April 16th, 2011. Regional’s at Sunnyvale, California. I missed California State’s due to real life getting in the way, but Spring Break means no need to skip class, and we’re on our way with the rest of our tiny Fresno league, all five of us.
My knowledge of the metagame was lacking, but I knew that no matter what would be there, I’d play this deck anyway. Since the original Lantharos article was posted, it’s undergone major changes, and didn’t do terribly, at least.
|Pokémon – 24||Trainers – 20||Energy – 16|
Removal of Flintzong in exchange for Ampharos Prime sped up my energy, but it also meant I needed more basic energy. Using a thicker Mareep line also meant I was more guaranteed to get it out, and the Ampharos Prime was only making it harder to get the Platinum one out.
Another Uxie, less Trainers, Expert Belts as a Gyarados counter as opposed to Lucario GL…looks like I’m set to play! Let’s see if my win record agrees with me. It’s my first Regional’s, so my goal is three wins with seven rounds of Swiss.
Round 1: vs James, Luxchomp
I was pretty disappointed with my hand on this one, since it was my first game of the day. Lone Crobat G, and no way to get any other basics. He starts out with lone Luxray GL, and I later find out two Luxray GL Level X’s, but had DCE and Crobat is weak to lightning and I can’t do anything to save it. Early donk.
Oh wait, it doesn’t end there. We decided it was boring to have the first game be a donk, so while he would keep the donk as his win, why not actually have fun? He gets a better start, I get a better start, happy all around. My priority was blocking his Poké-Powers, so by turn two, I had a Manectric active and Ampharos PL on the bench. Commence blockage.
He’d been using Dragon Restore and Seeker to heal what he could, since Manectric’s Power Wave could hit his entire field. He killed it once, and Rescue Energy let me pick it back up. I had BTS in play, and by this point, I had 2 Prizes remaining, he had one.
Both Uxie and Bronzong G were on his bench, both with 10 HP remaining, I could do this. I just needed one L Energy. Or another Uxie, or a Bebe’s to get Uxie, or Fisherman, or Interviewer’s Questions, or Cynthia’s Feelings, or Twins, so obviously I draw an Electrike.
He Dragon Rush’s Manectric, 10 HP. And for the deciding draw… Chinchou. Oops. Fun game while it lasted, and so glad he didn’t use a Dialga G Level X tech, my auto-loss nightmare.
Round 2: vs Seth, Magnegatr
Another bad start, having no basics this time, but draw into having an active Mareep and benched Electrike. Almost an ideal start, and I’ve got a good hand with two Uxie, Lightning and Rescue Energy, and a BTS. He starts lone Spiritomb, and I’m feeling pretty good about this.
I get the Amphytric combo set up, already planning on destroying his Final Wish. As a note here for future mistakes I will never, ever make again, I put the Azelf in with Bebe’s and forgot to take note of having both Lanturn Prime in the prizes. This hurt a lot, but let’s talk about the now.
He starts putting Magnemite onto the bench, and uses Bebe’s for a Magneton, so I at least have an idea of what deck I’m playing against. He Darkness Graces into Magnezone Prime, and I am now finally able to retreat my aggro Ampharos PL for the Manectric, while I power up a Chinchou.
I regularly play against a Magnezone Prime deck (more on that later), so I know to damage it quickly with Power Wave. But apparently he picked up on my familiarity also, and left two Magneton and a Croconaw on the bench, safe from Power Wave.
Eventually he does use Feraligatr Prime, and another Magnezone, for a quick set up once the Magnezone is near death. I Power Wave them next turn, not wanting any more W Energy on the field if I could help it. He uses a combination of Seeker and BTS a few times to heal and set up briefly as I do the (Power) Wave immediately afterward. It takes awhile, but he retreats Spiritomb and kills Manectric with a Magnezone.
I don’t remember exactly, but it was somewhere around this time that time was called. We’re close on prizes, and I send up Crobat and use Bebe’s to finish of my game with Lanturn Prime. Oh, that thing about notes and prizes and Lanturn?
Let’s just say I resort to attacking with a Belted Ampharos PL. And I did have the win here almost, but he said he uses a high count of Warp Energy, and he wasn’t lying. Topdecked one and used it to retreat for another Magnezone that my Ampharos couldn’t kill before we ran out of time.
Another loss, but I do love close matches. I can have fun while I lose.
Round 3: vs Jesse, Gyarados
I have an Uxie in my hand, but I leave it there, feeling safe with a lone Electrike. And it turns out, I was safe from a donk with that. We flip our card, commence sweat when he’s got a lone Magikarp. His going first saved him from a possible donk, but I hadn’t tested against Gyarados as much as I should have.
So I’m not feeling great, but I guess the silver lining here is that I don’t have to feel bad about donking him because I don’t like winning on something so boring. It’s a set up war for awhile; I Belt my Electrike to get a few extra turns of stalling out of it and play the Uxie. A combo of that and Interviewer’s gets me two Mareep and two Lightning, so I take out the Magikarp for an early prize.
Belting the Electrike for that prize hurt me. He uses a swarm of Trainers that I didn’t catch, but it’s just Trainerdos. There’s explanations on it by people who know more about it than I do. Junk Arm, BTS, Pokémon Collector…turn two and 90 damage, so he gets 2 Prizes.
Maybe that Expert Belt wasn’t the greatest idea. His bench has three free retreaters, also: Crobat G, Uxie with Unown Q, and Azelf with Unown Q. An interesting mention is that he could have had a fourth, Infernape 4 Level X, if he were to level it up; he said it was his Regice, since Regi Move didn’t appeal as much.
I do get Twins though. I have a Flaaffy in hand, two Mareep on the field, and he has BTS. Attach a L Energy to a Mareep, Twins for my other Expert Belt and an Ampharos Prime, and I’ve got three energy on it while he Tail Revenges my techs away.
And to anyone who asks why I would use Cynthia’s Feelings rather than PONT or Copycat: Why revenge KO when I can revenge “I have Ampharos Prime, Ampharos PL, Manectric, and Lanturn Prime”? Too bad it’s Legends Awakened, I’m gonna miss it.
So I can kill his Gyarados in one hit now each time it’s alive, but this isn’t enough. Turns out he has a lot of Rescue Energy, I can’t get BTS out because Sunyshore City Gym is in my deck, and I keep flipping tails on Thunder and damaging myself. We should make a petition: if you kill the same Gyarados three times in three turns and still can’t win, crying is acceptable.
But seriously, don’t cry anyway, just be glad that you killed it so many times. Eventually the damage from Thunder stacked up too high, and he killed it with a Crobat G drop, taking his last 2 Prizes.
Round 4: vs Kris, UD dark types
pokebeach.comThis guy was a fairly new player, using a deck someone built for him to be simple and fun. It was Umbreon/Houndoom, but with other UD cards as techs, such as Sneasel, Honchkrow, and Raticate.
My first tournament deck, only recently dropped, was a fun deck with Umbreon Prime, so it was pretty cool seeing it again, personally. And I know all about avoiding Umbreon and Moonlight Fang now.
I started with Chinchou active and a benched Uxie, since I didn’t trust the 50 HP. My hand is decent, and I’ve got an energy on the Chinchou to hit his Eevee for 10. Unfortunately for me, he uses Team Rocket’s Trickery, and I have to discard the other Lightning I had in order to pull off my next move.
A Bebe’s and a BTS later, and I’ve got an Ampharos Prime. Likewise, he uses Professor Elm’s Training Method and gets an Umbreon with a Special Dark. Moonlight Fang, PlusPower, 50 damage to Chinchou, his prize.
There’s a Sneasel on the bench he’s powering, so I made sure I put a Rescue Energy onto Ampharos earlier, since I’ll need it as my Umbreon killer. Cynthia’s Feelings gives me a few basics and a Lightning. Thunder kills it even with Moonlight Fang, and I’m regretting not having used this Ampharos a few months ago. He brings up a Sneasel, and I don’t remember just how many heads that Beat Up hit, but it was a lot.
So Rescue activates and I use Manectric, known Attract Current will power it up all over again. BTS is lost, but I use his Burned Tower so that Fisherman doesn’t use my Supporter slot when I would need Bebe’s or something else.
Ampharos’s Thunder only hits for 80. Umbreon and Houndoom have 90 HP, and Houndoom Prime has 110 HP. Like with Gyarados, a Belted Ampharos and Crobat G work great. I’m able to avoid Houndoom Prime’s Fire Breath due to either him flipping tails, Warp Energies and Manectric’s free retreat, or just tanking it like a boss at the end. A few turns later, I’ve taken all prizes.
Round 5: vs Jared, Jumpluff/Cherrim toolbox
pokebeach.comThe true intent of this deck I didn’t pick up on completely. What I saw was two Cherrim SF on the bench as early as he could, early-game Rapidash AR (Wild Guard Poké-Body), and late-game Jumpluff HS.
Based on his words, it’s an attempt to counter the metagame, especially with the Rapidash, taking damage from no Pokémon SP unless there’s a Dialga G Level X in play. However, I’m not playing a meta deck, so let’s find out what happens.
I get two Chinchou and play them both, and he’s got a lone Cherubi. Chinchou’s Razor Fin uses C energy so I hold onto my Lightning and play a Rescue Energy to it, worried I might not draw into another basic when I really need it.
I’m getting more and more cautious at each game. He attacks with Cherubi while he can, and starts playing Ponyta to the field, with the attack Ascension. I tested a Charizard build with this Ponyta tech, so I predicted the Wild Guard mentioned above and readied for it.
Only one turn away from evolving into Lanturn Prime and using Underwater Dive, something I haven’t done in a long time, he uses Cyclone Energy. I hold onto the Prime until I know which I’ll be evolving, risking Judge or something else. He has a Spiritomb active by now, and like I was worried about, I have no other basics out. But I do get a chance to evolve and Powerful Spark his Spiritomb out.
He puts up Rapidash while powering up another Rapidash, a Jumpluff, and evolving his second Cherrim. I’m a little bit worried about Jumpluff, but I have two Pokémon on my field rather than a full bench. Lanturn gets rid of both Rapidash like the awesome water type it knows it is. Time for Jumpluff.
Leaf Guard is safer than Mass Attack at this point, and I should have had the kill here. But I blanked and thought it protected him for 20 damage not 30, and I was 10 short. Otherwise I’d have dropped the Crobat hiding in my hand. But that 10 wasn’t enough to save him, and I win.
Round 6: vs Kyle, Lostgar
Not something I wanted to run into, since all my Lostgar “testing” consists of theory. At first I think I’m okay; I have an active Mareep, a Chinchou on the bench, and there’s a Flaaffy and a Lanturn Prime in my hand. He starts with an active Mew Prime and a benched Gastly.
I just start desperately wishing it’s Vilegar with a Mew Prime tech. He goes first and plays Chatot G, using Disrupting Spy. I’d be a little worried, but at the end of my turn I use Minor Errand-Running and reset the disruption.
He gets Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums now, so wave goodbye to hope. The Stadium is now Lost World, Luxury Ball grabs Gengar Prime, and he Rare Candies the Gastly. Mew Prime has free retreat, and Hurl Into Darkness works with one energy. Goodbye Lanturn…. I predict here that this is going to end early.
I have a Manectric in hand and draw an Electrike, knowing he would probably Hurl it. At least I can attack with Flaaffy. But instead, he targets the Azelf in my hand. I put on my disappointed poker face and cheer silently; at the time, I thought that if he had Hurled the Manectric I wouldn’t have lasted more than a few turns afterward. Spoiler, it didn’t matter.
I get an Ampharos Prime, but I’m 10 short on killing it this turn and didn’t have Crobat G ready. I do kill it the next turn with Acceleration Bolt and ready Manectric as back up. However , there are four Pokémon in my Lost Zone. At least the prize was Sunyshore City Gym. He had to play another Lost World to get rid of it.
As soon as I get a Pokémon, I’m either playing it to the field or shuffling it back into my hand. He’s got Spiritomb TM, with the Spooky Whirlpool Poké-Power, so that’s tough on my end. He also used Judge I believe, and a Looker’s Investigation at one point. I admit to loving Looker’s, because it says “draw up to five” and he can’t Hurl that Fisherman I drew. I only have a few prizes left, but Ampharos keeps hitting tails on Thunder, so that’s worrying me a little.
Eventually, it happens. I have six Pokémon in the Lost Zone, and it’s my turn. He’s reduced to using Mew Prime to keep Hurling me, and it’s less effective. There’s one Mew Prime left active, Ampharos can still take a few good hits, I topdecked BTS and there’s no Lost World in play, and he says there’s only one left in his deck.
I guess I’m not the only one with the occasional lucky Stadium topdeck.
If you and your significant other are both looking to beat each other’s record, what’s the best way to settle it? Meet them in your final match. And what’s the best strategy? Remove “mercy” from your vocabulary and do your best to win.
I’m feeling pretty good about this matchup, since Yanmega is weak to Lightning and he’s removed Exploud SV and Ruins of Alph since our last tournament. I also know that when he can’t get a Judge, Copycat, or Giratina in play, he uses Regi Heal and Magnetic Draw, both Poké-Powers.
pokebeach.comMy start is too familiar, lone Crobat G, facing his Yanma, with a benched Spiritomb for some reason. So at least I don’t have type disadvantage, as poor Crobat is weak to lightning. He plays his cards around, getting that Spiritomb active and a Magnemite on the bench.
He plays BTS and evolves that Yanma, using that irritating free retreat to do so, and finishes his turn by Darkness Gracing into a Magneton. In my hand is a Flaaffy and an Ampharos PL, and thankfully I topdecked a Mareep.
But I can only play one energy each turn, and Ampharos takes two, so I leave Crobat as a sacrifice. Predictably, it dies to Yanmega Prime I believe. (I’ve played so many matches against Zack that I can’t think back to it without them blurring together. Should have take more notes, but oh well.)
I was hoping to kill things with Ampharos PL, but I kept flipping tails on Gigavolt. Paralysis is fine too. Manectric comes next, and I use Warp Energy to pull Ampharos back and Power Wave the Magnezone Prime and Registeel on his bench, needing those down. Uxie and Crobat G aren’t blocked, but they’ve been damaged at least.
He and I exchange attacks, while I keep Manectric on the bench while Ampharos Prime sets up the rest of my bench with Acceleration Bolt. Thankfully its Retreat Cost is only one, as he gets Skuntank G up to poison me. Manectric goes back up to get Poison Structure taken out.
This is where Manectric goes down to his Magnezone Prime and Lost Burn. But Lanturn Prime is all powered up and ready to go. Power Wave weakened Magnezone enough for Powerful Spark to finish it off in one turn, and nothing else could stand up to the massive damage. Out of prizes, and it’s game over.
I find out later that he claimed to have the win on his first turn, and threw it, through a combination of that BTS, Magnemite, an Expert Belt, Yanmega’s free retreat, one energy, and Crobat’s lightning weakness. Normally I’d be mad about a thrown match, so here I’m a little irritated.
But it was a hypothetical donk win, which is no fun. Would I have done the same for him? Probably not, especially with that win following. I’d rather win, as Zack is the only opponent I’ve ever seen to turn down a donk in any deck.
3-4, goal achieved!
– 3 wins, not too high, but I’m happy
– Managed to play against someone I know
– Friendly opponents
– Prize luck not as bad as usual
– Fought a different deck each time
– People liked my doodling between matches, made me feel good =3
– Tournament was too far away from home, had to rent a hotel room to make it
– Tough players, better than any other tournament I’ve been to so far
– Few Vilegar players, and I played against none
– Occasional energy droughts despite using 16 energy cards