When Roaring Skies came out, this M Rayquaza deck was the strongest deck in the entire meta pretty much instantly. Unfortunately, the Pokémon Company have been introducing a lot of cards over the different sets that have been released after it to decrease its power quite a lot. Cards like Parallel City and Giratina EX for example. Yet, despite all these strong counters, it is still able to beat any deck out there, and even won the Regionals at Liverpool not too long ago. Its biggest flaw? It is the most expensive deck you could possibly make, with an estimated cost of € 300!
So it has a lot of counters to it and isn’t as strong as it used to be, why review it now? Well, to be honest i had totally forgotten about this deck as it has been around for so long. But, as it won a recent Regionals at Liverpool even though everybody should have been prepared for it, it would seem i am not the only one that had forgotten about it. Because to be fair, there are a lot of strong decks out there who are much more popular and therefore most players prefer preparing for the more popular decks. Which leaves out an opportunity for a deck like this to shine as much as i did when it just came out.
The deck revolves around the following three cards:
Shaymin EX is pretty much used within any deck and could be classified as the “most important” card you could get, hence the high price tag. But, in this deck it isn’t just about adding some more drawpower to your deck, you actually can’t do it without them. Them? Yes them, because you will have to use at least three, preferably even four for this deck to work. Most of you know this card a little bit too much, so in short it is so strong because when you bench it, you are allowed to draw cards until you have six in your hand. And having cards in your hand, is something that is quite important in the game. And in this particular deck, it doesn’t only provide you with more cards, it also provides you with more damage output at the same time.
Shaymin EX will cost you about 60 packs to get online and about $ 70 in real life.
The almighty M Rayquaza is the biggest star of the deck because he will be your main attacker. Heck, he will be your only attacker even. M Rayquaza is set op fairly quickly because you can actually Mega-Evolve on your first turn thanks to his ancient trade. Moreover, its need for three colorless energy is set up quite easily as well, especially with the help of a Mega turbo and DCE.
M Rayquaza will cost you about 7-8 packs to get online and about $ 17 in real life.
Skyfield is another ingredient within the deck that is absolutely necessary for it to work. As M Rayquaza does more damage, the more Pokémon you have on your bench for a maximum damage number of 240. This knockouts pretty much anyone that could be a threat. Well, all Pokémon except Wailord EX, but is that really considered to be a threat?
Sky Field is pretty easy to get and not even worth a single pack
Once again, this deck has shown to still be able to win big tournaments and play around the counter cards that have been introduced in the last couple of sets, but it will cost ya. That being said, if you have the money this deck could be a good investment. It are actually the Shaymin EX and Hoopa EX that make the cost of the deck so high, but you can use these cards for any deck really, so if you’re serious about playing this game it is a good investment nonetheless as you can use those cards as the basis for any new deck you want to build afterwards.
Full Deck List
Now, you do have some options if you want to make it a bit cheaper, or if you don’t care about making the total cost even a little bit more expensive.
To make it cheaper, you could replace the Hoopa EX with Winona (96/108). To make it a little bit more expensive however, you could choose to replace Dragonite EX (72/108) with Jirachi (XY67), but this is card is really expensive and i personally prefer Dragonite EX over it. You could also add Brock’s Grit or Karen to the deck to increase your chances, but we will talk about that later. Magearna EX is added to the deck to make sure your Pokémon with a metal energy attached to them can’t be affected by effects of attacks. But, you could also choose for Manaphy EX (32/122) for free retreats, and consequently play water energy instead of metal.
This deck has the quickest set up you could possibly have which is its main strength. It also has a scary high damage output which is its second strength. Its third strength is the fact that it allows the player to apply skill-full resource management. As most decks play Parallel City, you will have to recover from it each match at least once. This asks quit a lot of skill of the person piloting the deck and experience with the deck is therefore important before it can win you difficult matches.
Yet, even with a Parallel City, you could fully recover within one turn to max out your damage once again and onehit K.O. your opponent regardless, but this will require some practice. And that is what i like about this deck the most, that it takes more skill in resource management than most other decks do, but if you succeed at it the reward can be great.
Because Rayquaza EX can Mega-Evolve right of the bat, you could potentially, if you get the right starting hand, get your max damage up and your M Rayquaza fully charged in the first round. This often comes with a little bit of risk and is not always recommended to try for. Especially when your opponent has Pokémon that can be taken out with 150 damage, it is wiser to slow it down a little bit at the start. Because if you go all the way from the beginning, it might be harder to recover from a Parallel City. On the other hand, if your main threat is up front and being charged up, don’t hesitate to take it out straight away before you lose your damage potential to a possible removal of your Sky Field.
With all the amazing drawpower that comes with the Hoopa EX to Shaymin EX combo, you can draw a great amount of cards within one turn. This way, you can fill your entire bench in one turn as well, which leads to the magic number of 240 damage which knocks out simply any Pokémon out there. Therefore, the damage that you can do is massive and in combination with the insane quick setup quite deadly indeed.
This isn’t necessarily a strength, but something that i personally love about this deck. The fact that you have a lot of choices to make and if you play the deck the right way against the different opponent you will meet, you always will have a chance of winning. This requires a lot of practice and skill though, and will be difficult at first. But when you know how to play against the difference counters there are out there, I can definitely understand why a lot of people still choose this deck in big tournaments.
Every deck has their strengths, but unfortunately (and especially fortunately or the game will get boring real quick) also their weaknesses. For this deck, these are the following; Lightning, Energy denial, Bench sniping, Garbodor/Giratina EX and Parallel City.
This is pretty obvious as Rayquaza has weakness to lightning hence is a weakness for the deck. But, lightning decks aren’t really that popular at this very moment and the strongest lightning card that is available right now, which is Jolteon EX, is pretty useless against Mega Pokémon. Therefore, you won’t encounter that much lightning decks and if you do, you still have a good chance of winning.
I can be short about this, as this is a problem many other decks have as well. Being able to use DCE for his attacks is both an opportunity as it is a curse. As cards like enhanced hammer or team flare grunt can remove special energy quite easily, this can cause you some problems.
The Breakthrough Yveltal is insanely popular right now and quite strong against this deck. You will have a lot of Shaymin EX on your bench, which Yveltal will be able to snipe for cheap prize cards. This is a huge threat which has to be eliminated as fast as possible. But, any type of bench sniping can be dangerous, so look out for that.
A lot of decks play Garbodor and that is for a lot of legit reasons. Not being able to use your Abilities, which Garbodor blocks with his own ability, will make things hard for you as it would any other ability heavy deck. If you can’t use your Hoopa EX and Shaymin EX to make your drawings happen, you will have limited amount of damage. And as this deck doesn’t rely as much on Sycamore and N, things can get really slow for you or you could even get stuck. Therefore, try to take out Garbodor as fast as you possibly can. Giratina EX is a known Mega Slayer and is also a threat, since you only attack with Mega Pokémon. You will really need to make smart use of your Hex Maniac if you want to beat it.
This is your biggest enemy and the hardest counter to overcome. Usually, opponents only play one or two of these. If you know your opponent has two or even more, you really need to be careful with playing your Sky Fields, because those are the only cards you will not be able to get back, but are vital to your maximum damage output of 240. Without it, your maximum is 150 which just isn’t going to cut it because you really want to one-shot K.O. with this deck.
Cards like Brock’s Grit and the all new Karen mentioned earlier can be very helpful with recovering from a Parallel, as they can bring back all your Pokémon and energy from the discard pile back into your deck. But, i personally feel like this is unnecessary if you learn how to apply some decent resource management, and Dragonite EX also allows you to bring your Pokémon back to life as well.
The difficulty of playing this deck is “Hard”.
Your main strategy is setting up fast, doing massive damage and taking out the biggest threads as soon as possible. Sounds pretty easy, but because of Parallel City a lot tougher than you think. As usual, we use our favourite YouTuber DarkIntegralGaming his amazing videos to give guidance as to how-to-play a specific deck. Even though this deck is fine-tuned the way i personally like it best, it gives a good overview as to how the deck works and how to play it.
M Rayquaza has escaped from my attention since the release of Breakthrough, but caught my eye again when it won Regionals in Liverpool. It is still amazingly strong and i am glad i tried it out for myself. It can beat any deck out there and doesn’t have any particular deck that gives a big advantage against it. Besides perhaps Giratina EX. Nonetheless, you will need to learn how to play it really well to successfully recover from multiple Parallel drops, but when you learn how to do this, this deck can really do it for you!
+ Quick setup
+ Damage output
+ Resource management
– Parallel City
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