Darkrai EX / Hydreigon In the New Format

by Ethan Cooke ~ September 25th, 2013.
That's Me On The Right

That’s Me On The Right

Hi there, Onehitko readers, my name is Ethan Cooke and I will be writing a weekly deck analysis for this website every Wednesday. Before I begin this week’s analysis, I would like to introduce myself as far as the world of Pokemon is concerned. I’ve been a fan of everything related to Pokemon ever since I can remember, and my first premier TCG event I attended was the State Championships in Texas as a Master during the HS-NXD format with my girlfriend, Samantha.

We had no idea what the format was or even what was legal in the first place, and, consequently, our decks dated back to DP Base set. Luckily, we found a professor that goes by “Master Professor Birch” who was nice enough to give us each theme decks and sign our decklists thus eliminating the need to wait in line. We were so new to the world of Pokemon that we assumed it was played in Single Elimination as opposed to Swiss, and we went home after losing the first round.

Fast forward a bit to the BLW-BCR format, and I know a lot more about playing the TCG than I did at my first event; I got 2nd place at Tyler City Championships with my rogue deck, Registeel EX/Blissey DEX. Fast forward to BLW-PLF, and I took home a 2nd place victory cup with Rayeels. Here are a few other things you may want to know. I’ve never had an official local league so I do a great deal of testing online.  I tend to never play the same deck at 2 different premier events, and I recently passed my Professor Exam (the week after my 18th birthday, actually).

And finally on to the analysis!

The deck I have chosen to analyze today is a deck that has been around for quite some time now and that deck is Darkrai EX/Hydreigon. I feel like this deck is potentially one of the funnest decks around and can be more competitive than some would think. The goal of the deck is a simple one: use dark trance to alternate between attackers, heal attackers with the aid of Max Potion and even give all Pokemon free retreat with the aid of Darkrai’s Dark Cloak. It’s pretty easy to see how this deck can succeed in the right metagame but also easy to see how Max Potion can be a dead draw in some matchups including Blastoise, TDK, and even Virizion/ Genesect.

This is what I feel to be a pretty solid list for this deck:


Pokemon
3 Darkrai EX
3-1-3 Hydreigon
1 Carnivine
1 Entei EX
1 Sableye
1 Virizion EX
T/S/S
3 Dark Patch
1 Dowsing Machine
2 Max Potion
3 Pokemon Catcher
4 Rare Candy
1 Super Rod
4 Ultra Ball
2 Bianca
1 Caitlin
1 Colress
3 N
4 Juniper
3 Skyla
Energy
7 Darkness
4 Blend Energy GFPD
3 Prism


431px-HydreigonDragonsExalted97Card Explanations
3-1-3 Hydreigon
In my opinion, the way you run this line is entirely up to you. If preferred, you could drop Zweilous for a fourth Deino, etc.
This is the way I run my list to reduce Deino starts. As a side note, I run 2 Deep Growl Deino, 1 Plasma Freeze Deino and the Draw In Zweilous.

carnivine-dark-explorers-dex-51 Carnivine
My absolute FAVORITE tech for this deck. Most people don’t even know what this card does which makes me love playing it that much more. His first attack is a single grass for a catcher inflicting poison on the new Pokemon. The second attack is what I love though; for 2 grass and a colorless for an alternate win condition. It states that your opponent must put the defending Pokemon and all cards attached to it back in their hand. This means that if they only have one Pokemon in play, you win the game! This deck allows for Carnivine to be a total surprise with the help of Dark Trance.

entei-ex1 Entei EX
This card is obviously in there to make the Genesect matchup more favorable. I would’ve preferred Victini EX to add in more acceleration but Entei can actually survive a Gold Breaker and this deck is probably the only deck that Entei can score a OHKO out of nowhere and can take all 6 of your prizes within 3 turns if the Genesect player doesn’t react quick enough.

Sableye DEX 621 Sableye
I’ve cut my Sableye count down to own to reduce donks plus in an ideal game I would only use him once or twice but I run a Super Rod if I need to use it.

Virizion1 Virizion EX
With the help of Blends and Prisms, this deck can be immune to special conditions just as Genesect/Virizion.

2 Max Potion
I feel 2 is enough, because my build is based more on Surprise factor then it is remaining fully healed. In certain matchups, I can use Dowsing Machine or Junk Hunt to get them back.

1 Super Rod
This is here in case I discard a Hydreigon via Juniper T1. It’s also an all around useful card to run in my opinion.

3 Skyla
This is here to maintain stage 2 consistency to search out a clutch candy/Ultra Ball etc. on T2.

4 Blend, 3 Prism
I run more Blend than Prism in case of a situation where I need to attack with Hydreigon(Klinklang, Eviolite, etc.)

Conclusion
If you’ve ever played Shift Gear Klinklang (before Plasmaklang), then you know exactly why I find this deck to be so fun. The element of surprise is always a fun one and can be more competitive then most people would imagine. In a deck that utilizes an ability such as Dark Trance or Shift Gear, you can literally run just about any type of Pokemon, therefore you can counter just about any deck. The only hard counter I really listed in my decklist is Entei EX (to one shot Genesects and Virizions of course), but there are other techs that can be run in this deck depending on your predicted meta. If you predict a lot of Blastoise in your meta, Giratina EX easily one-shots Black Kyurem EX and is easily teched into Hydreigon due to it’s attack cost being on the appropriate blend.

Anyways, guys, that’s it for this week, but tune in next week for another deck analysis!

By the way, any comements (good or bad) on my decklist and overall analysis would be greatly appreciated. I would also love to hear if you can come up with any other possible techs  to run in this deck, I wouldn’t mind testing your ideas out!

Category: Deck Discussion | Tags: ,
  • Ed

    What tier do you think this deck would be at a premier event?

    • Mike Lesky

      Tier 2

  • Mike Lesky

    To be honest I wouldn’t play Caitlin, this format is all about gaining cards and this card basically just trades cards you don’t want right now for new ones. While this can be great in a stage 2 deck, you are almost always better off just playing a Juniper and drawing 7 cards instead of drawing maybe 3. Carnivine doesn’t really go along with the strategy of the deck at all, even though you like the card, I would suggest taking it out. The alternate win condition you speak of will almost never happen. My suggestion would be to add another Skyla and a level ball. Or, if you have access to them, 2 Topical Beach.

  • Thiago F. de Amorim

    What do you think about Cresselia ex in this deck?