Windfallin’ to Victory – Alex’s Top 64 US Nationals ’13 Report

Hey 6P! Alex Hill again with my Nats report. I know some people don’t like to read reports, but this was something I wanted to write and I figured someone might find some value in it.

ash ketchum
Rise and shine!

I woke up on Thursday morning and got picked up decently early. I was itching to get some games in the second I got in the car and started talking to my friends. I listened to PTCG Radio for a chunk of the ride and watched the Indiana countryside pass by as I imagined what Nats would be like. This was going to be my first National Championship experience even though I have been playing for 8 years. For the past 3-4 years, my plans have fallen apart at the last minute and I didn’t know as many people as I do now to make last minute plans.

Anyway, I was so anxious to play that I started just shuffling my deck and drawing out hands for the last bit of the ride. I was going into Thursday with my Landorus/Cobalion/Garbodor build. I knew I had a great Darkrai matchup, a decent Blastoise matchup (especially going first), and could punish any Gothitelle builds that decided to forgo adding Tool Scrapper. However, Plasma was theoretically my worst matchup and I didn’t want to go into the big day without a lot of testing with that matchup. I actually was testing very well against it beforehand.

We got into Indianapolis and dropped our stuff in the room (paid for by my friend Chris’s Ohio States win) only to run down to Jimmy Ballard’s side event room. I immediately signed up to try to win a mat, but was Knocked Out in 2 turns by an opponent’s Kyurem. I played a fun game against him and then lost again. My confidence was faltering but not down too bad. I played another win a mat immediately, but lost to an 8 year old kid with Plasma. Now I was starting to worry about my deck choice. I sat down in open gaming and won a couple of games against a guy with Darkrai and felt a bit better.

I then met Adam who I had talked with a bit online and finally got to see in person. I got my Wynaut impression taped and then challenged him for one of the other SixPrizes dice. He didn’t have a current format deck, so we played some decks I had from the 2005 format. I got a T1 Medicham EX through Wally’s Training and shut down his RockLock deck pretty fast and that was that. Adam was a cool guy, but I’m still upset we never went to go and eat sushi (alone) together!

After that, I played a few games against my friend John Orgel who destroyed me with Klinklang and Plasma. That was the final straw and Garbodor was officially out for Nats. I threw together a quick Plasma list right there and then and played another game with John. His Klinklang beat me again, but it was a close game and I felt good about playing Plasma.

I played another win a mat tournament, finally advancing past the first round where I swept a Darkrai with my Tornadus EX. Tornadus quickly became my favorite card in the deck. I lost to Blastoise but went back to the hotel to test some more with the Michigan players. I went positive against ZekEels, rushed a Gothitelle, lost on a dumb misplay against Blastoise where I had the win in hand but wasn’t looking for it, and beat Darkrai.

I had played Plasma for most of Battle Roads and felt very confident with my ability to play the deck. I didn’t really fine tune my list all that much, I actually just used the same exact list that I threw together when I got mad at Garbodor for being so bad. I really just put all of the cards that I wanted to have in the list in it and it all ended up working out. Here was my final decklist.

Pokémon – 10

2 Thundurus EX

4 Deoxys-EX

3 Kyurem PLF

1 Tornadus-EX PLF

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

2 Bianca

2 Skyla

2 Ghetsis


4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Colress Machine

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

4 Switch

1 Float Stone

3 Team Plasma Ball

1 Ultra Ball

1 Max Potion

1 Scramble Switch


1 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 12

4 Prism

4 Blend WLFM

4 Plasma

I thought my list was pretty standard with just a few tricks. Tornadus was added for two reasons. First, I liked the consistency it added when my hand seemed dead. A Plasma Ball, Switch, and any energy could be combined for a new hand. Also, since I was adding Scramble Switch over my second choice of Dowsing Machine, I liked the capability it had to sweep in the late game. Ghetsis was used more as a disruptive card than a draw card. I felt like this disruption was more important against stage 2 decks than setting up like a Juniper or N would let me early game.

I had locked in my deck choice decently early in the night compared to some stories I have heard and I was off to bed just after midnight. I had a nice breakfast of strawberries in the morning and headed down to the center both excited and nervous for my first match.

P.S. If you want to hear just a quick rundown of my matches, Ross Gilbert gives you just that in the US Nats edition of PTCG Radio.

Round 1 – Klinklang


I started with Kyurem and was very nervous to see his Cobalion-EX start. On my second turn, after my opponent used Beach, I played a Ghetsis, shuffling in 6-of his Items! He eventually recovered, but I surely set him back several turns.

I took out 3 Klink in the first 3 turns, and then took down his Cobalion-EX not too long after that. He did Super Rod those Klink back into his deck and eventually set up and gave me some trouble taking my last Prize. I finally got it though when I drew out of an N and hit a Catcher to win.


Round 2 – Plasma

I don’t think I’ve ever ran as hot as I did this game. We both opened with Thundurus and I went first. I used Plasma Ball to get my Tornadus EX and attached an energy to my active. Then I used Juniper and the first 3 cards were all Colress Machine. The rest of my hand was pretty bad so I retreated to use Windfall with my 3 Energy Tornadus. I was able to take 4 Prizes with that Tornadus and cleaned up with Kyurem in the end.


Round 3 – Blastoise

I started with either Kyurem or Thundurus and rushed him from my first turn. I was able to spread my Energy around and even set up a Deoxys in case of a big Keldeo. He didn’t get a Blastoise out until his last turn but I had the game at that point.


Round 4 – Gothitelle

I started with a Tornadus and a Kyurem but after my opponent’s mulligan and I knew he was playing Gothitelle, I no longer wanted the Tornadus out. From playing the PTCGO, I remembered that players don’t actually play their Basics until all mulligans are resolved, then Prizes are played, then mulligan cards are drawn. I called a judge to confirm and he agreed with me. I was able to only play my Kyurem and I had a decent start spreading damage.

This was a typical game against Gothitelle where I was putting a lot of pressure on my opponent while he tried to get the full lock up. He had a quick Gothitelle though so it was very close.

The pivotal point in this game came when my opponent played an N, drew 6 cards, and used Forewarn. The problem here was that he had 5 Prizes. One of the cards he got off of the Forewarn was the Rare Candy to set up his Dusknoir, establish the lock, and effectively win the game. However, one of the 6 cards in his hand should have been part of the Forewarn and I was unable to confirm the order of the 2 cards in the Forewarn.

We could, however, confirm which card was his 6th card drawn off of the N. The judges ruled that the 2 cards he looked at for Forewarn should be shuffled and placed in a random order back on top of his deck. Then, that 6th card was placed on top of those and we were to continue. He missed the Rare Candy off of the Forewarn and I ran through his Dusknoir-less field after this.


I felt incredibly confident at this point being undefeated after 4 games at the largest tournament I’ve ever been to. I knew that 2 more wins, especially successively, would probably lock up my spot in cut. However, I tried to keep a cool head and keep going along with my streak.

Round 5 – Nathan Shaw with Speed Lugia

I remember every second of this game because of how absurd it was. My opponent went first with a lone Lugia EX opposing my lone Deoxys-EX. He was able to use two Colress Machine in addition to a DCE and bench 4 Deoxys and a Thundurus and just missed the Laser or PlusPower to donk me.

I had a Max Potion in hand to clear off all damage and actually got a Thundurus with an Energy to pressure my opponent but couldn’t switch my Deoxys out. He had a PlusPower to Knock it Out, and the Dowsing Machine to clean up my Thundurus the next turn, taking 6 Prizes and benching me in 3 turns.


Round 6 – Henry Prior with Gothitelle

Henry is a great player and we’ve played once before. That was a good game that I ended up losing after a 4 Prize comeback, so I was out for revenge. However, I knew I wasn’t going to get lucky against Gothitelle again. He set up pretty quickly and I probably just took 1-2 Prizes. I scooped once it was apparent that his deck was low enough to hit the DCE every turn, the game was not worth playing out.


Round 7 – Plasma

I went second with a Kyurem and Deoxys on the field to his Thundurus. He was able to stack a few energy on the field on his first turn and I was N’d out of a hand with 4 supporters into a hand with none. However, my hand had a Plasma Energy and a Switch. I held out hope to hit a Plasma Ball, Tornadus EX, or Ultra Ball and turn this game around. However, I never hit any useful card and it turned out that my Tornadus was prized anyway >.>


This was incredibly disheartening and I was pretty sad for about an hour or so. My dreams of cutting Nats were crumbling in front of my eyes after the prospect of making cut was so promising. However, I spent some good time with my friends at the mall and back at the center playing some Base-Neo games. That format was just so hilarious with all of the coin flips and Baby flips and I eventually cheered up just hanging out with my friends.

I got up the next morning and saw that the online pairings were up around 7:15 or so. I saw that I was downpaired and didn’t know how to feel. I know it was going to hurt my resistance, but I figured that at 4 losses, my opponent might not show up to the 8 AM seat check.

Round 8 – No Show

I sat at my seat waiting for my opponent but none of the people walking over to my table ended up being him. He was marked late and I was awarded the win after 5 minutes. Fortunately, he was also dropped after this round and didn’t further damage my resistance. I was grateful that the people running the tournament decided to do this.


I just want to take a minute to say that for the most part, the judging staff at Nationals was on point. I heard of very few bad rulings and the tournament had few delays. For the biggest tournament ever held, they did a fantastic job.

Round 9 – Plasma

I started with Kyurem against his Thundurus and Deoxys. He went first but didn’t charge a lot of energy up onto his field. I used a Colress Machine, attached a Float Stone to Kyurem, and then played a Juniper, knowing I’d be in a great position if I drew any colored energy. The 7 cards I drew consisted of 3 Blend WLFM, 3 Prism, and a Hypnotoxic Laser.

My shot at cut was over. Even if I hit a Juniper, Bianca or Skyla, I’d be in a huge hole and could likely be benched before I got anywhere. I kept my cool and spread with Kyurem, hoping not to lose to a Scramble Switch and Kyurem. I survived his turn and prayed for an N off of my topdeck. I draw, Tornadus EX! This card just saved my tournament and netted me a workable hand.

From here, my opponent dead-drew and I spread my energy around well. I was able to Blizzard Burn for knockouts or other big damage and retreat the Kyurem on my next turn, and follow that up with a Switch to attack again. My opponent took out my Kyurem eventually with a Deoxys and launched a back and forth battle between Deoxys, but I was in charge due to starting ahead on prizes.

At this point, I want to issue an apology to my opponent this round. I believe his name was David Clarke and he was a very nice man. On his last turn, he was using Landorus-EX to Hammerhead two of my Pokémon. I got incredibly excited at this point because I had the game after he announced his attack and I showed him the game winning Catcher and Laser and told him I had the win. I didn’t allow him to finish his attack which I should have respectfully done.

I haven’t had a lot of experience with players from out of my area and I don’t want my moment of excitement and disrespect to reflect negatively on me. My apologies to you David, and I hope that I can play another game with you in the future to show you that this was just one moment of excitement gone wrong.


All things aside, I was incredibly excited to have turned my tournament around and have a shot at cut. I ended up making the cut as the 63rd seed in the blue pod and I was just beside myself in joy. This was probably my biggest achievement to date and I knew that after making cut, anything was possible.

My other friends either had mostly dropped at this point, but Sean Foisy, who drove me, made the cut at 7-2 and Tracy Key missed at around the 70th seed. Chris Derocher, the other MI player who had a chance at cut, lost a close game to Mike Newman to miss cut.

Top 128 – Johnny Rabus with Plasma

I ended up being paired against the 2nd seed in the yellow pod. Johnny was playing a Plasma deck with a Lugia focus. Instead of PlusPower, he was playing more consistency cards and 3 Frozen City. This surely made his Blastoise matchup very good and probably also helped his Darkrai and Klinklang matchups, but I didn’t think it helped him in the mirror at all.

Game 1

Johnny went first and got a turn two or three Lugia Knocking Out my Kyurem with a few Energy. This took all of my advantage for using a 1 Prize attacker away. I replied with a Thundurus to hit for Weakness and also charged up another Kyurem. He had a Catcher to take it out, and eventually 6-0’d me.


Game 2
Too close!

I started with a Thundurus and got a lot of Energy on the field very quickly. I hit his Lugia for weakness so he was unable to ignore that, allowing me to charge up my attackers. He loaded up a Kyurem against my own Kyurem, and it went back and forth for a while. I got down to having 2 Prizes left and he had a benched Lugia. I dropped a 2nd Energy on my Thundurus and used Colress Machine, knowing that Thunderous Noise would give me the game if I hit his Lugia.

I found the last energy on my next turn but didn’t have a Catcher to go with it. He used N on me, and I ended up using an N on my turn, searching for any of my 4 Catcher in my 15ish card deck. He cut me right into the Catcher to win. If I had missed it, he had the knockout on my Thundurus with a Deoxys so I was very relieved to hit it.


Game 3

I had a bad hand but after a Juniper, my opponent apparently did too. We both were placing damage on the field with Thundurus and Kyurem but not doing much. He eventually played an N because the game was going nowhere and I was putting more Energy on the field than he was. He ended up drawing dead and had to load up some Deoxys on his bench as the best attackers he had.

I loaded my own up with my Thundurus and took control of this game by simply attaching more Energy than him. I ended up using a Catcher to take his Deoxys out and win.

2-1, 7-3

I was just beyond myself at this point. Making cut was amazing, moving on was just icing on the Nationals cake. I found my friend Foisy and found out that he also won his match. We walked to the mall to get lunch and started talking about out games and our seeds. We got to the point where we found out that we could likely have to play each other next round. There was a 50% chance to play each other, and the online brackets by AceTrainerAU confirmed our suspicions. We got the official pairing from the PokéGym site and went back to play the game neither of us wanted to ever play.

Top 64 – Sean Foisy with Gothitelle

I knew this was my worst matchup and he said that Plasma was his worst matchup. He feared being rushed by it, but we both knew that if he got the lock set up, I was done. I didn’t tech for Gothitelle at all and knew my only hope was a quick start.

Game 1

Rare Candy Great Encounters GE
I couldn’t get rid of it!

I got to go first to his double Gothita start so I knew I was lucky to go first. I opened with Deoxys and got a Colress Machine off. I realized that 2-of my 4 Prism were prized so my chances of a T1 KO were slipping away. I did hit the Prism off of my Juniper so I was looking good after that slow start. He got another Gothita or two down on his turn and was able to use Tropical Beach.

There was no way to take out both of his Gothita but I had a Ghetsis to shut his setup down. I figured he was sitting on the Rare Candy and Gothitelle so I played it. He not only had the Rare Candy and Gothitelle, but also a Skyla. The Candy was the only Item in hand, but I wasn’t looking for draw; I wanted to disrupt him. However, the Skyla ensured the Candy for the Gothitelle. I began loading up a Kyurem from here.

Hilariously, Sean topdecked a Rare Candy (he pointed out that I shuffled his deck and we had a good laugh about it). He very well may have gotten a Deck and Cover off here to really put the hurt on me, or at least made sure I couldn’t Knock Out his Gothitelle.

A few turns later, I saw an opening where my active Kyurem wouldn’t be paralyzed and could take down his Gothitelle. He told me his only option was to Catcher my benched Kyurem and stall me, likely winning him the game as I’d have to let him set up for 3 turns before I could do anything. He used a Supporter but didn’t find the Catcher. Foisy did get a Dusknoir out and was able to take 1 Prize with the damage on my field. He slams down the Catcher from the Prizes and the rest of the game was his.


Game 2

I again started Deoxys to his lone Duskull. I didn’t even have to wait for him to pass, haha. Anyway, I had a similar hand as last game and realized that I again prized 2 Prism Energy. What are the odds? This time, I didn’t hit the Prism off of my Juniper to go with my Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym to take my donk.

He played down a few Gothita on his turn and I saw my chances to win quickly slipping away. He again got the turn 2 Gothitelle and I had no chance.

0-2, 7-4

These two games were actually very enjoyable as Sean and I are good friends and we had a lighthearted game where we laughed and weren’t too serious. We were both looking to win, but we wanted to do it the right way and not by stalling or anything like that. I wished Sean luck, picked up my packs and sleeves and hung out with some friends for the rest of the day.

I also watched Foisy for the rest of his run. He took down two Plasma decks in the next two rounds, including a Game 3 in his Top 16 match where he didn’t have a Gothitelle out for his last 5 turns, just Dusknoir to manipulate damage.

We thought he would have to play Dave Richard in the Top 8, the only other Michigan player left, but he ended up playing 3 good games in the mirror against Sam Liggett. This is where the only complaint against the judges I have comes in.

Near the end of the third game, Sean used Deck and Cover and I believe it was for a Knock Out or Sam was able to evolve. Sean was choosing what Pokémon to promote from his bench of Gothitelle and some Basics. I don’t know every detail, but Sean was probably debating between which of the Basics he could most afford to lose. The judge watching the game told him to make a move and Sean asked for more time.

He argued that it was an important decision and it ended up determining who would win $2,000 and a trip to Vancouver. After a few more seconds of deliberation, Sean was told he had to make a move immediately. Sean promoted his Gothitelle, probably out of instinct, and that Pokémon was able to get locked, losing him the game after a few Deck and Covers and a Sinister Hand from Sam’s Dusknoir.

pokemon judge
Not another rulings dispute…

This judge was out of line in my opinion. Anyone should have known that this was a huge decision. Any player would have seen that this decision would be one of the last things to happen in the game and that time being called wouldn’t really matter as Prizes were close anyway. I know that the rules are the rules and everyone should follow them at all times, but Sean is not a particularly fast player and the judge should have given him some leeway on the timing of this decision.

In addition to that, Sean, who has played this game since its inception, was asked to change his shuffling techniques in this match. He said that it looks like he is just sliding cards on top of each other and was told that he needed to mash the cards together more. However, the way that he actually shuffles is to slide some cards into the middle and mash them while also moving some random amount of cards to the top of his deck. There was nothing really wrong with how Sean was shuffling but he was happy to change.

He did offer his opponent the chance to cut/shuffle every time it was necessary, and he even offered his deck to the judges to shuffle if they were unhappy with the way he shuffled. They both declined but still complained about how he shuffled. I don’t get it but I guess no one wanted to take any chances after Canada.

Mini rant aside, the judges did a fantastic job other than these two incidents that I know of. They handled all of the new changes to the tournament like the finals matches and the last chance tournament very well and I commend them for that. Also, the online pairings weren’t a result of the judging staff per say, but quick props to whoever was involved in that decision. I know Carlos Pero was the man behind them, so thank you to him and the people who chose to use them for this tournament. They certainly helped move everyone into their seats very quickly indeed.

That night, I wanted to just relax and celebrate Sean’s Top 8 and first Worlds invite since grinding in in 2006. However, a few of the group of Michigan players that I was with were within range of an invite from the Sunday tournament so we sat down for another night of testing after a small celebratory dinner. I elected to play mostly Base-Neo decks as I only intended to play in the Sunday tournament for fun. I got 30 Points for my Top 64 finish but still only had 194, 6 short of being able to earn an invite.

My friend Chris who had a chance for the invite wanted to use my Plasma deck which I had no problem with. I did have him change out the Max Potion for an Enhanced Hammer, which I thought would be a better option for the mirror matches. I never once effectively used my Max Potion in the tournament. I borrowed a Blastoise deck to play from my friends and went in with no testing or anything.

I woke up the next morning knowing I was crazy for getting up so early to play in a tournament I couldn’t gain anything from. However, I really wanted to play some more competitive Pokémon. I would just scoop to any of my friends if I played them, both they and I knew that I wasn’t going to grinch them out of a chance at an invite. However, they all had byes for their first round but I had to scramble to write out my decklist and got seated for my match.

Round 1 – Plasma

Don’t mind me chilling on the Bench…

I didn’t test with Blastoise once in this format, but I thought that Plasma was a favorable matchup for it. He Knocked Out a Squirtle early but I was able to get a T2 Blastoise going second and took his Kyurem down with a Keldeo. However, he did use another Kyurem with a Scramble Switch and a Catcher to Knock Out my only Blastoise.

I scrambled to get some Squirtles out and only got one. I knew if he could get a Catcher off and an attack, I’d be likely without a Blastoise for the rest of the game. However, I did get a Blastoise out and the game came down to whether or not he was able to use his Deoxys to Knock Out my Keldeo and take his last 2 Prizes. He used a Supporter needing a Colress Machine. He drew it but also drew his last Plasma Energy to prevent him from taking a KO, and I had the Catcher for the game.


Top 128 – Plasma

This one was a rather bad game for my opponent. He flipped a Landorus-EX and groaned when he saw my Squirtle. I thought he would donk me, but I went first and set up another T2 Blastoise. I believe his deck was a Plasma Badge variant, but he didn’t set much up and I swept his field pretty quickly.


All of my friends from Michigan were eliminated this round unfortunately. Jack was donked, Chris dead-drew, and I think Diane’s Klinklang got rushed by a Plasma player.

Top 64 – Plasma

See? I knew Plasma would be the most popular deck, heh. And for good reason. It’s consistent, it (mostly) can’t be donked, and it’s very powerful and fast.

In this game, I had another fast start, but had to Juniper away 2 Superior Energy Retrieval. At the end of the game, I was down to having only 2 Prizes left but had just enough Energy left to win. My opponent could clear my field of Energy with a Kyurem and I had no more Retrieval cards to respond. He needed another colored Energy and a Colress Machine off of a Bianca for 4. He did hit both of those cards but his last Plasma Energy was prized.

I was getting extremely lucky, I can definitely admit that. However, I didn’t have the win in hand. I played a Colress for 9 out of a 15 card deck, needing 1-of 2 Catcher and the only Energy in the deck to win. I hit both and I was moving on to the next round.


Top 32 – Weavile/Leafeon

leafeon plasma freeze plf
Good call!

At this point, we figured out that the tournament was working as a bracket so we both knew what each other was playing. My opponent had already beaten 2 Blastoise decks, but I didn’t know why. The Leafeon was unknown to me at that point still.

I started very hot with a T2 Blastoise and a Keldeo. I Knocked Out an Eevee on my 2nd turn and a Weavile on the next turn. After that, my opponent responded with a Leafeon, KOing me for only 1 energy. I couldn’t find another Keldeo, and my only benched Pokémon were Squirtle and Blastoise so I promoted Blastoise. I ended up being 1 Energy short of Knocking Out the Leafeon so I used Tropical Beach and still didn’t find a Keldeo.

I took down the Leafeon on the next turn but not before searching my deck and finding out that my last 2 Keldeo were both prized. My only attackers would be Blastoise and Black Kyurem EX. I had to promote my second Blastoise after a Weavile took out my other one. I took down the Weavile to go down to 2 Prizes now with both of them being Keldeo. I couldn’t load enough Energy onto my Black Kyurem EX to threaten any knockouts before my Blastoise went down, and my opponent cleaned my field up.


This game was incredibly close and was the reason that I even played in this tournament. Playing fun games of Pokémon is great, but it doesn’t compare to a game where there’s something actually on the line and people have that drive to win. My first and third round games were both pretty close and nerve-wracking as well and I quite enjoyed playing in this tournament.

After this, I stuck around the area for a bit. I was sitting next to Kyle Suchevich’s game and congratulated him as he earned his Worlds Invite. I then watched from a far as my friend James Good fought for the last fifty Points for his invite as well. His game went very long but he ended up pulling it out! I was very happy to share that moment with him and to see his excitement.

I was pretty Pokémon-ed out now so I hung around until the Masters finals started. This was another one of the things Pokémon did very well. I heard it was a little awkward for the players to have to wear the earphones and talk with the microphones only, but the Masters players didn’t seem to be phased and the commentary was great for the spectators. We did obviously know what was going on, but the commentary made it almost seem like we were watching a sporting event or something. Congrats to Edmund, even thought I would have loved to see Life Dew win Nats.

My Nats experience stops here, as I just went out to lunch after this and hung out around the convention center until we got kicked out. I did play some great old format games with my friend Jacob. I love playing these old formats. They’re great fun to experience for either the first time or just to visit them again. I also enjoy playing them because there isn’t the same stress as playing the current format, and any format you play will become stale soon after.


I do want to give a few quick opinions about Worlds and the next format before I finish up. Personally, I think Goth is definitely the best deck in the format. Yeah yeah, I know that is very cliché. It won Nats, everyone’s hyping it up, but it just is that good. I experienced its true power at Nats and really came to fear only it. I didn’t even attempt to play any sort of counter in my Plasma deck, but I expected a lot less Gothitelle and I think that was how a lot of people felt.

I’m glad I don’t have to play at Worlds in a sense, because Gothitelle seems to be a huge issue. There is no real counter to it and anything you could add would really hurt your consistency. Plasma could add Audino, but if you start with it, there goes a bench space. It could also add a couple Keldeo, but without something like DCE or even Skyarrow Bridge, they’re only minimally useful. I could see a Tornadus or Lugia focused build running a couple Keldeo and high counts of DCE and putting them to good use, but otherwise, you’re just really hurting your consistency.

That being said, Blastoise seems to be the next best deck after Gothitelle. It can really punish both Darkrai and Plasma if it gets set up quickly enough and even beats Gothitelle if it goes first and/or sets up the first stage 2. However, if Blastoise starts seeing a lot of play, that opens the door for Klinklang to do well as it also has decently favorable matchups against Plasma and Darkrai. That leads back to a terrible Gothitelle matchup and we have the same problem. Goth is just scary good and needs to be your first priority if you’re testing for Worlds or the LCQ.

Speaking of Gothitelle, I know a decent amount about the three Top 8 lists from the players who used Gothitelle. None of them used Musharna which would have been crazy to think about a month and a half ago or so. However, they all put those couple of spaces toward something different.

Sean’s list focused on the turn 2 Gothitelle as he thought that was the most helpful to stop the opponent. Sam had a huge Dusknoir focus as that keeps the lock going and ensures the opponent can’t put a lot of pressure on you. It really lets you manipulate the game into exactly the point where you want it.

Edmund seemed to be putting a lot of emphasis into the Accelgor aspect with heavy Level Ball and some extra Shelmet and Mew-EX. His theory looked like he wanted to get the paralysis lock online as soon as possible. This variation is another thing that makes Goth so scary because you don’t expect the same thing from every deck, they all have their little quirks.

And then there’s the Life Dew problem. Life Dew was the most interesting tech of the whole weekend and I love it. The dreaded 7 Prize game quickly becomes even easier to pull off with one little tool. However, now that the cat’s out of the bag, do you really want to risk it? Probably not. Several of the prominent Gothitelle players were already playing Tool Scrapper, and even more people will at least consider it now.

But what if the people who consider Tool Scrapper start to think that no one is going to play Life Dew or they see that other people are reducing their Float Stone counts in response? Then do they even want to play Tool Scrapper? The cycle goes on and on… who can guess the metagame the best?


Prepare to be bugged.

Looking ahead to the NXD-on format, it seems that there are 3 top tier decks. Blastoise and Plasma are certainly up there, and if the hype train is to be believed, Genesect takes the third spot. I have yet to test with Genesect, but I will be testing tomorrow at prereleases (I’m writing this on Friday night).

There are differing opinions on the best way to run it, but everyone seems to be in agreement that hitting for 200 damage with little drawback and other support is insane. Unlike Blastoise, you don’t even have to rely on a Stage 2 to set up. Power creep much? Actually, the deck does have some problems, and would very likely be pretty N-prone in the late game. Also, Victini with a Victory Piece could very easily swoop in and take 4 Prizes if you were unprepared.

Using Plasma in the next format will also be very interesting. You have a lot of decisions as a deck builder to consider. Do you even play Hypnotoxic Laser now that Virizion can effectively render 1/10th of your deck worthless? Which of the 3 Tools do you play, Silver Bangle, Silver Mirror, or Reversal Trigger? Do you play some combination of them all? How many Tool Scrapper can you fit in your list? I love the new tools that are coming into the format and I think that it’s gonna add a lot of skill into both deckbuilding and playing.

Blastoise largely stays the same, especially since we just found out that Energy Retrieval will be reprinted in Plasma Blast. This deck is my favorite of the next format just in theory as it will be decently consistent and has some cool options in Suicune and the new regular Kyurem EX. Or, just run it like you always have and you’re still swinging for 200 with good old Black Kyurem EX. I see a lot of promise here

Past those top decks, nothing much really interests me. Hydreigon has been attracting some buzz, but I don’t see it ever beating a Blastoise deck, and with Silver Bangle, Kyurem Plasma can really rip it to pieces with the help of a few Deoxys. Darkrai/Absol is pretty dead until Energy Switch is reprinted, it just doesn’t have the speed or versatility it used to. Suicune and Silver Mirror look to shake up the format a bit but I’ll need to really get some testing and some brainstorming in before I see where they fit in.


ash ketchum stadium depression

Thank you all for reading my very long winded report and the extra bit at the end! I just wanted to get my thoughts down before they engulfed my thoughts. Post Nats depression hit hard but I do get to go to prereleases tomorrow to see my friends again! I’ll be back up at Michigan State University in the fall and playing some more Pokémon there soon as well.

Next stop after that is the Klaczynski Open which I am extremely excited for. Hopefully that is just the first great unofficial event and it runs smoothly so we can get even more in the future. I hope to see some of you there!

Reader Interactions

2 replies

  1. Josh Frink

    Hey Alex congrats again man xD
    Sad you’re not going to the grinder but hopefully I’ll see you at the Klacynski open or if not maybe we will get to play at brs :)

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