Deck Analysis: Can You do the Fandango? Reshiram and Emboar (Reshiboar).

by Pikkdogs ~ May 24th, 2011.

Ok, this is just another Reshiboar deck, but I think the Reshiboar name is, well,  a little Reshi-boring.  The Queen Reference is much better.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs here with another deck analysis.  This deck is one of the most popular in the new format.  In this article I will analyze the deck and share my list.

The Goal of the Deck?

Well the goal is obvious, you have a 130 HP Pokemon in Reshiram, and it can do 120 damage a turn, the goal of this deck is to get Reshiram out as fast as possible and keep him hitting for 120 for as long as possible. Reshiram does discard 2 fire energies a turn with his “Blue Flame “attack.  To replace those fire energies this deck uses Emboar BW.  Emboar has the “Inferno Fandango” Ability, which lets you attach as many fire energies as you want to whatever Pokemon you want.  The strategy of this deck is simple.  Get an Emboar quickly to load up Reshiram.  Then keep using the fire energies to replace the ones that Reshiram that discarded.

If Reshiram has absorbed a hit, there is no need to attach more than 2 energies to him, because his “Outrage” attack does 20 damage plus the amount of damage that is on Reshiram.  So if your opponent only does 90 damage to Reshiram, next turn Reshiram can do 110 damage for only 2 energies!  It may not seem like that great of an attack, but from my testing the “Outrage” attack is probably the best thing about this deck.  Most decks only run Reshiram as an attacker, there is really no need for a secondary attacker.

Some people like to play this deck with a draw engine.  One of the more popular draw engines is Ninetails HGSS.  Ninetails has the “Roast Reveal” Poke-Power which lets you discard a fire energy and draw 3 cards.  This is a good draw engine because drawing 3 cards is always a good thing, and you are already running cards that let you get fire energies from the discard pile.  The problem with Ninetails is that it is hard to get a stage 1 Pokemon out, and you need those fire energies to load up Reshiram.  Another draw engine that is used in this deck is the Shuckle Promo.  Whenever you attach an energy to Shuckle, you may draw a card thanks to his “Fermented Liquid” Poke-Body.  Some people try to use Super Scoop Ups and Seekers to keep on drawing cards.  Personally, I do not like to use any draw engine in this deck.  I feel that Ninetails hurts consistency too much, and that the deck is too slow to have Shuckle.  It seems like if you are lucky enough to draw a fire energy, you need to attach it to Reshiram.

How to Play It.

A lot of people like to start the game with a starting Pokemon like Cleffa HGSS, Stantler Ud, or Smeargle Cl.  Since it will take a long time for you to get a Reshiram fully powered, it is nice to get a Pokemon that will help you setup.  You can either use Stantler to get more Basic Pokemon, or get Smeargle or Cleffa to help refresh your hand.  I prefer to use Cleffa because it is more consistent than Smeargle.

After using your starter for a couple turns, it is now time to start loading up Reshiram.  It is also very important to get Emboar going.  If you can get a quick Emboar, you have a really good chance of winning.  The worst part of the Reshiboar deck is the fact that it could be inconsistent in getting Emboar out.  If you are able to get Emboar out you will be in the catbird seat.

Why Its So Good.

Reshiram is not a fast deck, it has some struggles with consistency, and it is more high maintenance than Paris Hilton, but its still probably the best deck.  This is because it is very hard to OHKO Reshiram.  Imagine this scenario, Reshiram probably got a knock out the last turn, and if you cannot knock it out this turn, it will just use “Outrage” to knock out another Pokemon.  This means that Reshiram basically takes 2 prizes for every prize the opponent take.  The large HP and damage output makes sure that it will be one of the best decks in the next format.

The Future of “Can You do the Fandango”.

As I mentioned, this deck will be one of the best decks in the HGSS-on format.  Unless you can OHKO Reshiram or lock it in some way, you will not be able to beat this deck.  It is a deck that hits really hard and will be able to run over most other decks.  It should be one of the better decks going into Nationals, if the rotation is announced on June 1st.  In my testing, the only deck that has a real chance against it are water decks and Lost Zone decks.  It seems pretty certain that you can count on this deck being great for a while.

How to Play Against It.

There are two ways to play against this deck: OHKO Reshiram or lock it in some way.  We will first look at ways to knock out Reshiram in one hit.

The easiest way to knock out Reshiram is to do 70 damage to it with a water Pokemon.  There are not a lot of good water Pokemon around these days.  As far as attackers go, the only one that is being talked about is Blastoise UD.  Blastoise can snipe for 100 damage for 4 energies, and you have to return 2 energies to your hand.  This doesn’t really work against Reshiram too well.  One Pokemon that nobody is talking about, but I like, is Alomomola BW.  Its attack “Hydro Pump” does 40 damage for CCC, but it does 10 more damage for each water energy attached.  So, if you attach 3 water energies to him (you can use Feraligatr Prime), you can do 70 damage (140 to Reshiram).

You can also use Pokemon that can attack for more than 130 to get a knock out.  Mismagius CL can do 30 damage for each trainer your opponent has in his/her hand.  That means that your opponent needs 7 trainers/supporters/stadiums for a knock out.  Reshiram, Raichu Prime, Jumpluff, and Zoroark can do 120 damage each, so you will just need a Plus Power to get a knock out.  Rayquaza/Deoxys Legend can do 150 damage for 4 energies, so that is a decent option.  Lugia Legend can do 200 damage, but you need to discard 3 energies.  There are a couple more like Magmortar, but those are the big ones.

You can also try to lock Reshiboar down in someway.  One way that I have tried is to use Slowking Cl to try to control your opponent’s top decks.  If you block your opponent’s ability to get energy, you will be able to slow down Reshiboar. If you can disrupt your opponent so they can’t get cards like Fisherman or Energy Retrieval, they will not be able to consistently attack.   You could also try to find someway to make a card like Shuckle or Ninetails active.  There is yet no real way to do this, but Im sure something will come up in later sets, like Pokemon Catcher.  There is also a chance for early disruption before your oppoenent can get Emboar out.  If you could make a post-rotation version of Sablelock, it will be very effective.  The trouble is almost 100% of the Sablelock deck will soon rotate out.

Deck List

I will now give you guys a decklist for this list.  i must warn you that this list is far from perfect, it is just a jumping off point for your testing.  Again, if you think I have screwed up on this decklist, I agree, this is not my nationals decklist, it is just a rough list.


  • 2- Emboar #20
  • 2-Pignite #19 (I prefer #19, if you like the other one it wouldn’t be a bad play) 
  • 2-Tepig
  • 4-Cleffa
  • 4-Reshiram


  • 2-Energy Retrieval
  • 2-Fisherman
  • 2-Interviewers Questions
  • 4-Juniper
  • 3-Twins (To take advantage when Cleffa gets knocked out)
  • 2-Elms
  • 3-Pont
  • 4-Pokemon Collector
  • 2-Revive
  • 4-Pokemon Communication
  • 3-Plus Power


  • Fire-15

Final Impressions

I think that this deck could be a real powerhouse in the coming format, at least until Pokemon Catcher is released anyway.   I think there is a good chance it will be the most popular deck at Nationals.  Im not sure it will dominate as much as Luxchomp has, but you will need to know how to play against it.

So what do you guys think of this deck?  Is it as good as I have hyped it up as?  How would you play against it?  Please leave your thoughts about this deck in the comment box.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Category: Deck Discussion | Tags: , ,