Ninjapikachu’s 1st Place Cumbernauld City Championship Report

Naruto_Pikachu_Improvement__by_AppleLoveapplelove.deviantart.comHey everyone, it’s Ninjapikachu back again with another report, this one from the City Championships in Cumbernauld, with a brief summary of the one in Edinburgh.

For those who don’t know (and frankly, I’ll forgive you for not caring), I’m in Seniors, and I’ve been playing for about a year competitively. (OK, in my first tournament almost exactly a year ago my deck had a Scolipede line in it, so not exactly with a competitive chance. Suffice to say I’ve improved.)

However, you did not come here for my bragging, so I’d better cut to the chase. That began, unusually, with, me NOT having to chase public transport.

My good friend Dominic offered me a lift to Cumbernauld, along with John, our League Leader. Let me just take a moment to thank him – chatting to friends is by far a better way to pass a journey than either sharing it with a parent who doesn’t see the point, or travelling alone while dressed like some sort of Pokémon/Naruto fusion.

My Decklist

Following my recent successes with the deck, I opted to run Darkrai/Hydreigon. I read through the recent UG article on it, in preparation, and used this list:

Pokémon – 13

3 Deino DRX 93

3 Hydreigon DRX 97

3 Darkrai-EX DEX

2 Sableye DEX

1 Sigilyph DRX

1 Giratina EX

Trainers – 34

4 N

4 Skyla

3 Professor Juniper

1 Bianca

2 Random Reciever


4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Rare Candy

3 Ultra Ball

3 Dark Patch

3 Max Potion

1 Eviolite

1 Super Rod

1 Level Ball

1 Computer Search

Energy – 13

9 D – Basic

4 Blend GRPD

Now, I’d like to list some of the reasons behind playing what I did.

Giratina EX

giratina-ex-dragons-exalted-drx-124pokemon-paradijs.comIt’s barely ever mentioned as a seriously viable tech for Hydreigon, and at first glance it may well appear mediocre. However, there are a few things in the present format that for me at least make it far from that.

RayEels in general is the first one. The deck can kill everything of ours so fast, so that 1HKOing a Rayquaza EX is a very good thing to be able to do. Whereas normally in this matchup, Hydreigon’s Dragonblast attack would need to be heavily used, Shred will 1HKO Rayquaza EX, without losing 2 D Energy, and without leaving the backbone of the deck’s strategy open to attack.

Now I know that this strategy is flawed, and that if they can set up a return KO, which a deck like Eels often can, you’ll end up down 2 Prizes instead of one. But even that can be better than losing Hydreigon sometimes.

Then there’s the effect of Shred: This attack’s damage isn’t affected by any effects on the Defending Pokémon. It goes through Abilities and Eviolite.

Now, going through Sigilyph DRX is an important thing. People never ever realise that I can do it, until the wall they were safely hiding behind is forcibly ripped down. And as a minor extra point for it, Giratina’s second attack 1HKOs the Outrage dragons, which otherwise easily get in 110 damage if not dealt with.

Oh, and it’s an EX with 180 HP that 2HKOs anything and isn’t called Darkrai, should a Landorus-EX rear its ugly head. Now that is useful.

All Dragon Deino

deino-dragons-exalted-drx-93pokemon-paradijs.comAnother local meta choice. I haven’t seen Dragon Vault packs on sale anywhere, but I do know that people get lucky with pulls. A Landorus-EX in some way, shape, or form seemed far more likely than a Rayquaza DRV coming from nowhere.

No Shaymin EX

It was Shaymin or Giratina. Giratina isn’t automatic death to start with, and Giratina helps with more matchups. I basically just had to sacrifice my chances against Blastoise/Keldeo to improve other games.

No Tool Scrapper

No space.

Cumbernauld Cities

Hmmmm, now what is this? Is it a Cities report, or an ode to the uses of Giratina EX? High time now that I returned to topic.

When I arrived, I went for a walk round the tables, in an attempt to find out my fellow competitors were playing, and to say hi. I spotted a fair few probable plans, and then did some trading. While looking through someone’s binder, I see Dragon Vault cards, including 2 Rayquazas. They’re for trade, and a deal is done.

However, I ask what he’s running, and the answer is RayEels. And yes, he has 2 more little Rays in there… Oh NO.

Then I spot a Senior a few seats away whose dad is playing a game with a Landorus deck. I don’t believe the dad is who’ll be using it. Also there’s a Blastoise/Keldeo in the area, a match that’s practically an auto-loss for me. This doesn’t feel like a safe place for my deck to play in…

rayquaza-dragon-vault-11trollandtoad.comWell, it’s time to begin, and the first round pairings are announced. I’m against Struan – the person with those Rayquazas…

Now, as my note-taking is terrible, I took voice recordings of my matches instead. Though it means I can remember every detail, I’m afraid that some things may have been wrongly documented, owing to not needing clearly announced.

Also, since the recordings needed listened to again in real-time, and provided literally every detail, I found rounds were taking hours each to compile.

And on some of the recordings, owing to quality, quiet voices, and noise of the players next to me, it was extremely difficult to discern what was being said.

While the first two rounds have been noted exactly as they occurred, in the second two, the aforementioned problems proved too hard and time-consuming to overcome. At that rate, my report wouldn’t have been in until next Christmas!

Apologies to my opponents if you notice any errors, and I hope that the quality of information in the first two rounds makes up for a slightly vague attitude to rounds 3 and 4.

Also, there’ll be no information as to what was in my hand, for obvious reasons.

Round 1 vs. Struan with RayEels

tynamo-noble-victories-nvi-38-no-watermarkpokemon-paradijs.comHe starts with Rayquaza EX and a Tynamo. I start with a Sableye and Giratina EX. He goes first, Level Balling for Tynamo. He attaches fire and Celestial Roars, I think for 1 maybe.

I attach to Sableye, bench a Darkrai EX, and N. “That might be useful,” he says, and I wholeheartedly agree. I bench a Deino, use Dark Cloak to retreat into Darkrai, and pass.

He evolves a Tynamo into Eelektrik (shocking, I know), plays down Skyarrow Bridge, and retreats into Tynamo. He Ultra Balls for another Rayquaza EX, and benches it. Somewhere in this, he also uses a hand-refresh Supporter of some kind. He Catchers for Giratina, attaches to Tynamo, and uses Thunder Wave.

I Random Reciever for Professor Juniper, attach a Blend Energy to something, Giratina probably, and Juniper. I Dark Patch to Darkrai. At this point, the recording hears me say “Darn, I misplayed.” I don’t remember what the misplay was.

I Ultra Ball, discarding D Energy and Skyla, for Hydreigon. I Rare Candy to Hydreigon, attach an Eviolite to Giratina (or Darkrai perhaps, I need to clearly announce things in future, if I’m to rely on recordings), Dark Trance to free retreat Giratina into Darkrai, Dark Trance to Darkrai, and Night Spear, putting 30 on the Eelektrik.

He brings up a Rayquaza EX. He attaches Lightning, plays Cheren, and Tool Scrappers my Eviolite. He benches Emolga, Catchers for Giratina, and Dragon Bursts for the KO. I bring up… Darkrai? Bench a Deino, and then N.

There then comes the first incidence this game of me taking forever to make a decision. I eventually bench a Darkrai. I attach to it – then take the decision back – then decide to actually attach after all.

I Catcher for his Eelektrik, and Night Spear it, putting 30 on a Rayquaza. He brings up Rayquaza EX. Ultra Balls, discarding N and Skyla, doesn’t find what he was looking for, and takes a Tynamo. He says that his strategy has just completely fallen apart.

I don’t know what on Earth he was planning, but I must admit I’m glad I never found out. He Junipers, attaches Lightning to Rayquaza EX, Catchers for my Deino and Dragon Bursts for the KO.

Ghetsis_Hydreigon_AdventuresBulbapediaI Bianca, not sure for how many cards. I retreat whatever I brought up into Hydreigon, Dark Trance the Energy over, and Dragonblast for the KO, sincerely hoping I haven’t misplayed, in leaving Hydreigon out in the open.

He Level Balls for an Eel of some sort, Dynamotors to something. I’m afraid I don’t know what he brought up after I killed Rayquaza.

“Oh NO!” I say, realising that I may indeed have made a mistake, and a serious one at that. He retreated into something, but it doesn’t matter what, since he then realised he’d misplayed and Switched back. He passes.

Another pause in play, this time even longer, ensues as I plot my next move… I apologise profusely for the amount of time this is taking, and continue to plot, willing my brain to work faster.

Still thinking, he looks through my discard pile. “OK… Oo-Kaaay” I say, finally reaching some form of conclusion. I Super Rod for… (stops to think again)

“I am really just SO sorry about this. This turn is an embarrassment!”

Giratina EX, Deino, and Hydreigon.

I use Random Reciever, and as I do so we both agree that it’s the longest turn in the history of Pokémon. I am just so lucky that Struan was nice to me, and didn’t tell me to hurry up, or call me for slow playing, as I think he was well within his rights to do either.

I free retreat Hydreigon out of the firing line, for a Darkrai EX. I Dark Trance the 2 Energy (one Blend and one Dark) on Hydreigon off of it, and onto Darkrai. I Skyla for an Ultra Ball, Ultra Ball for Giratina EX, and bench it.

Aaaaaaaand…. I pass. The turn of eternity comes to a welcome end.

He attaches to Rayquaza EX, Catchers for Hydreigon, benches Victini (Victory Star), and Dragon Bursts for the KO. “What??” I ask myself. “Why did I not think??” I don’t remember quite what the mistake was, but I think it was probably large…

“But that’s OK!” I add, coming up with a plan. At this point, all of Struan’s Catchers are in the discard.

I bench Giratina EX and Sigilyph, and retreat into it. “I can still win this,” he says, “using Emolga and Eelektrik.” Wow, this is tense! I Skyla for Computer Search, Computer Search for a Blend Energy, and attach it to Sigilyph. I then pass.

victini-noble-victories-nvi-14pokemon-paradijs.comHe uses N (?), Dynamotors onto Eelektrik, retreats into Victini (which had acquired a couple of Energy at some point), and uses Stored Power (!!!), moving the Energy onto Eelektrik. Whoever would have thought Victini would ever be used to attack. Not either of us!

I attach to Darkrai EX, retreat into it, and Night Spear, putting 30 on his Eelektrik. He brings up Emolga, attaches Lightning to it, Dynamotors to Rayquaza EX, retreats into Rayquaza EX, and Celestial Roars. He ends up with enough Enegy to 1HKO me next turn.

I attach to something or other, and Juniper. I Level Ball for a Deino, bench Deino, free retreat into Sigilyph, and pass.

He counts the cards in my deck: 8 left. He counts the cards in his: 9. He Super Rods for whatever he can, anything to increase his deck size, as his plan is to stall me out. He passes.

“Oh my GOD!!” I literally start laughing with relief as I realise my plan has come together successfully. I Rare Candy into Hydreigon. Now it’s his turn to shout “Oh my god!”

I free retreat into Hydreigon, Dark Trance everything over, and Dragonblast for the win.


Woohoo!! I must say, that was honestly one of the best games I’ve ever played. It’s awesome when things get so close that the players have to do something actually unexpected to try and win.

It’s also really nice to get a good opponent. While I’ve only faced very few of any other variety (And I hope it stays that way!), I know that if I’d been against someone who HAD rushed me, I’d probably have lost that game.

Well, only about 3 minutes after I finish the match, pairings are announced for the next round. I’m against Charles, who reveals himself to be that Landorus guy.

Oh, come on! First the RayEels matchup I’d been dreading, and now playing with a type disadvantage against someone who’s evidently fairly good, as he’s wearing a Worlds competitor t-shirt.

At least there’s not that much honour to lose if he destroys me, then.

Round 2 vs. Charles with Landorus/Mewtwo/Bouffalant

I set up. Then, my opponent says that he hasn’t cut my deck, and that I need to reshuffle, let him cut, and the redo my start.

OK, no problem there. If I had been cheating, it would have been purposely to avoid the bad start I would have otherwise had!

mewtwoI don’t fully remember what he started with, but I definitely had Darkrai and either had Giratina EX or benched it 1st turn, and he definitely had Mewtwo. It’ll probably become clear.

I go first. I Ultra Ball for a Deino, bench it, probably attach Blend to Giratina, and pass.

Before he does anything, he says that he’s going to call a judge to sort out my deck. Apparently, if you have non-symmetrical sleeves, it matters if they’re upside down.

The Judge then comes, separates the Regigigas’ heads heads from their feet.

Unfortunately, he sees the card sleeves in question. I knew going in that they wouldn’t pass a deck check, but they were so much better than my Ultra Pro ones, so I was just hoping I’d get away with it.

He says that I’ll have to change them before my next round. Oh well, it should by all rights have happened several BRs ago. After that’s done, play resumes.

He Junipers. Plays down Aspertia City Gym, uses Energy Retrieval, attaches DCE, and uses X Ball for 20, owing to my Resistance.

I Rare Candy to Hydreigon, and N. Just after I’ve drawn off it, he realises my deck hasn’t been cut, so I have to shuffle in and draw again. I attach Blend to Giratina, and pass.

bouffalant-dragons-exalted-drx-110pokemon-paradijs.comHe plays Cheren, benches a Bouffalant, attaches a DCE to Bouffalant, Catchers for Giratina, and X Balls for 60.

I Skyla for Dark Patch, Dark Patch to Darkrai EX, Dark Trance to Giratina, Catcher for Landorus, and Shred for 90.

He uses Max Potion. “I hate you.” “Doesn’t everyone?” (It’s true, Max Potion is utterly evil. Unless it’s in your own hand, of course!) He then attaches to Bouffalant, and Switches, before using Gold Breaker for 120 and the KO. I bring up Darkrai.

What the heck – where’d that come from??

I Random Reciever for N, N.

At this point, the judge returns, and calls Charles’ sleeves for not being Pokémon-related. He’s told to change them after, so I guess what goes around comes around.

I attach a Dark to Darkrai and free retreat. Realising I hadn’t announced what I was retreating into, I put it back Active, bench Sableye, and retreat into it. The judge is called. I’m allowed, as I thought, to complete the move, as my hand hadn’t moved off the Darkrai EX before I realised the misplay.

I Dark Trance that Energy over to Sableye, and Junk Hunt. He attaches to Landorus, retreats, and uses Hammerhead, putting the other 30 on Darkrai, I think. Inquiries are made as to why my discard pile is face-down. The answer is by accident.

I Ultra Ball for a Deino, but can’t remember if I bench it or not. (Hint, if I play Rare Candy, I probably did.)

max-potion-emerging-powers-epo-94pokemon-paradijs.comI attach Blend and Dark Patch to Darkrai EX. I Random Reciever for a Professor Juniper. I use it. I move the Energy on it over to Hydreigon, and Max Potion Darkrai. I Eviolite the sitting duck(rai), Dark Patch, bench Sigilyph, free retreat into Sigilyph, Dark Trance over the required Energy, and Psychic for 60.

He uses N. I give my sincere thanks.

He Catchers my Darkrai, and uses Hammerhead for 40, putting 30 on Sableye.

I Ultra Ball for Hydreigon. I Skyla for a Rare Candy – Which isn’t there. Problem.

I desperately try to find a backup strategy. This time around, I’m asked to hurry up. Apparently the amount of time a turn should last is a minute and a half. (Charles, if you’re reading this, no offence but John said it’s actually 2.)

I get out a Max Potion with the Skyla instead. I Max Potion my damaged Sableye, and bench Darkrai EX. (Being asked to hurry up again in the process. I checked later, and it actually would have qualified as rushing.)

I retreat into Hydreigon, move the required Energies over, and Dragonblast for the KO. He brings up Mewtwo, Skylas for something, I can’t remember what, and X Balls for around 80 or so.

I Rare Candy to Hydreigon, Dark Patch to Darkrai, am asked once more to hurry up when I take a moment to think. (I’m not trying to be rude about my opponent here, it just is what happened. To be fair I’d have annoyed me, too.)

sigilyph-dragons-exalted-drx-52pokemon-paradijs.comI Juniper, attach to something, free retreat Hydreigon, into Sigilyph, Dark Trance over, and Psychic for 120.

He Tool Scrappers the Eviolite from my Darkrai, and Computer Searches for Juniper, which he then uses. He Switches into Bouffalant, Catchers Darkrai, and uses Gold Breaker for 120.

I free retreat into Sigilyph, attach to something, Catcher for his Mewtwo, and Psychic for the KO.

He brings up Bouffalant, plays N, and then uses Gold Breaker.

I’m lucky enough to draw straight into Bianca, which I play.

I Max Potion (moving the Energy off, first), attach, free retreat into Darkrai, and Night Spear for 70 (Bouffer), putting 30 on his Mewtwo EX. (He had 2, I’m afraid I just didn’t know when he benched it.) Oh, wait. Dark Trance the Energy over, then Night Spear.

He brings up a Tornadus EX (No, I don’t know where it came from either. It was lurking on the bench somewhere.) and Power Blasts for 100.

I free retreat into Hydreigon, Catcher for his benched Mewtwo, Dark Trance over Energy, and Dragonblast for the win.


I have to resleeve my deck. Fortunately, John and Struan help me with that, and it’s easily done in time. Unfortunately, it means I’m back to wondering when my sleeves will next self-destruct…

A word of advice: Black Ultra Pros are a pain in the backside.

Round 3 vs. Adam with Blastoise/Keldeo

squirtle-boundaries-crossed-29pokemon-paradijs.comOh no, it’s finally come around. The dreaded Blastoise/Keldeo matchup.

He starts with Squirtle, I think, maybe with Keldeo. I start with Darkrai and Deino. I think I go first. I attach D Energy to Darkrai, probably use some form of Supporter, and end my turn.

He benches Keldeo, I’m guessing attaches and retreats into it, before ending his turn. (If no Supporters are mentioned around here, that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. They should probably just be taken as said.)

I Sklya for Rare Candy, and evolve into Hydreigon. I attach D Energy to Darkrai, and end my turn. I believe he attaches again and passes, probably benching a second Keldeo-EX, and doing the odd other thing.

I use some form of Supporter, attach, bench Darkrai EX, and Night spear, putting 30 on his Squirtle. He Rare Candies into Blastoise, puts however many Energy on, uses a Supporter of some sort, and uses Secret Sword for the KO.

I bring up my second Darkrai. I bench another one, I think. I Dark Patch to it, and attach Blend to it, and end my turn.

He – You guessed it! – uses Secret Sword. I attach and Night Spear for the KO, putting 30 on his benched Keldeo. He brings it up, uses Energy Retrieval, and Deluges 5 Energy on. He uses Secret Sword for 150.

I bench Sigilyph, and free retreat into it. I Dark trance Darkrai’s Energy over to Sigilyph, and use Psychic for 100.

He retreats into Blastoise, Deluges to it, and uses Hydro Pump for the KO. I bring up Darkrai, attach, and end my turn. He uses Rush In, Energy Retrieval, uses Cilan, I think, Deluges, and uses Secret Sword for the KO.

I bring up Hydreigon, and pass.

He wins.


I start to think Shaymin might have been a good idea, then remember how Giratina helped me in my first 2 matches. I also have a horrible feeling that my hopes of doing well are utterly dashed.

Round 4 vs. ??? with White Kyurem EX

white kyurem ex boundaries crossed 103He’s using a Dragon-type deck, based around White Kyurem EX and Crystal Edge.

I got a good start, and before too long, Giratina EX was, er, shredding everything. Despite his best efforts, it managed to do irreparable damage before he got a chance to use White Kyurem EX, and as far as I recall basically got me the game.

That’s 3 out of 4 matches my tech has been proved effective, and I’m pretty pleased with a record like that.


Time for the final standings, and I’m hoping for at least an OK finish.

No one has managed to be 4-0 this tournament, and the numbers come to top 3, without my name being called. Third place is announced, then second place goes to Adam.

And I have the glorious realisation that I’ve won Cities, my first ever tournament win. (I don’t count a 3-person Prerelease!)

Edinburgh Cities

Now, I attended Edinburgh Cities the next day, but I’m not doing a full report on it. Here’s a brief summary, though.

Allergy Advice: This product may contain traces of sour grapes.

  • n-dark-explorers-dex-96First round I lose to Adam, and REALLY begin to hate Blastoise/Keldeo.
  • Second round I win.
  • Third round I would have won, but I played an N when Stoutland BCR was up, and it ended in double game loss. I utterly and totally hate myself.
  • Fourth round I win.

I come 9th, my worst placement ever, and it’s all my fault for playing that N. There’s a top cut of 2.

I win a new playmat in the raffle and swap my old playmat for a Play! Pokémon folder someone else won. Best things that happened to be all that day.

And for both tournaments, as other people seem to do this, I’ll add some props and slops.


  • WINNING!!!
  • Winning a playmat at the raffle.
  • Having really nice opponents almost all of the time.
  • Trading my FA Landorus-EX for regular Landorus-EX and 6 EPO packs, then pulling 2 Catchers out of them.
  • Pulling Landorus-EX out of my prize packs.


  • pikachu sad
    I’m sorry.

    Being a total jerk to a couple of people, either in games of after they beat me.

  • Feeling like a total moron after doing these things, and ending up apologising to both of them. (I don’t regard the apology as a bad thing, I just hate screwing up and feeling like a moron.)
  • Third round game loss, and subsequent self-hatred.
  • Having to stare in the face the ugly truth that I’m a bit of a bad loser. (Nothing really serious, just see above. And that I literally slammed my head against a wall after that 3rd round game loss. I had a Naruto-style headband on, so it didn’t hurt me.)
  • Realising that I as good as auto-lose to Blastoise/Keldeo.

Hmm, I’d better stop the slops. That’s not a trace, but the entire grapevine!!

Anyway, I hope you’ve all enjoyed my report, despite its lack of punctuality, and tolerated my alternate moaning and smugness. If you want to compliment/object/correct me, feel free to do so in the comments.

Thanks again for reading,


Reader Interactions

12 replies

  1. Nerilee McKenzie

    No wonder Darkrai/Hydregion is dropping in popularity and Keldeo/Blastoise is rising in it. Keldeo/Blastoise is such an epic deck and is so easy to play and when the Keldeo tins come out, cheap as well.

    • opagnpa  → Nerilee

      keldeo isn’t CHEAP. the tins dont come out until states, keldeos are $30, tropical beach which makes the deck preform the best is upwards of $100

  2. Eduardo Garozzi

    I love Giratina ex so much!! One of the most underated cards in the format I guess, due to his combination of energy required in most I guess. But the potencial of 2 hit KO anything in the format whitout worry of anything and hiting 130 is a huge point for him!!

  3. John Orgel

    Darkrai hydreigon has a chance against Blastoise Keldeo, but its is def. not in the hydregon player’s favor. I played with a similar list at the Georgia marathons and did well against blastoise. I usually waited until late in the game to play siglyph and then would N my opponent so that they had a harder time ko’s the siglyph with blastoise. I too like Giratina in the fighting match-up, but with the rise of blastoise and the subsequent fall of landorous I think that switching to Shaymin Ex or the secret sword virizion is the better call.

  4. Shining Yue

    “I use some form of Supporter, attach, bench Darkrai EX, and Night spear, putting 30 on his Squirtle.”


    • Ryan Moorhouse  → opagnpa

      What do you mean by this? That Seniors are not competitive at all and it should just be Masters? I honestly dont think so.Masters may have a more competitive player-base but many of the seniors are extremely competitive and could probably beat quite a few of the Masters.I dont see Seniors as a joke-I see it the same way as Masters.On another note,well done Julia and a really nice article!

      • opagnpa  → Ryan

        the whole article is filled with seniors makin misplays.
        seniors, even if they are good, is still an easy division. they have few players, fewer rounds, and few good players.

    • Tiago Leal  → opagnpa

      Igor Costa was in his first year as a Master when he won Worlds and he won a lot of tournaments in Portugal as a Senior, so I don’t see why they’re all weaker than Masters. Some may be, but most actualy don’t.

  5. Gerardo Del Toro

    I love that you chose to use Giratina-EX in your deck! It really isn’t as bad as people make it seem and good to see that it got some play during your matches. :)

    Now, I must admit that your re-cap of the first two rounds were a bit lengthy. It doesn’t have to be a re-cap of what happened turn-by-turn, but just a summary of what cards helped you out for that specific matchup, what you might’ve done differently, what major plays that shifted the game in either player’s favor, etc. There was a lot of unnecessary guess work on your part. Trying to remember everything is just a burden on you.

    It would’ve been nice to have a double cities report that were detailed and concise, but I understand not wanting to go through bad experiences. Don’t be hard on yourself. :)

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