Hello, SixPrizes! Someone once told me that if you play a deck you love (and isn’t Tier 3 garbage), you’ll always do well. Going in to my second year of playing Pokémon TCG, I had tested a lot of decks, unsure of what I would play as there seemed to be so many new options and possibilities.
Zekrom/Eelektrik has always been a viable option ever since Cities 2011, Rayquaza/Eelektrik seemed even better for 1HKO potential, and Ho-Oh EX/Tornadus EX Donk was fun, but it relied a lot on chance (in my opinion). But then I tried Darkrai/Hydreigon, and believe me when I say, it was love at first sight.
I was not fortunate enough to obtain the cards I needed to complete my deck for half of the Battle Roads, as Darkrai EX was still $45 a piece, and Hydreigon DRX 97 being $12. Not to mention the mother of all needed cards, Pokémon Catcher. However, the Fall 2012 EX tins came out a week early, which made me quite the happy player. After making some near heartbreaking trades, I finally had a complete decklist.
Pokémon – 16
1 Shaymin EX
Trainers – 33
Energy – 11
8 D – Basic
Battle Roads in Independence, MO
Not only was this my first ever Battle Roads performance, it was my first tournament out of state, albeit that it was only an hour away from home. When I arrived to the tournament location, I immediately recognized some familiar faces, and I was feeling pretty good about the environment.
I noticed that there were quite a lot of people, especially in the Masters division. It was at this time I got a little nervous, but I had already submitted my decklist to the head judge, so there was no turning back now.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis was a very interesting round, as my opponent’s deck was built around locking my evolutions with Archeops NVI, devolving them with Golurk DRX, and spreading damage with Registeel-EX. Fortunately for me, I had already had Hydreigon out, and it didn’t appear that he ran Pokémon Catcher in his deck.
I carefully played my Pokémon Catchers to bring up his Registeel-EXs with no energy, and used Night Spear to 2HKO them one at a time, placing 30 on the Golett that he didn’t evolve before placing the Archeops. I end up winning with him unable to attack even once.
Leavanny NVI/Giratina EXRound 2 vs. Mewtwo EX/
This player admitted to being fairly new to the game, although his strategy was pretty interesting. He used Leavanny NVI to prevent his Pokémon from Weakness, while hitting other Mewtwo EXs and Dragon types for Weakness.
However, because his only attackers were EXs, Sigilyph ended up 1HKO-ing the Mewtwo EXs and Hydreigon would 1HKO the Giratina EXs.
He did end up KOing a Sableye using X Ball, but it was too little, too late. This player was an awesome guy, and finished 3-3. I look forward to playing against him again in the future.
I knew eventually in the tournament, I’d have to play against the mirror match, and I had the absolute worst possible starter one can ever start with in a Darkrai/Hydreigon deck: Shaymin EX. My heart sunk, as with the seemingly thousands of times I had tested this deck, I never ran into this problem. My only thought was, “I’m going to die.”
I go first on the coin flip, and draw a Professor Juniper. I had a Blend Energy, a D Energy, an N, a Level Ball, and some other cards I didn’t exactly need. So I attached the Blend Energy to Shaymin EX, and played the Level Ball for a Sableye. I go for broke and play Professor Juniper.
This was the best move I had made all game because I drew a Darkrai EX, a Dark Patch, 2 Deino, a Rare Candy, and I think Max Potion and Random Receiver. I instantly lay down my Basic Pokémon, and played Dark Patch to attach my discarded D Energy to Sableye, and free retreated so I could still get the Turn 1 Junk Hunt I try to aim for.
It wasn’t until maybe Turn 3 or 4 until I got Hydreigon out, and she had taken the first prize on the Sableye. I knew that in order to win, I had to stop her Hydreigon with my Hydreigon, knowing I had 2 Dark Patch in hand. With all of her chances of getting another Hydreigon gone, I simply 2HKO’d the Registeel and Darkrai EX’s for the game.
Round 4 vs. Rayquaza/Eelektrik
At this point in the tournament, there were only 4 people with 3-0 records, and I was one of them. Even though it was only halfway through the tournament, and that there was no Top Cut, it sure felt like it. These players were amazing, as we all sat at the same table. I made a joke that we were the “cool kids table”, but then I faced my opponent, and shuffled my deck.
This was the closest match I had played all day, as we were trading prizes back and forth, laughing the whole time as it was definitely the most fun. There was one time where I was sure I would lose, and his benched Rayquaza EX would 1HKO my Darkrai EX that its Eviolite had been Tool Scrapped away if I attacked with Darkrai EX.
Luckily I had both Hydreigon and Sigilyph out, retreated for Sigilyph and used Psychic to kill his active Tynamo. He brought out Rayquaza EX that was fully powered, and I looked at his discard. He had used 3 Pokémon Catcher, and his deck was getting pretty thin. He either had it prized, in hand, or could Professor Juniper into it.
Luckily for me, that didn’t happen, and he passed. I drew, and I realized I had won the game when I retreated for Hydreigon and used Dragonblast to 1HKO his Rayquaza EX. He ended up winning the whole tournament 5-1, due to resistance. Congrats to him!
Round 5 vs. Mason Hans w/ Empoleon/Accelgor
With only 2 undefeated players left, I started asking myself, “Am I really 4-0? Is this really happening?” I started to get even more nervous, as this was to separate the boys from the men. I saw his deck from the corner of my eye in my last match, and quite frankly, I was scared. My deck does not do well with status conditions, as I rely on free retreat instead of Switch. He gets a perfect setup, mine being about average. He catches up my Deino one at a time eliminating me from playing Hydreigon all game.
Fortunately I still had all 4 Darkrai EX and Sableye, so I played Speed Darkrai style, hoping I still had a chance. I had KO’d an Accelgor with Night Spear damaging Piplup on the side, but he quickly used Super Rod to get it back, and kept cycling his Accelgor to eventually get the win. He went on 5-0 as the only undefeated player, but lost his last match ending 5-1. He ended up placing 2nd in the tournament. Great guy, great player!
Terrakion NVI/Groudon EXRound 6 vs. Garbodor/
Already feeling a little bummed about my winning streak ending, I was not happy facing this matchup. It’s as if it is designed for the sole purpose of defeating my deck. I had an awful start, and was in a Supporter drought for at least 7 turns when I finally drew a Random Receiver. I had never been so happy to see that card in my life. Of course I play it, and I go through more than half of my deck without finding a single Supporter. How does that happen, especially after 2 thorough shuffles?
I finally reveal a Professor Juniper, and discard my awful hand. By this time, he has already taken 3 Prizes, and it was an uphill battle to start with. I get an okay hand from the Juniper, but I still couldn’t do much. A few turns later, I take a few prizes with Shaymin EX, but ultimately he KO’d it for the win with Groudon EX’s Giant Claw.
So I ended 4-2 after such an amazing start to the day, earning 6 Championship Points for my 6th place performance. All of my matches were fun, even when I lost, and have made a few friends along the way. The drive home involved the Kansas City traffic, getting in a minor fender-bender in the middle of it. Luckily everyone was okay, and the damage was so minimal, that we decided to not get the insurance companies involved. I should probably have worn a seatbelt though… I hope you all enjoyed my first article, and I would love to write more as the 2012-2013 season progresses.