Hello everyone! This is my first time writing for SixPrizes, so please let me introduce myself before I get into the report. My name is Andrew Zavala, I am 18 years old, and I am currently a freshman at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.
I have been playing this card game for just about forever; I don’t even remember opening my first Base Set pack! This game has grown up alongside of me and, I am so happy that I have been able to see it grow and change.
I stopped playing after I went to the 2006 World Championships in Anaheim because my parents no longer wanted to fund me playing. This was devastating to me, but now I am finally back in the game! My last achievement at a tournament wasn’t since 2005 City Championships where I won first place.
I started playing again in June, read up on the metagame and different viable decks, and decided on playing Genesect/Virizion, since I felt like it had the most potential because nobody had figured out a solid deck list for it yet. So I just attended the 2013 Arizona Regional Championships this last weekend, and yes, it is very hot here.
Anyway, I’m here to tell you guys all about my Top 8 placing at the tournament (shout out to all of the staff for putting on such an amazing event!) and let you guys see my deck list which I like to call Virizion/Genetech, provide reasons for card choices, and finally give my report where I also play back-to-back Regional Champion, Israel Sosa!
Pokémon – 11
3 Genesect EX
1 Lugia EX
Trainers – 36
1 G Booster
Energy – 13
Here, I’ll discuss some key techs about why included some cards that are different from the normal Virizion/Genesect deck.
I originally included this card in my deck because I thought that its Return attack would be useful in some situations. As I was testing, I found that I used its Energy Press attack more often than Return. It is a fantastic secondary attacker against a fully powered Kyurem with 50 damage from an Emerald Slash or a 3-Energy Darkrai with 100 damage on it from Megalo Cannon.
1 Lugia EX
This card is MVP against the mirror matchup or even against Virizion/Mewtwo for its synergy with Virizion to be able to 2HKO 170 HP EXs for a quick 3 Prize cards, sealing the game relatively quickly.
1 Munna BCR 68
This is the card that I was on the fence about. Its 2 Retreat Cost made me not want to play it, originally. However, its combo with Verdant Wind and a free flip for sleep every single turn was too good to pass up. I teched in a Float Stone just for Munna, since it was really annoying when others would constantly Catcher it up to stall.
This is a card that received a ton of hype when its Japanese scan first came out, but it died down soon after it released in English and saw close to no play. I don’t think by any means that this is a bad card. It is simply very situational. A first turn Ghetsis can always disrupt your opponent, but my main use for it in this deck was to help against the Darkrai and Blastoise matchups.
This deck has a lot of trouble with Black Kyurem EX because it can easily Pokémon Catcher and Black Ballista any Genesect that you get powered up. I was having a lot of trouble with this, and so I learned that I needed to start targeting the Blastoise down. Ghetsis helps with ridding your opponent of any means of getting a new Blastoise into play after you knock one out by shuffling back in their: Rare Candy, Ultra Ball, Heavy Ball, Superior Energy Retrieval, or Computer Search.
I loved teching this into my deck because I wanted to be able to KO a Pokémon with just an Emerald Slash and a Megalo Cannon. I was able to use my opponent’s Virbank City Gym against them to get that essential extra 30 damage. The sleep flip was also handy for when I needed to stall and didn’t have Munna out.
Since my deck doesn’t rely on Plasma Badge to get a turn 1 Emerald Slash, I try and get at Tropical Beach out to use first turn. I wish that I had room to add another Ultra Ball to my list just so I can have a Virizion start as much as possible and can also thin down my hand (discarding cards that are useless in certain matchups, i.e. Drifblim and Enhanced Hammer vs. Darkrai) to draw more cards with Tropical Beach.
I knew I need some form of healing for my deck and was debating between this card and Max Potion. Ultimately, I think that I should have went with Max Potion because if a Virizion has 100+ damage on it, I would rather deny my opponent those 2 Prize cards rather than keep my Energy cards.
If you want to see the rest of my deck profile and card explanations, please check out this video:
I didn’t take any notes so this is all based solely off of memory. Luckily, I have a pretty good one, so I will include as many details as possible. In the interest of space, I won’t include a report of every single game that I played, instead I will give a report of the most interesting games and do a brief summary of the rest.
Round 1 vs. Michael Martin with Thundurus EX/Lugia EX
Of course, first round I get matched up with my good friend who knows my deck list inside and out. Both of us were upset by this turn out but agreed that we could play these games legitimately and try our hardest.
He wins the coin flip and the only Basic Pokémon that I get in my opening hand is a Tropius. I am immediately terrified of losing the first round of the day to a donk by a Thundurus and 2 Deoxys-EX. I know his list inside and out as well, so I already know that he doesn’t play any Hypnotoxic Lasers. This will force him to rely only on getting the Deoxys to win the game. He still gets a T2 KO on my Virizion with Lugia, and I can’t keep up from there.
This game went pretty much exactly like the first one, I got a Lugia start this time going first to his Lugia. I Ultra Ball for a Virizion, attach a Grass Energy, play a Tropical Beach and use it. Michael plays down his entire hand with Ultra Ball for Thundurus and attaches a Lightning Energy. He uses Switch, hits a Pokémon Catcher, then plays a Juniper. He gets a Deoxys on to his Bench, Colress Machines to Lugia and Raiden Knuckles my Virizion for 40.
I get an Emerald Slash off to power up a Genesect but that’s about it. He gets a T2 Lugia powered up for the KO on my Virizion for 3 Prizes and from there, I know that I just won’t be able to recover. After a KO with Plasma Gale on a Drifloon, all he needs is another Pokémon Catcher to bring up my Munna and win. He has a Juniper in hand, and draws the last Catcher in his deck!
But here’s where I got confused. He flashes the Catcher in his hand and says, “Pass.” Immediately, a bunch of thoughts start racing through my head about the moral complications of taking a tie that was just handed to me by a generous friend. I ultimately decide that I had too much integrity and respect for him to rob him of a win that was rightfully his. Yeah it sucked, and I was nervous for the rest of my games, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Round 2 vs. Carolyn Ochoa with Straight Darkrai
I was definitely disappointed by my last match because I was afraid that it would just be a downward spiral from there with me now being placed at table 86 out of 90 or so. But I kept a high head and continued onward.
Carolyn was playing a copy of Israel Sosa’s Darkrai list that won the California Regionals a week before, except for one minor difference: complete max rarity. I always hate playing these decks because the shine while looking through the discard pile can easily disorientate a person.
Carolyn got a terrible start and was forced to burn through her resources like a fat kid’s candy on Halloween. Believe it or not, by not Turn 3 or 4, she already 4 Professor Juniper, 4 Dark Patch, and 4 Pokémon Catcher in her discard!
Even with this, she still only had 1 Darkrai powered up. She only used Junk Hunt once and I felt pretty confident that I had the game after I Knocked Out her only Sableye and didn’t see another one for the rest of the game.
Tropius put in a lot of work helping Genesect take down those Darkrais, and Munna was also very helpful in that just one heads on Long-Distance Hypnosis and one tails from my opponent could put me at a huge advantage. I KO’d her Keldeo-EX early so Rushing In and retreating was not an option for her.
I don’t know what to expect going into this game because he flips over a Zekrom and Reshiram, and I become utterly terrified. Reshiram would be the bane of my deck’s existence. Lucky for me, he dead-draws for most of the game, and I am able to Knock Out his Pokémon one by one until he finally scoops.
This game he draws much better and goes first. He starts by playing a Frozen City and attaching a DCE to his active Reshiram which puts 2 damage counters on it. Against my Virizion, this is a very bad thing. With Outrage, he hits for 80 because of my Weakness to Fire. After another Energy attachment and a Silver Bangle, I am done for this game.
Time is running out, and now I have to Knock Out 6 total Pokémon to win the game and the series. I power up a Genesect and get a Lugia with 3 Energy attached to it in an effort to speed up my win, but my attempt isn’t fruitful. I attack with Genesect putting the Reshiram at 120 damage so he can no longer attach Energy to it without knocking it out due to Frozen City. I hit the Zekrom on the bench for 20.
But on his next turn, he gets everything that he needs with a DCE for the Zekrom putting it at 40 damage, a Silver Bangle, and a Pokémon Catcher to 1HKO my benched Lugia. A few turns go by, and time still hasn’t been called. I have Knocked Out 2 Reshirams and a Zekrom putting me at 3 Prizes, and he has 2 Prizes left after KO’s on Virizion and Lugia. His field right now is a Zekrom with 120 damage and a benched Reshiram with 20 from Genesect’s snipe, and mine is a mess of Pokémon with no Energy and 2 fully powered Genesects.
Just when I thought I had the game, time is called with him having Turn 0, and he drops the worst possible Pokémon that I could see: Suicune PLB. He switches to Suicune, and I know that there is no way that I can win because I would need the G Booster that I discarded very early in the game. I have a Shadow Triad in hand, but know that there is no way that I can get 3 Prizes in 2 turns.
I grab the G Booster with Triad anyway and KO the Suicune discarding 2 Energy off of my 4 Energy Genesect. He promotes the damaged Zekrom and now I’m not sure why he did this, but he attaches a DCE to his benched Reshiram! This now puts it at 40 damage, within KO range from a Megalo Cannon.
Now, I can win.
He passes with his Zekrom active, and I have the Catcher in hand to bring up his Reshiram with 40 damage, retreat to my benched Genesect and Megalo Cannon for my last 2 Prize cards.
Round 4 vs. Alex ??? with Plasma
All I remember about this series is that he dead-drew hard both games, and there was no way that I was about to N him. Drifblim helped me 1HKO his Deoxys for my last 2 Prizes, that’s about all that I remember. Sorry guys, I wish I remembered more!
Round 5 vs. Jesse Teethers with Big Basics/ Garbodor
Jesse gave me an incredibly fun match despite the fact that he was dead-drawing pretty hard. He was such a nice guy and extremely easy to make jokes with. Thanks for a really fun game, Jesse!
I had never play-tested against this matchup because honestly I didn’t think that I would have too much of a problem with it. He starts Landorus-EX and begins spreading damage around my field. Munna is big in this game for me as my opponent only plays 1 Switch along with 4 Float Stone. He stays asleep the majority of the turns, and I roll him with G Booster once I get it all set up.
Hypnotoxic Laser was also really handy in this matchup to be able to 2HKO his bulky 180 HP EXs with an Emerald Slash and a Megalo Cannon after he put down a Virbank.
Went very similarly to the last game with my Munna and Hypnotoxic Laser techs being a big help. I remember him showing me his last hand, and it was filled with only Pokémon!
Making my way up to the big leagues!
Round 6 vs. Asim Malik with Big Basics
Asim is a very concentrated player who isn’t into the conversation part of the game, so we both just play a silent game focused on winning. I get 2 Genesects powered up with Virizion early game against his lone Landorus. After a while of trading KO’s back and forth, I win in the end of all of it.
This game was much more interesting than the first because I took a different approach to win that I am not necessarily proud of (no, not cheating). Our first game lasted a long time, and so I estimated that about half of our time had elapsed.
After playing the game normally, I get to look through my deck finally and notice that my G Booster is prized. Then a thought runs through my head:
I need to stall.
I didn’t want to do it, but there was no way that I could let that series end in a tie without hurting my chances at making Top 8.
I use Munna’s Long-Distance Hypnosis every single turn to keep his Pokémon asleep all the while playing down new fresh Pokémon onto my bench to absorb damage. He doesn’t have a counter stadium for my Skyarrow Bridge, so I am able to move my Pokémon about freely. He sets up a Mewtwo with 5 Energy to KO one of my 4 Energy Genesects (that I had to attach extra to in order to use Red Signal), leaving me with absolutely no Energy left in my deck.
The only Energy that I had left was a sole Grass Energy on a damaged Virizion. This puts him down to 1 Prize from KO’ing a 2 Genesects, and a Tropius. My bench is left with a Virizion with 60 damage and one Energy, a Munna, and my Active Virizion with 110 damage.
I completely submit to the fact that this game will end in a tie even if time is called. Sure enough, time is called on my turn making me Turn 0. He doesn’t need any cards to win, just to attack. Desperately, I look at Munna and think…
This is all you, buddy.
I roll the die, and a nice “4” settles onto the top of it. I am successful in still having a chance in this, all I need is to keep him Asleep for the next two turns, then Game 2 will be unresolved, and I will win the series.
He rolls a tails, and I breathe a sigh of relief. With nothing left to do on his turn, he passes and rolls the die again: another tails. I knew that this game would be decided on a coin flip: either he flips a heads, and it ends in a tie, or he flips tails, and I win the series. We both look at each other because we know what it has come down to. He rolls the die high up into the air, and it comes back down onto the table.
I suppress my utter happiness, and say, “Good game” and shake hands even though I knew that he should have won that game. Unfortunately, that’s just part of the game of Pokémon. I was a little sad with myself, but ultimately stoked that my goal of getting to Top 8 was becoming a reality.
Hughes with Virizion/Genesect/Plasma BadgeRound 7 vs. Grady
Grady was a ton of fun to play against, and we made jokes and talked while we played as well. Not too many exciting things happened, so I’ll just give a brief summary on every single game.
I’m happy to be finally be playing a mirror match because I know exactly what to do: get out Lugia EX as quickly as possible. I win the coin flip, and start Virizion and attach an Energy. He misses the T1 Emerald Slash and instead starts with 2 Genesect. Virizion deals 50 damage with Emerald Slash, and I power up a Lugia for my next turn.
His Genesect gets a T2 Megalo Cannon, but he needed the Pokémon Catcher and the G Booster to be able to save his Genesect, so the next turn, I send up Lugia and Plasma Gale for 3 Prizes. The next turn, he sends up his other Genesect, and I rinse and repeat.
He chooses to go first (weirdly enough) and again gets a Genesect start. My deck isn’t as kind, and I start with a Tropius out. He gets set up much quicker than I do and proceeds to run through my Pokémon with Genesect.
I swear that this game is almost identical to the first. I get to go first this time, get out a Lugia, get 50 damage on a Virizion and his benched Genesect, and Plasma Gale both of them for the win.
By now, I am jumping up and down because if I can at least get a tie in the next round, then I will make Top 8 for sure.
Round 8 vs. Brandon Jones with Virizion/Mewtwo/Bouffalant
I was fortunate enough to have this match recorded by On the Bubble, so it should be up in the next few days or so. Thankfully, it was recorded because I hardly remember a darn thing. (If some of what I say doesn’t match up with the video, I’m sorry! It was a long day, and it’s hard to keep track of everything that happened.)
He starts attacking with Mewtwo right away going first, and eats up my Genesects whenever they finally get 3 Energy on.
Goes the same way as Game 1 except that I am able to retaliate this time by getting out my Drifblim and Enhanced Hammer. I also make an idiotic misplay that was unfortunately recorded on the camera. I attach a Float Stone to my Active Genesect since it has no Grass energies on it, in order to retreat it. Then, for some absurd reason, I think it a good idea to use Munna’s Ability to try and put my opponent to sleep.
Well… I flip tails, putting my own Genesect to sleep meaning it cannot retreat with its Float Stone. Luckily, I was able to Skyla for a Switch and retreat that way, but still it was pretty embarrassing. Like I said before, it was a long day, and I just wasn’t thinking clearly.
There is no more time for a full match, and so we exchange KO’s back and forth, realistically the game cannot be completed with the time that we had left, so it ended in a tie.
Game Unresolved, 6-1-1
Go watch the match between Brandon and me on YouTube! It should be uploaded in a few days on On the Bubble’s channel: OnTheBubblePokemon. Please go subscribe as well!
Finally, the day’s matches were over, but I hear from someone that one 6-1-1 record is going to bubble out of cut. My stomach drops again; to have come this far just to bubble would absolutely suck. That being said, a moment of silence for Stefan Tabaco who definitely should not have bubbled after such a good record.
I was extremely happy to see my name at 6th seed. Now, the person’s name that I was not happy to see was Israel Sosa’s at 3rd seed, which means that I would be playing him. I was filled with excitement, but also dismay because I wasn’t confident enough in my skills to think that I would do well enough to win against a player as good as Israel Sosa. Despite that, I went home and did all of my research on his deck since it just won Pleasanton Regionals, and I tried to get as much of an advantage as I could get.
It was an absolute pleasure to be able to go up against a player like Israel. I was extremely nervous heading into the match, but we made conversation and jokes, and ultimately just had a great time playing, no matter who won and who lost. It was one of the best series that I have ever played, and I’ve gained some confidence in my playing abilities knowing that I could give 2-time Regional Champion, Israel Sosa a run for his money.
Top 8 vs. Israel Sosa with Straight Darkrai
This matchup is pretty 50/50, so I prayed that I could hopefully win the coin toss to gain an advantage. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Now, I wish that I remembered every single detail because it really was a great series, but I can’t, so I’ll be skipping around some trying to include the most important parts of all 3 games.
He goes first starting a Darkrai, and my heart is at ease a little bit seeing that he missed his first turn Energy attachment and didn’t get a Sableye out. But I was foolish to think that his Sosa luck has run out just for me.
I start a Tropius (again…) and actually get a fairly strong start. I get out a Virizion with a Grass Energy attached and also get out a Genesect and bench it. This time, Israel gets out his Sableye, benches a Keldeo-EX, and Junk Hunts for some Items that I don’t remember.
Thank God, he missed the Turn 2 Night Spear.
I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to deal with a Darkrai this early, and get a Grass Energy to power up Virizion. I Juniper but whiff my out to switch Tropius! So both of our decks miss the fast starts that they try to achieve. I miss T2 Emerald Slash, and he whiffs Turn 2 Night Spear. Oh but by Turn 3, he definitely gets a Darkrai powered up. I mean, he’s literally made of Dark Patches, right?
I Emerald Slash twice: once onto a damaged Genesect and once to my Tropius before Virizion goes down to a final Night Spear. I play down another Virizion, and use Potion to put my Genesect at 60 damage from the Night Spear snipes and Energy Press his active Darkrai that was weakened by Virizion to get 2 Prizes myself.
He uses Junk Hunt a couple times in between somewhere, and so he still has a lot of resources to spare. He charges up another Darkrai, Catchers up my Genesect, and hits it with Night Spear putting it at 150 damage.
This is the turning point for me when I Skyla for a G Booster and 1HKO his only Darkrai with 3 Energy. From here, I thought I had the game especially since he had 4 N’s in the discard. Oh boy, was I wrong. I completely forgot about his Dowsing Machine. I had the win in hand, but he plays down his Dowsing Machine, grabs an N, and N’s me to 2 cards: a Virizion and a Colress Machine. To make matters worse, he also Tool Scrappers away my G Booster.
I top-deck the Energy to power Genesect one more time, but I don’t have the Catcher anymore to be able to bring up Keldeo for the 1HKO. His next turn, he top-decks a Dark Claw, Dark Patches to another Darkrai, Catchers my Virizion with 60 damage, and Nights Spears KO’ing both my Virizion and Genesect for the game.
I get to go first, and I am motivated to win this game. I get another Tropius start which puts me at a disadvantage. But I play down my entire hand, get a Virizion with an Energy attached, Switch out my Active and use my Tropical Beach for 6 cards. He does not get a Turn 2 Night Spear again this game, so this is my chance to make a comeback!
Again, I don’t remember all of the details, but we exchange KO’s between Darkrais and Genesects. I make sure to KO his Keldeo early this time, that way he cannot use it in combination with Dark Patch or to get rid of Munna’s sleep. We are both really lucky and whenever I flip heads on a Hypnosis, he gets a heads for his sleep check.
The game winds down, and I have a bunch of attackers ready to go. I have 2 Prizes left, he has 4, and I have a good enough board position to be able to win the game.
But then Israel takes a different strategy. He notices that I am down to 4 cards left in my deck, Catchers my Munna, and Tool Scrappers my Float Stone. He promotes his Sableye to Junk Hunt for Catchers to keep his stall tactics alive.
I have a Genesect with 3 Energy and another with a G Booster attached but only 2 Energy. All I have in my hand is a Grass Energy and a Colress Machine that I top-decked, so I use the Colress Machine to just see what’s left in my deck. There is a Colress, a Skyla, and a Plasma Energy. I know I can’t win because now I need that Energy to attach to Munna instead of putting it on my Genesect to Red Signal and G Booster for the game. I attach the Grass Energy to Munna and pass.
He Junk Hunts for a Dowsing Machine and a Pokémon Catcher. I top-deck a Plasma Energy and am deciding on what to do when I notice that Israel has only 1 card left in his deck, while I have 2 left. I know that he can Dowsing Machine for another N to save himself from decking out, but what I don’t realize is that Israel will only have 7 cards in his hand after he draws his last card.
He draws and realizes the same thing. He can Dowsing Machine for an N, but it will cost him 3 cards, leaving him at 4 cards in hand; the same number as his Prize cards. He can’t save himself from decking out and scoops.
I am ecstatic that I was able to take the California Regional Champion to Game 3 but know that now I need to play harder than ever in order to move to Top 4.
Well… this is where my deck finally crapped out on me. My opening hand consists of 2 Genesects, a Shadow Triad, and various other cards, like Drifloon and Enhanced Hammers that will not help me at all. He gets to go first this game, and he works his magic: a Turn 2 Night Spear. By Turn 3, he even gets 2 Darkrais set up!
I know that there is no way I can come back from this but still play it out. I keep dead-drawing. All the while, he keeps Night Spearing eventually down to 2 Prizes, leaving me with a Virizion that I could finally play but no Energy to attach to it. I know that if I can at least get an N, I can at least try to get back into this, but I had no such luck. He got his perfect set up, and I was left without any setup whatsoever as he takes his last 2 Prize cards.
That ended my hot streak that weekend, but Israel and I shook hands and agreed that they were an amazing series. I wish that they were on stream! But oh well. I felt so privileged just to be able to play in the Top 8 against such a good player and was content with the fact that I ended up losing to the back-to-back Regional Champion! Congrats Israel! And shout out to my good friend, Jacob Stoyacovich who was able to make 2nd place with his Plasma deck!
To end this report, I just want to say that I am just honestly ecstatic that I even made Top 8 for that was my goal. Making anything higher just would have been a bonus! The prize support was much better this year, and I even got a cool Yveltal/Xerneas playmat! It was a great weekend, one that I will never forget.
Good luck to everyone at these upcoming Regionals, and I hope you have as much fun as I did. I’ll be here starting to prepare for the next tournaments because I am determined to get that Worlds invite!