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
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.
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.
Vanilluxe NXD/Musharna NXD/Cofagrigus NVI 46Round 2 vs Hayes w/ Kyurem EX/
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.
Terrakion NVI/Cobalion NVI/Cobalion EPO/Zoroark BLWRound 3 vs
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.
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.
Feraligatr Prime/Kyurem NVI/Articuno NXDRound 5 vs
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.
Round 6 vs Durant
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.
Ursaring Prime/Cobalion NVI/DurantRound 7 vs
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.
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
Trainers – 30
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 12
Switch: Hayes’ Home BrewBait and
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.