It’s finally time for the holidays! It’s the time of City Championships, Winter Break, and (hopefully) getting good cards for Christmas! Today I’m going to tell you the tale of my first ever top cut at a tournament, with a deck that I had never played before!
The Night Before
I was talking to some of my friends on Skype while asking for help on my Darkrai/Garbodor list, as it hadn’t been going great for me. I felt completely unprepared for the tournament the next day, like my deck would completely crap out on me. I expressed my concerns to my friends, and they recommended a new deck to me: Snorlax/Lugia, aka the Yeti.
I was skeptical (as I had never heard of it before), but when they gave me the list, I realized I had every card for it, except for two Lugia and a Colress. I quickly arranged a deal to borrow those cards, and then built the list:
Pokémon – 10
2 Snorlax PLF
3 Lugia EX
2 Thundurus EX
1 Genesect EX
Trainers – 36
Energy – 14
While I didn’t make this list, I understand it and can give my opinion on the decisions in this list.
2 Snorlax PLS, 3 Lugia EX
These are the heavy hitters of the deck. Snorlax blocks opponents from retreating, and completely destroys Darkrai-based decks that don’t run Garbodor. It also has 1HKO potential on pretty much anything, as Teampact can hit for 180 with a full Bench (which is not actually that hard to do, even with the high Energy cost).
Lugia gives the deck huge potential for taking leads in Prizes, especially on EX’s that have been softened up by a Raiden Knuckle.
2 Thundurus EX
Thundurus will destroy Empoleon decks if they don’t run Sawk PLB, and that’s always nice. It also accelerates Energy from the discard pile, which makes it perfect for Lugia and Snorlax. The third thing that Thundurus does is deal the 30-40 damage that gives Lugia a good chance at 1HKOing EX’s with Plasma Gale.
Running Deoxys is pretty much a necessity for any Plasma deck. Adding damage, especially to Plasma Gale, is fantastic.
1 Genesect EX
Pokémon Catcher takes too much space, and is flippy. Genesect is much better, as it also counts for Teampact. Genesect also makes you play carefully with your Plasma Energy, which is always good practice for playing the game.
To be honest, I never played this card once, but I didn’t need to. It is used to help Lugia score 1HKOs on undamaged EX’s in the later parts of the game.
When your main attackers have a 4 and 5 Energy attack cost, Scramble Switch is the obvious choice. I don’t really see an argument that could justify any other ACE SPEC.
You want to win Stadium wars against Beach and Virbank. Running 3 Frozen City is the best way to do it. Frozen City helps both the RayBoar and Blastoise matchups a lot.
The Day Of
I got to the venue in Lynnwood, WA a little bit later than I expected, due to a traffic jam, but I got there before registration anyway. I got the Lugias from my friends, and traded a Reverse Holo Skyla for two Colress.
I tried to play one practice game with the deck, as it was too late the night before to test, and the deck didn’t go so great. I had all my Snorlax Prized, as well as 2 DCE. I was a bit nervous after that, but since I had already turned in my list, and the pairings were up, I had to stick with it. The tournament was 5 rounds of Swiss with a Top 8 cut.
Round 1 vs. Darkrai/Dusknoir
I was a bit nervous before this matchup, but I felt like I’d be okay, with a little luck. I opened a Thundurus to his Sableye, and he went first. He then proceeded to get quite possibly the best start I had ever seen: a Sableye Active; 1 Darkness in the discard; 2 Darkness and a Dark Claw on his Benched Darkrai; as well as a second Darkrai, a Mr. Mime, another Sableye, and a Duskull.
Needless to say, I was more than a little nervous. I drew, attached to Thundurus, Benched a Snorlax, Deoxys, and Lugia, attached a Lightning, and played Colress for 8 cards. I then played Ultra Ball to grab a second Lugia, in the process discarding a DCE, and used Raiden Knuckle for 40 and attached the DCE to Snorlax.
He wasn’t able to get the Night Spear, so he just drew, attached to the Active Sableye, evolved his Duskull to a Dusclops, retreated to the two-Energy Darkrai, and passed. I retreated into Snorlax, Benched a Genesect EX, attached a Plasma Energy to Genesect, and used Red Signal to drag out the Dusknoir, knowing that he probably didn’t run Switch.
Fortunately, he didn’t hit any Hypnotoxic Laser while my Snorlax was up, which would have hurt a lot. I then slowly charged up my Snorlax, and put a L Energy on Thundurus while he was locked with Dusknoir Active. He grabbed his third Energy for his Darkrai, and started to charge up another.
At that point, I realized that I needed to Knock it Out, or I would still be facing an uphill battle for the later parts of the game. Fortunately, I topdecked a Colress for 10 and drew a Plasma Energy out of the 3 that I had left in deck. I attached it to Genesect, and used another Red Signal to drag out the fully charged Darkrai, and hit it with a Teampact for 190. After that, I swept him.
Round 2 vs. Empoleon
He opened with a bad start, and I started Thundurus. He never got an Empoleon up the entire game. It turns out he never hit a Supporter.
Round 3 vs. RayBoar
I was honestly surprised to be doing this well, as I had only played three games so far with this deck. I learned a bit before the match that my opponent was playing RayBoar, which I had no idea how to play against. I asked James Good (who gave my friend the list, who gave me the list) how to play the matchup, and he said “Get your Frozen Cities up.”
I had 2 Prized Frozen Cities, as well as my 1 Skyla. I did get a turn 1 Plasma Gale, however, but aside from the 2 Prizes I took from that, the game fell apart quickly. Also, my opponent was really, really good. When I did get my Frozen City out, he got rid of it for a Beach, and then attached all of his Energy in a super-strategic way, in case I got another out.
Round 4 vs. TDK/Lugia
One thing that I noticed in this match was that it was my only match that went to time, even though we were both running fast decks. I think it might have been because my opponent played really, really slowly. I was going to call a judge for stalling on him, but every time I was about to ask him to pick up the pace, he started to make moves.
He decided to go first, and opened a Thundurus EX with a Lugia Benched. He then proceeded to use two Team Plasma Ball and two Ultra Ball (with a series of Bicycle) to grab four Deoxys-EX, discard a DCE with Juniper, and attach a Plasma Energy to Lugia.
I then got an equally great setup, hitting a full Bench and playing a Colress for 10 cards and almost hitting a T1 Plasma Gale. My memories of this game are a bit fuzzy, but I remember three specific moments of lucksacking: I needed to Knock Out his Lugia, but needed 2 Energy on my Snorlax, a way to switch my Energy-less Lugia out of Active, and a Plasma Energy to attach to Genesect EX to Red Signal his Lugia and Knock it Out with Teampact. I Colress for 10, and draw 2 Colress Machine, a Plasma Energy, and a Switch.
My second lucksack was hitting a Skyla off of an N, which grabbed me the Scramble Switch, which let me use Plasma Gale for a KO, leaving me with 1 Prize. However, my opponent still hung in there by making clever use of Reversal Trigger (I discarded my Tool Scrappers because I didn’t think I would need them) to grab the cards he needed to stream Lugias.
He Knocked Out my Snorlax and Lugia to take 5 Prizes, and played N to bring me to one card, which was a rather unhelpful Switch. I had to bring up my one-Energy Genesect on turn 1 of time, knowing that he could very easily win the game, which would have frustrated me to no end. I then had my third lucksack moment: I topdecked one of my three L Energy that were left out of my 20 card deck, switched into Thundurus, attached the Energy, and Raiden Knuckled for game.
Round 5 vs. Gothitelle/Accelgor
I looked at the pairings, and saw that I was up-paired to play the only 4-0-0 in the tournament. We decided to intentionally draw, as we would both make cut if we did.
3-1-1, Third Seed
Top 8 vs. Empoleon
I learned a bit earlier that my opponent was playing Empoleon, which is a great matchup for me, as Thundurus wrecks their entire board. Of course, both of my Thundurus were Prized. He also got two Empoleon up on turn 2. I scooped relatively quickly.
I elected to go first, and hit a turn 1 Plasma Gale, but I saw that 1 Thundurus is Prized. I took 4 Prizes by turn 3, and put 20 on all his Piplups with Frozen City. Then, he promoted Empoleon and attached a Silver Mirror. I had two ways to win: hit one of my two Tool Scrappers, which were not Prized, or hit a Shadow Triad to Red Signal a different Empoleon.
I chose to play Colress for 9. I whiffed the Scrapper, but hit the Triad, so I had the win next turn. He played N, and I was back at 2 cards. I topdecked Colress, Colress’d for 9, and whiffed everything. He played N, and I was back at 2 cards again. By now, I’ve switched into my Thundurus, and charged a second Lugia up. He used damage from my board to Knock Out a Snorlax with Dusknoir, and took a Prize.
I played Colress for 8 cards, and still whiffed. I never saw that Scrapper, and he slowly Knocked Out my Lugias and other cards, until he had 2 Prizes left. He needed to deal 20 extra damage to KO my Thundurus for game, and he drew his last 2 cards with Diving Draw to pick up his Iris. My opponent (his name was Ethan) wound up winning the tournament.
0-2, Top 8
I am honestly surprised that I was able to get this far in this tournament. I was aided by plenty of good luck, but I feel like I also made a good deck choice. If I hadn’t Prized my Thundurus Game 1 of Top 8, I had an out to them on turn 1, and I feel like it wasn’t that far out to expect to hit either of my Tool Scrapper out of 3 Colress for 8+ cards out of a 25 card deck, but I’m still amazed that I even got that far.
This was my first top cut ever, and I feel like I did well. I don’t really have any sour grapes other than the Scrapper and Thundurus whiff, and I feel like I played well enough. I will definitely be running the Yeti again for next week, and I hope that I will do well again.
Samuel Moro Jacques
Nice article and congratulations for your performance!
It turns out that my opponent in round 4 (who I thought was playing slowly) actually hadn’t played in a year, so he wasn’t stalling. I kinda thought he was stalling, but now that I know the whole story, I don’t think so.
Even if they aren’t doing it deliberately to gain an advantage, slow play is slow play and there isn’t (or shouldn’t be) any allowance for inexperience (in Masters anyway).
It’s not up to you to figure out the reason for the slow play. You’re entitled to get a judge and let them make the call – that’s what they are there for.
As an aside, if they have bikes, then there can be clutch decisions at any point in the turn, so it’s important to not get mad about a wait-pass. There could easily have been a decision behind it:
I understand that, as I used to run Bike in TDK, but he was taking 60 seconds or more for each and every move he made. Now that I know the circumstances, I am fine with it.
You should never be afraid to call a judge over towards a table, you don’t even need to say that the opponent is stalling, just politely ask them to watch the pace of play and they won’t mind whatsoever unless they are actually intentionally cheating.
I really don’t understand why you only used two Deoxys.
In fact I’m baffled that you didn’t prize one or both once the entire tournament.
More so, 3 Lugia over 3 Doexys really doesn’t sit well with me at all especially since 2 Deoxys+Lugia is all you need after Thundurus for the Empoleon matchup.
Iris looks cute, but all in all I’d rather have that extra 10 damage ever turn than the possibility of 20-50 damage on only one turn.
It was a nice report, however I can’t get over how you had way too many pokemon search cards and way too little of certain pokemon lines (Thundurus and Deoxys).
The reason why I didn’t run 3 Deoxys is because I didn’t actually have any available to me. The list I was given had all these cards, and it was pretty late when I built the list. I have also already taken out the Iris and added an extra Tool Scrapper (not only to beat Silver Mirror, but for Garbodor, as it is problematic in my testing.) I almost never really need Deoxys, as Snorlax OHKO’s everything
I always assumed most people had access to staples such as Deoxys, especially with it having its own tin.
But I guess made the tournament’s outcome even more interested for you being that your list wasn’t complete.
Actually, I had just traded all four of my Deoxys, as I didn’t really like TDK all that much. I had to borrow two of them.
Be careful discrediting yourself or your opponents by dwelling too much on luck. Taking four prizes in the first two turns of the game will leave you susceptible to N. That’s the nature of the card. You also hit two Colress off two consecutive N’s to two which I’m sure was equally frustrating for your opponent.
Congrats on your first cut!
“we both agreed to tie”, yes because that’s in the spirit of the game to your fellow competitors who might be dependent on you playing a fair game to top cut. Even if its common practice never admit to it, especially to others in the tournament. Deciding the outcome of a game before it has started…
If you think you have anything new or insightful to add to the discussion of ID’s you are sadly mistaken. It’s played out. Give it up.
I very much disagree with the ID’s and agree with you, but unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done with it because thats the result of the rule changes and if people want to do that its up to them. For me I play for fun whatever the result so I wouldn’t want to ID, but its pretty obvious why some people do.
If you get yourself into a position where you are dependent on other people’s results, then I don’t think there’s much to complain about. It’s never good to have to rely on the outcome of matches that are beyond your control.
Unfortunately we can’t always be in a situation where we win every game
in every tournament we play, so anyone placing below first place will
always be dependent on other results that are beyond their control.
Anyway, imagine the situation where you are on 12 points and the person
below you has 10 points and they have to win in their final game in
order to beat you to top cut. However, his final opponent is coming last
(perhaps due to luck, they aren’t necessarily a bad player) and the
player on 10 points suggests to the other player to let him win so that
he can top cut ahead of you. After all he still has something to play
for. Your tournament comes down to another players to decision to fix a
result, whereas if the game was played out fairly and in the spirit of
fair competition, there would be nothing wrong with not advancing if the
player on 10 points earned the win. If it becomes acceptable to agree
results prior to starting a match, then you will allow situations where
more forceful people may pressure results out of opponents, where it
comes down to which group takes the largest amount of friends to an
event to guarantee a higher chance of success at critical junctures when
a fixed match is required, or that multiple matches will be
pre-arranged so that some players may breeze through a tournament
without drawing a card…
This kind of thing is nothing new though. It has happened since I have been playing the game. People without a chance of cutting will often concede to let their last round opponent through, sometimes with very notable results (Worlds 2011). When it happens, someone loses out, but the trend didn’t start with IDs.
The issue of putting pressure on people and colluding to get someone through a tournament is seperate in my opinion. Those things are clearly against the rules and should be punished severely. They were also problems before we had IDs though.
Please stop posting UG articles so much.
I’m pretty sure the ratio used to be 1 per every 3 articles. now it seems to be 4 per every 5 (!) articles. Is it just me??
I am a relatively mediocre player, and a poor student, and I want to hear what most of the “better” (more or less) players think on certain Pokemon-related topics to help me get better.
On other happier thoughts, congrats on your 1st cut, and I really think playing Snorlax was a good idea. This article was certainly better than most reports.
Adam posts 2 UG articles per week from the UG writers. That doesn’t change – it’s always been that way, and it is what the subscribers pay for.
The schedule of non-UG articles depends on how many articles of acceptable quality are submitted, and Adam has no control over this.
Snorlax is from Plasma Storm not Plasma Freeze it says PLF in the decklist
Hello fellow 6P readers, i just wanna share my personal opinion on “the Yeti”.
tested this deck extensively with almost all top tier decks and random
rouges at my local league. I found that having prism energy really helps with providing an
option to attack with Deoxys EX if the situation needs me to especially
when my opponent loads up a fat Mewtwo EX, Keldeo EX or even a Deoxys EX
(Lugia EX and Snorlax needs high counts of energy and Mewtwo EX, Deoxys
EX can really cause big problems). In addition, i feel that this deck
struggles with Bigbasics/Garbodor matchup and late game N. So, having a
counter for Landorus EX will be helpful as Landorus EX (and Stunkfish DRX + silver bangle) can really pack a
punch towards Thundurus EX and Snorlax PLS is weak to fighting as well.
No worries on Terrakion NVI as Lugia EX can gale it easily (with 1
Deoxys EX) and Terrakion EX do not have that lightning resistance and is
slightly heavier than Landorus EX (to attack), so executing the usual
raiden->gale strategy should do it against Terrakion EX. Sawk PLB can
also cause problems for Thundurus EX and Snorlax PLS, however Deoxys EX can
OHKO it and Lugia EX can also OHKO it. Teching some Kyurem PLF and some
blends might be able to help that Landorus EX match up and “neutralize” other fighting match ups. Adding high
counts of bicycle will certainly help late game consistency to combat N.
Well i hope some of my experience can help with improving “the Yeti”.
Thank you so much for the great article and congratulations on making the cut =)