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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
March 26, 2012
& Reviews Summary
Ratings are based
on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst.
3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating.
Back to the main COTD
Combos With: See Below
Durant (Noble Victories)
Hello and welcome to a new week of
CotD here at
an apology: I’m really
REALLY sorry that we haven’t
reviewed this card before now.
The card in question is Durant: a 70 HP
Metal Type Basic uncommon from Noble
Victories that has somehow ended up
being a huge force in the game, racking
up wins and top cuts throughout City and
The reason for this? Well it all
centres around Durant’s first attack,
Devour, and the existence of several
other cards in the format that really
allow it to be successful.
Devour costs just a single Metal Energy.
For that cost, you can discard one card
from your opponent’s deck for every
Durant which you have in play.
Obviously, the main objective is to get
four Durant on the Field and tear
through your opponent’s deck, winning
when they cannot draw a card at the
start of their turn. Games effectively
become a race where the opponent tries
to take six Prizes before they run out
In order for Durant to win, it must be
able to do two things: prevent the
opponent from taking a Prize every turn
if possible, and replace
they are KO’d. Durant’s Metal Typing and
Basic status give it the benefit of
Special Metal Energy to make it a
tougher KO than first appears.
Meanwhile, it has a number of tools at
its disposal to slow down and disrupt an
opponent: Crushing Hammer and Lost
Remover can deny them the Energy to
attack, while Pokémon Catcher can drag
out high Retreat non-attackers (like
Eelektrik) to buy a turn or two. Getting
back KO’d Durants
is easy thanks to Revive (and also Super
Rod if need be), while getting them out
in the first place is simple enough with
Pokémon Collector and Dual Ball. We also
have the option of using
Rotom UD and
Lithograph FOUR to deal with the issue
As the deck takes no Prizes itself, it
can abuse ‘come from behind’ cards like
Twins and N better than almost anything
else, and thanks to the tendency of a
lot of decks to rely on the heavy draw
of Professor Juniper and Sage’s
Training, its job of milling the
opponent’s deck is made even easier.
Thanks to a combination of all of these
factors in the
metagame, Durant has shown itself
to be the first truly competitive
deck-out win condition deck in . . .
well, pretty much forever. What’s more
it is easily accessible for any player:
you can put together a complete Durant
deck from scratch for much less than the
cost of the two
that you need is almost every other top
tier deck. I fear that Durant’s days at
the top tables will be over once the
next set is released (and yes, there is
more to worry it in there than just
but for now . . . if you don’t have
Modified: 4.25 (serious contender for
best uncommon Basic Pokémon ever
printed, though maybe Holon’s
would like to dispute that)
Limited: X (where X = the number of
Durant you pull – remember that in
Limited you aren’t restricted to just
Hello once again, Pojo readers! Now that the State
Championships have come and gone, we have some down time
until Regionals happen once again. In the meantime,
we'll continue reviewing cards! This week we're
reviewing cards that are at least somewhat playable in
Modified, and chances are you've seen today's COTD while
at tournaments, because it's the star of a very popular
deck. Today's Card of the Day is Durant from Noble
Durant is a Basic Metal Pokemon. Aside from Durant,
Cobalion is sometimes seen in Modified, but other than
that, Metal is a fairly rare type. 70 HP is just about
average for a non-evolving Basic that isn't legendary in
the video games, but Durant probably won't survive the
stronger attacks in the metagame. Fire Weakness is bad
against the currently very rare Reshiram and Reshiram-EX,
as well as other Fire-types like Emboar and Typhlosion.
However, Fire has pretty much disappeared, so Durant
probably won't have to worry too much about it. Psychic
Resistance is great with all of the Mewtwo-EX running
around, and a single Retreat Cost is easily paid and
highly abusable with Skyarrow Bridge.
Durant has two attacks, but chances are you'll only
ever see one of them used. Devour is Durant's important
attack, discarding the top card of your opponent's deck
for each Durant on your side of the field. This means
that you can Devour for a maximum of four, which may not
seem like a lot, but the effects of this attack greatly
add up over time. A standard 60-card deck will have 47
cards remaining after drawing the opening hand and
setting down six Prizes, giving Durant about a 12-turn
clock in order to Devour your opponent's deck. However,
in reality, your opponent will be searching through
their deck, pulling cards with Supporters like Pokemon
Collector or drawing with Professor Juniper. This deck
thinning will usually result in the Durant player being
able to win in about 9 or 10 turns, depending on how the
opponent sets up (and what gets discarded). Standard
Durant lists run Rotom UD to make sure that no Durants
stay Prized for very long, things like Eviolite and
Special Metal Energy to aid in Durant's survivability,
Revives to get KOed Durants back, and a host of other
Trainers and Supporters. This Durant archetype excels at
being very disruptive, and can easily steal games away
from the opponent by decking them out.
Durant's second attack, Vice Grip, deals 30 damage
for two Colorless Energy. Don't even bother, just stick
with Devour unless you're in Limited. Even then, you'll
still probably want to Devour.
Modified: 4.5/5 Durant is very, very good in
Modified. While not overly powerful on its own, standard
Durant builds give many players fits. A Durant with an
Eviolite and a Special Metal can be very difficult to
take down if your opponent doesn't have a Fire-type, and
your opponent has to deal with dwindling resources while
their deck is being discarded. Overall, Durant is very
powerful, and you should be seeing it often at
tournaments. There is a card in the Japanese Dark Rush
expansion to directly counter it (Heatmor), but until we
see that, expect the ants to chomp away at your deck
until they get a win.
Limited: 2.75/5 Durant isn't nearly as good in
Limited as it is in Modified. Devour is still good if
you pull a lot of Durants (especially if you somehow
pull more than four), but even though the decks are
smaller, the lack of recovery options make Durant not as
great of an option in Limited. Be sure to look out for
Fire-types, as well!
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Durant (Noble Victories)
Hey folks, today we have a special treat for you!
This week Baby Mario has some picks for us and we start
with the first professional mill Poke'mon I've ever
seen. Up today is Durant!
Durant is a 70 HP Metal type non-evolving Basic with
70 HP, Fire Weakness, Psychic Resistance, a Retreat Cost
of 1 and two attacks.
The HP is decent but not particularly good, the
typing is great for abusing Special Metal Energy
alongside using Basic support like Eviolite to further
reduce incoming damage and the Resistance is icong on
the cale (although that won't stop Mewtwo EX for long).
Considering this thing is a metal-jacketed ant, I didn't
expect the Retreat Cost to be so low either, as 1 energy
is easy to pay and that becomes free with Skyarrow
Bridge in effect. The Weakness is a serious problem
however, with Reshiram regaining some popularity now
that Mewtwo has entered the format.
What this all boils down to is that Durant can be
beefed up to take a hit or two from small supporting
Poke'mon, but it is still going to suffer mightily if
any main attackers enter the field.
Fortunately, that is all Durant needs to be capable
of. With Revive to bring back any lost comrades, Durant
can swarm more or less uninterrupted.
Why would you want to play a horde of Durant though?
It certainly isn't because of Vice Grip, which despite
being fairly costed at [c][c] for 30 damage is not going
to strike fear into the heart of any opponent.
No, the cause for excitement is Devour, which costs
[m] to discard a card from the top of your opponent's
deck for each Durant you have in play. Obviously this
isn't going to help you to help you very much unless
your Bench is full of Durants, but with Poke'mon
Collector and Dual Ball to fill your Bench up on the
first turn it is a viable strategy.
At the start of the game, you have 60 cards and you
have to draw 7 for your hand, 6 for your Prizes and 1
card to start the game. That leaves 46 cards in the
deck, and provided you can get 4 Durant into play and
keep them there you can force your opponent to lose 4
cards every turn, many of which they probably needed to
set up their own strategy. Add the card your opponent
has to draw at the start of their turn and you can mill
your opponent's deck down to nothing in 11 turns, less
if your opponent is drawing extra cards.
Historically, the problem with milling (forcing
discards from the deck) has been that the Poke'mon
involved took too long to set up, so your opponent
usually had their own field set up and would set about
destroying your expensive millers. Durant gets around
this by being both faster and ridiculously easy to
retrieve and replay from the discard pile. Also, there
are a slew of cards (Poke'mon Catcher, Crushing Hammer
and Lost Remover spring to mind) that allow you to stall
your opponents long enough to deck them out, while we
also have Twins to give Durant players exactly the cards
they need when they need them (and since Durant doesn't
try to KO your opponent's Poke'mon, you never need to
worry about Twins being a dead card so you can run a
There is some bad news however. Durant doesn't work
well with other Poke'mon because it doesn't do anything
to any Poke'mon that are already in play, so its only
friend is Rotom UD, which is used strictly to get any
Prized Durant out with its Mischievous Trick Poke-power
in conjunction with Alph's Lithograph. This leads to a
lot of lone starts in Durant decks, which can prove
fatal very quickly with the crazy speed of the format.
Durant is definitely a tournament calibre card and is
also a shining example of innovative design. I fear
seeing Durant across the table from me, but that just
goes to show how powerful it is.
Modified: 4.5 (I lost embarrassingly to this metallic
monster at Cities and I expect to see it around the
tables for months to come. Plus it's good to see a 70 HP
Poke'mon making noise in this 130-HP-Dragon-filled
Limited: 2.5 (even if you pull multiples, getting
them into play together is unlikely at best and Durant
is a terrible attacker, though Vice Grip is at least all
Colourless requirements. Still, Devour may het rid of
something important and the deck sizes are smaller so if
you can fit a few [m] energy, go for it)
Combos with: lots of Trainer cards that focus on
either getting more Durant into play or on slowing your
opponent's attackers down
We now have a week designed by
baby_mario: he took a look at those
cards I pointed out we’d missed and
picked the five he thought were most
important to cover before not only the
next set, but the next series of major
is a Basic Pokémon, which means it
stands a much better chance of
succeeding in the current format than
Evolutions: it is a basic dominated
format, where competitive decks
practically require the speed and
minimum space requirements Basic Pokémon
In fact, builds also nearly need
the Support Basic Pokémon currently can
Pokémon Collector (HeartGold/SoulSilver
Dual Ball (HS:
Call of Legends 78/95) provided
added search in both Supporter (the
former) and Item (the latter) forms,
Noble Victories 91/101) provides
much needed protection,
Skyarrow Bridge (BW:
Next Destinies 91/99) lowers
& White 102/114) restores them
from your discard to your Bench and
Prism Energy (BW:
Next Destinies 93/99) provides
greater flexibility for funning off-type
splashes or multi-Type decks.
is a Metal-Type Pokémon.
Weakness and Resistance aren’t
too important to Metal-Type Pokémon in
general right now, though especially
when facing older or at least less
heavily played decks you may still
What is important is that you can
Metal Energy (HS:
Call of Legends 87/95) to soak
some damage, and as this is a Basic
Pokémon, you can easily combine it with
It turns out this is a good
Durant only has 70 HP.
In the current format, that makes
it a OHKO for most decks, at least
provided they can maintain a set-up.
suffers from Fire Weakness, and right
now that isn’t so bad: people are
focusing on Lightning-Type decks or
Mewtwo EX (BW:
Next Destinies 54/99,
98/99) oriented decks to the
exclusion of Fire-Type decks.
Odds are this coming set will
Heatmor, though with an anti-Durant
(pardon the pun) attack that is easy to
toss into most if not all decks.
For now though, it’s not bad.
Should Fire Decks see an upswing,
the Weakness still isn’t too big of a
deal: the dedicated Fire decks we’ve
been dealing with since this format
began spit out 120 points of damage in a
single shot, easily overwhelming all but
the most heavily protected
Durant before Weakness is even
What is clearly good is the
Durant: Psychic-Type Pokémon have
their damage reduced by 20 when
Obviously, this is useful against
Durant is already Energy efficient
(more on that when we cover Effects), so
despite having a modest HP score by
modern standards, even without other
protective effects X-Ball will require
five Energy between
Mewtwo EX for a OHKO, and
Durant will only be sporting a
We finish the bottom stats with a
Retreat Cost of just one Energy.
I’ve heard conflicting reports
about whether or not you’d want to lower
Even without it, a single Energy
is usually easy to recover from, unless
the build you’re running goes very light
on Energy… and again, I’ve seen them do
The main concern with running
is that retreating will usually be a
bigger concern for your opponents, and
of course your opponent’s decks are
going to be focused on Basic Pokémon as
well most of the time.
has two attacks, Devour and Vice Grip,
and this is one of those unusual cases
where the second, bigger attack is
As such, I’ll get it out of the
Vice Grip requires (CC) and does
a flat 30 points of damage.
Since this is a Basic Pokémon
that doesn’t Evolve, it is only a little
weak, and factoring in the potency
Devour has demonstrated (or strategy
shift), it is actually about as good as
we probably want on this card.
If Devour weren’t here, we’d want
the big attack to be a little bigger but
compensated for it.
In fact, as is Vice Grip would
more than likely be the small attack on
the card, with a hypothetical three
Energy attack for the “big” attack.
Good thing that isn’t how the
card was designed, eh?
Yes, quite a change from recent sets:
the Pokémon that seemed too small and
had only two attacks and one is filler
actually has a potent attack that
completely justifies playing it!
Devour only requires (M) to use,
and while it does no damage, its effect
has proven quite potent; Devour discards
a card from the top of your opponent’s
deck for each
Durant you have in play.
Most discarding effects in the
past have either been expensive,
unreliable, and/or on bigger Pokémon.
This is probably the first
discarding effect to actually be
effective (at least while it was legal
for general tournament play).
The attacks have minimal synergy:
Vice Grip is there if you actually need
to attack something, but the focus is
I preface this by reminding everyone
that I don’t play nearly as much as I’d
like, so a lot of this is me simply
relaying what other players have told
me, with extra weight given to those I
trust (and who usually have won higher
Durant decks focus almost
exclusively on running
Durant and attacking with Devour.
Their critics claim this makes
them simple, almost mindless affairs,
but that’s rather insulting to both
those who play the deck and long time
players in general.
Just like most classical decks
from the game’s early days, the modest
amount of Pokémon and Energy needed
leaves plenty of room for important
Just to give you an idea of the numbers,
your 60 card deck loses at least six
cards for Prizes and seven cards for
your opening hand.
So your opponent has to discard
47 cards via Devour?
No, as you probably already
realize even if your opponent realizes
right away that his or her opponent is
Durant and tries to avoid using any
of draw or search cards so as not to
thin out his or her own deck, each turn
must draw a card.
So in an unrealistic but easier
to number crunch scenario where the non-Durant
player either was never are able to or
simply choose not to attack or use
draw/search/recursion cards, a full
swarm of four
Durant using Devour turn after turn
would effectively cost five cards per
turn: four from Devour, and one more due
to the turn’s draw.
Durant player doesn’t do anything
counterproductive like shuffling your
probably massive hand back into your own
Noble Victories 92/101,
101/101), you have two possible
Durant player went first, the deck
count at the beginning of the non-Durant
player’s turns would be 43, 38, 33, 28,
23, 18, 13, 8, 3, and finally 0, at
which point the game is over as the non-Durant
player goes to draw at the beginning of
his or her 10th turn.
If the non-Durant
player goes first, then it becomes 47,
42, 37, 32, 27, 22, 17, 12, 7, 2, and
zero, with the loss occurring at the 11th
turns draw phase.
From that simply but unrealistic
example, we can then see the impact
normal plays have on this match.
If you’re facing
Durant, that opening turn
Pokémon Collector shaves three cards
from your deck and one turn from the
time you have to win however your deck
A first or second turn
Professor Juniper (Black
& White 101/114) would make you
zero out on your ninth turn.
The two together would result in
a loss on turns eight or nine, depending
on whether you went second or first,
This creates a big problem for
Durant: the harder the decks fight
back, the more they hasten their own
Even if you run some recursion, a
Flower Shop Lady (HS:
Undaunted 74/90) only offsets
one and a half “full power” Devours… or
two uses of
Pokémon Collector, and not even a
single use of
Besides that, ever Devour is also
disruption: for every Devour that
doesn’t hit something important, the
next one is just that much more likely
to (unless you’re running and
successfully using recursion cards).
You simply can’t afford to take a
laid back approach to your set-up
because of this: you must rush to build
solid attackers and take your six Prizes
as soon as possible (unless you’re also
winning via an alternate condition).
However by doing this, you’re
shortening your time frame to the point
must take that Prize per turn.
Aiding in its own set-up and
disrupting the opponent’s is where the
rest of the
Durant deck comes in.
does run more than
Durant, but not much more.
Undaunted 20/90), sometimes
along and sometimes preceded by an
Alph Lithograph (HS:
Triumphant FOUR) “Four” so that
you know exactly which Prizes are
Durant so that you may use the
Mischievous Trick Poké-Power of
Rotom to get that
Durant into hand so you can play it.
The decks also often pack the
appropriate Energy to allow
Rotom to attack for the occasional
instance where sniping is important, but
I’ll am unsure if this is a common or
The other Pokémon I am aware of
being used in
Noble Victories 84/101,
When someone actually does score
a good set-up, one option is to bring
Cobalion to use Iron Breaker; with
Durant assaulting resources between
Durant runs (more on that next) and
the milling of the deck, it is very hard
to change out that Active Pokémon to
shake the effect of Iron Breaker.
I don’t believe this is the case
now, but when I was first getting
Durant decks, I would often hear of
Durant players winning matches
through Prizes, sometimes more often
than they won via decking the opponent
I would still expect it to happen
if you made a careless play, however.
Those important Trainers are split
between speeding up the
Durant deck’s set-up and frustrating
Dual Ball or
Level Ball (BW:
Next Destinies 89/99) can speed
Durant from your deck, while
Revive restores what your opponent
Eviolite makes it harder for a deck
to KO your
Expect most Special Energy cards
dropped against a
Durant deck to be banished to the
Lost Zone via
Lost Remover (Call
of Legends 80/95), while Basic
Energy are targeted by
Crushing Hammer (BW:
Emerging Powers 92/98), with
either or both Items spammed by
Junk Arm (HS:
As the deck isn’t focused on
taking Prizes, cards such as
Triumphant 89/102) that were
meant to help a player who has fallen
behind catch-up are quickly enabled and
never disabled by this deck.
This also means
becomes incredibly one-sided.
Like most decks
Durant decks run
Pokémon Catcher (BW:
Emerging Powers 95/98), but it
is almost solely to strand something
with a high Retreat Cost up front,
especially if its attacks are expensive.
For Energy cards, Special
Metal Energy (for soaking more
damage) and sometimes
Prism Energy (for
Rotom) are in the list with some
Metal Energy (…do I really need to
link to that?), but the count shouldn’t
be too high: only
Cobalion uses more than one Energy
at a time, and you need the room for
Anymore advanced tricks than
these (and they are in the deck) you’ll
want to read a good
Durant deck article to get; I
covered the basics I understood.
So what about Unlimited?
Don’t bother unless you’re a
Durant fanatic. All the usual bits
apply: you’re facing first turn win,
lock, and donk decks, then the Unlimited
empowered remains of the greatest decks
every produced plus a few amazing
creations enabled by the Unlimited card
pool that exist no where else.
Durant might get a few nice goodies,
but between the Baby Rule frustrating
your attempts at
Devour, and opponent’s disruption
sabotaging your own, and perhaps most
importantly, better depletion decks
(yeah, those old mill cards that weren’t
so good when they were first made?
They’re good now in Unlimited,
just not top tier good).
Then we come to Limited.
This is quite an unusual place
The upside is that it is a 70 HP
Basic with a solid attack that can be
powered by any Energy Type.
Given that the average HP and
damage outputs are lower and decks are
often looking for just such Pokémon to
fill out the ranks,
Durant may qualify just for that.
If you actually have room for
Metal Energy, or have enough other
Pokémon that need them, go ahead and
fire off the occasional Devour when it
In Limited play, the full deck is
only 40 cards.
Yes each player is unlikely to be
thinning his or her own deck much, and
there are two less Prize cards, but over
a fourth of the deck is gone at set-up.
The psychological impact is
important as well, since players are
usually trying to blindly draw into
their best pulls.
It is less likely you’ll hit
something important, but can’t do a
thing about it unless they pulled a
Super Rod (BW:
Noble Victories 95/101).
Durant is an Uncommon, so pulling
multiples isn’t impossible, and in
Limited the “four-per-deck” restriction
doesn’t apply so if you did manage to
pull five or more (unlikely but
possible) then you could run them all.
A set of three
Durant is quite formidable here,
provided you can get at least two out
before your opponent sets up a solid
I mostly bring this up for the
variations on Limited play where you
aren’t confined to the exact contents of
your six boosters.
So that is
Durant, a card we almost skipped! In
my case, it was through the assumption
we’d already covered it on a day I’d
Durant decks are powerful and should
not be underestimated; I’ve been told
that if it is a good
Durant player who doesn’t make a
mistake or get plagued by bad luck, you
need an almost perfect open to defeat
Even if future sets are hard on
it, it will likely still remain the
budget deck of choice as well, since it
runs few truly rare cards.
Please check out my eBay sales by
It’s me whittling away at about
two decades worth of attempted
collecting, spanning action figures,
comic books, TCGs, and video games.
Exactly what is up is a bit
Pojo.com is in no way responsible
for any transactions; Pojo is merely
doing me a favor by letting me link at
the end of my reviews.