pokemon-paradijs.comI went to the local Battle Roads in a small city in the middle of the cornfields. It was my first constructed tournament, and given that this is a Battle Roads, I thought, “Hey, there probably won’t be that much competition here, right?”
Wrong. There were two Seniors who went to Worlds last year, now Masters, not to mention J-Wittz and a whole variety of people who were pretty big into competitive play. There was even a group of people from Indiana. Wahoo. (It was kinda funny, actually, because there were seven Juniors, five Seniors, and twenty-four Masters. I had a long day ahead of me.)
I brought a Sablelock deck, mostly because it’s the deck that I’ve been playing since forever and I didn’t have the Spiritombs for my VileGar deck. I hadn’t playtested it very much, but I did make a couple changes before the tournament that greatly improved consistency.
(Sorry that I don’t remember anyone’s name. I’m terrible with names.)
Match 1 vs. Kabutops/Empoleon/Flygon
He was a really nice guy, and explained that he was really new to the game. He was just making do with what cards he had, and I felt kinda sorry for the guy, especially with the incredibly competetive atmosphere that had developed in the room.
Needless to say, it was a pretty quick match. I started with Sableye, and he started with Sandshrew and Piplup, so I attached a Special Dark to Sableye and KO’d his Sandshrew with Overconfident. He promoted Piplup, benched a Dome Fossil, attached a W Energy to Piplup and hit me for ten damage. I drew, and given that Overconfident wasn’t too great of an option with a damaged Sableye, Pokémon Collectored for a Garchomp C and a couple Crobats, and then Cyrus’d for an Energy Gain. I had a Garchomp C out doing Earthquake, and with Crobat G drops, it made short work of the remainder of his Pokémon out on the field.
I spent the rest of the round playing him again and giving him pointers on deckbuilding. Hope to see him again and hopefully play a better game than that.
I got a Sableye start with a Dragonite FB on the bench. He started with a lone Crobat. I dropped a DCE onto Dragonite just in case I’d need him later and, naturally, Impersonated for a Judge. I got a mediocre hand, but as luck would have it, I gave him a Collector.
He Collectored for a Garchomp C, Roserade GL, and an Uxie. He put all three of them plus an Ambipom G down, then put an Energy Gain and an Electric Energy on the Garchomp. I benched a Garchomp C, stuck an Energy Gain on it, and Impersonated a Cyrus’s Initiative. Of course, I got double-tails. He attached another Electric Energy to Garchomp, promoted it, leveled it up, and Dragon Rushed my poor Garchomp.
About then, I noticed he only had four cards in his hand — if I can drop the important ones and give him terrible topdecks, he’d be prime for Sablelocking. So I used an Energy Exchanger to drop the Special Dark in my hand for a DCE and Impersonated a Pokémon Collector and grabbed a Chatot G, Garchomp C, and an Uxie. He dropped an Azelf, which I Power Sprayed, and retreated to Roserade GL to lock my Sableye active. On my turn, I dropped Chatot G and Impersonated a Cyrus’ Initiative. Got one heads, so that meant I got to see his hand.
It wasn’t spectacular — I dropped an Aaron’s Collection from his hand. He retreated Roserade to Garchomp C, Galactic Switched an energy onto Garchomp and attached another energy. He Turned his Crobat and Flash Bit my Dragonite, then dropped another Crobat, which I Power Sprayed. He Dragon Rushed my Dragonite anyway. By this point, he only had one card left in his hand, so I knew my strategy was working. Most importantly, he dropped the Roserade lock on my Sableye.
On my turn, I started a Cyrus chain to get myself an Energy Gain, retreated Sableye to Garchomp, and with the help of a Crobat drop, got a revenge KO using Earthquake. I got another DCE from my prizes (lucky me). On his turn, he promoted an Uxie leveled it up, and used Trade Off, which I chose not to Power Spray. He attached a DCE and used Zen Blade. On my turn, I SP Radar’d for the LV.X, leveled up to heal Garchomp and Dragonite (thankfully, he didn’t have a Power Spray in his hand), Turned + dropped Crobat, and Dragon Rushed for the KO.
He responded by locking Garchomp active with Roserade — I just Poké Turned it and used the Energy Gain on my Dragonite to KO that, too. He sent out Ambipom and Tail Coded that DCE to my Sableye, so I just attached my third DCE and KO’d the Ambipom. This time, he sent out Azelf to stop Mach Blow from being so powerful. I had two options at this point: I could attach my D Energy to Dragonite and hope for a heads, or start building up that Murkrow that was sitting on my bench since forever.
pokemon-paradijs.comI decided to go for the less risky route and attached the dark energy to Murkrow. I Bebe’s Searched for a Honckrow SV, evolved, and used Dragonite’s Mach Blow for a paltry twenty damage.
Good thing I used that Bebe’s Search when I did, because he retreated Azelf to a Smeargle. He used Portrait, but I had no supporters in my hand, so he passed. I Poké Turned the Dragonite, and Honchkrow SV made short work of his Smeargle.
Then, he sent out his Luxray and leveled it up. I Power Sprayed the Bright Look. Then, he dropped an Uxie, which I also Power Sprayed. Even with Honchkrow’s weakness to lightning, he had no way of KOing it at this point, so he scooped. Good game!
2 – 0
Match 3 vs. Kingdra/Donphan
This was the guy who beat J-Wittz at the table right next to me, so I was kinda nervous. If he were to ever get Donphan or Kingdra out, I wouldn’t stand a chance — they both just have far too much HP for Sablelock to deal with.
And I don’t know what it is with me Judging other people into their Pokémon Collectors, but it happened again. I sat there with my Sableye and Garchomp while he Collectored for an Uxie, a Horsea, and a Phanphy, use Crobats and Poké Turns to Flash Bite my Sableye and Garchomp multiple times, and end his turn by attacking my Sableye with Horsea. I lucked out that he didn’t have any Rare Candies or a BTS.
But just like with the last guy, by the time he was done, he only had four cards left in his hand. So I Pokémon Collectored for Chatot, Honchkrow G, and an Uxie, Impersonated a Cyrus’ Initiative, and hit one heads. Good thing, too, ’cause I dropped a Professor Oak’s New Theory from his hand! Chatot G gave him terrible topdecks (I Poké-Turned it a couple times to keep up the lock) and just sniped the rest of his Pokémon off the bench using Garchomp and Honchkrow. I won by taking out the last Pokémon on his side of the field. Good game!
Match 4 vs. LuxChomp
And this is where my luck turned. I lost the coin flip (meaning, I went first), and started with a lone Garchomp against his lone Crobat. I attached a D Energy to Garchomp to prevent Ambipom donks, and ended my turn. His turn, he SP Radar’d for a Garchomp C, Cyrus’d for an Energy Gain, attached a DCE, and donked me with Earthquake. I had a Pokémon Collector in my hand, too! Figures that this is the only donk this deck ever saw.
My opponent was a really nice guy, though. I got three Call Energies off him for $10.
Match 5 vs. SP Mish-Mash
This was against one of the guys who went to Worlds last year. Awesome matchup for my first constructed tournament ever.
To make a long story short, despite my Judging and Cyrus’ Initiative, he got a Dialga G LV.X and a host of other Pokémon SP out really quickly. (He had some really lucky topdecks, and didn’t have enough SP on the field to Power Spray anything.) Now, this is where I was being really stupid — I Azelf’d an Uxie out of my prizes to give myself a decent set-up, but I put my second Judge in there, not thinking I’d need it.
Then, when I got a fully-charged Garchomp C LV.X out, instead of Dragon Rushing and KOing something on his bench (I had some pretty nasty prizes that game), I attacked the Dialga, which he just Poké-Turned during his turn. So, I figured, because he’s playing SP, too, Honchkrow SV would make short work of Dialga. Honchkrow was in my deck last I checked, but guess what I forgot was a prize?
So I thought to myself, He has a HUGE hand. If I can Judge, I can cripple his ability to respond to anything I do. Whee.
pokemon-paradijs.comAnd this is where I made the key misplay. I forgot that my second Garchomp C LV.X was in my prizes, so instead of Impersonating an Aaron’s Collection to get my KO’d one out of my discard pile, I Impersonated a Cyrus’s Conspiracy to grab an SP Radar. Yay. So I scooped, with a Garchomp C, DCE, and Energy Gain all waiting in my hand for that Garchomp C LV.X that would never come.
Now, I was really anxious to figure out who made what. There was a set of 4-0’s battling, and two sets of 3-1’s battling, and a handful of 2-2’s battling. That meant that of the myriad of 3-2’s, one person would make it into top cut, right? Wrong. There was one 3-1 who was dropped down to battle a 2-2, so there was one 5-0 and three 4-1’s in the top cut. I made fifth. On top of that, looking at the statistics, the people I fought had much higher win percents than the people the other 4-1’s fought. Bah.
Got fifth in my first tournament.
Got some really good cards in trades.
Coming one short of top cut.
Getting donked. Isn’t Sablelock the one that’s supposed to do the donking?
Not being smart with Azelf.