The Empire Strikes Back! A Norwegian Regionals Report

Hello beautiful people!

This is my first SixPrizes article so I guess an introduction would be in order. My name is Mathias Lunnan Bjørnstad, I am 18 years old and a Pokémon TCG player from Norway. I started playing seriously in February 2012 and I’ve been steadily grabbing good tournament placements for a while now.

I ended up being 7 Points short of the Worlds invite last season, so I really wanted to do well this year. So far I have won a Battle Road and gotten third at another, which gives me 25 Points to work with already.

About Norway

en.wikipedia.orgNorway is a country quite easily forgotten, but I would like to change that. In 2008 the player who finished second to Jason Klazynski at Worlds was Norway’s Khan Lee. At the 2012 ECC Norway’s Benjamin Behrens took second place, Tord Reklev grabbed 4th, and Stian Nilsson snatched 5th. Three of the top eight players in the tournament were Norwegian.

Through the years, Norway has always done well at Worlds, but the placements have usually been top 16 or so, and people usually only watch the winner of the tournament. Still, Norway has a lot of great players and we should never be underestimated. The 4 best players are:

  • Benjamin Behrens (two time National champion and second at the ECC in 2012)
  • Tord Reklev (reigning National champion and 4th at the ECC in 2012)
  • David Wiken (Norway’s point leader last season, and a sick tournament player)
  • David Jensen (3 time Senior National champion)


geektyrant.comWe are usually always a little bit behind the rest of the world here up in the north, so our Regional tournaments have the Boundaries Crossed format. Unfortunately though, hurricane Sandy delayed the card shipments, so not too many people had gotten the new cards before the first regional tournament in Oslo.

I really wanted to play Blastoise, but unfortunately I couldn’t get enough Keldeo-EXs, so I was forced to improvise. After two weeks of testing, the deck I decided to go with was my Empoleon/Dusknoir/Mewtwo EX/Roserade/Landorus-EX deck, which I decided to name Empire.

This seems like a weird and inconsistent deck to use, but that’s not the case. You will always attack T1 or T2 with something, the deck covers all the weaknesses in our current format, and people seem to have a hard time playing against Dusknoir.

This made the deck quite strong, but I was still nervous as all heck when I entered the tournament, not knowing how many of the players had acquired some of the new cards.

Here is the list I used:

Pokémon – 19

4 Piplup DEX

1 Prinplup DEX

4 Empoleon DEX

2 Duskull BCR

2 Dusknoir BCR

1 Roselia DRX 12

1 Roserade DRX 15

3 Mewtwo-EX NXD

1 Landorus-EX

Trainers – 32

4 N

4 Professor Juniper

4 Cheren


4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Communication

3 Level Ball

3 Switch

1 Super Rod

1 Computer Search

Energy – 9

4 Double Colorless

4 Blend WLFM

1 W

Let the games begin!

Round 1 vs. Hammertime (I go second)

This is a terrible matchup for me since I play nearly only Special Energies. I am fortunate though because he goes full on attack and used only Crushing Hammers instead of Enhanced Hammer. Because of this, I set up a large Mewtwo EX and take out his first Darkrai EX T3.

After that my opponent can’t do much else, and I win by moving 70 damage do his Sableye with Dusknoir and knock his Darkrai EX with Mewtwo EX.


Round 2 vs. Empoleon/Stunfisk (I go first)

He misses a critical Energy drop T2, which results in me getting in two attacks before he did. Yet again, I win the game with the help of Dusknoir, who moved 60 damage to a Piplup and after that I Knocked Out an Empoleon, leaving my opponent with no Empoleon or Piplup in play. With no draw power, he lost the game.


Round 3 vs. Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX (I go first)

This was against one of my best friends Mikael, and he had a terrible matchup here. I got a quick Empoleon and put a lot of damage on his field.

He decided to take out my Duskull so I couldn’t move the damage, but I just ended up Knocking Out a Darkrai EX with Mewtwo EX and two Landorus-EX with Empoleon for the win. He also tried to N me to 2 cards, but triple Empoleon gave me all I needed.


Round 4 vs. Mewtwo EX/Eels (I go first)

This is one of my worst matchups, but he didn’t really know how to play against my deck. Within the first 2 turns of the game he had 160 damage on his field thanks to my own Mewtwo. Landorus and Dusknoir were the MVPs of this match though, Knocking Out three Pokémon in one turn by moving damage around.

I actually won this game using Land’s Judgment with Landorus-EX on a Mewtwo EX with 20 damage. Empoleon was more or less only draw power this game.

Round 5 vs. Empire (no Landorus-EX) (I go second)

This player is another friend of mine, and he had seen me play this deck at league once. He decided to try it out and now he was 4-0 at Oslo Regionals. We were both going through to the top 8 cut, so this match was fairly relaxed.

He made a lot of obvious misplays, which he realised himself, and I ended up winning a very straightforward game in the end. The match wasn’t really that interesting, and we both have a good laugh about it afterward.


With a total of 35 people participating, the top cut consisted of 8 players:

  1. Me (Empire) 5-0
  2. Magnus (Empire) 4-1
  3. Mikael (Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX) 4-1
  4. Tord Reklev (Mewtwo EX/Eels) 4-1
  5. Stian Nilsson (Empoleon/Terrakion) 4-1
  6. Jan (Darkrai EX/Garbodor) 4-1
  7. David Jensen (Zebstrika/Garbodor) 3-2
  8. Daniel Chan (RayEels) 3-2

Top 8 vs. Daniel Chan with RayEels (He wins the coinflip)

Game 1

My start is pretty bad, and I can’t get much going. He played a Thundurus EPO tech, which completely destroyed my Empoleon. I end up being unlucky and have a 12 card hand with only Items and Supporters, and really nothing useful. I cannot draw into a Pokémon for 4 turns, even with Empoleon’s Ability.

Game 2

I get out an early Landorus-EX and completely sweep his team. I just keep Knocking Out his Tynamo, and eventually I set up my Dusknoir and start moving damage around and he scoops.

Game 3

His start is terrible and I win within 4 turns of the game by just attacking over and over again with Empoleon.


Top 4 vs. Tord Reklev with Mewtwo EX/Eels (I win the coinflip)

Game 1

I go full on aggro with Landorus-EX early, and my Empoleons are usually only used for their great Diving Draw. Tord had difficulty playing with no Eels available and was forced to send out a Mewtwo with 6 Energies, which I immediatly Knocked Out with my own Mewtwo.

He tried to N me, but three Diving Draws later and I was back at full strength and a Game 1 win.

Game 2

This was the toughest game of the tournament for me. I have T1 Landorus-EX and start going for Tynamos early, but Tord paralyzes me with his Raikou-EX, and I have a problem setting up Empoleon. I drop a Mewtwo, which my opponent 1HKOs with a 5 Energy Mewtwo and I am in a deep hole early.

I decide to go out with Empoleon, since they are only worth 1 Prize, and 2-shot his Mewtwo. Tord snipes my Duskull and he is down to 1 Prize versus my 3. I take a while to think and eventually come up with a plan.

I use 2 Diving Draws and get the N I wanted. I put the third Energy on Landorus-EX, N Tord to 1 card and 1HKO his Raikou-EX with Land’s Judgement. In order to win, Tord is going to need a DCE and a Catcher, but he ends up whiffing and I win by Catchering out an Eel for my last prize.

Top 2 vs. Mikael with Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX (I win the coinflip)

Game 1

I hit a triple head on Fury Attack with Piplup and deal 60 damage to a Landorus-EX T1. He can’t get any other Basics into play and I deal 120 damage with an Empoleon the next turn and win the first game.

Game 2

pokemon-paradijs.comMikael make a couple of misplays and targeted the wrong bench Pokémon. This was a great example of how scary Dusknoir can be, since he constantly targeted my Duskulls. I set up a Mewtwo EX with 4 DCEs and 1HKO three straight EXs for the Game 2 win.

He had a terrible matchup against my deck, so the finals were naturally not to interesting.


I end up winning Oslo Regionals and right now I have around 150 Points, which is always nice. I was very happy that my deck worked out and that not only me, but also Magnus got top cut with it. I believe it was the right deck to play, since it really has no bad matchups in the current format. Empoleon takes Landorus-EX, Mewtwo EX takes Keldeo-EX and other Mewtwos, Landorus-EX takes Eels, and Dusknoir is just a boss Pokémon.

Roserade helps the consistency and makes the deck fast and hard hitting. You are not even required to set up Empo or Dusk T2, since Mewtwo EX and Landorus-EX does the early dirty work for them. When the big decks in the format are Eel variants, Landorus variants and Blastoise, I highly recommend playing Empire.

Peace out.

Mathias Lunnan Bjørnstad aka The Lumpymeister

Reader Interactions

21 replies

  1. David Demaree

    Congrats on winning!

    Can I ask why you run 4 juniper in Empoleon?

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → David

      Thanks for the congratulations!

      The Junipers helped the deck get T1 attack and T2 Empoleon quicker. Often the deck doesn’t always need catchers or other resources because of Dusknoir, so it doesn’t really matter that you have to throw away a catcher early. The good outways the bad, since T1 attack is quite important.

  2. Helge Martinus Bjerga

    Congrats Mathias! A very interesting play indeed. I am myself a huge fan of Empoleon, yet doubt I could’ve played a deck that messy and confusing. I understand the logic behind all the card choises and the way to play the deck, but it doesn’t fit my play style really.

    Good job taking the win and “inventing” such a creative deck!

  3. Mark Hanson

    I’ve been wondering what sort of decklist people have been using for this deck. interesting to see. Congrats on the win!

  4. Bryan Ward

    This may just be one of the coolest Deck Lists I’ve seen. Would you consider Ditto and Skyla in the deck? I know you said you had limited access to BC cards, so I’m not sure if the lack of Ditto and Skyla is because of that, or you just didn’t like them. I’m definitely trying out something like this soon! Great article, and congrats!

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → Bryan

      Thanks a lot for the praise!

      I did not manage to fit Ditto in, even though i really wanted to, and Skyla made the deck inconsistent for some reason. It was kind of weird, but in testing, there were so many times were i would rather draw cards than search for one. I feel like Skyla is more useful in Darkrai decks.

  5. Chase Moloney

    Wow, I haven’t seen this kind of creativite deck building since mew/accelgor/vilplume at US nats. Its not just coming up with a good deck in theory that gets you wins, but testing and refining a list that will accomplish your goal. Congrats on the win. I’ll definately be testing this, I like all the complex plays it sounds like you can make with it.

  6. Adam Capriola

    I think Norway is on the map now. Great article Mathias! Really cool deck and superb report.

  7. Roarkiller Master

    And here I was thinking that I was the only player in the world playing Empoleon/Dusknoir. So much for going rogue.

    Congrats on the win, I personally have ditched the deck because of how scary the RayEel matchup is (my meta along with HyDrai), but I hope to see the deck do well elsewhere.

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → Roarkiller

      The Landorus EX really helps the RayEels match up. You will always be able to get it out T1 or T2 and it will tear those eels to pieces. Also, this forces the RayEel player to attack the Landorus, giving you time to set up Empoleon and Dusknoir and eventually move all the Dmg done to Eels and take down all their resources.

  8. PokeDad68

    How often did you find yourself using Roserade? Do you feel it helped win you any games??

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → PokeDad68

      Oh absolutely!

      Roserade was either useful to set up a quick T2 Empoleon or to get the DCE, switch or catcher i needed early on. It’s second great use was to set up Dusknoir. The deck runs two stage 2s, so having a second Computer Search never hurts. It was so great that i still think about boosting it to a 2-2 line instead of just 1-1

  9. Gregory Fortier

    I was wondering if you had any time to test this deck against a Keldeo/Blastoise deck. Because I feel that keldeo hits too hard, you want to kill them quickly and they can easily pull out a mewtwo to kill yours. That why i was wondering if you considered putting a shaymin ex and 1 prism energy. But then again it might lead to huge inconsistency.

    Anyway I’ve been trying the deck a lot lately, with some changes, for example : -2 cheren +2 skyla, and an extra switch. So far i won 9 out of 10 games. It’s a great deck. Good job

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → Gregory

      I tested against Speed Blastoise/Keldeo (with DCE), Blastoise/Keldeo with SSU and straight Blastoise/Keldeo, but I never had any problems. Mewtwo only needs 1 DCE to to heavy damage to a Keldeo, and since Blastoise decks don’t run switch, they need to either put 6 energy on a Keldeo to OHKO or retreat for 2 energies and put 3 more on a Mewtwo, which you naturally return KO immediatly. It’s also quite easy for you to draw into your N with Empoleon, and the ability to OHKO their Keldeo with Mewtwo and N them to 2 cards is something Blastoise can’t come back from.

      Thanks for the praise, and i hope you will do well with my baby =)

      • Gregory Fortier  → Mathias

        Thanks for the reply. This deck has been doing so well, 2 people in my league are switching to it after they have finally built their new ones. It is quite ridiculous how good it does

  10. hendrik loehr

    Thx a lot for the report i changed the list a lil and got top 8 at regionals in Düsseldorf in Germany awesome idea!!

  11. Gregory Fortier

    So I brought your deck to Longeuil cities near Montreal in Canada. We were two to use the exact same deck (yours). With a poorly llow amount of people who showed up it was only a top2. I sadly got DQ’ed first game because I had left one card at home and it took me too long too figure out which card missing. (I know the deck by heart). So for me I didn’t try very hard, I was still pissed and because of my anger I did stupid plays which caused me to lose. However my friend had a bye a keldeo deck and 2 ho oh decks, so he won every game, went top 2 faced another ho oh. my friend finished first with this deck. SO your creation is once again on the board

  12. Joey

    Been playtesting this ever since I read this article. I haven’t wanted to make one change to this after almost 3 weeks of testing. I realllllly wish I could fit a 4th switch in here but can’t find the space. I almost want to remove Dusknoir and throw in a 2-2 Roserade line but Dusknoir is just SO clutch sometimes.
    Great article, great report, and great player.
    Norway FTW!!!

  13. Bryant

    so how do you deal with the current format now that stadium wars are happening? what would you change about this deck to survive during plasma storm?

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