Hydreigon (BW: Next Destinies
103/99) is the Secret Rare reprint of
Hydreigon (BW: Noble Victories
79/101), but I am not seeing a review of
Did we miss something, or did we
hold off for good reason?
is a Stage 2, so it faces an uphill
battle this format: Basic Pokémon enjoy
all their natural advantages with
specialized support and Stats/Effects
good enough for at least a Stage 1 (at
least until recently).
Being a Darkness-Type could be a
good start: it doesn’t help much in
terms of Type-matching, but it does
provide access to Special Energy
Darkness Energy, and getting plus 10
points of damage from your Energy
attachments can go a long way.
The support they currently have
probably isn’t enough to make this
anything more than a mild benefit
150 HP is almost as good as it currently
gets for Stage 2 Pokémon (technically
160 is the highest on a current Stage 2
Still it means anything less than
a Pokémon EX is going to need something
to boost its damage (on top of any
actual support the attacker needs in
general); you should survive a hit
outside of your Weakness.
That Weakness is certainly a
mixed blessing: Fighting-Type decks have
been struggling, with formerly dominant
(or at least prominent) decks like those
Donphan Prime becoming less and less
The amazingly strong
Lightning-Type decks though encourage
people to keep trying, and if not as a
full-fledged Fighting deck, then a
Terrakion if the deck can justify
Prism Energy, or
Rainbow Energy (honestly one of
those three are often already present).
If you see your opponent play
brown down, expect a OHKO.
On the bright side,
Hydreigon actually has Resistance,
and it is to something useful:
That’s an extra Energy
Mewtwo EX requires for X-Ball and…
well that is the one that matters most.
The three Energy required to
Retreat is hefty: it is hard for the
average deck to pay, especially without
it being a major set-back even if the
Energy is available.
The small silver lining is that
Hydreigon a legal target for
We have the familiar pattern of an
Ability and a large attack.
The Ability, has appeared before
as a Poké-Body: all Energy attached to
Hydreigon provide (D) instead of
their usual Energy type, and should
(though I didn’t see a specific, recent
ruling) only affect the Type and not the
quantity produced: a
Double Colorless Energy provides two
Energy still, just (DD) instead of (CC).
Hydreigon to function with any
Energy; a very potent ability tempered
by it being a Stage 2 Pokémon.
Berserker Blade requires (DDDD) to use,
though thanks to the Ability (and lack
of ways to shut them off, unlike older
it acts more like (CCCC), but then we’d
have to treat it as a Stage 2 with a
single effect (just one attack), which
provides at least as much of a
compensatory damage increase as the
shift to all Colorless Energy saved.
So for (DDDD), you earn about 60
points of damage before factoring in the
Stage of the Pokémon.
Just requiring four Energy for
any attack is usually worth another 10
or even 20 points of damage.
Lacking a less expensive attack
option on the card (that is an attack
with a lower amount of Energy required)
is also worth another 10 to 20 points of
Finally as a fully Evolved
Pokémon, again we expect another 10 to
20 points, perhaps even a bit more.
Since the Ability in no way acts
as a “second attack”, I really should
add yet another 10 to 20 points to the
total, so we need to hit 100 to 140
points of damage.
We do, but there is a caveat.
The attack does 60 to the
Defending Pokémon and 40 to up to two
This is where the format itself
Hydreigon is only surviving one hit
and not two or more, then it had better
OHKO or 2HKO most other Pokémon, or
rather those that see competitive play.
It doesn’t, but should at least
3HKO almost anything without protection.
As long as you’re doing the full
expected Bench damage, you have the
chance to keep up with your opponent,
Hydreigon for a like amount of
Here is that catch: by spreading
the damage your opponent has more time
to respond to it, and wont lose
resources as quickly, overall decreasing
the likelihood of those KOs at all.
Factoring in how many cards
you’re investing into each
Hydreigon and that you probably need
at least three to pay off, you’re
dedicating at least half your deck to
this strategy before adding in any
support, when most offensive Pokémon are
Basics with three or four Energy
attached before additional support is
The attack really needs to hit the
Defending Pokémon harder (even if Bench
damage was a bit lower) or hit more
Pokémon (even if every Pokémon hit was
only good for 40 or 50 points of
As a Darkness Pokémon, spread
damage seems to be common but then you
don’t get to enjoy extra damage from
Darkness Energy except against the
Still, these two effects
compliment each other and it is only the
brutally difficult nature of our current
format that really hampers
Right now, I’d there isn’t much to do
If you really want to use it,
you’ve only got a single
Deino available (though
Rare Candy could replace the
Zweilous) and they are average for
their Stages and Status as Evolving
Pokémon; in short they won’t help or
You can back it with several
forms of Energy acceleration so that you
can quickly and repeatedly power-up
replacement copies, but the actual in
deck logistics make such an approach
inferior to better known builds using
With the current card pool, there
isn’t much to do, save perhaps open with
Absol Prime to try and buy time and
maybe spread damage for no Energy (via
the Poké-Body on
Stop reading here if you don’t want to
know about potential upcoming releases,
Many players are already well aware that
the next set contains Darkness-Type
Support, and it might be just enough to
Hydreigon damage spread viable.
If the text spoiler translations
are accurate, we’ll get at least four
important cards for it:
Darkness Claw, and
Dark Patch is an Item that attaches
Darkness Energy from your discard
pile to something on your Bench.
It might not seem like much, but
that allows a Benched
Hydreigon (sadly not an Active one)
to be readied in a single turn by using
two and manually attaching a
Double Colorless Energy.
That could be enough (when
Junk Arm) to avoid needing another
source of Energy acceleration, or at
least reduce it to a one-time source
In general it helps all
Darkness Claw is a Pokémon Tool that
adds an extra 20 points of damage to
attacks by the equipped Darkness-Type
It won’t help Bench damage, but
at least it essentially negates
Eviolite, and moves more Pokémon
into the 2HKO range.
Darkrai EX is another big, Basic
It has an Ability (the first
Pokémon EX I’ve seen with one) and that
Ability zeroes out the Retreat Cost for
Darkness Pokémon with (D) Energy
This can help exploit
Dark Patch and
The attack on
EX needs (DDD) but does 90 to the
Defending Pokémon and 30 to the Bench,
which looks might handy for a damage
Plus it still clocks in at 180
This could still all fall apart,
but the potential is worth considering
still, especially if components we do
already have (like
Hydreigon) aren’t too hard to come
by in your area.
For Unlimited, it is nice that you can
really pile on the Bench damage.
It isn’t a new first-turn-win,
lock, or donk deck, but backed by a
Bench full of Neo Genesis
Broken Time-Space, and abusing
several useful Colorless Energy Special
Energy cards, you’ve got at least a
solid deck for the format, perhaps even
a semi-competitive one: this is a format
of Neo and e-card era Baby Pokémon (30
HP but while Active protected by “the
Baby Rule”) and small but nasty
Bench-sitters (the aforementioned
Slowking has just 80 HP).
Two successful Berserker Claws
could yield six Prizes!
In Limited, if you get even a
line, run it unless the rest of your
pulls are amazing and you can justify
focusing on reliability over raw power.
Thanks to Dark Aura, while the
lower Stages aren’t any good without a
source of Darkness Energy,
Hydreigon itself is taken care of.
Lower average HP and damage
outputs mean it has a better chance of
lasting several turns, and should at
least be good for two unless you’re very
unfortunate or foolish.
It also means that when it does
come up, between an opponent’s smaller
Basic Pokémon, and injured Pokémon
retreated to the Bench to avoid being
KOed, two turns should net you four
Prizes, and even a single attack might
is a card to check back on later, but
for now it isn’t as good at spreading
damage as a few other decks, and
spreading damage is already a risky
It doesn’t hit enough Pokémon
hard enough to make the spread
effective, at least when you’re
investing a Stage 2 Pokémon with four
Energy to do it.
It looks great though, and I
especially like this variant art since
green is my favorite color, followed by
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