From 9-0 to Shucks have come and gone – curious about what happened?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

While I cannot tell you everything about all eight events that went on this past weekend, I can offer you some in-depth coverage of my own event, as well as thoughts about interesting goings-on across North America. I will discuss my preparations going into Regionals, the thought process that went into my updated CMT list, my in-tournament experiences, and – of course – reflections about the whole weekend.

This series of tournaments, despite the lack of variety in what won, was still fairly interesting, so check it all out here!

Pre-Tournament Preparation

Unlike States, my goals here were simple: find a good, playable rogue option, and get a CMT that could beat both the mirror and Zeels consistently. However simple this may have been, though, it was not exactly easy, since the format was fairly stabilized at this point in the season.

Regarding the first point, this format is both very rogue-favorable and rogue-averse at the same time. By that I mean to say that the dichotomy of just “Eelektrik VS Celebi” makes for a lot of possible abuse. You could run:

  • Any number of Fighting decks, doing a number on Zeels and quite possibly going 50/50 with CMT;
  • Volcarona NVI to abuse the HP and weakness combinations of both Tynamo and Celebi;
  • Something with Vileplume UD that does a good job at Knocking Out Mewtwo EX (or just Pokémon-EX in general)

The options were there for all of these decks, but unfortunately the fringes of the format held most of them back. A key problem to watch out for when you are trying to “outsmart” the metagame is pairing up against someone who is doing the same: you might find yourself in a very interesting, exciting game, but perhaps at the expense of your win/loss record.

Decks like Typhlosion – and ones even as obscure as Feraligatr Prime or turbo Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND – can do a number on any one of the above “counter the field”-type ideas listed above.

Still, this did not deter me. For the longest time I would stagger my typical Zeel/CMT routine with a weird idea here or there, and no matter how much they failed, I kept at it with some of the weirdest combinations. Unfortunately, my laptop of over five years finally died on me, keeping me from being to do any meaningful amounts of testing on new decks for a while.

With only a week and a half left until Regionals, I chose to give up on all of my pet ideas, and do what I can with CMT. All that came down to was just getting enough relevant games in with people. I did just that, and quickly found that Zeel lists were getting stronger… much stronger. In many of the games of this matchup, I was usually not hitting any “beats.”

pokemon-paradijs.comEssentially, “beats” are the moments when you draw something that can maintain your momentum in a game. Be it a Pokémon Catcher to score a critical knockout, an energy to charge you up, a Pokémon that can secure a knockout, or just a draw card to make any of this possible, the overall flow of a game is defined by this.

In a CMT/Zeel matchup, missing a beat is far more likely for a CMT player because a lot more can go wrong. From Dual Ball tails, to a lack of energy or even the right attacker at the right time, anyone using CMT is pressured into keeping up the pace.

Meanwhile, all it usually takes for a Zeel player to not miss its beats is to get Eelektriks and energy cards on the board. Thus, I found that the higher quality a build Zeel was, the more I struggled to win. Granted, this rarely dipped outside of the 45% win rate range; however, it was a difference that I did not want to see.

In the end, I settled on CMT for the second major Texas tournament in a row, using the below list…

The List

Pokémon – 13

4 Celebi Prime
3 Tornadus EPO
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Shaymin-EX NXD
1 Shaymin UL
1 Smeargle UD
1 Tyrogue HS

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 N
1 Pokémon Collector


4 Junk Arm
4 Pokémon Catcher
3 Dual Ball
3 PlusPower
3 Switch
2 Pokégear 3.0
1 Energy Retrieval


2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 13

9 G
4 Double Colorless

Changes From My States List

–1 Regigigas-EX
–1 Pokégear 3.0
–1 Switch

+1 Tornadus EPO
+1 Professor Oak’s New Theory
+1 PlusPower

pokemon-paradijs.comI. The one major change in my build going from Texas States to Regionals was axing the Regigigas for a third Tornadus, effectively “streamlining” my version of the deck into something resembling a more traditional CMT. For this particular event, I anticipated my threats to consist of the following:

  1. Good, well-rounded mirror
  2. Exceptional Zeel lists
  3. Rogue decks meant to exploit the EX-centered lists in our metagame

The first two are self-explanatory: you’ve been reading about, hearing about, and seeing these two decks in action for the past two months. However, anyone entering Texas from the outside would see the two most prominent versions of the build – CMTech and straight Celebi/Mewtwo – as easily-exploitable.

For this reason, I had to place a heavier non-EX emphasis on the build, and the easiest way to do this was cut the Regigigas for a Tornadus. That way, I could actually approach a matchup with Tornadus swarming, which was key in taking advantage of variants that were very EX-focused. Furthermore, I gain a lot of mileage in some surprisingly tough rogue matchups (Mismagius/Terrakion, Lilligant, etc), yet at the same time keep my matchups strong against all of the main archetypes.

…All of them except Durant, that is. It was a risky call to cut my one and only silver bullet against the nasty, swarming metal bug; however, I felt that it would appear in much smaller numbers at Regionals. My two main reasons for believing this were because:

A. The Texas metagame was made very unfavorable for Durant on account of the two main Celebi/Mewtwo variants having solid answers for the card; and…

pokemon-paradijs.comB. Many players who were “stuck” using the deck during States as a result of not owning Mewtwo had now enjoyed a three week grace period to hunt copies down. Add all this up, and you have an even more dichotomous “Celebi VS Eelektrik” metagame than before.

II. Although cutting a Pokégear made my single copy of Pokémon Collector weaker, I believed that it was a worthwhile exchange to trade that in for a more consistent draw engine. In other words, I had a lower chance of whiffing on Pokégear, thereby lowering my odds of missing beats.

III. Lastly, I cut a Switch for a PlusPower. Although it had some nice residual effects, the main reason why the fourth Switch was in this list was due to Regigigas. Since I no longer needed an insurance policy on Gigas, I decided to use it to strengthen Tornadus, giving me a better matchup against both mirror and Zeels.

Those three changes drastically altered the flow of the deck. Whereas the original version of CMtech was far more reactionary in its play, lacking both the PlusPower and non-EX attacker quantities to let you be too aggressive, this one operates exactly like the Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus build you’ve known and loved since the start of the format.

While the above tweaks may seem relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, they were all very useful in this adjusted metagame, and were crucial to my 9-0 Swiss showing.

How about that, though? Read on to find out!

The Tournament

Round One: VS Thomas P. (Zeel)

Tornadus’ favorite song.

I went first, starting Celebi opposite a Shaymin Unleashed. I Dual Balled for a single heads to grab Tornadus, benched it alongside an energy via Forest Breath, and then used Professor Oak’s New Theory. This netted me both a Double Colorless and Skyarrow Bridge, securing me the first turn win thanks to Hurricane.


Round Two: VS ??? (CMT)

I went first, starting with Tornadus against a lone Shaymin EX. At this moment, I felt that – barring a Seeker or Super Scoop Up – I was assured the win: I had “first blood” in terms of attacking, as well as a juicy Pokémon-EX target the moment I ever wanted it. So I led off with a turn two 80 on the Shaymin to his turn two 80 on me.

I chased the Shaymin with a Pokémon Catcher, grabbing my 2 Prizes with another Hurricane; however, I decided to continue the Tornadus war so I would not have to over-commit to a Mewtwo war that I might possibly lose. The turn after I was able to score the third knockout, I finally started my Mewtwo exchange, and won from there.


Although Shaymin EX is a fantastic card for a variety of reasons, it does not come without certain risks – the biggest of which can be evidenced in the above game.

Round Three: VS ??? (Typhlosion Prime/Reshiram NXD)

pokemon-paradijs.comI went first versus a lone Cleffa, grabbed a Tyrogue with Dual Ball, and then proceeded to win on the first turn…Again!


Round Four: VS Frank G. (Terrakion NVI/Landorus NVI/Mewtwo EX)

I went first, but wasn’t seeing much beyond a Tornadus for the first two turns, and no way to fetch them. On his second turn, he actually had everything he needed to donk a Tornadus… except a PlusPower. Phew, I survived to play another turn!

My next turn, I hit a draw card, and was finally in business to get out other Basics, and the game was on. My strategy here was to just swarm with my three Tornadus, virtually assuring that I kept my one turn advantage over him as long as possible. Then, when I had finally drawn enough prizes (three to his two), I started pushing the Mewtwo exchange aggressively in the late game, and won as a result.


Round Five: VS Ron R. (CM)

I went second, staring down a field of Pokémon with my lone Tornadus. Since his initial hand was very strong, Ron decided to go for the first turn win – a lot easier in a variant of this type, seeing as how you have more space to dedicate to these things. However, he had committed too many of his resources to this in the process, and whiffed the KO by a small margin.

From there, I just started to hit away with multiple Tornadus, getting non-EX knockouts wherever I could before going up against his playset of Mewtwo. This worked out fairly well, but was helped along by him whiffing off of Professor Oak’s New Theory and Professor Juniper, making for a lop-sided Mewtwo exchange; that is, I KO, he KO’d back, and I KO’d again for game.


Round Six: VS Brad C. (CMT)

sodahead.comI honestly remember very little this game – only that he had a bad hand, and that we would both constantly say “shucks” (an inside joke between several people on HeyTrainer).

Normally I don’t drop the ball so heavily when it comes to remembering games, so all I can say about this one is…



Round Seven: VS Roberto C. (CMT)

This game, I opened with both a Celebi Prime and Shaymin EX in my hand. Of course the Celebi is my optimal starter, and I try to bench whatever I can in most situations to avoid the threat of a turn one loss…But when Shaymin EX is in your hand, things are completely different. For that reason, I decided not to bench it. Why?

1) As round two in this report suggests, starting with Shaymin EX too early is a virtual death sentence in most aggressive deck matchups (i.e., CM mirror, Zeel, and pretty much the rest of the format).

2) If my opponent could score a knockout on my Celebi turn one, then he could just as easily score a second or third turn knockout on my Shaymin EX, effectively resulting in a near unwinnable deficit. Hence, benching the Shaymin to dodge a turn one loss results in little to no practical benefit gained.

3) The risk of me losing on the first turn is outweighed by the gain enjoyed by having more options for the late game – and this includes Shaymin EX.

4) If he whiffs on the turn one KO, or I go first, then having the Shaymin EX sitting there on the bench is basically me saying, “You can have these two free prizes – I don’t mind!”

pokemon-paradijs.comSo I ultimately decided to stick with a lone Celebi. Of course this gambit was tested almost the moment I made it: he won the flip. I was staring down another Celebi, and of course he went for the turn one knockout using his own Tornadus. He found everything that he had needed (Grass, Skyarrow Bridge before his draw) except for a single Double Colorless Energy, forcing him to pass to me.

I then immediately took advantage of the momentum shift, Dual Balled for a Tornadus, played a Professor Oak’s New Theory to refresh my hand, and then shot back with a fully-powered Hurricane. From there, the exchange was fairly typical of CMT mirror.

Although he tried to bait me into prematurely attacking his Regigigas-EX, I just Pokémon Catchered around it, saving the Gigas for a late game knockout option. That’s exactly what happened, and after hitting his Eviolited Gigas for a clean 60, I swept it up with a Mewtwo EX for game.


Round Eight: VS Jon V. (Zebstrika NXD/Eelektrik NVI/Mewtwo EX)

My memory fails me a bit here, but I’m pretty sure that I went second this game, going up against a Blitzle NVI with Agility heads and a benched 30 HP Tynamo. Our exchange was brief, yet furious: I attached a single G Energy to a benched Mewtwo, Catchered up the Tynamo to circumvent Agility, and then retreated for one via a Forest Breath to promote a Tyrogue for the kill.

Going into his turn, I flipped heads on sleep, so he was able to Knock me Out with a turn two Zebstrika NXD Disconnect, as well as prepare for my Mewtwo EX with one of his own. Since the Item lock kept me from being able to do the usual PlusPowered Hurricane knockout necessary on most 90 HP attackers, I had to make a move with Mewtwo; otherwise, he would enjoy a second turn to KO something with Zebstrika, thereby putting me into either a mismatch on the EX’s, or a mismatch on the Tornadus v. Zebstrika battle.

So I go for it: I PONT, hoping to get any combination that will let me both retreat my promoted Celebi and have the sufficient energy to attack with Mewtwo (my outs in this situation being Skyarrow/Grass x2, Skyarrow/DCE, or Grass/DCE – making for slightly better odds than just promoting the Mewtwo at the start and hoping I get a DCE).

pokemon-paradijs.comI drew the Grass/DCE combo, Forest Breathed to the active, retreated, and then brought up the Mewtwo to smack his Zebstrika for a KO. On his next turn, though, the anticipated Mewtwo response to bring him down to 3 Prizes…Did not happen. This let me just respond to kill his Mewtwo, and I won the game from there.


Although at the time I thought that the win was more attributable to me running well, in hindsight, this round was more him whiffing that Mewtwo than anything else. Whiffs happen, though, as I would find out two rounds from this one.

Round Nine: VS Dana L. (Terrakion NVI/Tornadus EPO/Mewtwo EX)

Here it is: the match to decide if I sweep Swiss! Although I am the only 8-0 at this point, I have nothing to lose here, and decide that – at the very least – it’s a good opportunity to understand a potential top cut rival’s deck.

Anyway, he started with a fairly rough hand of lone Shaymin and multiple unplayable cards, but mine was by and large the same; that is, I had a Celebi and a Smeargle that netted a grand total of two cards. We both got out of these deficits, though, and began a very interesting exchange of Terrakion VS. Tornadus, landing me the first prize.

Although his supply of Ruins of Alph and PlusPowers kept his Terrakions in the game, I quickly won the “Stadium war,” sticking a Skyarrow Bridge out onto the field. Around this time, he immediately shifted gears, and started dueling me with his own Tornadus swarm; however, I took this opportunity to go for the cheap prizes, letting me get a bit further ahead while he was stuck without the Catchers to get his own easy knockouts.

Like previous rounds, I used the late game to push the field with Mewtwo, although since my second was stuck in the prizes, I opted to not start attacking with it until a Mewtwo of his own was active. So with 1 Prize to his two, I Catchered up that same Shaymin from the start for a knockout.


To say that I was happy about sweeping Swiss was an understatement; I was ecstatic. Nevertheless, anything can happen, so I went into the top 32 cut as prepared as I was in any of the Swiss rounds.

Top 32: VS Amalio O. (Zeel)

Game One: I went second, and found myself getting put on the defensive rather quickly to his Mewtwo, while Tyrogue was unavailable to start scoring Tynamo knockouts. This, in tandem with a whiffing of Pokémon Catcher, forced me to spend the next two turns 2-shotting said Mewtwo, which got answered right back with a Thundurus. On a lagging turn, I was finally able to score a Tynamo KO on the bench, tying it up due to Sweet Sleeping Face and no Catcher response.

With prizes tied, I then had a do-or-die moment: with a PlusPower play in my hand, I had to use Professor Oak’s New Theory to hit any one of my three remaining Junk Arms and three Pokémon Catchers off of a 22 card deck (after shuffling in). I whiff the Catcher option on this critical play, and lose the game by a turn.

Game Two: I opened a lone Celebi Prime to my opponent’s Cleffa and 30 HP Tynamo, knowing almost instantly that I would be up 2 Prizes by way of Tyrogue. However, based off of the cards I drew in my hand after a turn one Professor Oak’s New Theory drop, I was instead forced to do this with…Shaymin UL’s Energy Bloom attack.

(Five points to everyone who knew the name of the attack prior to reading this article!)

Surprisingly, this card lasted for a very long time: rather than just take down the Shaymin for an easy prize, he went after my energy acceleration resources for the slightly harder to kill Celebi Prime. So for the next two turns, I just kept Energy Blooming him, keeping up my lead while using very few resources to do so. Once this attacker stopped being a one-trick reindeer, I transitioned to a Tornadus approach, and then sealed the deal with two Mewtwo EX X Balls.

Game Three: Against his extremely strong second turn full of multiple Eelektriks and an attacking field of lightning attackers, I whiffed big on a Professor Oak’s New Theory, hitting no draw resources.

However, with a 5-6 Prize difference, I still had a chance to win by pushing a favorable EX exchange (KO his Mewtwo with my own; get KO’d; KO back; get KO’d; and then win the game with a 180 damage Shaymin EX). With my board the way that it was, all that I needed was a single Dual Ball heads to grab Shaymin Unleashed. The verdict?







From there, my hand was totally unplayable, and I became resigned to my fate, having as much fun with the game as possible. I then sat through two painful turns of draw-pass, N’d against a 100% solidified field, and then lost in a pretty rough 6 Prizes to zero affair.

(9-1; 17th place)

So that was that: after an undefeated Swiss showing in what was quite possibly the largest tournament in the history of my state, I got Knocked Out in the first round. Even though I’ve been playing for a long time, losing this match was fairly demoralizing: I really wanted to win this tournament, especially since my Championship Point total is relatively low (30 before this event, 32 after).

However, I know what it’s like to both win and lose, and have seen much worse beats than this. The opening flip – however flawed it may be – is what it is, and my first game against Milo was admittedly a good one. Plus, it’s not like my flips were 0/7 or worse, so my right to complain is pretty much non-existent. Great series, Milo!

My loss was not the only major upset, though. Listed below is the event’s entire bracket, from start to finish…

1st John K. (CMT) VS 32nd Amalio O. (Zeel)
16th Len D. (Zeel) VS 17th Stephen S. (Zeel)
8th Brad C. (CMT) VS 25th Casey B. (CMT)
9th Phillip B. (Typhlosion) VS 24th Andrew P. (Zeel)
4th Robert E. (Lilligant) VS 29th Alton F. (Donphan)
13rd Steven E. (Terrakion) VS 20th Dylan Langestein
5th Jon V. (Zebstrika/Eelektrik) VS 28th Chris B. (CMRegigigas)
12th Dana L. (Terrakion/Tornadus/Mewtwo) VS 21st Michael W. (CM)
2nd Roberto C. (CMT) VS 31st Brent S. (CMT)
15th Matthew H. (Zeel) VS 18th David R. (Zeel)
7th Aaron C. (Mismagius/Terrakion) VS 26th James S. (CMT)
10th Adam Garcia (Zeel) VS 23rd Brit P. (CMTech)
3rd Ryan V. (CM) VS 30th Kevin C. (Typhlosion)
14th Ty S. (Zeel) VS 19th Isaiah M. (CMT)
6th Jorel K. (Zeel) VS 27th Frank G. (Landorus/Terrakion/Mewtwo)
11th Eddie V. (CM) VS 22nd Robert P. (Landorus/Terrakion)

32nd Amalio O. (Zeel) VS 16th Len D. (Zeel)
8th Brad C. (CMT) VS 24th Andrew P. (Zeel)
4th Robert E. (Lilligant) VS 13rd Steven E. (Terrakion)
5th Jon V. (Zebstrika/Eelektrik) VS 21st Michael W. (CM)
31st Brent S. (CMT) VS 18th David R. (Zeel)
26th James S. (CMT) VS 10th Adam Garcia (Zeel)
3rd Ryan V. (CM) VS 19th Isaiah M. (CMT)
27th Frank G. (Landorus/Terrakion/Mewtwo) VS 22nd Robert P. (Landorus/Terrakion)

16th Len D. (Zeel) VS 24th Andrew P. (Zeel)
4th Robert E. (Lilligant) VS 21st Michael W. (CM)
18th David R. (Zeel) VS 10th Adam Garcia (Zeel)
19th Isaiah M. (CMT) VS 22nd Robert P. (Landorus/Terrakion)

24th Andrew P. (Zeel) VS 4th Robert E. (Lilligant)
10th Adam Garcia (Zeel) VS 19th Isaiah M. (CMT)

24th Andrew P. (Zeel) VS 10th Adam Garcia (Zeel)


BulbapediaIn the battle of Eelektrik VS Celebi, Eelektrik won big time. Out of eight matches played between the two decks, Celebi variants nabbed a measly one win to Eelektrik’s seven. Is the matchup that bad? No, but my original hunch from pre-Regionals playtesting was confirmed: that the matchup was in favor of Zeel.

Due to the pairings in top cut, Fighting never had a chance to exploit its good Eelektrik matchup. Had matchups been shuffled around a bit more, we would have easily had a different winner.

The Southern Plains Regional had a very large showing for rogue, featuring such interesting decks as Zebstrika, Terrakion/Mismagius CL, and even Lilligant. Throughout all of Swiss, I was flanked by these, and although most were Knocked Out by the time the deeper rounds of the cut rolled around, it was still testament to the variety that still exists in this metagame, even when the rest of the field is so dichotomously “Zeel VS CM.”

Of course, the surprise of the day was Robert E.’s Lilligant deck: a breakout rogue from States brought out to work its magic in the Regionals season…

Pokémon – 21

3 Oddish UD
1 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
4 Petilil EPO
4 Lilligant EPO
2 Victini NVI 14
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Shaymin-EX NXD
1 Pichu HS
1 Cleffa HS

Trainers – 27

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Sage’s Training
4 Twins
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory
3 N
1 Seeker


4 Pokémon Communication
4 Rare Candy

Energy – 12

8 G
4 Double Colorless[Disclaimer: I have not tested this deck much, knowing only what I do as a result of pre-Regionals testing. However, I believe that my stock list is a good start for anyone who is unfamiliar with an otherwise challenging rogue.]

The idea is to get out Vileplume as soon as possible, setting up a Bemusing Aroma lock for whenever your flips allow. Once you have worn out the opponent, swoop in with your EX attackers to draw your last couple of prizes. Special consideration should be given to Shaymin EX, a card that is far less vulnerable than usual as a result of Item lock.

Like so many other top-finishing rogues, I think that this list succeeded at the Southern Plains Regional for two reasons:

1. Many of the players going up against Lilligant were unfamiliar with how it ran. Granted, you can’t exactly blame someone for not being an expert in this matchup, but it does come to show how crucial knowledge can be in any game: the more you know about any deck or list, the more likely you are to win the matchup.

2. Robert had two good matchups in top 32 and top 16, followed up with a decent – yet still close – game in the top eight against Weldon’s EX-focused Celebi variant.

Spring Regionals at a Glance: Interesting Developments in the United States Metagame

In Texas, Adam G. took the win with Zeels, dominating the mirror in the process. However, this is just a reflection of the national metagame at large, won many times over by Zeel.

Don’t believe me? Then check out this “list” of winners…

7 Zeel variants (every Regional this past weekend except Northern California)
1 Durant (…Northern California)

…And that’s all! Still, there is a lot to be said about what other fascinating techs and decks that popped up for Spring Regionals. First, the techs:

– Bouffalant BLW returned to the forefront of competitive play this past weekend thanks to Kyle “Pooka” Sucevich. For more reasons than one, the tech makes sense as yet another one of those cheap ways to keep up pressure on the opponent.

First, it takes out opposing Eelektriks. Second, it is a cost-efficient way to score any knockouts, seeing as how all that is required for a response KO with it is a Pokémon Catcher and DCE (or one Dynamotor and one lightning). Granted, the second point requires there to be an in-range Pokémon in play in the first place, but even if there is none, you can settle for a 1-shot on a non-eviolited Zekrom, knockouts on all three genie Pokémon with PlusPowers, or even part one of a one-two punch on a Pokémon-EX.

Virizion EPO made a splash in the Washington State metagame, but it also did some damage throughout the entire Pacific Coast. There was even murmuring of Celebi/Mewtwo lists that ran two of the thing in Northern California – an amount that is not good, in my opinion. Sure, the presence of an Eviolited Virizion can be surprisingly intimidating, hitting for what is effectively a guaranteed 100 every turn it remains; however, its GGC cost for Sacred Sword coupled with the inability of a Hurricane-like effect makes for a massive resource hog, as well as an unlikely attacker at almost any point in the game.

Maybe the release of Dark Explorers will make this a far more effective play in lists, but for now: after all, it 1HKOs Zoroarks and Groudon Exs, can setup 2HKOs on the other new Pokémon-EX, and is still decent versus the old field. Still, I would stick to one or zero for now, and consider a Virizion emphasis if and only if you run a good Eviolite count.– What of that winning Durant list? From what I have heard, it did not have too many unique plays in it other than the inclusion of Spiritomb TM. As a refresher of what that card does, let us take a look at a picture of it…

So as you can see, this tech is all about Spooky Whirlpool, which in turn is all about manipulation of the opponent’s deck size. By far its biggest use is in the late game, when Durant is struggling for those last few cards to discard via Devour. Through Spooky Whirlpool, an opponent who was previously banking on just playing more shuffle draw (e.g., N) to win the game suddenly becomes very surprised to find that his or her nine card deck is completely empty.

…And this is why Spiritomb could be a strong addition to the deck: because it can starve the opponent of one or even two turns that Devour cannot handle. Truth be told, this is a relatively old idea that has been floating around ever since Durant first came to be. Nevertheless, this is the first time in recent memory that the card helped secure a win in a major tournament, so congratulations are owed to the winner for his very interesting tech!

– Last but not least is Brandon J.’s surprising 7-0 Swiss showing at the Colorado Regional Championship with The Truth.

Pokémon – 25

3 Oddish UD
2 Gloom UD
2 Vileplume UD
3 Solosis BLW
2 Duosion NVI
2 Reuniclus BLW
2 Onix UL 57
2 Steelix Prime
2 Pichu HS
1 Cleffa HS
1-1 Entei & Raikou LEGEND
2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 23

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Sage’s Training
4 Twins
2 N


3 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Communication


3 Tropical Beach

Energy – 12

4 Double Colorless
4 Rainbow
4 Special M

[Disclaimer #409: This is not my list, but is the tournament build that he himself has been circulating around online. Below is just commentary on the build.]

This is pretty much The Truth in its most basic form, although there are some very interesting things that must be pointed out…

– 2-2 Steelix is the centerpiece of the deck, and is your primary method of tanking. With two Special Metal, you are made immune to any 1HKO in the format, barring unlimited damage attacks (e.g., X Ball and Lost Burn) and hits for weakness (Blue Flare). The most popular of these, X Ball, takes an extraordinary 4-7 energy to do anything meaningful to a Steelix, and even then it will just be responded to with a Mewtwo of The Truth’s own.

Entei & Raikou LEGEND is very unusual to see in a deck of this kind, but it is used to sweep up loose Celebi Primes, Smeargles, and the sort with its Thunder Fall attack. This makes a come-from-behind win easier to pull off without making yourself too vulnerable in the late game, especially against Mewtwos.

Unfortunately, the hopes for this deck to move on and win the tournament with an undefeated streak were dashed by Typhlosion/Reshiram, which beat Brandon in the top sixteen. This goes back to my statement about rogues earlier in the article: they can most certainly win, but you have to watch out for the fringe of the format. Regardless, this is one stellar take on an old concept, and is yet another sign outside of the “sticker results” that creativity still lives on in this game.


Regionals are over, but what comes next for my column here on SixPrizes Underground? Next week, I will be doing a full-on discussion of Dark Explorers, dissecting the entire known set as well as I can (hopefully all scans will leak soon).

Then, my article on May 10th will most likely pertain to a complete analysis of one deck – something I have not done in a long time, but could be very useful to players trying to grasp how the newest archetype or archetypes will fit into the pre-existing field.

If you had a chance to attend a Regional Championship this past weekend, I hope that you had a great time, and best of luck to all of you who are trying to get what you need from Dark Explorers!

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

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