Hello and welcome to Carl’s Cache, and my first ever Autumn Battle Roads report for the site (Yay! random cheers in the background).
It was the third week of BRs, and I still hadn’t gone to any; luckily my cross-country meet was early so I was able to go to this weekend. I just had to make sure to fill out my decklist early and have all my stuff ready. I wasn’t sure what to play as our metagame was mostly Gothitelle, Stage One decks (some with Mew), ZPST, and a sprinkling of TyRam. I was deciding between MegaJudge, the deck that I believe to be BDIF despite the BR results (but I’ll get to that later), and MagneBoar.
pokebeach.comThey both had relatively good matchups against what I needed to beat. Magneboar is favored aginst some of those decks by a lot, but also has one really bad matchup. MegaJudge is just solid against all of them. I hadn’t played much, so on Friday night I read about seven UG articles on the decks. Since I hadn’t tested or played enough I decided that good ol’ MagneBoar was the best choice for me.
I was still torn, but I just felt I could play it better and that I wouldn’t lose a game because I didn’t know the matchup well enough. It would more than likely be the other way around, actually, since people were discounting the deck now. The MegaJudge build I was considering will be talked about at the end.
Goth was doing exceedingly well in our area for the first three weeks. I felt that those people would either stop playing it, or that they would be countered a lot by Mew decks. Which, in my opinion, really isn’t that bad of matchup for me.
I ended up using Ability Boar as a semi-attacker, which is comical. Plus, Mew isn’t paired with Sludge Drag a lot currently; it’s mainly used to 1HKO Gothitelle. So, it’s like facing Yanmega/Cinccino, which isn’t bad for me at all.
ZPST was seeing a rise in popularity due to Austin Hanna’s success with the deck with four straight BR wins in seniors. I knew that as long as I wasn’t donked I had a good matchup.
Those factors, plus most people discounting MagneBoar, led to me making my final decision.
So, we get going from Medina and then…
Round One v. Car/Medina/Yahoo Maps being mean
Basically we were in the middle of nowhere, and we got turned around because Yahoo Maps had us going on a bunch of side streets that we didn’t really need to go on. We end up asking a local for directions and we get there late. On the way there we discover that the radiator isn’t working properly and that causes the car ride to be just pure joy.
We get there, but unfortunately I’m late so I get a round one loss. I still wanted to get some good games in and I felt I could so, now onto round two.
pokebeach.comI get paired up against a really good player with a deck that I really didn’t want to play against. Luckily though, he admits to not knowing how to play it fully, possibly giving me a chance. He ends up mulliganning, but we both end up with okay starts. I was able to get out a Magnezone before he got the Vileplume out, which gave me a huge edge. This allows me to apply some pressure and take a comfortable lead.
However, due to my general lack of draw power and having too many Trainers in hand, I have some issues hitting energies which lets him come back in the game. I was relying on Burned Tower flips to keep the stream going.
Toward the end of the game we both are just setting up, and he uses Outrage seven times to KO a Magnezone Prime. Later on, I respond by using Lost Burn to KO his Donphan Prime – he retreated into it at some point – for four energies. Followed by the next turn using Lost Burn for three energies to get my last prize on his Steelix Prime. GG.
So, I was 1-1 and happy to win that game.
Round Three v. Malachi Bailey w/ Stage One Rush
He gets a good start, while my start is draw-pass. He gets a couple of KOs with Pokémon Catcher and KOs a Magnemite and a Tepig. He is steamrolling me, but I top deck a Pokémon Catcher and stall up his Zekrom. This lets me get set up, and I even manage to get a prize on it using Singe and burning him.
I then finally set up and we get into a prize exchange, until he starts whiffing on energies and I am able to Lost Burn four energy to KO his Donphan Prime, and then I cap it off by then Lost Burning to KO a Yanmega Prime.
It was a really intense game, and I was now 2 for 2 on my lone Cleffa being prized.
Round Four v. Michael Zele w/ Gothitelle w/ Xatu Tech
But my Cleffa was prized again…
Round Five v. Mike Allen w/ ZPST
I was pumped for this matchup knowing that unless he donks me I pretty much win. He gets a mulligan followed up by drawing into a zero-energy hand. Luckyily for him, my start was just as horrid. We draw-pass for a long time, but I ended up getting set up first and take the initiative.
Sadly, he never really had a great chance of winning because his deck continually was giving him just the wrong cards; I end up winning this game with a Catcher on a Pachi and then a Junk Arm on the next turn to Catcher up Shaymin.
So, I end up coming in 7th as the last 4-1 in a 35-man tourney, and I was pleased with my finish. For giggles my resistance was better than seeds 3 and 4 (57.5 to 57.0 to 56.0), but I was late. Oh well.
The top cut ended up being a TyRam and 3 Yanmega/Mew/Cinccino decks. TyRam ended up winning.
- 4-0 w/ MagneBoar
- Good resistance
- The venue was really nice
- Got to see friends
- Being late
- Cleffa was prized every single game
Now onto Sunday…
I considered switching to MegaJudge because I just felt like there would be more of my bad matchups. After somehow miraculously getting there I just opt to play MagneBoar again with the same list as the day before. What followed was a tournament that I will never forget (as much as I’ll want to…).
Game One v. Kevin Estep w/ Baby.dec
pokebeach.comYes, you heard that right, it was a deck full of babies. I take a lead, but my Pokémon Catcher was prized and he pretty much flipped perfectly. Catcher ended up being my last prize, and with him hitting me for 80 three turns in a row with Tyrogue + Black Belt + PlusPower to KO my two Ability Emboars (he used Catcher), it was just sad.
Top that off with the fact that I got to attack four times, I lost. He won by using Sleepy Lost with perfect flips five turns in a row to deck me out, after I use Flower Shop Lady.
So, I almost dropped and I had my first rage quit moment in a while, especially when my next round was against:
Gengar Prime techRound Two v. David Davies w/ Mime Jr. Lost Zone deck w/
Are you kidding me? I just about scooped the game at the start, but I knew the guy and it ended up being a fun game. My Catcher wasn’t prized, so I got around his good-but-not-insane flips. It came down to him being one turn short of decking me out and one turn short of getting six in the Lost Zone, since I kept Junk Arming and discarding my Pokémon. GG.
At this point, I am praying my days with babies are done (oh and my Cleffa was prized both of those game too; I hate babies…). At least baby.dec was 2-0.
Round Three v. A.J. Schumacher w/ Yanmega/Mew/Cinccino/Muk
pokebeach.comSo, my first round against this deck and to be honest it wasn’t much of a game. I draw into nothing, but I manage to set up an Abilty Boar, which he Sludge Drags and KOs. I do my first deck search and my second Ability Boar is prized, but at least my Cleffa isn’t. :)
So I end up Eeeeeeeking a lot, and just drawing into either a bunch of unplayable Trainers or six energies, I lost this game hard.
I decide to keep playing. I wasn’t sure if you got the Play Point if you dropped midway through an event, and I wanted to help AJ’s resistance.
This was the one game that went how it’s supposed to. We both have iffy starts, but we end up recovering. He takes the lead, but I hit some key cards with Twins and end up using Catcher and Switch to win by a prize. I can’t remember too much, but I think we hit a combined 1 for 20 on Burned Tower flips.
Round Five v. Malachi Bailey w/ Stage One Rush
Same guy I played yesterday. This game was another game where I suffered from SCD (Severe Clumping Disorder) and I didn’t take a prize. I swear every turn was Catcher or Junk Arm and Judge. So I got nothing going.
Round 6 v. Bryan Le w/ Gothitelle
I had watched some of his games earlier, and he was having the same issues I was: having the wrong things prized or just dead-draws. We both draw-pass for a long time. Finally, I break through with a Zone, but my Switch is prized and I have a Reshiram active.
I still draw into nothing off of my Magnetic Draw and next turn he gets a Gothitelle set up, and I then do my first deck search to see the rest of my Stage Ones are prized. -.-
I end up getting steamrolled.
Top Cut goes like this:
Reshiboar beats Yanmega/Mew/Cinccino
TyRam beats ZPST (strange list, will talk about later)
Reshiboar beats TyRam
So, my friend and SixPrizes editor, Matt Nawal wins, and makes a perfect metagame call. :)
- Matt winning
- Trading for a Pachirisu CL
- Joey winning seniors w/ KROOKODILE
- Not being the only person to lose to baby.dec; it went 3-3 and almost beat a Beartic deck (god coin flips).
- Too many… just not my day.
- Bad prizes/SCD every game.
So after some horrible tournament reports, it is time for the fun stuff.
This Metagame of Ours
The metagame, as I have noted, as well as Chris and many others, is still very cyclical. Each deck has one very bad matchup. This causes the metagame, especially over a four to five week period, to shift drastically. The same was true about the progression from Canada’s Nationals, to US Nationals, to Worlds. For Battle Roads, at least in my area, we are seeing the same major swings.
Early on, the metagame was chiefly TyRam, Stage One, and Goth decks. There was also an influx of anti-Goth decks; mainly because Chris, even in his “retirement” home, said Goth was tier one. So, that bit of hype caused those decks to be played. MegaJudge also won Angola, IN, but that’s a stretch to say its part of OH’s metagame.
Goth was generally the most successful, getting all the Victory Cups in Masters at one event.
This then led to a rise in anti-Goth decks, mainly Yanmega/Mew/Cinccino. This actually allowed ZPST to win a BR because if the deck has bad prizes, ZPST becomes a much tougher matchup. With Goth held in check, Reshiboar and TyRam took center stage, both of which don’t have “great” Goth matchups and play off in top two, with Reshiboar winning.
What I find funny though is that, in a sense, the best attackers for both of those decks against Yanmega/Mew/Cinccino are the energy accelerators because Zoroark can’t 1HKO them.
pokegym.netSo, as you see this BR format is truly all about metagaming; there aren’t a lot of forgiving matchups. Unlike last year, where LuxChomp was always the play because it was the fastest, most versatile, most consistent, etc. deck in format and could compensate for bad matchups by using the space in the deck to add techs; now, true tech options are limited and so is deck space. Thus, making meta-gaming the most important aspect right now.
The question remains, how much will this affect Regionals? Making the right metagame choice will help you a lot, but with Regionals being much more spread out this year, it might be less important. 250+ masters won’t all be playing the same deck. So, I’ll probably just play the deck I’m most comfortable with.
Also, is anyone else noticing all the weird decks out there right now? It really seems like this format isn’t as “narrow-minded” as we first thought. It’s pretty cool, but also annoying; there are so many decks out there right now it’s not even funny. The format is a lot better than the Nationals format; it was so one track, but it’s annoying trying to keep up with all the decks. But I’ll start with my favorites:
Even though it failed me on Sunday – I just had bad prizes, bad flips, SCD, and wasn’t in a great mood to start – I still love this deck. The list I’ve been using is like this:
Pokémon – 19
3 Tepig BLW Promo BW07
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 27
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 14
Basically, the deck is still based around the same concept of once it gets set up, it wins in six turns. The problem is that with Pokémon Catcher, Yanmega, Muk, and Trainer Lock in the format, it has to take a “longer” route to get there. Fall behind early, then use the Twins and get your initial set up. The deck has also had to cut RDL because it really just doesn’t fit there anymore. I love the card to death, but when I tried to cram it in I ended up having consistency issues with the deck.
On the other hand, no RDL allows you to use Bad Boar more along with DCE. DCE is chiefly used so you don’t have to discard as many energies with Flare Blitz, but it can help with the high Retreat Costs in the deck. The Reshiram serve as great walls, and good main attackers. Overall, there really isn’t too much you can actually do with the list. I still love the deck, but I probably won’t be playing it for a little bit to be honest.
My “secondary” deck right now, is one that really has seen about zero play in our area: MegaJudge / Primetime / Yanzone / MegaZone / YanmegaZone / whatever you want to call it.
Pokémon – 18
4 Yanma TM
1 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 31
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 11
pokebeach.comPretty much the same list I had a while ago, except I cut some of the techs for more consistency cards. I also put Max Potion over Black Belt, because the Black Belt was there for me to “catch up a turn” against other Yanmega Prime decks, but Max Potion does basically the same thing, except it’s reusable.
I’ve also considered running Weavile UD; it is an extremely strong card right now, but the problem is that it can be easily Pokémon Catchered and KO’d, and the bottom line is that it becomes a Bench-sitter.
I would also then want to add a Seeker or Super Scoop Up so I could loop the Weavile, and maybe make the line 2-1, but at that point I’m cutting four cards, and the list is already really tight for me.
I still really like the deck, but it just seems to have lost popularity. It probably will get better when N comes out, but we’ll see. The deck also doesn’t seem to have too many horrible matchups, but it definitely has issues against “big HP” decks. Reshiram-based decks, MagneBoar, and ZPS can all give it problems.
Donphan can also pose a problem because you can’t hide behind a swarm of Yanmega due to Catcher. It seems like it has gotten weaker, but I still love the deck.
Surprising (and Randomly Good) BR Decks
These are just decks that have randomly done well in our area. The first I’ll address is the odd Zekrom list that has top cut at two BR’s.
(Note these are my best guesses at both lists. They are both probably a couple of cards off, but not by much.)
Pokémon – 13
4 Tornadus EP
1 Rotom UD
Trainers – 28
4 Junk Arm
1 Alph Lithograph FOUR
Energy – 19
I know that the energy lines and, for the most part, the Pokémon lines are right; I’m not 100% sure on Trainers, though. Yes, this list ran 19 energy. I like the idea of running such a high count, but I feel it would make more sense to switch some over to Energy Search. However, In a Gothitelle-filled environment the higher count might be more viable.
The high energy count allows you to get a turn one Zekrom/Tornadus in most games; you also don’t care as much about losing energy during the game. The Rotom is also cool. With many decks running Twins now for the guaranteed search, Zekrom is almost always winning early on. Rotom helps to fill that void, by giving you access to the cards in your prizes. So, it makes a lot of logical sense to me to use Rotom in this deck. Definitely a unique approach to the deck, and it’s clearly been working for him.
EVERYBODY DO THE YMCA
This is, in my opinion, the coolest deck out there right now; it relies on using See Off to shore up all of Yanmega’s bad matchups. Here’s the skeleton list that I was able to come up with:
3 Yanma TM
4 Junk Arm
pokebeach.comWhat the deck does is start with Mew (ideally) and then tries to See Off a Zoroark. Having access to Foul Play the rest of the game allows you to 1HKO most of Yanmega’s problems: huge Pokémon, such as Reshiram, Zekrom, RDL, Goth, Magnezone Prime, and Bad Boar. The Mew Primes are also basics, so they are easy to swarm, as are Yanmegas and Cinccinos. You set up quickly, and then just start using Catcher to help in taking prizes.
You also have a lot of options as to what you can run in order to See Off: Crobat Prime is great for mirror matches, Muk is great at being annoying even without Trainer lock, and Zoroark lets you KO your bulky enemies. For the most part this deck doesn’t seem to have too many bad matchups. Zekrom is definitely annoying since it can keep pace with the Prize exchange and the matchup (as I found out) gets even worse if your Zekrom counters are prized.
Another key thing is that with Tornadus, Zekrom doesn’t truly whiff anymore; however, Lost Remover can definitely be used to help fix that problem. The deck’s biggest issue might be when it faces decks that have big attackers whose attacks deal significantly less damage than their Hit Points.
Right now there are two of those that are legitimate (maybe three). Typhlosion and Ability Boar both fit that bill very well, with Tornadus being the third. However, Cinccino has easy 1HKOs on Tornadus with a PlusPower. I definitely think this deck could contend for Regionals; it is consistent and can swarm. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The next one is one that I’m not surprised did well and suffers the underplayed factor. After seeing it just steamroll a tournament with a lot of really good players, I think it shows that the deck is for real. (Not the winning list, but my take on it.)
Pokémon – 18
4 Tepig BLW Promo BW07
1 Vulpix HS/CL
1 Ninetales HS/CL
2 Cleffa HS/CL
Trainers – 27
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 15
pokebeach.comNow while this list probably isn’t as good as the one that won, the core of the deck is relatively the same. You can use Bad Boar as well as Reshiram, and the Switch really isn’t as important for this deck as you can also simply attack with Ability Emboar. Retreating is also an option when you have that energy and energy recovery to use. I’m running two Cleffa in this; I had the extra spot and I wanted to see how running two would influence my hands.
Really, other than random Samurott decks it has pretty solid matchups. Although, with the decline of Magnezone being used in our area Samurott/something might be a good play this weekend; it beats YMCA, Reshiboar (somewhat, PlusPowers can really hurt Samurott), TyRam, Stage Ones (usually). Depending on what it’s paired with it can also beat Gothitelle.
Now, the last deck I want to talk about I have no list for. It’s just the funniest thing.
Our seniors metagame was literally two decks – Zekrom and Gothitelle. Joey Nawal, the junior who got fourth at Worlds last year, came up with a deck to beat both of them, but it literally only beats two decks. Krookodile EP. The whole concept is that it stops Zekrom and Tornadus from really hurting him. It also runs high counts of Crushing Hammer and Lost Remover to remove their energies, and since most aren’t running high recovery it stomps Zekrom.
It beats Goth the same way, using Black Eyes to remove energies and stop them from using Mad Kinesis with Torment, which is pretty funny. I’ll end the article with my updated tier list (the predictions I made earlier has really held up well for my metagame, but not necessarily the metagame as a whole.)
- Reshiram (lumping TyRam and Reshiboar together; Reshiboar IS better, trust me) moved up
Tier One and a Half
- Stage One Rush
- Mew Box decks (very broad term to be honest) moves up
- Ross.Dec (not being played…)
Hopefully I’ll have a good report for you guys next week. I’m also hoping my next article will be a Regionals Preview and a BR’s overview (if school continues to go well).
Cya everybody :)