Hi!, My name is Caleb Shuler, and I am a Senior from Utah. Some of you may remember me from my Battle Roads reports I gave earlier in the season. Before I begin I will give a brief rundown of my States experience. Due to inability to travel, I was only able to compete in my local State Championship in Salt Lake City, UT.
I played Darkrai/Lasers with Ninetales, and ended up going 5-1 in Swiss and losing in top 8 to the player who won overall, taking 5th place total. Today’s focus however, is going to be on my Regionals experience.
I will start out with my deck. After States, I realized that my local metagame was extremely focused on Darkrai EX variants, as well as Garbodor variants, and I wanted to build to counter these two decks primarily. I settled on Big Basics due to the favorable matchup against both decks, as well as the ability to donk Squirtles, Tynamos, and Sableyes with Tornadus EX.
Pokémon – 9
2 Tornadus EX
Trainers – 39
Energy – 12
I will hurry and go over a few key points in the deck. I chose to run Scramble Switch over Computer Search and Dowsing Machine due to the great comebacks and plays it allowed, as well as being a 5th Switch. I also chose to run only 1 Bouffalant because I wanted the Random Receiver to increase consistency. Other than that it was a pretty standard list that I was confident in from my testing.
The night before I quadruple-checked my list, put it in my bag with my deck and dice, and went to bed early to get a good night’s rest. The next morning I arrived about 10 minutes after registration started, and got through pretty fast due to online preregistration which I had completed about 2 weeks prior. I then began talking to people and waiting for the first round to start.
Round 1 – Klinklang
pokemon-paradijs.comWhen my opponent (a player from Texas) flipped over her Klink as the game started, my stomach dropped in my chest. I had to play my worst matchup round 1! She starts with a lone Klink, benches a Cobalion-EX, switches and passes.
I have an active Tornadus and manage to put out a Virbank, Catcher her Klink, and attach a Double Colorless Energy, Knocking Out her Klink with Blow Through. She struggles to get set up and after she finally gets out a Plasma Klinklang, I manage to Knock Out her active Cobalion with Bouffalant.
She KOs Bouffalant and I know I’m in trouble. She also had quite a bit of damage on her other two Cobalions on the field, so she moves the Energy off of both of them to Keldeo-EX in order to Max Potion each one, but misplays by not moving the Energy back, leaving a Keldeo with 6 Energy on the bench.
I send up my Mewtwo with a DCE attached, as well as attaching a second DCE, then Catcher-KO her Keldeo with X Ball. I am still damaging her with Hypnotoxic Laser, and realizing she is out of Energy in her deck she scoops the game.
This gave me a confidence boost, as I had beaten my hardest matchup rather easily.
Round 2 – Blastoise/Keldeo
This game I was playing against a good friend of mine, and we were both pretty happy about being 1-0. I start with a Tornadus EX, and actually would have had the donk had I gone first, but he flips in his favor, and gets a great setup off an N. The same N gave me pretty much nothing I could use, and stuck me in an Energy drought for the next 5 turns.
By the time I get anything set up, he has 2 fully set up Black Kyurems and he 6-0’s me.
Round 3 – Big Basics
pokemon-paradijs.comI was playing another kid from Texas, this time playing the mirror. I don’t remember very many specific details, but I remember him getting down to 1 Prize, me getting to 2, and I manage to Scramble Switch my Mewtwo EX out to a Landorus-EX, and I hit his damaged Mewtwo EX for 150 and the knockout and game.
Round 4 – Garbodor/Big Basics
He starts out Trubbish, benches a second one and passes. I Ultra Ball to get a Tornadus, and Bianca which gives me everything I need for the knockout on the Trubbish. He manages to get out some EXs but I Knock everything Out before he can get set up. I eventually 6-0 him and win.
Round 5 – Big Basics
This was another really tough game. He was playing really well and we both had some bad luck. I manage to get rid of all his Energy on the board when we are both down 5 Prizes, and his defense finally succumbed due to me sniping his Landorus-EX to death. Interestingly enough he ran 3 Max Potions, which really gave me problems.
At this point I know I only need about 1 more win to make top cut, so I go into the next round somewhat confident.
Round 6 – Big Basics
I don’t remember too many specifics from this game. I believe he took an early lead, but I managed to take the game after using N to put his hand down to 3 and he hit an Energy drought.
I knew that only 2 people at 5-2 were going to bubble out of top cut, but I still didn’t want to take the chance of being one of them.
Round 7 – Blastoise/Keldeo
pokemon-paradijs.comBasically I had the same start as my round 2 game, but this time I go first, and get the donk on her Squirtle. She wasn’t too upset since she still made top cut, and we had a good laugh about it after the game finished.
At this point I was really happy with my day, I was guaranteed top 16, and I actually ended up going into it at 4th Place. The TO announced that top cut would take place the following day, so I headed home for the night after turning in my deck.
Top 16 – Plasma/Big Basics
Before I start this game report I want to note a couple things. The person I was playing against was from out of state (I think California) and was a really nice guy. Fortunately for me, he had made a vital mistake on his decklist, meaning to write “4 N” and “2 Skyla” he accidentally wrote “4 N” and “2 N” which unfortunately gave him a game loss for the first of the 3 games, meaning he had to 2-0 me to move onto top 8, while I only had to win 1 game. So let’s get to the actual game why don’t we.
Game 1 (2?)
He starts out Lugia EX to my Bouffalant. I was initially worried he would donk me, but he just attaches a DCE and passes. I find out later he started with the Lugia, DCE, 4 Junipers, and 2 Switch. I get a good setup, hitting him for 80 with Mewtwo EX, and he has such a bad energy drought that he never gets an attack off and I 6-0 him.
Top 8 – Garbodor
pokemon-paradijs.comThe first game in this best of 3 was basically a typical Big Basics mirror match, except he has the disadvantage of less consistence and less defense due to space being taken up by Garbodor, and Eviolite being replaced by Giant Cape. He took about 3 Prizes, but I manage to beat him after about 15 minutes.
He starts out with Mewtwo EX to my Tornadus EX. He attaches a Giant Cape and DCE, and hits me for 40. I topdeck a Virbank, Ultra Ball for a Mewtwo which I bench, Skyla for a Switch, attach a DCE to Mewtwo EX, play down Virbank and Hypnotoxic Laser, and T1 donk his Mewtwo EX doing 190.
Top 4 – Darkrai/Lasers
I was really happy at this point, considering last time I played in a Regionals I didn’t even make top cut.
I really got along well with my opponent, who was from Texas, and the game began. I get a pretty good setup, but he manages to shut me down entirely with probably 10 heads on Crushing Hammer and I eventually run out of Energy to attack with and he takes it.
My setup was about the same this game, but instead of 10 heads, he flips 10 tails on his Hammers, and I overpower him within the first 15 turns.
This was probably the most nerve-wracking game I have ever played in a tournament. We were both doing about evenly well, and trading rather well too. At the end of the 30 minute ordeal we both have 2 Prizes which we can take easily. He has 170 damage on a benched Darkrai EX, and he Catchers my Mewtwo EX hitting it for 90 with Darkrai EX. My Mewtwo has 1 Energy, and my benched Landorus also has 1.
I need to topdeck an Energy in order to win, and… I barely manage it, hitting his benched Darkrai with Landorus and taking my final 2 Prizes. We shake hands and I am onto the finals!
Top 2 – Darkrai/Lasers
Another competitor from Texas! He barely won out against my friend paying Blastoise (the one back in round 2) and made it to the finals. We shake hands and begin to play.
pokemon-paradijs.comRight off the bat, I know I’m in trouble. I start out with Bouffalant, all 3 Biancas, 2 Switch and a Max Potion. Oh and I mulliganed 7 times before that. I draw only Energy and never get any Pokémon on my bench. He Knocks Out my Bouffalant for the game.
After mulliganing a bunch more on my part, we begin. I get a good setup, and I think I have the game, but I misplay by letting him take 4 Prizes in exchange for 2, and I just can’t recover well enough to do anything about the game.
I’d also like to comment that my opponent was one of the nicest players I had ever met, and I genuinely enjoyed losing to him. Plus, the $500 stipend means I will be going to Indianapolis for the National Championships this July.
Overall I think that had I picked a better Darkrai list at States, I could have seen how well it truly performs and I would have picked what is, in my opinion, the better deck which may have won me the tournament overall. It was a great experience and I don’t think I played a single bad match.
Now I want to focus on what I think is a deck which is being discarded as bad way too soon. Weavile/Exeggcute, with the right list, has the ability to 1HKO any EX in the format without too much trouble and gains a lot more advantages from Exeggcute’s unique Ability.
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 35
Energy – 11
With this build Weavile has a surprisingly easy time of 1HKOing EXs. Due to the abundance of Virbank in this format, your 2 Hypnotoxic Laser are often going to be doing 30 between turns, and even 10 is good for a deck like this.
Basically the strategy is like this: Set up a Weavile by turn 2, 3 at the latest, attach a Dark Claw, and start building up your bench with Deoxys-EX as well as your hand with Exeggcute. Exeggcutes are pretty easy to keep available because you can discard 2 with an Ultra Ball, and put them straight back into your hand. Basically you never want to be in a situation where you don’t have 4 Exeggcute available.
The damage actually comes rather easily. If you have 3 Deoxys on your bench, with 2 Eggs in your hand, and a Dark Claw on Weavile, you hit for 110, which 2HKOs everything in the format other than an Eviolited Normal type with Aspertia City Gym. 3 Deoxys on the bench and 4 Eggs in your hand with the Dark Claw hits for 170 which can 1HKO many EXs, plus add a Hypnotoxic to the mix and you 1HKO all non-Tooled EXs.
Your optimum setup involves 4 Deoxys on the bench, with an active Weavile with Dark Claw, as well as a benched Weavile with Dark Claw, and 4 Eggs in your hand. Each turn, without Hypnotoxic you are hitting for 180.
Another advantage this deck has is Deoxys in the form of an attacker, due to a Plasma Energy on a Deoxys-EX as well as a Blend can 1HKO Mewtwos with DCE’s attached, also doing lots of damage to other EXs.
I think Weavile can still be a viable deck if tested enough and played with the right list.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this article, and I hope that I can continue to write for 6P in the future!
Thanks – Caleb Shuler