Hi! It’s me, Caleb, here once again with another article, however this time, instead of sharing a tournament report, I will be talking about the currently longest standing tier 1 deck in the format, Eelektrik.
Ever since its release in late 2011, Eelektrik has been a primary source of Energy acceleration for all sorts of Lightning type decks, winning a very high amount of tournaments with variants such as Magnezone Prime, Zekrom BLW, and Rayquaza EX. It has proved itself as one of the best cards in the game.
When Boundaries Crossed came out, just prior to our City Championships, many people speculated that the newly released Landorus-EX would pose too formidable of a threat to the deck, but after many City wins, this proved to be false. Eels saw less overall play due to the constant threat of Landorus, but it seemed that nothing could stop them. States and Spring Regionals passed, with the deck performing well at both events, taking at least 109 top cut spots and 5 victories (source).
And so we arrive where we are now, directly after the release of Plasma Freeze, where we are given two huge benefits to the Eels engine, Rayquaza variants in particular. I’m going to briefly discuss both briefly.
New Cards That Help Eels
1. Kyurem PLF
This card is somewhat of a blessing in disguise for Eelektrik, and came about partially due to the internet community. When TDK (Thundurus EX, Deoxys-EX, Kyurem PLF) was first speculated, it was made out to be the fall of Big Basics. A deck that can easily 1HKO Pokémon-EX, and even more easily 1HKO Landorus-EX? It should almost certainly be the end for the former top dog!
Now while I do not think it will pan out like that, the internet certainly thinks so, and that tends to have a huge effect on the metagame. (Isn’t that ironic, that in people’s efforts to predict metagames, they end up defining it?)
I think that because of people’s rather quick reaction to this there will be much fewer numbers of Big Basics, which, while it did not end Eelektrik decks entirely, was a very difficult deck to contend with for Eels. Fewer Big Basics means easier matchups, which is always a very important thing at high level tournaments like Nationals.
2. Float Stone
This card is great for one reason. It makes streaming Rayquaza EXs immensely less difficult through pairing with Keldeo-EX. No longer do you have to run 2 Skyarrow Bridge, 4 Switch, and hope they don’t get rid of your Stadiums, or that you don’t hit a crucial Switch. With this new card giving you free retreat, you can Rush In with Keldeo-EX each turn, Dynamotor all your Energy back onto Rayquaza, and retreat to hit for up to 180 once again.
The consistency Float Stone brings, combined with the improved metagame in Eelektrik’s favor, makes this already powerful deck even better.
Now I am going to talk about two variations of the deck: Rayquaza/Eels and Zekrom/Eels.
Pokémon – 15
3 Rayquaza EX
2 Other Pokémon
Trainers – 32
2 Other Supporters
3 Other Items
Energy – 13
This is your Energy accelerator, allowing you to power up Rayquaza EX turn after turn with Dynamotor.
3 Rayquaza EX
hydreigon.tumblr.comYour main attacker. Being able to hit for 180 turn after turn is incredibly strong, though you usually will never be using Celestial Roar since most cards in your deck are very valuable and you don’t want to discard them.
This is your way of continuously using Dragon Burst turn after turn. After hitting your opponent for 180, you will only have 1 R Energy left on your Rayquaza. Simply use Keldeo’s Rush In, Dynamotor all the Energy back to Rayquaza, and freely retreat with Float Stone’s effect. Boom! You now have a fully powered up Rayquaza once again.
Options for Other Pokémon
This card has been competitive since its release, especially with Eelektrik, and that isn’t stopping now. Being able to easily 1HKO those pesky Tornadus EX, Lugia EX, as well as hitting all other Pokémon for a very high 120 is always a good thing.
This is the only non-attacking Pokémon I would use in this deck besides Keldeo and Eelektrik. One of the biggest challenges this deck faces is Tynamos being sniped by Darkrai EX, Landorus-EX, and now Kyurem PLF. Mr. Mime’s Ability to block bench damage removes quite a bit of damage options when it comes to 3 major decks.
It does make good Catcher bait, but it usually won’t be attacked over an Eel, and if it does you still have 2-3 Eelektrik and be in a very strong position.
Having the same same ability as Zekrom to 1HKO Lightning weak Pokémon-EX, as well as being able to snipe weak Basics on the bench is always very good. The Energy discard requirement is easily handled by Eelektrik, and the only reason I would take Zekrom over this is because Zekrom gives up only 1 Prize.
Loading up lots of Energy isn’t difficult with this deck, and this always strong EX is great for easily 1HKOing Deoxys-EX and opposing Mewtwo EX as well.
A reliable T1 attacker is always good, and the ability to 1HKO Black Kyurem EX is very nice, but I don’t think it is your best option.
These are your Klinklang counters, and I recommend running at least 1 of the two.
Options for Other Supporters
pokemon-paradijs.comThere are 4 main Supporters you have to choose from in this situation, though only 2 are worth consideration.
The 2 “less viable” Supporters are Cheren and Ghetsis. Cheren is nice for a consistent number of 3 cards always being drawn, but is outclassed by Bianca. Ghetsis can be a great disruption card, but isn’t always reliable, and can’t be considered a draw Supporter.
The better 2 Supporters are Bianca and Skyla. Bianca can usually be drawing 3-5 cards, and though the possibility of only drawing 1 or 2 is present, it is usually rare. Skyla lets you search out any Trainer in your deck, which when combined with Computer Search can let you search for any card in your deck period.
What I Use: 2 Bianca
Options for Other Items
You will usually run into situations where you have to discard Eels or they get Knocked Out. Super Rod is your saving grace in these situations, and can get you out of a lot of sticky situations. Just make sure you don’t get forced to shuffle your L Energy back in.
Being able to use Max Potion on a highly damaged Pokémon is always a good option, especially when you can Dynamotor the discarded Energy back extremely easily.
My friend from league managed to power this deck to a top 4 at our States this year. I decided to give my take on it. Despite not consistently 1HKOing EXs like RayEels can, this deck is more consistent in my opinion, due to the fact that you do not have to discard your Energy each turn off of your attacker. 2HKOing an EX consistently can be better than 1HKOing one and never attacking again.
Pokémon – 14
4 Tynamo NVI
Trainers – 35
Energy – 11
Your deck’s main attacker. You want to be hitting for 120 damage every turn for the most part, and using Outrage after taking lots of damage.
2 Mewtwo EX
Overall good attacker with X Ball.
Same reasons as in Rayquaza/Eels (see above).
Thirty extra damage plus a chance for sleep is quite strong, and can give this deck the extra boost it needs for success.
Used to get rid of all that damage being put onto Zekrom from both your and your opponent’s attacks, as well as preventing Mewtwo from being 2HKO’d.
In conclusion, I think that Eelektrik variants have a excellent shot at performing strongly at Nationals, with good matchups across the board, particularly against TDK, and that someone has a good chance to power it through to a deep run.