Hey guys, I thought I would give it another shot at writing an article. What I have written today is to give readers a fun and exciting recap of how I finished at Regionals. I’m not yet in the mood to start fresh with another format, and due to that there won’t be anything about next format in this article.
Since it has been such a big gap between this article and the last article I wrote, I will share a little bit about myself. I am in my 4th year of Seniors, I’m one of the top players from Pennsylvania, and I have been playing since the 2007 format.
The story starts about 3 weeks ago after my mediocre 3-3 finish at NJ States using my Garbodor list that had won MD States the week prior. With that finish, I had thrown the idea of playing Garbodor out the window. Looking back I am thankful because I don’t think I would have gone past top 4 at Regionals if I would have played it.
Anxiously looking for a deck I stumble across Big Basics, tested it for about a week, and dropped the deck after I discovered that is loses quite annoyingly to Klinklang and Blastoise with Black Kyurem EX. I now had two weeks left until the tournament and only a few days before I had to decide on my deck in case I needed to order a few cards.
I had a long conversation with my friend Matt Rockwell about how he thought that Darkrai was the best play because he had lost to it in the top 4-of NJ States. I began testing it and it was good, but it lost to the same things that Big Basics lost to.
After having difficulties with making a good deck choice, I take a day off to hang out with my friends and play basketball. The night before I have to decide on my deck, so I search tons of articles and forums for a deck idea that I would want to play.
I found a Darkrai list on the forums that had all the options I wanted: Potions, Hammers, and Lasers. I tested it out for about 2 hours and built my own version of the deck. I was ready to go.
We decided to drive up on Friday for a whole 6 hours, and after getting lost (apparently I-495 and highway 140 intersect twice) we find the Red Roof Inn at 1 AM. We were so tired we thought we would write our decklists in the morning.
When we arrived was when I found out that it was being held in the Patriots Stadium. While I’m not much of a Patriots fan, this was probably the best tournament venue I’ve ever been to. Finally, play begins.
Round 1 vs. ??? w/ Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem
My opponent has a Squirtle, Keldeo, and an active Black Kyurem EX for his opening. He whiffs a Supporter and ends up doing manual attachments and passing for a while. I opt to set up a T2 Darkrai and succeed in KOing his only Squirtle.
From there the turns pick up pace as he keeps whiffing a Supporter and I have nothing much else to do but Night Spear. The game eventually ended with him not being able to take a single Prize. Unfortunately the game was not very fun for either of us.
Bittersweet. Yes, I did get the win, but I didn’t feel like I deserved it. We both knew that I should have lost after the game.
Round 2 vs. ??? w/ Big Basics
This time I was the one drawing dead. I recall a starting hand with a Sableye, three Dark, one Hammer, and two Eviolite. The game was over in 3 turns.
What is this? Apparently I lose to my good matchup and win to my bad matchup. Oh well. I was supposed to be 1-1 either way.
Round 3 vs. ??? w/ Klinklang
I go first and open with a Sableye, an Eviolite, and a Supporter. I couldn’t ask for much else for this matchup. The entire game is me basically Hammer stalling and taking the occasional Prize with Laser. About 25 minutes into the round I finally am able to KO the Plasmaklang and from there I clean up the Prizes.
Round 4 vs. Jared Morales w/ Darkrai/Tornadus/Sigilyph
Another game full of dead-draws. The only difference was that Jared was able to set up a Darkrai and I was stuck with an active Keldeo and a hand full of poop.
Round 5 vs. ??? w/ Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem
Going second I get the average start and a turn 3 Darkrai. My opponent also opens pretty averagely as well. Near the last 7-ish minutes of the round I had taken 2 Prizes and my opponent had taken 4. He had all of his Retrievals in the discard. I go for the huge N play.
From there I Catcher and Laser the only Keldeo in play and KO it with a Night Spear. Luckily he is forced to draw/pass. On my next turn I retreat back to my Sableye, Catcher, and Laser a Blastoise to Sleep, and Hunt Hammers, hoping that he’ll deck out. Then time was called.
T0: My opponent draws and passes.
T1: I play down two Hammers, then Junk Hunt for more Hammers and pass.
T2: His Blastoise wakes up and he drops 3 Waters he was holding the entire time! Then he Junipers the last few cards of her deck away for the last Energy he needed to KO my Sableye. The Prizes left were now 2-1.
T3: I send up my Darkrai and Night Spear for my 5th Prize and I win the game because my opponent had decked out.
It looks like I now have a strategy for beating Blastoise – if I play it again, that is.
Round 6 vs. ??? w/ Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem
Oh man, I don’t know how much longer I can run hot against Stoise.
I luckily get to go first this time. This game plays out almost identically to the round 5 game. I start to Night Spear/Laser and he gets up a relatively fast Blastoise and starts to roll over me. I N him down to 2 and he gets a Colress for 7 (he needs 3 Energy to win).
Andddd… he prized the 2 Energy Retrieval needed for him to win as his last 2 Prizes! That was so unlucky for him. He decked out 3 turns later.
Round 7 vs. Emmet W. w/ Garbodor
I was well prepared for this matchup. I got an Eviolited Sableye active and constantly began to Junk Hunt for Hammers. I was spreading insane amounts of damage with Laser alone. He never seemed to have the necessary Switch to prevent the 90 damage from Poison taking place.
I got a good 8 or so of his Energy in the discard before I decided that I should begin to Night Spear. From there I cleaned up the already Laser damaged EX’s in a good 3 turns.
Top 16 vs. Aaron C. w/ Darkrai
He gets a poor start and I draw the nuts. I get a turn 2 Darkrai and I go first. He ran no healing cards so I just Night Speared my way through Game 1 with a single Darkrai.
I get no Supporter and a Keldeo start. He gets up a quick Darkrai and starts pounding me. Apparently his hand wasn’t very good so he decides to Colress for 2 because I have an active Keldeo with 90 on it and an empty bench. The very next turn I topdeck a Juniper! Talk about luck! I give a victory yell as I drop the Juniper.
From there the tables turn, and now I’m the one all set up and he is the one drawing dead, for a little while anyway. After I KO his only charged up Darkrai the game becomes close. The Prizes left are in my favor 4-6 and the board positions look about the same. On his turn he gets out his second Darkrai and Laser/Spears my Eviolited Darkrai which puts it at 10 HP left.
My field is a charged active Darkrai with 170 on it, a benched Darkrai with 60 on it, and a clean Keldeo with one Dark. I decide to Rush In away the Poison and Night Spear to Knock Out his second Darkrai and place damage on his third Darkrai which is now up to 150 (I had a turn to Night Spear and Laser it earlier).
By this point I think I win. He promotes his Darkrai with 150 on it. He goes crazy by Catchering up the Darkrai with 60, Lasers, and N’s me down to two. He then takes out both of my Darkrai and now I am left with a Keldeo and a Sableye. Crazily enough I drew into a Hypnotoxic Laser. So I promoted Sableye, Poisoned him, and passed. That gave me the 30 needed for the win.
Top 8 vs. Nadia B. w/ Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem
At this point I’m completely confused. This should be a loss for me but I already proved myself wrong 3 times already today. I feel if I stick with the late game Hammers strategy I might have a chance.
I had what I thought was to be a great explosive start, a Sableye with the Ultra Ball-Dark-Dark Patch combo as well as a Juniper on top of all of that. I drop the nuts and Juniper. I whiff Energy. Now I feel like I should have attached manually.
I continue to use draw Supporters and keep finding no Energy while my opponent is happily setting up Blastoise and Black Kyurem EX to roll me in the face. I get down to the last 15 cards in my deck and I use Random Receiver, flip through 5 Darks straight followed with an N. I play the N and still whiff the Energies!
So all I could do this game was Hammer spam the Lightning off and hope that she runs out of Energy and Retrievals, but she is still able to pull off the game. Quite the confidence breaker.
This time things get rolling nicely and I begin to spread lots of damage around the field. It takes her too long to get Blastoise and when she does she already has lots of resources burned and most of the EX’s in play have 60-90 HP left. However she is still able to Black Ballista her way down to 2 Prizes.
By then her deck was getting really thin and from there I decided to go back to Hammer spamming away her L Energies. Eventually she decks out.
She gets a poor start and isn’t able to get a quick Blastoise out. I set up and get lots of damage on the field early. I KO an EX before she is finally able to get rolling, but this game she also wasted lots of resources as well. However she does get two Black Ballista KOs before all her Energy Retrievals and most of her Energy were in the discard. Her deck was looking thin as well. I switch to Sableye and make it rain Hammers. A few turns later time was called.
T0: She draws and passes.
T1: I Junk Hunt for a Hypnotoxic Laser and a Catcher.
T2: She draws and passes.
T3: I bring up Darkrai, Catcher a baby Black Kyurem, and KO it. I took one more Prize than her so I won the series.
Top 4 vs. Alex D. w/ Big Basics
This time I get an opponent that knows how to handle this matchup. Instead of opening Landorus like the average person he knows to open Mewtwo so he can get rid of all of my Sableye. I open aggressively with Hammers and go down to my last Sableye, getting luckier than usual on my flips. Around 7-of his Energies in the discard.
After my last Sableye goes down I opt to switch to a single Darkrai to clean up his Energy-less attackers.
Starting this game he puts away his dice that I have been using to pull off all of those heads. Darn! I pull out one of my random yellow dice and it is even luckier! I win this game more strongly that the previous one on mainly Hammers and Lasers.
Finals vs. Arjun K. w/ Garbodor
First of all I want to give a huge thanks to the people of ggslive.com who streamed our game. I have never played a game that was streamed onto a website and it was amazing that GGs recognized Seniors and Juniors. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, so I have the link of the entire game here:
All of the games in the series were really close. Watching it there were a few things that made me face palm, but I also didn’t have much pressure on winning because me and Arjun both knew we didn’t care who won, and we were already going to Nats and Worlds regardless of who got first. The highlight from the viewer’s point is the huge comeback I made late in Game 3.
Having commentary for Seniors alone was amazing. I love how other age divisions are now beginning to become more recognized as the game continues to grow.
There’s really no point in posting my list or giving an evaluation of it due to an entirely new format just around the corner. The whole weekend was fun.
As far as Battle Roads are concerned I’ll probably go to 6 of them, as there’s really no need for me to go to that many. I do like their convenience as they help me decide the play for Nationals and Worlds.
Well this is it. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
Victory yell after topdecking that Juniper? And I don’t remember you winning Maryland states?
i apologize if that sounded cocky. its hard to translate emotions over text. when I said that in reality it was in a much more playful way than how I think you interpreted the expression (and me and aaron know each other). thanks for pointing that out man! ill be more careful next time!
How were you able to get hammers, lasers, and potions all into your deck? I have been working on Hammertime a lot and have not been able to fit all of those things into my deck.
try to shave off some e-switch, catchers, pokemon, and trade in dark claws for eviolite.
Right now i have 4 lasers, 4 catchers, 4 dark patch, 2 e switch, 3 ultra ball, and 3 random receiver to name some of the cards. I am only running a 3-3 sableye darkrai line as well.
I was able to squeeze in, hammers, patches, lasers and dark claws in a Darkrai deck. I either used the stuff or just threw them away with Juniper and Junk Hunted if necessary. Darkrai is a very flexible and versatile deck, as Orrin showed, by being able to just Hammer + Laser and Junk Hunt in some games or just go for Night Spear in others.
Heeey you’re that Orrin kid!
ggs in T2 man. I didn’t know you topdecked that Bianca G3 lol, but whatever, all is fair in topdecking shenanigans. It was pretty funny when we were passing back and forth, I was just waiting to hit a switch, bu you did the work for me :P Would have been great if in G3 I hit the Max Potion and Scramble Switch but oh well.
They also spelled our names wrong in the Youtube name title.
He ran no Enhanced Hammers, and only 2 energy Switch.
haha yeah looking back I had no idea how lucky I was. guess I was too much in the moment.
Since when were there so many Blastoise? I had to face all the Big Basics with my Garbodor >:0
Oh, by the way, this is Sam. :3 I didn’t think you wrote for Six Prizes anymore.
yeah I just occasionally write whenever an idea pops into my head or if I did good at a tournament.
Great article! My moms trying to get me to read more so this is a Great start! And congrats man!