Battle Roads only started a couple of weeks ago, but it’s clear to see the two top dogs of this format already. The Top Cut have been compiling a list of the most successful decks to date, and it shows that Eelektrik variants have made it to the Top 4 39 times, Darkrai/Hydreigon has featured in the Top 4 30 times, and the next successful deck (Ho-oh) has only got that far 6 times.
That’s a huge cut off, and is a scenario that players who enjoy playing rogue or metagame counter decks thrive on. It’s safe to assume that, especially in the later rounds, you’ll be playing mostly against those decks. It’s also safe to assume that the better players are likely to run those decks, and those are the games where you’ll be needing an edge even more. What makes this situation even better is that Eelektrik variants and Darkrai variants both share the same weakness – Fighting.
Sure, Darkrai/Hydreigon runs a variety of EX Pokemon, but since the deck runs no Switch, it falters really badly without Darkrai EX’s ability to give all it’s Pokemon free retreat. It makes Hydreigon a lot more ineffective, as there’s less need to move the energy about, and even gives you opportunities to ‘Catcher stall’ any of their bulky benched Pokemon active, should they refuse to play down any Darkrai EX.
Of course, this thinking isn’t completely new. Last format was also dominated by Darkrai and Eelektrik based decks, and Terrakion emerged as the number one tech to help deal with them. Playing Mewtwo EX alongside it not only helped to deal with any opposing Mewtwo EX (which was usually the opponent’s best strategy against Terrakion), but also shored up a lot of the more random decks you could expect to come across, as a Mewtwo EX + Eviolite is pretty strong against most Pokemon.
So if this deck was so good, why wasn’t it played more last season? I think there’s a couple of reasons. One is that Terrakion EX hadn’t been released at that time, and Terrakion’s 130HP could be easily manipulated by Darkrai EX players. I think another is more simply that, especially for larger tournaments like National Championships, most players felt more comfortable playing a safer option which had proved to be a more reliable deck choice.
A lot of the time, it can be an advantage to play something different, and help give you something extra against everyone else. I’m not someone who plays rogue for the sake of it, or spends all his time trying to make a bad concept playable, but sometimes the best deck choice isn’t always the obvious one. My brother built a Terrakion/Mewtwo deck on the morning of Nationals, without ever trying the deck before or reading about it online (at this point the concept hadn’t really been talked about), and ended up getting to the Top 16 at UK Nationals with it.
Here’s my current list:
2 Terrakion EX
2 Mewtwo EX
4 Professor Juniper
1 Random Reciever
4 Pokemon Catcher
3 Plus Power
1 Tool Scrapper
3 EXP Share
3 Ultra Ball
1 Enhanced Hammer
4 Double Colourless
There might be some concepts in here which are new to some people. I’ve seen so many different takes on this deck that all work, and no two deck lists ever look the same. Some people play a bigger focus on Stunfisk and Bouffalant (I’ve only given one spot for either), other decks run just the Terrakion EX, while some just use the original Terrakion. I’ve tested out a lot of different styles of Terrakion/Mewtwo, but this is the final list that has worked best for me so far. Terrakion EX is amazing at knocking out successive Tynamos and Eelektriks against any Eelektrik variants which gives you a massive advantage, and with the standard Terrakion’s Retaliate as well, you have great matchups against most of the popular decks you can expect to play against.
In most matchups you’ll want to start with Terrakion EX, as it usually sticks around for a few turns, and allows you to stack some quick damage up, get energy onto your field, and provide a wall which you can build your bench behind. Since Shaymin EX is the only real threat which can hit for Terrakion EX’s weakness, and is a card that is only effective towards the end of the game, trying to heal any damage from a Terrakion EX is usually a good idea.
For this reason I run three Eviolite and three Potion, which can help to keep it damage free for an extra turn or two. Even though Potion may seem a lot of hassle to only heal 30 damage, when you think that Plus Power is a popular card which just adds 10 damage to an attack, it’s not actually that bad. In some situations you can force the opponent to attack an extra turn to get that vital knock out, and is also something they won’t normally expect.
Three Mewtwo EX is vital. Against a lot of decks which you might not expect to play, Terrakion EX isn’t really that useful, and Terrakion might only take a prize or two from using Retaliate, so Mewtwo EX is going to be your main attacking Pokemon. Not only is a Mewtwo EX with an Eviolite incredibly strong, but a lot of decks run little or no copies of the card, and can struggle to knock it out.
In the case that you do become involved in a Mewtwo EX war, running three copies, Double Colourless energy, PlusPower, EXP Share and thirteen Supporters, should give you a decent chance of coming out on top. Finally, getting a Mewtwo EX + Double Colourless energy on the first turn let’s you quickly stack damage on your opponent’s field, and put them under immediate pressure.
With the presence of Terrakion EX, you only need two Terrakion, but they’re still useful at the right time. I usually like to just keep them on the bench, with an EXP Share. That way, if your active Pokemon is knocked out, you only need to attach an energy from your hand to hit for 90 damage with Retaliate. If you get N’d to a low hand, it’s great to have that option while you try and draw into a Supporter card. It’s also a lot more efficient then attaching three energy on a Terrakion EX to knock out a Darkrai EX. Eviolite also works well with Terrakion, as Darkrai can’t hit it for 100, use Pokemon Catcher to bring another Pokemon active, then knock it out with the 30 bench damage from Night Spear. Along with Potion, it’s possible to keep it around for an extra turn, and follow up Retaliate with a Land Crush the following turn.
In regards to choosing either Stunfisk or Bouffalant, you can really go either way. Stunfisk is useful for knocking out Tynamos early on, and it’s second attack can lock a Pokemon active if your opponent doesn’t play any Switch, or has played all their copies.
Bouffalant uses a similar concept to what Zekrom BW achieved last format. Thanks to it’s ability, most EX Pokemon won’t be able to knock it out in one hit, and it can trade knockouts with them while only giving up one prize card as opposed to their two. If you wanted, you could try to find room for a second by perhaps dropping the Enhanced Hammer, if you expect to play against a lot of EX Pokemon.
The final thing I’d like to talk about are the Plus Power and Tool Scrapper counts. It’s a funny situation, because in some ways they’re similar, and it’s difficult to strike a balance of which card to run more copies of. In the situation where you want to use Retaliate on a Darkrai EX with an Eviolite, Tool Scrapper can essentially act as a PlusPower by letting you discard that Eviolite, and take the knock out. It can also be useful in other situations as well, by discarding any tools the opponent is relying on, and helps to give an edge in the mirror match.
I decided to run more Plus Power as it’s a more consistent option, and also I’ve noticed that with the release of Tool Scrapper, most decks tend to run less Tools.
It’s crazy to think that this deck has only recorded one Battle Road win, and four appearances in the Top 4, when it has such strong match ups against the two most popular decks. I wouldn’t say it is comfortable playing against anything else, but it can certainly hold it’s own, and the result often comes down to how quickly both players set up in the opening few turns. If you’re looking to play something different, I’d definitely recommend giving this deck a whirl.