I think I travel too much for Pokémon…

pokemon-paradijs.comIn the space of a month, me and fellow (occasional) SixPrizes writer Tommy Roberts pushed hard for the Championship Points needed to qualify for Hawaii’s World Championships by attending 4 major events in 4 different countries. The ‘adventure’ so to speak starts a month ago or so with 6-of us Brits making the trip over to the Czech Republic to participate in one of the biggest events on the European calendar, the Prague Cup.

Dan Middleton (PokémanDan) has already covered a lot of what went on in Prague so I’ll keep this section short and you can just watch his videos I guess. Also, if you check out my YouTube channel (Tamoo99), you’ll find a vid I recorded while I was there too. As I don’t have the partnership restrictions that Dan has, it may be a little less PG than would usually pass on this site so I won’t link it, but yeah, just bear that in mind if you do go and watch it. :)

Obscenely early on the morning of the 3rd of November, we (me, Tommy Roberts, George Boon, and Daniel Middleton) set off from my house after no sleep whatsoever toward Gatwick Airport. Our journey almost ended before we could even get to the airport, with Tommy apparently not seeing the end of the road at one point literally about 50 metres from our final destination, but we all arrived safely in Prague to meet up with our two fellow UK attendees and good friends Michael Ritchie and David Garvey, both of whom live in Scotland.

My Deck

Kyogre&Groudon LEGENDThis is where things get slightly interesting. Some of you who follow the amazing coverage that The TopCut provides for the community may have seen Kyle Sucevich (Pooka) play a deck featuring Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND in what was called KGL Lock toward the end of September, which is essentially a variation of Ross Cawthon’s Worlds deck named The Truth.

Instead, the aim of the deck is to run Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND as opposed to the typically run Suicune & Entei LEGEND to claim victory using the less used win condition of decking an opponent out. This video was interesting to watch for our testing group as the deck was described more as a ‘fun’ deck that they were just kind of testing out.

However, we found the deck to be a very ridiculous deck having refined it for over a month prior to seeing this on YouTube. In fact, I, and others in my testing group believed it to be one of, if not the best deck for a best of 1 format. It has no real auto-losses (with Magnezone variants being the hardest although not unwinnable) and can very much catch people off guard and on tilt.

With no time constraints holding you back, you can set up an impenetrable wall and deck your opponent out. However, in best of 3, you have serious problems, especially if your opponent is competent at slow playing.

The List

Pokémon – 25

3 Oddish UD

1 Gloom UD

2 Vileplume UD

3 Solosis BLW

2 Duosion BLW

2 Reuniclus BLW

2 Phanpy HS

2 Donphan Prime

1 Shaymin UL

2 Cleffa HS/CL

2-2 Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND

1 Zekrom BLW

Trainers – 24

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Twins

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

2 Seeker

4 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Communication

1 Tropical Beach

1 Indigo Plateau

Energy – 11

4 Rainbow

4 Double Colorless

3 W

So the aim of the deck:

  1. Get out the Vileplume Reuniclus combination as early as possible.
  2. Attach Energies around the board onto either undesirable or unattainable kill targets.
  3. Drop down Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND which you should be able to get from your Twins engine.
  4. Drop Shaymin down, move all Energies onto KGL and start milling your opponents deck as early as possible to hopefully discard some key cards.
  5. Smile as they start to realise just what your deck does when they get to under 5 cards left in their deck.

pokemon-paradijs.comI won’t go into too much detail, but basically, I went 4-4 on the day and picked up one Championship Point for coming in the top 64 which wasn’t ideal, but the trip was still an excellent experience that was well worth it. I essentially misplayed my way out of top cut, as I had a very good resistance at the time and one more win would have gotten me there. I was matched against a Zekrom (for the 3rd time that day, the other two times I was donked) and managed to get a full set up with Vileplume, Reuniclus, and Donphan with 3 Rainbow Energies on it.

With the match in the bag, I totally screw up and forget to move the damage off of my active Donphan allowing his Tornadus to just take a KO on it. I was really annoyed with myself at the time, but I got myself together and set out to get my second Donphan in play, only to find it was prized. It happens and that’s pretty much how I bombed out of attaining a top cut place.

I also had quite a sour experience against one of the players I was matched up against, a German player playing Gothitelle/Reuniclus/Magnezone. At the start of the match, he took my deck to cut and proceeded to shuffle my deck essentially face up. He then went on to talk to his German friend next to him and I definitely heard him say Vileplume Reuniclus in that conversation.

I did my usual set up and started milling early which was risky due to him running Magnezone and Zekrom, but I managed to discard key L Energies from his deck to prevent the Magnezone risk. After I Seeker and he picks up his damaged Zekrom over his Magnezone, he realises he can’t win the match any more and gets a bit sloppy, to the point that every time I offer him to cut, he shuffles the deck and literally throws the deck back at me.

In the end, Dan Middleton was the only player who achieved a top 32 finish which was very disappointing for us, but we’ll definitely be back next year to represent the UK a little bit better.

pokemon-paradijs.comIn hindsight, playing this deck was quite a bad decision, as with the new points structure, I should not have been hoping to just top cut and be happy with that, I needed to be gunning to win it. Or at least take a substantial number of points from it so that the points could fill a large amount of the quota for Regionals/States. Relevant to the rest of the article, while in Prague, we made fairly good friends with the Dutch contingency that was present; all four of them. ;)

It turned out that one of the Seniors watched the videos that me and Dan churn out and so by extension got to know his sister and mother quite well, to the point that we got an interesting opportunity to go to Holland later on in the year for a whole weekend of Regional if we wished to. It’s not every day that you get the chance to go to Holland for so cheap so me and Tommy were pretty quick to jump on that offer.

Back in the UK

So with 2 weeks to go until me and Tommy were to set off for Holland, the UK had their own little event in the form of Nottingham States, which attracted the likes of Sami Sekkoum, Tom Hall, and Jak Armstead to travel miles to attend. For this event, I was semi inspired by the deck that went 7-0 in the Swiss rounds of the Prague Cup, Yanmega Magnezone Zoroark.

I was lucky enough to watch Sascha Giger play a bit and we got to learn a bit about the deck and why he thought it was so good, so I thought I may as well give it a try for this event. I did however know it was a horrible metagame call knowing a lot of UK players were opting to play Zekrom, but I was fairly confident I could outplay any UK Zekrom player if I could avoid the donk.

Huge thanks while I’m here to David and Michael from Scotland who very kindly lent me pretty much the whole deck to play as there was no way I could afford to build the deck otherwise.

The List

Pokémon – 21

4 Magnemite TM

2 Magneton TM

3 Magnezone Prime

4 Yanma TM

3 Yanmega Prime

2 Zorua BLW

2 Zoroark BLW

1 Cleffa HS/CL


Trainers – 27

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Judge

3 Copycat

4 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Communication

3 Junk Arm

3 Pokémon Catcher

2 Switch



Energy – 12

10 L

2 Double Colorless

What I really like about this variant of the deck is that it gives you a really reliable out against the likes of Zekrom and Reshiram, while also being able to cope with a lot of other annoying stuff that you may encounter in tournament by turning their own strategy against them.

For this build, I concentrated on a very heavy emphasis on an early game consisting of Stage 1 pressure with Yanmega and Zoroark, with Magnezone only really there to help with some consistency and some late game knock outs. This is how I did:

Round 1: Nick F: Zekrom


I get Pachirisu donked, fun game. We played another game after and I managed to control the matchup fairly well and got the win so I was a bit annoyed by this loss, but it’s always a risk taking a deck like this into a Zekrom filled field.


Round 2: Ali G: Zekrom

Yet another Zekrom. This just becomes a Prize trade as he cannot get the donk and I’m just taking as many cheap prizes as possible. Eventually, we are at 1 Prize each. Both of our decks have around 20 cards left in and he PONTs for the catcher he needs to win the game.

I know he only has one out left in his deck and am relieved to see he does not draw into it. My turn and I need to draw into the Catcher I require to take the win. I Copycat, play down my hand and then Magnetic Draw for one of my 3 outs in my deck and rip it for the win.


Round 3: Charles B: The Truth

This match is just ridiculous. I get a turn 2 triple Magnezone and double Yanmega and start sniping his Pokémon to take an early dominant lead. Charles eventually gets his setup going, but he’s so far behind in the Prize trade that I can just sweep late game with Magnezone.


Round 4: ???: Yanmega Magnezone

pokemon-paradijs.comHe goes first which is so important in the mirror and it allows him to get the T2 Yanmega and Magnezone while my board on T2 looked dire. I felt after this match that I was outplaying my opponent quite a bit, but I just couldn’t overcome the early deficit and at 1 Prize each, he drops his Pachirisu to kill the game off with his Magnezone.


Round 5: ???: Emboar Reshiram

My opponent cannot ever get anything set up. Not due to me overwhelming him, but due to absolutely terrible draws so despite a shaky start from my deck, I can just get rid of all his important Pokémon early game for an easier transition into late game.


Round 6: ???: Yanmega Magnezone

Yet again, my opponent draws dead and I get the T2 Yanmega to Knock Out his only Pokémon. We look at his topdecks and come to the conclusion that it would have taken him roughly 10 turns to draw into anything useful.


So I’m sitting on an average record of 4-2 which gets some people into top cut, but not me unfortunately, thoughI still take home 4 points thanks to the kicker system. Tommy actually goes on to win the event with Gothitelle Reuniclus so well done to him and a very nice 10 points toward his qualification to Worlds.

I’m still really confident in the deck and know that even after the introduction of Noble Victories, I was very keen to take the deck to Holland with a few tweaks.

Holland and German Regionals

After a seamless 6 hour journey, we arrived at the home of our hosts. We head off to the local town and are greeted by what is one of the strangest traditions/holidays I’ve ever seen. At that particular time of the year every year, the Dutch celebrate what is known as ‘Sinterklaas’. Anna tried her best to explain what it involved but from what we could tell, the Dutch essentially celebrate racist evil Santa.

There were even children dressed up as Elves/Slaves with black face paint on. I’ve got to admit, was a little bit shocked and uncomfortable with the whole thing! It would take a brave person to walk around like these elves around London for sure.

After settling back on Yanmega Magnezone Zoroark as my deck of choice, I set about adjusting it to embrace the new NV cards and this is my list:

Pokémon – 20

3 Magnemite TM

2 Magneton TM

3 Magnezone Prime

4 Yanma TM

3 Yanmega Prime

2 Zorua BLW

2 Zoroark BLW

1 Cleffa HS/CL

Trainers – 28

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Judge

2 Copycat

1 N

4 Pokémon Communication

4 Rare Candy

3 Junk Arm

2 Pokémon Catcher

2 Switch

2 PlusPower

Energy – 12

10 L

2 Double Colorless

Essentially, all I did with the list is try to make space for the 2 PlusPower I felt necessary in order to combat what was expected to be a Reshiram heavy metagame over the border in Germany.

Germany (Dusseldorf) Regionals

Round 1: Jorrit M: Mismagius/Crobat/Jirachi

pokemon-paradijs.comThis was essentially a spread, snipe, devolve kind of deck. It could have been annoying, but I got the Yanmegas up really quickly to put a lot of pressure on his board and he couldn’t really set anything up except for one Crobat Prime and one Mismagius, which were both easily 1HKOd.


Round 2: Denis B: Tyram

He gets of to a really slow start which compensates for me not being able to get Magnezones out at all. I go aggressive with Yanmega and Zoroark in the meantime and essentially play the deck like Stage 1 rush to deny all his Cyndaquils from evolving.


Round 3: Thomas W: Tyram

I go second, have 3 Magnemites and stare down the barrel of a T2 Typhlosion. Not even I could turn over that deficit. ;)


Round 4: Dennis B: Tyram

I get to go first and get a T1 Collector, followed by a T2, 3 and 4 Judge. He literally cannot set anything up against this disruption and I Knock Out all of his Cyndaquils before he scoops.


Round 5: Farat B: CaKE

pokemon-paradijs.comI deny him his Energy acceleration by sniping easy prizes from Voltorbs. He manually sets up Cobalions but I can just retreat Yanmegas and can even force him to react to his own strategy by promoting my Zoroark and copying his own attacks. He can’t find an answer so I take the last few easy prizes with Magnezone.


Round 6: David S: Tyram

Yay Tyram again. Unfortunately I don’t see an evolution card or a hand refresh card for 5 turns and that’s long enough for him to set up and sweep.


So I qualify as the highest seed 4-2, and Tommy also qualifies having gone 6-0 with Zekrom. He pretty much played 6 turns all day! Anyway top cut gets announced and I’m facing my round 3 opponent again.

Top 8: Thomas W: Tyram

Match 1: I get to go first but cannot capitalise by getting a T2 evolution out. This gives Thomas the advantage for the rest of the match and he takes full control.

Match 2: This time I do get the set up, and he scoops within 5 turns as my board position was too strong to recover from.

Match 3: Best match of the weekend. We go in a prize exchange and at 3-3, time is called with me having the extra turn. I have to options at this point; either Catcher his Cyndaquil and Knock it Out with Yanmega then take the final prize with my Magnezone next turn, or promote my Magnezone and Knock Out his active Reshiram and force him to revenge KO it allowing me to catcher KO the Cyndaquil next turn.

pokemon-paradijs.comI chose the latter option because I knew he couldn’t evolve his Cyndaquil having looked through his discard so it was always going to be a free prize. Also if he Catchered my Magnezone next turn, I would have been screwed. It was the wrong option. I Knocked Out his Reshiram and he proceeds to topdeck an Eviolite and attach it to the Cyndaquil.

I still have a chance though as I Catcher his Cyndaquil and Sonicboom it to leave it on 50. He cannot Afterburner onto it as that would Knock him Out, so I Judge him and hope he doesn’t hit the Energy to retreat for the game. He hits the Energy and that’s the match.

So after having gone toe to toe with Tyram 7 times that day, I was feeling pretty tired and was looking forward to going home. Tommy had also crashed out of top cut losing to a Vanilluxe deck so we both received 5 points from the tournament. An interesting deck that reached Top 4 was Beartic Vileplume, but not the ‘good’ Beartic, the Icy Wind Beartic. The strategy was basically put you in a sleep lock with Icy Wind and it obviously worked for him on the day.

Having seen how well Tommy had done with his Zekrom list the previous day (and admittedly, how little he had to play and think because I was getting a bit tired of Pokémon!), I’d decided to play pretty much his Zekrom list for the next Regional tournament. I made a few changes as there were things I really didn’t like but here’s my final list:

Pokémon – 13

4 Tornadus EPO

3 Zekrom BLW

1 Druddigon NVI

2 Pachirisu CL

2 Shaymin UL

1 Tyrogue HS/CL

Trainers – 32

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Professor Juniper

4 Cheren

2 Judge

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Junk Arm

3 Dual Ball

3 Pokégear 3.0

2 PlusPower

1 Switch

1 Eviolite

Energy – 15

11 L

4 Double Colorless

The Druddigon was teched into the deck because we were aware of how big Chandelure was going to be and Druddigon could Clutch it active then retreat into a Zekrom the next turn to Knock it Out. Other than that, a very standard list. Tommy essentially played one less Catcher to fit in a (useless) Carnivine TM and replaced 2 Cheren with 2 (useless) Biancas.

Holland (Breda) Regionals

After talking to some of the Dutch players, it was immediately obvious that EVERYONE wanted to beat us quite a bit. It wasn’t like the German Regionals where we just turned up out of the blue, as word had spread that we were coming down for this. One other point about the tournament was that I felt we could have had a much more enjoyable time if the Judges were maybe just a bit more lenient.

Tommy wasn’t allowed to play his UL PlusPowers without a Card-dex which is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. I was also asked to not use my watch which I highly disagree with as timekeeping is so essential in Pokémon. Anyway, I’ll get onto the actual report:

Round 1: Emanuel D.S: Mewlock

Round 1 and I get someone who is actually meant to be quite good, and has attended Worlds. Unfortunately for him, I knew his deck pretty much inside out having seen his friend build it the night before. I just got my T1 Zekrom and spent the match just Outraging all of his Yanmegas and Mews for the game.


Round 2: Tristan W: Chandelure

He tells me the matchup is 81-19 in Chandelure’s favor, so it’s fairly satisfying getting the T1 Zekrom and decimating his whole field before he can even get a single Chandelure in play.


Round 3: Anna S: CaKE

pokemon-paradijs.comThis was a scary matchup, and I didn’t actually take a prize all match. However, with some defensive Catcher usage toward the end of the match, I force her to run out of energies in order to retreat her Kyurems and eventually deck out. A pretty lucky break and she’d just beaten Tommy so I really didn’t want to lose to her.


Round 4: Vito: Durant

I get a T1 Zekrom and sweep his field of Durant easily. Spot a pattern here?


Round 5: Kevin: Tyram

I get the T1 again and take a few early prizes. However he does get fully set up and I used a lot of resources to try and disrupt his side of the field without success. In the end, Reshiram with Eviolite on it was just too much to handle and I finally lost.


Round 6: Guido R: ZPST

Tommy had just lost to this player too, and this is how he lost. He started with a Tyrogue and benched a Pachirisu with 2 Energies against his lone Tornadus. He Junipers and doesn’t hit the energy necessary power up a Zekrom after getting a Shaymin. In my game, I get an identical start but only have one energy on the Pachirisu.

I do however play a PlusPower, so all I needed to do was Juniper for an Energy and the game was mine. 7 cards are drawn and I whiff which was so annoying. It turns out that Zekrom with 3 Eviolite easily beats Zekrom with only 1, so I go down again.


Mark A. HicksStanding are announced and I’m placed 9th and Tommy 10th which is the worst possible situation. I don’t really understand how I can lose out on resistance having gone 4-0 and only losing to two of the highest seeds but it happens sometimes. We both take 4 points from the tournament meaning the whole trip granted us 9 points which put us at the number 1 and 2 position in the UK. Also the points raised Tommy up to 6th in the world with 25 points while I’m 37th at the moment with 16 so we’re looking quite healthy for an invite so far.

If you’ve read up to now, wow, I wouldn’t have. :p I will admit, I’m a bit sick of the sight of Pokémon cards at the moment but I’m actually doing it all over again as me and Tommy are going back to Holland in a weeks time to invade their City Championships. Isn’t it great when it’s more cost efficient to travel abroad than stay in your own country?

I feel it’s absolutely necessary to give a huge shoutout to Anna, Laurens and their parents Karin and Ben, you guys did way too much for us over the weekend and made sure we had a great time. Just know that your childhood photos won’t be safe from my camera next time. :p


Reader Interactions

23 replies

  1. Anonymous

    At least ya got Championship points!

    Also, I really like the idea of Druddigon in Zekrom; I’ve always been a fan of the card but I’ve never found a place to put it, and Druddigon in ZPST seems fitting. :)

    • Tamao Cameron  → Anonymous

      I’ll be honest, I’ve since taken the Druddigon out.  It’s a nice out against those kinds of decks that like to retreat as clutch is a great move, and the in built Rocky helmet can help out to soften eviolite users but I never felt it could win me a game when I played it

  2. Rick de Wijn

    ”At that particular time of the year every year, the Dutch celebrate what is known as ‘Sinterklaas’.
    Anna tried her best to explain what it involved but from what we could
    tell, the Dutch essentially celebrate racist evil Santa.” The best part about it is that the black people here don’t think its racist at all. As long as the kids enjoys it.

  3. Oliver Barnett

    What did I tell ya Tamao, I like my mons but you travel waaay too much XD

  4. beyblade1410

    Tamoo you’re very lucky. I’m a 13yr old seniro in Florida and I can got to 1 BR max and I might not even be able to go to cities. My parents don’t understand Pokemon, won’t try it, think I’m to old for it, and generally don’t like driving to tournaments even 20 minutes away because 20 minutes of time is to valuable for a card game. Do you guys have any solutions for me on how to get them to drive me or have a positive attitude toward Pokemon?

    • Tamao Cameron  → beyblade1410

      Yeah I appreciate I’m very lucky to be able to do all of this, some of the perks of getting older ;)  As for what you can do to convince them to have a positive attitude about pokemon, maybe the best approach is show them the other side of Pokemon, that it’s not just a ‘game’.  It’s a tactically challenging game that forces you to make smart and tough decisions in pressure situations.  Also emphasise how great the community, the game inherently forces you to interact and socialise with other players which is always a great thing, and you’re guaranteed to make some of your greatest friends in the pokemon community.  Good luck :)

      • beyblade1410  → Tamao

        K thanks for the advice, talked it over with my parents and I can attend two cities back to back since I’m getting good grades so as long as a get good grades I can go tournaments. Thanks again I owe you one :)

      • Anonymous  → Tamao

        I liked this because it is so true that Pokemon is not just a fun game, but it makes you think as well.

        <3 Pokemon.

      • beyblade1410  → Tamao

        Thanks BTW what do your parents think of you playing Pokemon when your older? Please I don’t mean to offend you but I just want some input on the matter. 

        • Tamao Cameron  → beyblade1410

          Well I’ve been into competitive gaming since I was about 18 (I’m 20 now) so me going to tournaments for Pokemon is no different really to what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years by attending tournaments for video games.  I don’t think my mum likes that I spend so much time and money on it but at the same time, she knows she can’t really do much since I don’t live with her anymore :p

        • Adam Capriola  → beyblade1410

          Tell them I said it is! All activities teach you different like skills, and none is really better than another. It’s all subjective. Doing a sport might get you physically in shape; playing Pokemon will give your brain some exercise. Both can help with social skills. Who’s to say one is better than another?

  5. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Why did the German player say ‘Vileplume Reuniclus’ instead of ‘Giflor Zytomega’ hmmm?

    Maybe he wasn’t really German at all . . .

    The mystery deepens . . .

    • Tamao Cameron  → Jak

      Actually, he did say it in German, it just so happened that due to the other UK players fascination with acquiring foreign cards to use, I knew what the German for the two pokemon was.  It also helps that I did A level German so I could spy in on him talking to his friend lol.

      First time doing German has ever come in useful, true story

      • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Tamao

        Euro cards are cool.

        Who wouldn’t want to use Super bonbon instead of Rare Candy?

        Also Ptitard is lot funnier than Poliwag.

  6. Toby Woolner

    The round 4 at Nottingham States was against Alex Pike, just so you know :) well written mate! Thats some travelling you do! I know we’ll meet up/play again soon, so I’d like to see what you bring to the table next time ;)

  7. Lee Caffee

    “In the end, Reshiram with Eviolite on it was just too much to handle and I finally lost.”

    You can say this again. And then again and just switch out the word ‘Reshiram’ with ‘Zekrom’

    Edit: Hey look, you do!

    “It turns out that Zekrom with 3 Eviolite easily beats Zekrom with only 1, so I go down again.”

  8. Anonymous

    very nice article Dude and thanx for playing the Zone :D btw you forget the friendly barkeeper :D greetz Sascha G.

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