MI States – Beastin’ it up?

I’ve been playing my incredibly reliable Speed Gengar deck since Regionals last season, and it has been going well. However, it hasn’t been working as well as I wanted, so I started working on a new project. I loved Donphan Prime (Heart Gold Soul Silver) the first time I saw it, so I played around with it. It was missing that little punch,Donphan Prime HeartGold & SoulSilver HS 107 and it wasn’t long before I found it. Mesprit from Legends Awakened was the perfect card for this deck, because if you combine the two, you’re dropping between 60 and 80 turn 2, and they can’t use powers. I got this deck running just as I wanted, and got off to States.

I pulled up to the venue 45 minutes before registration would end because I needed to find one last Donphan Prime. I had bought one for $5.50 a week before States, but it didn’t come in in time :[ Anyway, my friend Aaron helped me get the last one (some dude just gave it to me, I’m paying him back in some way as soon as I see him again). I got registered, and here we go.

7 Rounds
Top 16 :O
Masters Division

Round 1 – Vs. Cursegar

So, I saw the Gastly while he was shuffling, and I start celebrating already. Cursegar is one of my best matchups, because I can 1HKO everything they’ve got once I’ve got a Donphan with 3 energy and a Belt, and they’re doing 40 damage at best by the time their next turn rolls around because of Nidoqueen.

However, that would not be the case in this match. I had a bad start, no supporter all game really. I got really lucky, losing a Wager, but topdecking a Donphan Prime for my active Phanpy. However, he had a god start (Cursegar, double Mime, Spiritomb, Claydol) and I had nothing to answer with.


At this point, I’m getting kind of worried. Lose again, and there’s no way in heck that I’m going to make the T16. However, I get ready to play either way.

Round 2 – Vs. Leafeon/Sceptile

Truthfully, they had no chance at all. I got a T2 Donphan, and they only drew 3 Prizes all turn. They barely ran any powers, but I still had the Mesprit Lock up early.


Round 3 – Vs. Random Deck

This was an easy deck to roll over. I remember thinking that it was a good thing that I wasn’t playing Gengar this week, because they didn’t play many Powers. I don’t even think they drew any prizes.


Things are looking up now.

Round 4 – Vs. Gallade 4

Mesprit Legends Awakened LA 34 Pokemon CardThis was one of the coolest decks I saw all day. They ran Gallade 4, Honchkrow G, Uxie LA, and other SP staples. Basically, it was a lot of spreading, and some sniping. I got a good start, and there were two keys for me this game. I got a Nidoqueen out around Turn 4, and that really kept her spreading to a minimum. Also, Mesprit LA was a great thing for this matchup, because she couldn’t really spread. It seemed really close, but I don’t think she took more than 3-4 Prizes. Good game overall though.


Round 5 – Vs. Omastar/Kabutops

He started with Relicanth and used “Primal Calling” to get 3 fossils in the hand. Eventually, he got a Kabutops in play, and I thought it was gonna be easy. 2 hits for me to take him out, and because of the Bodies I’m playing, 5 hits for him to Knock me Out. I got to Copycat for 14, and I think that’s the only reason I had a chance in this game. I got 3 Drawers, Nidoran, and Nidoqueen, along with other things. I took out his Kabutops, and I saw how this match was going to get interesting. He had this Omastar using “Primal Tentacles” which does 30 + 10 for every fossil in his discard, and there were 2-3 fossils in the discard from the Kabutops attack at this point.

Basically, he was Knocking me Out with one shot left and right, and I had to get 2 shot to Knock him Out. Not a good scenario for me, but I won because his last 2 Prizes were his last two W Energy. 3rd best deck I saw all day, and good game :D


I knew that I could survive anything besides Gyarados after that scare, so I was pretty excited.

Round 6 – Vs. Luxchomp

Cool, I thought I had a pretty good chance in this matchup, and that’s one of the main reasons I was playing this deck. However, I foolishly started with an Unown Q to keep a Mesprit in my hand. He went first, and I almost wet myself because he could have easily donked me with a DCE. However, he didn’t have one or didn’t play it (he’s a nice guy) and he just attached a lightning and ended. It’s unfortunate to say, but I dropped the power lock, Uxie’d for Bebe’s, Fighting, Phanpy, and a second Poké Drawer + to match the one in my hand. I could easily get the Belt, BTS, and Donphan to complete the donk. I apologized, and it was a good thing that he still got into the top cut ^_^


Round 7 – Vs. Dusknoir/Gengar

I finally got the god start, and had him locked 2 of the first 3 turns. He started with Spiritomb, and I still was able to get the Donphan out. I Knocked Out the Spiritomb, and began beasting. His Dusknoir was his only weapon with his Night Spin attack, but I got rid of that possibility because got the 3 Energy attached early on and began sweeping. I even got to use my Uxie-Belt combo to get rid of his Gengar SF and get around Fainting Spell. He scooped after I got 3 Prizes and he took none.


Top cut for sure, and I was feeling really good. I turned in my deck, and found out I was playing Dialga/Chomp. :/

Top 16 – Vs. Dialga/Garchomp

Ambipom G Rising Rivals RR 56 Pokemon CardI’ll save you the details, but he won only because Dialga G LV.X shut off my bodies. Otherwise, I would have been dealing 110 per turn, healing 10 between, and taking 20 less from his attacks. It came down to me thinking I had the win off a Donphan with 3 energy and an Expert Belt getting the one shot on his Garchomp C LV.X, but one Aaron’s Collection kept me from winning.


I was stupid at this point, and opened the second game with only one basic even thought I had 4 in my hand. He had the Turn 1 Ambipom G – DCE donk, and my day was ended.



Was I upset? Yeah. But not at the guy I lost to. He’s a great player, ended up getting 2nd overall when all was said and done, and he owed me because I knocked him out of the Top 4 at a City at the same venue. I was upset with me, but I decided not to beat myself up for it. I had a good laugh about it with him and the judges and left. I did gain over 60 rating points, and got over my goal of 1700 for the year (1715+!). It was a great day, and I had a fun time. I also found out that Donphan is a sweet deck, and I’m gonna have some good fun with it once Gyarados, its biggest threat, is rotated.

The guy who loaned me the 4th Donphan (I owe you big!)
My mom’s friend for taking me home, otherwise, I couldn’t have gone
My friend Aaron for winning Seniors (Only because I loaned him a Mime for his Cursegar deck xD)
Aaron’s sis for winning Juniors
Donphan for doing well
Rating points!
My friend Brandon for making T8 at Ohio
My other friend also named Alex for getting 3rd in Juniors
The judges (I didn’t hear of any mistake they made)
Our wonderful TO

Thanks for reading ^_^

Reader Interactions

21 replies

  1. Brad Curcio

    Awesome to hear all these Donphans doing so well. I never really thought to run it as a 'lock' deck, but thats a great idea, congrats to you! Sucks you had to play one of your worst match-ups in the T16, but it happens to all of us. Good luck next time!

  2. Mário Faccini Junior

    Hi ESP Great article, You could submit your list Donphan?
    I'd like to use it in the next tournament here in Brazil.

  3. Michael Randolph

    Wow man good job, Donphan can be a beast when built right!

  4. Ryan Graham

    Hahaha! That was definitely ME that gave it to you. :)

  5. ESP

    Thanks for commenting and reading everyone. If you guys want, I could do a deck analysis article and provide my list. Lemme know what you guys think!

  6. Colin Peterik

    This idea is really inspiring. Can't believe I didn't think of that! Just tank with Donphan and drop Mesprits turn after turn. Do you run super scoops?? I could see how this would be bad against SP though…

  7. ESP

    Yeah, I ran SSU. I don't think anything that relies on Pixies could survive without them. It's usually good against SPs, since they can only do 60 to my active which becomes 40 by the time their next turn, when I'm OHKOing everything they've got with 3 Fighting and a Belt. However, Dialga is the 1 SP that it's not great against.


  8. JPN-Gallade

    Awesome report! I see you faced lots of very interesting decks, like Gallade 4 and Omastar/Kabutops. At the same time, each matchup you faced was very well written. You really played Donphan very well, and playing it with Mesprits looks very interesting, but at the same time, it slows your opponent down.

    I really enjoyed reading your report. Nice job making it Top 16

  9. Collan Baker

    yea I definitely wanna see the list/analysis. There's some things I'm a little confused about. I vote yay for the second article.

  10. Kenny Wisdom

    Ah, well done man. Dialga is probably that decks toughest match-up with the bodies being eliminated and all. GL

  11. Saturn

    I played with Donphan in MI and IN States and it did wonders against everything but Gyarados…I didn't even realize till someone pointed it out to me that Donphan prevents it's own Earthquake damage.

  12. ESP

    So, my plan is to start my article on Donphan/Mesprit later this week when I'm not busy with school. Keep an eye out for it everyone!

  13. ESP

    Sorry for taking so long guys, but I submitted my list/article for Donphan/Mesprit today, and I hope it will be up for you guys to enjoy soon.

  14. ESP

    Sorry for taking so long guys, but I submitted my list/article for Donphan/Mesprit today, and I hope it will be up for you guys to enjoy soon.

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