Hello SixPrizes! Today I’m here to write about Keldeo-EX in the next format. Keldeo/Blastoise was one of the most powerful decks of the BLW–BCR format, but how will Keldeo fair in the new format?
Whenever a new set is released new deck archetypes become available, and old archetypes either adapt to the new format or become obsolete and are forgotten in the forward march of time.
Eelektrik is the perfect example of an archetype that has kept up with the times by changing the attackers it uses. Blastoise can do the same thing which will prevent it from becoming one of the forgotten decks of previous formats.
Plasma Storm will finally bring us Ether, making it possibe for Landorus-EX to use Land’s Judgment as early as the first turn and speed Darkrai has another tool for ensuring the first turn Night Spear is launched. We also get Victini-EX, a card made for quick and powerful attacks with the ability to attack without Energy.
There is also Klinklang PLS, which renders the attacks of Pokémon-EX ineffectual against Metal Pokémon on Klinklang’s side of the field. Finally, we also get the fearsome Lugia EX, capable of taking 2 Prizes with each KO.
With these new deck archetypes coming out that can either outspeed Keldeo or become immune to its attacks how will Keldeo-EX adapt and survive?
The first problem is that donks are now a threat to Keldeo. Squirtle is about as safe in the next format as Tynamo was this format, and even Keldeo can be KO’d on the first turn by Landorus-EX.
Squirtle donks can only be helped by including more Basics in the deck, and while Landorus-EX donks can happen I don’t expect them to be all that common. If Keldeo/Blastoise doesn’t suffer a donk it can KO Landorus easily with Secret Sword.
Against a first turn Night Spear there isn’t much to be done aside from trying to get your Blastoise as soon as possible to KO the first Darkrai and hope that the Darkrai player has a harder time getting more Darkrai EX going than you have streaming Secret Sword.
The second issue is PlasmaKlang. Keldeo doesn’t have many options against the deck. Loading an 8 Energy Blastoise is no easy feat and there are no other standard non-EX attackers in the deck. If Keldeo doesn’t want to have a bad time against Klinklang it will need to find a solution to Klinklang.
The first idea for Keldeo is to put Lugia EX into the deck. Lugia’s attack cost is CCCC so it makes a good fit in any deck with Energy acceleration.
Keldeo / Lugia
Pokémon – 13
2 Lugia EX
Trainers – 32
Energy – 15
The way I see it there are two ways to play Lugia in this deck. The first way is to use it to solve the 7th Prize scenario by allowing you to take cheap Prizes in pairs (it always scares me to say that). The second way one could utilize Lugia EX is to use it to finish off EXs that have been hit by a Keldeo-EX.
Playing the first way will generally involve playing the same way Keldeo/Blastoise used to play only now you have Lugia EX to deliver the finishing blow. If one wishes to play Lugia this conservatively they may opt to replace 1 Lugia EX with the 2nd Mewtwo EX and 1 Plasma Energy with an extra Water Energy.
The second method will involve only using the minimal amount of Energy on Keldeo and saving the rest for Lugia EX. This plan of action requires four attacks to win the game whereas the first could finish the game in three.
This plan of attack has the advantage of leaving yourself less vulnerable to an N as you will have 3 Prizes left on your final turn.
The Supporter lineup replaces Bianca with Colress. Colress is a very weak Supporter on the first couple turns but as soon as both players bench 2 or more Pokémon it becomes amazing, as well as providing another form of shuffle-draw we’ve been missing since Professor Oak’s New Theory was rotated. Tropical Beach can make up for a weak Colress (provided you had the beach to play before using Colress).
Dowsing Machine is the ACE SPEC of choice. While Computer Search provides a much stronger early game search option Dowsing Machine increases the amount of times you can use a card. The increase in shuffle-draw should also make it less likely to be used early when you don’t want to.
A tech card I’d like to mention is Plasma Frigate. When Plasma Frigate is the active Stadium all Pokémon with Plasma Energy will lose their Weakness. This has amazing potential for a deck that runs Mewtwo EX. If your opponent cannot either play a counter Stadium they might be unable to 1HKO a Mewtwo with 4-5 energy on it.
The final thing that needs to be said about this deck is that it has no good out to Klinklang PLS. In the past Blastoise was used to get around Sigilyph but to 1HKO Klinklang Blastoise needs 8 Energy. This makes for a very flimsy out and sadly its the only one the deck has.
There is another EX in Plasma Storm that goes well with Keldeo/Blastoise (and no it’s not Articuno-EX). The one I’m referring to is the new Black Kyurem EX. Here is my list:
Keldeo / Black Kyurem
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 32
Energy – 15
This variation utilizes Black Kyurem EX to 1HKO any an all EXs in the format (sans a Black Kyurem EX with Crystal Wall attached and a Plasma Frigate/Leavanny NVI to nullify its weakness). For a cost of WWLC, Black Ballista deals 200 damage at the cost of discarding 3 Energy.
This is a pretty insane attack, requiring 4 Energy to 1HKO whatever you want it to instead of the 7-8 Energy Keldeo-EX requires. The downside is that you need to run Lightning Energy.
Both of these lists are extremely tight and don’t have a lot of room for other cards. If you feel the need for more space or you just want a higher Water count you’re better off going with a more standard Keldeo deck.
I’d have a hard time saying which variant seems like it’ll be better in the next format. If I had to guess I’d say Black Kyurem EX because you can get back Lightning Energy with Energy Retrieval and 1HKOing EXs is more powerful than taking 2 Prizes off of cheap KOs.
The Klinklang in the Room
There is a major issue with that needs to be dealt with is how to beat Klinklang PLS. Trying to out-speed Klinklang isn’t a reliable strategy because once they have their first Klinklang you’re hooped. No the way to beat these decks is to include an non-EX attacker that has a low Energy cost.
When looking to beat Klinklang the first card that always comes to mind is Victini NVI 15. For a Fire Energy and a C Energy Victini 1HKOs any Metal Pokémon Plasmaklang can throw your way. This requires you to include Prism Energy into your deck and increases the number of starters that can be donked.
Black Kyurem BCR is an option for the Black Kyurem EX variant, able to deal 100 damage for 4 Energy and possessing a respectable 130 HP.
Keldeo BCR 47 can substitute for Blastoise, requiring 8 Energy to KO PlasmaKlang but being a Basic it is easier to stream.
If you want to get creative Reshiram BLW and Kyurem NVI could be sent in to take a hit and Outrage back. Even though Kyurem is Weak to Metal Cobalion-EX doesn’t apply Weakness so you won’t get 1HKO’d. The problem with the dragons is that Hypnotoxic Laser + Virbank will deal the 30 damage Cobalion needs to deliver the finishing blow.
Plasmaklang seems like it will be like Quad Sigilyph in that it will separate the decks that can handle it from the decks that cannot. The decklists for Plasmaklang need to be refined before we can think about countering them.
Will the deck try and run Klinklang BLW and Max Potion? Or will it try to incorporate the Ether/Pokédex combo to provide a faster Cobalion-EX? Whether or not the deck runs Hypnotoxic Laser also affects what can be a suitable check.
One thing is for sure, I don’t want to face a Plasmaklang deck with Blastoise as my only non-EX attacker.
Plasma Storm feels like one of those sets that will change the metagame significantly. If Boundaries Crossed was the successor to Noble Victories then Plasma Storm is the new Next Destinies.
Keldeo/Blastoise is the type of deck that can survive a format change, and I don’t think the new decks will be so powerful that Keldeo can’t keep its head above water.
If Keldeo/Blastoise remained exactly the same as it was during the current format it would likely be left behind but by adapting to the new decks Keldeo should be able to survive what the new format throws its way.
P.S. Be sure to check out my blog: http://tcgwithhats.blogspot.ca/