theexpiredmeter.comHey guys! It’s Pocokemon (Orrin) finally back with another article, and this time I’m going to give you a review on what happened at States, some cards and strategies that I feel have been overlooked, a section on how to test properly, and just for the heck of it, some State Championship reports.
First off, I want to apologize for the delay of this article. I had actually started this article about 5 weeks before States, because my testing had finished and I had some time to kill. I was intending this article to be a States preview article, but I have been experiencing those conflicts when you think “Hmm… texting, or work on the article?”
As you can see the States season is over and people are already starting their testing for Regional Championships. Now I have to edit this article to make it into a States review article/Regionals prep with some other things thrown in.
My Pokémon life up until now has been pretty good. The season up until now had gone pretty well for me. I was able to keep my hold in the top 40 up until now. Anyway, here’s the article!
To start off, I’ll give you my first States report that took place at Six Feet Under Games in Pennsylvania. I woke up and got my Durant decklist all filled out, and then I prepared my self for an hour drive down to Lancaster. My car ride was pretty much music and just staring out of the window. About half way to the tournament I had realized that I had forgotten my play mat. Fudge.
We arrived at about 9:30 AM with about 30 minutes to rest, assuming that they would start on time. I played a few practice games against Zekrom Eel and a Donphan Mewtwo deck. I believe that I won most of the games during practice which helped build my confidence for the real tournament.
We actually started play pretty late at around 10:45 AM, not that it mattered to me any. We found out that Seniors will have six rounds with a top cut of eight.
The parings had gone up, I find my table, and we begin.
Round 1: Durant
This was a mirror match. I had no attackers that could deal heavy damage, and I don’t recall him having any either, so that meant who ever started to Devour first would win.
I look at my opening hand and I See a lone Rotom. *face palm* I still got to go first, but that didn’t help any. We shake hands and start the game. He got out all 4-of his Durant on his first turn. My Devouring didn’t start until the second or third turn. That was pretty much the game right there. My only shot I had at turning this game around is if I could drought his energy with my Smoochum HS and Crushing Hammer.
pokemon-paradijs.comI finally get rid of his energy when I have about 2 or 3 cards left to his 15 or 16, so he took the game.
I tell him good luck and I begin to wait for the next game while watching the games that were still going on to my left and right.
Magnezone Prime, Druddigon NVI, Rocky HelmetRound 2:
This deck seems like a great idea, but it just doesn’t work against Durant. I’m not completely sure if he ran Eel because he never got it out and I wasn’t paying much attention to what I was discarding from his deck.
I started off with a mulligan, and another one, and another one, and another one. I believe that the total amount that I had gotten a mulligan was around seven or eight times! That’s insane! He said that he will take 5 extra cards, so I’m not so sure if he had encountered a Durant deck before because he has probably seen every card in my deck by now other that Basics.
We finally shake hands and flip over our basics with me going first. I start with a Smoochum to his Druddigon with another Druddigon and a Magnemite on his bench. I get early Devours and started to Catcher and Lost Remover, so he never got off a solid attack other that Lost Burning 3 energies to kill an Eviolited Durant. The game was over relatively quickly. I wished him luck and turned in the slip.
Round 3: Magnezone, Eelektrik
I remember this game being very similar to the one in round 2. I think this guy’s deck was all Magnezone Eel with no Zekrom, Mewtwo EX, or anything else to counter Durant with. He still might have had some Zekrom in his Prizes or in the discard that I have forgotten about, but other than that I just used the Catcher stall method on his Eels the whole time until his deck was gone.
pokemon-paradijs.comAfter round three it was lunch break and I remember seeing Adam at the tournament. I said hi to him and he told me he was playing a Yanma/Magnemite deck today. I’m guessing that he wasn’t intending on doing well. At least he got some attention.
After that I headed over to Subway a few stores down and my brother tells me that he isn’t doing the best at the moment, but he can still make the cut if he wins the rest of his games. I tell him that I’m 2-1, so I might not make the cut if I lose again. After eating I head back into the shop with about 30 minutes left until the next round, so I use up the time playing practice games with my friends. Finally lunch break ends with the next set of pairings being posted up.
Round 4: Durant
I remember this guy from a Cities tournament a little while back.
We start with my lone Smoochum to his Durant with him going first. He draws, plays and N, gets out another Durant, attaches an energy and Eviolited his active Durant, then he Devours for 2. On my turn I get out all the Durants with Level Ball and a Collector, retreat Smoochum, and Devour for four.
It takes a while for him to get out the next Durant, and he kept forgetting to use Mischievous Trick for his last prized Durant. I remember seeing him drop a Terrakion NVI and a Lapras later in the game which surprised me a little. Around half way through the game I had won a mat as a door prize! Yippee!
I kept Devouring until his deck had disappeared. After that we shook hands and I gave him some advice on building Durant for next time. I turned in the slip and walked outside for some fresh air.
Round 5: Terrakion
pokemon-paradijs.comI remember this person from the last Cities of the New Jersey marathon. He was the person that had broken my “top cutting every tournament” streak by killing my lone Zekrom with his Rotom UD and that game had forced me out of top cut contention for that tournament. We’re friends now and I don’t really care anymore about the loss.
I didn’t even know that this kind of deck had existed at the time. I remember seeing this deck once before the tournament. Nonetheless it must be a pretty good deck to make it this far and can still be able to compete on the high tables. His only Basics were 4 Terrakion, so no surprise that we both mulliganed a few times.
When we finally stop going through the mulligan process we get our Basics on the table and start the game. I got out three of the Durants with 1 Prized. I started to Devour his deck until he got on enough energy to do Land Crush which pretty much KOs all of my Durants because my list runs only one Eviolite. If this 1HKO pattern would continue then I would lose.
I thought if I could KO that one Terrakion then I would win because I had already devoured 2 into his discard pile. So, I had begun operation kill the Terrakion.
I started off with a 60 damage attack from Rotom’s Plasma Arrow. Then I used a few Vice Grips and kept him from attacking with the luck from Crushing Hammers. Eventually the Terrakion was on the verge of collapse. Then he benched his last Terrakion. Fudge.
I finally finished off the first Terrakion and I was ready for the second one. Most of his energy was in the discard and his deck was getting thin. I kept heavy on the Hammers to hold him back from attacking and eventually I had taken down the second monster with my little bugs.
I wished him good luck and turned in the match slip.
Weavile UD, Amoonguss NXD, Cobalion NVI, Etc.Round 6:
pokemon-paradijs.comThis was the game that decided if I would make the cut or not because my resistance wasn’t looking to good right now.
We set up and while waiting for the judges to start the round I told him good luck and we shook hands. He had told me that he was a relatively new player, so I was happy for him that he was doing so well at the tournament.
We started with his Cobalion to my Smoochum with me going first. I got out three of my Durants with one of them prized. On his turn he attached to his Cobalion and passed. Eventually I had gotten myself into a pattern of using energy antics and Crushing Hammer to keep his Cobalion free from energy almost the whole game. Once his energy was mostly on his Cleffa, I started to get my Devours going again.
Eventually I took the game due to his deck out. I congratulated him on steering the deck to a 4-2 finish and I told him that he still had a good shot at making the top cut.
We waited around a half hour for the standings and they ended up with me placing fourth and two of my friends placing second and third. The guy I had played from the last round had gotten into the cut, so congrats to him!
Based on looking at who made the top eight I can’t remember the exact decks that made it, but I knew that I was the only Durant deck in the top eight based on asking the some of other players what they played and from looking around when I was at the Top eight tables.
I had turned in my deck and then I waited for another half hour for the judges to finish looking at our decks.
Top 8: Zekrom Eel
pokemon-paradijs.comBased on what I had seen around the tournament, the person that I would be playing next had a Zekrom Eel deck.
I was fairly confident at the time because my thoughts were he would to the same old thing that every Zekrom Eel deck does against a Durant deck, which is get out a Zekrom and a free retreat Tynamo. From there I would either do the Catcher/Seeker combo so he would be left with a Tynamo and I would Vice Grip for the game, or I could use my Smoochum the whole time so he could never charge up his Zekrom to do a Bolt strike, or any other strategy that I could think of.
We finally started so I sat down at the table, set out my new mat, and began to shuffle.
I’m not going to go into much detail. Both games were won by my opponent because he didn’t do what I had expected him to do.
He filled up his bench up with free retreat Tynamo, a Zekrom, and Thundurus EPO active. He kept being able to Charge up his Pokémon and keeps it going with the Eels in play. This person had obviously encountered a Durant deck before. I found out that my opponent was the brother of the person I had lost to in the first round. So that was that. This person had deserved the win and I was kind of happy for him because I don’t see him regularly in the top cut. I congratulated him for his victory and we went our separate ways.
I believe the decks that were going on top 4 looked like this:
Zekrom Eel vs. Reshiphlosion
Zekrom Eel vs. Mewtwo Celebi
In the end, the Zekrom Eel deck that I had lost to in the top 8 had took the first place title for the Pennsylvania States.
I got home at around 6 PM. I was feeling pretty good that I bagged 5 more Championship Points. I spent the last few hours before bed typing up this report, trying to remember as much as I could, and finally at around 10:30 I went to bed.
My track season had just started this week so my testing has been limited down to hardly anything. I decided to go with Durant again just because I have more experience with the deck than I would if I chose to switch over to Terrakion or Zeels, and I don’t have to re-test anything.
It was finally Saturday. I woke up early, got ready for the tournament, and hopped into the car for a two hour ride down to Delaware.
We arrived at the tournament right when registration started which gave me a clean hour to kill after I hand in my decklist. So, I start doing the normal routine; meeting up with friends, playing a few games, and making a few trades.
The tournament finally starts and I make my way to the pairings.
Round 1: Lanturn, Eel, ???
This game started off pretty stressfully when I saw that she opened up with a Chinchou UL, because I wasn’t in the mood to take on a Lightning deck first thing after my loss in the top 8 last week. I started off pretty well with a turn one Devour for 4. I realized later in the game that her deck was not the most competitive when I noticed that she played no Zekrom or Thundurus, and only one DCE.
I played it nice and started to Vice Grip when I counted about ten cards left in her deck with only 1 Prize card taken. I took about three or 4 Prize cards before I had gotten to the point that I had to Devour or I would lose the game. Eventually I took the game with one final Devour, and signed the match slip for the win. I wished her luck, turned in the slip, and went over to see how my friends are doing.
Round 2: Zekrom Eel, Dean Nezam
pokemon-paradijs.comA few friends from Virginia told me that he’s a pretty good player. He was playing Zekrom Eel, so my chances of winning were pretty decent according to my testing now with more Eviolite in the deck. I went first with a Smoochum active. I drew and started off by using Collector and a Level Ball to get out three of my Durant and a Rotom, with one Durant prized.
I use Mischievous Trick followed by a Level Ball for kicks, and the first prize I swapped in was the final Durant to the puzzle (on purpose)! I hit a turn one set up right off the bat. I take one more step with attaching an Eviolite to my active Durant, and I start Devouring his deck away.
His turn went kind of how you expected it to. He used Dual Ball for a Thundurus, attached his energy, and used Charge. From there the turns kind of got repetitive. I would draw Devour and he would attack with his Thundurus which would either KO a Durant or do 60 to 50 due to my Eviolite and Special Metals. Eventually I calculated a victory through counting his deck, and I took the win.
Round 3: Zekrom Eel, Tommy Roberts
This game I got everything a Durant player could ask for and he couldn’t get set up in time. I got another turn one through starting a Durant, two Level Balls, a Junk Arm, a Basic Metal, an Eviolite, and a Juniper! Holy hot fudge. I also went first. Also when I Devoured, I always discarded some crazy combo like 2 Double Colorless, or a Thundurus and a Zekrom in one go. The game was going my way from the start.
We played the game out, but my opponent never really got going and I took the win.
Round 4: CMT, Michael Bryan
pokemon-paradijs.comI hadn’t really tested this match up before, but I’m assuming that it will go in my favor because his Mewtwo can’t really do anything to my Durant, and Tornadus EPO can’t one shot a Durant with an Eviolite and a Special Metal.
I go first again and get a turn one set up. On his turn he gets out a Regigigas-EX and starts to charge him up. I use multiple Lost Removers and Crushing Hammers to keep the Gigas from attacking. I eventually take the win through a close game and sign the match slip.
Round 5: CMT, ???
I am actually good friends with this person but I can never remember his name. I start to set up and take control of the game. I keep him from attacking through Hammers and Removers so he never really hit me enough to Knock me Out so I just retreated to the next Eviolited Durant and kept on Devouring. He could never take a prize all game and I take the win.
I get into the top cut as the first seed and I get paired up against Reshiphlosion… Fudge.
Top 4: Reshiphlosion
I got a prize penalty for having too many marked sleeves during the normal rounds which doesn’t help that much considering that I am already going to have enough trouble taking on this match up.
Game 1: I set up turn one and I go first. He gets out a turn two Typhlosion Prime and a second one the turn after that which probably sealed the game for him. I play it out to see how it goes and it was pretty close by using Catchers and Hammers to see if I could get one turn where he couldn’t attack me, but my Hammers failed me and I lost the first game.
Game 2: This game I choose to go first and I am forced to start with a Rotom which cost me the game. I don’t get my Devours going until the second turn, but that’s too late when you’re going up against a Reshiphlosion player. I end up losing, but the outcome of the game was closer that I had expected it to be. In the end I was one Devour short of the win… Stupid Rotom start.
The winner of the tournament was the Reshiphlosion deck that I had lost to in the top 4 rounds.
Oh well, that was that and I was still pleased that I ended up 3rd on the day and got some more Championship Points under my belt.
The week went by fast and the weekend finally arrived and it was time to go to Maryland for the final states event. I just played Durant again because I was too lazy to test over the week and it had done pretty well for me last time.
I arrive at the card shop and it wasn’t the most pleasant of locations. Try to picture about 200 people crammed into a tiny attic of a card shop with no air conditioner or windows open.
I sit down at my seat and start shufflin’ up my deck. My opponent was about 5 minutes late, but he finally arrives.
We quickly get set up and begin the game with him going first.
He starts with a Sandile and an Oddish UD benched which made me a little confused as to what he was playing. He does a PONT followed by a Level Ball. I get out a turn one Devour for 3 and try to play down as many Trainers as possible assuming that he will get a Vileplume next turn.
pokemon-paradijs.comOn his turn he plays down Krokorok BLW, attaches an Energy, and passes. I remind him that he could have used Torment so I could not use Devour next turn. He asks if I will let him still use the attack and I let him go ahead. I have plenty of energy in my hand to use for retreating when he Torments.
His next turn he gets out a Gloom UD, but forgets to evolve on the turn and he made a few other little mistakes throughout the game.
Eventually I take the win with him having about 3 Prize cards left, and I wish him luck for later games.
Round 2: Reshiphlosion
I already knew what was probably going to happen here. We start the game with her going first.
She fills up her bench and passes. It’s my turn and I am only able to pull off a Devour for two. On her turn she plays a Sage’s Training and starts getting out her Typhlosion lines. I’m guessing that she wasn’t that familiar with the Durant matchup based on her full bench and playing Sage randomly, but I could be wrong.
Eventually we get to the turning point of the game. She had three Junk Arms and two Switches in her discard. I play a Catcher for a clean Typhlosion and Devour. If she was able to play a Junk Arm she would win the game, and of course, she does.
Losing this early in the tournament isn’t the best thing in the world for my resistance, but at least the next two rounds will hopefully be slightly less challenging now that I will be around the lower tables for a while.
Round 3: Mew Box
pokemon-paradijs.comI have never played against a deck like this before, so I was kind of lost into what I should do in order to win in this matchup.
I start Durant to his Mew Prime with me going first. I get out 4 Durant on the first turn and I start Devourin’. His turn goes by attaching a Prism and sending a Crobat Prime to the Lost Zone. I just keep on Devourin’. On his next turn he uses Severe Poison which forces me to retreat my active Durant to keep it alive.
Eventually I get to the point where he has a few cards left in his deck with damage counters all over my board, and it was close game at this point in time. For some reason he decides to use a Juniper which pretty much gives me the game. I Devour the last few cards in his deck and I shake his hand for the game.
Round 4: Zekrom Eel
I really hoped that this wouldn’t happen. I ended up getting paired against one of my friends that I was hoping I would not have to face until the top cut if we both made it. Now that we were playing each other which meant one of us would have to miss out on the cut.
We both start off horribly. I have Rotom active and he has a Bouffalant BLW 91 active with him going first.
He has to use PONT right off the bat and follows with a Level Ball to get out a Tynamo, and attaches an energy to it. On my turn I get out three of the four Durant, attach a M Energy to Rotom and pass. He gets out an Eelectrik and another Tynamo, along with a Thundurus.
Eventually we both get up to steam and start swinging full power attacks at each other. I got set up slightly faster than he could so that gave me the win.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe funny thing was after the game he starts telling all of our friends on how he started his Bouffalant to a Durant and how I just kept on Catchering up his Bouffalant which won me the game.
He forgot to mention that I started Rotom and had two of my Catchers prized the whole game, but oh well, it didn’t matter.
Round 5: CMT
This is the guy that I am friends with, but I can never remember his name.
This game went very similar to the last time we played each other. He would try to get set up, but my Removers and Hammers kept him from doing so. I Eviolited my active Durant so he could not get 1HKOs off of me. Durant is just not one of the best match ups for CMT. Eventually I took the win.
I got into the cut as 7th seed with horrible resistance and my last round opponent made it in 8th seed.
While I was waiting for the top cut I ran into some unfortunate events.
Apparently my decklist was wrong and I had to take out four Hammers and a Special Metal for 5 Basic Metals. Darn. After that I told everyone what had happened and how I was now totally going to win States (not) with my new and improved deck.
Top 8: The Truth
I kept asking my friends for advice for this match up and half of them said I would auto-win and the other half said I would auto-lose. My friends are so helpful.
He attaches a basic energy and passes, which surprised me. He either had a horrible start or his strategy is to only have a Gigas active the whole game.
I end up getting the usual turn one Devour with an Eviolite. He keeps on attaching basic energies and passing until he gets to the point where he is ready to attack my eviolited Durant for a max of 60 damage. I retreat my injured Durant and pull up another Eviolited one. He attacks for another total of 60 damage.
A few turns later he is finally able to 1HKO any of my ants with Special Metals and Eviolites on them. I count his deck and I calculate the win.
I bench a Rotom to threaten him from putting any more damage on his Gigas. He benched a Cleffa which worried me that his 20 card hand will go back into the deck, but I figured out that if he did that he would have to start over on charging up his Gigas.
That sealed the game and I take the win, with him only having one or 2 Prize cards left.
I was surprised that he didn’t bother getting out a Vileplume line to keep me from reviving my Durant. But hey, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to the Truth strategies.
Game 2: He starts with a Mewtwo to my Durant. He attaches a F Energy and passes. I get yet another turn one set up and begin to Devour.
Eventually he gets to the point where he has five energies on his Mewtwo and starts to wreck away at my Durants.
I count the number of cards left in his deck and I was losing by two turns so that gave me one option: go aggro-Rotom until that Mewtwo comes down! I play Twins to see if I have enough cards to pull off two back-to-back turns of a Plasma Arrow, and it just so happens that I am one Prism away from victory.
I get out Rotom, Mischievous Trick, and hit the Mewtwo for 100 damage. His turn goes by benching a Gigas and a Cleffa, and finally KOing the Rotom. I draw and I whiffed the winning energy.
I used a Trick and played a Twins. I flip over the top card and it was a Catcher. I search my deck anyway and happen to stumble across another Prism!
I KO the Mewtwo and it’s downhill from there. We talked a little while waiting for the other top 8 matches to finish.
After that I go downstairs to get something to eat and talk with my friends.
Top 4: Zekrom Eels
I was just joking about winning States with my hammer free deck, but now I think I might have a shot at it. My Zekrom Eels match is slightly in my favor and the other decks in the top four are also in my favor.
Game 1: I shuffle and draw and in my hand believe it or not, I see another turn one set up. We roll and I go first.
I get out the turn one Devour and pass. He starts with a lone Zekrom. He showed me his hand of five L Energy, and I didn’t know whether to be worried or relieved that he couldn’t set up any Eels. He goes ahead and does the obvious; he attaches a L Energy and passes.
On my turn I play a few draw cards in order to try to get an Eviolite. I end my turn with another devour.
He is finally able to start scoring 1HKOs on my ants, so I play Twins. My original plan was to get out a Rotom and a Prism, but my Rotom was somehow in the discard with all of my revive cards. So I do the math. He has four energies on him and 40 damage on him, somehow I get a brain fart and think that is enough to KO the Zekrom.
But if I do that I will get rid of my whole hand and have to rely on a boss top deck. I go through with the plan and announce “Plasma Arrow for KO.” Then the judge tells me that would equal 120 and I just gave the Zekrom enough outrage power to 1HKO everything I got.
On my turn I top deck an N (on purpose) and play it.
I draw the six cards from the N and I realize that I can’t come back after that misplay.
Game 2: The next game starts and I choose to go first. I start with an ant to his Tynamo active and Thundurus benched. And I get… another turn one.
This game starts off very predictable. Thundurus, Charge. Durant, Devour. This time I am able to get my Eviolites and Special Metals into play early so he can’t 1HKO my active ant. He plays a PlusPower, and Junipers for a Junk Arm to get a 1HKO. My turn comes and I am able to recover the KO’d Durant and I promote my next Eviolited ant.
Then it gets annoying when he drops a surprise Zekrom and uses two Dynamotors with a manual attachment to do an unexpected OKHO. I am able to keep the Zekrom from doing any more damage by Catcher stalling his Eels.
When the end of the game is getting closer I count the cards left in his deck and he has 8 cards left with 4 Prize cards already taken. I have no way to get out a fourth Durant so I devour for three which leaves his deck down to four cards, after he draws for the turn. He gets a KO with 1 Prize card left.
I finish the tournament 3rd which gains me 6 more points, that gets me to a total of 57 CP going into Regional Championships.
Techs and Overlooked Trick Ideas!
Just look at the title and try to guess what this section is going to be about. Anybody?
In this section I am going to review some possibly forgotten cards that should be more useful. Kind of like a bunch of mini COTDs if you think about it.
pokemon-paradijs.comI think Lugia LEGEND (LL) has some potential with the EXs 2 Prize card rule. Now with all the different kinds energy required to attack, that immediately limits the number of decks this card can be placed into. Now I am going to explain the card for the sake of the newer and younger players. Feel free to read what it does if you are unsure or can’t exactly remember what the details of the card are.
LL is a Legend card which means you need both halves of the card in your hand in order to play it which can be pulled off with the help of pokemon communication. It has 130 HP which is now an average amount of HP to have with the EXs now in the format.
Its type is Water, but that’s not really important based on what its attack does. It’s weak to Lightning which isn’t the best thing in the world with Lightning being the most popular type of deck out there, but I don’t think it matters if Lugia gets return KO’d because you only need to use him once. It has a one colorless Retreat Cost which is slightly above average in my opinion with all of the new EXs having 2-4 Retreat Costs.
Now it’s on to the attack. For a Fire, Water, and a L Energy you can pull off a massive 200 damage. This is basically a 1HKO to anything in the format. It also has a Poké-Power which states once Lugia comes into play to reveal the top 5 cards of your deck and attach any energy you find there to Lugia LEGEND and discard the other cards.
The main decks that I could see this card be a tech in would definitely be CoKE or even possibly Six Corners.
Here’s a list I have made including Lugia LEGEND in it and I know that this deck has been losing some of its popularity during States, but this is really one of very few decks that this card will work in.
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 29
3 Junk Arm
Energy – 15
Although before you swap the Records away you must know that there is a reason why I feel Records are more important than Twins. It serves multiple purposes in this deck. First off is that it mainly helps eliminating the luck with Energymite and Ocean Grow, so you will be able to bag more energy when using them. There is also the Cheren/Record trick as well as controlling your top decks.
I like the Zekrom-EX because it is a nice heavy hitter other than LL. If you are not a fan of it for whatever reason then feel free to take it out for either a Cobalion/Switch/Cheren/ or whatever the heck you want it to be.
The Shaymin works so well in this deck because Ocean Grow works as an Energymite without the prize loss. And with Shaymin you can make it transfer the energy you get from ocean grow on to your other attackers, or in case you have any other reason you may need to use him.
I know most CoKE lists consist of 16 Energy, but this list can get away with 15 due to the high number of Records in the deck.
The list has 3 Catchers right now, but I feel it should be 4 because you only have one shot with LL in the game and you want to make sure it hits the opponent’s EX on the field. I just didn’t add it in because it seemed like a 61st card to me and I feel adding it in the deck will harm its consistency.
The consistency of the list may seem a bit subpar with 11 (including Pokégear) draw Supporters, and if you still feel this way after testing the list I would recommend swapping a record for a PONT. Although the low amount of draw Supporters shouldn’t affect you too much due to the high amount of Records controlling your top decks.
Just another idea is to add a single PlusPower to this list for those annoying times when you are 10HP from the KO. I tried it and the strategy is not that bad of an idea.
Something else you should definitely consider is a 2nd Super Rod. It is a super card to have in the deck (pun intended) because you are discarding a lot more cards now with LL in the deck and you can also use it to revive your main attackers or to get some energy back into the deck after you use your “big” attack.
Also SSU/Seeker could be something handy to have. This allows you to use LL’s Power TWICE in a game. It can also be used the traditional way by scooping up your almost dead attacker.
pokemon-paradijs.comFor those of you unfamiliar, Oddish is a 40 HP Basic with an attack for one Colorless that does 10 damage, and for a G Energy you may flip a coin, if heads you may search your deck for a Grass Pokémon and put it on to your bench. I know he’s not the swiftest deer in the forest, but the reason he is so great is because when people see Oddish they start thinking Vileplume.
This is a fun little trick I learned. The trick is to sneak one Oddish into your list and you get it out if you ever have an extra Dual Ball or extra space when you play Collector. When it comes into play your opponent thinks you have an Item lock deck.
This causes your opponent to misplay, e.g. discard all the Items in their hand, targets the Oddish instead of your main attacker, etc. This can be a pretty handy fool card, and if you’re not planning on going to Hawaii this year, then you might as well try it out and see how many people you fool.
I just want to make it clear that this is not a competitive strategy; it’s just a fun idea, although who knows, maybe a skilled player will pick it up and make it work during Regionals.
Around 99% of the people reading this should know what a Catcher does, but just in case, a Pokémon Catcher is an Item card that allows you to pick one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon and switch it with the opponent’s active Pokémon.
I know Catchers are nothing new and they’ve been popular for a long time, so why am I bringing them up?
Over States, I’ve noticed people just benching and leaving out EX’s, and not doing anything with them. They just sit there until your opponent decides to start the long journey of charging it up. So you might as well use that strength against them. I have tried it and it works perfectly if you hit them right after they hit the field.
You can also use it the old fashioned way, which is abusing Catcher to get cheap prizes, or to target the pokemon that has all the energies on the field, etc.
pokemon-paradijs.comI wouldn’t worry about Skyarrow Bridge too much because only some Zekrom Eel, CoKE, and Six Corners play them, and even when they do it helps you as much them, and their EXs still have to deal with a pretty beefy Double Colorless Retreat Cost (assuming the dragons), not to even mention that those decks are dead.
Virizion is a grass type with 110 HP, and the only thing that you need to know is its first attack, which allows you to draw 2 cards for a C Energy, and that’s about it.
This is just an idea, and now that the damage output is getting much higher now with the EXs competing in states. This means the amount of time your baby Cleffa has to live get shorter and shorter. I feel that Virizion would work as a nice substitute for Cleffa especially in decks that need lots of set up like MagneEel and Reshiphlosion. Its high HP is very nice to have when you are still setting up your bench.
It’s especially handy in those instances when you have a Rare Candy/Pokémon Communication in your hand, but no Pokémon, and I’m certain we all have those instances with Cleffa when you draw into the exact same hand. As I had mentioned before, Virizion will be able to survive longer than Cleffa, theoretically giving you more time to set up.
This card can also be a handy counter to Terrakion decks which I have been seeing here and there during States and it will pop up for Regionals.
There is also the Virizion from EPO that is also a good counter for Fighting decks. Fulop covered most of the strategies of the card in his article, so I don’t see any point in repeating in what he already said.
pokemon-paradijs.comI feel that this little guy can make a comeback with the Next Destinies set now in the format.
Eel players feel much safer playing the free retreat Tynamo instead of the slightly more durable one now that Kyruem has left the spotlight for the moment.
Tyrogue is splashable in any deck, it requires no energy, it’s a Basic, and it can now become a common donking card. So why not just add one in during your testing and see how it does? I mean it couldn’t hurt to have a card that can deal an instant 30 damage on the first turn and possibly donk for the game.
It’s also good for setting up your KOs. That extra 30 damage can take your opponent’s EXs into the 150 damage range, which can be KO’d with the help of most likely Zekrom, Reshiram-EX, or anything else you have to reach that amount of HP.
I’m not talking about the actual Terrakion deck; I’m talking about adding a single copy into your deck as a tech against Zekrom Eel. Zekrom Eel has by far dominated States, which leaves a spot for Fighting decks to come back, but even if you are not playing a Fighting deck it is still important to go into the Zekrom Eel match up with an edge, because they are just everywhere at the moment and it is handy to have the advantage that Terrakion gives.
The Best Way to Test for Regionals
This section is meant to give you an idea of what to test with if you are still unsure how your testing routine would look like, or if you want to read over some of the decks I am going to be reviewing. I mainly added this section because I am hearing a lot of people nowadays saying that testing decks is overrated and not worth it. In some instances you are correct, but you still should play your deck at least three times to get a feel of how it sets up and what you might want to change.
wchfh.orgI know that there are lots of decks out there that you can choose to test, but I would recommend simplifying it down to around to 5 or 6 decks to test with before you go crazy and build 15-20 decks. There’s no way you will be able to test each one until you feel comfortable before States, unless you plan to play around 150 games with each deck.
20 times 150 equals 3,000 games, and assuming each game takes around 25 minutes (3,000 X 25 = 75000 minutes), that’s around 1250 hours of playing Pokémon, which isn’t even including the time it takes to make the decks.
Even if you play 4 hours a day it would still take about 312 days to complete. Unless Pokémon is you full time job, it’s not happening. So here is a list of decks that I suggest you build for testing, and if you have questions about how to play or beat another deck, I would recommend just asking a friend or someone at league about it.
The required decks are the ones that you must play in order to have a good feel of the current format. The optional decks are the ones that are other good decks that you should build or borrow from a friend to expand your testing. And the recommended one down at the bottom is one that is not needed, but if you are lucky, it will give you a massive edge in the format.
- Zekrom Eel (required)
- Celebi Mewtwo (required)
- Durant (required)
- The Truth EX (optional)
- Reshiphlosion (optional)
- Terrakion (optional)
- Rogue choice (recommended)
pokemon-paradijs.comI’m going to be using Zekrom Eel for the results because this is the most popular deck that will be showing up at the future states tournaments, but EelZone and ZPSTM can still work as good testing decks as well. I’m just saying if you had a choice between those three pick Zekrom Eel, due to the fact that Magnezone loses too easily to Durant and ZPST loses its steam near the end of the game, and it is slightly less consistent with its set-up than Zekrom Eel is.
It is obvious that I am going to give the Celebi Mewtwo deck a spot on the list because even though it’s expensive, it is still an amazing deck that is fast, consistent, and is considered to be one of the best decks in the format so far this year. It also can have a lot of room for tech options in the deck so it can make just about any match up go in their favor.
Even though Durant hasn’t been doing that well so far, (except for me!) it is still a good deck choice because it is cheap, and can still perform well against some the top decks, and once there is a consistent way to beat Zekrom Eel with the deck, Durant will succeed even more in the current format. And it’s still important to make sure that your deck won’t lose against it because it is still a very popular deck that will be attending regionals.
Item lock is still a thing you should test against even if hardly anybody plays it anymore, and that’s why I have added The Truth to this list. The Truth was one of my last decks to build and when I started testing against it, it ended up doing extremely well against the deck I had originally planned for States, and that’s because up until now I assumed Item lock was dead.
I’m sure many other people have also assumed that Item lock was dead, so they don’t test against it and when they finally do encounter it, they lose due to lack of testing. It is optional because there is still not a very good chance of you encountering one at a tournament.
pokemon-paradijs.comReshiphlosion I feel is getting weaker with Next Destinies now out, but I know a lot of people are still going to play it, especially Juniors and Seniors. First off it’s easy to play and understand, it is cheap, it has a pretty good match up against Mewtwo, and a great match up against Durant.
All in all, I’d say that it’s a pretty decent deck, although, its other matchups I feel have gotten weaker now that Typhlosions are much easier to Catcher up and kill.
Terrakion is a deck that I just discovered, and I love the idea behind it. The deck is really just 4 Terrakion and a bunch of other stuff to make it work. Its flexibility is really good as to the techs that you can add into the deck. This deck is very similar to Donphan Mewtwo so feel free to play that instead of Terrakion.
I have added a rogue choice because I feel this is going to be for your own good. Making a rogue deck practices actually building your own deck instead of net decking from a list you know nothing about. Your rogue choice could be something like Magmortar TM/Durant/Emboar BLW 20 or whatever the heck you want it to be, and who knows, maybe it might do well during your testing and win worlds.
The great thing about rogue is your opponent will never see it coming. It’s not that hard to think of a good idea and test around with it.
For those of you who are interested, here is a table of how my testing has gone up until now.
|CMT||Zekrom/Eels||The Truth EX||Durant||TyRam||Terrakion|
|CMT||Even||Slightly Unfavorable||Slightly Favorable||Unfavorable||Slightly Unfavorable||Slightly Favorable|
|Zekrom/Eels||Slightly Favorable||Even||Slightly Unfavorable||Slightly Unfavorable/Even||Even||Unfavorable|
|The Truth EX||Slightly Unfavorable||Slightly Favorable||Even||Highly Unfavorable||Slightly Favorable||Highly Favorable|
|Durant||Favorable||Slightly Favorable/Even||Highly Favorable||Even||Highly Unfavorable||Even|
|TyRam||Even||Even||Slightly Unfavorable||Highly Favorable||Even||Slightly Unfavorable|
|Terrakion||Slightly Unfavorable||Favorable||Highly Unfavorable||Even||Even||Even|
Now these results may not be the same outcome as yours, but that is obviously because I don’t use the exact same decklists as you do.
I’m not going to go over every matchup because I feel that it is not completely necessary for me to explain the matchups in detail because we all use different lists. I tried to make this table as general as possible so at least you get a general understanding of the format.
If anyone has a question about one of the matchups on the table then feel free to leave it in the comment section and I will try to answer you as soon as possible!
For my testing, here are the rankings that I have given each deck based on the table.
- Zekrom Eels
- Terrakion/ other fighting deck
- The Truth EX
I put Zekrom Eels at the top of the list for obvious reasons. It is the most common played and it has the most success in tournaments.
CMT is another obvious placement. It is not as high up as Zekrom Eel due to the fact that it has a slight disadvantage against Zekrom Eel, because the Tornadus are weak to Lightning.
I placed Durant much higher than most people would, and I have a good reason for this. Most people consider this deck dead, but that just makes it better for Durant because people won’t be expecting it anymore, so they won’t test against it as much. I also steered the deck to two top four finishes. I feel that this deck can beat anything with the right techs.
The thing with Durant is if you play it with an attacker, you practically can’t lose the game because your opponent only charges the active, because that is the natural instinct of a player to do so. Once they see you put an attacker on the field they start to get confused as to what to do next. If they play another thing down, they will most likely be Catcher stalled. If they don’t, they might get KO’ed for the game.
Even though Reshiphlosion has lost its popularity, it is still a great deck choice. Its advantage against CMT and its ability to destroy Durant with hardly any effort are some nice perks to have in the current format.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe Terrakion deck has a lot of luck and reward. It all depends on the amount of lighting decks at the tournament and how much The Truth doesn’t attend. I think it’s a great choice based on what is in your area. You can also go Donphan or whatever. The main goal of fighting decks is to bring down lightning.
The Truth is still a choice. It isn’t dead yet, and it still takes some skill to play. The Truth is a very flexible deck, and through testing and figuring out how you should build it. It should take you far during Regionals.
What’s an article without decklists? For most people it’s their favorite part. Who doesn’t like decklists in articles?
I will try to make the lists as basic as possible so you can get a general understanding for each deck.
Make note that I will only be making lists for my top three decks, and also for Donphan Mewtwo because that deck also has potential in the format.
Pokémon – 18
Trainers – 29
Energy – 13
I tried to make this list as standard as possible. It has the classic 4-3 Eel line, a Tornadus to counter Fighting decks, and a Smeargle to abuse your opponent’s hand. There are also the two Thundurus, mainly because they are the ideal starters of the deck. I don’t think you would need more than two of them, because they are easily searchable, and they aren’t in the same league with the Zekroms and Mewtwo EX when it comes to the mid and late game.
This deck is a full 60 cards, and if you want some slight adjusting, the Smeargle could be taken out of the deck because Smeargle works better in decks that run Skyarrow Bridge in their builds. Feel free to replace it for a consistency card or another Trainer card to help with the donk. Your choice.
Pokémon – 13
Trainers – 34
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 13
- PlusPower is amazing.
- Collector is a bad play.
- One Smeargle is a good consistency tech.
- One Seeker is good for getting up your almost-dead Mewtwos.
- Regigigas-EX is a great revenge killer. The strategy is your opponent attacks your Gigas for a lot. Then you use a Catcher to get up and KO one of their EXs.
- Lost Remover is not as good as people predicted it would be in this deck.
Also, I know people that run Shaymin UL in their builds. It’s a good card, but when I was testing it felt like a 61st card to me.
Pokémon – 6
Trainers – 43
Energy – 11
4 M – Special
pokemon-paradijs.comThis list is not the exact list that I used for all of the tournaments, but it still works very well. One of my favorite things about the deck is the surprise Tyrogue + Black Belt combo. If you are playing someone that doesn’t know they are in your deck, it can be a surprise key into winning a lot of games. The Tyrouge can also donk an unfortunate Zekrom Eels player that has to start with a 39 Tynamo.
There are a few odd things about the list, one of them being the 3-2 Hammer to Remover. After I played my top cut in my last tournament I really didn’t need any Hammers. They don’t help very much against Zekrom Eels because they can just Dynamotor it back on next turn. And for CMT, the only key thing to remove is Special Energies and that’s what Lost Remover is for.
For States I played 4-1 and feel free to make that switch if you don’t like the different version. I don’t think that 4-2 is needed. Most decks only play 4 Special Energies and normally, they don’t play as much because they know about the Lost Remover in the deck. Not to mention that you have to make room for it.
Four Prisms is the best way to go. You will always have those games when you need to attack with Rotom unexpectedly. For those of you that run three, the energies are either going to be on your Durants, in the discard, prized, or in your deck when you can’t search it out. And why wouldn’t you run 4? I mean do you think that people are going to tech in 3 Lost Removers into their deck? Not likely at all.
I love this deck because it has advantages against Zekrom Eels. Zekrom Eels is weak to this deck obviously due to weakness.
When it plays CMT, it becomes a Mewtwo war so the match up is pretty even. You can abuse the Defenders in your deck to keep the Tornadi from 2HKOing your Donphan.
Pokémon – 13
4 Phanphy HS
Trainers – 35
4 Junk Arm
Energy – 12
This deck works well for me. My favorite parts of the deck are the Max Potion, which can be great in a deck that has very little energy requirements. Defender kind of helps in a similar way, except you use Defender on a Donphan so when you get stormed by a genie, one Defender is all it takes to keep your Donphan up for one more turn.
Now I know there are lists that run Shaymin UL, but you don’t need it if you place your energies correctly in the first place. Most people that run Shaymin use it for a second chance card if you made a misplay on your energy attachment.
I know the main reason people put it in there is for automatic charge-ups. That doesn’t happen as often as you would like it to. First you would need the correct amount of energies on the field, and then you need to see if you can get the pokemon you are charging up to the Active Spot if it’s not already there.
I’m not trying to say that the card is bad. It’s just my play style and how I like to build my decks.
I am getting to over ten thousand words so I think its time to sign off. I finally got this article done after two months!
I hope that this article has given you some insight of how to test in the current format, and some new strategies in planning your decks for regional championships.