One Ant to Rule Them All, One Ant to Find Them, One Ant to Bring Them in, and in the Darkness Mill Them.

by Pikkdogs ~ February 14th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs with kind of  a deck profile of Durant.  All of the Pokemon writers right now are concentrating on Mewtwo EX and all the other EXs that just came out last week in Next Destinies.  But, a comment on my last article made me think that we are doing all this wrong.  At the end of the Cities season there was one deck that dominated all other decks, and yet we are not talking about it.  So let’s talk about it, let’s talk about Durant.

History and Basics

Durant is a milling deck.  Milling is a term that comes from Magic the Gathering.  There used to be a card named Millstone, and Millstone made your opponent put two cards from their library, or deck, into their graveyard, or discard pile.  Ever since this card came out, the act of discarding cards from the top of your deck has been called “milling.”

Durant came out in the Noble Victories set.  At first not many people recognized how good it was.  They dismissed it as a deck that had a good premise, but they thought that it couldn’t mill enough cards quickly.  I had made an article on it, and a couple people have tried the deck, but it still didn’t catch on.  Then about halfway through Cities season, near the Chicago Marathons, a lot more people started playing the deck.  People realized that the deck could be very disruptive and could stand up and mill 30 cards before 6 prizes were taken. On the last couple weekends of Cities, Durant decks ruled the top tables.  It was very hard to beat a Durant deck later on in Cities season, and they began to take over almost all of the top spots in the Top Cut.

The decklist that was ran after the  Chicago Marathon was very disruptive and could adapt to any type of deck.  Unless Durant was going against a deck that had a really fast start or a quick fire deck, the deck could beat just about any deck.  It was also a very inexpensive deck, so a lot of people could make the deck.  It was very versatile and very disruptive, some people also thought it was very too good, and some called it a “mindless” deck.  A lot of Durant hate started going on, and anyone who played the deck in my area was shamed.  I’m not sure if all this hate was deserved or not, but a lot of anti-Durant feelings have been stirred up since later in the Cities season.

If you would like to see a Durant decklist, everybody’s favorite Reshiphlosion enthusiast, Airhawk, has written an article on it on Six Prizes, you can read it right here.

Durant v.s. Mewtwo EX

Durant is no doubt the hottest deck coming out of Cities Season, and it is poised to get into a head on collision with the most hyped deck from Next Destinies, Mewtwo.  A little about Mewtwo before we get going.

Mewtwo EX has made itself a fast deck with a lot of energy acceleration that can attack quickly.  It uses cards like Eviolite, Skyarrow Bridge, and Tornadus to help Mewtwo EX do its job.  Its attack, “X-Ball” does 20 damage times the amount of energy attached to it and the defending Pokemon.

All of these things makes Mewtwo EX a great matchup for Durant.  Here is a kind of neat list that notes the reason that Durant should have a good shot against Mewtwo

  1. It is resistant to Mewtwo EX.  Durant has the psychic resistance, which is very important in the Durant matchup.  To win, the Durant player is going to have to make the game a couple turns longer than it would be if your opponent got OHKOs all the time.  Using cards like Defender and Eviolite, Durant can thwart a couple KOs and be able to mill all of the cards that are left in the deck.  Now with Mewtwo EX being popular, Durant has a built in Eviolite with the resistance.  It will be very hard for Mewtwo to get a lot of KOs early on because of the resistance.
  2. Durant can remove energies.  Besides milling and playing defense, the next best thing that Durant does is remove energies.  It uses Lost Remover and Crushing Hammer very well to remove energies.  And since Mewtwo relies on a lot of energies to get an OHKO on Durant, Durant will always have a lot of targets in its energy removal.  Even if the Durant player gets some bad Crushing Hammer flips, they should be able to remove enough energies so that Mewtwo will not be able to do an ungodly amount of damage.
  3. Durant can attack with one energy.  Even though in the past it has been nice to load Durant up with Special Metal Energies, it can attack with just 1 energy.  Since Mewtwo does rely on the opponent to attach a couple energies to attack for a lot of damage, Durant will only attach one energy and hence, make Mewtwo not do as much damage as it could.
  4. Durant is disruptive, and will stop energy attachments.  Durant can mill 4 cards a turn, that might not sound like a lot, but it does add up very quickly.  Not only is every energy milled one card closer to a loss, but it is one card that you cannot attach to your active Mewtwo Ex.  As mentioned, the Mewtwo player is going to need a lot of energy on Mewtwo, maybe around 5 or 6, and if you don’t get those energies on Mewtwo, you will not be able to get the 6 prizes you need fast enough.

For that reason, I think that Durant has a good Mewtwo matchup.  Of course it is far from an auto-win, and the match-up is susceptible to those weird Durant starts, but I think Durant does have a small advantage.    Durant should be able to stop enough KOs that it can win this matchup most times.  So now that we know something about one of the most important matchups for States, let’s look at how this deck has changed since we last saw it at Cities. 

What it Gained from Next Destinies.

Durant did not gain a whole heck of a lot from ND.  I say that because the deck did not gain any more facets to its character.  It still is the same disruptive deck that it always was.  It did gain a little consistency with cards like Level Ball, but not really any change in the goal of the deck.  Some people say that it may have gotten a deck engine with Battle City, but if that does make its way onto the deck, it will be more for disruption rather than anything that will be a reliable engine.  Here are some of the things that are in ND that you might find in a Durant Deck. 

  1. Prism Energy-Prism Energy is kind of like Rainbow Energy but you don’t have the damage counter and it only works for Basic Pokemon.  Although Special Metal and regular Metal energies are best for this deck, some players like to include this card so they can use Rotom to attack.  I don’t really like the idea of having Rotom attack, but it is always nice to have the option.  Will this addition make the deck better?  Probably not.  Having an extra damage counter on Rotom wouldn’t be that bad, but Prism energy is no doubt better in this situation, even though it is not by that much. 
  2. Level Ball– Level Ball is in this deck because it is a better alternative to Dual Ball.  Most Durant decks played a couple Dual Balls just in case that they didn’t get a Pokemon Collector right away.  Level Ball is a lot better because it guarantees you one Pokemon, instead of maybe getting 1 or 2 Pokemon.  Level Ball also works because it gets every Pokemon that is normally ran in Durant, unless you run Cobalion.  It will not make a huge impact on the deck, but it will increase consistency by a little bit.  And it is always very good to increase consistency.
  3. Skyarrow Bridge-Some people have been talking about playing Skyarrow Bridge in Durant.  It will give Durant and Rotom free retreat.  This is very nice because a lot of people try to counter Durant by Pokemon Catchering a benched Durant or Rotom with no energy.  Skyarrow Bridge would stop this strategy cold.  It would give free retreat to all the Pokemon that you have, except maybe Cobalion if you run him.  Do I think that it will make a big difference?  Probably not that big of a deal.  Since Rotom and Durant only have a 1 energy retreat cost, it is not that big of a deal to burn an energy.  If you want to run this card than it will help you, if you don’t run this card it won’t hurt you that much.  You might also be able to use this card as long as your opponent runs it, like most Mewtwo EX decks do. 
  4. Battle City– This is a promo card that comes in the Mewtwo Ex Box.  Which is a good name for the box, because it does not contain a Mewtwo EX.  Thanks Nintendo!   Anyway, this card is like the old Lucky Stadium card from Neo Destiny.  It let’s you flip a coin and if heads, you can draw a card.  That makes it kind of like Speed Stadium from Diamond and Pearl, though it is different from that card.    Speed Stadium really didn’t have any use in the format, so let’s see if Durant can change the game with Battle City.  The Battle City supporters say that Durant can use this card for disruption.  If your opponent is using Skyarrow Bridge for energy acceleration, you can play this card and stop the free retreat of Celebi Prime.  Will this card work for disruption?  I guess theoretically it could work, but it will have to be proved in gameplay to make me a believer.  It just seems that you need so many things to happen before it works as disruption.  Is it nice as a stadium card to use?  Well, being able to draw another card is nice, but you could use the space in your decklist for other cards.  It is not a terrible card to run, but I don’t really like this card.  Instead of stadium disruption, you can probably use the room in your deck for more energy removal, defense, and consistency. 

Conclusion and Predictions for States 2012

So there is my take on Durant in the current format.  It was really hot coming out of Cities, and it doesn’t really lose any steam.  Mewtwo EX is so far the best deck that other people are talking about, and it should have a favorable matchup against it.  Reshiphlosion and Reshiboar will be played a lot, which is not good for Durant.  So there will be a lot of success and some challenges for Durant.  Overall, I think that Durant will be very successful at States.  I don’t think that it will win every State, Province, and Territory that there is, but I will go out on a limb and say it will be the most successful deck.

What do you guys think of Durant for States?


So long and thanks for all the fish

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