Two Tourneys, One Cup

(Sutton Coldfield, 15th October)

pokegym.netSo where we? That’s right; I had been to 2 Battle Roads. The first was a local one held on a Friday evening (eliminating the possibility of people travelling) where I recovered from a round 1 loss with my Stage 1s to finish 3-1 and sneak into third place, claiming a Victory Cup, but not quite getting any Championship Points.

The second Battle Road was 3 weeks later in Beeston with a much larger field, including 2 Worlds competitors and several other notable players. I finished 2-3 with my under-tested Magneboar list, with my only wins coming against a Pokédad and a bye. Bad times.

One week later I end up in Sutton Coldfield for my third Battle Road. I have my Stage 1s re-built, re-sleeved and re-decklisted, but decide to stick with Magneboar because although it was a riskier play it also gave me a chance to really clean up, as long as all went according to plan. Stage 1s would, I was confident, avoid a negative record, but with ratings meaning very little I thought a risky chance of winning was better than a safe bet of doing alright.

We had only 14 Masters, but it was a VERY competitive tournament with at least 7 of the top 20 players in the UK last season as well as several other very good players. As it was the UK we were again playing best of 3 in Swiss and we would have 4 rounds with a top 2 cut.

Round 1: Tamao (Zekrom) (Finished 2:2)

Yep, Tamao or, as some of you may know him, Tamoo. He’s the guy that won the Battle Road the previous week in Beeston. He also won multiple tournaments last season (Battle Roads, Cities and a States) as well as getting top 8 at Nationals. He’s good. He’s also getting a reputation as “The Zekrom Guy” due to his love for and proficiency playing said deck. He’s playing Zekrom today. Rats. Oh yeah, though it’s early in the season, he starts the day as the number 1 ranked player in the UK. Nice easy start then.

Game 1

pokebeach.comSo we flip and he wins as I start to dread my lone Tepig start. Luckily he is unable to get the T1 “Hurricane” from his Tornadus, though I later learn this is due to both his Pachirisu being prized! He does attach a DCE to Tornadus though and, having seen how fast and consistent his list was last week, I know he’s going to be hitting 80 next turn.

Luckily I buck the trend from last week and start with a Collector. I get 2 Magnemites and a Tepig and by T3 I am going with Magnezones and an Emboar. By this time I am only 1 Prize down and this means that he has not built up enough of a lead to make it easy.

I played this game very well and, as well as playing well to get a fast set-up, I also ensure that I Catcher and kill his Zekrom as soon as possible. I learnt from my game against Jak last week that Zekrom can kill Magnezones with double PlusPower (and they will!) and obviously they can take down Reshirams without much difficulty. Tamao later informed me that he was holding a double PlusPower for quite some time and was pretty annoyed that I never gave him a chance to get a Zekrom going.

I took the lead in this game and Tamao starting stalling with Magby and Smoochum (more on him next game), but baby flips weren’t working and they both gave up easy prizes. Humorously I was trying to save energy here so was using Reshiram to get some kills while I recovered the discarded energy from “Blue Flare.” Yes, that’s right, with no damage on Reshiram I was forced to use Blue Flare TWICE on babies, doing 120 damage to the poor 30HP basics.

With me winning 5 Prizes to 3 and no real way out Tamao scooped to save time for Game 2. It is worth noting here that he had a horrible drought of Pokémon Catchers in this game using a grand total of… none! This may have helped me a little.

Game 2

pokebeach.comOnce again I go second and he whiffs the T1 attack, though I have a Tepig and a Reshiram start this time. He gets the T2 Zekrom kill on my Reshiram using a PlusPower and this is a bad place to be in as with Catcher he can hit anything on my bench for 60 (that includes Tepigs and Magnemites). Luckily I started with a Collector and a Communication and was able to get a full bench on T1. Unluckily my Cleffa was prized so I was forced to rely on PONT.

This game I got going more slowly and was 3 Prizes down before I got the Magnezone / Emboar combo going nicely. Now this is a matchup where being behind doesn’t matter too much as 1HKOs are very difficult for the Zekrom player and very easy for the Magneboar player, but being down by 3 Prizes makes it very possible to win, especially with Catcher allowing them to choose their prizes.

Once again here I focus on the Zekroms, ensuring I deny him the 1HKOs and I also make sure not to leave anything vulnerable on my bench, eventually being down to a Magnezone, an Emboar and a Reshiram, denying him any 1HKOs as he was not using any Zekroms (due to them being dead).

Using these tactics I started to make a comeback when he stalled with Smoochum HS. Now this is not a commonly used card. For those who don’t know, Smoochum has an attack called “Energy Antics,” similar to Ambipom G last format. It allows you to move one energy card from one of your opponent’s Pokémon to any of their other Pokémon. This then puts Smoochum to sleep and the usual “Sweet Sleeping Face” Poké-Body leaves him invulnerable while he sleeps.

This was a GENIUS move. Especially as my Magnezones need L Energy to attack and I was only running 4. Every time Smoochum came out it left me without the requisite energy to attack with Magnezone!

Luckily I had 2 Twins in hand so 2 turns in a row I was able to use Twins to grab an L Energy (so that Magnezone could attack) and a Catcher (or Junk Arm for a Catcher) to get around the sleeping Smoochum. Yep, he may have been unlucky with baby flips last game, but he more than made up for them here!

pokebeach.comAfter 2 turns of this we were down to 1 Prize each and, due to Smoochum’s Energy Antics, Magnezone was officially benched. His Smoochum was sitting on the bench looking oh so fragile, but it was useless as I was out of Catchers and Junk Arms and had no way to bring him active.

Luckily I saw the win here. I left my Magnezone active knowing that his Tornadus could only do 80. I had a Reshiram on the bench with 2 Energy attached and one more in hand. I also had a Switch to get him active. So I let him do 80 damage to my Magnezone. Right after he dropped a Defender!!

This left my Reshiram unable to kill his Tornadus as I could only do 100 and it game him one more turn to win. If he could find a Pokémon Catcher or Junk Arm he could drag my Magnezone active and win, forcing us into a Game 3 after time has already been called. Yep, sudden death. I would not win in sudden death.

He drops a Juniper and looks at the last 2 cards in his deck. No Catcher. He scoops and then realises I might not have had the means with which to power up my Reshiram again, but I show him the Fisherman I had been saving for such an occasion to put his mind at ease (as it happens, after winning Game 1, had Game 2 been drawn I would have won the match anyway).


Well, I can honestly say that was the second most nerve-wracking game of Pokémon I had ever played, right after my match with Tom Hall at nationals. He played superbly and pulled more tricks than I thought Zekrom had, but I played just as well and managed to sneak out with an improbable win. This was good. I felt my decision to stick with Magneboar vindicated slightly as I now had a win more impressive than a Bye or against a Pokédad to hang on the deck.

Round 2: “My Good Friend” Tommy Roberts (Gothitelle w/ Serperior) (Finished 3:1 – 3rd)

I play Tommy every Tuesday at league. He’s good. Really good. He was ranked number 1 in the UK last year and went to Worlds. He won the Battle Roads I went to in week 1. What a way to start a tournament; not only was I playing 2 of the best players in the country, but I was also playing the winners of the 2 Battle Roads I had previously attended this Autumn.

He was playing Gothitelle with Serperior, a matchup we had acted out only 4 days before. He had won the first game and though I had won the second he took great pleasure in pointing out how we would have gone to time and he’d have won the best of 3. This game was also interesting as we were 1-1 in competitive play, my Cities win counter-balanced with his States win, both times with my Donchamp against his Gengar / Garchomp. If nothing else, I knew that would be a fun, relaxed, banter-filled game. This I like.

Game 1

This game was not very eventful at all. I win the flip and on T2 I have a Magnezone, getting the KO on his Solosis. On T3 I killed a Gothita (again with the Magnezone) and by T4 I have an Emboar as well, killing his Gothitelle to leave him without Pokémon. He showed me his hand at the end of the game and he really had drawn absolutely nothing of value. Sorry T-dawg.

Game 2

This game my deck goes off like a rocket. Within a few turns I have 2 Magnezones and an Emboar and I start peppering the field with energy ready for truly epic “Lost Burn” action if he dares to bring a Gothitelle active. As it is I kill a Gothita and take a 1 Prize lead. What happens next leaves me truly baffled.

He dragged up my Emboar using Pokémon Catcher and then passed. With no energy I was also forced to draw-pass. We both then proceeded to draw / pass for over a dozen turns each. During this time he is able to use FOUR Twins and with me unable to draw enough energy to retreat Emboar and being locked out of Trainers with his active Gothitelle there was nothing I could do.

The longer this went on, the more confused I got. He had used 4 Twins and had a hand of over 20 cards (as did I), but still he just drew and passed. Eventually he got down to about 4 cards in his deck and was actually unable to take enough prizes….

At this point I thought he may be trying to get me to draw through my deck and then drop a PONT, forcing me to deck out, but I knew I had a PONT and, as long as this was not prized, he could not do this. Turns out it was the very last card in my deck as it happens. So I sit there confused while we both just draw and pass.

pokebeach.comEventually I am able to get enough energy on my Emboar to retreat to Magnezone and kill his Gothitelle, but he just Catchers my Emboar again and we’re back where we started. He kills my Emboar, but by this point Emboar is useless as I have more than enough energy on the field to finish out the game and I return the KO with a Magnezone.

At this point he has one Gothitelle left and I kill this to leave him out of options and me only needing 1 Prize left so he scoops. It turns out I had gotten more set-up than he wanted before he locked me and he was just drawing looking for options. Unfortunately my set-up left me in too good a position. I should point out though that in the same way I built speed Donphan due to my hatred for Luxchomp, my hate for Gothitelle went a long way to enticing me to build Magneboar. Also, I got to use FLOINK!


Ok, this is good. My deck is working, I’m playing well and my decision is looking like a good one. Not only have I beaten two ridiculously good players, but I can safely say that my resistance will be benefitting nicely. Now, lunch. I only mention this because in the last two games I was fuelled purely on Diet Pepsi and Kinder Schloko-Bons. Which, for the record, I think was a good thing!

Round 3: Charles (Zekrom) (Finished: 3-1 – 2nd)

Well, if I was going to win this tournament it was not going to be made easy for me. Charles again is an exceptional player who won multiple Battle Roads and Cities last year as well as top-cutting States and Nationals. On the upside, he isn’t a winner of a Battle Road I went to earlier this season (though he won 2 I went to last season, as well a Cities), so that’s something. He IS however using an almost identical Zekrom list to Tamao. This is NOT good.

Game 1

pokebeach.comWell, it had to happen sooner or later. My deck COMPLETELY mucked-out on me. For the second time against Zekrom today I lose the flip and I start without a Collector or… anything really. He gets the T2 Tornadus and starts ripping apart my setup.

I eventually get a Twins to set up a Magnezone, but it’s too little too late and, basically, I get steamrolled. I am conscious of time and the fact that I can’t win a quick Game 3 here so I scoop, though maybe not as soon as I should have.

Game 2

I get another slow start in this game, which is something that cannot be afforded against Zekrom. I play well to get setup at all, though I have to burn a LOT of resources to do so (all my Junk Arms, my only Fisherman etc were all gone in the first 3 turns). I do get set up and I have a chance to completely turn the tide of the game.

I have a Magnezone out and he has a Zekrom with 40 damage from “Bolt Strike” which can be killed with only 2 energy from Magnezone, who already has a L Energy attached. Crucially, the Zekrom has all of Charles’ energy in play, meaning a kill leaves his field looking poor and makes a comeback very likely. I play a PONT…. and whiff on the energy.

Not only does this mean I can’t kill his Zekrom AND deny him energy, but it also means that same Zekrom can use a double PlusPower next turn to kill my Magnezone and cut off my resources. From here it’s all downhill.

He uses Catcher to take more prizes and then, as I’m about to deck out and need a kill every turn to stand a chance, he stalls with Smoochum. I was expecting this, but unfortunately I had to burn so many resources early on to get setup that though I knew what I needed to do I just didn’t have the Catcher / Junk Arm etc to do it.


What I should have done:

pokebeach.comThere is nothing I really could have done here. My deck is good enough and I played well, but my lacklustre draw in Game 1 combined with unlucky PONT in Game 2, not to mention his fantastic consistency led to my inevitable downfall. There is no way to make Magneboar as fast and consistent as Zekrom and I proved in Round 1 I can beat it. Zekrom, contrary to my earlier article, does bring the luck factor a little more to the fore, but I don’t think I can blame that completely or have any hard feelings about this match.

My deck did fail me a little, especially in the first game, but the fact of the matter is that Charles had a very good, fast and consistent deck. Not only that, but he played it impeccably. He lost the surprise factor of Defenders, Smoochum etc by using a list very similar to Tamao’s, but that was irrelevant as there was nothing I could do.

However a sneaky peek at the standings showed me that my resistance was good. Very good. So good in fact that although there were 2 people who were 3-0 and only a top 2, I stood a very good chance of getting into top 2 with a win in my last game, ahead of the loser of the 3-0 showdown!!

Round 4: Ben (Mew Box) (Finished: 3-1 – 4th)

Well, there goes that plan. Anybody else. I could have beaten anybody else. Just not Ben. He’s playing Mew Box and I have tested this matchup a lot. We also play every Tuesday and I’ve never won. I knew it would be a good-natured, friendly, banter-filled match, but I will admit to being a little heart-broken to knowing that I had a genuine shot at Top 2 which I would lose being paired against the one guy to whom I had an auto-loss.

For those keeping score: (i) Yes I played him in both of my previous Battle Roads this season (ii) Yes I lost both times.

Game 1

pokebeach.comWell I won the flip, so that was good. I also got a T3 Magnezone and T3 Emboar. Unfortunately neither was with Rare Candy and, as I was running one each of the Stage 1s, this left me without a second chance at either when the lock was put on.

My good start here led to me taking the lead, but as soon as he got the lock on he started to peg me back as he had started by “Seeing Off” both a Muk and a Crobat Prime, taking full advantage of my high retreat Stage 2s.

I managed to Catcher and kill an Oddish early on, but he got the Vileplume going before too long and set about using “Sludge Drag” to wreck not only my deck, but my chances of top cut. I got lucky with my confusion flips here (I hit about 75% over both games) and I also got some kills on Mew with Reshiram and Emboar, but he was able to pick easy prizes with Yanmega while I was left with no trainers or “Magnetic Draw” and I lost by 2 Prizes.

Game 2

Looking back I could have won this game. It would have involved being a tool. To a friend. No thanks. We both played this game at a good pace and we both played completely fair, as we well should.

I go first again and get a slower start while Ben starts using “Sludge Drag” to take away my options. I tried using a Twins early, before he had even taken a prize, so he delayed as long as possible taking the lead, making sure he had a Vileplume up, energy on his Mews, Yanmegas evolved and all my Pokémon with damage before taking the first prize and activating the Twins that he knew he had.

Now, I’m going to be vain here and say I played this game exceptionally well. I only used one Ability Emboar and I even used it to take a couple prizes off of Mews (yay for good Confusion flips). I left my Reshirams just long enough to get 40 damage on them from Poison and then used Outrage to kill a Mew or two.

Eventually time is called and we go down to 1 Prize each. Having lost the first game I NEED to win and there was nothing I could do. Part of how I played this game well was ensuring that I had no extraneous Pokémon on my bench and limited his easy prizes. Unfortunately it meant that I used everything to take 5 Prizes and he had an easy Yanmega kill for the win.


What I should have done:

Firstly, this is a very difficult match. Saying that, I have tested it a lot and here, in a nutshell, are my tips for winning:

– Use Catcher and Junk Arm to take out Oddish / Gloom, ignoring everything else. If you can stop the lock it becomes a very favorable matchup

– Only use one Emboar! Get him out, use him to get as much energy on the field as possible and let him die. Leave 4 energy on him so he can attack and, if you flip right, take down the Mew that “Sludge Drags” him up

– Get as many Magnezones as possible, but make sure they have L Energy on them so that (Confusion flips permitting) then can take a prize or two

– Use Fisherman effectively to ensure that you get as much energy as possible onto the field

– Use Reshiram! With 40 damage (which he quickly gets from poison) he can take down a Mew

– Do not leave easy prizes on the bench

– Do not leave anything on the bench as a “Sludge Drag” target (ensure everything has the requisite energy to attack or retreat)

I can have no complaints about this game. Mew Box is a hard (nearly impossible) match for Magneboar and I did well taking both games as close as I did. Ben is also a fantastic player who plays the deck exceptionally well. Humorously he now accounts for exactly half (3/6) of my Battle Roads losses in the first 3 tournaments.

The only real sour note here was discovering firstly that I WOULD have crept into top 2 with a win and also discovering that I would have been facing a Reshiphlosion, a very favorable matchup for Magneboar. Far from a certainty, but a good shot at my first win of the season. Still, all moot as I was stopped by Mew Box.

Looking at who I played though this was a very encouraging tournament. I beat two of the best players in the country and my losses came to a fast Zekrom and my only auto-loss. I think that gives cause for celebration. Certainly better than the previous week. For those interested I should also give “mad props” to George Boon for taking the tournament with his Reshiphlosion deck. He played a good deck extremely well and thoroughly deserved the victory.

Part 2 – The English are Coming

(Cardiff 23rd October)

kcbd.comSo, let’s have a quick recap shall we (though reports have been posted on this site for all of these):

Battle Road 1: Ripley (Derbyshire)

– I went 3-1 with Stage 1s, losing to Mew Box (!) then beating 3 people in a less than impressive field

Battle Road 2: Beeston (Nottinghamshire)

– I went 2-3 with Magneboar, beating a Pokédad and getting a Bye before panicking against a Reshiphlosion and throwing the game away and losing to the same Mew Box (along with a close loss to a Worlds competitor)

Battle Road 3: Sutton Coldfield (West Midlands)

– I went 2-2 with Magneboar beating 2 of the best players in the country before being stopped by a fast Zekrom and the same Mew Box.

BUT Ben (Mr. Mew Box) was not going to Cardiff. Battle Road number 4 was mine for the taking. Now Cardiff was supposed to be my own little Battle Road. I have nice memories from last year’s Battle Road and I was driving up the M5 right past Cardiff on the day it was happening. This was such a coincidence that I couldn’t resist dropping in this year.

Then my good friend Tommy Roberts heard what I was doing and organised a trip with Tamao and George Boon from the midlands down to Cardiff. It effectively turned into the 4-of us invading Cardiff and having a tournament to find the best player in the midlands…. in Cardiff. For the record, I am still mad at Tommy for gate-crashing my lovely private Battle Road.

For those that don’t know, Cardiff is in Wales, which is a different country. For purposes of the EU etc the United Kingdom is the country, but really the UK is made up of 4 distinct countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So we crossed the border (£5.70 toll!!) ready to ruin the Welsh folks’ day.

After last week’s close run I decided to stick with Magneboar and as it’s the UK we were playing best of 3 in Swiss with 50-minute rounds (though the time was rarely kept to without someone reminding them). We had 5 rounds with no top cut and there were 17 players in masters.

Round 1: Rhys (Reshiram / Terrakion / Roggenrola / Vulpix) (Finished 1-4)

Brilliant! My first game and I get an incredibly Welsh person with an incredibly Welsh name! Unfortunately he’s not very good and has a random deck based around Reshiram (he didn’t even play with sleeves). He gets my approval though as he explained that Dialga was his favorite Pokémon as it was first one on the game to give him maximum friendship. How awesome is that?

Game 1

There really is very little to say about this game. BY T3 I had both a Magnezone and an Emboar. All I saw from him was 2 Reshirams and a Terrakion, which had me a little worried as I was conscious of not wanting to “Lost Burn” too much energy, but he didn’t even search his deck this game (or play any trainers for that matter) and after killing those 3 he was out of Pokémon.

Game 2

pokebeach.comThis game did not fill me with confidence. Here was a game I should be sweeping yet on TURN 8 (!) I have a Tepig, a Magneton and 8 energy on the field. I kept a Reshiram in hand in case I drew into Communication, but nothing (no Collector, Communication, PONT, Magnezone….). Eventually he got the treble “Outrage” KO on my Tepig to active a Twins that I had topdecked and I was able to get a Magnezone and from that an Emboar (having benched a second Tepig shortly before the first one died).

After this he did not take another prize. I used Reshiram to 2HKO one of his Reshirams to conserve energy and then swept with Magnezone.


It was nice to start with a win and Rhys was a lovely guy, but I was worried about resistance, seeing as there were 5 rounds with 17 masters, almost guaranteeing some resistance based shenanigans! Still, just win the next 4 and resistance doesn’t matter.

Round 2: Mike (Zekrom) (Finished 2-3)

Mike is a guy I had met at the beginning of the tournament and was a fantastic chap. He was apparently at Beeston too (though I didn’t meet him). His son was playing in Juniors so he was playing as well to keep himself occupied. He was playing Zekrom. I don’t like Zekrom.

Game 1

My third competitive game against Zekrom this season and the third time I had lost the flip! He got a DCE on his Zekrom T1 and though I had everything needed for a T2 Magnezone, but with only a single Tepig (active) and a single Magnemite (benched) I was wary on my turn about how risky to play it (having not started Collector and fearing for my Magnemite). Luckily he was unable to KO my Magnemite and I got a T2 Magnezone.

At this point I had no Lightning energy so I left a Tepig out as a sacrificial lamb while building up my bench. After 3 “Outrages” in a row he had KO’d my Tepig and I used my Pokégear to grab a twins. I missed. Luckily next turn I was able to topdeck a Twins and got an Emboar and everything I needed to go full aggro Magnezone.

He Catchered my Emboar a few times, but I always had a Switch in hand and I made sure to Catcher and kill his Zekroms as soon as they came out, leaving him with only fragile Tornadus who would never 1HKO a Magnezone or Emboar. When I was ahead 4-2 he conceded.

Game 2

pokebeach.comAs I won the first game I’m once again going second. I start with Tepig and Magnemite, so no donk here, but also no Collector. I was looking at having to use a PONT turn one just to keep in it, but I also started PokéGear and using this got me the T1 Collector, allowing me 5 basics on the field on my first turn.

I get the T2 Magnezone, but with no energy I’m forced to buy some more time. I have to burn my Junk Arms early to get going, but this does give me a decent setup while only being 1 Prize behind. From here the energy started flowing and I was able to setup for a stream of kills.

Early on in this game I discovered that two of my three Magnezones were prized and had to play with the mindset of not letting him get killed, else I would risk being unable to get back into the game.

He had gotten a slow start (he HAD had to use a PONT turn one) and though he was winning he had all of his energy on a single Zekrom, which I was able to Catcher and kill. He stalled with Elekid TM, but I was able to Catcher a benched Tornadus for an easy prize. He again tried to stall with Elekid, but he woke up and it gave me an easy prize. After another Tornadus kill I was 5-1 ahead and, with no options to win, he conceded.


I was very glad to get through this game. Zekrom is never a good matchup and losing the flip could have gone badly. I also enjoyed the game massively as Mike was a very fun opponent who didn’t take things too seriously. Wonderful!

Round 3: Calvin (Reshiboar) (Finished 3-2)

Calvin was another local Welsh boy who had not played in a year, but has clearly retained all of his skills. We had a good game only slightly marred by his slow play and my insistence that he not slow play. I doubt it was deliberate though and we had some banter after the game so I think he forgave me. I hope I wasn’t too mean! (for the record, I was justified in what I requested).

Game 1

pokebeach.comI actually went 1st in this game and had a pretty good start, even finding a T2 Magnezone, but I was unable to find enough energy early on. I got a bit of a lead going and was able to deny him an Emboar for quite some time, but this allowed him to get a Ninetales out and manually attach several energies to Reshirams, especially while I was having an energy drought.

At one point he Catchered my Emboar and without a Switch and having a hand full of non-burnable cards I was unable to use Magnezone to find one and he was stuck active for far too long. He was able to use a double PlusPower to KO my Magnezone and without being able get them out fast enough I fell behind and eventually lose by a single card. I should have scooped earlier.

Game 2

I was very wary of time here as Magneboar has a pretty bad Game 3 so I needed a nice quick win to give me time to get ahead in Game 3 before time was called. This game I went off very well, getting an early Magnezone and Emboar (playing a little more loosely due to needing to be quick) and also hitting early catchers to take out first a Vulpix, then a Pignite and a Tepig, leaving him without an Emboar for a very long time.

He eventually got an Emboar, but without a Ninetales he was unable to get enough energy in play so he took a turn to use Cleffa to refresh his hand and hopefully get back into it. Unfortunately his Cleffa woke up, gifting me an easy one-energy kill with Magnezone and before long I had taken 6 Prizes to his 2.

Game 3

Now although Game 2 was not very long, Game 1 was a very long game. This was partly due to the slow play of my opponent, but it must also be noted that I could have mitigated this by conceding earlier in Game 1.

Time had been kept track of poorly in this tournament so when we finished Game 2 I checked to see if time had expired. As I suspected, time HAD expired (though had not been called) which was awesome because it meant that we went to a flip to start rather than my opponent immediately getting to go first.

pokebeach.comAs it was he won the flip and I made a VERY big mistake. I opened with Magnemite and 2 Tepigs so put a Tepig active and then benched both the Magnemite and the other Tepig. Now this is uncalled for. Benching 2 basics is fine in sudden death (in case you wish to Switch to a undamaged Pokémon to save a KO), but benching 3 is not needed. I then realised I had a Pokémon communication in hand, but no Pokémon to use.

He went first and used a PlusPower to do 20 to my Tepig with his, but I was able to switch to Magnemite and attach a Lightning. On his turn he benched a Reshiram and attached an energy, also using an Interviewer’s Questions, showing that he DID have enough energy to Blue Flare in 2 turns time for the win, before doing 20 to my Magnemite.

On my turn I topdecked a Pokémon, used Communication to get Magneton, and attached a second energy. He then attached a second energy to Reshiram, ensuring that I WOULD be KO’d next turn, unless I could topdeck something good (I did get to use Magneton’s “Tri Attack” which would have given me the win with a triple heads, but alas I managed only 1).

It was a communication. Had I saved one of my 3 basics for my hand I would have been able to communicate for a Magnezone, attach a third energy and win. As it was I could do nothing, but minimal damage and lose the following turn.


What I should have done:

Sudden death is about probabilities. I need to maximise my chances of getting a KO while minimising my opponent’s. By keeping a Pokémon in hand it would have increased the number of “good” topdecks by ensuring that Communications would be awesome. By benching then, I decreased the probability of drawing well. This is why I lost.

I could point out that had I won the flip I would have had one more turn to try and win. This is irrelevant. Had I not benched the second Tepig I would have won. No ifs or buts. But this was my own fault. Please learn from this! (Unless you play me, in which case I hope you make this mistake and lose!!).

So, I had greatly dented my chances of top 2. As it happened, I destroyed my chances. Turns out, had I won this game I would have played a Reshiphlosion (very good matchup for me!) followed by a Gothitelle (near auto-win, see next game) giving me a fantastic chance of winning the whole thing. Nevermind.

Round 4: “My Good Friend” Tommy Roberts (Gothitelle) (Finished 4-1 – 1st)

Well, I got paired up. Tommy was 3-0 at this point. He was happy as he didn’t fancy playing me and my Magneboar. He thought that him being 3-0 and me being 2-1 meant it wouldn’t happen. He was wrong!

I played Tommy last week so, as this is a double report, see above for who he is. He’s good. I also play him a LOT. I greatly enjoy my games against Tommy and always have a good chuckle. It also helps when he’s playing what is probably my best matchup.

Game 1

I get to go first in this game and manage to get a T2 Magnezone with a Rare Candy (important as it allows a second under trainer-lock with my Magneton), but from there my setup slows down a little.

Crucially though the way I play this game is very good. Last week I played fast and loose and managed to get a nice victory, but in the past week I considered the flaw in this, that being that if he gets an early Twins, followed by an early Gothitelle, he can catcher and kills my evolutions before they get going, while blocking my trainers. Not this game!

I make sure that I have 2 Magnezones before I start attacking and take the first prize only when he gets a Gothitelle out. It had the nice advantage too that not attacking allowed me to abuse his Tropical Beach to enhance my setup. Sweeeeet.

After I took out his first Gothitelle he gets the Twins going and starts using a LOT of status conditions. Mostly this involved using Gothorita to confuse me with “Psybeam” making me flip to attack and, crucially, stopping “Magnetic Draw” and cutting off my draw power. Luckily I was prepared for this and was able to use Switch (and Junk Arm), as well as abusing having more than one Magnezone to attack every turn.

At one point I put my setup back by 2 turns by attempting to draw a single card with Magnetic Draw, only to see the card and then be reminded that Magnezone was confused. This allowed Tommy to shuffle my deck and although I was able to Switch and Magnetic Draw anyway, the card that I was not allowed to take was an Emboar, the ONE card that I needed to complete my setup. This left me without enough energy to attack for a couple turns.

I get the Emboar 2 turns later though and abuse Pokémon Catcher to ensure that he can’t get another Gothitelle going. At this point I need only one more prize and it’s looking like a guaranteed win. Then Tommy does something that I am NOT expecting.

pokebeach.comHe bring out his promo Snivy (the blister promo, not the tin promo) and used “Paralyzing Gaze” to paralyse me. He hits heads. The next turn he does it again. Then he does it for a third time. At this point I have to draw the last card in my deck and am unable to attack as I have used all my Switches and Junk Arms in avoiding the confusion etc early on.

Luckily I had 2 Pokémon Communication in hand and use one of these to put a Magnemite into my deck and buy myself one more turn. I am prepared to do this again the next turn, but he hits tails on Paralysis and I can take an easy prize for the win.

Game 2

The first game took around 40mins so I know he only has 10 minutes and it will be very hard to take 4 Prizes in this time, especially with Gothitelle, so I can take this game easy and just make sure not to make any horrific mistakes.

I get 2 Magnezones and an Emboar out early this game and keep Switches in hand to make sure he can’t do anything with special conditions. I manage to take 2 Prizes to his 0 before time is called and with no way to take 4 Prizes in 2 turns, he concedes.


Tommy was a tad dismayed at this point because mine was the only deck he was worried about and, having been paired down to face it, was now concerned I had ruined his chances of winning. I was happy because one more win in the last round would give me a good chance of getting a trophy card!

Round 5: Ciaran (Yanmega / Zoroark / Cinccino / Noctowl) (Finished 2-3)

Ciaran is a guy I’d never met, another local Welsh boy, but he was a lovely guy and a joy to play. I had seen his deck and had though that with his fragile Pokémon this would be a nice game for me. I didn’t reckon on the speed of his deck mind….

I was actually paired down this round (he was at 2-2) and I thought this would be good as I did not fancy the fast Zekrom or Donphan-heavy Ross.Dec that were also 3-1, but I was also aware that this might not be great for my rating, especially as it wasn’t the best so far.

Game 1

pokebeach.comI go second in this game and it really hurt me! I take my first turn, lay down some basics and try to resist rubbing my hands in glee at the guaranteed T2 Magnezone and the fact that I would then have an empty hand to be able to draw for 6. Then he Judged me!

Had I gone first he would not have been able to judge me before I got a Magnezone, but this is a moot point because I didn’t and he did. He also got a T2 Yanmega and that Judge allowed him to attack! He took a couple prizes with Yanmega, but then I was able to get a Magnezone.

At this point he pulled off a very ballsy move and Lost-Zoned THREE special dark energies to copy my “Lost Burn” and KO my Magnezone. At this point I have a Pokémon Communication and a Rare Candy with a Tepig and Magnemite on my bench giving me a choice of what to evolve. BUT I also had a Reshiram benched and 2 Fire energies and an Energy Retrieval in hand.

I got an Emboar and went aggro-Reshiram to KO 2-of his Pokémon, but then my Reshiram was killed and with no Magnezone I couldn’t get anything too good going again. I should have gone for Magnezone.

We were then at the business end of the game with both of us needing 2 Prizes to win, but he only had a Yanmega and some basics so KOing the Yanmega would give me a good chance of getting the final KO. I had a Twins in hand so after he got the KO with Yanmega I could get myself a Magnezone, KO the Yanmega and (hopefully) then get the win. And then he plays a Judge!

With my Twins gone I can do nothing on my turn and he takes he sixth and final prize for the game. God I hate Judge!

Game 2

This game was awesome! I went off like a rocket (strangely it seems that whenever I am short on time and play a little recklessly I get an awesome set-up. Go figure) and had 2 Magnezones out early so when he dropped an inevitable Judge it didn’t matter as I had 2 Magnezones to build my hand and continue to keep a good board.

pokebeach.comI used Catcher to pick off his Zorua with DCE before he could evolve and attack with it and I took out his Noctowl to shut off his source of draw and make it much harder to hand match (a trick he used continually in Game 1). I had a steady stream of Magnezones in this game so although he managed to pick a couple off, I always had one in reserve and he was taking 2HKOs, making it impossible to keep up with the prize race.

He managed to KO my final Magnezone, but by this time I could just use a Fisherman to get 4 energy onto my Emboar and Catcher a Minccino for the win 6-3.

Game 3

Time had not been called here so he got to go first, but I had learned my lesson from the Reshiboar game and played a lot better. He got a T2 Yanmega and KO’d a Tepig, but I was then able to set up 2 Magnezones and an Emboar before he could get another prize. This meant that he was unable to get any 1HKOs and allowed me to get ahead in prizes in the short time we had left.

As I couldn’t get completely set-up in the one turn I Catchered his Hoot Hoot, forcing him to waste a turn, then an energy, retreating his Hoothoot. In this time I recklessly burned all my Junk Arms to reuse Trainers and empty my hand to allow bigger Magnetic Draws and though this would cause problems in a longer game, it allowed me to get a very good, very quick setup.

Time was called on his turn with him 1 Prize ahead, but he was unable to take a second. On my turn I used a Magnezone to KO his Cinccino, levelling the prizes, leaving him with a Zoroark and Yanmega with which to attack and me with only 2 Magnezones and an Emboar. He attempted to “Lost Burn” a DCE for 100 (before being reminded he could only do 50 – not that it mattered as it was his last turn and wouldn’t lead to a KO).

This left me with the last turn of the game with the two of us drawing on prizes. Unfortunately I had to Lost-Zone my only L Energy in play to KO the Cinccino the previous turn and would need to find another to get the KO and the win. I have a PONT and 2 Magnezones to use though so I’m confident. I have a large hand so I play a PONT before using either Magnetic Draw and grab an L Energy right away. Yay.

(4-1) (3rd)

So, I finish 4-1 and immediately start wondering about my resistance. As it turns out Tommy, George, Tamao and I are all at 4-1 (the only ones who are) and so it comes down to resistance as to who will get which place. The top 4 ends up like this:

1: Tommy Roberts (Gothitelle)

2: George Boon (Reshiphlosion)

3: Ross Gilbert (Magneboar)

4. Tamao (Ross.Dec w/ KGL)

Yes. We went in, took all of their prizes and literally turned around and immediately fled the country. Does that make us bad people?

All in all this made me feel pretty good (the result, not invading and taking prizes). My Magneboar had gone from a 2-3 disaster 2 weeks ago to a 4-1 success with one misplay preventing what could otherwise be a 5-0 sweep. All in all, this is good! I’m still not 100% sure I have a perfect list and I’m still not playing it perfectly, but it’s exciting to think what could happen if I could perfect this deck (both in terms of list and playing).

I may have one Battle Road left this weekend (we’ll see how it pans out), but States is coming up on November 19th! I need to test 2 new decks and really play around with Stage 1s again before then so I have no idea whether I will play Magneboar. It auto-wins Gothitelle and has an awesome Reshiphlosion matchup, BUT it folds (hard!) to Mew Box and Zekrom can really destroy it if they don’t get too slow a setup. We’ll see.

As it was I was feeling good. Over 2 weekends I’d been to 2 tournaments and gotten one cup. I also had a LOT of fun. What more could you ask for?

I will be writing reports for myself like I always do so if you don’t wanna read them, let me know and I’ll keep them for my eyes only. If you do wanna read them, wish me luck!!

P.S. Follow me on Twitter: thewossy

P.P.S. I still refuse to give a uniform name to all of my articles. I think it’s just toooo cheesy. My articles will be individually named. Hopefully my writing style itself will be enough of a marker. Especially my horrendously detailed tournament reports!

Reader Interactions

8 replies

  1. Anonymous

    First to rate, first to comment, and first to say “Great job, Ross!!!”

  2. Adam Capriola

    Great reports Ross! How did your tourny go this weekend? And are you going to the Prague Cup??

    • Ross Gilbert  → Adam

      Cheers dude! I went 2-2 on Saturday but gf dragged me to another one on Sunday and i went 4-0 to finally get some championship points (and a shiny piece of card with a “1” on it)

      I smell another double report coming…..

      Unfortunately Prague isn’t on for me, couldn’t do it cheaply enough in a way that didn’t involve missing work

    • Ross Gilbert  → Adam

      Cheers dude! On Saturday i went 2-2 (my own fault!) but GF convinced us to go to one final one on Sunday where i went 4-0 and finally got some championship points (and a shiny piece of card with a “1” on!)

      Hmm, could we be seeing another double report this week?Alas no for Prague, couldn’t find an affordable way to do it without missing work

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