Milling Madness with Durant
Standard’s Night March getting you down? Maybe you could use the help of a Mountain Muncher…
04/08/2016 by Miner751
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Table of contents
Milling your opponent refers to actions that discard cards from your opponent’s deck with the ultimate goal of making them lose by not being able to draw a card for their turn. Milling is a subset of “decking out” decks, as there are other ways to make your opponent run out of cards without the aid of milling. The Wailord EX stall deck that emerged following Lysandre’s Trump Card’s ban last year is a good example of this. Mill decks have been around since the Pokémon TCG’s earlier days (e.g. “Wildfire.dec”, featuring Moltres from the Fossil expansion) but there hasn’t been much in recent years… well, not competitively viable ones anyway (I had an Aggron DRX deck that did a better job of burning through my own deck than milling my opponents). Durant NVI is the best mill card that we have seen in the past few of years, however, it is now only Expanded legal. Fortunately, we have been given Durant BKP to take up the mantle.
Durant BKP is the first Grass (Bug) type Durant and, unlike its NVI brethren, it has two mill attacks. For one Grass Energy, it does 10 damage and discards the top card of your opponent’s deck. The damage aspect isn’t worth bothering with since you will seldom ever take a KO with Durant. Mountain Munch is still nice though while you are setting up for Scape Down. For one Grass and a Colourless, you can discard the top 4 cards of your opponent’s deck, but only if you have at least one damage counter on Durant. This is where the money is, and the reason why you would want to use Durant over Bunnelby (PCR 121/160) or Houndoom EX (each of whom can only discard a max of two cards each turn). Whilst the attack cost is a little high, I’ll show you a couple of ways for you to pull it off and hopefully mill some of your opponents. :)
Below is the first Durant BKP deck I built. The idea behind this one is to just deck out the opponent as fast as possible. If you think about it, your opponent will start the game with 47 cards in their deck (60 card deck - 7 card hand - 6 Prizes = 47). Assuming you Scrape Down each turn, then for each pair of turns, you opponent will lose 5 cards (4 from Durant + 1 card for draw per turn). This basically means that your opponent will have 9 turns to take their 6 Prize Cards. Now this example isn’t perfect since 45 does not equal 47, and it’s also the turn that your opponent begins with no cards in deck that is the important one but, more crucially, it doesn’t actually include your opponent playing any cards that will reduce their deck size. Now, say if your opponent plays a Professor Sycamore – that’s a whopping 7 cards out of their deck. Or maybe an Ultra Ball and a Trainers’ Mail – there’s another 2 cards gone from their deck.
If your opponent is wise, though, they will set up one attacker and try to steamroll you with it. Setting up one attacker does not require that many resources, and KOing Durants is not particularly hard to do since they don’t have much HP. Realistically, your opponent will have about 7-8 turns to take 6 KOs, so you’ll want to be have a Durant ready to Scrape Down for the first 8 turns, as well as having some way of ensuring that your opponent does not take a KO for 3 of the turns. Anyway, that’s enough of an overview, let’s have a look at a deck.
Durant - Speed Scraping
- 4x Dunsparce
- 4x Durant
- 2x Bunnelby
- 1x Jirachi
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 2x Misty’s Determination
- 2x Judge
- 1x Delinquent
- 1x Xerosic
- 3x Teammates
- 4x Max Elixir
- 3x Crushing Hammer
- 1x Enhanced Hammer
- 4x Puzzle of Time
- 1x Escape Rope
- 2x Float Stone
- 4x Level Ball
- 3x VS Seeker
- 10x Grass Energy
- 4x Rainbow Energy
Rainbow Energy, Max Elixir and a Durant are the 3 cards you want to have access to each turn. Rainbow Energy provides the damage counter that we need to satisfy Scrape Down’s condition, Max Elixir nets you the second Energy (the vast majority of the time) and, of course, we need Durant since he is the star. Whilst Max Elixir can only attach to Benched Basic Pokémon, we have 3 switching cards (an Escape Rope and 2 Float Stones) and the Dunsparces, who have Free Retreat, to help out. The switching cards are there for the first turn if you don’t open Dunsparce, and late game you will ideally have a Dunsparce out; the idea being to promote Dunsparce Active when your opponent takes a KO, so then you can use Max Elixir on a Benched Durant, and then Retreat the Dunsparce for free so you can then, finally, attack with Durant.
The Teammates are there to hedge your interests, that is, if your opponent doesn’t KO your Durant, then you have another turn to attack with Durant. If they do KO it, then you can search your deck for two of the three cards I mentioned above (hopefully you’ll already have the third in hand/on the field) and set up another Durant. Instead of searching for say, a Rainbow Energy and a Max Elixir, you can search your deck for two Puzzle of Times. With these, you can then search your Discard Pile for the Rainbow Energy and Max Elixir, instead.
There’s a handful of disruption cards in there to slow down the opponent and try and create cases where your opponent cannot take a KO. Hammers and Xerosic discard your opponent’s Pokémon’s Energies, hopefully causing them not to attack, or be unable to use their stronger attack. Jirachi is quite useful against Special Energy reliant decks since its attack is reusable (unlike Enhanced Hammer) and it can force your opponent to dig into their deck to try and locate another Special Energy. Judge and Delinquent disrupt the opponent’s hand; ideally getting rid of a resource(s) that the opponent needs, or forcing them to play cards (hopefully Sycamore :P) to search for what they need.
There are Level Balls since all of the Pokémon have under 90HP, hence saving you from having to discard two cards if you had of used Ultra Ball instead. Bunnelby is a backup attacker in the case that you cannot get a Durant set up. Similarly to Delinquent, I think I put the Misty’s Determinations to test them out and see if they are any good. They weren’t amazing, but they were good for trying to seek out a card when you didn’t have, or couldn’t play, a Teammates.
I played a few games with this deck online, and the results were so-so. On the negative side, once your opponent set up an attacker, there wasn’t much you could do but hope that you would be able to mill them before they took all their prizes. Whilst it was possible to set up consecutive Durants, it got harder as the game progressed (I needed a way to replenish the hand, but also needed to get another Durant set up). On the positive side, unlike my efforts with Bunnelby, I manage to mill a number of opponents. I know it’s obvious, but milling 4 cards each turn is so much better than milling 2.
I cannot remember if I played against any competitive level decks when I was playing this deck on PTCGO, so I’m not 100% sure how it’ll fare against them. The deck is reckless and volatile, so you might be able to win the first game, but after your opponent wises up, things won’t be so good for you. If your opponent spends too much time attacking you for non-OHKO blows, e.g with Yveltal XY’s Oblivion Wing, then the game should easily be yours. If, however, they get something like an Yveltal EX using Evil Ball from Turn 2 onwards, then you’re buggered.
I’ve outlined some changes below which will hopefully make this deck better but, otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend taking this deck into a tournament (assuming you value winning over having a good time :) ). It is a perfectly fine deck to use at a league though.
Either way, the main thing I got from playing this deck is that it is quite possible to deck out opponents with Durant; which is a feeling that Bunnelby did not leave me with.
I played around with this deck a few weeks ago and, given that I forgot I had disruption cards in the deck, that should give you an indication about how useful they were. Delinquent and Xerosic were seldom played since most turns I’d be using Sycamore or Teammates. Setting up is almost always more important than trying to disrupt the opponent. Judge wasn’t particularly good either since this deck doesn’t really appreciate having a hand of four cards. Hammers were okay, but because I would usually Teammates for cards to set up Durants, the only way I would get them into my hand is if I drew into them. Then there’s also the problem of coin flips should I draw into them. Basically, all the disruption cards can probably go, except for Jirachi since it is very handy against Seimitoad EX and Night March.
Something to note is that, unless you use Bunnelby’s Rototiller, the maximum number of Durants you can set up is six, and that’ll involve two Durants that are set up in two turns instead of one. So, it might be worthwhile having other means of Energy acceleration (Exp. Share), damage counter placement (Team Magma’s Secret Base) and/or Pokémon recovery (Revive). If you go with Team Magma’s Secret Base, it might be worth switching the Misty’s Determinations to Skylas since Skyla can guarantee a hit on Energy acceleration (Max Elixir), damage counter placement (Team Magma’s Secret Base) and Durant (Level Ball), and she doesn’t require you to discard a card either!
I do want to put Shaymin EX in this deck, but then I don’t either. There are times when you need Shaymin EX to replenish your hand, but then it becomes easy bait for your opponent; and letting your opponent take 2 Prizes in one turn puts the clock against you severely. Your opponent might not have a Lysandre in hand though, so letting them burn through their deck to try and find one might not be too bad of an idea.
Fighting Fury Belt gives Durant +40HP. Early game, this can turn a OHKO into a 2HKO, and the turn earned by this is very good for the deck.
I’m surprised I didn’t have Lysandre in here in the first place. Bring up a Pokémon with no Energies on it will force your opponent to have to fish for a switching card, an Energy to Retreat it, or an Energy to attack with it. Pulling up a Pokémon who cannot attack and has a costly Retreat Cost (e.g. Hoopa Ex or Octillery) is a great way to buy a turn.
After playing with the Speed Durant deck, I was motivated to build another Durant deck, but wasn’t sure where to go. Fast Scrap Downs were good, but it was too easy to get overrun. I decided to google Durant decks to get some motivation. I didn’t see much except for a video by Team Fish Knuckles (on youtube) and his Durant/Slowking deck, which is a very controlling version of Durant. With the two games that he showed, he was able to win one game without using Scrape Down once, and won the other game having used it only a couple of times. These games highlighted just how important controlling the opponent’s board is when you are trying to deck them out.
A day later I came up with the idea to play Durant like the Exeggutor PLF decks from last year. Fighting Fury Belt changed Durants base stats into something akin to Exeggutor’s. Whilst the threat of milling wouldn’t stop the opponent from playing supporters, the fear of decking out (hopefully) would. Ariados AOR was there in place of Hypnotoxic Laser, Dragalge FLF was still around and I added in the usual Energy denial cards. Since Virbank City Gym isn’t allowed for Standard, I played Silent Lab instead to give another layer of locking on the opponent.
It was good in theory, but bad in practice.
Not playing Supporters for fear of decking out does not come close to 100% stopping Supporters (I’m getting pretty good at making these obvious comments, aren’t I?). My opponent’s just played what they needed to and, hence, would get what they wanted. Dragalge rarely came out and was later replaced. Out of all the games I played, I only got one KO… which safely proved to me that Durant was almost never going to get KOs, and that Ariados was a waste of space. Despite these comments, the deck did win its fair share of games, it’s just that the deck wasn’t playing out as I expected. One of the most satisfying things was having Seismitoad EX players scoop after they lost a couple of DCEs and, presumably also, after they realised that their new tool, Fighting Fury Belt, would be useless in this matchup.
This version of Durant aims to be more controlling over the opponent. The idea is to try and buy as many turns as possible through things like Energy denial, all the while milling them with, predominantly, Durant but also Bunnelby or Dunsparce if the situation arises. Note that it’s a lot nastier than the speed variant, so you may lose some friendships…
Durant - A Controlled Munch
- 2x Bunnelby
- 4x Durant
- 2x Dunsparce
- 1x Jirachi
- 2x Octillery
- 2x Remoraid
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 2x Shauna
- 1x Professor Birch's Observations
- 1x Judge
- 4x Team Flare Grunt
- 1x Xerosic
- 1x Lysandre
- 4x Crushing Hammer
- 2x Enhanced Hammer
- 1x Escape Rope
- 4x Level Ball
- 2x Super Rod
- 2x Trainer's Mail
- 3x VS Seeker
- 3x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Float Stone
- 2x Silent Lab
- 3x Rainbow Energy
- 6x Grass Energy
This deck is very much similar to the Ariados build I talked about earlier, with the main difference being that I switched Ariados for Octillery. Ariados did nothing, but getting a Stage 1 support wasn’t too hard for the deck, so I wanted a replacement Stage 1. I went Octillery for the draw support. In the past I’ve run heavy Energy denial decks, however, the problem with using something like Team Flare Grunt as your Supporter every turn is that you don’t get cards to set up your board, like what you might get if you play a Sycamore. To fix this, I used to use Pokémon like Tropius PLF and Virizion LT to act as my draw support. In a way, I guess you could say my attacks were “Supporters” and my Supporters were “attacks”. Anyway, the idea behind Octillery was that it could act like my draw Supporter, I would have TFG/Xerosic to slow down the opponent and I could use my attack spot to mill. At worst, if all Octillery did was give me one extra card for the whole game, it would still have been more constructive than what Ariados was doing.
There’s a number of Energy denial cards so that you can stop the opponent from attacking, force them to burn through their deck to find Energies, make them run out of Energies and/or just make sure they can never Retreat their Active if it has a high Retreat Cost. Silent Lab might seem counter-intuitive since blocking Shaymin EX will stop the opponent from reducing their deck size, however, the argument here is the same as the Exeggutor/Supporter example earlier – it’s much better to stop the opponent from setting up, then to let them burn through their deck and set up.
Fighting Fury Belt significantly boosts the chance of Durant surviving an attack. The Bunnelby and the other Basics benefit too. A FFB Seimitoad EX or Yveltal EX will take 3 attacks to KO a FFB Durant or Bunnelby. Fighting Fury Belt also gives Bunnelby the chance to survive a Yveltal EX’s Evil Ball, which I find pretty big since many-a-time last year I had Bunnelbies swept over by a single Yveltal EX. Another benefit of the +40HP is that it forces Night March decks to play more than one Battle Compressor to be able OHKO all of my Pokémon.
I actually played this deck at a City Championships. I went a pretty abysmal 1-4-1, although I went 5-10-1 in terms of the games. A few of the games I could have won, but lost because I dead drew a lot, but I’ll cover that in the next subsection. (Note that this Cities was on the first weekend after BreakPoints release, so we didn’t know what the metagame would be like. This is part of the reason why I made such a wild deck choice.)
Night March is a very favourable matchup. Discarding their Double Colourless Energies forces them to dig into their deck to find another and/or just not attack for a turn. Either scenario is good. Night March plays 4 DCEs, and normally 4 Puzzle of Times (or Milotic PCR); so they will definitely have 4 DCEs, but could have up to another 4. However, between their prodigality and your milling, they will be lucky to get 6 DCEs and 6 attacks in. The fact that Night March has a natural tendency to burn through their half their deck on turn 1 (especially if you open a lone Dunsparce and they think that you’re just a scrub) also helps with decking them out.
Seismitoad EX decks are similar to Night March; they are too dependent on Special Energies so it is quite possible to run them out of Energies. Furthermore, Seismitoad EX has a pitiful damage output, which gives you plenty of time to mill them. Item lock is a bit annoying, but between the TFGs, Xerosic and Jirachi, you should be able to get a break. Their Hammers will be annoying too, however, Bunnelby can recycle Energies and all the Pokémon in this deck can attack for a single Energy (excluding Octillery).
Trevenant Break is just a horrible matchup for Durant. Trevenant Break can attack for a single Psychic Energy if Dimension Valley is out, and it can wipe your field clean in 3-4 turns. And that’s not even considering Trevenant’s Ability. The XY Trevenant prevents you from playing Items whereas the BKP one makes all of your Baisc Pokémon’s attacks cost an extra Colourless. I’m not sure which one I would hate to come across more since both are nasty.
A Greninja Break evolved from Greninja BKP can take 2 KOs in one turn against this deck. Chuck in some more Greninja Breaks and/or Greninja XYs, and the KO count will rise. The extra salt in the wound is that Greninja BKP can return the Water Energy it used to attack with back to its hand, meaning that you cannot TFG it. The matchup isn’t completely hopeless though. If you can mill all of their Greninjas or all of their Frogadiers (or if they have them Prized) then they won’t be able to get a Greninja out until after using some form of recovery; and hopefully by then it will be too late. A more feasible option is to Lysandre up their Octillery and hope they cannot get it out of Active while you mill them.
In other matchups, you have to try and run your opponent dry of Energies or try and get them into some other scenario where they cannot attack you (for much damage) for most turns. If you can pull this off, you’ll likely win, otherwise, you’ll likely lose.
The first thing I would take out is a Super Rod. Super Rod was the bane of my Cities run. For some reason I would usually draw both of them together… and this is something you do not want off a Shauna when you were after a fresh hand. Playing Super Rod also caused my Discard Pile to become a pile of Trainers, so if you don’t completely randomise your deck between games (like what it seems I did), you have times where you fail to draw into Pokémon and/or Energies. One is fine for recovery and, if it happens to be prized, you should be fine anyway since there are more than enough mill Pokémon and you can use Bunnelby’s Rototiller, if worse comes to worse.
The next pressing issue is Octillery. It was fine early game, but late game my hand would clog up with too many cards that I couldn’t play, such as Basic Pokémon (since I would almost always have a full Bench) or TFGs (when my opponent’s Active didn’t have any Energies on it). Slurpuff PHF would have been so much better since it would always net me 1 card, regardless of my hand size. Another benefit of Slurpuff is that it has one Retreat, as opposed to Octillery’s two. In the odd case that it is Lysandred Active, it’ll be much easier and to get it out of there. Finally, Slurpuff is a hell of a lot cheaper than Octillery, if money is of concern.
Whilst Escape Rope has had its moments, I might switch it out for another Float Stone. I’m not sure yet if I would rather having a card that can force the opponent to switch their Active Pokémon or a card that can improve my chances of utilising the secondary effect of Slurpuffs Ability. Actually, Escape Rope could help in getting Slurpuff into/out of Active too, but Float Stone would be a lot more helpful – whenever your opponent takes a KO, you can bring Slurpuff Active, draw 2 cards, and then Retreat for free into a miller (so, basically, it does what Dunsparce is there for, except it provides me with 2 additional cards in the process).
Throughout the City Championship, I was wondering whether Bunnelby would actually be better than Durant in this deck. Most of the time I would be Mountain Munching because I did not have a Durant charged up to use Scrape Down yet. In these case, it would have been much better to have been milling with Bunnelby since 2 cards > 1 card (assuming that I wasn’t powering up the Durant to use Scrape Down on the following turn). Thinking about it later, I noticed that I would have to use Scrape Down once for every 2 Mountain Munches to equal with 3 turns of 2 Burrows from Bunnelby (4 + 1 + 1 = 2 + 2 + 2). Basically, the deck needs more bunnies, so I might switch out a Dunsparce and/or a Durant to increase the Bunnelby count. The attacking strategy of the deck would change slightly too; it would now be mill with the bunnies until you can get into a good situation to spam Scrape Down.
I’m not 100% sure why I went for Judge over Ace Trainer. It was probably because I wanted a card which I could use whenever I want. Or maybe it was because I am a judge and not an ace trainer. :P Either way, Ace Trainer is much more powerful than Judge, even if it is a dead card until your opponent takes a KO. If, somehow, you are ahead of Prizes, then something is seriously wrong…
Some cards which I would like to add, but probably won’t have room for, are another Lysandre, Red Card and Startling Megaphone. Lysandre is amazing and there were a couple of games where I wished I would top deck it because I needed it to bring up a bench-sitter and, hence, stop my opponent from attacking me. Red Card can disrupt my opponent’s hand, without using my Supporter for the turn. This means that I could TFG their Energy, and then Red Card in an attempt to make it harder/less likely for them to get an Energy. Starling Megaphone is good for getting rid of Muscle Bands, FFBs and Float Stones. Removing the damage modifiers will increase the durability of my Pokémon whilst trashing the Float Stones makes it easier to use Lysandre to stall.
There are oodles of cards that you will want to put into a Durant deck but, unfortunately, there’s not enough room for all of them… and Pokémon is a card game without a sideboard… and we all can’t get away with 63 card decks, but I digress. This basically means you’ll have to build your deck to work the best against the expected metagame, and fine-tune it to work with your playstyle. (To be fair, you should really be doing these with all decks that you play, but there is a lot more flexibility in how you want your Durant deck to play.) Below is a selection of card types that fit certain strategies/ideas. Note that focusing all on just one section (in addition to the Staples) may not necessary yield the best result. For example, Energy Disruption and Field Disruption complement each other quite well.
Durant, total of at least 10 Basics, Ultra Ball/Level Ball, Basic Trainer backbone (e.g. Professor Sycamore, VS Seeker)
Durant, well, that’s pretty obvious. So is the Basic Trainer backbone. A total of at least 10 Basics + 4 Level/Ultra Ball is actually pretty crucial against aggro decks like Night March. If you don’t have enough outs to Basic Pokémon on your first couple of turns, then the aggro deck will likely bench you out. This was something I found out when I was testing earlier versions of my Bunnelby deck last year. Ever since then, I’ve made sure to have a healthy amount of Basics and search cards to ensure that they would have to take 6 prizes if they want to win.
Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer, Team Flare Grunt, Xerosic, Jirachi (Promo), Slowking BKP, Head Ringer (Team Flare Hyper Gear), Crawdaunt PRC
If there are a number of low Energy decks in your area (e.g. Night March or Seismitoad EX), you will want Energy disruption. Between burning off their Energies on the field, and potentially milling some others, they will struggle to attack you. Add in the fact that they will likely have to tear through their deck to find another Energy (or 2 Puzzle of Times)… milling them should be a breeze.
Energy disruption is also good against decks that have an attack cost like Yveltal EX - <Dark><Colourless>. The longer that you can hold them off from attacking, the more turns that you will have for milling them. If you have a lot of EXes in your meta, Head Ringer is particularly good at abusing these cases, or even creating new ones (e.g. forcing Lucario EX to have 2 Energies on it to use its first attack now).
Slowking is good for discarding those fancy Special Energies for each type. For example, imagine the scenario where your opponent has a Strong Energy attached to their Active Lucario EX with a Golbat on the Bench. If you flip heads with Slowking’s Ability, you can move the Strong Energy to Golbat, hence discarding it since Golbat is not a Fighting Pokémon (which Strong Energy specifies it must be attached to). Slowking is also good for piling Energies onto a bench sitter like Octillery. Even if you have an opponent who only has attackers on the field, moving the Energy off the Active is still good if they cannot get the Pokémon out of the Active spot and if it doesn’t have the Energy to (use a worthwhile) attack. That is, you’ll be able to get another turn of a milling attack.
Red Card, Judge, Delinquent, Ace Trainer
Hand disruption is good because either 1) they won’t have enough resources and so will struggle to mount/continue an offence 2) they will have to play draw cards (e.g. Sycamore/Shaymin EX) to get resources, hence burning through their deck.
Silent Lab, Hex Maniac, Garbodor BKP
These help to slow the opponent down since they won’t be able to Set Up with Shaymin EX and can also prevent them from using Abilities that are integral to their strategy (e.g. Greninja Break and Trevenant).
Lysandre, Pokémon Catcher (if you feel lucky :P), Team Aqua’s Secret Base, Startling Megaphone, Xerosic
These cards are priceless if your opponent has a high Retreat Cost Pokémon that can’t attack (e.g. Octillery of Bronzong PHF). Lysandre/Pokémon Catcher can pull them Active, Startling Megaphone/Xerosic can get rid of their Float Stone (if they have one) and Team Aqua’s Secret Base can make it harder for the opponent to get that Pokémon out of the Active Position. Team Aqua’s Secret Base can also make Pokémon that were ordinarily easy to Retreat (e.g. Slurpuff) into Pokémon that are now too costly to Retreat. Startling Megaphone and Xerosic can also discard other valuable Pokémon tools like Spirit Links and Muscle Band.
Fighting Fury Belt, Floette (FLF 64/106), Jamming Net (Team Flare Hyper Gear), Hard Charm, Parallel City, Mr Mime BKT, Potion, Jynx FUF
Instead of trying to stop your opponent from attacking, it could be better to just endure the damage. This doesn’t work well if your opponent can hit for massive damage (say, 130+), but if you can make the opponent have to use an addition attack to take each KO, then that is very good for you. Unless you’re facing off against a weak attacker like Toad, Fighting Fury Belt’s +40HP is much better than hard Charm’s -20 damage. Jamming Net is good if there are a lot of EX Pokémon in your area, and can be quite crippling if you land one on a Sesimtoad EX. Note that Floette only gives Grass Pokémon +20HP, so only Durant will receive the boost.
Fast/Consistent Scrape Down
Max Elixir, Exp. Share, Rainbow Energy, Team Magma’s Secret Base, Trainers’ Mail, Puzzle of Time, Teammates, Skyla, Misty’s Determination
These are all cards that help you accelerate Energies onto Durant, put damage counters on Durant or can search out or retrieve these cards. Rainbow Energy is generally a requirement for all Durant decks (since you cannot always rely on your opponent to place enough on Durant without knocking it out). If you want to stream Scrape Downs turn after turn, these are the cards that you will want.
Trick Shovel can help mill the opponent, however I generally view it as a luxury which there isn’t room for. Might be nice as a one-off in a deck with Puzzle of Times, but otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s also worth noting that attacks that do damage to your Benched Pokémon can be used to activate Durant’s Scrape Down. Pinsir BKT is an interesting one, although I would rather Rainbow Energy. Finally, Octillery or Slurpuff can be used if you need/want a little extra drawpower.
In Japan’s latest set (and presumably our next set, Fates Collide, too), there are a couple of mill cards. Weezing has an attack that, for two Colourless Energies, you get to flip two coins. For each heads, discard the top 2 cards of your opponent’s deck. On average, this will discard 2 cards per attack – so the same as Bunnelby except that Weezing has a higher attack cost and is a Stage 1. On the positive side, Weezing does have more HP 110 but then it cannot be used with Level Ball and FFB, which ruins the synergy with Durant. Personally, I’d rather use Bunnelby.
There’s also a Supporter, Team Rocket’s Handiwork, that has Weezing’s attack as its effect. It’ll be good for the times when you have nothing better to do with your Supporter for your turn, however, realistically, you’ll probably prefer playing a Supporter to help build up your board, or one that disrupts your opponent’s board so you can get more attacks in (before the game ends). Maybe a one-off if you have room
N made a comeback in Japan, and hopefully it’ll make it into Fates Collide. N makes both players shuffle their hands into their decks, and then draw cards equal to the number of prize cards that player has left. Since it’s nigh on impossible for a mill deck to take a KO, you will always draw 6 off N. Whereas your opponent will be drawing less as the game goes on. Basically, N will always be a hand refresher for you whilst, highly likely, being a hand disruption for the opponent. Definitely play 4 copies!
I’m not sure about the Mew yet. Mew has an Ability that lets it copy any of your Basic Pokémon attacks, with a prime candidate being Durant. With a Dimension Valley (and Durant) in play, all you need is a Rainbow Energy for Mew to be able to use Scrape Down and discard 4 cards off of your opponent’s deck. Basically, Mew gives the Durant decks another way of setting up, and using, Scrape Down in one turn. My main concerns are the HP – 50 base (40 after Rainbow Energy) really isn’t much – and the fact that you have to use Dimension Valley. The problem with Dimension Valley is if you use an Energy discarding variant and come across a Psychic deck, especially Crobat PHF. Dimension Valley makes it easier for your opponent to attack, or in the case of the bats, they can attack you for no Energies (which really isn’t fun). Mew also has Free Retreat so, in almost all cases, it is better than Dunsparces (if you plan on building upon one of my lists).
As fun as the speed variant of Durant is, I think it is a little too reckless for tournament play. Once your opponent realises what is going on, they can play accordingly, and thus make sure that they win before you have enough turns to mill them.
A slower, more controlling version is much better since you can use the disruption cards to buy you turns. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get your opponent into a position where they cannot attack you (e.g. with a bench sitter stuck Active). Make sure you take advantage of these cases by spamming Scrape Down.
If you choose to try out a Durant deck, I wish you all the best and, in either case, thank you for reading :)
PS: This time around I did not explain what ever card did since, if you are unsure of what a card did, you could always just google it or something. If you did/didn’t like this way, feel free to comment below so I can know for next time.
PPS: if you want to make Night March players lives a misery, play the disruption list above – you won’t regret it :P
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