Back To You — Understanding Kyogre

Hello everyone! At the recent Knoxville Regional Championships, Kyogre resurfaced once again by taking second place. Although I wish I was the one making that run, I’ll be discussing this Kyogre deck today. I have a special relationship with Kyogre, as it is the deck responsible for a few of my best and worst tournament finishes simultaneously. This speaks to its somewhat questionable consistency, but the deck is undeniably powerful and has an incredible matchup spread in the current format. Kyogre is difficult to play and to play against, and it often catches opponents off guard.

Recently, Kyogre has not been doing too well in the Paradox Rift format. This is mostly because people have not been playing it, as it was not good against Charizard ex, Iron Hands ex, or even Gardevoir ex now that they play Jirachi. In general, Jirachi and Manaphy are huge annoyances for Kyogre.

Kyogre with Mawile is a deck that I’ve had in my back pocket for several months now, but my group had not pulled the trigger on it until now. Aiden Khus got 33rd at Charlotte Regionals with a similar list to mine, which inspired me to bust it out for Knoxville. My run was fraught with unplayable opening hands and subpar matchups, which was quite disappointing and resulted in a terrible finish. Of course, Aiden placed second with his list, and Azul barely bubbled out of Top 8 with our list. This is a stellar showing for the deck considering how few people were playing it. Surely more players will have an eye on Kyogre going forward.

The Deck List

Here is the list, which remains unchanged (for now) from Knoxville.

Pokemon (12)

4x Comfey (SWSH11 #79)1x Sableye (SWSH11 #70)1x Radiant Greninja (SWSH10 #46)1x Pidgeot V (SWSH11 #137)1x Mawile (SWSH11 #71)1x Manaphy (SWSH9 #41)1x Kyogre (CEL #3)1x Dragonite V (SWSH7 #191)1x Cramorant (SWSH11 #50)

Trainers (38)

4x Colress's Experiment (SWSH11 #155)4x Switch Cart (SWSH10 #154)4x Nest Ball (SVI #181)4x Mirage Gate (SWSH11 #163)4x Battle VIP Pass (SWSH8 #225)3x Super Rod (PEV #188)2x Lost Vacuum (SWSH11 #162)2x Escape Rope (SWSH5 #125)2x Counter Catcher (PAR #160)1x Switch (SVI #194)1x Pal Pad (SVI #182)1x Hisuian Heavy Ball (SWSH10 #146)1x Energy Recycler (SWSH5 #124)1x Echoing Horn (SWSH6 #136)2x Forest Seal Stone (SWSH12 #156)2x PokéStop (PGO #68)

Energy (10)

5x Water Energy (SWSH12PT5 #154)3x Lightning Energy (SWSH12PT5 #155)2x Psychic Energy (SWSH12PT5 #156)

This deck almost functions like an anti-meta deck. Kyogre is fantastic in the current meta, demolishing the likes of Mew VMAX, Roaring Moon ex, Miraidon ex, and sometimes Giratina VSTAR. The decks that aren’t those are mostly Charizard ex and Gardevoir ex, which have plenty of Pokemon that you can permanently trap with Mawile. Mawile is an effective counter to Manaphy and Jirachi, and if they choose to forego the protection of those Pokemon, then you can win normally with unimpeded use of Radiant Greninja, Sableye, and sometimes Kyogre. In the matchups where you plan to use Kyogre, you have to take at least two Prize cards normally. This is often accomplished with Dragonite V, which is a bulky and powerful attacking option. Dragonite V is convenient to use because of the overlap in the Water Energy requirement, and it bolsters consistency by using Forest Seal Stone. Sometimes you take your first two Prizes with Dragonite V, and sometimes you instead use your single-Prize Pokemon. After that, Kyogre cleans things up for the game.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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