How to Prepare for Cities

Hey guys! It’s Peter Bae here to write another article, this time on how to Prepare for Cities. I’ll briefly go over some common knowledge that some inexperienced players do not know about and give a brief overview on the types of decks you would be seeing and the type of deck you should run to increase your chance of making your top cut!

Before I get down to the overview of all the decks…

Main Things You Should Do to Prepare

1. Play test extensively
This is the biggest factor in getting you to top cut. Know your deck inside and out. By the time you reach Cities, you should know your decklist by heart and should have played against various decks. Despite some success players have when they just decide to play a deck the night before, it is best to play test the deck you want to play for Cities a few weeks in advance. This gives you a lot of time to think about techs, consistency, and most of all, your comfort level in playing the deck.

J-Wittz went over this a little bit in his latest episode of Prof-It. If you watched it, you saw that he did not have great success with the deck LuxChomp despite his extensive play testing and teching with the help of Chris Fulop. However, he did well with SableLock which he was very comfortable with. You can play the best deck in the world, but it won’t help if you’re not comfortable playing the deck. So choose your deck a few weeks in advance and extensively play it at league or with your friends.

2. Sleeves!
Always check your sleeves before entering a tournament. Some people are really picky with the way your sleeves are. It’s not illegal for your opponent to ask you to resleeve your deck because he saw 1 card in your deck with a mark (cut, bend, etc).

3. Prepare some side cards
I do this all the time, and it’s helped me out a lot. For example, I am running Gyarados, the traditional way, no tech, pure consistency. However, I will also have another deck box full of tech cards that I could immediately switch out to after I checked whats around the Cities. For instance, the deck box will consist of cards such as, 1-1 Dialga G LV.X for VileGar, 1 Toxicroak G or Mankey for LuxChomp, Mesprit for mirror match ups and donk decks, and so on.

Of course I would have tested out the deck with the techs in before hand, but I always try to enter the tournaments with the deck that is the most consistent at getting out T1/T2 Gyarados. Having this side board has never hurt me.

pokemon-paradijs.com4. Organize your binder!
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Looking through an unorganized binder. Organize it in a way that it’s either by rarity (Primes, LV.X, Rares, Uncommon, Common), types (Fire, Water, etc), or just stop filling your binder with useless crap you get out of your packs that MIGHT get traded away. Use your common sense, no one’s going to want your Mom’s Kindness from Majestic Dawn.

5. Shower
This shouldn’t just be preparing for Cities, but preparing for your daily lives. Shower the night before the event, or shower in the morning. Why do you not shower? You woke up late? Put on some cologne, at least brush your teeth. I remember sitting beside this guy, he smelt like eggs thats been sitting out for a week, and his breath was horrible. Everytime he talked, I would honestly cry.

Decks Likely to be Seen in Cities

#1 LuxChomp
God! LuxChomp has been winning way too much this season. Despite your hate toward it, you will see it at Cities, and will most likely play against it. I’ve probably talked about LuxChomp in all of my articles and I’m going to do it once again for those new readers who are going to their first Cities or wanting to get their first top cut.

pokemon-paradijs.comLuxChomp has been the king of the throne since last season. Why is it so good? It’s fast, disruptive, and powerful. Luxray GL LV.X will drag up any of your benched Pokémon to stall, get an easy prize, or just to annoy you. Let’s not forget the fact that Garchomp C LV.X will not only heal all the Pokémon SP with damage counters, but it will attack your bench for an overwhelming 80 damage for cheap prizes. You have +30 weakness to Lightning and can’t get Knocked Out? No worries, they will drop Lucario GL to make that a x2 weakness for the Knock Out.

LuxChomp has even win ratio against all decks, hence their success. This is the one deck that you should most absolutely tech for unless you know there is none at the Cities you are at.

Decks you should run if your area is flooded with LuxChomp
1. Machamp
2. Donphan
3. Mirror

Decks you should avoid
1. ……. All decks probably have a 50/50 chance against LuxChomp. Try to avoid your rogue deck which will have x2 Weakness to Lightning.

#2 Gyarados
Gyarados has had a huge leap of success after the Triumphant release and you better be prepared to encounter one at Cities. 130 HP, Stage 1 beast that will be hitting you for 90-110 damage for no energy, not to mention the fact that a Crobat G will drop extra damage counters. You can Knock it Out, but you better be prepared for the second Gyarados that will pop up next turn. With his speedy recovery and devastating damage out put, this is one of the biggest threats at Cities.

You could think you’re safe with your trusty LuxChomp, but don’t be so sure. Gyarados only has a +30 Lightning weakness and it is just as fast as you are. Save up on those Power Sprays and spray any Regice or Uxie he throws at you.

Decks you should run if your area is flooded with Gyarados
1. LuxChomp
2. SableLock with Honchkrow SV (Honchkrow SV gives you an edge and as long as you can Judge away their hand before they get Gyarados out, you’re safe)
3. DialgaChomp

Decks you should avoid
1. Donphan Prime
2. Machamp

#3 VileGar
The one and only new deck that came out since Undaunted that has had many successes. It will render your Trainers useless for the whole match unless they have the absolute worst hand. While the annoying Vileplume locks your Trainers, Gengar will be hitting you for 30× the number of trainers in your hand, not to mention “Shadow Room,” which will snipe your bench. Finally manage to Knock it Out? No worries, they will just flip a coin, and possibly land on head which will Knock Out your attacker.

Decks you should run against VileGar
… second thought, I couldn’t really think of a deck that hard counters VileGar other than DialgaChomp, so I’ll mention some techs and mention that it’s a tech:

1. DialgaChomp
2. Tyranitar Prime
3. Umbreon Undaunted (tech)
4. Regice (tech for those with heavy Trainer count)
5. Dialga G LV.X (tech)

Decks you should avoid
1. Donphan Prime
2. Machamp
3. Uxie Donk
4. Shuppet Donk
See the trend here? All heavy Trainer based decks.

#4 DialgaChomp
Personally, I find this deck to be BDIF right now. Just like LuxChomp, it is an SP deck, which means it performs at a higher speed than most of the decks. However, it is a slower SP build, so take advantage of it. The deck revolves around getting Dialga G LV.X with 4 Special Metal energies with or without Expert Belt to do 80-100 damage per turn, while Lost Zoning Energies and tanking. And just when you think next turn you can Knock it Out, they will just Warp Energy in to Garchomp C, Level up, heal, and start tanking again.

Since they do run Garchomp C LV.X, they can also snipe your bench. Unlike LuxChomp, DialgaChomp has much more room to tech, which means you will be facing various DialgaChomp builds that could be 180 degrees different from the conventional build.

Decks you should run against DialgaChomp
1. Charizard
2. BlazeChomp
3. ChenLock
4. Arceus (Fire Arceus 1HKOs Dialga while Colorless Arceus snipes your bench for 80)
5. Machamp
6. Blaziken FB LV.X tech will own DialgaChomp

Decks you should Avoid

1. Donphan Prime (it surprisingly does pretty bad against it)
2. VileGar
3. Any Deck involving around Poké-Bodies as it will be shut down by Dialga G LV.X

#5. Machamp
Just like Gyarados, with the addition of the cards from Triumphant, it has been seeing many plays and people have been having moderate success. Before, it was used as a Donk Deck with the attack “Take Out” which automatically Knocks Out all Basic Pokémon, and to hard counter SP Decks.

However, it just did not hold its own against stage 1/2 decks. Luckily, in Triumphant, Machamp Prime came out which is beefier, sexier, and most of all, more consistent in dishing out damage. Unlike “Hurricane Punch,” which required you to flip 4 coins and not whiff on heads, you will constantly dish out damages ranging from 60 to 170. Just like DialgaChomp, it has immense healing capability with Machamp Prime’s Poké-Power “Fighting Tag” which lets you switch all the F Energy to the benched Machamp Prime, then they get switched.

And then you would play Seeker, picking up the damage Machamp/Machamp Prime to heal then put it all back down via Broken Time-Space.

Decks you should run against Machamp Prime
1. Gyarados
2. VileGar

Decks you should avoid
1. DialgaChomp
2. LuxChomp
3. SableLock
4. Chen Lock
Basically, SP decks and SP tool boxes. There aren’t that many decks that can hard counter Machamp decks, however, there are many cards which can counter it such as the ToxiTank which consists of Toxicroak G from Platinum, any Stadium card, and Skuntank G. And all the Psychic type Pokémon will hit Machamp for weakness.

#6. SableLock or ChenLock
I decided to put the 2 decks in to the same category as essentially, they share the same goal, and are almost identical. Both decks are capable of donking you T1 with Sableye, get easy early prizes via Honchkrow G or Honchkrow SV for SableLock and Blaziken FB LV.X for ChenLock. During the late game, both deck can utilize Garchomp C LV.X for 80 snipe damage around the bench. Honchkrow SV acts as a Machamp counter so SableLock does hold better against the Machamp match up.

However, ChenLock does have a better match up against VileGar and DialgaChomp due to Blaziken FB LV.X. Also, if either deck has an absolute crap hand, they can still manage to come back by disrupting your hand into absolute crap too with the help of Judge, Cyrus’s Initiative, and Chatot G. It is still a very big contender and a huge threat.

Decks you should run against SableLock and ChenLock
1. Machamp
2. VileGar
3. Gyarados
4. High HP decks. All SP decks hold their own against them.

Decks you should avoid
All decks have an equal of chance of losing to SableLock/ChenLock because of their Donking ability and early high damage output.

I might have missed on some of the other decks that could have countered those, but I did not want to get in to a lot of rogue decks or decks that do not have a good winning chance against other decks across the board. Also, I decided to mention decks rather than techs that counter them, as I like the readers to look at what the decks have in common and why it counters the deck to some degree.

Lastly, I’ve been running out of topics to talk about as my Cities don’t start till December 26th, and I’ve just been constantly playtesting my Gyarados deck and nothing else. I want you readers to send me an email to about any articles you would like to read about and I will try my best to keep up.

You can send single cards for me to write Card of the Day, send a Decklist and I’ll do my best to do a deck analysis and hopefully get some playtest off and show how the match ups went, how to prepare for tournaments, how to get a better binder collection, and/or how to become a much more competitive player.

Thanks guys for reading this article :D

Reader Interactions

22 replies

  1. Jordan Baker

    Wow really? Fourth times a charm I guess. I mean come on, preparing for tournaments is important, but do we really need a new article about the importance of sleeping and showering every 2 months?

    • Peter Bae  → Jordan

      I could have just left out the first section of the article, but I think it was worth mentioning.. especialyl the binder stuff… I can’t stand looking through a 100 page binder with only about 2 pages worth of playable stuff xD I didn’t want to go in full depth with all the decks, but to give a general concept of decks to play, decks to expect, so that newer players can decide what kind of deck they should build for their cities or what techs to add

    • Tyler Z  → Jordan

      Every time one of these articles come up you have to bitch about it. If you don’t like it, don’t read it and move on. He worked hard on this article, if you’d like to see a certain type of article write one yourself instead of just complaining about the type of articles people decide to put out.

    • Michael Randolph  → Jordan

      Yes we really need articles about showers and the like. Until I stop smelling everyone’s body odor at the tournaments I approve them writing articles detailing the aspects of good hygiene. Brush your teeth, wipe your bo-hind, take a shower and then, and only then, play some Pokémon cards.

  2. Carver Warning

    Not that it matters too much.

    J Wittz is a friend and I know that he plays tests everything extensively. He plays like ten games a day online against strong competition. He also plays against me in person and he knows every card in his decks almost every time. ( except once when he thought he played three super scoops and four junk arm when it was the other way around). Although, J-Wittz might be more comfortable with sablelock, he definitely never takes a deck to a tournament without testing it and knowing it inside and out.

    To further elaborate on his relationship with luxray…

    Luxray GL Lv. X just hates him. I dont even know why. I mean, it just hates him. It is like if J-Wittz was a parent and Luxray was his kid and so other pokemon cards, he got all his other pokemon children a toy for christmas one year, but forgot about luxray. And even though J-Wittz keeps trying to redeem himself and luxray by playing him, luxray just says “No dad, i am going to screw you over.” Then he goes 2-3. It is just ridiculous. Poor J-Wittz, Luxray has turned its back to him. True story though.

    • Peter Bae  → Carver

      I never tried to say or imply things like JWittz is bad with LuxChomp or anything. I just wanted to prove a point that despite the constant playtesting, playing with the deck your comfortable with is a much better option. I’m a DialgaChomp player but this cities I will be testing out many decks like Gyarados. I’ve been testing my Gyarados builds for the past 4 weeks and it’s been working well, however, I am still a bit unfamiliar with the deck, which might cost me a cities win :P and haha Luxray GL Lv.X….

    • Travis Yeary  → Carver

      Luxray is known to hold a grudge. Even after rotation, he’ll never take Luxray out of his binder. That angry gaze you see when you look at the card is meant for J Wittz the next time he opens his binder.

  3. Michael Randolph

    Excellent article bro, there is some very useful info here and I think it will help allot of people prepare for their cities. Keep writing the sold articles man, and thanks for another great read!

  4. Travis Yeary

    “just stop filling your binder with useless crap you get out of your packs that MIGHT get traded away. Use your common sense, no one’s going to want your Mom’s Kindness from Majestic Dawn.”

    That couldn’t be more wrong! My friend and I collected Mom’s Kindness for months! We have people sign them and then say we have “John’s Mom’s Kindness.” Your mom jokes aren’t dead XD

    • Peter Bae  → Travis

      I understand that some people like to collect a specific set of cards. My friend has every single Pinplup printed in his binder lol. He doesn’t keep it at the front, or middle of the binder, he leaves it at the back of the binder and just tells the traders that those are just his collections and not really worth looking at it. However, I have seen many people who will open a pack, and just stash all the cards in their binder hoping it would get traded.

  5. Caleb Cline

    Down with the haters. Haters gonna hate. Just be cool guys. It was a great article, good read.

  6. Justin Masotti

    Nice Article, however, i feel like sablelock has a decent match-up vs vilegar…. sableyes with a sp dark hit for 50 a turn on gengar, spirtombs can darkness grace once then r ko-ed by sableye, honchkrow g can hit for a min of 70 damage, and not to mention disrupting their hand so its even harder for them to set up after the spirtomb is ko-ed after only dakness gracing once….

    But, great article, enjoyed reading it

  7. venny kid

    Unrelated Question to Adam:
    What ever happened to project “The Replacement”?
    Could we get an update on it?

    • Adam Capriola  → venny

      I think the project got shelved. Last I talked to James (the guy creating it), he was afraid Pokemon would step in and shut it down. This was around the time Pokebeach got slapped for putting up B/W images.

    • Adam Capriola  → venny

      I think the project got shelved. Last I talked to James (the guy creating it), he was afraid Pokemon would step in and shut it down. This was around the time Pokebeach got slapped for putting up B/W images.

      • venny kid  → Adam

        Okay, Thanks. I was just curious and hadn’t heard anything about it in a while. Its too bad there are so many legal entanglements involved in such a game :(

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.