Airhawk’s 2012 Kansas States Report

Hey all, I’m going to keep this one brief. I have a simple tournament report to give you and a new deck to talk about.

This last weekend I went to the Kansas State tournament with some friends of mine. I tested quite a bit last week, trying to decide what deck I wanted to play. There were four decks I was considering.

1. Zeels: Obviously, anyone who wants to do well at any tournament must consider this deck. It is the BDIF, and it just jumps out of the gate at people.

2. Zebras (Fruity Stripes): This might be my favorite deck to play with right now. It is just too much fun to play and takes nearly perfect execution to pull out wins. I think that it has solid matchups against most of the field.

3. Durant: I do not really like playing this deck. I think it takes more skill than most people realize, but I do not enjoy it.

4. TyRam: I ended up playing this deck. Let me explain why (and no it’s not because I love it, or I’m a TyRam homer :P). When I got there I saw quite a few Fighting decks, Durants, and about as many CMTs as Zeels. By my estimation (from looking around the room), there was about 10-15% Zeels, ~10% CMT, 8-10% Fighting type decks, and 10% Durant.

The first two decks on my list lose to all the Fighting decks that were there. I did not want to play a deck that loses to a popular counter-deck right now. Also, TyRam has positive matchups with Durant (huge advantage), Fighting types (significant advantage), and CMT (55/45 if you make it past turn two with a decent board you tend to win). It plays to about a 40/60 split with Zeels.

Based on my several strolls around the room, I figured that TyRam would give me an advantage over about 20-30% of the decks there and a disadvantage against around 15%. I took those odds and at the last minute, I switched out of my first two choices (Zeels, Zebras), and into my fourth choice.

Then the tournament started. There were 102 Masters with a Top 16 cut. So, all X-1s and a lot of the X-2s were going to make cut. The first round pairings went up.

Round 1 vs VVV
Welcome to Kansas, Andy.

This is one of the better players in our area. I was not looking forward to having to play him early in the tournament. However, I know that last week he played a Fighting deck, and that made me feel a little better.

We sit down to play, get set up, flip our cards, and… Vanillite.

Awesome, I was playing a great player and against a deck with a distinct advantage over my deck.

Well, I get a ridiculous start. On turn two (I think) I was able to run my hand all the way down to zero and get two Candied Typhlosions, a Quilava, and Reshiram BLW. So, I proceed to 1HKO his Pichu HS. I end up racing out to a 3-Prize lead before he gets going. We trade prizes and the game is at 4-2 in my favor.

He had a nice set up going. He used the Vanilluxe NXD to retreat his Pokémon and then used Pokémon Center to heal them.

Then I proceed to make a huge misplay, which I thought would surely cost me the game. He used Double Freeze and only hit one head to put my active Reshiram at 120 damage, and his Vanilluxe had damage on it. I should have Afterburnered to the active, given him a prize, and then KO’d his Vanilluxe with my other Reshiram. I could have then stacked energy (DCE + 3 Fire + 2 on Vanilluxe) on Mewtwo EX to take the last prize.

Well, I didn’t do that and he closes the gap. I am forced to play the Mewtwo EX and stack energies to get a 1HKO. Then two turns later he hits quad tails and I take the last prize with Mewtwo EX.

Overall, I was very fortunate. I busted out of the gates on him. Then I about lost the game. Then the dice decided to fall my way. I felt very good at this point. I knew he would win a lot of games to help my resistance, and I dodged the weakness loss.

WIN 1-0

Round 2 vs Hayes w/ Kyurem EX/Vanilluxe NXD/Musharna NXD/Cofagrigus NVI 46

pokegym.netI will get more into this deck later. I do want to stress that this was a very creative deck and that Hayes deserves to be recognized as the brains behind this operation.

For now, all I will say that I got sideswiped in this game. I might have been able to win, but I did not realize what his game plan was until, literally, one turn too late. Then, later in the game, I came up one Energy short of a 1HKO on Kyurem EX with X Ball to clear his field of Energy and get back into the driver’s seat.

Overall, I was highly disappointed to have played two games and seen two Water-based decks. This was very frustrating to me. I walked the room, I talked to the people I know, I did scout the field and did not see a ton of Water rolling around, but I hit two Water decks in the first two rounds. Oh well.

LOSS 1-1

Round 3 vs Terrakion NVI/Cobalion NVI/Cobalion EPO/Zoroark BLW

This was one of the more frustrating games I had played in a long time.

First, he shuffled very loosely (I do not think it was intentional) and I could see the cards in his deck without even trying. I know that sentence and the next sentences could sound like I was cheating, but I promise I did not. Some other people noticed the same thing. I simply looked forward and he was just showing his cards.

Anyway, I saw a Tyrogue HS in his deck. Then, when he drew his opening hand he revealed to me some of the cards in his hand. He held the deck at such an angle so that the bottom was exposed to me while drawing cards and he held his hand in the same manner until he finished drawing. Well, in that opening hand I was pretty sure I saw a Collector.

My opening hand was this: Cleffa HS, Mewtwo EX, Junk Arm, Junk Arm, Rare Candy, Pokémon Communication, R Energy. Well, that is a junk hand. I needed to put Cleffa out there to Eeeeeeek. Nevertheless, I decided to put Mewtwo down because I was deathly afraid that he would Collector for Tyrogue and donk me, if he went first.

Well, he does go first. He Catchers up the Mewtwo and proceeds to set up. He cannot get to the Tyrogue though because he did not have Switch. He attaches an energy to his active Cobalion and passes. I draw a Catcher. I attack the Fire to Mewtwo EX and Catcher up his benched Cobalion.

pokemon-paradijs.comI then proceed to draw-pass for six turns while whiffing on Pokégears and trying to stall by playing Catchers. (He KO’d my Cleffa). I finally get a Collector after he takes 3 Prizes. By then he had Exp. Shares out, lots of Energy on the field, and a powered-up Zoroark. Game over. I was very frustrated. We could play that game 10 times and TyRam wins at least seven of them. If both decks set up, TyRam wins. If TyRam has a cruddy set up, it still tends to win. But I had six turns of draw/pass action.

LOSS 1-2

Round 4 vs Emboar BLW 20/Mewtwo EX/Reshiram-EX/Terrakion NVI/Reshiram BLW/Cobalion NVI

This deck was a mix of a lot of Basics with Emboar to set them up along with Prism. He did open with Mewtwo EX and DCE to start taking prizes. Then after he took out Vulpix and Cyndaquil, I returned the KO with my own Mewtwo EX and just ran away with it due to consistency.

At this time, I feel pretty good. My first and second round opponents were playing really well and were at 3-1. I knew that if I could just win three games, I would have a really good shot at making the cut on resistance.

WIN 2-2

Round 5 vs Feraligatr Prime/Kyurem NVI/Articuno NXD

I had talked to this guy briefly at lunch. I knew what he was playing. Water?!?!? Are you kidding me? More Water. This was the fifth round and three of them were going to be Water? What an unfortunate situation. I think there were like seven (maybe more, maybe less, but you get the idea; there were not a lot of them) people there playing some type of Water. I hit three of them.

Well, he starts Totodile CL (who plays that one; it has a terrible weakness for this format, a hefty attack cost, and a two Retreat Cost) with Water, Catchers, and DCE. Not only was this a bad match up for me (a near auto-loss because I took out Max Potion and Glaciate just wrecks the field), but he gets the ridiculous start with a card that most people would not play and takes like 3 Prizes with Totodile swinging for 100. Well, there goes my comeback for the top cut.

LOSS 2-3

Round 6 vs Durant

This player had won a State last weekend with Durant. Although his luck was not as good today, I know he was still a threat.

I opened with… Mewtwo EX. Wow. The worst start this deck (or almost any deck) can have against Durant.

I end up getting a Typhlosion set up and the field saturated with Energy. I think I had nine cards left in my deck when I took my last prize.

WIN 3-3

Round 7 vs Ursaring Prime/Cobalion NVI/Durant

I almost got hustled this game. My opponent opened up with a Teddirusa UL and then a turn two Ursaring Prime. Naturally, I scrambled to get my board set up. I burned through my deck with Sage’s and Roast Reveal to get going. I seriously only had about 15-20 cards left in my deck and 5 Prizes left to take.

Then she says, “Well I guess I can drop these now,” and proceeded to drop four Durants. “Devour for four.” What? Did that just happen? Man it was crazy. I ended up having to double Super Rod and fail Communication to get enough cards back into my deck.

That was a very stressful and unexpected move. Luckily, I hit the Super Rod and had Junk Arms in hand.

WIN 4-3

At the end of the day, my meta choice backfired on me. I hit three Water decks. Granted I could have won the second game, but still it was not good. I made it through seven rounds and I only played one real Durant deck. I played a total of zero Zeels, CMT, or pure fighting decks.

I finished 39th out of 102 for the tournament. I really wanted to cut. I think I was one misplay from cutting, and the Top 8 at Kansas would have been an excellent match up for my deck (Landorus/Terrakion x2, CMT x2, Donphan and Dragons, Durant, Zeels, and 1 unaccounted for). Six of the Top 8 would have been favorable match ups. Hopefully, I will get to play next week and redeem myself a little bit.

Here’s the list I ran. I might have gotten a bit too cute with the trainers. I did not need PlusPower as much as I thought. Two would have likely been fine, but then again you need those for the Fighting decks. I’m still very undecided if this needs Mewtwo EX.

Once set up, Reshiram actually trades extremely well with Mewtwo EX. But, when your opponent goes aggro Mewtwo early, it comes in handy to relieve pressure. You can also use it to 1HKO stuff against denial decks. It came in handy twice, but it also caused big problems three times (one of which I recovered from and one which doomed me).

Pokémon – 18

4 Cyndaquil HS

2 Quilava HS

4 Typhlosion Prime

1 Vulpix UL
1 Ninetales HS
4 Reshiram BLW
1 Cleffa HS
1 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 30

4 Pokémon Collector
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 Sage’s Training
2 N


4 Junk Arm

3 Pokémon Communication
3 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
3 PlusPower

1 Pokégear 3.0
1 Super Rod

Energy – 12

10 R
2 Double Colorless

Bait and Switch: Hayes’ Home Brew

Now let us talk more about what was likely the most creative deck at the tournament. Hayes went 5-2 and whiffed on resistance with this deck. I do not really know how viable this deck is if it does not get its setup straight. I also do not know how good it is when people are prepared for it, but we were certainly not prepared last weekend. Let us talk about the concept.

The deck’s core strategy was composed of three key Pokémon: Kyurem EX, Vanilluxe NXD, Cofagrigus NVI 46.

Kyurem EX: It was the main attacker and beat stick of the deck. He simply powered it up manually with Water, Prism, and DCE. Obviously, this is not 1HKO’d by anything other than Metal types (which are not being played much right now). He would attack for 60 on turn two and then 120 whenever he could.

(As an aside, this is ridiculous that without any acceleration these things can swing for 50-90 damage on turn two and then 120-150 on turn three.)

Cofagrigus: To be completely honest, I had completely forgotten this card even existed. That was my downfall. I saw he was benching Yamasks (the basic form), but I had no clue what was coming. Anyway, this is a Stage One with 90 HP. It is weak to Dark and has a three Retreat Cost.

His first attack costs PC. It allows you to “Move all damage counters from 1 of your benched Pokémon to the Defending Pokémon.”

Vanilluxe: This was a Bench-sitter, and he only used the Slippery Slope Ability to move all the big Retreat Cost Pokés around. It also nullifies status conditions and attack effects. With a free-retreater and Vanilluxe in play, you can retreat Kyurem EX and use its second attack every turn.

He also used Musharna as draw engine.

The basic strategy of the deck is as follows:

– You just attack a ton with Kyurem EX and have two Yamasks on the bench. You also set up Musharna and Vanilluxe to draw cards and move your Pokémon around.

– When you opponent tries to hit Kyurem EX (attempting to set up a 2HKO) you use Slippery Slope to get it to the bench and then use Cofagrigus’ Damagriiigus attack to move all of that damage on Kyurem EX onto the Defending Pokémon. You can pair this with Switch and Catcher to have more control over what Pokémon are in the Active positions.

pokegym.netSo overall, you have a tanking deck that is difficult to handle if your opponent does not know what is happening.

The way to beat the deck is to be able to 1HKO Kyurem EX or take out the Vanilluxes.

Now that we have the basics out there here is more detail about what happened in our game.

He opened up with Kyurem EX. I opened very quickly. I had the turn two Typhlosion and Ninetales. I had Reshirams and more Typhlosions on the way. On turn four (I think) I had the Catcher and PlusPower in hand. I could have taken out Vanilluxe (he did not have another Vanillish in play), but I decided to set up a Kyurem EX for a 2HKO.

He had Yamask on the bench when I decided to attack Kyurem EX, but I had no idea that Cofagrigus was coming or what it did. Well, he drops the Cofagrigus, I read it, and I immediately knew that he likely just won the game. I had figured Vanilluxe was just there to keep Musharna and Kyurem EX from getting stuck active.

Anyway, he Slippery Sloped to Cofagrigus, Catchered my Ninetales and then used Damagriiigus to heal his Kyurem EX and 1HKO my Tales.

I think there was an N in there somewhere (maybe by me) because I no longer had the Catcher/PlusPower. I responded by taking out Cofagrigus. He responded by using Hail Blizzard to get the 1HKO. Then it was more turns of a Hail Blizzard (Slippery Slope + Switch) stream.

Then I had one last ditch chance. I dropped Mewtwo EX + DCE + 1 Afterburner. I only had the one Fire in the discard. I played a Supporter looking for a Fire + Junk Arm, but I whiffed on the Fire. So, Mewtwo EX came up one Energy short of the 1HKO. That one attack would have cleared the field of his Energy and put me back into the game, but oh well.

Ultimately, I think the deck is very unique. I think there is a ton of potential there. I have to give huge credit to Hayes for building and bringing the deck. Props to you man.

Reader Interactions

57 replies

  1. Mark Hanson

    Shame on the 4-3. Thanks for sharing Hayes’ deck though! That IS a really interesting idea. Definitely at least one to bust out at fun league-events.

    • airhawk06  → Mark

      Yeah that Urasrin/Durant player was a Poke-mom. When she sat down we were shooting the breeze and she said “I let my kids play the real decks. I just play this one that messes with people.” Lol. Maybe I should have known something was up right then and there.

      In all reality though, she was one of the nicest players I’ve played against. She knew what she was doing and had a plan, unfortunately for her i hit the Super Rod when I desperately needed it.

  2. Amanda Kovs

    Oh man, that Cofagrigus deck is awesome! I’ve always liked that card, but could never figure out what to do with it. This is awesome, and I might try to give it a shot. :D

    Great report. :)

  3. Eli Norris

    Wow, that’s unbelievably bad luck. Sorry man.

    Interesting deck and nice report!

    • airhawk06  → Eli


      That’s what happens when you try to meta game. Sometimes you don’t hit the deck you are expecting to hit. :)

  4. David

    Durant would crush the stuff out of that cofagrigus deck (both literally and metaphorically)

    • airhawk06  → David

      Yah, I think the Cofagrigus decks would struggle with Durant and Cobalion. I also think it struggles when you take out the Vannilluxe, if it cannot get a second one into play. But, it is still a sweet idea that he had the guts to run.

    • CalebM  → David

      lol no

      with vanilluxe and kyruem you can do 120 every turn. and dont tell me its not practiacal, because that strategy worked for him agaisnt the durants he played against

  5. Max Douglas

    Cofagrigus/Kyurem tanks hits and focuses on healing like a boss

  6. Twan van Vugt

    Wow, too bad you were against a lot of water decks. Since people are now countering the Eels with TerrakionShare (or a different name for Exp. Share + Terrakion fighting decks), TyRam actually gains some power in the metagame, matchup-wise. nice article and too bad you didn’t top cut!

    • airhawk06  → Twan

      Meh it happens (the luck part).

      If (a BIG if), Zeels is at 10-15% of the field at a tournament, tyRam is in great position to succeed. As long as you avoid water decks. It really does play well against Fighting, CMT, and Durant.

      However, if Zeels is like 20-30% of the field, then it is a very bad choice. tyRam just struggles too much to hang with Zeels. Mainly it does not have a good answer to Zekrom EX. That card just changes the game against tyRam.

  7. conrad featherstone

    I played the Terrakion/ Cobalion Deck in KS. I remember playing because I thought you looked like Micheal J. Fox,lol. You had a good deck, too bad for the bad draw luck though. I had the same thing happen to me the very next 2 games which put me out of the top 8. :(

    • airhawk06  → conrad

      Yeah. I hope you didn’t take any offense you me saying that tyRam beats you deck more often that not. Both are great decks. They both have distinct meta match ups. Just that decks like yours was exactly the reason I chose to run tyRam. I sat next to you for one of the later match ups, and yeah you hit a dry spell just like me. I guess that is how it works sometimes. Thanks for the game! Good luck!

      P.S. I get the MJ fox comment a lot :)

      • conrad featherstone  → airhawk06

        No offence at all dude, its true. I had no real comeback for fire and I never even thought of it untill the very first match I played was a fricken ReshiBoar deck. Cobalion was weak and Terrakion only helped his outrage.

        Well good luck to you too and maybe Ill see ya in MO.

  8. Ed Mandy

    When you make a meta choice, you hope to face meta decks. It seems like only bad luck that didn’t pan out. What can you do?

  9. Rahul Reddy

    Dude I give you major props for taking TyRam to states, that takes some major guts and I liked the report a lot, good luck next week man

    • airhawk06  → Rahul

      I honestly was not planning on it. I was like 98% sure that I was going to run some type of Eel deck. Just when I got there I saw too much Fighting for my tastes. I really thought that tyRam would be a good match up (appears I was correct, at least about the top 8). I just got very unlucky on hitting the water decks. If I could have played something more mainstream, I think I could have gotten higher in the tables and avoided the random stuff. But the Round 2 water and round 3 dead draws put me into the weird zone.

  10. samuel roach

    I would have flipped a table if I saw that much water.

  11. Martin Garcia

    You didnt hit any CMTs or zektriks, most likely, because they were all better than 2-2, 3-3, etc, so you keep hitting the decks that got the losses against those decks, in other words, the water decks.
    The kyurem/cofagrigos seems fun and interesting, but also extremely easy to disrupt just by OHKO the yamasks or cofagrigus.
    In essence, it uses the same concept as the first truth version of taking damage and swinging it back at your opponent, except it doesnt have trainerlock, and instead heals all the damage at the same time it attacks.

    • airhawk06  → Martin

      I hit water a Round 1 and Round 2 (being 1-0)… nothing but bad luck there. And there was not a ton of lightning there to “cause” the water to be low. Also, there was not a ton of water decks over all. So, when I was 2-2 the odds of me playing against water would have been something like 6/60 and that is likely a generous estimate (with 6 being too big of a number). That is still kinda rotten luck.

      Going after Cofagrigus will get you killed. They are too easy to get out. You have to take out Vanilluxe. If you go for Cofagrigus over Vanilluxe you will have to deal with Kyurem EX and 120 damage every turn.

  12. Joshua Pikka

    Wow, the round 7 opponent is genius. She makes you think she is playing a crap deck, and then out of nowhere, Durant comes and stabs you in the back.

    Its evil, ya gotta love it!

    • airhawk06  → Joshua

      The best part was that Ursaring Prime’s second attack makes the defending player discard one card. So, she was milling me while taking prizes and i was burning through my deck. It was brilliant.

  13. theo Seeds

    Thank you for giving Cofagrigus and Kyurem EX some publicity as I un-wisely invested in both. My idea was that people would play Cofagrigus in Mew2/Gardy because that would be big to just totally heal the Mewtwo, now I have 8 Cofagriguses and nothing to do with them. Thank you, good sir.

    But why does it have to be Kyurem EX?

    Weakness, that’s why.

    • airhawk06  → theo

      Yeah, out of the EXs, Kyurem EX has the most favorable weakness. I guess Reshiram EX has a better one (water sees less play than metal), but the risk of taking recoil damage is too high. Gigas, Zek, M2 have popular weaknesses and Shaymin is too fragile.

  14. Kilaton

    One Critique, Vanilluxe’s ability is Slippery SOLES. You even posted the card right next to it. But, other than that thanks for the good read.

  15. Kilaton

    One Critique, Vanilluxe’s ability is Slippery SOLES. You even posted the card right next to it. But, other than that thanks for the good read.

  16. Mithril Jones

    I’m pretty confident that the six of the top 8 matches were not favorable. I’ll concede Durant and maybe Donphan, but I’m pretty confident that CMT, fighting and anything Electric has very favorable match-ups. I don’t understand why people read your articles. TyRam was garbage last format and it’s still garbage this format and your results continue to prove this and yet you write otherwise. Time for some change imo.

    • airhawk06  → Mithril

      Well obviously someone doesn’t like me. :)

      1) I’m 10-5 with it this and last format with 3 of those losses coming from straight water decks. So, 10-2 against the rest of the field. My results hardly show it “bad.”

      2) I have playes the CMT match up a lot. Go read HT, the Gym, and around here, it is relatively accepted that tyRam is solid against CMT. The match up is just like tyRan v. ZPST of yesteryear. If tyRam does not lose by turn two, it tends to win. There is nothing in CMT that excahnges favorably with a Reshiram or Typhlosion. Nothing does enough straight damage. All you have to do is go aggro Cyndaquil early to get Typhos out. Then normally if two of them hit the field you win.

      3) Same thing goes for Terrakion and Landorus decks. They just don’t hit hard enough past turn 2/3. Nothing trades favorably with Reshirams or Typhlosions. Again go look at nearly every forum and it normally goes like this, ” wait, doesnt terrakion lose to fire? Yes it does, but you wont see much of that because of Zeels.”

      The overall problem is that tyRam loses to Zeels and loses badly. That is the reason it does not see much play. I readily admit that. I also redily admit tyRam is a very meta specific choice. I will stand by 100% the statement that if there is not much Zeels around (as in Kansas) tyRam is a solid choice, and I think most would agree with me.

    • Mark Hanson  → Mithril

      ReshiPhlosion vs. CMT is a great match for ReshiPhlosion.

      Typhlosion discards energy from itself AND Mewtwo if the situation calls for it, which is just harsh for Mewtwo to try and X Ball KO from. And Reshiram discards 2 fire energy after it attacks for 120, which is just harsh for ” ” ” “. It’s still a very solid deck, people have just forgotten that because of the large amount of ZekEels.

      Hasn’t ReshiPhlosion also taken a States? checks pokegym yep. Yes it has. It also has 6 top 8 appearances, despite under-representation.

  17. Caleb Mullins

    Hayes doesnt play prisim energy just btw. I know this because i helped him put the finishing touches on his deck (we are in the same team :D )

    • Caleb Mullins  → Caleb

      also, he only really lost one game, the other loss was becasue we were literally 90 seconds late getting back from lucnh due to long lines at our resturant :,(

      • airhawk06  → Caleb

        Wow. I didn’t know that. That’s even more impressive! So he was more like 5-1 and the loss due to a missed round ruined his resistance.

        Great job working with him on that deck. It is definitely something he (and your team) should be proud of!

        • Caleb Mullins  → airhawk06

          thanks! (and our team is just us two because the rest thought we were bad so they made their own—lol they couldn’t have been more wrong!)

          if you want a roucgh skelton list i can provide it for you if you want, we dont mind it being public, in fact, we enjoy it!

        • Amanda Kovs  → Caleb

          I’d love to see that list. I’ve tried to recreate the deck with what I’ve read, but I must be missing something. Inquiring minds must know! :)

        • CalebM  → Amanda

          his exact list at kansas states for Kyrigus was this:
          4 kyurem ex
          2-1-2 vanilulxe NXD
          3-3 cofagrius
          2 munna BW
          2 musharna NXD

          4 jarm
          4 pcom
          2 candy
          3 switch
          3 catcher
          1 super rod
          4 juniper
          4 sages
          2 pont

          4 DCE
          7 water
          3 pshchic

  18. Tyler Kittelson-Burke

    That Bait & Switch deck definitely is worth trying though.

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