Hello 6p, I am finally back with an article for everyone, and I hope to post more in the following weeks as the OP 2009 – 2010 season continues it’s way into more exciting tournaments. School and other activities have kept me away from 6p and the Pokémon scene in general. I had not playtested anything since some online Apprentice tournaments back in October and none of them had included AR cards. I pretty much only knew about Expert Belt, Spiritomb AR and Gengar LV.X AR when going in to this CC. There were like 60 or so players in there, which meant a nice 6 Rounds + Top 8, which is always good for a potential ranking invite.
I decided to use Palkia Lock w/Luxray, because it was a deck I definately felt comfortable with it and it’s adaptability to the different scenarios that come up during a game and knew I could outplay a lot of my opponent’s solely based on their misplays against such a complex deck. Another huge factor is the natural inconsistency in a lot of decks, relying heavily on Claydol GE and Uxie LA to get going, and negating either or both can be a huge edge over your opponent. With all this in mind I chose Palkia Lock w/Luxray and here is the list I used at the tournament:
3 Palkia G PL
1 Palkia G LV.X PL
2 Luxray GL RR
1 Luxray GL LV.X RR
1 Crobat G PL
1 Lucario GL RR
1 Bronzong G PL
1 Toxicroak G Promo
1 Azelf LA
1 Azelf MT
4 Mesprit LA
3 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X LA
2 Unown G GE
1 Misdreavus SF
1 Mismagius SF
4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
4 Roseanne’s Research
1 Bebe’s Search
1 Aaron’s Collection
I went first and saw a Shuppet, so I knew early game is crucial to survive the onslaught of damage. Fortunately for me I started with a Palkia G and a Call Energy in hand going first. I got a bit set up and went down 3 Prizes to 6 but after that, the Azelf MT came into play and him needing to attach 2 energy’s to Shuppet made it clear Luxray bait. Azelf MT coupled with well timed Mesprit’s and Spray’s handed me the match. 1-0
Round 2 vs Blastoise / Delcatty
An early Luxray KO on his Baltoy sealed the game as he was left topdecking and his Blastoise, Delcatty and Metang followed soon after that. He also got no help from “Dig Well” either as he discarded vital Trainers and Pokémon both times he used it. 2-0
Round 3 vs Salamence
I managed to win this game in 4 turns:
- Turn 1: Call Energy with Palkia G for Luxray GL and a 2nd Palkia G.
- Turn 2: Cyrus for a W Energy, TGI Energy Gain and another Cyrus and KO Bagon.
- Turn 3: Attach to benched Palkia G and KO another Bagon.
- Turn 4: KO the last Pokémon in play (Baltoy) for the game. 3-0
Round 4 vs Machamp / Gengar (current Mexican National Champion)
I had a very nice hand this game, which managed to compensate against his Turn 1 Machamp KO on my active Palkia G. I responded with an Unown G’d Uxie for 50, with the LV.X in hand. He thankfully rolled 1/4 heads and so I was able to get rid of the Machamp decently early. I blocked a few of his Uxies and his draw eventually died down and he had to rely on topdecking to keep going. I went ahead and was able to grab my last prize against a Machamp with Mismagius and Lucario GL. 4-0
Round 5 vs Flygon / Machamp
I knew it was Flygon because he was sitting next to me the last Round. He got a bad start, and I had a debate between KOing Baltoy or Machop on Turn 2 with Luxray GL LV.X. I ended up picking Baltoy after planning ahead in case he managed to get out Machamp but turns out he had neither Machamp nor Claydol in his hand and after 4 Turns the game was done. 5-0
Round 6 vs Gengar / Nidoqueen / Ampharos
We were both secured a Top 8 placing but I still wanted to win for the rating points. I started off strong and got ahead, and after his Claydol was down, his deck died down and he conceded when I had 2 Prizes left. 6-0
Going 6-0 after a disappointing BR’s run earlier in the season was a pretty nice confidence booster, but seeing the field of the Top 8 against my deck, I knew I was in for a hard time as the Top 8 consisted of the following decks:
- Palkia Lock w/Luxray
- Gengar / Machamp
- Gengar / Machamp
- Flygon / Machamp
- Dialga G / Garchomp C
- Gyarados / Palkia LV.X
- Blaziken FB / Luxray GL / Garchomp C
As you can see the field was FAR from favorable for me, and my bracket ended up being the worst one as you will read now.
Same matchup, same person, and now in a best of 3 scenario which I thought would make it harder for me. Game 1 started off pretty badly for him I believe, and I got up and running and had responses to his threats in the form of Unown G’d Pokémon, Poké Turn + Crobat to avoid Fainting Spell and 1HKOs against the Machamps as he got average flips with Hurricane Punch. Game 2 he got off to a worse start and I was far too ahead for him to cope at the end. 7-0
Top 4 vs Machamp / Gengar
Another one of these, but the games played out the same way as before. Against decks like these is where Palkia Lock truly shines, exploiting a lack of raw draw power aside from Claydol. I had an awkward start but after I kept the Power Lock going he couldn’t cope with it and ended up scooping Game 1. We were only 4 or 5 turns in of Game 2 when time was called and we were still tied at 6 Prizes, so I took the game. The scenario at the time was his bench of 5 Basics and his about to be KO’d Claydol against my decent set up, so things were looking bright for me that game as well. 8-0
Finally after bad matchups for Top 8 and Top 4, I’m paired against a favorable one. I know as long as I can avoid Fainting Spells I’m good to go against this deck. Game 1 went standard as the others and I was way ahead toward the end and he ended up scooping. Game 2 he started off strong against my first real bad start of the day. He used “Poltergeist” Turn 2 against an Uxie with me holding 4 TSS’s. I had a hard time coping there but I managed to tie the game at 3-3 at one point. Time was then called and I won, but I think if the game had gone on, his lack of Claydol would’ve given me a narrow win in the end. 9-0
And so I finish the tournament truly undefeated, and expecting around 75+ points for this performance in my rating. I started out at 1603.75, pretty much null, so I should’ve won 8 points or better most likely during Swiss, and almost 8 points or so in each of the Top 8 matches.
I feel Palkia Lock is a very strong choice of a deck if Dialga G isn’t showing it’s ugly face around your area (but even Blaziken FB LV.X could find its way into the deck to deal with it). Early game it has disruptive advantage over every single deck out there and so it can pretty much seal the deal early game. Dealing with enemy Claydol’s has been very important since last season and this deck is one of the best ways to deal with it.
Well I hope you enjoyed reading this, and with Winter break starting on Tuesday, I will hopefully bring you tons more new articles featuring CC reports, deck analysis and other interesting tidbits. Thanks for reading!