Hello SixPrizes! Today I’m here to bring you a tournament report from BC Provincials.
Crawdaunt, a new edition to Victoria’s competitive player-base (Griffin Ledingham), and I came from Victoria to compete in BC Provincials in Vancouver. On Friday night I was planning on Lugia/Landorus, Crawdaunt on Garbodor, and Griffin on Darkrai with Victini.
I was unsure of my choice as I knew Blastoise and Klinklang were major threats I couldn’t handle easily. I wasn’t expecting a huge turnout of either deck, but I knew I was asking to lose to one in the first round.
We all stayed at Griffin’s parent’s house ten minutes away from the hotel (and his parents were the most accommodating people I’ve ever met, even getting up before us in order to make breakfast for us!) and after we all went to sleep I stayed awake torn between my deck and Crawdaunt’s.
Both decks were strong plays from my point of view, but Garbodor had better overall matchups despite being at the disadvantage against Big Basics which seemed to be the best deck choice for winning the tournament.
On the day of the event I hadn’t come to a decision and Crawdaunt shows me the dice he received on entry and told me they could run out soon. I decided then and there that I would leave my choice to fate and rolled the dice for its first time: heads I go with Lugia and tails I go with Garbodor.
I roll a 5 and thus my decision is made. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was relieved to be playing Garbodor as I knew in Swiss it would be far less risky.
The list I used was a card-for-card copy of the one Crawdaunt showed me during our testing session a few days back. I didn’t deviate from it partly because I had never played Garbodor before, and partly because I agreed with every card he chose. You can find the list in Crawdaunt’s tournament report on TCG with Hats.
Looking back on it, I’m baffled that Crawdaunt could make such a list filled with single copy Items and convince me of every single card. If I had to play the deck again, I still wouldn’t change a thing about it. Our Trainers didn’t even fit on the decklist sheets provided!
Now, onto the report.
Round 1 vs. RayEels
I start Trubbish against an Emolga, my opponent goes first and Benches two Tynamo by the end of the turn. I Heavy Ball for a Landorus, Skyla for an Escape Rope, switch Landorus into the Active slot and force a Tynamo out, and KO it with Hammerhead.
My opponent evolves their other Tynamo, benches some more Pokémon, and begins to attach to Rayquaza (he had no Dynamotor that turn due to lack of Energy). I evolve into Garbodor and attach a Rescue Scarf. From here on out he is locked out of the game.
I Catcher his Rayquaza EX when it has 2 Energy and X Ball for 80, KOing it the next turn removing his field of Energy. He KOs Garbodor but I won on the next turn anyway. I found out after the game he didn’t run Tool Scraper.
Round 2 vs. RayEels
I was fortunate enough to face this super easy matchup twice in a row. However, I was on major tilt all game because I never had a Supporter in hand. I open with 2 Mewtwo, 2 Trubbish, 1 Virbank, 1 Switch, and a Rescue Scarf. I only play Mewtwo in case he went first and had N. He did go first, but had a Juniper instead of an N and he discards a Tool Scrapper off the Juniper.
My heart sank as I knew I had game if I didn’t draw completely dead and I was already in topdeck mode before my first turn. I draw an N on my draw for turn, bench all my Pokémon, and N. Off the N I hit no supporters, but I KO a Tynamo with Mewtwo and get an N from my Prizes.
On my next turn I N to 5 and get no Supporters yet again! The following turn I topdeck a Bianca and actually draw a Supporter before having to end my turn for once. At this point I had complete control with Landorus and Mewtwo going, and he didn’t even have many Eels out incase he did draw a Scrapper.
I know I haven’t really said what happened in the game, but it was rather uneventful as RayEels can’t do anything against Garbodor without Scrappers.
Round 3 vs. Klinklang
My opponent opens Keldeo but he had already shown me Metal and Blend WLFM off a mulligan so wasn’t afraid of a quick Blastoise. I get to go first in this game, have my Garbodor up quickly, and begin the Landorus rampage.
He does have a Scrapper which he uses to get the KO on a Landorus, but I had been holding all of my spare Tools so I get one into play the next turn and respond with a Mewtwo KO after Poison and previous snipe damage. This was the last easy win I had today and things got more interesting after the lunch break.
Round 4 vs. Darkrai/Hammers
My opponent goes first and I see I’m facing straight Darkrai (through his two mulligans) and I am A-okay with this. Then he plays a Crushing Hammer and I am not okay with this at all. I manage a KO on a Sableye early game and then the Catcher/Hammer stalling begins.
I am pretty sure I can’t win and just keep attaching and trying to get Switches to put damage on Sableye. Time was called when the Prize count was 5-6 for me and I’m turn 0. I realize I can take a Prize this turn and he can’t take one on his next turn, so if I take a Prize after that or keep everything alive I win.
I KO a Sableye with Mewtwo and bring the score to 4-6. He isn’t able to KO anything that turn and I manage to KO his only Darkrai on my last turn by Junipering for the last 7 cards in my deck to get my Dowsing Machine which was the last non-Prized switch out.
I take another 2 Prizes and leave him with a Sableye and a Keldeo-EX with one Energy and no way to take 4 Prizes that turn. I win on time.
Round 5 vs. Darkrai/Landorus/Keldeo
I go first this game and I’m unable to set up a Garbodor this game because Landorus KOs my lone Trubbish and I didn’t want to give up a 6th Prize with another Trubbish. The added mobility of Darkrai and Keldeo (and Keldeo even attacked with Prism Energy) was enough to bring me down.
Round 6 vs. Darkrai/Hydreigon
This game makes for the best story. My opponent goes first, opens Terrakion, attaches a Prism to Keldeo and benches Deino. I attach to Landorus, bench some Trubbish and Hammerhead on Deino.
He attaches a Prism to Keldeo, Dark Patches to a Darkrai, Rare Candies into a Hydreigon and uses Secret Sword for the 1HKO on my Landorus-EX.
I was shocked by this and was embarrassed that I’d have to tell my group that I was swept by a Hydreigon deck (Hydreigon is considered to have lost its glory in the Victoria group). I get a Garbodor going, Catcher Terrakion and attack it with a Mewtwo.
I don’t remember a lot of individual turns. He spends the entire game attaching Energy and searching for his Tool Scrapper while I try to set up attackers to get KOs. He eventually gets Tool Scrapper and Catchers a Landorus-EX for the KO, but puts 3 Energy on his Mewtwo in anticipation of some play he expected me to make.
I attach a Tool to Garbodor, Catcher up his Mewtwo, and attach a DCE for the 1HKO. He Junk Hunts for Tool Scrapper and Catcher, but I’m able to N him to 2 and Catcher KO his Keldeo with 3 Energy with Mewtwo (with help from Poison and snipe damage). He sends up a Darkrai and Night Spears my Mewtwo to put damage on my field for the first time (without KOing of course).
I start my last turn with 5 Energy on my Mewtwo, 10 cards in deck (2 of which are DCE), and Juniper getting a DCE and a 1HKO with Mewtwo on Darkrai for game.
Round 7 vs. Garbodor
My opponent goes first, starts with a Landorus, and gets Hypnobank and Hammerhead on my Mewtwo. I Switch to a Landorus and respond in kind. He starts a Mewtwo war by Catchering my damaged Mewtwo and X Balling with Poison for the KO.
I KO his back and he KOs mine back after I N’d him to 4. I whiff the attach on my turn and N him to 2. He gets a Colress for 5 and pulls Catcher + DCE but no Hypnotoxic Laser. My hand is dead and I Max Potion Mewtwo and pass. He gets the last Energy for the KO.
I end with a solid 5-2 record and thought I had decent resistance (everyone I faced after the first few rounds seemed like they would do well overall), but I end up in 17th place, bubbling cut. Crawdaunt got 16th using the same list as me, but got eliminated in Top 16. Trevore Read made it to the Top 8 only to be eliminated by his worst matchup.
I’m not frustrated over bubbling cut, as I chose the safest play in the format and I don’t regret it at all. Garbodor doesn’t really have any bad matchups except for pure Big Basics and maybe Blastoise running plenty of Tool Scrapper.
Had I gone with Lugia I most likely would’ve lost to the Klinklang I faced and then I’d have to win out starting at 2-1 to make it in, and if I played Klinklang one of the two RayEels would most likely beat me in one of the first two rounds. No other deck I had experience with would’ve been a solid play for Swiss in my opinion (though Blastoise with Scrapper would’ve been great once I secured a spot in the top tables in round 4).
However, as Crawdaunt found (we knew this would happen and accepted in the beginning), was that Garbodor is at the disadvantage against most of the decks that made up top cut. Top cut had a ton of Big Basics that either only lost one to two games in Swiss to a bad matchup or managed to avoid them entirely.
While Big Basics had some bad matchups going into Swiss, its time to shine was once it made top cut. This is why many of the top players at the event were playing it and budgetting their one loss to a bad matchup and winning all their winnable matchups with skill.
I can admit I don’t think I’m skilled enough to win all the Landorus mirrors I’d face after I take a lose to Blastoise or Klinklang. I made a couple overly ambitious plays with a deck that can’t make ambitious plays. (Two to three card combos don’t just happen in Garbodor; the point of the deck is too slow your opponent down such that your one to two card combos will be able to get the job done.)
Metagaming is part of this game, and I chose the safe road to cut that would most likely end at top 8 or 16. Had I been confident enough in Lugia, I might have made it into cut and I’d stand a better chance against most of the decks there.
I ultimately didn’t go through with Lugia and things still didn’t quite pan out anyway, but that’s the nature of the game. Garbodor’s worst matchups aren’t nearly as bad as straight Big Basics, and needing to win slightly unfavorable matchups in cut is the cost for having insurance against all the bad matchups that don’t necessarily make it to cut.
Lugia certainly would’ve been more fun and the deck was doing great against my group’s Landorus, Darkrai, and Eelektrik decks in testing. However, after winning some matches against Crawdaunt testing Garbodor, I asked to face Blastoise to prepare myself, and he swept me in each game with relative ease.
On the subject of Lugia/Landorus, I’ve been refining my list for quite some time now. I started playing it as a league deck when I only had access to a single Lugia but after I got a second Lugia and read the last article on it my interest in the deck was reinvigorated.
Here is my current list:
Pokémon – 9
2 Lugia EX
Trainers – 36
Energy – 15
This list’s current iteration is highly inspired by my Garbodor list. The Garbodor line and Tools have become Lugia, Colress Machine, and Plasma Energy. Four of my Pokémon search cards were dropped to add in 2 Bouffalant, 1 Pokémon Catcher, and 1 Virbank City Gym. Finally, Dowsing Machine is exchanged for Scramble Switch.
In this variant of the deck you aim to build a Lugia through Colress Machine while applying pressure with Landorus and Hypnotoxic Laser and then taking massive amounts of Prizes through Plasma Gale.
You never plan to use two Lugia in a game, but you’ll have better luck drawing/not Prizing two and if one gets hit while setting it up you can Scramble Switch to the second. Mewtwo EX is your best option against Keldeo (most of which drop their own Mewtwo EX) and is also useful against most big Basics requiring only a DCE to score 2HKOs.
Bouffalant is here because I don’t want the deck to auto-lose to Klinklang, although the current list doesn’t have a very strong chance of winning that matchup anyway.
Overall I had a lot of fun at the tournament and played some good games against friendly and talented players, which is always appreciated. I had a great weekend in Vancouver and I’m looking forward to Regionals in a few weeks.
If I can offer any advice based on my experience, it’s to chose your deck based on whether or not you aim to win or just make it far enough to secure some Championship Points. Getting some points is easy with a safe deck, but to win the tournament you need to take some risks with your deck choice.
Hey Max, it was great seeing you and Mark this weekend. I have to agree with you about the luck of the draw sometimes. In the swiss rounds, I managed to not face any Keldeo/Blastoise or Klingklang decks (which I deemed as autolosses) and managed to make Top 16 (where I finally met Klingklang). Whereas, several other players playing the same deck as me did face their autoloss decks and didn’t make Top 16.
If I had played your and Mark’s Garbador version, I would have probably beat the Klingklang deck in Top 16, but may not have even made Top 16 though.
Yesterday, I played my same deck in a smaller 5 round tournament and went 3-2. All depends on the match ups and card draws I guess. :)
See you in a few weeks at Regionals!
Dat 1 Ultra Ball.