Thursday, December 27, 2012

The top10 decks of the current format: Part 1

Once upon a time BDIF

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holidays! However, now Christmas is over and New Year is closing in. New Year is always time for all kinds of lists. For the first time, I also decided to give a try for list-making. Today, I’ll be discussing the top10 decks of the current format – in my opinion. I’m never done anything like this, so I’m pretty excited how it will turn out and what you think about it!

I’m sure that everyone has their own point of view to the top decks of the current format, so I hope this creates discussion and that you let me know if you disagree with anything and maybe showcase your own list! I hope you enjoy.

When I made the list, I was very surprised how difficult it was to make. It seemed like I always missed some deck or that I wasn’t really sure about the order of the deck. However, in the end, I managed to do a list that I feel very comfortable presenting to you and that clearly reflects my opinion about the current format. Anyways, this is a two-part entry. This first entry will include the first half of the list while the other half will be released on upcoming Monday.

10. Standard Eelektrik

Standard Eelektrik with Raikou EX, Mewtwo EX etc. is probably the oldest deck in the current format that can still be considered as a competitive deck. However, it’s in the 10th spot of this list, which makes it obviously pretty uncompetitive in my opinion. Eelektrik’s main weakness in the current format is Tynamo, which is too easy to OHKO with Landorus EX. Hammerhead is simply too devastating against both – Tynamo and Eelektrik - since even Eelektrik is an easy 2HKO for Hammerhead.

The standard Eelektrik has won Cities, which in my opinion is a huge surprise. I just don’t see this deck as a tier1 material as it loses to T1 Landorus EX every time when the Landorus EX deck goes first. Not to mention that even Darkrai EX variants aren’t that good match-ups for Eelektrik. Probably the best match-ups for Eelektrik decks are the newly risen decks such as Klinklang/EX, Blastoise/Keldeo EX and Quad Sigilyph. However, as long as Landorus EX is one of the most played cards in the format, there is just no space for this deck in the competitive play.

9. Darkrai EX/Landorus EX

In theory this deck is just pure-awesomeness. However, I haven’t just yet found its purpose in the current format. As soon as Ether and Poison Psychic Beam is released, this deck takes a huge leap towards tier1 and starts competing from the spot of BDIF, but at the moment it still lacks many things it needs to be a proper tier1 deck. It’s true that it has won some tournaments and that there are many variants of it roaming around, but this only tells about the differences of metagames around the world. As there is no definitive version of this deck yet, it can win in areas where one very skilled player plays it, no matter what kind of metagame.

As you know, I introduced this deck in my last entry of my blog and even though I love the Hammer variant of it, I don’t know if I had guts to take it to the tournament, which I would like to win. The combination of Darkrai EX, Landorus EX, Sableye and possible other attackers just doesn’t have the synergy I would like them to have. Darkrai EX can’t hit in T1 in most games while Landorus EX is all about T1. However, if you open with Darkrai EX; things get difficult. Same goes for Sableye, does it really have a purpose in the deck?

This deck is all about personal preference and how you see and build it. There are unlimited amount of ways to build this deck, so the player playing and building this deck pretty much defines if its tier1 or tier2 material. In my hands and in my experience, this deck just doesn’t cut it to be a tier1 deck, thus ending up to the 9th spot of the list!

8. Rayquaza/Eelektrik

I’ve NEVER liked this deck. In fact, I’ve always preferred the standard Eelektrik over this deck, but I can’t deny the fact that this deck is better than the standard Eelektrik. The metagame is filled with big EX decks and Rayquaza EX is the only card in the format that can continuously keep OHKOing cards like Landorus EX and Mewtwo EX as long as its properly energy accelerated. Not to mention that the normal Rayquaza tears Hydreigon/Darkrai EX apart since it OHKOs Hydreigon so easily.

Past is past and Hydreigon/Darkrai EX isn’t the only dominating force in the format. Eelektrik/Rayquaza has still won Cities, so it isn’t a completely failed case as a deck, but you can’t deny the fact that it has gotten a lot worse. This is mainly thanks to Landorus EX. Landorus EX does two things for this deck in the format – a) it makes Hydreigon/Darkrai EX a worse deck than it was before thus decreasing the amount of the positive match-ups for Eelektrik/Rayquaza. b) destroys Tynamos, which leads into a difficult match-up against any Landorus EX variant.

The reason why Eelektrik/Rayquaza is higher than the standard Eelektrik was already mentioned. Even though Tynamos are too easy to OHKO for Landorus EX, Rayquaza/Eelektrik still has a fighting chance against any Landorus EX deck as long as Eelektrik goes first. Even though Eelektrik is one of the worst Pokémon in the current format thanks to its weakness and low HP Basic form, the Rayquazas almost make up for it. However, even though Rayquaza EX can OHKO all the big EXs, it still isn’t enough for the deck to claim its spot any higher on this list. 

7. Darkrai EX/Hydreigon

When Cities started I truly considered this deck a real tier1 deck. So, at least in my head this deck has crush & burned completely. 7th spot isn’t bad, but it’s still far away from the number one spot, where it was only 2 months ago. In the end, this deck hasn’t gotten that much worse; it’s just that other decks have gotten a lot better. The biggest problem with this deck is that Darkrai EX is too easily OHKOed. And when Darkrai EX is easy to OHKO and most decks can accomplish it, you can see that the power creep has once again done its job. Hydreigon/Darkrai EX has lost most of its assets as Darkrai EX isn’t a bullet-proof tank anymore, but only a mere mortal EX among other Pokémon.

Hydreigon/Darkrai EX has won a decent amount of tournaments and it isn’t a real surprise as it’s still one of the most versatile decks out there and can tech almost anything to it. I feel like the deck still has a lot more to offer and that players haven’t yet taken advantage of all possible assets of the deck, but at the moment the deck stands on the verge of tier2 and tier1. If I were able to play in tournaments any time soon, I would probably try to find a new way of playing this deck in the current format with cards like Prism Energy and Keldeo EX, which could give the deck a push to the tier1, but we’ll see what’s going to happen.

I don’t expect Darkrai EX/Hydreigon to become a completely uncompetitive deck this season as it’s still freaking consistent and gets the most out of Sableye. There is no other deck that can abuse Junk Hunt as well as Darkrai EX/Hydreigon does and this is something, which will keep the deck afloat in the future.

6. Ho-Oh EX/techs

This deck can thank Pooka for making even this high on the list. I’ve never been a fan of Ho-Oh EX, it just has too many moving parts for this format in my opinion. However, time after time, it has been proved to be a competitive choice as it has won many Cities. When looking at results, it should be higher on this list, but as this is my point of view to the metagame, Ho-Oh EX variants has to settle with 6th place.

Ho-Oh EX variants are very interesting, because you can tech anything to them. Theorymon-wise this gives you the best keys to counter your own your metagame, but that isn’t always the case. Local metagames are usually so stale that they’re usually best countered with a particular metagame deck and not with single techs and types that you can tech into a Ho-Oh EX deck. As I said, the most known version of Ho-Oh EX is probably Pooka’s version, which with he won two City Championships. As expected, Pooka’s list wasn’t full of 1-of techs, but just good amounts of the best attackers like Terrakion and Bouffalant. Ho-Oh EX and Energy Switch just worked as an energy acceleration engine for these attackers.

Even though Ho-Oh EX variants have won a decent amount of Cities, it’s the last deck of this entry. It means that it’s on the edge of tier2 and tier1 just like Hydreigon/Darkrai EX. I don’t feel comfortable playing with Ho-Oh EX due its inconsistent nature and if I had to choose either tier1 or tier2 for Ho-Oh EX, I would put it in the tier2 category. It isn’t consistent enough and as Keldeo EX sees more and more play, the deck offers a few free prizes for water decks with Ho-Oh EX sitting on the bench. And without Ho-Oh EX, this deck is just another 6 Corners variant.

To be concluded…

And that’s the end of the first part of the top10 decks of the current format! The second part will be released on Monday, so have a great tournament weekend and come to see if you agree with me and my top5 deck choices! Feel free to comment on anything so far and I hope to hear your thoughts about this topic as well!


  1. Ho-oh ex relies too much on flipping coins and energy switch IMO

  2. starting with ho-oh is bad

  3. I have played it at two cities and gotten 1st and 4th place. With a turn 1 terrakion and tool scrappers you can wreck quad-sigilyph. It has an amazing matchup against darkrai due to the fact that it can pull off amazing plays with both terrakion and landorus w/ a plus power t1 or 2. Haven't actually played it against eels, and lastly, against keldeo-blastoise; late game N if there is no tropical beach, and super-scoop ups 4 ho-oh

  4. I play Darkrai/Hydreigon, and I have since Battle Roads. I agree with you that conventional Darkrai/Hydreigon isn't as good as it used to be, but the Prism Energy variant is extremely strong. I just came in 6th place yesterday with the deck in my first time using it, and I think it has even, or strong match ups, against every deck in the format thanks to it's ability to tech against anything in the format. I think the only thing this deck will need when Poison Hypnotic Beam and Ether come out next set is 2 Keldeo EX's to counter Landorus EX's and status conditions that will rise in popularity.

  5. I think Ho-oh is BDIF as far as energy excell goes. Ive taken 2nd place in a top 8 of pure blastoise with ho-oh and only lost to time in the last match, so weakness is not a problem. Its not really as luck based as people make it seem as long as you dont run ssu. 3 ho-oh usually get the job done and you only really need 1 to come out to get the energy off of. If Blastoise keldeo is big in your area just play 3 mewtwo. Mewtwo is by far one of the best counters to blastoise keldeo and its even better when you play sigilyph in the list cuz once you take out all there non exs its pretty much auto win.

  6. Eh I think the Darkrai/Landorus should be higher than it is at the moment. Though as you said it depends on who builds it and how. I think - correct me if I'm wrong - you were building it with the idea that Landorus is the main focus of the deck rather than a t2 Darkrai.

    I believe the deck works better if you focus it on Darkrai rather than Landorus. The idea of it to me is Darkrai/Sableye + Landorus/Terrakion for certain match ups (Eels and Darkrai).

    This point is rather moot if you have another Darkrai deck in the top 5 which I think there has to be because Darkrai is Darkrai. This is because I view the fighting in Darkrai/Landorus more of a tech in a Darkrai deck rather than a main focus.

  7. I'm surprised that Ho-Oh EX has sparked the most discussion. It really seems that Pooka is a trend-setter. However, I think every single opinion about Ho-Oh EX is the correct one, because there are unlimited ways to build it. Not to mention that as mentioned in the comments, the opening Pokémon of the game really matters a lot for Ho-Oh EX. One could say that maybe even too much, because when you open with Ho-Oh EX against e.g. Blastoise/Keldeo EX, you are in trouble. Especially Sigilyph makes Ho-Oh EX a very interesting deck.

    Anonymous 4: Great to hear that there is a Hydreigon/Darkrai EX player that uses Keldeo EX in his list! If I had more Cities left, I would love to give the Keldeo and Prism Energy Hydreigon a good try. I wish you a good luck for the upcoming tournaments!

    Patrik R: In my opinion Landorus EX/Darkrai EX's peak moment happened already and now its trending downwards. Decks like Klinklang/EX, Quad Sigilyph and Blastoise/Keldeo EX tear Landorus EX/Dakrai EX part and there is nothing the deck can do to this metagame shift. However, the deck will have another shot at the tier1 thanks to Ether.

    I'm sure that the top5 will surprise everyone!

  8. Honest question? Have you watched all of the videos TTC have posted of Pooka playing Ho-oh. It is not inconsistent and it is not heavily reliant on flips. When you play it like a Big Basic/Good Stuff deck that has an option to Rebirth, it goes to the next level. If you whole plan is based around Rebirth, then it does get flippy.


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