Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Best Deck In the Format

Better than ever.
Hello everyone!

Today I’ll be discussing the (in)arguable BDIF of the current format – Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/ (Garbodor). Once an underdog - now the best deck in the format. What happened to the former BDIF Blastoise/Keldeo EX and why is Landorus EX quickly become the best card in the format even though it’s still a Water weak Pokémon?

The deck got no new attackers from the Plasma Storm, but something happened to the deck to make it as good as it is now. What then happened? That’s what I’m to find out in today’s entry.

Let’s start by looking at the skeleton list of the deck.


4x Landorus EX
2x Mewtwo EX
2x Tornadus EX
2x Bouffalant


4x Professor Juniper
4x N
3x Bianca
3x Skyla
3x Ultra Ball
1x Computer Search
4x Pokémon Catcher
4x Switch
4x Hypnotoxic Laser
2x Virbank City Gym


8x Fighting Energy
4x Double Cololress Energy

Deck structure analysis

Once again when we look at the skeleton, we see how many staple cards there really are in the format. Almost every Basic decks’ trainer lines are very similar and thanks to Hypnotoxic Laser, they’ve become even more similar! This number of staple cards can be seen from the card amounts of this “skeleton”. Even though the list is a skeleton, it already has 54 cards in it. And in the end the only arguable card in the list is the 2nd Bouffalant. It can easily be replaced with for example Terrakion, because Terrakion is very good if you are running into a Darkrai EX-heavy metagame.

So, what has changed in this decks’ built to make it so good that it suddenly has the biggest amount  of number 1 and top2 spots in the States? Well, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym has changed. Hypnotoxic Laser was way too easy to put into the deck. Just take off all the PlusPowers (which most lists already played 4 copy of) and replace them with Hypnotoxic Lasers. However, finding space for Virbank City Gym is more difficult. I’ve seen some lists play only 1 copy of Virbank City Gym or just no Virbank City Gym’s in order to make the deck more consistent, but I think Virbank City Gym is worth the space in this deck, because it not only adds the viability of Hypnotoxic Laser, but also makes Tornadus EX a real beast in the early game.

Tornadus EX not only is very good against stage decks in the early game thanks to Virbank City Gym, but it’s also the MVP in the mirror match. Fighting resistance takes care of your opponent’s Landorus EX and Power Blast can be extremely good against Mewtwo EXs, as you can discard the DCE from Tornadus EX in order to avoid the KO from X-Ball. It doesn’t matter if you run Garbodor or not, the player who has more Tornadus EXs in his deck, has the advantage in this mirror match.

Also, donking has become almost too easy for this deck thanks to PoisonCombo. Here are some possible T1 scenarios.

1) Landorus EX + the PoisonCombo = 60 (90 if Tynamo)

2) Tornadus EX + the PoisonCombo= 90

3) Mewtwo EX + the PoisonCombo = 70 (if your opponent has attached energy in his/her T1 90)

To good to be true? Well not really, because it’s the truth. This deck solely almost makes all the stage2 decks unplayable. Whenever starting with a Squirtle, Tynamo or Deino, you will be always afraid of the T1 donk. And no, the game doesn’t need to end there, but if your opponent is able to get the T1 60 with Tornadus EX to your active Squirtle and they go first, you will have very tough time coming back to the game, if they have enough Catchers to get rid of your other Squirtles.

Landorus EX has always been enough to just destroy most Eelektrik decks as long as you have enough Catchers. Bouffalant/Eelektrik is the only deck that can stand a chance against T1 Landorus EX rush. And even it has trouble now thanks to the PoisonCombo.

Magical numbers are also very important when it comes to the things that the PoisonCombo added for this deck’s arsenal. In the past you needed 6 energy for your Mewtwo EX in order to OHKO a Keldeo EX with 3 energy. 6 energy is almost an impossibility for a deck like this, which as no energy acceleration. However, thanks to the PoisonCombo you now only need 4 energy to Mewtwo EX in order to OHKO Keldeo EX. That’s a huge change and this difference alone is enough to shift the balance of the match-up to Landorus EX’s favor.


To understand does Garbodor make the deck better, we need to look at the results from the States. (Copypaste from the

1st Place

5x Landorus/Mewtwo/Tornadus
5x Darkrai (1 w/ Victini NVI 15, 1 w/ Victini EX)
4x RayEels
4x Blastoise/Keldeo, tech Manaphy
4x Garbodor/Landorus(/Mewtwo)
2x PlasmaKlang
1x Darkrai/Hydreigon


20x Landorus/Mewtwo/Tornadus
19x Darkrai (1 w/ Victini NVI 15, 1 w/ Victini EX)
16x Blastoise/Keldeo
15x RayEels
10x Garbodor/Landorus(/Mewtwo/Tornadus)
8x PlasmaKlang
2x Darkrai/Hydreigon
2x ZekEels
2x Empoleon/Dusknoir/Mewtwo
1x DurantKlang
1x BuffaloEels


1st Place

4x Landorus/Mewtwo/Garbodor
4x Darkrai/Lasers
2x Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem EX
1x Landorus/Garbodor
1x Garchomp
1x Landorus/Tornadus/Mewtwo

I’ve always been a fan of stastistics, but you rarely see the most deck to win the most States in Seniors AND Masters in the first weekend (Landorus/Garbodor). I think the last time thing were like this, it was the Luxchomp season. When the same deck is the number one in Seniors and Masters, it must be a good deck – maybe even the BDIF.

What I think should be noted, is that even though Landorus/Mewtwo WITHOUT Garbodor had the most top placements, the Garbodor variants are the ones that have WON the tournaments in the first weekend. And if you are aiming at the tournament victory, you should notice this. I also think that the reason for Garbodor variants success is pretty self-explanatory – the deck doesn’t have any bad match-ups. Without Garbodor you might struggle against fast Blastoise/Keldeo EX and Klinklang, but with Garbodor, both of these match-ups turn into very favorable match-ups. Of course Garbodor makes match-ups like mirror a more challenging, but it seems that the best players think that it’s risk worth taking and that it has really paid off.

However, as you can see, things turned around in the 2nd weekend. The reason for this is pretty obvious as well. Landorus EX decks without Garbodor have the edge in the mirrors and when everyone saw Garbodor to dominate the first weekend, it’s only natural the best “counter” decks to be played in the second weekend. Wise Blastoise players also found an opening here, because the success of Garbodors in the first weekend, would definitely decrease the amount of them in the second weekend.

Match-ups with and without Garbodor

Blastoise/Keldeo EX…

…without Garbodor

Blastoise is one of the toughest match-ups for Landorus EX without the Garbodor – as long as the Blastoise decks runs a decent amount of Keldeo EXs. Landorus EX is completely useless attacker here form T2 onwards, because Squirtle can’t be damaged when benched. That’s why Stadiums are a must if you are running a Landorus EX without Garbodor. Thanks to Virbanks and your opponent’s Tropical Beaches, Tornadus EX is your MVP in this match-up. You should get the early prizes with Tornadus EX and then use Bouffalant or Mewtwo EX to get your opponent’s attacker KOed. The key to this match-up is going first (obviously) and just getting a good prize-lead before your opponent set ups his/her attackers.

…with Garbodor

With Garbodor things – not so surprisingly – gets a lot easier. Most Blastoise decks run 1 or even 0 Tool Scrappers. This gave Garbodor based decks a nice boost in the first weekend of States. Blastoise doesn’t work = Blastoise becomes even more clunky than Landorus/Garbodor. If you watch any games between Garbodor decks, you’ll notice that it seems that both players don’t do anything. The reason for this is that Garbodor usually cripples your own decks’ consistency while at the same time it destroys your opponent’s Abilites. Even Darkrai EX becomes clunky after Garbodot hits the field. To see this in practice, check some games from! Even the game’s best players’ deck become clunky thanks to Garbodor.

Eelektrik variants

…with and without Garbodor

Landorus EX is the sole reason Eelekrik variants haven’t been doing as well as they could. Eelektrik decks don’t really have bad match-ups and in the end have positive match –ups across the metagame – if it wasn’t for Landorus EX. If Landorus EX deck goes first, one Landorus EX may be enough to destroy the whole Eelekrik deck as long as the Landorus EX keeps drawing the stuff. I have seen some remarkable comebacks from Bouffalant/Eelektriks, but in my opinion those are usually just random flukes. Overall, the match-up is so favorable for a Landorus EX deck with or without Garbodor that it’s difficult to lose the game. However, if you are insecure about the match-up, just add Garbodor – after that it’s an autowin as everything from Bouffalant’s Abilites stop working.

Darkrai EX variants

…without Garbodor

You have the type advantage. However, don’t let it fool you. Darkrai EX is super strong and a lot more mobile than Landorus EX. Also, since you don’t have any energy acceleration, you have to be very careful when attaching the energy to your Pokémon. The key to win this match-up is not to play any useless Pokémon on the bench (as they can be Catchered) and heavily rely on your non-EX attackers. Both your non-EX attacker options (Bouffalant and Terrakion) are pain in the butt for a Darkrai EX deck, and you should make the most of it.

Granted, these match-ups usually come down to the late game Ns and whether the winning person draws and energy or a Switch or something as luck-based, but as you know that the game will come down to that kind of things, remember to discard the useless resources during the game in order to increase the chance of drawing the necessary cards in the late game. You can always control the probabilities with your own play style.

…with Garbodor

Garbodor makes your deck more inconsistent, but at the same time, it makes Darkrai EX more immobile as well. If the Darkrai EX variant relies on Computer Search and Keldeo EX, Garbodor gives you a huge edge in the match. However, if they run Escape Rope and Scramble Switch, things get trickier, because they aren’t as vulnerable to your Hypnotoxic Lasers as you could think.

Also, one of the trickiest things in this match-up is when does the Darkrai EX play down the Virbank City Gym. It’s very difficult to fit Virbank into same deck as Garbodor, so you rely heavily on your opponent’s Virbank. This is by far one of the most intriguing match-ups of the current format. It’s slow and full of difficult decisions. Naturally everything can often come down to one coin flip (thanks to Hypnotoxic Laser), but thankfully it mostly comes down to the skill-level of the players.


…without Garbodor

The match-up heavily depends on how many non-EX attackers you have and what kind of opening hand you have. If you are able to take Klinks down with your Landorus EX, before your opponent is able to set-up any Klinklangs, it will be a super easy match-up. However, if your opponent goes first and get T2 Klinklang, you are in trouble – unless you run 2-3 non-EX attackers or Victini.

Victini gets rid of the Klinklang problem easily, but I don’t know if it’s worth the space, because Klinklang isn’t that heavily played. I would probably just go with 2 Bouffalant and 1 Terrakion, if I were to expect Klinklangs. It’s more than enough for you to destroy their Cobalion EX and Cobalions.

…with Garbodor

Things just got too easy. When you play 2 Trubbishes down, your opponent probably just scoops at that point. As long as you have at least a nearly “standard” set-up, Garbodor just destroys Klinklang. Cobalion EX is a horrible attacker and the same goes with Cobalion. And as long as they don’t have any energy acceleration, and not even Klinklang(BLW), it’s pretty much the game when you shut down their Abilties.


I don’t personally like Landorus EX variants, due to their clunkyness, but even I can’t deny the fact that it’s the BDIF of the current format. Whether you play Garbodor or not is completely up to your personal opinion and there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to it. However, if your metagame has a lot of Eelektriks, Blastoises and Klinklangs, it might be a good choice to run Garbodor, even though it decreases consistency.

I will have my last States this weekend, and am aiming for a jackpot there. All my byes come down to this one tournament and if I succeed, I may be able to get 2 byes. If I fail, I won’t get any byes. Tough, huh? Maybe I should have played more tournaments this season…

Anyways, thanks for reading and feel free to comment on anything!

Good luck for the last weekend of States everyone!


  1. Just wanted to point out that your skeleton has 54 cards, not 55. The T/S/S is 32 cards, not 33.


    1. Thanks for pointing that out, fixed it right away! I'm really glad that people pay close attention to the numbers even in the skeleton lists.

  2. I dont think a skeleton would have 4 Landorus ex. I think 3 is just fine and 3 tornadus ex. Also I feel that Scramble switch is much better in this deck than computer search because of the added switch as well as the late game energy excell, but it does just come down to player preference i guess. I was also wondering why you didnt talk about energy switch and max potion, but I guess that could very well be the extra blanks. Im not really feeling the bicana in here because you cant usually play down your hand with only 3 ultra ball, but I guess its assumeing that you are ahead prizes and your opponent N's you, so then I guess bianca would be good. Aside from that nice article!!

  3. What kind of chance does Hammertime have against this deck? I mean if they get rid of the DCE and get a few Crushing Hammer heads won't the deck come to a halt? With no energy acceleration or recovery isn't it then at a big loss to Darkrai + Hammers?

    1. All depends on who sets up first...

  4. Awesome article, this will really help me hopefully beat this deck with my Keldeo EX deck.

    Also REALLY AWESOME BLOG!!! I check this website like every day or so.

  5. i think keldeo is the best in the format

    1. I reckon and I bet this guy screwed up in more ways than one by calling a deck that's only good T1 and T2 the best deck in format.

  6. Thank you, also I am sort of like a stereotypical scared little girl when it comes to big basics, Tornadus ex is soo evil with it's 60 FT donks that I like to call it "Bitemenadus" or "Screwyounadus" as that's what it does to me waaaay too much.... I need help. T_T lol

  7. I played Landorus/Tornadus/Mewtwo a little while ago and I've already given up on the deck because it sucked so bad. I got wins with a rogue Camerupt deck than it. In my opinion, Landorus/Tornadus/Mewtwo is the worst deck in format and Landorus is the worst card in format.Your regional results probably miss out on 90% of the rest of the worlds results and it's only the first weekend, who's to say that Landorus/Tornadus/Mewtwo won't come absolute last? If you wanted to make a solid statement about which deck is BDIF, you should of waited until regionals were finished and you included more results from different countries. I hope you delete this until then cause this could piss off a lot of people.

    1. Did you really write "Landorus is the worst card in format" ?

      Wow !

      Are you sure you're playing Pokemon ?

    2. Yes, I'm playing Pokemon and I mostly play Blastoise/Keldeo and Hammertime. I own 4 Landorus Exs, all of which are only useable as trade items.

    3. I'm sure you're a very succsesfull player :)

    4. I'm pretty good but just last week at my league, I tried out my Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem (PLS) deck and I must be honest and say I prefer normal Blastoise/Keldeo decks.

  8. Esa you mentioned that you have begun building MD-on (assuming MD-CL) decks again because you loved that format. To be honest that is my favourite format that I have played in and have built MD-CL decks at the start of this season.

    After that back story comes the reason why I am posting this. After states there is downtime. A time when no large tournaments are really played. In this time could you do an article on MD-CL decks? I would love to see an article which just went in depth on decks like Luxchomp, LostVileGar, MewDos, DialgaChomp, VileChamp, Uxie donk and other decks that you think were good or fun at the time. Maybe just like a decklist out kinda thing with a short description for people who don't know the strategy of the deck or something and a list of possible techs and your opinion on them. Not anything too serious, just so that I could get another perspective on issues. For example should I run Blissey in LVG, should I run chatot/smeargle in luxchomp, how many mew/psychic energy in MewDos. Things like that.

  9. Yesterday went against this at the Regionals, I was playing Darkrai/Lasers and still managed to won.

    It's good against Darkrai but Scramble Switch as the ace spec and 1 escape rope makes it much easier against Landorus and friends

  10. Can you write an article about Kling Klang. It won states here in FL. :)

  11. I'm a senior and am playing big basics for regionals it's my first year and I'm 1/7 against blastoise do you have any tips


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