- Rainbow Road Strategy
- Rainbow Road: Weaknesses and Strengths
- Rainbow Road: Budget
- Rainbow Road Competitive Deck List
- Rainbow Road Meta Discussion
- Rainbow Road Skeleton List
- What Next?
Looking for a budget-friendly decklist that can OHKO any Pokemon? Look no further.
One of the best budget decks in the current 2017 Standard Format is Xerneas Rainbow Road! It’s currently rated Tier 2, and while it may have some trouble against M Mewtwo and M Ray, it can definitely win.
Rainbow Road Strategy
This deck list is all about filling up the bench with as many different Pokemon types to power up the Xerneas from BREAKthough‘s Rainbow Force attack.
At first glance, this attack may not seem like much having a base attack or only 10+ for a fairy energy and a DCE. However, read closer and you’ll see:
Rainbow Force 10+
This attack does 30 more damage for each different type of Pokemon on your Bench.
Before Steam Siege‘s introduction of dual-types, if you filled up your Bench with 5 Pokemon each of a different type, you could max out at 5 * 30 + 10 damage, for 160 damage. Not bad, but not enough for a OHKO on most EXs and on any Megas.
However, replace just 2 of those 5 with dual-types, and you’re up to 7 types for 220 damage. Use Sky Field for a Bench of up to 8 or swap one Pokemon for another dual-type for 8 types and do 250 damage!
That’s enough to OHKO anything in the game. You can throw on a Fighting Fury Belt to up Xerneas’ HP from 120 to 160 and do a whopping 260 damage with 8 types! Heck, with Sky Field, 3 dual-types and 5 different single-types, you can get up to a theoretical max of using all 11 types for 350 damage with a FFB! Incredible!
What’s good about this deck is that there are many different options and you don’t have to use any EX Pokemon. (That means no Shaymin-EX necessary!) Of course, I find that the deck does run more consistently using a Shaymin or 2, it’s definitely possible to win many a match without one.
Rainbow Road: Weaknesses and Strengths
Its biggest challenges are going against the Anti-Meta M Scizor-EX deck and the other budget-friendly decklist, Fight Alone Lucario, mainly due to Xerneas’ Metal-type weakness.
Parallel City can just ruin your day if you’re Rainbow Road. That’s why I personally recommend running at least 2 copies of Parallel City in your own deck and use it (to minimize your opponents’ bench) before they can do it on you. It’ll also really help in the mirror match.
In fact, you don’t need to run Sky Field at all as long as you’re running a few dual-types. I recommend going for Bisharp, Galvantula, and Volcanion-EX. However, remember that Volcanion-EX wouldn’t be able to attack, and being an EX with a retreat cost of 3, it’s an easy Lysandre target (as will any Shaymin-EX if you play them). Use a float stone and pack some Escape Ropes just in case.
Rainbow Road really shines in getting max damage against EX-heavy decks. It’s also very favored in the prize-exchange as Xerneas only offers up 1 prize card. If you tech-in a Mew, using its Versatile ability you can have up to 5 main attackers. Super Rod or Karen for even more.
Rainbow Road can set up fast in 1 (using Max Elixir) or 2 turns. It can also keep up momentum using EXP Share to recycle basic fairy energy.
Not to mention this deck can easily OHKO any Pokemon the game, with a theoretical max damage of 350! Rainbow Force can easily hit 260 damage without even using Sky Field.
Dark-type decks will also have a little harder time dealing with Xerneas’ Dark-type resistance.
Rainbow Road: Budget
First, here’s an example Deck List from DarkIntegralGaming for the budget variant using Octillery for draw support and Ninetales for Stadium Lock. This deck uses 10 different types!
Rainbow Road Budget-Friendly Deck List
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon – 17
* 1 Hawlucha STS 97
* 1 Pawniard STS 63
* 4 Xerneas BKT 107
* 1 Carbink FAC 49
* 1 Vulpix PRC 20
* 1 Ninetales PRC 21
* 1 Galvantula STS 42
* 1 Joltik STS 41
* 1 Bisharp STS 64
* 1 Mew FAC 29
* 2 Remoraid BKT 32
* 2 Octillery BKT 33
##Trainer Cards – 32
* 3 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 4 Ultra Ball PLF 122
* 1 Evosoda GEN 62
* 1 Pokémon Ranger STS 113
* 4 N PR-BLW BW100
* 2 Super Rod NVI 95
* 1 Exp. Share NXD 87
* 2 Escape Rope PLS 120
* 1 Town Map BKT 150
* 2 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 2 VS Seeker ROS 110
* 2 Brigette BKT 161
* 4 Sky Field ROS 89
* 2 Lysandre FLF 104
* 1 Level Ball NXD 89
##Energy – 11
* 7 Fairy Energy Energy 9
* 4 Double Colorless Energy FAC 114
Total Cards – 60
Rainbow Road Budget Overview
Note that this deck uses no EX Pokemon and 2 Stage 1 dual-types: Bisharp (Dark/Metal) and Galvantula (Grass/Lightning).
For draw support it has a 2-2 line of Octillery (Water), a Mew (Psychic) that can act as a backup attacker using its Versatile ability for Psychic weakness (but an HP of only 50, but with free retreat), the Carbink (Fighting) with “Energy Keeper” and a fighting-type to prevent your opponent from discarding basic energy from basic Pokemon (but not your DCEs). There’s also a Hawlucha (Normal) tech’d in where you can choose to make your opponent switch their Active when played to the Bench.
The Ninetales (Fire) prevents either player from using a Stadium card, so you ideally want to evolve it only after playing your own Sky Field stadium. Keep in mind that if your opponent plays a Delinquent, there’s no way to put it back up (or for your opponent to use one) unless Ninetales is Knocked Out, Bumped, or a Garbodor/Hex Maniac is used.
In addition to Xerneas’ Fairy type (which when you have one on the Bench counts as 1 type for the active’s Rainbow Force), there’s 2 dual-types and 5 other types, for a max potential of 10 types using Sky Field for 310 damage, 320 with FFB. The only type not used is Dragon!
Heck, even without Sky Field, using 2 dual-types and 3 others will be up to 7 types for 220/230 damage (FFB). That’s still enough to OHKO your strongest foes: Mega Mewtwo and Mega Rayquaza. Only a Wailord-EX, M Gyarados, Primal Groudon and Kyogre, and maybe a couple others can survive (if you have 7 different types and a Fighting Fury Belt).
Rainbow Road Budget: Watch it in Action
Rainbow Road Competitive Deck List
For a slightly more consistent and competitive deck list (that uses Shaymin-EX and Volcanion-EX), check out this list from Twitch Streamer and YouTuber YellowSwellow:
Rainbow Road Competitive Overview
This list uses 3 Shaymin-EX for the draw support instead of Octillery. It also uses Volcanion-EX for its easy dual-type.
Remember Volcanion-EX will never attack and it’s an easy target for Lysadre-stalling, so use that Float Stone or Escape Rope if necessary, otherwise you’ll need to waste both a DCE and fairy energy to retreat it.
This deck list also techs in Mew for a psychic type and its Versatile ability as a second attacker.
Try to always keep a Xerneas on the Bench with an EXP Share to collect fairy energy from its fallen brethren.
This list doesn’t use any Parallel City for defense, which I’d honestly recommend. I may drop a Shaymin-EX and 2 Sky Fields to run 3 Parallel City myself. That’d be a total of 2 Shaymin-EX, 3 Parallel City, and 2 Sky Field (to bump Shaymin or your opponent’s Parallel City).
I’d also find another card to lose to add in a Karen (bring back all discarded Pokemon into deck–both yours and your opponent’s). This deck also uses 2 Max Elixirs for a potential 1-turn, OHKO!
Rainbow Road Competitive: Watch it in Action
Rainbow Road Meta Discussion
Finally, check out the discussion on PokeBEACH for Xerneas Rainbow Road.
Feel free to comment below on your thoughts and opinions on Rainbow Road below!
Rainbow Road Skeleton List
Here’s the skeleton list:
- 4 Xerneas BKT 107
- 2 Joltik STS 41
- 2 Galvantula STS 42
- 2 Pawniard STS 63
- 2 Bisharp STS 64
- 2 Shaymin-EX ROS 77
- 1 Volcanion-EX STS 26
- 4 Professor Sycamore
- 3 N
- 2 Lysandre
- 4 VS Seeker
- 4 Ultra Ball
- 4 Trainers’ Mail
- 2 Max Elixir
- 2 Float Stone
- 2 EXP. Share
- 1 Super Rod
- 2 Sky Field
- 7 Fairy Energy
- 4 Double Colorless Energy
Open spots: 4
Some lists choose to run Parallel City defensively to prevent their bench from being limited by an opponent’s Parallel City.
Other variants of Rainbow Road run a variety of Pokemon-EX and Hoopa-EX instead of some dual-type Pokemon. Options include Giratina-EX, Flygon-EX, and an additional Volcanion-EX.