A Risky Choice – 6th at Utah States with Gyarados + List!

Welcome one and all to my debut post here at SixPrizes! My name is Ian Asplund, your newest Front Page Contributor, and for my debut here, I’m going to do a little tournament report about my experience at my second Utah State Championships (my first was one year ago, a week after I started playing. I took a theme deck that day, but managed to go 2-4, somehow).

I had initially not planned on going to States, but when it turned out I could ultimately go, I initially was thinking about playing Vilegar, as it seemed a decent choice for what I expected the metagame to look like.

However, after the Idaho State Championships, my friend Tyler told me I should go back to playing Gyarados, which I played for most of Cities, since it looked like a really good choice given the meta. Contrary to what I had thought, there was very little Vilegar or Luxchomp in Idaho, and TONS of Dialgachomp, which I have never lost to with Gyarados.

So, I went out on a limb and went back to my tried-and-true deck – Gyarados. I decided to go and completely redo the list I had been using for Cities, focusing largely on making the most consistent list I could, with a few fun techs as well. As I plan on never playing Gyarados again (assuming we get a midseason rotation), I have nothing to lose, so here is my Gyarados list:

Pokémon – 20 

4 Magikarp SF
3 Gyarados SF
3 Sableye SF
1 Smeargle UD
1 Regice LA
1 Combee SF
2 Uxie LA
1 Azelf LA
1 Mesprit LA
2 Crobat G PL
1 Unown Q MD

Trainers – 33 

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Bebe’s Search
1 Twins
1 Looker’s Investigation
2 Seeker
1 VS Seeker
4 Junk Arm
3 Super Scoop Up
2 Pokémon Communication
2 Poké Turn
3 Pokémon Rescue
2 Expert Belt
1 Luxury Ball
4 Broken Time-Space

Energy – 7 

3 Rescue
2 Cyclone
2 Warp

So there you have it. The list worked out quite well, if I do say so myself, and I felt pretty good about it going into the tournament.

So I arrived at the University of Utah at exactly 9:00 AM, with my entourage of young family and league members. I had to quickly scramble to get the rest of the cards I needed.

As I had initially planned on not making it to States, I had traded some of my Gyarados stuff away, but due to some very generous people (thanks Giovanni and Taylor!) I was able to finish my deck.

Eventually, after a bit of waiting/announcements/ect, pairings finally go up. We ended up having over 70 Masters with a Top 16 cut (woohoo!) , and overall the tournament was the biggest State Championships Utah has ever had! So I go look at the pairings, sit down, introduce myself to my opponent, and the day begins!

Round 1 vs Shaun with Shuppet/Banette?

Shaun was a nice guy, but obviously fairly new to the game. He was playing some kind of Shuppet/Bannett deck. I went first, and just to be careful, I put 3 Pokémon on my field, just in case he was playing Shuppet donk.

As it turns out, he wasn’t. He does a few things on his turn, puts my active Pokémon to sleep with Shuppet, and ends his turn. I roll a heads to wake up, and end up getting all 3 Karps in my discard with some fun Junk Arm and Regi-Move hax0rz, and end up with a Gyarados active with an Expert Belt, and I sweep from there.


Round 2 vs ??? with Tangrowth CL

pokebeach.comThis was a pretty interesting round against a deck I never expected to see. His deck was based around Tangrowth from Call of Legends. The idea was to load up Tangrowth with tons of energy (using cards such as Celebi Prime) and use Grind for as much damage as possible.

The game was made even more interesting as he also had resistance to me, which made the 1HKOs a little tougher to pull off. I set up pretty well, and with some creative Flash Bites I end up Knocking Out a fully loaded Tangrowth very early on in the game.

He did a lot to try to stop me from getting the 1HKOs, but I end up using my Cyclone Energies to get around high HP Pokémon when I needed to. We end up going to time, and I’m 3 Prizes ahead on his final turn (Turn 2), and he scooped.


Round 3 vs ??? with Absol G/Drapion LV.X

This game was horrible for the both of us. We both had unplayable hands, horrible Pokémon on the field, and we couldn’t draw into anything useful for at least 5 turns. Ultimately, I top deck something useful before she does (I believe it was a Pokémon Collector), and I just go crazy, getting Gyarados set up quickly, and I pretty much sweep from there.


Round 4 vs Andrew with Gliscor LV.X/Gengar Prime

This was a very interesting match that I initially had a difficult time figuring out. He ends up Lost Zoning a Magikarp with Gengar Prime very early, as I stupidly used Impersonate to try to get out of a bad hand. As such, my damage is capped at 80 for the whole game. Still, I put up a good fight.

It got pretty scary when he paralyzed, poisoned, and burned my active Gyarados with an Expert Belt, but a timely heads on a Super Scoop Up saved the day. He did the same trick again later, but that time a nice Warp Energy from my prizes saved me. I ultimately win this match in a fairly close game.


Round 5 vs Brian Vogt with Scizor Prime

pokebeach.comThis game was horrible for me. He started out by using Mesprit and Psychic Binding me for 1 or 2 turns right at the start, which severly limited my set up options.

Right when it appears he can no longer use Psychic Bind, he uses Looker’s Investigation, sending away my amazing hand to be exchanged for a terrible one. He pretty much locks me from there; he kept using Psychic Bind at the right times, and ultimately, in only 4 turns, got 4 Special Metal out on his Scizor.

The power lock hurt enough, but along with my terrible hand, a Magikarp and my Azelf were prized, limiting my damage output. I end up getting 1 Prize right at the end (and guess what it was? A Magikarp!) but I ultimately get destroyed. Brian went on to go undefeated in Swiss though, so good job Brian!


At this point I’m a tiny bit nervous. I was amazed the day had gone so well, but that loss sort of brought me back to reality. Still, if I could win at least one more round I knew I should be set to make top cut, so I just kept on going.

Round 6 vs ??? with Machamp

As soon as I see the Machop I get really excited, as I have an AMAZING matchup against Machamp. I have never, in all my time playing Gyarados, lost to a Machamp. Sadly, I get off to a VERY slow start, but my opponent’s doesn’t seem to be too good, either. He also seemed a little inexperienced, and his deck was rather odd (I only saw 1 Machamp from Stormfront, and two non-Prime Triumphant ones). Eventually I top deck a Collector, set up quickly, and sweep him.


Awesome, I’m pretty certain I’ll get into the Top 16 cut at this point, but I figure let’s try to win the next one anyway, just to really seal the deal.

Round 7 vs Dallan Linnel with straight SF Machamp

Well look at that, another Machamp deck! Awesome, I knew I was in good shape here. I had a bit of a rough start here, and he takes 2 (maybe even 3) early prizes. Once I set up though, I really rip through his lines using Flash Bites to turn 2HKOs into 1HKOs.

It comes down to 1 Prize left for me, and 2 left for him. He levels up his active Machamp and does enough damage to finally KO my Gyarados. He told me that he sadly didn’t have an Expert Belt (it was prized) to avoid the revenge KO, so I just brought up Gyarados and Tail Revenged to take the game.

Great game, I actually was a little nervous there at the end! That’s probably the closest match I’ve had against a Machamp deck, and it was a lot of fun.


HOLY. CRAP. I wanted to do really well at States, but I wasn’t certain how it would go. Gyarados was a VERY risky play, but man did it ever pay off. Here I was, at my second States ever, and I was 6-1. I was excited, but nervous about the Top Cut matches, particularly as I knew I had some bad matchups that had also made Top Cut, such as a Luxchomp, and a Raichu Prime deck or two.

Standings are eventually posted, and I’m 4th seed! Brian Vogt was 1st seed, being the only undefeated, and my friends Tyler (Vilegar) and Taylor (Raichu) were 2nd and 3rd seeds respectively, which was great to see.

After we get deck checks done, we start the Top Cut matches!

Top Cut: Top 16 vs Bridger Snow with Gengar/Magnezone

Bridger’s deck was very interesting. He used a slow Spirtomb engine to set up, and used a combination of Gengars (I saw an Arceus and a Stormfront) as main attackers, plus Magnezone Prime along with methods of discarding to be able to draw cards with Magnezone. He also ran Rainbow energy so he could attack with Magnezone if he had to. Now, onto Game 1.

Game 1: This game went badly for me. I set up quickly, but filled my bench too much, and so while I had a fully powered Gyarados on the bench, he was stuck there due to my horrible Combee start. I end up never really getting to retreat Combee.

Eventually I get Gyarados out after the Combee dies, but it is quickly killed by Magnezone. I get the Gyarados back, but it gets killed quickly once again. Ultimately, I decided to scoop this game.


Game 2: This game went a lot better for me. I set up well, and played my Crobat Gs very carefully to do just the right amount of damage to Magnezone Prime that, after he 1-shotted my Gyarados without a Belt, I got my Gyarados back, Belted him, and KOd the Magnezone.

From there on I had control of the game. He scared me with a Gengar SF and Shadow Room, but using Cyclone Energies carefully to attack around the Gengar, I ultimately win this game.


Game 3: I look at my watch and can tell that as we are setting up time will probably be called. Sure enough, it is, so we set up for a Sudden Death game with 1 Prize. I have a HUGE advantage here, and my opponent seemed very worried about it. Turns out he had good reason to be.

I went first with a Sableye start, and use Collector for some stuff (not sure what specifically, but I’d say some Magikarps were probably there.) He started with just an active Magnemite and a benched Unown Q. He doesn’t top deck anything good, so he just uses Quick to attatch the Unown Q to Magnemite (to avoid a Flash Bite KO on Unown Q, although I don’t think I could have done it), and attacks for 10 to Sableye.

On my turn I get a Gyarados out, somehow get a Trainer in the discard, Junk Arm 2 Magikarps into the discard, retreated Sableye, and it was over.


Hooray! I won in Top 16. We were supposed to have a dinner break here, but I didn’t have time to go get food since our games went so long. Eventually we are seated back down with our Top 8 opponents.

I’m playing Igor, one of the best players in the State. I knew he was playing Palkialock/Lucario CoL, and I was pretty scared of the deck, and with good reason.

Top Cut: Top 8 vs Igor Djukic with Palkialock/Lucario CoL

Game 1: This game starts slow. He has a bit of trouble setting up, but keeps me under Power Lock with Mesprit, so I don’t set up much better. Eventually I get a fully powered Gyarados swinging, but he immediately bring up Honchkrow SV and puts a Magikarp on the bench using Darkness Restore, then retreats.

I take another prize with Gyarados, but he just brings up Honchkrow AGAIN and puts another Magikarp on the bench. Eventually all 3 Karps are benched, and I just can’t draw into any ways to get them back into the discard, due to a stupid move on my part of Lost Zoning my Regice early when he used Palkia’s Lost Cyclone Poké-Power. I eventually scoop after he gets a Lucario out hitting for 130 or so.


Game 2: This game is even worse. I choose to let him go first, as I have a Collector in hand and an active Smeargle. Sadly, be drops a Mesprit and power locks me. I use my Collector, but can’t do much due to the power lock, so I pass.

Sadly, that initial Psychic Bind was just a little taste of what was to come, and he keeps me power locked for at least 8 turns, probably more. My deck simply can not function at all without powers, and I just can’t top deck anything good. I eventually get 1 turn of powers, but it doesn’t help me much, and he just keeps power locking me more after that.

There was nothing I could do; he just destroyed me with Lucario while I couldn’t set up. So I lose.


And so my States journey ended with a very unique, and admittedly sort of frustrating, game. The deck Igor was playing was very good and was fascinating to see at work. It was great to see something so rogue doing so well.

I end up getting my 4 booster packs from Call of Legends, and I pull a Lost World and a reverse Lighting Energy, so I can’t complain about that. Overall, it was a really fun day, and I did very well. I’d never done so well at a major event, and it was great to be at the top tables throughout the day. Hopefully I’ll keep playing this well in the future. Here I come, Regionals!

Reader Interactions

9 replies

  1. Andy S

    Great read! That was a really good first review, especially as you remembered all the details (unlike some people who mysteriously forget how they lost). Looking forward to the next one.

  2. Andrew Adams

    I can’t believe that guy made it to 5-1 with Triumphant Machamp not Prime.

    Well written report, and well done at States!

  3. Taylor Duffin

    Excellent report Ian. You can hit me up for cards again anytime you want. Here’s to even better luck for both of us at regionals.

  4. Eric Lari

    Congrats on your success! Although I wouldn’t say Gyarados was a risky choice, its a very good deck.

  5. Anonymous

    I brought Gyarados to States as well, but only got 3-3 due to a donk, horrible misplays, and just a bad game. I’m hoping to Top Cut at Regionals. :) BTW: Congrats on your success!

  6. Adam Capriola

    Great article dude! I had a lot of fun editing this one. :)

  7. Adam Capriola

    Great article dude! I had a lot of fun editing this one. :)

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