Time for a tale of two Rayquaza!
Rotation has passed and we have a new Standard format! It is Sun & Moon-on! For the last few weeks we have been covering decks that have some potential in this new format. Though there was one that I have been waiting to write about. This deck is a fierce beast who is unbeatable! It is powerful and can rampage a city in a matter of minutes. This Pokkemon is a lean, mean, green dragon machine! Today we are going to be focusing on Rayquaza GX!
Rayquaza GX can be used in in a few interesting ways. That is why we are going to cover two great decks that have used Rayquaza GX to various success! Get ready to see double as you witness the power of double dragon! Today we are going to look at Straight Rayquaza and Vikavolt Rayquaza!
This deck features Rayquaza GX as the main attacker with Latias Prism Star acting as the star supporter. You are working with a direct line to the discard when you play this deck!
Rayquaza GX x4
Tapu Koko GX
Tapu Lele GX x2
Oranguru (SUM 113)
Tate & Liza
Ultra Ball x4
Mysterious Treasure x4
Acro Bike x4
Pal Pad x2
Rescue Stretcher x2
Wishful Baton x3
The main focus of this deck is to go in hard with Rayquaza GX to do heavy damage. It is a pretty straightforward deck that has only one objective. That is especially true when you have Rayquaza GX discarding cards and Latias Prism Star retrieving them.
You will want to start off with Latias Prism Star as soon as possible. This card makes the world of difference in the deck. So much that it is going to be the first thing you will search for when you start the deck. If not then you will be at risk of losing the card and the match.
As mention for the opening thoughts of this deck, you will be playing out of the discard. You will want to use cards like Mysterious Treasure to search for most of the cards you need. The same for Ultra Ball except it can get you everything in your deck. And what will you use to pay for those cards? The vast amount of energy in your deck. That is fine because you have Latias PS in your active to put that energy back on your Rayquaza GX.
Latias PS’s Dreamy Mist attack only cost one energy but can put Basic Energy on to all your Basic Dragon type Pokemon. That will be amazing when you want to power up several for your Rayquaza GX on the bench. If you keep enough energy in your discard then that energy can easily find its way on to your bench after a few turns of Latias PS.
Though, one of the most magical and amazing parts of this deck is Rayquaza GX’s built in energy acceleration with Stormy Winds. This ability does come with a cost of discarding your top three cards but it comes with an amazing effect! It allows you to put one Basic Energy from your discard to the Rayquaza GX that you just place on the bench. This is especially useful in the late game if you need one more energy on your bench to power up Dragon Break to take a knockout.
Just be careful when using Stormy Winds in the early game! You may discard much needed resources such as Supporters and items. Even worst! You could end up discarding your Latias PS! That is bad because once your discard Latias PS, it is gone! Latias PS goes into the Lost Zone when it is discarded. That is why you want to use your first searching card to get Latias PS on your bench.
Once you have Latias PS use Dreamy Mist a few times and use Stormy Winds to put energy on Rayquaza GX then you are ready to attack! You can expect to see Dragon Break break though your opponent’s Pokemon. Expect to see the damage output go over 180! Not many Pokemon can survive an attack of that kind of power. Even hitting 250 damage won’t be hard if you put enough energy on the bench.
Tapu Koko GX in in the deck in case you need another attacker. Especially in the late game where you may not have enough energy. Mostly to have a powerful GX attack with Tapu Thunder GX.
Simply watch your opponent’s board and see how many energy they have out. Wait for the right moment to put down Tapu Koko GX. Once you do that then you can use Tapu Koko GX’s Aero Trail to attach Lightning Energy on to it and do massive damage with Tapu Thunder GX! In my testing, this attack was used to grab my last two prizes. Especially when I didn’t have enough energy on my side to mount my final attack with a big Dragon Break.
The rest of the deck is here to help maintain your deck and game.
Wishful Baton is here to keep your energy on the board. If one Rayquaza GX goes down then you can move the energy on it to another Pokemon. That way you can maintain the power of Dragon Break. This can be bad for your opponent if they play no Field Blower which is in half of the decks out there. The decks that do play Field Blower will try to take off those Wishful Baton. You will need to play down one Wishful Baton to test out the waters and see if your opponent takes the bait.
Pal Pad and Rescue Stretcher is there to put Supporters and Pokemon back into your deck after you use Stormy Winds. You will want to put your Guzma and Cynthia back into your deck. Rayquaza GX doesn’t care who gets caught up in his storm. That is why you play Pal Pad to get your pals back into your deck.
Rescue Stretcher can be used a few ways. You can use it to put Pokemon back into your deck. It can also be used to put Tapu Lele GX or Rayquaza GX into your hand. Perhaps you need a Guzma to take the final prize? Grab Tapu Lele GX and search out your last Guzma. Need another energy on the board? Grab Rayquaza GX to put it down on your bench to put another energy down.
Pal Pad and Rescue Stretcher are especially important after you mill nine cards from your deck in your first turn. That can and will happen when you play this deck. If you do and find yourself close to decking out then these two cards can be used to add valuable resources back into your deck.
I will start with the problems with this deck. That is the reliance on Latias PS and self milling.
This deck really depends on Latias PS to speed up the acceleration of energy on Rayquaza GX. If you do not get it out fast enough then you are going to fall behind. You want to use Dreamy Mist as soon as possible to put energy on to your Rayquaza GX. If you do not have energy in your discard then you may be wasting your attacks.
If your Latias PS is in the prizes or accidentally gets discard because of Stormy Winds then it isn’t the end of the match. You will just have to rely more on Stormy Winds then you want. You can get one energy on your Rayquaza GX using the ability but you will end up manually attaching at the beginning of the game. That is fine in the later parts of the game but not at the beginning. You are in for an uphill climb without Latias PS giving you a big boost in acceleration.
And lets not talk about how much you will be depending on Latias PS if you go against Hoopa or Alolan Ninetales. Your deck is mostly filled with GX Pokemon that get walled by those Pokemon. You can depend on Latias PS to do some damage to them but not enough to knock them out. Your next line of defense after that is Oranguru but you will need Latias PS to soften those guys up. And then you can expect to see more of them pop up if your opponent’s deck is mostly those anti GX/EX walls.
You can easily self mill yourself with this deck thanks to Stormy Winds. The ability is powerful when it comes to accelerating energy. Even better if you are trying to thin your deck. The problem becomes when you accidentally mill important resources like Cynthia and Guzma. Even worst, you may mill recovery cards like Pal Pad and Rescue Stretcher.
The reason why you play more then one copy of those resources is because you discard the first copy by accident. If you do discard both of them then make sure you can take your six prizes before you deck out!
There are some great things to this deck. It is pretty straightforward and quick to the punch. You will use Latias PS to get your board set up. If it gets knocked out then it gets knockout but at least it did the job. Most of the time it will take at least two hits for Latias PS to get knocked out. By then the job is done and there is a Rayquaza GX ready to attack and a boosted Dragon Break.
If you do get enough energy on the board to do 180 damage with Dragon Break then go ahead and swap out Latias PS with Rayquaza GX. Start taking knockouts! Your opponent will be in shock when you use Dragon Break and leave them with no options. It happens quite a lot when you go with this straightforward approach with this Straight Rayquaza GX deck.
This deck takes an old concept and puts in a powerful twist! It takes the energy acceleration of Vikavolt and adds Rayquaza GX to rack up crazy damage! This could especially be seen in the recent Melbourne Special where this deck took the top spot!
Rayquaza GX x4
Tapu Lele GX x2
Pokemon Fan Club
Ultra Ball x4
Mysterious Treasure x3
Rare Candy x4
Rescue Stretcher x2
Energy Recycler x2
Choice Band x3
This Rayquaza GX deck wants to get Vikavolt set up as soon as possible. It has ways to set up the bench with Pokemon Fan Club and Nest Ball to put Grubbin on the bench. You have the classic Rare Candy set up where you want to use it to get Vikavolt out as soon as possible. Preferably turn two.
Once you have Vikavolt set up then you can start smashing things with Rayquaza GX! Vikavolt allows you to take a Lightning and Grass energy out from your deck each turn. This can be used to power up another Rayquaza GX or just put it on a different Benched Pokemon. No matter what! This Vikavolt ensures that your Dragon Break is only going to get stronger turn after turn! The idea is that once you get Vikavolt set up then you can expect Rayquaza GX’s Dragon Break to become stronger with each passing turn!
This version of a Rayquaza GX relies less on Stormy Winds. You can use the ability but you will not want to use it in the early game. That is because you will not want to risk discarding your much needed Rare Candy or Vikavolt. Maybe in the late game if you really need an extra energy and have some in the discard.
What you may end up using is Rayquaza GX’s Tempest GX attack. This attack can be used in the early game to get everything you need in your next turn to set up Vikavolt.
Marshadow is in this deck as a way to do some hand disruption while refreshing your hand. You can search it out with Mysterious Treasure if you are in dire need of a hand refresh and can’t get Tapu Lele GX. It can be used after your opponent puts some much needed cards or lessen their hand size.
The rest of this deck is pretty straightforward. You want to set up Vikavolt as soon as possible. May it be getting the pieces you need with hand refreshers such as Cynthia and Lillie. Perhaps you will use Volkner to grab exactly what you need. If there was a way to grab Vikavolt with an Electric version of Mysterious Treasure then this deck will play it! Too bad there isn’t so you will need to depend on Ultra Ball.
We will start with problems that this deck has. It just so happens to be the reason why I am wary of this deck. Vikavolt.
You will live or die on the sole fact that you can set up Vikavolt. If you get Vikavolt up on your second turn then you will most likely win the game. You can start your first turn with putting an energy on an active Rayquaza GX. During your next turn you can evolve your Grubbin into Vikavolt and put two energy on Rayquaza GX. Boom! You are now doing 90 damage. If you attach two energy via Vikavolt and manually attach another one then you are hitting 180 damage. That can be too fast for your opponent to respond to.
If you do not get Vikavolt set up then you do not get to hit the big numbers fast. You will just flounder around with a Rayquaza and Grubbin with nothing to do. It is so sad and one of the reasons why Tapu Bulu GX never saw huge success.
It is a hopeless feeling when you do not set up Vikavolt in time. You know that this deck can hit some big numbers if it can get Vikavolt. You will go though several new hands and never get the magic combination of Vikavolt and Rare Candy. Meanwhile your opponent is hammering at your active Rayquaza GX to take knockouts. Perhaps they are using Guzma to attack your Grubbin to make it impossible to get your Vikavolt out.
One of the pluses to Vikavolt is that now you have an answer to Hoopa and Alolan Ninetales. You can use Vikavolt’s ability to attach energy to it and then use Electro Cannon to knockout those walls! It is a nasty surprise to your opponent. Just makes sure you have a backup Vikavolt ready to go in case they knockout your attacking Vikavolt.
Want to do a nasty trick? Set up two Vikavolt and accelerate four energy per turn. That means you are now upping your damage output by 120 damage!
This version of Rayquaza Deck is powerful. That is all thanks to Vikavolt. Another problem that Tapu Bulu GX suffers from was the fact that it capped out at damage and discard it if you wanted to hit that cap. Rayquaza GX doesn’t do that! It just gets stronger and stronger with each energy attachment on the field. You may run into the risk of not having energy in the deck but that is fine. Use Energy Recycler to put the energy back and Vikavolt to put it back on.
Vikavolt becomes a jolt of power when paired up with Rayquaza GX. Something will surely break once these two are on the field.
The two decks that I presented to you are both quite powerful. Straight Rayquaza has a few moving pieces that helps set up to do huge damage. Meanwhile, Vikavolt Rayquaza just wants to set up Vikavolt to do huge damage. There are pros and cons to each one.
Personally, I prefer Straight Rayquaza. It is straightforward in what it wants to do and sets itself up. You have Latias PS to do set up and it is easy to set up several Rayquaza GX on the bench. Each time a Rayquaza GX goes on the bench then it gives you a chance to to put energy on it.
Vikavolt Rayquaza can become unreliable if you do not get Vikavolt set up. Especially in the late game. You also struggle to hit that 250 number. Even more so if you get Vikavolt set up late. The reliance on Vikavolt is pretty huge and can be a deterrent to use it. Though I will admit that once you get Vikavolt set up then the game is going to be in your favor.
Which deck is better? That is up to you to decide. Both of these decks can do some big damage. You just need to keep your focus on your goal. If you can do that then Rayquaza GX will break your opponent and win.