Hey everyone! I’m happy to be writing again so shortly after my last article. For anyone who’s been asleep the past few days, I finished 2nd at Daytona Beach Regionals with Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX. This is the deck I covered in my article last week, and the deck I continued to explore in the days afterward in preparation for Daytona Beach. In this article I’ll describe the lead-up to the event, the tournament itself, and briefly conclude by looking ahead to this weekend’s Standard tournaments.
This is a shorter piece not intended to be a full article, but long enough to describe what I want to say about the deck. I’m always glad to write these kind of articles after I do well, and I’m grateful I have a platform—SixPrizes—to do so.
My parents and I decided to head to Florida early for Thanksgiving. We spent some time in the Cape Coral area staying with the Retzloffs and there just so happened to be a League Challenge on Wednesday night. Lacking a better idea, I took the ADP list from my last article and included some of the untested ideas I wanted to mess with. It’s not worth including the full list here, so here are the important inclusions:
Everything else was just the bread-and-butter ADP list that Fabien Pujol and Pedro Torres played to LAIC. I cut some of their extraneous cards for my techs similar to how I said in my last article. N’s Resolve and Great Catchers became Custom Catchers, and I found the spots for Absol and extra tools by making cuts elsewhere in the list.
I ended up going 4-1 for 1st place at the League Challenge, only losing to Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX/Mismagius in Round 3. I liked the list, but felt like there was more to discover with the deck. Counter Gain and Custom Catchers were incredible, and I knew that I would be playing them in my Daytona Beach list if I stuck with ADP.
The Car Ride
Fast-forward to the 4ish hour car ride to Daytona with Regan Retzloff. I’m mainly trying to get some sleep because I’m tired, but in the last hour of the drive I whip out my computer and begin brainstorming new ideas for ADP. I first made a document listing every meta deck in order of expected popularity. I then wrote down all of the variants of ADP I could play, from traditional to entirely wacky. This is where the first traces of Rosa could be seen.
Miraculously, it’s hard for me to remember exactly how when I thought of Rosa. I included it in a drafted list of ADP/Shedinja—a concept inspired by Tord Reklev’s Mewtwo & Mew-GX/Shedinja list from Cologne Regionals. Maybe I thought Rosa was the best replacement for his Hapu/Red’s Challenge engine?
Like I said, that’s my best guess for how I thought of it, but it might have been even earlier. 2 Rosa are in that list, and since then every list I made included at least one copy.
I also wrote down variants with a specific goal in my mind. Titled “Cards that slow down the T2 300,” I wrote down Choice Helmet, Absol, Stealthy Hood, Chaotic Swell, Mawile-GX, and Crushing Hammer. These are pretty self-explanatory other than Mawile-GX; it can block Welder decks by pulling their Dedenne-GX from hand. Frozen Lock can then block them from using Cherish Ball to find another.
Crushing Hammer is the one idea that stuck, and I made a list for that after the Shedinja list. I quickly scrapped the Shedinja idea because this deck is too slow for it to work. I might be having a better Prize trade, but if I wasn’t building a strong enough board it wouldn’t matter. Maybe I’ll return to the idea in a list more heavily structured around Keldeo-GX, but for now it’s in the dumpster.
Late Thursday + Friday
When we arrived at the hotel, I pulled up all of the Day 2 ADP lists from LAIC and compared commonalities. There were lots of different lists and techs that I drew inspiration from—too many to list—that didn’t end up making the final cut. I urge you to take a dive into the LAIC Day 2 and explore the many variations of ADP people brought. And do the same for another tournament and another deck. Maybe you’ll discover something revolutionary too!
Anyway, I thought about even more variations or packages I could include in ADP to win its hard matchups. Energy denial became a strategy worth considering. From then, I dissected each variant and determined which would give me the best matchup spread. Unsurprisingly, the best list was the traditional one with correct, targeted techs.
I quickly ditched the idea of stifling the T2 300 when I cut Crushing Hammer from the deck. It was a flippy card that sometime worked, but I found that I could better dedicate the spots to other things. Mimikyu was added to cover the Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX/Mismagius matchup and further improve mirror. I bumped the Rosa count up to 2 and included a Hoopa as a single-Prize attacker.
Will Jenkins then arrived and joined in on the testing. We realized Mewtwo & Mew-GX wasn’t as bad as we thought and we added Girafarig to improve it. We kept making small changes, and at this point I was happy with where it was at. Rahul Reddy arrived, I handed him the deck, and after a relatively relaxed Friday night we kept discussing the deck until we settled on a final 60. Will continued testing the deck and made a few changes of his own like adding 2nd Cryogonal, Cyrus p, and Cynthia over Lillie. Finally, I handed the list to Rahul and Franco Takahashi at the end of the night.
3 Tag Call
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 12
##Trainer Cards - 35
* 4 Lillie UPR 125
* 2 Rosa CEC 204
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 2 Mallow & Lana CEC 198
* 1 Guzma & Hala CEC 193
* 4 Custom Catcher LOT 171
* 3 Tag Call CEC 206
* 3 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 3 Switch CES 147
* 2 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 2 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 1 Counter Gain LOT 170
* 3 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
##Energy - 13
* 6 Water Energy Energy 3
* 5 Metal Energy Energy 8
* 2 Rainbow Energy CES 151
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=78505 ******
The cards that didn’t make the cut were Lana’s Fishing Rod, Drampa CEC, and Hoopa UNM. All in all, I chose to play increased consistency over these cards. Dedenne-GX, 2nd Cherish Ball, and 13th Energy were the cards I was happy I kept in the list. Phione became a Dedenne-GX at some point, which then became a Great Catcher. The logic behind that was Dedenne-GX is to dig for the win; gust effects win the game. I then found the spot for Dedenne-GX elsewhere too.
Looking back, the only sensible change I could’ve made was including the Rod for recovery or another Cryogonal. Choice Helmet was a consideration, but I ditched it. I didn’t care about GardEon so I didn’t include Lucario & Melmetal-GX. (Whoops!)
Comparing this list to Fabien and Pedro’s shows eerily similar personalities. I think they nailed the Supporter and Item engine, which I entirely kept the same. The main changes were swapping in Custom Catchers, playing Mimikyu over Drampa, adding a Counter Gain, and cutting things for Rosa.
Here’s how it played out:
R1: Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel … 2-0
R2: Dolls … 2-0
R3: Mewtwo … 2-0
R4: Malamar … 2-0
R5: ADP Mirror (Will Jenkins) … 1-2
R6: Mewtwo … 2-0
R7: DDG Dolls … 1-1
R8: Dolls … 2-0
R9: Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel … 1-2
R10: Malamar … 2-0
R11: Malamar … 2-0
R12: Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel … 2-0
R13: ADP Mirror (Will Jenkins) … Concession
T8: Mewtwo … 2-0
T4: DDG Dolls … 2-1
T2: GardEon … 1-2
RK9 Labs Pairings: https://player.rk9labs.com/pairings/FC0604AA?pid=e8OQX
My losses came from Mirror, Blowns, and GardEon. It was fortunate pairing into Will in R13 because he was already locked for Top 8. From there, I was safe once I ID’d with Grant Manley in R14. I was on stream during Rounds 2, 11, Top 8, and Finals, so watch if you’d like!
There was less Mewtwo & Mew-GX and ABZard than I expected, which worked out well in my favor. I also didn’t pair into any Blacephalon/Pidgeotto decks. That matchup is a toss-up, so it was nice to avoid that. The meta shaped up well for ADP, and I was fortunate to get lucky when I needed to be to make it so far.
In Top 4, I won Game 1 vs. Isaiah and knew that I was set to win the series in Game 3 because of Top Cut rules. I scooped Game 2 with 10–15 minutes left so that I had enough time to win with Custom Catchers but not enough for him to deck me out.
The GardEon match in finals was much closer than I thought it would be. I knew my strategy going into it was to attack with Altered Creation-GX ASAP so that Keldeo-GX would 2HKO a GardEon. This didn’t work in G1 because I opened with Water Energy. This did work in G3 though. Unfortunately, he hit the Custom Catcher off of the Cynthia & Caitlin to KO my ADP-GX before it could use Ultimate Ray. I then used Keldeo-GX and was so close to winning, but he drew the nuts off of the first Reset Stamp and I lost.
I knew that I had to hold the 2nd Reset Stamp for another turn if I wanted to win that game. If I don’t, I give him way too much time to find Faba + Power Plant. That additional turn is the make or break between Cynthia & Caitlin into Green’s Exploration into Faba + Power Plant. I wasn’t scared of him using Mallow & Lana because he doesn’t get any closer to KOing my Keldeo-GX other than by topdeck. The clock I put him on to win the game doesn’t slow down because of it.
I expect people to counter ADP by playing faster decks. GardEon may regain popularity, so I think it’s worthwhile to add Lucario & Melmetal-GX into the deck again. This also provides a niche out with Tag Call and Pokémon Communication. Mimikyu is worse now, so I’m going to re-include Drampa instead of it. I’ll also swap the Rainbow Energies for one of each relevant Unit Energy.
If I was going to San Diego, I would probably play this deck again because it’s a comfort pick. I expect counters to rise up which may mean this deck won’t win the tournament, but I still expect it to do well. Rosa is 100% the correct way to play the deck moving forward. If you aren’t including it in your list you’re making a mistake.
Good luck in San Diego/Singapore/Brisbane!