en.wikipedia.orgHello, all! This article will be (somewhat obviously, by the title) my South Carolina State Championship report! I will include a mini analysis on my strange (for me) deck choice and why I could only go to one State Championship.
First of all, I was pretty bummed when I found out I would be missing the first State Championship weekend which was in my home state, North Carolina. I hope you all got to go and had fun though. It was the next best thing to hear that my friends, Ben and Wesley, went 4-1.
Unfortunately, they both narrowly missed top 4 cut because Ben lost in round 1 and Wesley got down-paired three times! Enough about them; here is my decklist. Before I show it to you, I must say that it was not an easy choice for me, and I shocked myself with this decision. Brace yourselves for this un-Grant-like deck.
Pokémon – 18
2 Smeargle UD/CL
Trainers – 26
Energy – 16
Yes, I was playing the BDIF.
This went against all of my morals of being the rogue player that I am. However, it was neat because it still had some extremely odd twists to the typical Zekeel. No Switch, Pokégear 3.0, Super Rod, 4-4 Eel, 3 Skyarrow, no Level Ball, and many others oddities. Here is my reasoning and mini analysis.
Explaining the Oddities
2 Mewtwo EX is just typical I think for a Zekeel deck. I included it here because I’m not positive if one or three is the normal amount for this deck and I like talking about it. I was lucky enough to not have to borrow any. Also, it is my favorite Pokémon and has sick art (either version).
Tornadus EPO is just a helpful, all-around, nice, solid, Terrakion-resistant attacker.
Terrakion NVI works wonders against the mirror. It seemed like a great addition to the deck because the mirror is/was extremely popular.
9 Draw Supporters may seem a little low but with Smeargle UD/CL it was a nice number for me and I (almost) always got a supporter when I needed it.
Collector over Dual Ball. I just can’t see why people would use Dual Ball over Collector in Zekeel. I would be lost if I didn’t have Collector in this deck. If I start with an attacker, then I use it for Smeargle and 2 Tynamo. If I start with Smeargle, then I use Collector for 2 Tynamo and an attacker; and so on.
Dual Ball just does not provide that kind of setup. Sure, it can be Junk Arm’d, but still, who wants to waste two cards for a 25% chance of nothing? Curran Hill’s younger brother Blaine (a good Poké friend of mine) ran Dual Ball in this deck over Collector and won Juniors, but that’s… Juniors!
Revive over Super Rod. I am really surprised that I made this decision in the end, but am glad I did. When Zekeel was first introduced I thought Super Rod was far superior in this deck. However, Revive lets me get the Basic right there and right now, ready to be charged with Dynamotor immediately. I included it in anticipation of some tense Mewtwo wars, and so I could stream them if I had to with Junk Arm re-using Revive.
1 Communication and no Level Ball. I found that it is easy to draw into Eelektrik because I run four Eels alongside Smeargle and 9 draw Supporters.
The reason I chose Communication over Level Ball in the first place is because I liked to be able to search out big basics and found the drawback of Communication insignificant. Also helps against Durant.
Only 2 Catchers and 3 Junk Arms?! I didn’t think I had room for more at the time of building and I never needed more in my testing. I still question not running four Junk Arms, but I don’t think I ever really needed it.
3 Skyarrow Bridge and no Switch. This is the one that I wish might’ve been a bit different. I stand by having three Skyarrow Bridges because I needed them as soon as possible for Tynamo and Smeargle and four would make the deck too cluttered; not to mention that CMT would probably play Skyarrow anyway.
I sometimes wished I had Switch just in case of Terrakion starts and Catcher’d Eels. I don’t think the absence of Switch made a difference in any of my games because I ran four DCE. Also, it had that surprise factor because all good opponents would assume that a Zekeel deck runs Switch.
Thundurus EPO is a Pokémon that I thought was too weak and Zekrom did its job better. I sometimes wish I had it in this deck to help against CMT. I was blinded to its true potential and thought I could handle everything that it could with Zekrom and Tornadus better. Looking back, I’m still not sure if I would’ve included it.
Super Scoop Up in a Smeargle variant. I didn’t want to use flips in this deck besides Glinting Claw and my deck was not focused on getting multiple Portraits per turn. Smeargle was a setup Pokémon and mid-late game clutch draw. I am careful with Portrait and usually never get a supporter I don’t want.
Pokégear 3.0. Well I had Smeargle, so, yeah.
If there’s something I’m forgetting just let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you on that. This turned out to not be as mini of a mini analysis as I had planned so, without anymore of a wait, here is my State Championship report!
Before the Tournament
Mark A. HicksWell, it was out of state, so I had to get up pretty early, although I’m pretty sure some people had to get up earlier. So, with my alarm blaring at 5:40 AM, I got my stuff ready and was out the door at 5:52 (approximately).
I was getting a ride with my friend, Ben, but he lived like 30 minutes away, so my mom had to drive a little. She was going to South Carolina even though I got a ride. Nice motherly moral support (ended up napping for five rounds) and she had never seen a State Championship before.
It was about a three hour drive from the Harris Teeter that we were meeting Ben at to the hotel where States was, so not that bad. We got there like 2 minutes before registration started. After an hour of fun playtesting, we were ready for round 1! We, as in the players, were ready for round 1.
The judges were not ready. There was such a high attendance and not enough tables. The room was not ready for the tournament to begin. So, they called a one hour lunch-break before the rounds even started! This did not exactly make me happy but I got a yummy lunch and got energized for the tournament.
Round 1 vs. Ian Ronfeldt (CMT w/ Regigigas)
Dude I hope I got your name right. On the pairings and match slip his name was incorrect so he corrected me when I wrote it down. He had three mulligans right off the bat and I saw what he was running. I wasn’t really sure how I felt about this matchup because I had only played two games against my own mediocre CMT build and went 1-1.
Thankfully, I win the flip. I think I start out with a T2 Tornadus EPO. I remember Catcher KOing a Celebi with Tornadus, but I don’t remember what turn. He N’d me the first three turns because he had a bad start and it was very slow for a CMT. One point he Catchers an Eelektrik early game to try and stall, and I have to let the Eel sit there so I can charge up Zekrom BLW.
Next turn I attach DCE to retreat and KO Tornadus with Zekrom. I feel stupid because I didn’t record which turn I did these things on my notes so some of these may be inaccurate since my actual memory of this game is foggy. He eventually gets a Regigigas-EX powered up and tries to sweep with it.
I Catcher around it once or twice, and eventually whack it with X Ball for 160 damage. If he hadn’t Eviolited it, then it would’ve been over right there. If he revenge KOs my Mewtwo with Raging Hammer then he would lose because I had revenge KO ready.
I don’t remember him being able to do anything at the end even though he made a minor comeback. He said he misplayed a lot at the beginning, but I didn’t notice what he could’ve done better; but then again, I didn’t know what he had in his hand. GG.
Round 2 vs. Brandon C. (Mewtwo/Eelektrik)
I’m not even joking; his deck was straight Mewtwo/Eelektrik. I lost the flip and the whole game I thought it was Zekeel and that he was just playing Mewtwo wars. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised to see three Mewtwo in a deck that I thought to be Zekeel. So, there was the usual, epic, Mewtwo back-and-forth banter.
Eventually, it was two to two in prizes after he had just revenge X Balled my second Mewtwo. I cannot get Revive, so I Hurricane. I know that I have the guaranteed win next turn with my Catcher and Zekrom. However, he uses Copycat for eight, Lost Removers the only energy on Tornadus (DCE), retreats Mewtwo, uses MAX POTION on it (he looked satisfied with the surprised look on my face), loads the Mewtwo up with 2 Dynamotors and a DCE, and Switches it back to the active.
pokemon-paradijs.comAs you can imagine, I’m like WHAT?!?! I can’t remember if he just X Balled my clean Tornadus for 60 (Tornadus had Eviolite) or Catchered something up. Anyway, I thought for sure I had lost. Then, I remember that my single Revive might still be in my deck and I barely caught the sight of Juniper in my 9 card hand!
I use Juniper to trash my giant and useless hand. I deliberately draw each card slowly and nervously. One card… no Revive. Two cards… no Revive… five cards… no Revive. Six cards… no Revive. I am freaking out. Seven cards… did I dare hope? Seven cards… THE SEVENTH CARD IS… A REVIVE! Yes! I revive Mewtwo, double Dynamotor, retreat and X Ball for game! Closest game of Swiss and tied for the day, GG.
Round 3 vs. Hunter Hawkins (Defending champ w/ CMT)
I’ve seen this guy once at a Cities before and I know beforehand that he is playing CMT. So, when he tells me that he donked in his first two games, and I start lone Smeargle, I’m not exactly confident. He wins the flip. He starts with a Celebi. He Forest Breaths and attaches an energy to… OH THANK GOD A MEWTWO. He then X Balls my Smeargle for 40.
I don’t remember what happens during my turns but it doesn’t matter. I am forced to try and initiate Mewtwo wars but every time I dropped a Mewtwo it is Catchered and KO’d by his. There is nothing I can do the entire game. I guess GG.
Round 4 vs. Matthew Brower (Metal Variant)
I was paired up to a 3-0. I’m not really sure how I felt about that. I didn’t think I could afford to lose again this early to make top 8 so I’m a little nervous. As he’s shuffling I see a M Energy and I think I’m up against Durant. I’m like, “darn.” Zekeel does not have as good as matchup against Durant as people think it does.
pokemon-paradijs.comI open Tornadus and he opens Klink BLW. Wait what? Klink? Hmmm. He can only Bind me for 10 and misses the flip (like it matters). I attach an energy (I think it was Lightning, but it might’ve been DCE), attach Eviolite, and do some other stuff and pass. He evolves to Klang BLW and attaches his second Special M Energy. He Binds me and gets a heads, but it does no damage.
I start charging Zekrom-EX and pass. He attaches another M Energy, benches Cleffa HS, and uses Gear Grind for double tails. I proceed to charge up Zekrom-EX with some Dynamotor shenanigans and T3 Strong Volt his Klang. He promotes Cleffa and has to Eeeeeeek and if he wakes up he loses.
The whole game he kept saying he was getting “haxed,” which I assume is just whining about bad luck. I couldn’t really do anything on my turn because his only Pokémon is a sleeping Cleffa. He wakes up going into his turn. He cannot do anything so he Eeeeeeeks again. He gets a heads and I Glinting Claw for game. I guess GG.
Round 5 vs. ——- (Zekeels)
This guy didn’t want me taking notes so I assumed he wouldn’t want his name mentioned. I won the flip and he opened with two Thundurus and a Tynamo. I open Smeargle, Portrait a Sage, and use Collector. I remember having a rocket start. I don’t remember much about this game that he did, but he T1 Charged with a Rescue Energy attached. I got a T2 Bolt Strike with the help of Skyarrow giving Smeargle free retreat and had fun with that.
He eventually loaded up a Mewtwo and apparently thought I didn’t run any because I didn’t play any until the last turn. He used Mewtwo to KO something when I had 2 Prizes left. I then promoted Smeargle and dropped the Mewtwo + DCE (or Dynamotors) and won. The game was closer than the Prize card count suggested (3-0). GG.
Round 6 vs. Michael Wierzbicki (Zekeels)
Even though he was a fellow 4-1, and we were at the second best table for Seniors, I still underestimated this guy. He said he only versed bad people (except for his one loss) and only the guy (Hunter) who beat him even took prizes against him.
I won the flip and we had to sit there like half an hour waiting for the extremely long raffle. It drove me insane, but at least I won a (cursed) hat.
He opened lone Zekrom-EX and I open Tornadus. We both have horrible starts and he gets a T3 Glinting Claw. I remember having a hand full of something like a combination of Energy, and, well, just a bunch of energy. At some point he gets going and I fall behind. I get a Catcher KO with Tornadus on his damaged Zekrom-EX and my only hope is getting some sort of draw off my 2 Prizes. They are both energy.
After he sets up he powers up a Shaymin EX and cleans up my Tynamo with Revenge Blasts for 60 damage. I keep hoping he will bring up his loaded Mewtwo because I have the Mewtwo + DCE in hand, but I cannot do anything the whole game really.
I don’t know why but I’m a bit nervous that I won’t get in top 8. I didn’t know until the standings were up that there were only 2 5-1’s and 1 6-0. I was one of the first people to view the standings and got place 4th as the highest of the 4-2’s. Then I wished there was top 4 cut like last week. Oh well, it’s better than nothing.
Top 8 vs. J. Whitaker (CMT w/ Bellsprout!)
I don’t remember if his name was Josh or Justin but he ran a Bellsprout TM tech! He never used it though. He won the flip Game 1 and although my memory of this match is unusually foggy like the rest of the tournament, I know this was a close game. I unfortunately didn’t take notes and the reason I don’t remember that much is because I’m writing this a couple weeks after, so I apologize for the lateness.
He eventually came on top by pulling an awesome move at the end by Catcher-ing a clean Mewtwo that I had benched earlier to avoid Juniper-ing it. He did some Trainer/Supporter shenanigans to KO it for his last 2 Prizes.
Game two I obviously want to go first. Again, a really close game and it comes down to luck at the end… again. Near the end I have a perfect hand to give me the win in one or two turns and I’ve got the DCE to retreat a Catchered Eel if it comes to that. He Catchers an Eelektrik to try and buy time and I’m thinking: “Ha.” But, of course, he has to have the N to N me down to one.
No! A Tynamo! He passes. Will my draw redeem me? Nope, a Junk Arm. Now, I think you should know that a few turns earlier I had a damaged Mewtwo active with 60 damage, a DCE, a Lightning, and a Skyarrow Bridge in play. I had to strategically retreat the Mewtwo, burning the DCE instead of the Lightning even with the Skyarrow Bridge which actually saved me a turn because it made it harder for his Mewtwo to Catcher-KO!
So, with my Tynamo and Junk Arm hand, I cannot do anything and it’s now his turn. He topdecks a… Victory Medal. Well, if you know me then you know my luck. He gets double heads for Catcher, uses it on Mewtwo, does some more crazy Energy/Trainer shenanigans and pulls of a win.
Wow. Thundurus would’ve helped, but I still don’t know if I would’ve won. They were both really close and I had fun though.
The top 8 was pretty standard with one exception. See what I mean:
3× Typical Zekeel
1× Odd Zekeel
Well, I guess you could say that mine was an oddity, but you see teched Zekeels everywhere. I was talking about the “dead” deck; ZPST. I was quite surprised to see that in top 8.
Why I Didn’t Try For Tri
Ok, I’ll admit that title is cheesy. But it is catchy. And, truth is, I kind of did try for tri. What I’m talking about is going to tri (three) State Championships. Well, for the first one, I was befallen with the terrible fate of… going to Hawaii.
Yes, I know it’s horrible going to a tropical paradise instead of playing Pokémon in a room all day, but I endured it with the hope of going to the next State Championship. I pleaded with my parents, who already had this trip planned, to move it to August (hint-hint) but no. Hawaii was nice though.
Oh well, I might be able to get a ride to Maryland. Well, you know my luck by now. Even though I asked around, no one that I knew well enough could take me to Maryland. The downsides of being a Senior. I didn’t really mind that much because this wasn’t really my year anyway and I really enjoyed the State Championship that I went to.
The Next Tournament
“What’s that? Didn’t he just say he only went to one State Championship?”
Well this wasn’t a State Championship; it was a ‘Birthday Championship’! I had some friends come over to my house for what was a mixture of a birthday party and a Pokémon tournament! It was really fun. We got the extremely nice PTO to come over also!
Unfortunately, only 5 of the 8 invited people could come, but it was awesome nonetheless. Also, there was my brother and I playing to make it a 7 person tournament with 4 rounds and a top 4 cut! It makes no sense, but it was my party, so it’s not supposed to.
So, enjoy my Birthday Championship report!
I was using my revised and revamped The Weirdo deck that I posted on the forums a while after the original article. I was also providing 4 of the players’ decks which was funny.
Round 1 vs. Charles (Durant)
pokemon-paradijs.comI had just taught him what a Durant was this morning and I opened Reshiram-EX so I was pretty sure I had this. Once I got energy loaded on Reshiram-EX, out of Rotom UD range, I swept him up. He made it as close as he could’ve, and he’s a good player despite him not playing since Great Encounters.
Round 2 vs. Ben (QuadBulls)
Ben is another good player, but my deck has Virizion NVI, Shaymin UL, and Shaymin EX so I thought I had the matchup covered. Well, I drew dead the entire game and he swept me 6-0 in prizes after my Energymite for 0.
Round 3 vs. Nicholas (QuadBulls)
He is another player whose deck I provided because he is not that into the game. It was really close and it came down to the wire. Cobalion was the MVP here and really caused him some trouble. I remember once I had just KO’d a Terrakion with a Mewtwo w/ a DCE. I also had a Virizion with 2 energy. He did some stuff on his turn and Retaliated my Mewtwo. He had 3 Prizes left and a Terrakion with some stuff (don’t remember what) on his bench.
Here is the funny part. I dropped a Shaymin UL, moved two energy from Virizion onto Shaymin, attached Prism from hand to Mewtwo, played Black Belt, retreated Mewtwo, and used Energy Bloom. Not only did this marvelous move do barely enough damage to KO his Terrakion, but it also put my Mewtwo out of Catcher-KO range.
I don’t remember what happened after he revenge-KO’ed my Shaymin UL, but it eventually came down to the wire. He had zero cards in his hand and he needed to topdeck a way to get Junk Arm/Catcher, and an energy or else he loses.
Well, if you didn’t know my luck before this part, you certainly will now. He topdecks a Pokégear 3.0, off that he hit a Juniper, and off the Juniper he hits a F Energy AND a Junk Arm! Go figure. Really GG though.
Round 4 vs. Wesley (VileLostMewGar)
pokemon-paradijs.comI don’t know what else to call this deck. It ran (I think) a 2-2 line of Haunter TM and some extra Gengar Prime to See Off. He also ran Vileplume UD, Slowking HS, and Mime Jr. CL which made it a very interesting deck. I won the opening flip for the first time that day! I Catchered a Slowpoke UD and attempted to donk it with Voltorb TM.
Well, I miss the flip and do 40 damage because of that wonderful weakness. He gets an okay setup, but leaves Slowpoke active. I then proceed to charge up Absol Prime (the worst tech against Lostgar) and finish the Slowpoke with my almighty Voltorb. He promotes Mew Prime and uses See Off for a Gengar Prime.
At some point in this game he gets both his Stage 2s out with the help of Twins. I promote Absol and use Vicious Claw, which, as you should know after that great Absol article, sends one of your own Pokémon to the Lost Zone. It was great because I could trash a worthless-in-this-matchup Terrakion, but bad because it helps him in his ultimate goal of Lost Zone-ing 6 Pokémon.
After my Absol runs out of steam, I sweep up with Energymite + Reshiram-EX. He hits a couple sleep flips with Mime Jr., but only Lost Zones one Pokémon with it. I win with 3 Pokémon with my Lost Zone. GG. I think that deck is cool and has potential.
I whiff on top cut even though two 2-2s made it. Oh well. The top 4 is one game and the top 2 is 2 out of 3. Nicholas is battling Blaine who has Zekeels. That game is very close and it comes down to 50-50. If Nicholas draws the Junk Arm out of his 2 Prizes then he wins, and if not he loses because he cannot get a KO next turn and will deck out. His prize was a PlusPower.
My brother, Austin, is against Ben. Austin was playing VVV and got setup, so he obviously won. In top 2 Austin recovered from an awful start and won game one but when Blaine gets determined he becomes one of the best players. Blaine came in first.
I hope you enjoyed that Birthday Championship report as it was something new and interesting. I also hope you liked the States report and good luck at Regionals everyone!