Merry Christmas everyone!
BulbapediaIt’s already the 25th of December, but don’t worry – I didn’t write this article on Christmas Eve (ok, to be honest I did finish at 1 AM Finnish time on Christmas Eve). Today I’ll be discussing Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX, which Jay already covered a little bit in his last article since he won two Cities with it!
Jay’s article really got me inspired about the deck and I decided to give it a thorough testing. I spent the last two weeks fixing and tweaking Landorus/Mewtwo – and Landorus/Mewtwo only – in order to get the best possible results and analysis for this article.
Included in this article will be all the different options, techs, and variations I tested for Landorus/Mewtwo, not to mention the deck’s most important matchups and how you should approach them. At the end I’ll present my “ultimate list.”
This article is pretty unorthodox for me since it’s not about a general issue or many decks, but instead concentrates on one deck. However, change is always refreshing! Also, it has been an increasing trend this month for writers to reflect on their analyses with their Cities experiences.
I haven’t been able to go to that many tournaments though, so in order to get the information for this article to be as accurate as possible I had to do the most hardcore testing I’ve done so far this season.
Oh, and one more thing – if you haven’t seen it on my blog yet, at the end of this article you’ll find a Christmas present from me.
- Table of Contents
- The Initial List
- First Impressions
- Playtesting Results
- Card Choices
- The Ultimate List
Table of Contents
(Click to be taken directly to that section and press back on your browser to return here.)
- The Initial List
- First Impressions
- Playtesting Results
- Card Choices
- The Ultimate List
The Initial List
By far the easiest starting point for my testing was Jay’s list since he had already proven it to be a highly competitive deck. So, if you for some reason haven’t seen Jay’s list yet, here it is.
Pokémon – 8
Trainers – 39
Energy – 13
pocketmonsters.netThe first thing which caught my attention in this list was the very high count of Supporters – 15. Granted, Skyla isn’t necessarily a Supporter that can be counted as a “draw” Supporter since it only searches for one card. However, when combined with Computer Search, Skyla is a card that adds a lot of consistency – even in the early game.
The consistency also comes from the straightforwardness of this list. There aren’t any cool tricks or anything too fancy. It’s just pure hit-power with fast and big EXs combined with 4 PlusPowers and a huge Trainer selection.
The second thing (small, but important in my opinion) which was surprising in my opinion was the Switch count. The deck doesn’t run Skyarrow Bridges, so even retreating with Mewtwo EX is painful. And if you happen to open with Terrakion, you’re in some serious trouble.
Third, there are no Stadium cards in the deck, which means that your opponent can abuse their Stadiums as they wish. Probably the only “real” Stadium in the current format is Skyarrow Bridge, which you can abuse as well with Mewtwo EX, but in the end it will help decks like RayEels a LOT more than you.
I think it would be more than justifiable to play a Stadium card in here, especially due the high Skyla count.
Fourth, looking at the Pokémon lines, it’s good to notice that Jay’s list has the so-called “7-Prize” factor built in to it. You run an all-EX deck with one non-Pokémon-EX, so whenever your opponent takes a Prize card from Terrakion it goes “in vain.” They will still need to KO 3 other Pokémon-EX.
Not to mention that if they KO Terrakion, they’ll eventually go down to 1 Prize card, where no one wants to be at thanks to N. It’s simple but brilliant.
Last but not least, there is Computer Search. I love consistency, so I’m a fan of Computer Search, but if you’ve read my last tournament report you will know that I just recently noticed how good Gold Potion can be in practice.
Thanks to the high Skyla count, Computer Search is great in the early game, but also makes Gold Potion a lot better since you have access to it at almost every point of the game. It’s one tough dilemma deciding which ACE SPEC to play.
pokemon-paradijs.comAfter seeing Jay’s list, I went straight to playtesting the deck. I tested the deck thoroughly for two weeks with all kinds of normal and weird techs and searched the internet for all kinds of new approaches to the deck.
What I was really surprised about was the amount of variations this deck had. You could play practically anything with Landorus-EX and Mewtwo EX. And that settled my article’s topic. There was no better deck to make a full article on than Landorus/Mewtwo since it’s so versatile.
Next, I’ll go through all the cards I playtested and my experiences with them. There may be some cards I don’t analyze in this article, but that’s due the fact that I wanted to give you a playtesting-only point of view to the article (not theory).
That’s why I hope I didn’t miss any seriously important cards. I spent a huge amount of time the past few weeks with this deck, so I really hope I was able to come up with some unique and interesting insights.
During the card analysis, I may stop here and there to provide you with one of my lists I tested for this article. There were plenty of cards I tried out, so it will be a long read, but I’m sure it will be an interesting read as well.
I. Pokémon – Must Have
There are two must-have Pokémon cards in Landorus/Mewtwo. What are these cards? Landorus-EX and Mewtwo EX of course!
Everyone should know by now what Landorus-EX does. Landorus-EX is single-handedly the most important card in this deck for almost every matchup. However, it’s especially good against any decks that evolve. There are two reasons for this:
- It can annihilate any Basics very quickly (preventing your opponent from even having a chance to evolve their Pokémon, especially if you go first).
- The most played evolution Pokémon (Eelektrik and Hydreigon) are weak to Fighting.
If Landorus-EX wasn’t a Fighting Pokémon, it would just be a mediocre EX among other EX-Pokémon.
What I noticed during testing was that even though Landorus-EX seems strong in the late game as well thanks to Land’s Judgment, I still more often used my other attackers in the late game. 80 or 150 isn’t bad at all, but the reason why Landorus-EX isn’t that good in the late game is those aren’t magical numbers in the metagame.
150 can become a magical number if you’re able to Hammerhead for example your opponent’s Landorus-EX or Mewtwo EX, but the fact that they probably play Potions, Eviolites, or Max Potions in their deck makes you want to Hammerhead usually something other than the big EXs. Not to mention that Mewtwo EX is best handled with your own Mewtwo EX – and not Hammerhead + Land’s Judgment.
From time to time, I also used Landorus-EXs in the late game against the big EX decks, but against decks like Eelektrik and Hydreigon, Landorus-EX was able to destroy their setup before the game really began. The earlier you are able to use the Hammerhead, the better it becomes. From turn 4 onwards, it really isn’t that good.
I still believe Mewtwo EX is the most powerful EX in the format. This argument comes from the fact that once you have a 9-Energy Mewtwo EX attacking and your opponent doesn’t have a Mewtwo EX counter, you’ve practically won the game.
The best counter for Mewtwo EX is still Mewtwo EX, and as long as there isn’t a proper counter to Mewtwo EX in the format other than itself, it still remains king of the hill in my opinion.
Mewtwo EX plays a very traditional role for this deck. It hits just about everything you don’t want to fight against with Landorus-EX. There really isn’t anything that Mewtwo EX is bad against as most Psychic Pokémon are either weak to Psychic or have a huge Energy cost (e.g. Cresselia-EX), thus making it possible for Mewtwo EX to 1HKO them back (or in the case of Cresselia, KO it with the help of Catcher before it starts attacking).
A standard Landorus/Mewtwo doesn’t have any sort of Energy acceleration, which would make Mewtwo EX even better, but as the deck still has DCEs, Mewtwo EX still has the ability to quickly become a fearsome attacker.
It’s true that some variants of Landorus/Mewtwo play Energy Switch, which makes it possible for Mewtwo EX to accelerate a lot of Energy in one turn if needed, but it can’t really be counted as real Energy acceleration like Dark Patch or Dynamotor.
One matchup where Mewtwo EX rises above all the other optional attackers is the ever-so-difficult Blastoise/Keldeo-EX. Keldeo-EX makes 1HKOing Landorus-EX seem too easy, so you don’t even want to bench any Landorus-EXs in that particular matchup if you want to win the game.
Thankfully Keldeo-EX hits the more damage that they have Energy attached to it, which suits Mewtwo EX’s X Ball more than well. With only a single DCE, Mewtwo EX easily 2HKOs your opponent’s Keldeo-EXs. All that matters after that is which player handles the Super Scoop Ups, Max Potions, and other healing cards better.
Without Mewtwo EX, this deck wouldn’t be able to survive in the currently diverse metagame. Mewtwo EX has no real weaknesses and it’s good against everything, which makes it such an essential part of this deck.
I. Pokémon – Sometimes Staples
It’s good to note that I am not really talking about techs in here. I’m talking about cards that I consider as staples in certain variants of Mewtwo/Landorus and are overall better than random techs that help 1-2 matchups.
pokemon-paradijs.comYou have DCEs, so Tornadus EX is obviously good in here. However, Tornadus EX would be better if you have Stadiums. That’s why Jay probably didn’t play it. Tornadus EX is good for especially two things in this deck.
First, it’s as good as Landorus-EX in the early game (if you have a Stadium in play) since hitting 60 from T1 onwards is huge. In some situations it’s even better than 30 and 30 with Hammerhead.
The second situation where Tornadus EX is more than good is mirror matches. If you’re playing Tornadus EX, you make your opponent’s Landorus-EX completely unusable as you have the Fighting Resistance.
Tornadus EX is good against almost everything else too as it’s nearly impossible 1HKO in the current metagame. You can attack with it, take damage, retreat, heal it with Max Potion, and then just attack with other attackers. Big EX mirrors are very tough and close, and Tornadus EX is able you to give the edge you need for those matchups.
Overall, I believe that Tornadus EX fits the deck very well, but if you don’t have Stadium(s) in your deck, it probably isn’t a good idea. I got the most use out of Tornadus EX’s first attack and not the second.
However, Tornadus EX becomes completely useless in the your worst matchup – Blastoise/Keldeo.
pokemon-paradijs.comIt was pretty surprising just how long it took for Bouffalant to break into the western metagame. It’s a real beast card and it works in this deck just as well as in any deck running DCEs. Bouffalant is especially good against Darkrai EX, which can’t 1HKO Bouffalant.
However, Terrakion is also very good against Bouffalant, which may explain why for example Jay didn’t use Bouffalant in his deck. Bouffalant is mainly good in mirror-like big EX matchups, where you can get the advantage of 2HKOing EXs with a non-Pokémon-EX.
This 1-Prize advantage wins you a lot of games and if your opponent isn’t prepared to face Bouffalant with for example their own Terrakion, Bouffalant becomes a real nuisance for them.
Bouffalant can in my opinion can almost be considered a staple for this deck. Or at least I consider it a staple in my Landorus/Mewtwo variant. I really grew keen on it as soon as I put it in my list. It has won me so many games and messed up my opponent’s calculations so many times that I really didn’t want to even play this deck without Bouffalant.
Terrakion must be the most often used Fighting Pokémon EVER. You can tech it into pretty much everything and this deck is no exception. As you saw, Jay had it in his deck. So did many other tournament winners.
Terrakion is an exceptional Pokémon as it can 1HKO Darkrai EX. Darkrai EX is still one of the strongest and playable EXs in the format and Mewtwo EX is pretty much the only Pokémon alongside Terrakion that can 1HKO Darkrai EX – but the Energy cost is a lot larger.
I found Terrakion especially useful in big Basic mirrors. The reason for this was my opponent’s Bouffalant, which is a real nuisance for this particular deck as I just mentioned.
Terrakion is a non-Pokémon-EX, so Bouffalant’s Ability doesn’t work against it. Not to mention that Bouffalant is weak to Fighting, so Retaliate 1HKOs Bouffalant.
Not only is Bouffalant especially good against against Darkrai EX and Bouffalant, but it’s also good against Sigilyph as this deck wouldn’t be able to even hit Sigilyph without Terrakion. Sigilyph has gained a lot of attention in the metagame as Quad Sigilyph became a hot topic and decks like Pooka’s “Ho-Oh” deck started running Sigilyph.
Due to these changes in metagame, Terrakion becomes all the more important for this deck.
I. Pokémon – Techs
Now to techs. This time I kept myself focused and when it comes to the Pokémon techs; I didn’t even try anything too overboard. I only tested the most important, most played, and most discussed techs.
pokemon-paradijs.comLandorus gives this deck an interesting aspect as it can work as Energy acceleration in the early game. With Juniper, Computer Search, and Ultra Ball, it gives you in many games a T2 80 and 10 to each Benched Pokémon.
However, the question is, is it better in any situations than Landorus-EX? I noticed that in the early game it isn’t. But in the mid and late game it works surprisingly well as an Energy accelerator. Landorus gets Energy from discard pile, which you can then move with Energy Switch to your other Pokémon.
If you have additional Switches in your hand in the mid game and a turn where you don’t want to attack with any other Pokémon (has happened to me many times in especially big EX-mirrors), you can use Landorus to get you the additional Energy.
I’ll introduce the list, which I found optimal in the end of this article, but for now I can say that even though Landorus has its moments in my test games, it really wasn’t that much of a help as it should be if it wants to be a part of my 60-card Landorus/Darkrai.
I already discussed Druddigon in my last article, which covered techs. Druddigon was very good since it was able to lock things like Hydreigon to the Active Spot.
pokemon-paradijs.comJust like Druddigon, Roserade was discussed in my last article. However, as I tested Roserade in Landorus/Darkrai my findings very similar to Jay’s.
If I wanted to search for any one card from my deck, I would prefer using Skyla for that. Not only can Skyla as well look for any one card thanks to Computer Search, but it adds consistency for early game. And there is nothing as important for this deck as the early game.
Skyla is infinitely better than Roserade for this deck in my opinion. Roserade has its pros compared to Skyla since it isn’t a Supporter, but Skyla’s pros just simply outweigh the usability of Roserade.
Tornadus is a forgotten card that is a very interesting addition to this deck. It’s a non-EX card that is playable, which makes it immediately a card that you want to test in the deck. I was pretty surprised just how versatile it is. Since it can move Energy to your benched Pokémon, it can take cheap Prizes from your opponent’s small Basics while accelerating energy to your big EXs.
I found myself wanting to move DCE from Tornadus every single time, but as the attack can’t move Special Energy, I soon noticed that attaching Energy to Tornadus wasn’t as efficient as attaching Energy to Landorus-EX, Mewtwo EX, or even to Bouffalant or Terrakion.
In my experience, Tornadus isn’t worth it in this deck.
Probably the most known Ho-Oh EX variant is Pooka’s Ho-Oh EX deck, which has experienced some changes during time. I watched a few games of Pooka’s matches, then made and playtested my own version of the deck, which is still pretty close to the Pooka’s original list.
This is what I end up with with Ho-Oh EX/Mewtwo EX/Landorus-EX/techs.
Pokémon – 11
Trainers – 34
Energy – 15
It’s good to notice that this is still very close to the article’s topic, because you don’t attack with Ho-Oh that much. You still want to open most games with Landorus-EX even though you only run one copy of them.
The other thing I want to point of the list is the count of Sigilyphs – two. One Sigilpyh can be dealt with easily by a single Terrakion, but 2 Sigilyphs cause a lot of trouble for any big EX deck that isn’t prepared to take down 2 Sigilyphs.
BulbapediaGarbodor has seen a lot of decline in play, which I’m very surprised of since Gardodor is still very good. Not to mention that Garbodor makes the worst matchup of Landorus/Mewtwo – Blastoise/Keldeo – an even matchup.
Garbodor also makes matchups like Eelektrik an auto-win and gives Hydreigon huge trouble as well. In theory it’s the perfect fit for this deck.
Then, what’s the reason Garbodor hasn’t been winning tournaments as much as Mewtwo/Landorus has? I’ll discuss that next, but first the list I tested including Garbodor.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 36
Energy – 12
pokemon-paradijs.comYou can see the reason for Garbodor’s lack of success very quickly from this list. It misses all the essential parts of the normal built and is too focused on getting Garbodor to play.
You require at least 4 Tools and at least a 2-2 Garbodor line to be able to do anything with Garbodor. Not to mention those horrible games where you open with Trubbish and don’t have a Switch or Skyla in your hand.
This deck is all about speed, so if you want to be fast, you don’t have the luxury of setting up Garbodor as well. You have to choose between these two: setting up Garbodor or hitting with T1 Landorus-EX consistently.
The ironic thing is that Garbodor only becomes useful when your opponent has a setup, but if you are able to Hammerhead from T1 onwards, it’s very possible that your opponent never even have the cards needed to setup, because you’re too fast.
And believe me; you’re better off getting the game finished in the early game as this deck isn’t the best in mid and late game since it has no Energy acceleration. Garbodor only works as insurance If your opponent gets a setup.
I study international insurance business and can light-heartedly say that this insurance isn’t worth of 6-8 cards.
II. Trainers – Must Have
The “must haves” are the cards you want to play in every single deck – 4 Junipers, 4 Ns, and X amount of Biancas. The decks in the current format are so fast and discard so many cards that Bianca is almost always better than Cheren, which makes it the 3rd Supporter of the format.
There really isn’t any variation to be done to this part of your Trainers – 1/5 of every single deck is the same.
I wasn’t a fan of Skyla in the early season, but all I needed was a few test games with Jay’s list and I was simply sold on it in this deck. It’s pretty amazing that you can search for Tool Scrapper when you need to get rid of an Eviolite or search for a 3rd PlusPower you would otherwise hope to bump into with a direct draw.
The ACE SPEC
It’s a very intriguing question – Computer Search or Gold Potion? Both cards have their pros and cons, so the only way to really know which one to play is to play a lot of games and just think about the possibilities.
I played a lot of games and noticed that there were these some matchups were the other ACE SPEC was a lot better. For example, in mirrors against big Basic EX decks, Gold Potion was just too awesome.
On the other hand, Computer Search is almost always welcome. Combined with Skyla, you’re able to search for 2 PlusPowers in one turn (1 with Skyla and the another with Computer Search). Playing 3 PlusPowers per turn turned the tide of few games completely, as there is no way my opponent was expecting 3 PlusPowers as I had already played one.
It’s completely impossible to recommend either one of these cards as it depends completely on your metagame.
If your metagame is filling up with mirror-like matchups, I suggest to play Gold Potion – it will win you games.
However, if evolution decks – especially Blastoise/Keldeo – are popular in your area, I highly recommend playing Computer Search as it maximizes your chances of getting quick starts and cheap Prizes in the early, mid, and late game.
II. Trainers – Techs
BulbapediaThe hardest part of building a Landorus/Mewtwo deck are the so-called “filler” cards. You only have a limited amount of cards you can put into your deck, but you have almost unlimited variety of cards you would like to play in this deck.
I’ll go through all the cards I tested and discuss I felt about them. At the end of this article I’ll reveal my ultimate list, which pretty much sums up all the things I’ve discussed in this article, but in order to understand the list, you must first understand the cards from this section.
Does this deck necessarily require a Stadium? No. But in the end, playing a Stadium helps against your worst matchup – Blastoise/Keldeo – as their consistency is largely supported by Tropical Beach. That’s the very reason you don’t really want to play Tropical Beach in your deck.
There are 3 Stadiums you might want to consider for this deck.
pokemon-paradijs.comBattle City can be played in this deck no matter which techs you run. It’s a neutral Stadium that’s only mission is to counter your opponent’s Stadium. If you’re able to get a card from it, then good, but your game plan doesn’t require any heads from it.
Skyarrow Bridge is a bit risky here unless you run high counts of techs with a Retreat Cost of one. Most of your Pokémon have a bigger Retreat Cost than one, and playing Skyarrow Bridge often gives evolution decks more advantage than yourself. Just imagine playing down Skyarrow Bridge against RayEels deck – not a good idea.
Lastly, there is Aspertia City Gym, which Mike Diaz discussed in his latest UG article. If you’re running cards like Bouffalant or Tornadus EX, Aspertia City Gym is the play, but you must be careful not to give too much advantage to your opponent with it.
Once you play Aspertia to play, there is no way for you to get rid of it, so do the math before playing it down.
pokemon-paradijs.comEviolite is one of the key cards of this deck when you’re playing against tier 1 decks that have big EXs as their attackers. Eviolite can turn the 2HKO with Darkrai EX into a 3HKO etc.
When played on the bench, Eviolite also decreases the damage from Night Spear or from Hammerhead to 10, which makes it more difficult for your opponent to nail the magical numbers with their attacks and force them use PlusPowers.
This is especially fun against Darkrai EX variants, when you’re running a Terrakion in your deck. A 3 Energy Terrakion with Eviolite is tough to deal with even for a Mewtwo EX, not to mention that it’s pretty much Darkrai EX’s worst nightmare. One Terrakion with Eviolite and healing Trainers can easily draw 4 Prizes against any Darkrai EX variant.
Without Eviolite, this deck is bad. All of your Pokémon are at least 2HKO’d (sometimes even 1HKO’d) by all the main attackers of the format and there is nothing you can do about it. The deck doesn’t have any sort of Energy acceleration, so you can’t rely on Max Potions as decks like Eelektrik, Hydreigon, or Klinklang do.
You’re on your own and without Eviolite even your speed isn’t enough to beat those decks (unless you donk them).
pokemon-paradijs.comPlusPower is an important part of this deck, but it’s not the most important part of the deck. Jay’s list played 4 PlusPowers, but his list was very aggressive and not every Landorus/Mewtwo you are going to encounter will be that aggressive.
In fact, I have even seen builds of Landorus/Mewtwo that don’t run any PlusPowers – but I’m not a fan of them.
I’ve found that for me the optimal PlusPower amount is somewhere between 2 or 3. It’s tough to find the magical number to crack the metagame, but I’ve found that PlusPowers are mostly used early in the game or on the last turn to draw your last Prize(s).
In the current metagame, Tool Scrapper is a continuation of PlusPower in most matchups since all you do with it is to remove your opponent’s Eviolites. So in fact, Tool Scrapper is in most cases better than PlusPower as you can add 20 damage with only 1 card!
The perfect amount of Tool Scrapper is 1 or 2. Which number is better depends completely on your metagame. If you have a lot of mirror-like matchups, you may want to run 2 of them. If you have mainly setup decks in your area, you only need one copy of Tool Scrapper.
pokemon-paradijs.comPokémon Catcher is the most important Trainer in this deck. This is due to the fact that this deck’s magic happens in the early turns of the game. The most important turns for Landorus/Mewtwo are the turns between 1 and 4.
In these turns this deck should be able to draw 2-3 Prizes against a setup deck in order to stand a chance in the mid and late game. This deck is all about cheap Prizes in the early game and in the late game as well.
The huge amount of draw cards and Skyla are there to guarantee that you draw into Catchers when you need them.
If you don’t draw into Catchers between turns 1 and 4, your opponent can control where you’ll draw the Prizes and they will have way too much time for setting up. Catchers are a big part of this game, but I can’t really emphasize how important they are for this deck.
Energy Switch is the only card in this deck that can be counted as some sort of Energy acceleration. It’s the only way for you to control the Energy cards you have played and the only way to attach 3 Energy to Mewtwo EX in one turn if your opponent has just 1HKO’d your Mewtwo EX with 3 Energy with their 2 Energy Mewtwo EX.
The deck doesn’t run a lot of healing cards, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t important for the deck. As explained when discussing Eviolite, the small damage amounts turn the tide of the game especially in mirror-like matches.
pokemon-paradijs.comFirst, there is Super Scoop Up. The card is very controversial and it was no surprise that Jay didn’t play it as it’s a flippy card. Also, as the deck doesn’t Energy accelerate from hand, there is no benefit from getting the Energy into your hand.
SSU works the best if you happen to run the Ho-Oh EX variant of this deck, but in most cases, you want use the more conservative (and consistent) healing cards.
However, Max Potion is completely unnecessary for Mewtwo EX as you don’t want to discard the DCEs on Mewtwo EX, and on the other hand Mewtwo EX is often 1HKO’d when you have attacked with it. Max Potion is good, but I wouldn’t play more than one copy of them in any Landorus/Mewtwo variant.
Potion is a card that was a laughing stock for a long time, but as soon as it was introduced and heavily played in Worlds 2012, it has become a staple in the current format’s big EXs fights.
It just like Eviolite if you’re talking about 2HKOing things, but the difference is that you can decide when to play it and your opponent has no way of taking Potion away from you as they can Tool Scrapper your Eviolites.
However, this is also a problem if you have something like Juniper and 3 Potions in the very same hand. If they were Eviolites, you could attach and save them that way, but with Potions, you just have to discard them. Or don’t play the Juniper.
Either way, there are the reasons why you might want to play Potion in Landorus/Mewtwo, but you don’t want to play heavy counts of them.
pokemon-paradijs.comSwitches are important in this deck as all of your Pokémon have a Retreat Cost of at least 2. Most have 3 or even 4. You don’t want to retreat in every situation because retreating manually combined with a lack of Energy acceleration destroys your game.
No matter what you do with this deck, you want to have as many Energy on your field as possible because you’ll never have too many Energy on the field.
I tried it. It felt good in theory. But in the end it wasn’t worth the space. The deck has 60 spaces and this deck wants to fill of them in the best possible way. Energy Retrieval isn’t one of these ways.
Just like Energy Retrieval, I thought that I would want to play these cards. After all, I have Basic techs in my deck that I run only 1 copy of. Nonetheless, I always found myself getting Revives in my hand from the late game Ns, in the early game, or in other undesirable situations.
I just didn’t draw into either of these when I really needed them because the games were very quick. Revive and Super Rod work the best in decks that may lose some of their key cards (like Tynamos) in the early game, but as your lowest HP in the deck is 100, you don’t really miss these cards if you don’t have them.
trollandtoad.comI still believe that First Ticket is the most underrated card in the format. It sees almost no play even though the opening flip single-handedly still decides tons of games. In a very fast deck like Landorus/Mewtwo, you could get the most out of First Ticket. Going first against Eelektrik in almost every game? I’ll take that any time.
It made no sense at all, but that’s how it happened. I may be a bad shuffler or something, but it felt like I drew First Ticket into my opening hand with 4 First Tickets less than I drew with one First Ticket.
This proves that First Ticket is a tricky card. You never know if you’re going to get any First Tickets into your opening hand during the whole tournament. And wasting 4 spaces for First Ticket if you never get any use out of them? Doesn’t sound like a legitimate idea to me.
No matter how much I love First Ticket, I just didn’t find it having much utility in my testing in this deck. The deck has better ways to spend all the spaces First Ticket would take from the deck and since First Ticket is even less consistent than SSU, it’s just not worth the space.
The F Energy count must be somewhere between 7 and 9.
Double Colorless Energy
Two to three Mewtwo EXs should imply directly to the play of 4 DCEs and it should be pretty obvious that 4 is the only choice. Not to mention that if you add cards like Bouffalant and/or Tornadus EX to the deck, you would like to run even more than 4 DCEs in your deck.
In this article, I’ll do something I don’t usually do. Give you my insight into matchups. Not only will I give detailed insights and opinions, I’ll give you the numbers of how I see the matchups. It’s Christmas after all.
trollandtoad.comI want to start with the most difficult matchup of Landorus/Mewtwo. It really doesn’t matter what variant you use or which techs you have, this matchup is very difficult.
Your strategy is also pretty straightforward. You want to avoid benching any Landorus-EXs, unless your opponent has a very slow setup and is careless enough to play down 2 Keldeo-EXs. Squirtle prevents the Hammerhead damage to the bench, so your Squirtles are pretty safe in this matchup.
All you have to do as a Blastoise player is to get a decently fast setup and make sure you have a Mewtwo EX available when your opponent brings their Mewtwo EX to the Active Spot.
Landorus/Mewtwo is forced to use Mewtwo EX as their main attacker during the whole game as Landorus-EX is two free Prizes for a Blastoise player. Pretty much all the odds are against you in this matchup, so the question is: is there anything you can do to make the matchup better?
In form of tech cards, there isn’t anything you can do. You just have to keep things as simple as possible and focus all your resources on getting Eviolites on Mewtwos and avoid attaching too much Energy on your Mewtwo EXs.
You don’t have Exp. Shares or any other Energy accelerators in your deck, so to the bitter end you must avoid attaching a 3rd Energy to the Mewtwo EX.
You don’t have an answer against your opponent’s 2 Energy Mewtwo EX if you don’t already have Energy on your field. When it comes to Mewtwo EX and especially to this deck, the difference between 2 and 3 Energy Mewtwo EX is too huge to forget.
If I had a video camera, I would have recorded some of the best test games that show how the matchup usually goes. However, to keep it simple, Blastoise either gets a decent setup or doesn’t. If Blastoise gets a T2 setup, there really isn’t anything Landorus/Mewtwo can do, if Blastoise is piloted correctly.
However, if Landorus goes first and is able to get enough pressure on the Keldeo-EXs in the early game, the matchup becomes manageable. It’s pretty sad how important the SSU flips of Blastoise/Keldeo are in this matchup.
Ok, to be honest, it’s sad that SSU is the key card of success for Blastoise/Keldeo in almost every matchup.
- Who goes first
- Blastoise’s setup speed (should be able to get a T2 Blastoise in 99% of games)
- Super Scoop Up flips
- Late game N’s (if Blastoise draws into Energy or not)
- How well Mewtwo/Landorus draws into DCEs
- Opening Pokémon (Mewtwo EX > Landorus-EX; Keldeo-EX > Squirtle)
Darkrai EX/Basics + Mirror Match: 50-50
pokemon-paradijs.comDarkrai EX combined with big Basics like Bouffalant, Terrakion, Mewtwo, and/or Landorus can be considered as a mirror matches. The matchup is close and every single Potion and 30 to the bench with Hammerhead can make the difference.
What I thought was pretty surprising in some of the matches I played was that whoever went first didn’t have that big of an advantage, even if Darkrai EX got a T2 Night Spear. That is, if Landorus/Mewtwo ran Terrakion.
Terrakion was by far the best answer against fast Night Spears, but when I tried Landorus/Mewtwo without Terrakion, Night Spear pretty much killed me because I didn’t have a straight answer against it.
I deeply enjoyed every single game I played this matchup because it reminded me a lot of SP-mirrors, which were – in my opinion – one of the most skill-intense matchups this game has ever experienced. You need to make the most of every single card you played and surprisingly these matchups aren’t that much different.
Small techs like Bouffalant and Terrakion make all the difference and even random techs like Enhanced Hammers can turn the whole game around.
There is also one more similarity with the SP-mirrors (especially LuxChomp mirros). DCEs are one of the most important cards in the mirror matches. However, the winner isn’t the player who draws more quickly into DCEs, but the player who uses them more wisely.
Retreating is a very important part of these matchups since there are only limited amount of Catchers and healing cards.
- Each player’s techs (Bouffalant and Terrakion are the key cards)
- Drawing into DCEs
Darkrai EX/Hydreigon: 60-40
pokemon-paradijs.comIf Landorus/Mewtwo goes first and Hydreigon opens with Deino (either one of them), life becomes immediately difficult for Hydreigon variant. However, if Hydreigon is able to go first and gets a T1 Junk Hunt alongside with T2 Hydreigon, the tables are turned completely around to the opposite direction.
In my experience this matchup is decided in the early turns of the game. There were many games where Hydreigon didn’t even get Hydreigon in play thanks to T1 Hammerhead.
On the other hand, there were also many games where T2 Hydreigon caused big trouble for Landorus/Mewtwo. However, T2 Hydreigon doesn’t win the game as quickly as T1 Landorus-EX wins the game for Landorus/Mewtwo.
Not only is the opening flip a huge factor in this matchup, but also the opener of Hydreigon/Darkrai is a big factor in the game. If Hydreigon/Darkrai opens with Sableye, there is nothing to fear.
However, if you open with a Fighting-weak Deino… well, Hydreigon/Darkrai is in for a trouble. There is a big chance you won’t even get a turn before the game is finished.
- Who goes first (HUGE)
- The opener of Darkai/Hydreigon
RayEels + Standard Eels: 70-30
pokemon-paradijs.comAll the Eelektrik matchups are surprisingly similar to Hydreigon variants’ matchups. If you get T1 Hammerhead against Tynamo, you have a huge advantage, but if Eelektrik is able to go first and get something like Rayquaza EX to the Active Spot and multiple Tynamos on the bench on T1, the tables are once again turned completely around.
Another possibility is also Paralyzing the Active Pokémon with Victini and Tynamo, but in the current format it isn’t nearly as effective as it was before Keldeo-EX and Skyla, which lets you search for a Switch.
Just like against Hydreigon, one Landorus-EX can easily take 6 Prizes against an Eelektrik variant. Even if one Landorus isn’t able to get 6 Prizes, it’s enough to destroy enough Tynamos to annihilate any chances for Eelektrik for the set-up.
Landorus/Mewtwo needs almost no resources to be able to hit T1 Hammerhead, so in most games Landorus/Mewtwo just runs through Eelektrik, but sometimes Eelektrik can stand a chance.
However, in best-of-three games, I see Landorus/Mewtwo winning a lot more than Eelektrik.
- Who goes first(HUGE)
- Catchers in the early game
Ho-Oh EX/Techs: 50-50
pokemon-paradijs.comThis matchup is very similar to the Darkrai/Big basics matchup. The only difference is that Ho-Oh EX can have any attackers coming at you at any point of the game. You just need to stay on top of the situation at all times and deal with whatever comes across you.
Ho-Oh EX isn’t a good attacker, but it can stand a chance against Landorus-EX. On the other hand, you don’t really want to attack with Ho-Oh because it has low HP and Mewtwo EX 1HKOs it too easily.
Probably the most dangerous tech that Ho-Oh EX can throw against you is Sigilpyh DRX – if you aren’t prepared for it. One Sigilyph can cause you serious trouble if you play only one copy of Terrakion.
Not only are Ho-Oh EXs techs important, but so are yours. Bouffalant is once again huge in here, but in my experience you attack the most games with Mewtwo EX since it’s so good against decks that don’t have Energy acceleration but do attack with 2 or more Energy.
- Who goes first
- Techs (especially Bouffalant is big)
Hammertime: 50-50 (Dependent on Strategy)
Hammertime is my specialty and that’s why I may be a bit biased in this matchup. But I believe that this matchup is favorable for Hammertime – as long as Hammertime chooses the correct strategy.
Depending on the opening hand of Hammertime, it may be able to go with the Energy discarding strategy if the player has nerves of steel.
In almost every game that I played and used Hammertime’s Energy discarding strategy, I won the games (I timed the games for 30+3) since when you play 2 Sableyes, attach Eviolite to both and have Potion or two, you have the perfect combination.
As mentioned, this strategy requires nerves of steel (especially in a tournament), but you’ll almost every time come on top of the match.
When Hammertime tries to play the game in a more “conservative” way, even Tornadus EX doesn’t really help them. Landorus-EX and Mewtwo EX has the edge unless you hit 100% Hammer heads. Darkrai EX is weak to Fighting and Mewtwo EX takes care of Tornadus EX in a fast manner.
This matchup is all about strategy and the players playing the game pretty much decide the game (alongside a few flips). The keys to the matchups are on Hammertime players’ side and Landorus/Mewtwo just needs to react to the strategy the Hammertime player chooses.
- Hammertime’s strategy
- Hammer flips
- The DCE attachments
pokemon-paradijs.comKlinklang is a deck that has only recently gained a lot of attention around it. It’s playable once again thanks to Keldeo-EX, which gives the deck an automatic Switch. It’s also better than Hydreigon since it can play better suited attackers against the current metagame than Hydreigon.
Klink isn’t also weak to Fighting as some Deinos and Zweilouses may be. Klinklang’s weakness to Fire overall isn’t as problematic as Hydreigon line’s weakness to Fighting or Dragon since there aren’t any played Fire Pokémon in the current format.
The matchup between Landorus/Mewtwo and Klinklang differs a lot from all the other matchups of Landorus/Mewtwo because the Pokémon aren’t weak to each other.
As Klinklang has a wider variety of attackers, the keys to this matchup are dependent on the Klinklang player as long as T1 Hammerhead doesn’t take care of Klinks as soon as they hit the field. When the decks are having an equally solid start the game will be tough and in the test games I played, I really couldn’t decide which deck has the advantage in this matchup.
The player going first in this matchup has an advantage, but it isn’t an advantage that is impossible to overcome.
Landorus/Mewtwo is able to take the game if it’s able to KO Klinklang before they get into play, but when Klinklang and the Energy are on the field, things get very tough for both sides and game are often decided by the late game N’s.
- Who goes first
- Late game Ns
The Ultimate List
So after 8,000 words and tens of hours of playtesting, this is what I ended up with. I got even the most difficult matchups playable while still maintaining all the pros of the starting list.
At the same time the deck is still fairly consistent, even though I needed to cut some of the Supporters to find the spaces for other cards. I’m very satisfied with this particular list.
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 37
Energy – 13
Shaymin EX was a last minute addition. I was wondering why I didn’t have a decent answer against Blastoise/Keldeo and had completely forgotten about Shaymin EX while building the deck. I was too concentrated on keeping the deck as a monotype, so I almost completely neglected Shaymin EX.
However, as soon as I found the correct Energy lines for Shaymin EX, the matchup against Blastoise/Keldeo immediately become favorable.
All I need is to get a Prize lead in the early game and N before attacking with Shaymin EX and my opponent will have very difficult time attaching 4 Energy to Keldeo-EX in one turn (Eviolite on Shaymin EX – you know).
Not only against Blastoise/Keldeo-EX is Shaymin EX due to its Grass type, but it does surprisingly well in the mirror-like matchups. It has a Fighting Resistance so it’s immune to Hammerhead and with Eviolite, even Land’s Judgment can’t 2HKO it.
Not to mention that Shaymin EX is still the only Pokémon in the format than can 1HKO any Pokémon when your opponent only has 1 Prize card left. This proves to be highly useful in matchups where you aren’t able to Terrakion against your opponent’s T2 Darkrai EX. Without Shaymin EX you wouldn’t be able to recover from that in most games.
It’s good to remember that no matter how much I hype Shaymin EX, it still has weaknesses. The main weakness is its low HP. In big EX mirrors you must don’t have to be as careful when beching it as against Darkrai EX decks, because 30 + 90 is enough to KO Shaymin EX, thus giving your opponent’s almost two free Prizes. The later you get to play Shaymin EX to your bench, the better.
I was able to get all the matchups favorable with this list (or at least I felt like it when playing), so give if you’re interested in this deck, be sure to give the deck a spin or a two and let me know how it worked for you!
Oh and one more thing. The tech SSU. You may wonder why the deck includes SSU even though I just moments ago said it wasn’t worth the play. The reason for this was that I wanted to “make sure” that I have the advantage in the mirror match.
Ok, SSU doesn’t “make sure” of anything since it’s a flip card, but whenever you flip heads when you have a damaged Landorus-EX/ Terrakion in the Active Spot, you can see your opponent’s frustration on their face. SSU is so good when you flip heads. When you don’t… Well, too bad.
The best thing about SSU in this deck is that you can search it with Skyla. This is the first time in many years that you can time your tech at the right moment and that’s something I’ve been missing. It’s risky, but so far it has been worth the risk in many games and I believe it will be worth the risk in many games to come.
I guess the last two weeks were the most testing-intense weeks for me since my Worlds preparation in 2006, when I tested 6 hours a day only to end up with a 3-5 record, haha. Thankfully, this time I’m sure that the testing was worth it and I hope you feel the same way.
Landorus/Mewtwo has done the best in City Championships and was way under-discussed in the Underground and on the internet overall, so I believe this article was more than necessary for everyone (even for me).
cattype.deviantart.comI don’t expect you to read this on the 25th of December, so I hope by the time you’re readin this you’ve had a blast on Christmas and that your New Year plans are all set. Mine are as I’m going to friend’s place to play some board games and having a good time.
However, if you’re reading this on Christmas day, I hope you enjoyed the article and the Christmas card I’ve made especially for you guys (located above).
It’s always risky to own a complete article for one deck, but I hope you felt like it was worth it! Let me know your opinion by leaving feedback to me.
And don’t forget to +1 or -1 the article, so I’ll know what you thought about the article even if you don’t leave a comment.
Thanks for reading!
– Esa Juntunen
…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.
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