Thursday, March 28, 2013

Featured Writer: Matijs Moree - 3rd in Regionals - a Secret Deck analysis

I didn't see this one coming...

Hi everyone!

As there have been quite a few rogue decks popping up lately in the international tournaments, today you’ll get a special treat from a (hopefully) already familiar writer for you – Matijs Moree. I dared to say that no good rogues would ever be possible be competitive in the current format, but he proved me wrong with his VERY innovative decks, which led him to 3rd of Spring Regionals!

I hope, I’ll get Kumis’ article soon as well, so you will get more articles from the innovative parts of the format. At the moment, I’m just stuck with the most competitive metagame decks in order to get the trip to Worlds!

Also, before we start the article, remember to tell your opinion about possible The Deck Out - playmats on my Facebook or Twitter page! If there are enough people who would like to see The Deck Out -playmats to happen, it will happen. I won't get any money from them, so I'll negotiate the price as low as possible.

Anyways, I’ll let Matijs’ take away from here, enjoy!

Hello everyone!

You might know me from previous ‘featured writer’ articles for The Deck Out, but for the ones who don’t know me, I’m Matijs, a player from The Netherlands. In the beginning of this season I wrote an article about Darkrai EX for The Deck Out, at that point my goal was Worlds and I started playing metagame decks. But very soon I was bored... I’ve always built rogue decks and I decided that I shouldn’t do something else, even in this format. I played some tournaments with Flygon/Dusknoir/Munna (4-2 at Regionals 2 times) and played 2 CC’s with Empoleon (2nd and 4th). I felt much more comfortable with those decks, so I decided to build a rogue deck for the spring Regionals as well.

I had a discussion with Esa about this topic, he stated that it is nearly impossible to build a good working rogue in this format. Of course I wanted to prove him wrong and took the challenge! If I made top4 with the deck, I was allowed to write an article about it on this blog! Guess what?! No I didn’t win (1 coin flip away from reaching finals), but ended up 3rd at the biggest Regionals in The Netherlands!

So I feel honoured that I can share this rogue list with you!


4x Ninetales

4x Vulpix
1x Musharna (Forewarn)
3x Munna (Long-distance hypnosis)
2x Terrakion
1x Landorus EX
1x Victini EX
1x Ditto
1x Emolga


4x Professor Juniper
4x N
3x Skyla
2x Colress
4x Hypnotoxic Laser (HTL)
4x Switch
3x Level Ball
2x Pokémon Communication
2x Energy Switch
1x Pokémon Catcher
1x Virbank City Gym
1x Victory Piece


7x Fire

4x Fighting Energy

I’ll go in detail per card!



This is obviously the most important card of the deck. It’s ability is an extra Catcher and it hits for quite a lot of damage, depending on the amount of special conditions the defending Pokémon has. But without the other cards in this deck, Ninetales does nothing at all, like Magikarp using Splash in the Video games (it felt like that when my opponent had 3 Gothitelles in play and I kept flipping tails with Munna...).


Even Vulpix can support its evolution. For 1 fire energy it makes the defending burned. It happened at least 3 times during the Regionals that I was able to hit for 170 with Ninetales the turn after. Plus the poison is a OHKO on every single EX Pokémon. It seems hard to achieve that amount of damage but if you flip heads on HTL you’re already there, if you don’t you can use multiple Munnas to make sure the opponent is asleep (before evolving Vulpix of course).


You already play 3 Munna, so why not adding 1 Musharna for consistency? This card is so underestimated. It’s ability is nearly the same as the power of Uxie Lv. X which always was a great addition to consistency.


Probably my most favourite card of the format. Not only because it’s so good and annoying, also because of 1 of my opponents at a German Regionals. He was so annoyed by Munna (he played Darkrai EX, so no Switch) that he came to me the round after and ripped a Munna apart in front of me. It reminds me to his face when he flipped tails for Munna... AGAIN. Great times...
However, in this deck Munna serves as a card to inflict the extra special condition. Since you won’t flip heads for HTL every time, you need to improve the chance to make the defending asleep, MUNNA!


I play this card as a Darkrai EX counter (not that I met any Darkrai EX at the tournament...). With Energy Switch it’s possible to charge Terrakion in 1 turn and OHKO Darkrai EX. Even though I didn’t meet Darkrai EX, it was a good addition to the deck since it hits for a solid 90. You need that in a deck like this since the damage Ninetales does can be variable.
The only problem with Terrakion is that it is the only bad starter in this deck.

Landorus EX:

Imagine that you make the defending Pokémon asleep and poisoned (with Virbank City Gym in play) and you hit with Ninetales (believe me, this happens a lot). That’s 120 + 30 from poison=150 damage. You usually need 30 more to KO an EX Pokémon. Landorus EX can finish this! Landorus EX is a good starter as well, nothing wrong with an early damage spread! Or what about 150 + poison + Virbank?

Victini EX:

This card is the surprise of the deck. Almost everyone sees it as a bad card but it isn’t, at all... It has only 110 HP, which is 2 free prizes for your opponent. But Victini EX has more good sides than bad sides! It can do 50 or 100 damage (if the defending is an EX) out of nowhere! (with Victory Piece attached, which is easy searchable with Skyla). Charging your bench isn’t bad either, it can give you a huge lead. This card is so versatile but what I like the most about it is the surprise factor. That is something I missed in the format! Ditto returned a little of it, but Victini EX returns even more of that surprise factor!


Since this deck is very versatile, you HAVE to play Ditto. You can play anything on it you need at that specific moment. If it’s there for a turn already you can even go directly to Ninetales, which is an automatic Catcher.
Ditto is definitely the best starter of the deck, but you don’t want to play more than 1, since it can hold you up if you play more of them.


You need to have an option to get some basics out of your deck. Many times it’s possible to achieve this T1, even if you don’t start with Emolga. It’s also great to have a free retreater in the deck, you definitely need it!


Juniper, N, Skyla, Colress:

The supporter engine of the deck. You just want to have everything on table as soon as possible so you need to play 4 Juniper (you might discard valuable cards, but you have to play Juniper, otherwise this deck is too slow, it needs a lot of resources). Colress is very good in here, your bench is always full so you get 5 cards at least. During testing I got 7 cards at average.

Hypnotoxic Laser:

Without this card, Ninetales is nothing, so try to save them for Ninetales when you play this deck.


You have a lot of Pokémon with heavy retreat so you need to play 4 Switch. Also when you can do nothing else than using Long-distance hypnosis when you have a Pokémon in front which cannot evolve anymore, you obviously need Switch.

Level Ball, Pokémon Communication:

The ‘ball’ engine of the deck. I use Communication instead of Ultra Ball because you need all the resources in the deck, you don’t want to discard them.

Energy Switch:

You need this card to charge Terrakion in 1 turn. And can also be used to switch some Fighting energies to Landorus EX, since Landorus EX is a good finisher.

Pokémon Catcher:

At the tournament someone asked me: Why do you play only 1 Catcher, couldn’t you afford more of them? The guy didn’t read the ability of Ninetales:) I play 1 Catcher to have an extra out (good against Garbodor).

Virbank City Gym:

Like I explained before: Ninetales + 2 special conditions on the defending + Virbank = 150 damage on any Pokémon.

Victory Piece:

Literally leads you to victory sometimes! I often used it on an EX with around 100 HP left to finish it!


Well nothing special in here. All attacks you mainly use don’t cost a lot of energies so 11 is the Maximum amount you need.

This is the list I used at the Regionals, and yes after playing I will make some changes. If you want to try this deck, try the above list first and then try to adjust it to your personal playing style!


-I would add another Virbank City Gym, because you want to make sure to hit the EX’s for 150. Against decks which play Lasers itself, this isn’t a problem, but against decks like Blastoise it’s harder to keep the Virbank in play.
-I would add 1 Energy Search. Since you play 2 types of energies and you really wanna have the Fight energy at some points, you want to have more options to get the energy you need.

Though it’s very hard to change something to this list, it’s a very tight list. Try what you prefer personally!

And now for the matchups!

In general:

This deck has a 50-50 matchup against everything except Garbodor. It’s so flippy that the outcome of the match really depends on how well you flip. But of course this deck is designed as a ‘controlled flipping’ deck. You have many chances to get the flip how you want it.
But to add some specifications per matchup:


If you see a double Squirtle, don’t bother about them. The real problem in this matchup is the double Keldeo EX. Go after them first. Especially a T1 Victini EX + Victory Piece is good in this matchup. Yes Victini EX is an easy 2 prizes for the opponent but if you can hit 2 Keldeo EX’s for 100, you almost won this game (Terrakion easily finshes a Keldeo EX when it has 100 damage). The other option is Ninetales + 2 special conditions + Landorus as a finisher. But make sure you can take out 2 Keldeo EX in 1 turn with Landorus EX before putting it down. This matchup seems impossible for Ninetales but it is more favourable than anyone would think.

Darkrai EX:
I have to admit that I didn’t play this matchup yet. But Darkrai EX seems to be a hard matchup. It’s very quick and they can take out your bench as well... You have Terrakion but that’s still risky since they can usually OHKO it. Landorus EX is a key card in this matchup because it brings Darkrai Ex in a KO position for Ninetales!


I didn’t play this matchup yet but I would love to... Autowin.

Garbodor variants:

It depends on the variant and what they put in front, since you only have 1 ‘catcher’ in this matchup. But with some lucky HTL flips you might win, but in general this matchup is close to an autoloss.

Tornadus EX/Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX:

They are quicker but when you are able to setup they have a big problem. You can KO an EX as easy as they KO 1 of your Pokémon! But this matchup is favourable for them.


This is favourable for you, they can do massive damage but if you don’t put your EX’s in play until the end of the game as finishers, you’ll just run through them (especially when the stay asleep after a Ninetales attack)!

Funny fact: I played 2 times against Gothitelle at Regionals, this deck is 1 of the few decks which has a chance against a Gothitelle deck with full setup, since Ninetales can get you out of the lock!

Like I said before, the outcome of the matches totally depend on the flips. And I have to admit that I was quite lucky in some games during Regionals. This deck might not do this well again at a big tournament like Regionals but it is sure fun to play it at a Battle Road! But be prepared when you play this deck! It’s not that easy to play, there’s quite a lot of (flipping) skill involved! Fortunately there are other decks than only straightforward decks!

Well this was the article and I hope you all enjoyed it! Feel free to ask any questions (about the deck, but if you want to know my shoe size feel free to ask as well).

Esa’s ending note: So, what do you think? Creative or what? And at the same time very good. I really enjoyed the article and the deck and I hope you did as well. Remember to leave any feedback about the article on the comments section!


  1. I love this deck! I had wanted to try Munna, Ninetales and Amoongus, but I got distracted with Empoleon instead. This seems so much better than my idea though.

  2. Darkrai/sableye/ninetails has been popping its head occasionally in the US too and has had some success. Darkrai can do similar things to Lando in here but can tun off the same Blend as Ninetails

  3. I'll try this with:

    -1 N
    -1 Pokemon Communication

    + 1 Tool Scrapper
    + 1 Virbank City Gym

  4. I would probably have played more landorus EX, but it's really neat to see ninetales getting some love

  5. Matijs Moree has Balls of Steel. Congratulations.

  6. That looks very interesting. Definitely worth a try.

  7. An interesting concept, but it seems like just a more clunky version of Darkrai/NInetails or Darkrai/Bouffalant. It seems like the decks main goal is to hit EXs for 150 or more, which I think Bouffalant does much better.

    Still, I like the Munna idea. I could see Darkrai/Ninetails with a few Munna in there being a very good deck. Sadly, I think that there is only really one more major tournament (in the US anyway) where this will be at all viable. Once Plasma Freeze comes out, there are better options (like Absol for Darkrai decks).

  8. I'm playing this for regionals could u give me some tips?

  9. Thanks for the comments everyone! For me this was just an article about a rogue deck I played, but in the end it got so much positive attention! Thank you all!
    I hope you all enjoy this deck while playing it as much as I do!

    Maxi: Do you think Tool scrapper is necessary? In my opinion that space can be used much better:) But if it worked good in testing, let me know!

    I don't know if I would play more Landorus EX, it's good in here but it changes the concept of the deck and in some matchups you really don't wanna start with it!

    If you use Bouffalant to deal 150 dmg to an EX, you need: Bouffalant, DCE, Energy Switch (if you wanna charge it in 1 turn), HTL and Virbank --> 5 cards
    If you wanna hit 150 with Ninetales (to any Pokémon!) you need --> Vulpix, Ninetales, Fire, HTL (heads), Virbank --> 5 cards
    For both situations you need 5 cards, of course Bouffalant isn't evolved and doesn't need to flip heads but Ninetales can deal this damage to ANY Pokémon and you play Munna to cover up a probable flipping fail :)

    Awesome that you will play this at Regionals! If you play this make sure that you test it A LOT. It's quite complicated and you have to adjust the deck to your playing style. Think about a 2nd Virbank and an Energy Switch, that's what I missed when playing it at Regionals.
    Also take your time when playing this, it has so many options. When you're in a certain situation go through all the options you have and make sure to pick the best one :)

    1. I will be playing this deck at Regionals, I'll let you know how it goes, thanks for the deck list I LOVE IT!

    2. That's great to hear! I am really curious how it goes, so let me know!

    3. Also let me know if you bump into something which really should be added or something which is just a waste of space in the deck!

  10. i've played around with the deck and i was wondering what do you do when you play a landorus deck my opponent was hitting my munna and my vulpix on the bench in this match up what can i do? sometimes i find that with junipers and just the normal use of a laser i run out of hypnotoxic laser what can i do about that?

  11. Try to save the lasers for the big EX's, especially when you play against Landorus. Because Landorus can sweep your bench if you don't start to attack quickly.

    Juniper is tricky I know, but you have to play it to get a decent setup.

    So try to avoid discarding important cards with Juniper and only use the lasers on EX's or other key Pokémon. Pokémon like Sableye can be KO'd later without Lasers :)

  12. The deck is a cool idea! The munna seems kind of risky in my opinion because if you flip tails, you pretty much negate your turn. I realize it's a back-up to HTL, but still, it could make your turn worthless just because of a coin flip.

  13. Thanks! But why is Munna risky? It's just to improve the chances of getting the 2 special conditions. You don't negate your turn if you flip tails, you just have to play smart. Evolve Vulpix after Munna, use a Switch etc.

  14. Ive played against this dedck and its a oain in the A**
    But i like oit verry much
    Greeetz Frans


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