Friday, October 21, 2011

ReshiBoar - doing better than expected

Hello all The Deck Out followers!

Today, after the every extraordinary Eye on Japan article, it’s time for something very ordinary – metagame deck analysis! You may wonder are there any decks I haven’t yet analyzed but there sure is. Today I’ll open up ReshiBoar – the deck that has won both Battle Roads here in Finland. The player winning these 2 tournaments were kind enough to let me publish his decklist in my blog so thanks for the decklist goes to Bloodbane – thanks a lot!

In this article, I won’t introduce you a skeleton list of this deck because Reshiboar’s build is all about the tech and little cards that make the deck work well. So here is the 2-tournament winning decklist that I was lucky enough to be able to use for my article.


4x Reshiram
3x Tepig
2x Pignite
2x Emboar (2x Inferno Fandango)
1x Emboar (1x BadBoar)
1x Zorua
1x Zoroark


4x Pokémon Collector
4x Pokémon Communication
4x Professor Juniper
3x Sage’s Training
3x Professor Oak’s New Theory
3x Rare Candy
3x Junk Arm
2x Pluspower
2x Energy Retrieval
2x Switch
1x Pokémon Catcher
1x Burned Tower



11x Fire Energy
2x Rescue Energy
1x Double Colorless Energy


ReshiBoar’s strategy is very close to ReshiPlosions strategy- you use your Stage2 big fire Pokémon to load energy to your attacker Reshirams. The only differences between ReshiPlosion and ReshiBoar is Typhlosion’s Power compared to Emboar’s ability. Typhlosion gets energy from the discard pile so it combos well with cards Like Sage’s, Juniper and Junk Arm. However, Typhlosion can attach only 1 energy per turn. Emboar can attach as many energy cards from your HAND as you want. This makes Emboar decks usually a bit faster because they don’t need many Typhlosions for energy accelerating Reshirams.

However, probably the best thing about Emboar is that it doesn’t damage Reshirams while energy accelerating them. Typhlosion puts 1 damage counter for every energy it attaches to Reshirams so Reshiram is always OHKOable for things like Zekrom in this metagame. After Emboar’s ability Reshiram still has the full HP and Zekrom always needs a Plus Power to OHKO undamaged Reshiram. It will give a hard time for Zekrom. This is one of the keys to ReshiBoars success.

Card Explanations

3-2-2-1 Emboar

Inferno Fandango Emboar is the backbone of this deck. You need it up and running as soon as possible but unlike Typhlosion, you only need 1 of them. That’s why Reshiboar has more space for other things and teches. Running only 2 Inferno Fandango Boars is usually enough because you can load 2 Reshirams in the same turn. Once you have 3-4 Reshirams loaded you can let Emboar die if your opponent tries to KO it. You’ll survive the rest of the game with manual energy attachments.

If you wonder why there is one of the other kind of Emboar , the answer is simple – because of Gothitelle. This – just like – Reshiplosion doesn’t have any decent way OHKOing Gothitelle but with “Badboard” you are able to OHKO their Gothitelle’s easily. This also makes any decks that run trainer lock and Reuniclus near to autowin so it’s a very wise play in this deck.


If you’re familiar with anything that uses Reshiram as their main attacker, this doesn’t need much explanation. Reshiram is just a sick card, which is loaded with fire energy quickly thanks to Inferno Fandango. Running 4 Rershirams is a must because you need to load your Reshirams as soon as possible so you don’t lose your game after your Inferno Fandango Emboar is KOed. With 4 Reshiram simultaneously in play, you’re able to load attacker for the next 4 turns even if you lose your energy accelerator.

Zoroark tech

Zoroark is a great addition for this deck as it can use teches. Emboar can easily load Zoroark as well because it needs only Colorless Energy for its Foul Play attack. Zoroark works against almost anything in this format: Zekrom, Reshiram, Beartic, RDL etc. Zoroark gives you an edge against many metagame decks and it can be good in surprising situations so if it can be fitted in here, why not?

No starter

This is completely an personal opinion. Some people feel themselves more comfortable when they have at least 1 starter in their decks but in this decklist starter was cut off for 2 reasons:
1) Baby starters are horrible alone – almost anything can donk them with the right cards in the hand

2) If you start with Reshiram, you wouldn’t anyways be able to get T1 Eeeeeek because Reshirams retreat is 2. I find myself sometimes struggling with the starters in my ReshiPlosion deck because of Reshirams retreat so this is an option worth to consider.

Collector, Communication, Candy

Never thought of before that all these cards start with C. I could even start using abbreviation CCC for these cards in my future articles. These 3 cards are played in every deck with 4 copies of each because they are the consistency for stage2 decks. Collector is always wanted to use T1 and Communications are good throughout the game. 

However, as you may have noticed from the decklist, this deck runs only 3 Rare Candys. If this was my list, I would play 4 copies of Rare Candys just because you need the Rare Candy ASAP to get the Emboar into play. But there is logic behind 3 as well. You usually need only 1 Rare Candy to set-up your game correctly. If it ends up in the discard pile you can Junk Arm it back anyways. Also, running 3 gives you one free space for your deck. Reshiboar is all about what you do with those “free” spaces in your deck and in this particular deck they’re used highly skillfully.

As I said, I would run 4 copies of Rare Candy because I would feel comfortable that way. But hey, I didn’t win a tournament with this deck!

Juniper and Sage’s

As I said before, this deck highly reminds of ReshiPlosion. The stage2 energy accelerator decks need to run through their decks as fast as possible to guarantee their set-up in this fast format. Sometimes Junipers or Sage’s get ugly and you don’t want to discard the cards you have to but these situations are always manageable because of how the rest of this deck is built. These 2 drawing cards are the best straight draw in this format and you need them to get this deck function correctly.

Professor Oak’s New Theory

PONT is here just to add consistency. This deck doesn’t use starters so the decklist has to guarantee that there is no opening hand that is supporterless. And by supporter I don’t mean Collector but Juniper, Sage’s or PONT, which take the game forward. With only Collector in hand you won’t get far without a starter. But as you can see from the decklist, this deck runs a respective 18 cards that can be considered as “draw” cards. PONT is the best shuffle&draw card we have at the moment so it’s a natural addition for Sages and Juniper. 

Junk Arm

Are there really things I haven’t yet said about Junk Arm? Junk Arm is one of the best trainers ever printed at gives any deck a lot of versatility. This deck is one of the rare ones that can really use the versatility Junk Arm provides to it. In addition to compatibility with Rare Candy, this deck can also use its various tech trainers with Junk Arm that guarantees the functionality of this deck. 


Reshiram hits 120 and many things in this metagame have 130 HP so it’s obvious to run PlusPower. Also, I don’t think there really isn’t deck in the format that wouldn’t want to run PlusPower (excluding Trainer lock decks). The additional ten PlusPower gives you can be game-winning in many games and with Junk Arm PlusPower can be recycled multiple times. Running 2 PlusPowers can guarantee you an OHKO for hard things to OHKO like Donphan Prime.

Energy Retrieval

Energy Retrieval is one of the most important – if not the most important card of the whole deck. The great thing about Energy Retrieval is that it because of it every time you have Junk Arm in your hand, you can consider yourself having 2 Fire energies in your hand. Energy Retrieval in discard pile gives you so much versatility thanks to Junk Arm that it’s crucial for this deck to function properly.


Switch is also one of the tech trainers that are crucial for this deck to win games. Emboars’ retreat cost is a horrible 4 so once it’s dragged into the active position with Catcher, you can probably say bye-bye to your Emboar. Many players try to cripple Reshiboar by blindly just Catchering Emboar and hope you run out of Switches but with a correct amount of Switches in your deck (2-3) you can just see them waste their attacks and Catcher for nothing. The illusion of the Emboar as a difficult works in your favor if you’ve built the deck correctly, so be sure to take advantage of it.

Pokémon Catcher

The only thing about Catcher that I have to explain is the low amount of them. That’s mainly because this deck hits heavy damage and in order to get 6 prizes hitting the opponent’s active is usually enough. The one Catcher can be recycled with Junk Arm as well so if you for some reason need a second Catcher to get the last prize, you can easily do that with Junk Arm.

Burned Tower

A stadium? Are you kidding me? Not really, Burned Tower really works here very well because when you flip heads you are able to recover and energy from the discard pile. This deck really needs energies back from discard pile with Trainers and this Stadium because it has limited fire energy. Reshiram discards 2 energy every time it attacks so with only 11 fire energy, you’re begging Burned Tower to work every time you use it. Running one Burned Tower is enough because no other deck plays stadiums at the moment. The only other stadium you can see is Ruins of Alph but it’s pretty safe to assume that once you lay down Burned Tower you can use it for the rest of the game. And if you wonder if it benefits your opponent as well the answer is simple – it may benefit also your opponent but there is no way it wouldn’t benefit you more. It’s a card worth running here. 

Cards to consider

The space in this deck is limited and there really are many things that would be great additions for the decklist. Here is a quick run through for the best tech cards for this deck.

Cleffa or Smeargle as a starter

If you don’t feel comfortable without a starter, you could consider Cleffa or Smeargle. Cleffa works everytime very well but Smeargle could give you some great draws with your opponent’s Juniper or Sage’s. It’s up to you, if you want to play a starter and which one.

4th Rare Candy

I want to emphasize this once more. The more you have Rare Candies in your deck, the better chance you have drawing at least one of them in the early game. I find myself questioning running only 3 Rare Candies but if you play this deck, I suggest you try running both numbers and decide for yourself.

Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND

RDL is also a staple tech in ReshiBoar. The fact that it’s able to OHKO anything and get 2 prizes is unavoidable. With Emboar and lots of energy retrieving cards, you are able to get RDL hitting as soon as you hit it on your bench. The only problematic thing about RDL is how to get into play. With so much discard-draw cards in the deck, it’s very possible that pieces of RDL just end up into the discard pile and you don’t have any proper way of getting them back. I love RDL in this deck when the list uses Ninetales for consistency but it’s sure worth a try in a Reshiboar without a Ninetales as well.


Reshiboar can be considered as a metagame deck so it’s worth looking into its match-ups.


Slightly Favorable
Stage1 variants
Trainer lock/Reuniclus


Slighly Unfavorable


As you can see from the statistics, the match-ups for Reshiboar are pretty good. That’s because Reshiboar certainly is a good deck. Probably the best thing about Reshiboar is its great match-up against ReshiPlosion, which is very played at the moment. The fact that Inferno Fandango doesn’t damage Reshirams unlike Afterburner is the key for victory. You don’t need the PlusPower to OHKO their Reshis but they need a PlusPower your Reshirams EVERY time. It just too huge advantage to Reshiboar and that’s why the match-up is so good.

The even match-ups’ outcome is determined by many factors but it’s mostly the normal: luck, start and skills. In the first place, trainer locks can cause Reshiboar harm but once you’ve trained enough against them, the match-up is favorable. The great thing about Reshiboar is that it’s easy to OHKO anything with the BadBoar. That makes annoying Trainer lock/Reuniclus decks suffer. 

The only weak match-up is Zekrom/Tornadus and that’s just because Zekrom/Tornadus is just too fast for this deck. Sometimes. The match-up is pretty even if Reshiboar is able to go first and get a T2-3 Inferno Fandango Boar. But Reshiboar has an worse than average start and Zekrom is allowed to go first and get T1 prize, the game is settled. There is no way you can mount a comeback as long as the Zekrom deck functions well-enough.

The future of Reshiboar

The future looks bright for Reshiboar. N is the card that really gives Reshiboar problems but you should be able to load your attackers before your opponent can N your hand into 1-2 card. Even though N will come to disturb Reshiboar it will be playable probably throughout the season. If we think about 2 sets in the future, the hyped Mewtwo EX will come and abuse Emboar's ability very well. Emboar is a great card with Mewtwo EX as well so maybe we see a TwoBoar deck in the future?


Reshiboar isn’t the most common deck you see at the tournaments but it still holds up very well against the most played decks in the format. In my opinion, Reshiboar is highly overlooked. One reason for that is that a fully functional Reshiboar is very difficult to build and I have seen a few very bad builds on the Internet. I’m happy to provide you tournament-winning deck list of this deck alongside the analysis of the deck.

I highly recommend you try running this deck even if you hadn’t get your own Reshiboar deck working. Reshiboar is a challenger in the format that should be taken seriously. I hope you found this article informational.

Thanks for reading, if you have any comments or questions feel free to write them in the comment box below!

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// Be back to The Deck Out next week when it’s time for Battle Road’s results analysis as well with predictions which way the metagame shifts in the Autumn Regionals!


  1. Nice article, some thoughts.

    I think running only 3 Tepig over 4 is too much of a risk. Playing four of them would at least help the Zekrom matchup, the game is pretty much over if ZPST starts hitting Tepigs T1 and one of them is prized. Also not a big fan of a 1-1 tech evolution line in a format full of Catcher. Imo Fisherman should also be included in the cards to consider running.

  2. RESHIBOAR! Finally! Thanks Esa, nothing better in the PTCG world than waking up in the morning to the words of "Reshiboar" being analyzed. :D

    Some thoughts:

    1-1 Ninetales is a good addition for consistency, as you mentioned, but often when one piece is prized then its pretty much a dead card.

    Fisherman is a must, I have to say. I run 3 of them with 1 Retrieval, only because I've faced off with MewLock on so many occasions its starting to be traumatic.

    My BR last weekend was a bad 1-3 record. Won against a Donphan & Dragons, but lost to a Yanmega/Magnezone and 2 ZPSTs. I'd say the ZPST match up can be helped with a 4th Tepig, and maybe a deck refresher like Flower Shop Lady could get back those vital stuff that got KO'ed so early.

    Eager to test out RDL, I hear it gives Reshiboar an edge no other deck can abuse.

    Lastly, the debate over discard-draw (Juniper & Sage) and straight/shuffle-draw (Cheren & PONT) Supporters. The one that runs through the deck faster would be discard-draw, at the expense of resources that straight-draw saves you. What's your, and everyone else's, opinion on that for a resource-hungry deck like Reshiboar?

    Thanks again Esa, a wonderful review on a deck I so eagerly awaited for. Keep it up! :D

  3. Only one of the 2 battle roads in Finland have been won by Reshiboar. Reshiphlosion won the other.

  4. Keksi: You just have to lay down the Tepigs when you can evolve them. Of course it's a slaughter if you jsut lay down all our Tepigs at once and wonder why they don't evolve because you're unable to draw Candys/Emboar.

    Aaron: I had a Ninetales version of this deck too but I was impressed how this deck won 2 tournaments that I wanted to give an alternative list. This isn't the kind of list you see every day and it still works very well so that's why decided to include non-Ninetales list.

    I knew I forgot something when I wrote this article and it sure was Fisherman. Fisherman is great but this deck might have some issues with it because of Sage's and Juniper. You can't VS seeker your Fisherman back like you can Junk Arm Energy Retrieval back. That's why I think Retrieval is superior to Fisherman in a non-Ninetales ReshiBoar. Same problem with Flower Shop Lady. However, I'm sure to update the list once Super Rodes is released, it really makes so many other Pokemon playable (like RDL)!

    Anonymous: No need to nitpick - I count BT as a Battle Road. And this was written before the second BR took place.

    Zarmakuizz: Thank you as always!

    Thanks for comments guys! Keep em' coming.

  5. Good point there about Junk Arm-ing Retrieval. The only time I find that hard to execute is when Trainer Lock hits the board, so that's why Fisherman is my new best friend. Somehow the meta over here is full of MewLock *shivers* and Gothitelle.

  6. Good article. Well written and a few things that did surprise me. That said I do think this is hyping a deck that has its fair share of flaws. If it gets a bad start it is 50/50 depending on the opponents deck. Also as I am a Reshiphlo runner I think that what was said about the matchup is true to a point. While yes Emboar has the advantage EARLY game if you run low or out of energy and can not get to a retrieval or a fisherman the deck flounders. With Emboar you really do not want to be getting rid of your energy due to an attack at all. That gets rid of the point of using Emboar without a built in retrieval system that does not take a supporter or item slot. Later game I have noticed is most Emboar decks tend to deck themselves a fair bit. Another not such a good thing. That said I love the list. I think I will try it. I also do not think Reshboars future is so bright. Its decent but it is a teir 1 3/4. It fails miserably late game and more often than not has a really bad start. I think Emboar in general that future is bright. Emboar with Reshiram....not so much. You really can not afford to discard the energy. A good Reshiphlo runs healing of some sort so the matchup is decent to 50-50. Otherwise good article A+++

  7. Volkaryle: Yeah Reshiplosion vs. Reshiboar match-up is difficult to rate because there are so many factros that affect the match during the game. However, I still do think that it's at least a bit in Reshiboar's favor as long as they get T2-3 Emboar going.

    Thanks for the comments!

  8. Good stuff, too many grammar mistakes. Take an English class or two.

  9. Conbarantrio: Thanks for the comment! Yeah , I know I should. I'll try to develop my English skills while writing this blog as well :D

  10. ninetails or fishermen!? w-what kinda rishboar deck would this be!? goes way faster 4 u w/ ninetails, and then u can just regain the fire with fisher after drawing it! o-e

  11. What changes will you consider to make on this deck,when the hgss set be rotated out,because im considering this deck for th bw on format,please reply...


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