Battle of Wittz: Chicago Marathon – Part 1

Hey everybody, and welcome to today’s “article”! I put the title in quotation marks because this is one half of a two-parter about the ongoing Chicago marathon. Originally I had my article planned for the 31st, after 4 of the 6 tournaments had been completed — but due to a scheduling goof me and Adam realized that the 31st was a Saturday, not Thursday!

As a result, my article will be split into two half-articles describing each half of the marathon going on right now in the Chicago area. Considering that everyone playing Pokémon outside of Chicago will still be playing Pokémon this weekend as opposed to every day of the week, it also happens to be a great point for me to share my findings before a majority of you head out for tournaments. Sound good? Let’s cut the fluff, and get right into my tournament experience!


Having never played in a “marathon-style” tournament series before, I didn’t really know what to expect. Following some of the tips Kettler posted in an article a week or two ago; I knew to expect elevated attendance and high variance. Even though I make this same decision in just about every tournament that I go to, I figured it’d be smartest to take the deck I felt had a chance to compete vs. every other deck in the format: Zone/Eel.

As I writer, I also feel compelled to take my own lists into events to prove that they can succeed to you readers, so I took the exact list I had in my past “Eels, Eels, Eels” article. I only made one change to the list, and that was cutting the 2nd Pokémon Catcher in favor of the 4th Junk Arm.

I decided that having the utility to discard more Energy, as well as re-use Switch more often was more often than picking a prize off the bench, especially when you can afford to hit the Active Spot for 100-150 damage fairly often.

For reference, here’s what the list looked like coming into the event:

Pokémon – 19

4 Magnemite TM
2 Magneton TM
3 Magnezone Prime
3 Tynamo NVI 38
1 Tynamo NVI 39
3 Eelektrik NVI
2 Zekrom BLW
1 Cleffa HS

Trainers – 27

4 Pokémon Collector
3 N
4 Sage’s Training
1 Engineer’s Adjustments
4 Rare Candy
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Junk Arm

2 Switch
1 Pokémon Catcher

Energy – 14

12 L
2 Rescue

As before, I feel like this is a solid list that allows you to keep consistency and utility in the deck. 14 Energy is probably as low as I’d ever go for the deck, but I have yet to lose a game by “running out” yet, so it hasn’t been a pressing issue. A 15th Energy could easily be added by cutting that 4th Junk Arm, but aside from that I didn’t really feel like the deck was missing too much.

With absolutely no idea what to expect for the metagame (we hadn’t had any Chicago-area events at this point), I fell asleep late after a family Christmas party to prepare for the event. Underfed and underslept (I still can’t stress how often you should NOT be in these conditions for any tournament : P), my girlfriend Renae and I headed out for day 1.

Day 1: Joliet, IL — 64 Masters

pokemon-paradijs.comRight off the bat, I realized that these events would be pretty heavily attended. Most City Championships in the area range from 30 to 50 attendees — bigger numbers meant harder chances to win, and a longer day. While I explained before in my last article that smaller tournaments offer a higher chance for reward in terms of Championship Points, the one good thing was that hitting an attendance of over 64 meant a kicker of 2 points to anyone in the top 16.

Unfortunately, City Championships caps the top cut at 8 no matter what your attendance numbers are, but it’s at least nice to leave the event with something if bubble.

Round 1 vs. Lanturn/Eel

Another deck that I talked about in my last article, it seemed like a good bunch of the Indiana crew (Team Hovercats) had a version of Lanturn/Eel assembled. For the most part their lists were pretty standard and consistent, but the addition of Lost Remover was one interesting tech that I saw. Gearing up for my first City Championship game of the season, I call the coin and go first.

I start with a weird hand of 5 Basics, an Energy, and a Junk Arm. I start free retreat Tynamo and plenty of basics, topdeck Cleffa, and Eek right off the bat. My opponent starts off really hot, finding a few Zekrom, Lanturn Prime, and a whopping 3 Eelektrik by the end of his third turn.

I only have 1 Eel by that time, but finding an early Magnezone gave me enough consistency to get constant attachments from the hand, along with Switch/Junk arm to keep my one Eel out of the active. He takes the prize lead, but I feel throughout the game that I have board advantage.

The problem with Lanturn is that he falls to Zekrom — giving me time to afford discarding plenty of Energy before I go aggressive with Magnezone into the Lost Zone. We exchange prizes for a few turns, but eventually I have board and Energy control by a good deal.

He makes a misplay midway where he hits a Catchered Eelektrik for 80 damage with Lanturn (thinking he had the energy to hit for 90), and I took over from there with Magnezone KOs. With no way to 1HKO my Lost Burn-happy Zone, I took my first Cities game of the year.


Round 2 vs. Andrew Ramey w/ Lanturn/Eel

pokemon-paradijs.comVery likely the same list, I find my way into another Hovercat member. Ramey is an extremely chill player in the community, and I was happy to be playing him for the first time. Unfortunately, we both start terribly. We’re both forced to Eek multiple times to set up. He’s pretty set by the third Eek, but it takes me nearly 5-of my own to have a solid board with a Magnezone in play.

I eventually (after hitting my first search card), realize that 2-of my 3 Magnezone are prized, and know that I’ll have to use Zekrom early and fish for Zones if I have any shot in the late game.

As Lanturn and Zekrom can do, he took a 2-3 Prize lead before I finally got my one Magnezone out. I exchange prizes with Zekroms (not something you really want to do when you’re so far out of the game), and whiff Magnezone on my first 3 Prizes. Things end up my 3 Prizes to his 1 when Ramey realizes something crucial — after overextending with multiple Junipers, he was all out of viable attackers!

Still having a Cleffa on my bench, I N him to 1 in hopes that he can’t charge and KO me with an Eelektrik. After giving myself the time I need to continually charge Magnezone and pick off the rest of my prizes, he finally realizes that his last Junk Arm (for a Pokémon Catcher) was prized, and he concedes. I luck out after falling far behind, and move to 2-0.

Round 3 vs. Renae w/ Durant!

After watching Renae go to 2-0 in one of her first tournaments ever, I’m shocked to see that we’re paired together round 3!

In my past testing vs. Carver’s Durant (it was his deck of choice since we’ve been testing Noble Victories), things almost always went favorable for me. This was, however, back when I had Shaymin UL and Pachirisu CL in the list, which gave me access to a turn 1-2 Zekrom much earlier without risking a 2-retreat acceleration in Eelektrik. Without those options, I find things getting much more stressful for me.

Ideally in the matchup without these options, your strategy vs. Durant is the following:

  1. Get a free retreater, Eelektrik, and Zekrom in play. Charge Zekrom consistently and Bolt Strike/Outrage for game.
  2. Don’t overextend resources at any time.
  3. Late game, use Communication/N to shuffle cards back into your deck to save turns.

I get the setup vs. Renae, but with an Energy-dry start I set up in 3 turns. She gets a turn 1 4-Durant mill from the get-go, and is able to revive every single turn to keep the mill strong. I continue to take a prize per turn, and things go down to the wire. Upon realizing that I only have 9 cards left in the deck on her turn, I start to realize that I’m going to lose if I can’t put a single card back into the deck.

She mills 4 to drop me to 5 cards, dropping 2 Communication and 2 N — my last outs to filling my deck back up in any way. I draw putting my deck at 4, take my 5th prize, and get milled for 4 to lose exactly. It sucks to lose by the perfect mill amount, but it happens and I was proud of Renae for the win.

While I wasn’t too frustrated with my loss to Durant at this point (I never really got what frustrated people about losing to a valid win condition), this loss was just the beginning.


Round 4 vs. Electrode Prime/Kyurem NVI/Terrakion NVI/Cobalion NVI

pokemon-paradijs.comMy opponent introduces himself as a new player in the area, attending his first competitive tournament ever. He seems much more knowledgeable about the game than the average new player, so I’m happy to see a fresh face to the game. I was careful not to underestimate him (I beat Pooka in my first competitive game ever, so I know not to diss the underdog!), but I still came into the game confident.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of a game. He started poor with no Supporter other than Twins, and I got multiple Zones in play by my third turn. His Eviolites prevent me from taking the early Zekrom prizes that I usually like, but with so many Energy on the field I feel safe Lost Burning for a comfortable lead — especially after his Electrode Prime explosion for a free prize.

He never seems to hit the Fighting/Rainbow he needs for Terrakion, and time is called with me ahead in Prizes 1 remaining to his 5. I would have had to struggle to get the final Energy because one was prized, but I knew that I could afford to overextend with his poor setup. Up to 3-1!

Round 5 vs. Typhlosion Prime/Magnezone Prime

This deck was a matchup I had minimal experience with, mainly because I haven’t seen a good build for the deck until Jay’s recent article on different Typhlosion builds. My opponent is another friendly out-of-state player (so many people travelled just to play in this thing!), who immediately says that he finds the TyphloZone vs. EelZone matchup to be unfavorable.

I feel a little better hearing this, but still knew better than to chalk a match up to one player’s assumption. We begin with equal, but once again slow, starts.

pokemon-paradijs.comThere comes a point where he is visibly groaning at each of his topdecks. While I know he was acting more out of humor and friendliness than out of actual anger/frustration, it still gave me a pretty good idea that his hand wasn’t great. As a result, I refrain from playing an early-game N to give us both new hands of 6, and instead divert my resources to getting a Cleffa in play.

Cleffa gives me a great hand, but one huge problem — 5 straight turns of staying Asleep. My opponent is still (thankfully) drawing and groaning through most of his turns, despite eventually getting a Reshiram and Typhlosion in play. With no Catchers, Cleffa never falls, and I finally hit a Switch after the 11th straight tails flip on Sleep. I switch to Zekrom and outrage his Reshiram for 20 damage.

He’s forced to hit me for 120, giving me the return Outrage for 140. From here he has little to work with, and I’m able to outrage for 140 far more times than I should have been able to for a huge prize lead. By the time we both got Zones out, it was an easy Prize trade for an easy win, 4-1.

Round 6 vs. Ryan Alperstein w/ Reshiphlosion

This game starts out extremely favorable for me, but evens out immediately after he drops 2 Rare Candies on 2 Typhlosions, followed by a Juniper. After a Blue Flare + double PlusPower on my Magnezone, things start to look pretty ugly. After a back-and-forth Prize trade going both ways, I’m up 1-2 while I struggle to find my final Energy for Magnezone.

I find myself in trouble after he hits me for 70 and discards my L Energy with Typhlosion. I decide to use my final Switch to put up an active Eelektrik — Dynamotor back to Zone, and cross my fingers that he doesn’t have Catcher to KO my damaged Zone. He doesn’t, and I take the final prize after he ties it 1-1. 5-1, headed to top 8!

Coming into top cut, the top 8 looked like this: (thanks to Karol N’s info on the Pokégym page for all the complete stats!)

Standings after Swiss:

pokemon-paradijs.com1st: 6-0 Jason K w/ Durant
2nd: 5-1 Matthew K w/ Chandelure/Dodrio/Vileplume
3rd: 5-1 Nick W w/ Zekrom/Lanturn/Eelectrik
4th: 5-1 Karol N w/ Magnezone/Eelectrik/Zekrom
5th: 5-1 Josh W w/ Magnezone/Eelectrik/Zekrom
6th: 5-1 Dustin Z w/ Six Corners
7th: 5-1 David V w/ Durant
8th: 4-2 Justin P w/ Zekrom/Tornadus/Eelectrik

With half the top 8 featuring an Eel-Based deck, I felt like my claims from last article stand pretty true — the deck offers plenty of strong ways to compete (all three of the types of lists I provided got in!). Beyond that, Durant’s huge presence surprised me — but we’ll get to that later.

Top 8 vs. Karol N w/ Zone/Eel

I wish I could report a lot about the mirror, but things were pretty boring throughout.

Game 1

I setup while he didn’t, and took the game in about 20 minutes.

Game 2

pokemon-paradijs.comI had a hand of Zekrom, Tynamo, 3 Rare Candy, and 2 Junk Arm. Gross. His start is great, and I know I’ve lost by turn 3. Instead of scooping for a third game, I decide to play the full game out, taking all the time I can by Catchering his Eels and forcing him to eventually take all 6-of his prizes. I decide to do this because of how evenly the deck usually exchanges in the mirror.

I knew that if I lost Game 2 late into time and was given the opportunity to choose to go first, that I’d likely have the advantage I needed to win in time by prizes. Things end after around 20-30 minutes of play, and we move to Game 3, very likely to end on time.

Game 3

The plan springs perfectly, and despite getting equally quick setups, I’m one turn ahead and have every resource I need to win by 1 Prize once time is called. Despite missing Energy drops in the discard with 2 straight Sage’s Training, going first gave me all the advantage I needed to stay ahead of the game. My strategy pays off, and I’m moving on to the top 4 vs. Jason K’s still-undefeated Durant list.

Durant — A Serious Contender?

As marathons have progressed, I’ve noticed a serious increase in Durant hype, performance, and discussion. Jason K’s undefeated performance likely led to this, and has definitely changed a lot of the public perception for how strong the deck is at competing. Aside from being a very easily accessible “noob” deck (it’s dirt cheap and has a very linear strategy), playing Jason allowed me to see that the deck has a lot of room for complicated maneuvers.

While I could dedicate an entire article to play the deck strategically, outlining every single tech, I’ll likely save it for the future. However, I will give a list based on everything I saw in Jason’s deck over the past few days, along with a brief explanation of some of his stranger decisions. Here’s what I’ve got:

Pokémon – 5

4 Durant NVI
1 Rotom UD

Trainers – 45

4 Pokégear 3.0
4 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Juniper
4 Twins
4 N
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
1 Flower Shop Lady


4 Junk Arm

4 Crushing Hammer

3 Eviolite
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 Victory Medal
1 Lost Remover
3 Revive
1 Super Rod

Energy – 10

4 Special M

4 M
2 Rainbow

pokemon-paradijs.comThis variant plays the absolute minimum basic count in favor of maximum T/S/S support and versatility. Interesting inclusions include the Victory Medal (help streamline the deck by giving you a little draw, while also giving you the chance to fish any one card from the deck), the Rainbow Energy (allows Rotom to attack for KO on a Zekrom that has Bolt Striked twice, and the Super Rod/Flower Shop help increase your game in the mirror.

The way Jason plays it, he calculates everything out with his Twins and Victory Medal flips to grab specific cards at any given instance to slow the opponent down.

Here’s how my games went:

Game 1

I setup way too slow to compete. The main goal is try and get the Eel/Zekrom/free retreater strategy out as soon as possible, but it took me until turn 4 to get things going. If I recall correctly, I even had to play a Sage’s Training to get it all going, and by then the game was completely lost. The only reason I played it out is because Durant can’t win on time, and I figured there’s no point not trying to play all my games out for the potential to win Game 3 on time.

Game 2

This game goes really strangely. Jason has a slower start, slowed further by the fact that his 4th Durant is prized. On top of that, I get the clever idea of opening with the 40 HP Tynamo, using my 1 Energy to Paralyze him for 2 straight turns — preventing myself from being milled right away.

Because he doesn’t run the Alph Lithograph 4, he’s forced to Mischievous Trick for 5-6 turns before the 4th Durant hits the field. These 3-mill turns instead of 4 allow me around 2 more turns to play the game — very crucial turns in a matchup where you have a limited amount of time to win in the first place. The game gets really weird because I can’t find my Zekroms, and end up having to attack with Magnezone and Lost Burn instead.

It’s a terrible strategy that I don’t recommend, but Jason’s slow game allows me to collect 6 Prizes with a decent deck size left, and it’s on to Game 3.

Game 3

pokemon-paradijs.comMy start is absolutely horrible, with no hope of an Eel/Zekrom mix. He starts off with 3 4-card mills in a row, and by then I already know the game is lost if I try and win on prizes. I decide to attack solely with Tynamo going for enough Paralyze flips to win on time, but I’m a good 4-5 minutes and the +3 extension away from things working in the end. I lose a Durant game without taking a single Prize card to end the day in top 4.

Jason ended up playing another version of Eel/Lanturn/Zekrom, and actually ended up losing to end his undefeated run. I wasn’t there to watch the finals, but I heard that the Lost Remover tech was huge in denying Jason Energy for a few turns.

I don’t see how the deck has too much stronger of a strategy than mine does outside of that (get Zekrom/free retreater/Eel and hope you don’t get milled much), but it seems like that + Lost Remover was enough to pull through for the first victory of the Chicago marathon.

I felt pretty solid about my deck’s performance. Things went fairly smoothly, and my only loss was to Durant across the day. Grabbing 4 points for a top 4 finish already boosted my rating to more than double its original amount (I only had 3 points total coming into the event), so I was already really happy to be back actively playing.

In-between tournaments, I decided to keep my same deck. I didn’t have any real fundamental things I needed in the deck, but I did notice that the Engineer’s Adjustments was almost never used the entire tournament. I decided to cut it for a 4th N for better consistency, and more options to shuffle my hand back in late game vs. Durant if I ever encountered more.

Off of considerably more sleep, I headed out for Streamwood, IL!

Day 2: Streamwood, IL. 70ish Masters, 7 Rounds

Holy crap, 7 rounds? That’s how many I’ve been used to running for Swiss at states! Already, I was beginning to realize how tiring it is to play Pokémon day in and day out. Streamwood was a really interesting day:

Round 1 vs. Adam Vernola w/ Zone/Eel/Vileplume

pokemon-paradijs.comAdam Vernola was a fairly high-profile player a long time ago, but currently plays for fun at any event he has free time to play for. The concept behind his deck was similar to Jay’s version of the deck in his last article — no Junk Arm, high Energy count, and supporter-based.

Because of this, fitting in a 2-0-2 Vileplume line isn’t the weirdest concept I’ve ever heard of. Unfortunately, it’s also not super consistent, and it showed in our match.

He got Vileplume out around turn 4, which gave me time to get 2 Eels and 2 Zones in play. I led with Zekrom to knockout his Thunderous, and then pretty much swept everything else with Magnezone. 1-0 to start the day again!

Round 2 vs. Zach w/ Victini NVI 14/Lilligant EPO/Zoroark BLW/Vileplume UD

Zach is one of my Pokéfriends from Missouri that took the trip up to play some games while he was meeting with some old college friends. He’s a great player, but he never finds himself able to settle with a metagame deck. He tries to find any fun way he can to exploit the format, and I appreciate that mindset. Today’s concoction used Victini with Lilligant’s one Energy attack to inflict a slew of special conditions to create a mini-Vanilluxe lock.

Unfortunately, Zach had an awful start that left him Supporterless for 4-5 turns. That many turns without Vileplume in a lock deck let me take apart his setup, putting me 4 Prizes up before he was able to start locking my Magnezones hard with Paralysis. Unfortunately for him, I had plenty of time to set up Zekroms for my final return prizes, and I took a fairly easy 2-0.

Round 3 vs. Vanilluxe/Victini/Vileplume

pokemon-paradijs.comSpeaking of Vanilluxe, I found myself playing it in the next round! My opponent was the sister of a casual player — making her “extra-casual”. Regardless, she still likely didn’t find herself at 2-0 at random with a deck that runs this slow, so I played carefully.

Like my past opponents with Vileplume, her deck was very slow at setting up everything she needed. I went aggressive with Zekrom while she was unable to secure a Trainer lock, putting me up a crucial 2 Prizes. When she finally did get the lock off, missing a crucial Double Freeze with Vanilluxe allowed me yet another prize.

As I said in my Vanilluxe article, the farther you fall behind in the Prize trade before the lock, the worse off you are. Taking 3 final prizes with Magnezones equipped with rescue energy was pretty easy, putting me at 3-0.

Round 4 vs. Bigginzzz w/ Lostgar

Lostgar at 3-0? Ryan Borgman (affectionately called Bigginzzz by anyone who knows of him because of his extremely large stature) decided that he was sick of all the Durant hype, and he refused to lose to it. Lostgar of all things shuts the deck down. Either through using multiple cursed droplets with Gengar Prime, or by attacking 7 straight turns with Spiritomb TM’s one Energy attack and having Gengar Prime in play, you’ll send Ants one place they will never return: the Lost Zone.

As someone who clearly has an Ant problem, I found this both satisfying and hilarious. (He beat Jason K. Round 2, too, which was awesome).

The game also started really poorly for me, where a crucial Seeker forced me to decide if I’d rather have my Eel line or Zekrom thrown into the Lost Zone. I opted for Zekrom, putting me a few turns back on attackers.

Fortunately for me, Sage’s Training and Junk Arm gave me plenty of ways to dump Pokémon into the discard, and once I went off with Magnezone I started competing. He constantly brought up new Gengars turn after turn to keep up, but was finally shut out completely when I hit him with an N for 5 that left his hand completely unplayable. I KO’d his last Pokémon standing to clear his board for the win, moving up to 4-0!

Round 5 vs. Toby w/ Durant/Weavile

pokemon-paradijs.comWhile I knew that Toby was playing Durant, I wasn’t nearly as afraid this time. His list was completely outdated and sub-optimal, complete with the Weavile UD line and ZERO Energy removal cards. I took advantage of this and tried to setup a solo Zekrom to clean things fast, but could not find a third Energy to attach by turn 3.

Desperate to get that third Energy out and clean up fast, I Sage’d for 5 cards and missed completely. The turn after that I was forced to N my 3-card hand up to 6, drawing farther into my deck. I start Bolt Striking/Outraging away, and things look down to the wire.

Eventually, I count my deck. I do the math, and it looks like I’m going to fall to the same fate that I did vs. Renae — a perfect mill where I will win if I have just 1 more card in my deck. I desperately try and topdeck a single N or Communication to beef the deck up by a single card, but they’re all discarded in the final few mills.

I lose exactly in a very frustrating outcome vs. a bad version of the deck. It stinks, but there was nothing I could do, and I fall to 4-1.

I shake it off, knowing I likely won’t hit another Dur-

Round 6 vs. Durant


I wish I could say more about this game, but there isn’t much I can say that we haven’t heard about the matchup before. This time he ran a good build with enough Catcher and Crushing Hammer to keep me out of competing pretty quickly. 12 games so far, and 4 losses all to Durant. Gross!

So many people talk about how Durant is lame/bad for the game/terrible or whatnot, but I have no problem with any of these things. My deck has a legitimately poor Durant matchup, and that’s a loss I’m forced to take. My only frustration is that it leaves me occasionally losing to players far less skilled than me — something that should never happen with one of my so-called “good vs. everything” decks.

It turns out Zone/Eel isn’t “good vs. everything” — its poor approach to quick knockouts vs. Durant puts you unfavorable at around 70-30.

So you can imagine my rage when I find out my Round 7 matchup is vs. Jason Klaczynski’s Durant.


Round 7 vs. Jason K w/ Durant

My start isn’t fantastic again, but I’m able to at least get a turn 3 Zekrom/Eel going. I luck out with him prizing Durant again, and once again needing 6 turns to get the prized one out with Rotom. I remain fortunate enough to accumulate Switches and N in my hand to prevent both Catcher shenanigans and the mill late game. He starts whiffing on Revives for ants a few turns, forcing him to mill a weak 2 cards for a few turns.

Jason’s poor luck turns into my advantage, allowing me to have around an 8-card hand and a 10 card deck with only 2 Prizes left when he’s forced to Catcher my 40 HP Tynamo and N me to 2 hoping to prevent me from having an Energy to retreat. My 2 cards are useless, and despite having a ton of Energy left in the deck (and a much bigger deck now with the N actually helping me), I have no options to work with.

On my topdeck I find Sage’s Training. I’m completely reluctant to use it until I realize that my deck can easily handle a 5-card mill and be safe the next turn. Sage gives me Energy, the 5th prize, and locks Jason out of any hope for winning.

I conquer my ant problem once and for all, and also take my first win against Jason Klaczynski in nearly 4 years (granted we’ve only played around 5 times, but still cool!). 5-2.

I knew that starting 4-0 would be great for my resistance, but having 70+ players competing for the 8-person top cut limit would mean for some tough competition. Unfortunately:

I was the bubble boy. 9th place by just 1.02 Opponent’s win percentage, I whiff on chances for top cut 2 days in a row. With 2 kicker points though, the whiff doesn’t hurt too badly. I’m happy to have finally beaten Durant, to push my rating farther, and to come home at a decent time instead of spending close to a full day on Pokémon for the second day in a row. I love the game, but the marathon was getting exhausting already!

Here are the top 8 decks as far as I can remember for day 2:

Kyle S. w/ Electrode/Kyurem/Terakion/Landorus
Toby N w/ Durant/Weavile
Ryan A w/ Reshiphlosion
Andrew Ramey w/ Zekrom/Tornadus/Eel
Evan Baker w/ Donphan/Dragons
Matt Alvis w/ Electrode/Kyurem/Terakion
Another Zekrom/Eel/Tornadus
Another Durant

pokemon-paradijs.comDonphan/Dragons ended up winning the event, beating Adnrew’s Zekrom/Tornadus/Eel (I bet he wish he played Lanturn!). With the heavy Eel presence, Donphan was a great play for the day.

After day 2, I decided that I was going to take a break from the marathon for day 3. After 13 games of Pokémon in 2 days and 6 hours of driving, I really needed a break. I spend around 2 non-stop weeks finishing a project for an important contest, then 4 straight days of Christmas prep, followed by the marathon.

I finally realized that I didn’t have a single day this break dedicated to just myself! I love Pokémon, but the day off was much appreciated.

I’ll be headed back in tomorrow to “finish the fight” (horrible Halo 3 reference ftw), but I hope that this halfway point gives you guys some insight into some of the Zone/Eel matchups, and also a better look at how the best Durant lists are functioning right now.

I’ll be giving a complete picture of the metagame, as well as more tournament reports, at the conclusion of the marathon—but consider this halfway report as one half of a complete and large one. Best of luck at cities this weekend, and as always, feel free to ask any questions! See you in a few days,


P.S. I planned on reporting on Day 3, but I can’t get full info yet from anyone. I know that the Top 4 featured Evan’s Donphan/Dragons, a Zekrom/Tornadus Eel, a Magnezone/Typhlosion, and a 4th unknown deck, but that’s all I have right now. I’ll give a complete top 8 in the comments, along with who won soon. Expect a potential Donphan/Dragons list by the next article after I get a better look at the build!

P.P.S. Right before submitting this to Adam, I found at least that the Zekrom/Eel deck made the finals, beating out Evan’s Donphan/Dragons in sudden death of Game 3. I’ll get you the complete picture as soon as I have it, but just thought I’d share what I know for now!

P.P.P.S. Just thought I’d add to the end what I found from Pooka’s status: “Tad Wheeler (Typhlosion/Magnezone) beats Travis Nunlist (Zekrom/Tornadus/Eelektrik) to win the Countryside, IL City Championship.”

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

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