pokemony.wikia.comComing into City Championships, one deck that saw receive hate from a lot of players was Blastoise/Keldeo-EX. I heard a lot of players call the deck a bad and overhyped deck and Garchomp/Altaria 2.0 was another moniker the deck took on.
For those that don’t know, Garchomp/Altaria was a deck that received a lot of hype heading into the new season after it won a Japanese Spring Battle Carnival, but soon into Battle Roads, most Western players discovered that the deck struggled to beat much of anything.
So would Blastoise/Keldeo-EX be doomed to a similar fate? The results are in, and that can be answered with a resounding NO!
According to the City Championship Results thread being compiled by Crawdaunt over on PokéGym.net, Blastoise/Keldeo-EX is No. 2 in first place finishes at 11 (trailing Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX with 14) and is also No. 2 in overall top four finishes with 48 (trailing Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX with 49).
I think in this instance, the results speak for themselves, the deck has been very successful and is clearly a Tier 1 deck.
So with that said, I would like to devote this article to the Inferno Fandago of the Sea, formerly known as Rain Daince… DELUGE.
- Table of Contents
- A Brief History of Rain Dance
- The Basics of Blastoise
- The Standard Build
- Improving Bad Matchups Through Teching
- The Future of Blastoise
Table of Contents
(Click to be taken directly to that section and press back on your browser to return here.)
- A Brief History of Rain Dance
- The Basics of Blastoise
- The Standard Build
- Improving Bad Matchups Through Teching
- The Future of Blastoise
A Brief History of Rain Dance
One thing I have learned as of late is that if you know the game’s past, you can use that to your advantage in deck building for the current format.
I have gotten the opportunity to play quite a few decks in past formats over the past year, and I think it has really helped in my deck building for certain archetypes as patterns definitely do repeat themselves in this game.
I have no intention of attempting to cover Rain Dance decks from formats that I have no familiarity for, so I will keep this section to just formats I am familiar with, which would be the days when the game was first released and then everything after HGSS-on.
The first set of Pokémon ever would introduce to us the Rain Dance mechanic, which is a set of Powers and Abilities that allow for unlimited Energy attachment from the hand for a specific type of basic Energy.
Here is a sample decklist for Base Set Rain Dance decks, courtesy of Bulbapedia.
Pokémon – 9
Trainers – 34
Energy – 17
pokemon-paradijs.comThe strategy of this deck was very straightforward, which was to get Blastoise up and out on the field, and then load them up with Energy. In order to do this, the deck played a high Energy count in an attempt to ensure that there would be plenty available to power up Blastoise to attack.
These Trainers could be searched out with Computer Search, and getting a fresh hand of 7 cards when you play 17 Energy will nearly always ensure that you will get the Energy needed to attack.
One of the reasons Blastoise saw play during this time was the prevalence of Super Energy Removal, a powerful card that removed up to two Energy from your opponent’s Pokémon. Rain Dance Energy acceleration was strong in the face of this, as you could quickly put the Energy back on to undo your opponent’s Super Energy Removal.
Additionally, with the aid of PlusPower, Blastoise could 1HKO most threats in the game at this time.
Since I started playing again, Emboar BLW 20 had been the main Rain Dance Pokémon in the format, with its Inferno Fandago Ability allowing for unlimited attachment of R Energy to any Pokémon, regardless of type.
Emboar was used in David Cohen’s first place Twin Boar deck at the 2011 World Championships. Here is the list David used for his first place finish:
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 26
3 Junk Arm
Energy – 15
David’s deck ran on an engine built around utilizing Magnezone Prime’s Magnetic Draw Poké-Power, which allowed you to draw cards until you had six cards in hand once per your turn per a Magnezone. The Ability is basically the effect of Bianca placed on a Pokémon for its Power/Ability.
The deck played a fair amount of Energy recovery cards, with 2 Energy Retrieval (which could be played up to 5 times in a game thanks to Junk Arm) and 1 Fisherman (a Supporter Card that allowed you to put four Basic Energy cards back into your hand).
As far as attackers go, the deck had the ability to do a steady 120 damage with Reshiram’s Blue Flare attack as well as having 1HKO potential with Magnezone Prime’s Lost Burn attack, which did 50 damage times the number of Energy cards sent to the Lost Zone.
The deck also had 1HKO potential with Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND, which swung for 150 damage and could 1HKO everything except a few other LEGEND cards and the beast that was Tyranitar Prime in that format.
Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND provided so much more for the deck than just 1HKO capabilities, but also the ability to take extra Prizes for Knocking Out a Pokémon. Its Space Virus Poké-Body allowed you to take an extra Prize card whenever you Knocked Out one of your opponent’s Pokémon with RDL, which gave the deck some strong comeback potential.
Other Rain Dance Decks
pokemon-paradijs.comSince HGSS-on, we have had a few other Pokémon with Rain Dance like Powers and Abilities that haven’t seen a ton of success.
A prime example of this would be Feraligatr Prime, which lacked a set of strong Water attackers to make good use of, and who was also limited to attachment to Water Pokémon only, which sharply decreased its effectiveness, especially after Mewtwo EX was released and could not be incorporated with Feraligatr’s Rain Dance strategy.
While Emboar saw great success at the World Championships in 2011, it has been kind of MIA since. As the format got faster and faster, the inconsistency of Emboar became too much of a problem for it to overcome, as well as difficulties dealing with an opponent repeatedly catchering up the Emboar and locking it in the Active Spot.
Even with all these challenges facing Emboar decks, Curtis Lyon took a Magneboar deck to a 5-2 finish at the 2012 World Championships, using a strategy of 1HKOs on Pokémon-EX and Prize gaining with RDL.
The Basics of Blastoise
I think to understand what makes Blastoise such a strong deck, it is important to look at the very basics of the deck to see the things that give it the potential to be very strong.
First, here’s a quick reminder of what the main two components of the deck, Blastoise and Keldeo-EX, do.
Blastoise BCR is a Stage 2 Water Type Pokémon, with 140 HP, a Grass Weakness and a 4 Retreat Cost. It has an Ability, Deluge, which allows you unlimited attachment of W Energy during your turn. Its attack, Hydro Pump, costs CCCC and does 60 damage plus 10 more damage for each W Energy.
Keldeo-EX is a 170 HP Basic Water type Pokémon with a Grass Weakness, and a 2 Retreat Cost. It has an Ability, Rush In, that allows you to Switch Keldeo-EX with your Active Pokémon once during your turn. Its attack, Secret Sword, costs CCC and does 50 damage plus 20 more damage for each W Energy attached to Keldeo-EX.
These two cards are soulmates who have found each other and now live in a symbiotic relationship to create one of the most terrifying decks in the format. These cards really were made for each other, and they interact together in perfect unison.
Keldeo-EX has an attack that does more damage for each W Energy attached, so naturally it would gain its greatest strength when paired with Blastoise, a Pokémon that gives you unlimited W Energy attachment during your turn.
Conversely, Blastoise has a high Retreat Cost, similar to Emboar, which ultimately led to Emboar decks (such as Emboar/Rayquaza EX) from being successful. No need to worry, Keldeo-EX has its Rush In Ability which will quickly free Blastoise from the Active Spot.
ebay.comSquirtle’s Shell Shield Ability also provides another boost to the deck, preventing your opponent from taking out all of your pre-evolutions with quick Hammerhead attacks from Landorus-EX, or snipe damage from an early Darkrai EX.
This is a problem that all other evolution decks have to face, and the safety of Squirtle from such attacks allow you to get a Blastoise out in almost every game, adding to the consistency of the deck.
At the end of the day though, what makes the deck so strong is Keldeo-EX’s 1HKO capabilities with Secret Sword. For just six W Energy, Keldeo-EX is able to 1HKO any 170 HP Pokémon-EX, and of course it can 1HKO 180 HP Pokémon-EX with a seventh W Energy attached.
Being able to 1HKO your opponent’s Pokémon-EX when they’re forced to 2HKO your Pokémon is a very powerful strategy, as seen by Rayquaza/Eelektrik doing so well at Fall Regionals with its 1HKO potential.
The deck also is able to easily withstand an assault by Sableye DEX and Crushing Hammer, something most decks that rely on manual attachments cannot do. Similar to how the original Blastoise deck was seen as a good concept if it could get setup because it could withstand Super Energy Removal, the current Blastoise is strong because it can survive with ease in a format with a very popular Energy Removal deck.
The Standard Build
wchfh.orgThe standard build of the deck focuses mainly on just using Keldeo-EX’s Secret Sword attack for high damage output throughout the game, with little concern for using other attackers, outside of a situational Mewtwo EX or Sigilyph counter.
When I was building this version of the deck before the first weekend of City Championships, I tested and tested until I found the right combination of cards to finally get Blastoise/Keldeo-EX into a high powered, consistent deck.
Here is the list I came up with heading into the first weekend of Cities. I was able to use it for a 5-0 Swiss and 3rd place finish. My friend Dema Boatman in Seniors has stuck with the deck through all the Cities (the list he has been using has been one card off, he swapped out the Max Potion for another W Energy) and he has won 4 City Championships with the deck, losing only two matches (one of which he scooped) during the span.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 32
Energy – 16
This is a list that I felt would do me very well, as it was going to be very consistent, as it played 16 consistency cards between 14 Supporters, a Computer Search, and Tropical Beach. It also played a high Energy count, so whiffing Energy would unlikely be much of a problem.
The Draw Engine
pokemon-paradijs.comThis deck shares many characteristics with past Rain Dance decks which I highlighted. It plays a high Energy count like the Base Set Blastoise deck so that it can get a lot of Energy on the field very quickly. It plays Professor Juniper, which gives you the max draw of 7, similar to Professor Oak in the Base Set deck, which gives you the most opportunity to draw Energy.
The deck also plays Bianca, which has the same effect as Magnezone Prime’s Magnetic Draw Poké-Power. This type of draw is very powerful in a Rain Dance deck, especially when you are playing cards that can discard cards from your hand (such as Junk Arm in Twinboar or Ultra Ball and Computer Search in this deck).
By playing down any W Energy you get with Deluge and then using Ultra Ball to search for a Pokémon, you can easily play your hand down and get a full hand refresh of six, maximizing your probabilities of hitting more W Energy.
And this is really what the deck is all about to me, drawing through your deck as fast as possible to get as many W Energy on the field as possible.
When playing this deck, I want to get a Keldeo-EX powered up that can 1HKO my opponent’s Pokémon-EX. While that one is still Active, I want to start powering up another Keldeo-EX to be able to 1HKO my opponent’s Pokémon-EX, and so on.
By playing 16 Energy, and then three Energy recovery cards, I have the capability of creating three of these giant Keldeo-EXs throughout the game. I think the biggest mistake players have been making when trying to build Blastoise/Keldeo-EX decks of the standard variety is that they haven’t been playing enough W Energy, making it difficult to create these giant Keldeo-EXs when they need them.
Skyla is a really strong Supporter in this deck. On the first turn of the game, it can be used to fish out your Tropical Beach to ensure you start your next turn with either a 7 or 8 card hand (depending on if your opponent plays an N during their turn), which will help maximize the probability of a turn 2 Blastoise.
In the early game, Skyla can be used to grab the Rare Candy or Ultra Ball for a Blastoise to get Blastoise up and out into your field. In the later stages of the game, Skyla can be used to grab Pokémon Catcher to take big knockouts, Energy Retrieval to get more Energy on the field, or just to grab a draw Supporter to give you more cards to work with on your next turn.
To Beach, or Not to Beach, That is the Question
pokemon.comTropical Beach tremendously helps this deck get setup, and it also provides the deck with protection from a late game N. A lot of players have been hesitant to play Tropical Beach in their decks because they believe it helps their opponent just as much as it helps them.
I think this is the wrong way to look at using the card, and that using Tropical Beach in a deck should be looked at in the following manner:
You should play Tropical Beach in a deck if you are confident that the deck will be more powerful than your opponent’s deck if both decks get setup.
I think this statement is definitely true of Blastoise/Keldeo-EX, as once it gets setup it has the potential to 1HKO anything in the format which is very strong.
Getting rid of a Skyarrow Bridge against a Rayquaza/Eelektrik deck can be game winning, as you can force your opponent to discard an Energy after they attack (and it would always be the R Energy remaining on Rayquaza EX after it would Dragon Burst away the L Energy). Getting rid of Aspertia City Gym will keep Tornadus EX within easy 1HKO range.
trollandtoad.comIn my list for the deck, I just opted to play a single Mewtwo EX and a non-EX Keldeo. I feel as the inclusion of Mewtwo EX is pretty self-explanatory in this deck.
An opposing Mewtwo EX with a ton of Energy on it could quickly rip through this deck, so it’s important to have a quick and easy counter to Mewtwo EX handy to prevent one of those from running you out of a game.
The inclusion of the non-EX Keldeo is because I feel the deck needs a legitimate counter to Sigilyph DRX. Keldeo gets the job done effectively with its Hydro Pump attack, which does 60 damage plus 10 more damage for each W Energy attached to it. For three W Energy, it does 90 damage, enough to 1HKO a Sigilyph.
The deck actually does have a built in Sigilyph counter with Blastoise, but using Blastoise to counter Sigilyph is a horrible idea. You simply cannot afford to put your source of Energy Acceleration in harms way in such wreck-less ways.
You would be not only losing your source of Energy acceleration, but you would also be losing four W Energy along with it, which would be a difficult loss to recover from.
One of the things that kind of holds this deck together is that Keldeo-EX provides protection to your Blastoise by being ridiculously powerful.
So conversely, when you dump your Energy onto Blastoise and start attacking with it, you’re placing yourself in the danger zone. If your opponent Knocks Out this Blastoise and you can’t get another Blastoise setup, you will not only lose your acceleration but also your Energy, which will likely prevent your from being able to attack, giving your opponent complete control of the game.
The Remaining Cards
If I were to play this deck again, I would probably cut one of my Rare Candy for a third Energy Retrieval, as I usually would Skyla for Rare Candy to get my first Blastoise setup, and then evolve the second one through Wartortle.
I played a single copy of Max Potion just to give the deck a healing option. The card was never game breaking for me in the tournament I played the deck (largely because 2/3 of my matches were against Rayquaza/Eelektrik, which focuses on the 1HKO), but being able to completely undo one of your opponent’s attacks is very strong, especially if it’s an attack on a Pokémon with no Energy attached to it.
I tested a lot with only three Pokémon Catcher in the deck, but I strongly believe that four is the optimal play. You tend to discard a lot with Professor Juniper and Ultra Ball, so having a fourth copy available when you may need to discard one is very important, and Pokémon Catcher is really strong when you have a giant Keldeo-EX built up.
While those are the set of 60 cards that I chose to play in my deck, there are a lot of other cards that players have been testing out in Blastoise variants that are worth discussing.
In theory, this Pokémon appears to be a great addition to the deck. It gives the deck a spread attacker, which can soften up your opponent’s other Pokémon for easier knockouts and it can also wash away your opponent’s low HP Pokémon if your opponent allows you to get enough Glaciates off.
I really am a fan of Kyurem in theory in the deck, but in testing I could never really get it to work out.
Early on in my testing, I played a few copies of Switch in my deck to make it easier to transition to my alternate attackers, but even then I wasn’t having much success with getting Kyurem powered up for an early game Glaciate.
As I began to lower and lower my Switch count, eventually dropping it from the deck, Kyurem was no longer a very viable option.
pokemon-paradijs.comKyogre can be teched into the deck to serve a similar purpose to Kyurem NVI. I think Kyurem is a stronger play as it is a non-EX, and it is able to hit everything on your opponent’s bench.
With Max Potion so heavily played, being able to hit everything can leave your opponent with tough decisions on what to heal, while with Kyogre EX targeting only two Pokémon, it will be easier for your opponent to know what to heal the damage off of.
I don’t think this is that great of a Supporter in the deck. It is probably marginally better than Bianca in the early game, but it is really bad at any point in a developed game with this deck.
Three cards of draw is simply not going to give you the amount of W Energy you will be looking for in most cases.
I feel this card is completely outclassed by Professor Juniper and Bianca. With a high enough Energy count, Bianca and Juniper will often net you the same three Energy that Cilan would, while netting you other resources to use.
Additionally, if this is the only Supporter you can draw into in the early game, you will lose the game as it does nothing to aid in your setup.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is an immensely powerful card in Blastoise decks. The card can completely heal all of the damage on a Keldeo-EX, and in combination with Deluge, it gives you the capability of re-distributing Energy on your field.
For example, if you have two Keldeo-EX in play with three Energy each, you can pick one up, place all of the Energy back onto a different Keldeo-EX and create a very powerful Keldeo-EX just off the Energy you had available to you on your field.
As game breaking as this card can be, I ended up cutting the card from my list in favor of cards with a more certain outcome on the game state.
It’s just too difficult to base a large part of your strategy on hitting a coin flip, and in testing, I would often find myself winning games where I hit my coin flips and losing games where I flipped tails on SSU.
SSU is in no way a bad play in the deck, as Blastoise variants that play the card have also done well, but I think the best way to play the deck is taking out the uncertainty of a card like SSU in favor of cards that will have a certain outcome on the gamestate.
If you play in a metagame with Garbodor, you should absolutely make room for this card otherwise you will find yourself with a frustrating auto-loss. The card can be good for removing Eviolite attached to Sigilyph keeping it in easier 1HKO range for mini Keldeo.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is another card I would like to make room for. Being able to bench multiple Squirtle in one turn can really help in getting Blastoise out.
I haven’t had much difficulty getting Blastoise out with 3 Squirtle and Super Rod, but playing a fourth Squirtle would largely make this a non-concern.
The only issue I have with this card is that you don’t have space to play it in a high count, and the few copies that you do play can easily be gotten rid of with Tool Scrapper.
Double Colorless Energy
Playing DCE gives you the ability to power up a Keldeo-EX to attack on turn 2 without Blastoise in play, as well as giving you another option for powering up Mewtwo EX or possibly even Bouffalant DRX to attack with if you choose to include a higher Mewtwo EX count or Bouffalant in your deck.
Once Blastoise is setup, this card doesn’t do a whole lot to help you compared to running just more W Energy, and the card is ever vulnerable to Enhanced Hammer, which has been seeing more and more play with the rise of Klinklang.
Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX – Favorable
The deck does play a heavy Mewtwo EX count though, so it can counter Blastoise decks in that way, and since most Landorus-EX decks play PlusPower, it isn’t too difficult for them to score the 1HKO on a six Energy Keldeo-EX.
As these decks are limited to one Energy attachment per a turn, they really can’t pull off too many surprise moves making this matchup easier to navigate.
Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX – UnfavorableTornadus EX/
This matchup, however, is much more difficult to navigate, as it includes two Pokémon that are two of the strongest against Blastoise decks in the current format. Tornadus EX is strong against Blastoise deck in the early game, as it can start taking knockouts on Squirtle starting on turn one.
Additionally, a turn one Blow Through followed by a turn two Power Blast with a PlusPower on either turn can Knock Out a Keldeo-EX early in the game. From there, the deck has Mewtwo EX to counter any big Keldeo-EXs.
I would put this matchup slightly in favor of the White Tea player.
Rayquaza/Eelektrik – Unfavorable
BulbapediaThis is probably the most difficult matchup for Blastoise players to handle, as Rayquaza EX can easily 1HKO a Keldeo-EX. The best tech for this matchup in a standard Blastoise build is probably Kyurem, as you can hopefully Catcher stall an Eelektrik, and then Glaciate for a few turns.
Ideally you would be able to get three Glaciate off, and clear their field of Eelektrik, but that is unlikely to happen very often with RayEel decks now having access to Skyla, making it very easy for them to find their Switches when they need them.
Still, just getting off two Glaciates makes it very easy to power up Keldeo-EX to 1HKO Rayquaza EX.
I was able to beat three of these decks during the City Championship I played Blastoise, before finally being taken down in top 4 by one of these decks, falling one Energy short from Knocking Out a Rayquaza EX for my final 2 Prizes in Game 3.
The strategy I used to beat these decks was go aggressive with Mewtwo EX on turn 2, Knocking Out Tynamo and then going for Eelektrik with Keldeo or Keldeo-EX to limit the number of Dynamotor they would have available to use each turn. From there, I just would try to out power them by streaming six Energy Keldeo-EX that could 1HKO their Rayquaza EX.
Tropical Beach was great in this matchup, as it removed Skyarrow Bridge from play, getting rid of their free retreat and forcing them to waste their Switches to conserve their R Energy attached to Rayquaza EX.
If you play a high Energy count, as I did, just powering up multiple Keldeo-EX to 1HKO Rayquaza EX can often be your best bet in this matchup.
From the Rayquaza players perspective, taking early Catcher Prizes on Squirtle with one Energy discard Dragon Bursts can be an effective strategy in the early game for getting a prize lead.
Overall, I would put this matchup in the Rayquaza players favor.
Zekrom BLW or Bouffalant DRX)/Mewtwo EX/Eelektrik NVI – UnfavorableTornadus EX/(
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is another one of the deck’s poor matchups. It has Tornadus EX available in the early game to start taking early Prizes on Squirtles, and the deck has the ability to stream powerful Mewtwo EXs throughout the game to counter Keldeo-EX.
As the deck plays both DCE and Switch, Catcher stalling an Eelektrik to Glaciate isn’t really a great strategy in this matchup.
In the games I have seen Blastoise win against this deck, the strategy has generally been to get setup fast and stream a bunch of six Energy Keldeo-EX to 1HKO the Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX, and then taking a knockout on the opponent’s Mewtwo EX with their own Mewtwo EX.
Klinklang – Favorable
The best way to deal with Klinklang decks is to just try to build up multiple Keldeo-EX with a ton of Energy on them, and attempt to Knock Out whatever Pokémon has all of their Energy attached and knock all of their Energy off the board.
With a high Energy count, you can more easily stream these big Keldeo-EXs that are needed for this matchup.
Overall, this is a matchup I think is very much in favor of the Blastoise player if they are playing a high enough Energy count to stream multiple big Keldeo-EXs. If you knock all of their Energy off the field, there isn’t much a Klinklang deck can do to stop you.
Darkrai EX Decks – Favorable
pokemon-paradijs.comI have yet to lose a single game to any Darkrai deck either in testing or in a tournament setting with Blastoise/Keldeo. It’s just not a very good matchup for Darkrai decks. All you have to do is setup Keldeo-EXs to 1HKO Darkrai EXs, and quickly take a lead in the Prize exchange as Darkrais will be forced to 2HKO you, while you 1HKO them.
Additionally, if you get setup before them, just exchanging 2HKOs can work as well, while you build up a big Keldeo-EX to sweep.
Hydreigon – Favorable
I am a little at a loss of what to make of this matchup. I have personally done very well against Hydreigon decks with this deck, using many of the same principles I use in the Klinklang matchup, which is to usually just knock all of their Energy off the board, or alternatively, Knock Out the Hydreigon and shut down their Energy movement.
Additionally, in testing my own Hydreigon variant (which plays Siglyph DRX, Shaymin EX, and Mewtwo EX, the three techs in Hydreigon which should help the Blastoise matchup the most), I have had little success in winning much against Blastoise decks.
I think the strength of Keldeo-EX really helps in this matchup. If you have a loaded Keldeo-EX that can 1HKO everything, then they can’t really target Blastoise with Hydreigon, otherwise the Keldeo-EX will just Knock Out the Hydreigon the next turn and knock two more Energy off the board, or target down another Darkrai EX for two more Prizes.
Alternatively, if your opponent uses their Mewtwo EX or Shaymin EX to 1HKO the Keldeo-EX, you still have Blastoise on field, and should easily be able to get 2-3 Energy onto Mewtwo EX to counter your opponent’s Mewtwo EX or three Energy on a Keldeo-EX to counter your opponent’s Shaymin EX.
Ho-Oh EX Decks – Favorable
I have largely found Ho-Oh EX decks to be non-threatning to the success of Blastoise decks. The reason for this is that without being able to play down Ho-Oh in the matchup, these decks just turn into big Basic decks without Energy acceleration, and a few dead cards, which makes it a very easy matchup to navigate.
If your opponent does decide to play down Ho-Oh EX, then they have just given you a free 2 Prize donation.
Mirror Match – Even
The mirror match for this deck is pretty silly if both players are playing similar lists. If both players are playing a similar list, it largely comes down to which player can create the first six Energy Keldeo-EX to 1HKO their opponent’s Keldeo-EX and/or Mewtwo EX. From there, there is some Mewtwo EX exchanges, followed by another Keldeo-EX exchange.
If you want to succeed in mirror match, you need to actively tech for it, and the best way to tech for the mirror match is to play more Mewtwo EX, and just power those up as your primary attackers in the matchup, and X Ball for the 1HKO on your opponent’s big Keldeo-EXs.
Improving Bad Matchups Through Teching
I think as a whole, the player base hasn’t really started to discover the depths at which this deck can be taken. As the deck has unlimited Energy acceleration at its disposal, the deck can easily power up alternative attackers in one turn to counter specific matchups.
In this section, I just want to quickly go over what I think the best way to build a teched out version of this deck would be, and then give a sample list for how one set of sample techs could be incorporated into the deck.
Ultimately, I think the strongest way to tech the deck is by using basic Energy that are compatible with your tech attackers instead of Special Energy, such as a Blend or Prism Energy. The reason for this is that by playing Basic Energy, you are more protected from Hammer disruption.
As you can see from the matchup list above, I believe decks that can aggressively use Mewtwo EX, as well as Rayquaza/Eelektrik decks to be this deck’s worst matchup. So how would one go about teching the deck for these matchups? Well, here is the manner in which I have Blastoise built for countering such a metagame.
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 31
Energy – 15
The Kyurem would give me the ability to 1HKO a Rayquaza EX, using a non-Pokémon-EX, and Cresselia-EX would give me the ability to 1HKO a Mewtwo EX with little fear of being 1HKO’d in return.
Alternatively, if you are playing in a Darkrai EX heavy metagame, then it could make sense to tech in some F Energy as well as Terrakion NVI to counter those decks. In a Blastoise heavy metagame, Mewtwo EX and DCE can be teched in, or even a Shaymin EX with a few G Energy for an easy last 1HKO in the matchup.
If you decide to tech the deck based on potential matchups like this, make sure to include all other necessary cards to make the strategy work.
For example, if you want to counter Mewtwo EX with Cresselia-EX, Rayquaza EX with Kyurem DRV, and Darkrai EX with Terrakion NVI, you need to include Tool Scrapper into your deck to remove any Eviolite, as otherwise you won’t be landing the 1HKO on these Pokémon, decreasing the effectiveness of your tech choices.
The Future of Blastoise
I know a lot of players in this game choose to build one deck and stick with it throughout the entirety of the season, so the question begs to be asked, how will Blastoise/Keldeo-EX decks hold up for the rest of the season?
Based on the results from Japanese Autumn Battle Carnivals (which is taking place in what will be our States format) and all of the cards being released that add extra support for the deck, Blastoise would be a wise deck to invest in for the remainder of the season.
The deck has been one of the most successful decks during the four Japanese Battle Carnivals. At the first tournament, the deck finished in 4th place. At the second tournament, the deck picked up 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. At the third tournament, the deck picked up a 3rd place finish, and at the fourth tournament the deck finished in 2nd.
As you can see from the results of these tournaments, Blastoise/Keldeo-EX has held up as one of the best decks in Japan.
There is also some good news as far as the cost of this deck is concerned heading forward. Keldeo-EX is being released in a tin on March 6th, so instead of being a very expensive card as it is now, it will go down to around $7.
This will make Tropical Beach the only money card left to buy for current Blastoise builds, which you only really need one copy of in the deck.
On the Horizon
Here is a brief list of cards that are coming out in the next two sets that it may be wise to make some early investments in while they’re still cheap.
I don’t want to go too in depth into these cards, as these are cards left for a future format, but I will quickly run over why these cards have the potential to be good in Blastoise decks.
This card is already amazing in Blastoise decks, but it will serve an even greater purpose when Ghetsis is released. Ghetsis is a Supporter card that forces your opponent to Shuffle all of their Item cards back into their deck.
Having an additional out against Ghetsis to get back cards like Ultra Ball and Rare Candy will be very important in the next format, making Tropical Beach almost a necessity in this deck instead of the luxury boost that it is now.
BulbapediaThe Black Kyurem EX we will be receiving in February has been a mainstay in Japanese Blastoise lists. The card is an absolute monster, swinging for 200 damage for 4 Energy, enough damage to 1HKO every Pokémon in the game.
As it discards three Energy to attack, Mewtwo EX does little to counter it, so with this card the deck shores up its problems with Mewtwo EX, making it much stronger going forward.
The card might also be included in the Spring tins, again helping the cost effectiveness of the deck.
This is another card we will receive in our February set. It attacks for 120 damage, but needs to discard a Plasma Energy, which will greatly alter the way a Blastoise deck using it would be constructed.
Its Overflow Ability lets you take an extra Prize when Knocking Out your opponent’s Pokémon with Lugia EX, giving Blastoise decks a potential Prize gainer similar to RDL in in Magneboar decks.
Another EX from the February set that can be used in Blastoise. With a Plasma Energy attached it inflicts automatic Paralysis, which has traditionally been strong.
I wouldn’t expect Colress to be played in very high numbers, as it isn’t very good early game, but a late game hand refresh of 8-10 cards can be really strong in this deck.
Scramble Switch is an ACE SPEC that we should be receiving in our February set that lets you switch your Active Pokémon with one of your benched Pokémon, and move all the Energy attached from that Pokémon to the new Active Pokémon.
This card will make it easier to build giant Keldeo-EXs by consolidating the Energy on two separate Keldeo-EXs, as well as allowing for a Rush In, Scramble Switch to Black Kyurem EX to quickly recharge Black Kyurem EX to attack off of Energy already on your field.
We won’t be seeing this card until May at the earliest, but it says to discard two cards from your hand and put four Basic Energy from your discard pile back into your hand.
This card is basically Energy Retrieval on steroids and it will make re-powering up your attackers in this deck much easier than it has been. I fully expect this card to completely replace Energy Retrieval in Blastoise decks.
Overall, I feel that Blastoise/Keldeo-EX remains as one of the strongest decks in the current format. The lack of an effective Grass counter really helps the deck be able to beat every deck in the format through some means or another, even if the matchup isn’t all that good for it.
The 1HKO capabilities of Secret Sword, as well as the power of Rush In really help this become a top tier deck.
The future only looks brighter for Blastoise decks as Pokémon continues to make more and more strong cards that have great synergy with the deck and even better, a lot of these cards will be available for cheap in tins very soon, including the superstar of the deck Keldeo-EX, making it one of the more cost effective decks in the format outside of the potential inclusion of Tropical Beach.
I hope this article has been able to help you better understand Blastoise/Keldeo as a deck, and prepare you for the investments one will need to make with the deck going forward if you choose this as your deck of choice.
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