Experts' corner

Gabriel Semedo

My Adventure in League Cups with Turbo Dark and Dark/Tina

Gabriel tells about his experiences with Turbo Darkrai-EX and Darkrai/Giratina in League Cups that he attended. Plus analysis of his deck lists and techs he used!

02/15/2017 by Gabriel Semedo

Hello 60 cards readers! In this article, I decided to share my experience with a deck that got everyone’s attention in the PRC-EVO format -- Turbo Darkrai. Also, I’ll talk about the deck’s stronger (but also riskier) version with all the Fairy decks and Enhanced Hammers out there -- none other than Darkrai/Giratina. I won’t go too deep into it though since Turbo Darkrai EX was widely mentioned in the past month and Darkrai Giratina was deck consired by many the best deck in format a few months ago. As always, my deck lists will have some odd card choices that can make it that much more unpredictable and harder for my opponents to beat.

Turbo Darkrai

I believe the deck’s concept is very well known if you’ve been reading 60 cards for awhile, and it’s not a surprise since this deck is the most popular one at the moment. With that said, I’ll go over a few cards I feel like are worth mentioning, from standard cards for the deck to cards that are not too standard for the deck -- at least from what I’ve seen from US and Europe’s biggest tournaments.

2 Yveltal XY

Since we pretty much only play basic energies, Yveltal XY seems like a no brainer to accumulate energies in play so Darkrai-EX can hit for more damage. From my playtesting and my League Cup campaign, I’d say that a single Yveltal XY is enough since I have only used it in a few games and focused on Darkrai-EX instead. Still, I feel it’s a needed card for the deck since it can keep energies in play with Exp. Share, it's attack, and it’s still a non-EX Pokémon.

1 Yveltal BKT

This was a personal inclusion. With the help of the Yveltal BKT I could deny a Fighting Fury Belt by reducing 40 HP from an EX just by being in the active position. Overall I did not use it with this intent, but because it has a very useful attack. In this deck it is not difficult to attach 3 basic energies, so it is possible to energize the Yveltal BKT. In addition, the goal is to evolve Yveltal Break on top of Yveltal BKT, so Jolteon-EX does not OHKO Yveltal Break.

1 Yveltal BREAK

Another personal preference, I decided to use it due to the great popularity of Gyarados in the Brazilian metagame. With great results in the previous League Cup, I expected a strong appearance from this deck and I expected the players to include Mr. Mime in their lists, but I was cool with that because I used 1 Silent Lab and Hex Maniac. If the opponent does not have Mr. Mime on the bench and the Yveltal Break is in play you can have multiple knockouts and you also deny the Bursting Balloon or Lucky Helmet of their own. Another great benefit of the Yveltal Break is being able to attack Jolteon-EX and not get one-shot back, in case the Yveltal Break is evolved from Yveltal BKT or Jolteon-EX does not have Fighting Fury Belt attached. In addition, I think Yveltal Break's attack is strong and as I said before, it's not difficult to attach 3 basic energies onto Yveltal. In my opinion this card is essential in Turbo Darkrai decks.

1 Mew FCO

I used the Mew FCO in an attempt to make a deck of Turbo Darkrai more hybrid. I would often attack with Mew while copying Darkrai’s attack, and would only offer 1 prize when it gets knocked out and could also retrieve back its energy via Exp. Share. In addition, in matches against Fairy decks, such as Rainbow Road and Gardevoir, Mew FCO is an incredible non-EX attacker, as it is Psychic and does not suffer from resistance as Darkrai does. On top of all that, it's a good card against M-Mewtwo-EX and Hoopa-EX from the opponent's bench as it hits for weakness. Another thing I like about Mew FCO is its free retreat cost. In many situations, I had Mew FCO on the bench, then I would play switch, put in into the active spot, play a Sycamore, and use Max Elixir on my benched Pokémon without any worries. Then, in the end, I’d retreat Mew and put up whoever I felt like.

1 Hex Maniac

I already expected that I would not use this card as much, and in fact I practically did not use it in the tournament. I decided to keep it on the deck for safety and also because I did not want to use the second copy of Silent Lab, so I would not disable my Mew FCO and Yveltal BKT’s abilities. I regret this choice and if I use that deck again, I'd take out the Hex Maniac and replace it with the 2nd Silent Lab.

1 Parallel City / 1 Silent Lab / 1 Reverse Valley

Parallel City -- It's a staple.

Silent Lab -- It is an incredible stadium in the metagame and gives me a great advantage in games against Volcanion-EX. Deserves the 2nd copy in the deck for sure.

Reverse Valley -- It's a good stadium, but it does not play any direct role in metagame. I was afraid Turbo Darkrai would not be able to one hit KO, so I decided to keep 1 copy in the deck if I had the chance to knock out 180 HP Pokémon or maybe 220 HP Pokémon. If I use Fighting Fury Belt + Reverse Valley, the damage increases by +20 without relying on energies, so it works fine to get those even number counts such as 180 and 220.

1 Super Rod

I decided to use it to get back Yveltal Break and Mew FCO. Yveltal Break could come into play twice a game if I were facing Gyarados or Jolteon-EX, and Mew FCO could help me with the constant exchange of knockouts against Rainbow Road, for example. Also, returning basic energies is good in this deck for the Max Elixir or maintaining the high damage for Darkrai-EX. Since I was using Super Rod, I felt I needed no more than 11 basic energies, so I used a Dangerous Energy.

1 Dangerous Energy

I think the power of this card is a bit poorly done, and they could have done a little better job on it, such as giving 20 damage to any Pokémon that hits a Darkness Pokémon with Dangerous Energy on. Anyway, I am not a card maker so I should just accept the cards as they are. I used 1 copy of this energy because I realized that 11 basic energies were enough for me to hit the Max Elixir with good frequency, and even more using the Super Rod. During the tournament it was even helpful to OHKO a Gardevoir-EX thanks to the 20 damage that Dangerous Energy inflicted, for example. It is not a bad energy in the deck and it can make a difference, but I would not play more than two on the deck, since it has no synergy with Super Rod, Max Elixir, or Exp. Share and can be easily removed by an Enhanced Hammer.

Matchups -- League Cup Saturday [65 players]

M-Gardevoir EX PRC/STS / Xerneas Break [LWT] 0-0-1

M-Gardevoir EX PRC/STS / Xerneas Break [WW] 1-0-1

Gyarados [WW] 2-0-1

M-Gardevoir EX PRC/STS / Xerneas Break [WW] 3-0-1

M-Mewtwo EX / Garbodor [WW] 4-0-1

Rainbow Road [WW] 5-0-1 ID [5-0-2]

Top 8 Regice/Glaceon EX/ Jolteon EX/ Garbodor - [LWL]



I realized that in the Saturday League Cup metagame I used Turbo Darkrai, the game was very focused on decks with basic energy, speed and damage healing, causing players to decrease Enhanced Hammer usage. Darkrai, Volcanion and Gardevoir were some of the decks that topped in the last League Cup, so I simply thought that if the metagame was lacking on hammers, Darkrai / Dragons would basically be a stronger version of Turbo Darkrai. Thinking that way, I decided to use the Darkrai / Dragons for Sunday's League Cup, and I was even surprised how I ended up making a great choice! I ended up achieving a perfect record in the Swiss opening 5-0-0 in 7 Rounds and I ended up losing in the Top 4 for Volcanion EX.

This list does not have any secrets and does not have any tech cards, so I think the list is self-explanatory. The idea was to preserve the same structure from my Turbo Darkrai list I played on Saturday, because I really enjoyed how the deck was built and was already well trained. I added Dragons and energies, and of course made the necessary adjustments caused by that change. To understand why the structure between the two decks does not change, I will explain better.

-1 Yveltal XY, -1 Yveltal BKT, -1 Yveltal Break, -1 Mew FCO [-4 cards]

+2 Giratina EX, +1 Salamence EX, + 1 Pokémon Ranger, [+4 cards]

All I did was exchange some Pokémon. I exchanged the Yveltal Break for Pokémon Ranger so I could still beat Jolteon-EX.

-1 Reverse Valley, -1 Dangerous Energy, -1 Basic Energy, -1 Super Rod [-4 cards]

+4 Double Dragon Energy [+4 cards]

I added in the Double Dragon Energies that will allow Giratina to attack and also boost Darkrai’s damage output.

-1 Hex Maniac [-1 card]

+1 Silent Lab [+1 card]

That way I can still beat Volcanion!

-1 Exp. Share [-1 card]

+1 Fighting Fury Belt [+1 card]

Since the list plays more special energies, Exp. Share is not as effective as before.

-1 Escape Rope [-1 card]

+1 Switch [+1 card]

The Escape Rope + Lysandre combo is no longer needed to KO a Jolteon-EX since we now have Pokémon Ranger.


Matchups League Cup Sunday [92 Players]

M-Tyranitar EX [WW] 1-0-0

Volcanion EX [WW] 2-0-0

Volcanion EX [WW] 3-0-0

M-Mewtwo EX [WW] 4-0-0

Turbo Darkrai [WW] 5-0-0

ID [5-0-1]

Gyarados [LL] 5-1-1

Top 8 M-Gardevoir EX PRC / STS / Xerneas Break [WW]

Top 4 Volcanion EX [LL]



It's funny how the metagame changes a lot in a matter of a month. In this game, there is not only the best deck of the format or worst deck of the format, but there is mainly the most appropriate deck and the least appropriate deck. Reading the metagame is a very good skill and whoever can do it well, ends up having a good advantage in a tournament.

Choosing the right deck or choosing the right techs will often decide whether you will succeed in a tournament or not. In the case of the Turbo Darkrai, I decided to use techs like Yveltal Break and Mew FCO and I was very happy in my choices because I was able to beat Gyarados because of Yveltal Break and even a Rainbow Road deck due to Mew FCO attacking via Dark Pulse for full damage while offering only one prize, forcing my opponent to knock out at least 3 EX Pokémon.

Reading the previous metagame made me choose an unexpected deck in the current format – Darkai/Dragons. A deck that could have an advantage even against Turbo Darkrai, which gained popularity really quickly. In this case I used a very standard and consistent listand I did not even need to put different techs on my deck, since my deck choice alone was enough to get my opponents out of the comfort zone. I hope you enjoyed reading my article and see you next time!

[+12] okko


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