Thursday, January 26, 2012

Featured Writer: Matijs Moree - Tyranitar & Dragons

Hi to all The Deck Out followers!

As promised, my first featured writer ever will make his debut for my blog. Matijs is a Dutch player and a very good friend of mine. He loves to play rogue decks and we often brainstorm with each other about the rogue decks since I share the same interest in rogue decks as he. Matijs' best achievements in tournaments have also been with rogue decks. He won Benelux Cup in 2009 with my own rogue invention - Dialga G LV.X/Dusknoir LV.X. He also placed in the top8 of the last year's ECC with Regigigas being the only Regigigas in the whole tournament.

Since Matijs loves rogues, I decided that he could very well write about one. I haven't been able to produce you enough Rogue deck articles so I was happy when Matijs said that he had been playing a rogue that even the Dutch CP leader was afraid of (since he was playing Chandelure). Let me know what you think about this entry so I know what kind of entries and featured writers I can use in my blog. For now I give you Tyranitar & Dragons by Matijs Moree.


Hello Deck Out! This time it’s not Esa with a new article but me, Matijs!
I’m a rogue player ever since I started playing and when Esa asked me to write an article I had no problems with it at all. It’s awesome to share my ideas with you! In this article I’ll talk about one of my rogue decks: Tyranitar/Dragons. Why would you ever play something like this?! Well, everyone knows the concept of Donphan/Dragons, so why not adding a few dragons to your Straight-Tyranitar list?

So without any further delay, this is the list!

Pokémon: 15

4 Larvitar UL (Mountain Eater)
2 Pupitar UL (Boost Gas)
4 Tyranitar Prime
1 Cleffa HS
1 Pichu HS
2 Kyurem NV
1 Reshiram BW

T/S/S: 33

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Juniper
4 Sage’s Training
2 Twins
4 Rare Candy
4 Junk Arm
4 Max Potion
3 Pokémon Communication
2 Pokémon Catcher
1 Super Rod
1 Switch

Energies: 12

4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Darkness Energy (Special)
4 Darkness Energy (Basic)

In the next section I’ll discuss for every card why I use it.


Larvitar (Mountain Eater)

It has 10 HP less than the other larvitar but 50 HP is enough to be out of the ‘Kyurem Range’. If your opponent plays a donk deck it will be donked anyway, also with 60 HP.
The attacks of this Larvitar are much better (it can donk a lone Voltorb!) and I maxed it out to 4 because I want it asap and there is a chance that I discard them during the game.

Pupitar (Boost Gas)

If energy attached, this Pupitar has free retreat, which can be really good. Pupitar’s attack can be a surprise as well (20 + 10 more for each damage counter on Pupitar). Against a lightning (or other) deck you can try to put damage counters on a benched Pupitar with Tyranitars attack and then use Rage for only 2 colourless energies!

Tyranitar Prime

The key card of the deck (seriously?!). This 160 HP BEAST is mainly used to spread 20 to everything (except darkness Pokémon)(Darkness Howl). Since you can easily use Max Potion on Tyranitar and charge it again with a single Darkness energy you’ll hurt your opponent a lot. And you charge your dragons at the same time! This is confusing for your opponent since they have to choose to attack your active BEAST or the charged dragons on your bench! In most cases it doesn’t even matter what they choose since you still have a serious attacker left or simply use another Max Potion again (since it’s very rare that a Tyranitar is OHKO’d).

While spreading with an active Tyranitar you can also try to charge a second one on the bench. Tyranitar can OHKO most Pokémon with Megaton Tail since special dark is in the list. And Power claw is also usefull since it hits through everything.

This list runs 4 Tyranitar because you want it in play asap. During most games you’ll use max. 3 Tyranitars but there also is a chance that you discard a Tyranitar, that’s why I had 4 in this list.


Due to supporters like Juniper and Sage’s Training you’ll run quickly through this deck but sometimes you don’t draw into them and that’s the time you need Cleffa!


Just to increase the chance to start with a filled bench and a T2 Tyranitar. Can be changed to another dragon though, depends on your playing style.


Kyurem makes matchups like Reshiplosion and Donphan a lot easier and can hit for a lot anyway after charged by Tyranitar. The amount of each dragon in this deck depens on the metagame.
Always try to have more than 1 dragon in play, in that case you’ll always have backup!


Reshiram is in here for the same reason as Kyurem but for another type advantage. In a Cobalion heavy metagame this card can be game winning. Depending on the metagame you can also play Zekrom in this deck.


Pokémon Collector, Professor Juniper, Sage’s Training

You want your setup asap. I maxed out collector to get your basic Pokémon in play asap. Juniper and Sage are to draw as many cards as soon as possible. You’ll need this supporter setup to get your Tyranitar in play soon. The risk of this engine is that you might discard valuable cards.

If you want to change this engine the best option is to add some N (because you’ll be behind in prizes most times) and in that case it’s most likely to cut the Twins (because you need to be behind in prizes to use it). Cutting Sage and Juniper is also possible but not too many of them, that will ruin your engine.


Even though this list is quite fast, it is still outspeeded by many decks. You only need 2 because it also happens that you have a quick setup and will be ahead in prizes.

This card can also be used strategical: you can for example put Cleffa and Pichu on your bench and KO them with Tyranitars attack. In this way you’ll be able to use your Twins and you disable your opponents Twins. Of course this is a riskfull strategy because you give away prizes.

Rare Candy

You want Tyranitar in turn 2 that’s why this list plays 4 Rare Candy.

Junk Arm

Esa has an awesome article about this card!

Max Potion
This is one of the key cards in the deck. It’s rare that Tyranitar is OHKO’d. So you just use Max Potion to have a fresh Tyranitar once again! Tyranitar only needs 1 darkness energy so you can do this multiple times!

This list uses 4 Max Potion because most likely you’ll need to heal Tyranitar multiple times. And there is a chance this card gets discarded with the Supporter engine mentioned before. In some situations you can also use Max Potion to heal a benched Dragon.

Pokémon Communication

Why 3? I thought 4 is too much because you only need it for Tyranitar and Pupitar in most cases. After testing I realized that 3 indeed is the correct amount of Communication in this deck. If it is your playstyle you can max this card out to 4, for more consistency but that means that you’ll have less space for other essential cards.

Pokémon Catcher

Because you can spread you don’t need to max them out but it’s still nice to drag something in front with high retreat and start spreading around it. Or to KO a key attacker from your opponent with massive damage after you Catcher’d it to the front!

Super Rod

Since you discard a lot of your own deck this card is also 1 of the key cards in the deck. 2 Super Rods might be usefull as well. Next to discarding your own deck you also discard Tyranitars darkness energies. This list took the risk of playing only 1 Super Rod, for more consistency you can play 2 (but it’s a bad card to have in the beginning of the game).

A lot of high retreaters in this deck so this card is obvious. If you like you can add another one. This because it’s not rare that heavy retreaters are Catcher’d up in front.


Double Colorless Energy

Tyranitars second and third attack are much easier to use when you have DCE. Also the Dragons need DCE to use Outrage. It’s obvious this card is in the deck 4 times.

Darkness Energy (special)

This card adds the little more damage to KO some Pokémon which are played a lot.

Darkness Energy (basic)

Obvious. You can use more of them if you like to. While testing I found out this is enough most times but riskfull as well.


In this section I’ll discuss Tyranitars matchup against the most played metagame decks.

Tyranitar vs. Chandelure (60-40, in your favour)

At the first sight you’ll think, Tyranitar is a darkness Pokémon so this should be really easy. But this matchup is harder than most people think.
The trainer lock really hurts Tyranitar, it slows the deck down a lot and prevents it from healing. The special conditions from Chandelure’s attack can be really annoying as well. Just like the Cobalion most Chandelure players use in their deck.

To win this matchup you should try to get Tyranitar in play asap and try to KO their bench, if that doesnt work, try to KO some of your own Pokémon to prevent your opponent from playing Twins. It is favourable to have 2 Tyranitars out before your opponent has 2 Chandelure (2 Chandelure can OHKO a benched Larvitar). If you manage that you just need to attach 1 DCE and 1 special Darkness energy to Tyranitar and you OHKO every Chandelure. Cobalion can be easily OHKO’d as well (Megaton Tail)!

The Dragons are not necessary in this matchup most games.
A great addition for this matchup can be Unown Cure, it will give you the chance to OHKO 2 Chandelures in a row (which seals the deal most games).

Tyranitar vs. Magnezone/Eelektrik (40-60, in their favour)

This is the second hardest matchup for Tyranitar in the current metagame. Magnezone can OHKO Tyranitar, that is the biggest problem for Tyranitar.
They need 4 energies to OHKO Tyranitar but if they OHKO 2 Tyranitars in a row this matchup will be really hard.

Tyranitar is slightly faster so try to spread with Darkness Howl asap and as long as possible, in that case a second Tyranitar can OHKO most of their Pokémon.
This is not the only strategy in this matchup, the strategy is quite variable because it can also be good to get rid of Magnemite’s or Tynamo’s asap.

You shouldn’t try to collect Max Potions in this matchup, you rarely need them. You’d rather build at least 3 Tyranitars asap. In that case you can try to force them to stop attacking with Magnezone.
Dragons can be a key card in this matchup, they don’t want to OHKO them because they want to save energies for Tyranitar, at that point you should try to get a couple of prizes.

Tyranitar vs. Kyurem/Electrode (60-40, in your favour)

This is an easier matchup but this deck can outspeed you more easily that’s why this matchup is not totally in your favour.

The biggest problems for Tyranitar in this matchup are Cobalion and Turn 2 Kyurem. Tyranitar has 3 retreat so Cobalion is annoying but adding a second switch can solvet hat problem quite easy. T2 Kyurem will probably cause you to lose a few Larvitars, in this case you should play fully on your Dragons (and you should play at least 4 in this case) since they don’t want to use Glaciate if you only have Dragons. In this case try to collect Larvitar, Rare Candy and Tyranitar in your hand. In that case you’ll have a Tyranitar on the field almost for sure!

Tyranitar can OHKO al of their Pokémon with Megaton Tail but most times they won’t let this happen. So try to bring their Pokémon in KO range with Darkness Howl while charging your Dragons. Or use Power Claw when they have Cobalion with a lot of Special Metals or if they have a Pokémon with Eviolite attached to it.

A fun but serious way to win this matchup can be with Larvitar. Larvitar can do 20 damage for 1 Colourless energy, so try to Catcher their Voltorbs and OHKO them with Larvitar!

Tyranitar vs. ZPST (55-45, in your favour)

The biggest problem in this matchup is their speed. They can easily outspeed you and take too many prizes to be able to make a comeback.
But in most games you can get a quite fast setup as well and in that case it will be extremely hard for ZPST to win.

Just start spreading with Tyranitar until you KO’d their low HP Pokémon (Pachirisu, Shaymin) and then KO the others with Power Claw or Outrage from a Dragon.
Then can never OHKO you if you play it clever and you’ll just use Max Potion over and over again.
Depending on the situation (how many Tyranitars you have and if they have Eviolite attached) you can also try to KO all of their Pokémon with Tyranitars.
Twins is a key card in this matchup since you’ll always be behind in prizes in the beginning of the game.

Tyranitar vs. Durant (20-80, in their favour)

This is the hardest matchup by far. You use a Supporter engine which runs through your deck quickly. You can’t make use of it too much against Durant because they will easily deck you out in that case.

So in this matchup you should be lucky to get a Tyranitar in play soon with 3 energies attached (at least 1 special dark energy). You should put only a Tyranitar in play, they’ll just catcher the rest.
With Power Claw (and at least 1 special dark attached) you OHKO every Durant which seems really good, and it is but the problem is that they easily discard or remove your energies. You just can’t keep up with that. I don’t think there is a card at the moment which makes the Durant matchup playable for Tyranitar. The only card which can solve this problem for Tyranitar is Heatmor from an upcoming set (does 60 on a Durant for 1 Colourless energy).


In the current metagame this deck can do well because you have quite some good matchups. Against random other decks you’re also in favour except against Terrakion decks which are played more lately. After all I can conclude that if you like rogue (and taking risks), consider playing this deck. It has only a few weaknesses and it’s just a BEAST! The downside is that it is not the most consistent deck. I hope this deck can do well in the future as well. Looking to the next set Tyranitar can be good, if Mewtwo EX will be played a lot. But that’s something for the future! Thanks for reading!

Let me know what you think about this featured writer article in the comments section! All feedback is welcome!
- Esa


  1. Funny deck and nice to see it, but this is a little bit too late, as there arent many tournaments with hg-nvi left.

  2. What about rocky helmet? Constant healing from max potion should make rocky helmet the most annoying thing ever.

  3. Funny, I was just thinking about whether this would work today.

  4. Love Tyranitar! I like the idea of using it as an accelerated Donphan & Dragons :) Hadn't thought of that. Did have a speed tyranitar deck though. Very cool!

  5. First of all, thank you for the comments! I can understand that the 'comments' part is one of the most important parts of this blog for Esa, so don't hesitate to post a comment here!

    I understand your point but I see potention for this deck in the future as well. Tyranitar is good against cards like Mewtwo EX and it should be easy to change the deck to the new format.

    David Sun:
    Good idea! I never thought of playing Rocky Helmet in this deck, this could be a really good addition. But you need to find place for it in the deck. I think I would try to play 1 or 2 Rocky Helmet.

    Just try it! It really works!

    You should really try to play a few dragons in your speed Tyranitar list! It gives you so many more options! And yes, Tyranitar is just awesome!

  6. Thank you Matijs for commenting on the comments! Also, thank you everyone for the feedback, keep em' coming!

    Also, I can't go predicting what will come from the new set before the set list is really released. I want to be accurate and not just guess things by a hunch!

  7. Esa it is released. Just google next destinies and bulbapedia will come up. It has the list. Theme decks were leaked and they came with set lists so you know the whole set.

  8. Matijs is een baas!

  9. Grats on your debut article! Too bad I don't see you around much anymore. Come to the ECC and surprise us! I'll be there judging.


  10. Esa:
    No problem;)


    Thanks a lot! It's awesome to play Pokémon but I also have to put a lot of time in my study so unfortunately I can't play a lot at the moment. Looking forward to see you at the ECC and I promise to play rogue again;)

  11. I wouldn't say that's the best strategy for Tyranitar to play against Durant at all...

    "So in this matchup you should be lucky to get a Tyranitar in play soon with 3 energies attached (at least 1 special dark energy). You should put only a Tyranitar in play, they’ll just catcher the rest."

    What you should do is just spread with Darkness howl. In 4 turns at least 2 Durants are likely to die, and it's difficult to revive more than one in a turn. If you're lucky, they don't have an eviolite or special metal on a third durant, but even if they have one special metal, after a couple darkness howls TTar's Power Claw finishes the job.

    I'd still agree it's a terrible matchup, but if you try to just power claw you're going to get lost removered badly.

    1. *cough* Power Claw doesn't care about eviolite and special metals. It just takes a darkness howl to put all Durants in 1HKO range.*cough* ^_^; Sorta forgot about that effect.

      Still, a Durant deck really hates losing multiple Durants in the same turn. It's very hard to revive more than 1 with the resources in an average hand, and doing that more than once is nigh impossible. Using a couple N over twins would also maybe help this matchup.

  12. Crawdaunt:

    Thanks for the comment!
    I tried this matchup multiple times and Darkness Howling is useless. Most games they have Eviolites and special metals soon enough. Though it's true that an early Darkness Howl on unprotected Durants can be good since they will be easier to KO after that.
    I also tried to do 2 Darkness Howls early game when having Reshiram in play. This strategy works pretty well but only if you play at least 2 Switch...

    I also found out that Shaymin can be a good addition to this deck. (discovered some days ago while playtesting)

    Again, thanks for your reply!

  13. Have to rep this. I tested the crap out of Tyranitar and Dragons headed into state. It had fairly good Typhlosion, Primetime, and ZPST matchups, and a ridiculously good Goth matchup. Unfortunately Donphan was around to keep the deck from being anything too good. If Kyurem was part of Emerging Powers though, this deck would have been amazing for regionals.

  14. Andrew:
    True, Donphan used to be a problem, fortunately it wasn't played much around here so I started with the Tyranitar deck.
    A new issue for Tyranitar is Terakkion. 1 Terakkion can run through the whole deck if played correctly, that's why I'm busy with a Terakkion counter.
    Thanks for the comment!

    1. Maybe try to spread with T-tar, and not take any prizes so they can't retaliate? Terrakion does seem like it'd be tough. Would Gigas and Mewtwo EX be good in this deck? Awesome article though!

  15. Pokemonjoe:
    Thanks, really appreciate it:) And thanks for the comment anyway!

    That's a good strategy but it only works if they don't attach Eviolite to Terakkion or attach a third energy to Terakkion. In other words, most games they'll win anyway if they have Terakkion. 3 energy Terakkion runs through Tyranitar. Maybe it's an idea to test Lost remover in Tyranitar. It's good against many decks and it can disturb Terakkion since most Terakkion players use it's attacks with rainbow energy (prism energy).
    Mewtwo EX can be teched in here but I dont think you want that because it's possible to hurt your own Mewtwo EX.
    Regigigas seems a nice tech, and I really love to play Regigigas but this one just isnt good enough. It can hurt the oppenent badly but 1 time only. It's easily catcher'd and it costs you 2 prizes which you can't permit. Good idea though:)


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