Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mewtwo EX & Eelektrik

To play or not to play - that is the question.
Hello all The Deck Out readers!

You know what day today is? That’s right - Mewtwo EX day. In fact, today is the last day of Mewtwo EX series! Today’s Mewtwo EX deck is the deck, which took the whole Japan by storm. It has yet been the most played and successful Mewtwo EX deck in Japan and is still doing fine even while Dark Rush has been released. It also seems that it’s no different in the west, Eelektrik variants are all over the top spots in the first weekend of States.

Unlike in west, in Japan Eelektrik/Zekrom was all the rage even before Mewtwo EX was released. The Japanese meta was a combination of Chandelure and Eelektrik/Zekrom decks. As we all know, Eelektrik/Zekrom never got the same attention in the U.S. while the format was HGSS-NVI but Eelektrik/Magnezone replaced its place in the metagame. Fitting Mewtwo EX in the Eelektrik/Magnezone is so much more difficult than to an ordinary Eelektrik/Zekrom and that’s the main reason why the deck’s that have been doing well in the State Championships have been Eelektrik/Zekrom variants, not Magnezone/Eelektrik variants.

In this entry, I’ll discuss the Eelektrik/Zekrom in general but I won’t forget other variants either. This is a full breakdown of everything you need to know about Eelektrik/Zekrom decks.

Anyways, let’s look what the skeleton of this deck has eaten.

Pokémon:

3x Zekrom
3x Mewtwo EX
3x Tynamo
3x Eelektrik
1x Cleffa
=13

Trainer:

4x Pokémon Collector
2x Pokegear 3.0.
3x Level Ball
4x Professor Juniper
4x Sage’s Training
2x N
4x Junk Arm
3x Pokémon Catcher
3x Eviolite
=29

Energy:

4x Double Colorless Energy
8x Lighting Energy
=12

=54

Everyone should be familiar with the skeleton and idea of this build but let’s look closer at the cards the skeleton has – I’ll get to strategy later on in this article when I’ll show you the complete list.

Card Explanations

Zekrom

Zekrom is THE attacker in this deck. Even though this deck has now the overpowered Mewtwo EX AND a second EX I’ll introduce later in this article, the normal Zekrom is still the most important attacker of the deck. In fact, thanks to EX Pokémon and the metagame change, Zekrom is even more important attacker than in the past. This deck was only a mediocre deck in the HGSS-NVI format but thanks to the added firepower from the EX Pokémon, this deck reached the tier1 spot in an instant.

The thing what makes Zekrom so good in the current format is that it’s versatile (Yeah, you heard me right). It’s versatile not because you can put it in any deck but because it OHKOs almost every non-EX Pokémon in the format and 2HKOs every EX Pokémon in the format. The great thing about this is that you can use it at any point of the game. When it comes to Mewtwo EX; you don’t want to start attacking with it before your opponent starts attacking with it. With Zekrom you can hit the whole game through and in the best case scenario you need the other attackers only for the last prize/2 prizes.

Zekrom is easily energy accelerated with Eelektrik in this deck and this is the main combo in this deck even though it has multiple attackers. The synergy between Eelektrik and Zekrom is as good as it can get.


Mewtwo EX

In this deck, Mewtwo EX uses once again only the X-Ball attack. With Eelektriks on the bench and manual attachment Mewtwo EX can easily have 4 energy attached to it in just one turn. This energy amount is usually enough to KO anything that your opponent has as their active Pokémon and Zekrom can’t OHKO. However, usually Mewtwo EX works in this deck only as a Mewtwo EX counter. The other decks that Mewtwo EX is good against are Trainer locking “130 HP decks” like Chandelure and Vanilluxe. Zekrom/Eelektrik’s main weakness was that kind of decks because it could hit only for 120 damage in the past format but thanks to EXs, the magical number problem has been solved for Zekrom/Eelektrik.

Eelektrik

Eelektrik is the energy accelerator of the deck. It takes a lighting energy from your discard pile with its ability and attaches it to one of your benched Pokémon. Unlike Typhlosion Prime, it doesn’t damage the Pokémon it attaches energy to but you must always remember that it attaches only on the bench. The deck that has Eelektrik as its energy accelerator has to be built while taking the ability of Eelektrik into an account. The deck should always have at least one free retreater (usually the starter) and at least 1 Switch (usually you want to run 2 Switches). Retreating is in huge role in Eelektrik decks because it must be done once in a while to keep the deck going.


Cleffa

Cleffa is the starter and free retreater I mentioned. The deck is so much better with Cleffa than without Cleffa that the difference is unbelievable. This deck doesnät usually get into attacking in the first 1-2 turns so Cleffa is an ideal starter for a Collector based set-up deck like this. You can search the Pokémon you need to evolve on your bench with Collector and Eeeeeek at the same time. This helps you to thin your deck and set-up as fast as you can. This deck is usually fully operational and evolved in T3 thanks to Cleffa.

Pokémon Collector - Pokegear 3.0.

Consistency at its best. Not to mention that this deck so consistent thanks to Collectors that it’s unheard of. 4 Pokémon Collectors and 2 Pokegears is the standard mad-consistent set-up combo for me and it means a chance of 95% for a T1 Collector.

Level Ball

The skeleton list of this deck doesn’t have that many Pokémons that Pokémon Communication would be good. After all these cards are only for the set-up and every single Pokémon EX of this deck can be sought via Pokémon Collector. Level Ball is a great card because it can get you every single non-attacking Pokémon of this deck for you. In the final list you’ll see that I have mixed both Pokémon Communications and Level Balls and why is that. Because of Junk Arm – versatility is the God.

Professor Juniper - Sage’s Training

This deck takes energy from the discard pile thus using discarding draw is the only correct way to go. This deck is very consistent only with Cleffa and Collector and since it can also use 2 best draw cards of the format, it becomes even more consistent. In my opinion, this deck is one of the most consistent decks that this format will ever have and that’s one of the reasons, why it will become so good.

N

N is the most essential card for the EX-wars. This deck isn’t the fastest of the format so N helps it came back from the early game prize deficit. N also helps in the mid game because this deck doesn’t need so many resources to get an attacker ready after a KO than the fastest decks like Celebi Prime variants.

Junk Arm

Badumtsih,

Pokémon Catcher

Well, you want to play this card if you aren’t able to OHKO the active Pokémon for some reason. It helps you to take the advantage in the prize race match-ups and it may help you in all kind of game situations as well.

Eviolite

Eviolite is here for three reasons:

1) Zekrom’s Strike Bolts hits itself
2) Your opponent’s Mewtwo EX needs more energy to OHKO your Mewtwo EX and
3) Zekrom EX is practically impossible to OHKO

Every time you want to attack with any of your attackers, you want to have Eviolite attached to them since the one time your opponent can’t OHKO your attacker, you’ll get ahead in the prize race. This deck gets into prize race against so many decks that the whole deck should be built while keeping that in mind.


Energy

Nothing too surprising here. The optimal amount of Lighting Energy is somewhere between 8 and 10 but running 4 Double Colorless Energy is a must if you want to win Celebi/Mewtwo variants. DCE is also very helpful if your final list runs Zekrom EX, which I’ll talk about later on.


Full decklist

This is the list that my fellow Finnish player played in the ECC and placed 3rd in the tournament.

3x Tynamo (Free retreat)
1x
Tynamo (40 HP)
4x
Eelektrik NVI
4x
Zekrom BLW
2x
Mewtwo EX
1x
Cleffa CL
=15

Trainer:
4x Pokémon Collector
4x
Professor Juniper
2x
Sage’s Training
2x
Professor Oak’s New Theory
2x
N
4x
Junk Arm
3x
Pokémon Catcher
3x
Eviolite
3x
PlusPower
2x
Pokegear 3.0
1x
Level Ball
1x
Switch
1x
Super Rod
=32

Energy:

9x Lighting Energy
4x Double Colorless Energy
=13


As you can see, it isn’t that different from the skeleton list. However, there are some things that might seem very weird for someone.

First, 4-4 Eelektrik line. This is for 2 different reasons. Eelektrik is the energy accelerator in this deck and you must manage to set-up it in every game. That’s why running 4 Tynamos  is a must. Your worst enemy is Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus variants that take fast prizes in early game. You must maximize Tynamos in your deck to minimize the damage that CMT may do to you. The reason to run 4 Eelektriks is pretty simple – you draw them without using Communications/Level Ball to search for them. If you look closely to the list, you notice that it doesn’t run any Communications. The reason, why it doesn’t, is that every Pokémon in the deck is searchable with Pokémon Collector except Eelektrik.

The other thing, which is important to notice, is the lack of Zekrom EX. In this deck, there are 3 PlusPowers, 4 Junk Arms to do the big damage. The player playing this deck, didn’t feel like Zekrom EX is necessary and it worked very well for me. On the other hand, my big brother played the exact same list in the tournament and went 7-1 in the Swiss and he had 1 Zekrom EX instead of 4th Zekrom. He also said, it was huge help in most games. So, as I said, it’s a personal preference if you decide to play Zekrom EX or not. However, one thing is for certain – this list runs very smoothly.  


Magnezone variants

Magnezone/Eelektrik variants were very popular in the ECC but as we look at the standings of both – ECC and US States – we can see one thing that is clear: Magnezone variants are too slow in this format. And that’s a fact. I know there are many players that love Magnezone and its Magnetic Draw but sometimes it’s very important to face the truth – pure Eelektrik decks are simply better in the current metagame and format. The reason for this is that Magnezone doesn’t give you a huge edge over anything even though you have N that works very well with Magnetic Draw. The main attackers of Eelektrik variants are all Basics and you don’t need a lot of resources to get them into play. From time to time, N doesn’t disrupt Eelektrik variants at all – they already have everything they need to win the game on the bench.

We’ll have to just wait and see if Magnezone can make a comeback in the next weekend’s State Championships but I doubt it. However, there might be a future for Magnezone in for example Magneboar. However, at the moment the future of Magnezone looks pretty murk.


Zebstrika/Zapdos variant

This isn’t widely discussed Eelektrik variant because it hasn’t done that well in any of the tournament but I just wanted to point out that it existed. This Eelektrik variants has 2 strategies to win the game:

1) Use Zapdos like a Catcher to take the early prizes from low HP Basics
2) In the late game, Catcher something immobile to the active position and then N your opponent into a small hand and start taking prizes from the bench with Zebstrika.

This variant is also very deadly against Durant since Durant has no real answer against Zebstrika’s Disconnect since Disconnect works just like a Vileplume but is an attack. I believe that this deck could have great potential if there were enough skilled players to test and improve the deck but at the moment it seems that everyone has already forgotten about it.


Tech options

There are mainly 2 tech options that I would suggest everyone to try in their Zekrom/Eelektrik variants. They are:

Terrakion

Terrakion is naturally at its best against mirror matches. Terrakion with Eviolite is very difficult to OHKO and is only OHKOable with Zekrom EX or Zekrom and 3 PlusPowers. Getting Revenge kill with Terrakion and then another with Terrakion’s second attack can be a game-changer at any point of the game. Playing Terrakion requires you to play Prism energy or Basic Fighting in your deck but that doesn’t mess with the deck’s consistency too much. After all, if running 3 cards in your deck can turn the most common (and difficult) match-up around, it really is worth it.

Zebstrika

Zebstrika is the best against two kinds of decks: Durant and funnily enough – Vileplume variants. One Zebstrika can easily turn the game around against Durant because of Disconnect and if you’re having problems with Durant match-up with your Eelektrik variant, I suggest you try 1-1 Zebstrika line as a tech. Zebstrika is also very good against Vileplume variants. It might seem strange that trainer lock is good against trainer lock decks but in fact it isn’t. To set-up the trainer lock, trainer lock decks require Items, which Disconnect stops. No more Rare Candy or Pokémon Communication. As you have Catcher and Disconnect on your side, you can get rid of their Oddishes before they have a chance to evolve and after that you have the game pretty much wrapped up.

Conclusion

All in all, Zekrom/Eelektrik is the deck that will probably stay around for the rest of the format. It has been doing very well in Japan even after the release of Dark Rush and Dragon Selection only makes Eelektrik better than ever (say hi to Rayquaza EX). It’s also already dominating the tournaments in both Europe and the U.S. so if you haven’t for some reason built this deck before or tested against it, you should.

I hope you found this entry informative and that it wasn’t too late. The first weekend of States has already passed but there are still weekends left to catch up with this deck. As I said, this was also the last entry of the Mewtwo EX series and I’ll probably concentrate on The Deck Out goes global and any new and interesting decks that will pop-out from the U.S. States in the future. I’m also planning to get an article about the ECC comet deck “MeesieMew” out soon, so look forward to that!

Thanks for reading and good luck for States this weekend! I’ll be attending my first States this weekend as well with a report like always.  

14 comments:

  1. Good work, I will put a terakkion and 2 fight energy, just in case

    ReplyDelete
  2. No love for Thundurus!?

    ReplyDelete
  3. >4 Pokémon Collectors and 2 Pokegears is the standard mad-consistent set-up combo for me and it means a chance of 95% for a T1 Collector.

    Isn't it more like a 60% chance? Less when you consider the possibility of whiffing on Pokegear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say 60%-70% is about right, 50% is just 4 collector and I don't think pokegear add that much, Durant doesn't even have a 95% chance of T1 collector. Maybe he's banking on opponents having mulligans?

      Delete
  4. Just 1 thing. Rayquaza EX is from Dragon Blast / Dragon Blade. Dragon Selection has a regular Rayquaza but it isn't very good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like this deck. What i don't like is that every other archetype is being left behind by PCI or unless someone creates a new deck that beats this archetype [Calling Esa Juntunen, please XD], this year will be very mono pokémon-nature.

    By looking at Dark Explorers (abbv. DEX, maybe?), Raikou EX will be GG, and in BW5, Rayquaza EX will be a real monster (Prism + Dynamotor, anyone?).

    Anyone thinking about the near future, get your Eelectriks and Tynamos ASAP!!!

    BTW, seen the BW5 spoiler, i must say, Gothitelle is nice (death sentence is cool), Mew EX is a low HP beast, and Rayquaza EX is monstrous.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No Thundurus? :(

    Also, I use a version with Smeargle and Skyarrow Bridge. Worked well for me as it makes setup a bit more faster if I pull off a hand refresh off a Portrait.


    This deck can really get better. Even post-Worlds, I don't see this deck dying just yet unless a new archetype appears.

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  7. "Your opponent’s Mewtwo EX needs more energy to OHKO your Mewtwo EX"

    This isn't true. Mewtwo EX needs 5 energies total to OHKO an opponent's Mewtwo EX, with or without Eviolite. 5 x 20 = 100, weakness 2x = 200. Eviolite won't help you then.

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  8. Facundo: Thanks!

    Anonymous: Yeah, I should've put Thundurus in the article as a tech. It's good against CMT variants that have high amount of Tornadus in their decks.

    Kuiper: Haha, don't take my percentages literally, I'm not a mathematician (Thankfully, otherwise, I wouldn't play this game). With 2 Gears and 4 Collectors, you can easily get a T1 Collector in every single tournament game, where you need it. That's what I meant with 95%.

    Temporario: Yeah, Eelektrik will get so much boost from the next two sets. However, so does the other decks as well.

    Elias: Haha, don't worry, I'm planning to go rogue at this year's Worlds! But yeah, Eelektrik decks are probably going to stay a long time in the picture. There seems to be no end to them.

    Aaron: Smeargle is something that's very interesting because it works very well when your opponent doesn't concentrate on countering it by playing but the truth is that it's very easily outplayed with for example Pokegears. But true, Smeargle and Skyarrow Bridge even better with Thundurus since they all benefit from the free retreat.

    Anna: It depends on the situation. For example, whenever you have 2 energy attached to your Mewtwo EX, your opponent either needs 3 energy to kill it or 2 PlusPowers. That's the most usual situation, I have stumbled upon the tournament. So let me rephrase : "Your opponent needs more resources to OHKO your Mewtwo EX".

    Thanks for comments everyone!

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  9. Gotta say Esa, the lack of discussion of Thundurus and Smeargle was disappointing :| Especially considering Zapdos got in :P Smeargle is just one of those things where it's not really just about portrait, but it's about knowing your opponent's hand. They can hold a Juniper in hand early game, or an N in hand late game, but you can also play around them in the same way they can play around you.

    Still, solid deck, solid article.

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  10. "It has been doing very well in Japan even after the release of Dark Rush and Dragon Selection only makes Eelektrik better than ever (say hi to Rayquaza EX)."

    Say hi to Raikou EX. It comes out in Dark Rush :)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Raikou EX – Lightning – HP170
    Basic Pokemon

    [L][C] Thunder Fang: 30 damage. Flip a coin, if heads the opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed.
    [L][L][C] Voltage Arrow: Discard all Lightning Energy attached to this Pokemon, then do 100 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance when damaging the Bench.)

    Pokemon-EX Rule: When Pokemon-EX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

    Weakness: Fighting (x2)http://pokebeach.com/scans/japanese/dark-rush/25.jpg
    Resistance: none
    Retreat: 1

    image here: http://pokebeach.com/scans/japanese/dark-rush/25.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  11. Crawdaunt: Yeah, I forgot Thundurus (no idea why), sorry for that but the lack of discussion about Smeargle is because I just don't like it. As I have said a few times in my comments, Smeargle is too easily outplayed by a skillful opponent and a bad Portrait can ruin any game. I just aren't fan of that card. Of course, it's good after late game N if your opponent draws a supporter from their N, which you can use or they can't discard. Thanks for the critique!

    Anonymous: Yeah, Raikou EX will be huge in that deck since it can snipe off almost anything from the bench.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Cleffa WhispererMarch 26, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    I have been playing around with this deck at league and iFind that Zapdos helps a lot for EX decks or any really. If Zapdos starts you just hit all the bench pokemon once depending on HP and Zekrom's Bolt Strike finishes them off. With uneviolited Mewtwo EX- 170-50= 120. Perfect for Bolt Strike. As well iTeched in Entei-Raikou Legend. When you verse a CMT deck they usually have 2-3 Celebi out, and with the unseen Legend played you can knock those out while discarding energy off of E-R-L, so Mewtwo EX has a hard time revenge KO it.

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  13. The Cleffa Whisperer: Zapdos is great for example in mirror matches, if you can get it out early. In the late game it's usually just a nuisance for you because you don't want to usually use its second attack. ERL is a very interesting idea against CMT since they do sometimes have a lot of Celebis on the field. It's sad that ERL isn't good against anything else since no Pokémon has powers anymore excluding Celebi and Typhlosion.

    ReplyDelete

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