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Bradley Curcio

The Crobat Report

Tournament report from St. Louis with Landorus Crobat!

02/24/2015 by Bradley Curcio

Introduction

Crobat Report

Hello everybody!  I'm back from a long weekend in Missouri, and I'm here to tell you all about it, only this time, instead of a contestant, as a writer!

Big thanks to Martin Kaninsky for the opportunity, and for the amazing website!  This is the first tournament in a long time that I’ve known what I was going to play long before the event actually started. Jose Marrero has been hyping up his Landorus/Crobat deck for a little while, and I was sold on the deck.  It works amazingly, and has solid match-ups across the board.  To get right to the point, this is almost the list Jose was confident in (we had a one card difference), and that I chose to play as well.

3 Landorus/Hawlucha - They’re the main attackers of the deck, and both hit hard, and fast.  Any less than 3 is too little. 

1 Lucario EX - Needing another potential attacker, and Lucario filled that slot.  Ignoring resistance with the first attack can be very solid, and the consistency booster of the second has been lifesaving.  Being able to load energy onto Lucario, and no longer worrying about N is fantastic.  Also, it’s not weak to Seismitoad, so it can be a better option in that match-up as well.

4-4-3 Zubat/Golbat/Crobat - 4 Zubat (With free retreat) is a must.  4 Golbat seemed ideal, because it’s not a card you want to Ultra Ball for, but it’s a card you need quickly, so maxing out on it helped that immensely.  3 Crobat was plenty, as half the time you’re able to scoop up one of them anyways, and even then, having 3 Golbats already on the field was rare.

 

1 Jirachi EX - This card is such an insane consistency booster, it’s not even funny.  Every game I was able to use this card on turn 1, I’m pretty confident I won.  Using Korrina turn 1 is almost always the best play, and this helped it happen much more often.

4 Juniper - I’m pretty sure this is standard in every deck in the current format.

3 N - Only playing 3 of this card may seem odd, but with VS Seeker, it’s great.  You need more viable supporters for Turn 1, so you don’t have dead hands, but you don’t need to max out on it anymore, since you can VS Seeker for it later if needed.

3 Korrina - I wanted to play 4 of this card, but 3 was fantastic.  I wanted to see it Turn 1 every time, but the later the game goes on, the less impactful it was.  Being able to get Landorus/Muscle Band on the first turn of the game, negating Head Ringers, and potential upcoming item locks, was amazing.

2 Lysandre - Originally we only had one in the list, but it was hard to draw into.  2 Lysandre, plus heavy VS seeker, seems like a very solid number in a lot of decks.

1 Colress - This card can net you such a huge hand later in the game, but can be a liability early on.  With very few non-supporter ways of finding basic Pokemon, I didn’t want to run too many copies, and have it as my only supporter Turn 1.

1 AZ – This card is almost as good as a Super Scoop Up heads, but unfortunately you don’t get to keep the tools/energy.   However, the fact that it can be used under item lock, more than makes up for that.  In most match-ups, you can VS seeker it back if you need to, but against Seismitoad, being able to pick up your active if it’s stuck asleep, or to be able to bring up a Hawlucha with a Landorus active, can be a huge swing in momentum.

3 Ultra Ball - I wanted to fit in 4, but there really wasn’t any room.  Especially since there are so few cards that you’re able to discard in this deck, since almost everything is useful.

3 Super Scoop Up - A lot of people aren’t a big fan of this card, but it’s insane.  I’ll copy Erik Nance’s quote from a while back, “If a card says flip a coin, if heads, you win the game”, would you play it?  While this card doesn’t literally say that, the swing in momentum it brings can definitely win you games.  Fully healing a Landorus, negating any damage done, and continuing the onslaught is huge.  Reusing Crobats is huge.  Even reusing Jirachi is huge. 

3 Muscle Band – Makes Hammer Head and Flying Press do more damage, also prevents Flare Tools from going onto your EXs.

3 Fighting Stadium – Similar to muscle band, more damage for your Pokemon!  3 of because winning the Stadium war is huge.  Hypnotoxic laser is much worse when it only does 10 damage.

1 Professor’s Letter – Having an option to search out energy proved very useful.  Being able to Korrina for an attacker, and an energy to attack with, was great.

1 Startling Megaphone – This card was an Escape Rope until the morning before.  Having a way to retreat guaranteed was nice, but I rarely had an opportunity where I needed it.  However, there were tons of items being played, and after the hype of Fairies with Hard Charms, this card seemed to be the better one-of.

1 Scoop Up Cyclone – Super Scoop Up that literally always gets heads.  Broken in this deck.  Computer search is amazing, but I couldn’t drop this card for anything.

4 Strong Energy – An energy that buffs damage?  Yes please.  It’s not a basic, so beware of Enhanced Hammers, and abilities/attacks like Aegislash and Drifblim, but it’s well worth the risk.

5 Basic Fighting – 4 seemed like too little.  6 Seemed alright, but probably too much since everything only needed one energy to attack.  5 worked out perfectly.

 And that’s enough about the list, let’s get onto round one! 

Day 1

 

Round 1 vs Seismitoad/Slurpuff

Round one pairings go up, and I get a match-up that I hate playing against.  Knowing that they can play a multitude of tech cards make that I have to try and play around, make it difficult, yet still very winnable.  Unfortunately for me, game one starts off, and my opening hand is supporterless.  I continue playing regardless, because I know that I can still come back with a stream of Hawluchas, and because I can still get vital information on his deck for the future game.  Luckily, I’m able to finally top deck out of my supporter drought, and start mounting a comeback.  It was a few turns too late though, and he takes game one.

Game two my opening hand is amazing.  I open up with double Zubat, to his lone Swirlix, and I’m able to Korrina for Landorus/Muscle band to play around Head Ringer.  I had a Strong Energy in hand as well, but I opt to not play it and risk it getting hammered away.  It worked out perfectly, because he ends up Ultra Balling, discarding double Enhanced Hammer, to grab a Seismitoad, and ends up Junipering away a Head Ringer on top of it.  Luckily for me, he doesn’t hit a switch card, and is unable to item lock me on the first turn.   Next turn, I’m able to burn through a decent amount of items, and end up using Hammer Head to KO his active Swirlix, while using Golbat and Hammer Head to take the KO on his benched one as well.  I’m able to keep the momentum going, and after his last attempt to come back by keeping me asleep with Hypnotoxic Laser was foiled by my own AZ, I took game two.

Game three starts off, and almost everybody else was already out of their seats.  I offer my opponent the ID before we set up, as either of us opening up with a dead hand would be devastating after such a close series, but he decides to play it out.  We both have amazing starts, and what looks like would be a great game to end the series,  gets cut several turns short after time gets called only a few minutes in. 

TIE (0-0-1)

Round 2 vs Virizion Genesect

After a less than ideal start to the day, I was very happy to see my opponent flip over a Virizion for my second match. Game one: He wins the coin flip, but his hand is miserable.  He Sycamore’s away a bunch of important cards, including more supporters, switches, and a Colress machine, and on top of it, whiffs the energy T1, putting me in an insanely good position.  I’m able to put pressure on him T1 with Hawlucha, and with him not even being able to attach T1, he starts falling very behind.  After my great start to his poor one, he’s unable to overcome the onslaught of Hawluchas, and I take a quick game 1.

He goes first the second game as well, only this time he’s able to attach to Virizion T1.  I’m able to start Hammerheading from turn one, again putting on a ton of pressure immediately.  This time though, instead of whiffing energy, he’s forced to Ultra-ball to grab a Jirachi, and after playing his Sycamore for seven, he is unable to find a Genesect to Emerald Slash energy to.  I’m able to Hammer Head again, and with the help of Golbat, I’m able to leave his Virizion with 140, and put 30 damage on his Jirachi.  He finally finds a Genesect his next turn, but I’m still so far ahead.  The following turn, I’m able to use Crobat to take the prizes off his Virizion, and the Lysandre up his only Genesect, and use Hammer Head for 110 to his active, and put another 30 on his Jirachi.  He was unable to find the G-booster to take the Knock out on my Landorus, securing the game for me.  Even though he had less than ideal starts both games, I still believe it’s a very favorable match-up.

Win (1-0-1)

Round 3 vs Fairy Charms

After a slow start to the day from round 1, I was immensely more confident after taking a win against one of my better match-ups, and am eager to keep on playing! Game one:  I get to go first, and open double Zubat to his lone Florges.  I knew Fairies were a pretty good match-up, but I also knew that if he played Hard Charms, it would be a lot different.  I didn’t have a whole lot to do on my first turn, so I just played Korrina, grabbed a Landorus and a Muscle Band, and passed.  He goes, plays Pokemon Fan Club, grabs double Spritzee, and uses Lead to grab a Sycamore.  I’m able to immediately respond, by using Lysandre to bring up a benched Spritzee, using Golbat to put 20 damage on the other one, and using Hammer Head to negate his last turn, and grab 2 prizes.  After an amazing turn 2, he struggles to get much else going, and has a last ditch Florges with 60 damage already on it, and Hard Charm to finally KO my Landorus.   I’m able to immediately respond with a Hawlucha, Muscle Band, Fighting Stadium, and Startling Megaphone to seal the first game.

The second game starts off almost exactly the same, except he’s able to go first.  He has a Florges active, with a Spritzee on the bench, and plays a Sycamore and passes.  I’m able to get a triple Zubat turn one, as well as a Landorus with a Strong energy and Fighting Stadium to put the pressure on immediately.   He starts off his turn using a Fan Club to grab two more Spritzee, and with nothing else to do, uses Lead to grab a Sycamore.  The following turn, I’m able to use a Golbat to Knock out the Spritzee with 30 on it, Ultra-Ball to grab a Jirachi, netting me Lysandre to bring up another Spritzee, and play down yet another Golbat to put 20 on his last Spritzee, knocking out all 3 of them in one turn.  After making his Max Potions extremely inefficient without a means to move energy around, I was able to take another convincing game, and the match.

Win (2-0-1)

Round 4 vs Mirror

I talked with Jose Marrero a bit before the tournament started about this match-up, and we both agreed that trying to take out opposing Zubats/Golbats before they were able to have a giant impact on the game would be best.  Because of that, whoever got to go first seemed to be in a huge advantage.  Unfortunately for me, I was forced to go second.  He’s able to start the game off with double Hawlucha and a Zubat, vs my Zubat and Landorus.  I’m able to attack the first turn with Landorus, as well as getting out a second Zubat and a Hawlucha.  I’m only able to do 10 to his Hawlucha, but I’m able to start picking off his Zubat on the bench.  He’s able to hit me hard with Hawlucha, and bench a second Zubat, but doesn’t do much else.  The following turn, I’m able to scoop up my Landorus, and with the help of double Golbat and another Hammer Head, leave his field empty of opposing Bats, putting me in an insanely good position.  I’m able to continue the initiative, and after trading a few Landorus KOs, I’m able to take game one. 

He gets to go first Game 2 again, but unlike game one, he was a lot more focused on taking out my Zubats before they became a threat.  Luckily for me, I was able to get out 3 Zubats on the first turn, though.  We’re both sitting there trading blows with Landorus, trying to keep the Bats from each other from getting out of control, but I’m able to hit a very clutch Super Scoop Up heads, and then with the help of Crobat, Muscle Band, Strong Energy, and a Fighting Stadium, I’m able to take his Landorus off of the field.  He was unable to respond with another Landorus, and that put me in a great position.  After a little bit more spreading damage with my Landorus and Bats, I’m able to take out 2 of his Hawlucha, and finally his Jirachi for the game.

Win (3-0-1)

Round 5 vs Yveltal Hard Charms

Pairings are up, and after joking about it all day, I’m finally paired against a good friend of mine from Houston.  We debate IDing, because we don’t want to hurt each other’s chances of making Day 2, but end up deciding that it’s too early, and choose to play it out (plus I wanted revenge from Cities, and am pretty confident in the match-up).

Game one starts, and I get to go first.  I set up several Zubats, and get ready to explode in the next few turns.  I’m able to spread damage with Landorus for a little while, and eventually Super Scoop him up, leaving my field with just one Bats and Hawlucha, and start cleaning up with Hawlucha.  I’m trading Hawluchas for his Yveltal EXs, and end up taking the last two prizes off of a cheap Jirachi for the game.

Game two starts off completely differently.  I start hitting his Yveltals with Hawluchas from the get go, but he keeps reusing a Pokemon Center Lady to negate all of the damage I do.  Luckily, he isn’t able to do much else, and although he’s able to KO my Hawluchas, he doesn’t have anything to fall back on.   I get a big AZ play later on in the game, preventing him from taking 2 more prizes off of a Landorus EX, and then the following turn, I’m able to Lysandre up a Darkrai EX, and with the help of Bats, and residual damage from Hammer Heading the past few turns, I’m able to one shot his Darkrai, and KO a Yveltal EX on the bench for my remaining 4 prizes, and the match.

Win (4-0-1)

Round 6 vs Manectric Seismitoad Drifblim

This match, both games went almost identically.  Game one, I open up Lucario to his Seismitoad, and go first.  I attach a Muscle Band, Basic fighting energy, and ultra ball for a Zubat (Jirachi was prized), and pass.  Luckily for me, he is unable to remove my energy, or keep me asleep, so I attach a Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, and blast his Seismitoad for 120, while filling my hand.  Being unable to one-shot my Lucario, I was able to get very far ahead.   He’s forced to sacrifice one Seismitoad, and some damage on another, before he’s even able to threaten the KO.  He keeps me asleep for one turn, but a clutch AZ into Hawlucha KO on Seismitoad puts me up 2 prizes to 6.  For some reason, I bench the Lucario again, but it worked out for me, as his only play is to Lysandre it up, and with 2 Strong Energy in my discard, take the KO through weakness with his Drifblim.  I return the favor by immediately using Lysandre to bring up his Jirachi, and take my remaining two prizes.

Game two starts, and he’s forced to start with Manectric, vs my Lucario.  He benches a Drifloon, and passes.  I search out as many Zubats as possible, and immediately put pressure on, doing 140 to his Manectric.  He still has nothing, and is forced to Lysandre up a Zubat of mine, and take the cheap prize.  I end up Scooping up my Lucario (not making the same mistake of immediately playing it back down), and through a combination of Lysandre, and Golbat,  KO both his Drifloon and Manectric to take game 2, and the series.

Round 7 vs Toad/Garb (STREAMED!)

I could write a quick synopsis of this game as well, but since they were very interesting games, I’d prefer to just link the stream and let you guys watch it!  You can stay tuned for the awkward interview afterwards as well!

Check it out!

 

[Spoiler Alert]

 

 

Tie (5-0-2)

Round 7 vs Night March

Now I know I just need a win to secure my spot for Day 2, so I’m very happy, but also nervous, knowing that if I lose my next two, I can still whiff Day 2. 

My opponent gets to go first, and flips over a lone Pumpkaboo to my lone Zubat.  In theory, this match-up seemed pretty winnable, but I’ve never actually played it out.  On his first turn, he’s able to use a few Battle Compressors, get out a Mr. Mime, as well as putting a Hard Charm and a Double Colorless Energy on his Pumpkaboo.  Needless to say, I was a lot more scared after watching his first turn.  My first few turns were a lot less eventful, and with Mr. Mime, and a Pumpkaboo reducing Fighting damage by 40, I struggled to put any damage on the field.  Eventually, I’m able to Lysandre up his Mr. Mime and finally get rid of it, but it was way too late.  With a couple of Night Marches, he takes game one.

I opt to go first game two, and have a much better start.  He opens with Mew EX, which is much easier for me to deal with.  I try and get as many Zubats as I can T1, and pass the turn over to him.  He’s able to get Mr. Mime out again, and take a cheap KO on my active Hawlucha.  I’m able to respond with another Hawlucha, putting 100 damage on his Mew, but opting to use my Golbats to do damage to his Mr. Mime, putting 40 damage onto it.  He takes another KO on Hawlucha the following turn, but I’m finally able to have a huge turnaround.  Using Crobats to KO his Mr. Mime, I’m able to spread with Landorus, and put an insane amount of pressure on him.  Leaving any Joltiks on the bench threatened with just a Hammer Head, and any Pumkaboos threatened to just a Crobat and a Hammer Head.  Fortunately for me, I’m able to continue doing so, and take game two. 

He opts to go first game three, and has an amazing start.  He opens with Mew again, and has a hand filled with cards that say Night March, as well as one Professor Juniper.  After discarding all of them, he nets a Battle Compressor, and ends his turn with a very threatening board, and 8 Night Marchers in his discard pile.  Knowing that he only needs a Muscle Band, or just discarding one more Night Marcher, I knew I was in for a very tough game.  I still opt to go for the Landorus, as it’s the most difficult for him to KO, but he’s able to one shot it his following turn, putting me in a horrible position.  I try to mount a comeback with Hawluchas, but since he can just KO them with Pumpkaboo, and not have to worry about a return KO, I quickly lost control of the game, and he took the match.

Loss (5-1-2)

Round 8 vs Manectric /Fighting

After what I thought was a great start to the day, I’m now put in a position where I can lose this match, and I won’t make Day 2!  I went from being pretty confident, to extremely nervous. 

Game one starts, and he goes first.  I quickly find out he’s playing Manectric Fighting, which is another match-up I’ve yet to test, but another one that seems pretty good in theory.  If he’s ever forced to attack with Manectric, I should be in a fantastic position.  He opens Landorus, and I immediately start pressuring it with my own.  Through the use of Hammer Head, as well as my Bats, I should be able to out damage him, and I definitely did.  I opted not to drop down my Fighting Stadium until I absolutely had to, but he ended up playing one for me anyways.  After taking down my first Landorus, he tries to revenge KO with his own Landorus, since the additional bench damage would have been huge, but he barely whiffs the muscle band to return the KO on mine.  I immediately start digging for my Scoop Ups, and manage to hit a heads, completely negating a lot of his previous turns, and since there was already residual damage on his Landorus, I was able to One-hit KO it with a Hawlucha alongside a Crobat.  After such a huge swing, I was able to clean up a Jirachi he was forced to bench earlier, and take game one. 

Game two goes, and he goes first again.  Only this time, he’s forced to start with a Manectric.  Scared that I might be able to turn 1 KO it, he is forced to bench a second one.  I go all out trying to get the T1 KO on his Manectric, but I was unable to find the Fighting Stadium, only a Strong Energy and a Muscle Band.  Still, I’m able to do 140 to his active Manectric, and 30 to his benched one.  His following turn, he’s able to use Jirachi to grab a Sycamore, and ends up putting 100 damage onto my Landorus.  I already had the Scoop Up Cyclone in my hand, so I scoop up my Landorus, Lysandre his benched Manectric with 30, and use Hammer Head to KO his active, and benched Manectric, quickly going up by 4 prizes.  With no way to KO my active Landorus, and not having access to an N, I’m able to VS seeker for Lysandre, and KO his Jirachi for the quick T3 victory, securing the match, and my spot in day 2!

Win (6-1-2)

I finish Day 1 at 7th seed, and quickly head back to my hotel to try and get some rest before another long day tomorrow.  Not really wanting to change my deck, and since I've been wanting level balls all day, I decide to just change a few cards, ending up at this.

From the previous day, I just changed - Professor's Letter, - Startling Megaphone, -2 Ultra Ball, and +3 Level Ball, +1 Pokemon Communication.  All of which helped me tremendously.  Since over half the deck can be searched out with Level Ball (Hawlucha, Zubat, Golbat, and even Jirachi), it was an auto include.  Pokemon Communication seems amazing with Korrina, and I was able to save a Crobat or two, tossing it back into the deck before I was forced to Juniper, but I'm not sure if I would play more than one.  Keeping one Ultra Ball as well to get literally any Pokemon if needed.  The deck had treated me well thus far, and I was sure it wasn't going to let me down now!

 

Day 2

Round 10 vs Tanky Manectric

After a having to wake up extremely early again, I anxiously await pairings to go up.  As soon as I do, I realize I’m paired up against the only guy who beat me last time!  I’m nervous, because it was an insanely difficult series before, and I had no idea what the old formats would do to help out his deck!

Game one starts, and I quickly realize he’s playing something different.  I go first, and open Zubat to his Drifloon.  I Korrina for a Landorus/Muscle Band, bench them, and decide to wait and see what he’s playing before I do much else.  On the following turn, he drops a Tropical Beach, and uses it to draw a couple of cards.  With no other Pokemon in play, I’m able to quickly take Game one with a Hammer Head alongside a Golbat’s Surprise Bite.

He chooses to go first game two, and opens lone Drifloon again.  This time, he’s able to plan an N, so I figured I’m going to actually see what he’s playing!  Unfortunately for him, none of the new six cards he drew could net him another Pokemon, so he has to pass again.  I’m able to quickly get a Landorus, Strong energy, and a Muscle Band, and KO a lone Drifloon again for the game, and the series.


I’d rather play out a full game, but I’m not going to complain about any free wins at a tournament of this caliber.  He fans out his deck afterwards as well, revealing that he was playing a Tanky version of Mega Manectric of sorts, and that it would have been a difficult match-up for him regardless.

Win (7-1-2)

Round 11 vs Speed Yveltal

I was confident playing against Yveltal variants for Day 1, but I wasn’t really sure how it would work out for Day 2, since Dark Patch can make the entire difference.

Game one starts, and he’s forced to open with Jirachi.  He was able to burn through a ton of his deck regardless, and with Battle Compressors and Dark Patches, he had a Yveltal with the potential to attack already.  I had no problem leaving the Jirachi on the field until I needed it for my last two prizes, so I Lysandre around it, bringing up the Yveltal, to start putting damage on it before it was too late.  Even with Fighting Stadium and Muscle Band, I was only able to do 50 damage, but I knew it would be big.  He’s able to set up another Yveltal on his turn, and Y Cyclones with his already damaged Yveltal.  I quickly Korrina for Scoop Up Cyclone and a Hawlucha, pick up my Landorus, attach the energy and Muscle Band, and with the help of a Golbat, use Flying Press for 100, Knocking out his Yveltal.  He returns the KO pretty quickly with Yveltal, but in the process, benched a Darkrai EX.  My hand had everything it needed in it.  Strong Energy, Muscle Band, the Landorus from before, Crobat, and Lysandre.  So I Lysandre up his Darkrai, and with Strong Energy, Muscle Band, and Fighting Stadium, I’m able to one shot it with Hammer Head, thanks to weakness, and with the 30 damage already on Jirachi from the beginning, alongside the Crobat, I was able to take my remaining 4 prizes, and seal game one.

Game two starts, and he opens Jirachi again!  My first two opponents are looking to have some pretty bad luck, but I’ll take it.  He’s able to start of similarly, with a Sycamore, and getting a Yveltal ready to go.  My hand was pretty mediocre, but I had enough to get a Hawlucha as well as 3 Zubats out, and since my hand was dead afterwards, I took the KO on his Jirachi, hitting a Juniper off the prizes.  He’s able to quickly return the KO, so I start trying to spread some damage around with Landorus and Bats.  I leave his remaining two Yveltals with 50 damage on them, knowing that I can KO them with Hawlucha, and his Darkrai can be KO with Landorus.  He explodes on his following turn, with several Dark Patches, Double Colorless Energy, Energy Switch, and Muscle band, and comes just 20 damage shy of one shotting my Landorus, forcing him to just Y-Cyclone instead.  Yet again, I search out my Scoop Up Cyclone, transferring the Strong Energy and Muscle Band to my Hawlucha, and take the KO on his Yveltal.  He’s forced to return the KO on my Hawlucha with his damaged Yveltal, leaving me the easy out to responding with yet another Hawlucha for the game, and the series.

Win (8-1-2)

Round 12 vs Speed Lugia/Kyurem

I get paired down this round, and to my opponent from the previous stream!  I knew he was playing the deck that I almost switched to this morning, and was anxious to see how it played out.

He goes first game one, and is forced to start with a Thundurus, which is amazing for me.  He searches out a couple Deoxys, as well as a Lugia, and passes the turn over to me.   I have the Muscle Band and Fighting Stadium, but I whiff the Strong Energy to KO his Thundurus with Landorus.  With the help of Level Ball, I’m able to search out several Zubats, and hit his Thundurus for 140 with Hammer Head.  He wasn’t able to do much on his following turn, and ends up taking a cheap prize by using Lysandre on a Zubat of mine then KOing it with Raiden Knuckle, trying to power up his Lugia a little bit more.  Since he was forced to attach a Rainbow energy to use Raiden Knuckle, I’m able to KO it with just Golbat’s ability.  He brings up his Lugia, and I hit it for 70 with Hammer Head, and start spreading damage onto his Deoxys.  He takes yet another prize off of Zubat, this time with Lugia instead of Thundurus, so I know he’ll just need one more EX Knock out to seal the game.   I immediately scoop up my Landorus, and with the help of Crobats, finish off his already damaged Lugia, leaving no EXs on my bench, just in case.  He was unable to even power up another Lugia in the following turn, and I KOd his other damaged Deoxys  for my remaining two prizes.

Game two starts off, and this time he’s able to start with Lugia.  He hits a Roller Skates heads, and a Team Plasma Ball, but didn’t seem to have much else going for him.  I quickly put 100 damage onto his Lugia with Hawlucha, and he wasn’t even able to respond with a Plasma Gale.  After I was able to take down his Lugia the following turn, as well as having a Landorus on the bench, ready to swing for 90, he was left with only two Deoxys.  I start wildling them down with Hammer Head, and after a few turns of him not hitting anything else, I KO both for the game.

Win (9-1-2)

After winning my round, I knew that all I would need to do is ID once, and I’d be in a very good position to top 8.  30 points should be the kicker, and my resistance would be phenomenal.

Round 13 vs Speed Lugia/Kyurem

Since I just need to ID to make Top 8, and I’m playing against my good friend Brit Pybas who has the insane record of 10-0-2, he agrees to ID with me, securing my spot in top 8!

ID (9-1-3)

Round 14 vs Seismitoad/Slurpuff

With 30 points for me, and over 30 for Jason Klaczynski, neither of us care much about the outcome of the game.  I offer the ID, because I would rather just relax for a little while before top 8 starts, but he wants to play it out, trying to manipulate the top 8 pairings.

Game one starts, and he goes first.  He opens up a Seismitoad, to my Zubat.  He’s able to set up a Seismitoad, Double Colorless Energy, and a Hypnotoxic Laser, flipping heads, and passes the turn to me.  I fail the coin flip, otherwise I would have been able to immediately start pressuring him with Hawlucha.  He takes the first prize off of my Zubat, and we immediately get into the Hawlucha vs Seismitoad war.  If I’m able to attack with Hawlucha, and he doesn’t have the necessary combination of cards to one shot it (needing Double Colorless, Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser, and Virbank City Gym), I’ll be in an amazing position.  Trading two shots with Hawlucha vs Seismitoad is the way to win the match-up.  I’m able to take out two of his Seismitoads, but in the process, I lose all 2 of my Hawlucha, as well as a Landorus EX.  With two prizes remaining for both of us, and a Hawlucha that already has 50 damage on it, it comes down to the wire.  He’s left with a Seismitoad that has 100 damage on it, another one that has 140, a Keldeo, ready to attack with no damage on it, and a field of Slurpuff drawing him tons of cards.  With a Hawlucha on my bench, he knows I only need an energy and a Fighting Stadium, or only a Strong Energy to win if he attacks with his Seismitoad, or I only need a Crobat, and an energy to attack with Crobat, to KO his Seismitoad on the bench.  Contemplating his options for a while, he decides his best route is to go with the Quacking Punch.  Had he gone the other route, I had the game winning combination of cards in my hand, with Scoop Up Cyclone, as well as VS Seeker, ready to go, but with Quacking Punch, I had nothing.  I scooped game one, and was ready to go to game two.

Game two starts off amazingly for me.  I have an explosive start, with Double Zubat, Hawlucha with a Muscle Band, Landorus with a Muscle Band, and a Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, and Juniper left in my hand, all to him starting Victini EX!  He is forced to use Jirachi EX as well, meaning that with a little luck, I can win the game by only knocking out a single Seismitoad EX!  Unfortunately, he grabs an N, and shuffles away my insane hand.  He’s unable to Quacking Punch on his first turn, though, so I’m still in an amazing position.  After the N, I whiff the Strong Energy, and couldn’t find an out to a Golbat, so I was only able to hit his Victini for 100, just 10 short of the KO.  He has the Seismitoad ready to go on the bench, but sadly for me, is able to AZ up is Victini, and uses Quacking Punch to lock my items.  I start searching out more Hawluchas as best as I could, and start pressuring his Seismitoad.  His hand seemed pretty dead at this point, as he was forced to bench his Victini the following turn, just to avoid getting benched.  He KOs my Hawlucha, and I’m able to immediately return the KO with a second Hawlucha.  He top decks an N for the turn, and immediately plays it.  As we’re shuffling our decks, he tells me that before we draw our cards, he’ll offer the option to intentionally draw.  I didn’t care too much about trying to go for the win, and since I was in a position to win this game anyways, we’d likely end up playing yet another long game, and be forced to naturally tie anyways, I gladly accedped the ID, ending the series very anti-climactically. 

Tie (9-1-4) 

After a long exhausting weekend, I finish 3rd in the Standings going into Top 8!  Conveniently, that’s exactly what I needed for my invite, so I achieved my goal for the weekend!  Now that that goal was finished, though, I had a new one.  I wanted at least trophy to bring home, or the glory of winning another regionals, so I was anxious to start top 8!

Top 8 vs Metal

Metal wasn’t a bad match-up in the standard format, but I had no idea what it gained in extended.  I just knew I needed to play around Aegislash, and I’d have a shot. 

Game one starts, he gets to go first, and I immediately find out what Metal gained.  70 HP Bronzors.  Before, I could KO two of them very easily with a Landorus and a single Golbat, but now, it was infinitely harder.  I’m pretty sure I played the match-up wrong game one, as I was trying to do way too many things at once.  I tried to spread damage to Bronzors, and to his EXs, all while trying to play around Aegislash’s ability.  I was able to take a few cheap prizes, but his straight forward aggression was much better than my unthought-of plan, and he took a very convincing game one.

Game two, I opt to go first, and this time I realize that I’m not going to be able to starve him of his Bronzongs, and would only try if there was just one or two on the field.   He starts Dialga this time, which seems like it’d be better for me.  I’m able to load my field with 3 Zubats, a Hawlucha, and a Landorus with a Muscle Band.  He seemed to not have much going for him, as his first turn was spent using a Float Stone to retreat Dialga, and using X-ball to KO one of my Zubats.  Since he only had one Bronzor on the field, I immediately evolve both of my Zubats, placing 40 damage onto his long Bronzor, and use Hammer Head to wipe it off the field, dealing 70 damage to Mewtwo in the process.   His deck continues to not give him anything relevant, and after a few more Hammer Heads, I win game two.

Game three starts off, and he explodes.  His first turn ends with Triple Bronzor, and Dialga on the bench, with an Aegislash active.  Knowing that I’m not going to be able to do much to stop his energy acceleration, I decide to try ignoring them this game.  I respond to his explosive start, with one of my own, ending the turn with a Hammer Head for 70 on his Aegislash, doing 30 to his Dialga as well, and leaving my bench with double Zubat and a Hawlucha.  He’s able to retreat with Aegislash, and attack with Dialga, using Dialga’s first attack.  Now, I’m not going to lie, I completely forgot about this attack.  Preventing my Landorus from being able to attack the following turn was huge!  And with no way to retreat it, I knew my only out was Super Scoop Up.  I immediately dig through my deck, hoping to find one, and hit one on the 7th card of a Juniper.  I flip the coin, and unfortunately, hit tails.  That’s what I get for playing flippy cards, though.   With nothing else to do, I pass the turn over to him, letting his Dialga quickly KO my Landorus, as well as letting him build up a very threatening Aegislash on the bench.  I was able to respond with a Hawlucha KO, but I was still very far behind.  His ability to power up any of his attackers in one turn, was no match for my one energy attackers, and he overwhelmed me very quickly.  After an Aegislash one shot my second Landorus, I conceded the game, knowing I had no more outs.  It was a great series, and Connor played his deck extremely well, very deserving of his top 4 finish in the insane field we had!

 Final Thoughts

  

With that, my tournament was over.  Overall, I’m happy with my performance.  I wanted to Top 8 or better, and I achieved my goal.  Sitting on a solid 310/300 CP, and a useless, but cool to look at ELO of almost 1950, so I’m more than ready to go for worlds.  I won’t be going to the blood bath that is Florida Regionals, but if I was, it would be hard to convince me to play a different deck.  Thank you everybody for reading, and please keep subscribing for more articles by me, and the rest of the awesome staff!

 

Bradley

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