pokemon.theirstar.comHey SixPrizes! I’m back with my second article, and this time I will be discussing the City Championship metagame.
At this point, City Championships are almost done for most of you, with the only tournaments left being marathons in the upcoming weeks. Thanks to Crawdaunt’s thread on PokéGym, we have a great sense of what has been winning this format.
I’ll just re-create the data, just in case some people can’t click links and whatnot.
|Deck||1st Place||Top 4|
(I did not include decks with only 1 win, because I do not believe they are major players in this format)
As you can see, the format has really changed since the beginning of Cities. As Andy Hahn wrote after the first week of Cities about Darkrai/Hydreigon, at that time the most winning deck based off top 4’s:
“This deck is put into the Tier 1 because of the overwhelming amount of Top 4 placements, despite its low Top 4 win percentage.”
Other decks, including Landorus/Mewtwo and Blastoise/Keldeo, were also making lots of top 4’s, but they were winning Cities more often than Darkrai/Hydreigon.
Since that article, Darkrai decks have still been seeing good placings, taking 14 wins combined between Darkrai/Stuff and Darkrai/Hydreigon (I consider Hammertime to be a different breed of Darkrai decks due to their different strategies, so I am leaving them out of this number), but only 14 out of the 60 decks that made top 4 won their event.
That comes out to a low 23% win percentage. Now, you can make the same argument about Blastoise/Keldeo, but that’s the topic of a whole other article.
So why isn’t Darkrai dominating as much as it used to? The main reason is Landorus-EX. This card was one of the most hyped card of Boundaries Crossed, and it sure has lived up to its hype. Hammerhead is one of the best moves at the beginning of the game we have right now.
And Land’s Judgement is also an amazing attack, which can 1-shot Darkrai without needing to discard any Energy after one Hammerhead. Landorus-EX justifiably has seen a lot of play, which severely limits Darkrai’s playability.
The only downside of Landorus-EX is its Water Weakness. However, Landorus always has a partner in crime, whether it is Mewtwo EX or Darkrai EX, so in the Blastoise/Keldeo-EX matchup, don’t bench Landorus-EX. Whenever a Darkrai deck faces a Landorus deck, Darkrai goes from being an amazing card to a liability.
Another card is hurting Darkrai is Terrakion NVI. We all know how good of a Darkrai counter Terrakion is, and has been since Darkrai came out. It was one of the main reasons Igor Costa was able to defeat Harrison Leven in last year’s World Championship Finals in a mirror match.
However, ever since Landorus-EX came out, I have seen Terrakion NVI being played more often. Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant DRX/Terrakion NVI is arguably the BDIF right now because it plays three of the best Darkrai EX counters (Bouffalant DRX being the third), along with the best attacker in the format, and Terrakion NVI is a huge part of its success.
Blastoise/Keldeo-EX counters Darkrai as well. Why is this? Well first off, Keldeo-EX has the capability to 1-shot Darkrai EX, and we have already seen how good this makes Terrakion NVI. Since Darkrai EX isn’t able to 1-shot Keldeo-EX, this gives the Blastoise/Keldeo-EX player the advantage in the Prize race.
Second, one of the strengths of Darkrai EX is the ability to take two knock outs in one turn thanks to Night Spear. Darkrai EX has a hard time doing this against this deck though, thanks to Squirtle BCR. Its Ability, Shell Shield, allows Blastoise to set up consistently.
When Blastoise gets set up with a fully powered Keldeo-EX, it is one of the hardest decks to take down. Since Darkrai EX can’t Knock Out two Squirtles at once, it struggles to prevent the deck to set up.
How Can Darkrai Adapt?
Actually, there is a Pokémon that counters all of the above weaknesses. This Pokémon? Tornadus EX. Tornadus EX can Knock Out a Squirtle with just a DCE and a Stadium on the first turn, making it extremely difficult for Blastoise to set up. Tornadus EX is also extremely good against Landorus-EX and Terrakion NVI thanks to its Resistance to Fighting.
With Lightning becoming a less and less played type, (the two attackers who are most commonly paired with Eelektrik are Mewtwo EX and Rayquaza EX) Tornadus has become a much safer play than it was even in the last format, let alone Nationals and Worlds.
Here’s a skeleton list for the deck.
Pokémon – 6
2 Tornadus EX
Trainers – 30
Energy – 12
8 D – Basic
Free Spots – 12
Here are some techs that you can throw into this deck:
Mewtwo EX is one of, if not the best, attacker in the format at the moment, so why not throw him in? Mewtwo EX fits in very well in this deck because you already play 4 DCEs, so there really is no drawback to playing Mewtwo.
However, I would suggest play at least two, just to make sure you don’t lose a Mewtwo war.
Roserade has become one of the best “consistency techs” in the format. The ability to look for any one card in your deck is amazing.
I would recommend playing at least a 1-1 line in this deck, but you could even bump this up to a 2-2 line since you have so much room. That’s the thing about this deck: you can tech it any way you like to make it your list.
Since you only run Basic Pokémon, you could up the Eviolite count to 3. Since most decks play only 1 Tool Scrapper, maybe 2, having the 3rd Eviolite means that one will almost always stay on your field, unless it is prized.
pokemon-paradijs.comI didn’t include this in the skeleton, but most decks play this as a 1-of. Garbodor doesn’t cause this deck a lot of trouble, but Tool Scrapper is still helpful for getting rid of opponent’s Eviolites, Dark Claws, etc.
This card is very good against Terrakion NVI and Blastoise, as it allows you to Knock them Out with one Night Spear and then Night Spear splash damage. In other matchups, it just acts as a double PlusPower, which is never a bad thing.
However, I would only play one Dark Claw, and if you do play it, I would play 2 Eviolite and 1 Dark Claw. You don’t want to play any more than this, because at that point you probably won’t have any Pokémon that don’t have any tools attached to them.
I wouldn’t recommend this card because Darkrai EX already gives all your Pokémon with a D Energy free retreat, but it is the second best stadium in the format, powers up Tornadus EX’s Blow Through, and gives Tornadus EX and Sableye free retreat.
This deck is very flexible, depending on the different techs you throw in, which is the reason why I believe it is the best Darkrai deck in the format.
Tornadus covers Darkrai’s weaknesses while acting as a capable secondary attacker, and Darkrai is, well, Darkrai! The only problem I have found with this deck is that the maximum damage it can hit for is 100, which is the reason I include Mewtwo EX in my list.
I hope you all enjoyed the article! If you enjoyed it, please give this article a “Like” as it really encourages me to write more. I’d also love to know your thoughts on this deck and the format.
Until next time,