A Dissertation on Deluge – Vol. 2

blastoise hydro pumptumblr.comBattle Roads are coming! Battle Roads are coming! I can hardly hold my excitement for a new set of tournaments coming up, and I plan on playing in a ton of these little tournaments and can’t wait to get back into a steady flow of tournaments.

The smaller tournament series, Battle Roads and City Championships, are always my favorite parts of the season. There are tournaments every weekend and generally two tournaments every weekend, so you are in constant playing status and you can wipe off one bad tournament with a good one the next day, as well as just have fun trying out a bunch of different decks because of the number of tournaments.

For my last article before we actually enter into the BLW–PLF format, I am going to be covering one of the holdover decks in the BLW–PLS format in depth. I think as a collective group we have really hammered away at Thundurus EX/Deoxys-EX/Plasma Basics, and I think with the direction my testing has veered for this format, other writers will be better suited for covering Eels and Darkrai, so with this article I am going to solely focus on one of my all time favorites – Blastoise/Keldeo.

As far as the structure of this article, I will first look at the cards that we play in this deck. Secondly, I will cover four styles for the deck, one built specifically with the budget player in mind who doesn’t want to drop the money for Tropical Beach, a turn one variant using cards from Plasma Freeze, and then the two main versions of the deck: Turbo Keldeo-EX and the Black Kyurem EX version of the deck. Lastly, I will cover the matchups for this deck against what I envision to be the main meta decks for Battle Roads as well as against the two hate decks against Blastoise in the format.

As will be discussed in further depth later, I think that Blastoise/Keldeo is a deck that is well positioned to do well in the new metagame with some of its hate decks looking to see a decrease in play for various reasons, and the remaining meta decks not being particularly hostile against Blastoise.

Table of Contents

The Cards We Use in Blastoise

blastoise animenocoffeeplease.tumblr.comTo start off this article, I’ll be giving a look at each individual card that we would ever want to put into our Blastoise decks.

I think this is something that is important to cover with this deck more so than other decks because Blastoise isn’t a deck that is particularly hard to play, and tournament success with the deck is probably more attributed to the strength of your build than any brilliant plays you are making when compared to some other decks in the format.

This is particularly true headed into Battle Roads, in which each of us will be playing in very different metagames shaped by what the other players in our area are playing, so the counts of certain Item or Supporter cards, as well as which Pokémon techs we choose to play in our deck can make or break our tournament success.


First up is looking at the specific Pokémon cards that we can play in Blastoise, and what impact they have on our decks. What attackers we choose to use in our deck can vastly alter the approach that we need to take when playing the deck as they each hold various strengths and weaknesses.

Outside of general building of the deck, the biggest impact Pokémon cards make on the deck is in the tech department; cards that can be used to swing a particular matchup completely in your favor.

The Core Pokémon

There are five core Pokémon cards that need to be considered when building Blastoise decks. Three of them are pretty much always necessary, no matter which version of Blastoise you are building and these are Squirtle BCR, Blastoise BCR, and Keldeo-EX. The other two cards are optional cards that aren’t needed in the deck, but are either the main focus of a version of the deck, or just falls in line with the general building of the deck.

Blastoise BCR

blastoise plasma storm pls 137pokemon-paradijs.comIt should come as no surprise that a deck called Blastoise needs Blastoise in order to be successful. This is the main engine of your deck as its Deluge Ability gives you unlimited attachment of Water Energy from the hand, which allows you to power up attackers instantaneously.

Blastoise can also be used to attack. Its attack Hydro Pump does 60 damage plus 10 more damage for each W attached, so its base damage usually starts out as 100. Blastoise can be used as your defense against Pokémon with Safeguard Abilities, or as just a non-EX to mix it up in the Prize exchange against Pokémon-EX.

Squirtle BCR

As you are playing the Stage 2 Blastoise, at the very least you will need its Basic Pokémon, Squirtle to eventually evolve into Blastoise.

There was another Squirtle printed in Plasma Storm, but it is bad and this should be the only Squirtle you play. What makes this Squirtle so special is its Shell Shield Ability, which prevents snipe damage to your Squirtle, weakening snipe strategies like Hammerhead or Night Spear against Squirtle. This makes it immensely easier for you to get a Blastoise out in a game as you won’t have to worry about your field being cleared of Squirtle in the early game from these snipe attacks.


The last of the main three components of a Blastoise deck, regardless of version, is Keldeo-EX. Keldeo-EX doubles as the mobility engine of your deck as well as one of the strongest attackers in the game.

Blastoise has a high Retreat Cost of four, which generally would make it a major liability to be Catcher stalled with. Fortunately, Keldeo-EX comes packed with its Rush In Ability, that allows you to switch Keldeo-EX in for your Active Pokémon, negating this problem. Additionally, the Ability helps free this deck from any potential Status Conditions that can inflict this deck.

In this deck though, Keldeo-EX provides so much more, as this deck plays Water Energy, it can take advantage of Keldeo-EX’s super strong attack, Secret Sword, which does 50 damage plus 20 more for each W attached to Keldeo-EX. For the standard three Energy to pay the attack cost, Keldeo-EX swings for 110 damage, enough to 2HKO every EX in the format. For six W, it 1HKOs every 170 HP EX, and for seven it 1HKOs all EXs. Being able to 1HKO opposing EXs is always going to make an attack a great choice.

The downside to Keldeo-EX as an attacker is that when you load it up with a ton of Energy for the 1HKO, it becomes vulnerable to Pokémon with attacks that punish the opponent for having so much Energy attached, such as Mewtwo EX’s X Ball attack and Deoxys-EX’s Helix Force.

One of the best things Keldeo-EX provides for this deck is protection for Blastoise. If you have six or seven Energy loaded up on a Keldeo-EX, it really isn’t a big deal if your opponent Knocks Out your Blastoise as you will still have a loaded Keldeo-EX ready to attack and 1HKO your opponent’s EXs.

If they do Knock Out the Keldeo-EX, it’s also not a big deal as Blastoise will still be on the field so you can quickly charge up another Keldeo-EX to attack with Deluge. The two cards are well designed to work cohesively together, and that has really been the main strength of this deck since it first came to fruition during City Championships.

Black Kyurem-EX PLS

black kyurem ex plasma storm pls 95pokemon-paradijs.comThe other main attacker seen in most Blastoise decks is Black Kyurem EX, which does 200 damage with its Black Ballista attack that costs WWLC at the cost of discarding three Energy attached to it when using the attack.

The strength of Black Kyurem EX is clear – it 1HKOs every Pokémon-EX in the format. Additionally, as it discards Energy when it attacks, it gives Blastoise decks a solid answer to those Mewtwo EX and Deoxys-EXs of the world.

The downside? It discards its Energy, which makes it overly reliant on Blastoise. This gives your opponent a strategic option of clearing your bench of Blastoise to shut down your attacking power. Because of this, when playing Black Kyurem EX, it is important to get multiple Blastoise in play and/or power up Keldeo-EX’s to attack with in case your Blastoise gets taken out.

Wartortle BCR

This is the forgotten card in the evolution line for Blastoise. A lot of players played it at the start of City Championships but it was quickly dropped by the end of them, as it isn’t all that needed in the deck.

What Wartortle does for the deck is make it easier to get Blastoise into play. Generally, your first Blastoise will still come from Rare Candy, but Wartortle makes it immensely easier to get out the second Blastoise into play in a given game. With Wartotle, you’re able to Level Ball or Ultra Ball for a Wartortle, evolve your Squirtle, and then just need to draw into Blastoise rather than the combination of Blastoise/Rare Candy to get the second Blastoise into play.

Lastly, against Gothitelle and other Item lock decks, Wartortle gives you another option for evolving into Blastoise after Rare Candy has been shut off.

While non-essential to the deck, the card should warrant some consideration in the Black Kyurem EX version of the deck as a means for getting a second Blastoise into play easier.

General Friends of the Deck

Kyurem NVI

kyurem-black-white-promos-bw44pokemon-paradijs.comThis was an inclusion in many players lists from the get go as a non-EX attacking option, as well as a spreader. The most common use for this card is as a tech against Eelektrik decks, as you use Glaciate in an attempt to clear their bench of all Eelektriks in one fell swoop, while also setting up damage on their Rayquaza EXs for easier knockouts.

In general, this strategy always seemed inconsistent with me, with the Eelektrik player often finding their Switch cards. Kyurem NVI can also be used to do clean up damage on anything you hit with Keldeo-EX that you just missed the 1HKO on.

Kyogre EX

In a similar vein to Kyurem, Kyogre EX gives the deck a spread attacker, just one that is more focused and hits for higher damage against the Pokémon it hits. For WWC, Dual Splash does 50 damage to two of your opponent’s Pokémon. This allows you to take out two Eelektrik in just two turns in the Eelektrik matchup, and it is a much stronger cleanup Pokémon against EXs than Kyurem is. If you hit two EXs with Keldeo-EX for 130 damage, Kyogre EX can clean that mess up for 4 Prizes in one turn.

Sidenote on Spreaders: Mr. Mime PLF has a Bench Barrier Ability which prevents attack damage to your opponent’s benched Pokémon, which can easily shutdown spread strategies.

Kyurem EX

One of the long forgotten Water EXs that has never seen much play in Blastoise lists. For WCC, its Frozen Wings attack does 60 damage and for WWCC its Hail Blizard attack does 120 damage, with the stipulation that it can’t use the attack on your next turn.

With Special Energy cards being a primary aspect of the Plasma Rush deck, Kyurem EX can find a niche role removing Energy from a Lugia EX or Deoxys-EX, preventing it from attacking on your next turn.

Empoleon DEX

This is something that I saw some people playing in their Blastoise lists in some foreign countries. The deck already will generally play four Rare Candy, so a second Stage 2 line (it was most often a 1-0-1 Empoleon line) can be neatly tucked into the deck. Empoleon did a couple of things for the deck:

  1. Most importantly, it gave the deck extra draw power, which over the course of the game can have a big impact on getting to the cards you need on any given turn.
  2. It gave the deck another non-EX attacker to mix things up, or to take on Sigilyph DRX.

With Blastoise adding even more cards that discard from the new set, it might not be able to sustain a constant discard from Diving Draw without putting itself in deck out situations.

Bouffalant DRX

bouffalant-dragons-exalted-drx-110pokemon-paradijs.comThis card saw play as a means to do heavy damage to your opponent’s Pokémon-EX with Gold Breaker, all while using a non-EX. Since Blastoise was first played, Bouffalant has seen a decrease in power in the deck, as a loaded Cobalion-EX can 1HKO it still, and Blastoise has gained even stronger partners providing stronger strategies than using Bouffalant DRX.

Keldeo BCR 47

For CCC, Keldeo has Hydro Pump, which does 60 damage plus 10 more damage for each Water Energy attached. Its original inclusion into the deck was as a counter to Sigilyph DRX’s Safeguard Ability. In the new metagame, Sigilyph is long forgotten, and Metal Pokémon are the new Safeguard.

Sitting at a very well designed 110 HP, Keldeo is able to exchange 2HKOs with Cobalion-EX, making it a decent solution as a counter to the Klinklang deck without messing up your Energy lines.

Manaphy PLS

This is a card I’ve seen played in some Blastoise decks, and it does serve some purpose in the deck. It has an attack called Seafaring for W, which lets you flip three coins and for each heads, you can attach a Water Energy to your benched Pokémon. This attack gives you the capability to accelerate Energy without Blastoise play or under a Garbotoxin lock. The problem is that it is highly ineffective, as relying on coin flips is just plain inadequate.

The other neat touch that Manaphy can provide to the deck is a little additional search with its Final Wish Ability, which lets you search your deck for any card after Manaphy is Knocked Out. On turns when Manaphy is Active and you don’t really have anything else going you can leave it there in hopes your opponent Knocks it Out, but often enough they will have the Catcher in hand, so this isn’t super effective.

Overall, I’ve found Manaphy to be a waste of space in the deck.

Kyurem PLF

kyurem-plasma-freeze-31pokegym.netOne of the mainstays in the Plasma Rush deck, the new Kyurem can also be snuck into Blastoise decks to fulfill a few purposes. Its Frost Spear attach, which costs WC and does 30 + 30 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon can be used to do some cleanup work when you fail to hit the 1HKO with Keldeo-EX on something. Its Blizzard Burn attack does 120 damage, with the stipulation that it can’t attack during your next turn.

While stronger in general than Keldeo BCR 47, its probably a weaker counter to Klinklang as Cobalion NVI can 1HKO it for two Energy with its Energy Press attack, but at the same time, if you can get a second one powered up, that can easily knockout the Cobalion NVI with Blizzard Burn.

The other implication is that you will need to use Rush In to reset the effect of Kyurem’s attack, which can cost you precious Water Energy as the game goes on.

Alternatively, a Blastoise deck could be built with Colress Machine and Plasma Energy for a turn one attack with Kyurem to put a lot of early pressure on your opponent.

Mewtwo EX

In the initial Blastoise lists, Mewtwo EX was a staple, but the release of Black Kyurem EX and changes in the metagame have made Mewtwo EX a less popular choice. Mewtwo EX is able to give the deck a strong option for the mirror match, as it can punish your opponent for putting too many Energy onto their Keldeo-EXs, but with more Blastoise players trending toward Black Kyurem EX, this has been less of a factor.

Alternatively, against Big Basics and the new Plasma Rush Deck, Mewtwo EX can be used as a more efficient exchanger than Keldeo-EX in a Prize exchange with your opponent’s Mewtwo EX and Deoxys-EXs.

Exeggcute PLF

This is a neat little combo for the deck that I hadn’t even thought about until Mark mentioned it on the forums, and that is to use Exeggcute’s Propogate Ability to ease the discard that the deck has to go through when using Ultra Ball, Super Energy Retrieval, and Dowsing Machine.

Mr. Mime PLF

Blastoise decks will often have one extra bench space open for a random Pokémon to go (typically the bench being 2-3 Blastoiselines, and 2-3 attackers), so Mr. Mime can be played to prevent snipe damage from Landorus-EX and Darkrai EX against your attackers with its Bench Barrier Ability.

Miltank PLF

I think I have the ruling right on this one, as I assume the “This Pokémon” line is a self-reference to Miltank itself, but I’m not 100% sure on this and would have to see an official ruling on the matter to be sure.

The idea would be to use Miltank’s Max Milk attack, which costs CC to heal off all the damage on one of your benched attackers, while conserving all of the Energy on it. Miltank (as long as I have the self-referencing part right) would discard all the Energy attached to it, and your attacker would get to keep all Energy attached to it.

Consistency/Setup Pokémon

The next set of Pokémon that can be included into the deck are consistency and setup Pokémon. These Pokémon haven’t been popular inclusions in Blastoise decks because of how difficult they are to get into the Active Spot on turn one. Float Stone makes that a bit easier, but that takes up additional space in the deck in addition to the space you would be already devoting to these setup Pokémon. The other reason of course being that most Blastoise players tend to use Tropical Beach on turn one, making an attack not possible at the same time.

Call for Family (Lapras NXD 25/Emolga DRX/Shaymin BCR )

shaymin-boundaries-crossed-bcr-10pokemon-paradijs.comInterestingly enough, there really isn’t that great of a Call for Family Pokémon for the deck anymore because of the metagame landscape shifting to Thundurus EX, a turn one Lightning attacker. Emolga is Knocked Out by Thundurus EX with just one Deoxys-EX in play and Lapras with two Deoxys-EX in play.

Oddly enough, Shaymin BCR is the best option right now, as it takes Thundurus EX having four Deoxys-EX in play or the use of a Hypnotoxic Laser (and in some cased Virbank City Gym as well) in play to take the turn one knockout.

Tornadus-EX PLF

The other main option for the deck is to use Tornadus EX from Plasma Freeze to help get the deck setup. This is probably your best option if you don’t have any Tropical Beach at your disposal, as it gives you a similarly strong hand heading back into your turn.

I used a similar setup engine in a lot of my Vileplume UD based decks with a strategy I called Cleffa spamming. I would play 3-4 Cleffa HS in my deck, and just use Eeeeeeek over and over again until I was setup.

Of course Tornadus EX doesn’t come with Cleffa’s Baby Protection and it is an EX, but this is offset by Tornadus EX’s massive HP, making it difficult to be Knocked Out outside of Thundurus EX in the early game. Tornadus EX’s Windfall attack is the same as Cleffa’s, letting you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six cards.

Once you do get Blastoise setup, Keldeo-EX can provide protection to your damaged Tornadus EX by being such a strong threat. If they choose to go after your Tornadus EX again, they’re leaving a powered Keldeo-EX free to do his thing. Additionally, max potion can be used to negate the early game damage done to your Tornadus EX.

Cryogonal PLF

There is a Cryogonal that has an attack called Call Sign that costs C, which lets you search your deck for a Water Pokémon. This can be used to search your deck on turn one for Blastoise to setup the turn two Blastoise.

The problems this card faces, assuming you can even get it Active, is that you may not have the Rare Candy in hand for the turn two Blastoise anyway, or your precious hand could be N’d or Ghetsis’d, destroying the combo you had ready.

Plasmifying Blastoise

One option that has gone largely unexplored is putting Plasma Pokémon into Blastoise and running the deck as a pseudo-Plasma deck. There are three main Plasma Pokémon that can fit into Blastoise, and all of them are really neat options. The first being Kyurem PLF as a turn one attacker, which I covered briefly already, and the other two are Articuno-EX and Lugia EX.


articuno ex plasma storm pls 25pokemon-paradijs.comArticuno’s first attack, Blizzard costs WCC and does 60 damage plus 10 damage to each of your opponent’s benched Pokémon. Its second attack, Frost Prison, does 80 damage and if it has a Plasma Energy attached it causes automatic Paralysis.

If you make the leap to playing Colress Machine in the deck, Articuno-EX is a legitimate turn one attacker in addition to Kyurem in the deck. Where Articuno-EX can really shine is with its Frost Prison attack, especially if most players decide to make the move over to using Float Stone in place of Switch. If this is the case, your opponent will be at the mercy of Articuno-EX and be unable to attack.

What both Kyurem and Articuno-EX do is setup knockouts for this guy….

Lugia EX

One of my favorite cards in the format, Lugia EX does 120 damage with its Plasma Gale attack, but you must discard a Plasma Energy to use the attack. Its Overflow Ability lets you take an extra Prize when you Knock something Out with attack damage from Lugia EX.

In Blastoise, Lugia EX can be setup out of nowhere thanks to Deluge, and Kyurem, Articuno-EX, and to a lesser extend Keldeo-EX all can setup Pokémon-EX to be in range for knockouts by Lugia EX, at which point Lugia EX can swiftly end the game with two knockouts.

Teching Through the Format

One of the best things about Blastoise as a deck is that it is really versatile deck. This is largely a result of the current game design, which has a lot of strong attackers available that only take one Energy of their type in order to attack, allowing Blastoise decks to cover the rest of the attack cost with Water Energy.

When picking which techs to put into your deck, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Can this tech help in multiple matchups?
  2. Does the Energy requirement for this tech combo well with another potential tech for this deck?

Here are the main techs I see for the deck:

Terrakion NVI

terrakion-full-art-noble-victories-nvi-99-no-watermarkpokemon-paradijs.comIf your metagame is littered with Darkrai EX and Plasma Rush decks, then Terrakion is a strong consideration. Its Retaliate attack which costs FC does 180 damage to Darkrai EX and Thundurus EX. As Blastoise decks come packed with Keldeo-EX’s Rush In Ability, Terrakion’s high Retreat Cost provides no issue.

Shaymin EX

For GC, it easily 1HKOs Keldeo-EX and Terrakion-EX after a few Prizes have been taken with its Revenge Blast attack. As Blastoise isn’t as popular as it was before, and Terrakion-EX being non-existent in the metagame, this is a tech that should probably keep itself in the binder.

Sigilyph DRX

This was once played as the Psychic type counter and a general EX annoyance Pokémon in the deck. With Kyurem PLF, Rayquaza DRX, Cobalion-EX and Absol PLF, most decks now have an easy solution to dealing with it, so its effectiveness isn’t very great at the moment.


One of the more interesting techs at the moment, this card easily can swing the Plasma Basics matchup heavily into your favor. Scenarios in which Cresselia-EX isn’t able to take two knockouts on your opponent’s Deoxys-EXs. As it removes its Weakness, your opponent would need a double Pokémon Catcher play to revenge Cresselia-EX with a Deoxys-EX.

Additionally, as you will be playing counter Stadiums and Knocking Out a Deoxys-EX the turn when you play down Cresselia-EX, it is very difficult for Kyurem PLF or Lugia EX to revenge as well. They will need three Deoxys-EX, Hypnotoxic Laser, and a Virbank City Gym in play to get the revenge KO thanks to Cresselia’s Sparkling Particles Ability forcing them to hit 180 damage for the 1HKO.

Also, Cresselia-EX’s Energy type combos well with Kyurem DRV, another tech option.

Kyurem DRV

kyurem-dragon-vault-drv-21pokemon-paradijs.comFor CCC, Kyurem hits for 60 with Dragon Claw, good enough to 1HKO Rayquaza DRX. For PWCC, it does 90 + 10 to each of your opponent’s benched Pokémon allowing it to 1HKO Rayquaza EX and Black Kyurem EX in the mirror match.

As it is a non-EX, it can also double as a counter to Klinklang, with the snipe damage from Blizard setting up easier knockouts on your opponent’s Klinklangs with your Blastoise. The snipe from Blizzard is generally not important, but in certain situations, like against Klinklang it can become a factor.

Black Kyurem BCR

This is your non-EX Dragon counter when playing a standard Black Kyurem EX Blastoise list, and you don’t want to mess with your Energy line any further. For LWCC, its Flash Freeze attack does 100 damage at the cost of discarding an Energy card attached. This is enough to 1HKO Rayquaza EX and Black Kyurem EX. As with Kyurem DRV, it can also be used to swing into Klinklang decks.

White Kyurem BCR

This is your non-EX Dragon counter when you have already teched in Fire Energy into your deck and don’t want to further mess with your Energy line. Its Cold Fire attack does 80 damage, plus 40 more damage if you flip a head on a coin flip. This is inferior to the other two Kyurem, as it doesn’t guarantee the 1HKO on your opponent’s Dragon EXs, but if you’re set on not playing Special Energy or teching in another basic Energy type, this is probably the best option you have.

Like the two aforementioned Kyurems, this guy can also swing into Klinklang decks.

Fire Techs & Friends

The next set of techs I want to discuss will all be grouped together, as they all share a similar role or are related in some way. These are the Fire techs and their friend.

victini-noble-victories-nvi-15-no-watermarkpokemon-paradijs.comThe first Fire tech we have to work with is Victini NVI 15 which does 100 damage for RC with its V-Create attack, which requires a full bench to work. The downsides of this card are that you need a full bench to attack with it, which makes for some weird situations in which you can’t attack with it because you just couldn’t draw one more Basic, and also its low HP, making it very easy for Klinklang decks to Knock it Out and keep Knocking it Out, especially if they play Exp. Share to conserve their Energy.

The second Pokémon is Moltres NXD, which does 90 damage for RCCC, but it has to discard the Fire Energy. The thing that Moltres NXD has going for it is that it is much sturdier than Victini, and can absorb a hit from Klinklang’s attackers, allowing it to often take two knockouts before it goes down. The annoying part of Moltres is that it discards the Fire Energy, so you will need some form of Energy recovery to get it back.

However, my new favorite tech option for the Klinklang matchup is Reshiram PLF. For RCCC it does 80 damage, plus 40 more damage if Zekrom is on your bench, with its Fusion Flare attack. The way I would play the card is with at least a copy of Zekrom PLF so I can swing for the full 120 and 1HKO anything in the Klinklang deck.

Another option is to run Prism or Lightning Energy as well to use Zekrom’s Fusion Bolt attack which costs LCCC and is the same thing basically as Reshiram’s atack (just need Reshiram on your bench instead of Zekrom for the extra 40), to have an option to 1HKO Tornadus EX and Lugia EX.

Kecleon PLF

The last tech option for the deck is Kecleon from PLF, which is super interesting. Its Color Change Ability copies the type of the Defending Pokémon. Its Immitack attack allows you to copy one of the Defending Pokémon’s attacks if you have the necessary Energy. The cool thing? Can double as a Mewtwo EX and Black Kyurem EX counter for Blastoise decks. The downside? Can’t copy Deoxys-EX or Rayquaza EX’s attacks as you won’t run the necessary Energy.

I’ve seen players tech this into Eelektrik decks in place of Rayquaza DRX, and I just don’t get it, as it shuts down that deck’s ability to 1HKO an opposing Black Kyurem EX with a non-EX.


This next section I will make much briefer than the last, and just hit on some of the key components of Blastoise decks. The main things I will look at are the Supporter Engine, Stadium Considerations, the ball engine used to get the deck setup, the ACE SPECs available to the deck, healing options, and some last few cards that are worthy of consideration in the deck.

Supporter Engine

Professor Juniper

professor-juniper-thunder-knuckle-bw8-55pokeca-japan.ocnk.bizThis is the best Supporter card in the game, giving you seven new cards in a fresh hand. The downside of this card is that it will force you to discard some resources in the early game, such as Rare Candy, Blastoise, and Energy Retrieval cards.

Still, it’s hard to build Blastoise without four copies of this card as it is generally good at any point in the game for giving you the greatest probability of hitting all the cards you need to hit whatever combo you are looking for in a given game.


On turn one, this can often be your best Supporter card to play, as it gives you a large hand size while conserving your resources. As the format has sped up even more since Blastoise has been released, disrupting your opponent with N is much stronger than it was in the past now that Blastoise is one of the slowest decks in the format.

Additionally, Super Energy Retrieval makes N less harmful to the deck when using it on your own turn, as if you hit a Super Energy Retrieval off of your N, you will probably need all the Energy you need to perform the attack of your choice for that turn.


The main purpose of Skyla in this deck is to search out your Tropical Beach on turn one to get the ball rolling for the deck. Secondly, after using Tropical Beach, Skyla can be used to search out the missing component of the Blastoise/Rare Candy combination. Lastly, as the game goes on, if you have all the Energy you need to attack, Skyla can be used to search out a key Item card like Pokémon Catcher or Max Potion, or to get you a Supporter card to setup your next turn.


As bench sizes have increased with the release of Deoxys-EX and Plasma Rush decks, Colress is even stronger in this format than it was in the past. Playing Colress can often mean an 8-10 card hand refresh which gives you a strong probability of hitting all the cards you need on a given turn. The downside is that the card can be very harmful on the first turn or two of a game, so it’s hard to max out Colress in your deck, despite how strong it is once the game gets rolling.


bianca-full-art-boundaries-crossed-bcr-147pokemon-paradijs.comAs Blastoise decks play a lot of discard cards (Ultra Ball, Computer Search/Dowsing Machine, Super Energy Retrieval) and also have the ability with Deluge to play down all the Energy in the hand, Bianca will often give you a 5-6 card draw when you use it with the deck.

This isn’t quite as much as Juniper or Colress, which fill a similar role in the deck, so it’s hard to find much room for more than a single copy of Bianca in new Blastoise lists as it is simply outclassed by other Supporter cards.


In a similar vein to Bianca, it is just outclassed by other options, including Bianca herself. As most Blastoise decks aim to use Tropical Beach on turn one, a turn one Cheren can be disruptive to using Tropical Beach to good effect, making Cheren’s net gain for the deck very questionable.


This card lets you search your deck for three basic Energy cards and put them into your hand. As long as you have another Energy in hand, that will be enough to power up any of your attackers, but at the very least, it can be used to power up a Keldeo-EX. One of the nice things about Cilan is that it lets you search out off-type Energy cards for your tech attackers.

The downside to Cilan is that it does little to help you get setup in the early game if it’s your only Supporter, and it is often outclassed in getting you the necessary Energy to attack by Professor Juniper or Colress as the game goes on, so it tends to see play as no more than a 1-of in Blastoise.

Shadow Triad

If you’re playing a Plasma version of Blastoise, the card can be used to get back your Plasma Energy from the discard pile.

Stadium Cards

The Stadium war has become ever more present in this game, and now games of Pokémon can often be decided by whether you were able to bounce your opponent’s Stadium Card or not. Because of that, it can be wise to raise the Stadium count in your decks to counter your opponent’s Stadium cards.

tropical-beach-black-white-promos-bw28pokemon-paradijs.comThere are three main Stadium cards that Blastoise decks have to worry about. The first is Virbank City Gym, which is played in a wide variety of decks, which makes Poison damage 30 which allows decks to hit certain magic numbers against Blastoise decks that they couldn’t before.

The second is Frozen City, which does 20 damage to non-Plasma Pokémon when an Energy is attached to them from the hand. This punishes Blastoise decks hard and easily sets up KOs on Blastoise’s attackers after they were loaded with Energy from the hand.

The third, and most minor is Skyarrow Bridge, which mainly gives Eelektrik decks free retreat for their Rayquaza EXs allowing them not to discard the Fire Energy attached to the Rayquaza EX as they cycle between two Rayquaza EX.

As these are the three Stadium Cards we are looking to counter, our counter stadiums should of course be none of the above. Right now, I am thinking that three counter stadiums is the right number in Blastoise decks for winning the Stadium War. In reality, there is only one true option, but I will discuss some other options the deck has as well.

Tropical Beach

Really, this is the only Stadium Card that players should be playing in their Blastoise decks. The card allows Blastoise decks to get setup in the early game with its amazing draw power, and it gives the deck protection from late game N keeping the Blastoise player from doing much of anything for the rest of the game.

Other Options

However, since not all players can obtain Tropical Beach because of its high price tag, they may need other Stadium cards to either fill all of the Stadium slots, or just to provide a third counter Stadium if they only have two Tropical Beach for example.

The first is Pokémon Center, which allows you to heal 20 damage from one of your benched Pokémon. This can be used to help negate some of the bench damage other decks do to you. As Blastoise focuses more so on 1HKOs than other decks, it is able to benefit from Pokémon Center more than other decks.

Battle City, is another option, giving you an extra card of draw on your turn if you can flip heads. It isn’t a Tropical Beach replacement by any means, but it still serves the purpose of bouncing your opponent’s Stadium Card and disrupting their strategy.


In this section, I want to take a look at the various ACE SPECs available to the deck and which one I think is the best for the deck. Interestingly enough, outside of the Pokémon specific ones like Victory Piece and Crystal Wall, none of the other ACE SPECs are exactly terrible in Blastoise.

Computer Search

computer search boundaries crossed 137This was the original ACE SPEC played in Blastoise decks as it helped with the deck’s consistency. It provided an additional search for your Tropical Beach, another search option for Blastoise, and it allowed you to search for the Rare Candy to evolve Blastoise without using your Supporter for the turn, as well as giving you an out for another Supporter.

Simply put, Computer Search helped with the consistency of the deck.

Dowsing Machine

This is my favorite ACE SPEC to include in the deck, and that is because it allows me to play a more comprehensive strategy that includes using certain tech cards multiple times in a given matchup, such as Max Potion or Tool Scrapper.

Additionally, Dowsing Machine is great for Supporter and Rare Candy resource management. Computer Search is great in that you can search those out of your deck, but if you’re out of Rare Candy for example because of bad Prizes and an early discard, Computer Search won’t do anything to help you out, while Dowsing Machine will.

Gold Potion

This was an okay play when the deck first came out as it let you heal the damage on Keldeo-EX while conserving your Energy. However, with Super Energy Retrieval, it is now easier to ditch all of your Energy with Max Potion and re-power up your attacker, and Black Kyurem EX itself already ditches most of its Energy anyhow, so discarding one more usually won’t have too much impact on it.

Scramble Switch

This one doesn’t really have much place in standard Blastoise decks. There is the neat little combination of Scramble Switch and then Max Potion, but with Super Energy Retrieval, just Max Potion and re-loading the Energy fresh from other sources is a more legitimate option now, so it would seem silly to waste your ACE SPEC slot on that when it can be used for consistency or versatility.

In a Plasma version of the deck, it can be used to move Plasma Energy to a Lugia EX however, so I think it warrants a lot more consideration in that version of the deck.

Rock Guard & Life Dew

rock-guard-plasma-freeze-plf-108The last two ACE SPECs that warrant some consideration in the deck are Rock Guard and Life Dew. The reason I want to discuss these together is because of how both of them interact with Keldeo-EX.

When attaching them to Keldeo-EX, you can be pretty free to load a ton of Energy on this Keldeo-EX. If they attack into you with Rock Guard attached, they’re going to incur 60 damage, making it very easy for another Keldeo-EX with 3-4 Energy to knockout the Pokémon that incurred that damage.

Alternatively, Life Dew can mess up the Prize trade if your opponent has to knockout that Keldeo-EX. The point that I think is important to hammer home with these ACE SPECs is if your opponent catchers around it, they’re leaving a Keldeo-EX that will 1HKO everything unharmed, if they have to attack into them, there are distinct benefits to you.

However, both of these are tool cards and can easily be gotten rid of with Tool Scrapper. Because of that, I wouldn’t look to play these, and think Dowsing Machine and Computer Search are still the much stronger options.

The Ball Engine of Blastoise

The next part to piecing together the puzzle that is Blastoise is the ball engine used. The main ball we will use to search out our Pokémon is Ultra Ball, as it can get us any Pokémon in our deck. What I’ve found is that 4 Ultra Ball, regardless of what other balls we decide to put in our deck is the optimal play, so always start with 4 Ultra Ball when building the deck.

I had been testing out a 3 Ultra Ball, 1 Level Ball, and 1 Heavy Ball list, but was often getting frustrated having Heavy Ball in hand and being unable to search out my Squirtle on turn one, or ending up with Level Ball in hand and being unable to search out my Blastoise. So with that said, 4 Ultra Ball is the key.

Level Ball is good for searching out Squirtle in the early game, as well as Wartortle if you play it.

Heavy Ball is good for searching out your Blastoise, as well as various attackers for the deck, most importantly Black Kyurem EX.

In theory, the Plasma version of the deck may want to play Team Plasma Ball, to search out their Plasma Pokémon, but regardless of the version being played, I think you have to start with 4 Ultra Ball, as it helps to consistently get out whatever part of the Blastoise line you want better than the other balls.

The other positive impact of Ultra Ball is that it can help play down your hand for a stronger Tropical Beach. Conversely, the other balls strength is that they are searchable through Dowsing Machine without causing massive discard, and can help preserve more of a hand if you have to play a Superior Energy Retrieval down.

Recovery Options

superior-energy-retrieval-plasma-freeze-103pokegym.netOne factor that has seen a decent amount of discussion is what the deck should run as far as Energy Retrieval goes. There is Energy Retrieval, which gets back two basic Energy from your discard pile and then there is Superior Energy Retrieval, which gets back four basic Energy from your discard pile at the cost of discarding two cards from your hand first.

Ultimately, Superior Energy Retrieval is a much stronger card than Energy Retrieval, it just comes with a bit of a cost. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about playing a 2/2 or 3/1 split, and I just don’t get it.

Yes, Energy Retrieval can be played even after being N’d to 1, and you can Dowsing Machine for Energy Retrieval without causing massive hand destruction, but you should just be able to play off the strength of your Superior Energy Retrieval throughout the game and not put yourself in positions like being N’d to 1 where Superior Energy Retrieval will be ineffective.

Additionally, as Blastoise plays a ton of other discarding cards, you will probably ditch a Superior Energy Retrieval along the way before you even get to use it, so limiting yourself to just two for an entire game seems silly to me in these types of scenarios.

Superior Energy Retrieval is simply two times better than Energy Retrieval mathematically, so I don’t understand why someone would limit the potential of the deck by not maxing out Superior Energy Retrieval before they start putting in other recovery options.

I can say with confidence that Superior Energy Retrieval is the card that allows Blastoise decks to still exist with all the other strong options in the current format, and the situations in which it can’t be used can often be avoided with smart play.

The last option for recovery is Super Rod, which I still like a lot in the deck. It allows you to discard Blastoise in the early game knowing you can get them back into your deck if you need them, making the early game discard less harmful. If you’re playing tech attackers, it can be used to get them back and re-use them. And finally, and weirdly enough the least common use I use the card for at this point is to put three Water Energy back into the deck to be gotten later.

Other Important Items for Blastoise Decks

Moving past the aforementioned Item cards, as well as the super obvious (Rare Candy and Pokémon Catcher), here are a few cards that deserve consideration for filling up your Blastoise list.

Super Scoop Up

super-scoop-up-black-white-blw-103pokemon-paradijs.comAllows you to heal your Pokémon, and then instantaneously play down all of the Energy again. High risk, high reward card.

Max Potion

Gives you the same healing capability of SSU, but at the cost of discarding all of your Energy. With Superior Energy Retrieval, it isn’t difficult to get this Energy back, and the certainty of the card will give your deck less variance in results than SSU will.

Float Stone

Gives free retreat to whatever Pokémon it is attached to. Great for moving into other attackers without having to wait for your opponent to Knock something Out or constantly discarding Energy to do so. Additionally, is the most effective way to use an attack on turn one if that is part of your strategy. Can also help in the Garbodor matchup, allowing you to attach it to your Pokémon (such as Blastoise) preventing your opponent from Catcher-locking it.

Enhanced Hammer

Can be used to remove Prism/Plasm Energy from Deoxys-EX, preventing it from attacking in this matchup. Also can be effective to slow down random Bouffalant DRX or Mewtwo EX you run into.

Colress Machine

If you want to play Plasma Pokémon in Blastoise, this can be used for early game Energy acceleration for a turn one attack. The downside of course being that it takes up four deck spots in an already tight deck.

Tool Scrapper

The main reason a Blastoise player would play this card is to remove Tool Cards from a Garbodor DRX to allow the deck to re-use its Abilities. With Dowsing Machine, it can be re-used twice for two turns of Rush In and Deluge, which may be all you need to win the game.

Blastoise Decklist Depot

With this next section I am going to piece together all of the different components of building a Blastoise deck by putting together my decklists that I have been using for the different versions of this deck. Admittedly, the last two are the only two that I would take into a tournament myself at this point.

Budget Blastoise

The first list for the deck I would like to talk about is my Budge Blastoise list, which is a list aimed at players who don’t have access to Tropical Beach and for whatever reason would still like to play a Blastoise deck.

Pokémon – 16

4 Squirtle BCR

4 Blastoise BCR

4 Tornadus-EX PLF

4 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 31

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Colress
2 Skyla


4 Ultra Ball

4 Rare Candy

4 Superior Energy Retrieval

3 Pokémon Catcher

2 Float Stone

1 Max Potion

1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 13

13 W

tornadus-ex-plasma-freeze-plf-98This list is just one that can be made on a budget basis. If you’re serious about playing the deck, then an investment in Tropical Beach will be well worth it, otherwise, honestly another deck may be your best choice.

But if you are intent on playing the Blastoise without Tropical Beach, then this list aims to give you the early game consistency of Tropical Beach as well as the late game protection from N, with Tornadus EX’s Windfall attack, which lets you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six cards.

Because Tornadus EX is being used in place of Tropical Beach, some other things in the deck need to be re-arranged. As you won’t always start with Tornadus EX, but will want it Active on turn one as much as possible, I’ve included 2 Float Stone to help aide in getting Tornadus EX Active on turn one.

From there, as Tornadus EX and the Float Stones take up six spaces (in an attempt to be consistent with it), there isn’t really much room to get neat from this deck, so I just made this version a Turbo Keldeo-EX version of the deck instead of a Black Kyurem EX version. Max Potion is there to allow for favorable trades with Keldeo-EX against your opponent’s Pokémon, as well as to heal early damage done to your Tornadus EX.

Team Plasma Blastoise

The following lists are two lists that use Team Plasma cards to shake up the strategy of Blastoise as a deck as a whole from what we’ve currently seen it as.

The first list uses Kyurem PLF to try to get off a turn one attack, and start early game spreading.

Pokémon – 13

3 Squirtle BCR

3 Blastoise BCR

3 Kyurem PLF

2 Articuno-EX

1 Lugia-EX

1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Skyla

2 Colress
1 Bianca
1 Shadow Triad


4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy
3 Float Stone
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Colress Machine
2 Superior Energy Retrieval
1 Dowsing Machine

Energy – 13

9 W

4 Plasma

colress machine plasma storm pls 119pokemon-paradijs.comThis version of the deck is very much a glass cannon. Under ideal situations you will get off a Frost Spear on your first two turns to put 60 damage onto two EXs, and then hopefully by that point you will have a Blastoise online and can quickly charge up your Lugia EX to take all six of your Prizes with two knockouts.

The problem is setting up Blastoise while doing all of this other stuff to get the turn one attack off is a lot harder said than done, so by the time you’re ready for Blastoise, he might not be there to get your other attackers powered up. It’s amazing how important Tropical Beach is to just getting out Stage 2s in this format, especially when you need a lot of draw to get everything else going, which in turn prevents you from playing a very high Skyla count.

A more conservative approach to the Plasma Blastoise deck is to build it more like a traditional Blastoise list, just with Plasm Energy and some different attackers than normal.

Pokémon – 15

4 Squirtle BCR
4 Blastoise BCR

1 Kyurem PLF

2 Articuno-EX
2 Lugia-EX
2 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 31

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Colress
2 Skyla
1 Shadow Triad


4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Superior Energy Retrieval
1 Dowsing Machine


3 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

10 W

4 Plasma

As this version of the deck is slower, it will have to rely on Articuno-EX more than Kyurem PLF, as by the point you get everything rolling, your opponent will typically have things moving. With a lot of players seeming to move to mostly Float Stone in their decks as a means for mobility, Articuno-EX’s automatic Paralysis seems like a potentially strong option in the upcoming format. It obviously pairs really well with the 120 damage from Plasma Gale.

I still chose to keep one Kyurem PLF in the deck as it can setup these KOs for Lugia EX without having to use a Pokémon Catcher. Additionally, I can foresee situations where you can’t get another Lugia EX powered up for whatever reason and you have big damage from Frost Prison or Plasma Gale remaining on your opponent’s side that you can cleanup with Frost Spear.

Outside of that, I think everything is pretty self explanatory with the deck. Setup KOs with Articuno-EX, Keldeo-EX, and Kyurem for Lugia EX so you can win the game by Knocking Out just a few Pokémon.

The only other interesting card I put in the deck was Shadow Triad, which I chose to put in these lists in place of Super Rod, as it can basically act as a Revive for getting any of my Plasma Pokémon back, but it can also give me a 5th Plasma Energy in case I lose them all at some point in the game and need to use Plasma Gale again.

Black Ballista Blastoise

While I think the Plasma version of Blastoise has some potential, and I may play it at a Battle Roads just to try it out if I can get the deck down some more, there are two Blastoise variants that I am fully confident can do very well at Battle Roads.

The first of these is Blastoise decks featuring Black Kyurem EX, aiming to just 1HKO opposing Pokémon-EX with Black Ballista’s 200 damage to make for a short game.

Here is my current list for this version of the deck:

Pokémon – 14

4 Squirtle BCR

1 Wartortle BCR

4 Blastoise BCR

2 Keldeo-EX

2 Black Kyurem-EX PLS

1 Black Kyurem BCR

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper
4 N
2 Colress
2 Skyla


4 Ultra Ball
1 Level Ball

1 Heavy Ball
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Superior Energy Retrieval
1 Super Rod
1 Dowsing Machine


3 Tropical Beach

Energy – 13

10 W
3 L

wartortle-boundaries-crossed-bcr-30pokemon-paradijs.comSome notable features about my current list for this deck. For the Black Kyurem EX version, I am liking Wartortle more and more with this format. Most decks now have a fairly easy way of Knocking Out your Blastoise, so being able to get a second Blastoise into play is very important for this version of the deck as it will be discarding its Energy when it attacks for the most part, so being able to keep a Blastoise in play will be important for using Black Ballista every turn.

I chose to play Super Rod in place of the fourth Superior Energy Retrieval to allow me to get back my attackers to re-use Black Kyurem in mirror and the RayEels matchup, as well as get Keldeo-EX or Black Kyurem EX back if they get Knocked Out, as playing only two copies of each makes me a little uneasy.

The only thing that makes me a little uneasy with this deck is the potential of Garbodor lingering in the metagame. If I expected Garbodor to rear its ugly head at a tournament, I would sacrifice the Wartortle for a Tool Scrapper.

Turbo Keldeo-EX

I’ve been testing this version of the deck pretty intensely ever since I shifted to testing the Plasma Freeze format, and I am loving that this deck is viable again. The only attacker this deck really needs is Keldeo-EX, and the simple aim of the deck is to load a ton of Energy onto a Keldeo-EX to 1HKO everything with Secret Sword.

Pokémon – 12

4 Squirtle BCR
4 Blastoise BCR

4 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper

4 N
2 Colress
2 Skyla


4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy

4 Superior Energy Retrieval
3 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Tool Scrapper
1 Max Potion
1 Dowsing Machine


3 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

14 W

keldeo-ex-boundaries-crossed-bcr-49pokemon-paradijs.comWhat I love about this version of the deck is its simplicity. I don’t have to worry about getting Lightning Energy, getting multiple Blastoise in play, or anything like that. All I have to do is get Blastoise out, load up a Keldeo-EX with Energy, and then that Keldeo-EX will protect my Blastoise for the rest of the game. From there, all I need to worry about is powering up more Keldeo-EX to attack, and picking my spots on when I should try to heal off a Keldeo-EX to save a knockout.

With a high Energy count, 4 Superior Energy Retrieval, and a Super Rod, I am able to pretty much power up a Keldeo-EX to 1HKO my opponent’s Pokémon on demand.

As the deck keeps it simple, it has room for Max Potion for some healing options, as well as Tool Scrapper from the get go to aide in the Garbodor matchup. The downside is that it doesn’t have any specifically teched Pokémon for the Klinklang matchup, so you just have to swing away with Blastoise, heal here and there with Max Potion, and hope for the best in that matchup.


For the matchups, I am going to cover the matchups and strategies that are needed for both the Black Kyurem EX version of the deck as well as the Turbo Keldeo-EX version. I will give a matchup rating for both decks (it tends to be pretty similar go figure) and give the basic strategies and considerations that one needs to make for the matchup.

As of right now, I see the metagame developing into one that includes Darkrai EX/Absol PLF, Plasma Basics, Rayquaza/Eelektrik, Big Basics, and Blastoise/Keldeo-EX as the main five decks. The other two decks I will discuss as far as matchups go are Klinklang and Garbodor variants.

Vs. Plasma Basics

Black Ballista: Slightly Favorable
Turbo Keldeo-EX: Slightly Favorable

Key Considerations:

  • Thundurus EX can donk a Squirtle with three Deoxys-EX or a Hypnotoxic Laser plus Virbank City Gym in play on turn one. Kyurem PLF, Lugia EX, and Deoxys-EX all can donk a Squirtle as well, just with a more difficult combination of cards to pull off. Donks aren’t exactly common though.
  • The deck can easily 1HKO your Blastoise with Lugia EX or Kyurem PLF and two Deoxys-EX in play, so your Blastoise is never safe in the matchup. With the Turbo Keldeo-EX version, the Water Energy on your Keldeo-EX will protect your Blastoise as they can’t leave the Keldeo-EX threat untamed. For the Black Kyurem EX version of the deck, it is highly important to get a second Blastoise into play.
  • Deoxys-EX can 1HKO a Keldeo-EX using Helix Force when Keldeo-EX has five Energy on it, or just four if they have a Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym combination going. Because of this, you either need to jump ahead in the Prize exchange when playing the Turbo Keldeo-EX version, or target down their Deoxys-EX with Pokémon Catcher to keep your opponent from powering one up, or pick a spot to 2HKO one of your opponent’s Pokémon and use Max Potion to heal off their attack damage.
  • Keep a tight eye on the Prize count. Lugia EX is a Prize gainer, realize what moves your opponent can pull off on their next turn to take up to 3 Prizes in a turn.
  • It’s a Stadium War! A lot of the damage the deck can do to other decks is by scoring the 1HKO on opposing EXs with Kyurem PLF in combination with Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym. By playing a steady dose of counter Stadiums, you can help deny youro opponent this option and make them exchange EXs or else fall behind in the Prize count.

n-dark-explorers-dex-96pokemon-paradijs.comIn general, the way this matchup has gone for me, is that one of two things happen in the early game. My opponent either uses a pair of Pokémon Catcher to knockout two Squirtle or Knocks Out one of my EXs on turn 2 or 3 depending on how good their setup is. From there, I get a Blastoise out, start exchanging in the Prize race, and N them out of their resources.

Blastoise is now one of the slower decks in the format now, so 4 N is very strong in Blastoise against these rush decks. If I’m playing Turbo Keldeo-EX, I will usually aim to knockout any Deoxys-EX that my opponent has that look to be a threat, unless they have another attacker like Lugia EX or Kyurem PLF that really needs to be dealt with. I will use my Max Potion to exchange knockouts with Deoxys-EX when need be. With the Black Kyurem EX version of the deck, you can really focus on just using Black Ballista on whatever EX poses the greatest threat.

N definitely gives Blastoise the upperhand in this matchup, with games often coming down to whether the Plasma player can draw out of the low hand. In general, I have found that I am winning more than I am losing against Plasma Basics with this deck.

Vs. Darkrai/Absol

Black Ballista: Even
Turbo Keldeo-EX: Even

Key Considerations:

  • Blastoise is not safe. With Dark Claw attached and Virbank City Gym in play, Blastoise can be Knocked Out, even if it has no damage on it from the attack of Night Spear if they hit a Hypnotoxic Laser. In addition to Night Spear, you have to worry about the damage of this guy….
  • Be aware of Absol PLF and its damage numbers. Its Mindjack attack does 20 damage plus 20 more damage for each of your benched Pokémon. Because of this attack, be very aware of your bench size. I wouldn’t worry too much about keeping Blastoise out of range, as Blastoise can easily be put in range after a snipe from Night Spear. However, what I would worry about is my Pokémon-EX. Nothing is worse than losing one of your EXs to a non-EX.
  • It’s a Stadium War as well. Keeping Virbank City Gym out of play can help keep the Darkrai player from hitting a lot of the damage numbers that they want to hit.

absol-plasma-freeze-67pokegym.netThe release of Absol helps to level the playing field against Blastoise for Darkrai decks, even with Blastoise gaining Superior Energy Retrieval. It gives Darkrai decks a legitimate option for 1HKOing or at the very least 2HKOing your EXs with a non-EX that is much easier to power up on turn one.

If you’re playing the Black Kyurem EX version of the deck, you want to focus on getting multiple Blastoise into play, and using Black Ballista for three straight turns to end the game very quickly.

If you’re playing the Turbo Keldeo version of the deck, you just want to load up some Keldeo-EX with seven Energy to get the 1HKOs on your opponent’s Darkrai EX while trying to keep Virbank City Gym out of play so they can’t respond and your Keldeo-EX can take out two Darkrai EXs at the least before it goes down.

Vs. Big Basics

Black Ballista: Favorable
Turbo Keldeo-EX: Favorable

Key Considerations:

  • After only one Hammerhead, a Bouffalant DRX can score the knockout on your EXs with a Hypnotoxic Laser. Max Potion can be key in the matchup for removing this snipe damage.
  • Can donk a Squirtle on turn one with Hammerhead and Hypntoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym or alternatively Blow Through with Tornadus EX.
  • Probably will still be playing Mewtwo EX, so you have to be careful of when you load up your Keldeo-EX.
  • Often doesn’t have a source of Energy Acceleration, although some do run an Ether/Lunatone/Pokédex engine for some acceleration, and Plasma Badge with Big Basics could also potentially be a thing.
  • It’s a Stadium War…this is kind of becoming a trend, but removing Virbank from play can help prevent your opponent from hitting their magic numbers.

This is one of the easiest matchups for a Blastoise deck to win. Landorus-EX is weak to Water, and all of the other EXs have 170 HP, making them easy for Keldeo-EX to knockout, and Black Kyurem EX easily Knocks them Out as well.

In general against this deck, you just want to survive the early game and then you will win as you 1HKO your opponent’s Pokémon, they will mostly have no Energy acceleration and will fall behind on Energy attachments, especially if you use N liberally throughout the game.

Vs. Rayquaza/Eelektrik

Black Ballista: Slightly Unfavorable
Turbo Keldeo-EX: Slightly Unfavorable

rayquaza dragon burst deoxysWith the standard versions of these decks, there isn’t really all that much strategy to it, and the game generally just comes down to who gets setup quicker or who is able to punish their opponent with the harder Ns. The name of the game between these two decks is 1HKOing each others EXs.

Spread attackers can be teched in, but that is risky with the threat of Mr. Mime. Alternatively, teching in Dragon type non-EXs is another option for taking on the deck.

In general, I would give Eelektrik the edge still, as its setup is much easier to get than Blastoise’s setup is. I think the Black Kyurem EX version has a little better matchup as it has the non-EX Black Kyurem, which can help swing the Prize exchange in your favor, especially if you stick your opponent with a good N that prevents them from getting a Catcher on one of your EXs.

I think both versions can go toe to toe with this deck for the most part now, as Superior Energy Retrieval makes powering up your attackers, whether its Black Kyurem or a six Energy Keldeo-EX, pretty easy to get. This makes it overall a very close matchup, with just a slight edge to Rayquaza/Eelektrik because of its easier setup.

Vs. PlasmaKlang & Garbodor

Black Ballista: ?
Turbo Keldeo-EX: ?

These matchups can range anywhere from very unfavorable to very favorable, it’s just all a matter of how much you want to tech against these decks. If you don’t tech against these decks, you will often just lose against them outside of running good to them running bad, but if you do tech against them, they can be some of your easiest matchups of the day.

As far as teching for Garbodor DRX, it really comes down to how many Tool Scrapper you put in your deck (and whether you play Dowsing Machine to re-use). The more Tool Scrapper you play, the better your Garbodor matchup will be, but I don’t think you need more than two Tool Scrapper if you’re playing Dowsing Machine to make your Garbodor matchup very favorable.

The other card that can help is Float Stone, which can let you load up an attacker and then put Float Stone on your Blastoise allowing it not to be a liability to Pokémon Catcher.

As far as teching against Klinklang, as I stated above, I think the Reshiram PLF/Zekrom PLF combination is the strongest because of its sturdiness and attack power.

Don’t overcomplicate these matchups. It really just comes down to whether you have enough non-EXs to attack with against Klinklang, or if you play Tool Scrapper against Garbodor. If you don’t really tech for them, don’t be too upset if you lose to them in a tournament.

From the start, I wouldn’t tech too hard against either of these decks. Garbodor variants as last constructed struggle mightily against the Plasma Basics deck because Kyurem PLF 1HKOs Landorus-EX, and the deck can still function without Abilities. Klinklang should see less play with a proliferation of non-EX options to be used in all of the current metagame decks now.

There might still be some players hanging onto these decks in your area, and if that’s the case it might be best to take a loss against them and a more favorable matchup against the field. If the meta develops in a way that Garbodor and Klinklang are very present in your metagame, then it would obviously be wise to tech against them.


blastoise pocket monster cardhildergan.tumblr.comI hope that this article was helpful for everyone as they prepare for Battle Roads, especially if they are considering playing Blastoise for any of these tournaments or National Championships.

What I wanted to do with this article was leave a comprehensive resource that players could go to throughout the entirety of the format, instead of just the next few weeks until something changes in the metagame to look at when building their Blastoise decks.

I hope in covering all the different Pokémon, and the various Trainer cards that go in Blastoise that I was able to explain the thought process behind what cards can be included in a Blastoise deck per a given metagame. I will likely be playing various Blastoise variants in about half of the Battle Roads I play in, as I think it is a strong deck, and the changing metagame is more favorable than the one States was for Blastoise.

Remember to +1 or -1 the article to give Adam feedback on what you like for Underground content, and thanks for reading!

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