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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Durant  #83

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.40
Limited: 2.75

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 Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Durant (Noble Victories)

Hello and welcome to a new week of CotD here at Pojo. First an apology: I’m really 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 State Championships. 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 of cards.

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 Durants as they are KO’d. Durant’s Metal Typing and Basic status give it the benefit of Eviolite and 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 Alph Lithograph FOUR to deal with the issue of Durants being Prized. 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 Mewtwo-EX 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 Heatmor), but for now . . . if you don’t have Mewtwos, play this.


Modified: 4.25 (serious contender for best uncommon Basic Pokémon ever printed, though maybe Holon’s Castform 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 four copies!)


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 Victories.

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!

Mad Mattezhion
 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 full 4!).

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 format)

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 tournaments!


Durant 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 possess. In fact, builds also nearly need the Support Basic Pokémon currently can tap: Pokémon Collector (HeartGold/SoulSilver 97/123) and Dual Ball (HS: Unleashed 72/95, Call of Legends 78/95) provided added search in both Supporter (the former) and Item (the latter) forms, Eviolite (BW: Noble Victories 91/101) provides much needed protection, Skyarrow Bridge (BW: Next Destinies 91/99) lowers Retreat Costs, Revive (Black & 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.

Durant 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 encounter it. What is important is that you can use Special Metal Energy (HS: Undaunted 80/90, Call of Legends 87/95) to soak some damage, and as this is a Basic Pokémon, you can easily combine it with Eviolite. It turns out this is a good thing, since 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.

Durant 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 contain a 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 applied. What is clearly good is the Resistance on Durant: Psychic-Type Pokémon have their damage reduced by 20 when attacking Durant. Obviously, this is useful against Mewtwo EX; 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 Durant and Mewtwo EX for a OHKO, and Durant will only be sporting a single Energy.

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 that with Skyarrow Bridge. 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 just that. The main concern with running Skyarrow Bridge 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.


Durant has two attacks, Devour and Vice Grip, and this is one of those unusual cases where the second, bigger attack is “filler”. As such, I’ll get it out of the way first. 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 Devour.


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 level events). 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 Trainers.

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 running 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 a player 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. Assuming the Durant player doesn’t do anything counterproductive like shuffling your probably massive hand back into your own deck via N (BW: Noble Victories 92/101, 101/101), you have two possible outcomes. If the 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 achieves victory. 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, respectively. This creates a big problem for decks facing Durant: the harder the decks fight back, the more they hasten their own destruction. 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 Professor Juniper.

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 where you 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.

Durant does run more than Durant, but not much more. You’ll see Rotom (HS: 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 rare occurrence. The other Pokémon I am aware of being used in Durant is Cobalion (BW: Noble Victories 84/101, 100/101). When someone actually does score a good set-up, one option is to bring out a Cobalion to use Iron Breaker; with the Durant assaulting resources between the Trainers 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 acquainted with Durant decks, I would often hear of Durant players winning matches through Prizes, sometimes more often than they won via decking the opponent out. 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 your opponent’s. Pokémon Collector, Dual Ball or Level Ball (BW: Next Destinies 89/99) can speed out Durant from your deck, while Revive restores what your opponent KOs and Eviolite makes it harder for a deck to KO your Durant. 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: Triumphant 87/102). As the deck isn’t focused on taking Prizes, cards such as Twins (HS: 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 N 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 basic 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 Trainers. 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 for Durant. 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 some basic Metal Energy, or have enough other Pokémon that need them, go ahead and fire off the occasional Devour when it is “safe”. 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). Don’t forget 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 attacker. I mostly bring this up for the variations on Limited play where you aren’t confined to the exact contents of your six boosters.


Unlimited: 1.5/5

Modified: 4/5

Limited: 3/5


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 missed. 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 them. 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.

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