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Jimmy McClure

Parallel Regionals and a Cities Preview

Jimmy goes over his two Fall Regionals tournaments, and gives some insight into the upcoming City Championships.

10/29/2015 by Jimmy McClure


What's up, everyone? I am back with my second article for 60cards! Today I'm going to be talking about the two Regional Championships I attended in the past month—but with a small twist! I will also go over my initial thoughts entering the City Championship season, and some cards you should keep your eye on (but one in particular!). Thanks as always for reading, and give the article a +1 if you enjoy it. 

Fall Regionals 2015 (The Parallel Regionals)

As some of you may remember, my very first article for 60cards (almost two months ago now!) went over some of my thoughts on Expanded Regionals and my two favorite decks at the time. Immediately after I was done with that article, I began my testing for Fall Regionals. I started with the deck I preferred out of the two, Yveltal/Archeops. I had logged around five to ten games before the article, but had not done any serious testing with the deck. After delving deeper, I discovered that Archeops was slightly clunky, and was not too helpful in matchups such as Night March and Toad/Giratina. I decided to opt for the version of Yveltal I've been running for what seems like forever now: a straight, consistent build with a great amount of power and smooth transitions between attackers. I also tested with Toad/Giratina, but I was locked in on Yveltal for Week 2, as I was not attending Week 1. Seeing Yveltal do so well at Arizona and Houston Regionals only reassured me of how good the deck was.  I felt ready to bring back my favorite deck.

For my two "reports" of the Regionals I attended, I am going to compare them to my favorite card from the newest expansion, BREAKThrough. That card, of course, is Parallel City—but more on that later. All you need to know right now is that Parallel City has a negative effect on each side of the card. Both of my Regionals performances each had a negative I would like to talk about, and share what I learned from these experiences.

Side 1: Lancaster, PA

Going into my first weekend of regionals, I brought two decks with me—Yveltal and Seismitoad/Crobat. I was most likely going to play Yveltal no matter what, but I had a Seismitoad deck in my back pocket just in case. The reason I chose Crobat over Giratina was simple: Toad/Giratina had very underwhelming results Week 1, and was bad against the meta that was established in Week 1. The two most popular decks, Yveltal and Blastoise, were both very good against Giratina, so I opted to keep it in the binder. Seismitoad/Crobat was able to use Crobat to help get key KOs on these big attackers with the help of Dedenne and Mewtwo, respectively, something Toad/Giratina could not do. I almost considered switching to Seismitoad/Crobat, but I did not want to miss out on the deck I had the most experience with by far. Perhaps this was a stubborn decision, as Toad/Crobat turned out to be better for the meta that day, but hindisght is 20/20.

This is the list I decided to go with:

Round 1 vs Wobb/Bats: WLW (1-0)

Round 2 vs Fighting: WW (2-0)

Round 3 vs Tyrantrum with no Giratina: LL (2-1)

Round 4 vs Night March: LWT (2-1-1)

Round 5 vs Giratina-EX/Latios-EX PLF/Reshiram ROS: LL (2-2-1)

DROP @ 2-2-1

I was really dissapointed in my performance. I perhaps could have made Top 64 and maybe even Day 2 at 6-2-1, but I decided that I needed to take a break and focus on next weekend's tournament, as my odds at 2-2-1 were very slim. Not only was my list suboptimal, but I played poorly. There are not really any excuses to be made—I was not prepared, and not ready to play in the event. I also became worried about various things the night before (mirror match, specifically) that I never would have worried about before, and made changes I should have never made. I kept up with the event as it went on, witnessing Jimmy O' Brien's 13-0-1 Swiss run (and eventual First Place) with Vespiquen. Bravo, Jimmy.

How does my Week 2 relate to Parallel City? One of the sides on the card Parallel City reads, "This player can't have more than 3 Benched Pokémon". I was unable to finish the tournament, much like a player with this side facing them would be unable to finish their Bench.

Changing Sides

I felt the pressure going into Week 3 of Regionals. Not only did I have a poor showing Week 2, but I had a title to defend in Week 3! I had won the Regionals in Ft. Wayne the year before, and nothing sounded better to me than a repeat. In order to win again, however, I had to make Day 2 first. I went back to the lab as soon as I got home from Lancaster.

The most notable trend from Week 1 to Week 2, in my eyes, was the absence of Blastoise in Week 2. There were vitrtually no Blastoise around (only one in Top 16, and maybe one more in Top 32). This was very confusing to me—Blastoise seemed like a very solid deck with decent matchups. Perhaps everyone who wanted to play Blastoise had anticipated a rise in Vespiquen. In addition, all of the Manectric decks that did well (three in Top 8!) all used Garbodor. I realized that Blastoise was not as safe as it was in an unknown metagame, and became less worried about it for Week 3. While I had success against Blastoise with Yveltal in testing, I was not upset that a matchup close enough to be swayed by draws would not be an issue. The trip to Ft. Wayne was a long one, and I needed all the time I could get to think about my next move.

Side 2: Ft. Wayne, IN

It felt good to be back at Ft. Wayne. I had good memories of the event from last year, and I was ready to make some new ones this time around. Week 3 was not as clear-cut as Week 2, however. I brought Yveltal again, but this time I brought Toad/Giratina, after Manectric showed up in massive numbers in Week 2. To be honest, I did not decide what I was playing until about midnight. This was only seven hours before I had to wake up the next morning! I needed all the time I could get the night before to test, and I made my decision as soon as I had some information on the metagame.

The initial read was similar to my own thinking: Sesimitoad/Giratina was a good play. I was comfortable playing against the deck with Yveltal, as I had two Seismitoad of my own, and a Darkrai/Keldeo combination to escape the effects of Hypnotoxic Laser. I also heard that the trend in Manectric was going down after a Vespiquen victory Week 2, so I became confident that I could pull off Yveltal one more time. Another influence on my Week 3 play was the rise of a very powerful dinosaur. Tyrantrum-EX, an XY Promo, went under the radar of most players during the first two weeks of Regionals. The deck, designed by my friend Russell LaParre and one of his friends, Andrew Wamboldt, also used Bronzong for Metal Links to accelerate Energy, and a secondary attacker in the form of Giratina-EX. Being in the same room as Russell for this event definitely influenced how I viewed the deck, as I had only played against a variant the weekend before without Giratina. After running Seismitoad/Giratina against the deck, I realized I would need more firepower to stand a chance. Yveltal seemed to be shaping up to be everything I wanted.

This is the list I played Week 3, with a few major changes from Week 2 (which I'll explain shortly).

I dropped the two Enhanced Hammers, which had very limited use Week 2. I went back down to two N, something I had played with the Archeops varient, in order to make space. Finally, I dropped the third Virbank, realizing I did not need it. I added a second Lysandre, a Jirachi-EX, a Darkrai-EX, and what I considered to be the MVP of my Week 3 Tournament—Hoopa-EX. I noticed that Frank Diaz had played one in his Week 2 Yveltal list, which intrigued me. I gave it some thought, but I was convinced by another one of my roommates in Indiana, Dylan Bryan, to put it in. It helped just enough with consistency, and was crucial for getting out Darkrai and Keldeo before Seismitoad decks would establish a lock.

Round 1 vs Vespiquen: LWT (0-0-1)

Round 2 vs Tyrantrum: WT (1-0-1)

Round 3 vs Yveltal: WW (2-0-1)

Round 4 vs Toad/Giratina: WLW (3-0-1)

Round 5 vs Donphan: LWT (3-0-2)

Round 6 vs Speed Rayqauza: LL (3-1-2)

Round 7 vs Toad/Giratina: WLW (4-1-2)

Round 8 vs Toad/Giratina: WLW (5-1-2)

Round 9 vs Toad/Bats: WW (6-1-2)

26th Seed, Day 2

Round 10 vs Toad/Giratina: LWW (7-1-2)

Round 11 vs Toad/Giratina: LWL (7-2-2)

Round 12 vs Sableye/Garbodor: LWL* (7-3-2)

Round 13 vs Toad/Giratina: WW (8-3-2)

Round 14 vs Toad/Giratina: LWT (8-3-3)

*Round 12 would've been a tie, but I was clearly going to lose Game 3 with a terrible board and my last Shaymin to dig for Energy being Prized. I decided to concede so that both me and my opponent would not have been eliminated.

The standings went up, and I finished 16th! I was the only person with 27 match points to make Top 16, and it was a 15-point differential from Top 32. I was very excited! This put me at 94 points at the time, and I was content with doing well at one of the two Regionals.

I am sure you all have been waiting for this moment: how did Indiana Regionals compare to Parallel City? Simple: the other side of Parallel City reads, "Any damage done by attacks from this player's Grass, Fire, or Water Pokemon is reduced by 20 (before Weakness and Resistance)." Just like a player Quaking Punching for 10 damage, I did not do as much damage at this Regionals as I had done before (cheesy, I know.)

Things I Learned

Sometimes it can be difficult to look back at your past mistakes, and face them directly. I believe you need to do this in order to be successful, especially in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. My tournament experience in Lancaster was mediocre at best, as I only enjoyed being with friends. Playing in the event was not pleasant, especically with a subpar list. But I forced myself to look back after the event, and analyze what I did wrong. The most important lesson I learned from Week 2 was that last-minute changes are risky. This can be true for picking a deck/going back on it, but for this example specifically I will address card changes.

The worst change I made last minute for Week 2 was only playing one copy of Lysandre. I knew subconsciously how important this card was, but I felt like I was able to get away with it. Not only was this bad, but my inclusion of Enhanced Hammer was even worse. After putting said cards in, I did not have much time to change my mind, and the rest is history.

For Week 3, I learned that if you want to beat a matchup, you usually can. I experienced both ends of this in my tournament. Playing Yveltal, I was able to finish the event with a 5-1-1 record vs Toad/Giratina. I targeted the deck going into Week 3, and I benefited from that. Playing cards such as Hoopa, Battle Compressor, and Yveltal XY allowed me to put on early pressure while establishing my board at the same time. However, my one loss in the matchup was to someone who understood the same exact concept. Matt Price, who ended up placing Second at the tournament, was heavily teched for Yveltal decks. He ran two copies of Enhanced Hammer, three Head Ringer, a Silent Lab, and a Tool Scrapper just in case the Yveltal player established a Muscle Band before he drew Head Ringer (he did this deadly combo to me, helping him seal Game 1 of our series). In fact, if it was not for some crucial Sleep flips in the finals combined with Frank Diaz's expert play, he would have been the Regional Champion! This is a very important concept in my opinion. You must know your metagame, and adapt to it as such—but you do not always have to change decks!

Parallel City Cities Preview

I get it, I enjoy Parallel City too much. But this card is so cool to me, and I feel like it will be a major influence in the metagame.

Parallel City

Just look at it. Not only is it a completely new design, but it is beautifully illustrated as well. Parallel City introduces an interesting concept in Pokemon—picking your poison. No, not Triple Poison or Hypnotoxic Laser. Both sides of this card have negative effects, and you must decide which one you want. If you are careful, you can use the negative effects to your advantage (or at least, not to your own disadvantage). Both sides are not too bad when you prepare for them, but can be crippling if you are not ready.

As far as the rest of the metagame goes, I think Seismitoad/Giratina is still extremely good. I am not sure exactly how to play it at the moment without Hypnotoxic Laser, but I imagine I want to incorporate the new Zoroark.


Looks familiar, doesn't it? Stand In is the new Rush In. Combine this with a Float Stone, and you can switch endlessly to your heart's content (or until the Float Stone gets discarded). Mind Jack has already been proven to be a powerful attack—despite the change in math, having a non-EX attacker with potent damage output is something Seismitoad/Giratina has been looking for.

I am also a fan of the two new Mega Mewtwo-EX, and the new Magnezone with a Lightning-type Deluge. BREAKthrough has opened the door for many more strategies; expect decks taking advantage of the amount of Energy-determining damage output to make a return. I believe we will see some Standard staples to make their return as well, such as Mienshao and Mega Manectric. Time will tell what the many creative minds in Pokemon will do with the new set!

Thank you everyone for reading! I have always wanted to write articles for the community, and I am glad I now have this opportunity! I will be back soon with another article before Cities commence. Stay tuned!


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