The 26th and 27th of March brought about the finale of the four State Championships to be hosted in the UK. A whole weekend of Pokémon can be very energy intensive; I would imagine this is what those US City Marathons were like; and this was part of the reason that detracted me from using Luxchomp for the rest of States.
After a States 1st place finish followed by a 2-4 showing with a relatively unchanged decklist, I just found that my mentality was not the greatest in order to maximise the potential of the best deck in format. The necessity to know how to approach every matchup and keep 100% on the ball at all times wasn’t something that I was confident in maintaining. Thus I decided to take a trip down memory lane and have a go at a stage 2 deck.
The first of the two States this weekend was in London, notorious for an SP heavy metagame. I flirted with the idea of running Donkchamp and Speed Lostgar but ditched them both in favor of Magnezone Machamp. I’ve always appreciated the synergy between these two Pokémon ever since hearing Tom Hall took 1st place at a City Championship with the deck and this seemed an ideal time to try my hand at it.
The only problem? I had less than a week to first create a decklist for it, and then tweak it with testing to give myself a good chance of another States win. It was this that lead me to decide that London was to be a testing ground for my deck, with the Bournemouth States on the next day to be the day on which I have to really strive to maximise my placing with the deck.
I usually like to work off of existing decklists and work them into my own personal style, but it was understandably hard to find a good decklist for this, so I decided to try my hand at it on my own, which is a big reason to why the list is not the best out there. It underwent about 20 matches of testing which isn’t ideal but here’s the list anyway.
|Pokémon – 22||Trainers – 28||Energy – 10|
A rather imperfect list if I’m to be totally honest looking back on it, but this is what I took to London with a view to improve upon it for Bournemouth. I will go into greater detail about Magnezone Machamp later on in the article after the tournament report, so if you’re more interested in that, then look further down the article to hear why this deck can be so good in the current metagame. It’s hardest matchups by far are Gengar variants, but even they can be dealt with depending on your list.
London 26th March 2010
Round 1 – Adam H – Lostgar
My biggest problem here was working out what he was playing in the end. By the time I realised, it was way too late and he had “Hurled into Darkness” a number of Pokémon from my hand. After this early setback, it was too hard to come back into the game as I wasn’t able to hit for high enough amounts of damage quick enough and he managed to finish me off with “Cursed Droplets” and “Compound Pain”.
Round 2 – Ian E – Vilegar
Another Gengar. The trainer lock hurt my deck a lot, but I was able to take prizes early on and took the lead 3 times in total. However, this only prompted a lot of Twins usage and he took full control mid game with thorough usage of Rescue Energy to make sure he always had 3 Gengars in play no matter how many I took out. Ian went on to place second at this tournament so well done to him despite his first round loss.
Round 3 – ??? – Lostgar
I couldn’t believe my misfortune. I’d managed to run into 3 of the 4 Gengar variants on show at the tournament in the first 3 rounds. However, this one pans out differently. Thanks to not having to bend to the will of trainer lock, I was able to Warp Point around his Pokémon and cycle through to make sure I was Knocking Out Gastlys as much as possible before they were able to become a Gengar. He managed to Lost Zone one Pokémon in the end but I ended up Seeker Donking him for the win.
Round 4 – ??? – Shaymin/Tangrowth
pokebeach.comHe had managed to build up a Tangrowth early on but I was simply Warp Pointing and using Machamp’s “Take Out” to Knock Out all of his basic support on his bench. Once this was done, it was only a matter of sending out Magnezone Prime to 1HKO his Tangrowth for the game using “Lost Burn”.
Round 5 – Jack S – Luxchomp
I’d finally been paired against an SP deck! Unfortunately for Jack, this match didn’t last very long as he started with a lone Lucario GL to my Smeargle. I used my own Pokémon Collector in combination with Pokémon Communication and Rare Candy in order to secure my T1 Machamp and “Take Out” for the game.
Round 6 – Filipo – Garchomp Toolbox
Yet another donk using the same tools as in the previous game. We played another match soon after and I was very stretched to having work around his anti Machamp tactics. He managed to get down to 1 Prize against my 4 with a Toxicroak G/Roserade GL/Drifblim UD combination before I finally stole momentum with some solid and safe play to take the game.
pokebeach.comSo overall, I was really happy as to how the deck was playing out, and given different matchups, I was sure I could have broken into Top cut with a few tweaks to my list. Following London, having seen Tom Hall’s very own Magnezone Machamp deck in action in the Top cut, I decided to make the following changes to my deck, both working out incredibly well for me overall:
Tom had managed to convince me about this one. One Spiritomb really helps shore up certain matchups that would have otherwise really disadvantaged this deck. Also running a single copy of Machoke was a huge mistake meaning I could only get 1 out against trainer lock maximum. Strangely enough, this was the first time I’d ever run a Spiritomb in a deck, as I despised absolutely everything about trainer lock!
Bournemouth 27th March 2010
Round 1 – Rob M – Steelix
Match 1 – I knew Rob new the matchup because he playtests with Tom Hall all the time, but he was very unfortunate all game. He was not drawing anything after my Judge usage and I didn’t even see a Steelix all game and Knocked Out all the Basic Pokémon he could throw out at me using “Take Out”.
Match 2 – Another slow start from him. I kept on taking out his basics with Machamp. With 2 Prizes left to take, he managed to get his fully powered, Expert Belted Steelix out but I simply retreated into my Benched Magnezone and was able to hit for 300 damage to Knock it Out in one hit for the game.
Round 2 – Tommy R – Gengar/Garchomp
Match 1 – Seeing Tommy win Nottingham States with this relative rogue deck was part of the reason I decided to break away from SP. However, I played this matchup horribly, only aiding in his strategy of sniping my bench for cheap prizes by benching a lot of Uxie, Smeargle and Azelf.
Match 2 – Tommy was enjoying himself “Pitch Darking” during the opening exchanges of the match to try and cripple my set up. I therefore fished out the newly teched Spiritomb AR to start using “Darkness Grace” to set up my field. Once the set up was complete, I used Judge to cripple him and he couldn’t draw into anything useful all game.
Match 3 – This game went into time +3 with us both at 6 Prizes. On turn 0, I used Warp Point to Take out a Benched Basic. He returned with snipe on my bench with his Gengar SF. I couldn’t draw into another Warp Point so I had to scoop as I knew that he could snipe something else next turn for the win.
Round 3 – ??? – Tyranitar/Umbreon
Match 1 – I set up a Machamp SF with 2 Energies and start demolishing his entire set up with a combination of “Take Out” and “Hurricane Punch” to hit for weakness on almost everything.
Match 2 – Time is almost up because Match 1 took quite a long time so I play fairly conservatively and make sure he can’t take the 4 Prizes required for the match to count despite not taking any prizes of my own.
Match 1 – I really wasn’t looking forward to this, it wasn’t a matchup I understood that well yet and did not know whether the best approach was to be offensive with Machamp or Magnezone. Fortunately, the decision was made for me as he missed the T1 donk despite having a double Poké Drawer + to my lone basic, and I can return the donk to him with a little help from Seeker.
Match 2 – No donks this time, and we get into a fully fledged Machamp war. Unfortunately for him, his Machamp LV.X was working against him more than anything, as I quickly rid his side of his Machamps while keeping up my own stream thanks to Palmer’s Contribution to keep restoring mine, all the while having Magnezone as a handy back up in case I couldn’t get a Machamp out. I also got incredibly lucky with “Hurricane Punch” Flips throughout this match.
Round 4 – Ryan T – Luxchomp
Match 1 – It seems that whenever I play Ryan, he either gets incredibly unlucky or he has to face an incredibly tough matchup, and today was no exception as I looked to keep my unbeaten record against him. I played a standard game with using Machamp’s “Take out” in conjunction with Warp Point to Knock Out most of the field while negating Machamp counters with help from Magnezone.
Match 2 – After using an early Judge in conjunction with Smeargle’s “Portrait”, I decide to totally forgo a Magnezone line in favor of all out Machamp having seen how hard he was hit with the Judge. Any attempts to get a Cyrus chain going of sorts was simply judged again and I kept up this level of control all game.
After 5 rounds, this lead to a Top Cut of 4 with me as the Number 3 Seed. This guaranteed another States Medal for me which I was very pleased with.
Top 4 – Tom Hall – Magnezone/Machamp
It was time for my inevitable match with my deck’s ‘maker’. I was really uncertain as to what to do in this matchup and knew that his decklist already had the upper hand with its inclusion of Machamp Prime.
Match 1 – His set up was a lot quicker than mine but lacked the energy required to make any impact. I quickly caught up and started Knocking Out Pokémon every other turn while he kept up his energy drought thanks to some Judging on my behalf. He knows he cannot get back into the game so scoops to save time.
Match 2 – I start Spiritomb and Magnemite which is almost perfect when you know you’re going to be forced to go first against another Machamp deck. I start to set up using “Darkness Grace”. Tom decides to get his own Spiritomb and we go back and forth for several turns building up our benches for our inevitable face off.
We start exchanging prizes but at the 2-2 Prize count level, his inclusion of Machamp Prime really paid off and I couldn’t keep up any more so lost out.
Match 3 – I manage to get a T1 Machamp and Magnezone all set up and start off aggressively by pulling ahead by 2 Prizes early on. However, getting set up so quickly came at the cost of not being able to keep the Machamp stream coming so he managed to level the prize count to 2-2.
Once again, as soon as he promotes Machamp Prime active, I know there’s no chance of mounting a comeback so I scoop to round off an incredibly intense match that lasted all of one and a half hours, which made Luxchomp dittos look like a walk in the park!.
In the end, Tom lost in Top 2 to Nathan M using Luxchomp so well done to Nathan on overcoming a very hard matchup to take home the last of the UK states medals this year. For all interested, I compiled the following information on all the UK states events and this is the breakdown of who won, what won and what managed to take top 4 places:
Date: 12th March 2011
1st: Tamao Cameron (Luxchomp)
2nd: Faisal “Freddy” Khan (Luxchomp)
3rd: Charles Barton (Luxchomp)
4th: Ben Hall (Jumpluff Yanmega)
Date: 19th March 2011
1st: Tommy Roberts (Gengar/Garchomp)
2nd: Nicholas Fotheringham (Luxchomp)
3rd: Faisal ‘Freddy’ Khan (Luxchomp)
4th: Jake Quinsee (Luxchomp)
Date: 26th March 2011
1st: Sami Sekkoum (Sablock)
2nd: Ian Elliot (Vilegar)
3rd: Tom Hall (Magnezone/Machamp)
4th: Kason Day (Luxchomp)
Date: 27th March 2011
1st: Nathan McLewee (Luxchomp)
2nd: Tom Hall (Magnezone/Machamp)
3rd: Tommy Roberts (Gengar/ Garchomp)
4th Tamao Cameron (Magnezone/Machamp)
Top 4 appearances:
So, about Magnezone Machamp…
So why do I think that this will be a good play for you at your Regional Tournaments this year? To put it incredibly simply, the synergy between the two is formidable. What do Machamp decks fear the most? High HP tank decks that are hard to take down.
What are the weaknesses of Magnezone? Generally slow setup and a reluctance to having to Lost Zone two energies just to take out some 70HP Pokémon. Together, they compliment each other incredibly well and meld together to make something that I would argue to being close to breaking into the top tier class.
With more time and more appreciation for this deck, I really think this deck could go far and I’m certainly hoping to see some representation of this deck over in the US with the likelihood of UK Regional tournaments being slim with nothing being announced yet. It was the second best represented deck in the Top 4 of UK events as you can see by my stats higher up, second only to Luxchomp.
Here is the list that I used to get into the top 4 with eventually:
|Pokémon – 23||Trainers – 27||Energy – 10|
Overall, I felt pretty comfortable with it and the only changes I would make to this deck would be to bump the Machamp line to a 4-2-4 or 4-3-4 with a 3-1 Machamp SF/Prime split. To make room for this, you could remove another Smeargle UD along with possibly the 4th Rare Candy, although I think I’ll always feel attached to running 4 Rare Candies. This would also mean having to make room for a couple of Double Colorless Energies.
SP Variants – Favorable
Although there is a huge difference between all SP variants, I decided to group them into one class as you generally use the same strategy against all of them. Use Machamp to “Take Out” all SP threats while using Magnezone’s “Lost Burn” for any Machamp Counters.
In testing, I even found it easier with Machamp Magnezone than with Donkchamp as SP decks are starting to find good counters to Machamp to level the matchup. Judge hurts and cripples their deck a lot and your constant source of draw power is usually too much to overcome.
Of course, SP variants aren’t considered the BDIF for nothing, so it won’t be a walk in the park but a favorable matchup nonetheless.
Gyarados – Favorable
There are a number of ways to approach this matchup I believe. The way I’ve had most success with is to go aggesive with Machamp for the first few prizes using Warp Point to Knock Out their basic bench.
If at any point they have access to two Gyarados to break the warp point chain, it’s an easy 2 energy drop for the knock-out, or even better, 3 energies for 2 Prizes on a belted Gyarados.
Vilegar – Unfavourable
By far Magnezone/Machamp’s hardest matchup, but still very winnable with smart play. Spiritomb becomes your MVP here, helping build up your team under trainer lock while you can use Regirock to attempt to discard as many trainers from your hand as possible to try and negate the “Poltergeist” threat.
These are the only decks I’ve really had much testing against to give an honest matchup analysis to so rather than give some theory based analysis on other matchups, I decided to leave it there. Decks that I imagine could give Magnezone/Machamp a hard time would be Scizor Prime, Speed Donphan and Possibly Charizard, none of which are particularly common so I believe this deck could go very deep in tournament under the right player’s hands.
I know this has been a particularly lengthy article, but I was hoping to have something for everyone in here. If you like tournament reports, then there’s two to keep you occupied here. If you like rogue deck analysis, then I have that base covered too. I hope you all enjoyed this article and I certainly hope to see more of you playing this incredibly potent deck at your Regional Tournaments!
~Tamoo (Tamao Cameron)