Playing in Paradise: A Tropical Battle Roads Report

carolecgood.comHello, SixPrizes readers. My name is Jordan and I am from loveliest and 50th state of the United States, Hawaii. Now I’ve been playing competitive Pokémon for the past year now — this Autumn Battle Roads is actually my one year anniversary with the game, now that I think about it.

I’ve come a long way from entering in that first Battle Roads and coming dead last with my Emerging Powers Krookodile theme deck (hey, I almost DONK’d someone with Basculin if that counts for anything) and ended the season on a strong note by coming in second place in our Spring Battle Roads with Empoleon DEX/Terrakion NVI. I even flew out to Worlds in Kona to participate in the LCQ. Of course I got Knocked Out in Round 2, but it’s all about the experience.

I feel I owe a lot of my success to reading the tournament reports and deck analysis articles on SixPrizes. I figured it’s time I gave a crack at article writing and put up a report of my own.

Now, I ask you readers to bear with me as I regale you with the oh-so-exciting details of my Battle Roads weekend. But, you know, you can always just skip ahead until you see a list. I know that’s what a lot of us do anyway. I won’t blame you.
The sexy sleeves in question.

With just 14 hours before Battle Roads on Sept 22nd, I get busy working some stuff out. I got to making sure I knew the deck I was playing, that I knew (most of) its matchups, and making sure the sexy Gym Challenge sleeves I bought off of a Japanese player while I was at Worlds 2012 actually shuffled decently enough.

After hearing from my friend that he wouldn’t be attending the event after I had painstakingly (not really) crafted a Ho-oh EX deck for him, I noticed that I was given more options as far as what decks I could play go. The Ho-oh deck wasn’t actually tested but it sure seemed fun enough. And while I vowed that I would play Empoleon/Terrakion in the BW-on format after my decent good finish with it in the HS-on format, my testing showed that Empoleon for some reason just doesn’t like me and rarely shows up before turn 5, effectively turning the deck into Terrakion/Stunfisk.

In the end, I settled for Hydreigon/Darkrai because after all the League play I’ve had with it, I knew it was a very strong deck that I actually have a lot of fun playing with.

By the time I’ve settled on a deck and printed out my decklists, it was 1:30 AM so I figured I should get some sleep if I’m going to get to our card shop, Da Planet.

Just as a side note, Da Planet is the only venue for sanctioned Pokémon tournaments in the entire State, as far as I know of. This makes our PokéCommunity limited to just about the island of O’ahu though we have some top-notch players on the outer island who I learned a lot from in this past season. Another thing to note is that Hawaii has very few tournaments in a given season. We get one Fall and Spring Battle Road, one Cities, and States. That’s it. Four big tournaments for the entire season.

This means that if we ever want to catch up to the mainlanders in Champion Points, we need to fly thousands of miles just to play Pokémon. Our only consolation is that the World Championships came to our backyard just a few islands away every other year (though who knows if that will still be the case in the upcoming seasons). But I digress.

I wake up, practice good hygiene, pack my decks and extra staple cards, and head for the shop, grabbing breakfast on the way there from a 7-11. While scoping out the competition, I see a fair amount of new faces (one of them going all the way to win the event) and players who I usually see playing other TCGs such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: the Gathering. It was nice to see others branching out to try new card games. Odd thing was, none of the regular Junior or Senior players showed up to the event. Maybe they totally forgot about it? Maybe they had homework to do? Who knows. But our Battle Roads would be held with just us 16 Masters, a paltry number compared to most of the other tournament reports I’ve read.

About ten minutes before we’re due for the player meeting, I decide to make a last minute decklist change after seeing the list of one of our regulars and top players. Here’s the list after everything was said and done.

Pokémon – 15

3 Deino NVI

1 Zweilous NVI

3 Hydreigon DRX 97

3 Darkrai-EX DEX

3 Sableye DEX

2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

2 Bianca


4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Rare Candy

3 Max Potion

3 Dark Patch

3 Ultra Ball

3 Random Receiver

2 Level Ball

2 Eviolite

Energy – 12

8 D – Basic

4 Blend GRPD

The list should be fairly familiar by now after we got a good look at the list back in Spring during Japan’s Battle Carnivals. After remembering how devastating Shaymin UL + Mewtwo EX was last season, I decided I’d just drop both my tech attackers, Giratina EX and Shaymin EX, and go all out with Mewtwo EX. There are some things I wish I would have tried just to see if I could streamline the deck a bit more, like adding more Supporters since 10 felt criminally or opting for max Ultra Ball to get the most of my search engine, but I’m still pleased with the list.

After a quick practice match with one of the players, pairings are posted, and the tournament begins.

Round 1 vs Tony Ngyuyen with Garchomp/Altaria
Sifting through trash never felt so good.

Tony was actually the person with whom I was having the practice match. What are the odds? He calls the coin toss and goes first with an active Swablu. He benches a Gible, an Emolga and Sings. Luckily a roll a Heads to wake up.

I open with a Sableye; Ultra Ball for a Darkrai, discarding two D Energy; Level Ball for a Deino; attach a Darkness to Sableye and Juniper. I get a Rare Candy, a Catcher, Dark Patch and some more energy off of that. I’ve pretty much got the T2 Darkrai AND Hydreigon in the bag. I Junk Hunt for the Level Ball and Ultra Ball for turn.

It’s pretty much all down hill from there. He evolves his Swablu into Altaria and drops another Gible and Junipers away several Rare Candy and a Max Potion hoping to land into some Energy. It does pay off though as he retreats Swablu into Emolga and Calls for Family.

I nail the T2 Darkrai, and T2 Hydreigon, Catcher a Gible and spread 30 to the Altaria.

The next several turns involve exchanging blows and getting a Hydreigon set up while the other was Catcher-KO’d. In the late game, I’m out of Max Potions and Catchers so I load up 5 Energy onto a benched Mewtwo EX and swing twice for Game.

Tony’s a fun guy to play with and a good sport (especially when we were making inappropriate jokes about the font on his hat). He would go on to end 3-1 and take 3rd Place.


Round 2 vs Chad Bauer with Garchomp/Altaria/Rayquaza

Two Gartaria in a row? Really, what are the odds?

Chad is actually one of the employees at the shop whom I see usually playing YGO and MtG when I do see him participating in tournaments. Knowing this, I imagine he borrowed the deck from our tournament organizer. This match was more of the same, honestly. He started Rayquaza, Swably to my Sableye, Deino.

I get set up by turn 3, and start hammering away at his smaller ‘mon and net a double KO off of his Rayquazas. Even when I only had 1 Prize left and he only had three cards left in his deck, he refused to scoop and played it all the way to the end.

It was a fun game with a good deal of friendly trash talk.


Round 3 vs Bryne Inman with Zekrom BLW/Zekrom-EX/Mewtwo EX/Raikou-EX/Eelektrik NVI

it comes from its Japanese name "Sazandora"
Sazzy strong.

We both open poorly, his Zekrom-EX and Tynamo, to my Sableye with a dead hand. While we struggle to set up, I learn that Bryne had actually played the game years ago and was just getting back into the swing of things. This seems to be a growing trend around here probably due in part to the new Dragon type cards and a fresh format to play with.

After manually attaching to Darkrai, I eventually get my Hydreigon up by T4 and start picking away at his benched Eelektrik while dealing with the big daddy, Zekrom-EX, who can 1HKO my only Hydreigon. We start exchanging blows with him taking some early prizes off of Sableyes with constant Glinting Claw coin flips and even a Darkrai EX with Strong Bolt.

Eventually, the constant pressure of continuous Night Spears overcomes both Eelektriks in play as well as a lone Mewtwo EX leaving him with a badly damaged Zekrom-EX. At this point he extends his hand to concede.

It was a really fun game and I hope to play him again in the future.


At this point I’ve got the jitters as a come into the fourth and final round of Swiss. Some of my playtest partners have already fallen to the only other person with a 3-0 record. And this was apparently his first tournament! Beginner’s luck or is he a natural? I feel like I’ve vastly improved through my last season of play so I take it upon myself to avenge my fallen comrades and claim victory over this Battle Road.

Round 4 vs Avery Garrad with Rayquaza EX/Raikou-EX/Tornadus EX/Eelektrik NVI

All three games that I’ve played so far, they’ve all given me the almost perfect starts, none left me attacking with an Eviolite’d Darkrai later than Turn 3. But this game…

I open a lone Mewtwo EX with Eviolite, Level Ball, D Energy, Rare Candy, Random Receiver, and N. He wins the coin toss and opens with Emolga and Bouffalant. He Level Balls for an Eelektrik, Ultra Balls for an Eeletrik, attaches to Emolga and then calls for two Tynamo.

I search for a Sableye and bench it. I attach Eviolite and N — completely forgetting about attaching the Dark to Mewtwo! Ugh! I draw dead but I managed to get a Blend Energy and attach it to Mewtwo.

He benches a Rayquaza EX and a Bouffalant DRX, Energy Searches for a Fire, attaches to Rayquaza, and plays N. I draw into a hand with my second Mewtwo, a second Sableye, and some energy. He passes. I draw more energy, attach to active Mewtwo, bench both Mewtwo and Sableye and X-Ball his Emolga for 60.
Why can’t I hold all this damage output?

He immediately Max Potions the damage off, evolves both Tynamo but luckily doesn’t have any Lightning in his discard. He attaches a Lightning from his hand to Rayquaza EX and passes. I draw a Catcher, bring up his Bouffalant, attach a second Blend to Mewtwo and Psydrive for 100 and KO. With Bouffalant out of the way, I feel just a bit safer about my attacking options. This was probably my biggest misplay, looking back on it. I should have just went for the Eelektrik.

On the next turn, he drops a Tornadus EX, attaches a DCE to it, pitches some Lightning to the Discard with a Juniper, Dyanmotors once to Tornadus, Catchers a Sableye and Power Force for KO, flipping heads and keeping his energy. This turn, I’m able to bench a Darkrai and a Deino after a lucky prize and draw. I attach to Darkrai and X-Ball for 100.

He retreats to Rayquaza, Catchers Darkrai, and hits me with a 240 damage Dragon Burst seemingly out of nowhere. And that’s where things go from bad to worse.

I draw dead for five straight turns, finally get a Hydreigon up and try to mount an offensive with Darkrai against those Eelektriks only to eat 300 damage Dragon Burst. I Catcher up some Eelektriks, he Enhanced Hammers the rest of my energy away (all of the D Energy were on the KO’d Darkrais leaving me with a handful of Blends). I N him down to one, draw dead, and offer my hand to concede right as time is called.

Really, I’m disappointed that an entire day of great games would be spoiled by godawful Ns that set me back at least 8 turns. This would be the game where I REALLY would have liked to play Best of 3 but I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

I’ll suck it up and be content with second place.

Final Standings

“First is the worst, second is the best…”
  1. Avery G with RayEels
  2. Jordan S with Hydreigon/Darkrai
  3. Tony N with Garchomp/Altaria
  4. Mark A with Darkrai/Terrakion/Mewtwo


  • Taking 2nd Place with an incredibly fun and powerful deck
  • Seeing a bunch of new faces
  • Our TO and main Professor, Anthony, for letting me borrow some cards for a friend’s deck
  • Mark, one of my main testing partners, for making Top 4
  • Pulling a Ho-oh EX in one of my winning packs


  • Losing the final round because of a gorillion turns of dead-draws without a Supporter in sight
  • The usual Juniors and Seniors for not showing up. Where da kids at?!
  • My friend for bailing on me at the last second and not using the cards that I got from our Professor
  • Hawaii only having one Fall Battle Road this entire season

Please let me know what you thought about the article in the comments below. I had a lot of fun writing this so keep an eye out for possibly more reports in the future. Much mahalos for reading.

Reader Interactions

5 replies

  1. Julia Follan

    Nothing wrong with second! 2nd’s my best tournament result ever – In Seniors, in a BR with 7 people in my division. It could be worse :)

  2. theo Seeds

    I think this is where the “No Top Cut for Battle Roads” thing comes into effect the most. You only get one a year, and that one is very, very luck based. We miss Top Cut over here in mainland U.S., but in Hawaii it effects them way more.

    Anyways, congrats on second, and good luck if you’re planning on going to Regionals somewhere.

  3. Grant Manley

    Hawaiian people have to be RICH AND GOOD to make worlds! When’s the last time a Hawaiian has made worlds anyway?!? That’s harsh. Grats on second anyway. I like how detailed the games were.

  4. Garch

    Hey, cool! I used to live and play in Hawai’i starting in 2009. I was there for the first tournament ever. I don’t think it ever hit 16 players for anything other than states while I was there. Good to hear it’s still going strong.

  5. Helge Martinus Bjerga

    “Is he going for Empoleon/Terrakion or Ho-Oh EX?” …Hydreigon/Darkrai lol.

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