Normally when I hear the word “marathon,” I think of a long-distance foot race, and normally when I hear the word “pie,” I think of dessert. Well, in New Jersey there were five City Championships in a row; this was called a marathon. Over the course of the week, I found myself having pizza for lunch on more than one occasion. In New Jersey, multiple “pizzas” are referred to as “pies.”
The New Jersey Marathon this year was an extremely competitive series of events. I competed in all five City Championships from December 27-31. My record for each of the five days looked like this: 7-1, 5-2, 4-3, 3-3, 4-2. There were enough Masters Division players to hold at least six Swiss rounds with a top 8 cut every day and some days seven rounds. I played Reshiram/Typhlosion for all five events. The list that I used is posted below for reference.
Pokémon – 16
4 Typhlosion Prime HS
Trainers – 32
4 Proffesor Oak’s New Theory
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 12
The list may have fluctuated by two cards or so over the course of the week, but this list was undoubtedly the most solid. I played twenty-four tournament matches during the marathon, so I’m not going to go into detail over every single match. I am, however, going to highlight some of the things that I learned about Reshiram/Typhlosion, the format, and the marathon in general.
The way that I see it, these are the top decks in the format right now, or tier one:
I would consider the following decks viable, but not necessarily the best. These decks are tier two:
* ”The Truth”
Of the twenty-four tournament matches that I played in New Jersey, all but one of the games was against an opponent using one of the decks listed above. I played against some big name players such as Frank Diaz (3rd Place Worlds), Michael Diaz (1st Place Nationals), Curran Hill (1st Place Worlds), Dylan Lefavour (1st Place Worlds), Mikey Fouchet, Dylan Bryan, and Jimmy O’Brien.
All of these players played exceptionally well, and the games against them were close. I also played against some parents that seemed as competitive as anyone else, which really came as a surprise. There were no rounds where one might gain an easy win.
The majority of my losses over the course of the week were to one card: Kyurem. Some decks were centered around Kyurem, and others may have only played two copies. Either way, the spread damage from “Glaciate” really adds up, and the fact that every Pokémon in my deck other than Cleffa is weak to Water-Type Pokémon was not helping at all.
I made top cut the first day at 6-0 after Swiss. I ended up getting 3rd place that day to Frank Diaz (Kyurem/Cobalion/Electrode). I didn’t make top cut again all week; my resistance was subpar each day that I went X-2.
A different deck won in the Masters division every day:
12/27 – Durant
12/28 – Kyurem/Landorus/Electrode
12/29 – Kyurem/Cobalion/Electrode
12/30 – Typhlosion/Reshiram/Kingdra
12/31 – Chandelure/Vileplume
Magnezone/Eelectrik decks and Typhlosion/Reshiram decks each had incredibly strong showings. Magnezone/Typhlosion made top cut quite a few days. Durant was played, but there were not that many at the top tables.
In my opinion, Typhlosion/Reshiram is a very safe play. I believe that one should be able to play it and coast into top cut, but I do not think that it is a deck that can win events. The deck is very consistent, and it does not have any ridiculously bad matchups. Chandelure and Kyurem are both unfavorable matchups, but Zekrom, Durant, and Magnezone are all winnable matchups.
Magnezone/Eelektrik is also a very safe play. It is quite similar to Reshiram/Typhlosion in many aspects, but Magnezone does not have a damage cap and Eelectrik is a Stage 1 whereas Typhlosion is a Stage 2.
Now, the deck that I believe has the most potential to win tournaments is Chandelure/Vileplume. The deck is not the easiest to set up or to play, but once it sets up it is very good and can make some ridiculous comebacks. Tropical Beach is difficult to acquire, as is Litwick BLW Promo, but once assembled, the deck has serious potential.
There is my brief recap of the New Jersey Marathon. I had a great time, and enjoyed the competitive environment. I met some great people, and played some good games. Thank you for reading and good luck to you all during the last weekend of City Championships!