Oops, I Left the Stove On

Recapping My Runs w/ Blacephalon/Naganadel at LAIC + Daytona Beach and Looking at the Top 16 Ability Zard from Daytona Beach
It may be time to convert to a to a new deck.

Hello again, 6P readers! Daytona Beach Regionals 🇺🇸 has wrapped up and we saw Drew Cate take the event down with his GardEon deck. It was highly unexpected to most players to see GardEon take down the whole event. Drew played and teched well and became Champion, so congrats to him. Fellow writer Xander Pero was able to place 2nd, so congrats to him on a strong finish as well.

Next up is San Diego Regionals 🇺🇸 this weekend and I expect more GardEon and ADP given their recent success. Because of this, I expect a rise in decks that have a solid matchup against GardEon and ADP as well.

For this article, I’ll be discussing the changes I made to my Blacephalon-GX/Naganadel LOT list from LAIC 🇧🇷 to Daytona Beach Regionals. Then I’ll talk about Ability/Zard, specifically Evan Campbell’s Top 16 list from Daytona Beach (the highest placing Ability/Zard), which he and I discussed prior and was my 2nd choice going into Daytona Beach.

At the close of Daytona Beach, I’m sitting 17th in the NA rankings with 568 CP. I’ll get back into Top 16 soon enough. I like to keep you guys updated on how I am doing, so I’ll be sharing my CP and rankings as we go.

LAIC Recap

The List: Blacephalon/Naganadel

I started 0-3-0 then got a Round 4 bye, which I thought was hilarious. I started to bounce back and found myself at a record of 5-3-0. One more win and I would make Top 128, net 100 Points, and keep my OCIC 🇦🇺 stipend. I knew how important my last round was. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to win my last round, which was against Green’s/Zard. My opponent played very well and we took it to Game 3, but I couldn’t pull it out. It was a heartbreaking loss because I knew what was at stake for me. That loss cost me my OCIC Top 16 stipend, which was unfortunate, but it happens.

Daytona Beach Regionals

The List

Pokémon (17)

3 Poipole FLI

1 Poipole LOT

3 Naganadel LOT

2 Naganadel-GX UNM

1 Naganadel-GX FLI

3 Blacephalon-GX

1 Heatran-GX

1 Blacephalon CEC

1 Dedenne-GX

1 Marshadow UNB

Trainer (26)

4 Cynthia

4 Welder

 

4 Beast Ring

4 Mysterious Treasure

3 Cherish Ball

2 Great Catcher

1 Reset Stamp

 

3 Ultra Space

1 Heat Factory p

Energy (17)

15 R

1 Beast p

1 P

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 17

* 3 Poipole FLI 55
* 1 Poipole LOT 107
* 3 Naganadel LOT 108
* 2 Naganadel-GX UNM 160
* 1 Naganadel-GX FLI 56
* 3 Blacephalon-GX LOT 52
* 1 Heatran-GX UNM 25
* 1 Blacephalon CEC 104
* 1 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 1 Marshadow UNB 81

##Trainer Cards - 26

* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 4 Cynthia UPR 119
* 4 Beast Ring FLI 102
* 4 Mysterious Treasure FLI 113
* 3 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 2 Great Catcher CEC 192
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 3 Ultra Space FLI 115
* 1 Heat Factory p LOT 178

##Energy - 17

* 15 R Energy Energy 2
* 1 Beast Energy p FLI 117
* 1 P Energy Energy 5

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=78535 ******

Changes from LAIC

Going into Daytona Beach Regionals I knew I needed to make the deck more consistent, which was my problem in Brazil.

The decline of PikaRom led me to drop Mew UNB because it was mainly for that matchup. I replaced Mew with Blacephalon CEC. I also dropped Tate & Liza for the 4th Cynthia because, again, it was for PikaRom to get out of Paralysis.

Finally, I dropped both Lysandre Labs for a 3rd Ultra Space and a Heat Factory p. Lysandre Labs was the main card that kept making me dead-draw and have awkward hands, so I dropped them altogether.

Other Key Cards

2 Naganadel-GX UNM, 1 P Energy

Sorry, but I have to disagree with Jonathan Croxton saying that the Psychic Energy is not needed (unless you play Blacephalon CEC) and makes the deck less consistent and clunky. This is because against decks that play both Dedenne-GX and TAG TEAM Pokémon your win condition can be Burst-GX, KO Dedenne-GX via Venom Shot, and KO 1 TAG TEAM Pokémon. This strategy does wonders against Mew Box and PikaRom. Being able to Beast Ring the P Energy is so good and can checkmate games. Venom Shot is good against basically any deck, so having that P Energy option with Beast Ring is clutch.

1 Naganadel-GX FLI

This Naganadel is used strictly for its GX attack, Stinger-GX, which puts both players at 3 Prizes. This means that if the opponent is unable to take a KO during their next turn, then you will be on your Beast Ring turn going back into your turn. Stinger-GX is viable against Doll Stall, ADP, Mew Box, and Pidgeotto Control. If Stinger-GX is useless in a given matchup, then you can simply use the Naganadel as an Ultra Conversion target.

1 Blacephalon CEC

Fireworks Bomb in conjunction with Stinger-GX does wonders against Doll Stall and Pidgeotto Control. If timed right, you can even steal a game off Malamar with Fireworks Bomb by taking 2 KOs at once.

Be aware of Spiritomb UNB, which some Doll Stall decks play, as it can 1HKO Blacephalon CEC due to Weakness.

Potential Inclusions

Oricorio-GX

Dance of Tribute makes the deck more consistent. However, I don’t like the idea of having a 170-Hit Point 2-Prizer sitting on the Bench that is vulnerable to Venom Shot.

Mallow & Lana

To my surprise, Lucas Gusso’s Top 4 list from Brazil played not 1 but 2 copies of Mallow & Lana. My guess was that it was included mainly for the Malamar matchup. Being able to utilize Heatran-GX and heal it multiple times could make the Malamar matchup favorable. However, if you draw Mallow & Lana early, it may make your hand clunky or even dead, which is my fear.

The switching aspect can be handy too, especially in the mirror match where both players Bursting Burn one another.

Island Challenge Amulet

If you draw these at the right times you can have the edge against certain matchups, especially the mirror match. I actually faced a mirror at Daytona Beach that played 2 copies. I was able to best it 2-1, but if he hit his Island Challenge Amulet one game at the perfect time I may have lost.

Tournament Recap

R1: TJ Ortiz … Blacephalon/Naganadel … W
R2: Michael Jones … Green’s/Zard … T
R3: Tory Dunworth … Mew Box … W
R4: Rowan Stavenow … Mew Box … W
R5: Zachary Cooper … Ability/Zard … W
R6: Alexander V. … Blacephalon/Pidgeotto … L
R7: Stephen Hunter … Blacephalon/Naganadel … W
R8: Joshua Everly … Malamar … W
R9: Xander Pero … ADP … W

7-1-1

R10: Jimmy Pendarvis … Doll Stall … L
R11: Rahul Reddy … ADP … L
R12: Andre Chiasson … PikaRom … L
R13: Daniel Altavilla … Malamar/Ultra Necrozma … L
R14: Jacob Peltier … ADP … L (Concession)

Final: 7-6-1, 43rd/460, +50 CP (568/500), 18 packs

RK9 Labs Pairings: https://player.rk9labs.com/pairings/FC0604AA?pid=Klmmo

Day 1

My only loss in Day 1 was to Blacephalon/Pidgeotto, which was a tough matchup as you are basically trading 2 Prizes for 1. I also managed to tie Green’s/Zard. I would have had the match for sure given one more turn, which was unfortunate. But I was able to net 7 wins, including one against Xander and his almighty 2nd place ADP.

Day 2

I felt good going into Day 2, but boy was I wrong. In the first round of Day 2, I was up against Jimmy playing Dolls, which I was fine with because I know my game plan. However, I got unbelievably unlucky:

  • Game 1 Jimmy opens with Latios-GX UNM. Against Naganadel-GX, Doll decks want to use Clear Vision-GX before Stinger-GX goes off so that Blacephalon CEC is basically useless. Turn 2, Jimmy topdecks his 1-of Rainbow Energy to use Clear Vision-GX. I concede as I know I’ve lost.
  • Game 2 I manage to get the turn 2 Stinger-GX and am feeling good. Next turn I plan to transition into Blacephalon CEC and win from there. However, Jimmy uses a turn 2 Bellelba & Brycen-Man and hits my P Energy off the top, and I’ve already used my Beast Energy p (due to needing to Dedechange to pull off Stinger-GX), so I concede as I now have no way of attacking with Blacephalon. Very unlucky, but it happens.

I conceded my last round due to my opponent being at 23 match points. I was at 22 and had no way of making Top 32, but my opponent at 26 had a chance, so I gave him the match.

Updates for San Diego

Knowing that GardEon won Daytona Beach, I don’t think I would change anything from the list. I think Day 2 could have gone better, but Day 1 went pretty smooth. The GardEon list that won Daytona Beach did not play a single copy of Fairy Charm UB meaning the matchup should be even easier for Blacephalon/Naganadel. The list I played in Daytona is still consistent, even given my Day 2 bust. If you expect a resurgence in GardEon going into San Diego this weekend, then I think Blacephalon/Naganadel could still be a solid call. GardEon scares away both ADP and Malamar. However, if ADP players put Lucario & Melmetal-GX back into their builds then they may have a field day with GardEon.

Ability/Zard (Evan Campbell, 15th Daytona Beach)

Evan and I discuss decks a lot, and this was one of those cases. We talked about certain techs like Cyrus p prior to Daytona Beach. Evan finishing in Top 16 proved that the deck is still formidable. Ability/Zard has a solid matchup against most decks in the format, which is why it’s now my top choice going into San Diego this weekend and why I’ve chosen to discuss the deck a little further in this article. The ability to take big KOs and abuse Nine Temptations is strong in today’s format and that is exactly what Ability/Zard can do.

The List

Pokémon (18)

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Dedenne-GX

2 Vulpix TEU

2 Ninetales TEU

1 Heatran-GX

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX

1 Zebstrika LOT

1 Ditto p

1 Turtonator DRM

1 Victini p

Trainer (24)

4 Welder

1 Cyrus p

 

4 Cherish Ball

4 Pokémon Communication

3 Switch

2 Fiery Flint

1 Pal Pad

2 Escape Board

 

2 Giant Hearth

1 Heat Factory p

Energy (18)

18 R

 

Copy List

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

##Pokémon - 18

* 4 Jirachi TEU 99
* 3 Dedenne-GX UNB 57
* 2 Vulpix TEU 15
* 2 Ninetales TEU 16
* 1 Heatran-GX UNM 25
* 1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX CEC 165
* 1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX UNB 20
* 1 Zebstrika LOT 82
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Turtonator DRM 50
* 1 Victini p DRM 7

##Trainer Cards - 24

* 4 Welder UNB 189
* 1 Cyrus p UPR 120
* 4 Cherish Ball UNM 191
* 4 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 3 Switch CES 147
* 2 Fiery Flint DRM 60
* 1 Pal Pad UPR 132
* 2 Escape Board UPR 122
* 2 Giant Hearth UNM 197
* 1 Heat Factory p LOT 178

##Energy - 18

* 18 R Energy Energy 2

Total Cards - 60

****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=78535 ******

via Limitless: https://limitlesstcg.com/decks/?list=3231

Differences from Robin’s 1st Place LAIC List

Key Cards

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

This is a great card against decks that play a bunch of Pokémon-GX, namely Mew Box. Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX can come out of nowhere and take a big KO if the opponent is not careful and aware of Jumping Balloon.

Puffy Smashers-GX can be clutch at times because people forget about the 200 snipe. Against Blacephalon/Naganadel, if the opponent does not play switching cards, you can potentially take a Bench KO and then Sleep the Active and threaten to take them off Beast Ring turn should they stay Asleep.

The threat of this card, in general, is nice because it can steal games.

1 Turtonator DRM, 1 Victini p

These are great 1 Prize attackers against GardEon after you have used either Hot Burn-GX or Double Blaze-GX. They are also phenomenal cards against Keldeo-GX.

0-1 Zebstrika LOT, 1 Ditto p

This basically auto-wins the Pidgeotto Control matchup. Zebstrika is also great against decks that play multiple Reset Stamps, such as GardEon and Mew Box.

1 Cyrus p

Evan and I talked about whether or not we should add this card or Pyroar CEC to help beat Doll Stall. Ultimately we agreed on Cyrus p as it helps against more decks, e.g., Malamar, Pidgeotto Control, Blacephalon/Pidgeotto, Blacephalon/Naganadel, and more. You can leave Malamar with just 1 Malamar in play should you Nine Temptations up a Malamar after Cyrus p, which can be game-changing.

2 Fiery Flint

ADP plays Chaotic Swell, which means you are less likely to stick Giant Hearth. Because of this, Evan had the idea to up the Fiery Flint count from Robin’s list to 2. This way you are less reliant on Giant Hearth to get those big Welder plays off.

Potential Inclusions

Pyroar CEC

This card would auto-win Dolls. Swirling Inferno discards all of your opponent’s Tools and Special Energy in play. This means bye-bye Stealthy Hoods, which means Nine Temptations will be able to drag up whatever you want for KOs. You can ignore Active Dolls from there on out.

Swirling Inferno could also be good against Malamar to remove all their Spell Tags and Escape Boards and Mew Box to remove their Rainbow Energies and Weakness Guard Energies along with Stealthy Hood all at once.

Luxio UPR

Eder’s Top 16 list from Brazil played this card to help counter Doll Stall and Pidgeotto Control. Its attack, Disconnect, nullifies the use of Dolls and important Items that would otherwise disable you.

Tapu Fini UNM

This is a great card against both Blacephalon/Naganadel and Blacephalon/Pidgeotto. Having an extra 1-Prizer to 1HKO a Blacephalon-GX or Blacephalon UNB can make a huge difference.

Great Catcher

Sierra Hunter played 1 copy in her Top 64 list from Daytona Beach. I can see playing 1 copy just to have the option.

Conclusion

I might have to put Blacephalon/Naganadel to the side for now. I’ve been playing the deck for a while, and it gave me solid results, so I can’t complain. However, I think it’s time to venture into another deck.

Ability/Zard was a deck I’ve put a lot of time into in the past, and to be honest, I miss playing it. After seeing Evan’s success with it I think I will try it out again myself. It’s my top choice going into San Diego this weekend.

If you see me in San Diego this weekend, come say hi. Following San Diego, we finally get into Expanded, which I’m excited to explore with Cosmic Eclipse, so stay tuned for spicy lists in that format.

As usual, I do full-time coaching, so if you are interested in taking lessons, feel free to message me either on Facebook or @Jose_MarreroTCG and we can go over the details.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below or message me through social media. I’ll be sure to get to back to you as soon as possible. Until next time!


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