Hello SixPrizes, and welcome to my first ever article. My name is Kyle Andrews, and I hail from the Pacific Northwest; Oregon to be exact. I doubt anyone has ever heard of me because I hadn’t been to a Pokémon tournament for six years before Oregon States this past Saturday. Long story short: high school is hard.
A couple of weeks ago one of my friends in my AP Physics class told me that States was coming up and I should come and play and that his friend could loan me a deck. So after reading several articles on this wonderful site as well as The Charizard Lounge, I concluded that Seismitoad/Slurpuff was a good and safe deck to play, and not too complex to learn. So after a few playtesting sessions on PlayTCG and using Nathan Brower’s decklist as a guide, here is what I came up with:
Pokémon – 12
Trainers – 44
4 Professor Sycamore
4 VS Seeker
4 Acro Bike
3 Head Ringer
Energy – 4
I know this type of deck has been discussed tons of times, so I’m only going to point out a few card counts and things that I think were integral to my success:
4-3 Slurpuff PHF
I’ve seen people claim 4-4 is the only way this deck should be played. I feel like I could have been able to get away with a 3-3 line, but the 4th Swirlix offered me more options if it was prized or Knocked Out early. There was never a time I had the room on my Bench or the resources to have 4 Slurpuff out at once.
4 Crushing Hammer, 3 Head Ringer, 2 Team Flare Grunt, 2 Xerosic
These cards are the reason why I was successful. The ability to keep Energy off of my opponent’s Pokémon allowed for Quaking Punch and Hypnotoxic Laser damage to rack up without my Toads suffering very much damage. By the way, Head Ringer is deadly. This card alone greatly inhibits any Pokémon-EX and was useful in nearly every single matchup.
1 Cassius, 1 Scoop Up Cyclone
Unless you’re hitting for Weakness or you are a Primal Groudon-EX, it’s hard to 1-shot a Toad, especially when your Energies are being constantly discarded. These two cards allowed me to save damaged Toads and add to the demoralizing essence of this deck.
This is an interesting card and can help add to your lock. I played it primarily to shut down Aegislash-EX, Jirachi-EX, Virizion-EX and potentially Jynx FFI if I were to play against that Seismitoad-EX variant that utilizes Jynx to heal. This also helps in the Stadium war against Manectric-EX decks.
I believe the rest of my card counts are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s move onto my report. I believe we had 140+ Masters at the start with eight rounds and Top 8. I won’t be reciting what happened on a turn-by-turn basis, but I will try to remember pivotal moments or strategies that swayed the game one way or another. If I played the same deck more than one time, I won’t be re-analyzing it. Without further ado, here we go!
Round 1: Landorus-EX/Hawlucha FFI/Lucario-EX/Crobat PHF
This is the round I remember the least from purely because of nerves.
This matchup should be in the Seismitoad player’s favor, assuming you can control your opponent’s Hawluchas. If you are able to 1HKO a Hawlucha or it stays Asleep between turns from a Hypnotic Laser you are in good shape. Similarly, if your opponent is not able to 2HKO your Active then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to heal off all of the damage. Lucario-EX is very ineffective when it has a Head Ringer attached to it, as it can only hope to 2HKO you anyway, so you should be in good shape if you can get the Item lock before they play their Muscle Bands.
With that matchup description in mind, Game 1 went perfectly and according to plan. In Game 2 I started with a Jirachi-EX and never saw a Toad. Game 3 I missed a 1-shot on her Hawlucha and she was able to 2HKO my Toad which sealed the game.
Round 2: M Manectric-EX/Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Yveltal XY
Both Manectric-EX decks and Yveltal-EX decks are difficult for Toad as it struggles to keep up with their damage output. It’s essential to get an early Head Ringer on both EXs and to use Lysandre’s Trump Card to limit the Energy they can get from their discard pile. The matchup is tough though because you need to be discarding Energy from their Pokémon anyway to survive the onslaught of attacks.
In Game 1 he got out M Manectric-EX too fast as well as an Yveltal XY. Even though I eventually took the Manectric out, the Yveltal was able to keep Energy on his board and put me at an uneven Prize trade so I lost. Game 2 was much different, as Head Ringers and Hammers prevented him from attacking early, and I was able to take my final 2 Prizes just after time was called.
At this point I know I can’t lose or tie again if I want to make cut.
Round 3: Landorus-EX/Hawlucha FFI/Lucario-EX/Crobat PHF
First of all, shout out to Jessica, my opponent this round. It was great to meet you, and thanks for staying until the end and supporting me!
Both of these games were practically the same, as I was able to keep her Energy off the field as well as win the Stadium war in order to keep a Virbank City Gym on the field. She missed Energy drops on several occasions, and even when she had it, there was no good place to put it. In my opinion, this is one of Seismitoad’s best matchups, and a 3rd Virbank City Gym would make it even easier.
Lunch Break: Chipotle
Round 4: Primal Kyogre-EX/Kyurem LTR
Slurpuff/Seimitoad is not a good matchup for this deck, or at least this variant. Head Ringers, Hammers and Team Flare Grunt make it nearly impossible to keep Energy on the field, and a 4-Energy attack requirement (5 with a Head Ringer) is just not feasible against my deck. I believe he only did a combined 50 damage from both games.
Round 5: Donphan PLS/Hawlucha FFI/Raichu XY
This deck was designed to beat all of the Manectrics and Yveltals running around, and I think it actually has potential. Once again, Energy attachments are vital for this deck, and missing a Strong Energy or a DCE on a Raichu can spell game over. Both games were close as he started faster than I did, but I was eventually able to wear him down with healing cards and Hammers to the point where he missed an attachment in both games.
Round 6: Landorus-EX/Hawlucha FFI/Lucario-EX/Crobat PHF
This round played out almost exactly like my Round 3 did. This time I missed a few 1HKOs on Hawluchas but was bailed out by my opponent staying Asleep between turns. Once again, I believe this matchup is heavily in the Toad player’s favor.
Round 7: Exeggutor PLF/Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX
This is a tough matchup. If the Exeggutor player is able to get a Muscle Band on an Exeggutor and a Virizion-EX in play early, it makes the matchup almost impossible to win. Slurpuff gives the Toad player hope, as once your Supporters are shut off, the extra draw power gives access to your plethora of Item cards.
Game 1 I was able to out-speed him, and only taking 20 damage every turn is not very difficult to overcome. Game 2 I was staring down 2 Exeggutors each with a Muscle Band and a Virizion-EX on the Bench by turn 3. I played out the game anyway in hopes to get closer to the time limit, as I believe my deck does better in a time crunch. Game 3 was a great deciding game, with each of us getting impressive starts. I believe I was able to leave him Energy starved one turn and broke the Supporter lock, allowing me to Lysandre up a Benched Jirachi-EX to put myself ahead on Prizes and secure the win.
Going into the next round I was the 9th seed.
Round 8: Primal Groudon-EX/Hawlucha FFI/Lucario-EX
For this match my opponent and I were feature on On The Bubble’s stream. This was my first time playing on stream, as Twitch didn’t exist six years ago. That combined with a win-or-go-home situation, I was certainly feeling the pressure. Here is video. I suggest watching it if you like close games!
So I made the top cut as the 4th seed after starting off my day 0-1-1! I looked at the pairings and saw my opponent was David Cohen, the 2011 World Champion. I knew that it would be an incredibly difficult match.
Top 8: M Manectric-EX/Black Kyurem-EX PLS
This match was once again featured on stream. I won both games, the first more convincingly than the second. If you choose not to watch the video, the most important thing I can tell you is how deadly Head Ringer is. It messes up so many decks, and I don’t think people were properly prepared for it. I also want to say that David Cohen was extremely kind and laid back for someone of his caliber. It was an honor to play against you, David. Anyway, here are the matches:
With this win I move onto Top 4 and see my next opponent is playing Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX. Sigh … I avoided the deck all tournament only to meet it now.
Top 4: Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX
This is absolute dread for a Seismitoad-EX player. You have to be extremely lucky and hope your opponent is unlucky, as this deck pretty much is perfectly designed to beat the Toad. With that being said, I actually took this Game 1. He started a little slowly but I started perfectly, with a turn 2 lock and Head Ringers on all of his EXs. I kept his Energy off the field with Crushing Hammer and Team Flare Grunt, and he scooped about 20 minutes in. Games 2 and 3 on the other hand were a complete destruction of my deck. By playing Seismitoad-EX, you are essentially conceding to this matchup.
Final Record: 17 wins, 7 losses
So I took third place at my first tournament in a half-dozen years, as well as my first tournament in Masters! 14 long hours of Pokémon later I returned home with a happy heart and a binder full of Ancient Trait Bidoofs. I want to thank everyone who I met along the way that supported me, as well as the great TOs and volunteers. Mr. Raichu, Momma June and BDS all remembered my name and were very kind to me after six years of not seeing me. That says a little something about the Pokémon community.
As someone who has played in several very diverse formats years ago, I was pleased to see diversity in today’s meta. I think that decks are relatively balanced, and you have a variety of options that you can play and be successful. I don’t particularly like how the speed of the game has evolved and cards have 100 more HP than they used to. However, we can’t just press B repeatedly to stop times from changing. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to adapt.
Here are a few cards that I think that from my small experience a large majority of players are not completely utilizing or are not prepared for:
If your meta has Toads, play at least one copy of this card. My list as well as the lists of the other Seismitoad players that did well were not equipped to handle this card. A well-timed DCE discard can leave a Seismitoad stranded and break the Item lock, which may be all you need to pull ahead. It is also extremely useful if you play Pokémon-EX because it can discard Head Ringers off of your own Pokémon. Because of its versatility, I think Xerosic should be a staple in EX-based decks.
In my opinion, this card should almost be a staple. It’s extremely disruptive and essentially makes your opponent miss an Energy drop. If you play EXs, be prepared to see this card. A few decks have some outs to Energy manipulators such as Yveltal XY, M Manectric-EX and Bronzong PHF. This allows them to deal with this card more effectively, but overall it’s extremely frustrating, especially in combination with Hammers and the like.
All in all, this experience has revived my passion for the TCG, so you can expect to see a few more articles from me in the future. I hope that everyone does well in the upcoming Regionals, but beware: Rayquaza is coming.
Thanks for reading,
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