The Standard Sleeper – Standard Raikou/Magnezone!

I love the living hell out of this deck. It makes bad players play so much worse.

Welcome back everyone to another wonderful article! Like I said in the last update, this article was going to be “shocking”!

Hah! Get it? Because this article is about… Raikou and… Magne… zone.

Yeah. Haha. Hah.

There’s a reason my articles are free.

Raikou is one of those decks that crops up from time to time, usually when people forget about it, to stab people who don’t expect it in the foot (in other words, stops them from topping tournaments because of tie-breakers and random losses). The reason for this is because both Raikou and Magnezone are, surprisingly, incredibly solid cards. If any of you play Expanded or if any of you played during the Black and White era, then you should recognize a deck known as “Deluge”, or Keldeo EX/Blastoise. This is the same idea, except without Archie’s Ace in the Hole being able to cheat them in to play.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, however, I’ll explain the idea after I post this lovely list.

Pokemon – 14
4 Raikou BKT
3 Magnemite BKT (Sparkling Induction)
1 Magneton BKT
3 Magnezone BKT
2 Oranguru SM / Shaymin EX
1 Tauros GX

Supporter/Item/Stadium – 12
4 Professor Sycamore
2 Lysandre
2 N
1 Olympia
1 Fisherman

4 VS Seeker
4 Ultra Ball
4 Fighting Fury Belt
3 Trainers’ Mail
3 Max Elixir
3 Rare Candy
2 Switch
1 Super Rod

Energy – 12
12 Lightning Energy

This is the list I currently use and I will say that it catches people off. The deck concept is really simple: Charge up Raikou with Lightning Energy (no pun intended… maybe), attach a Fighting Fury Belt to it, then swing at your Opponent until things die. Everything else in the deck is meant to aid that purpose. Magnezone is your battery (literally) as his ability, Magnetic Circuit, allows you to attach as many Lightning Energy from your hand as you want during your turn. What this basically means is that you can dump/spread any Energy you draw in to, which is really, really good. Also, Magnezone has an attack that does 100 damage at the cost of a Lightning Energy discard, which is nothing in retrospect. A single copy of Tauros GX is useful for multiple reasons. First and foremost, he’s really, REALLY good with Fighting Fury Belt for very obvious reasons (aka Rage and his GX attack, Mad Bull GX, which both do amazing scaling damage the more damage he takes). He also serves as a very good starter, which is always nice for decks that take a bit of time to set up. Oranguru and Shaymin EX are both viable in here. I’ve been playing with Oranguru and honestly, he carries his own weight. He doesn’t draw as much as Shaymin when it comes to the burst, but he has a very strong attack in the form of Psychic and, quite frankly, if you want to run something like 3 Raikou, 2 Shaymin EX, and 1 Oranguru instead of what’s there, by all means. You shouldn’t lose out on any power and that consistent draw from Oranguru is really nice. Finally, something I would like to note is that Raikou is a non-EX Pokemon, meaning you only give away 1 Prize Card if it is knocked out. For a Pokemon who hits so hard and can become incredibly resilient, this seems a bit unfair, but oh well. We use it to our advantage.

The Trainers are pretty straightforward and can use a bit if shifting if you desire. Olympia is amazing right now and I would highly recommend keeping her. 2 N seems fine in testing and personally, I feel like Sycamore carries more weight in this deck. Fisherman has won me some games because getting 4 Lightning Energy back late game can literally shock someone to death. Heh.

You honestly don’t need 4 Fighting Fury Belt, but I love the card and I love consistency, plus, this deck really doesn’t need Float Stone. Raikou can simply sit on the front lines and tank hits and, really, most people seem to not realize how good he is anyway when it comes to Shining Body, so maximizing the extra HP and Damage is really crucial, in my opinion. Plus, if you have noticed, this build does not run Rough Seas (I’ll get to that in a moment), so any extra advantage you can get is important. I wouldn’t mind running a 4th Max Elixir, but I also like having 12 Lightning Energy and with Magnezone, you can simply dump your Energy once you set up, so Max Elixir loses value overall in this deck. That said, that does NOT make it a bad card in here and one should opt to keep it in. Everything else is pretty straightforward when it comes down to it. Rare Candy is obviously for the evolution chain, Trainers’ Mail at 3 is pretty standard, Switch has been explained, and we run a Super Rod to not deck out.

So, why doesn’t this deck run Rough Seas? Well… quite frankly, I have no idea where I would put it. So far, the deck has been really fluid for me and I’m somewhat afraid to mess with it. Granted, it’s not that the deck doesn’t have consistency issues from time to time (all decks do, especially ones that run cards like Rare Candy), but this deck has a lot of ways out of that problem, especially when it sets up. Plus, setting up is a fairly simple process and fairly quick as well, so it usually isn’t necessary to play a Stadium at all. That said, if one would want to run Rough Seas in here, I think the best thing to drop would be something like an Energy or two or maybe a Fighting Fury Belt. Those are the most luxurious cards in the deck and so, I would start there and test it. That said, keep in mind that this is a Deluge-esque deck. You don’t want to drop too many Energy cards, or else you will have consistency and damage issues. Still, it’s not that the card can’t be added and, quite frankly, an extra 30 HP a turn is definitely something that is beneficial.

What does this deck beat? Well, honestly, it beats a lot. Keep in mind that Raikou scales for each Lightning Energy attached to it (each energy is an extra 20 damage) and it starts with a base damage of 50. So, if we do some quick calculations…

50 + 3 Energy (60 extra) = 110
50 + 4 Energy = 130
50 + 5 Energy = 150
50 + 10 Energy = 250

Now, granted, you shouldn’t have 10 Energy on a single Raikou, but the fact is that you can and it will hit like a freight train. That said, if you look at how low the damage scaling is, you’ll notice that this deck is not looking to OHKO most of the time. Mostly, you will be providing 2HKOs, which is acceptable now that the Meta is much slower than previously. Finally, since Raikou only gives away 1 Prize Card, your Opponent doesn’t benefit from knocking it out quite as much as he or she would otherwise. This is important to note because this allows you to win Prize Races that you may not win if you were playing with other decks.

If the deck has a weakness, it would be people who are intelligent enough to understand just how the deck functions. Stopping Magnezone doesn’t straight out beat the deck, but it helps a lot. It slows the tempo of setting up Raikou and, quite frankly, Magnezone isn’t really all that hard to OHKO in this Meta. That said, Raikou can be a pain if you aren’t running a deck that provides a lot of damage. Plus, keep in mind that Shining Body is a matter of life and death for Raikou itself. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to calculate that extra 20 damage reduction when you attack in to the Electric Gerbil. I’ve played so many games where people have missed KOs on me by 10 or 20 HP from mere calculation errors. Finally, note that Raikou must actually scale to do damage. It takes 3 Energy to attack, period, which is quite a bit if you think about it. Energy Denial hurts this deck more than others if we don’t get a Magnezone set up, so be aware. That all said, this deck can easily run over people who do not play against it properly, so keep that in mind as well.

Overall, this has been one of my favorite decks to play. The fact that I’ve been able to take games that I shouldn’t have has only made things better and has really allowed me to appreciate just how good abilities can be. The deck is fairly easy to build as well and has an Expanded Variant that involves Eelektrik, so if you’re interested in playing it there, it definitely has a place.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article. I know I’ve been a bit slow as of late, but I’m still here and hopefully, things will pick up from this point on. Regardless, keep up the good Pokemon play, keep aiming for those trophies and prizes, and always remember…

Keep the High Tide on the Flipside!

Take care my Pokepeeps!

-Asmer

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