Nationals: The 9-0 Roller Coaster

Warning this article is HUGE for the front page. I’m talking like 4000 words. Summary: I went 9-0 Swiss, I made a HUGE misplay that cost me my 128 match, and I was playing tyRam.

Hi SixPrizes nation! I guess that I just have to say wow what a fun tournament (except for the ending, more on that later). I had an absolute blast, and I turned a lot of heads (I think).

If you recall (from my States report), I picked up the game again last fall. I have played the game since Base Set, but not competitively for a long time.

Also, you might recall that I took Charizard to my first states (without any BTS, only 3 Collector, and only 3 Rare Candy). I went 3-3 and dropped. The significance of this is going to become apparent later in the article. Jump to the bottom to learn about my list and why playing Charizard was significant.

The Testing Period

pokebeach.comThe reason why I played Charizard for the first half (without very important cards) is because I did not want to shell out the money for those cards or for a SP deck. When I first found out that the format could be HGSS-on I was really excited. I honestly believed that I could buy cards early while they were cheap, and I could build a very good deck for Nationals.

In my testing I started out with Reshiram/Typhlosion/Ninetales. I loved the deck from early on. I went on to post my idea on several message boards only to get flamed quite a bit. People kept telling me that the deck was just OK (several people told me flat-out that the deck was bad).

However, one person kept encouraging me to build it because he also thought that the deck had potential. Thanks Matt7! However, I put that deck on the afterburner (haha) and started working on other stuff.

First, I moved to what many people hyped immediately after Black & White came out: Reshiram/Emboar. I never could get the deck to workout for me. I just could not get enough recovery into the deck for me to feel comfortable with it. I also was not comfortable the deck being severely hampered by Trainer lock and disruption. So, again, I moved on.

My third testing deck was MagneBoar. I hopped on the early hype train with everyone else. I really like the deck and it was fun to play. However, I could not hit a consistent list. All of my build were too slow or too susceptible to a bad baby start. I tried everything I could to make the deck work for me, but it just was not happening. I tried everywhere from 12-18 energy. I still had problem with energy resources. Then when I added energy recovery cards, my consistency went into the floor. It was time to move on again.

I then started to test everything that I could come up with or that I saw floating around on the internet. BlastZel was fast but it ran out of steam mid game. ZPS was too inconsistent. Yanmega variants were too inconsistent for me (they just did not fit my style). Donphan lacked draw power. VileMuk was a blast, but it just couldn’t hit for enough.

pokebeach.comI tried Scavenger, LostMewGar, straight LostGar, MewPluff, and a lot of other stuff. My favorite testing deck was Magnezone Prime/Floatzel/Vileplume. I actually tested this deck to great results. It was a blast to play. It have strong draw, easy energy acceleration, and Trainer lock. It was a ton of fun to play. However, I could not quiet nail down the right Trainer line. Again, it was time to move on.

This time I went back to the beginning. It was back to tyRam for me. I never looked back. I just tested the stuffing out of the deck against everything.

I did have one more setback though. Three weeks before Nationals, I went to Yeti Gaming in St. Louis (shout of to Vince and his crew!) for a warm up tournament. The proceeds went to Joplin, MO relief efforts because they got hit hard by a tornado. Great job working out a tournament for a good cause Vince!

At this tournament I took what I thought was going to be my Nationals list, and GOT CREAMED. It was crazy. I got owned by two LostMewGar. It seriously made me question my deck choice. However, I just kept playtesting my deck and worked on making it more consistent. I found a list that I was extremely comfortable with and rocked it out.

However, Thursday night the guys over at put up their last pre-tourny video. In that video Pram had started to see the light. He was all aboard the tyRam train. It put my mind at ease knowing that someone else was seeing potential in the deck.

The Trip and Venue

I got into town Indy late Thursday night. I did not get to pre-register. So, it was a really early Friday morning for me.

The convention center was a great host location. The downtown area in Indy is really cool. The convention center was awesome. Troll & Toad and Collectors Cache were there as vendors. They both offered cool stuff to the players.

The Main Event

Man I was nervous. This was only my third tournament of the season and obviously the first premier event with the HGSS-on format. Boy was I in for a ride. I’m going to just apologize in advance if I am missing your name. I was extremely excited at certain times throughout the Swiss rounds and forgot to write some names down. There were 9 rounds, a 128 top cut, and almost 900 masters.

To be completely honest, I was hoping for a 5-4 Swiss record and sneaking into the top cut with a 6-3 record would be a dream. Let’s get to the matches.

Round 1: Lisa

pokebeach.comLisa was an awesome person. She is a PokéMom that was there with her two kids. We got to have a very pleasant (and calming) conversation because almost 50 players in each flight failed to show up and they had to repair the players. It was just a little 90 minute setback.

So, as you know I am playing a straight fire deck with no techs in it. I go first, we flip over our cards, she starts Oshawatt, Oshawatt, Totodile. Great, an all water deck. Just my luck. I was hoping to win my first couple games to get up on the tables. I was hoping that people would not be playing water on the high tables.

So, we start our game. I got a Cleffa out of my deck and started to set up my bench. She draws nothing. Cleffa woke up. I got to a Typhlosion Prime. I got a Reshiram out and fully powered up. Then I scored three knock outs in three consecutive turns. She could not get anything else out and could not get anything to refresh her hand. GG.


Round 2: Rudy

Randy was a very pleasant person. He had come to Nationals all the way from Texas (which he got second at States). I was pretty worried because he seemed to be a pretty established player. Rudy was running Donphan Prime/Yanmega Prime/Zekrom tech. I was still nervous because he was a good player, but this match up (according to my testing) was in my favor.

The game went along at a good pace. We traded the first 3 Prizes. However, after all of my babies were KO’d he ran out of easy prizes. I pulled off some pretty sweet stuff like double PlusPower drops and a key Defender drop. I swept the last 3 Prizes to win 6-3. GG.

2-0: I was feeling pretty good about this.

Round 3: Alex

Alex was running a Yanmega/Magnezone deck. I was pretty nervous when I saw the Magnemite and the Yanma. The key to this match up is getting your Typhlosions out extremely early. Once you have Typhlosions Prime set up, their hand disruption does not matter much to you.

I do not remember a lot about this game, but it went down to both of use having only 1 Prize left. On the last turn of the game, I played a Reversal and got tails, I Junk Armed it and got tails, I Junk Armed it again and got the heads. So, after a triple Pokémon Reversal, I dragged up a Tyrogue and outraged for the win. GG.

3-0: I was on a roll.

Round 4: Janessa


I had finally made it up to the front row of tables (table 20 I think). We flipped over our cards and she was running T-Tar/Weavile/Zoroark.

I was pretty worried early in this game because she had double Sneasel sitting on the bench for a long time and I was holding two of my Typhlosions in my hand for a long time. If she had gotten to a Weavile early, I would have been in big trouble.

We traded prizes back and forth to a 3-3 count. I had to pull off some cool multiple PlusPower drops and multiple Pokémon Reversal turns to stay in the game early.

I took the last 3 Prizes in a sweep to win 6-3. GG.

4-0: Whoah, what in the world was going on. I mean, I thought my deck was good, but not this good. I was stoked. They had announced that there were going to be 6 rounds on Friday and I was 4-0. I was in good shape to get to the Top Cut.

Round 5: Toby

Toby was playing Donphan/Yanmega/Zekrom. I was stoked. I love this match up.

I am sorry. I did not get very good notes on this game. I know that I won 6-3, but that is about it.

5-0: This was crazy. Could I actually make it out of the first day undefeated?!? Let’s find out.

Round 6: ???

pokebeach.comI’m sorry that I do not have your name. I will always remember this game though. It was by far the best game of the day. This game went to time where I took it on prizes.

From the early game into the mid game we were trading prizes. He would bench a Zorua with a Special D Energy and attack with another Zoroark with a Special D Energy and a Rescue Energy. He would 1HKO me and I would do it right back. He would pick up the Zoroark, promote the Zorua, attach a Rescue Energy and we would do it all again.

Finally, I got the hand that I needed to break the chain that he was doing. I promoted a Typhlosion Prime. I played two PlusPowers and then Junk Armed for a third. That’s right, I triple PlusPower dropped to score a 1HKO with Typhlosion on his Zoroark.

I got to discard his Rescue energy and break the chain. Also, getting that third PlusPower moved my hand down to three cards. On his next turn he had to Copycat into a three card hand to get a KO with Yanmega. I think that he struggled to recover from the three card hand. I built my hand back up and took control of the game.

6-0: I did it. I pulled off the undefeated Thursday. I got interviewed by Pooka and the guys at It was a really fun day.

At this time, I was pretty sure that I could lose all of the Friday games and still make the top cut.

Round 7: ???

I got the match up that I wanted against a Donphan/Yanmega/Zoroark.

In this game he struggled to get out any of his evolutions. In my opinion, this deck is just too inconsistent at times and can be extremely reliant on Reversal flips against anything that Yanmega struggles to 1HKO (as Pooka’s Top 2 match showed). I won by 3 Prizes. GG.

7-0: What a great start to the day. Now I have no doubt that I am in the Top Cut.

Round 8: Jayson

pokebeach.comJayson was a great guy (he went onto Top 4). He seemed to be an experienced player and was very kind. We keep the pleasant small chat going. Little did I know that he was the top rated United States player going into the tournament.

I opened with a lone Tyrogue and Jayson went first. I thought for sure that he was going to donk me. However, he had no way to get a basic out. He Copycatted my hand and still could not get a basic out. He attached an energy and passed.

I drew my card. Played Engineer’s Adjustments. I drew into a Junk Arm and already had a PlusPower in my hand. I double PlusPower dropped to donk his Magnemite with my Tyrogue.

Now I know that every is going to say that hitting the double PlusPower was all luck. To a certain extent you are correct. However, at least once in every game I hit a double or triple PlusPower drop and at least a double Reversal attempt (except for in this donk game). So, I honestly believe that it has to do with the consistent deck build just as much it depends on luck.

8-0: WHAT?!? This was my first Nats and I had been playing at the number 1 table for three of the last four rounds. Crazy. Can I get one more game?

Round 9: Sidney

pokebeach.comThis game had literally given me nightmares. He was playing Reshiram/Emboar/Ninetales/Magcargo. It was by far the best built deck that I saw at the tournament. I thought that is would be my first match of the day, but it turned out to be the last one for all the undefeated marbles.

Feel free to disagree with me, but this was the second most epic game of the tournament. That’s right, not just my tournament experience but the whole darn thing (the final match between Pooka and Justin was crazy). Anyone can feel free to disagree with me.

He opened Slugma and I opened with Tyrogue. I went second. He started setting up his bench passed. I started setting up my bench and Mischievous Punched for 30 and stayed asleep. He continued setting stuff up and got an Emboar online and was prepping a Magcargo on his bench. I woke back up and KOd his Slugma.

I woke back up and had to double (it might have been a triple) Reversal to hit a heads and drag up his Emboar. I Mischievous Punched his Emboar for 30 and then went to sleep. I stayed asleep forever. I stayed asleep for like 4 or so of my turns (8ish total game turns).

Through the beginning of the game I completely forgot about the Burned Tower that he played on his first turn. I felt dumb. So, the second half of the game I remembered to use it.

Once the game got back rolling again, we traded some crazy prizes. I ran through a couple Reshirams to take the lead in the prize race. The absolute coolest prize he took went down like this. I KO’d something of his with an undamaged-Reshiram that I had also attached a Defender to.

He proceeded to pull Magcargo and dropped four R Energies. Magcargo does 60 damage for three energy and 20 more for each R Energy you discard from Magcargo. It was a crazy good play. He proceeded to 1HKO my Reshiram with 140 damage. Well played sir.

In the mid game, I got another Reversal heads (I had to play multiple Reversals this turn to hit heads) and pulled up his lone Emboar to KO it with Reshiram. This bought me a few turns to work with. It took him three more turns to set up his second Emboar.

The end of this game just got crazy.

With four or five turns to go, I was up on prizes, I had one left and Sidney had two left. I was struggling to get anything going. He had just KOd a Reshiram with Emboar. On my bench, I had a damaged Reshiram, a damaged Typhlosion, a clean Typhlosion, and a Ninetales.

I promoted the Typhlosion to wall for a bit. I Collectored to look through my deck, which had two cards left: a Cleffa and a Junk Arm. I attached some energy to Reshiram and passed.

I thought that I had the game won on this next turn. He drew his last card. Then he misplayed a Fisherman (he meant to play a Professor Oak’s New Theory). I thought for sure that he had decked himself out. However, he made a good play and Pokémon Communicated a card back into his deck. To buy one more turn. Then he attacked my Typhlosion for 80 damage.

I drew my second to last card, it was Cleffa. Then I powered up my Typhlosion Prime and attacked his Emboar for 70. His field now had an undamged Reshiram, Emboar with 70 damage, Reshiram with damage, and two clean Ninetales. I had him.

On his turn, he retreated his damaged Emboar and promoted his undamaged Reshiram. I think he thought that the Reshiram would be safe because I had already played all three PlusPower and three Junk Arm. He Blue Flared my Typhlosion Prime to take a prize. It was 1-1 and the game went to time.

I promoted my Reshiram with three energy. I drew my last card, a Junk Arm. I played it for a PlusPower and 1HKO’d his Reshiram with Blue Flare for the game!

9-0: The perfect Swiss round record. I couldn’t believe it. Craziness had prevailed. I was the only undefeated Swiss player in the Blue Flight and entered top cut as the overall 1 seed. What made it even more satisfying was that I went 9-0 with tyRam that many people had flamed online.

The Top Cut

I we had a long lunch break and got back to it a 2:30. It was interesting when we got back. From what I heard, the judges had left the decks in order (where the cards were sorted) from deck checks. I’m pretty sure my opponent and the two people at the next table all had their decks still in order. Mine was extremely randomized. I have no idea what that was about. Maybe someone wanted to play the 9-0 deck on lunch break… jk :)

Top 128: Adam

pokebeach.comAdam was playing Yanmega/Magnezone. I was stoked. I absolutely love playing against Yangmega based decks. My deck just does not give very many easy prizes to Yanmega, and forcing them to Lost Zone three energy for every Magnezone KO is rough.

I had a rough time setting up and never could really get rolling. I lost my Ninetales in the early game and my second Vulpix was prized. I also had two Reshiram prized. However, through Engineer’s Adjustments and PONT I was able to keep the deck moving. I lead the prize exchange right down to the bitter end. I had even double PlusPower dropped to 1HKO a Magnezone in the middle of the game.

I was up on prizes. I had one left and he had 2 left. On his turn he KOd my last Typhlosion to make it 1-1 going into my turn. Let me set the field for you:

Him: He had a Tyrogue, Cleffa, Shaymin, Magnezone on the bench and Yanmega Prime active.

Me: I had a Cyndaquil, a Reshiram with 4 damage and a DCE, a Reshiram with 1 damage and 1 R Energy, and clean Reshiram. In my hand I had two Junk Arm and a Pokémon Reversal.

What did I promote? The stupid Reshiram with only 1 energy on it. That was the biggest brain fart in my Pokémon life. I completely gave the game away.

On my turn, I Reversaled his Shaymin active to buy time. I stalled with some shenanigans for a few turns trying to top deck a R Energy. I scooped to try to save time.

That sealed my fate. I had the game won and gave it away by promoting the wrong Reshiram. No offense to Adam (if he reads this or any of Adam’s friends read this). I was furious with myself. There is nothing quite like gift-wrapping a top cut match to a deck that had not given me any serious problems the whole tournament.

The second game. I opened with a lone Cyndaquil. He set up his bench and attached a L Energy. I top decked a Quilava and evolved. He got out a Magnezone, attached a L Energy, retreated his active, and turn two donked my Quilava with Magnezone Prime. It was crazy and I was ticked.

The Format

I want to make some quick observations on the format:

Junk Arm– Everyone is claiming that this format is extremely luck based. I honestly believe that you can choose how much you want luck to play a part in the format. Just keep you baby lines to a bare minimum. Also, if you play a thick Junk Arm and Reversal line, you can double a triple Reversal a turn a virtually guarantee you a heads to hit the crucial force out.

Some decks (like Yanmega/Magnezone or Yanmega/Donphan) rely heavily on hitting Reversals often in the game to take easier prizes because the deck (Yanmega/Donphan) either do not hit hard enough or require too many resources (Yanmegae/Magnezone) to effectively stream 1HKOs against Pokémon with HP of over 100.

However, tyRam can 1HKO almost anything. So, the key is to just save your resources (Junk Arms, Reversals, and PlusPowers) to use en masse at the crucial moment when the game is there to be won. I did this a lot. Pretty much every time I needed to hit a heads with Reversal I was prepared to play at least three during a single turn to skew the probabilities of hitting heads in my favor (often times I could have pulled off a quadruple Reversal attempt if I had to).

To be honest, only the two donk games would I say that luck attributed to my matches in a significant way.

– Everyone claims that going first is a HUGE advantage. While is it an advantage, it is not insurmountable. I went first five times in the Swiss and second four times. A good deck build can overcome starting second. Just make sure that all of your non-baby basics have 60 hp and only a single Retreat Cost.

– Yanmega made a massive showing and at least 8 of the Top 16 deck were Yanmega variants. I would say that Canadian nationals had a huge impact on US Nationals. Props to our friends north of the border. The final table at US Nats had two Yanmega variants in the game. Three weeks ago, no one would have seen that coming.

– Donphan also made a strong showing with three Yanmega/Donphan decks going deep (and Adam Cap making Top 64 with DonChamp).

– Vileplume is not dead. There was at least one Vileplume in Top 16.

– There was not a lot of MagneBoar that did well. That is twice this season alone that the USA player base was off in its prediction. Everyone hyped LostGar into oblivion and it largely underwhelmed. Again, everyone hyped MagneBoar and it largely underperformed. I am not saying that it is a bad deck. It is actually a very good deck; it is just not the BDIF like everyone was running around screaming.

– This format is still wide open.

– I know that everyone is going to anoint Yanmega/Magnezone or Yanmega/Donphan the BDIF. I guess that is OK because they were the two decks at the Final Table. However, I honestly feel that tyRam deserves to be in the conversation (at least as the third wheel). I did not hear of a single player who played tyRam absolutely bomb out. There were quite a few Yanmega decks that got hammered also.

– If the World’s field is filled with Yanmega, Reshiram and Zekrom is a solid play. Both decks do not have a lot of easy prizes for Yanmega to snipe of the bench. tyRam is pretty resistant to hand disruption after you set up a second Typhlosion (which can happen by turn three relatively easily) and everything is too big to be dealt with easily by Yanmega. Just be sure to play the babies sparingly.

The Deck

pokebeach.comA lot of people game me grief for tyRam. A lot of people will still not give this deck credit. However, it never let me down. It gave me an out in every game (except that final donked game). I just made a huge misplay and let the deck down.

This deck is fast. It sets up turn three almost always and I even hit a turn two set up once or twice.

It hits hard. It does not hit as hard late game as some other decks, but no other deck can consistently dish out 120 damage as early and often.

It is very consistent. The stage one draw engine, Ninetales, is faster to set up and more consistent than Magnezone.

It can be played very aggressively and it will always give you an out (you just have to be smart enough to recognize them and pounce on the opportunities).

Now for my actual list. I am definitely not going to Worlds. So, I do not care if anyone sees this. I hope that people pick it up and play it at Worlds.

Pokémon – 184 Reshiram BLW
3 Cyndaquil HS
2 Quilava HS
3 Typhlosion Prime
2 Vulpix UL
2 Ninetales HS/CL
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Tyrogue HS/CL
Trainers – 284 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Engineer’s Adjustment
4 Junk Arm
2 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Reversal
2 Defender
3 PlusPower
Energy – 1412 R
2 Double Colorless

I am not going to go in great depth about each of these cards. If you need a refresher about how this deck works you can go read my original article here.

Charizard ARpokebeach.comHowever, like I said earlier, running a bad Charizard list for half of the season really prepared me for this deck. Roughly 30-35 slots in this deck are exactly the same as my Charizard deck. So, I had been playing the core of this deck for a long time now. I was extremely comfortable with how it should work and what the trainer lines should be. I honestly believe that this played a huge role for me.

I do want to elaborate a little on the status and future of tyRam.

First, I honestly believe that this deck deserves to be in the discussion for Tier 1. It is very, very good. I know that I did not take it to the top, but that was my fault, not the decks fault. Yanmega swarmed the top tables, but I dusted them off like flies through the Swiss and had the game in hand in Top 128 before I misplayed my way out.

I know that a lot of people will want to anoint Yanmega BDIF because it made a big showing in the top cut, but what do you expect when most of the top ranked players in the world are playing Yanmega. If a 1616 rated player can pilot a tyRam into a 9-0 Swiss record and handle five Yamega decks with relative ease, tyRam deserves to be in the conversation (come on at least grant me that it should be in the discussion).

Ask Adam how sweet this list can run. He was sitting next to me for round 9-of Swiss and got to watch most of my game against Sidney.

Also, the future of the deck is extremely bright. Pokémon Catcher is going to make this deck a boss, and it will have a minimum adverse effect on this deck. The Typhlosion Prime is easy to get out of the active, and all of the basics have 60 hp so they are difficult to 1HKO early in the game for most decks (save Donphan or Yanmega). Also, Eviolite (or whatever it is called) will make the Defender slots even more potent.

Also, we will have to see what exactly Reshiram-EX does, but the deck could be strengthened again with that card. The future is extremely bright for this deck.

Well thanks for reading. I am starting law school in August, so I might make it to some stuff, but will be pretty busy. I hope that I get to play a bit.

Well until next time…


  • My little man, Luke Sherman took 4th in Juniors with tyRam that he had just picked up last week. We play tested a ton the last few days.
  • The staff was awesome: judges, official employees, and admin people
  • I love this format
  • A diverse field in the Swiss rounds
  • Going 9-0 in Swiss and 9-1 (9-2 if you count the two top cut games individually)
  • My rating went from 1616 all the way up to 1775.77. It is not enough for a World’s invite, but this is not to shabby for only playing in three premier events this year.


  • Misplaying myself out of the tournament. It was really rough. I made one misplay the whole time and it cost me a game in top cut and likely the match. It is very frustrating to be playing so well and then miss something so simple. I know the best players in the world would not have missed that. I need to fix those stupid mental lapses.

P.S. Pooka took 2nd with Yanmega/Donphan/Zoroark (I think) and Justin took 1st with Yanmega/Magnezone (I think) in what was a nail biter.

Reader Interactions

70 replies

  1. Anonymous

    Sorry, I just reread that credibility “sentence”… that is not at all how I meant for that to come out. It sounds pretty arrogant… my apologies

      • Anonymous  → Adam

        Just take it out please, and go ahead and remove the LostGar point please.

        Thanks a ton Adam!

        • Anonymous  → Blake

          To be completely honest, there is not a single card I would change right now. This is very fast (I outsped every stage 1 deck I played against), it is consistent, and it hits extremely hard when you need it to. The deck just needed a better player behind the wheel to not make that huge 128 misplay.

          If I had to pick something to experiment with, it would be taking out the Tyrogue and adding one more DCE. That would come close to equaling out the probability of donking a lone baby. That donk possibility is the main reason to play Tyrogue.

  2. apb58

    So glad Reshiphlosion did so well. I started off with this deck, and I thought it probably had the best synergy of any deck in the format for it’s draw and attack scheme. And the fact it can power up outrage, too!

    And you’re right, the new sets will make the deck even better. Have you heard about Poke Center? Removes 1 damage counter between turns! Basically negates the damage addition from afterburner entirely!

  3. Anonymous

    LostGar wasn’t in top 16 btw. Alex Frezza was playing Yanmega/Magnezone, so Yanmega was in 13 of the top 16, which is crazy.
    Congrats on the 9 win streak! It shows that this format doesn’t have to rely on Yanmega and hand disruption. :)

  4. Blake

    Looking back, if there was anything you could have changed in your list, what would it have been? 

    • Anonymous  → Blake

      To be completely honest, there is not a single card I would change right
      now. This is very fast (I outsped every stage 1 deck I played against),
      it is consistent, and it hits extremely hard when you need it to. The
      deck just needed a better player behind the wheel to not make that huge
      128 misplay.

      If I had to pick something to experiment with, it
      would be one of the following:
      1)Taking out the Tyrogue and adding one more DCE. That would come
      close to equaling out the probability of donking a lone baby. That donk
      possibility is the main reason to play Tyrogue.
      2)The two Defenders could be taken out an you could put in a fourth PlusPower and a third Rare Candy.

  5. Blake

    Looking back, if there was anything you could have changed in your list, what would it have been? 

    • Anonymous  → Pirn

      Great question.

      1) The deck list is very tight. There was nothing I wanted to take out to add another. I origionally had a 3-1-3 Typhlosion line with 3 Rare Candy and switched to a 3-2-3 line with 2 Candy.
      2) I found that it was just as easy to “build” a Typhlosion as it was to Candu into one. With four Collector, four Communication, 4 Junk Arm, a thick evolution line, and extremly good draw, it is easy to get out at least 1 Typhlosion by turn 3 and the second by turn 4.

      For sure playtest this with more, but this worked for me.

      • Mekkah  → Anonymous

        What I personally like about Stage 1s over Rare Candy (besides their invulnerability to Vileplume) is that you don’t need both that card and the Stage 2 in your hand at the same time. I still prefer Rare Candying when I can (Quilava is still 2HKO’d by Linear Attack) but nothing is wrong with a slightly slower but more accessible set-up imo.

  6. Neal Myerson

    Love this deck. Been using it for awhile. Couple things I changed… I like 3 vulpix/3 ninetales. Draw it early draw it often. And I use 2 revives, and two energy retrieveals. Sure knock out a resh, I’ll just get him back.

    I like to have Reshi active as fast as possible. Get some damage on him… then outrage is possible on turn 2…

    My ideal set up:

    Active Reshi. 2 Typhlosions on bench. Two ninetales. 1 backup reshi.

    i’ve been destroying people at leage with this for awhile… I also love battling anything with less than 120 health :).

  7. Franco L III

    wow. and i thought that reshiboar was better. you sir have got me thinking in a different way. you also got me really pissed that i didn’t trade for 3 typhlosion prime at nats! xD

    • Anonymous  → Franco

      Yeah, I talked with some of my friends from the STL during the event about my deck. They snatched up like 6-8 Typhlosion Primes for $3 from Troll & Toad.

  8. Neal Myerson

    Love this deck. Been a typlosion fan since day 1. Never believed in the Emboar.

    My alterations:
    no babies! 3-3 Vulpix/Ninetales. I believe my ideal set up is: 2 Typhlisions/2 Ninetales/2 Reshis. I want nothing stand in their way.

    I also had 2 revives. Sure spend 3 energies knocking out my reshiram. Oh look, there he is again, and oh look… 3 energies on him again.

    2 energy retrievals to. Hated not drawing energies.

    Anyhow, it the above works, rock on. Try those out. I liked getting a reshiram active as soon as possible.

    • Anonymous  → Neal

      I completely understand the no-babies thing. I played a lot of games without them because I was so made at them. The deck just does not run as consistent without them. The ability to search out a hand refresh option is just too good.

      Even with the baby you can get Reshiram out early. In fact most games I opened with Reshiram and did not bother to get my Cleffa until at least mid-game.

      I completely understand the idea about Revive too, but with the current format 4 Reshiram is all you need. Nothing popular except other Reshiram, Zoroark, and Magnezone can score a OHKO every turn. If you run out of Reshiram, Typhlosion is more than capable as a secondary attacker. There just is not room in an ultra-consistent, ultra-flexible build to play them.

      I also understand about the Energy Retrievals, but they are a waste of space. Energy is nothing in this deck. With proper planning early in the game the two Typhlosions more than take care of your energy needs. If you must have some other form of energy recycling put in a single Burned Tower. With enough PONT and a lone Cleffa you can refresh your hand when you need to late in the game to get an energy in hand.

      Not trying to be too harsh, but put this list together and play it. It is very, very good. I played against other tyRam decks and this almost always out did them. I have hundreds upon hundreds of games invested in this list.

      Also, try not to write of ReshiBoar quite as fast. That deck can be very, very good also. Sidney from round nine gave me by far the toughest game of the tournament. His ReshiBoar deck was very good. It just is not for everyone.

      • Neal Myerson  → Anonymous

        I’ll try it. But I think it’s a matter of opinion :). To me attacking with cleffa is a wasted attack. Energy retrieval… gets me 6 more cards with 2 ninetales. That’s a cleffa and I get to attack. The only good cleffa attack is on turn one. By turn two, i think I’d rather outrage.

        This has been my favorite deck since Heartgold came out. Used regular typhlosion then… The biggest worry was not drawing a fire energy. Very versatile to yank it out of discard then chuck it back in for 3 more cards.

        I also skipped out on all Rare Candies. Found it easy to just build that typhlosions as you said.

        • Anonymous  → Neal

          Yeah I see what you are saying, but we might just have to agree to disagree on the build :)

  9. Dave Wilson

    I still think Magneboar is a great deck, sure not BDIF but great nonetheless. I took 6-3 with my list mostly due to terrible luck and an unreasonable amount of failed flips. There are a lot of bad lists out there, not to mention it takes a lot of effective resource management to make it work. Good article, I definitely didn’t see this deck doing too well but with all of the stage 1’s you kind of just run over everyone.

    • Anonymous  → Dave

      Yeah this deck definitely has good match ups against most of the stage 1 decks, including Yanmega. Tom D lost to Pooka with his version of this deck in the Top 8.

      I honestly believe that this deck is better than MagneBoar too (no offense). It is really easy to pull out double PlusPower drops to OHKO Magnezone.

      • Dave Wilson  → Anonymous

        Yeah, it might be better in consistency but I’ve beaten some very good players running Reshiboar with my specific Magneboar list. If you want to see it let me know. I’m not running it anymore so I don’t care.

  10. Ed Mandy

    Can you discuss your choice to include the Double Colorless Energy?  Was that mainly a retreat aid, or did you go for a first turn Outrage?  Congrats on the great showing!

    • Anonymous  → Ed

      DCE serves a lot of purposes. These are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head (no particular order):

      1) A retreat aid. It is really useful to drop one energy card to retreat your Typhlosions or Reshirams. It is just as good as a Switch in this deck but serves so many other possibilities.
      2) This did not happen this weekend, but in testing you can use DCE on turn one with a PlusPower and donk a baby.
      3) It is clutch against Donphan Prime. You just let them Earthquake a Reshiram twice, drop the DCE and OHKO Donphan.
      4) In general it is nice to power up outrage on a Reshiram that has 110 or 120 damage on it. In those situations you cannot use Typhlosion Prime because you would knock yourself out.
      5) It allows you to build up more attackers at once. For example: you can use DCE and two Fire Energy to use Blue Flare on one turn. Then they attack you on their turn. Now you can Outrage back and use your three energy drops (one manually, two from Afterburner) to power up a benched Reshiram in one turn.

      DCE was useful in every single game that I played. I used it to retreat. I also scored at least one Outrage KO per game with DCE.

      If you want to know anything else, just let me know.

      • Ed Mandy  → Anonymous

        Thanks for the informative reply!  Your article is very well written, and so are your replies in the comments.  I agree that Catcher will not be too bad for this deck.  Any deck that can easily attack with each of its Pokemon will continue to do fine.  The only main issue that Catcher will pose is to slow its setup.  I’m still borderline whether I prefer my build of ReshiBoar or this in a post-Catcher format.  Your results are indisputable, though, and I’ll need to test both builds to see which I prefer.  I actually quite like Typhlosion’s Attack and Retreat in the Catcher format.  I also like Emboar’s ability to recover quickly and easily from any KO/Catcher situation.  I just wish I had been thinking about all of this sort of stuff in the week or two leading up to Nats instead of now.

  11. Matthew Riddle

    Tons of props. You did really, really well with a deck many discounted. You posted your list, which many top players would never think of doing (some of them you beat in swiss, lol). Good job and good luck in the future!

    • Anonymous  → Alex


      I honestly believe that this deck will get better with the next two sets.

      In the Emerging Power set we for sure get Pokemon Catcher. This deck is extremely fast and can easily take advantage of Catcher. It also has a strong enough draw engine to guarantee that you have one when you need one. Yanmega, Donphan, and other stage ones are fast enough, but they rely on top decks to get a Catcher in hand.

      The new Pokemon tool Eviolite (or whatever it is called) will be good for the deck.

      Pokemon Center could prove to be useful in this deck.

      Finally, Reshiram EX is going to come out within the next couple sets. We do not know exactly what this will be like, but I would imagine it is a safe bet that it will make Reshiram a better card.

      I would be on the look out for this deck to make a good splash this next season. Heck, I would look out for this deck at Worlds. It has a good match up against Yanmega and Donphan and both of those will be out in force at Worlds.

  12. Mekkah

    Great performance, dude. I’ve personally found Emboar easier to use with Reshiram than Typhlosion. However, with the huge shift towards Pokémon Reversal, I might be giving this another chance.

      • Anonymous  → David

        I really think that this deck will be just as playable as it is now when Catcher comes out. To be honest I think that Catcher will make this deck even better when it comes out.

  13. Anonymous

    Mad props to you. I was never fully convinced with ReshiBoar vs ReshiPhlosion, but this is big. I’m glad I held on to my Typhlosions.

  14. Pokémon 31337

    Wow, that was really interesting to read, never been to a nat before, and that hot streak was crazy, really!
    Your deck reminded me of a friend of mine who uses Typh Prime and creams me all the time xD
    Say, did you find any grass choices among the decks besides Yanmega?

  15. Adam Capriola

    Incredible report dude, thanks so much for sharing!

  16. ricky turrietta

    so wait you said against sidney she discarded four energy to do 140 damage to a reshiram 130 hp with a defender -20 damage that would leave you with 10 extra hp did he drop a pluspower or something?

  17. Adam Bruggeman

    I feel like you just tripped to the pressure. You and I stayed prize for prize in the first game and you let the moment get to you. This had no effect on the second game however and who knows what would had happened in the third. I kept playing it well cutting out your resources when I could and keeping you under pressure. My only suggestion to you is keep cool under pressure. In this game there are winners and losers and had I lost I would had been bummed a little also, however when I lost to Alex in top 32 it didn’t stop me from making a friend or shaking his hand. The friends you make in this game love this game just as much as you. Congrats on the undefeated swiss rounds and if you feel this strong about it I look forward to a rematch.

    • Anonymous  → Adam

      Thanks for the advice! :)

      I know that I can be a hot head at time. I also know that there was nothing I can do about the second game. You really jumped all over me.

      I was just mad at myself for that firsy game. I don’t mind losing when I know that I did everything I could. In that first game, I did not.

      It is true that we don’t know how the third game would have gone. Congrats on your deep run!

  18. Joey Sozzi

    Great article I’m using this list and will make my own changes to it after playtesting with it, if that’s okay with you lol

    • Anonymous  → Joey

      Man, I want anyone and everyone to use this list if they like it. I wouldn’t have put it up if I did not want people to play it.

      Hopefully it treats you well. Let me know if you find something that drastically makes it better.

      • Joey Sozzi  → Anonymous

        Ok thanks very much I’ll be sure to do that. Ive been testing with reshiboar for a while and it got a little stale so I wanted to try something new, plus I love fire decks lol.

  19. Skyler Knopp

    EXCELLENT article. THE best tourney report I’ve read in Years. BUTTTTT, That said, this was my first major tournament, and I ran ReshiPhlosion also.I tested a TON online, still not enough though.Because rounds one AND two i lost the flip and was lookin at two MewGar builds. Gross. Just.. gross. hahaLong story short, you Now have heard of someone running a reshiphlosion build that totally bombed xDDD Then, since i was in the lower levels, i ran into those samurott and water builds.. major bummer! haha! still had an excellent time at nats though, and i’m stoked to see your reshi build did so well!

    • Anonymous  → Skyler

      I’m glad you liked the article!

      I’m sorry to hear that you got stuck against some water decks. MewGar can be a difficult match-up for this deck too.

      I’m glad that you got out to a tournament. This was my first Nats also.

  20. Anonymous

    I noticed in your 2 deck lists you decided to add a 1-1-1 Typholosion.  I was wondering if you could just run 2-1-2 .  Is there any significant difference, or is it just preference?

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      the 3-2-3 line makes the likelyhood of getting two Typhlosions up a lot better, and that is important. I would strongly recomend picking up another Typhlosion (they are still $3 for the promo one on T&T).

      You could probably make it work with two. You should add one or two energy recovery cards: burned tower, fisherman, or energy retrieval.

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      the 3-2-3 line makes the likelyhood of getting two Typhlosions up a lot better, and that is important. I would strongly recomend picking up another Typhlosion (they are still $3 for the promo one on T&T).

      You could probably make it work with two. You should add one or two energy recovery cards: burned tower, fisherman, or energy retrieval.

  21. Skyler Knopp

    EXCELLENT article. THE best tourney report I’ve read in Years. BUTTTTT, That said, this was my first major tournament, and I ran ReshiPhlosion also. I tested a TON online, still not enough though. Because rounds one AND two i lost the flip and was lookin at two MewGar builds. Gross. Just.. gross. haha.. Long story short, you Now have heard of someone running a reshiphlosion build that totally bombed xDDD

  22. Dan W

    I just cannot play this deck! You’ve got some serious skill if you can go 9-0 like that. I know there a few donks here and there but I don’t think the rest of the wins were a flaw. This does prove that, when played correctly, Reshiram/Typhlosion is the superior play over ReshiBoar. Awesome job man! Look forward to your future reports and articles :D

  23. samuel roach

    Wow, really great article. I loved your idea to hold on to your stuff like Reversal, Junk Arm etc…., then in a crucial moment you go off and do miracle plays. You fail flips maybe once, or twice, but that next time you just kill em. I know that just pissed off your opponents when you go junk arm like 2-3 times in a row and keep pouring on the suspense.I can picture them sitting there crossing their fingers hoping you don’t have another junk arm, and hoping you flip tails on reversal.

    I’ve got to steal that strategy!! It sounds like it works so well, and it really turns the tide in games. I think that was a major factor on why you won some of your games. When you hear about some of the best players loosing, because they played reversal + junk arm and flip tails, then are disappointed because they can’t do it again cause their other junk arms are in the discard pile, from earlier uses. Also, I know players wouldn’t have used Plus Power like that. They would have went for a different play instead. That alone is the difference between winning and losing. I always tell players that it’s not the deck that deserves credit, but the player who plays it. This tournament proved that when other TyRam decks didn’t do so well, and when some Yamega decks lucked out too. Skill and talent is the key, and you have both of those. There’s only so much copying a deck and playing it can do for a person.

    I am also surprised you played 1 of each baby and was able to use them like you did. I think that’s exzctly why Yamega and Tyrouge did so well. Them donking babies, and sniping them is giving up crucial prizes, and FTK’s. If you take those away, Tyrogue and Yamega becomes dead. They had a hard time dealing with you because of that.

    I still play Reshiboar(aka “BEWD”), and I agree with you that it’s still good. I’m not switching over to TyRam just because you went 9 and 0 in Swiss. I believe that Reshiboar is better, and I’m going to prove that. I love what you played with, and I’m glad you went back to play the deck you started out with. Playing something you’re familiar with will always do better in the end.

    Losing like that in the top, shows that you’re human just like the rest of us. Pressure will get to even the best of us in the end. Keep your cool, and focus, and I’ll look for you to do great things in the future. :smile:

    • Anonymous  → samuel

      1) WOW! What a great compliment. Thank you very much.
      2) holding the resources and playing them all at once was a lot of fun. That is the great thing about Reshiram decks, you can aford to sit on them for a little bit. With outrage you can usually take a punch or two while you are hording stuff. Whereas, decks like Yanmega and/or Donphan have to use them early to stay in the prize race.
      3) for sure keep rocking out ReshiBoar. It is a great deck once you hit a good list.

      • samuel roach  → Anonymous

        No prob bro.

        that’s cool that only reshi decks can do something like that. They hit for so little damage. I guess that’s why.

        Yeah, I loved reading about that part too. That Macargo tech was pretty awesome too!! I hope he does an article on his deck. That would be great to see. (hint: PM him and convince him to do it) : big grin:

        • Anonymous  → samuel

          I think he might be going to Worlds. So, probably no luck on getting his deck list. Also, he said that he had been working on it for about 3 months, I doubt he is going to put it up even though he is an awesome guy.

          PM me (airhawk06) and we can chat more about it

  24. rraya

    I built this list and tested it a few times. It is quite fast, but it feels as if not starting with a collector on the first turn severely slows it down by making it unable to set up the two typhlosion nearly as quickly. Not to mention that I tested it against a Cinccino variant which this reshiphlosion does not outspeed 50 to 60 percent of the time, and the reversal flips from that deck are lethal and have had me in a position in which either I can only bring out one typhlosion or none at all when two quilavas got reversaled and I could not draw into a rare candy to save my life. I just simply wanna ask how you deal with a similar matchup. This is a problem which emboar does not face as much since it only really needs one emboar to operate at full capacity.

    • Anonymous  → rraya

      I can see what you are talking about.

      However, that could be said about any deck. Any deck that does not get an early Collector gets owned in that specific game (even more so with Cinccino). So, I feel that that is a slightly unfair way to evaluate a deck.

      Also, Reversals can kill any deck.

      The way I would approach this match up would be to set up two Ninetales first. Streaming Blue Flares should not be that big of a deal in this game. So, one Typhlosion at a time should be plenty good enough. Heck you could even just set up the Ninetales against a straight Cinccino and not worry about the Typhlosions very much. You should be able to soak up Cinccino’s attack and then Outrage back for the OHKO.

      The other thing, is that I doubt Cinccino will see a ton of play in highly competitive situations. Cinccino is owned to hard by Donphan and to a lesser extent Yanmega. So the meta game might very well take care of this problem for you.

      I have not tested this specific match up very much. So, I that is the best I have for you right now. I hope that it works out for you, or that you figure something out to solve this.

  25. jacky who

    Wow… That was one massive brain fart. You could have gotten first. Ah well

    • Anonymous  → jacky

      Yes it was a very, very big one. It was only my third Premier event this year and only my third competitive event since the base set days.

      I just really need to clean up those silly mistakes for the next season. It was just a very noob mistake. I guess that’s life…

  26. David Wiken

    Hearing some talk about a card called “Pokemon Center”. Can someone explain to me what type of card it is and what excactly it states?

    • Anonymous  → David

      Well it is a speculation card right now. It will likely be a Stadium. It will likely say something like “remove 10 damage from each Pokemon in between turns”

      So, it is like Serperior w/ ability except for everyone.

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