Before I get into my Autumn Regionals reports I want to update people on how I fared at US Nationals and Worlds since I haven’t written in a long time. Unfortunately, I can’t remember most of my matchups because it has been a while since these tournaments. What I can do though is post pictures of my opponents, which seems just as fun. For those who do not know, I take pictures of my opponents and upload those photos on Facebook to help me remember who I played.
Going into Nationals I knew I would have to get 20 Championship Points to secure my Worlds invite. I decided to play Virizion/Genesect since I played it all year and did really well with it. The thing I remember the most is that I faced a lot of Fire decks which I did not expect see. This made me do badly at Nationals and I whiffed the Points I needed during that day.
Day 1 Opponents
Since I did badly in the main event I had to play in the side tournament and reach top 32 to get my Points. I ended up playing my friend Kenton Anderson‘s Nationals deck which was Yveltal/Garbodor. The deck had a lot of positive matchups and was able to handle the Pyroar matchup which I thought was going to be big. I ended up making top 32 and getting enough Points to earn my invite for Worlds. I had a lot of help that day from friends cheering me on and believing in me!
Day 2 Opponents
First I want to give a huge shout-out to Kenny Wisdom. Without Kenny I would not have had such an amazing Worlds experience!
Before Worlds I was set on playing Flygon because it seemed like the best play overall. But after talking with Kevin Baxter we decided to play Virizion/Genesect with 3 Deoxys-EX. This gave us the option to 1-shot Flygons and it has outs to weird math thanks to the Deoxys.
Even though this seemed like a good play I ended up going 3-3-3. I can’t remember much of my tournament experience, but I did have a great time playing against players from all over the world! I would like to give another shout-out to Justin Aaron for helping book everything and going with me to Worlds! My last shout-out is to all of my roommates at Worlds for an amazing time. This includes Kenny Wisdom, Kevin Baxter, Brit Pybas, Justin Aaron, Chris Fulop, Jacob Van Wagner, Liam Williams, Mia Violet, and Rachel Dillon.
The Memphis Crew!!!
Week 2 – Houston
After seeing Dylan Bryan’s article on Donphan I was set to play it for Regionals that coming weekend. The deck had great matchups all across the board and I was excited to play a deck that was semi-rogue. Also, last year at Houston Regionals I had success with the semi-rogue deck Virizion/Mewtwo and I thought it would have been cool to top cut again with a deck that a lot of people did not know about.
Before the tournament I talked to my friend Dylan Dreyer and he told me I should take out the Bicycles for a third Lysandre and a Professor’s Letter. His reasoning behind this was that there was going to be a lot of Seismitoad and the Bicycles would become useless in this matchup. I agreed with him and I also liked the addition of the 3rd Lysandre because you can barely 1-shot Pokémon in this deck. The Professor’s Letter was really good because it helped make sure you had an Energy turn 1.
When we start my opponent opens with Heracross-EX and in my mind I know this should be an easy matchup. During these games all you have to do is Spinning Turn into a Sigilyph LTR and Heracross can never hurt him. This would have ran smoothly but he was playing a Miltank FLF in his deck.
Game 1 he can never get the Miltank at the right time to Knock Out my Sigilyph so the game is easily won. Game 2 he gets the Miltank and sets up everything too quickly. Time is called in the first couple of turns of Game 3 and we go to a tie.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Squeaky, Miltank doesn’t 1-shot Sigilyph!” Well, this is true and after my round 2 match Harrison Leven tells me that me and Adam are dumb for not catching that. In the end it was my fault for not noticing, but I was still happy to have a fun series with Adam.
Round 2 vs. Pyroar
The Pyroar matchup is fairly easy. The main strategy is to set up a giant Donphan and start wrecking their Pyroar. Also, they can never 1-shot your Donphan early unless they flip 2 heads in a row on a Catcher or double Lysandre. The Donphan deck also runs 3 Stadiums so you can keep Wrecking your opponent over and over again.
This round I win two games really quickly. I do not remember much about the match because it all happened so fast. I feel bad for my opponent because both times we have played I have had a direct counter to his deck. Last time we played was at Atlanta Regionals when he was playing Klinklang and I was playing Virizion/Genesect. Maybe one day we will have a good match!
Round 3 vs. TDK
When we start my opponent flips over a Kyruem and a Deoxys I knew this was going to be a tough match. If he can constantly stream Kyruems I am going to have a bad time. Also, the only way to 1-shot a Kyurem is to either Outrage or to Wreck them.
Game 1 he can’t set up quickly and I win this one. Game 2 he gets everything he needs and he gets his Genesect out so he can constantly Red Signal my Donphans over and over again. He easily wins Game 2. In Game 3 time is called and we go to a tie. But if we had played the game out he would’ve easily won because he was setting up really fast that game.
Round 4 vs. Donphan
The Donphan matchup is really weird, but it comes down to one thing, “Who can Wreck first!” This is how I am able to win both of my games against Brandon Smiley. I am able to Wreck and Lysandre his Donphans really early which makes him not able to set up. Also, both games I opened with my only Kyurem which put out a lot of quick pressure on his field. It was fun to get my revenge on Brandon from last year!
Round 5 vs. Big Basics
This round was fairly easy because my opponent did not play an attacker that was not an EX and also he did not play Garbodor. Both games I stall with Sigilyph and the only thing he can do is Catcher around out. Game 1 he hits 4 heads on Catchers but runs out of steam so I am able to pull out the win. Game 2 he can’t hit heads on Catchers and loses this game quickly.
Round 6 vs. Big Basics
This matchup was weird because my opponent played Keldeo-EX with Float Stones so both games he ended up with a lot of Pokémon injured but I could never get enough knockouts. Another weird addition to the deck was a Terrakion LTR. This Terrakion caused a lot of problems because I can never 1-shot it unless I Wreck it and he can use it to Revenge my walls because of Strong Energies. I end up losing two games really fast and I have my first lost of the day.
Round 7 vs. Yvetal
I can’t remember much from this match. I know I win two games quickly. This matchup usually goes in your favor because you play 3 Fighting Stadiums so you always win the Stadium war. Also, if they make a mistake of dropping a Darkrai-EX you can punish them with a Lysandre. A few things to note about my deck is that it plays Zekrom LTR to wall with and it plays Dedenne FFI which can punish the Yveltal player if they load up a giant Yveltal. All of these combinations led up to an easy matchup.
Round 8 vs. Donphan
Just like I said earlier, the games come down to who can Wreck first. Game 1 I draw/pass for a couple of turns and lose quickly. Game 2 it is his turn to dead-draw and I win fairly quickly. Game 3 is where it gets interesting. I am able to make the first big Wreck on his Donphan but sometime during the game I make a mistake and hit his Kyurem for 40 damage with a Spinning Tail. This gives him the ability to Lysandre up my Donphans and slowly make a comeback from a 1-to-4 Prize deficit.
I am freaking out because I had the game won but he makes the comeback of the century. The whole time I am waiting on a combination of a Mewtwo, Double Colorless Energy, and Muscle Band; this way I can Knock Out his Kyurem and take my last Prize. But he constantly hits me with N’s over and over again and he eventually wins. What I learned from this game is to never hit a Kyurem in the mirror unless you can 1-shot it.
Round 9 vs. Eevee
After losing my last round I know I can’t make it to top 32 and I can barely focus. My opponent is playing an Eevee deck with Glaceons and Vaporeons. Both games he gets fast starts and is able to win easily because he plays multiple Water Pokémon to 1-shot my Donphans.
I finished 4-3-2 placing 99th out of 293 Masters. Even though I did not do very well I learned many things about Donphan from that weekend:
- TDK is a rough matchup for Donphan. The deck definitely needs Bicycles for those moments you get N’d to 1.
- If you expect a lot of the mirror, play 2 Kyurem PLF to help out.
- Make sure you know what every Pokémon’s attacks do. I know that has nothing to do with Donphan, but it a good thing to always make sure of.
Week 3 – Ft. Wayne
During the week I noticed that lots of people were hyping Donphan. The Top Cut posted a video of the deck, more articles were being published about it, and everyone on Virbank was asking for lists. This led me to have two deck options for this week, which were Donphan with 2 Kyurem PLF or TDK. In the end I picked TDK because it has great matchups across the board except for Pyroar which is an auto-loss. But in my head I thought all of the Donphan hype was going to scare away the Pyroar.
The night before the tournament I had two decklist to choose from, one from Calvin Nordberg and the other from Brit Pybas. Both lists were really good and I was not sure which to pick. So, I did what anyone else would do and that is flipped a coin. Brit ended up winning the coin flip, so I played his list for the day. Here are the two decklists because I think both of the lists are really good and it is interesting to see two different takes on one deck:
Pokémon – 10
Trainers – 36
Energy – 14
Pokémon – 11
Trainers – 35
Energy – 14
Round 1 vs. Tyrantrum
I find out this is my opponent’s first real tournament and that he decided to play a “bad deck” from The Top Cut. Even though this should seem easy I soon find out he is playing Tyrantrum FFI which is scary for me. If he can set up a fast Tyrantrum and hit my Pokémon constantly for 150 I will lose quickly, but both of our games this does not happen and I win instead. He cannot get a Fossil Researcher turn 1 either game and he always leads with Landorus which is Weak to Water.
Game 1 I kill his Landy then Keldeo. Game 2 I get a donk on his Landorus. Even though this series was quick I had a lot of fun meeting a player who had much interest for the game even though he was new.
Round 2 vs. Yveltal
My opponent opens with an Yveltal XY and I know this matchup is going to be fun. I can easily kill his Yveltal XY and Yveltal-EX with my Thundurus-EX. The math makes it so I can 1-shot his Yveltal-EX with my Thundurus-EX with 4 Deoxys-EX or spread the 30 damage around with Kyurem PLF to make it easier to kill.
The only thing I get worried about is that he plays Crushing Hammer. In the end he flips a lot of tails and Crushing Hammer ends up not helping him because he only flips 1 heads out of 8 or 9 flips in the two games. I win both games because of Weakness and playing a lot of 1-Prize attackers.
Round 3 vs. Yveltal
This round was another Yveltal player but instead of playing Crushing Hammers he is playing Garbodor. I do not really remember what happened this round because it was fast and I won in two games. I think the combination of Megaphones and Lysandres give me the advantage to win this matchup.
Round 4 vs. Donphan
I find out I am playing Donphan. I am excited because this is the matchup I have been looking forward to all day and I am excited to see how the games go. I do not remember much about this game which is the sad part. I know both Game 1 and Game 2 one of us can’t get set up and the game are over fast.
Game 3 is when we can finally have a decent game. I can’t get my Lysandres fast enough to kill his Donphans and he hit his Lysandres to kill my EXs. I know the game came down to me N’ing him to one card but he hit a Supporter and he is able to get the cards he needs to pull out a win. I am sorry that I cannot remember much about the game; it was a long day.
Round 5 vs. Virizion/Genesect
My opponent ends up winning this round. Rather than me tell the story why not visit his article?
Round 6 vs. Fairies
This round was against Fairies. This matchup is tricky because they can play a lot of techs which could either wreck you or have no effect. Overall the matchup should go in the favor of TDK because you are able to 1-shot their EXs.
Game 1 he has a bad start and can’t set up an Aromatisse and I win. Game 2 is going well and I am winning. But all of a sudden one he drops down a Coballion-EX and he is able to Knock Out my Kyurem. When he does this I have a Kyurem with a Water, Thundurus, and a couple of Deoxys on the Bench. I can either be safe and attack with Thundurus just in case I miss the knockout and set up the Kyurem or I can YOLO and try to 1-shot him with Kyurem.
I go for the crazy play and I am able to get everything I need to kill his Cobalion with the majority of Energies. After this turn his Energies mostly are gone and he can’t 1-shot my Kyurems.
Round 7 vs. Yveltal
I am playing against another Yveltal/Garb deck. Both of my games I run really hot and he can’t get anything on board. It seemed like his deck died on him during this game which doesn’t help when my deck decides to run extremely fast. He ends up scooping both games fairly quickly because he realizes he can’t win.
Round 8 vs. Donphan
This round was against another Donphan player and I am excited to try this matchup one more time. These games go perfectly for me. Game 1 he ends up scooping because he can’t get anything set up and my deck is running extremely fast. During Game 2 he sets up really quickly and I miss key Lysandres which wins him this game. During Game 3 every time he tries to load up a Donphan I Lysandre it up and he has no attackers. I can also kill his Sigilyphs and his 130-HP walls which help me win the game fast. Even though in theory TDK should win the matchup it turns out to be really difficult.
Round 9 vs. Lugia
By this point I am extremely tired. I noticed that my round 2 and my round 4 opponents are at the top tables with me. I know my resistance is really good and I asked my opponent if he just wanted to ID. He looks around and notices that some people are not going to ID which betters his chance of making it to top 32. He ends up agreeing with me and we ID the round.
I end up making it the cut at 24th seed. At this time I am excited and nervous at the same time of making the cut. One side I am obviously excited because I get to play in the top 32, but I am nervous because I have no idea what to play in Expanded. I wish that day 2 continued Standard because I felt really confident in my deck.
While deciding on what deck to play for the next day British Columbia Regionals held top cut and thus Expanded that night. I noticed that Pyroar was in the top 2 which makes me believe that people will be playing a lot of Pyroar and less Virizion. With this in mind I decide to play Flygon/Accelgor because it has good matchups overall except to Virizion-EX or so I thought. The list I decided to play was Henry Prior’s Nationals list, but instead of Ultra Ball I put in 4 Pokémon Communication because the deck already plays so many Pokémon.
Round 10 vs. Yveltal
This round I am playing against Yveltal and this is a tough one. Yveltal can 1-shot your Flygons while powering up another Yveltal. Yveltal can also take quick knockouts while you are setting up. Garbador makes the matchup hard because of no Abilities.
Another thing I forgot to consider was Seismitoad-EX. This turns out to be my downfall of the series. Both games he gets the Toad out turn 1 and is able to Quaking Punch me. This allows him to take easy and quick knockouts while making me not able to use my Items. This makes me really slow both games and he wins the two games pretty fast. Even though it seems like both games are bad, I had only a couple of Prizes left and barely lose.
Round 11 vs. Pyroar
This game was against Pyroar. The matchup is really easy because both are setup decks. But once my deck is set up it has more control over his deck. His deck can’t 1-shot my Flygons either which make the Max Potions perfect. Game 1 he ends up scooping when there is too much damage on board. Game 2 he starts Mewtwo and starts swinging with it turn 2 with a DCE and a Fire. I am able to get my Mewtwo with a DCE and knockout his only Pokémon on board to win this series quickly.
Round 12 vs. Yveltal
It ends up that I am playing my same opponent again from round 10. This happened to a lot of people and made a lot of people upset. If you want to read more about the TOM issue Nicholena did a great job explaining the issue. Game 1 he is able to Quaking Punch turn 1 and we have a long Game 1 which he ends up winning. Game 2 he misses the Quaking Punch and I finally am able to set up for the first time in 4 games with this opponent. Another thing to note is that this game is another really long game but I finally pull out my first win against him. Game 3 time is called and I noticed that he has better board control than me. I end up letting him have the win which pays off in the end because he makes top 8.
Round 13 vs. Yveltal
This round is against another Yveltal deck. But this time he does not play the evil toad! Both of the games I can set up quickly and win these games. He doesn’t play Keldeo-EX either so once I lock up an Yveltal it’s stuck forever.
Round 14 vs. Rayeels
This round I am playing against Rayeels. By this round I am tired and can’t remember much of what happens. There are a couple of things that give him an easy win. He plays multiple Keldeo-EX so it is really hard for me to lock up a Rayquaza. Rayquaza can easily 1-shot all of my Pokémon. Also he runs really hot these games. We end up going to a Game 3 which he eventually wins.
I ended up going 2-3 on day 2 which was not enough to make top 16. I end up getting 24th overall for the second day straight. Even though I did not do well in day 2 I had a lot of fun playing one of my favorite decks. I stuck around to watch the top 8 and Jimmy McClure came out with the win! The funny part of him winning was that the night before day 2 we ended up eating together at a restaurant and we both ordered the Champion Burger! To this day I am still convinced he won because of that burger.
My Top 3 Favorite Decks
Right now I have three favorite decks since Phantom Forces has released. I have not gotten around testing all of the new decks, so this list might change when Cities come around.
3. Night March
There are multiple versions of the deck, but I think the speed version is the best way to go. I play the deck like Speed Lugia with Roller Skates and Bicycles. The deck is fairly fast and can usually start swinging for 180 damage by either turn 1 or turn 2. The deck will be good in an EX-heavy metagame, but I think it will struggle because of the popular non-EX attacker decks like Donphan.
Pokémon – 15
Trainers – 38
Energy – 7
This has always been my favorite deck, so it is no surprise that it is in my top 3. The deck gets Enhanced Hammer back which helps out your Yveltal, Donphan, and Pyroar matchups. Enhanced Hammer is one of the best cards in Phantom Forces and will most likely be played in a ton of decks.
One thing that does hurt this deck is the new Flare Tools, Jamming Net and Head Ringer. You will either be slower by having to attach another Energy to attack or you will not swing for as much damage, which messes up your perfect numbers. Another thing to note is that the Flare Tools make it harder to G Booster because if one is attached, you can’t attach your own Tools anymore.
Even with Flare Tools coming out I still think V/G is one of the best decks overall. Two things to note about my deck are that I play multiple Escape Rope to get around Donphan walls and that I also play 1 Deoxys-EX to help 1-shot Donphans and counter Jynx FFI if your opponent plays it.
Pokémon – 9
Trainers – 36
Energy – 15
Donphan has came out of nowhere and has proven it is one the strongest decks in the format. With the new set this does not change anything and Donphan gets stronger. The deck has a new buddy called Robo Substitute. Now you are able to Spinning Turn into an Item that does not give up a Prize. Combine 4 copies with 1 copy of Lysandre’s Trump Card and you are able to string up to 8 Substitutes in one game. But the deck does now have to worry about Enhanced Hammer because most of its Energy are Special Energy.
One weird thing to note is that I do not play any Float Stones currently and instead I play a heavy Switch count. This is because you do not have to send in Sigilyphs or walls anymore because of the Substitutes. I have 2 Hawlucha FFI in here to help out in the Toad matchup and 2 Kyurem PLF to help in the mirror.
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 37
Energy – 11
One Last Thing…
City Championships are coming up soon and I will once again be recording matches in the Tennessee area. I was wondering if the videos should be commentated by me or if should I not worry about commentating and instead upload the videos with just the background noise. Please let me know what you would prefer and I will deliver.