Hello all and welcome to my second article here on SixPrizes. A little about myself; well this is my first season playing Pokémon, and thus far I haven’t accomplished much other than a top 16 States and 2 Battle Roads victories.
After only being in this community for a year, I’ve come to appreciate how respectful and friendly the people are. From the judging staff, to the players, to even two former US Champions, the Pokémon community truly is the best.
I’ll start this off by going through a brief over view of the deck, followed by a summary of the events leading up to nationals and concluding with the actual tournament report.
pokebeach.comI’d like to take this opportunity to give a bit of background on my deck of choice for Nationals. First off, I would like to state that I am in no way the creator of this deck, all I did was help test it. The creators to this deck are a pair of masters from California; Kenny Britton and Javier Sanchez; I was just fortunate enough to be included in their team.
Secondly, seeing as how I am not the creator I would not feel right exposing their hard work so I will not be providing a decklist. Sorry to all.
This deck works like a basic toolbox deck; you change your strategy depending on the match up and search out the appropriate Pokémon. On top of having an answer to every top tier deck, this deck uses trainer lock to slow down your opponent to a crippling pace usually winning by a landslide. Without posting exact evolution lines; the deck runs a combination of Vileplume, Umbreon, Samurott, Cinccino, and a Zekrom tech to counter most decks.
Leading up to Nationals I was still at a loss as to what to play. Magneboar seemed like hands down the BDIF in format, but I was reluctant to play it due to everyone teching against it. My other choice was a Donchamp deck that prioritized a turn 1 Judge, but I was discouraged by its terrible Magneboar matchup.
About 1 month and a half prior to Nationals, my friend shows up to league with a deck that x-0’s and wins all matches by a landslide; I am now intrigued.
After a month of testing and perfecting the list Canada nationals rolls around along with the emergence of a new deck Yanmega/Magnezone; we largely ignore it except for a few test games which we mostly dominate. Fast forward a week later and to the day before Nationals, Yanmega’s price maxes out at $70 and everyone is in a frenzy for it.
This leads me and the creators of the deck to take two different routes. The creators switch to a Magneboar deck with a 2-2 RDL line to try to speed through 6 Prizes; whereas I decide to tech in a single Zekrom to make the Yanmega matchup slightly more favorable (expecting to run into the deck at least 4 times). So, after a night of excitement and anxiety I arrive to my first ever US National championship.
- Round 1 vs Steven w/ Yanmega/Magnezone
- Round 2 vs Kyle w/ Lostgar
- Round 3 vs Logan w/ Donchamp
- Round 4 vs Paul w/ Magneboar
- Round 5 vs ??? w/ Yanmega/Magnezone
- Round 6 vs. Clifford w/ Reshiphlosion
- Round 7 vs ??? w/ Magneboar
- Round 8 vs ??? w/ Magnezone/Kingdra
- Round 9 vs Kyle aka Pooka w/ Stage 1s
- Top 128 vs Con Le w/ Yanmega/Magnezone
- Top 64 vs Kevin w/ Reshiphlosion
- Top 32 vs Pooka w/ Stage 1s
Steven w/ Yanmega/MagnezoneRound 1 vs
pokebeach.comThe start is my Minccino vs his Cleffa. I setup Vileplume, Umbreon, and Cinccino by turn 3, and take two early prizes on babies. He finally sets up Magnezone and Yanmega. He tries to match my hand using Copycat, but without the use of Trainers he has to play down the resources he draws from his Copycats and Judges.
He attempt to snipe my Vileplume, but by keeping my hand size above 10 he can’t match it, so he doesn’t get to attack for free. He manages to take 1 Prize off my Cinccino I believe. I then promote my Umbreon and Moonlight Fang him to death.
Round 2 vs Kyle w/ Lostgar
I get a good start, but he has the Mime Jr./Slowking combo setup by turn 2 and is able to Sleepy Lost a Vileplume. In the mean time, I promote Cinccino and take 2 Prizes off low HP basics. Next turn I use Sage’s Training to get the Professor Elm, and thus a Vileplume for next turn.
However, he uses Slowking/Mime Jr. to Lost Zone my other Vileplume. -__-
Next turn he uses Pokémon Communication for Gengar. It all goes down hill from there. Without Trainer lock he’s able to Seeker his only Gengar, then Rare Candy back into it, thus healing his only Pokémon able to survive my Cinccino’s attack. A turn later he plays lost world and declares victory.
Round 3 vs Logan w/ Donchamp
I have an amazing start and begin the match with a turn two Vileplume and Umbreon. I Moonlight Fang his Donphan in a slow, but painful fashion. This game would have gone faster, but my Samurotts were prized – what horrible luck!!
Instead I Moonlight Fang his Donphan for 8 turns and retreat into Dewott to KO his Donphan. Luckily I get the Samurott off my first prize. After I setup my Samurott I sweep his bench of Phanpies and Machoke.
Round 4 vs Paul w/ Magneboar
pokebeach.comI swear this guy must have stacked his deck! He got the godliest start I’ve ever seen. My deck was built with Magneboar in mind and beats it 95% of the time. He wins the coin flip and goes first. He sets 3 Magnemites and a Cleffa, Eeeeeeeks, and passes. I have Oddish with Rare Candy and Vileplume in hand for next turn.
I kill Cleffa with Tyrogue and grab the first prize. He Candies to 2 Magnezones, evolves the third to Magneton, and uses Twins for Pignite and Tepig all in one turn. By turn 4 he has 3 Magnezone and an Emboar with like 10 energy on the field.
I try to evolve into Umbreon, but can’t hit it for 10 turns so I scoop. I might’ve won had I played it out, but it was 20 minutes into the match and Moonlight Fang takes forever to KO a Magnezone.
Round 5 vs ??? w/ Yanmega/Magnezone
After reaffirming to myself that I won’t lose anymore, I go into this match more determined than before. I start double Cleffa and Collector. I Collector for two Oddishes and 1 Zekrom (my secret tech for Yanmega decks).
I retreat the Cleffa and start hitting Yanmas for 40 using Zekrom’s Outrage with a Double Colorless. I get Vileplume out on turn 3. He takes an early prize off one Cleffa with Yanmega. Then with some damage done to Zekrom, I take 6 straight prizes.
Round 6 vs. Clifford w/ Reshiphlosion
This is the last match of the day, and it would determine if I came back tomorrow with a decent chance of top cutting or not. As soon as the match starts he flips over a Reshiram to my content. I am able to bring out a turn 2 Vileplume. I have to sacrifice a prize to allow me to setup a Samurott.
With Vileplume out he can’t Rare Candy into Typhlosion and his 1 Quilava is prized. All his burnt energy are stuck in the discard because he can’t use Energy Retrieval or Afterburner. I 1-shot 5 Reshirams (he ran Rescue energy) and 1 Cleffa.
Round 7 vs ??? w/ Magneboar
After spending a night full of anxiety and getting only 4 hours of sleep; I arrive at the convention center less thanprepared for round 7. Luckily it was a rather one-sided exchange.
I start a single Tyrogue and immediately start dreading the possibility of getting donked. He also has a single basic and we flip; I go first. He opens Cleffa we shake hands, and go our separate ways.
Round 8 vs ??? w/ Magnezone/Kingdra
I start Minccino to his Elekid. I see he benches Yanma so I immediately get Zekrom out. Next turn I topdeck Collector fill my bench and Do the Wave for KO. He then takes a prize from Yanmega off a baby. Two turns later he KOs the Cinccino, so I send up Zekrom and start hitting with outrage.
He eventually sets up a Kingdra under Trainer lock and snipes an Umbreon in 2 turns. I eventually take a 3HKO KO on his Yanmega with Outrage. He then responds with Kingdra and makes the mistake of attacking Zekrom.
I start 1HKOing everything. He finally sets up another Yanmega and since he can’t match my hand he has to attach energy normally and KOs my Zekrom. By this time my field has a full powered Samurott a Vileplume and a Gloom. After a couple turns of him baby walling my Samurott takes the last 2 Prizes.
Round 9 vs Kyle aka Pooka w/ Stage 1s
Wow!! My first Nationals and I face “THE POOKA” – multiple US Nationals top cutter and 1 time US National champ. The match plays out like so: my fanboy side gets super excited, followed by a misplay, and concludes with Pooka destroying me.
Haha well in all seriousness, I do make a major misplay. I see the incoming Yanmega, so I Collector for two Oddishes, but be it either out of excitement or nervousness, I forget to set the second one down. He snipes the first then the second followed by some more Reversal – Sonicboom shenanigans.
I finally start putting up a fight toward the end where I setup a Samurott and none of his Stage 1s can put a dent on it. I believe I’m able to take 2 Prizes before he finally takes his last.
pokebeach.comOn a side note I end up facing him in top cut again, but this encounter I believe is what helped him prepare for my deck. By just seeing my strategy once he was able to completely break me in top cut. He’s not a former US champ for nothing. But overall, he’s one of the classiest guys in Pokémon – kudos to you Pooka!
The next thing that follows is the longest 30 minutes or so of my life. I knew only a handful of 6-3’s were gonna make it and I was beating myself up over that one misplay that likely cost me the match.
It would have been even worse if it had costed me the chance of top cutting. Luckily I check the standings and I’m seeded 60th out if 64 in blue flight.
I turn in my deck in and go out to grab lunch with my friends. I figure from here on out I have the advantage in top cut. So in the best of 3 if I win Game 1 because of the surprise factor, that gives me one less game to worry about. When I come back however I find another obstacle in my way – I’m paired up against last years champ in top 128.
Top 128 vs Con Le w/ Yanmega/Magnezone
Without a doubt probably the best match I had was against Con. To this moment, I thank him for such an awesome match. He is seriously one of the most skilled people I have played against and one of the nicest people in the Pokémon community.
I win the coin flip and go first I open godly and have a turn two Vileplume. The specifics of this matchup are kinda fuzzy but I remember at one point he kills my Vileplume (the first person to accomplish that in this tournament). He is then free to setup at his leisure I then take some prizes with Zekrom I believe.
He KOs him as well, and we are then around 20 or more minutes into the game when I promote my Umbreon wall. He realizes if this drags out too long a Game 3 won’t be possible, so he chooses to forfeit the first game to save time.
pokebeach.comThis game was the best I had all day and pushed me to the limit. He decides to go first so he sets up normally. I’m able to Collector for both Oddishes, and I get Zekrom plus an Eevee as well. He foils my attempts at evolving Oddish by sniping both. With that threat gone he is free to use Reversals. I take a few prizes with Zekrom, but he eventually KOs it with Magnezone.
So I switch my strategy to a lone Umbreon strategy and completely keep from setting anymore basics so he can’t Reversal KO. He eventually Knocks Out my Umbreon because I have 1 other basic left on my bench from early game. I start setting up my Umbreon and I sacrifice another prize.
We are left at 2 Prizes for me to his 1. I was contemplating scooping, but I decided against it; I noticed he burned through his entire deck trying to Reversal KO my first Umbreon. At this point I switch my strategy to Moonlight Fang stall. With 140 HP it took 5 turns to KO his Magnezone which had burned all its energy.
He was out of energy and Switches/Junk Arm and had a Magnemite on the bench. Had he paralyzed me with Thundershock for a turn I would have lost. As I KO’d his Magnezone he only had 1 card left in deck and he had used his last Copycat and Judge, so I end up winning by deckout.
Truly an amazing player. I had to switch my strategy three times to deal with his countering everything I threw at him. If you read this thank you Con for an amazing match.
Top 64 vs Kevin w/ Reshiphlosion
After my last match I was hoping to play an easy match up like Magneboar, Donphan, or Reshiphlosion. I was lucky enough to get my wish. But man, even with the type advantage he put up a fight.
He’s able to setup 2 Typhlosion relatively fast, but can’t seem to hit an energy. Trainer lock doesn’t really effect the deck since it didn’t come into effect till mid game and he was already set up. During this match I end up discarding my energy due to horrible Sage’s Training draws.
pokebeach.comThis problem is then compounded because my Samurott requires Double Colorless to be effective. He then powers up Typhlosion and starts discarding my Double Colorless energy. I’m up by 1 Prize. All I have left in my deck is 1 energy and I’m in a tough spot.
I send up my Samurrott and it takes two turns for him to KO it. By the time he does I have another Samurott setup. He has 3 cards left in his deck due to Roast Reveal and Juniper. He has 3 turns to kill a Samurott and take 2 more prizes. He can’t do it, so he forfeits the game.
I’m wary of his ability to discard my energy so I decide to play extra conservative when using Sage’s Training. I’m able to get Vileplume out faster than Game 1 and I really hamper his setup. He is again forced to use Juniper to get his deck going. He’s able to take 2 or so prizes, but Samurott proves to be too much for a Fire deck and I win by taking all 6 Prizes.
I move on to top 32. With one more round left for the day I felt confident in making day 3 on my first trip to Nationals. Not even Pooka would stop me. And who am I paired up against? The one player who already knows my strategy… I hate my life haha.
Top 32 vs Pooka w/ Stage 1s
This time I’m entirely focused on my match and am ready for a rematch. Again some of the details might be hazy for this matchup. I believe I’m able to get the two Oddishes out in the beginning and am able to evolve early. I realize Trainer lock doest hurt pooka’s deck at all because he doesn’t rely on Candy because all his Pokémon were Stage 1s.
Secondly, he ran a thick Supporter line that added a lot of consistency and draw power to his deck. Lastly, he knew he had to target my Oshawotts early before they evolve. His varying Pokémon served as perfect counters to my own variety of Pokémon.
For Moonlight Fang, he would use Bouffalant and KO my Umbreon. For Zekrom he would use Zoroark. And for Cinccino he would use either Donphan or Zoroark. And he would usually sacrifice a prize to 2HKO my Samurott.
It pretty much went the same way as Game 1, except I gave up on Trainer lock to try to match him prize for prize. It didn’t pan out the way I planned it to and 12 rounds later my long journey comes to an end.
Thank you all for reading this far through. Again sorry for not posting a list, but without posting too much detail hopefully some of you can figure it out and give the deck a try.
As for me since I live in California my only choice is to try to grind in to Worlds. San Diego is only an hour drive from where I live so I hope I’ll see you guys there.
- Top cutting at my first Nationals
- Meeting awesome people
- The Pokémon community for turning in my deck twice after I lost it
- Being a part of an awesome team
- Steak ‘n Shake :D
- My team mates for switching decks and dropping after day 1 :(
- Thunderstorms on the plane ride over
- Indianapolis heat!!
- Coin flip format :-/
Thank you all for reading this extra long report!!