Double Cities Report with Hydreigon plus Hydreigon Deck Analysis

by coolestman22 ~ December 6th, 2012.

Hey OneHitKO people, it’s getting to be time where you guys need to see another article, so I thought I may as well do a tournament report like Pikkdogs used to do (Except these will be somewhat successful reports) even though I usually don’t write reports (Although the purpose of the reports are more to show you more about playing the deck), and then so you have something interesting to read about I’ll do a deck analysis of the deck I believe is the BDIF of this format, Hydreigon/Darkrai. Anyway, I feel like getting this started, so here are the reports:

Saturday, November 17th: Cameron Park, CA

I wake up early, make my decklist, and wait for the people who I promised a ride to to show up. Once they both get here, we start the two hour drive to Cameron Park.

When we get there we are greeted by cabd from the SixPrizes forums, and I play some fun games with the people I came with. It turns out that 15 Seniors show up, 1 short of a Top 4. I wait a bit for pairings and I am already paired against someone I’d rather not play early.

Round 1 vs. Emily w/Blastoise

I start Sableye to her Kyurem and she goes first. I have a dead hand, and when she plays a Juniper my hopes sink, but then she plays her Tropical Beach and I’m happy. I play a few cards and Beach, drawing into a Supporter and a Dieno. The next turn I opt to Confuse Ray as I still don’t have Items that would be worth Junk Hunting for, and I get a heads. A Confusion Tails and a Candy to Hydreigon later I Night Spear to KO her Kyurem. I then proceed to take out her Blastoise, and although she manages to get a new one out I still steamroll.

1-0

Round 2 vs. Griffin w/Hydreigon

I start Ditto to his Dark Deino, and I see relief in his eyes when I Transform into a Sableye. I bench a couple Deino and a Darkrai and Junk Hunt for stuff that would net me a Hydreigon next turn. He Ns me, but I still manage to get the Candy-Hydreigon. When he manages to get his Hydreigon out I Dragonblast it. He makes a crucial misplay late game by Max Potioning his Darkrai before retreating, meaning that he no longer can KO my Hydreigon because he has a Darkrai stuck active, and I manage to win from there.

2-0

At this point everyone I had come with was 2-0, while five of the other good Seniors had taken a loss already (including Griffin and Emily). The only other 2-0 at this point is playing a Tornadus Donk deck and we all feel confident. We joke about how height is an advantage in Pokemon (The shortest of us is 5’10), and eat lunch. Lunch then proceeds to end and I get my Round 3 pairing.

Round 3 vs. Blake w/Hydreigon

Blake is the other guy I came with, and I’m 3-1 against him at Premier Events, so I know that at least I’m not facing a donk deck. However, I’m not confident here because I know that he’d been playing Hydreigon a lot longer than me, but I had also been playing it long enough that the Hydreigon mirror is usually determined by who set 2 Hydreigon up and who didn’t. Knowing that, I kind of felt afraid because I had been having some consistency issues recently, but I had cut my 1-0-1 Serperior tech recently as well, hoping that it would help.

However, I start Deino to his Sableye and he gets a T2 Night Spear to kill my only Dieno in play. I make a game out of it for a bit, but when time is called I have no way to take prizes without giving some up.

2-1.

At this point I know I need extremely good resistance to cut, but I feel like I should try to get points out of this at least.

Round 4 vs. Conner w/Mewtwo/Rayquaza/Eels

I start Sableye to his Rayquaza EX and he Celestial Roars, and I’m surprised when he flips over a Double Colorless Lol.Energy. I read the text on Celestial Roar and I laugh a bit when it says that you have to attach the energy, meaning the Rayquaza would have a useless energy attached until it was knocked out. He gets a couple Eels set up, but I Catcher-kill them and he has none left. He can’t power anything up, and I kill a Ray with Dragonblast and a Mewtwo with Cresselia for game.

3-1.

I think it’s the middle of that game when I hear chatter from the next game over about the Fliptini someone teched into their Hydreigon deck for Deino paralysis. Griffin says “Victini is strange. Like a three-legged donkey”. Honestly I don’t know what that has to do with the article, but I thought it was a funny thing for someone to say.

Blake lost against the other guy I came with, Paulo, but I find out that my tough games in the first two rounds paid off as both were 3-1. My tiebreakers consist of 3 3-1s and a 2-2, and Blake’s consist of a 4-0, 3-1, and 2 2-2s, meaning we’re both at 11-5, but because he doesn’t have the 4-0 in his Opponent’s Opponents I sneak into cut. This would have been so much simpler if another Senior had shown up.

Top 2 vs. Paulo w/Klinklang

Game One: We both start with dead hands, but my Sableye start plus Skyla topdeck nets me a Computer Search that I Junk Hunted for about 5 times to get a slow but certain setup. He is finally forced to Juniper 2 Rare Candy and 2 Klinklang away and he draws crap off of it. From there I put Eviolites on board and steamroll.

Game Two: He is unable to evolve his Klinks early game and I kill 3 in two turns. Afterwards I kill his EX’s with Night Spear, and when he Max Potions his active Darkrai when I have two prizes left I Catcher-Dragonblast the other for game.

So I end the day with a win, and while the only good thing I pull is a Ditto, I still get a cool-looking trophy and 50 points (or so I think). Turns out I made a mistake on my POP ID meaning that I don’t get the points from it. Oh well.

In the end, the results looked like this:
1st: Theo S w/Hydreigon
2nd: Paulo A w/Klinklang
3rd: Blake U w/Hydreigon
4th: Emily C w/Blastoise

Friday, November 23rd: Modesto, CA

After my win in Cameron Park I decide I like Hydreigon enough to play it again. I make no changes to my list except that I cut a Catcher for a Golden Catcher I had traded for at league two days before. I meet up with Benjamin, the Junior who I’m giving the ride to today, and we start the hour-and-a-half drive to Modesto.

I meet up with some of the guys from the Sacramento area including Griffin, Connor, and Zachary, and we see that once again only 15 Seniors had shown up. We complain about that until pairings are posted, and I’m paired against Griffin for the second Cities in a row.

Round 1 vs. Griffin w/Hydreigon

This game is fairly uneventful. I get a T2 Night Spear and his Deinos don’t survive very long. When he drops his Mewtwo I have Catcher-Cresselia for my final two prizes.

1-0.

Round 2 vs. Will w/Blastoise

This was one of the most nerve-wrecking games I’d ever played. I get a quick start but he manages to load up a Keldeo with enough energy to one-shot an Eviolited Darkrai. Thankfully I Juniper into the Blend I need to score a KO on the Keldeo as it had been hit with the 30 Night Spear damage, and after that I N him to one to lock his energy and Junk Hunt for the Catcher I need to win. He whiffs both the N and the Energies he needs and I Catcher out his Mewtwo and use Cresselia. It’s safe to say that if I don’t draw that Blend he takes the win.

2-0

Round 3 vs. I don’t remember w/Hydreigon

I get my second T2 Night Spear of the day and kill all his Deinos, and he scoops.

3-0

Round 4 vs. Zachary w/Darkrai/Landorus/Terrakion

I remember actually having an early lead (possibly thanks to another T2 Night Spear maybe), but when he uses Terrakion to take four prizes he’s down to one left to my three. However, I take a prize somewhere (I think on a Sableye), and then time is called. He attacks with Landorus during his turn, and his field consists of the following: A damaged Darkrai with two energy attached, a Keldeo with a Darkness, and an active Landorus with a Fighting. I N him to one and Junk Hunt for the Catcher he needs for the win, and he whiffs the Energy or Energy Switch.

I actually feel bad for him because he whiffs cut on resistance, but I guess it’s what you have to do to guarantee safety. Yay!

Top 2 vs. Will w/Blastoise

I’m surprised to see my Round 2 opponent, but I guess his deck worked against other decks. Anyway, we talk a bit, and then things start.

Game One: I get a quick Hydreigon and I start hitting Keldeos for 90 and 30, after hitting a clutch Tool Scrapper to get rid of both his Eviolites, and his early game pressure doesn’t work as well as 3 EX kills in four turns.

Game Two: This game goes pretty much the same as Game One except that I kill his Blastoise. Sorry man, but that’s the way things work out sometimes.

Hydreigon Deck Analysis

Remember in my Regionals article where I said I had tried and tried to get Hydreigon to work, but I never had? Well, I have. It’s won me two Cities so far, and it’s probably going to be my play for the next few.

My current Hydreigon list is:

3 Hydreigon
1 Zweilous (Draw In)
2 Dragon Deino (Deep Growl)
1 Darkness Deino
4 Sableye DEX
3 Darkrai EX
1 Cresselia EX
-15

4 Pokemon Catcher
4 Max Potion
3 Dark Patch
3 Rare Candy
2 Ultra Ball
2 Random Receiver
2 Eviolite
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Heavy Ball
1 Computer Search
-24

4 N
4 Professor Juniper
2 Skyla
1 Bianca
-11

7 Darkness Energy
3 Blend GRPD
-10

Some of the odd things about this list is the fourth Catcher, fourth Max Potion, and fourth Sableyeas well as the Heavy Ball instead of a third Ultra Ball and the second Tool Scrapper.

The four-of Catcher and Max Potion are mostly so that you have four to use over the course of the game. Getting the game-winning Catcher in a crucial spot where you’ve used 3 already is clutch, and Catchers are great against Eel decks and they are also necessary against Blastoise decks so that you can KO the damaged EX with Hydreigon. Catchers are also your most valuable tool in the mirror (I’ll explain below).

The fourth Sableye is there because Sableye is my ideal starter, and I want to increase the chance of that happening. With the fourth Sableye you have it in your opening hand 40% of the time and if you include mulligans you start Sableye a good amount (I’m bad at math, so I’m not even going to try). I like having it there because starting Sableye is the key to a quick Hydreigon and it also allows you to get back the clutch Catchers and Max Potions you discard with Ultra Ball and Juniper early game assuming you have extra space for Junk Hunting.

The Heavy Ball is so that I can pretty much Skyla for a Hydreigon as well as thinning my deck a bit. I’d prefer to do this without Ultra Ball as most of the time I don’t want to discard anything (I’ll get to this later in the article).

The second Tool Scrapper is there for the mirror. It forces your opponent to retreat their active Darkrai for a new one, and if you’re the player with Hydreigons remaining at the end of the game this can be really clutch. Even if you don’t, you’re a Catcher away from two prizes without having to Dragonblast, an action that can be risky in the mirror.

Matchups

The Mirror – 50/50

When I first started playing Hydreigon (Right after Regionals), I asked my friend who had been playing the deck for three months now “How do you play the mirror?”.

His response was simple: “You win the Hydreigon war”.

After that, I had to ask “What’s the Hydreigon war?”.

His response was “It’s like the Mewtwo war, but a lot more fun”.

Anyway, back to what makes sense: This matchup will come down to one of two things: Either who gets the first Night Spear or who gets the most Hydreigon out. If you can get an early Night Spear plus a clutch Catcher on the Deino or Zweilous your opponent is waiting to evolve, or if both players have Hydreigons out then it results in yes, a Hydreigon war (Which is, if you ask, more fun than a mindless Mewtwo war).

The Hydreigon war is, unlike the Mewtwo war, commonly won by the player who starts it. Why is this? Because the player who starts the Hydreigon war will have the first kill on a Hydreigon, and if both players get the same number of Hydreigon out either before or during the Hydreigon war the player who starts it will commonly win.

Another clutch factor during the Hydreigon war is energy. For each Hydreigon that goes down you lose 4 energy (with the exception of the first Hydreigon that dies, that one will commonly have none), so you need to have some extra energy on the field at your disposal or have enough Dark Patches to get another Dragonblast off next turn.

One thing I would advise during the Hydreigon war is taking a turn without using a Hydreigon to attack. While this can be a risky play, getting a Night Spear off while you get extra energy into play or Junk Hunting for two Dark Patches to get more energy in play (This will usually net you 1-2 energy unless you get N’d). Unless your opponent has a Catcher you will probably be able to buy a turn (Although it is important not to put ANY energy on your remaining Hydreigon, not necessarily just then but any time you aren’t attacking with it). Doing this buys you a turn to get extra energy on the field. Of course, if you have enough energy to Dragonblast already this is not necessary.

Another thing to note about the mirror is that it is about 70% luck. There is no skill involved in getting a T2 Night Spear and there is little in getting multiple Hydreigons out. The little skill in this matchup is probably the Night Spear damage, knowing whether to Max Potion Hydreigon or Darkrai (Almost always Hydreigon unless you have multiple out) and knowing when to Junk Hunt (Which is fine mid-game in my opinion).

I haven’t played a Hydreigon mirror in a while where both players had Hydreigons out at the end of the game, and I haven’t played in a Hydreigon mirror ever where a player won without Hydreigons (Not that it isn’t possible). The one thing I don’t like about Hydreigon is the luck-based and common mirrors.

Some cards you should include if Hydreigon is popular in your area are:

Zweilous DRX 95

I usually end with the weird techs, but I don’t feel like it today. Zweilous is good in the mirror because it can OHKO an opposing Hydreigon with its second attack for only three Energy and it’s also possible to discard important Blend Energies with a Crunch flip. While it isn’t the best tech, if Hydreigon is common in your area you might consider dropping the Draw In or NVI Zweilous for this.

A Fourth Dark Patch

Dark Patches are really good in the Hydreigon mirror because A: You’ll be discarding energy with Hydreigon’s attack that is incredibly important in the mirror, and because if you’re the player that loses your Hydreigons you still have a separate engine, although you’re still definitely not in a good position.

Blastoise – 75/25 in your favor (If no healing) or 50/50 (If healing)

Keldeo ain’t got nuthin on me.

Unlike the mirror, playing against Blastoise is more about leading Darkrai and finishing Hydreigon than leading Hydreigon and finishing Darkrai. Your best bet is to put Night Spear damage on Keldeos, Tool Scrap Eviolites, and knock out their Blastoise. I believe that in the report I discussed how early game pressure is no match for knockouts on EX’s.

If they manage to load up a Keldeo with enough energy to OHKO anything on your field, do two things: First, knock that Keldeo out as soon as possible, and N them to a low hand. Unless they hit a draw Supporter or a Cilan they will likely energy drought until they topdeck something useful. And since their energy acceleration is from hand and not from field or discard like Hydreigon or Eelektrik, they will likely not have enough energy to attack for the rest of the game, and you can continue to KO three EX’s to win the game.

If they play Super Scoop Up or Max Potions, things could get interesting, however. If they can heal the damage done by Night Spear to any of their Pokemon, you can no longer take three EX kills in four turns. However, most lists I’ve seen that use healing only play 3 Super Scoop Ups or 3 Max Potions, so your goal in the early game should be to do what you can to make them use up the healing. Your win will only be delayed a couple turns barring them hitting heads or Energy Retrievals a lot more frequently than you’d like. If they take a few early prizes, Ning them could be great.

Some players will try to go early game Kyurem against you. Have none of it, Dragonblast that Kyurem right away. If there’s an Eviolite attached, Tool Scrapper is your friend. Max Potion the Darkrais that got hit and then Junk Hunt the Max Potions back. While this does use up a turn and give up a prize, unless you somehow go down four prizes before you start your “3 EX kills in four turns” strategy you usually win from that alone.

Unlike some people, I see no need to tech for this matchup unless your area has a whole lot of it. Seeing as how in 10 matches I played against it 3 times (1 of which was the same player), and how I’ve won all four games I played against it, I see no need to tech a card that, in fun games with my friend, makes him instantly scoop when I start it (about 1 in 10 games, imagine starting Shaymin Round One), and it’s only really been the difference in the game (meaning he won because of it) a couple times. I see no need to tech for a matchup that is 60/40 in your favor at the worst.

I will admit Shaymin has other uses, but I really just don’t like it. If your area is 75% or more Blastoise (The only time I’d tech for it), I’d play Virizion EPO instead. It goes through Eviolite and doesn’t require the opponent to take prizes before you. This is just my opinion, I know some people love Shaymin, but I honestly don’t like it.

RayEels – 60/40 in your favor

RayEels is the BDIF from Cities results so far (although I still say Hydreigon is), so a decent matchup is in order. RayEels is usually based on whether you hit clutch Catchers and whether you set 2 Hydreigon up. Their strategy will to be to use the Shiny Ray to kill Hydreigons and go through Eviolite on Darkrai. Your best bet is to try to hit the Ray with Night Spear damage early game and Catcher-KO their Eels to prevent them from using Rayquaza EX to run through you.

If they drop a Ray EX, use Hydreigon to knock it out. Even if they do kill your Hydreigon, you will have taken two prizes to their one off of that, and you will be able to take more prizes with Darkrai in a turn or two. If you have enough of a prize lead from killing the Eels you should be able to win at the end if they drop a Ray. If you use 3+ Catcher killing Eels you should try to get a Junk Hunt off to get them back, as you will need a game winning Catcher in a lot of games with this deck.

If RayEels is popular enough in your area you could tech Giratina and Giant Cape (Although I wouldn’t recommend it). Giratina OHKOes any Dragon-weak Pokemon and the Giant Cape will prevent mini-Ray from OHKOing it right back.

I honestly don’t know much else about this matchup as RayEels isn’t too popular in my area. There are probably other articles that describe this matchup in more detail, so check those out if you have extra time.

Landorus Decks – 50/50

Dragon Deino is mainly there for the Landorus matchup. It could also be useful in combination with the three legged donkey (If you don’t get that go back and read the article), but I don’t think I would play that. Landorus applies a lot of early game pressure to you, although two Night Spears and a Dragonblast result in two Landorus kills for you if you manage to get a Hydreigon out. One thing to watch for is them using Land’s Judgement, but if you get enough energy in play this shouldn’t matter, and if they can for sure next turn you can always use Cresselia (Sure, you might lose a Darkrai, but you won’t lose the Energy).

If they use Garchomp as a secondary attacker, be sure not to keep Blends on your active as Mach Cut will be bad for you and your ability to Dragonblast.

There aren’t any techs against Landorus that I can think of, but playing more Dark Patch can certainly help because they will probably get a Land’s Judgement off on your Darkrai once or twice a game (Although if it’s twice you’re in trouble), and you need to keep your energy in play.

A Couple Tips and Tricks

A couple things I’ve found while playing Hydreigon are that if you start with Sableye and another Pokemon, it’s often best not to start that Pokemon on your bench. If you go second and your opponent has a Catcher, you will be less likely to have a T1 Junk Hunt, and it’s definitely better to T1 Junk Hunt for sure than a possibility that the Darkrai or Deino you’re holding will be your active Pokemon. Even if they do N, you will be likely to get a Deino playing 2 Ultra Ball, 1 Computer Search, 2 Skyla, 3 Deino, and 11 outs to Supporters that aren’t previously listed.

Another thing is that you don’t want to discard too much energy for Dark Patch early game. Remember that you only have 3 Dark Patch (if you go off of my list), and some of those you’ll want to use to recover from discarding energy because you used Dragonblast. You want to rely more on manual energy drops and less on Dark Patch with Hydreigon because Dark Patch isn’t all that critical to your strategy.

Sometimes leaving Energy on your active so that you can then Max Potion and discard the Darkness so that you can Dark Patch it back is good so that you can play a Dark Patch and make yourself less vulnerable to a late-game N or so that you can draw an extra card with Bianca. This is a pretty rare scenario, but it can be a good play at times. If you don’t have a Dark Patch, however, definitely don’t do that because it’s better to have the energy in play for sure.

One more thing I want to say is that a mid-game Junk Hunt is not always a bad thing. Of course if you need to kill something that turn it’s not the best play, but giving up a turn and a prize for two Trainers you need late game isn’t always the worst possible play. In the late game I oftenly find myself looking for that last Catcher to win the game, so I see no reason not to turn your 1-2 outs to a Catcher into 2-4. In the mirror this is a bit less viable because it gives your opponent another turn to look for the Max Potion, but if you time it right there won’t be damage for your opponent to remove.

What do you guys think about Hydreigon for Cities? I like it right now because it has access to Sableye and you have to OHKO to take prizes most of the time. I also like the favorable Blastoise matchup and favorable Eels matchup. If you guys have questions or comments, feel free to comment below, and I’ll try to get an article out about a deck I played against recently that I found to be fairly interesting. Thanks for reading, and I bid you farewell.

Category: Deck Discussion, Tourney Report, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,
  • Solo59486

    You don’t run Shaymin Ex? Is their a reason for this or did I read over it?

    • coolestman22

      I honestly don’t like starting with Shaymin, and the only thing I would use it for is the already lopsided Blastoise matchup. If you start Shaymin, you pretty much just lose, and I probably would’ve started it sometime during that streak of two Cities wins.

      I posted something about thisin the Blastoise matchup section.

      • Solo59486

        That happens to me also but on a rare occasion, and congratulations on 2 cities win!(forgot to say that in last post)

        • coolestman22

          It may have something to do with when my friend plays fun games with Hydreigon and starts Shaymin, he scoops.

          Thanks, I was kind of surprised by that.

          • Winston Edgar

            Are there no terrakions in your area? That is the card that shaymin does the most against for me.

          • coolestman22

            The only Terrakion I recall playing was Round 4 in Modesto and Top 2 in Cameron Park, and I won both of those without Shaymin.

  • Ed

    Nice work, Coolestman! 2 in a row is quite nice. That mixup with the POP ID should be fixable, I’d imagine. You ought to look into that.

    • coolestman22

      I asked the TO about it, haven’t heard back.

  • Seth1789110

    …4 Sableye? 4 Max Potion? 2 Ultra Ball? 10 energy total?

    I’m astounded by how this build is so radically different from like…every other version of it I’ve seen.

    • coolestman22

      4 Sableye is so that I max my chances of starting with it. The deck works so much better when you actually set up, and Sableye is great for that. I remember back in the day when everyone played 4 of their preffered starter.

      4 Max Potion is just my defensive playstyle. I know a bunch of people played three, but I never liked that.

      2 Ultra Ball is because I know people played three before Boundaries Crossed, and I cut one for a Computer Search.

      10 Energy has always been enough for me. I think I’d play 11 max.

      • Seth1789110

        Why wouldn’t you play 3/1 on the Ultra/Computer split to, you know, ensure that you always have plenty to search with?

        Also, when people played 4 of their preferred starter, the game was very, VERY difficult, and much, much less aggressive and cutthroat than what passes for today’s “format.”

        I don’t know how you can play 10 energy and 3 patch. I suppose that means you can’t really attack with Hydreigon. Though, I suppose you are in seniors, so that could explain some changes.

        • coolestman22

          Because people only played 3 Ultra Ball. I added a 3rd now, I just saw no need to then.

          I also played a Heavy Ball.

          I still like four Sableye because the deck functions a lot better when you start with it.

          I attack with Hydreigon plenty. Energy counts are overrated.

          • Seth1789110

            Yeah I like it so if I prize some energy, I can still you know, attack. That way, when I lose 3 energy on a Darkrai I’m not scrapped for energy.

          • coolestman22

            I take a defensive approach to the deck, so I don’t find myself losing Darkrais too often.

          • Seth1789110

            By defensive approach, do you mean you hope that you Eviolite a Darkrai and then hope they don’t Tool Scrapper and then hit you with a brown Pokemon, or…? I honestly don’t know how you get away with 10 energy. You’ve gotta be lucksacking your opponents like a pro.

          • coolestman22

            Try it first, it works for me.

            A bunch of lists I see play 11.