Turbo Darkrai has been a force to reckon with in the current Standard format and it carries that force over to Expanded like a great typhoon. With the addition of Dark Patch and Darkrai EX (DEX), this deck becomes as swift as a coursing river as it gains additional energy acceleration and free retreat. Overall, the expanded variant of this deck has all the strength of a raging fire and will be a hot choice for the upcoming Regionals. So without further ado: Let’s get down to business~.
Table of Contents
I.Making a Man Out of Darkrai – Powerful Expanded Additions
II.Suited for the Rage of War – The Deck List
III.Defeating the Huns – Expected Matchups
Making a Man Out of Darkrai
Expanded offers several powerful cards that make this deck next level, but where do we find the space? We take out Trainers’ Mail from the build. I know it seems sacrilegious to do such a thing in a deck labeled as “Turbo”, but with the amount of consistency we gain from Expanded, we can afford to drop Trainers’ Mail in order to fit more tech options. Cards such as Jirachi EX, Computer Search, Colress, and Battle Compressor offer consistency while serving more than just a purpose of thinning. Sure, we can argue the Trainers’ Mail gets you to these cards faster; however, with the vast amount of decks that we have to account for, sacrificing a bit of speed for Tech options will take us further in a tournament, and allow us to be suited for any meta.
With that said, we need to address the key cards from Expanded that make this deck more of a powerhouse before we dive into the deck itself. Let’s start with one of the most broken cards ever printed: Dark Patch.
Dark Patch is completely unfair in deck such as this (It’s actually unfair in any deck you can fit it in). Being able to accelerate energy from our discard pile offers great synergy with the likes of Professor Juniper, Ultra Ball, and Battle Compressor in regards to allowing us to not only conserve other resources, but letting us set up big turns mid to late game. It also provides us the ability to rush down our opponents should we see an opening early. I think it’s best that we try and conserve this card as much as possible and rely on early game Max Elixirs and manual Energy Attachments because a mid-game swing in momentum has a higher probability to swing match ups versus taking prizes early.
Darkrai EX DEX
Darkrai EX’s ability from DEX is Dark Cloak and it lets any Pokémon with a Darkness energy attached to it have no retreat cost; this is amazing! We are now afforded the ability to hit and run ala Floyd Mayweather while delivering counter blows to our opponent’s Pokémon. It adds an entirely new dimension to the deck that the standard version can only dream of. We can retreat a damaged Darkrai into another Darkrai and deny prizes from our opponent, all while applying heavy damage and immense pressure. This card also allows us to play less switch cards which means more room for tech. In the Standard build, the norm became three Escape Ropes; however, in Expanded, we are able to forgo such a heavy count and utilize these open slots for better tech options.
Would you look at that, yet another broken card from expanded that we can throw in this deck. Battle Compressor not only serves as a deck thinner, but it opens up access to our energy acceleration strategy early. It lets us utilize Oblivion Wing early in a game and ensure that we don’t just have to discard a Dark Patch early via Juniper should that need arise. Additionally, Compressor provides us with the luxury of setting up a Supporter toolbox in our discard that we can easily access via VS Seeker throughout the game.
Suited for the Rage of War – The Deck List
Now that we’ve made a man out of you…err…Darkrai, it’s time to address how it all fits together by diving right in the deck list:
- 3 Darkrai EX BKP
- 1 Darkrai EX DEX
- 2 Shaymin EX ROS
- 2 Yveltal XY
- 1 Hoopa EX AOR
- 1 Jirachi EX
- 1 Tauros GX
- 1 Mewtwo EX NVI
- 3 Professor Sycamore
- 2 N
- 1 Lysandre
- 1 Hex Maniac
- 1 Xerosic
- 1 AZ
- 1 Colress
- 1 Ninja Boy
- 4 VS Seeker
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 Max Elixir
- 4 Dark Patch
- 2 Fighting Fury Belt
- 2 Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear
- 1 EXP Share
- 1 Computer Search
- 2 Parallel City
- 1 Reverse Valley
- 12 Dark Energy
3 Darkrai EX BKP and 1 Darkrai EX DEX
We’re going with a 3-1 split here for two reasons: Darkrai EX BKP is your main attacker and its attack cost is cheap. I know running two DEX variants can ensure we do not prize our main source of retreat; but, in doing so, we forgo having a higher count of main attackers. This deck has more than enough speed and power to take prizes early and I’m confident that we can potentially free Darkrai DEX from our prizes. I’m also confident that we may not even need it at all in some games since Darkrai BKP hits so hard and has relatively high HP. Additionally, this deck has limited bench space and running two Darkrai DEX can end up clogging your hand since you will more than likely not need to bench more than one at a time. It’s also important to point out that Darkrai DEX’s attack is relatively expensive compared to Darkrai BKP. Sure it’s a great attack that can help set up numbers; however, by committing three energy to it, we open ourselves up to losing that energy easily and decreasing our overall damage output. Even with the likes of Baby Yveltal and Dark Patch, we still want to manage our energy correctly so that we create a snowball effect of damage as the game progresses into the later stages. Overall, a 3-1 split will allow us to stream attackers effectively and let us play a more conservative energy management game.
Yveltal has always found its way into Turbo Darkrai for its attack Oblivion Wing and its ability to force a seven prize game. It’s a beefy 130 HP Basic Pokémon that allows you to accelerate energy and not have to waste Dark Patches early, while letting you set up easier numbers against beefier Pokémon; not to mention it absorbs hits so that our main attackers can come in fresh and apply even greater pressure. I’ve seen a lot of builds lately drop to only a single copy of Yveltal because they feel it’s not as necessary when you have Dark Patch. Although this logic is sound, having the ability to consistently accelerate energy from your discard without having to utilize Dark Patch allows us the ability to spam them late game and recover our energy, even after our opponent takes an inevitable KO. Overall, playing two copies of Yveltal will ensure that we can force seven prize game for our opponent and allow to us to accelerate energy consistently throughout the game without wasting resources.
1 Tauros GX
I think it’s a complete waste to not utilize some kind of GX attack in a deck these days since a lot of them are completely nuts. When Pokémon tells me I can only use something once a game, I immediately put an emphasis on such a thing and try all that I can to include it in a deck; just like we all do with our Ace Specs. In this case we focus on Tauros GX’s Mad Bull GX attack. For just two energy you do 30 times the amount of damage Tauros GX has on it. This means you can meet any early game aggression with a Mad Bull GX attack and stop your opponent right in their tracks. This attack combined with Ninja Boy can essentially steal the game from opponent and will at least provide a guaranteed KO on your opponent’s Pokémon. Overall, including this card in our deck only aids in our aggression, by stealing KOs and by forcing our opponent to think twice before they place damage early in a game.
1 Mewtwo EX
With all the hype of Yveltal Maxie’s we need to be able to have a quick counter to Gallade and we have that in Mewtwo EX. There are builds out there that utilize Mew FCO as that counter, but I have some problems with that choice. Although I know it can be preventive in nature by copying Dark Pulse for a KO on a Gallade with no energy attached to it, its fragile nature means that I’m sacrificing two energy as well as a prize going into the next turn. Additionally, Mew FCO is operating under the assumption that your board is already setup enough to hit for enough damage with Dark Pulse. With Mewtwo EX, even though I probably have to sacrifice a Darkrai EX to take a KO on Gallade, I know there’s a higher percent chance that he can survive going into the next turn. The reason I like this play is because we utilize Ninja Boy in this deck. By sacrificing the Darkrai EX we’ll be able to KO the Gallade with Mewtwo, let Mewtwo absorb a hit, then potentially Ninja Boy into a Tauros GX and KO the active threat. Although this flow of events isn’t guaranteed, the potential is there and easily attainable since we have easier access to Ninja Boy through the use of Battle Compressor. Overall, Mewtwo EX is a great reactionary card that can put in work in multiple match ups without instantly getting KO’d in the following turn.
With standard being a barren wasteland in regards to tool removal, it’s refreshing to finally play a card that lets us remove tools. In this case, we have the added benefit of Special Energy denial. Xerosic is just one of those cards that offer high utility and lets us manage our opponents Fighting Fury Belts and Special Energy. There’s really not much more to than that since its utility to manage Special Energy makes it a more well-rounded play over Startling Megaphone or Tool Scrapper.
This card serves two main purposes: consistent retreat and prize denial. Normally, utilizing a card that takes the energy off a Pokémon can be a hindrance; however, in this deck we utilize cards like Yveltal and Dark Patch that can easily help us recover from our lost energy while denying our opponent of prizes. Additionally, this card allows us to take a Shaymin EX or Jirachi EX off the bench and this provides us with the following luxuries: takes easy prizes off the board, let’s us re-use Shaymin EX or Jirachi EX, and opens up bench space to set up more attackers. Overall, this card provides way too much utility to exclude in this build.
1 Ninja Boy
This card has made his way into this deck due to the inclusion of Tauros GX. That combo has been explained, but after playtesting with card, it became apparent that this card provided the utility to easily switch between attackers in our deck. I’ve found it useful with setting up a Darkrai with energy and using up a Dark Patch then Ninja Boy right into Mewtwo-EX for a KO on a Gallade. Also, I’ve found it extremely useful in scenarios where I’ve either started a Shaymin EX, Jirachi EX or Hoopa EX to switch right into an Yveltal and start accelerating energy. Overall, the main reason for including this card in the deck has shed light on the many options this card ends up providing us.
4 Max Elixir and 4 Dark Patch
We’re going to max out the counts on these cards because we want to accelerate energy from everywhere and apply pressure at every stage of the game. We’ll want to try and utilize manual energy attachments and Max Elixir in the early stages and let the threat of having a high count of Dark Patches influence our opponent’s plays. This approach works very well with the likes of Yveltal, since you can accelerate energy while placing early damage and not have to waste a Dark Patch.
2 Battle Compressor
Two can seem like a low count in regards to Battle Compressor, because it provides so much utility and has so much synergy with other cards in the deck; however, having too many can make us greedy in dropping too many resources into the discard. I believe that not going “Compressor Crazy” will force us to make smarter decisions when it comes to discarding resources at the proper moments. Additionally, as the game progresses we will natural have to discard resources via Ultra Ball and Professor Juniper so I feel that the inclusion of a third Compressor is overkill because of this.
1 EXP Share
If the standard version taught me anything, it’s that this card is completely nuts. Even with the inclusion of tool removal in Expanded, this card should still be included in the deck. It plays into our strategy of conserving our Dark Patches for late game and ensures that we can create a snowball effect (in regards to damage output) easily. Additionally it works as a way to bait out our opponent’s tool removal, which lets us play down late game Fighting Fury Belts with less risk of them being removed. Overall, I think this card is being overlooked by many and that its inclusion should remain in the Expanded variant.
2 Parallel City
Parallel City has been one of the strongest stadiums since its release and there are a few reasons why we include it here. First we can remove our own benched Shaymin EX and Jirachi EX to ensure that our opponent can’t take easy prizes. Next, we give ourselves a fighting chance against Mega Ray decks by limiting their bench space and hoping it sticks going into our next turn. Lastly, it serves as a way to limit Yveltal Maxies bench space, in order to make it harder to bring out Gallade.
1 Reverse Valley
Because Parallel City is extremely popular, I wanted to include a third stadium to ensure that my bench isn’t permanently limited to three by either my own doing or my opponent’s. I went with Reverse Valley over Silent Lab because it helps me hit numbers when combined with Fighting Fury Belt. Being able to hit for an extra 10 damage also helps KO pesky 130 HP one prize Pokémon such as Yveltal with five Energy on board instead of 6. Overall, this card lets us rush our opponent’s Pokémon faster and works as another counter stadium we can use in the stadium war.
Defeating the Huns – Matchups
This is the main reason why I’m iffy on piloting this deck in Expanded. The existence of Gallade rains on my parade of running a purely consistent build of this variant. We’re forced to run a Mewtwo EX or Mew FCO in order to answer this card so that they don’t take four prizes with a single one prize Pokémon. Additionally, we have to run multiple copies of Parallel City so that we can counter their ability to empty their hand AND still have enough bench space to play Maxie’s. Despite Gallade being the main threat in this matchup, we still have to account for the pressure that Yveltal BKT will put on as well as mitigate their ability to build a single huge Yveltal EX to take a Darkrai. Luckily for us, we hit hard and fast and we can easily deal with Yveltal BKT early; however, this will result in us having to play a seven prize game, should our opponent not gain access to Gallade. Also, a single attack from Yveltal BKT sets up extremely easy numbers for Yveltal EX to KO a Darkrai with minimal energy dedication. We can mitigate this by utilizing AZ appropriately and clear the damage on a Darkrai. We can then load it up with energy with a Dark Patch and manual energy attachment to take a KO on the BKT. Overall, this matchup is in their favor; however, if we can mitigate their ability to bring out Gallade, we can essentially overpower them by taking out their Yveltal BKT early and by taking away easy KOs for Yveltal EX.
On your mark, get set, go! This matchup will feel like a race to your resources because that’s what it essentially is. We may be at a slight disadvantage here because of our lack of Trainers Mail and lower count of Lysandre, but I believe that we can still shift the match in our favor utilizing our techs. EXP share will play a big part in this matchup. This card alone will allow us to snowball faster than them in during the midgame and let us conserve our Dark Patches for when our energy starts leaving the board. Yveltal will also play a big role in this matchup because we will want to force them to play a seven prize game and accelerate energy consistently. Since this will be a game of hit and run, Lysandre will also play a crucial role at the beginning stages since it will mostly be a 2HKO battle until both of us can OHKO each others’ Pokémon.
We have the slight edge in this match up due to having a type advantage, but we can be at a disadvantage easily if they get a turn one item lock. I’m operating under the assumption that most builds nowadays play the Rescue Scarf/ Red Card variant of this deck. We will have to utilize Yveltal and Oblivion Wing to get around their use of Crushing Hammers and hope that hitting them for weakness will outpace their ability to spread around enough damage. If we’re lucky enough to get a Fighting Fury Belt early on an Yveltal, we will be able to two shot their Trevenant BREAKs while accelerating our own energy. We need to be mindful when benching our Pokémon EX because we don’t want too much damage to spread to them. This means we have to ensure that we only play them down if we plan on accelerating energy to them. Doing this will help avoid getting a Pokémon stuck in the active and also mitigate the potential prizes our opponent could take. We essentially want to avoid using Hoopa if necessary and just try to control the game with Yveltal while we wait for enough energy to be loaded on a Darkrai EX to OHKO their BREAKS. In order to achieve this game state, we will want to be conservative with our energy since it will either be Hammered or Grunted away from our Yveltal. This means our energy attachments will need to be primarily focused on our active as we use Oblivion Wing to build up a benched Pokémon. By utilizing this strategy, we can ensure that we will not run out of energy and buy enough time to get to a turn where we can play items via Hex Maniac; at which point we can explode with as many Dark Patches as possible. Overall, if we play a patient game of energy conservation and Oblivion Wing, we can outpace our opponent due to weakness.
This matchup can be a little tricky. I feel that we can keep pace because their early game is relatively weak. We can take advantage of them not starting a Seismitoad and hopefully get an extra turn of items as we build a board full of energy. At worst we’ll be able to 2HKO Decidueye GX by turn three and mitigate the amount of Feather Arrow damage they can apply to our board. I’ve talked about normally playing conservatively with our Dark Patches throughout this article, but I need to contradict myself when it comes to item lock decks. When we encounter decks such as these, we need to play our items as we get them and try to rush them down with heavy damage. This will put pressure on their draws and force them to have all the right cards in a deck that is inherently inconsistent.
Night March / Vespiquen
The existence of these decks makes me want to run Karen, but with already limited space, we have to deal with them the old fashioned way: rush them down. We do this by utilizing Yveltal to take easy KOs on Pumpkaboo and digging for our Fighting Fury Belts to keep us out of KO range. We take whatever chance we can get to KO Shaymin EX or Jirachi EX and just keep spamming energy as we draw it. This is yet another scenario where I contradict myself and say just go for it and play your Dark Patches early. Overall, with both of these decks having low HP Pokémon, combined with our ability to just spit out energy left and right, we will be able to keep up enough damage output to KO their Pokémon while utilizing Yveltal to force them into a seven prize game.
They have the advantage here. Our goal is to try and stick a Parallel City after they take a KO and play N and hope that it sticks. Since 220 HP is a hard number for us to hit early, we’ll have to Lysandre around M Rayquaza and try to steal KOs from their fragile bench Pokémon. Due to the explosive nature of their deck, it will be an uphill battle as we try to get as much energy on board as possible. Overall, the strategy here is to play a stadium war and try to make it stick with an N.
Although we’re staring down a field where a single Gallade can potentially ruin our day, I still believe Turbo Dark is a good call to at least get you a Day Two showing. So long as we are prepared for it, we have decent matchups across the board and the luxury to use one of the most broken cards in the game: Dark Patch. We have high levels of consistency gained from Jirachi EX and Battle Compressor and gain free retreat from Darkrai DEX. With so many ways to build our win condition consistently, Turbo Dark will be a solid choice for any expanded regional we attend and will keep you from packing up, going home and being through.