If you’ve been solely playing official formats the past two years you might have missed what U150 is all about. Regular Unlimited is well-known as a broken format so U150 aims to fix it with some extra rules; mainly by using a 100-card singleton deck (only 1-of each card allowed except basic Energy) and Basic Pokémon with 150 HP or more are banned. If you’re still not sure, check out the original article here. It’s a little outdated now, but you’ll get the gist of it.
Moving on to this article, I have a tournament report for you from the last U150 event of 2014. Four rounds of action, every player’s deck noted, and two full decklists, including the winner!
Leading up to this event I’d begun designing a Regigigas LV.X deck (inspired in part by a couple of articles on this site) but I hadn’t given it much testing and I chickened out just before the tournament. Instead I brought a new (and equally untested) version of an old favorite of mine. Honchkrow MT got me qualified for Worlds once so I’ll always have a soft spot for this deck in all its forms.
Usually I play with Honchkrow, Darkrai, and Zoroark as the attackers, with Crawdaunt ex providing me with the disruption backup that a discard deck like Honchkrow needs. This time however I was tempted by the apparent power of the new Darkrai XY22. Remember, there’s no Darkrai-EX in this format so a regular Basic with 120 HP that deals 120 damage looks good! I used Wigglytuff GE as the Sleep enabler to synergise with Darkrai’s Deep Wind attack. Let’s just say it didn’t turn out so well. Here’s the deck I used:
Round 1 vs. Rotom Toolbox
This deck has only recently sneaked its way into the scene but it’s already generated a lot of attention online, probably due to the novelty of it. I mean, Rotom, who could have guessed? It plays like a Basic Pokémon-focused version of the Eevee toolbox archetype which has done well at several previous tournaments.
I win the roll off and go first, keeping a Zorua LTR vs. his Rotom MD. I have a few Basic Darkness types Benched to power up the inevitable Zoroark LTR. I have Zorua Ascend and pass. The Rotom player clearly sees he’s in trouble with the common Darkness Weakness in his deck and goes for a very fast setup in his first turn, burning away his starting hand. A Computer Search discards two Energy cards and finds what he needs to fill his Bench with options, then he uses Dual Trans to fully charge a Benched Rotom RR RT4… a very scary Pokémon when he also has a Victini LTR Benched.
The Zoroark very quickly achieves over 100 damage so I take the opportunity to Lysandre out a Benched Victini-EX and take the 2 Prizes cards rather than play it safe and set up my own board state. Dual Trans comes back out again and charges up his Bench even further. I’m ahead on Prizes but he’s winning on Energy.
I’m lacking in setup so I go for a Big Basic rush approach with a Benched Darkrai BW73, which should work fine with all the extra damage I’m doing from Weakness. I take the obvious KO in front of me and one of the fully-charged Rotom comes out. It can’t quite get the KO on Zoroark but leaves it with just a few HP. Rather than take another easy KO I decide to Scoop Up Zoroark and deny him the Prizes.
From here I keep using Darkrai to attack and switch into undesirable targets like Koffing RR 61 — standard Donphan tactics! With 1 Prize remaining I decide it’s safe to finally play an Yveltal XY and finish off the game.
My deck didn’t really do what it’s meant to (set up a Honchkrow and have Murkrow attack for free), but due to his unfortunate Darkness Weakness I was able to keep applying pressure with cheap attacks until the game was over.
Round 2 vs. Dusknoir/Trevenant
This was the match I was least looking forward to, and it came in the second round. Dusknoir DP is currently being voted on for the banlist but for this event it was legal… and this deck used it to its fullest. The thing about Dusknoir and Dark Palm is that it affects the game before it has even come into play — playing around the effect just disadvantages you in a different way.
I drew my starting 15 and it was packed with Basic Pokémon, which would have been fine in any other matchup but would have left me open here. I took my free mulligan and kept Baltoy, Spiritomb AR, Darkrai MD, and a Koffing. This seemed great; I could have Spiritomb Active and get my Baltoy Evolved into a Claydol GE on turn 1 for consistent card draw. The Darkrai could also come down turn 1 and disrupt his starting Pokémon by putting it to Sleep.
Then he flipped an Active Wobbuffet PHF over. Well, that was that whole plan over and done with. I played the Darkrai down for no effect and evolved into a bricked Claydol. Seeing as Spiritomb wasn’t doing anything anymore I sent out the Darkrai to start chipping away at the Wobbuffet. I didn’t dare play the Koffing down; I had to make that last safe Bench space free for more crucial cards as a Dusknoir could come out at any moment.
Eventually I got a Lysandre and pulled out his own Claydol so I could use my own for a couple of turns for some desperately needed card draw.
I thought I could chip away with my Darkrai’s small attacks and try to ride the Darkness Weakness to victory again but then came a Benched Dusclops ex and spoilt that plan too! He got Trevenant XY up and running and now after an appalling start I was also Item locked. I put a Zorua on the Bench and used Bebe’s Search to get the Zoroark into my hand ready to evolve and KO the Trevenant next turn, unleashing the piles of Items I’d accumulated in hand.
I figured Zorua could survive a turn of Tree Slam but I didn’t factor in N — I’d misused that Supporter card! It could have got a more self-sufficient attacker like Absol PLF. If I’d got that card instead I would have had a one-turn window of opportunity to KO Trevenant but it passed and he got Dusknoir FLF online and Trevenant became virtually indestructible to me; it was game over.
A combination of getting flooded with Items and just generally playing badly lost me this match quite spectacularly. Dusknoir DP didn’t even get played; it didn’t need to either! There were several times when I could have benched a Basic to power up later but I had to forgo it so I wouldn’t get something important like Claydol Dark Palmed. Playing around the Dusknoir just doesn’t work as far as I can tell; it’s a lose-lose situation. I should really have known this as I have played a Dusknoir deck in the past… and I easily 4-0’d that tournament!
Round 3 vs. Delphox/Garbodor
I wasn’t sure what deck this was going to be so I chose Sableye SF to be my starter. This way I could go for a set up Supporter or a disruptive one depending on what got flipped over. I went first (of course) and Impersonated for a Looker’s Investigation, forcing my opponent to shuffle away his carefully selected starting hand for 5 random cards.
Unfortunately, he had a Dunsparce SS and easily recovered from it. Once I saw a Fennekin on the Bench, I knew what I was up against: an aggressive Delphox deck that aims to take a quick lead and then lock it in place with a Garbodor LTR. My best bet was to get some quick power going and KO some small Basics, not letting him get that lead he needed.
Darkrai XY22 was my quick attacker and he took a quick Prize but was then met with Energy Removal after Energy Removal. We both durdled around doing seemingly insignificant little play but we both knew this sort of match is like sumo wrestling, grappling around until either player can get that grip on the situation and flip the other player over.
In the end he managed to get there first with a Delphox XY with enough Energy to attack. He played the Garbodor and gave it the Tool all at once and KO’d my only threat. From here all I could do was chip away at the Delphox, but he already had Delphox KSS on the Bench getting ready to revenge kill whatever I managed to get going.
I thought a Dark Patch might save me, but I didn’t draw it. I did get a Xerosic though so I knocked off the Garbodor’s Tool and drew some cards with Claydol… and got the Dark Patch! I powered up a Pokémon to land the final blow on Delphox XY quickly before the other one was ready. I wasn’t expecting to see Dual Trans Rotom in this matchup… but out it came, ready to power up the waiting Delphox. He also had a Pokémon Collector with which he searched out an Unown G, turned it into a Tool and restarted the Garbodor lock. I thought I’d broken out of the situation but he reset it all again in just one turn.
The next part was a dreadful misplay on my part and just threw the game there and then. I topdecked a Gust of Wind and immediately targeted the Garbodor which I could KO in two turns. I failed to notice that I had put out a Moonlight Stadium earlier and he casually retreated out and proceeded to sweep the last few Prizes up.
Lesson learnt: sleep at home before tournaments, don’t watch Everything Is Terrible DVDs at your friend’s until 2 AM…
Round 4 vs. Giratina/Lost Zone
That crushing and well-deserved defeat sort of snapped me out of my sleepy haze; several mince pies later I was ready to win my next match!
I knew that my opponent would be playing his Water and Psychic Lost Zone deck so I had a decent idea of what I needed to keep and what to prize from my opening 15. I was off to a good start with a Spiritomb and Pokémon Collector and for the first time in the event I actually began setting up my Honchkrow strategy!
His deck has the benefit of many big Basics, they’re tough and they’re harder to disrupt with locking strategies… but they’re slow. I got Honchkrow online and sent out the first of my Murkrow to attack for free and KO his starter. Being the first to KO a starter leaves your attacker open to retaliation but for my deck it’s not much of a problem, as long as Honchkrow survives I can stream free Murkrow attacks.
Murkrow number 1 went down so I replaced it with Honchkrow between turns then levelled it up, retreating into another Murkrow. I gave Murkrow a Dark Claw,gusted out his Claydol and hit it for exactly 80 with the boosted Darkness Wing and also retrieved a discarded Computer Search.
He sent out one of his big, scary Giratina to the Active Spot then exploded an Electrode BS to give it the last 2 energy it needed, destroying my second Murkrow. This sudden boost of power could be enough to KO at least two of my Pokémon easily. Luckily I still had the retrieved card from last turn and got myself a Super Energy Removal. From this point he was far behind while I still had a fully-charged attacker and my draw engine online. The next few turns were just picking off the remaining cards from his hand with Dark Wing Flaps, leaving him totally defenceless.
I’d taken enough 1 sided beatings myself that day (usually games are more back and forth in this format!) so we had a friendly game afterward where we both got to do our own thing a bit more.
So in the end I went 2-2 — pretty poor as far as my performance goes. I didn’t get to use the Wigglytuff & Darkrai combo once! The problem was that it was a completely separate strategy to the rest of my deck and the pieces would often show up when I was trying to assemble something else. It could work but it’d need its own deck rather than being tacked onto an existing one.
I’ve since tested Regigigas much more and it seems to be a strong deck with an interesting new playstyle to me; make a strong attacker, then keep it protected for the rest of the game. Hopefully with the next report I’ll be able to describe a few more victories than this time.
As promised, here are the results from the event, showing off the amazing variety of decks used:
Also, the winner of the event was kind enough to supply his complete decklist so you can see what goes into a top tier U150 deck!
Pokémon – 28
1 Duskull CG
1 Dusclops SS
1 Dusclops ex
1 Claydol GE
Trainers – 59
1 Professor Sycamore
1 Junk Arm
Energy – 13
Even though you were reading from the point of view of the loser half the time, I hope you got to see some of the exciting and interesting plays possible in the format.
If you have any experience with the format, please take part in the ban list voting. The results of this vote will shape what you see in the next report as well as the release of the HUGE Primal Clash set!