Hello, and welcome to another edition of Carl’s Cache. This article will be featuring my tournament report for Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I opted to play MegaJudge with a thick Kingdra Prime line mainly because of the continued success of YMCA (Yanmega/Mew/Cinccino) and the excellence of the list in playtesting.
Big props to Matt Nawal here for helping me make the list better and somehow making sure I didn’t screw with it, even though it ran the bare minimum on draw cards.
Round One v. Jacob Rebschesher w/ YMCA
pokebeach.comI know this is a really good match up for me, and we both have okay starts, but I am able to constantly Judge him. He dead-draws a fair amount and never is able to mount a good offensive. I beat him badly, mainly due to his poor drawing, but I’m using his deck’s worst matchup, and that is the main reason why I chose MegaJudge for today.
Round Two v. (why can’t I remember his name) w/ MegaJudge
Round Three v. Joey Gannon w/ Gothitelle
I spent the bulk of my Friday playtesting, but I couldn’t beat this deck. Luckily, Matt Nawal literally gave me the “dummy’s guide to beating Goth” and I did just that. I didn’t take any prizes until I had two Magnezone and seven energy on board, I then KO’d a Solosis and a Pichu. Then I KO’d back-to-back Goths and broke the Trainer lock. I ended up 6-0ing. GG.
Round Four v. Matt Nawal w/ ReshiBoar (paired down)
I wasn’t really excited to face this deck. I basically lost due to a horrible misplay, but Matt let me take it back. He drew dead the whole game, which is literally the only way I won this matchup, so I go and get the W.
Kingdra Prime (my list)Round Five v. Andrew Spencer w/ MegaJudge w/
pokebeach.comBefore the tournament we talked and he ended up playing a list one card off of mine, but like at Nats we had to play each other. He gets a much better opening, and I get no Magnezone Primes going. I do get Kingdra Primes and Yanmega Primes, and morph into a KYJ, without Jirachi. I have the math worked out to the point where I win, but he gets very opportune Pokémon Catchers and Judges at the end to seal the win. GG.
So, I knew I needed to win to get into top cut, and I was ready.
Round Six v. Lallathin Jr. w/ Stage One Rush (Y/Z/C)
So I figure out what he’s playing pretty quick, but I couldn’t get anything for a while. Eventually I topdeck into a Copycat, which gets me into a Cleffa and that really got me started. He kept a strong game, but I was able to “leap” him on prizes by getting a KO on Cleffa with Kingdra Prime, and that really was what gave me a win in this game.
I was pretty sure I was in the top cut; my one loss was to Andrew who ended up going undefeated, and I got in as the number three seed.
So, I get in. However, I get the worst matchup out of the three for my deck, in my opinion.
Against Andrew, I go first and have a sub par start. I get Yanmegas going, but never really see energies for Magnezone Primes. I ended up scooping once he started Spray Splashing my Cleffa.
pokebeach.comA lot like the first game. I get out one Magnezone Prime which lasts all of one turn before it’s KO’d thanks to his Kingdras. Also, every time I Judged him he hit a Pokémon Catcher. I lose pretty badly. Another unspectacular game.
So I got swept. Andrew beat Kim. He then lost to the TyRam in top 2, but in three games. Overall, I was satisfied with how the deck ran; it basically went 11-2 between Andrew and I. So, now onto props and slops:
- 3rd Place Victory Cup
- 1 Championship Point (whoop)
- Kingdra Jokes :)
- Great trades
- David going Angry Birds w/ Fearow in booster draft
- Matt literally giving me two wins (v. Goth and against him, I made a Terri-bad misplay)
- Bad starts at the end
- Andrew not winning
Again, this metagame showed it to be cyclical. The day before Kim Allen had won with YMCA, over the second place TyRam player. Because YMCA won the day prior, MegaJudge, among other bad matchups for it, showed up in greater numbers to this tournament.
With YMCA being metagamed against, (I’m pretty sure Andrew beat two and I Knocked one Out) it allowed a deck with a poor matchup against YMCA to win (aka Tyram). In conclusion, even on a two-day stretch, the metagame shifted enough to show that it is indeed cyclical.
Now, the question on everyone minds…
What is the play for Regionals?
My answer: Your best deck.
As of right now there isn’t a deck that can, and will, beat everything. Last year you could tech ANYTHING into LuxChomp and still keep consistency and speed. If you made the right calls on tech cards you could still beat your worst matchups. In this format, there isn’t anything quite like that. ZPST, TyRam, MegaJudge, and Gothitelle won the most BRs, but they all have notable weaknesses.
Strengths: It is the fastest deck in format and has solved its Donphan problem with Tornadus. It can also mess with your opponents using multiple Defenders, and, with Pokémon Catcher, can stop evolutions from hitting the field. It also has seven good starters and doesn’t burn through energy like it used to.
Weakness: Still fades late game and has a damage cap problem, which can be solved using PlusPowers. Unfortunately, it isn’t easily solved against Gothitelle. It can also have games where it just misses the energies or draws dead. Without an early prize lead it has a ton of issues.
Ways to fix Problem: Outspeed Gothitelle and kill three Solosis; that’s probably the best “solution.” I have also heard of people trying to fool around with Black Belt and a solution is found in the next section.
Strengths: The most consistent deck in format right now. It is also, in my opinion, the easiest deck to pilot. Relatively cheap to build.
Weaknesses: Losing Typhlosions. The damage cap against Gothitelle. It can also have problems getting 1HKOs on Magnezone Primes or other high HP pokemon. Can be disrupted by Judge. Lastly, it can be outplayed in most games. It also has a horrible matchup against Reshiboar.
How to Fix the Problems: Kingdra Prime worked fantastically for the player at our Battle Road and helps a lot against everything. The deck remained consistent and had improved matchups across the board. Kingdra could also potentially work in Zekrom, but I have no clue how you would make that consistent.
Strengths: Combines great consistency, disruption, and speed, giving it a chance in a lot of games. It can 1HKO a lot of things with Magnezone Prime, but still get the easy KOs with Yanmega Prime. Judge can also help to solve its issues.
Weaknesses: An extremely tight list and can have games where it just misses things. It also, in general, has bad games against TyRam, ZPST, and Reshiboar because those decks are more consistent and only have issues against you if you can get Pokémon Catcher KOs before they get setup.
How to Fix Weaknesses: Jirachi can help against TyRam and Reshiboar, but does nothing against ZPST. Zoroark could also help in those spots too, but they could mess with your consistency. I really don’t know; I am obviously trying to address these issues as I love this deck.
Strengths: Once set up there aren’t many decks that stop it. One-sided Trainer lock can be annoying to play against. It also has a wide range of options that it can use in the deck; some of them are just not popularized…yet.
Weaknesses: Any deck that deals 130 damage under Trainer lock pretty much should beat this; we are also seeing TyRam tech in Kingdra, hurting the deck’s overall playability. Time can also be issue and early-game Judges (say on turn one) hurt it a lot. Tyrogue can be annoying, especially if it stays sleepy and can get free KOs on Pichu, Cleffas, and Solosis. Also, running five 30 HP basics has always been bad. Most builds need Tropical Beach.
How to Fix the Problems: I honestly love the Electrode build of this. It has been discussed in the Underground, but just hasn’t been taken note of yet, so I’d watch out for that variant.
So those, in a nutshell, are the tier one decks. I’d include Stage Ones, but really there are so many different builds that you would need to have a full article dedicated to the deck to go over it. I also don’t have as much experience with the deck as I’d like.
Now, for those trying to figure out what to expect at Regionals, my general guess would be 1-2-of each of the “tier one” decks, 1-2 Stage Ones, and then 1-2 other decks, that would add up to about 8 or 9 Swiss rounds, depending on what decks you face.
But, now onto the fun part…
FlipTini and Why this Metagame (once again) Goes from Skill to Perhaps, Luck, Again.
As most of us know the metagame for Nationals and Worlds was widely regarded as coming to down to coin flips; even in my mediocre top 64 report you can get that sentiment. I lost two games because I went second, a third because Tyrogue turned into Rip Van Winkle, and I also won some games due to flips. It’s a trend that, in general, is repeated throughout most of the Nationals Reports and Worlds Reports.
Pokémon Catcher coming out has somewhat solved the problem by eliminating two flips from being overwhelmingly important; Reversal flips don’t exist anymore, and, because Pokémon Catcher is guaranteed, baby Pokémon flips are less important.
Yes, going first is still key to winning, but it isn’t the end all. In my BRs I went first in three of my games, and ironically I lost two of them (the two games against TyRam). So, the game has become less luck based.
In the next set, as most of us already know, FlipTini is coming out. it looks like he already has a perfect partner, perhaps, in Sharpedo TM.
Sharpedo is not a well known card; Justin Williams got it on the radar when he piloted a Sharpedo/Cinccino deck to the top 128 of USA Nationals. That was without FlipTini! With FlipTini you have a much better chance of hitting Strip Bare, and hopefully crippling their hand.
Also note that with a Special Dark, Strip Bare does just enough damage to 1HKO a baby Pokémon. The main problem is that it doesn’t have a true way to do damage, and yes, I would consider using Cinccino again.
Here is a potential skeleton of the deck:
Pokémon – 20/22
2 Minccino EP
1 Slowking HS/CL
1 Cleffa HS/CL
3-5 more “See Off Targets”
Trainers – 20+
4 Junk Arm
6 or more Draw Cards
Energy – 13
4 Special D
As of right now my lists for it are a bit sketchy as the concept for the deck just simply isn’t in full swing with Regionals right around the corner, limiting my wanting to test the deck, but I am going to just go out and say the deck’s main weaknesses.
Donphan Prime: As of right now the deck has no great way of dealing with the card; Tornadus should probably squeeze into the build, and most likely will be. I have also considered using the card.
Magnezone Prime: If my opponent goes first and gets a turn two Magnezone Prime, I lose. Period. This why Donphan Prime is being considered, however the four Retreat Cost was never too appealing to me.
Draw Supporters: Simply put, if they draw out of my Strip Bare, I probably have big time issues, and Slowking can help solve that problem.
Cleffa: This card just became a 2-of in most decks, instead of the 1-of it currently is. This is because of Sharpedo, if you have more draw on the field you have to be Strip Bared twice.
I definitely like FlipTini, and I feel that it’s presence will shape the metagame more than the above deck will. However, we won’t know until Cities, so it might not be a bad idea to try to get some of these little guys at the prereleases.