en.wikipedia.orgHello SixPrizes and happy holidays to everyone. My name is Erson and I’m from the Philippines. My Pokémon-related dream is to become a master deck builder and a TCG World Champion. I started playing November of 2011 and since then I never looked back.
As far as the Philippines goes, well, you probably have not heard of our Pokémon community at all especially because we are still in the process of rebuilding through the help of Play! Pokémon from Singapore. Pkmn-PH is nothing fancy; in fact it is just a simple community with about 60 to 70 registered players and about 45 active ones and lots of other guys wanting to either return into playing Pokémon again or simply waiting for the right time to finally enter the community.
What is important though is that our community enjoys playing, and is competitive enough to match with everybody around the world. Also, given the small number of players, we pretty much know each other very well, which makes battling more enjoyable without neglecting its competitive spirit.
Anyway, we had our City Championship on December 23. It was attended by 32 players from the Masters Division, fortunate enough to have eight players in the top cut. Around six players in Juniors and Seniors division combined attended the event as well.
THE DECK: Twist of Fate
Here is the deck I used for the tournament. I named it Twist of Fate.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 36
Energy – 12
Landorus-EX is a perfect card in the Philippine context since most players use Eelektrik variants. It is half of the deck’s nucleus and it really sets the pace of your game (or “fate”) early on, either by giving you a five-second win via Tynamo donks or putting pressure early on to your opponent by spreading damage through Hammerhead.
His second attack, Land Judgment, is also crucial in the late-game if you manage to play it right. One particular card that helps to perfectly set Land Judgment up is Energy Switch, which would be explained later.
I run three Landorus-EX in my deck to start with it as much as possible.
These two cards comprise the other half of the deck’s heart and soul. Aerodactyl provides a permanent PlusPower to each of your Pokémon’s attacks with its Ability, giving you more flexibility and fire power than usual White Tea and Basic Beatdown variants that heavily rely on Skyla/PlusPower combo for the additional 10 damage.
This is important in combination with Landorus’ Hammerhead, most especially if you can successfully put down an Aerodactyl on your first turn, as every 10 additional damage reduces the number of turns that you need to Knock Out your opponent’s Pokémon (most notably Pokémon-EX).
pokemon-paradijs.comFor example, a non-Eviolite Mewtwo EX is Knocked Out by non-boosted Hammerhead only after six turns. Having one Aerodactyl on your bench means that you can do at least 40 damage to Mewtwo EX each turn for as long as it is on your opponent’s Active Spot.
This reduces the number of turns to Knock Mewtwo Out to five instead of six, and is very significant in the current format considering that the pace slowed down a little bit as compared to the previous format (HGSS-BLW on).
Toying with your opponent’s weakness with Landorus/Aerodactyl combo is my favorite. Obviously, Eelektrik decks cry a lot from this combo, while Darkrai decks greatly suffer in trying to set up as the early pressure threatens not only their Darkrai but also their Sableye (which is KO’d in turn two for as long as Aerodactyl is present in either of the first two turns) and the number of their D Energy and Dark Patch.
Firstly, it eliminates your opponent’s Stadium, most notably Aspertia City Gym for White Tea variants and SkyArrow Bridge for Eelektrik decks.
Secondly, by eliminating the opponent’s Stadium, you destroy their strategy as well because you limit their options in terms of Energy management, retreating, and their Pokémon’s capacity to last long enough to their expectations, notwithstanding the fact that Twist Mountain only benefits you and not them (because running Restored Pokémon is so underrated!).
When worst comes to worst, Aerodactyl’s Wing Attack can also save you from doom. As you have probably seen in the decklist, the deck is prone to being easily countered by Sigilyph DRX decks, and most of the time, the two other non-Pokémon-EX in this deck can come short of saving you from the flying totem pole.
Again, this is a worst-case scenario. You should NEVER use Aerodactyl as your main attacker as Landorus and his friends have that job to perform.
Mewtwo EX and Tornadus EX
These two cards also benefit from Aerodactyl as much as, or maybe even more than, Landorus-EX. Mewtwo EX, first and foremost, need not to fear losing the Mewtwo war because it does not need the third Energy anymore to Knock Out the opposing Mewtwo.
Thanks to Aerodactyl’s Ability, all you need is DCE for your own Mewtwo and two Energy on the opponent’s Mewtwo (which it probably has because of X Ball).
Next, Mewtwo is still one of the best donkers in the format. Believe it or not, with Aerodactyl around, Mewtwo’s donking capability just reached another level. I, for myself, was able to pull off an unexpected donk in the last round of my tournament’s eliminations (as will be reported later).
Tornadus EX is a sturdy beast in this format, as exemplified by White Tea users especially with Eviolite and Aspertia City. However, this deck gives a whole new dimension to the Storm Genie from just being sturdy to something that brings excessive calamities to your opponent.
Firstly, Tornadus can pull off the wildest donks in the format with Twist Mountain and Aerodactyl. Darkrai decks now need to be wary of having a lone Sableye in the Active Spot as Tornadus EX’s Blow Through attack can deal as much as 70 damage.
Secondly, Tornadus EX in this deck is a quick and deadly EX finisher by utilizing both of its attacks, depending whether or not the opponent’s EX has a Tool card attached to it. Even EXs with Eviolite (or Giant Cape) attached to them are KO’d by Tornadus’ Power Blast.
pokemon-paradijs.comDo the math and you’ll figure out that each of Tornadus’ Power Blast deals a minimum of 90 damage for as long as there is one Aerodactyl on the bench.
Hence, EXs, even with Eviolite, are just 2HKO away from Tornadus’ second attack — just make sure you have enough Energies to pull it off (which is easier if you have DCE attached to it).
I ran two of each of these cards for consistency and to at least even out, if not win, the Mewtwo wars and counter Keldeo-EX, which proves to be the more challenging opposition to this deck.
Bouffalant is that significant other white in White Tea decks, and for a good reason. His Ability Bouffer, combined with Eviolite, makes him sturdier than ever. His Gold Breaker attack slaps Pokémon-EX with a huge 120.
In this deck, Bouffalant preserves the same purpose, only to be enhanced by Aerodactyl’s Ability. It is not rare to see in this deck Bouffalant Knocking Out EXs with prior damage from Landorus’ Hammerhead.
And of course, Bouffalant can also save you from Sigilyph.
Terrakion’s purpose is simple: counter Sigilyph. Of course, you can also punish Darkrai with Retaliate as often as you wish, or steamroll Eelektrik decks with Land Crush like crazy. Whatever it is you want to use Terrakion for, do not forget that it is there only as a secondary attacker.
I placed three Skyla in the deck to search for Twist Mountain as early as possible. The ideal setup, as you probably know by now, is to have Twist Mountain and Aerodactyl as early as turn one and keep adding Aerodactyl for the rest of the game. The rest of it is up to you to make use of.
The first weird thing that you probably have spotted about the deck is the amount of Professor Juniper. Well, I only included two copies of our beloved Professor primarily because the deck cannot discard as much as Eelektrik and Darkrai decks can.
Feel free to modify the supporter count according to your preferences.
pokemon-paradijs.comAll three cards are maxed out because the deck has the weird property of being fast and slow at the same time: fast because Landorus spreads damage in turn one, and slow because pretty much everything else about the deck needs to be set-up wisely and properly.
Pokémon Catcher is there because you would want to pull into your opponent’s Active Spot a Pokémon with high Retreat Cost and without much Energy so that Landorus-EX can spread damage better. Of course, use it to KO your opponent’s damaged Pokémon!
Energy Switch is one of the more important cards in this deck. It allows you to pull off a “surprise” KO, especially with Landorus’ Land Judgment. By attaching one Energy to each of your Landorus-EX, you need not to worry about being Catchered, not be able to attack, and not be able to retreat.
At the same time, this allows you to just use Energy Switch whenever it is necessary to do so to satisfy the Energy requirement to deal 80 or 150 damage with Landorus’ second attack. The same is true for every other attacker in this deck.
THE TOURNEY: A Donking Spree
I was doubtful if I could beat this guy at the start of our battle. Not only because I know he has already won a lot of National Championships way back, but also because I have not tested my deck against Garchomp variants.
The round started with him going first. I was surprised to see him using the “other” Gible and not the one with Sand Attack. Anyway, he started with the other Gible and I started with a lone Landorus-EX. The early goings were pretty much in his favor, as he managed to set two Garchomp as early as turn five and discarded all my DCE with Mach Cut.
Earlier, I was repeatedly attacking with my Tornadus EX’s Blow Through with the help of one Aerodactyl, until I ran out of DCE. He was always up by a Prize until it boiled down to him having only one and me having two more Prizes left.
By that time, he was getting a little anxious because he was about to deck out. Time was called and he has a lot of Pokémon in the field, but the more notable one was a damaged Mewtwo EX on the bench. He was unable to Knock Out any of my Pokémon on turn zero, which gave me the opportunity to secure the victory in turn one.
I had Landorus-EX in the Active Spot with one Energy and a perfect hand: Pokémon Catcher, Energy Switch, Computer Search, and a couple more. I used Computer Search to grab an Energy then used Energy Switch to transfer an Energy from my bench to the active and complete the energy requirement for Land Judgment.
I used Pokémon Catcher to pull his Mewtwo up and stole the victory from him.
Round 2 vs. Christian Cagungun with White Tea
pokemon-paradijs.comThe day was getting tougher. First round I was up against a former National Champ, and in this round I was up against somebody who placed fifth in the recently concluded Southeast Asia Regional Championship. I do not remember much of this round because I was not really expecting to win.
However, I managed to reach the point when I was down to 3 Prizes and him down to two. I could have salvaged this round, but he had a Pokémon Catcher to KO one of my benched EXs (I think it was Tornadus EX).
Round 3 vs. Peter Carandang with Eelektrik Variant
I have battled Peter the day before and I knew his deck was an Eel variant, so I was confident that my deck’s donking capability might finally work. He flipped tails which gave me the opportunity to go first. We revealed each other’s starter and he has a lone Tynamo while I had Landorus-EX in the Active Spot.
This was my deck’s first donk, ever.
Round 4 vs. (My Brother) Roger Angelo Villangca with Rayquaza/Eelektrik
pokemon-paradijs.comOne of the things I hate in our community is that I almost always battle my own brother in every tournament, and this is just one of them.
Anyway, the Seniors and Juniors Division were mixed in the Masters because of very low attendance. My brother was leading the Seniors pack by this round and eventually he would finish the tournament with a record of 3-2 and be hailed as the Senior Division Champion.
I would not want to spoil my brother’s day by donking him. Fortunately, he started with an Emolga DRX, and the fight went on the distance. I was pretty much leading the rest of the fight, as I managed to KO all of his Tynamo until he used Super Rod and was able to set up one Eelektrik on the bench.
Unfortunately for him, it was too late to even take a Prize and I won our brotherly fight.
Round 5 vs. Paul John Flores with Empoleon/Salamance
I knew his deck because he defeated my brother prior to our brotherly fight. By this time, I knew things just got real and losing in this round means I would be going home early. Winning was the only thing in my mind, even though I knew this guy was one of the best out there.
Additionally, he was running an Empoleon deck, which I really hate because I have not won any match against any variant of the deck during testing. Fortunately, I trusted my deck just enough to pull off one of the improbable.
He flipped tails and I went first. He started with a lone Bagon from Dragon Vault while I had Mewtwo EX in the active. I looked at my hand and concluded that I can secure the victory if and only if I flip heads for Twist Mountain. I used Skyla to search for the Stadium card and put it down on the field.
I attached DCE to Mewtwo and flipped for Twist Mountain — praying so hard that it would be heads while the coin was in the air (yes, we don’t use dice here). Fortunately, it was, and I put down Aerodactyl on the bench.
X Ball gave me my second and final donk of the night and finished the eliminations for me in a positive note, as I was able to qualify for top cut (Top 8) for the very first time since I played Pokémon TCG. I placed third after the eliminations with only one defeat.
Top 8 vs. Aljino Lambino with Blastoise/Keldeo
ebay.comMy deck hates Water and I knew my chances of making the Top 4 were slim by facing Al with his Horseblast deck. But I was not going down without a fight so I gave it all I had. The early moments were nothing special in particular, except that he managed to put 60 damage on one of my Tornadus EX and that he was not able to set any Blastoise up.
I was down to 3 Prizes, while he had only two remaining when things became dark for me. I thought he could not set any Blastoise up anymore, because prior to this moment, he used Ultra Ball and was unable to find any Blastoise.
I placed Landorus-EX on the bench and did nothing because I was trapped with a non-damaged Tornadus EX in the active and had no DCE to attack with it.
Then it was his turn, and I was surprised as he was able to evolve into Blastoise to pump his Keldeo with lots of Energy and KO my Landorus (he would have KO’d the damaged Tornadus EX if I did not put down Landorus). He said he got Blastoise from his Prizes the turn before.
I thought I ran out of luck as I started with Terrakion NVI. It was the seventh card that I drew and my hand was crap. I went first and attached a F Energy to it and passed. He put down Keldeo and Squirtle in his side of the field and passed as well.
I did not draw any Supporter so I was left attaching an Eviolite to Terrakion (in case he can attack for 110 to 130 with Keldeo), attacking with Retaliate for 30 and crossing my fingers that he cannot set any Blastoise up.
That ended my campaign and I placed sixth in the Masters Division. Aljino ended up placing fourth.
CONCLUSION: Twist YOUR Fate
Overall, I was satisfied with my performance in this City Championship. I already have 20 Championship Points under my name and was able to pilot a creative deck for the tourney. What I realized is that your fate literally relies on your preparations, and everything draws from there.
To conclude, here are some card suggestions that you can make room for to modify the deck, as well as some tips in playing Twist of Fate. Thank you for reading this article.
pokemon-paradijs.comIt is one of the very first things that comes to mind. It would allow you to have as much Aerodactyl as you want faster.
You may remove the two Eviolite and replace them with two Potion. One advantage of Potion is that it cannot be removed by Tool Scrapper. Just make sure that you use it at the most crucial time since Potion is just a one-time use.
One of the downside of the deck is that it sometimes stops drawing because 12 Supporter cards seems not enough to have a good hand for at least every other turn. Solve this by adding Bianca or even Cheren.
Adding Professor Juniper means you would be increasing the risk of discarding important cards just to draw some other cards that you need for a particular turn.
I would personally add another Bianca in case I decide to modify the deck.
1. DO NOT engage in Mewtwo Wars. As much as possible, trick your opponent into thinking that you do not have Mewtwo EX in the deck before steamrolling with your very own Mewtwo. Even though you have Aerodactyl, you are still at a disadvantage in Mewtwo Wars because most decks have three in their arsenal. Given this, it is implied that you should never initiate a Mewtwo War.
However, the deck does not seem to jive with it primarily because the deck is flippy enough already because of Twist Mountain. Just play intelligently. You cannot avoid giving away some Prizes in using this deck.
3. Find a way to start with Landorus as often as possible. The best way to do this is by shuffling your deck properly before a game starts.
4. Conserve your Energy cards. This deck does not have any engine like Dark Patch or Eelektrik NVI, and run no Energy Retrieval like Blastoise/Keldeo decks. And remember that most of your Pokémon’s powerful attacks need a lot of Energy (e.g. Land Judgment, Power Blast, Gold Breaker, and even X Ball).
As much as possible, and ideally, you should have only used up half of your Energy cards (meaning 6) by the time your opponent has only 2 Prizes left. This would give you enough chance to pull off a decent attack to win the game.
5. Lastly, be sure to familiarize yourself with the amount of copies per card that you run in your deck. Nothing is more frustrating than looking for, than say, a nonexistent third Mewtwo EX during a Mewtwo War when you only run two in the deck. This is why you should play intelligently and methodically.