Dragon Bursting with Fire

Dragon Bursting with Fire

Hello readers, my name is Russell LaParre of Team Inferno and I’m going to discuss the deck Rayboar and its current state in the new format. To begin I’d talk about my past accomplishments. I’m fairly new to the Pokémon TCG scene but I’ve been playing competitive TCG’s (Yugioh, VS System, and Magic) for roughly 12 years. Throughout this season I hope to establish myself in the Pokémon circuit and work my way to the top. With that said let’s get started with the deck.
“RayBoar”, a combination of the top 2 important Pokémon in the deck Rayquaza and Emboar, has been a well-known deck for some time now. Last format this deck was overshadowed from the power of Blastoise and severely suffered from the strength of Pokémon Catcher as well as bench damage from Kyurem, Landorus EX, etc. all of which were non-factors for Blastoise as they had “Shell Shield” on Squirtle. Now with the format rotation and Pokémon catcher errata’d to require a coin flip Rayboar has the strength to go toe-to-toe with the best this game has to offer.

Here’s a rough skeleton of the deck:
Pokémon (13):
4 Tepig
1 Pignite
3 Emboar LTR
3 Rayquaza Ex
2 Reshiram LTR
1 Keldeo Ex
Trainers (33):
4 N
4 Skyla
4 Professor Juniper
3 Tropical Beaches
4 Superior Energy Retrieval
4 Rare Candy
3 Ultra ball
3 Float Stone
2 Tool Scrapper
1 Level Ball
1 Dowsing Machine
Energy (12):
9 Fire Energy
3 Lightning Energy

Goal:
Rayboar is fairly straight forward. Establish an Emboar and use Inferno Fandango to attach fire energies to Rayquaza ex and Reshiram LTR to OHKO your opponent’s Pokémon. Superior energy retrieval allows you to recycle your energies discarded through Dragon Burst and Blue Flare to continue this cycle until you win the game. Sounds like Blastoise using Black Ballista through Black Kyurem Ex right?

Card choices:
Rayquaza Ex: This is the attacker of the deck. He provides quick ko’s to any Pokémon as 1 Lightning and 3 Fire energies will deal 180 damage, which is enough to one hit any EX Pokémon in the game. I recommend 2 but playing 3 will ensure you have him as an attacker.
Reshiram LTR: Reshiram is a great non-ex attacker and combats Virizion Ex/ Genesect Ex which is one of the most played decks right now. Sweeping Ex Pokémon with a non-ex is an amazing utility to have. I recommend 1 unless your local metagame is full of Virizion/Gensect.
Zekrom PLF: Zekrom is your answer to the hype deck of the format Empoleon/Dusknoir/Leafeon. Zekrom servers 2 purposes:
1. His attack Fusion Bolt attack allows you OHKO Empoleon without them having the option to OHKO you back as Empoleon can only deal at most 120 damage to Zekrom.
2. The second effect of Fusion bolt allows you to reach 120 base damage with a benched Reshiram LTR. This means you can OHKO Lugia Ex and Tornadus Ex which have gained popularity due to recent changes to Plasma builds after the Pokémon catcher changes.
Only 1 is necessary unless your local metagame is filled with Empoleons.
Rayquaza LTR: Also known as “Baby Ray” Rayquaza LTR allows you combat other Rayboar decks and Black Kyurem Ex from Blastoise. His Shred attack gives you great utility for OHKO ing Rayquaza Ex and Black Kyurem Ex if you were to encounter yourself in the mirror match. Once again, knocking out an Ex Pokémon in one-hit with a non-ex will create a huge prize count advantage. I recommend 1 but others have used 2 successfully.
Keldeo Ex: Keldeo serves 1 purpose which is to swap out your current active to an attacker that you would like to combat with. It allows you retreat your Emboar to the bench if it would get Pokémon catcher’d or Red Signaled to the active position. His “Rush In” ability combined with Float Stone is a strong way to use your attackers to swing on their favorite targets. Only 1 would be needed.
Exeggcute: Exeggcute allows you to discard only 1 useful card to ultra-ball, superior energy retrivals, and dowsing machine as you can keep using “Propagation” over and over again during the same turn. Only 1 would be needed.
Electrode PLF: Electrode’s ability “Magnetic Draw” allows you to keep a consistent hand size after taking an early lead through your attackers and being N’d back down to 1 or 2 cards. I recommend at least a 1/1 line.
Pignite LTR: Playing 1 Pignite LTR allows you evolve Emboar without the means of Rare candy. Sometimes you’ll have issues getting the Rare Candy/Emboar in your hand, adding a Pignite will increase your chances of hitting Emboar. I do not recommend one as playing 4 rare candies is enough for me.
Jirachi Ex: Playing a jirachi will allow you consistently stream Supporters which can nab you that Skyla you need to Rare candy an Emboar and start attacking. He is one of the worst pokemon to start with as your active but his utility will definitely shine when you need the supporter to get you back into the game. I do not recommend playing one but it shows its merit in getting your skyla at the right moment.
Float Stone/Switch/Escape Rope: This deck needs to be able to switch out Emboar from the active position, should it ever be pulled into there. Float stone + Keldeo ex allows you to swap out your active Pokémon each turn barring there do not have tool scrapper/Garbodor in effect. Playing float stone means you’re vulnerable to tool scrapper which would normally be a dead card in your opponents hand but using switch/escape rope only allow that 1 swap. I believe playing Switch/Escape rope would be the better play as Float stone could be tool scrappered, making Keldeo useless and float stone falls to the strength of Snorlax PLF’s “Block” ability. I recommend 2 Switch and 1 Escape rope.
Tool Scrapper: Garbodor hurts this decks ability to use Inferno Fandango. Tool scrapper allows you to disable Garbodor and helps fight against G Booster and Float stones on your opponents’ pokes. I recommend using 2 as I like to use dowsing machine as a Frozen City replacement or another Super Energy Retrieval should you discard them early with a Juniper.
Dowsing Machine: Dowsing machine is your Ace Spec of choice as it will allow to fetch back the trainer you’ll need to win you the game should you run out of them. Alongside beach/ultra-ball/and level ball you should be able to get your appropriate targets which means you can forego using Computer Search and have dowsing machine fetch back the cards you need to establish your attacks again.
Tropical Beach: The necessary evil of this deck is Tropical Beach is needed and must be played at 2 or higher. Rayboar needs to be able to draw multiple cards to rush Emboar as soon as possible or allow you to reach Super Energy Retrievals after scoring knockouts with Dragon burst. I recommend playing 3 to combat the use of Frozen City.
Final List:
Pokémon (14):
3 Tepig LTR
3 Emboar LTR
1 Reshiram LTR
1 Zekrom PLF
1 Electrode PLF
1 Voltorb PLF
2 Rayquaza ex LTR
1 Rayquaza LTR
1 Exeggcute PLF
Trainers (34):
4 N
4 Juniper
4 Skyla
2 Tropical Beach
4 Superior Energy Retrieval
4 Rare Candy
3 Ultra Ball
1 Level Ball
1 Super Rod
2 Tool Scrapper
2 Switch
1 Escape Rope
1 Dowsing Machine
1 Energy Search
Energy (12):
9 Fire Energy
3 Lightning Energy

Matchups:
Blastoise: This is a matchup of speed and establishing your accelerating Pokémon first. As always rush to get your Emboar established then use Rayquaza Ex to OHKO Pokémon. The tricky part of this matchup lies in the use of attackers from both players. Rayboar gains the advantage in this matchup due to the non-ex attacker Baby Ray. This means you should be holding your Baby Ray to attack Black Kyurem Ex and have a backup Rayquaza Ex to get the revenge KO on the Keldeo Ex should it OHKO Baby Ray with 4 water energies. Watch out for Black Kyurem (non-ex) as it provides the same utility for Blastoise to answer your Rayquaza Ex.
Empoleon: This matchup is usually bad for RayBoar but playing Zekrom PLF will dominate the game if you’re able to play around Dusknoir’s “Sinister hand”. Rush to get Zekrom established as soon as possible and start sweeping Empoleons. Try not to retreat any Pokémon with damage on it as Dusknoir can enable them to OHKO Zekrom with Empoleon. If this matchup is giving you any trouble add another Zekrom PLF or try to fit in a Max Potion.
Virizion/Genesect: Reshiram’s Blue Flare makes this matchup much easier. It allows quick OHKOs against their strongest Pokémon. This matchup is heavily in your favor just make sure to establish 2 Emboar as Red Signal could pull an Emboar forward and have it OHKO’d by G booster.
Virizion/Mewtwo /Bouffalant: Reshiram is once again your best attacker against Virizion but it also works very well against Mewtwo since you discard 2 energies needed for Blue Flare meaning Mewtwo must have 6 energies attached to it in order to knockout Reshiram in one hit.
Darkrai/Garbodor: This is a tough matchup if they’re able to get Garbodor established early. Using 2 tool scrappers here along with dowsing machine will be key to winning. When you’re working towards a tool scrapper via Skyla or Beach you want to bench your as many Rayquaza Ex and Reshiram as possible. You should look to tool scrapper and use Inferno Fandango as much as possible with Juniper and Super Energy Retrieval refueling your hand full of energy. This way if they attach a new tool to Garbodor the following turn you’ll have attackers ready to start sweeping some Sableye and Darkrai. Remember to use your Lightning Energy conservatively as they can be Crushing hammered which stops Zekrom and Rayquaza from attacking. Use your escape rope and switch only to sneak out of sleep status when it’s a crucial turn to knockout a Sableye or Darkrai. Don’t bench extra Tepig unless your Emboar has a lot of bench damage on it from Darkrai as they can be easy picking for Night Spear.
Accelgor/Gothitelle: This is the matchup where your Float Stone/Keldeo can be amazing and your switches/escape ropes borderline when you’re caught in the GothGor lock. If you get caught into the Deck and Cover lock, you’ll want to have a non-ex Pokémon in the active position and just let it faint from Accelgor damage while you load up a Rayquaza Ex on the bench turn by turn to knockout the Gothitelle that will be brought to the active position. This is a bad matchup if you don’t have Keldeo + Float stone to swap out the active Pokémon hit by Deck and Cover.
Plasma with Lugia Focus: This matchup is in their favor from Lugia taking multiple prizes off your Rayquaza Ex which means you must approach this matchup with Zekrom and Reshiram as your attackers until you can revenge hit a Lugia Ex with Rayquaza Ex. As mentioned Zekrom PLF can OHKO Lugia Ex if you have a benched Reshiram so don’t be afraid to bait their Lugia Ex into taking 3 prizes off your Rayquaza ex and getting the revenge knockout. If your opponent is using Snorlax PLF, Switch/Escape rope shines compared to Keldeo Float stone.
Plasma TDK: Kyurem can deal strong bench damage early to your Pokémon so look to have 2 Tepig on the bench when you’re building up Emboar. Use your tropical beaches conservatively as you’ll need to replace the Frozen City that will ruin your Emboar setups on your attackers. Just like tool scrapper you’ll want to replace Frozen City with Tropical Beach and attach as much energy as you can to your attackers before they swap out Tropical Beach with another Frozen City. Rayquaza Ex knocking out Kyurem’s early will help relieve pressure on your Pokémon as Deoxys and Thundurus do not deal big damage to your attackers.

Thanks for reading my article; I hope it gave you some great insight on how to pilot RayBoar. Please leave any feedback and comments below.