Keldeo/Blastoise: What We Gained from the Storm

keldeo ex boundaries
Like most forum-goers, Keldeo is eager to Rush In to the next format.

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

4 Squirtle BCR

3 Blastoise BCR

3 Keldeo-EX

2 Lugia EX

1 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Skyla

2 Colress


4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Energy Retrieval

4 Ultra Ball

4 Rare Candy

1 Dowsing Machine


2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 15

11 W

4 Plasma

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.

I’m pretty sure the front page already used every storm puns in existence.

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.

I’d like to draw attention to the fact that I’ve neglected Colress Machine. Colress Machine is entirely unnecessary in this deck and only takes up valuable space.

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.
I’m on a frigate!

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.

This card does have its own risks as the opponent can easily get rid of Plasma Frigate or attach their own Plasma Energy to their Mewtwo EX and put you in the same boat.

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

4 Squirtle BCR

3 Blastoise BCR

3 Keldeo-EX

2 Black Kyurem-EX PLS

1 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Juniper

3 N

3 Skyla

3 Colress


4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Energy Retrieval

4 Ultra Ball

4 Rare Candy

1 Dowsing Machine


2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 15

11 W

4 L
Oh sure, give the Full Art print to the bad Black Kyurem EX.

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.
Problem EXs?

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.


Fun fact: There was once a meta deck using Blastoise ex to accelerate Energy onto Lugia ex.

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:

Reader Interactions

20 replies

  1. Joseph Baggs

    Nice article! i just wish it was longer! I really like the Black Kyruem EX version. I keep forgetting how much of a pain the new Klinklang will be

  2. Bryan Ward

    No mention of Articuno, particularly with Lugia EX? I see that as a much better option than attacking with Keldeo first to soften up your opponent. Even Kyurem NVI would be worth a mention, 2 attacks to soften up an entire field for Lugia to destroy, and can hit Klinklang decks. Now that I mention Kyurem, Dragon Vault Kyurem might not be bad for the Klinklang matchup, but I’m not sure. I just don’t like not having any good non-EX attackers in this deck.

    Another question, is why not at least 2 Blend instead of Lightning energy in the second list? If it’s because of Energy Retrieval, then I would replace 1 Lightning with an Energy Search, and replace at least one more with a Blend. Energy Search is not only searchable by Skyla, but also reusable by Dowsing Machine if you really need to. If you’ve tested it already, and for whatever reason, it doesn’t work, then fine. But I can’t see too many situations where I’d want to attack with Black Kyurem more than 3 times in one game.

    I hate to sound entirely critical of your article, when in fact, it was a good article, but I feel like some more points needed covering.

    • Joseph Baggs  → Bryan

      unless he included another Non-EX attacker with type specific energy i dont see any benefit in playing a blend over a basic lightning in a deck focused on attacking with Black Kyruem, why give enhanced hammer a target? and energy retrevial can still grab it easily without changing anu other cards, i do like the energy search idea though

      • Bryan Ward  → Joseph

        Because when you want to attack with Keldeo (For example, against Non-EX targets), Lighting energy does nothing for it unless it has 3 or less energy on it. 20 extra damage when you need it can always make a difference.

        • Mark Hanson  → Bryan

          I’d rather run 3 Lightning and 12 Water, than a Blend. Maybe even 2 Lightning and 13 Water.

        • Mark Hanson  → Bryan

          Nope, although I would probably stick to 3. Blastoise/Black Kyurem alone is kind of like RayBoar, which is an engine shut off by KO’ing the Blastoises. The deck needs to revolve around Keldeo, and leave Black Kyurem EX as a replacement for Mewtwo. Just a Pokemon you can promote between turns and if using BKEX works best, you could use it.

          2 Lightning isn’t that bad. Just discard one when you find it, and it’ll be available later when you need to retrieve it. Still… I’d run a minimum of 3, but wouldn’t criticize 2.

    • Mark Hanson  → Bryan

      With Hypnotoxic out, there is no way people will stay asleep/paralyzed this format. Articuno really won’t do much.

      Lightning > Blend because you already run Energy Retrieval, and special energies can’t be retrieved. There is no need for Blend. Why Blend? Why only 3 times? ENERGY RETRIEVAL :P

  3. Mark Hanson

    I like the Reshiram Outrage idea as a PlasmaKlang counter. Victini NVI 15 of course comes to mind.

    If DurantKlang were a problem, we could tech HEATMOR! :D

    • Benjamin Haun  → Mark

      –I see what you did there. Seems like I’m not the only one curious in a Durant revival, though.

      • Roarkiller Master  → Benjamin

        Already tested it. My evaluation: if they can’t OHKO durant, they ain’t gonna win.

        On the flipside, if they can can, you better have a decent attacker.

  4. Louise Gamboa

    My plasmaKlang Deck is and will be running the Max so having an easy time KOing my Swordsman is gonna be hard but Speed PlasmaKlang Sound good but no recovery

  5. Sammy Cruz

    I know that list critic probably isn’t what you’re looking for, but all keldeo lists should be running 1-2 tool scrappers to deal with garbodor. Also bouffalant takes care of plasmaklang pretty well. Overall a great article, and you made some really good points!

    • Max Douglas  → Sammy

      I’ll wait to see if Garbodor does anything this format to see if its worth using Tool Scrapper for. Bouffalant is a good card for sure but it isn’t going to get you very far against Plasmaklang. Cobalion OHKOs Bouffalant and Bouffalant 3HKOs Klinklang.

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