Monday, November 5, 2012

Why everyone should love Ditto

How can you not love me?

Hi everyone!

Today’s article will be very unorthodox article for me, because I’ll be concentrating on one card and one card only. The card is Ditto from Boundaries Crossed. What was the reason, why I chose Ditto? You know that I’ve made articles of single cards like Mewtwo EX in the past, but Ditto is nowhere as good as Mewtwo EX – or is it? I don’t think these two cards can even be compared, because they have so different functions in their decks. 

However, the reason why I chose Ditto for this article was simple – it’s one of the most controversial cards of the new set and has caused a lot of discussion. Some players – like myself- have been hyping it, some have been saying that it just isn’t good enough card to put into a deck and some don’t really know what to think about it. No matter, what’s your opinion, I hope I’ll be able to give you some food for thought about Ditto. Also, for those who are still wondering what’s with all this discussion about Ditto, I’ll hopefully be able to provide a throughout guide to how and why correctly play Ditto. I've got SO many questions about Ditto from players all over the world that I believe this entry will answer all the answers I have received and more!

So, here it is. Why YOU should love Ditto.

1) Ditto enables teching

By teching I don’t mean putting a Mewtwo EX into your deck. I mean REAL teching. The word tech has experienced inflation during the HGSS-on and BW-on format. The reason for this has been the lack of real techs. Real techs are cards that

A) Are genuinely surprising

- By surprising I mean cards that your opponent can’t predict. He/she may know the whole card pool, but genuine techs are cards that he/she will see nightmares of a week after you played it down on your bench.

B) Make especially the one match-up better

- In the past, general tech cards could be counted as techs, because there were a lot of options and most of them were surprising. Everyone knew cards like Jolteon*, but Jason K. was one of the only players that added it to his Worlds deck. Another card was Dusknoir(DP), which everyone knew, but you never knew if your opponent had it. However, you had to play the games in a Dusknoir-fearing manner. If you just laid everything on your bench and your opponent happened to play Dusknoir, your opponent won the game automatically.

However, in the current format general “techs” are too general. You can add Mewtwo EX to 100% of decks and say that “I play this and this with a tech Mewtwo EX”. No you don’t. You just added Mewtwo EX to your deck, because it’s such a broken card. Not to mention that your opponent will be surprised if you AREN’T playing Mewtwo EX, not the other way around. This pretty much applies to every single card in the current format. The only small exception is Victini (Re-flip) that was used very creatively in the U.S. Regionals – props for anyone who came up with it!

Anyways, back to Ditto. The current format is all about Basic “techs”. You can tech Tornadus EX, Raikou EX and Mewtwo EX into your Eelektrik deck. Big deal. Your opponent sees them coming even before you have flipped the opening flip. However, with Ditto you can SURPRISE your opponent. What was the last time you were genuinely surprised when playing Pokémon TCG? I think my last real surprise in a gameplay situation was in the 2010-2011 season.

Thankfully with Ditto you are able to cause real surprises to your opponent and vice versa. It’s pretty unique moment while playing Pokémon TCG, when you see your opponent to drop a combo you haven’t even imagined, which wins him/her the game. The feeling is unrealistic. But just how Ditto enables these kind of situations in the current metagame? Here are just some cards that Ditto enables to be used in order to change the course of the game.

- Dusknoir (Boundaries Crossed)

- Vileplume (Boundaries Crossed)
- Ninetales(Dragons Exalted)
- Garbodor (Dragons Exalted)
- Zoroark(BW)

Now, at this point you must now that all the effects stay on Ditto when you play the Basic Pokémon on it. So, if Ditto was played e.g. 2 turns ago, you can play Duskull on it and Rare Candy it immediately to Dusknoir. Ditto is the only card in the whole format that is able to avoid the stupidest rule ever created to Pokémon TCG. That’s why these kind of techs are going to be real surprises to your opponent. Let’s take a look at a few example situations of these example techs.


Imagine yourself playing a Hydreigon mirror-match. You’ve run out of Catchers and your opponent is looking at your discard pile. He/she sees that all of your Catchers are prized. There is no way for you to hit to his/her bench unless you hit 30 with Darkrai EX. Your opponent notices that you’re running very low on prizes and that is impossible for him to win the game unless he benches Shaymin EX, Junipers and gets the cards he/she needs from the Juniper. Your opponent benches Shaymin EX and draw all the cards necessary so he/she Catchers your Hydreigon and KOs it with his Darkrai EX since it already has 60 damage on it. Now, you are completely unable to move your energy around since you don’t have another Hydreigon in play.

Last turn you hit 90 to your opponent’s Darkrai EX, which he/she retreated on the bench and 30 to the benched Hydreigon. That and the random 30 on another Hydreigon is all the damage your opponent has on his/her field. You are on a brink of scooping since you can’t draw prizes from the benched Darkrai EX since you’ve run out of Catchers. You could use Junk Hunt, but as your opponent has come down to 1 prize, you don’t have time for that. Then you remember Ditto on your bench. You quickly search through your discard pile and notice that as you have played prudently and keeping your secret tech as a SECRET, you have all that’s needed to end the game. You use Ultra Ball to search for Duskull, play it on your Ditto, use your Rare Candy and Evolve it immediately into Dusknoir. Your opponent notices what happened. You can both move all the damage counters on Shaymin EX and win the game or you can move 150 damage to the benched Darkrai EX and hit for Night Spear for the win.

It’s also good to notice that Ditto enables in this situation another Hydreigon to come immediately to play, so even if you wouldn’t have the Dusknoir in this deck, you could be able to set-up another Hydreigon and heal the damage off the Darkrai EX. This is only one  example of Ditto can be in a real life-scenario.


Ninetales, just like Dusknoir, makes a Catcherless player smile. It doesn’t really matter what deck you’re playing, you can still use Ninetales as a tech. It’s an additional Catcher for any deck. As you have 4 Catchers in your discard pile, your opponent can lay back a little. Unless you’re playing an Eelektrik deck, there is no real way for you to KO his /her Pokémon from his/her bench. Or is there? Ditto raises this question immediately into your opponent’s mind. What can you possible play in your deck since you have Ditto on your bench. The answer is pretty simple – ANYHING! Your opponent can in desperation use his Catcher to Catcher the Ditto. And that’s the optimal solution when Rayquaza EX is in the active spot OHKOing his/her Pokémon. However, if he/she doesn’t KO Ditto, it can have horrible consequences on his/her game plan. Ninetales works in every single deck that uses Ditto since you can evolve Vulpix immediately into Ninetales and you have the 5
th Catcher no one else has.


Garbodor is a very interesting card with Ditto, because it makes every non-Garbodor deck a potential ability lock deck in just one turn. This will be very interesting to see especially in the straight-Fighting variants since they already play high amounts of Tools, so getting a Garbodor in play with a Tool isn’t even a difficult task. In the mid-/late game this can turn the whole game around, because your opponent may have used up his Tool Scrapper on your Eviolites / Exp. Share if he/she even plays any Tool Scrappers! Either way, getting a Garbodor to play in just one turn will cause most tier1 decks a big headache if they aren’t prepared for it.


If you have been following my blog regularly, you know that Zoroark was used in one of our Battle Roads as a tech in a Darkrai EX variant. This was working, because Ascension Zorua worked as a great starter in Darkness decks. However, thanks to Ditto, Zoroark can now be played in every single deck. Just imagine the possibilities with a surprise Zoroark when you’re playing e.g. a Garbodor variant and you start OHKOing their Eelektriks with their Raikou EX’s attack – like Garbodor didn’t mess up the game badly already! And all this with a single Double Colorless Energy.

2) Ditto frustrates your opponent

I already discussed this a little bit when I talked about Ninetales’ potential as the surprise tech. It doesn’t matter what deck you’re playing, whenever you play Ditto on your bench, it makes your opponent’s imagination run wild. This is not only important, because it makes them unsecure about your game plan, but it’s also important since it can literally make them nervous, which leads to simple misplays.

When your opponent sees the Ditto on your bench, he/she has a few ways to react to it.

1) Ignore it and wait what it turns into

2) Catcher and KO it and let your main attacker run wild
3) Think through every single prudent card that can Ditto turn into it and prepare themselves for the worst

As you can see, none of these are really good options. Ditto doesn’t give your opponent good decisions! It’s that good. This frustration often happens in real-life situations as well. Ditto can change into anything in just one turn and attaching energy to Ditto makes it more dangerous than any other Pokémon in the format, because Ditto is every Pokémon in the format!

Let’s take an example in an Eelektrik deck. You want to Juniper, so you can draw into e.g. Rayquaza EX. However, you only have 1 Eelektrik in play, so it will take time for you to energy accelerate the Rayquaza EX until you are able to hit 180 with it. However, if you have a Ditto on your bench, you’re able to attach the energy on Ditto in advance, so whenever you draw into Rayquaza EX, it’s enough that the Ditto has 2 Lighting Energy attached to it and one Dynamotor + Energy attachment from your hand and you have a OHKO machine Rayquaza EX at your service.

The same kind of strategy with Ditto can be used in every deck. Attach 1-2 energy to Ditto and let your opponent react while attacking them hard with your main attacker. As I discussed – Ditto leaves no good options for your opponent.

3) Ditto is the best starter of the format

You see – I’m biased. But hey, it’s a fact that Ditto is the best starter in the format since Ditto is every Pokémon at the same time. However, with the same argument one could say that it’s also the worst starter in the format. It isn’t the worst starter in the format, but there are match-ups where you don’t want to open with it. How common will these match-ups be in the Cities format - that remains yet to be seen.

Ditto is a very nice starter, because it has 70 HP. Even though it’s weak to Fighting, it won’t be OHKOed by Landorus EX unless they have a PlusPower. However, the most important thing is that Ditto is difficult to OHKO in T1. Landorus EX won’t be as played as it would be with Ether and it will be even more uncommon to see decks with Landorus EX AND PlusPower. Not to mention that these two cards should be in their opening hand at the same time as they go first and have Landorus EX as the active Pokémon… Possible – yes, but not very probable.

The great thing about starting with Ditto is not only that it can turn into big EX attackers like Mewtwo EX and Landorus EX depending on the situations, but that it helps getting stage1 and 2 Pokémon in play more quickly. If you open with Ditto and aren’t able to get Deino in T1, you can now just in T2 play Deino in Ditto and Candy it to Hydreigon. Before Ditto, you had to first play Deino on bench, wait for a turn (and hope it won’t be Catchered) and THEN evolve it.

Ditto is very versatile in big basic EX decks that concentrate on hitting with different attackers. You can open with Ditto, attach an energy to it, Juniper and then think again with a refreshed hand, what do you want to attack with. However, it also helps stage decks a lot as discussed previously. More about how much stage decks really benefit from Ditto next.

4) Ditto makes stage decks better

This is the sum of all the above things mentioned. If you start with Ditto and your opponent isn’t able to hit you in T1, in T2 you’re able to evolve Ditto into any stage1 or stage2 Pokémon. This makes stage decks a lot consistent as discussed previously. Ditto also gives any player a tough choice when it goes on the bench, should it be targeted or not? It can become into anything in the next turn, so your other support Pokémons may stay untouched, because Ditto creates psychological pressure on your opponent.

Also, techs are far more important for stage decks than to basic decks, because in order for stage2 decks to beat any Basic-focused deck, it needs to have an upper hand in the match-up. Basic decks are a lot consistent, because they need fewer resources – that’s a fact. However, with the right techs, the match-up can become favorable for stage decks. And when it comes to Ditto, it will help stage decks with all of these things.

I believe that Ditto will be the savior of stage2 decks, because it helps them the most. Ditto works well in Basic decks too, but it brings the most for stage decks like Hydreigon and Eelektrik. Who knows, maybe even some other stage decks can be created thanks to Ditto.

5) Ditto is your deck’s 60th (and 59th) card

There is always a lot of discussion about the so-called 61st cards of the decks’. These cards are cards that are in theory good, but you just never find space for them in your deck, because the card is unnecessary and situational. A good example of this was e.g. Alph Litograph, it could’ve been extremely good, but it just never saw play.

Ditto can become your 61st card very quickly. And if you are playing a pure Basic deck, I won’t say that it’s a bad idea. However, I think you really should consider Ditto more and give it a chance as your deck’s 60th card. There are Basic decks that love Ditto so much that they want to play 2 of them. A good example of this was spread deck of mine, which I build 2 months ago, which played Registeel EX/Landorus EX/Dusknoir/Mewtwo EX. Ditto was so good in that deck that I really can’t describe its awesomeness in words. It was so good that I wanted to play 2 Dittos in that deck.

If you are playing a stage decks, you should make Ditto as your 60th card of the deck. Find space for at least one Ditto and put into your e.g. Eelektrik deck. In no time you’ll notice that you’ll win games to it. So many games that you’ll soon be finding space for second Ditto as you notice just how good it it! Rememeber, 60th, not 61st.

6) Ditto is pink and cute

I’m not into pink and cute things, but I can’t deny that Ditto is more than adorable. Just look at it – a pink blob of DNA(?). If that isn’t cute, I don’t what is. Whenever you draw it into your hand, you feel a warm breeze streaming through you. It has been scientifically proved that looking at the pictures of cute puppies is good for your health. I’m pretty sure that looking at a Ditto card has the same effect even though Ditto is much cuter than puppies.


I just spent almost 3000 words convincing you why YOU should love Ditto. If you aren’t yet in love with Ditto, thinking that it’s playable is a good start as well. I’m sure Ditto will grow to you as you give a chance to it. If you still think that Ditto is completely unplayable and bad, it means that I failed in this entry, but hopefully you got at least a laugh or a two from this. However, I’m pretty sure you’re sold on Ditto by now (if you read the whole entry).

If you still have some questions about Ditto, let me know in the comments section! Also, I would like to know if these kinds of entries are a good change every once in a while since my entries are mostly concentrated on the hyper-competitive side of Pokémon TCG. I must admit that there was some heavy stuff in here as well, but in the end that’s the purpose of my blog! Anyways, let me hear from you!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Landorus EX and Pluspower is the staple play for Fighting.dec

    Also Ditto is not cuter than puppies:

    Be reasonable Esa. :P

    1. That's it. Puppy deck will be my next deck.

  2. I am going too make the coolest raticate deck after next set ^^ and that deck adores ditto !

  3. Aerodactyl/Stunfisk already funny deck to play, only deck i actually like a little in this format even tho format is rather bad imo. Probs will add Landorus EX to it, so T1 Aerodactyl would make Ditto ohkoable for Landorus EX. :)

  4. You know, I had a bit of interest in Ditto, but didn't really see much. I mainly saw him as a 70HP Deino or Tynamo with a possibility of suddenly changing form on the next turn.

    However, after reading that Dusknoir idea, I suddenly realised why you thought Ditto was so good!
    I now see just how awesome it can be. Virtually anything can be played down without being Catcher KO'd thanks to Transform's rulings.

  5. Ditto has a common weakness and it isn't uncommon to see someone run PP in their fighting deck.

    On another note, if my opponent plays down ditto it will alert me to a possible tech or sneak attack. Most big basic decks run max catcher and people will come REAL accustom to having to kill the ditto sooner or later, and it will just be a free prize.

    However, It would be nice way to "bait" someone out of fear into killing it, rather than your highly damaged EX Pokemon or some other necessary engine on field to buy yourself an extra turn to heal and or find an out.

    Your article also implies that people will simply "ignore" the ditto, and I assure you that won't happen.

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  7. I see potential in Ditto, but it's easily countered by 2 of the formats best attackers, Darkrai and Landorus, because once Ditto has damage on it it Transformation option will be very limited.
    An Landorus EX for example blocks two of your Dittos with one hit for all basics with 40 Hp or less, what means that the stragegy to use it as a "tank" for you tynas etc. wont work well...
    This is one of the biggest weaknesses Raticate/Amoongus faces...

  8. One of the disadvantages of ditto is that when ditto is faced with T1 Landorous EX damage and your other basic is dieno you have the issue that using ditto's ability will KO your pokemon so in decks that use lower HP basics, you wouldn't want to use ditto for a surprise because it can get in the way because it is just sitting there with 10 HP left and you can't use it without KOing yourself.

  9. Ditto poker face... GG

  10. I'm not convinced, mostly for consistency reasons. You've mentioned some of the awesome plays you could make, and I don't argue with these. But you haven't mentioned the fact that to get the Dusknoir out you now need 4 cards instead of 3. And if you play only 1 or 2 Ditto, the chance of starting with it or getting it in your opening hand is not great. I would need to invest my balls into getting Ditto out in addition to the basic I want. Sure, it can act as a buffer, but how much consistency do we sacrifice?

  11. I want to play 1 Ditto just to make my opponent sweat.

    Good idea on the Ninetales, though.

  12. These are two of the advantages I see of Ditto:

    1) If you are using a deck with few non-Ditto Pokemon, then Ditto will help you to avoid mulligans. If you are playing a quad deck (only 4 of something), then there is a 60% you will mulligan (and if you mulligan, there is a 60% change you will mulligan again), but if you add 4 Ditto to the deck, then your mulligan odds drop to around 35%. You don't want to be giving your opponent extra cards to draw.

    2) If you only have a limited number of "ideal starters" then you don't want to be starting with something like Roselia, Trubbish, Terrakion, etc. Starting with Ditto greatly increases your odds of being able to attack with your ideal starter on your first turn, because you can use a draw supporter or ball to get the Pokemon you want, and you won't have to retreat or Switch.

    Of course, the key question: will the advantages of having Ditto in the deck be outweighed by the loss of the cards you had to remove in order to make room for Ditto? (Will the deck with Ditto ultimately be more consistent than the deck without it?) Only extensive gameplay will tell.

  13. Problem with Ditto is Landorus EX. You hit 60 on it with hammerhead and then you try to evolve it into one of those nice satge 1/2 pokemon. Oh wait you can't. If you play Deino, Duskull, Vulpix, Tynamo, Trubbish, Zorua, Magikarp, Feebas, the mushroom thing, Squirtle etc. It works in theory, but really because it does not remove damage counters it does not work.

    Also what on earth would you cut from your deck? A trainer? Less consistent. (ok a tool scrapper or eviolite could be cut) A supporter? Less consistent. An energy? Less consistent (Darkrai decks run off getting t1 discarded energy, keldeo just want a billion energy to attack and eels is just meh in this format) A pokemon? Well then that defeats the point of ditto. People would cut the tech pokemon out which is what ditto is for making ditto into a bulky basic tynamo, deino etc. but I explained that problem in the previous paragraph.

    Sorry I wanted to like you ditto, I really did, but no dice.

  14. in theory, ditto is a failed clone mew

    do you like mew too?


  15. Crawdaunt: Rofl, I still prefer Ditto over puppies.

    Wildforce: Sounds very interesting!

    Nintendan: Exactly, that's something, which stage decks benefit from a LOT!

    eCKo: Hmm, I would like to believe that you read the whole article, but since you said that implied that the opponent will ignore Ditto, I'm not sure if you did! One of the benefits that comes with Ditto is that your opponent DOESN'T ignore it, as mentioned in the article. Your opponent can always Catcher it( if he/she has a Catcher in their hand), but it's always a decision between two bad options. I think I emphasized it enough in the article, but I guess I didn't!

    Tyson: Very good point, but techs always bring inconsistency to decks. Your question was very valid - just how much inconsistency can a deck take? A Darkrai EX decks is already very consistent thanks to Sableye, so e.g. in those decks, I could see Dusknoir be a safe play since you don't have to sacrifice as much consistency as with other decks.

    Bruce Long: I believe the number 2 reason you mentioned is one of the biggest advantages with Ditto. It's so frustrating to play Deino down in T2 just in order to realize that it will be OHKOed in your opponent's next turn. As I mentioned in the entry, the stage decks get the most out of Ditto.

    There were so comments on Landorus EX that I'll answer to everything at once. When it comes to Landorus EX; I just don't buy it. When it comes to decks with PlusPower and Landorus EX, you need to have them in your opening hand. Starting with Landorus EX and having a PlusPower in your hand, doesn't even happen in 50% of the games. Not to mention that you don't even usually open with Ditto, so Ditto won't be the Pokémon to take the OHKO.

    Also, all this talk about Landorus EX, just with what are people playing Landorus EX? Pretty much all the truly competitive decks I see with it are the monotype decks, Garbodor and Garchomp. Also, does your opponent really want to hit 2 times Hammerhead to Ditto just to make you unable to evolve Pokémon. If they do, you can just play one of your big EXs like Mewtwo EX on it and ignore the damage on Ditto.

    Ditto is THE theorymonical nightmare. I've done the best to convince you that Ditto is a good play especially in stage decks and while Cities and international Regionals will start soon, we'll know just how much played Ditto and Landorus EX are.

    Thanks for the great comments and opinions everyone! Keep em' coming.

  16. It doesnt need to be two hammerheads on ditto. One will suffice because you will be completely unable to put squirtle/deino/tynamo etc. Unless you waste a precious pot on it(assuming you even run pots)

  17. Darkrai EX/Landorus EX/Terrakion bdif. Works without ether. Just use it (Landorus) in that. A pluspower is not necessary as if you hit ditto for 60 it can't evolvo into anything worth while anymore. If you play Duskull onto a Ditto with 60, Duskull faints.

  18. I just have one question some people say that you can't evolve the basic you put on ditto, others say that you can? please someone help me you can or not evolve it inmediately??

    1. ...on the turn after the turn you bench Ditto

    2. Ok. Wait a turn. Play Caterpie. Rare Candy into Butterfree on same turn.

    3. ok so you can't do the following, put ditto on you bench, then put the basic, and inmediately candy and evolve(all this on the same turn)

    4. No you don't. Ditto must wait a turn.

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  20. This is my favourite article in a long, long just made me smile so much, I love how much you love Ditto! :D

  21. I know where you're getting at explaining ditto potentials, others may not see it yet, maybe too early in the set etc. But I do. Not from the article unfortunately, but my own understanding. Also, I'm not buying the landurus hype either.

  22. Vincent: I was talking about taking hits on the bench.

    Anonymous1: Just like they said. You have to wait a turn, THEN you can evolve Ditto into anything if you play a Basic on it.

    Bori: Haha, that's just great to hear!

    Anonymous2: Indeed! Playtesting is the key! Also, Landorus EX will be very mediocre since we don't have Ether yet. Maybe after Ether it lives up to its hype.

  23. yup. just purchased two dittos. this will go perfect in my blastoise/keldeo/landorus deck.

  24. Landorus EX does 60 damage to Ditto T1 (weakness). Put an outrage card - Kyurem ! on that ditto, DCE (or better yet 2 water energy with Ether) & 160 damage back to Landorus (weakness). Now Landorus is pretty much screwed - if switch him out still just a Glaciate away from death (barring Giant Cape or a potion). Max Potion & switch maybe, but catcher can still get him, and if any more damage has been done to Kyurem then he's dead. If manage to get 2 more energies on him T2 to kill the Kyurem, just need a card that can do 20 damage to finish him off and who wouldn't take that trade ? Playing around with a Ditto / Kyurem / Dusknoir deck which is promising so far.

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