Hey SixPrizes! This is my first-ever premier tournament report. I live in Canada so technically this is a Provincials report, not a States report. I was also lending decks to 3-of my friends, and they all went at least 3-3, so it was overall a good day.
To set a bit of context, I’m from Victoria. It’s a city on Vancouver Island, which has about 100,000 people. I recently became a League Leader, Tournament Organizer, and Professor, and started up a league out here, but our metagame is very small. There are another couple leagues in Victoria, but both aren’t exactly thriving. One of them shares a lot of the same attendance as us as well. In total, there are at most about 15 competitive TCG players in the city, and half of them are Juniors/Seniors.
BC Provincials was held in Vancouver, a city of 4 million+ people, which is an hour and a half ferry-ride away. The metagame there is considerably larger (60-80 people?), which means we face a lot of metagame choices that our group never considered. The same is true the other way around though, as I’m sure we come in with our own unique flavour that catches everyone by surprise.
Either way, it’s a complete mystery to us as to what we’ll be facing and what we may have to watch out for, but we ourselves are rogue!
In the past I’ve always preferred decks that take a lot of careful planning like The Truth or Chandelure NVI, but neither of those decks seemed safe in the format. A couple weeks before the tournament my friend posted a comment on Facebook which would lead to me building a Zebstrika NXD/Kyurem NVI rogue deck that I wanted to try and run for Provincials. You can check out the article here.
In the end, I wasn’t satisfied with the matchups against CMT and ZekEels, so it came down to two choices for me. MeesieMew or CMT. In the end, I decided I’d have to join ’em to beat ’em, but my friend was running my MeesieMew so it still got played. I put together a CMT list running 3 Mewtwo EX and 3 Tornadus EPO. But the more I played with the deck, the less I liked the balance and ended up deciding on 4 Tornadus and 2 Mewtwo. Overall a much better choice.
On to the report! Our Provincials had a total of 101 masters in attendance, which included David Cohen (who I ended up playing next to most of the day).
Round 1 – Ted w/ ZekEels
Ted opened with two Tynamos to my Mewtwo EX start. I tried to get the turn 1 DCE, but couldn’t after a Dual Ball and Oak’s New Theory and had to pass. I focused on Catchering and killing his eels after he got them set up, using Tornadus and PlusPower, and from there the game was in my hands. Whenever I play ZekEels or CMT I tend to play my Supporters conservatively, because of what happened next.
Late in the game he N’d me down to 1 card in my hand and put me on the ropes, I needed an energy that turn to kill his active Zekrom (which had 80 damage from a second Bolt Strike last turn) with my benched Tornadus. I drew a Junk Arm off the N, and then a Professor Juniper. I got my energy and it was gg.
Round 2 – Murray w/ Mono Terrakion
When I found out I’d be playing Murray I got pretty nervous! I was already so relieved after I pulled out of a close first game with the win. Murray took the first Battle Roads I’d ever attended and from what I know is a Worlds player. He’s also a great guy and willing to have a fun game, which is always appreciated! Either way, he opened with Terrakion and I opened with two Celebis.
After a first turn Sage’s Training I found out that the Terrakion start wasn’t an unfortunate bit of tech luck, but the real deal and got a bit nervous. I hadn’t tested against Mono Terrakion at all, and had only theorized the matchups. I did end up running 4 Tornadus, and that probably helped this match more than anything. I played most of the game with 2 Celebi, 2-3 Tornadus and a lone Mewtwo on my bench with an Eviolite attached. I played the Mewtwo to avoid discarding it with a Juniper, since I figured it could be a good late-game sweeper.
My strategy was to Catcher around his Terrakions with Exp. Share attached, without killing any of them. Then, late game I could sweep with Mewtwo and/or Tornadus and he would have trouble keeping up.
He wouldn’t have much of it though, and kept switching his Terrakions back to keep up in the prize race. Late in the game I checked his discard pile and noticed he’d lost 4 Junk Arms and 4 Pokémon Catchers already, so I felt I had it in the bag, despite the close prize race. Then time was called…
I had turn 0, and was leading the prize race 3-4. However my Mewtwo EX had 80 or 90 damage, so it could still take a Land Crush without being KO’d. I can’t remember the exact damage, I just know that thanks to the Eviolite it was safe. I had a Tornadus active, and Hurricaned for some extra damage on his Terrakion and it’s turn 1. Murray Switched to a benched Terrakion without damage and either PlusPowered or double PlusPowered and Catchered up my Mewtwo to get the Mewtwo KO and the prize lead.
I knew I could KO back to tie it up so I wasn’t too worried, but I thought it would go to Sudden Death. I took my turn 3 and Catchered up a damaged Terrakion for a Hurricane KO, and he couldn’t return a KO due to the lack of Catcher and Junk Arm. We were also tied in prizes so I didn’t have to worry about the Black Belt.
But to my surprise, I found out that in Swiss, the game goes to “next prize wins,” if you’re tied after turn 3. From there, I had it in the bag for the same reason I felt comfortable prior to time being called, and it turned out I could get a KO with Mewtwo the very next turn thanks to a DCE draw. Probably my most enjoyable game of the tournament.
Round 3 – Bernie w/ ZekEels
I started with a Mewtwo EX in the active, and a Tornadus on the bench. I had the DCE in hand so I was set for a donk if I could. Bernie mulliganed and I saw electric energies and was just waiting for a Tynamo donk. He ended up Mulliganing 3 times giving me some great card advantage at the start of the game. We rolled the die and he won, and flipped up a lone Tynamo. SO CLOSE. I don’t like donk games and always enjoy a real game being played, but I’ll always take one in a tournament. He collectored for a Tynamo, Zekrom and something else, can’t remember. I had to Catcher to kill his Tynamo on my first turn, but the game was pretty one-sided throughout. I denied him Eels and he couldn’t really get started.
Round 4 – Paul w/ ZPSM
This game was a real surprise to me. I hadn’t faced any ZPSM/T decks in my testing and I didn’t think they were really all that great considering CMT performed a similar role but more consistently. I had read about them having some success but didn’t really consider them a threat.
He had a Shaymin UL start and I had a couple Celebis to start. He went first and didn’t get much done. From there I just set up and we started prize-racing. Later in the game when he had either 2 or 3 Prizes left (and I did as well) I N’d his hand down and KO’d a Zekrom-EX for the 2 Prizes (restoring my hand a bit after an equally harsh N). From there, he just ran out of steam and I was able to win pretty easily.
Round 5 – Erik w/ ZPSM
I was pretty excited. I had never made top cut at a premier tournament personally. I started playing competitively around last September, and had only gone to 3 tournaments. The first Cities I went to, I played Durant, started 2-0, lost to a ZekEels player on a misplay, and then lost to ReshiPhlosions to end the day.
The second Cities I went to, I played Chandelure and was 2-1 facing a ZoneEels. I had a godly start and he had a Tynamo and a lone Magnezone in the active slot, which he had Candied into on second turn to kill my active Lampent (with a Rescue Energy). At this point I got Vileplume up, played a Jirachi UL and got a Psychic energy on it to devolve his Magnezone, and had a full bench. Then I double-Supportered, shuffled my hand back and was issued an auto-game-loss. Whoops.
So here I was 4-0 in a 6 round Swiss, and feeling pretty confident. I knew I needed 5-1 to be sure that I made top cut, but it was only one win away. So I sat down across from Erik with a lone Celebi start and a pretty bad hand and had the worst game of Pokémon I have ever played.
I opened Celebi without draw support, or any search cards. He opened with a lone Pachirisu CL. I drew and passed. He drew and didn’t do much. I can’t remember the turn order he got his setup in, but it took 3 turns to do it. That was 3 turns of me drawing nothing and passing. Finally, he had a Mewtwo on the bench with a DCE and got it into the active, put another energy on it and it was game.
Round 6 – Garik w/ Durant
Eurgh. I think I spent the entire time between rounds shuffling my deck. Now I had to win to be sure I made top cut. I felt I would probably have one of the best matchups if I went 4-2, but I didn’t want to risk it. I started with a Mewtwo EX active and Tornadus on the bench, and a Juniper in hand. He started with one lone Basic.
Then the tournament organizers spent 10 minutes announcing things to amp up the suspense. I was super stressed that I wouldn’t win the dice roll, or that he would be playing something like Durant (which would be just my luck).
Finally we got to start the game. I won the dice roll and we flipped up our Basics. IT WAS A CLEFFA! I would have titled this “Garik w/ Cleffa.dec” but I found out his deck later because he made top cut and played at the same table as me. I was as relieved as I could be. I Pokégeared to reduce the number of cards in my deck, then Junk Armed for another Pokégear 3.0 and then Junipered.
I got a DCE and my first donk win of the day. He was pretty stressed about his 4-2, but a good amount of 4-2 made it and he was amongst them.
I was super excited about making my first top cut. So I went around to see how my friends were doing. One of my friends was playing a Mew Prime/Yanmega Prime/Terrakion NVI deck and was 3-2 with good matchups (he started 3-0) entering the 6th round, so I was gunning for his success. One of his two losses was absolutely horrendous (worse than my loss). Apparently he had both of his Jumpluff HS’ AND his Crobat Prime prized, and had to See Off a Terrakion against a CMT.
I was really hoping he could make top cut as this was his first tournament and he had been incredibly unlucky there. Two of my other friends went 4-2, but their matchups weren’t strong enough to make top cut. Unfortunately my Mew friend lost his 6th round and ended 3-3.
David Cohen ended up going 4-2 too! I had talked to him a bit since we sat at the same table most of the tournament. I was really hoping for a game, but never ended up facing him. The standings went up and we all went to take a look. Cohen ended up just scraping in at 16th, so I was excited that I might still get a match with him. I looked at where I placed and found out I was 4th. That was pretty cool. Deck checks went fine and on to top cut I went!
Top 16 – Albert w/ ZPSMT
Game 1 went swimmingly. He won the dice roll, and I started with a Celebi active to his Zekrom-EX. He collectored and got his Pachirisu and Shaymin, got 3 Electric Energy onto Zekrom-EX and flipped heads on Glinting Claw for the turn 1 donk. What a great start I was having in my very first top cut!
The second game I went first and we both got good setups. Things were pretty even down the stretch, and I was able to see most of his deck and only saw 1 Mewtwo EX, which made me pretty confident. He was also fairly relaxed and we were able to have a good chat and joke around a bit, which made for a fun game.
Later, we were both down to our last couple prizes or so, and I N’d him to a dead hand and piled energy on my Mewtwo EX (after I had killed his Mewtwo) to sweep through him.
Down to the third game it went. He didn’t end up pulling off a first turn kill and I had two Basics anyway, so we were able to set up a real game and play it through. He had started setting up a Zekrom-EX in the active without much on his bench, which I was able to KO with a combo of Tornadus and Mewtwo EX without giving up a prize. After this, he had 1 card in his hand and little left. Here we got to see ZPSMT’s biggest weakness, running out of steam.
My hand, on the other hand, felt rather silly. I had a Skyarrow Bridge (already had one in play), a Switch, and 3 N’s. I had avoided giving him prizes by absorbing a Strong Volt with my Mewtwo EX and retreating it and Shaymining the DCE attached to my other Mewtwo EX. At this point I was leading in the prize race 4-6, so I definitely didn’t want to N, no matter how much I wanted to increase my damage output with Mewtwo.
pokemon-paradijs.comSo I just stuck to 2HKOing with X Ball for a few turns and got myself a Professor Oak’s New Theory finally to shuffle my hand back. He also finally got a Professor Juniper and drew a new hand. Now things got dangerous, as he Bolt Striked my healthy Mewtwo EX (with an Eviolite) for 100 damage. We started exchanging prizes and he was able to kill both my Mewtwos for a very fast catch-up. The prizes at this point were 2-1 and my master plan could finally come to fruition.
I was holding a Revive, DCE and N in my hand, and was going to be able to kill his active Zekrom that turn. He had a Tornadus, Pachirisu, and Shaymin on the bench, and only a DCE attached to Tornadus. I also knew I had 3 Pokémon Catchers left in the deck, 2 Pokégear 3.0’s and a lot of draw support with at most 20 cards left, so I felt pretty safe with my N.
I Revived my Mewtwo, N’d him down to 1 card and myself down to 2, and Hurricaned his Zekrom for the KO giving my Mewtwo the G Energy. I had attached DCE to it the last turn before N’ing. The next turn I was going to win by X Balling his Pachirisu with the Catcher I drew, or just hit his Tornadus for 120 if I drew an energy. You could call this Hurricane the misplay that lost me the match, but I don’t think it was a misplay really.
He draws, and the two cards he got off of N and top deck were Pokémon Catcher and Pokémon Collector. He Collectors for a Mewtwo EX and Shaymin, Catchers my Mewtwo, Shaymins the DCE from Tornadus to Mewtwo and X Balls me for the game.
And So It Was Over
en.wikipedia.orgOverall, I had a great time. It’s a shame I couldn’t go farther, but I was pretty happy. The last ferry back to Victoria was also at 9 PM, and had I won my first round of top cut I would have likely had to stay the night in Vancouver (which would have been pretty disappointing were I to lose in the next round), so I was pretty ok with the loss.
I was just really surprised at the amount of ZPSM/T I faced in the tournament. I’m also pretty surprised at how well it did overall. An interesting note, of all the top 16 decks at our Provincials, there were no Magnezone/Eelektriks in sight. David Cohen also lost in the first round of top cut to the guy who wound up taking second. My matchups also placed me 9th, so now I can say I’m top 10 in BC right? :P
3 ZPS variants. Interesting!
Yeah! And I mentioned that I faced 2 in swiss, and 2 made top cut, but the one I beat in swiss didn’t make top cut, so there were at least 4 there. It was definitely the random deck that we in Victoria couldn’t have predicted to be prevalent in Vancouver’s metagame.
this makes me wanna go a tournament. Sounds like a learning experience because each time it seems your getting closer and closer. keep it up!
Top 16 is awsome! Great job
I noticed that only one ZPS had Tornadus in it.
Nah, just kidding. Congrats on 16th, it was pretty cool playing next to David Cohen I’d assume.
Why do people play N in CMT? It seems like a recipe for disaster, playing N in a fast deck that isn’t Durant.
He who controls the N, controls the game. In a meta where you can N your opponent to one hand (and yourself to 2 or 3) and then refresh your hand by taking a prize, you are the one-eyed man amongst the blind.
As an aside, it also helps reshuffle cards into the deck against Durant, and disrupts your opponent’s hand early and mid-game (say after a sages training where they hand-pick the two cards they can’t live without).
Okay, thanks for the clarification.
Great article Mark and I love the captions. Nice job on top 16!
I love Victoria so much. I’d totally come to a tournament if I could.
We’re holding a video game tournament on March 31st. http://www.facebook.com/events/232689076807206/
That, and I’m hoping to host a Summer Battle Roads in Victoria in May/June but still need to earn my Premier Tournament Organizership first.
I live in Saskatchewan so that’s pretty far to go for a BR, but I could see myself making the trek for a CC. It’s been too long since I was there last.
Heh, it’ll take a bit longer to work up enough cred to host a CC. Hopefully I can pull one off next season.