Hello 6P readers! It’s been a long time (6 years to be exact) since I last made an appearance over here, but I’m really happy to be back. I hope you guys will enjoy reading what I have to share with you.
Now that Michael and Christopher have covered Utah more in depth, I want to touch on the subject of smaller scale tournaments, specially seeing how important League Cups are this season in terms of getting to a realistic point to acquire an invite. The BFL per quarter for League Cups is something brand new for this season. While I personally don’t agree with how this is set up and means League Challenges are essentially useless, it’s what we got this season so it’s very important to do well in these.
However, you can’t compare a 50 player League Cups with a 600+ Regional, as not only the skill level is different, but the metagames are a lot smaller and more ‘focused’. In our local metagames we all have that one or two guys who always do well with that one deck; the guys who always use weird combos that work for them and so on.
Today’s article will focus on the Umbreon-GX deck I used to go undefeated at a 32 person League Cup, why I decided it would be my best choice for the tournament and how I made specific tech choice in order to make sure I had an answer to all the popular decks I knew I would very likely face at some point or another.
Coming off of my Australian 2nd place performance, and given the overall strength of the deck, it was hard for me to consider playing anything other than Decidueye/Vileplume. However, I had been down this road before with Greninja, where I’m stubborn and refuse to adapt or change decks based on previous experiences rather than on results or reality. Don’t get me wrong, Decidueye is an incredibly strong deck, but every opponent I’m up against here in Mexico expected that deck from me. Thus, Wobbuffet and extra Hex Maniac, even in decks such as Volcanion, were becoming the norm. Other players were just outright switching to using Decidueye themselves, recognizing the deck’s strength.
With this, and how important League Cups are, I decided to shake things up and render my opponent’s Decidueye techs useless by using a deck that would not be badly affected by Wobbuffet or Hex Maniac. After talking with my friend Russell LaParre and him telling me of the advantages of Umbreon-GX and how he did so well at his League Cup, I was very interested in the deck. Huge props to him for the list.
Below is the list I used at the tournament; below, I will go into specific card choices and how the list was perfectly tailored to the expected metagame.
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 33
3 Trainers’ Mail
Energy – 11
4/3 Umbreon-GX SUM: The main and pretty much only attacker of the deck; a 4/4 line would be much more convenient but with a pretty much nonexistent weakness, even if 1 Umbreon-GX is prized, the other 2 + the Super Rod are usually enough to carry you through a game. Shadow Bullet’s 90/30 for DCC is a pretty good attack, but you also get to control the tempo of the game with well placed Dark Call-GX’s to slow down your opponent’s set up.
2 Jolteon AOR: What’s better than a Dark type Umbreon-GX? A part Lightning type Umbreon-GX! 2 copies of Jolteon ensure you avoid prizing issues and you get to OHKO Shaymin-EX, as well as any non Fighting Fury Belted Yveltal-EX’s and even M Rayquaza-EX with the help of Professor Kukui. My local metagame contains 0 M Rayquaza-EX but there’s always 2-3 notable Yveltal players whom I knew would stick with the deck and therefore would make these matchups a lot easier.
2 Vaporeon AOR: Same train of thought as Jolteon, Vaporeon means you get to OHKO any and all Volcanion, which I expected a lot of at the tournament. Not only is Volcanion an attractively easy to build/play deck, but it’s also regarded as one of the best counters to Decidueye/Vileplume and players down here are even now including Hex Maniac in their lists to be rid of item lock. This was my way of one-upping my opponent’s: they play Volcanion to counter my/other Decidueye/Vileplume decks, so I play the counter to the counter.
2 Wobbuffet PHF: In combination with Umbreon-GX’s attack, Strafe, Wobbuffet offers great protection against Decidueye/Vileplume. Not only do you get access to your own item cards, but Decidueye can’t Feather Arrow, one of the main ways for them to increase their damage output and hit the right numbers to close out a game. Stopping opposing Shaymin-EX is great, though admittedly, this card is a double edged sword as it can also hear, your own set up by preventing your own Shaymin-EX and Eevee’s Energy Evolution.
1 Mewtwo EVO: This was a last minute call/inclusion to the deck, as I saw there was a lot of M Mewtwo-EX being played. With resistance and Assault Vest, M Mewtwo-EX really struggles to OHKO Umbreon-GX, but since we can’t turn Umbreon-GX into a Psychic type and stringing 2 consecutive Professor Kukui to 2HKO is quite hard, the 30 damage placement off of Shadow Bullet becomes very important. Mewtwo allows you to punish an all in play by your opponent on a single M Mewtwo-EX, as well threatening any that have 4 energy attached after they’d had 30 damage placed on them through Shadow Bullet. With 3 Float Stone, it’s not too difficult to pull off a Mewtwo + DCE drop into a KO from your hand to surprise your opponent.
These 7 cards detailed were added into the deck to have responses to Yveltal-EX, Volcanion-EX, Decidueye/Vileplume and M Mewtwo-EX decks. I don’t think anyone could argue those 4 are some of the best/most popular decks in the format as of today, and therefore devoting so many spots to countering such decks, specially coming off of a ‘surprise deck’ in a 32 player tournament was a very smart choice. For bigger tournaments, such as Regionals, you could still make an argument for all those cards to be kept in the deck, but a lot of them could easily be cut for more consistency cards as 5/6 of those are essentially dead cards if you hit the wrong matchup.
Thankfully though, the metagame was exactly as I expected and the tech cards paid off tremendously. Here are how my rounds went:
I’ve known this opponent for a long time now and he’s always playing ‘counter’ decks, so when he flipped over Jolteon and Trubbish I knew what I was up against. I was very fortunate that he prized both of his Glaceon-EX, but I didn’t realize that until he used a Ninja Boy on the Jolteon EX and then had to leave the Jolteon-EX there. Dealing with Tauros-GX is a pain for this deck, but after I did, I was able to cruise through despite him getting a Glaceon-EX powered up in the late game, as I was able to use my Enhanced Hammer, a Team Flare Grunt and my Dark Call-GX to strip all energy off the Glaceon-EX and then finish it off in the next 2 turns.
Round 2 vs Volcanion-EX (1/0/0)
As he flipped over Volcanion, I felt confident that Vaporeon would be able to help me trade favorably, but I will admit I was a bit worried as I didn’t have Hex or Silent Lab to try to limit Volcanion’s damage output and prevent OHKO’s. We traded a few early hits whilst I hid behind Wobbuffet using Strafe to build a couple of Umbreon-GX, but he ran out of steam after the first couple of turns and he missed an Energy drop which set him too far behind. I was able to OHKO the Volcanion and Volcanion-EX whilst pressuring benched Shaymin.
When my opponent flipped over Cosmog I was hoping for Lunala but I knew it was very likely for it to be Solgaleo-GX and it was. This is the one round where I obviously wanted Flareon AOR in my deck but it was 1/32 decks so I took my chances on it not being a thing. I knew the matchup would be horrible as I at best would 3HKO and he would just one shot anything infront of him. Fortunately, he got a slow start as I was able to use Strafe to limit his use of Shaymin-EX with Wobbuffet, and I also powered up Oranguru to attack a Solgaleo-GX so that I could play the 7 prize card game and it paid off. Towards the end, he could’ve put a lot of pressure with Lurantis-GX but he chose to try and power up a Cosmog once again to one shot. I promptly Lysandre’d and KO’d it to make sure that would not happen.
Round 4 vs Turbo Dark ID (3/0/0)
Round 5 vs Volcanion ID (3/0/1)
I, of course, ID with my final 2 opponents so we all secure Top 8 and just let TOM determine who plays who. So far, Jolteon had been useful to OHKO Shaymin, Vaporeon for Round 2 and Wobbuffet slowed the game down in Round 3. My tech choices for the day were definitely paying off. Having made Top 8 and getting at least 20 points meant I was back to 1st place in the LATAM rankings! However, it was just barely by 2 points and I wanted to make that difference bigger.
Top 8 vs Turbo Dark (3/0/2)
He would’ve been my Round 4 opponent, and we decided to play a friendly match at that time. He beat me in a very close game, so I was a bit nervous going in but knew I had enough energy removal resources to net the win.
We only were able to play Game 1 as it was quite close and intense. We were both very very careful and conservative with our moves; prizes were still 6-5 and 35 minutes of the round had passed. We had been trading attacks and delaying each other with our Delinquent. At this point, all 4 of his Darkrai-EX had upwards of 150 damage on them, and all 3 of my Umbreon-GX had 180 on them too.
I made sure he always 3HKO or 2HKO my Umbreon and never allowed him to recover too much energy thanks to Jolteon turning my Umbreon-GX into Lightning type and OHKOing the baby Yveltal. In the end, he attached a Fighting Fury Belt to delay my win by one turn but he was in top deck mode after I used Delinquent on his 3 remaining cards. He was never able to find his 12th energy to retreat a 1 energy Darkrai-EX and that allowed me to get the final hits in pick up my last 4 prizes.
Game 2 had barely started when time was called, so all I had to do was make sure he wouldn’t draw 4 prizes in his 2 turns. A Parallel City to discard my damaged Umbreon-GX made sure of that and I took the 1-0 win.
Top 4 vs M Mewtwo-EX/Wobbuffet (4/0/2)
I didn’t like having to play against one of my best friends but that’s how the bracket worked out. I knew his list and he knew mine, so it was going to be impossible to catch him off guard with the Mewtwo tech. During game 1, I ended up using Strafe a lot to try making him overcommit to his energy counts but he knew what was up and never did, happily trading my 30 damage for his 70-100 with Psychic Infinity. Eventually I had to go more aggressive and a Lysandre to Hoopa to buy me a couple of free hits on his Mewtwo-EX, setting myself up for some good Lysandre plays later on. In the end he N’d me into 1 card and KO’d my last Umbreon-GX on the field, but I had Oranguru powered up and I needed to hit a VS Seeker or Lysandre off of the N and its ability to KO a Shaymin-EX on the bench with 60 damage on it. I got it off the 3rd card from Oranguru’s ability and sealed game 1.
Once again, Game 1 was very close and took up almost all of the 50 minutes of the round, so all I had to do was prevent KOes during the few minutes of Game 2. With low energy attacks, resistance and Assault Vest, this was fairly simple to achieve. Mewtwo ended up not being important in Game 1 in the sense that it wasn’t used, but the sole knowledge that it was in my deck forced him to play differently. This gave me more breathing room when it came to his insane damage output versus mine which is essentially capped at 90.
Top 2 vs Yveltal-EX/Tauros GX/Garbodor (5/0/2)
The other Top 4 match had Volcanion vs Yveltal, so I felt pretty good about both potential Finals matchups. In the first game, he lead with Tauros which caused a lot of headaches for me, and forced me to make some weird Lysandre moves. He never set up Garbodor during game 1, but as I had prized an Eevee, I also hadn’t been able to use Jolteon for clean up. Assault Vests pulled through here through, severely limiting Yveltal’s potential damage output and the bench damage just started to piled up on him enough for me to win.
Game 2 was a completely blowout where I thought he didn’t know I had Jolteon, and that’s why he hadn’t gotten Garbodor, so this time around I still had an Eevee prized but went for the Jolteon anyways and my single Umbreon-GX was able to just win the game in 3 back to back turns with Lysandre onto 2 Yveltal-EX’s and a Shaymin to finish things off.
And so, even though I didn’t get to fully utilize Wobbuffet or Mewtwo, there were at least 4 of each deck they were there to counter and I could’ve run into them at any point during the tournament, as they were in the hands of very capable/well known players here. Vaporeon and Jolteon were very crucial and Umbreon-GX was just a monster with its 30 bench damage.
Now, even though I did so well, I will reiterate this was because of the low amount of people playing and the fact that I know the trends and what decks specific opponent’s like to run, hence my tech choices which worked out perfectly.
Going into a Regional tournament with a deck such as this one would be a completely different issue though, as obviously the numbers of the decks I wanted to beat would increase, but there would also be a very big amount of unknown factors such as brand new decks or even old or out of fashion archetypes which would not make the tech choices the most adequate. In bigger tournaments, consistency is key and this can be seen from the previous articles showcasing and analyzing the Utah results.
This will conclude today’s article, a fusion between a tournament report with this new deck, along with some theory on why you have more room for flexibility when it comes to League Cups vs Regionals. It’s something I would definitely encourage you to do as the 50 CP from these tournaments is extremely valuable, especially at this point in the season.
Thank you guys for reading and I’m really glad to be back! If you want to see this deck in action, there is already be a video showcasing gameplay of this deck on my YouTube channel over at youtube.com/tablemon. You can also find me on Twitter @tablemon.
Until next time!
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