Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Autumn Battle Roads Metagame

Hello and welcome to The Deck Out!

If you’re new to this site, please scroll down and go to my first blog post to see what this blog is all about and what you will find here.

But as promised for the people already familiar with my site, I will make a metagame analysis before every tournament series. Even though new season has only started, Autumn Battle Roads are already coming. This year’s Battle Roads however include a great change compared to previous seasons because winners don’t get any more Victory Medals but the top3 of each tournament get the new Victory Cup Promo. It’s a great change because now almost anyone can get his hands on this Promo. Giving the prize only to the winner has seemed always a little too harsh to me.

Anyways, cutting the intro short let’s get into the Battle Road metagame.


ReshiPhlosion was the most popular deck in the Worlds and its popularity will see no decline in the Autumn Battle Roads. There are several things that make ReshiPhlosion the most popular deck in the format.

1) It’s cheap.

ReshiPhlosion is the cheapest metagame deck there is because every key card in the is released as a Promo (Reshiram and Typhlosion). Their values are about $4-6 each. It’s rare to see a very good metagame deck cost this little. You can get 4-2-4 Typhlosion line and 4 Reshirams at the same price as 1 Yanmega Prime which is simply ridiculous.

2) It’s easy to play.

ReshiPhlosion’s combo is the most common in the history of Pokémon. Discarding energies with Power/Trainers and taking them back from discard pile with a Poké-Power has been around since Nintendo took over Pokémon TCG. For few examples there was Blaziken/Delcatty in 2004 which is a direct copy of ReshiPhlosion, MetaNite in 2007 which abused Supporters to discard energies and Dragonite d to take back energies.

These both were top tiers in their format so it’s only natural that ReshiPhlosion is a tier 1 deck as well. After you set-up this deck, your only concern is to get a prize every turn. That is even easier because of Catcher but of course it’s easier for your opponent too. ReshiPhlosion is a great deck for a new player who has just started playing.

3) It has no autolosses.

It’s true. Even straight Water decks don’t autowin against ReshiPhlosion because Reshiram's high damage is able to OHKO almost everything, and if they come attacking with Samurott and DCE, Flare Destroy makes havoc of them. Of course getting everything to 50-50 match-up, you need skills so don’t come expecting that everything is automatically 50-50. If there are hard match-ups, ReshiPhlosion usually finds its way out of it by using tech cards.

4) It benefits from Catcher more than most decks.

It might seem strange that a deck that uses Stage 2 Pokémons and hits 120 every turn benefits from Catcher, but it’s true. ReshiPhlosion’s biggest problem at Worlds was MagneBoar which could simply ran over it because there was no easy way to KO their Emboar (2 Reversal heads, no thank you). With Catcher, killing Emboars is so much easier that it becomes almost as a favorable match-up for ReshiPhlosion.
Of course ReshiPhlosion is also weak to Catchers, but thankfully if you have 2 Typhlosions in the game you can get Typhlosion hitting if they bring it as an active Position. And with Catcher you can use even Typhlosion to get an easy prize with Flare Destroy.


I will be covering more of ReshiPhlosion this Friday so if you’re up for deeper analysis and teches for ReshiPhlosion be sure to be back to my blog. But if you haven’t yet played ReshiPhlosion in a tournament, you should give it a try. It’s fun to play and has a good match-up against everything so if you want to have some of those precious Victory Cups, ReshiPhlosion is a great option.



Yanmega/Magnezone won U.S. Nats so of course it was also played at Worlds and will still be played. It has decent match-ups across the field but not many “great” match-ups. The reason this deck was played by most of U.S. top players at Worlds was because it’s techable. If you start with a skeleton which has 3-1-3 Magnezone and let’s say 4-3 Yanmega Prime and crucial Trainers like Communication, Candy and Junk Arm, you get so much variability that you can put almost anything there.

The reason why you can tech Yanmega/Magnezone with things like Kingdra Prime which sounds absurd in today’s metagame (2 different Stage 2 Pokémon) is Magnezone Prime’s power Magnetic Draw. As you have Magnnetic Draw to draw 4-5 cards for you every turn you won’t be having any problems with consistency. Yanmega/Magnezone can also disturb opponent’s game with Judge which is rare in this format.

But the most important question is that does Yanmega/Magnezone benefit from Catcher more than other decks. The answer is - unfortunately for Yanmega/Magnezone lovers - no. Even though Yanmega/Magnezone ran a good amount of Reversal and its success were dependable of key heads you hit with Reversals, Catcher hurts Yanmega/Magnezone more than it benefits Yanmega/Magnezone.

The reason for this is that Magnezone’s main strength is hurt by Catcher. Any deck has nowadays an easy access to hit Yanmega/Magnezone’s Magnezone which makes Judge almost unplayable. Yanmega/Magnezone is no longer able to sit back and enjoy while their opponents draw dead hands from Judge because Magnezones are faster than before eliminated from their own bench.

There is a great possibility that Magnezones don’t even get into play if your opponent goes first in the game. Magnezone’s retreat is also a huge 3 so the only way to retreat is to run at least 2 Switches.


In my opinion the way to play Yanmega/Magnezone after Catcher is to make it as consistent as possible. Thick Kingdra lines will only hurt your set-up’s speed and will lead to inconsistency. If you want to play Yanmega/Magnezone successfully in BRs, I would suggest you to play fat Magnezone lines (4-2-4) with straight Lighting energies and
There simply is no time for things like Jirachi and Kingdra anymore. I’ll be covering more of Yanmega/Magnezone next week’s Friday so stay tuned if you want to know how to make it fast, consistent and up-to-date tournament playable.

Stage 1 Decks


With Stage 1 decks I mean anything that combines Zoroark, Yanmega, Donphan and/or Cinccinno. Stage 1 decks differ from the other “old” decks because it gets Max Potion from the new set. This card changes the builds of Stage 1 decks greatly but I don’t know if it makes Stage 1 decks that much better.

Stage 1 decks were popular in the U.S. Nats as well as in the Worlds but in the Worlds they didn’t do a decent showing. That’s because Stage 1 decks have bad match-ups against the most popular deck of the format (ReshiPhlosion). Stage 1 decks have to outspeed ReshiPhlosion by 2-3 prizes if they want to get alive victorious. Of course it’s in theory easier with Catcher but as long as you run only 2-2 Zoroark in your deck you’re screwed.

Stage 1 decks will have to settle to take easy prizes early game and try KOing the Reshirams with Zoroarks late game. However because ReshiPhlosions have Catchers, they will just Catcher your Zoruas/Zoroarks if you don’t come attacking with them ASAP.

Because of Catcher and ReshiPhlosion becoming the most popular deck in the format I would play Cinccino instead of Yanmega or Donphan. Yanmega lost its meaning because of Catcher – now anything can hit the bench and Donphan is just Catcher bait with a retreat of 4. Cinccino’s firepower is needed in this deck to match decks like ReshiPhlosion and Zekrom and it’s also a great Yanmega counter. I’m pretty sure that Cinccino will see a lot more play in Stage 1 decks than before even if Donphan will get popular.

Max Potion is a card that might make Donphan more popular. There are only few Pokémon that can even OHKO Donphan without PlusPowers so Max Potion combos with Donphan very well. You can keep hitting with Donphan’s Earthquake while keeping your Donphan alive with Max Potion. Of course this will kill your bench but it may work with right cards like Zekrom and Reshiram. In fact, I have already seen decks that play only 4-4 Donphan and SSUs and Max Potions to keep them alive.

What about Pokémon Catcher? In theory Stage 1 decks benefit greatly from Pokémon Catcher. If Stage 1 decks go first in the game cards like Yanmega, Donphan and Cinccino are able to get easy prizes from unevolved benched basic Pokémons. This will be huge against any stage2 decks. But as stated earlier Stage 1 decks’ “Rock-Paper-Scissor” element is hurt by Pokémon Catcher because your opponent is always able to KO your counter from the bench.

The only way to win games regularly with this deck in the Pokémon Catcher format is to outspeed your opponent with the help of Catchers. This will be difficult if you don’t go first in the game, outspeeding won’t even work so I’m not a big fan of this deck. Nevertheless this deck will see play in BRs and you must be careful when playing against it.

I reviewed this deck in my last blog update so there you can find deeper analysis and deck list of this deck. Thankfully we have some new decks coming from Emerging Powers otherwise Battle Road’s format would be just the same as Worlds’ format. Gothitelle has some very good match-ups across the field for an example Stage1 decks, Zekrom and ReshiPlosion but it also has some autolosses (like Yanmega/Magnezone). So playing Gothitelle means that you know your metagame and Magnezone isn’t that played in your area. It’s a strong deck, which will surely left its mark in to the metagame.

Gothitelle/Reuniclus abuses Catcher pretty well because you can’t use Catcher against it and it can use Catcher so it has a total game control. Gothitelle needs a good list to run well and a good player because once the trainer-lock is interrupted, you’re probably done for the match. If you want some more in depth analysis of Gothitelle/Reuniclus check the blog update from here (


I’m a huge fan of Zekrom/Tornadus so the low hype its getting seems weird for me. With Tornadus on board with Zekrom you’re guaranteed to get T1 Tornadus with DCE, Shaymin and Pachirisu. And as I might have said earlier in one of my updates, Tornadus can get you 2 prize lead before your opponent can even evolve their Pokemons. Zekrom was bad because it has no decent answer for Donphan or Zoroark and couldn’t keep in the prize race but Tornadus changes things.

Zekrom/Tornadus is by far the most Catcher abusing deck in the format. In this deck you can easily run 4 Catchers and in fact, you want to run 4 Catchers since you want them into your opening hand with Tornadus. Catcher + Tornadus is devastating turn d 2 because you can snipe practically anything from Phanpy  Cyndaquil. Without Catcher Zekrom/Tornadus but since we have Catcher there is no reason not to play Zekrom/Tornadus.

Zekrom/Tornadus surely has some bad match-ups even though I like it.One of the worst match-ups is Gothitelle/Reuniclus. There is simply nothing you can do to OHKO them so if you aren’t able to cripple their set-up totally in the early game, you can just scoop. Zekrom/Tornadus works heavily on trainers so it’s completely stopped by trainer lock. Thankfully most Vileplume decks aren’t autolosses for it (except Plume deck with Reuniclus) because they have some low HP Pokémon hitting like Mew Prime or Yanmega Prime. Zekrom just runs through that kind of Trainer lock decks.

The great thing about Zekrom/Tornadus is that it can win anything. If it goes first and has a T1 Zekrom or Tornadus (which good builds should be able to manage quite often, there is a possibility to win any deck. That’s simply because your opponent doesn’t necessarily have a fast start. 3-prize lead is nothing new for this deck but it may lose even though it has a 3-prize lead. I suggest you make your Zekrom/Tornadus as consistent as possible because this deck can’t afford getting slow starts. If you don’t get at least T2 Zekrom/Tornadus, it’s a miracle you can win the game.

Zekrom/Tornadus is one of my favorite decks in the format and I’ll be covering more of it in the near future. Hopefully you have guts to play this format’s fastest deck in the upcoming Battle Roads.


Magneboar won Worlds so it must be a very good deck after Catcher too, right? Well, not really. In fact it wasn’t even near the BDIF in the Reversal format but it has an almost autowin against ReshiPlosion so it’s a very good metagame choice for a metagame that is full of ReshiPlosions. However Magneboar will have a very hard time with Yanmega/Magnezone and Stage1 decks.

Magneboar suffers from Catcher more than any deck in the past format. It needs 2 stage2 Pokémons for set-up and once its Emboars are KOed, it loses immediately. Getting 2 Stage2 Pokemons up is hard even with Twins but with Catcher, the chances are that your opponent starts aiming only at your Tepigs so you’ll run out of Tepigs before you even have a decent chance to evolve your Emboar. Catcher simply destroys this deck and because of Catcher; even ReshiPlosion has a chance defeating this deck.
Magneboar is a bad deck in the current format and I encourage you not to play it if you don’t want to play a Twins deck that doesn’t run Vileplume. Otherwise I suggest you play something else.

Vileplume variants

The last metagame choice I’ll be covering is Vileplume variants. Vileplume was almost unplayable before Ross Cawthon got 2nd at Worlds with his Vileplume deck. Ross’ deck has started a true Vileplume hype and will see at BRs lots of variations of Ross’ deck. In my opinion Ross did so well at Worlds because of the SD-factor of his deck. Once you have seen the deck list, you know how it works and know it’s weaknesses, it’s probably a tier 2 deck or even lower. If you want to run Reuniclus, why not play Gothitelle because it’s easier to get to play than Vileplume, Reuniclus and a hitter. It also lets you use Catcher’s etc. which Plume won’t allow. I don’t see future for Ross’ deck in the upcoming format.

What else Plume decks will you be encountering then? Well as it’s only beginning of the season it’s unlikely that new good secret Vileplume decks will appear. I will cover one Vileplume rogue for my upcoming blog updates so if you are dying to play rogue and/or Vileplume make sure come to back every update to know when I’ll reveal the deck!

As for known Plume decks, you may encounter Vileplume/Beartic decks. As I have stated earlier, I don’t like Beartic for various reasons and I don’t see Beartic a real problem for most decks. As long as you have a low retreat or enough energy acceleration Sheer cold is useless. Beartic decks will also surely be slower than you so decks like Zekrom and stage1 have good chance outspeeding Beartic.

The other known Vileplume deck is the so called MewBox which playes Mew and variety of teches in it. You can see things like Muk, Jumpluff, Spinarak, Yanmega Prime etc. This is one of the decks that works well but has huge problems because of Mew Prime’s ridiculously low HP. But you must remember not to underestimate this deck because it can easily jam your game and win; it’s a no joke deck.


Reshiboar was a last minute update for this article because it won the first Finnish tournament in a ReshiPlosion orientated metagame. It’s a great deck against ReshiPlosion because Emboar doesn’t damage Reshirams with its ability so Reshirams won’t be in an automatic OHKO range for ReshiPlosions’ Reshirams. Reshiboar has the same weakness as Magneboar – Catcher. The Catcher problem however can be managed by playing multiple Switches and heavy draw supporter/Ninetales line.

Reshiboar has good matchups against decks that main attackers are OHKOable with Reshirams. Of course the Bad Boar can hit 150 occasionally but I wouldn’t count on it. Reshiboar is also a great deck because it’s easy to tech a Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND in it. Emboar can load RDL in one turn so it’s a surprise OHKO almost any time. Reshiboar will have hard time with decks which can outspeed or outdisturb it. If you want to play Reshiboar and win, you should be certain about your metagame just like with Gothitelle. It’s a metagame choice as its best.  

What to play if…

...you are a competitive player

As a competitive player you must analyze your metagame carefully before choosing your deck. For Battle Road’s predicting the metagame is always almost impossible so let me list few decks that are good no matter what kind of metagame you’re facing.

1) ReshiPlosion – It’ self-explanatory, this deck is great and has almost none bad match-ups.

2) Zekrom/Tornadus – I encourage you to try this deck out and see that it also has potential.

3) Gothitelle/Reuniclus – This may not be a good choice for Magnezone heavy metagame but in a ReshiPlosion filled metagame it may turn out as the winning deck.

…you just want to play with friends

Well you want to have fun right? The fun part rules out of the decks that are fast and straightforward. It’s no fun playing them and it’s surely is not fun to play against them when you have a bad hand. So if you want to play some good games I suggest you play anything that hits mainly with stage2 decks (Yanmega/Magnezone, Magneboar, Gothitelle etc.) or you can try some crazy rogue like for example Sharpedo.

...you are new to the game

Well unless you don’t have an unlimited budget, I suggest you to build and play with ReshiPlosion. It’s cheap; an easy to learn deck that can give a few wins while learning to play.

…you want to play something “different”

Play something with Vileplume. You won’t be winning the best players with these kinds of decks but at least you’re doing something differently. Even though Beartic/Vileplume is highly considered as a “metagame” deck, I don’t think that it will be that popular. MewBox is also a good choice. That won’t be very popular – I can guarantee it.

Well there it is – the upcoming Battle Road metagame. Please leave a comment if you think any deck is missing, so I can analyze it later. I’ll get back into the metagame analysis just before City Champion season begins IF there won’t be anything surprising about Battle Roads’ metagame. Feel free to comment this as well as my previous posts to the comment box!

If you read this before this is released on the SixPrizes be sure to check this also at www.sixprizes.com where it’s released as well on Tuesday.

// Be back to The Deck Out this Friday when it’s time for the deck that is everywhere at the moment- Reshiram/Typhlosion!


  1. Great analysis. Keep the good articles coming! I'm always looking for new perspectives on the metagame.

  2. This sounds crazy, but... to make the almost-autoloss of Zekrom/Tornadus against Gothitelle/Reuniclus a possible-to-win match, it could run one Bellsprout. Bellsprout Triumphant that is.

    Bellsprout HP40
    [C] Inviting Scent: Switch the Defending Pokémon with 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon.
    (1 Retreat)

    Invite Reuniclus, and if your opponent can't retreat it during his/her next turn (2 retreat) you can smash it. So they can't move damage counters anymore and you can start killing everything else too. What do you think?

  3. JenBamo: Thanks for the comment, nice to hear someone's been following!

    Quaza: Bellsprout is a great card against all trainer lock decks because it's a Pokémon Pokémon Catcher. Bellsprout was one of the reasons my main Gothitelle list ended up running Double Colorless Energies to retreat things that have been brought active with Bellsprout (I think I explained something about retreating with DCEs in the Gothi article). But yes, it's a possible tech for the decks that have really hard time with Gothitelle.

  4. Hi! I found your blog from your article on SixPrizes and I immediately read all of your articles, which I found really interesting. So I just wanted to say thanks and I hope you'll continue your great work.

  5. Luby: Thanks for the kind words! I'll look forward to hear more comments from you.

  6. Hey, if it's not too much work maybe you can do a Mewbox analysis some time. I've only read a little about the deck and don't really understand how it works.

  7. Yeah sure, I've received some questions about the MewBox so I will surely make an entry about it to clarify people. I already have a Mew Prime entry upcoming but it doesn't include MewBox.


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