Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Max Potion - Part 2

Hello and welcome to The Deck Out!

Today is the time for Max Potion part 2! In my last update, I reviewed what Max Potion could do with Donphan Prime but today I have a whole new Pokémon. I think you all are familiar with Tyranitar Prime.

4x Larvitar(Mountain Eater)
2x Pupitar(Boost Gas)
4x Tyranitar Prime
2x Elekid(TM)
3x Smeargle(CL)


4x Sage’s Training
4x Pokémon Collector
3x Twins
4x Professor Juniper
4x Pokémon Communication
4x Rare Candy
4x Max Potion
4x Junk Arm
2x Research Records
2x Pokémon Catcher


4x Special Darkness
6x Basic Darkness

Tyranitar is my second favourite Pokémon. I’m thankful for PCL that they make Tyranitar usually playable because my favourite Pokémon – Moltres – is usually horrible in TCG. Tyranitar Prime has – in my opinion – been a very underrated card from the very beginning. I remember someone going to top8 at U.S. Nats with it last year and it didn’t surprise me. Tyranitar has a good set of moves and its HP is whopping 160. It’s only weak point is its weakness, which is fighting thus making it vulnerable to Donphan Prime. Thanks to Zekrom/Tornadus and ReshiPlosion, Donphan isn’t that played anymore and I think Tyranitar has its place in the current metagame if it’s built correctly.


Well as you can probably see from the energy lines, this deck focuses completely on spreading with Darkness Howl. The deck’s strategy is very similar to Donphan – don’t let your opponent KO your Tyranitar Prime. The deck’s strategy is set-up Tyranitar as soon as possible (T2 plz) and start spreading. Since Tyranitar can Darkness Howl with only one energy, you can use Max Potion every turn on it to guarantee that it won’t be KOed. Neither one of the current top decks (Zekrom and ReshipPlosion) is able to OHKO Tyranitar because of its HP so Tyranitar has a decent chance succeeding in the current metagame.

Elekid is there to spread early game and so you can kill it with your Darkness Howl. If you are able to KO your Elekid from your bench with Darkness Howl in the early game, you’ll get Twins easily going and it will benefit you greatly. You probably use only 2-3 Tyranitars in one game so be sure to lay down Larvitars in a prudent fashion and not one by one (they will just be Catchered if you lay then one by one). After you have 2 Tyranitar Primes set-upped, your opponent will have serious problems dealing with them.

You should be able to get all your six prizes with spreading and if you think about it, you only need 6-7 Darkness Howls if your opponent has a full bench. Cards like Zekrom and Reshiram can abuse the spreading because they have Outrage but as long as they don’t OHKO you with 120 damage on them and 2 PlusPowers, you’re safe from the Outrage.

Card explanations

The list probably seems very weird for many people but there is a meaning behind every card of this deck. I’ll just run through all the card choices because this can be considered as a rogue deck and I’ll also list a few teches later on.

4-2-4 Tyranitar Prime

I start by being Captain Obvious and telling you that Tyranitar Prime is the main attacker of this deck. Naturally this deck runs maximum amount of Larvitars and Tyranitars because you need them into play as soon as possible. 2 Pupitars is there just against trainer locks because against decks like Zekrom/Tornadus, you don’t have time evolving your Tyranitars through Pupitar. This deck needs Rare Candies badly, and because of that I have a unique solution for it in the deck list – but about that later.


Smeargle is a great starter here because this deck just wants to get the certain cards from the deck. It doesn’t usually matter if you use Juniper from your opponent’s hand because that way you’ll at least get a fresh hand. Smeargle also needs no energy for set-upping and you can sometimes get Collector with it as well. After getting the Collector you are able to retreat to Elekid and start spreadin as early as T1. This deck is all about speed and Max Potions so Smeargle is a great starter for this deck.


Elekid sounds strange but when you think about it, it isn’t. Elekid is able to snipe in the early game but it’s true meaning is to die on the bench. That way – as I said previously – you’re able to use Twins and set-up properly. Elekid works as bait for your opponent and it’s too easy to KO so your opponent can’t resist KOing it when he/she has a chance. Elekid also has a free retreat and it increases the amount of starters in your deck. There is nothing worse than starting with a lone basic in this format because you’ll get probably donked by Zekrom if they go first.

Rare Candy, Pokémon Collector and Pokémon Communication

I don’t think these cards need any explanation. Some might think that Dual Ball is better in this deck than Pokémon Collector but as I said you need to lay at least 2 Larvitars on your bench at the same time and Dual Ball is too risky for that. With Pokémon Collector you also have Basics to use for Pokémon Communication. Pokémon Collector may be supporter but the consistency it gives you is worth it.

You also might think that 4 Pokémon Communications is an overkill because this deck runs so few Pokémon but as long as we don’t have Luxury Ball/Ultra Ball in our format, 4 Pokémon Communications is the only way to guarantee the T2 Tyranitar as often as possible. 4 Collector also helps you with getting Pokémons for Pokémon Communication when needed.

Running 4 Candies in this deck is something that isn’t debatable. This needs Rare Candy as soon as possible so there is no other option than running 4 of them.


Just like in Max Potion/Donphan, these 2 cards is the heart & soul of the deck. The purpose of Max Potion in this deck is identical to Donphan Prime deck. However, this deck isn’t able to run Super Scoop Ups because Tyranitar is a stage2 Pokémon so Max Potions must me maxed alongside with Junk Arms. This deck’s draw engine is very discarding heavy so 4 Junk Arms combos with it as well. Just like I said in Donphan article, Max Potion is one of the most overlooked cards in the format and it still has so much variations that people haven’t yet thought of.

Sage’s Training

Sage’s synergy with Junk Arm is unbelievable, especially in stage2 decks. You can discard the Rare Candy and after that it’s at your service any time with Junk Arm. Sage’s is also a great deck thinning card, which helps you to draw the necessary one cards from your deck as soon as possible. Sage’s slop side has always been that sometimes the draw from the Sage’s just gets too ugly. At the moment this deck has no answer if you draw 3 Tyranitars and 2 Larvitars with Sage’s but once Super Rod is released this deck has an answer for it as well.

Professor Juniper

Juniper is a very hard-discarding card like Sage’s but it’s the only way to draw huge amounts of cards from your deck and thin your deck even faster than with Sage’s. Juniper may also discard good cards from your hand but the risk you must take in order to guarantee a decent and fast set-up.


ReshiPlosion is probably the only deck in the format that runs stage2 Pokémons and doesn’t run Twins. This deck isn’t able to make an exception with Twins. Searching 2 Max Potions with Twins is just TOO good to dismiss. Twins also works in this deck because this deck is a rare species that once were extinct – it’s a spread deck. Spread decks can use Twins after they have started attacking because they don’t take the prizes right away. You are able to use Twins even if you’re fully set-upped and have hit lots of damage on your opponent’s side. You’re probably never leading in the game until you take the last 3-4 prizes at the same time.

Pokémon Catcher

Since this deck uses only spread attacks, it may seem weird to run Catchers because it doesn’t matter which Pokémon is active when you hit Darkness Howl. But in fact, Pokémon Catchers are huge for this deck as well as for many other decks. If you have played when Pow! Hand Extension was in the format and a deck called Pow-block was legal, you know how great it was to drag anything big retreating as your opponent’s active Pokémon and start spreading. Catcher works just like Pow! – you drag something unable to attack as your opponent’s active Pokémon and start Darkness Howling. If you can get 2-3 “free” Darkness Howls with that, it will be huge in the late game. You just have to be careful when thinking which Pokémons to drag to the active position. Cathcer may be good also if you need a prize and there is something 30 damage away being KOed- you can Catcher the Pokémon and with Special Darkness energy you are able to hit 30 to the new active Pokémon and be able to KO it.

Research Records

What the heck does Research Records do here? Help you to get the cards you need more quickly. In order to get a fast start, you need Larvitar, Rare Candy, Tyranitar and Energies. There are only 4 Rare Candys in the deck so it isn’t a guaranteed thing to draw them without Twins. Research Records help you with that. If you use Research Records before - let’s say Sage’s Training – and there is none of those cards you need, you can simply put them in the bottom of your deck and use Sage’s after that. That way you are able to go through 9 cards of your deck, instead of 5. The difference is huge and it really is helpful for this deck because this deck needs the certain cards for the fast set-up.


This deck runs 10 energies but it could run even more. If you use 6 Max Potions and use 3 different Tyranitars, you have used at least 9 energies. This deck needs room so it’s prudent to run as less energy as possible and try to figure out a good way to use energies efficiently. There are few tricks that you can consider when thinking of how to guarantee that you will have enough energy during the whole game.


This deck needs and wants teches. There are many kinds of things that beneftis this deck, which didn’t fit into the original list, so I’ll make a quick run through the most important tech cards you may want to add to this deck.

Energy Retrieval / Fisherman

Since you use Max Potion as lost and discarding draw cards, Energy Retrieval is a great tech because you only play 10 energies. I prefer Retrieval over Fisherman because Fisherman can’t be used with Junk Arm. You can discard Energy Retrieval any time you need to with Junk Arm, after you have discarded it with Sage’s/Juniper.

Double Colorless Energy

If you aren’t satisfied of only spreading around, you can add 2-3 DCEs to get Tyranitar hitting more.. Attaching more energy to Tyranitar Prime may once in a while be a good option because that way you force them to attack Tyranitar and you can lay down Larvitars and be sure that they aren’t going to Catcher Larvitars if there is a possibility to kill a fully loaded Tyranitar. I like this deck just the way it is but some may prefer using Tyranitar’s other attacks as well.

More Healing Cards

Tyranitar should be considered as a tank Pokémon and therefore it would be natural to use heal cards with it. Almost anything goes with Tyranitar. It’s frustrating to heal 30-60 damages from Tyranitar with Max Potion but sometimes you just got to do it in order to Tyranitar to survive. That’s why you want sometimes other healing cards like Potion, Moo-Moo Milk, Life Herb etc. Whichever you feel like you’re most comfortable with. Life Herb can work as a Max Potion against many decks when you flip heads and that’s why I think it should be considered as the best add to this deck. It’s a miss-or-hit cards because of the coin flip but it’s still the best option.

Black Belt

One Black Belt makes wonders in this deck if you’re desperate for prizes. As mentioned earlier, this deck is behind prizes until you win the game so Black Belts will probably work anytime you draw it. With Black Belt and Special Darkness energy, you’re able to hit 70 to your opponent’s active Pokémon, which is a huge amount considering that you will hit other his/her Pokémons 20 at the same time. Black Belts only problem is that once you discard it, you can’t use it and – believe me – it will end up into discard pile many times because of the draw engine of this deck.

Trainer Lock

Probably the biggest true problem of this deck is trainer lock. You can’t use Max Potions and Junk arms under the trainer lock but most importantly, you aren’t able to evolve your Tyranitars under the trainer lock. You, however have an upper hand against Gothitelle if you play smart – and even bigger upper hand if you run DCE – because Tyranitar is able to OHKO Gothitelle. Spreading against Gothitelle isn’t prudent because they can control their damage counter any way they want to. And because of that they can get Zekrom/Reshirams hitting heavy amounts of damage. Against Gothitelle you should just set-up carefully and not activate their Twins. Tyranitar has a Psychic resistance so Gothitelle will have even more problems with Tyranitar because of that.

Against Ross’ deck Tyranitar has understandable problems. You can’t OHKO Donphan unless you have 2 Special Darkness Energies and they can manipulate the Damage counters all the want as well. Against them your best bet is to let your Elekids to die on your bench and – once again – not let them use their Twins. They need Twins more than Gothitelle and without Twins Ross’ deck has serious problems set-upping.



Slightly Favorable


Trainer lock/Reuniclus

Slighly Unfavorable
Stage1 variants


I think there is no reason to lie. Tyranitar/Max Potion isn’t tier1 deck but it has its spot in the highlight when the metagame is set for it. Whenever you play against Tyranitar deck, you have no idea what they are up to. That’s the key for victory with Tyranitar, they can’t know what tricks you have in your sleeves and whenever you lay down your first Elekid or you use your first Max Potion, they won’t probably have any idea what you are up to.

The match-ups aren’t 100% accurate and that’s because Tyranitar is a rogue deck. When considering the match-ups of a rogue deck, there are 2 things that must be thought first.

1) The skill level of a player piloting the rogue deck
2) The knowledge of your opponent

If your opponents have no clue what they are against, the probability, they will make simple mistakes that lead to your victory is very big. Rogue decks will always have an upper-hand in the tournaments as long as they are consistent enough.


If you love Tyranitar as much as I do, you should give this deck a try. Rogue decks are fun to play and it’s great to play not-so-metagame deck in tournaments like Battle Roads because sometimes they can rise victorious with their surprise factor. Tyranitar has a place in the metagame even more than Donphan, when the metagame is prepared for it. Tyranitar has always been an overlooked card and I’m sure it is able to surprise in the current format.

// My plan is to publish the first part of my Eye on Japan series this week but I’m not sure which day it’s going to be. Be sure to check out Sixprizes.com and my blog daily for it!


  1. > If you use Research Records before - let’s say Sage’s Training – and there is any of those cards you need, you can simply put them in the bottom of your deck and use Sage’s after that.

    You mean "there is none of those cards" ?

    Anyway, that was interesting. Thank you !

  2. I think this is not the list what SiaBBo played in Poro's BR? Scary choice play without any DCE.

  3. I think that wihtout DCEs you have problems with Zoroark. You can't hit it with Darkness Howl and you don't have time to load 3 energies to Tyranitar while Zoroark hits 120 dmg with your Megaton Tail. And i think that Switch should be mentoined in teches although it isn't needed very often.

  4. Zarmakuizz: Thanks, fixed that.

    Hero: Yeah it isn't. The list SiaBBo played was horrid. I must thank him for testing the deck.

    SL: Zoroark may be a problem but it isn't as played as it was before. Of course it's techable for any deck but IMO stage1s aren't that good anymore. It's true that DCE is a great addition to this deck if you find room for it as I said in the article. I - myself - like the only spreading version better.

  5. I can't wait until Kyurem brings spread back for real. I believe this deck fails in comparison to Kyurem. The difference between 20 and 30 spread is huge.

  6. Anonymous: Yeah, Kyurem will be a sick spreader. It has tons of HP with Eviolite and it's a BASIC Pokémon.

  7. What if you're faced against a Donphan? Darkness Howl doesn't touch it, and it'll hit you for 120 damage every turn. Granted, it helps you with your spreading, but in the end, it'll hurt.

  8. Quarter-Turn: You're correct. 3 energy Donphan gives this deck a lot of problems. That's why DCE could be a great includiction to this deck because that way you can 2HKO Donphans with Power Claw.

    Donphan is also the main reason why Ross' decks gives this deck a lot of problem if they play Donphan as their attacker.

  9. It wont work. MEWTWO EX


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