– Lost Thunder
January 18, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Durant is best known for milling your opponent’s deck until they got nothing left. Mountain Munch is another familiar attack, this time, milling the top two cards from your opponent’s deck, which costs a DCE. While this could be good in Standard, it faces heavy competition in Expanded with other related Durant cards. The one in particular that rules all Durant cards is from BW Noble Victories, whose Devour attack mills cards based on how many Durant you have in play. With Mew FCO Memories of Dawn or Mew-EX’s Versatile, you have more opportunities to mill FOUR cards from your opponent’s deck. Looks like there’s no place for today’s Durant in Expanded, sadly.
Limited: 3/5 (I guess if you can mill quick enough, your opponent wouldn’t do much back to you. But without DCE in this set, you give your opponent one turn…..to try and do anything.)
Durant (LOT 128) returned to the Pokemon TCG from the Lost Thunder expansion set with its familiar Mountain Munch attack that allowed you to discard the top two cards of your opponent’s deck. Ah, I remember those days, when it seemed like every other match you played on PTCGO was Houndoom EX and Durant. With Team Flare Grunt and Team Rocket’s Handiwork, it was often just a matter of time before you would wear your opponent down and knock off every energy they put on the board while at the same time discarding valuable resources from their deck.
I have only seen Durant twice, however, in the two plus months its been back in the format, and I beat it both times. Maybe part of it is that Flare Grunt and Rocket’s Handiwork are gone, maybe part of it is Malamar, Vikavolt, and other energy recyclers, maybe people are just more interested in milling / disrupting with Shuckle GX or Steelix.
I played plenty of Houndoom Durant back in the day, but right now it just doesn’t interest me. I’ve just been having a lot of success with spread archetypes like Cofagrigas and Promo Tapu Koko. Maybe that will change after Tag Team, but right now those archetypes are well positioned for success against many of the decks you commonly find on the ladder. Durant, while still potentially effective, is less of a known quantity. No one has had any IRL success with it, and I haven’t come up with an effective sixty card list. I briefly (three games) tried to put a list together, but after three quick losses, I quickly pushed the trash can icon in the Deck Manager on PTCGO.
Standard: 2 out of 5
And it surprises me, with Counter Energy and Counter Gain and maybe even Shedinja, it seems like there could be a deck where this might work, albeit not against Malamar or other energy recycling archetypes, but I’m not seeing it. But then again I didn’t try all that hard.
Deck destruction is a bit of a staple to various card games. Ever since the infamous Millstone of Magic the Gathering, it’s always been an option to winning the game – after all, if you don’t have any cards to draw, you don’t have any more moves to make! And based on that assumption, a lot of card games – including Magic, Yugioh, and Pokemon – grant an automatic victory to the player who didn’t run out of cards in their deck.
Enter Durant Durant, the most hungry of all wolves-I mean, ants.
Durant is a Basic Metal Pokemon, 80 HP, with a Fire Weakness, a Psychic Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1. Knock Over is a 1-for-20 that discards a Stadium in play, and Mountain Munch costs another Energy more to discard 2 cards off the top of your opponent’s deck, milling their deck down and getting you closer to that condition. A couple Durants in the TCG like to mill cards in this fashion, and it was even the spirit of an early mill deck centered around Durants.
That being said, Durant just isn’t capable of decking your opponent out. That’s not meant as a commentary on the size of decks, though it would take about 15-16 turns (7 cards in starting hand, 6 in Prizes, draw a card, Mountain Munch to discard 2 cards) to get through all of it, never mind the aid of draw cards. You just have to ask yourself, “How many turns are normally in a Pokemon TCG game?” And the answer is usually, “Not enough for this to work”. By the time you’ve gotten started milling out some of your opponent’s cards, they’ll already be fighting back with Pokemon that can easily run over Durant’s 80 HP frail body, and then you’re back at square one. Sure, you don’t have to worry about losing Prizes that quickly, until they start dishing out more than 80 damage each hit, but you are unlikely to have gotten through the entirety of your opponent’s deck by that point.
The most successful Durant deck-mill strategy was arguably the Noble Victories version, and even nowadays that card can’t compete with the raw overwhelming power of what goes on in Expanded to be considered. Maybe Durant’s a fun casual deck idea, but he’s far and away from a competitive strategy.
Standard: 2/5 (that’s not even including the decks that benefit from stuff in the discard)
Expanded: 1.5/5 (Night March alone killed the mill idea)
Limited: 3.5/5 (oddly enough though, with less cards and less ways to out Durant quickly, the deck mill strategy can work here)
Arora Notealus: Just like regular ants, you should make sure Durant stays out of your deck so he doesn’t eat it away. Also just make sure ants don’t get into your deck. And if you’re a Durant player, please don’t actually bring ants to pour onto your opponent’s deck.
Side Reviews: Wobbuffet – anti-<Prism> Ability basically makes him relatively niche, but in today’s game he’s pretty relevant for the most important <Prism> Pokemon, namely Ditto <Prism> who is the most widely-used Pokemon <Prism>. Locking your opponent out of one of their Benched slots while preventing them from getting out their Stage 1s definitely makes Wobbuffet worthwhile to take a look at.
Memory Energy – speaking of Evolutions, it’s not a particularly amazing card outside of specific line-ups, but it’s another good card to use the attacks of previous Evolutions. On top of that, it provides Energy, so the main question is whether or not you’ve got space for it. If you’re running Evolutions with useful attacks, keep this in mind.
Weekend Thought: Now that we’re all caught up, what are your thoughts on all these cards? Think there are some interactions that haven’t been highlighted? Been excitedly playing with all the Lost Thunder cards? Did you agree with the Top 11 Best Cards of 2018? Hope you’re excited for new cards in 2019, cause I hear they’re gonna get crazy!
Durant cards have a history of effects that discard cards from your opponent’s deck, often referred to as “mill” (a Magic: The Gathering reference). Durant (BW – Noble Victories 83/101) is not the subject of today’s review, but it was the original Durant card and, for a time, was the focus of a successful mill/control deck. A deck that dominated the metagame, for a short time. I cannot recall another mill deck that has managed that or at least one where decking out the opponent was the main focus and achieved as rapidly. Today’s Durant (SM – Lost Thunder 128/214) is the latest to give it a go. It is a Basic [M] Pokémon with 80 HP, [R] Weakness, [P] Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks. “Knock Over” costs [C], does 20 damage, and gives you the option of discarding a Stadium card in play. “Mountain Munch” requires [CC] and discards the top two cards of your opponent’s deck. Now… what does all of that mean?
Durant ends up being a very probable but far from guaranteed OHKO that is very easy to run in your deck and can pretty easily use either of its attacks before the end comes. Those attacks don’t do anything dramatic, but if you’re needing another option for discarding Stadium cards (including the Prism Star variety) or milling your opponent’s deck for a so-so two cards, its here. [R] attackers have a slightly easier time of things, and [P] attackers a slightly harder time. [M] decks MAY have some edge in running Durant, thanks to cards like Metal Frying Pan, but that doesn’t up Durant’s durability by much so I’d focus more on decks that already have control and/or mill elements, especially if they have Double Colorless Energy or some other form of Energy acceleration which enables an instant drop-and-attack for either attack.
Mountain Munch needs to mill a little more or else provide “targeted” discards from your opponent’s deck if it wants to be competitive in the modern Standard or Expaned Formats, at least as a deck’s focus and a minor support role. That shouldn’t be the case in the Limited Format, where your opponent has less deck for you to mill and is much less likely to score OHKO’s against Durant. I’d be curious to see how this Durant fared under the 30-card rules, but I’ve no idea if that is even still supported, and haven’t even ever gotten to play it myself.
Durant (SM – Lost Thunder 128/214) is not going to recapture the glory days of Durant (BW – Noble Victories 83/101), but it may have the versatility (two niche uses instead of one) and flexibility (can fit into a variety of decks) that can let it slip is as TecH or something similar. Pure Theorymon so far, however; I haven’t tested the card myself and I can’t find it among the results from recent events at Limitless.
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