Teching Through Time – Remembering Surprises of Worlds Past

As the Pokémon World Championships near us this upcoming week, countless invitees are scramble switching around trying to find the perfect blend of tech and consistency for their decks. As we prepare for the “Super Bowl” of Pokémon, let’s take a look back at previous World Championships and reflect on what could give us some insight in what could very well take the whole show this year.

Table of Contents

Teching Through Time
Aloha, tech of the past.

The one thing that seems to really set apart the Worlds metagame over the past several years is the recurring trend of off the wall techs, new archetypes created from Worlds rogues, and utilizing a “thinking out of the box” mentality.

Teching is usually a difficult and daunting task, but when thrown on the biggest stage it’s also that much more of a risk. A lot of players find themselves tweaking their lists for a healthy balance between countering to the meta, playstyle, and consistency. While this has led to some groundbreaking results for some players, they aren’t always remembered or didn’t necessarily win the event.

There is, however, one thing that typically defines players at Worlds and here’s what I mean. Who remembers Jolteon* in Klaczynski’s Gardevoir, Bellossom in Fulop’s Blaziken, or Luxray GL LV.X in Silvestro’s RayBees? These all showcased open-minded thinking when it came to deck building. There’s something these players all have in common as well; their surprise plays took them to finals (with two of them even winning).

There are also even larger risks taken at Worlds, including entirely rogue deck choices. Some are hit and some are miss, but there’s something about the psychology of Worlds that allows the flexibility for techs and rogue decks. While we go through the season, there’s a mentality of “there’s more events, I’ll be fine,” whereas at Worlds, it’s the final show.

People take their lists and perfect them to their playstyles, but this limits creativity. People test, test, and then test some more against the metagame… the metagame they expect to see. This block right here is what allows the unusual, the strange, and even the laughed at to do so well. Examples of this include Gyarados in 2009, The Truth in 2011, and even Magma in 2004.

The reason these decks finished so well is because they were unexpected, creative, and most of all hadn’t been tested against!

While this isn’t much of a trend and more of a yearly gamble, it’s near impossible to predict because of the risk involved at the World Championship.

You may be wondering why it’s such a risk for this event; I’ll explain. The Pokémon World Championship is exclusive, like the blanket-fort your friends made that was password protected. Unlike that blanket fort though, Worlds is typically in a distant location in a vacation getaway (Hawaii, San Diego, Florida, and even Vancouver) and is not a day trip like many States/Regionals or even Nationals. This means more money spent for one event.

Along with more money spent, it’s what you’ve worked toward all season to have one shot, one last hurrah to end the season, win the highest prize pool available, and prove to your peers the abilities you possess.

Now that we’ve covered the significance of Worlds and touched on how some have achieved greatness by going against the grain, let’s examine the significance of previous techs/rogues at Worlds and the role they play for this upcoming weekend.

2004 // Bellossom, Magma

During the 2004 season everything was in a lull because of Nintendo’s recent takeover of Pokémon from Wizards of the Coast. Because of this, plenty of people took a hiatus from the game, but that didn’t stop the Worlds field from reaching such a high attendance.

Some of you may have had the chance to play games during this format either firsthand or through the use of the old Worlds decks, and if it’s the latter then you may not have even heard of decks such as Walrein, Shiftry, or Gorebyss. These three were unfortunate enough to not get printed as a Worlds deck and instead all you get to play with is Magma, Gardevoir, Swampert, and Blaziken.

While it might seem like the Bellossom HL tech in Chris Fulop’s Blaziken deck was intended for the Magma matchup in order to heal off 20 damage per turn and attack Team Magma’s Groudon, it actually served many other useful roles. One such use was against the extremely popular and strong Walrein HL deck which at the time had just finished 2nd at US Nationals so obviously it was a contender for Worlds that year.

The idea behind using Bellossom against Walrein is that they couldn’t dish out more than 20 damage at a time because its Sheer Cold attack could only do 50 damage a turn and with Resistance factored in they were only doing 20 damage (since Resistance used to be -30 back in the day). And so after they would attack you simply just heal the 20 damage off with Bellossom’s Heal Dance Poké-Power while slowly whittling away with its Miracle Powder attack.

At the time evolution decks typically didn’t run anything to get around the opponent’s active Pokémon and because of that Bellossom just stayed in the Active Spot for the entirety of the game until taking all 6 Prizes.

Another reason that Chris says he played the Bellossom tech was as a soft counter to Desert Ruins, a Stadium card which put 1 damage counter on all exs with 100 HP or more in between turns. So instead of running counter Stadiums and having to continuously replace them, Chris simply ran a Bellossom tech in order to fully heal off the 20 damage it would have received in between two turns.

And coincidentally, the Bellossom tech also helped quite a bit against the Magma Groudon matchup. For those of you who don’t know, Magma Groudon thrives on hitting the opponent quick and hard in which it sets up damage with its Linear attack and follows up with a Pulverize. In order for Groudon to successfully score a two shot on something with a followed up Pulverize it needs to usually get 20 to 30 damage on the defending Pokémon already.

So now you may be seeing where Bellossom comes in and helps out. Bellossom allowed Chris the opportunity to heal 20 damage a turn and essentially forcing the opponent to 3-shot his Pokémon or use an Energy costly attack all too often.

At the time Magma was legal just about everyone scoffed at it and wrote it off as bad (which is exactly the type of thinking one should avoid when going into Worlds). And because of that it allowed for Magma to rise to the top in all three divisions. Magma was an incredibly strong deck because it was one of the few decks that could consistently go off turn two and start attacking and still have a way to follow up the next turn.

Editor’s Note: Very few people outside of Japan attempted to build or playtest Team Magma decks. In retrospect, it likely would have been a popular archetype in this day and age.

Typically the deck would lead off with Zangoose or Groudon and set up during the first or second turn and then on the next it would get crazy, and for its sake, hopefully take a Knock Out on something such as a Skitty or a Dunsparce. Both Zangoose and Groudon were able to go off turn two with the help of Team Magma Energy and dish out an upwards of 60 damage on just the second turn. And at the time 60 damage is nothing to laugh at, especially when it’s only on turn two.

The way the deck kept up with its late game energy attachments was through the help of Team Magma’s Camperupt and Team Magma’s Claydol’s Poké-Powers to recover Energy and move them around. This balance of aggressiveness as well as late-game power is what led to Magma performing as well as it did.

2005 // Queendom

Nidoqueen RG
Toxic was a very efficient attack.

In 2005, players went into Worlds expecting Rock Lock, ZRE, Medicham, and LudiCargo. While these decks varied between spread, lock, and raw power, there was a surprise deck that come through the ranks and claimed not only 1st Place, but also 3rd Place in the Masters division. Yes, I’m talking about Maron, Capriola, and Meza’s Queendom deck.

The deck went with a one-two punch combo between double poison effect from Nidoqueen FRLG‘s Toxic attack to set up the next turn Power Lariat for the Knock Out. Abusing the amazing Poké-Power Quick Search found on Pidgeot FRLG, the deck was able to consistently set up and fill the board with evolutions to boost the power behind Nidoqueen’s second attack. This Stage 2 beatdown deck plowed through worlds boasting high HP, consistency in Pidgeot, and brute force damage for low costs.

To further counter the Worlds metagame, the deck also ran a tech 1-1 Milotic HL with the Poké-Power Healing Shower to remove the spread damage caused by Rock Lock. This power also healed your opponent’s Pokémon, but the damage output for Power Lariat combined with the previous Toxic made it a solid play to save your field while still maintaining damage output.

This is really the only time we’ve seen a rogue show up to the biggest stage of them all and claim two of the Top 4 spots; an impressive deck choice and meta call.

2008: Jolteon*, Intimidation

He did it! Jason Klaczynski does it again and makes history by winning his second World Championship in his career. And just like in 2006 he is once against some sort of lock deck except instead of Stadiums and Trainers this time around it was Poké-Powers. While Jason wasn’t playing a rogue deck of any sort, he clearly had cards that helped push him above and beyond everyone else in the event.

When it comes to deciding on the build of a deck I usually consider how to make the mirror matchup better than 50/50 and tilt it in my favor. The way I do that is through the use of techs and such. What Jason did here is no different than from what I’m talking about.

In Jason’s Gardevoir deck he played cards such as Jirachi ex, Jolteon*, and even Lake Boundary all mostly intended for the mirror match. The way they all worked was that he would attempt to start the lock off with Jirachi ex if possible and eventually when it goes down the opponent will snag 2 Prizes off of it thus giving them a distinct advantage in Prize cards.

While this might seem like a bad strategy there was definitely a follow up in the form of an actual Psychic Lock Gardevoir with a Scramble Energy which provided three Energy of any type to evolved non-ex Pokémon while the user is down on Prize cards. So at this point Jason has been locking them for a while and now has a way to continue the lock going while also denying his opponent the use of Scramble Energy themselves.

Lake Boundary Mysterious Treasures MT 112 Pokemon
Comboed with Jolteon for mirror match 1HKOs.

Now while the Jirachi ex might seem obvious, the Lake Boundary and Jolteon* require much more intricacy in order to be used successfully. Most players during that season played with Gardevoir and Gallade from Secret Wonders and because of that most Pokémon in format shared the common weakness of themselves. Except, at the time weakness had been changed to +10, +20, +30, etc.

Lake Boundary was a Stadium that changed all Weakness to x2 instead meaning that if one Gardevoir hit another with Psychic Lock with this Stadium in play it will be Knocking it Out in one hit. However, that wasn’t always the case even with Lake Boundary in play because most of these Gardevoir decks typically ran four copies of Double Rainbow Energy (DRE) which reduced the damage done by 10 damage after Weakness meaning a fresh Gardevoir will survive a Psychic Lock coming from an opposing DRE’d Gardevoir. Heck, even a fresh Gallade will survive Psychic Lock that’s being done without a DRE.

And it was for this reason that Jason included a Jolteon* in his Worlds list – in order to get that last 10 damage necessary. While it may not be usable all the time in mirror match due to being Power locked most of the game, it still had its moments for whenever the opponent can’t get the lock going or if someone is going with an aggressive Gallade but you want to stick locking with Psychic Lock. It was obvious to see that these techs are what helped Jason make his way to the top for a second time and eventually win the series in the finals.

An entirely new deck that didn’t pop up until the 2008 World Championships was a deck donned by the name of Intimidation which was a mix of Toxicroak MD and Scizor MD. When Diamond and Pearl first came out there became loads of Pokémon that were able to abuse the powerful Scramble Energy and Double Rainbow Energy. And as the season progressed Call Energy (another Special Energy) came out the set before Nationals and Worlds and for most of the season the deck to beat was the previously mentioned Gardevoir/Gallade deck that Jason Klaczynski had won with.

Scizor had the attack Special Blow for a single M Energy which would do 80 if the Defending Pokémon had a Special Energy attached. With how popular Special Energies were at the time Scizor made for an excellent attacker.
The deck was very anti-GG.

But to ensure its victory even more over the ever so popular Gardevoir/Gallade deck Intimidation also played Toxicroak MD which for a P Energy do 20 damage as well as poison the defending Pokémon as well as potentially paralyzing it with a coin flip. While this might seem mediocre at first, against a Gardevoir or a Gallade that is +30 weak to Psychic it is getting them each within Knock Out range.

For only requiring a single Energy each for their main attacks it was quite fast for its time. So because of that, in order to ensure the opponent would never get to abuse Scramble Energy the deck also played an Electrode SW tech. The idea was to dish out high damage for low Energy cost but at the same time giving up a Prize card. This was the same idea that Jason had with Jirachi ex to go down on Prize cards.

Another reason Electrode was such a powerful tech was because it was capable of taking down an Empoleon MD in one hit and removing all their basic Energy at the same time. As well as playing all these awesome Pokémon and techs it also played Cessation Crystal which also shut down all Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies on both sides of the field. At the time, plenty of decks utilized Poké-Powers in order to setup and maintain their setup throughout the game.

With having to go through so many fast attackers while also being slowed down it’s obvious to see why Intimidation dominated the Juniors division and made a showing in the Masters division.

2009 // RayBees, Gyarados, FlyLock

“Wait, what is he playing?!” This was the phrase heard around the world as matches were watched and updates were sent out to those not at Worlds. This year held the most innovative and abundant showing of new techs and rogue dominance.

First of all, we have RayBees winning the show. Now while many may claim this as archetype, I’d only say they’re half right. Beedrill (also named “Speedrill”) was focused around pure speed and consistent damage output by keeping Beedrills on the field. While these lists did well, they lacked a huge ability: Bright Look.

Steven Silvestro stripped down the deck and crammed in 1-1 Luxray GL LV.X, Crobat G, Cyrus’s Conspiracy, Energy Gain, 4 Poké Turn, and an SP Radar in an already tight Beedrill list. This innovation and surprise served well as his opponents had little to predict on counts and what other options he had up his sleeve.

Not only did this win him Worlds, it also paved the way for the next season’s teching by showing that Luxray GL was usable in more than just SP decks.

Trapinch Secret Wonders SW
A perfect storm of attacks.

Up next is FlyLock. This deck may not be the most remembered, but it was easily one of the most unexpected turns anyone saw for their Flygon matchup. While many tested against the FlyChamp matchup, a lot of players ended up caught in the Fly-trap. With its focus on Trapinch SW Inviting Trap and Sand Tomb attacks via Memory Berry on a Flygon RR, the deck would use Inviting Trap to pull an unsuspecting benched Pokémon to the Active Spot then, using Sand Tomb, would lock it active.

While this is a small, relatively meaningless combo, throw a Flygon LV.X with its Wind Erosion Poké-Body (discards the top card of your opponent’s deck between turns) in the mix while locking active a Pokémon that isn’t attacking, you can mill your opponents valuable cards as well as claim victory via deckout. This combination proved to be successful for 2nd Place winner David Cohen and a few Masters players as well.

Last but not least is Gyarados. Gyarados redefined a format and became an instant archetype for two seasons thanks to French player Fabien Garnier. He piloted the deck all the way to 5th place where he finally succumbed to Silvestro’s previously mentioned RayBees.

The deck relied on discarding three Magikarp and evolving the fourth Magikarp to Gyarados SF to use its Tail Revenge attack which had zero energy cost and did x30 damage for each Magikarp in your discard pile. When you’re hitting for 90 a turn without energy requirements and have the ability to add 10 damage multiple times via Crobat G’s Flash Bite Poké-Power, 110 HP Beedrills and SP LV.Xs end up being tossed by the wayside, and quickly.

Recovery was also the deck’s strong point. With Broken Time-Space Stadium and Pokémon Rescue, you could feasibly recover a Knocked Out Gyarados with ease the turn after it was Knocked Out. This deck was rogue, had only been heavily and consistently tested by Fabien, and paid off with high results at this tournament.

2010 // Dragonite FB

Dragonite FB made a shining appearance at the 2010 World Championship in Yuta Komatsuda’s Luxray GL/Garchomp C SP deck giving him an extra edge over the SP mirror match. While Garchomp C was a heavy hitting and healing card that could come from nowhere to sniping a prize, counters like Ambipom G weren’t always enough due to players being able to play round leaving no Energy on a Garchomp C LV.X after using Dragon Rush.

Yuta overcame this well-played trick by running Dragonite FB which hit Garchomp C for Weakness and enough damage for a Knock Out despite zero or any Energy attached to the Garchomp. The tech Dragonite FB became a staple the following season in SP decks across the world and showed that even the underestimated cards can still make a splash on a grand scale.

Editor’s Note: Yuta also played a high count of Professor Oak’s New Theory, a Supporter card many players overlooked.

2011 // The Truth

When starting to write about Ross Cawthon’s 2011 2nd Place deck The Truth, a cornucopia of blurbs and quick exclamations instantly rush through my mind (as did several others). Leading into this event, we had a clearly defined metagame of Stage 1s, ZPST, Magnezone/Emboar, MegaJudge (or PrimeTime as some called it, depending on variant of the deck between Kingdra Prime/Jirachi UL/Pachirisu CL), and ReshiPhlosion.

These decks all were the focus of testing the months before from Nationals after Justin Sanchez and Kyle Sucevich filled the finals with Stage 1s and MegaZone. Something that this format didn’t see was much Water attackers.
Locking has always been good.

Taking advantage of this was ‘The Truth’ which took Worlds by storm when the field contained an active Donphan Prime with Reuniclus BLW, Vileplume UD, an Outrage dragon (Reshiram BLW or Zekrom BLW), a Blissey Prime, and typically a Baby Pokémon used to set the deck up.

During this event, the first thought going through peoples’ minds was “Did he throw his binder against a wall and play whatever fell out?!” Most players going into Worlds would have scoffed at this deck idea and claimed it too inconsistent, ridiculed it for relying on multiple Stage 2 Pokémon, and being overall too difficult to set up regularly.

With the aid of baby Pokémon Cleffa and Pichu to refresh his hand and/or fill his bench, Twins to search out two specific cards, and the just released Tropical Beach promo card given to competitors, Ross drove the surprise deck all the way to 2nd Place. While Ross is a superb player, the surprise factor and lack of testing on his opponent’s behalves gave him a definite edge as they typically took a quick Prize, allowing Ross to utilize Twins to start setting up his control deck.

He utilized Donphan’s Poké-Body to reduce damage done along with Reuniclus BLW ability to move his own damage counters wherever he wanted while locking Trainer-Items with Vileplume UD. The deck utilized these abilities to tank a Donphan Prime by moving the damage counters to a high-HP sponge like Reshiram or Zekrom and being able to swing for up to 140 damage with Outrage, using Seeker, or Blissey Prime to remove the damage counters entirely.

Nobody saw this deck coming and the risk Ross Cawthon took definitely rewarded his creativity and skill to pilot the deck to the finals.

After walking down history lane, we can see that luck tends to favor the bold. These players walked into a defined metagame with a deck that went against the grain, was untested by the masses to perfect the list, and ultimately gambled their vacation on their beliefs in their abilities and testing. This shows signs of creative, intuitive, and excellence in players who can take the risk and follow through with it to the end.

You may be wondering where this leaves us now going into the 2013 World Championship. As many have noticed with the changing format and the 2012 World Championship, the ability to “tech” has diminished tremendously. One of the main reasons techs have been highly viable at previous Worlds is due to the amount of search cards combined with support Pokémon rather than simply Supporter draw and nerfed Rare Candy wordings.

While this may limit the ability for decks to tech like we used to, we still have a slew of cards at our disposal. Cards like Life Dew, Audino BCR, Sneasel NXD, Full Heal, Hooligans Jim & Cas (yes, even some great players have fallen to this card), Druddigon Promo, and many more that are at your expense. We still have a vast array of cards to use that can leave an impact on the format.

With ideas revolving around Garbodor DRX, excess Keldeo-EX, and even ideas as farfetched as Espeon DEX to prevent decks like Accelgor/Gothitelle from doing to Worlds what it did to Nationals. And although people may be attempting to tech against Gothitelle, it isn’t necessarily going to swing the matchup enough times in order to call it a game winning tech. That is because of how strong the concept of Item lock Abilities are and how they can potentially lock down the opponent completely.

This is where the risk and reward system works itself into this game and whether or not it’s worth the space to tech the cards against certain decks or just attempt stay consistent enough in an attempt to out-speed everything else.

Techs for Today

Plasma has a reliance on Special Energy.

With the recent expansion Plasma Freeze, Team Plasma decks have become some of the biggest decks to beat. If your deck can’t deal with Plasma then it doesn’t have any right to be in this format just because of how popular a deck Plasma is.

Now, if your deck is struggling against Plasma, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to beat but obviously becomes a lot harder to do so. That’s where techs come into play and allow for an edge to be gained on this powerhouse deck. The reason Plasma decks do so well is its tornado-like mix of damage output, status abuse, Energy acceleration, and versatility in attackers.

Between Kyurem PLF for spread and a heavy hit, Absol PLF punishing your opponent’s bench size, Thundurus EX Energy accelerating your other attackers while doing excellent damage for one Energy, and Deoxys-EX powering up all of their attacks by 10 damage for each Deoxys-EX you have in play, Plasma maintains the ability to dive headfirst into a knife fight with an arsenal of machine guns and rocket launchers.

After seeing Plasma storm the metagame, we’ve seen a few holes in its armor, including its dependency on Special Energy. This leaves the deck open to cards like Enhanced Hammer and Cobalion-EX’s Righteous Edge attack. These both easily remove the Plasma, Prism, and Blend Energy cards that Plasma decks rely on.

Another strong card to combat the brutal nature of Kyurem PLF’s Frost Spear is Mr. Mime PLF. Mr. Mime prevents bench damage done to your Pokémon. This is vital for shutting down Kyurem’s spread damage that tends to put Pokémon-EX in the 1HKO range thanks to Deoxys-EX, Hypnotoxic Laser, and Virbank City Gym.


If Plasma is a blend of machine guns and rocket launchers, Blastoise rolls up in a tank. Blastoise is a deck that when it sets up, it typically wins. This is due to the Energy acceleration that Deluge provides to power up one of the most devastating attacks the game has seen on Black Kyurem EX’s Black Ballista attack. Having the option of doing 200 damage in a format filled with 2-Prize EX cards resting at 170-180 HP gives Blastoise a huge edge in the metagame, but not all decks are perfect and Blastoise is certainly not immune from weakness.

frozen city plasma freeze plf
Counters Beach and damages them.

Some decks’ worst enemies are themselves. In Blastoise, this is most certainly the case. It’s difficult to tech for this deck because of its ability to maintain a constant beatdown under a certain condition: it sets up. Blastoise’s biggest weakness is its ability to set up and maintain a constant ability to stream Energy.

The best ways you can attack this deck’s set up are fast attackers, preventing Tropical Beach from being on the field, one-hit-knock-outs on Blastoise to shut down the Energy acceleration, or simply maintaining an even Prize trade and hope your late-game N does the trick.

Life Dew is one of the few single card counters to combat the heavy 1HKOs that Keldeo-EX and Black Kyurem EX can put out. This reduces the Prize count your opponent takes and often opens up the door to getting in a few more attacks against this cannon of a deck.

The best way to maintain your matchup against this deck, however, is countering their Tropical Beaches and keeping them from being able to draw into their Energy recovery cards.

Supporters like N and Ghetsis can pull this off well, combined with replacing their Tropical Beach, typically with a Virbank City Gym, but talks of running Frozen City to punish the ‘Deluge’ use by putting 2 damage counters for each Energy placed onto a non-Plasma Pokémon.


Post-Nationals, a lot of people saw the insane amount of “outs” (means of trumping a tech meant for the deck or maintaining control through rough spots during a game) that Gothitelle/Accelgor possessed. Going into the event, the counters were widely known: Audino BCR to remove paralysis and a damage counter to open up the ability to attack, double Keldeo-EX with a means of retreat (typically via D Energy in Darkrai EX decks or Float Stone in other decks like Plasma), Sneasel NXD’s Corner attack, and even Snorlax PLS to prevent Gothitelle’s ability to retreat.

While all of these were sound ideas for balancing a deck’s matchup against this tower of locking power, none of them held any water when it came to Gothitelle’s options for getting out of whatever means used.

For instance, Corner eventually kills a Gothitelle after the 13th attack, giving Gothitelle the chance to set up their entire field (including a second Gothitelle) and go back to locking your field at the expense of 1 Prize card. The only time this is a feasible option is if Plasma or Darkrai is so far ahead on Prizes and time will expire before the 13 turns of Corner completes.

The reason this has issues, however, is that if Gothitelle can Pokémon Catcher anything with a Retreat Cost too high to retreat that turn, the Corner is broken and they begin to lock you again.
Difficult to search out under Item lock.

Up next is Audino. While under Item lock, it’s impossible to search out this Pokémon, which can cause more frustration than trying to open a bag of chips that refuses to open. By the time you get it out, the bag bursts and your chips are everywhere. It is simply a mess to try and actively get the card out and usable when you need it without running multiple, which can lead into ruining other matchups that aren’t Gothitelle due to starting with it or simply being forced to bench it at times.

If we had a more solid way of getting this card out under the Item lock I’m sure we’d see more use out of it at the upcoming World Championships.

Keldeo-EX has often been the best way of getting around the paralysis portion of Gothitelle/Accelgor’s lock strategy. Being able to Rush In to remove the status conditions on your active Pokémon and attacking the active Gothitelle can be game changing for the player being locked. This forces the Gothitelle player to constantly be setting up a new Gothitelle and can reduce their options for fishing out Accelgors or the energy required to attack.

The wall we run into with Keldeo-EX is when Gothitelle can sacrifice the resources to Knock Out a Keldeo-EX despite the expense and then actively lock the last one in play for the remainder of the game or even simply KO it as well, then lock whatever is left.

Druddigon Promo is up next in our list of techs. Its ability to actively drag up any Pokémon on the bench to the Active Spot for one Energy via Taunt can easily win you the game. While this is like a Pokémon Catcher under the lock that can pull active a hefty Retreat Cost Pokémon like Dusknoir BCR or Musharna NXD, the Gothitelle player could be forced to spend two Double Colorless Energy to retreat these Pokémon, allowing you at least two turns of attaching Energy before Accelgor can attack you. This allows you to start attacking whoever you want and take back control.

The issue Druddigon faces is that if Gothitelle has saved any Float Stone, they can simply attach it to the new active Pokémon and free retreat back into the lock to clear the Druddigon off the field and remove it as a threat.

Like Blastoise, the best way to counter this deck is to tamper its set up via removing Beach, removing their Items via Ghetsis, and most of all, getting two turns of no lock thanks to going first. If you can pull these off, you may find yourself with the upper hand against this deck. Keep the emphasis on the “may.”


When it comes to Darkrai decks, we’ve seen its dirty laundry for a couple seasons now and know its strengths and weaknesses. While this deck isn’t something that is typically teched for anymore (RIP Retaliate), the deck has a need for maintaining resources that you can take advantage of when you’re up against it.

max potion plasma freeze plf
Even a regular Potion will do.

The best thing you can do against Darkrai EX variants is count their used resources. Know how many Hypnotoxic Lasers, Pokémon Catchers, Energy Switches, and most importantly, Dark Patches they’ve played. The deck relies on these cards much like Black Kyurem EX relies on Blastoise to be effective.

Managing your damage against the deck is also your ally. Knowing what they can/should/shouldn’t be attaching to or Energy Switching to can play to your advantage if you’re placing your Pokémon Catchers, snipe damage, and Hypnotoxic Lasers in a correct manner that isolates where they can denote their resources.

Playing smart with your bench can help against their Absol PLF, and if you’re having a rough time against the deck, adding Max Potion or even Potion can help significantly.

Aside from Gothitelle, this is another matchup where Audino can be of great use to you. The better part is that you can actually search out the Audino against this deck and use it for clutch plays to heal and remove Laser sleep.


With the main decks covered, it’s time for you to scour the deck libraries and collections to find what will set YOU apart this year at the 2013 Pokémon World Championships. Will we have a repeat champion or will a new star emerge this year? The determination to redefine a format and place yourself in the history books is upon us this weekend.

If this article is meant to do anything, it’s to inspire creativity, motivation, and a drive to take the format by the reigns and make it yours on the grand stage. Take the information provided here and isolate what you can put into your deck to take advantage of the metagame’s weaknesses.

I want to remind all competitors to not be afraid to take a leap of faith and not worry about what may be ridiculed. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that victory tends to favor those who have prepared the unexpected and tuned their decks to go against the grain in a heavily specified metagame. I wish all the invitees the best of luck at the World Championships and I look forward to seeing you all there!

And I’d like to make a special shout out to Chris Fulop for his knowledge of the early years of this game as well as Austin Baggs for his insight through the SP era.

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in. Legacy discussion: ?