Battle Roads Report and Deck Analysis: Donphan and Dragons

by Pikkdogs ~ September 25th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a battle roads report and a deck analysis of the Donphan and Dragons deck.  I also have my inter dimensional sidekick Pedro with me.  Pedro, would you be kind enough to tell all the kids out there how I chose the Donphan and Dragons deck for this battle roads.

Sure, well if you read Pikkdog’s article about a week ago, first we apologize, and second you would know that all of the Michigan and Indiana players got together and kicked his a-

Hey, you can’t say that word here.

I was going to say Acidophilus.

They, kicked my Acidophilus?

Yeah, it’s a bacteria, Ed can’t yell at us for saying the name of a bacteria.

I suppose he can’t, go on.

As I was saying, at your last two Battle Roads you got your Acidophilus kicked around, so you decided to change decks.  And I think you chose Donphan and Dragons because it is a very simple deck, and it takes a real imbecile to screw it up.  All ya gotta do is set up 1 thing, nothing should go wrong.

The Deck

Okay, I get it Pedro.  Maybe I’m not a fan of complicated decks.  I did get tired of losing with my Mew deck, so I decided to use Donphan and Dragons instead.  As you said it is a simple deck.  All you gotta do is set up an active Donphan Prime.  For one energy, “Earthquake” does 60 damage and puts 1 damage counter on each of your benched Pokemon.  So you put up a bunch of Zekrom’s and Reshiram’s on the bench and absorb all of those damage counters.  When needed you can bring up one of the dragons and use “Outrage”.  This attack does 20 damage plus 10 for every damage counter on Reshiram or Zekrom, so that means Donphan’s attack will power Reshiram and Zekrom’s attacks.  The emphasis will be on Zekrom because both Yanmega Prime (the most popular Pokemon in the format) and Tornadus (the most popular Donphan counter this week) are both weak to lightning.

The matchups for this deck are pretty good.  Donphan is very good against Pokemon like Cincinno, Zekrom, and Magnezone.  When you play against a bad matchup like Yanmega Prime or Torandus, you can just use Zekrom.  The only thing that this deck doesn’t like is Beartic, and nobody plays Beartic.  Gothitelle is not a very good matchup, unless you decide to run Mew Primes and a Jumpluff.  Reshiboar and Reshiphlosion are decent matchups, if you get a good start you should be able to win, but the matchup is just about even. 

As you can probably tell because Donphan and the dragons only take about 25 spots in your deck including the energies, there is a lot of room for techs.  A lot of your 35 other spots will be dedicated to cards that improve consistency, there is room for techs against certain decks.  My friend Bohdan, who inspired me to write this article, techs in 2 Mew Primes and a Jumpluff to go against Gothitelle.  I like the card Lost Remover because it is a very disruptive card that can be used again with Junk Arm.  Max Potion is also a great tech to use in a Donphan deck, an easy way to heal a Donphan Prime is a no brainer.

A no brainer that reminds me of someone.

Are you gonna make fun of me again Pedro.

No, I would never do that. I wasn’t thinking of you, ………………………….  I was thinking of ………………………… Tom Bosley.

The guy from Happy Days, why are you making fun of him?

Not a fan man, not a fan.

Well I love Tom Bosley, and we must finish the article. Lets go on to the list that I used for the tournament. 

The List

Well I was not able to spend half as much time testing this deck as I would have liked to, so I must say that my list is not very good.  However, this list can be a good starting point if you guys wanna start testing with this deck.  It is a very good deck now, and once Kyurem comes into the format the deck will be much better.


  • 4 Phanpy HGSS (I kind of like the CL one better, but you need every single HP you can get with Pokemon Catcher out there)
  • 4- Donphan Prime (I would stick to a 4-4 line and not go down to 3-3)
  • 3-Zekrom Bw
  • 1-Reshiram Bw


  • 3-Pokemon Collector
  • 2-Dual Ball
  • 4- Professor Juniper
  • 3-Professor Oak’s New Theory
  • 3-Sage’s Training
  • 1-Cheren
  • 1-Max Potion-awesome card, I wish I would have ran 1 more.
  • 1-Lost Remover
  • 1-Tropical Beach (1/2 playing this card because it does work in this deck, and 1/2 playing it because I spent so much money on it that I need to use it a couple times to justify the purchase) It actually does work in this deck
  • 4-Pokemon Catcher
  • 4-Junk Arm
  • 4-Pokemon Communication
  • 2-Switch
  • 2-Plus Power


  • Double Colorless Energy-4-May sound kind of weird, but it lets you attack with the dragons, and it lets you “Outrage” faster.
  • Rainbow Energy-4- used to put more Damage counters on the dragons.
  • Fighting Energy-5.

The Tournament

So that is what I played going into the tournament, let’s see how it went. 

I bet I can guess that you got enough championship points to fit into a donut hole.

Why are you always so cynical of my performances?

Well if you would ever win something, I might give you an “addaboy.

It’s sad that I need to seek approval from my own sidekick.  Anyway, today’s tournament was in Tecumseh, Mi.

Is that town named after  the Native American chief who fought against the American’s in the war of 1812?

Either that or the company that sells small engines and air compressors.

Anyway, the tournament was held in Tecumseh.  It is always held at the Masonic Temple there, which is a fairly nice place for a tournament.  I like going to Tecumseh because it is only an hour away, so I don’t have to get up too early.  Anyway, I woke up a little earlier than I wanted to, and ate a little bit of left over pancakes for breakfast before leaving.  As I was driving down there I decided that I was just playing for fun today.  My testing from the previous night didn’t go too well, I couldn’t even beat my own crappy Reshipholsion deck.  So I decided that my goal today was just to get some feedback on my deck and talk to a lot of my friends.

I got to the venue a little later than I wanted, but it all worked out fine.  I said “hi” to all my Team Warp Point buddies and met some new friends from Ann Arbor.  It was great seeing everyone again, I love talking to all my buddies.  Anyway, I filled out a decklist and talked to friends while waiting for the first round tournaments.

Round 1- Mike (from team Bertoli) Donphan Prime, Zoroark, and Tornadus.

The day pretty much started like I thought it would.  I got a decent start with a Donphan Prime and Zekroms, but my opponent just used Pokemon Catcher to bring up the Zekroms and knock them out with Donphan.  Without Zekrom I was unable to counter Tornadus, so the game only lasted about 15 minutes, he had control of the game pretty much the whole time.

0-1. Not very surprising, I only expected a couple wins today, and I didn’t get one here.  The matchup was pretty much auto-loss, but I was distracted by the fact that I was not very hopeful about my record on the day.  I thought my day was over, but I soon found out that the only person that circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills is Pikkdogs.

Round 2- Leavanny/Belossom

This game was against a beginner who had kind of a hodgepodge grass deck.  He started first with Sewaddle and Metapod, I started Phanpy.  I got a turn 2 Donphan Prime and knocked out 3 straight basics for the win.

1-1– After this game I helped the guy improve his deck.  I hope he continues with the game and keeps improving.

Round 3- Reshiboar

I start this game really poorly.  I don’t think I got a turn 2 Donphan, and he was able to get “Blue Flaring” fairly quickly.  But I was able to withstand a couple “Blue Flares”, and I twice used Pokemon Catcher to bring up the Emboar.  By this time I was down 2-3 prizes and was feeling pretty defeated.  I did have his Emboar stuck for a couple turns and thought I might be able to deck him out.  He was using 2 “Roast Reveal”s per turn, and usually used a Cheren.  So that meant he was drawing 10 cards a turn!  But once he noticed I was waiting for him to deckout so he used a PONT and started passing.  So I ended up knocking out the Emboar with Donphan Prime and knocked out every Tepig that he tried to lay down on the field.  I also knocked out a Cleffa to bring me pretty much even in prizes.  At this point he started to rely on a Bad Boar that he setup early in the game, and he was able to get a couple knock outs with it.  However he was not able to get enough fire energies to use Bad Boar again.

2-1-I was somehow able to pull off another victory.  I should have never won this game, I just somehow was able to throw a Hail Mary pass, and it was answered.  I was really lucky here

Round 4- Cincinno/Zoroark (maybe Tornadus)

This round was against another Team Warp Point friend.  I started with a Zekrom and he started with something like Hoot Hoot.  He started first and used a Pokemon Collector.  Since I started with Zekrom he thought I was playing ZPS, so he got 2 Zorua’s and another Hoot Hoot.  The problem was that I was not playing Zekrom and he took 3 Pokemon that are not good against Donphan Prime.  I took advantage of his misplay and used Pokemon Catcher to knock out some Cincinno’s and the Zorua’s.  He could never really recover from the misplay and I ended up winning fairly easily.

3-1-Feeling pretty good here.  I did a lot better so far than I ever thought I would.  I thought I would win a couple games here and there, but I thought that my list just wasn’t tight enough.  But, so far I was doing pretty well, I knew that the rest of the day would be much harder so I was not very optimistic.

Round 5- Jack Iller with Stage 1 Rush

Today was the first time I actually got to talk with Jack, he seems like a really nice guy.  He is also a really good player, he is always one of the top cut players in Tecumseh.  As we were shuffling I looked at some of my buddies who were also playing at the same table with 3-1 records and told them that we each control our own destiny, we just needed to win out.  Now I am not sure exactly what happened early in this matchup, but I know it was not good.  I don’t think I could get a Donphan out fast and started attacking with Zekrom. I actually used Tropical Beach early in the game because I couldn’t attack that much.   I think he was able to get a couple knock outs with Yanmega and then was able to use Cincinno to finish up a Zekrom.  I finally got a Donphan out and started to take care of some Cincinnos. All of a sudden the Donphans were knocking out everything in sight, and got me back in the game.  I was able to use a Zekrom to knock out the Yanmega’s when I needed it.  Somehow I was able to come back and win this game.  It was really thrilling to come back from so many prizes to a great player.

4-1– So on a day that I thought I was just going to get some good testing done for the next tournament, I end up making it to the last round with a chance to make top cut.  All I need is one more win, and I get a championship point and prove Pedro wrong.

Round 6-Tracey with Reshiphlosion.

I’ve seen this show before, I have a good day and Tracey comes along and gives me my final loss.  If you guys don’t know Tracey is probably the most accomplished female who ever played the game.  And in my opinion she probably still is the best player in the state.  She was a long time SP user and has always done very well.  I think I might have beaten her 1 time before in a best of three game, but she ended up winning the 2 other games.  So I never really have beaten her before, she is just that good.  So on to our game here.

She starts with a Cyndaquil and “Beat”s my Phanpy.  I end up getting a Donphan Prime the next turn but she gets a Reshiram on her next turn and is able to “Blue Flare” for the knockout.  I then get another Donphan Prime and Catcher up the Typhlosion twice, and eventually knock it out.  It was here that Max Potion came in very handy.  I was able to use it twice to keep Donphan alive.  After the Typhlosion goes down Tracey ends up getting 1 more.  There was one time where I loaded up Zekrom with Rainbow Energies and tried to use “Bolt Strike”, but Zekrom was catchered and knocked out before I could attack.  I used Catcher again to knock out the Typhlosion, and her hands were tied.

Ohhh kinky.

Stop it Pedro! that’s my friend, don’t say things like that.  Well I won’t be expecting a Christmas card from her, but lets get back to the report.

She was able to “Outrage” a couple of times, but she was not able to take the last two prizes.  I was able to win on turn 3.

5-1-  Forget the Buffalo Bills, nobody circles the wagons like Pikkdogs.  I finally beat my friend Tracey and am able to make Top Cut.

How the heck did you top cut, and how did you beat all those good players?

I think its the power of negative thinking.  As long as I think I’m going to lose I can somehow come back and win.

Top Four-Dan with ZPS

Dan is a great guy that I have played in a couple of great matches in the past.  Most notably we played a great game at Indiana states last year.  I played Uxie donk and he played Machamp.  We ended up going back and forth a lot of times and he was somehow able to pull it off.  He ends up coming into this matchup undefeated.

I start with a Phanpy and he starts first with a Zekrom.  He ends up finding a Pachirisu and 2 Plus Powers, the problem was he had accidentally Junk Armed one of his electric energies and did not have the energy to Pachirsu donk me.  The trouble was that next turn I still had only 1 Pokemon active.  All Dan needed to do was use a Super Scoop Up to get the energies from Zekrom and then use them on Pachirisu, but he ended up flipping tails.  He then  Junk Armed and flipped tails again.  After this string of really bad luck I end up setting up Donphans and use them to knock out the Zekroms.  If he tried to use Tornadus, I would just “Outrage” with Zekrom and knock them out.  I end up winning a close 1st game.

In the second game Dan again whiffs on a Donk, and I am pretty much able to control the field.  I then go on to wait for the winner of the other game.  That game featured my buddy Matt Kish versus Mike, the guy who beat me in the 1st round.  Unfortunately for the me and Matt Mike ends up winning fairly easily.  Matt was playing Magnezone and those guys don’t do well against Donphan.

6-1-Very happy with what I got out of today.  I did not expect to do this well, and I ended up making it to the finals.  I knew that if I were to win I would need to do something weird like donk a Phanpy two times.

Top 2- versus Mike with Donphan/Zoroark/Tornadus

Game one was actually a lot closer than I thought it would be.  I use Donphan Prime and Max Potion to knock out some Tornaduses (Tornadi?), and am able to get a wash on the Donphan war.  We end up spending about 35 minutes on this game and I scoop when we are tied on prizes at 3-3.  I scooped because my deck was just about empty, so I would have decked out before anybody could have won.  In game 2 I play through a couple turns and find out that I could not get the easy win.  So I end up throwing my hand on the table and congratulating him on the extra championship point.

6-2– Overall very happy with what happened on this day.  I haven’t gotten into a championship game since Cities last year, so it is a rare treat to be invited to play for so long.  Both Mike and Dan are really great guys, so it was a treat to play with them, as it was top play all my opponents.  A really big thanks to my buddy Bohdan for convincing me to play this deck.  He also gave me a lot of tips during the week, so thanks for everything Bohdan, this ones for you!

I had a tough time going home.  I had a headache after the tournament, and that made the drive very uncomfortable.  I eventually got home and opened my 4 prize packs, and ended up pulling squadoosh.  Man I can’t seem to pull anything from EP packs.  In fact I didn’t just get squadoosh, I got full art squadoosh.

Today I did learn a couple things.  I did learn that this deck is pretty good, and a good play for anyone who likes simple decks.  I also learned that my Tropical Beach, Max Potion, and Lost Remover techs were pretty good.  Lost Remover wasn’t as good as the others, but they were all still good.  You probably need 2 Max Potions in every deck like this, it is that good.  And while not everyone has a Tropical Beach, if you have it and you don’t expect to find Gothitelle, I would play it.  One last thing that I learned is that everyone who said that the winner of the coin flip is the winner of the game is a complete liar.  I only started once all day, and that was the 2nd game of the championship game (so there was not even a coin flip).  Though I did go behind in just about every game (except the Leavanny game) there is still enough time to come back.

But anyway I had a decent day, wouldn’t you say Pedro?  Don’t you have something to say to me?

Well I guess I could say “Addaboy”!

Yay! Thanks Pedro.  Well I’m done here, how do you think we should end this article.

I think we should say thanks to all the Judges.

I agree, thanks Judges!

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