Carl’s Cache: Top 8 USA Nationals Report!

Hello and welcome to another edition of Carl’s Cache. I haven’t written a report or an article in a while, so bear with me here. I’ll start with why I haven’t been writing at all the past couple of months. The reasons for this are quite simple actually…

I haven’t been to many tournaments. I did pretty bad at Indiana States (Top 32 with Quad Terrakion), then did okay at Kentucky States (Top 8 with my top cut loss to Dustin Zimmerman), went to 2 BRs for fun, and I was busy with my college classes. So I just haven’t had time to write.

Now with that out of the way, I’ll start my actual report.

The Week Before Nationals

pokemon-paradijs.comI really had no idea what to play and the frontrunner was VVV because it had great matchups versus any Darkrai EX deck and my build was proving to be consistent. Unfortunately Espeon DEX exists, and this made me ditch this idea. I was also testing a Darkrai EX/Terrakion NVI/Hammertime build and that wasn’t working either.

On Tuesday we heard about the Hoolon Mike deck, Landorus NVI/Terrakion NVI/Darkrai EX, and we all liked it. Going into Nationals that was the odds on favorite for what I was going to play.


We drive here and I just troll the open gaming room with VVV. I try to get Landorus/Terrakion/Darkrai to work, but it just wasn’t. I was also able to trade for the sickest sleeves ever (they are in the video for Top 8) and I was still undecided.

Friday Morning

I am torn between two decks. One was Darkrai/Mewtwo/Tornadus, which was a complete theorymon deck, and the deck that wasn’t working that well. I was also considering VVV, but everyone said that I shouldn’t play that. I end up asking Adler for advice and he tells me to play Darkrai/Mewtwo/Tornadus. I go with it and make some last minute tweaks to my list and here we go.

The List

Since I probably can’t go to Worlds, here’s the list I used for Nats:

Pokémon – 9

3 Darkrai-EX DEX

2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

2 Smeargle UD

1 Tornadus EX

1 Shaymin UL

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 Professor Oak’s New Theory

2 N


4 Junk Arm

4 Dark Patch

3 Pokémon Catcher

3 Ultra Ball

2 Dual Ball

2 PlusPower

2 Potion

2 Eviolite

1 Switch

1 Super Scoop Up

1 Random Reciever

1 Super Rod


2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 13

9 D – Basic

4 Double Colorless

The Report

Round 1 v. BYE

awordaday.netI chill.


Round 2 v. BYE

I get my sister ready for side events. It was her first Nationals and she didn’t have enough Play! Points. She said she had fun so I’m glad. :)


Round 3 v. CMT w/ Hitmontop CL/Terrakion

This game was extremely close. He does a turn one 60 to my Darkrai. I then start charging him up and Potion him. He then Celebration Winds all of his Energies to a Hitmontop and does 120, but luckily because of Potion, my Darkrai isn’t KO’d. I then proceed to start killing things with Tornadus EX and win relatively easily.


Round 4 v. Joey Gannon w/ Darkrai/Terrakion

I get a solid start and I decide to be agressive. He had laid down a Terrakion with a D Energy, but had only 1 Smeargle on board to my fully charged Darkrai EX and even if he Retaliates me I could get another one next turn. So I was in good position as long as he didn’t have a Fighting and an N. I KO the Smeargle, but he has both of the cards and I proceed to be N’d into complete garbage and get swept.


Round 5 v. Darkrai/Smeargle

pokemon-paradijs.comI get a turn one Night Spear and he doesn’t get anything the whole game. I benched him on turn four.


I hung around a bit on Friday, but I was super pumped for Saturday.


Round 6 v. Kevin Forbes w/ Darkrai/Tornadus

This was a laid back game. We both had no Supporters for the longest time, but he finally draws an N and bails both of us out. He doesn’t get as much off of it as I do and I’m able to win comfortably.


Round 7 v. Durant

I was surprised to see a Durant doing this well and this game reminded me why. I got a turn two Night Spear and for most of the game was taking 2 Prizes every other turn because he had prized a Durant. I won this game by a large margin. The only bad part about this game was that my opponent had a worse mouth than I did and was cussing during the round.

So I was now 6-1 and for sure in top cut because of my double bye.


Round 8 v. CMT w/Terrakion

I get a turn one Night Spear and take 3 quick prizes, but unfortunately I get N’d into garbage and get destroyed.


Round 9 v. Zeels/Terrakion

I know I got N’d into garbage and Terrakion just ran right through me.


I get into cut as the 51st seed in my flight, and I also end up trading in some bulk to get a Mewtwo Star. :)

Top 128 v. Benjamin Potter w/ Zeels/Terrakion

Game 1: I donk a Tynamo.

Game 2: This game I don’t remember much other than the fact that I let him take back getting a Mewtwo EX, which he practically benched, and I let him get a Terrakion and of course he has the Catcher to KO the Darkrai. I lose.

Game 3: This was a close game. I get set up pretty well but had to survive several Ns, including the last one. Luckily I only had 10 cards in my deck and about 5 outs, I rip the Catcher off of the N and win the game with Mewtwo.

Top 64 v. Guy with Naruto Playmat

I hate Naruto. I don’t like how it took him more time to shuffle my deck than it did for me to take a turn. I decided to be somewhat annoying. He got nothing. I swept.

Top 32 v. Erik Nance w/ Zeels/Max Potion

Game 1: I really don’t get anything and he doesn’t take a huge lead so I keep playing, but I end up losing.

Game 2: I am able to get setup and KO Tynamos. He wasn’t able to get setup until it was too late.

Game 3: I go second and then I get off a turn one Night Spear. I had nothing else for most of the game. Time was called kind of early in the game and my turn one Night Spear proved to be just enough to move me on.

Great Games Erik, you were honestly one of the best players I played against.

So I move on to day three and I end up going to the RAM with Nick Baker and get appetizer and then I spend about 10 minutes “Whoo”ing.


Top 16 v. Zeels/Terrakion

pokemon-paradijs.comGame 1: He steamrolls me, I stay around a little bit but the N just crippled me.

Game 2: This game was really close he had an advantage most of the game, but at the end I N him and start to catch up. Time is called and after I KO a Tornadus EX I am able to be down to 1 Prize to his 4 and get the win.

Game 3: Since the last game was called at time this game goes to Sudden Death, which means the person who goes first is decided on a coin flip. I win the flip. I start Mewtwo EX, Tornadus EX, and Smeargle. I don’t bench Smeargle. I just thin my deck out with Dual Ball and then drop a DCE on Tornadus EX. I whiff on the Juniper and pass.

The next turn I bench Darkrai EX and attach to Mewtwo. I then Juniper, I hit Junk Arm for Ultra Ball. I then go for the Shaymin. Retreat the Mewtwo and then Shaymin and Catcher up a Smeargle for the win.

Great games.

Top 8 v. John Roberts II w/ Klinklang

So I ended up coming in 8th place and I was the youngest player in the Top 8.


  • Top 8
  • All the people I got to see
  • Darkrai coming through for me in Top 32
  • Mewtwo
  • Adler telling me what to play
  • Whoo
  • Nationals is fun
  • All the people I talked to (way too many to list)
  • Ohio doing really well
  • Matt getting his 1st Nats top cut!


  • Top 8 means I can’t go to worlds because I have no money…
  • Dead hands
  • That’s it


gaellenquinn.comNationals was a great event for me, but sadly I can’t go to Worlds because I was unable to get a summer job and I have no actual cards left (I actually borrowed a Darkrai for the tournament). This does make me sad but I’ll survive, unless of course I work some miracles…

The Play For Worlds?

I can’t say, but I do think that Darkrai is still one of the best plays. I also think that adding in all these techs to the deck isn’t necessarily a great idea. In the 3 Darkrai decks in the Top 8 were a Darkrai/Smeargle, a Darkrai/Mewtwo, and myself with Darkrai/Mewtwo with a 1-of Tornadus EX tech. I do know that Klinklang will be played a lot more, so you’ll want to test against that.

So there you have it, my Nats report, and hopefully I can give you a Worlds report too. Also I will try to do a whole review of Nats once the Top 128 thread is completed on Poké

Reader Interactions

11 replies

  1. Oliver Barnett

    Nice article man, sucks that you might not make it to worlds but I hope you do. But then again (I think) I was the youngest person in the Top 16 of UK nationals so that’s fortunate :D

    • Gage  → BOY

      Top 8 @ US Nats is an unpaid Worlds invite. Top 4 @ US Nats is a paid invite. If you have enough CP it is possible to qualify before hitting Top 8 though.

  2. theo Seeds

    No shame in losing to the Champ, especially if he’s playing one of your worst matchups.

  3. Adam Capriola

    Great run making top 8 man! It awesome meeting you – you’re one of the funniest people I’ve met! See you next year.

  4. Karol Nowak

    Well written, Carl. Congrats on making it all the way to the top 8 in nationals! That is an achievement you should really be proud of. That is also one very good list for a Darkrai/Mewtwo/Tornadus deck, and your achievement proves its greatness.

    BTW, your opponent in top 16 was the same guy that defeated me in top 128. How I know this? I saw the bracket they posted on Sunday.

  5. Matt Nawal

    You had a great run again Carl, good job!

    You also should have listened to me about the Lost Remover…
    (Sorry, can’t help messing with you a little.)

    • Carl Scheu  → Matt

      thnx to every1 for the compliments guys :)
      and yes if it makes you feel any better matt i think atm i rank that as my life’s biggest regret….

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