Empoleon/Terrakion Deck Article
Writer: Scott Creech
We all know how Quad-Terrakion (a.k.a. Solo-Terrakion a.k.a. Mono-Terrakion) works, right? Some of you have probably heard of Empoleon/Aerodactyl, but have you heard of its older brother? Empoleon/Terrkion is an up-and-coming deck that is designed to hold its own against most of the Tier One decks. Its speed is unnatural for a deck based mainly on a Stage 2 Pokemon and a Fighting type Basic Pokemon with a four retreat cost. Its ability to consistently knock out any Pokemon in two attacks is unrivalled, as well as the cost of just one energy to use that attack.
Is it a.. hidden Tier One deck?
Now that we have the intro out of the way, let’s explain what exactly the deck is. Empoleon/Terrakion (which I now dub EmPTy.dec), is designed to set up multiple Empoleon lines simultaneously for their draw engine, while setting up a Terrakion on the bench for the odd chance that Empoleon gets KO’ed, for it’s Retaliate attack which can deal 180 damage to any Darkrai EX or Lightning type Pokemon.
Here is my personal list at this moment:
4 Piplup DEX
2 Prinplup DEX
4 Empoleon DEX
3 Smeargle UD
3 Terrakion NVI
1 Shaymin UL
4 Dual Ball
4 Junk Arm
4 Pokemon Communication
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokemon Catcher
1 Super Rod
4-2-4 Empoleon line: The Piplup and Empoleon are pretty self-explanatory, but the two Prinplups are what throw off some people. You wouldn’t want zero Prinplups in case you used all your Rare Candies, or the opponent has a Vileplume set up. However one Prinplup can ruin make it hard to draw into it, while three or four copies take up too many spaces. I’ve gone in the middle, with two copies which means I can still search one out if the other is prized or has been knocked out.
3 Terrakion: This is for consistency, to make sure that there are always Terrakions in my deck throughout the game, when I need them. Terrakion is a good bench sitter for most matchups until Empoleon gets KO’ed, especially against some of the most popular decks at the moment like Dark or Lightning.
3 Smeargle: Smeargle’s Portrait can be used to use an additional draw supporter each turn, and let’s you set up a lot quicker, which is really important since you’ll need to set up several Stage 2 Pokemon, and will usually be slower than most decks using Basic Pokemon. Running three copies means you can use more than one Portrait a turn, and have back up copies if any get knocked out, as well as giving you good odds of starting with one.
1 Shaymin: This is an interesting choice. The main reason why it’s in here is because of predictable Pokemon Catchers. If an opponent Catchers up your Terrakion, there’s no big worry as long as you have enough energy throughout the bench.. just lay down Shaymin and Celebration Wind energy to Terrakion to retreat or attack.
4 Dual Ball: See Jak’s article here for an explanation on running Dual Balls over Pokemon Collectors in this deck. Sorry if you don’t have a Premium account and aren’t able to read that.
2 PlusPower: I included a couple of Pluspower in the deck, as against any Pokemon with 130-140HP such as Reshiram, Zekrom or any Stage 2 Pokemon, you always have the option to add extra damage this way and put them within OHKO range.
1 Super Rod: If your opponent targets a particular Pokemon in your deck, you won’t have enough to last throughout a game, which can give you a lot of problems if they’re vital to win that matchup (Terrakion against Darkrai for example). Super Rod can always get those back, and gives you just enough recovery towards the end of the game.
6 Water Energy: You will use Empoleon a lot in most matches, and if you want to start attacking from the second turn, you need to run enough energy so that you have good odds of drawing into it. Since Empoleon only needs one energy to attack, and you’ll be using Terrakion at points instead, I only included six Water Energy in the deck.
4 Fighting Energy: You’ll usually need at most three Fighting Energy in the deck, one for each Terrakion, to be able to use Retaliate with each one. I run a fourth copy which means you can discard one if needbe, allow one to be prized, or make up for that one copy which you may struggle to draw into.
Pichu: This helps you fill up your entire bench on the first turn, and means you can explode the turn after with several Portraits, and plenty of Piplups to evolve if needbe. The great thing about Pichu in this deck is that Playground usually gives your opponent the same advantage as well and let’s them fill their bench, but you can punish them later by using Empoleon to attack for more damage.
Exp. Share: Exp Share has become popular in the last few months, for letting decks reserve their energy more carefully, and keep attacking fluently throughout a game. These are particularly helpful in this deck for Terrakions, and mean that you can always attach an Exp Share to them, without any other energy attachments. If your active Empoleon is knocked out, you can move a Water Energy onto a Terrakion, promote it active, attach a Fighting Energy from your hand and Retaliate for a return knock out.
Pokemon Collector (instead of Dual Ball): This is just simply preference between the two, and depends on whether you like the additional speed of Dual Ball in the first few turns, which lets you use a Draw Supporter over the Pokemon Collector, or the reliability and consistency of Pokemon Collector.
Before I start this section, I have a few comments based on what I recently heard from some of you readers on other sites. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but if I do, I’m sorry in advance. On one of the forums I check, I saw some of the other authors on this site criticize one of Stephen Blake’s articles on 6P. They were saying not to look at the matchups because he is a senior, and doesn’t know much about Master metas. Some of us actually regularly test against popular decks that have been almost net-decked off of your lists. (I think we know a thing or two). Enough of my rant, let’s get to what I really want you to look at and think about.
CMT- Slightly Favourable
This matchup comes down to who gets setup more quickly, so using lots of Smeargle is really important here. Empoleon is great in this matchup, since they’ll struggle to knock it out in one hit, and Mewtwo EX needs six energy attached to do so. You can use Pokemon Catcher to drag out their Celebi Primes and Smeargles, and as well as taking cheap prizes, also make it harder for their deck to work throughout the game.
The main downside is that CMT is based around Basic Pokemon, and is going to be a lot faster than Empoleon, especially considering they can hit for a lot of damage from the first turn. Who goes first can make a big difference here, as if they call the coin flip right, they have two turns to attack any Piplup on the bench before you can evolve any to Empoleon with Rare Candy.
Darkrai.dec – Unfavourable
This matchup is usually pretty difficult, although Terrakion can make things more easier. Expect them to hit for a lot of damage early on, so try to keep some additional Piplup on the bench, incase your active Pokemon get knocked out. Since Darkrai EX can spread 30 damage to one of your benched Pokemon, you essentially have to Rare Candy a Piplup the turn after you play it, otherwise it could be knocked out. Try to set up a lot of Smeargle and Empoleon, so you can draw through your deck quickly and keep up.
Your biggest threat here is Terrakion, since Retaliate can deal 180 damage to any Darkrai EX – taking two prizes with one attack! Since it’s common for Empoleon to be paired with Terrakion, your opponent will probably be aware of the return knock out, and play their Darkrai EXs more carefully. Hold onto your Pluspower since you’ll need them if they attach an Eviolite to their Darkrai EX, but provided you can keep speed with them at the beginning, you should be alright.
Zekeels – Slightly Unfavourable
Your main Pokemon in this deck is Empoleon. Guess it’s Weakness. ELECTRIC of all things. This matchup depends on your ability to bench multiple Terrakion and pray that you can get energy for Land Crush and Retaliate, which can be difficult because you only play four Fighting energy in the deck.
If you draw into Super Rod at the start of the game, try to use it or discard it, even if there isn’t much in your discard pile that is useful to get back. That way, you can always use Junk Arm to reuse it throughout the game, and get back any Terrakion or Fighting Energy. This matchup is especially hard if they don’t run any Lightning type EX Pokemon, since you’ll be trading knock outs with Terrakions, but struggle to keep up in that prize exchange.
Overall, EmPTY.dec seems like at least Tier2. After testing for multiple hours on end, I’ve found that EmPTY.dec can stand against the biggest decks and then some. As you can see above, it is at a slight disadvantage against them, but with the right start and a quick set up, you always stand a great chance.
Once again, if I accidentally offended anybody, I apologize. Here’s to a successful Nats!