Hello, SixPrizes. My name is Simon Narode. I go by Quarter-Turn sometimes. You may have read my other articles. If not, you should know I’m an Oregon player in Masters, I started playing about a year and a half ago, and I placed in the top 16 at Nationals this summer.
Deck Building Process
pokemon-paradijs.comSo, in my early testing for BLW-on, I quickly came to the conclusion that Darkrai/Hydreigon was the best deck. That was my opinion at the time, and you don’t have to agree. But the synergy between the two and with Max Potion and easy access to Sableye, it just made a lot of sense to me. I knew that for Battle Roads, I would want to play either that deck, or one to beat it.
So I started to look for counters.
I ran into Marowak DRX, a card that is still overlooked but fills a niche roll of being able to Knock Out Darkrai on turn two rather consistently with “Vortex Chop.” Apart from that, Marowak doesn’t do much else, which I soon came to realize. I first paired Marowak with Tornadus EX because Cubone can retreat for free under Skyarrow, both attackers run on DCE, and Marowak kind of covers Tornadus’ Lightning Weakness.
Around this time, I also discovered that Enhanced Hammer is great because it forces Darkrai/Hydreigon to attack only with Darkrai, so I added Hammers to the deck. And then I wanted Sableye. And if I was running Sableye, I wanted Darkrai instead of Tornadus. And at that point, I might as well be running Terrakion instead of Marowak for various reasons.
After a couple months of refining the numbers, this is the deck I came up with:
Pokémon – 8
Trainers – 40
Energy – 12
Round 1 vs. Steve with Darkrai EX/Hydreigon DRX 97
pokemon-paradijs.comGood matchup. Good start, despite going second.
Round 2 vs. Jason w/ Zekrom/Eelektrik NVI
He starts Zekrom-EX. Those two free prizes that I end up taking halfway through the match play a huge role in how I win.
Round 3 vs. Linda w/ Garchomp DRX/Altaria DRX
I am paired down, so I really want to win. She starts Swablu. I go first, play a bunch of cards, and get turn one “Retaliate” for 10. She attaches and uses “Sing.” No Supporter, no Trainers. I wake up and fish for another Fighting. I don’t get it, so I retreat to Sableye and “Junk Hunt.” She benches Gible, Catchers Darkrai. “Sing.” I wake up again. Through some Energy Switch shenanigans, I manage a Catcher and a “Night Spear” for the game on my third turn. I felt bad, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Round 4 vs. Seth w/ Darkrai/Hydreigon
The three other undefeated players, Seth included, are my friends. They’re all playing Darkrai/Hydreigon apart from myself, so it’s good that I only have to face my best matchup, but it’s difficult to have to beat my friends.
In this game, my Hammers do work. I remove all his Blends. He runs out of Darkrai, has nothing left to attack with and scoops. It is closer than I make it sound, but my “Retaliate” near the end seals the deal.
Round 5 [THE FINALS] vs. Alex w/ Darkrai/Hydreigon
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is a really close game, so I have to write it all out. Alex runs the league in Portland that I attended regularly this summer. We’ve played this matchup before and he beat me, but I have since made some changes to my deck.
We both start strong. He gets two Hydreigon and a Zweilous in play, but then draws dead for several turns. I spread damage on both his Hydreigon with Darkrai. By the time he finally gets going again, I am able to nab KOs on both Hydreigon and a Sableye. He uses Ultra Ball to find that his last Hydreigon is prized. It looks like he’s going to go aggro Darkrai now, but my benched Terrakion is threatening.
I have a big lead at this point, having taken 3 Prizes, while he has taken none. He benches Shaymin EX and I know two of his Blend Energy are already in his discard. Alex digs for the Blend but can’t find it. Meanwhile, I manage to KO his Darkrai with two “Night Spears” from my own, placing 30 damage on his Shaymin so it isn’t safe to attack. The prize count is now one to six and I think I have the game in the bag.
He attaches an Eviolite to Shaymin, plays N, bringing me to 1 card. He then attaches Blend and Knocks Out my Darkrai with Shaymin for his first 2 Prizes. Yikes. I can do nothing with the two cards in my hand. At this point, I’m preparing for one of his prizes to be a Hydreigon. Because he drew dead so early on, a ton of resources are still left in his deck including two or three of both Catcher and Max Potion.
With this in mind, I don’t want to “Retaliate,” sacrificing my Terrakion for sure, and risking him healing. In retrospect, that was a lot to expect him to have, and odds were that he didn’t get the Hydreigon from his prizes. I have two Sableye, so I spend my turn using “Junk Hunt” for a Pokémon Catcher and a Random Receiver, knowing I have one Bianca and one N left in my deck.
pokemon-paradijs.comRight away, my opponent Catchers up my benched Darkrai that I think had one Energy on it. He does not play a Hydreigon, and puts down another N. I draw Ultra Ball. He Knocks Out my Darkrai and all of a sudden, the prize count is one to two and I have no Darkrai on the field.
I promote Sableye because at least it has an Energy and can retreat. I draw Random Receiver, play it. Bianca. I get another Darkrai, a Terrakion, a F Energy, an Eviolite, and an N. I Ultra Ball away the useless Darkrai and Eviolite to see three energy, Energy Switch, Dark Patch, one or two not helpful things, and two Catcher in my deck. I bench the Terrakion and attach a Fighting to it. His hand is at six and I know he still has two N in his deck. I need to “Junk Hunt” again.
Late game “Junk Hunts” can be really difficult. If I grab Catcher and Energy Switch and he doesn’t play N, I win. But if he does play N, I need the best odds that what two cards I draw will be helpful. I “Junk Hunt” for Catcher and Enhanced Hammer, hoping to buy a turn if I can’t KO, as he has no other energy on the field.
Alex attaches the last Blend to Shaymin and I sigh. He plays Random Receiver and we’re both holding our breath. Juniper. He is visibly and understandably frustrated. He still doesn’t have the Hydreigon, not that he needs it. He uses two Dark Patch to get his benched Darkrai ready to go, Catchers my Terrakion with two energy and uses “Revenge Blast” for 360 damage to tie the game. We’ve attracted quite a crowd at this point.
“Do you have the Energy?” he asks me. “No,” I say as I promote Terrakion. I draw a Fighting. “Now I do.” Catcher his Sableye for my last prize. What a comeback. What a game.
pokemon-paradijs.comThat night, we all migrate over to Corvallis to spend the night in the Elk’s Lodge where tomorrow’s tournament will be held. It is a night filled with all sorts of games and fun times. There is a theme deck challenge, which I won. I play some practice games with my tournament deck against my friend Dylan, who is a Senior, but he trounces me twice with his original twist of Darkrai/Hydreigon. I play some piano and eat cake that June Clanton was nice enough to make for everyone.
I also help Linda, my opponent in Lebanon, build a Darkrai/Mewtwo/Tornadus deck she’s eager to play for day two. We practice some and then I go to play silly decks on PTCGO with my buddies. Minun/Kyogre for best deck in format.
As should always be the case with sleepovers, there is a lot of laughing and not a lot of sleeping. I wake up at 6:30 because my head hurts. I was sleeping on my jacket that night for lack of a pillow, but I had slept on the zipper. Ouch. I can’t fall back asleep, so I play with my DS until everyone else gets up.
I decide not to change my deck, anticipating a lot of the same players to show up, meaning there would still be a lot of Darkrai/Hydreigon.
As it turns out, four people showed up with new Darkrai/Terrakion decks, two of whom said they were inspired by mine. I felt mixed, but mostly flattered.
Round 1 vs. Steve w/ Darkrai/Hydreigon
I go first with Terrakion against his lone Deino. I manage Darkrai, Sableye, attach, retreat, Energy Switch, “Junk Hunt.” He plays Cheren for nothing, attaches and uses “Headbutt.” I attach Fighting to Terrakion, retreat, Energy Switch and KO with “Retailate” for a quick game.
Round 2 vs. Harumi w/ Garchomp/Altaria
pokemon-paradijs.comI go first and get a decent start. She gets attacking on turn two, but can’t find an Altaria, so she just does 60 to my Sableye, allowing me to get a “Night Spear” the next turn. I “Night Spear” turn after turn, picking off her Altaria while setting up her Garchomp for knock outs. The game is unfortunately one-sided.
Breon is a great player and a prominent judge. He judged at Nationals, but this year, I think he plans on competing. He was my only loss at Portland Battle Roads a few weeks ago, so I’m nervous to face him again.
I don’t remember too much about the start of this game, only that I go first and he attacks a few times with shiny Rayquaza, discarding valuable resources in the process, and I am fine with it. He manages to get two Eelektrik on the field.
He makes a risky play by benching a Raikou-EX without attaching an Eviolite and without attacking while I have a Terrakion with a Fighitng on my bench. I play Energy Switch, Fighting, Catcher to “Land Crush” Raikou. Breon throws in the towel on his last turn by not retreating his damaged Mewtwo, letting me KO it with Darkrai.
Round 4 vs. Scott w/ Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX/Terrakion
Scott is a friendly guy and a very good player. He had come up with his deck on his own and it makes me happy to be playing someone who thinks along the same track as me.
I go first and get a really strong start this game with a turn two “Night Spear.” I am afraid it’s going to be a war of Hammers and “Retaliates,” but as it turns out, he doesn’t run Hammers in his deck. He quickly finds out that I do and starts to dump his DCEs. My early lead combined with Hammers to slow him down ends up overwhelming him and he doesn’t manage to take a prize. GG.
Round 5 vs. Jay w/ Rayquaza/Rayquaza EX/Mewtwo EX/Zekrom/Thundurus/Eelektrik
pokemon-paradijs.comThis was interesting. I don’t know if Jay is from Oregon. This was the first time I’ve met him. I go first and right away things get weird. My start is normal. His is as well. He gets two Tynamos out and attaches to Rayquaza. I Crushing Hammer heads and he asks me to use a different die because of some reason that didn’t make sense. I tell him that from now on I’ll use a different one or his but that mine is tournament legal as a judge can confirm, and that roll will count.
Later, he tries to attach to his active Thundurus to “Charge” after already attaching to his benched Rayquaza EX. As he picks up his deck, I stop him to remind him. He says “Oh, yeah.” But then he retreats to Rayquaza EX, Dynamotors to Thundurus, and retreats again so he can “Charge.” I remind him that he can only retreat once per turn and he says, “Really?” “Yeah. Really.” I have a hard time believing that someone can make it 4-0 in a tournament and not know that rule. I let him take it back, but for the rest of the game, I have to be skeptical of each of his moves.
I end up winning because he has to Juniper three of his Catchers early on, which gives me the luxury of retreating damaged attackers, benching Pokémon I don’t need yet, and using “Junk Hunt” at my leisure.
Round 6 [THE FINALS] vs. Lorenzo w/ Darkrai/Hydreigon
Lorenzo is a friend of mine and we tested together for this weekend. He’s from Italy and placed in the top eight at Worlds 2011. We’re the only two undefeated and although it’s my best matchup, it’s not looking to be an easy game by any means.
I go first. Again. That means I have gone first all six of my rounds. I don’t know what to say. But I went second eight of the nine rounds of Swiss at Nationals, so maybe this is luck coming back to me.
Luck may be on my side, but my opening hand doesn’t know it. I start just Terrakion against his lone Deino and my hand looks like this: Catcher, Catcher, D Energy, D Energy, Energy Switch, Bianca. I draw something I can’t play. I attach to Terrakion and pass, planning to burn my Catchers next turn so as to draw more with Bianca.
Lorenzo benches another Deino, attaches Eviolite to both, an energy to his Active and “Headbutts” for 10.
pokemon-paradijs.comI draw a third Catcher. I chuckle nervously but play all three Catcher, shuffling around his Deino. I attach another Dark to Terrakion and play Bianca for four. Fortunately, I get a Sableye and a Supporter for next turn. I Energy Switch the extra Dark to Sableye and pass. Lorenzo still doesn’t do much his next turn, despite having a lot of cards in his hand.
Turns pass. I get set up. He gets set up. He Knocks Out my Terrakion with Hydreigon, discarding his Blend because he knows I play Enhanced Hammer. I am forced to “Junk Hunt.” Then he has an opportunity to KO my Sableye with Darkrai, but I have another Terrakion on my bench and although it has no Energy, he doesn’t want to ask for a “Retaliate,” so he “Junk Hunts” for Catcher and Dark Patch.
I have a wonderful hand (two Energy Switch, Juniper, Eviolite, etc.), a healthy Darkrai with an Eviolite, a Fighting, and two D Energy active and the naked Terrakion on the bench alongside Sableye. I “Night Spear” his Sableye.
He plays some Dark Patches, moves the Energy to a Darkrai and “Night Spears” me for 70, putting 30 on my Sableye. I could maybe win the one-on-one Darkrai war, but obviously Max Potion or obviously Blend + Hydreigon so that doesn’t seem like the best plan. I look at my hand and decide to go for it. I Energy Switch twice from Darkrai to Terrakion, attach Eviolite to Terrakion and Juniper. If I hit the Fighting, I will probably just win the game. If I don’t, I’ll probably find a Dark and at least “Junk Hunt” this turn. I get Energy Search for F Energy. Retreat, “Land Crush” KO.
Lorenzo isn’t happy and sort of can’t believe it. I don’t blame him. But he’s a very smart player and as we know, late game N can pull off unimaginable comebacks. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens this game. I get all the luck there is to get. He plays N and I draw Catcher. He plays another N and I draw Dark Patch, Catcher, and Bianca. He plays N to bring me to one card and it’s a Random Receiver. I don’t play it because I don’t need to and I already feel bad. Darkrai wins me the last KO and the game.
Lorenzo and I congratulate each other because I placed first and he placed second that day. We’ll be testing again this week in preparation for the last weekend of Oregon Battle Roads!
In conclusion, this weekend was a lot of fun. And it was ridiculous.
For my deck, I ran into very few matchups where Crushing Hammer was important. Enhanced Hammer was king, as was the second Terrakion. I’m very happy with my list, but I don’t think this is what I’ll play for Regionals in October. The anticipated release of Rayquaza as not a secret rare might mean more Rayquaza EX/Eelektrik, which is fine, but if it sets up, it’s not my deck’s favorite matchup. Still, the deck is well-balanced and a lot of fun to play.
Battle Roads are a perfect place for testing new ideas, and I have a couple I might try next weekend. Maybe I’ll pick up some more Championship Points in the process!
Thanks for reading my report!