Worlds, you should find a Eelektrik-proof game strategy that works against both – the Max Potion and the non-Max Potion variants.
The other interesting change in the Eelektrik decks was a sudden rise of Raikou-EX. Raikou-EX was a very played tech in Japan, so I was pretty surprised that it caught the attention of the Western players as late as in the US Nationals. So, why was Raikou-EX played? An argument can be made that it’s completely nonsense to run Raikou-EX since it’s weak to Fighting and is too easily 1HKO’d by Terrakion, which is still very popular. However, in certain matchups Raikou-EX can give you an upper hand you can’t resist. These matchups include:
- Any Vileplume variants
As you know Eelektrik mirrors are from time to time very frustrating. They often end up into a brainless Mewtwo EX war or just other kind of prize race, which is usually won by the person who goes first in the game. Raikou-EX can turn the tide in Eelektrik mirrors. Especially in the middle of a Mewtwo EX war. When your opponent expects you to drop another Mewtwo EX, you can drop a Raikou-EX instead and start sniping their Eelektrik.
The great thing about Raikou-EX is that it discards all its Energy. Yes, this is a good thing due the fact that Mewtwo EX can’t really 1HKO it. In the middle of the Mewtwo EX war, Mewtwo EX can’t even 2HKO a Raikou-EX, because the Mewtwo EX only has 2-3 Energy attached to it. Raikou-EX also works perfectly with Max Potion since it discards the energy after attacking. You can just simply attack with Raikou, take the hit, switch it to the bench, Max Potion it, Energy accelerate it again and take another Prize.
Third, we have the Slurp Shakedown Eelektross. This was a bold move by Kevin since it’s pretty obvious that it will useless in many games. However, in the matches where it proves to be useful, it will win you games. I don’t know exactly why Kevin put Eelektross in to the deck, but it’s easy to guess. Eelektross comes in handy especially in two matchups: against Vanilluxe and against Accelgor.
There are two reasons why Eelektross is so good against Vanilluxe. Most importantly, it can get you out of the Paralyze lock thanks to evolving. Second, Slurp Shakedown switches the active Pokémon and hits the new Pokémon for 60. And what Pokémon has 60 HP? Fliptini of course. Thanks to the combination of Raikou-EX and Eelektross, you can get rid of both of Vanilluxe’s Victinis, which is usually enough for you to win the game.
It’s also important to notice that in theorymon you can say “Hey, then I’ll just attach a Rescue Energy to Victini so it don’t end up into the discard pile.” In theorymon and in test games that works, yes. However, in a tournament where you don’t first expect the Raikou-EX and then Eelektross, you’re probably not attaching the Energy to Victini “just in case.”
Eelektross is a perfect example of a tech that is completely useless in test games when your opponent knows and is waiting for it, but surprise when it’s a surprise, it’s a real game-breaker.
In the end, this combination of three surprise elements that work very well together ended up taking the 2nd place at US Nationals.
Pros and Cons?
Eelektrik is probably the format’s most versatile deck. It’s also the most versatile when it comes to the “good” stuff. The thing that makes Eelektrik the most played deck in the format is its consistency. As I said in my last article, Eelektrik variants are decks that can win any deck, but at the same time they can lose to almost any deck. It has 50-50 matchups all over the field and the player playing the deck decides a big part of the matches’ results.
pokemon-paradijs.comConsistency is king. With 2 Smeargles, 5 Balls and 11 “Supporters”, this deck is the most consistent one in the format (even more consistent than the Speed Darkrai). In huge tournaments consistency is something that you’ll learn to value a lot. Consistency is never a bad thing, but it always comes with a price. However, in this deck it doesn’t cost you a thing. Usually consistency costs you the techs, but this deck is full of techs – Raikou-EX, Eelektross, Max Potion etc. Including a Thundurus or a Tornadus EX wouldn’t even be difficult.
Eelektrik is also one of the decks that isn’t disrupted by late game N as much as the other decks in the format. Of course a N to one card is always disruptive but when you have 2-3 Eelektriks on your bench with a Raikou-EX, late game N doesn’t really slow you down from taking the last Prize card. You can use this strength of Eelektrik as your advantage in many games since most decks are highly disrupted by late game Ns.
As for cons, this deck doesn’t have any big weaknesses or cons. The deck is so versatile that it has an answer against anything. And against the weaknesses it doesn’t yet have an answer to; you’ll always find a tech that answers them.
Eelektrik was the most played deck at US Nationals, but I can’t say for 100% certainty that it will be the most popular deck in the Worlds. Many players want to gamble at Worlds and build their own secret decks. These decks are often designed against the most popular decks and in this against decks like Darkrai and Eelektrik. The fear of these decks will also decrease the amount of Eelektriks played.
Every time in the history of World Championships, the most popular deck has had a tough time (even the year 2008 was no exception, though the most dominant deck did end up winning Worlds).
Eelektrik will be played and it will be teched against. People will test against it a lot and most people are familiar with it, because it has been around for a long time. However, thanks to consistency the deck has, it doesn’t need the surprise factor in order to well. I’ll be surprised if an Eelektrik deck doesn’t make Top 4 of the Masters division at Worlds.
Speed Darkrai EX
Tom Dolezal took this deck to the Top 8 of US Nationals. It’s fast and consistent – nothing more, nothing less.
Pokémon – 7
Trainers – 39
Energy – 14
pokemon-paradijs.comEven though the concept of Speed Darkrai has been around as long as Darkrai has been around, no one really got it working before Tom Dolezal. Both Fulop and I showed our own example lists of Speed Darkrai in our UG articles, but we were on the wrong track. Both of our lists aimed only at one thing – getting T1 Darkrai EX. However, if you want to do well in a tournament, T1 Darkrai EX isn’t enough. The deck should stay consistent in the late game as well.
This deck finds the perfect balance; it gets a decent amount of T1 Darkrai EXs, but at the same time it can maintain the stream of Darkrai EXs throughout the game even if a Terrakion hits the field. In my opinion the most interesting thing in this deck is that even though it’s an aggressive deck, it runs Eviolites over Dark Claw. At first, you might think that it doesn’t fit the deck’s game plan, but when you think it over, Eviolite is the only possible choice.
The main reason, which makes Eviolite so good in this deck is its ability to prevent a Terrakion Retaliate 1HKO. There would be no point of getting a T1 Darkrai EX if your opponent is able to take 2 Prizes on the second turn with a Retaliate 1HKO. At the same time, Eviolite was a metagame choice. The most important thing to 1HKO in the current metagame is Eelektrik and for that you don’t need any PlusPowers, Special D Energy, or Dark Claws.
Unlike most speed decks, this deck is very consistent. It can easily stream all 4 Darkrai EXs to attack and the only thing that hurts the deck is the late game Ns. However, thanks to Smeargle even late game Ns can’t always stop the deck.
Pros and Cons?
pokemon-paradijs.comThe deck is fast. Extremely fast. It’s also extremely consistent. Is there anything else you would like to want from a deck in this format? I got one T1 Darkrai EX in my Nationals and I can say that it was the easiest match of the whole tournament.
T1 Darkrai EX is devastating against anything else but a against a Mewtwo EX start. In one of the practice games in the Kettus-Camp I played this deck against Miska while he played Eelektrik. I started the game and got a T1 Darkrai EX. Miska opened with a lone Mewtwo EX.
In that game I realized just how good Mewtwo EX really is against Darkrai EX. I hit 100 to Mewtwo EX, but Miska just Max Potioned the Mewtwo, attached a DCE and hit me for 80 damage. In the end the game came down the wire and I lost by 1 Prize.
To be honest, I didn’t even think that it’s possible to lose a game where you go first and get a T1 Darkrai EX. However, if you couldn’t beat T1 Darkrai EX, this would be the BDIF, so it’s just a good thing to know that T1 Darkrai isn’t unstoppable.
Just like with every speed deck, the speed comes at a great price – a huge Item count. This makes the deck vulnerable to Item lock decks. I often see people saying two kinds of things:
- “Vileplume decks eat speed decks alive!”
- “Speed decks eat Item lock decks alive!”
So, which one of these statements is more true? There really is no simple answer to that. Even a quick Item lock isn’t enough if they can’t get their attackers set up quick enough. I don’t think there is any point of analyzing the Item lock vs. Speed Darkrai matchup since The Top Cut has a perfect video analyzing this matchup for me. It’s the Top 16 match between Tom Dolezal and Dylan Bryan.
These 3 matches showcase the balance in the matchup, and what’s even more important, it all comes down to the last turn of the game! If you haven’t checked it out yet, have a watch:
Even though Tom did very well with his build, he was one of the only Speed Darkrais that top-cutted US Nationals. I believe that Tom will play Speed Darkrai once again in the Worlds and will do well with it, but I don’t expect the deck itself to be popular in the Worlds.
It’s consistent, yes, but at the same time you can’t make any mistakes with it against the difficult matchups. The metagame is fast and this deck is even faster than the metagame itself. These two things combined mean that you can’t make any misplays with this deck – a single mistake probably costs you the game and therefore it’s very risky play for a high-pressure tournament such as Worlds.
“Klinklang won US Nationals 2012.”
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 35
Energy – 11
pokemon-paradijs.comOnce again, the concept wasn’t new, but the build was a little bit different than most Klinklangs. Probably the most important tech of the whole deck was the underrated Kyogre EX. Kyogre EX is huge in this deck since the deck functions almost only with Items. Kyogre EX can easily 1HKO 2 Oddishses at the same time and in US Nationals, when Kyogre EX was a surprise, it won many games for John. However, now things get trickier with Klinklang EX.
The Vileplume player can drop 3 Oddishes at the same time. At this point, there is no point for Klinklang EX player to target the Oddishses. The Klinklang will be Item locked, but the Vileplume player only has 3 open space lots on his/her bench after the 3 Oddishses. Not to mention that the remaining Oddishses will be free prizes for the Kyogre EX in the late game. The matchup becomes immensely interesting thanks to Kyogre EX tech, but a fast Vileplume is still a problem to Klinklang EX.
The other interesting thing about this deck is that it didn’t run any starters. First, it seems weird, but once you start playing with the deck, you’ll soon realize that it doesn’t need Smeargle or any other starter. The problem with starters in this deck is that you don’t want to give any free Prizes to your opponent with this deck. All the starters in the current metagame are pretty much free Prizes. The deck works almost fully with shuffle & draw engine, which is pretty peculiar for a Stage 2 deck since first you would think that it doesn’t work.
Probably everyone knows it already, but one of the most important thing in this deck is that you can search the Klink with Heavy Ball. In fact, you can search for everything but Mewtwo EX, Cobalion, and Darkrai EX with Heavy Ball in this deck.
Pros and Cons?
The best thing about this deck is that it has decent matchups against the most played decks of this format – Darkrai EX and Eelektrik decks. Darkrai EX decks have serious issues against this deck because they can’t really 1HKO anything. When Groudon EX is Eviolited, they can’t even 2HKO the Groudon. This obviously gives Klinklang too much time to get their Max Potions and once set up, Klinklang becomes an unstoppable force for straight Darkrai EX decks.
In US Nationals Klinklang also had the surprise factor. It might not have been a secret deck, but it doesn’t mean that people playtested a lot against it. I – for example – thought that Klinklang wouldn’t be doing well, because I thought Hammertime would’ve been more popular in the US since it was popular in the Europe as well. However, this assumption was wrong and John Roberts II piloted Klinklang to the tournament win without facing any Hammertimes. John made a risky deck choice, but it paid off – big time.
I for one would never play Klinklang in a big tournament like US Nationals. This is due the fact that I don’t accept auto-losses for my tournament deck. However, usually in big tournaments the risk is often worth taking. You can’t win a big tournament like US Nationals or Worlds without a good luck at some point. The auto-loss factor is the only con in the deck. Only 2 tech Lost Removers (timed correctly) are sometimes enough to make the Klinklang deck lose the game.
So is Klinklang a deck good enough to be played at Worlds? Yes. Is it still a risky play? Heck, yeah. In fact, it’s even riskier since there are lot of Europeans and Japanese players that will change the metagame to a very versatile field. But the main question is, can Klinklang win Worlds? To answer this question all I need to do is to take a look back in to my pre-Nationals article and quote myself:
“If Klinklang succeeds in avoiding every single deck that runs a lot of Hammers, it can have a decent chance of winning a tournament.”
This still rings the truth. Avoid Hammertimes (if there even are any), and you’ll have a real contender in your hands.
This deck is probably the most under-discussed deck of the moment considering it won the Seniors division at US Nationals.
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 37
Energy – 13
pokemon-paradijs.comThe deck is “new” – even though it’s just a hybrid of Six Corners and Quad Terrakion. Terrakion is a perfect metagame counter, because it’s good against both Darkrai and Eelektrik variants. And what else should you be good against? Mewtwo EX of course, but that’s obviously covered with your own Mewtwo EX! The deck is pretty straightforward, but it has a sense of “surprise,” because it’s SO straightforward.
Pros and Cons?
The deck has almost the same pros and cons as Quad Terrakion. You need first manually attach the Energy you need to attack. This alone is a huge weakness against any Energy discarding deck or any deck that is fast enough to KO all of your Pokémon that have Energy attached to them.
The reason why this deck won Seniors was that it’s straightforward and easy to play, but most importantly it’s a pure anti-metagame deck. It hits heavily into the weaknesses of every real metagame deck and can – for example – defeat a Darkrai heavy deck with a single Terrakion.
I have a prediction: this deck won’t see ANY play in the Masters division in the Worlds. However, this deck will be played in the Seniors and Juniors divisions and will do well there. I wouldn’t be surprised if Japanese players would have their own interpretation of this deck since its counterpart in the BLW-on metagame (which I’ll analyze in this article as well) has been doing VERY well in the lower age group of Japan.
So, to conclude, if you’re not a Master player and you’re going to Worlds, test against this deck. If you are a Master, you don’t necessarily need to use your time testing against this deck. If you’re short on time, I suggest you to concentrate your testing against the “new” decks you haven’t yet tested (presumably the next deck).
Mew Prime/Vileplume/Darkrai EXChandelure/Accelgor/
A deck that our very own John Kettler piloted to the Top 16 of US Nationals.
Pokémon – 25
1 Pichu HS
Trainers – 24
Energy – 11
pokemon-paradijs.comOnce again, it’s new that this deck even worked. Harrison Leven went 9-0 with this in the Swiss and our very own John Kettler went 8-1 and reached the Top 16 with it. Still, not a single list of this deck has leaked to the internet. I think this is more than interesting in the Internet-era of Pokémon TCG. However, I think someone should reveal at least one tested decent decklist of the deck before Worlds, so everyone won’t be surprised by it. The list above has been tested a lot in the Worlds preparation camps of Finland and as well as we could get it working.
The concept of Accelgor has been around even before it was released in the west and the only interesting thing about this deck is Chandelure. How can this deck work since you have to keep locking down your opponent and set up two different Stage 2 Pokémon at the same time?
How Does This Work?
First of all, it’s an Item lock deck, which is a double edged sword in this metagame. Most metagame decks use a huge amount of Items in their decks and are vulnerable whenever you take their Items away. Any deck with fast Vileplume can beat most of the Item-based decks in the format.
However, when it comes to Vileplume decks, you see the discussion about their weaknesses all over the internet. The most recent example would be two-time World Champion’s article about how top games should more than 60 minutes. In 60 minute top cut matches, Vileplume decks don’t have time to finish all the three games necessary in best-of-three matche. This wouldn’t be a problem if Vileplume decks weren’t the slower decks.
However, since they usually work with Twins and aren’t especially quick with attacking, they’ll have difficult time in the top cut. I’m pretty sure that all the Accelgor players lost in the top cut because of the time. If you lose the first match, you’re pretty much doomed if your opponent is smart enough, and doesn’t concede the second game.
pokemon-paradijs.comSecond, Accelgor is a Special Condition deck that can manipulate damage counters. This is just huge in the current metagame filled with Pokémon-EXs. Paralyzing with Item lock is a surefire way to get ahead in Prize race against the Pokémon-EX. Even though this deck doesn’t have the resources to keep the Paralyze lock all the time like a Vanilluxe deck, this deck can keep the Paralyze as long as it needs to.
The most important thing with this deck is – once again – resource management. The most important thing you need to manage are the Energy. You can’t get a Double Colorless Energy into your hand every turn, so you need to use every Deck & Cover wisely.
As a starter, Relicanth is just too good. Without Relicanth this deck wouldn’t work, because you would need Energy on Mew Prime to Lost Zone an Accelgor. However, thanks to Relicanth, Lost Zoning Accelgor will help you to set up. Drawing 3 cards is big since this deck doesn’t want to discard any cards and it needs all the cards the deck includes. I think that even Cheren could be a good play here since Sage can be quite risky at times.
What makes the deck so good is that it has a lot of options and its game plan is different against every single deck. I would love to write an article solely based on Accelgor and its matchups, but I think it would be counter-productive. If you are going to Worlds and haven’t tested against Accelgor, I suggest you to do two things:
1. Watch this video to see how it sets up:
2. Build the list above and playtest WITH and AGAINST it until you understand how the deck functions.
Yeah, this deck will be around. And this time around, people still aren’t prepared for it. Not everyone reads UG and will have only heard rumors about the deck. These people will probably be very surprised to see that the deck actually works and can inflict great damage to those who have no clue what to do against it. If it’s your last week of testing and if you haven’t yet built this deck, you should at least build it and see how it functions for a few games. Don’t go to Worlds without testing against this deck.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe deck won’t see a lot of play, because if it was known for a wide range of players, it would be all over the internet by now. The deck will probably be piloted by the same players as in US Nationals and I don’t really expect many non-US players playing this deck. Also, this deck will probably be a Masters-only deck. It’s very difficult to play correctly, but if a Senior succeeds in it, he/she will probably finish very close to the World Champion.
This is the deck to be afraid of because it’s unknown and powerful and what’s even scarier – it’s an Item lock deck.
Tips Against Accelgor
From playtesting, I have recognized few weaknesses in Accelgor, which you can hit with any deck. First of all, this deck is highly disrupted by early, mid and late game Ns. Early game Ns disrupt the deck since they draw cards from Prehistoric Wisdom. In the mid and late game, the deck is disrupted with Ns, because they need Energy and Mews every turn in order to keep up with a decent attacking pace.
The deck also NEEDS Relicanth in order to set up properly, and without Relicanth and the help from Prehistoric Wisdom, the deck doesn’t set up. Even though they run Twins, the faster you get your first Prize, the better. If you give this deck 3-4 turns to set-up with Relicanth, you can easily concede the game.
A single Unown CURE isn’t a good tech against this deck if you don’t run Seekers or Collectors because you can’t time the Unown CURE properly without Supporters. Espeon is indeed a good tech against this deck, but in other matchups it’s completely a waste of space. That’s why I think the best way to handle this deck is to know its weaknesses and how to play against it. You don’t need any fancy techs to beat this deck, if you know what you’re doing.
“A Masterpiece” – Esa Juntunen, The Deck Out/SixPrizes
Pokémon – 21
Trainers – 25
Energy – 14
pokemon-paradijs.comThe concept of this deck is very close to that of Kumis.dec. You have Vileplume, different attackers, Darkrai giving you a free retreat and an energy manipulator. However, unlike Kumis.dec this deck is has pure hard counters against the metagame. The most interesting this is the Terrakion lineup since this deck runs the “bad” Terrakion, which hits 100 with 3 Energy.
This is a brilliant tech in Vileplume decks that can’t use PlusPower to KO an Eviolited Darkrai with Retaliate. Of course the deck also runs the normal Terrakion since Retaliate is enough whenever your opponent doesn’t manage to attach Eviolites before setting up Vileplume.
The other interesting card is Scizor. I had this in my mind before the US Nationals and would’ve probably tried built my Worlds deck around it, if the US players wouldn’t have done it first. I love Scizor in this format, because so many decks play so many Special Energy. Since Scizor is always a surprise, it can ruin your opponent’s game plan completely, if they have decided to go aggressive and attach DCEs for example to their Mewtwo EX.
The other brilliant thing about Scizor Prime is its combination with Special Metal, which gives it the important 10 additional HP to make it a 130 HP Pokémon. Scizor Prime is good against Darkrai, but most importantly it’s very good against any possible not so played decks like Accelgor, Vanilluxe (Scizor 1HKOs Vanilluxe) and Kumis.dec. Scizor gives an upper hand against all the other Vileplume decks – pretty good tech wouldn’t you say?
pokemon-paradijs.comAnd that’s still not all. Scizor is extremely good against the Nationals winning Klinklang, which only runs 3-4 basic Energy max. If Klinklang doesn’t draw into their Basic Metal quickly, one Scizor Prime gives a lot of trouble to Klinklang. Of course Kyogre EX can still wreak havoc to the bench of this deck, but a smart player will cause a lot of trouble to Klinklang with a single Scizor.
Third, this deck doesn’t use Mismagius UL as the Energy manipulator but Shaymin. In fact, I like Shaymin better in this deck than Mismagius because setting up always feels so clunky. I think Jason Klaczynski played a list very close to this, but with Mismagius instead of Shaymin. The reason why I like Shaymin this deck better is the “bad” Terrakion.
You can mislead your opponent a lot by looking like you have nothing and then bait them to attack with a fully powered Darkrai EX. One Collector is enough to turn the game around at that point since you can search for Shaymin and Terrakion with it. It’s good to understand that if you are able to set up Mismagius consistently, it’s a superior choice to Shaymin in this deck, but I think there is no “correct” way to use Energy manipulators in this deck.
How Does This Work?
The deck doesn’t really include any too complicated game mechanics, if you’re familiar with Kumis.dec. It’s pretty much the same concept, but with different techs. These techs are the only thing that create the difference compared to Kumis.dec. Probably the two most difficult things in this deck are the use of Scizor and the use of Shaymin.
Playing Scyther must be timed perfectly, because otherwise your opponent has time to prepare for it and start attaching basic Energy to their attackers. After that, your Scizor becomes useless and that’s something you can’t afford.
As you can also see, this deck plays only one EX-Pokémon, which is extraordinary in this format. Even though the deck only runs one Shaymin EX, it’s one of the most important Pokémon of the deck. The deck wouldn’t function without it. Shaymin EX hits 180 when your opponent has 1 Prize left. Since you don’t run any Pokémon-EXs, you can force your opponent to go to 1 Prize in every single game and after that you can finish the game with Shaymin EX and N if necessary.
I hope to see this deck played in the Worlds. I really enjoy this kind of rogue decks that have a lot of depth and thought in them. However, this kind a deck needs a lot of practice by the player playing it. For a very long time this was one of my number one choices for Worlds, but the more I tested, the better I understood that I can’t keep up the same game-pace in the Worlds as in my test games, which means I would be in trouble in the top cut.
This won’t be very popular deck and it will probably be even less played than Accelgor, but it’s good to know it’s out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone pilots this to the Top 4 of the Seniors or Masters age group.
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 30
Energy – 13
BulbapediaFirst of all, you might wonder the lack of the (over) hyped Rayquaza EX. I haven’t teched Rayquaza EX a lot, but I discussed it with my Japanese source. He said that Rayquaza EX isn’t played a lot in Japan because it’s difficult to set up properly. Fast Darkrai still gives huge problems to Eelektrik decks and Rayquaza EX is completely unplayable without Eelektrik. It’s true that Rayquaza EX did very well in a Worlds Qualifier in Osaka, but as the whole Top 4 in B-league was Eelektrik, it was the deck’s popularity that lead Eelektrik to win the tournament.
The lack of Shaymin is also a huge factor in Rayquaza EX’s lack of success. You need to attach the Energy directly to Rayquaza, which makes the deck slower. It’s good to remember that decks don’t set up as fast as before since you can’t Portrait your way to set up. There is only one Supporter per turn for everyone, which slows down the game. Also, the more straightforward the deck, the faster it is. That’s why I have been a huge fan of this kind of build in the BLW-on format.
The lack of Smeargle probably hurts Eelektrik the most from the current metagame decks. Portrait gave you an easy way to set up a lot of Eelektriks by turn two and one Ball was enough for you to come back from a crappy start. Now, in the BLW-on format, you can’t Portrait your way out of the bad opening hand, which makes things challenging for a deck that needs to set up a lot of supporting Pokémon in order to work.
As we could see from the results of Japan’s Worlds Qualifiers, Eels didn’t seem like a tier 1 deck. However, it’s only Japan. The metagame has always been different in Japan than in the West and I’m sure Eels will continue to be force to be reckon with in the BLW-on format as well. We’ll probably see some very creative use of Blend Energy in the Eels in the upcoming season, which will hopefully bring Eels back to the tier 1.
Even though the deck has lost part of its glory, it still has qualities most decks are jealous of. You can’t go into a Mewtwo EX war against this deck; it won’t probably end well for you. However, this deck can force you into a Mewtwo EX war, which is a great advantage for this deck.
Raikou-EX also becomes even a greater threat than in the HS-on format. This is because free prizes aren’t taken for granted in the BLW-on era due the lack of Junk Arm. Sniping will once again be an important way to win games and Raikou-EX is pretty much the only legit sniper in the whole format.
BLW-on Klinklang Reborn as Hydreigon
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 33
Energy – 12
First, I didn’t know if I wanted to even include this deck into my article since I already made an entry about it on my blog, but I thought it would be wise to look closer at the differences this and Klinklang has and why Hydreigon is better than Klinklang.
With Klinklang you have to manually attach 3 Energy to your Pokémon until you can attack decent damage. This takes 3 turns. However, with the combination of Sableye, Dark Patch and Darkrai EX, you can get easily a T2 Darkrai EX. The deck is not only faster than Klinklang, but it’s game plan differs a bit from Klinklang. This deck aims at taking Prizes whereas Klinklang aims at preventing the opponent from taking any Prizes while taking their own Prizes in a slow manner.
2. Dark Patch
Dark Patch helps with aggressivity, but it makes the deck less fragile. Klinklang has an auto-loss against Hammertime. Klinklang is also in big trouble if the opponent is for some reason able to get rid of all of Klinklang’s Energy (by Knock Outs perhaps). You would need to reattach them manually all over again and while doing that, your opponent will just Catcher anything you attach Energy to. There is no way a Klinklang deck can mount a comeback when losing its all Energy.
However, thanks to Dark Patch, Hydreigon won’t be a disrupted by the loss of Energy as Klinklang is. In fact, Hydreigon will probably never lose all its Energy since it has Energy acceleration with Dark Patch. Dark Patch is the one thing that makes Hydreigon a superior choice to Klinklang at any time.
Klinklang is a passive deck, there is no doubt it. With Hydreigon you can be more aggressive because you have speed and firepower. Hydreigon is probably the deck’s second best attacker even though it can be considered as a “supporting” Pokémon. 140 damage is a magical number when combined with Darkrai EX, because as well all know 30 from Night Spear + 140 with Hydreigon is a total of Mewtwo EX’s, Tornadus EX’s, and Raikou-EX’s HP.
Shaymin EX is also a very nice tech in this deck because in the late game its firepower is unmatchable. There is no other card in the whole format which makes hitting 180 damage with 2 Energy look as easy as Shaymin does. Thanks to Blend Energy, Shaymin blends perfectly into the deck without hurting consistency.
4. Sableye and “Monotyping”
Sableye is great in this deck, because you can get back the most important Item cards of this deck with it – Max Potion and Dark Patch. You could play Sableye in Klinklang as well, but in Hydreigon Sableye really shines. This is also due the “monotype” of this deck.
Thanks to Blend Energy you can tech a variety of cards into this deck, but in the end it’s still a pure-blooded Darkness decks with a high priority in Dark Patches and Darkrai EX. The other cards are just mere techs against the most difficult matchups.
Pokémon – 9
Trainers – 36
Energy – 13
BulbapediaBouffalant is new. Bouffalant is also one of the best new Basics released in the next set. The great thing about Bouffalant is that it can endure a hit from Darkrai and even from a Mewtwo EX and at the same time it always guarantees a 2HKO to each of them.
In the end, this deck is very similar to the Seniors winning deck from US Nationals and doesn’t have any too in-depth techs in it. The one Potion can come in handy for example in a Darkrai vs. Mewtwo EX war, but I don’t think it’s a necessary tech. It’s fun at least.
This deck has all the pros and cons that the Seniors winning deck had. Thanks to Bouffalant it’s pretty much a complete anti-metagame deck and at the same time it’s fast and powerful. Bouffalant is good against any Pokémon-EX in the format (so practically against over 50% of the attackers in the current metagame), Terrakion is good against Lightning + Darkrai decks, and Mewtwo EX is just too good to be left out.
The deck is simple, straightforward and powerful and you don’t need any high-level gaming skills in order to pilot it correctly. I think it will see a lot of play in the lower age groups next season (and will do very well) since it completely dominated the younger age groups in Japan as well. However, in the Masters age group this deck won’t probably be as dominating. Playable yes, but dominating – no.
Mew-EX/Accelgor/Gothitelle/Darkrai EX/MusharnaAccelgor BLW-on –
Pokémon – 23
Trainers – 26
Energy – 11
youtube.comIn this part, we should probably ask “What has been rotated out?” In my opinion, Chandelure gives this deck so much depth that you can’t really compare this deck to the HS-on variant. I’ve done a bit of testing with this variant as well, and I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this deck as I was with the Chandelure variant. The difference with this deck is the lack of damage manipulation. This deck is more consistent thanks to Musharnas and since you can use Items yourself, but Chandelure’s damage manipulation is just too good to be ignored.
The lack of damage manipulation leads to huge trouble, if you aren’t able to set up your Gothitelle quickly enough. You can’t decide when your opponent’s active Pokémon is KO’d in the end of his/her turn, which leads into giving your opponent a free turn for an attack. With the HS-on Accelgor, you can come back from a 5-Prize deficit and not let your opponent attack even once while you take the 6-Prizes. All the damage manipulation you can do with this deck is done with Catchers.
It’s also good to notice that you don’t have to Lost Zone your Accelgors anymore. All you need to do is set up a single Accelgor to play and then keep your Mew-EXs attacking Deck and Cover. This has both pros and cons. First of all, you don’t need any set up Pokémon like Relicanth in order to Lost Zone the Accelgor, but you need to put the Accelgor on the bench. This takes your bench space, but at the same time, it may give you a one additional Deck and Cover when you can’t search for Mew-EXs anymore – you can always attack with the benched Accelgor as well.
It’s good to notice there is not a single Basic searching card in the format in the early season. Both Dual Ball and Pokémon Collector have been rotated out, so this deck is all about drawing the Mew-EXs in the mid and late game with Supporters and with Musharna’s Ability.
With the conclusion of my BLW-on analysis, let’s get back on to the main topic: the World Championships of 2012.
My Top 5 Decks For Worlds
My top 5 decks for Worlds aren’t the decks that I would play in the tournament, but the decks I feel will have the best chance of winning the whole tournament due their popularity, players behind them, surprise factor, etc. I’ll come back to my personal deck choice after this.
pokemon-paradijs.comWhen I began to write this article, I was pretty sure that Klinklang wouldn’t have made this list, but it’s a fact that Klinklang won US Nationals and was obviously piloted by a very skilled player. You can’t also base all the Klinklang’s success solely on the “surprise” factor it had during the tournament.
People may have not play tested against it as much as against the most popular decks, but at least the players in Top 4 should’ve known how to play against deck. That or people in the top cut didn’t do their research well enough (which I don’t want to believe).
Klinklang’s success wasn’t a one-hit-wonder and as we all know, the concept of Klinklang will continue to prosper in the BLW-era as well. If Klinklang wins Worlds, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was piloted by the same player as in the US Nationals. No one has yet been able to win both the US Nationals and Worlds in the same year in the Masters division, but we’ll see if John Roberts II will be the first person to do that.
4. Vileplume & Stuff
This part comprehends all the random Vileplume decks that you might encounter. From Vanilluxe to Kumis.dec. Vileplume is the easiest Pokémon to build a secret deck around and I wouldn’t be surprised to see once again another secret Vileplume rogue to rise to the 2nd place in the Masters just like this year. After all, the card pool is much larger than last year. Vileplume will also be quite played due its success all around Europe. It’s good to remember that this is World Championships, not US Nationals part two.
This is one of my favorite decks at the moment. However, it’s probably the most underrated of the current format as well. The reason why it has had only moderate success all around the World (including the U.S.) is that it has serious problems against late game Ns. In almost every game CMT has to topdeck to survive from the late game N.
The bigger the tournament, the more you need skill to always come back from the late game N. The other option is to topdeck a Juniper in every single game when you’re N’d to one, but as we all know, no one has a luck like that.
CMT is a tournament deck with a capital T. It’s extremely fast and is able to win over 70% of sudden deaths it ends up to. However, it’s also very fragile and even a good player can get a negative result from the tournament with it if he/she opens with Terrakion in every game and doesn’t have the saving Switch in hand. If you’re up for a gamble in the Worlds, CMT is your choice.
You heard me right, Accelgor. I think I have hyped Accelgor enough in this article for you to understand that it’s a threat to be taken seriously. However, as I said earlier, there are people who don’t follow tournament results and don’t even know about the deck. People often forget that there are people from over 25 countries attending to Worlds. 25 – that’s a lot. And all these 25 countries have different metagames and players. Accelgor will still surprise a good amount of players and these players will have a difficult time against it.
If we look at the Swiss results from the US Nationals, we can see that there were 2 Accelgors in the Top 4 of one flight. That’s 50%. Due the surprise factor and the playability of this deck, I wouldn’t be surprised to see multiple of these in the top cut. 60-minute top cut on the other hand is a completely another story for any Vileplume deck, but as long as these decks are able to win the first game in the top cut, they have a huge upper hand in the best-of-three match.
1. Eelektrik & Techs
pokemon-paradijs.comIt’s dull, predictable, well-known, but first and foremost it’s the best deck in the format. At least in my opinion. The more I’ve play tested with and against it, the more I’ve began to appreciate the deck. You can tech almost anything to the deck against the matchups the player feels most difficult, and that’s a quality no other deck in this format has.
Before I began my Worlds testing, I wasn’t a fan of this deck, because I thought it was just a straightforward hitting machine. I had this mental image of the deck before DEX was released, because the format was very Mewtwo EX orientated. However, thanks to the addition of Darkrai EX, this deck got so much more depth to it since the format became more versatile.
Now, Eelektrik reminds me of my all-time favorite deck – MetaNite. It had the same concept as Eelektrik (attaching L Energy from discard pile), but it had unlimited options for tech cards. Of course, Eelektrik doesn’t have as big tech pool as MetaNite, but big enough for everyone to personalize the deck for themselves. Kevin Nance did just that and it took him to the 2nd place at US Nationals.
The deck is also mad consistent. And as mentioned before, it’s the best deck to abuse late game Ns. For example, Catcher combined with late game N and Raikou-EX enables you to come back from a situation, you would think it’s impossible to come back from. These kind of combos are almost impossible to do with almost any other deck in the format and that’s what separates Eelektrik from all the other decks of the format.
I’m more surprised if this deck doesn’t make the Top 4 of each age group than if it makes in the Worlds – it’s the BDIF after all.
What you may wonder about the list, is the lack of Darkrai EX decks. The reason why the list doesn’t have any straight Darkrai EX decks such as Hammertime or Mewtwo EX/Darkrai EX is that I think people are too familiar with Darkrai EX. They know how to play against them, which makes Darkrai EX weaker than before. In my opinion the best Darkrai EX variant is the deck Jay played when reaching the Top 4 in the US Nationals. However, I may be very wrong about Darkrai’s viability since Japanese players will probably bring a twist to the usual Darkrai EX builds.
My Deck Choice
For a long time I was deciding if I would reveal my deck choice before Worlds in UG or in my blog, but the fact is that I can’t. Why can’t I? Since I haven’t decided the deck yet! However, I can provide you my thoughts and how my deck deciding process for Worlds usually goes.
First of all, this year, I’ll play a known – metagame deck. Due my busy summer schedule, I haven’t had time to play Pokémon as much as I would’ve liked to and that leads to this choice. I didn’t have a time test all my crazy ideas, so I had to settle with the metagame decks.
When it comes to secret decks, I’ve always been a fan of locking decks. In this format the best locks can be provided with Weavile UD or with Vileplume UD. I’ve been messing around with Weavile forever, but just can’t to get it working as well as I would’ve liked to. However, there are a lot of Vileplume variants that I could choose from. When I first saw Kumis.dec, I wanted to test it for Worlds. The more I played with it, the less I liked the deck, so I decided to ditch the deck.
The other Vileplume deck I was keen on was the Jimmy Ballard’s Terrakion/Scizor/Vileplume, which I introduced in this article. It’s a hard metagame counter with a bit of surprise factor in it, so it would be an interesting choice. So, in theory it’s a great option for a player like me.
Accelgor was also an option for me. I know it will surprise some players in the tournament, so it wouldn’t be a bad choice. It also has no negative matchups and is in tier 1 of the current format. But then it hit me. Jason made his 90 minutes article to The Top Cut and I understood that it was almost an impossibility to survive through the whole tournament with a Vileplume deck.
No matter what kind of Vileplume deck it was, you would always be the slower one and in games where you needed to be in the prize lead when the times is called – well let’s just say it’s very difficult. I haven’t completely dismissed the option to play a Vileplume deck, but the fact that the top cut games will be 60 minutes is alone a fact that scares me if I’m going with a Vileplume deck.
cardshark.comThen there was Eelektrik. I noticed that it was the best deck in the format due its versatility, but somehow I didn’t enjoy playing it. It’s also the most played deck of the moment, which also decreased my interest in the deck. It doesn’t really matters what techs you run, sometimes Eels mirrors are just brainless Prize trade-offs decided by who goes first and late game Ns. I would like to be in total control of my own fate and Eelektrik mirrors and Mewtwo EX wars are something that are out the player’s control from time to time.
If we look at my previous years in the Worlds, I’ve only once played a rogue deck. That year I made Top 8. However, this year a secret deck isn’t an option for me. Usually I’m a player that plays a metagame deck, but I usually play a metagame deck that is never the most played deck in the format. This is due the mirror matches. There have been certain mirror matchups in the past few years that have required a lot of skill, but overall mirror matchups are usually brainless Prize trades or a “who gets a better opening hand” – competition.
There is one thing that might (and probably will) affect my final choice is Thursday before Worlds. That day I’ll meet up with my Japanese source for my blog, who we have been talking about decks with the whole year and I’ll make his team’s Grinder decks with him. Japanese always have something on their sleeves and this time I’m able to get hands on for this information before Worlds, which is something special.
His team also is a very skilled team, because for example my source himself has attended Worlds only two times and in these two Worlds, he has been made the Top 4 and Top 16 of the Masters age division. I’m very much looking forward to seeing them, because I’m sure that even if I don’t change my deck, I’ll gain a very valuable unique info and knowledge that I haven’t had in my hands the previous years.
pokemon-paradijs.comIt really is unbelievable how fast the time flies. It feels like it was just Worlds 2011 and now it’s already World 2012! I’m more than excited about this year’s World. I really can’t describe how excited I’m about Worlds at the moment!
This will be my 7th Worlds, but there are lot of things that will be completely new to me. First of all, I feel like the last year I was in the Worlds was in 2009, because in 2010 I went to army and in 2011 the format was so horrible that it didn’t really have the “Worlds” feel to it. Everyone knew that the games would be decided mostly by coin flips (just like the Worlds finals was).
Second, this year my opponents have probably heard about me. I don’t if my “celebrity” status is a good or a bad thing, but at least it will be different to the previous years. I’ll also probably talk with a lot more with new people than I have in the previous years, if people recognize me. I’ll also finally meet my Japanese friend – Yuki Fujimori – who was in the Worlds last time in 2005 and have a chance of thanking him for the Eye on Japan and other things.
Third, I was invited to The Top Cut Invitational, which was in my opinion the greatest recognition I could get for the world I’ve done all these years (and this year especially). It will be a great experience and in fact, there will be two players that I’ve played against before! Sami Sekkoum, who I lost to in 2008 Worlds and Yuta Komatsuda, who I won in 2009 Worlds.
thetopcut.netIn this tournament, my only wish is to get a wonderful playing experience with the very best in the game and at least to get in to Top 4 of the tournament. I’m sure it will be great and I won’t be letting anyone down who believes in me!
Next month will be busy for me personally, so I’m not sure if I have time to write an UG article next month. However, in September I’m back better than ever and with a huge amount of great experiences with me. Hopefully, I am able to grab one or two achievements in August as well!
To conclude, hit the Like button if you enjoyed the article and you feel like it was useful for your Worlds or early season preparation! I’ll have a few days before I depart to Hawaii, so please leave comments or questions if you have any regarding this article, Worlds or next season.
If you come to Worlds and see me there, feel free to come and say hi to me!
Thanks for reading!
– Esa Juntunen
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