Hey OHKO people, it’s me, coolestman22 again. I wanted to get something out before Regionals, so I thought I’d do something like the Battle Roads preview I did back in May or something like that. I think what I’ll do is review the dominant decks from Autumn Battle Roads and then give you guys lists or something like that, so, without further ado, let’s get started.
Before I review any decks, I’ll post some results of Battle Roads. The results of the Battle Roads that The Top Cut has followed are the following (To save time I’m only doing the decks I’m covering):
Eels: 25 wins, 21 2nd, 45 3rd-4th.
Hydreigon: 24 wins, 26 2nd, 34 3rd-4th.
Ho-oh: 7 wins, 6 2nd, 4 3rd-4th.
In my opinion, Hydreigon has proven itself to be the BDIF of this format. Why I never got the deck to work is beyond me, Darkrai must just not like me. Even though the numbers show Eels as the top deck, Eels also has two different variants, and Hydreigon has only one.
The basic strategy of the deck is to use Darkrai EX to attack and use Hydreigon DRX 97 to move energy from one Darkrai to another, or to do 140 with Hydreigon’s attack. With Dark Trance, not only can you free retreat everything for no cost, you can also abuse max Potion and attack with anything without having to attach an energy. You can use Dark Patch to get energy flowing around, and you can use techs so long as they comply with Blend Energy GRPD, such as Siglyph or Shaymin EX.
In short, the deck functions a lot like the Klinklang BW deck that won U.S. Nationals. I always liked that deck, and I was happy when I heard it had won. I’m glad Hydreigon has proven to be good even though I didn’t get it to work.
Here is a skeleton list for Hydreigon decks:
To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Shaymin EX. My reasoning behind this is that for every game Shaymin is a big help and you wouldn’t have won without it, you’ll start with it. You’ll probably start with it a bit less, which means that yes, it would win you games to have the Shaymin.
However, it might win you more games to not have the Shaymin and to play another tech or Supporter or Dark Patch instead. If you opt to play a Supporter over the Shaymin and you just happen to have that Supporter and no other Supporter, then having that Supporter might be the difference between winning and losing.
However, I did say that I haven’t tested the deck, and I know people who do play it and say they like Shaymin a lot. If you want to play the deck I would suggest trying Shaymin out and seeing if it’s worth the deck spot and occasional lone Shaymin start.
Of all the techs I’m going to mention, Siglyph is probably the one I like the most. It’s the only tech I play in the build I have online that I use to test against (Which honestly isn’t that good). Without Siglyph, a Mewtwo with a lot of energy will run you over, and you need a response to that. the only time I beat a Hydreigon deck with an Eels build all BR’s long was the time I played against a build without Siglyph, that I knew beforehand had no Siglyph.
However, earlier in the tournament that player played against a Hydreigon build that used two Siglyph, and won. It may be that he got lucky, or, more likely, the two consistency spots he had that his opponent had devoted to Siglyph, which was a relatively useless card in the matchup to my knowledge, might have been the difference between a win and a loss.
I think it definitely is worth playing Siglyph in a Hydreigon build if you don’t have a different response to Mewtwo, but if your area has more Hydreigon than Eels it might be wise not to play it, and instead play a Mewtwo counter that helps in the Hydreigon matchup more, such as, I don’t know. You’ll have to think this up yourself.
Giratina EX is an interesting tech option in a Hydreigon deck. The place where I bvelieve it would help the most is against a Terrakion deck or any deck involving Terrakion, but honestly I don’t know what it’s for. All I know is that there are people who play Giratina EX in their Hydreigon build.
Reshiram is another one of those techs that doesn’t make sense to me. I know it would be helpful in the Hydreigon mirror match, and honestly that’s all I know. What you could do is, out of nowhere, drop your Reshiram, Dark Trance to it, move it up because all of your Pokemon have free retreat with the combination of Dark Trance and Dark Cloak, Catcher your opponent’s Hydreigon, and take a prize. However, if you don’t manage to get an Eviolite on your Reshiram and flip tails for the self damage, you could get one-shot right back and lose 2 prizes, 2 Blend, and 2 Dark if your opponent was able to either get another Hydreigon out or use a Giratina or Shaymin EX to get a knockout. Honestly though I don’t think it’s too likely you’ll be OHKOed unless you whiff on the Catcher and attack anyway.
The last tech I want to review is the Hydreigon from Noble Victories. While it isn’t too likely you’ll set it up, it is a good card and when you do set it up its attack is pretty good, but it’s also fairly situational.
I remember reading somewhere about the combination between Night Spear and Dragon Blast (Or whatever Hydreigon’s attack is called). Basically what you can do is if your opponent drops an EX with 160 or 170 HP, you can Night Spear and put the bonus damage on that. Then, you can Catcher that EX up and hit it for 140 and the knockout, and essentially draw two prizes with one attack (Especially if you drew a prize with the 90 from Night Spear). Well, with the NVI Hydreigon you can essentially use the same combination on any non-Eviolited EX. You can also snipe something else, either that has low HP, 130 and you want it to be within Night Spear range, or another EX to Dragonblast later.
If you can get an early Hydreigon NVI, that also helps big, because you can snipe two Swablu or Tynamo or other low HP basics of support Pokemon. If you don’t draw a prize with it off the basic, it puts pressure on them to evolve it next turn or have it knocked out. This might force them to play a Juniper over an N, discarding some key resources and thinning out the deck. If they don’t hit it, they will have wasted the resources and they won’t be able to get their support Pokemon out.
To learn more about Hydreigon decks, as i don’t know all about Hydreigon, here is a link to a very well-written article about Hydreigon.
Eel decks are decks that I am much more comfortable with. I played Eels for all four of my Battle Roads and I escaped with 25 Championship Points, so I can definitely provide more insight on Eels than any other deck.
Right now, there are three different ways to play an Eel deck: Zekeels with Mewtwo, which is the box version, Rayquaza/Eels, and TerraEels. I have played all three variations and the one I like the best right now is the Terrakion version. Here is a basic list you can use, and then you can build on to it which variation you like the best:
To make it a straight Zekeels variant, you would add 2 Mewtwo EX and then either more consistency cards or a few techs, and make the tech Energy Double Colorless. To make it RayEels you would add two Rayquaza EX and 2 Shiny Rayquaza. For the Terrakion variant, you would add 2 Terrakion, a single Mewtwo, and something else.
Thundurus was considered necessary in an Eel deck during the HS-NXD format, but I played without it to success. In this format it is a good idea, though, because of the format’s dependence on basics that turn into Stage Ones and Stage Twos. if you get a T1 Charge off and hit both of your manual energy attachments you can, on Turn Two, Catcher-KO a Deino, Tynamo, Swablu, Shelmet, Gible, Piplup, or whatever. It allows you to take an early lead, as well, which could help you out a lot in the prize race later on. It also discards energy for Dynamotor later on.
The problem with Thundurus is that it doesn’t have quite high enough of a damage output to be good in the late game. Unless your opponent is playing Quad Tornadus Thundurus just doesn’t get the OHKOes you need to win games later on. So to play Thundurus effectively, I have found you need to run enough to consistently start with it. You also need to use Call For Family on Turn One a lot, meaning that a T1 Charge can be, well, a bad idea sometimes.
Zapdos is another one of those early-game cards, but there are a few things that separate Zapdos from Thundurus.
The first is that Zapdos requires a Double Colorless Energy to attack on Turn Two without support from Eels, whereas Thundurus doesn’t. This means that your energy attachments aren’t going to be as easy as they are on Thundurus.
The second is that Zapdos doesn’t require a Pokemon Catcher to attack what you want to attack (Unless you want to hit for Weakness or get around Resistance). In a format without Junk Arm this is a big deal, because you only get to use 4 a game. Not using them in the early game will not only mean that you have them later, but you also have a larger number of them later, meaning you are more likely to draw the Catcher to get the Shaymin EX or Eelektrik active to KO it and win the game. Conserving resources is important in this format, especially in a deck like this without access to Sableye DEX.
The third is that Thundurus puts your energy in the discard pile, while Zapdos doesn’t. While this does seem like a positive at first (And it mostly is), keep in mind that also means you’ll need to hit your manual energy attachment next turn and use it on Thundurus. This is mostly good, though, as discarding energy in this format is extremely hard without Junk Arm.
The fourth is that Thundurus has a higher damage output than Zapdos does. The 30 more means that Thundurus OHKOes the Deinos, Gibles, Shelmets, Archens, etc. that Zapdos doesn’t without some sort of damage support such as PlusPower.
Tornadus EX is mainly used in Eel decks as a counter to Fighting. if your meta has a lot of Terrakion EX decks or Terrakion decks, Tornadus EX is a good option. Otherwise, it’s bad in the mirror and you should steer clear.
Zekrom EX is another tech I don’t like. I was big on it last format, but this one it just isn’t as useful. The only Stage Two deck you’re likely to have troubles with is Hydreigon, and they will usually Catcher-kill your Eels and make it so that you can’t use Zekrom EX effectively, and Rocky Helmet (I played this last season in Eels) will just get Tool Scrapped, making it no longer very good against Mewtwo for these sort of situations.. If your meta is full of Garchomp, though, it’s a decent idea.
Energy Switch isn’t a card I’ve experimented with yet, but it could be good in some situations. It’s good for getting the energy attached to your Emolga somewhere more useful. You can also pull some good plays with Mewtwo with it, and move the third energy from Zekrom BW after retreating it.
To learn more about Eel decks with a more in-depth article, I found a pretty good Eel deck article here. This article definitely isn’t as good as the Hydreigon one, but it provides you with wwhat you need to know. I do think 4-4 Eels is necessary in BW-on, however, and that’s the one part of the article I disagree with. (Do note that the article was written before Dragons Exalted came out, however).
Ho-oh EX is a really cool deck. It has built-in energy acceleration, can hit for 180 with some effort, and is fast with the right list.
I haven’t been able to get the deck to work properly, but I am able to provide some sort of list:
Mewtwo EX is probably the best tech to put in here. It can get a T1 donk, and it helps a lot against Mewtwo coming in and OHKOing Ho-oh. Mewtwo is Mewtwo, and it’s pretty necessary in a deck like this.
Tornadus EX is a tech that a lot of people like, but I don’t see a reason for. Ho-oh already has a Fighting Resistance, and it just gets zapped by Eel decks for 2 prizes. It is good with Stadiums for a T1 60, but unless you choose to run SAB you don’t run any Stadiums.
Since you’re already running all those darks for Sableye, why not give all your Pokemon free retreat? It seems logical enough. If you have space for a Darkrai, I’d suggest playing one.
Sigilyph would serve two purposes in the deck: countering EX’s, and countering Sigilyph. If you play a Sigilyph you can stall for a bit, especially against Eel variants that are a bit teched out. They would be forced to use Eelektrik’s attack, which is a 2HKO on Sigilyph, and in the process possibly lose an Eel.
Ah, Fighting, the meta’s weakness, and Terrakion does the best job of capitalizing on that of anything in the modified format. With a Tool Scrapper it can OHKO any Fighting-weak EX with an Eviolite attached, and it does so for only two energy assuming your opponent got an OHKO the following turn. If they don’t KO it back, you can attach another Fighting and OHKO another EX (With the help of a Tool Scrapper or Catcher in most scenarios). If that happens, which is pretty likely, you will have taken four prizes while only giving up one. Terrakion is just that good.
There are so many techs I could talk about, but since I need to get this article published before Regionals, I’m just going to link you to another article that talks about them. There weren’t many Ho-oh articles to choose from, but I feel the Skittles part of this 6P article did a good job:
I would love to cover some more decks, but I started this article way too late and I need to get it published now, so I’m going to hold off on them. Those are the three main decks of the format and if I wanted to win a tournament I would play one of those three, so I feel like that’s enough.
Anyway, as always, leave a comment below if you have a comment, I’m open to any feedback, discussion, or whatever else. And, of course, good luck at Regionals!Category: Deck Discussion, Regional Championships | Tags: Eelektrik, Ho-Oh, Hydreigon, Regionals