I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Will Compere, I am a Senior, and I have been playing the Pokémon TCG for 3 years. My accomplishments (all from the Seniors Division) are as follows:
- Top 32 Worlds 2012
- Top 32 US Nationals 2013
- Top 16 Regionals 2013
- 1st States 2014
- 2nd States 2012 (Twice)
- 3rd States 2012
- 3rd States 2014
- Multiple Cities and Battle Road Wins
I have been on and off a little bit with the game as of late. I grind the game extremely hard when I am playing; I play five games a day at least. I can attribute this mostly to the fact that I am home-schooled. Therefore, I have a good amount of time to test. I will generally lose interest if the format becomes stale and not fun for me. Also, since I have free time I can write an article once every week or so.
Enough rambling, let’s get to my deck choice and tournament report.
About three weeks before States began, I decided that a Virizion/Genesect variant would be the ideal deck for me. I realized early on though that a straight, streamlined version of the deck would not be optimal for multiple reasons:
- With Rayquaza/Emboar/Delphox decks around, having a deck that is all weak to Fire will almost always result in me losing. I refused to play a deck that had any severely bad matchups.
- Yveltal-EX caused me trouble in testing with a straight Virizion/Genesect deck. This is mainly due to them being able to 1-shot a Genesect-EX sometimes. In addition, the ability of Yveltal-EX and Bouffalant DRX to put 140 damage on either Virizion-EX or Genesect-EX then take a 4 Prize turn with Darkrai-EX is devastating.
- Lastly, Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor causes extreme problems for the deck. Hypnotoxic Laser is the big reason behind this. They can easily hit me for 170 damage (a 1HKO) consistently.
After about a week of testing different versions of the Virizion/Genesect deck, I found a combo of cards that worked really well for me and filled in the gaps that the regular version failed to cover. The deck was a blend between a Palkia-EX Plasma variant and the straight Virizion-EX deck, with a few off-beat choices.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 34
Energy – 14
The main focus of the deck is to not take any bad matchups. In addition, I wanted to have multiple options for attackers. As you can see, I have Palkia-EX, Genesect-EX, Virizion-EX, Deoxys-EX, and even Sigilyph as attackers. This deck has options and outs to every meta deck.
Vs. RayBoar: Even to Ever-So-Slightly Favorable
This is the worst matchup for the deck. Even though I have outs to all of their attackers, if I do not draw decently or they draw extremely well, I’ll be in trouble. This matchup is 50-50 to 55-45 instead of the usual almost auto-loss for multiple reasons:
1. I have Palkia-EX to counter Rayquaza-EX and Rayquaza LTR. Generally my board state by turn three is: 1 Virizion-EX, 1 Palkia-EX, 2 Deoxys-EX, 1 Genesect-EX, and 1 Sigilyph LTR. Although that may seem too good to be true, I assure you that is my usual field by turn three. Most of the time, by then I will also have gotten a Muscle Band in play.
If they decide to attack with Rayquaza-EX on their T2 or T3, I can almost always respond with a knockout. If not, I send up a Sigilyph to create the 7-Prize situation. My Palkia-EX usually sits on my Bench waiting to knockout a Rayquaza-EX. Sometimes I will Red Signal out a Rayquaza-EX and get the knockout with Palkia.
2. Even if they go Delphox on me, I have Genesect-EX and Deoxys-EX to get the 1-shot knockout. Delphox and Reshiram are actually the real issues for Genesect-EX based decks. Even so, I have the outs to both those threats. When I attack with my Genesect-EX, I will almost always snipe the 20 to a Benched Fennekin, Braixen, or Delphox.
3. I will promote Sigilyph almost every game at some point to force the 7-Prize situation. In addition, he is a wall against Pokémon-EX. I can promote him at any point if I see that they will probably not have a reliable non-EX attacker. He is also just a good Pokémon to throw away if I know they will get a KO next turn.
4. Don’t get me started on G Booster. I can use it to 1HKO a Rayquaza-EX or anything else that is causing problems.
Vs. Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor: Slightly Favorable
While this matchup is about 55-45 to 60-40, I still face a few issues. Let’s delve into those problems as well as why the matchup percentage is the way it is:
1. One of the main problems is Garbodor LTR. Not having Verdant Wind can spell disaster if you do not play this matchup correctly. Also, not having Red Signal can hurt sometimes.
2. In addition, Silver Mirror can be a pain if you are not prepared for it. I play 3 Muscle Band so I can 1HKO a Sableye that has Silver Mirror attached. Absol PLF on the other hand, with a Silver Mirror attached, can cause issues if you do not keep him in the back of your head. The best way to combat Absol is to keep your Bench small. Keeping two to three Pokémon Benched is optimal. Absol with Silver Mirror can be game-ending if you do not keep your Bench low to medium sized.
3. Only playing 1 Tool Scrapper can be tough, but because I only play 1 Juniper and 3 Skyla, I have the out to get it in most situations if I need it. I played 2 Tool Scrapper week 1-of States where I got 3rd place. The second Scrapper was just always dead for me. It never helped me out. If there were more Garbodor decks in my area I may would have considered two, but one was the right call.
4. I will usually only attack with Genesect-EX if I’m going for the G Booster 1HKO. This is because with Abilities off, Yveltal-EX can 1HKO a Genesect-EX with 3 Energy on it easily. In response to Yveltal-EX, I have Deoxys-EX. With a Muscle Band I 1HKO a Yveltal-EX with 4 Energy on it. While this seems like a daunting task, I play 2 P Energies, 1 Professor’s Letter, and 3 Skyla. Making it a doable task to get the 2 Energy on my Deoxys-EX.
5. I also have the Sigilyph to force the 7 Prize situation.
6. Hammers can be an issue, but they really are not that huge. I don’t discard my Energy unless I have to, so keeping Energy in play isn’t a real big deal.
Vs. Darkrai/Yveltal/Bouffalant: Favorable
This is a 65-35 to 70-30 matchup. I will generally win unless my opponent flips above 50%, draws incredibly well, and I draw poorly. Even then I can manage sometimes. The only real thing they have for leverage is Catchering up my Palkia-EX and 1HKOing it. Even if they do this, I can still 1-2HKO back with Deoxys-EX, or 1HKO with G Booster.
Having 2 Sigilyph really comes into play this matchup. Dropping a Grass on him means that none of their non-Pokémon-EX can 1HKO my Siggy, unless they go in with a 3-Energy Yveltal XY. Playing 1 Cassius is justified with this matchup in particular. Sometimes they will set up a 4 Prize turn, but I can Cassius one of my Pokémon back and remove the damage done.
Vs. Plasma: Slightly Favorable to Solidly Favorable
The Plasma matchup (as well as the Fairy matchup) are harder to pinpoint percentage wise. This is because of the large variation between the two archetypes. Plasma can go anywhere from 55-45 to 75-25. The worst Plasma deck to play against is a non-EX version that plays 2-4 Kyurem PLF and 2 Absol PLF.
The lifesavers of this matchup are Virizion-EX and Deoxys-EX. Virizion-EX can 2-shot a Kyurem if it has a Muscle Band attached. The 20 Resistance to Water comes in handy as well. Being able to time the Tool Scrapper is also important. If you let them take too many 1HKOs you are in trouble. Deoxys-EX 1HKOs Kyurem if I have a Muscle Band attached.
The Yeti, or a more EX focused variant is much more favorable for multiple reasons:
- They play low amounts of non-EX attackers.
- They are generally a little slower.
- The Prize trade is better.
Vs. Fairies: Favorable
I would say from my extensive testing that the Fairy matchup is anywhere from 60-40 to 65-35. The Plasma version is a harder matchup, but is still favorable. I will generally just Strafe lock them. If they go G Booster on me I will usually just G Booster back or Scrapper theirs. The matchup is fairly simple.
Vs. Virizion/Genesect: Ever-So-Slightly Favorable
My deck does ok against Virizion/Genesect decks; it is about a 55- 45 matchup. The fact that I play 1 Juniper, 1 Cassius, and 2 Ghetsis help the matchup a lot. The matchup really comes down to luck and who can stream G Booster better. Since my deck is more conservative I will have more Energy in deck and less Plasma Energy in the discard.
I can also Strafe lock them if need be. In addition, being able to take 4-Prize turns is pretty amazing. It takes a lot of things to go right, but happens sometimes when a Benched Pokémon-EX has 20 HP left and I can Megalo Cannon the Active for a 1HKO. I need Muscle Band and 3 Deoxys-EX in play. All in all, it’s an ok matchup.
Vs. Blastoise: Very Favorable
By far my best matchup is Blastoise. Truthfully It is almost 80-20. I have answers to their whole deck. They go Black Kyurem-EX PLS, I respond with a Palkia-EX 1HKO and switch into Siggy. If they go Keldeo-EX, I 1HKO it with Genesect-EX. If they go Black Kyurem BCR to KO Siggy, I 1HKO it with Palkia-EX. If they go Blastoise to KO Siggy I 1HKO Stoise with Virizion-EX and Muscle Band.
Three good friends of mine – Matthew Macko, Jacob Witcher, and Jon Michael Jones – came over to my house Friday night to do some testing and fine-tuning before we left early Saturday morning. We save a lot of money for tournaments by getting two to three of my friends to ride with me, then split gas three to four ways. We also don’t stay at a motel unless we have to. If we do, we get a relatively inexpensive $50-70 room.
I was already extremely comfortable with my list since I got 3rd at Louisiana States the week before. Jon Michael and Matthew were going to use my Darkrai/Yveltal decklist. Jacob was using his Plasma deck that he got T8 with at Louisiana States. Matthew, Jacob, and I stayed up all night playing some games. We got in the car about 3 AM to head to Alabama States, which was 6 hours away. I did not sleep at all on the way there, making it almost two straight days I had not slept.
We got to the tournament about 9 AM, and after registering our decks we learned that Seniors would have 5 rounds, best-of-one Swiss. Masters had 6 rounds and Top 8 with best-of-three Swiss. I did the math after standings went up and figured that one to two people that go 3-2 will make cut.
Round 1 vs. Jon Michael with Darkrai/Yveltal
Both of us were upset that we had to play round 1. We knew that intentionally drawing was not a good option, so we decided to play it out just like we did round 3 at Louisiana States, even though he knows he has a pretty bad matchup.
Jon Michael wins the flip and starts with Sableye. He gets out Yveltal-EX and begins to set up. His setup isn’t the best, but it’s decent. I start off fairly well and get out my key Pokémon for the matchup and Ghetsis him, slowing him down quite a bit. He gets T3 Muscle Banded Gold Breaker, but he doesn’t have much else on board. I get a Palkia-EX and Genesect-EX loaded up and begin to get the combo going.
My memory is fuzzy here, but the game gets down to where I’m at 1 Prize and he is at four. He can get a 4-Prize Night Spear if he draws the right cards. He Colresses for 3, drawing Darkrai-EX, Dark Patch, and a Bicycle. He plays his hand down to Bike for 4. He draws a D Energy and Energy Switch and that is GG. He hit everything he needed; what can I say?
Round 2 vs. ??? with Lightning.dec
I go first and get rolling fast. He struggles to set up due to my well timed Ns and Ghetsis. Sigilyph causes his major trouble. I roll him in six or so turns.
Round 3 vs. ??? with Darkrai/Yveltal
I know that I need to go 2-0-1 from here on out to guarantee my spot in cut. I’m not planning on tying now.
We both draw mediocre opening hands while I go first and Ghetsis about four cards away. I draw nothing and am sitting with a Virizion-EX Active and 3 Benched Pokémon. He goes and drops a Darkrai-EX and Energy to Sableye and passes. We basically draw and pass until on about turn 4 I draw Shauna. From there, I set up and Palkia-EX lock him. I take out both his Bouffalants and he prized his Yveltal XY. There wasn’t much he could do.
Jon Michael is 3-0 and both my second and third round opponents are 2-1, so I feel ok about the possibility of going 3-2.
Round 4 vs. ??? with Blastoise
I saw a Squirtle while he was shuffling. I got a little excited that I was getting to play against my best matchup. I go first and he mulligans two times. I get set up quickly and disrupt him with Ghetsis and N, and replace his Beach with Skyarrow. He gets T4 Black Ballista, but I have already set up my board. He takes 3 Prizes, but in the end the two Sigilyph and me taking 1-shots on all his Pokémon are too much for him.
Round 5 vs. ??? with ???
Pairings go up and five out of the eight Mississippi players are at the top three tables, two of which are myself and Jon Michael. I was at table 3 and two other Mississippi players were at tables 4 and 5. All three of us at the top tables intentionally draw, meaning that there are five Mississippi players guaranteed in top cut.
After standings go up, we are excited to find that six Mississippi players are making it into Top 8. I am 5th seed while Jon Michael is 1st seed. The Top 8 looked like this:
- 2 Plasma
- 2 Plasma Fairies
- 2 Darkrai/Yveltal
- 1 Virizion/Genesect/Palkia (Me)
- 1 Blastoise
Top 8 vs. Anthony Callegari with Plasma Fairies
Sadly, I have to play against a fellow Mississippi player in Top 8. My memory is pretty fuzzy since I hadn’t slept in almost 70 hours.
Game 1: I win the flip and get set up decently. I think he took 3 Prizes that game. He relied on Genesect-EX as pseudo-Catchers. Siggy caused him some problems. I remember winning this game in about 20 minutes.
Game 2: He draws decent and I draw subpar. The game is close, but I win by a Prize or two with a key Shadow Triad at the end.
Top 4 vs. Jon Michael with Darkrai/Yveltal
I get paired against my good friend and teammate Jon Michael. We are sad that we have to play each other in Top 4.
Game 2: This game is almost the exact opposite. I draw awfully and he draws pretty well. He wins the game in about 10 turns.
Game 3: This game is back and forth down to the wire. He responds to all my answers. He manages to keep up. My memory is extremely fuzzy, but I win in the end by a Prize or two.
Top 2 vs. Christopher Lyles with Plasma
I’m going into Top 2 versus yet another fellow Mississippi player. I feel confident about this matchup. He is playing a more non-EX based version of Plasma.
Game 1: He wins the flip and decides to go second. I draw a pretty bad opening hand: Deoxys-EX, Deoxys-EX, Switch, P Energy, G Energy, Colress Machine, and Skyarrow Bridge. I start double Deoxys and pass. I did not want to attach to Deoxys in fear of Christopher swinging in for the KO on his turn.
He starts Keldeo-EX and benches Deoxys-EX. He then Colress Machines to his Deoxys-EX, attaches Prism, plays down Virbank, and Lasers. He swings at my Active Deoxys-EX. I am happy to know he fell for my trap. He did not know that I played Psychic in my deck.
I draw nothing useful and 1HKO his Deoxys-EX, putting him in a corner. I draw an N off my Prizes. He struggles to get set up. I proceed to N him. From there we both set up and have a good Prize trade going. I get down to 2 Prizes and Red Signal his Keldeo-EX and Megalo Cannon for the game.
Game 2: He decides to go second. I draw great and get set up fast. He draws ok. We have great Prize trades and the game goes down to the wire. I can’t remember how the game ended, but I make a big play for the win. Good game.
I am really excited that I won. I am also surprised that I have 180 CP only after two tournaments this season. Jacob ended up getting Top 16. Matthew went 2-2-2 unfortunately.
- The Seniors Mississippi crew for dominating so hard.
- Brent Siebenkittel for winning Masters.
- Mikey P. for getting Top 8.
- Jon Michael, Matthew Macko, and Jacob Witcher.
- My dad for driving us six hours to Alabama States.
See you next time guys.