The Thun Regional was the first Regional tournament of the year in Switzerland and the first tournament where Plasma Storm was legal. Due to the fact that we were not able to hold Plasma Storm Prereleases on time due to heavy snow in North America, the set has only been playable since March 1st in our country.
As it was our first tournament with Plasma Storm, I was expecting a lot of Klinklang decks. This is typically what happens with newly released and hyped cards – they are popular during the first tournament they are legal. I was also expecting a lot of Big Basics and Darkrai/Lasers, which are decks that gained a lot with the new set.
The weekend before this tournament it was the first S/P/T’s in North America and Garbodor/Landorus/Mewtwo did great, so naturally I was expecting to see a few people net-decking American winners’ lists.
Based on my metagame prediction I decided to play Blastoise/Keldeo-EX/Black Kyurem EX. It is a deck that I’ve practiced with since the release of Plasma Gale in Japan. This deck has a good matchup against Darkrai and Big Basics. For the Klinklang matchup that I was expecting to face, I decided to tech in Moltres NXD which swings it to a 90-10 matchup in favor of me.
As Garbodor would probably be played, I also fit in a single Tool Scrapper. After testing against the Illinois winner’s list Garbodor, the matchup was more or less even with this single addition. My worst matchup in the testing was against RayEels.
Because I had to tech against both Klinklang AND Garbodor, I had to drop Pokémon Catchers to 3. With 4 Catchers, I think that the matchup is even or in favor of Blastoise. But with only 3, the matchup becomes very difficult and teching in Black Kyurem BCR was not an option as the deck was already too techy.
Here are some specificities of my deck for this tournament.
Pokémon – 1
Trainers – 9
Energy – 5
For this tournament in the middle of Bern Alps, we had little less than 40 players. There were not only Swiss players, but also some players from Southern Germany. My objective for this tournament was to make Top 8 and grab some Championship Points.
Round 1 – Remo Zahn with Eels/Raticate/Mewtwo
pokemon-paradijs.comI am playing against a Swiss-German player, and as Swiss-French player, I don’t really know what deck he could be playing.
When shuffling he drops an Emolga and I think: “A RayEels. Darn, I am so unlucky to get a bad matchup on the first round.”
I was prepared and ready to strike like the light of Zeus. We turn our Pokémon over and I see a single Mewtwo EX in his Active Spot. I admit that I felt relieved. Seeing that he plays Mewtwo in RayEels would mean for me that it is not the best version, and I would have my chances.
A turn later he drops a Rattata and then I start to become very worried. I have a very bad start and I realize that if he starts to 1-shot my EXs with Raticate BCR while try to get a Blastoise, I would probably lose.
When you have a bad start with Keldeo and you see a Raticate fully charged, I can tell you one thing. It is very scary, even with only 60 HP…
Luckily he had not such a great start as well and I KO’ed some Raticate and Eels with Keldeo-EX. In the whole game he attacked 3 times with Raticate, but he always missed the combo with Lasers for 1-shots.
At the end of the game I had 160 damage on two Keldeo-EX and 170 on Black Black Kyurem EX. I win in the end, but things could have become bad if he had some more lucky pulls.
Round 2 – Silvia Landis with RayEels
She is the mother of probably the best Swiss player of this season – Patrick Landis. He is already qualified for Worlds. I already knew that she would play her son’s deck: RayEels (and a very good version). It is in theory my worst matchup.
Thankfully, this time Blastoise shows up Turn 2 and I have the Energies for Keldeo and quickly put pressure on her Active Rayquaza EX. She struggles to discard L Energies and has to waste a lot of resources because my game plan is already in place.
Keldeo can soon 1-shot Rayquaza EXs and I turn to take a comfortable lead. After that she N’ed me to 2, and that would eventually slow me down after a KO on my powered up Keldeo. But it was only a matter of time before I could win the game.
With 2 victories and after beating a RayEels, I believe that my chances to make the top cut are real. I hoped to play a Klinklang deck next round…
Round 3 – Lydia Hombach with Garbodor/Landorus/Mewtwo
She is a player that came from Germany for the occasion. I knew that she played the same deck the previous week at Stuttgart, so I am aware that I will face a very difficult match. This is the 3rd round and if I can win, I would have a foot in the tops.
But the worst enemy in this battle was neither her, nor Garbodor, nor when I should pull out the Tool Scrapper. The worst enemy was me.
She was absolutely beautiful. She was probably the most beautiful Pokémon player ever. And I knew that unless I played a perfect match, I might lose. So I decided to not look into her angelic eyes, and instead focus on the game. After all, attraction is only based on pheromones, genes, and DNA.
Maybe because I was so concentrated on this game, I don’t remember all the details that well. But I did play the best I could.
The game did start well for her. She was putting on pressure with Hammerhead and had Turn 2 Garbotoxin. On my side, if she would not have Garbotoxin so quick, I think I could win this because I had great cards in hand and Blastoise Turn 2.
I start to setup as much I can, and on Turn 3 I end up with a very difficult decision. I have Juniper and Tool Scrapper in hand. If I wait too long I will lose because her Landorus is powered up, and one Energy per turn for me is not an option. So I had to use my Tool Scrapper very early. I draw a lot of Energy and Retrievals. I am able to charge a Keldeo and a Blastoise. I Rush In for a 1HKO on Landorus.
The next turn she starts to drop two Mewtwo on the field, Switches, and reactivates Garbotoxin. The next turn I Sacred Sword her Garbodor after a Pokémon Catcher. I setup a second Blastoise, and as I have another Catcher in hand I might kill her Trubbish next turn with the charged Blastoise, also forcing her drawing 7 Prizes. What I do, but things will become bad when she N me to 2…
After that things became very complicated. She started to stack Energies on a Mewtwo and ended up with two Garbodor. I was winning 4 Prizes to 0, and after the N I lost 4 Prizes to 6…
I was very sad because this match was very important for success in the tournament. But there were 3 more rounds of very difficult matches awaiting. This was one of the turning points of the tournament.
Round 4 – Norwin with Darkrai/Lasers
He is one of the best players of Switzerland. I have never played him, and I don’t know what to expect, but it turns out he is playing Darkrai/Lasers. The matchup is, in my opinion, even or slightly advantageous for Keldeo.
He starts to spread some damage on my Pokémon. But with a turn two Black Ballista I take the lead. I manage to take two more Prizes with a second Black Ballista. But then the winds will turn…
I get N’ed to two and I get very bad draws. Norwin will take 6 Prizes, and I lose the game.
At this point it is like crossing the Styx and meeting Hades… With a record of 2-2 my chaces to top are now very low.
Round 5 – Jimmy with RayEels
I play this time against someone from Lausanne. He plays RayEels, which might not be good for me. But this game will go very quick. I have a Turn 2 Blastoise and start to massacre Eels. He will only manage to attack once with Rayquaza which I revenged killed with Black Ballista.
Kill them all. For the Lord knows them that are His.
– Arnaud Amalric
(He probably said that when he played against an Eel deck arround the year 1209.)
With a 3-2 record and a great resistance I still can reach Top 8. But for that I will have to win the next round.
Round 6 – Remo L. with Darkrai/Lasers
This time I have to play against the Swiss Champion of last year. He is playing Darkrai and I have not seen him at a lot of tournaments this year, so I think that I have a decent chance.
The game starts not so well for me with Moltres as start, but I have a Blastoise Turn 2. I take the first 2 Prizes with 2HKO on his Darkrai with a 3 Energy Keldeo. Keldeo will die later from Poison at the same time as his Darkrai.
At this point of the game I have a difficult decision to take. I have a Keldeo Active with two W Energies and a Black Kyurem with no Energy. I have 3 W Energies on hand and Juniper. I can attach them to Black Kyurem and hope for a Prism in 7 cards, or attach them to Keldeo and try a 1HKO by drawing 2 W Energy or 1 Energy Retrieval (I used none and had Energies on the discard).
My instinct told me to put them on Black Kyurem EX. But I see that drawing an Energy Retrieval or two Water on 7 cards is more likely to happen. I attach them to Keldeo.
I draw 7 cards and… only one Prism and the rest is trash. I attach this Energy to Keldeo and hit for 170. He does 90 and retreats. I Colress and draw trash and again attack for 170. He now has two Darkrai with 170 damage and I have a Moltres, two undamaged Keldeo, and my Black Kyurem still sitting on the Bench since the first turn with damage.
He already played 3 Catcher, so he will only be able to KO one of them. I still have Energy Retrievals and Energies, so I place Moltress in the Active Spot and retreat, discarding two Energy from my Active Keldeo, in order to negate him two more Prizes.
For 3 Energy with Moltress I can KO his Darkrai and take 2 Prizes. If everything goes well next turn he will have either to KO Moltress or Keldeo with Energy, and in both cases if I can attack this turn I win.
I Juniper again. There are not many cards left in my deck and I believe what is remaining is very good stuff, so this is where I should be able to turn this game in my favor and qualify for the Top 8. I draw and… no Energy Retrieval. Nothing. Two Catcher and some Skyla for next turn. I have one Prism and one Water that I attach to Moltres. He has only one Catcher and a massive deck.
I Rush In a Keldeo without damage and hope I draw an Energy next turn and take an Energy Retrieval with Skyla. But his turn he N’ed me and I draw again my Catchers and some useless random stuff that I could not discard earlier in the game. I promote another undamaged Keldeo in Active Spot.
Vae Victis… Woe to the vanquished.
– Brennos 390 BC
I was quite disappointed. I was very much hoping to win Championship Points and was so close to doing so. N really killed me this day; it is a very powerful card. Maybe the fact that I teched against Klinklang and Garbodor brought me more inconstancy than usual. I am quite sad to have not played against a single Klinklang, but I knew the risk and I think I would still tech against it for the first tournament. I am also considering to add more Tropical Beachs to the deck, this would help me to counter Virbank and protect me from late N.
This is only one battle lost. I will continue to try and get to Worlds this season.