missouri.eduHey all. So, after one thing or the other, I finally made it to a Battle Roads this season. Unfortunately, it looks like this is going to be the only one I get to go to. There are some more this coming weekend, but I will be at the University of Missouri’s 100th Homecoming weekend on Friday, and I have a paper due Sunday for law school. I knew this going into the tournament. So I really wanted to do well. I was stuck between three different decks for this event. I will show you the lists for each deck.
The first deck that I had built was ZPST. This deck appeared to be the BDIF going into last weekend (although now tyRam has 26 first and ZPST only has 24 first according to the ‘Gym, I am also running a spreadsheet tracking total top four appearances and tyRam has a solid lead there so far. I will do a post-BR wrap up article, so, you will get to see those numbers later). You always want to play the best deck right?
Well, I ended up passing on this deck just because I was having a terrible time with it. I could not find a consistent list. I ended up playing against ZPST five games last weekend, and I think that those matches showed me much better ways to run the deck. I would not take this list to a tournament after seeing my opponents’ builds (but I promise this is what I had on the decklist sheet before I chose to play another deck).
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 33
2 Pokégear 3.0
Energy – 15
pokebeach.comThe things that stick out are Cleffa, Lost Remover, Energy Retrieval, and Sage’s Training. This form of the deck is based around attacking for 80 turn two and then running strong until the end of the game. Cleffa is there for an extra crutch.
Lost Remover has become a fun tool with so many decks running DCE. Energy Retrieval helps to sustain pressure into the late game. Finally, Sage’s Training (Matt7’s idea) is very good here. It really helps you complete your hand instead of ditching it.
The Mite(y) MashUp
This is a deck revolving around Electrode Prime and having multiple attacking options. I will admit that the core idea is from The Deck Out. However, I took the list he ran to a 4-1 finish and changed some stuff around. I went to Yeti Gaming on Saturday for a bit and got some testing in against Vince and the boys over there (all the regular players were not there and it was full of Yu-Gi-Oh because Saturday is tourney day for them).
I took a couple matches against Stage 1s and Gothitelle before I left. In the end, I also had a decklist made out for this deck. Yet, I was too big of a chicken (because I really wanted to Top Cut) to run this rogue that I had not tested with enough. Well here is the list:
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 28
Energy – 16
The basic strategy of this deck is to blow up Electrode with Energymite and attach energy en masse to your field. This works really well because it can literally pull new attackers out of nowhere. This is also nice because you can dictate the Twins usage of other decks that heavily rely on Twins to set up (looking at you Ross.dec, MagneBoar, and Gothitelle).
Electrode: This card is the energy acceleration and Twins manipulation in the deck.
Shaymin/Pachirisu: This pairing gives you the mini-ZPST engine that is so powerful.
Tornadus/Zekrom: These are your main attackers in the deck. You can swing for 80 or 120 all day long with these two.
Alomomola: This is one of the biggest differences from other versions of this deck that I have seen. This card serves as a counter for Donphan, Zoroark, Reshiram, Typhlosions, Emboar, etc. Against Zoroark you limit their damage output to 40. With three Water/Rainbow Energy, you are 1HKOing Donphan and Typhlosion while being 2HKO back. With four Water/Rainbow Energy, you get to 1HKO Emboar. This little buddy can secure a lot of core 1HKOs against some very good decks.
Research Record: This card allows you to organize the top of your deck in anticipation of Energymite. It is also a very versatile card to keep you clear of dead-draws.
Rainbow Energy: I opted to go with a full count of Rainbow Energy. Yes, I understand that when you play if from your hand it does 10 damage with is really bad on Zekrom and Tornadus, but it offers you so much flexibility. Also, if you attach these little babies through Energymite the 10 damage does not apply.
So, in the end I went with the deck that I have the most experience with and knew like the back of my hand. In case you all do not know, I absolutely love tyRam. I honestly think that it is one of the Co-BDIF (ZPST being the other) in the format right now.
I have not taken this deck out of its sleeves since Nationals (although I have made changes to a few slots) and always take it with me when I am going to be playing Pokémon. So, at the last moment I pulled out a new decklist form and filled it out with the following:
Pokémon – 19
4 Reshiram BW
Trainers – 27
Energy – 14
There really is not a lot to explain here because this deck has been covered by a lot of people recently. However, there are a couple of things I want to point out.
Ninetales & Vulpix: Many people are saying that Ninetales should be taken out of the deck. I am not going to say that is wrong. However, I do want to say that the two approaches are equals. Great players tend to leave Ninetales alone early because they are focused on taking out Typhlosion.
Also, if you play Ninetales, Vulpix from Unleashed is the Vulpix to play. It has 60 HP (taking it out of Spray Splash & Linear Attack Range). It also can attack for 20 damage for one Fire Energy allowing you to possibly donk babies with a PlusPower.
Sage’s Training: Most people also say that if you play Ninetales, Cheren is superior to Sage’s Training. I will disagree with those people. Sage’s Training is too versatile to pass up. Also, if for some reason you cannot get Ninetales out, you can use Sage’s to get the engine running in a pinch.
3-3-3: I decided to go with three Pokémon Catcher, Junk Arm, and PlusPower. Four Catcher is really not needed at all in tyRam. Three is more than sufficient and you might be able to get away with two. Also, PlusPower is still important to get those extra 10 plus damage on your attacks.
So now that I have bored you with lists and mini-explanations, I will try to not bore you with a mini-report.
BAM! Tournament Report
As I said earlier, this is likely my only BR of the season. I wanted to do very well.
I got to the location and found some friend to test with. A buddy of mine pulled out his ZPST deck and proceeded to beat all three of my decks in three straight games. Not exactly the start I was going for. So, we turn in our decklists and wait for the pairing.
Round 1: Jeremy (my friend from practice) w/ ZPST
pokebeach.comWell, man talk about being worried the very first round. He is obviously going to be a tough out in the first round. Well, the game gets started and he races out to an early lead. However, the keys to this matchup are (1) attacking their energy, (2) waiting for Sage situations to drop basics, and (3) forcing a missed prize.
So, that was what I did. I was down early, but I just kept returning the 1HKOs. Eventually, ZPST can run out of bench space and the ability to drop more energy en masse. I stage a late comeback and win by taking my 6 Prizes to his four or five (sorry, I do not really remember).
Round 2: ??? w/ tyRam
So, I move onto the second round to play a very nice girl that was there with her boyfriend. Basically, this match up goes like every other mirror match up (which is why I think Ninetales is so important because it is more reliable than pure Supporter draw). I set up very quickly and took out her Cyndaquils before they become Typhlosions.
Round 3: Tim w/ tyRam
I do not really know Tim, but I’ve seen him around at several places. He is a local player and is very solid. This is really just a repeat of Round 2. I set up early. If I remember correctly, I took 4 Prizes before he got off his first attack.
Round 4: Collin w/ ZPST
pokebeach.comCollin is a very, very good player. He is likely one of the (if not the) best in the area. He has played ZPST at almost every event this season, so, I knew what was up. He plays ZPST with Defender and Pokégear 3.0. This game is the only one that I felt luck played a huge part of the match. We both started pretty well. I opened with Collector and pulled out a couple Cyndaquil and a Vulpix. He takes out a Cyndaquil.
Then I Rare Candy into Typhlosion and search for more Cyndaquil. I only had one in the deck. I knew that this was going to be the key to the game. I absolutely had to get this Cyndaquil into play safely and evolve it to Typhlosion to win. So, because I had been building energy manually, I got a couple Blue Flares off in a row to clear his field of energy.
This is where the luck came in. I knew that Collin had a dead hand because he had not played a Supporter for a few turns and whiffed on a Pokégear 3.0. I seized the opportunity and played Cyndaquil and he was not able to KO it. So, on my next turn I evolved into Typhlosion and sealed the game. This was a very good game. Again, I had to come back from being down multiple prizes against ZPST.
Round 5: John (???) w/ Yanmega/Zoroark/Weavile
Both of us were 4-0 and we were fairly certain we were both going to make the Cut. Just as the last game was where I felt I was really lucky, this game was there only one where I felt I was very unlucky. He hit a turn two Zoroark with a Special D Energy and Rescue Energy and Yanmega Prime. He 1HKO’d two Reshiram and Vulpix before I took a prize.
He also had set up a Typhlosion for a Linear Attack KO. This was very frustrating. I got all four Typhlosions into play, but I could not come back enough. I could not get a stinking Pokémon Catcher to save my life either. He also hit head on consecutive Super Scoop-ups to prevent me from taking prizes earlier. Oh well. Bad games happen.
I made the top cut as the second seed out of four.
Top 4: Collin w/ ZPST
pokebeach.comSo great, I had to play Collin again. I was the second seed so, I need to win to guarantee myself a Victory Cup.
Game 1: This game I just got off to a ridiculous start. I opened with Collector and got multiple Typhlosions in play by turn three. Collin ended up scooping to save time. 1-0
Game 2: This game was a very good game. He took an early lead but was unable to take out all my Cyndaquils before I got multiple Typhlosions up. The game came down to 1-1 in prizes. I had PlusPowers and Catchers in hand. I knew that I could 1HKO anything on his field. I also knew that he did not have any energy on his field going into his turn. He had a Tornadus active and played down a DCE.
I know that he had already exhausted all his options to use Shaymin. His only hope was to his Pachirisu and two Lighting Energy and Catcher to take a prize off my Cleffa. He did hit the Pachirisu and Catcher, but did not got the two Lightning Energy. He could not take the prize and I finished the game on my turn. 2-0
Top 2: Mason w/ LostMewGar
That’s right, he made Top 2 with LostMewGar. Here we go.
Game 1: This game was pretty uneventful. I opened and attached an energy to Reshiram. He has a lone Ghastly and does 10 damage to Cleffa. I get a Ninetales set up, Roast Reveal for three, and hit a Rare Candy. I evolve into Typhlosion, manually attach an energy to Reshiram, attach through Afterburner, and 1HKO Ghastly for the turn two win. 1-0
Game 2: This game demonstrated why LostMewGar struggles in this format. I simply evolved through Quilavas and kept Pokémon out of my hand. Twice this game I had a one- or two-card hand (with a Pokémon in it) and he Spooky Whirlpool’ed me into hands with no Pokémon.
He ended up getting four Pokémon into the Lost Zone, but I won on prizes. The only nerve-wrecking part was where I need a PlusPower to 1HKO Gengar and rid his field of energy, and I top decked the PlusPower. 2-0
So, I ended up taking home four packs (I pulled a Pokémon Catcher, but that was it) and a 1st place Victory Cup.
Thanks for reading. I hope that you enjoyed the article. I plan on being back later to recap the Battle Roads season.