Hello guys, I haven’t written anything in a while (since States, I think), but I wanted to share my Nationals experience as it was an incredible tournament. I decided to play a Garbodor variant with heavy Mewtwo because I was expecting a lot of Accelgor. I was kind of scared of Accelgor because the only way to beat it is to get very lucky or destroy it early game. I also included some other attackers to help against the various other meta decks.
I don’t want to give away my entire list because Worlds is still coming and I haven’t decided if I want to continue playing this deck. If I do, then I’ll definitely change some cards around, but here’s a snippet of the list to help understand the feel of the matches from my side.
Pokémon – ???
3 Mewtwo EX
Trainers – ???
(No Other Tools)
Energy – 11
Yay for unorthodox! Audino was there because I was scared of the Gothitelle/Accelgor matchup, and it is helpful against Lasers when I don’t have the Ability lock up. The Trubbish lines are usually determined in Garbodor decks by personal preference, but here’s why I chose a 2/1 DRX/PLS split.
Trubbish DRX is the best, in my opinion. It’s got 70 HP, avoiding lots of magic numbers for donking. It can also attack with Pound for just a DCE, which can deal up to 70 damage against a Deoxys EX Turn 1 with the help of LaserBank. Trubbish PLS also has 70 HP, and it can use Tool Drop, which, for just PC, does 20 damage for each Tool in play. This can be helpful in the mirror match when your opponent is dropping their Tools on their big Basics, and it can hit Mewtwos and Deoxys for Weakness.
Also, 4 Tools may seem like too little, but I have NEVER needed a fifth Tool, either in most of my testing, or in the tournament itself. I always want a Float Stone on Garbodor, and always loved having four. Two Switch and four Float Stone is usually enough for switching cards.
Alright, onto the tournament. I really do not remember many details for the rounds, because there were a LOT of rounds. Sorry about that, but I’ll recap them as best as I can. Seniors have 9 rounds and a Top 64 cut, as well as about 350 players.
Rounds 1 and 2
I got some byes for getting second at a Regional, which were very helpful. The finals in the Regional came down to a flip (after many others in my favor).
Round 3 vs. Garbodor/Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX (No Cobalion YEAH)
This game was interesting and close. We both start out spamming Hammerhead on each other along with Lasers. He got a Garbodor out unnecessarily with a Giant Cape on it as well as a Landorus with a Giant Cape and something else with a Float Stone. From what I could see he played a lot of Tools.
Eventually, I started getting my Trubbish PLS powered up and Catcher-KO’d a Mewtwo. We Prize-traded pretty evenly the whole time after the first few turns because we got heavy hitters powered up; but it eventually came down to a sleep flip off my Hypnotoxic Laser. If he woke up then he would win and if he didn’t then I would win. Well he unfortunately woke up and Catcher-Land’s Judgemented my benched damaged Landorus for game.
Round 4 vs. Darkrai/Absol
I got ahead fast with Landorus putting on a ton of damage on his field along with LaserBank and Weakness. He was unable to mount any strong opposition and I think only took 2 Prizes.
Round 5 vs. Darkrai/Absol
Read Round 4. Yeah, I’m detailed. Also this guy was a Regional Champion so I felt good about beating him.
Round 6 vs. Darkrai/Absol
Again, I’m against Darkrai. After handily beating Darkrai twice in a row, I am glad to be facing another one. My memories of all these Darkrai matches blend together, so I can’t accurately recall the details of the interesting ones. He started attacking with Keldeo after I got ahead in Prizes which was troublesome but I eventually took it out.
Near the end, he Junipered his about 12 card deck and needed to get a Tool Scrapper, Max Potion, and an Energy Switch (or maybe it was Dark Patch) to stay in the game. Fortunately, he whiffed those and I won.
Round 7 vs. Darkrai/Absol
This is the last round for the first day of playing, and I am yet again against Darkrai. I think that for such a favorable matchup, it is fair to say that [spoiler] I lost this game due to fatigue.
Anyway, I started fairly strong with an early Mewtwo being built up taking like 3 Prizes on non-EXs such as Sableye and Absol. During my mini sweep, he did get some damage on my Mewtwo, and then eventually got a Darkrai powered up and knocked out my Mewtwo.
I tried to counter it with Landorus but it wasn’t strong enough to beat his now developing board. It didn’t help matters when he Ghetsis’d away my Computer Search, Float Stone, and Hypnotoxic Laser when I was about to have a great turn. Also, I was able to mount some resistance but then he N’d me and Enhanced Hammered my only Energy which ended up in me losing because I dead drew from there. I also remember making some stupid misplay because I was tired.
There ends Day 1. I was really tired and felt kind of sick until I ate dinner. Then I felt so much better because I had hardly eaten anything all day. With my byes giving me good resistance, I knew I only had to go 1-1 in Swiss the next day to make cut, but I was really nervous nonetheless. After a good night’s sleep I was ready for Day 2.
Round 8 vs. Plasma.dec
This was by far the closest and most intense game of the tournament. Since many, many players here were using Plasma.dec, I was surprised this was the first one I was going against. However, I was confident in my favorable matchup for this deck. The idea is to storm the early game and dish out a lot of damage with Landorus EX and Laserbank, taking advantage of Thundurus EX’s Weakness. Landorus needs to do as much as it can before Kyurem can start OHKO’ing it.
And that is what I did, he even searched out Lugia early and didn’t immediately go for the Kyurems. So, my Landorus is whacking away and I was enjoying my early game advantage… until the Max Potions came. About 2 in quick succession, and I think another one later. This annoyed me so much, and after he used the first or second Max Potion, he had gotten smart and benched a Kyurem PLF.
My Landorus cowered in fear and I had to get Cobalion EX out to put that silent threat in check before it could become devastating. I Catcher’d the Kyurem and starting Righteous Edging it. He benches another Kyurem and starts attaching to that. I then Catcher it and I think start using some more Lasers around this point in the game. This process repeats for another turn or two, and he realizes that I’m going to be successful in preventing Kyurem from helping much in this game. So, he starts powering up Lugia.
He does get a Plasma Gale off with Lugia. I Catcher-KO a Thundurus and I think KO a Kyurem with snipe, and then the other Kyurem is able to finish off my Landorus. Time is called around this time and we start N’ing each other. I get what I need off the N and he doesn’t get what he needs off my N, so I win the game by (I think) Catcher-KO’ing a Thundurus or Deoxys EX. Super close game, and I am so relieved that I have guaranteed my spot in top cut.
Round 9 vs. Plasma.dec
I don’t face any of these in Day 1, and now two in a row! Okay, fine with me. I believe I start out with some early damage with Landorus but he powers up a Tornadus EX PLF eventually, despite Cobalion EX’s feeble protests. With Tornadus EX, he KO’s my Landorus. That is not good for me because he gets up in the Prize trade. However, the Tornadus has enough damage that I can get a surprise KO with Mewtwo and DCE. He returns the KO with Deoxys EX’s Helix Force though, getting him down to just two Prizes.
But, I am able to Righteous Edge the Deoxys and use N, leaving him stranded. After dispatching the Kyurems with Righteous Edge and Catcher, my superior board position leads to a win for me.
Exciting, this is my second nationals ever, after going 5-4 in 2011 and skipping 2012, and I’m guaranteed cut with a high placement! I cannot stress how excited and happy I am after beating two Plasmas in a row, and going into cut with an almost perfect anti-meta deck.
A Couple Notes on Swiss
- There were hardly any Gothitelle/Accelgor decks, which was surprising to me but I was glad about it.
- Audino, while not mentioned, actually helped me out in a couple tricky spots. It would’ve been used more if it had been a Switch or Full Heal though.
- About 85% of decks there were Darkrai/Absol and Plasma.dec. This was good news for me because my deck usually beats them, and should never lose to them in best-of-three.
Ok, the standings are up, and lunch break is announced to be after tTop 64. I look up my name and see myself at 19th seed. Alright! I try to figure out who my opponent is. I mistakingly think that I’m up against Darkrai/Sableye/Garbodor, but it turns out I’m wrong and my opponent is none other than… daGlaceon!
Top 64 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX PLS
I am happy to be against a good matchup in this round, but I know that I can lose it, and I would be better off against a Darkrai deck. However, unknown to me at the time, he doesn’t run Tool Scrapper!
He starts lone Squirtle to my lone Cobalion EX. I have an Energy and LaserBank in hand, and consequently the donk, but he wins the flip and gets a Keldeo EX with an Energy. I think he momentarily forgets about LaserBank, or doesn’t think I run it, because he doesn’t use Rush In to protect the Squirtle. It doesn’t matter because I have Catcher anyway though, so I think I whiff Trubbish but KO his Squirtle.
This game is kind of weird because I don’t get a Garbodor up the whole game, as he Catcher-KOs all of my Trubbishes. This would be terrible news, but thankfully I am able to deny him Squirtles as well. I think (and I might be wrong on this one), that he does get out two Squirtles one time, but I KO one and he whiffs the Candy + Blastoise the next turn.
With him not having access to Blastoise, along with the versatile Mewtwos and help from Cobalion with Steel Bullet, I am able to win this somewhat close Prize trade.
This is fun, I do get a Garbodor out and go on an early game rampage. I take four quick Prizes and the win is within my reach. But of course, nothing is that easy. He starts bombarding me with Ns and Catcher-stalls my Pokémon without Float Stone. He manually powers up Black Kyurem EX and starts just rolling me. About 10 dead draws and a couple N’s later, he takes 6 Prizes straight with Black Kyurem EX.
He does get a Blastoise out around turn 3 or 4 I think, and I’m unable to get a Garbodor until mid-game. During his setup, I believe I get two Prizes. Then, he Deluges like 7 Energy onto his Keldeo EX in one turn. I am fine with this, because I am able to get a Garbodor next turn, AND a DCE to put on my Mewtwo for the revenge-KO. But he N’s me out of that, and then KOs one of my EXs.
Off his N, I do get a Supporter and get a Garbodor out, but am unable to get the revenge-KO. Instead, I just Catcher stall. He is unable to get out of the Catcher-stall thanks to Garbodor locking Deluge and Rush In. On my turn, I N myself to four, and miraculously hit the DCE and Catcher I need to KO his loaded Keldeo with my Mewtwo! From there, I am able to get another Garbodor + Float Stone on my bench, and there’ s not much he can do without Abilities.
Onto Top 32!
Top 32 vs. Plasma.dec
I know this player is very good because he won 3 States this year! But then I hear he’s playing Plasma and that makes me feel a little better.
He goes first with a T1 Raiden Knuckle for 10 on my Landorus. I get LaserBank and an Energy for the T1 Hammerhead for 90. He doesn’t get anything on his turn and that’s the game.
This is more interesting. I go with the normal route against Plasma and he gets 3 Deoxys out! He only gets the benefit from that for one turn before Garbodor comes out though, so clunky bench for him. He eventually gets a Kyurem powered up and Catcher + Blizzard Burns my only Garbodor. I am able to get another one up a couple turns later while Cobalion EX is trolling him. Also, he ran 4 Ultra Ball and 4 Bicycle!
It comes down pretty close, but after he N’s me I get what I need like the lucksack I am and win the game (I don’t remember exactly how).
9-2, I can smell the travel award and scholarship money…
Top 16 vs. Darkrai/Absol
Needless to say, I’m confident going into this matchup. That is, until this happens…
He goes first and explodes with a T1 Night Spear as well as LaserBank and Dark Claw. Uhh, WHAT!? My draws are mediocre and he never loses momentum. Well, still two more games to go, I should be able to easily win.
My turn to win a crappy game. I go first and get a T1 LaserBank but whiff the DCE I need to donk his Sableye with my Mewtwo. However, he doesn’t get any Basics on his turn and dies a quick death to poison.
This game is so much better. He obviously chooses to go first and I start swinging with Landorus. I think this is the game where I prized one but I’m not sure. I start building up a Mewtwo mid-game and have a mini-sweep planned out, but a double Enhanced Hammer crushes that plan. Eventually, he’s got a Darkrai with 150 damage and poison on it. The Darkrai knocks out my Mewtwo to bring him down to one prize, and poison brings him to 160. Unfortunately, no Virbank had been played yet.
I have nothing in my hand and he’s got the win next turn. I top-deck Hypnotoxic Laser, contemplate my board position, and use the Laser to put him to sleep. Thankfully, he stays asleep and gets KO’d from poison going into my turn. I don’t get a Supporter from my 4th and 5th Prizes, but I get a Mewtwo to send up to delay the loss a little while longer. He sends in Absol and I laser it, putting it to sleep. Again, I luck out with my opponent’s Pokémon staying asleep.
He then Lasers my Mewtwo and puts it to sleep. I think we both dead draw some more, and meanwhile I am flipping tails like mad. I eventually topdeck Virbank and play it, calculating a sudden death with the damage on the field, plus the possible Mind Jack if he gets an Energy. He does get the Energy, but attaches it to Sableye and retreats. He Junk Hunts for the cards he can use to win the game next turn.
I top-deck Juniper and get the Catcher and DCE I need to win the game. BUT, because my Mewtwo had stayed asleep so freaking long, I wasn’t able to win.
Here ends my Nationals run. I was understandably very frustrated and disappointed at the way I lost, but Top 16 still was a good placement, so I was happy about that. Another thing that makes the loss so disappointing is the fact that my bracket looked so good.
Don’t take this as sour grapes, because I still am glad with Top 16, but I just want to explain why I felt this way. If I had won, my Top 8 match would’ve been against Garbodor/Sableye/Darkrai with just ONE Hammer, so I’m pretty sure I would’ve won that. Then, in Top 4 and the finals, I would’ve been played against Plasma variants. So, I had a good chance at winning the tournament if I just had flipped one head in that last game!
At least I didn’t need the Championship Points from Top 8 though; if I had whiffed my Worlds invite in this way then I would’ve been really mad. Alright, that’s all I have to say for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you in Vancouver.