Oops!… You Decked Out Again

A Full Look at Hoopa Wall Stall (Tournament Report, Deck Updates, and In-Depth Matchup Guide) for Madison
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“I’m not that innocent…”

Hello readers, today I’m going to be covering:

  • my full tournament report for Santa Clara,
  • the changes I made to my Stall deck,
  • how to approach and play against most matchups with Stall, and
  • changes moving forward into Madison this weekend.

Hoopa Wall Stall

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As per my last article, my top two decks for Santa Clara were Midrange Zoroark and Vileplume Stall. I ended up going with Stall; however, I decided to make a few key changes prior to the event in order to stay ahead of the anticipated metagame. Here is the list I played at Santa Clara:

The List

Pokémon (12)

4 Hoopa SLG

2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX

2 Regigigas CIN

1 Solgaleo p

1 Lugia-GX

1 Girafarig LOT

1 Unown LOT 91

Trainer (45)

4 Steven’s Resolve

3 Acerola

3 Bill’s Analysis

3 Lusamine

2 Plumeria

1 Faba

1 Gladion

1 Guzma

1 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

1 Tate & Liza

1 Team Skull Grunt

 

4 Max Potion

4 Nest Ball

4 Pokégear 3.0

2 Counter Catcher

1 Enhanced Hammer

1 Rescue Stretcher

3 Metal Frying Pan

2 Ancient Crystal

1 Counter Gain

 

1 Mount Lanakila

1 Power Plant

Energy (3)

2 Double Colorless

1 Rainbow

 

Copy List

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 12

* 4 Hoopa SLG 55
* 2 Lucario & Melmetal-GX UNB 120
* 2 Regigigas CIN 84
* 1 Solgaleo p UPR 89
* 1 Lugia-GX LOT 159
* 1 Girafarig LOT 94
* 1 Unown LOT 91

##Trainer Cards - 45

* 4 Steven's Resolve CES 145
* 3 Bill's Analysis TEU 133
* 3 Lusamine CIN 96
* 3 Acerola BUS 112
* 2 Plumeria BUS 120
* 1 Faba LOT 173
* 1 Team Skull Grunt SUM 133
* 1 Guzma BUS 115
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 1 Lt. Surge's Strategy UNB 178
* 1 Gladion CIN 95
* 4 Pokégear 3.0 UNB 182
* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 4 Max Potion GRI 128
* 2 Counter Catcher CIN 91
* 1 Rescue Stretcher GRI 130
* 1 Enhanced Hammer GRI 124
* 3 Metal Frying Pan FLI 112
* 2 Ancient Crystal UPR 118
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 1 Mount Lanakila BUS 118
* 1 Power Plant UNB 183

##Energy - 3

* 2 Double Colorless Energy SUM 136
* 1 Rainbow Energy SUM 137

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=73522 ******

Changes to the Previous List

Minus: Vileplume Package (3-0-2 Vileplume & 2 Rare Candy)

Through testing I found that this package was ineffective at setting up multiple Vileplume throughout a single game. This led me to explore different options. I knew that counters to Vileplume, such as Stealthy Hood and Stage 1 attackers, would be present and therefore I could not win the event with such a focus on Vileplume in my list. I decided, after additional testing, to cut the strategy entirely and focus on the inherent bulkiness of the deck.

In Its Place…

  • 4th Hoopa SLG: I found this card to be crucial in many matchups, so I maxed out the count of Hoopa to improve my consistency.
  • 3rd Acerola: The deck played a lot like a heal and disruption variant. I wanted to increase my Supporter counts in general, and I felt that a 3rd copy of Acerola would improve my healing outs. I wanted to always be able to heal my Lucario & Melmetal-GX.
  • 4th Pokégear 3.0: As with the last two options, this option was mainly to increase consistency. I wanted to have the maximum number of outs available to me after getting Let Loosed by Marshadow, which is one of the deck’s biggest weaknesses.
  • 2 Regigigas CIN, 2 Ancient Crystal: As a result of removing the Vileplume package—in fear of its inconsistencies and ability to be hard-countered—I added a small Regigigas package which would help define win conditions versus some of the decks I’ll be going over later. These guys are incredibly tanky, and any time you can force opponents to 3-hit-KO anything on your side, you can essentially Acerola loop infinitely.

Minus: 1 Mars & 2nd Gladion

Because of my cuts on the Vileplume line, I thought 2 Gladion was excessive. My results stayed true to that as I found that 1 Gladion was plenty throughout my rounds at Santa Clara. As for Mars, I found that as I played more and more games, I was utilizing it less and less. It never felt like it belonged in the deck and I failed to get much use out of it. If you know anything about me, you know that I detest card inclusions that serve no general purpose.

In Its Place…

  • 3rd Metal Frying Pan: Through many games of testing I found that I needed an additional copy of this card. Having it Field Blowered early meant that I needed to find my second and only copy left. Additionally, it makes sense to add another copy with the next inclusion in the list.
  • Solgaleo p: This was a very late addition. I was aware of the synergy this card had with Full Metal Wall GX, and after testing it a few times, I found that it was incredibly strong. Its main utilization is versus non-GX decks that cannot use damage buffs, like Choice Band, in which matchups Solgaleo + Frying Pan is almost as bulky as Lucario & Melmetal-GX.

Tournament Report

Santa Clara was a fun tournament for me. I placed in the Top 16 at the end of it all. With just a single match separating me from Top 8, I can confidently say that I made the correct deck choice and list changes for this event. Let’s go over my round-by-round report and then I’ll dive into a full, in-depth analysis of Stall’s matchups.

Round 1: ReshiZard (WW)

Going into the tournament, I knew that ReshiZard would be one of the most popular decks and one of my harder matchups, but I accepted that in favor of having an incredibly positive matchup spread outside of that. Fortunately for me, my opponent was not very experienced against Stall. I was able to Lost Zone a bunch of his Energy both games via Lugia-GX and Girafarig LOT. I finished the deck-out strategy by throwing all of my Hoopas in his direction. With no reliable 1-hit-KO option on them, I was able to deck him out.

Round 2: ZapBeasts (WW)

Zapdos is one of the best matchups you could ask for when playing Stall. My opponent quickly realized that once his Let Loose didn’t stick and I played a Steven’s Resolve to fetch Lucario & Melmetal, the game was essentially over and he conceded.

Round 3: Baby Blowns (WLL)

I honestly did not expect to be playing against any Baby Blowns, especially after starting 2-0, but here I was. This is very close to the worst matchup for Stall, and the only matchup where I missed Vileplume. The combination of seemingly endless Energy Retrievals and Fire Crystals make ending the game via stalling and Energy denial almost impossible. I’m not sure how I even won Game 1. My opponent wasn’t very experienced in the matchup and made some key discards that ended up limiting his resources. I was able to deck him out, but that was not the case afterward as he learned quickly, adjusted his strategy, and easily beat me the remaining two games.

Round 4: ZapBeasts (WW)

Another Zapdos, another easy victory. This played out much like Round 2 where my opponent had to Let Loose and hope I dead-drew. As soon as that doesn’t happen, the opponent usually concedes and we move on.

Round 5: ReshiZard (WW)

When this rounds pairings went up I was shocked to see none other than fellow SixPrizes writer Rahul Reddy. Rahul was piloting the same 60 cards as Kian Amini who went on to win the entire event. I played a handful of games versus Kian the night before and I lost every single game. Kian definitely knew how to approach the matchup from his end and those games certainly helped me learn the matchup. Basically how this played out was their list only played 1 Switch and 2 Guzma. My game plan was to consistently try to bring up a GX and let them have Hoopas. With their mobility limited and ReshiZard/EeveeLax being such large retreaters, I found this ReshiZard list much easier to deal with than most ReshiZard lists. With 2 Counter Catchers and an infinite supply of Guzma via Lusamine chain, I was able to run Rahul out of Energy.

Round 6: Baby Blowns (LWT)

My mouth dropped when I saw that I was playing against another Baby Blowns. After being prepared from my last encounter with this deck, I knew my only chance against a smart pilot was to Unown HAND them before they took 6 Prizes. Game 1 went poorly but in the second game he wasn’t able to find any Energies for 3 turns. I took advantage of that by starting my Steven’s Resolve loop, and I eventually got the my hand size to 35 and won before he could take his final Prize. Game 3 could not conclude, and thus we tied.

Round 7: Weezing (WW)

Just like ZapBeasts, Weezing is an incredibly favorable matchup. They essentially cannot do any damage to you. I’ll be going over how to approach the matchup and some key cards to look out for later, but basically you use Full Metal Wall GX and get rid of all of their Energies.

Round 8: PikaBox (W)

This was an interesting round. The matchup was closer than I had anticipated it to be and the pilot was approaching the matchup correctly. She was able to set up a Tapu Koko p and start attacking. I was forced to Lost Purge GX it and attempt to wall off the remainder of the game with Hoopas. The game was very close and she almost won had she had an additional Energy or Energy Switch. I had to trust my gut on knowledge of general PikaBox decklists, and it worked out.

Round 9: ReshiZard (LL)

Another ReshiZard for Day 1. However, this time against another fellow SixPrizes writer, Alex Schemanske. Alex was prepared for Stall in many different ways. He had Shining Lugia, which is already an incredibly effective tool in dealing with Hoopa, and he also had Arcanine UNB. Regardless, he didn’t need much of either. He had incredibly powerful turns via Let Loose and hitting Kiawe into my dead hands. The set didn’t last much longer than 10 minutes and we were both out of there and ready for Day 2.

Round 10: ReshiZard (LL)

Surprise, surprise… another ReshiZard. My opponent showed up late to the round, but regardless of that, he took advantage of some incredibly poor draws on my side and swiftly beat me twice. This did not last long, much like my Round 9.

Round 11: ReshiZard (WLT)

ReshiZard again! I was incredibly frustrated at how unlucky I was getting facing my 5th ReshiZard for the tournament with 3 rounds remaining in Swiss after this one. I was able to come out of this match with a tie; however, I should have won. I won Game 1 very convincingly as my opponent ran out of answers to hoopa. Game 2 came down to the very last 2 cards in my opponent’s deck. I had not seen Mew UNB all set and I made an audible comment about how I should be playing around Mew because I had 2 Hoopas with 110 damage on them.

My opponent made a comment saying “I wish,” which left a sour taste in my mouth because—surprise, surprise—he does play Mew. I eventually ran out of options to play around Mew, and with his deck running thin, I had to stop playing around it. He quickly KO’d 2 Hoopas and won Game 2, after which we didn’t have enough time to play a third game.

Round 12: Vikavolt/Charjabug (WW)

Finally, after facing 3 ReshiZards in a row, I got paired against probably the most rogue deck in Day 2. The matchup was pretty straightforward. Either he kept Energy on his Vikavolt and spammed 120s, which led to Charjabugs being Lost Zoned via Faba, or he discarded the Energies to take KOs, which led to Girafarig Lost Zoning Charjabugs. Either way, the games were decided when 4 Charjabugs hit the Lost Zone.

Round 13: Zoroark Control (W)

This was certainly a tough one. We only managed to finish only one game, but it was a long one. This matchup is intricate and requires patience on my side. I was able to eventually Lost Zone all of his Judge, which was the main strategy he took. He was only hoping to tie and his Judge/Oranguru UPR loop took him only so far.

Round 14: ZapBeasts (WW)

Going into the final round my opponent offered an intentional draw. Looking at his record being 28 points and having a shot at Top 8 with a win, I knew that he knew I was a bad matchup for him. I declined and he flipped over Zapdos. He attempted to Let Loose and brick me, but that didn’t work. Huge thanks to the 4 Pokégears in this regard. This win put me at 9-3-2 and 15th place.

The Matchup Spread

ZapBeasts: Very Favored

This matchup is one of your best. You need to survive the Let Loose turn and you’re essentially good. Prioritize starting Lucario & Melmetal-GX in order to have the best option to survive multiple turns along with the option to Full Meta Wall GX early. Using your GX attack in this matchup is worth it, even for just damage reduction. With Zapdos needing to switch in and out every turn, it is one of the worst attackers in the matchup.

Watch Out For…

  1. Let Loose: Most players know that Let Loose is their only shot at winning, but the best of the best will utilize this Ability in the most optimal situation. When there are several Steven’s Resolve in the discard and when there is preexisting damage on the board are the most optimal times for them to use Let Loose.
  2. Kartana UNB: While this seems like a throwaway in the matchup, it is the best option ZapBeasts has in coming out with a win or even a tie. Whenever a Lightning Energy sticks onto Kartana, you have to be aware of the 1-hit-KO potential. Dance of the Ancients plus a Rainbow Energy activate its False Swipe attack, which requires a heads flip and Shrine of Punishments to take a huge KO on Lucario & Melmetal-GX. This is practically the only out they have other than Let Loose, and combining these two options is probably the best option ZapBeasts has versus Stall.

Weezing: Very Favored

Weezing is a unique deck. It has seemingly great matchups across the board, but it cannot tackle Stall effectively. I’ve seen several different techs, from Mr. Mime TEU to Honchkrow GRI to Persian TEU. Of them all, the one I fear most as Stall is definitely Honchkrow. Its ability to suddenly reach KO numbers on Lucario & Melmetal-GX is scary. Generally, you want to approach this matchup by limiting your Bench. It can even be advantageous to give up a Prize early on. Sack a Hoopa early and you activate your Counter Catchers. The Weezing player will want to bench things besides Weezing, such as Mr. Mime and Marshadow to Let Loose. When that happens, you have Counter Catcher targets, which in turn end the spread from Weezing. When you implement this strategy, they do no damage and you have all the time in the world to heal, and ultimately proc Unown HAND.

Watch Out For…

  • Honchkrow GRI: This guy has surprised me before. Leaving damage on your board can open you up to huge KO. Always be aware of what your opponent can and cannot do. If possible, waste a turn using Girafarig to Lost Zone crucial pieces to Honchkrow; it’s usually played as a thin 1-1 line.
  • Mr. Mime TEU: Alongside the theme of playing around Honchkrow, Mr. Mime TEU is also a threat in terms of damage blocking. This is why giving up an early Prize is good. Once they do no damage, Mr. Mime is irrelevant. Utilize your Max Potions effectively and keep them honest. Don’t waste your resources.
  • Persian TEU: This card can be rather annoying. Keeping your hand size low when you expect it is key. If you see a Ditto p, immediately target it. I would not expect a Meowth to be included as their lists are tight on space and consistency is a factor. If you can anticipate the Persian, you can play around it. Even if they drop your hand to 4 with its attack, you’re still in the clear. They can never take 6 Prizes using Persian.

PikaBox: Slightly Favored

This matchup is much much closer than I anticipated it being. The deck has a ton of options against you. Tapu Koko p is an amazing attacker against Hoopa. The rest of your deck can be, at worst, 2-shotted by . Zapdos is underwhelming in the matchup, so you generally welcome it hitting you. How you want to approach the matchup as Stall is to force them into Tapu Koko p attacking from the get-go. Because they’re attaching to it and not using it to accelerate Energies, any Energies discarded are generally gone for the game. Your game plan is to run them out of Energies and thus deck them out. How you want to achieve this is fairly simple. Once Tapu Koko {*] is charged up and attacking, you can use Lugia-GX to Lost Purge GX both Koko and 3 Energies simultaneously. This generally leaves them with 9 Energies left available. Your game plan now swaps to pushing Hoopas in their face and forcing them to have outs. Generally, their only outs are going to be Zapdos. In niche scenarios they’ll be playing something else that can touch Hoopa, such as Zeraora UNB or Zeraora TEU. Generally, you’ll want to focus on discarding the rest of the Energies on that Pokémon in order to prevent attacks.

Watch Out For…

  • Energy Switch Counts: Always keep an eye on their Energy Switch counts. They can surprise attack you and steal a game if you’re not careful. Generally, PikaBox-style decks play 3–4 Energy Switches and Turbo PikaRom style decks play 5 (with the inclusion of Multi Switch).
  • Baby Attackers: Zeraora TEU and Zeraora UNB are both viable in PikaRom variants. They serve different purposes, but the one you need to worry about most would be Zeraora TEU. Its constant 120 damage is just as effective as Tapu Koko p. Once you avoid those outs, Hoopa is clear to win you the game.

Green’s ReshiZard: Even

This is your best matchup of the ReshiZard builds that exist out there. This version plays little mobility (in Switch and Guzma counts), as seen in Kian Amini’s 1st place Santa Clara list, which makes it extremely easy to trap something in the Active slot that can’t deal with Hoopa. Eventually your opponent will run out of ways to retreat and Energy, and you will win via deck-out. There are, however, some options they can run to deal with you more effectively.

Watch Out For…

  • Shining Lugia, 1-Prize Attackers: Although Shining Lugia isn’t the best versus the field, I believe it is the most splashable and optimal versus Stall. Its ability to KO Hoopas with 3 Energy is potent. You’re more or less forced to Lost Purge GX it and hope that the rest of the game will go in your favor.
  • Starting Lucario & Melmetal-GX: You must avoid this like the plague. This is absolutely a losing matter. Start literally every other card in your deck. The 3 Prizes immediately lost when starting with L&M almost always lose you the game. A 3-Prize deficit on Turn 2 is extremely hard to overcome.

Kiawe/Turbo ReshiZard: Very Unfavored

This matchup is horrendous. One this we have going for us is that this, in my opinion, is the suboptimal version of ReshiZard. Kiawe lets them power up threats extremely fast and efficiently. Paired with their rather frequent inclusion of multiple non-GX attackers such as Volcanion UNB, Turtonator DRM, and Shining Lugia, and high number of switch effects and retreating options, this archetype is extremely hard to combat as Stall.

Your most optimal line of play is to Lost Purge GX as many Energies as you can and attempt to use Girafarig LOT to Lost Zone a couple more. This is your only road to victory as their options against you are too overwhelming to overcome.

Watch Out For…

  • Much like Green’s ReshiZard, you can look out for the same options as above, but mainly the lunch options at the venue because this will be a tough matchup to crack.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading my article! If you’d like some more in-depth matchup analysis for Stall, please let me know and I’ll do my best to test that out. I attempted to give my matchup knowledge for what I deemed the most popular decks you’d be likely to face.

As always, I look forward to any and all feedback. Feel free to hit me up on Facebook or Twitter (@PeterJoltik). Good luck to everyone attending Madison Regionals this weekend!


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