Hello and welcome to another edition of Carl’s Cache. This article is going to be a look at last year’s set and our previous formats with some insights on the next format, as well as mini tournament report on my Cities win with Magnezone/Eelektrik (MagneEel) and my decklist. Hope you enjoy it. :)
So, the first set “released” this year was Triumphant. It wasn’t technically released this year, but that format was going on at the start of the year, so I’ll include it.
The Hype: To be honest once Lost World was announced as not being released in the set it got a lot less hype, but a couple of cards still received their fair share.
Twins: This card was hyped as the card that would finally give other decks a chance against SPs, and eventually became included in SPs for mirror matches.
Junk Arm/Rescue Energy: Gyarados is back… oh yes.
Not much else received much love, but it was a cool set, 8 Primes, Lost Zone was going to be relevant when/if Lost World came out, so it was a fun set.
Tier 1 Decks at the Time
Luxchomp, Sablelock, DialgaChomp, Gyarados, and Vilegar. Really it was the SPs and everyone else, but luckily this set RESCUED (bad pun) Gyarados and gave VileGar a more legitimate engine to base itself around.
Cities were still dominated by the SPs, but the other two decks stayed around and kept the tournament scene somewhat varied, a couple of rogues also came to be…
Magnezone variants: My friend, Matt Nawal, came up with what I thought was one of the most fun decks to play, Magnezone (not MagneRock). It was a deck that countered almost everything; Magnezone Prime for draw and Lost Burn to finish games off, Magnezone SF 6 to get Energies, Magnezone LV.X for added annoyance, Entei & Raikou LEGEND to steal games, Manectric PL so you don’t kill yourself, Blissey PL screwed with math, and Spiritomb AR kept it functioning.
Eventually other Magnezone variants came to be as well. MagneRock (Magnezone Prime + Regirock LA) became the best known and could run Donphan Prime or Machamp Prime, giving it some all around great matchups as well as the first appearance of MegaJudge in a marathon toward the end.
The other major innovative deck was the first Mew deck, and it was MewPerior. It used Mew Prime to See Off Rhyperior LV.X and then take 6 Prizes in the next six turns. It wasn’t fun to play against as you knew a whiff and you would lose, but it did prove to be beatable and it was a breath of fresh air for the format.
This set really, in my opinion, was by far the best set this year as it has set the tone for HGSS-on formats and had an influence it the SP dominated formats as well, with Mewtwo EX coming it adds Celebi Prime to its list of good cards and besides Gengar Prime and Absol Prime all the others have shone already.
And you could make the point that Gengar Prime did shine, it was overhyped, but it still got some spotlight. Absol Prime also was used with Miasma Valley to score “auto-wins” versus Gyarados decks, but that never caught on that much.
Call of Legends
Tier 1 Decks at the Time
LuxChomp, VileGar, and Gyarados.
No need to discuss the notables in this set, they were mostly reprints and Pachirisu didn’t really matter until HGSS-on; it just didn’t catch on as Regirock LA was better. The format stayed the same for the most part, there was more dark in the format just in case LostGar was played, but honestly that was it. Lost Remover was also used in some SP builds for mirror match, most famously was Kenny Wisdom using THREE in his Regionals deck.
pokemon-paradijs.comHowever during States and Regionals DialgaChomp and Sablelock did become significantly less popular, therefore they did drop out of the tier one range, and more into the tier one and a half. The only “new” decks that did well were Machamp/Vileplume, the ultimate anti-SP deck, and LoxChomp, basically Sablelock with Luxray GL LV.X. So, the format remained relatively stale, but with the release of Black & White it would change.
Black & White
First Format: MD-BW
The Hype: With T/S/S allowed on the first turn the top tables would be dominated by Sabledonk decks and the hope for a midseason rotation was born.
Tier 1 Decks at the Time
LuxChomp, Gyarados, and Sabledonk.
This format didn’t evolve from the previous one, basically Sableye was in every deck as Spiritomb based decks were too slow. However, Sabledonk wasn’t BDIF, that role belonged to Gyarados as it reached its full potential. LuxChomp survived and was a solid deck. To be honest BW didn’t have too much of an influence on this format.
Luckily we got our wish for a midseason rotation and now Black & White could shine in this new format, HS-on.
The Hype: MagneBoar was the new BDIF, Zekrom was the feared donking machine deck. Serperior/Reuniclus was also supposed to be good, as was DonChamp but none of that really happened.
Tier 1 Decks at the Time
MagneBoar, MegaJudge, Stage One Rush, and TyRam.
pokemon-paradijs.comMagneBoar was overhyped to the extent that all the top decks at Canada were basically designed to counter it, this led to Yanmega Prime being the most expensive card in the format and at one point it topped 70 dollars and was definitely in the Luxray GL LV.X price range for about a month. TyRam also was initially seen as inferior to MagneBoar but it had a very good showing and would it start its dominance of consistency wins.
Stage One Rush, Yanmega/Donphan/Zoroark also proved to be perhaps the most versatile deck in the format, but really faltered at Worlds. MegaJudge won USA Nationals, but again failed in getting a top 4 in Masters at Worlds. ZPS was the only deck to get two Nationals wins, but didn’t even show up at Worlds. However, MagneBoar was able to score the Worlds win over the famous rogue deck known as Ross.dec or the Truth.
Other top decks included Mewlock decks, Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi (I hate that deck forever…) and ReshiBoar.
This format was still incredibly luck based as was the last one, as most games came down to:
- Going first
- Baby coin flips
- Pokémon Reversal flips
But the deck that did win didn’t care about any of these; the high Twins count compensated for going second and it didn’t run Pokémon Reversal. Baby flips still played a role, but he did cut down on the effect that coin flips would have on his games.
The Hype: The hype for this set centered on four key cards…
1. Beartic: He was the least hyped, but was still considered to be a potential tier one deck when paired with Vileplume. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out, 50 damage wasn’t enough and Pokémon with low Retreat Costs (i.e. Yanmega Prime) gave the deck a lot of problems. It turned out to be a lot of waste and perhaps it was so bad it caused Coca-Cola’s new can design to fail. :P
2. Gothitelle: The second most hyped card, but it was touted as the initial BDIF. But, like MagneBoar, that title only meant it became the MTAD(most teched against deck, thought I’d make up my own acronym), as especially in my area, entire decks were centered around beating Gothitelle. It had tier one showings at BRs, but its failure at Regionals was well documented.
3. Pokémon Catcher: The most hyped card since….LostGar (oh, my bad that wasn’t too long ago :0 ).
It was loved and hated by players as on one hand it took the luck out of games of Pokémon Reversal flips and baby coin flips, adding another level of skill to the game, but it did make going first a bit more important and was met with some resistance.
Whatever side you were on, you did know this card was going to be good, especially when the price hovered around 10 dollars for a normal copy. It was also supposed to make Zekrom the hands down BDIF, if that title wasn’t taken by Gothitelle.
4. Tornadus: Tornadus was hyped as Zekrom’s ideal Donphan counter. It soon became the lead card in the deck in order to conserve the energies and was the only Pokémon in the set to live up to his hype.
Tier 1 Decks at the Time
Regionals: TyRam, MegaJudge, ZPST, and Ross.dec/The Truth.
TyRam was able to continue its surge at BR’s and racked up a ton of wins. MegaJudge also remained extremely popular and Zekrom was able to show it was a tier one deck. Gothitelle was the only true newcomer to the tier list and made an impact on the format whether it was in winning or causing lists to be altered.
However when Regionals came along Gothitelle had fallen and The Truth was the deck racking up the top 8 appearances. Trainer Lock did have a major influence it how decks were made or in my case, overteched for the matchup. ZPST had a solid showing as well and MegaJudge remained a tier one deck.
TyRam was the BDIF, but for Regionals it wasn’t “standard” TyRam decks that won it was unique versions. One ran Magnezone Prime in it and mine ran Kingdra Prime in it. In a way that reminded me of Yuta’s LuxChomp, it was the BDIF but ran a totally different list of techs and cards than most others.
However this format was generally noted for being stale because of the lack of turnover in power decks. But the next set would change that…
Tier 1 Decks
pokemon-paradijs.comI really don’t have too much of a clue… there are so many good decks and my metagame is EXTREMELY skewed toward about three or four.
Anyhow… the hype was that this set was extremely balanced; initially CaKE/CoKE was the most hyped deck and Kyurem NVI was the best card out of the set, which is probably true, but it isn’t raking up the most Cities wins at the moment. Cobalion NVI also received a nice dosage of initial hype. But the two most hyped cards were N and Eviolite.
Eviolite was going to break Zekrom and Eelektrik would be the way it stayed alive late game. N was the crippling card to the deck. But, there are so many good cards in the set and some didn’t get the hype they deserved.
There are so many deck that I won’t go over them, but basically this format is the very definition of diversity. There are about dozen different decks that have a chance against almost anything, and this causes an emphasis on deckbuilding and in game play, which is very different from the past two formats in which coin flips were extremely important and the format was focused on about four decks. I still am not sure if I really love this format or not, but the bottom line is that this set was great for the game.
Now onto to my concluding thoughts…
The Top Busts of 2011
Yanmega Prime’s Price: In the span of literally four months it went from BDIF and a 70 dollar card to about 5 and not even on the radar.
LostGar: Yeah it didn’t get there…
The 10 Most Influential Cards of 2011
10. Gengar Prime/Lost World. Hey, the deck did awful, but it did cause people to overtech for it, and because of it he brought down VileGar with him as the Gengar Prime techs worked against VileGar too.
9. Eelektrik NVI. I know he’s from the newest set, but my metagame is all about this card and it is in three potentially tier one decks. That’s influence.
7. Emboar BLW 20. Ah, if MagneBoar wasn’t so hyped maybe Yanmega wouldn’t have been played as much, we’ll never know but something tells me he’s not going away at States.
6. Yanmega Prime. It’s probably a little low, but he was only good for about three months, and he couldn’t get a top four at Worlds in Masters. But still the way he dominated Nationals across the board is amazing.
5. Pokémon Catcher. Only reason this guy is behind Junk Arm is because of trainer lock decks and Junk Arm came out first. Possibly the most broken Trainer, but he’s here to stay. Not to mention that shiny one is epic.
3. Garchomp C LV.X. Only in the BDIF and other tier one decks in this format for about forever.
2. Sableye SF. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have had a midseason rotation. He also kept Gyarados alive and was a centerpiece in some SP builds.
1. Magnezone Prime. He’s been with so many Pokémon and has been at the top tables at almost every tournament since his inception. Lost Burn truly proved to be a counter to everything and right now he’s argubably the BDIF again. He was hyped with Emboar, took home a Nationals crown with Yanmega, then got Worlds.
He was touted as a tier one deck with Yanmega again for BRs and Regionals and is now the BDIF with Eelektrik. Even in the MD-on format when he wasn’t as hyped he was winning with Regirock and toolbox approaches.
Tidbits About 2012
Mewtwo EX: Can any card live up to the hype he’s gotten? That’s a legitimate question, but he’ll definitely be the most teched against card.
I like this format, but not the fact that it’s all Basics. It’s diverse and fun, but I’d like to see some Stage Twos make it onto the scene other than Magnezone and Vileplume. Empoleon is a step in the right direction, but I’m not sure if it’s enough.
My favorite card in the next format is Darkrai EX; I love that card.
Anyhow on to the end of my article…
Cities Report w/ Magnezone/Eelektrik
Here’s the list:
Pokémon – 20
1 Cleffa HS/CL
1 Pichu HS
Trainers – 26
3 Junk Arm
Energy – 14
Round 1 v. Austin Reed w/ Zekrom/Eelektrik
pokemon-paradijs.comI start absolutely dead, and he creams me.
Round 2 v. Chris Hauer w/ CoKE
He gets a turn two Kyurem and takes a prize, but the issue for him was my turn three Zone, and he had no other Pokémon.
Round 3 v. Ashley F w/ Zekrom/Eelektrik
We both got solid starts, but constant N-ing of her set her back in the prize exchange and I was able to pull out the win.
Round 4 v. ???? w/????
I really don’t remember this round.
Round 5 v. Steve w/ Mew Prime/Vileplume/Vanilluxe
He has a pretty rough start, as do I. He flips alright, but missed a couple of key ones and misplayed at the end so I got the W.
Round 6 v. Bryan Le w/ MagneEel
pokemon-paradijs.comWe get into the prize exchange, but because he got a turn one Eviolite I had to lead Zone and at the end he got off a key N, got my hand to 1, and then KO’d my Magnezone. He stormed back from the 2 Prize deficit and got the win. Luckily I knew going in that my resistance was good enough to get me into top cut.
I came in as the number six seed.
Top 8 v. Andrew Spencer w/ 6 Corners
Game 1: He gets a good start and my start was iffy. He pulled off a Catcher/Retaliate KO on my initial Magnezone and that really got him the momentum.
Game 2/3: He has nothing both games and I just steamroll him.
Top 4 v. Zekrom/Eelektrik
Game 1: We both get iffy starts, but I’m able to draw into a Sage which saved the day. He took the initial lead, but he whiffed on PlusPower toward the end and I got the W.
Game 2: He has nothing and I win.
Top 2 v. Nick w/ Magnezone/Eelektrik
This was my friend that Henry and I had helped out before the tournament and now he was in top 2.
Game 1: I got nothing this game, even with the help of Pichu I couldn’t set up.
Game 2: I got the initial lead and I pretty much never looked back. He only lost by 2 Prizes, but it was never really close.
Game 3: He goes first, but his start is iffy. I end up Eeeeeeeking into a solid start and complete the come back to get my first Cities win.
I hope you enjoyed my last article of the year and I’ll see you in January!