Hey there SixPrizes! This past Sunday was the first of 3 Battle Roads I plan on attending this Battle Roads season. Originally, I was thinking I would save my reports as a triple report at the end. However, I think I’ve learned my lesson from my last article, that sometimes splitting things up over multiple articles is more digestable than cramming everything into one big article.
The tournament took place in Surrey BC, which is essentially Vancouver BC, site of Worlds 2013. As such, interest in the TCG around our area has gone way, way up. I remember the first Battle Roads I went to last season in August was around 28 Masters. But on Sunday September 9th, 73 Masters flooded the Central Surrey Shopping Centre to play the Pokémon TCG.
Well, as per usual, we in Victoria took the 7 AM ferry over to Vancouver, and pulled in pretty early. The Victoria crew this time around consisted of our usual Masters and Junior (now Senior), joined by the Seniors World Champion (getting his first taste of Masters), a couple new masters, and a couple friends who hadn’t played in a while. What’s more is that this first Battle Roads I decided to run a pet deck of mine I’d been perfecting and toying with since early June.
In HS-on format, I built myself a Vileplume UD/Sunflora HS/Accelgor DEX/Chandelure NVI deck before Chandy became cool. I never jumped on the Mew bandwagon (though I would say Mew was probably better overall), but I came up with the deck myself, and had a pretty competent build by the end.
Entering BLW-on, Empoleon/Accelgor was my new pet-deck, and I was pretty satisfied with both my list, and the synergy of the concept as a whole. I knew that I would be running Empoleon/Accelgor at my first Battle Roads this year back in June, and I followed through with that. Here’s the list I took the Battle Roads:
Pokémon – 20
Trainers – 30
Energy – 10
There were a few late additions and changes I made to the deck from what I’d been testing. First and foremost, I took my own advice and decided I just needed consistency, and the power to change the flow of a matchup. This led to me going with a pure build (no techs or Blend Energies etc…) and the addition of a 4th Pokémon Catcher. This 4th Catcher was by far the best addition to the deck I could have made, giving me the ability to Deck and Cover what I wanted, when I wanted, as many times as I needed.
The great thing about Accelgor + Catcher is that against a deck like Darkrai/Hydreigon, you can easily choose the 6 Prizes you take by Catchering appropriate Deck and Cover targets when you want. 2 Darkrais and 2 non-EX prizes is all it takes, which is easy enough to come by.
If you did know about this deck concept from me before, and are curious about some of the changes, and why I might have posted/run one list and not the other, then feel free to ask in the comments below.
So, without further ado, tournament report:
Round 1 – Simon with Garbodor/Terrakion/Zebstrika
Holy crap was this game amazing. When he started Blitzle I was quivering in my boots. Zebstrika’s Disconnect will 1HKO my Piplups and Prinplups, while 2HKOing my Empoleons, and it all starts as early as T2. Then when he benched a Garbodor, things got serious. He was going for the ultimate lock, and my deck was probably the most vulnerable deck out there to be downed by it.
I supported my lower draw Supporter count using Diving Draw, which Garbodor robbed me of. And then Zebstrika… 80 damage is a respectable amount to deal while Item locking your opponent. I managed to KO the first Zebstrika using a combination of Deck and Cover and a Prinplup Razor Wing for 20 damage. Simon benched Terrakions in response, which I made short work of. However, though I lead the prize exchange, he was never too far behind.
One particularly amazing play Simon made to put himself right back in the game was to give up all his attached L Energy to catcher and KO my last Empoleon with Lightning Crash (for Weakness). This lead to a series of N’s played by the both of us, where we N’d each other to 1 card MULTIPLE times. I honestly think N was played 4-5 times during this exchange. I was looking for an Energy and so was he. In the end, I managed to get a Cheren, and an Energy off of the Cheren for game.
Probably the best game all day, which is amazing because Simon’s deck went 1-6 on the day. It just goes to show that TCG is unpredictable sometimes, and “random fringe deck A” can give you a boatload of trouble. Looking forward to our next match Simon!
P.S. As a fun note, our game was epic and attracted quite a crowd watching from the sidelines, since both decks were rogue and everyone wanted to know what was going on. I remember thinking “great, now the surprise is over at Round 1.” But in the end, I think the deck continued to surprise everyone deep into the tournament.
Round 2 – Gavin with FluffyChomp
Well… FluffyChomp is probably the most auto-win matchup for this deck. But 4 Switch does a lot to change that provided they run it. Gavin did not, and his Switch was prized the whole game as well (I think he took 1 Prize). I started well, and kinda just ran through with Deck and Cover, looping everything in his deck.
Round 3 – Myo with FluffyChomp
After hearing that FluffyChomp had done pretty poorly in the first week of Battle Roads, I was surprised to run into 2 in a row. This game was way tougher though. Myo got off to a pretty good start, and I think I started rather slow in this one. What’s more is that Myo had Switches, and used a couple to great effect to prevent my comeback from mounting quickly.
However, I was able to KO his Garchomps eventually through steady use of Deck and Cover followed by Attack Command. Eventually, he ran out of Garchomps (since he had 3 Altarias up, and his starting Emolga), and I prioritized KOing the Gibles to prevent future Garchomps. After I KO’d all his attackers, I just cleaned up and mounted my comeback.
Round 4 – Robert with Terrakion/Mewtwo
This game was one I would never have expected to be difficult. Accelgor hits Terrakion and his EX for weakness, and essentially 1HKOs Terrakion NVI through Poison (if they don’t switch). And my Mew-EX’s were available to answer his Mewtwos. Overall, I’d never had a tough game in testing this matchup, but Robert gave me one.
All he did was load Energy onto his Mewtwo and start whacking into my setup. I only needed a Mew-EX to either Attack Command him, or X Ball for the KO. But blimey, I could not get one! I was using Cheren + 2 Diving Draws, and then more Diving Draws, and after 3 turns without getting any out to my Mew-EX, I just KO’d Mewtwo by whacking into it with Empoleon and took the 3HKO using Attack Commands.
That pretty much denied him of any Energy being set up though, and I was able to sweep through easily afterward.
Round 5 – Dylan with Darkrai/Hydreigon
Well, this game was simple. I N’d on my first turn and had a respectable setup, and my N killed his hand (he also Junk Hunted the first turn, which I got to shuffle back). So, off of a lucky N which completely killed his hand for the rest of the important part of the game, I just took prize after prize, and set to Deck and Cover looping his Darkrai.
However, to pull the loop off properly, I needed to use Mew on his Eviolited Darkrai. I looked at our prizes, (I had 3 left, he still had 6), and just kept up my loop until Time was called (he Max Potion’d etc… to prevent Darkrai from being KO’d). At time, he still needed to take 3 Prizes to even tie me, and he only had 2 turns, so he scooped.
At this point, myself and my friend were the only two X-0’s left. Everyone had been downpaired and lost, meaning that in a 7-round Swiss, we would be deciding who was to be the last undefeated player, before the tournament actually finished. It was also great, since this was my friend’s first tournament since he decided to pick up the TCG officially, and here he was, 5-0.
Round 6 – Rushan with Garbodor/Terrakion/Mewtwo
This game I started with a Piplup active to his Trubbish. I think I went first this game, and had a Switch and Water energy in hand. Part of me really wanted to try and get a Mew-EX on my first turn and try to Fury Attack for the donk, but unfortunately the opportunity never presented itself. Nonetheless, I KO’d his Trubbishes before he could get his Garbodors up, and Accelgor makes mincemeat out of Terrakions. I got out ahead, and Rushan never really had room to catch up.
So here I was, only X-0 left, and yet I had to defend my undefeated streak against someone else who already lost just to win 1st. It felt weird, but in order to guarantee me 1st, I suppose I knew I needed to go 7-0 from the start anyway, so I sat down across from my opponent and…
Round 7 – Jason with Darkrai/Hydreigon
Start terribly. I started with Mew-EX, since I had a Shelmet in hand and ample Supporters to get myself a T2 Accelgor to shuffle Mew back and set myself up. I had Pokémon Communication in hand, so I grabbed myself an Emolga, attached a DCE to Mew and Called for Family. Then, I can’t remember exactly why, but things just never got rolling. I think I just kept fishing for the Accelgor to get Mew out of the active slot, but never managed to get one, resorting to Call for Family again.
Jason then threw down a Sigilyph DRX in my face, forcing my Mew to retreat. He then benched a Mewtwo, and I couldn’t prevent it from taking my Mew since I just couldn’t get Mew off the field. Later, he actually used Psydrive to KO an Empoleon with 30 damage from a Darkrai snipe, which left me with only one real possibility for getting myself back into the game.
I Super Rod’ed my Mew-EX back into deck, and grabbed it using Pokémon Communication. However, in order to Attack Command for KO, I needed one more Pokémon on the field (which I was actually embarrassed to find out only after I initiated this combo, due to an Eviolite I somehow forgot).
Well… I had one Diving Draw, and it didn’t get me a basic Pokémon, so I hit Mewtwo for 160 damage, he Max Potioned, and then it KO’d my Mew-EX. I couldn’t prevent him from taking another prize next turn, so that was the end of my win streak.
So at the end of the day, I placed 2nd overall, and Rushan placed 3rd which was a pretty good showing. Our friend circle actually placed pretty well overall as well, taking multiple spots in Top 16 (considering we only brought 11 people, that’s not too shabby). Still, 73 Masters. Crazy day.
I suppose I should discuss the deck in question though. Empoleon/Accelgor was a deck that I think a lot of people were surprised about when I was playing it this Battle Roads. Well… here’s the basic idea.
Set yourself up with at least 2 Piplups on the first turn, hopefully a Shelmet or two as well. Get yourself Empoleons quickly, and Accelgors/Mews will follow. From there, just Deck and Cover the crap out of your opponent, and force them to burn their switches. If you can weather the storm, then you should find yourself coming out on top.
Probably my biggest piece of advice for anyone trying this deck out, is that you need to be very conscious of your deck’s contents, and also very conservative with how you play with key resources like your 3 Switch. I would love 4 Switch, but it’s often not necessary. However, you simply can’t just discard your 4th Catcher or your 3rd Switch because it doesn’t seem like it’s immediately useful.
When playing such a slow-playing, calculating deck, you need to have all your resources available when you want to call upon them. Luckily, you also draw like mad, so it’s very possible to find yourself with 10+ card hands, more than capable of whatever you need to do.
I’ll keep this article short and sweet, but if you are interested in some more discussion on the deck, you can feel free to check it out at our blog TCG with Hats! So hopefully that’s given everyone a small look into the deck. Thanks for all the great games everyone! It’s awesome to see so much interest in Pokémon spring up, and I’m looking forward to playing again next Sunday!