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Competitive Deck Spotlight: Darkrai/Hydreigon 09/15/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
Tags: , , , , ,

You can consider this another new deck borne from the release of Dragons Exalted, or a rebuild of a popular deck from last year which dominated at Worlds; no matter what you call it, it’s still a super-powerful deck that matches up well against many popular strategies.

Deck: Darkrai/Hydreigon
AKA: Darkraigon, Dragon’s Dance
Strategy: Energy Control/Damage Spread

Deck Base (incomplete):

3 Hydreigon (DRX #97)
1 Zweilous (DRX #96)
3 Deino (NVI)
3 Darkrai EX
2 Sableye (DEX)

4 N
3 Professor Juniper
3 Bianca
4 Ultra Ball
4 Max Potion
3 Eviolite
1 Super Rod

8 Darkness Energy (Basic)
4 Blend Energy GRPD

The basic objective is to set up Hydreigon so that you can start moving your attached Darkness energies around (since the Blend Energy GRPD includes Darkness as one of its types, it counts as a Darkness energy affected by Dark Trance, since it doesn’t call for only “Basic Energy”). Use Sableye to set up, using its Junk Hunt attack to retrieve item cards from the discard pile (after you’ve used cards such as Professor Juniper and Ultra Ball to put them there) so that you can use them again next turn. Once you’ve got some Darkrai EX stationed on the Bench, you can attach energy to them, as well as move energy using Hydreigon’s Dark Trance, to get them ready to fight. Since anything with Darkness energy attached to it gets free Retreat from Darkrai’s Dark Cloak ability, you can bring out a fully-charged pokemon without having to worry about discarding energy (this also makes you practically immune to Pokemon Catcher’s stalling effect). It’s also easy to keep your heavy-hitters in play when you can retreat for free, move energy to the new Active pokemon, and use items such as Max Potion to heal all damage from pokemon which you’ve taken all the energy off of beforehand. And finally, since Darkrai also sends damage to your opponent’s Bench, you can easily snipe weak Basics which your opponent may try to set up mid- to late-game.

This is just a skeleton list, but it can be built up a number of different ways, depending on your favorite strategy. To boost energy acceleration, you could put in some Dark Patch, which let you attach Darkness energy from the discard pile to Benched Darkness pokemon. Including Darkness Hydreigon (NVI #79) gives you more spread damage, while Giratina EX gives you more attack power, plus a means of taking out most Dragon types as well as EX-blocking Sigilyph (DRX). You may also want to add a Shaymin EX just in case your opponent gets far ahead of you in prize draws.

Since this deck is mostly immune to popular strategies in this format, there isn’t much to say about its weaknesses, aside from simple deck failure (inability to get your “engine” started in time before your opponent fully sets up, mostly just bad luck). Since it runs on Abilities, it can be crippled by DRX Garbodor’s Garbotoxin, though not completely shut down. Garchomp’s Mach Cut can force discards of irretrievable Blend Energies, as well as take out DRX Zweilous and Hydreigon with their Dragon weaknesses. Since Darkrai EX is weak to Fighting, NVI Terrakion and Terrakion EX may have an advantage. All in all, there is no single shortcoming to Darkrai/Hydreigon that is easy to target, since every game is a different experience; however, if you allow your opponent to set up completely, you will be left grasping at straws, so take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves.

Since this contains many cards from competitive decks of yesteryear, veteran players likely won’t have much problem acquiring the new cards to build this deck; on the other hand, new players may have a problem with the card cost. However, the release of the DRX tins, one of which includes Darkrai EX as a special promo card, may make it a bit easier on them.

Tune in next time when we cover another popular competitive deck!



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