Hey guys! Xander here with another article. This past weekend I attended Dallas Regionals and had a great time. I saw a bunch of my friends, but I also was fortunate to take down the whole tournament! My tournament report and rationale for Mega Gardevoir are below. Enjoy!
Going into the tournament, I had every deck built. I was mainly debating playing Yveltal/Garbodor or Greninja; both decks are very strong and can win the tournament when played correctly. I had played Yveltal/Garb at a League Cup in Chicago, starting off 3-0, but I started to draw poorly and hit hard counters. I finished at 3-3, which was a very poor finish. I chose to play Yveltal/Garb because it’s so strong, especially after its performance in London.
Greninja was a backup play for me; it’s a deck that could carry me to Day 2 if I drew well enough. Although it is a skillful deck to pilot, others are more advanced and require more thinking. Greninja is boring to me like Yveltal/Garb is — there are no “fun” things to do that make me enjoy playing the deck. I used Michael Slutsky’s list which I took from his “Rogue None” article on the best Standard decks.
I arrived in Dallas late Thursday night, so nothing happened then. My friends started arriving Friday morning, and they were all set on meta decks, or decks that counter Yveltal/Garb such as Sammybox. None of these decks appealed to me, and I considered my different options for decks I could play. One option was Mega Gardevoir. I played the deck at Fort Wayne to a 4-3-2 finish after starting out strong at 4-0-2. Ultimately, fatigue and inexperience with the deck gave me my losses and I finished without any points or prizes. It also was heavily countered, and there was no Mega Mewtwo in the room for a free win. Afterward it was considered a bad deck with no place in the meta.
However, my hope in the deck was revitalized when Connor Finton did well with it at a League Cup. I talked to him about the deck, and we compared our thoughts. We realized its Yveltal/Garb matchup was weird; it mostly depends on how well they can set up. T1 Pitch-Black Spear is a nightmare, especially with an early Garbodor. Greninja is an iffy matchup if they set up 2 Greninja BREAK; it is very difficult to win because of Shadow Stitching. Greninja can simply outlast Mega Gardevoir with Max Potion, Rough Seas, or cycling Greninja and using Giant Water Shuriken. However, the Volcanion and Mega Mewtwo matchups were extremely favorable. Mega Gardevoir does well against Volcanion because of Hex Maniac. After Hex Maniac has been used once, it’s very easy to reuse with VS Seeker. Mega Mewtwo is an amazing matchup because the decks are relatively the same consistency, but Mega Mewtwo needs 5 Energy to 1HKO a Mega Gardevoir. However, they have Double Colorless and 4 Mega Turbo. Garbodor is also annoying to deal with in combination with N. This matchup ended up playing out weirdly over the weekend, as some of my opponents played very patiently. This ended up becoming a stalemate where both of us were digging for a Lysandre to KO one of the other’s Megas on the bench.
I had changed 2 cards from Connor’s list to improve my Yveltal/Garb and Volcanion matchups. I took out a Buddy-Buddy Rescue for a 3rd Fairy Drop. I also changed the 1-2 Escape Rope/Switch split to 2-1. The 3 Fairy Drop was necessary in my matches against Yveltal/Garb, and was amazing against Dark/Tina/Garb in Top 8. Fairy Drop is an amazing card when compared to Pokémon Center Lady. As an Item, it only heals 10 less damage! The 2nd Escape Rope was more useful than a 2nd Switch would have been. Escape Rope has more utility than Switch in most cases.
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 37
Energy – 7
Interesting Card Choices
Fairy Drop is definitely one of the best cards in the list. It’s difficult to set up 3+ Mega Gardevoir, so keeping them around longer is a good thing. Its main uses are against Yveltal/Garb, Greninja, Dark/Tina/Garb, and mirror. These are all decks that don’t 1HKO a Mega. Yveltal/Garb 2-shots or uses Yveltal BKT. Fairy Drop can nullify damage on the main Mega, and if necessary, discard the other Pokémon they hit. Yveltal-EX usually does 110–130 damage to a Mega, so 1–2 Fairy Drop will turn it into a 2-shot. Against all these other decks, Fairy Drop turns 2-shots into potential 3-shots.
I prefer the extra Escape Rope against Yveltal/Garb and Volcanion. Escape Rope is great at cycling out Yveltal BKT and moving anything they could have Lysandre’d out of the active. Against Volcanion, it’s great because of their tendencies. They will try to get a baby Volcanion active, but will most likely not have another one on the bench. This allows me to Escape Rope them into an EX for a T2 Despair Ray and 2 Prizes. It was also useful against Glaceon-EX in one match.
Hawlucha was great against Yveltal/Garb and Volcanion. It also was very useful against the one Glaceon-EX deck I faced. It’s a good card, and it’s good to have every form of switching: Hawlucha, which only switches the opponent; Escape Rope, which switches both players; and lastly, Switch, which only switches me. Hawlucha is also reusable with Dragonite-EX, and is important in the mirror match. It can force a Mega out of the active, so it’s important to always have Hawlucha or Rattata on the bench to prevent Escape Rope/Hawlucha plays.
R1: Michael McClure (Psychic Mega Mewtwo/Garb)
I win both games very easily after I set up, but in the second game there was a turn where I had to draw 20 cards to hit an Energy/Mega Turbo. Getting either card won me the match, and it wasn’t too difficult. This was the first Mega Mewtwo of the day, and it was great starting out with one Round 1!
R2: Lonnie Vice (Mega Scizor)
He goes first and flips over Shaymin-EX to my Hawlucha. He has a dead hand and has to use Hoopa-EX to grab 2 Scizor-EX and 1 Shaymin-EX. This means he has 2 Shaymin-EX and 1 Hoopa-EX in play, so I have a chance to win. I set up, and plan for the T2 Lysandre. It was important that I started Hawlucha because it only gives up a single Prize. I miss the Lysandre, but I play an Escape Rope and he sends up Shaymin-EX. I KO it, and he responds with an Iron Crusher on my Mega. I have all the tools in my hand for my 2nd Mega, which I play out and I dig for the Lysandre. I get it, KO his Shaymin-EX, and he responds again with an Iron Crusher. At this point he has 1 Prize left, and I have 2. I N him, then use Escape Rope into my Dragonite-EX to stall for a turn because my last Mega Turbo is prized. I’m planning to prepare a Gardevoir-EX this turn, then attack the turn after. At this point I only have the Dragonite-EX active and a Gardevoir-EX with an Energy that I attached this turn. After the N I played, I draw my whole deck with Shaymin-EX and Dragonite-EX except for one card. If he doesn’t do anything, I have the Escape Rope, Mega, Energy, Lysandre to KO Hoopa-EX and win. He then RED CARDS me, and I have 3 cards in deck and the 4 in my hand. I have everything I need except for the Escape Rope. I use Lysandre on the Hoopa-EX prematurely to stall. He then proceeds to pass until I get the Escape Rope, which was the last card in my deck. I then use Escape Rope, then my last Lysandre on the Hoopa-EX to win G1.
At this point I’m 25 minutes into the match, and I know I’m going to go for a tie or a solo Game 1 win. He has a semi-slow set up, but manages to get the T2 Iron Crusher. I’m sending up Dragonite-EX to stall because my only game plan is to win 1-0. I make a bunch of plays on my turn, and I now realize how many plays I can make with Mega Gardevoir in one turn. Time is called when he has 5 Prizes left, and there’s nothing he can do.
R3: Angel Mario García Loya (Volcanion)
I sit down against Volcanion, which is very fortunate. Game 1 he doesn’t get anything going, and when he tries to Lysandre stall I have Switch. In Game 2, I get out a Mega Gardevoir on turn 2 to KO his only Volcanion-EX with Energy. However, in this process I only drew 7 Pokémon on my bench, so I had to discard my spare Mega Gardevoir. This left me with one Pokémon in play. He had an explosive turn with 3 Max Elixir, but he couldn’t pull off the KO. I then Lysandre’d a Shaymin-EX for another 2 Prizes. In this turn I also prepared another Gardevoir in case he KO’d me. I use this 2nd Gardevoir to Lysandre Hoopa-EX for the KO.
R4: Klein Houmani (Volcanion)
I destroyed him Game 1. Game 2 I scoop on T1 to conserve time and I have no Supporter in hand. In Game 3 it’s very close, but I prize 2-of my Spirit Links. At the end of the game I took 2/4 remaining Prizes. I needed this last Spirit Link to attack with a Mega Gardevoir the turn after. I draw these 2 Prizes on T1 of time, but I miss the Spirit Link. I can’t take my last 2 Prizes without the Mega, so we tie.
R5: Jonathan Soto (Greninja)
I start out going first to his Jirachi. This makes me think he is not running Talonflame. He has a slow T1, but I do too. I miss the T2 Despair Ray, but fortunately he prized a Frogadier. He also played Faded Town which was slightly scary. He never drew and put out 2 Greninja in the same turn, so my goal was always to remove his highest evolution. A few times he Shadow Stitched, but he also tried to keep it on the bench and N me. Because he couldn’t prevent my Abilities, I always drew enough to get the VS Seeker.
In Game 2, he doesn’t have anything he can do. He has no Supporters, but gets off the Water Duplicates. I win after a few turns.
R6: Isaiah Williams (Yveltal/Garb)
Game 1 is going normally: I manage to get the T2 Despair Ray. However, I prized a Mega and I had to discard one on T1. I also prized my Super Rod. One mistake I made this game was choosing to Lysandre and KO Garbodor instead of his active Yveltal-EX. This was a bad play because I didn’t have another Mega ready. I also drew one less Prize, which decreased my chance of getting either card off of my Prizes.
Game 2 I go first, but I start off slowly. He tries to load up an Yveltal-EX on the bench with two Energy and a Fighting Fury Belt. I topdeck an Ultra Ball (expect this many more times throughout my report). I use this to fill my bench, Rattata, and pop the Lysandre on this Yveltal-EX. As I Lysandre his Yveltal-EX he scoops.
Game 3 I start with no Supporters, and so does he. He gets an Yveltal-EX with a Double Colorless, D Energy, and a Fighting Fury Belt on the bench. I draw, attach a Y Energy, place a Spirit Link, then pass. He topdecks Professor Sycamore, uses Escape Rope to send his Yveltal-EX active, limits my bench to 3 with Parallel City, and hits me for 110. I topdeck Professor Sycamore. I have the Sky Field in hand, so I replace the Parallel City. I’m going for Rattata, Mega, Energy, and 6+1 Pokémon on my bench to KO the Yveltal-EX. I want an extra Pokémon in case he Knocks Out my active. I miss the Energy after drawing 20 cards. However, I had 2 Fairy Drop which healed me down to 10. He then hits me with the Yveltal-EX again, and builds up another on the bench. I dig for the Energy again next turn, and fortunately I draw it and KO the Yveltal-EX. My memory gets foggy here. I remember Lysandre’ing his Garbodor, but I think there was an extra turn or two here.
I end up getting down to 3 Prizes, and he N’s me. I get an Energy, Spirit Link, and VS Seeker. I reload and KO his active Yveltal-EX. I’m down to 1 Prize, and I received the Mega off of my Prizes so I can KO his Garbodor with Despair Ray. I have the VS Seeker in hand, and he doesn’t have an N. He KOs my active Mega, but I have the 2nd one to win. I thought I would be too far behind at the start of the game because of the missed Energy, but I was able to set up and stay in the game. 3 Fairy Drop was definitely the MVP — if I only had 2 I wouldn’t have been as likely to draw into them.
R7: Long Bui (Jolteon/Glaceon/Lugia/Garbodor)
I know this should be a good matchup because I have so many ways around Glaceon-EX. The problem would be is if he only has Glaceon-EX. I would have to put 3 Energy on a Gardevoir-EX and use Luminous Blade. Game 1 I draw poorly after he has a perfect T1 and T2. I scoop after I have no Supporter in hand. Game 2 I use Despair Ray! He lays down Garbodor on T2, but I have the Lysandre. I win after he can’t N away my hand full of outs. I repeatedly cycled the Glaceon-EX out of the active and KO’d something else.
Game 3 I also start off well, and manage to get two Megas. I Lysandre 2 Garbodor, and I also did this to two Shaymin-EX. Every Prize I took was with Lysandre, Hawlucha, or Escape Rope. Fairy Drop kept my Megas alive, and there was nothing he could do.
R8: Fred Hoban (Psychic Mega Mewtwo/Garb)
This round was super difficult. Game 1 he gets the perfect T1, and I dead-draw so I lose. In Game 2 I keep drawing poorly, but I manage to use Despair Ray once which removes my bench. He went for a deck-out win, but after I removed everything on my bench he was out of options.
In Game 3 I start poorly, again! He keeps a Mewtwo-EX active with three Energy. I topdeck an Ultra Ball! I’m going for the Mega Turbo and Energy. I miss. I’m now stuck with my only Energy on my active, and it’s very easy for him to return-KO me. He needs a combination of two Energy. However, during the process of digging he played himself. He could have gotten Double Colorless, or Psychic + Mega Turbo. He played Shaymin-EX and drew into Mega Turbo, before he used Professor Sycamore. If he had played the Sycamore and not played Shaymin-EX, he would have hit it. He made the correct play, which was trying to draw the most cards. However, it was unfortunate that the cards were in this order. He missed the Double Colorless or Mega Turbo off of the Professor Sycamore. After this turn I got to KO this Mega Mewtwo, and I rolled him.
R9: Dalen Dockery (Mirror)
I’m done with Pokémon at this point, but he and I both want to play it out. I go first in Game 1, which is amazing. I miss the T2 Despair Ray, but on turn 3 I damage his Mega. He hits me, and I switch into my 2nd Mega Gardevoir leaving the benched one damaged. I Lysandre’d and KO his benched Gardevoir-EX. This is the best way to win the mirror. It essentially saves a turn because it’s impossible to 1HKO a Mega. I have my active, undamaged Mega, my damaged Mega, and an undamaged Gardevoir-EX. He Lysandre’s my benched Mega and Knocks it Out. I KO his damaged Mega. He uses N as a last resort, but I get nothing. I exhausted plenty of resources early on, but it was all necessary. He then announces Despair Ray a few times and I lose.
In Game 2 I play my first turn terribly. I accidentally use my 3rd Shaymin-EX (I prized my 4th) improperly. I ordered my cards poorly, and ended up benching a Shaymin-EX for no effect when it could have been a Gardevoir-EX. However, I Hex him twice. I have no Supporters in my hand, and every turn I’m behind. I didn’t attack once all game, and once I finally drew an N he was at 2 Prizes. He got Professor Sycamore off of it, then was able to use Sudden Cyclone into my Gardevoir-EX to win.
It’s 10:30 at the end of Day 1, which is super early. I’m happy the event had no lunch break because there was easily accessible food at the venue. I ended at 4th seed going into Day 2, and I would play against Greninja or Yveltal/Garb in Round 10. I sat around and talked to my friends, then went to bed early to prepare for Day 2.
R10: Jimmy Pendarvis (Yveltal/Garb)
I sit down and go first, and I have a dead hand. I use Trainers’ Mail into an N, immediately playing it. Off my hand I have Ultra Ball — nice! I get the typical Hoopa-EX, 2 Gardevoir-EX, 1 Shaymin-EX. I make a small mistake by discarding Hawlucha instead of Rattata, so I can’t cycle out an Yveltal BKT if he sends one active. Jimmy has an amazing turn; he gets a T1 Pitch-Black Spear with 3 Max Elixir. I have to manually Mega Evolve and pass, but I use a fresh Gardevoir-EX so it would only have 60 after another Pitch-Black Spear. He Knocks Out my active Shaymin-EX while setting up an Yveltal-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt. I Fairy Drop to heal, attach an Energy, and KO his active Yveltal BKT. He doesn’t get out Garbodor this game. He then sends up an Yveltal-EX and Evil Balls me. I manage to Rattata and KO his Yveltal-EX. He ends up drawing no Supporters at this point, so he just has to hit me with Yveltal-EX. I end up using Lysandre on Shaymin-EX twice to win.
Game 2 he starts Trubbish, and loads up an Yveltal BKT but cannot send it active. I then set up on my turn, and pass. He misses the Float Stone again this turn, but has a backup Trubbish. I then Despair Ray his Trubbish, and choose to discard Hoopa-EX. This was necessary to prevent a Lysandre play. I didn’t have Escape Rope or Switch in my hand, so I would’ve had no way to defend against it. He then uses Pitch-Black Spear and sets up an Yveltal-EX. I Lysandre Garbodor and KO it, because the Yveltal BKT has a Fighting Fury Belt. He continues setting up Yveltal-EX, while I KO his active Yveltal BKT. He’s used so many resources and hasn’t taken a single Prize. I prized my Rattata, so I can’t 1HKO either of his Yveltal-EX because of the Fighting Fury Belt. He’s in the perfect spot: I’m on odd Prizes, and he has 2 Yveltal-EX with Fighting Fury Belts and 3 Energy.
At this point, ALL 9 D Energy are in play or in discard. He has 3 D Energy and a Double Colorless on one Yveltal-EX, and 2 Double Colorless on the other. I target down the Yveltal-EX with 3 D Energy, meaning he has to use Y Cyclone to conserve the Energy. This was the play that won me the game because Y Cyclone didn’t KO me while Evil Ball would have. I Knock Out his 1st Yveltal-EX, but he responds with an N and Knocks me Out. I draw Ultra Ball off the N to one, and I’m holding my hand. I did get Rattata off of my Prizes, so it’s in my deck. I simply send up my Mega Gardevoir and use Despair Ray. I have a benched Gardevoir-EX with a Y Energy. He KOs my active and uses Pokémon Center Lady. I draw another card, having 3 in my hand. I Ultra Ball for Hoopa-EX, grab Shaymin-EX, pick up the Sky Field and Professor Sycamore, and hit the cards I need off of about 20.
R11: Andrew Wambolt (Volcanion)
In Game 1 I set up and this game finishes fairly quickly. He has a chance after he N’s me to 2, but I drew Trainers’ Mail and VS Seeker. I scoop Game 2 immediately to conserve time for Game 3. I do this against Volcanion because I can win Game 3 with a full amount of time most of the time. It’s a favorable matchup, and a tie wouldn’t help me get into cut.
Game 3 I have to discard 3 Megas T1. This is exactly what I was NOT hoping for. I’m stalling with Hoopa-EX, but he Power Heater’s twice. On the second Power Heater, he manages to get 4 Steam Ups (without Energy Retrieval) to KO it from 30 damage. I send up Hawlucha, use Brock’s Grit to recycle my Megas, then pass. He switches into Volcanion-EX, and at this point he has this Volcanion-EX, a belted Flareon-EX with a R Energy, and a belted Volcanion-EX with a R Energy. He uses Lysandre on a Shaymin-EX and uses Volcanion Heat. I N him to 2 cards, then bench enough Pokémon to Knock Out his active.
I’m in the perfect spot. He only has 2 Energy in play and only 2+1 cards off of the N. I have my active Mega Gardevoir with no damage, and a benched Gardevoir-EX with a Spirit Link and a Y Energy. I have another Mega and Energy in my hand, so I can attack with my 2nd the next turn if he does manage to attack me. I can then discard my other Mega to prevent him from winning with Lysandre. I have Dragonite-EX, Super Rod, and I picked up VS Seeker off of my Prizes. I could fully set up my board, use a new Mega, discard everything, and use Hex Maniac to ensure my win. However, he had one win condition. He has about 25–30 cards left in deck, and only 2 Energy Retrieval. IIRC he had to discard one on T1. Off of his N to 2 he hits Energy Retrieval and Trainers’ Mail. He first plays the Energy Retrieval, and then gets his 2nd Energy Retrieval off of Trainers’ Mail. 4 Energy is all he needed to win. He Flash Fire’s an Energy to Flareon-EX, attaches to it, then uses 3 Steam Ups and Blaze Balls me for game. What a disappointing way to lose.
At this point I need to win 2/3 last games to have a chance at Top Cut. I would be sitting at 31 points; on the bubble.
Trevor Bustamante (Yveltal/Garb)R12:
I prize both of my Hoopa-EX in Game 1. However, I have 2 Ultra Ball in my hand so I still manage to set up. He isn’t drawing very many Pokémon, and he’s running out of Pokémon to attack with. I make a play where I Lysandre his Garbodor, ending myself with 0 cards in hand. However, I had many cards that could net me more: 2 Hoopa-EX, Dragonite-EX, and a VS Seeker. I get the Dragonite-EX, and KO his Yveltal-EX. As we set up for Game 2, there’s a good amount of time left. He draws perfectly in Game 2, having 2 Trubbish, 2 Yveltal BKT, and 2 Yveltal-EX in play. I scoop after a few turns.
Game 3 I get set up, and the game is quite close. We’re running out of time, and at the end of the game it’s called. He’s using N on me over and over again, hoping for the tie even though it doesn’t benefit either of us. On the last turn of time, I get my Lysandre off of the N to 2. This was an interesting game as well because I prized both of my Lysandre and 2 Mega Gardevoir.
R13: Michael Canaves (Fairy Mega Mewtwo/Garb)
Game 1 I set up, and win easily. In Game 2 I draw dead. He benches me a few turns later. In Game 3 I also have a dead hand, with 2 Gardevoir-EX, 2 Mega Turbo, 1 Sky Field, 1 Mega Gardevoir, 1 Y Energy, and another Sky Field off the top. He sets up with a Mewtwo-EX and 3 Energy active. He thinks I have nothing, but I topdeck a Shaymin-EX. I get N, and set up a Mega Gardevoir to Knock Out this Mewtwo-EX. He Sky Returns, trying to stall time and refresh his dead hand. I Lysandre his only Mewtwo-EX remaining and KO it. He tries to set up another Mewtwo-EX, but I topdeck VS Seeker and close out the game.
R14: Noah Sawyer (mirror)
We intentionally tie. I’m at 32 points, and he’s at 31. One 31 will miss, but fortunately he makes it into cut. Michael Canaves ended up biting the bullet and getting 9th at 31 points.
Top 8: Jimmy Zhang (Dark/Tina/Garb)
I manage to pick up a few knockouts, and at the end of the game he N’s me. I get Professor Sycamore and he can’t replace my hand. I’m holding the Trainers’ Mail, hoping to hit the VS Seeker. I play the Trainers’ Mail into VS Seeker the next turn, which gets me the Lysandre for the game. I make an amazing play by using Hex Maniac while Garbodor is in play. My thought process was to KO Giratina-EX, in order to shut off its Ability. However, Jimmy played Garbodor with a Tool the previous turn.
Game 2 I start Hoopa-EX, and discard 2 Lysandre, 2 Mega Turbo, and 2 Fairy Drop on turn 1. I get the Gardevoir-EX + Y Energy for the turn after lots of digging. I manage to get the T2 Despair Ray, but I also had to discard my last Mega Turbo and last Fairy Drop. He played an amazing Delinquent, which completely ruined my 5-card hand. I had to lose all of these utility cards, in favor of a Switch and a VS Seeker. There was one turn where I missed a 2nd Gardevoir-EX, and I left myself with a Rattata on my bench. He managed to KO my active Mega Gardevoir, so there’s a funny moment where it was one rat vs. the world. I manage to get another Gardevoir-EX, and the turn afterward use Despair Ray onto a Lysandre’d Pokémon for my last 2 Prizes. An interesting play I made was choosing to Lysandre and KO Trubbish rather than a Shaymin-EX or Hoopa-EX. I had 3 Prizes remaining, and choosing Trubbish put me with 3 cards in my hand. I chose this because he had 1 VS Seeker remaining, which could grab Delinquent. However, he also had N in his deck. If he had played Garbodor and used N, I would’ve been in a much worse position than with a 0-card hand. I had more outs that I could use with Abilities and 1 card than without Abilities and 2 cards.
Top 4: Dalen Dockery (Mirror)
Game 1 I start off with a lone Gardevoir-EX, and I pass immediately. He sets up and uses Escape Rope to push a Gardevoir-EX active prematurely. He knows I have nothing, which is what is making him so aggressive. I topdeck Ultra Ball, and I’m able to develop a board. Seeing that he used an Escape Rope, I Lysandre a Dragonite-EX. He sets up 2 Mega Gardevoir and passes. I attach, now having 2 Energy on this Mega. I Lysandre his 2nd Mega Gardevoir without any Energy, and hit it for 150. He responds with a Lysandre on my benched Mega Gardevoir with no Energy. These were both great plays, which allowed us both to sit for a turn and set up further. I’m forced to attach an Energy and pass after missing a Switch or Escape Rope. He misses the Despair Ray, and the same Mega Gardevoir is stranded active. I believe I KO it, and he has no Supporter in hand. After clearing his 2nd Mega Gardevoir, I win.
The series takes a HARD left turn into the dumpster after Game 1. Mega Gardevoir is a very consistent deck, except for me. Dalen also has this moment in the series. Game 2 I go second, and have a lone Shaymin-EX. All I do is draw, attach an Energy, and pass. He has the T2 Despair Ray.
Game 3 I go first, get a decent setup, and pass. He plays an N immediately, and I joke that what will happen in Game 2 to me will happen to him. He gets nothing off the N and passes. I don’t have the win because I only have 4 Pokémon to discard. However, as it’s always there to save the day, Ultra Ball gets taken off the top. This is exactly what I needed, and I get Hoopa-EX for 3 more Pokémon. I attach to my active Shaymin-EX, retreat, Mega Evolve, then play a Mega Turbo, then use Despair Ray. It’s always fun for me to scoop up my bench when I use Despair Ray for the win. Something about scooping up my cards without losing is enjoyable.
Finals: Igor Costa (Psychic Mega Mewtwo/Garb)
I go first, and I know exactly what I’m doing. He’s going to try to N me into a dead hand after I take knockouts, and potentially use Acid Spray. He and I play very patiently, which would confuse anyone watching. I have to dump 3 VS Seeker and a Lysandre in the process of searching for a combo. My combo is Switch/Escape Rope, Y Energy, and Lysandre onto a Mega Mewtwo. At some point I get Lysandre onto his Mega Mewtwo with the most Energy, and I use Despair Ray. He Knocks me Out, then I Knock Out his 2nd Mega Mewtwo. He’s used N every turn, and I’ve gotten nothing. He sends up Garbodor to prepare another Mega Mewtwo. I Knock it Out, and I have just my lone Mega Gardevoir active with 2 Energy. He benches Trubbish, N’s me to 1, and then flips heads on Acid Spray. I didn’t get anything off of my N to 1, but I hit the Y Energy off the top.
Game 2 I have a nice first turn, and I get down 2 Gardevoir-EX. The match goes slowly. Igor’s strategy for winning is to Lysandre one of my Mega Gardevoir, while having a 2nd one ready. I win when I can outlast their Mega Mewtwo, or do this first. We both are playing very well to this strategy. After a few turns, I get the Escape Rope, Lysandre, Y Energy, Mega Turbo. I leave myself with this Mega Gardevoir, and a benched Gardevoir-EX with one Energy and a Spirit Link. At this point I have a hard call to make. He has a Garbodor with a Float Stone, Mega Mewtwo with a Double Colorless and Psychic, Mega Mewtwo, Shaymin-EX, and Mewtwo-EX with 2 Double Colorless and a Spirit Link. I choose to KO the Mega Mewtwo with 3 Energy because I know he doesn’t have the 3rd Mega Mewtwo in hand. If he had it, he would’ve played it. This means he has to dig for it. After making this play, he responds with his last Ultra Ball. I know a Mega Mewtwo is coming, and I fear I made the wrong play. However, he got Trubbish. I wonder if he prized his 3rd Mega. At this point he retreats into Trubbish, plays an N, then passes. He tries to load up his Mega Mewtwo, but only gets one Energy attached. I get VS Seeker off of the N to 4, and choose to kill his Mega Mewtwo with one Energy instead of the Mewtwo-EX with 4. As I use VS Seeker he scoops and reveals his 3rd Mega Mewtwo prized.
I feel like Mega Gardevoir was an under-the-radar play for Dallas. It was regarded as bad after Fort Wayne and London, with very few placings. However, because of the lack of Mega Gardevoir, Mega Mewtwo was on the rise. I played very well in Dallas, aside from a few major misplays. It’s important to know how much to dig and set up on the first turn. Typically, it’s the best to set up to where there will be a solid T2. Always dig for a Y Energy. It’s also important to know what time is right to KO Garbodor. If you can KO an attacker, that’s usually the better call.
I predict that there will be a fair amount of Mega Gardevoir at Athens, and no Mega Mewtwo. Volcanion and Yveltal variants will both see lots of hype, along with Mega Gardevoir. One could argue that Greninja will be on the decline because of Giratina, which allows these three decks to excel. However, this makes Greninja that much better of a play into the meta. If nobody expects Greninja, nobody will have to tech against it, similar to the idea that nobody expects Night March. Greninja will have a showing at Athens, even with Giratina! Volcanion will be on the rise, similar to Mewtwo at Dallas, which makes Greninja the amazing play that Gardevoir was. Anyway, I’ll hope to see plenty of you guys in Athens!