BC Regionals Report + What Happened to 130 HP?

thefullwiki.orgHey SixPrizes, how’s it going? Today, I’ll be going over my days in the British Columbia Regional Championships, taking a look at what made top cut, and then having a bit of a discussion on “What happened to 130 HP?” – just to spice things up and maybe give people something more than just a day in my life.

So the day started off waking up at 5:30 AM to make the ferry to Vancouver in time. Our group was myself and a couple of friends; one of whom was planning on only playing VGC. He’d never played TCG before, but I somehow convinced him to try it out and lent him my Durant deck for the day. I tried to teach him how to play on the ferry ride over, but that was a gong show.

In the three games we played to try and teach him how to play Durant, he had 2 Durants prized in one game, 2 Durants and a Rotom prized in the second, and then 1 Durant prized in the third. What a great way to learn how to play Durant, right? He still ended up going 3-4 though, so props to him for a pretty decent first tournament.

I lent my other friend my Chandelure NXD/Ninetales HS deck (article here). He’s not the strongest player in the world, but he also just hit some bad luck. I think he just let his energies get clumped and didn’t shuffle well enough to unclump them, because he lost 3 games alone due to energy starvation, and one to a Tyrogue double PlusPower donk on his Litwick BLW Promo 27.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, apparently he left my deck next to me during my round 7 match and told me “Thanks Mark, here you go.” I didn’t hear him (was kind of in a game…), and only found out he’d left the deck next to me the next night at the ferry terminal back. Oof… 1 Mewtwo and 3 Catchers down the drain. He said he’d replace it in full though.

Either way, I was playing CMT since I’d had decent success with it (top 16) at Provincials, and I hadn’t had any time to test anything new due to school and exams. I did some limited testing with a 3 Mewtwo EX, 1 Virizion EPO, 1 Regigigas-EX, 1 Smeargle CL list that I just didn’t like. I went back to my Provincials list since it was what I knew best, and tweaked it a bit to help deal with the current metagame. Overall the changes were very positive. Here’s my list:

Pokémon – 11

4 Celebi Prime

2 Tornadus EPO

2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

1 Virizion EPO

1 Smeargle CL

1 Shaymin UL

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Juniper

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

4 N


4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Junk Arm

4 Dual Ball

3 PlusPower

3 Switch

2 Pokégear 3.0

1 Revive

1 Eviolite


2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy -13

9 G

4 Double Colorless

The main changes were that I added Virizion EPO, Smeargle CL, and a 3rd PlusPower, and I dropped 2 Tornadus and an Eviolite. Virizion was there to absolutely secure the Quadrakion matchup, and give me a non-EX attacker that can kill Eelektriks without a PlusPower. It can also donk 30 HP Basics much easier than Tornadus (only needing 2 G Energy), and doesn’t come with the troublesome Lighting weakness.

Smeargle is just amazing, and if I didn’t have energy to accelerate from my hand, Smeargle went out between turns instead of Celebi. You learn your opponent’s hand and therefore learn when to N, and also maybe get an extra Supporter per turn. The painter knows his stuff. On to the tournament we go!

Round 1 vs Rob – Durant

fakemaket.deviantart.comWhat a great start to the tournament. This is like ZekEels having to face Fighting.dec in the first round. Ugh. My opponent was shuffling in a fashion that I could see a couple cards as he shuffled and I saw a Lost Remover on the bottom of his deck so I had an inkling of what I was facing before the game.

Not that this helped anyway since he opened with Durant so I knew what it was off the bat, but I mainly mention it as a cautionary note to players. Shuffle with your deck angled down and toward you if you’re just sideways shuffling. No sense in giving your opponent a game plan before you have yours.

Either way, I start with a Celebi and go first! Oh thank you! My hand was well setup to try for the donk too. I played a Dual Ball, hit one heads and searched out a Tornadus, Forest Breath’d a G Energy onto Tornadus, used a Switch and then N. DCE and I had donk and game.

Later I found out that Rob had 2 Level Balls and a Dual Ball in his hand so he wasn’t very appreciative. I draw my 6 cards and literally laugh out loud and pass. He uses two Dual Balls and gets a head on each to have 3 Durants out by turn 1, Devour for 3 (pretty sure this was how it went).

I show him the hand I drew off my N. It was 2 Oaks, 3 Juniper, and a Catcher. Either way I Oaks’d and got myself a DCE and another Dual Ball and got 1 heads to grab my 2nd Tornadus. Hooray! I love playing Air Hockey with Tornadus.

Unfortunately for him, he had 1 Durant prized all game, so I caught a huge break here. In the game he Lost Remover’d 3 Double Colourless Energy and flipped 2/3 or 2/4 heads on Crushing Hammer, so he wasn’t making my life easy. On my last turn, I had 7 cards in deck and was able to take my last prize.

A very stressful match for a CMT player to have to play in their first round, but I definitely caught a lucky break in his not having his 4th Durant (though he was whiffing on Revives/Junk Arms some turns, so I don’t know if the 4th Durant would’ve made any difference).

Win 1-0

Round 2 vs James – ZekEels

pokemon-paradijs.comThis was the worst and best game of the tournament for me. I mulligan 3 times giving him a major card advantage in the process. I also found out here that if your opponent mulligans and you draw a Basic, you can bench it before the game starts (face down of course). Just a useful tidbit I wasn’t aware of yet.

Finally I open with a Smeargle CL and a Shaymin UL on bench, and a Supporter-less hand (I was worried about Tornadus/Gigas donk. I thought he was playing CMT for some reason). Dropping the Shaymin early served to be a lifesaver for me, though.

He had 3 Tynamos (2 free retreat, 1 40 HP), and a Zekrom on T1. He retreats for 40 HP Tynamo and flips heads on the Thunder Wave. What! What is this Poké-Power business? Can’t use it if they’re affected by special conditions? I call hax! Either way, I attach a G Energy to Shaymin and pass.

He can’t do much on his second turn, and Thunder Waves again. This time he flips tails though, so it’s ok. I attach a G Energy to Smeargle and Portrait. I can’t remember in specific, but I think I got a Supporter this turn off the Portrait. I know it didn’t help much though, because at the end of the turn I retreated Smeargle for Shaymin and passed (expecting to have Shaymin killed). Well, he continues to have bad draws too and Thunder Waves Shaymin and flips tails.

My first prize of the game came off a Shaymin UL Catcher + Energy Bloom combo on his free retreat Tynamo. I think he had the Eels in hand though, and just didn’t want to evolve until he had energy in the discard, so I suppose that’s what he gets.

To be honest, I noticed a few misplays he was making (more than he noticed) which allowed me to turn the game in my favor once I finally started getting set up. The biggest one though was when he forgot my benched Mewtwo (with 130 damage from a Strong Volt + my Eviolite) had the Eviolite and used Glinting Claw.

He flipped tails and my Mewtwo got an extra turn to attack. I think I hit his benched Mewtwo EX here and got myself 2 Prizes off of it. Either way, in the end, I won, but it wasn’t pretty. I think he just got flustered by the bizarre way the game had progressed. In the end, he went 5-2 so I know he’s a solid player. Tough break here.

Win 2-0

Round 3 vs Linda – CMT

pokemon-paradijs.comLinda was a friend of the guy who gave me my only Swiss loss of Provincials. Considering he went 6-0 there, and she was 2-0, I figured I was in for a solid game (and I was right). I can’t remember much of the specifics from this game though, because it was a fairly standard affair.

I played down N’s when it would benefit me, had backup plans for Mewtwo revenges and overall just had a very solid game. I recall having a good prize lead (something like 3-6) early in the game, so I was in good position for the whole game.

Win 3-0

Round 4 vs Kyle – ZekEels

Oh man! This was awesome! It hadn’t tweaked in my mind, but I knew the name Kyle Thomas from somewhere. We got to talking as we waited for prize giveaways to end before the game could start. This was the same Kyle I was talking to in the comments of my “Drop It Like It’s Hot” article!

He had tried the deck at his states and gone 5-3 (losing to two T2 Item locks and a Mewtwo start against a Durant). I was so pumped to be playing someone that had read my articles and our game was spent talking about how Chandelure NXD/Ninetales was the greatest thing since sliced bread (if nothing more, just because it’s fun to play with 10-20 cards in hand).

Either way, this game was a well-played match. I opened Mewtwo and he opened with Tynamo (so close to donk). He went first, and got a Zekrom BLW and attached DCE to Outrage Mewtwo off the bat. Ugh, now I had to worry about the opposing Mewtwo DCE drop for an easy revenge all game (or did I?! keep reading).

I think I Catcher-killed his Tynamo and he brought out Zekrom again. He used a Pokémon Collector to get a Mewtwo EX and a couple Tynamos. He was exclusively running 40 HP Tynamos because he played so many games against his brother who liked playing “Drop It” (Chandelure NXD/Ninetales HS).

Either way, he just PlusPower’d and Outraged (apparently unable to retreat or attach DCE). Mewtwo now had 50 damage and could be Bolt Striked. Ugh… Even worse.

I can’t remember how I was setting up my bench, but I just thought I’d mention that I did have a Celebi on the bench and maybe another Mewtwo at this point, so it’s not like I was in danger of being donked. Either way, this turn I had a PlusPower and energy and could KO his Zekrom, thanks to 4 energy on my Mewtwo (and PlusPower). But I was holding a Shaymin UL in hand with a Skyarrow Bridge in play. Here was a crazy idea that could make or break me.

I could drop Shaymin, move the DCE and a G Energy to Shaymin, retreat Mewtwo with the G Energy and N his hand (containing his painstakingly searched-for Mewtwo) back. Then, I could Catcher his 40 HP Tynamo and KO thanks to the PlusPower. Shaymin’s attack heals 30 from each of your Pokémon with energy on it, so I could heal my Mewtwo a bit and prevent the Bolt Strike KO forcing a Mewtwo out or at least only giving up 1 Prize instead of 2.

The problem with this was that I had attached energy to my Mewtwo that turn, so this would have left Mewtwo without energy (meaning he could not be healed by Energy Burst). I could have gone for an extra attachment after using N somehow via Celebi, but it was too risky.

I just thought I’d include this bit to show how creative one can be when playing Shaymin UL in CMT. Don’t write it off as only being useful for it’s Poké-Power. It can donk 30 HP Tynamos/Babies as easy or easier than anything else in the deck, and even heal like a boss.

Either way, this plan didn’t have a high chance of working, as I mentioned, so I just N’d and X Ball’d his Zekrom for the KO. He set up another Zekrom BLW his next turn and got the Bolt Strike KO on my Mewtwo. I don’t remember how this game ended, but he played well, avoided unnecessary use of EXs and had a good advantage most of the game thanks to this KO.

Loss 3-1

Round 5 vs Tyler N – CMT

pokemon-paradijs.comOh man… Do you know of this guy? 45 CP entering the tournament and 20th in North America. After losing in my 4th round, now I had to face Tyler? Dang man, if I didn’t feel the pressure. Unfortunately, all of that amounted to nothing.

He started Celebi and I started Mewtwo. He went first, and benched a Shaymin to avoid the donk (which I could have gotten with DCE, PlusPower + Junk Arm), retreated for Shaymin in some fashion and then passed. Oof, dead start for him. I didn’t have supporters either, though, so we were both on tilt.

I had the Catcher, but now I couldn’t comfortably drop my DCE in case he revenged with Mewtwo and a DCE + PlusPower for the donk. I had an N in hand to shuffle back, which was even worse since it meant I would replenish his hand if I used it. Either way, I went for it. I dropped DCE, double PlusPower’d (through Junk Arm) and Catcher’d his Celebi for the KO.

Turns out this was the right move, as he just benched a Tornadus to avoid being donked. I attached a G Energy (my prize) and N’d, hoping desperately to get a Basic or Dual Ball, not trusting him to be dead handed for too long.

I did get a Celebi much to my relief, and was able to PlusPower for the Shaymin kill. After this I sort of just steamrolled through him after attaching DCE to my Mewtwo and Catchering up a benched Mewtwo without energy (I think he dropped it because he wanted to use Oaks). I ended up 6-0’ing him.

Win 4-1

Round 6 vs Karl – ZekEels

Karl started Mewtwo, and I had Celebi and a benched Tornadus. I can’t remember the details well, but I got a Mewtwo in some fashion and killed his Mewtwo and proceeded to steamroll through him. Karl took 1 Prize with a Zekrom BLW, but I was just too fast. Not much to say really. He ended up 5-2 and in top 16 though, so that was good.

Win 5-1

Round 7 vs Simon – ReshiPhlosion

This was another speedy sweep. He opened Cyndaquil to my Celebi and Tornadus, and I whiffed on a Switch/Skyarrow Bridge for the first turn donk. Nonetheless, I was too fast and by the time he got a Typhlosion up I X Ball’d it for 120 (20 of his own Afterburner damage) and he scooped after looking at his top deck. He ended up making top cut too with 5-2 though, so that was also good.

Win 6-1

The Night Life

yelp.comTop cut was being held the following day, so I got the night off to relax. We went to a brilliant Greek restaurant I always visit when I’m in Vancouver. If you’re ever in Vancouver, it’s somewhere you have to go. It’s called Stephos, and you need a reservation (made a day in advance) to get in when you want. On weekends, there’s an hour-long wait from 5pm-10pm guaranteed. People will just be lined up outside waiting to eat delicious and also wonderfully cheap Greek food. Get the Tiroboukes (cheese balls). The garlic dip is to die for.

Anyway, they kept our decks overnight so I couldn’t test more unless I wanted to do it on Redshark or something, so I just decided to get a good night’s sleep. That didn’t work very well because one of my friends apparently snores very… very loudly. Still got a good few winks and was probably a-ok for top cut in terms of mental readiness. Maybe not though, as you’ll see.

I had prepared a VGC team for if I didn’t make top cut as well, which was just an adaptation of my 2011 team. But since I was in top cut, I lent my 3DS to my friend who only had a DS Phat, so his DS wouldn’t die during the tournament. I lent my card separately to my Junior friend who missed out on top cut for the first time I’ve ever seen (much less missed out on 1st or 2nd place).

We’re a small, pretty darned good community in Victoria, so he always has to play with us Masters at local tournaments. One of Victoria’s only Seniors also made top cut, and another friend from Victoria who came separately (took 7th at BC provincials and 1st at Alberta provincials) made top 16 with me, so things were looking good for our group despite our low attendance. Anyway, off to Top Cut I went!

Top 16 vs Tyler N – CMT

pokemon-paradijs.comOh boy, talk about coming back to haunt me. I got through in Swiss thanks to a fast start, but here we were going to play best of 3. We joke around, have some fun and set ourselves up. I won the coin flip and open Mewtwo to his Regigigas-EX. I attach a DCE and X Ball for 40, after benching a Celebi, I think… The matches went by so fast that my memory is a blur.

On his turn, he benched a Celebi, attached a DCE to Regigigas and passed. On my turn, I had two PlusPowers, Switch, Skyarrow Bridge and N. I switched my Mewtwo for Celebi, attached a G Energy, played Skyarrow, N’d, attached another G Energy and retreated Celebi for the X Ball KO on Regigigas. I was in a really good position.

The next turn he Oaks’d and got a Mewtwo + DCE for the revenge kill. After this, I either played Mewtwo or had one on bench from last turn, Forest Breath’d a Grass onto Mewtwo and whiffed on an Oaks on any energy (much less the revenge kill). I could have used Junk Arm for the PlusPower with a second Grass, or just a DCE.

That turn changed the whole flow of the game. After this, he Catchered up my 2nd Mewtwo and attached another DCE for the KO. From here, there’s not much I could do, nor did I get much to do other than stall. Virizion EPO took a hit from the Mewtwo after I N’d him to 2 cards, but I couldn’t hold it off, nor could I get a Junk Arm to Revive my Mewtwo.

When I did, I had a full bench after accidentally benching an extra Tornadus, which I tried to take back immediately but couldn’t (minor misplay which in the end made no difference), and then he took the last 2 Prizes anyway. If I had Revived Mewtwo, I was energy starved anyway so it’s not like it would have amounted to anything, and he would have just revenged for his last 2 Prizes most likely.


pokemon-paradijs.comIn the second game I opened with a Celebi and Tornadus to his Celebi and benched Mewtwo. My hand was 2 Junk Arm, 2 Catcher, 1 DCE ,and then a top deck of Skyarrow Bridge. I Catcher’d his Mewtwo to avoid getting KO’d on the first turn, attached DCE to Tornadus and passed. He played a DCE on Mewtwo and X Ball’d for 40. I drew a G Energy and held onto it to make sure my Tornadus wouldn’t die next turn. I passed.

He benched a Regigigas-EX, played a G Energy on Regigigas, and X Ball’d for the KO. I brought up Tornadus and top deck’d an N. Thank you! I played the G Energy, Catcher’d out his Celebi and N’d. Then off the N, I got a Junk Arm, 2 G Energy, DCE, Oaks and Switch. No thank you…

I Junk Arm’d to get yet another Catcher, Catcher’d up his Regigigas hoping he couldn’t retreat it and used Hurricane for 80 damage. Another minor misplay as it turned out to be, but probably made no difference. Next turn he plays a DCE onto his Regigigas, drops Shaymin UL to move the DCE on Mewtwo to Regigigas and Raging Hammers for the KO.

Had I not Hurricane’d him last turn, he wouldn’t have had enough damage for the Raging Hammer KO. But he did have a draw support, so he could have also Shaymin’d the third energy onto Mewtwo, fished for a Switch using his draw support and used Mewtwo to finish me off.

This was definitely a less likely play, thus the reason it was such a misplay. However, it also has a good probability, so I can’t complain; I was pretty doomed this game anyway. Just a lesson learned for Nationals I suppose.


Overall, I made two minor misplays in top cut, which is pretty sloppy considering it was top cut. There is no room for error there, no matter how inconsequential. For this reason alone, if nothing more, I’m more than satisfied with being Knocked Out. I didn’t bring my A game, and I didn’t preserve my chance at victory in Game 2 well enough.

youtube.comSo, my tournament was done. My Senior friend ended up winning Regionals, so major props to him. My Junior friend went 4-1 in VGC, so I’m glad I lent my cartridge to him. The person he lost to went 5-0 so he took 3rd and would have therefore won a $300 travel award. That’s a good investment, I’d say.

I don’t think I would have taken top 4, so it’s all good. What’s even better, though, is that both Juniors that placed above him were from the USA. Since they were out of country, they couldn’t win the flight, but they could win the $300 travel allowance. This meant the flights and hotel were passed down to my Juniors friend!

That being said, there is no way I could have taken 1st at VGC, so as far as I’m concerned, giving up the chance to play to give his family about $1,500 value… that was worth it. Congrats Josh! You did the team proud!


  • 5th place finish in Swiss and 11th at Regionals.
  • Taking home 18 packs.
  • Seniors friend taking 1st in Regionals.
  • Juniors friend taking home flight + hotel for his family with my VGC team.
  • Victoria snagging so many prizes at Regionals.


  • Misplays in top cut. Never excusable.
  • Lending out my DS and cartridge separately so I couldn’t compete in VGC after losing in top cut so quick. Of course, my junior friend took 3rd so this wasn’t a bad slop at all! It also gave me time to write this report!
  • Losing a deck worth about $175…

Just for everyone wondering, here’s a breakdown of our TCG top 16.

Top 4

1st place – ZekEels

2nd place – ZekEels

3rd & 4th – ZekEels/CMT

Top 16

7× ZekEels

5× CMT

2× ReshiPhlosion

1× Durant

1× Mew/Vileplume (LZ targets were Muk, Jumpluff, Crobat and Chandelure NXD)

So our top cut was fairly standard. The interesting addition was the MewPlume deck that made it in. I’m pretty sure it also ran Terrakion NVI, so the deck was similar to MeesieMew, but with Trainer Lock and no Yanmega Prime. I can definitely say that it was a solid idea and congrats to the guy for making it work. Considering the preliminary data on pokegym for the other Regionals top 16’s, ours actually looks to be one of the only metagames where ZekEels took more Top 16 spots than other decks.

Now on to the mini-article I’ve decided to tack on.

What Happened to 130 HP?

pokemon-paradijs.comFor the last 4 sets or so, decks have been built with two cards in mind: Reshiram BLW and Zekrom BLW. These two cards were so revolutionary that the entire metagame shifted to accommodate their high damage output and frightening speed.

Back when the Black and White base set had just been released, both cards were found in two of the best decks in the format, ReshiPhlosion and ZPS. Reshiphlosion could use Blue Flare for 120 damage by turn 2, and ZPS could use Bolt Strike for 120 damage on turn 1. That’s fast. Consequently, the whole metagame shifted to ensure that you ran a deck that could fit into 1-of 2 categories. Either:

a) Your deck consisted of mostly Pokémon with a minimum of 130 HP


b) Your deck tried to stream fast Stage 1 attackers that would trade prizes (ex: Donphan/Yanmega/Zoroark) evenly

As a result, every deck built since the release of Black and White has had to deal with the threat of 120 damage per turn. For the most part, these decks focused on Reshiram and Zekrom as they both had 130 HP, just out of the 120 KO range.

Fast forward a bit and introduce Next Destinies. Suddenly, we have Basic Pokémon with massive, massive HP (the highest the TCG has ever seen). We even have Pokémon (not named Magnezone or Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND) capable of hitting for 150 damage as if it that was standard fare. Suddenly, the bulky 130 HP that the metagame had focused around for so long began to vanish.

Zekrom/Eelektrik lists began running Thundurus EPO to pull energy out quickly and add consistency. The number of Zekrom BLW dropped from 4 to only 1 or 2. Reshiram suffered a different fate. The deck it had relied on for most of its success (ReshiPhlosion) vanished. There was a new deck in town that accomplished the same feat, but with energy accelerators that were only Stage 1’s.

pokemon-paradijs.comWith the release of Next Destinies, the magical 130 HP almost all-but disintegrated. Considering that ZekEels is still the BDIF, and it is still very possible to run into a build with 2-3 Zekrom BLW, you can’t simply ignore the benefits that 130 HP provides. But, at the same time, another BDIF was hitting for anything from 40-180 damage (CMT). This mostly stuck around the 40-80 zone though. The other decks hanging around all hit max damage outputs (not abusing resistance) of around 80-90, or just didn’t attack at all (Durant).

So what’s the point? Well, look at what is currently viable in the HS-NXD metagame? We have Thundurus, Tornadus, Landorus, Mew, Yanmega, Zapdos, Zebstrika and other random cards all being run in high numbers in top tier decks. What’s more, we of course have the high HP EXs who can be 2-shotted by combinations not revolving around 120 damage, and 1-shotted by opposing EXs.

Given all of this, 130 HP just doesn’t seem to be the benchmark it once was. There is no clear benchmark right now, due to the prevalence of Mewtwo EX, but I’d say the benchmark to look for is between 90-130, on odd numbers only. This guarantees that opposing Mewtwos require a PlusPower or additional energy to net the KO. In this metagame, 90 HP is pretty much as good as 100 HP, though 100 HP is obviously superior as it’s farther out of 80 + PlusPower range.

The same can be said of 110-120 HP except this level of damage is even farther out of 80 + PlusPower range, and there aren’t many common attackers that hit for 100. Of course, a resistance to Lightning is also very helpful, as this ensures that your 110 HP will go the extra mile for you.

So what’s the point of all of this? Well, the idea I’m trying to bring up is that there is room in our metagame for expansion. I’m going to make a prediction here. I’m not sold on Dark.dec, and, more than that, upon the release of Dark EXplorers, the metagame shouldn’t shift too drastically. Darkrai EX will likely see a fair amount of play, sure, but mostly as a free retreat tech.

Of course, it also makes for a solid attacker by itself, being able to use Dark Patch to accelerate its own energy, and attack for 90 while sniping the bench for 30. Darkrai also gets the advantage of Special D Energy and Dark Claw to hit for an extra 30 damage easily. That’s a 90-120 damage attacker with 180 HP, a resistance to Psychic (and also unfortunately a weakness to Fighting) and free retreat.

It’s no wonder that Darkrai EX has seen such a massive amount of pre-release hype. Darkrai also gets to fill the role of a supporter, but I digress. The main point is, Darkrai will introduce another metagame attacker that doesn’t hit a consistent 120 damage.

Considering the trend away from the standard 120 damage that Reshiram BLW and Zekrom BLW do, there is now room in the metagame for more cards to see play. I had to make a choice here and decide whether or not I should propose a list of cards to look into. Considering the looming release of Dark EXplorers, I don’t want to make too many predictions in case some subtle shift causes the playability of something I might suggest to decrease.

Also, the full list of Dark EXplorers cards isn’t out yet. For this reason, I’ll hold off on an extensive list and just suggest just two Pokémon I’m more sure of as something to look into in the near future:

Zebstrika NXD: Yes, this is being teched into ZekEels decks right now, but I feel Zebstrika can become more of a staple than a tech in the future (not a full staple by any means, just a bit more common), like Thundurus is now. With the release of Dark EXplorers we’re gonna get a couple helpful Trainer-Item cards in the Dark-themed cards (and maybe others). But more interestingly, when the Dragon sets are released, we’ll get many good trainer cards that a turn 2 Disconnect can frustrate (look at Ultra Ball).

Excadrill DEX: Excadrill is a 120 HP Stage 1 with a resistance to Lightning. He also has an attack for 1 F Energy that snipes one benched Pokémon for 30. Finally, his second attack for only 2 F Energy hits for a solid 50, which can KO Eels and is within range for a PlusPower KO on the Thundurus. More interestingly though is the effect of this attack, which returns one card of your choice from the discard pile to your hand. This is obviously very, very good. That’s all there is to say on that front.

As a closing note, and going out on a limb here, if you attended BC Regionals, and you picked up a brown deck box with a Chandelure/Ninetales deck in black sleeves, my friend and I would very much appreciate its safe return.

Hope you enjoyed reading!


~Crawdaunt out

Reader Interactions

14 replies

  1. tim h

    Just to answer the question, the ‘130 hp’ has changed to the ‘170+ hp’.

    • Mark Hanson  → David

      Considering I don’t know how DEX will impact the game, anything I said would be inconsequential. I’d add, I’m predicting Zebstrika to only really start to shine when we get dragon sets. But even then, it’ll only be considered an optional staple rather than a core part of any deck.

  2. Eli Norris

    Zebstrika has always been an interesting card, but TopCutPokemon pretty much summed it up nicely:

    “It helps you in matchups you already win, and it hurts you the rest of the time.”

    The facts are that 40 damage is way too low (especially with Eviolite) and 90 HP is too low. Zekrom is still a huge attacker in the metagame, and last format’s BDIF (Magneels) still only ran 1-2 Zekrom.

    Excadrill could also be interesting if it wasn’t for two cards: Tornadus and its EX counterpart. The fact is that Tornadus EX will be everywhere:

    • Mark Hanson  → Eli

      Fair enough. My commentary is more meant to emphasize that we’re now only facing a specific 120 damage threat (Zekrom BW) who isn’t near as common as before anyways. This means that many cards with less than 130 HP are starting to see use, and more specific cards with electric resistance can be bulky enough to survive a Bolt Strike in the metagame. Eviolite also helped this a bunch.

      I’d add, I’m predicting Zebstrika to only really start to shine when we get dragon sets. But even then, it’ll only be considered an optional staple rather than a core part of any deck.

      As for Excadrill, I’m looking at Excadrill like a Donphan, but with 30 snipe when it pleases and a consistency boost in the attack effect. Excadrill/Terrakion/Mewtwo could be a very legit deck, and Excadrill would be bringing snipes (preventing them from benching 30 HP basics) and consistency (by adding back specific cards of interest). Tornadus and his EX counterpart do rain on Drill’s parade, but even just a Zekrom BW makes a good counter. Neither Tornadus can 1-shot Zekrom and after initial damage, an Outrage 1HKO’s both of them.

      Excadrill can also get you your DCE’s back for Mewtwo and Zekrom, putting your opponent in all sorts of pinches.

    • Austin Stephen  → Eli

      Zebstrika helps tremendously in the Landorus/Terrakion matchup, actually, and barring a bad start basically gives you the CMT matchup. ZekEels is actually its hardest opponent, but catcher ko-ing Tynamos helps give you the early prize lead and, so long as you run rocky helmets and pluspowers, you should have no problem maintaining it so long as you have a charged up Zekrom (EX) on the bench.

      That’s not even bring up its sniping capability, or the fact that Raikou EX makes an even better partner for the zebra than Zapdos or Zekrom.

      • Mark Hanson  → Austin

        Rocky Helmets would be a great idea wouldn’t they. I don’t really play ZekEels much nor have I really played much ZebZekEels. Interesting idea.

  3. Grant Manley

    I’m so sorry about that deck loss. I would be devastated. How many Mewtwo and Catchers do you have (including or excluding the lost ones)?

    • Mark Hanson  → Grant

      I somehow amassed 4 mewtwos prior to losing that one, so it isn’t the end of the world. But I also lend out decks to friends who can’t afford em or just aren’t the greatest deckbuilders. For instance, both my friends borrowed a Mewtwo that day and I ran 2, so they were all in use :)

      What actually hurt more (in terms of deckbuilding and total decks I can have built at once) was the 3 catchers, 2 Junk Arms and 4 Rare Candies. I don’t think my friend has the money to pay me back really either… Haha.

    • Mark Hanson  → Grant

      Well… somehow I managed to amass 4 Mewtwos so losing one isn’t the end of the world (though I’d have much rather sold it :P). That said, I also lend out 2-3 decks to friends at tournaments, and all 4 Mewtwos were being used on Saturday (My Durant list ran a Mewtwo and Tyrogue with 2 DCE).

      What hurts is that before the tournament, I had a total of 6 catcher. That one I just never seemed to have gotten. Now I have 5 (I traded for 2 while in Vancouver). That said, I can’t lend out catchers to friends now unless I only run 3 or something. Also… $30 value down the drain.

      And then there were the Litwick BW Promos and Rare Candies. Luckily Rare Candy is gonna be in DEX so I’ll replace those easy, but the Litwicks were another $5 each :|

  4. George Giffoni

    Props to you sir for making it as far as you did. Good article, semi-detailed notes (better than mine anyways)
    and also finishing in the same place as me for my regionals (norcal) great job

  5. **James**

    Yo, it’s James (from round 2). Great write up man, sorry to hear about your T16 woes. A bit of insight as to our match. The three mulligan cards I drew were collector, zekrom and and energy. T1 I got another collector which is why your smeargle didn’t help you much. I didn’t get draw support until T4 when I believe I finally poke geared for a supporter. Also, I never had the eels in hand. I top decked one and hand refreshed into the other. You were right though that when I forgot about the eviolite on your Mewtwo it threw me off the whole rest of the game. Also, my really big mistake late game on Turn 1 after time when I DCE’d + 2x Dynomotored onto my second mewtwo but didn’t have the junk arm I thought I did, I spent the whole next 40 minutes during the lunchbreak figuring out what went wrong there. The best I could come up with was that when I played Sages I had to choose between DCE, Mewtwo and Catcher and for some reason even though I knew I needed the DCE and catcher my mind said not to discard the mewtwo so I could return KO your mewtwo on turn 3 so I grabbed it instead. I didn’t deserve to win the match after that Eviolite mistake though. This was my 3rd live tourney ever and I’ve been playing online for less then a year so I’m still making far too many mistakes as you pointed out. Good playing against you none the less, hope to avenge my loss in the future!

    • Mark Hanson  → **James**

      Haha looking forward to it!

      If I were to try and recall some of the more minor points, I remember you also had your 40 HP tynamo with an energy on it at one point, but brought out a Zekrom in-between turns with only 1 energy on it. Skyarrow Bridge wasn’t up yet. Tynamo would have acted as your “free retreat” so that you could charge zekrom on the bench. I remember you burning a bunch of resources to pull off the Bolt Strike that turn because of this move, but had you just brought out Tynamo in the first place, you could have just Dynamotor’d once to Zekrom and attached from hand, retreated and bolt striked without using a Switch and I think a junk arm for something else.

      Good playing against you and best of luck in the future!

  6. Aaron Minjoot

    Nicely written Mark, sorry to hear about the deck that went missing.

    I especially enjoyed the 130 HP section. I think variables like these make analyses into the game so much more interesting. I really hope the days of the Stage 2 return, otherwise we’re staring down a very monotonous format of Basics and more Basics and their Stage 1 allies (for the most part).

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