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James Good

Hellllllllo Nurse! -- The Pokemon Center Lady is in!

In this article James talks about piloting Virizion-Genesect to victory at City Championships!

12/19/2014 by James Good

Introduction!

 

Hey 60 cards! It’s your favorite one deck wonder James Good and I’m here today to break down a deck that I’ve been sailing with through the trepidatious waters known as the city championship series. I’m not here today to change the game and proclaim that my take on Virizion-Genesect is the most optimal version because that sort of thinking is silly when there are optimal choices for each and every specific local metagame. I’m just here to show you the in-and-out’s of a deck that brought me my first city championship win in two years and is one of my the most consistent decks I’ve ran in the TCG since I started playing again in early 2012.


First and foremost I want to offer credit where credit is due. In my more relaxed approach to the game I find myself testing less and less and playing without emphasis on results more and more. This has led to a self evaluation of myself as a player where I’ve come to the decision that I’m currently far better in actual play and deck theory than I am in actual deck building. Truth be told a lot of my inspiration for this decklist came from the skeleton that my Ducklett Dynasty teammate John Orgel put together. I’ve also chosen to run my deck with 4 copies of Genesect-EX and no non-EX attackers in the same way that Andrew Estrada did en route to capturing his World Championship back in August.  I felt that it would be inappropriate to take credit for anything other than some of the card counts and the techs I choose to play.


So without anymore yammering on, let’s take a look at the list:


Card Explanations


3 Virizion-EX / 4 Genesect-EX


Obviously you want to start with Virizion, but because the deck only runs 9 basics having only 3 copies is a 33% chance to start with a Virizion. Most VG lists I see are running about 12 basics assuming they are play a 2-2 Drifblim or Raichu line along with 4 Virizion. This also gives them a 33% chance to start with Virizion. Of course with only 9 basics we do run an 11% risk of starting Jirachi-EX, but that’s the risk/reward element you’re willing to take when you wish upon an ultra ball and pray the little guy isn’t prized to get you out of a supporterless situation.


1 Deoxys-EX / 1 Jirachi-EX


By now the elephant in the room that’s wrecking through metagames everywhere is Donphan with his pesky 130hp, just narrowly getting past a Genesect rocking the muscle band with 10hp remaining. Not only is Deoxys a full on Donphan hater, but he’s an equal opportunity hater, giving that extra bump to knock out the outrage dragons Reshiram, Kyurem and Zekrom AS WELL AS not having his ability shut off by the newcomer to the metagame party wobbuffet, letting Genesect oneshot those bad boys without even needing a muscle band!

 In a perfect world the only time Jirachi-EX is seeing my bench is when I bench him to grab a supporter that will seal the game, but the added consistency with this card is too hard to ignore. I spent most of last season having a love-hate relationship with Jirachi-EX, but having your 3 ultra balls be extra outs to supporters is just too good in a format where you’re constantly needing to fish for cards to secure KO’s.

 

4 Juniper / 4 Skyla / 1 Colress /  2 Bicycles 

All of this is fairly standard and doesn’t need much explanation. I tested this list with 2 Colress, but I’ve settled on the stance that despite this being a format where benches are often full, I just don’t like more than 1 copy of Colress in anything that plays less than 12 basics. Making the decision to Colress for 2-3 cards is far too difficult and way too luck based and something I try to avoid at all costs. I’ll never know how Simon Narode had the nerves to play 4 copies of this card in his 2nd place Worlds 2013 deck that ran 11 basics because I simply don’t have the heart to try. I like the bicycles in here for extra draw support when needing to use a non-card drawing supporter on a turn.


3 N - When you don’t run any non-EX Pokemon the impact N can have at the end of the game is significantly reduced. N’ing your opponent to 2 cards + a drawn 3rd card simply isn’t as aggressive as N’ing them to 1 card and a top deck. With that option gone from the playbook, N is simply a card that has diminishing returns in draw power as the game progresses, especially when playing a deck that can usually score a knockout on turn 2 against decks running non-ex attackers. My original list called for 4 N, but I opted to cut down to 3 so that I could fit in a 3rd VS Seeker, which is essentially a 4th N for endgame anyways if necessary.


1 Shadow Triad, 1 Lysandre, 1 Pokemon Center Lady - The “standard” for most VG lists is 2 Shadow Triad, but because of my playstyle and because I’m running 3 VS Seeker I opted to go down to 1 and that decision has yet to cost me a game. Lysandre is a key card that lets you keep attaching grass energies on those tempo turns where you don’t need to fish for other cards to score a knockout, helps keep plasma energies off the board that can potentially power up those pesky balloons later in the game, and probably more importantly used in the Donphan matchup when their Wobbuffet wall shuts off your Red Signal abilities.


Lastly we have Pokemon Center Lady, aka PCL, aka is bae, because this hot nurse has definitely been the MVP of this list. Going second in the mirror match and your Virizion-EX you attached to got hit with that turn 2 70 damage emerald slash, setting it up for a future Megalocannon KO? Pokemon Center Lady has your back and now you’re able to hit your own Emerald Slash that will leave relevant damage on the board first. PCL steals a turns worth of damage back from the likes of Donphan and Hawlucha and takes you out of KO range from an Yveltal-EX evil ball if your opponent has hit you with oblivion wing from a non-ex Yveltal. This card is SO versatile when ran with with heavy counts of  VS Seeker. The only full art supporter worth playing!


TECHS!


1 Enhance hammer - Because we’re not playing Drifblim I felt like 1 enhance hammer was just enough to set my opponent back when timed correctly, preventing the likes of a Donphan Wreck or a 5 energy Yveltal-EX which is all too possible in this format.


1 Head Ringer - A great card that serves to put a wrench in your opponent’s plans, forcing them to energy switch off of their Virizion-EX early game to a second Virizion EX or to have to bench another copy of their EX attacker they were planning on using.


1 Max Potion -  Because it prevents losses! And because not playing a single Max Potion would go against everything I learned from graduating Recco Connor Deck Building 101.

 

Tournament Report


I’ve never been a big fan of writing tournament reports, but as I said this deck did lead me to one city championship victory and a Top 8 the following day, so I figured I’d write up a quick summary of my matchups and offer up my insight on my playstyle.


12/13/14 - Marysville, Washington City Championships (50+ Masters, 6 rounds + T8)

 


Round 1 vs M-Manectric/Seismitoad/Shaymin-EX/Mew-EX

I actually almost lost this matchup! My opponent managed to get the turn 1 quaking punch via Mew-EX with a dimension valley in play while I had a Genesect active! I am very lucky that my opponent misplayed and opted not to Emerald Slash or Megalocannon which he was able to do because he ran grass, lightning and double colorless energy. Had he done so he would have easily won this game. Instead I was able to eventually emerald slash twice and carve my way through a Toad, a Mew and a Shaymin without needing my G-Booster for victory. 1-0-0


Round 2 vs Yveltal-EX / Kyurem-EX (PLF) / Kyurem (LTR)

My opponent was a local Pokedad who decided to built his Yveltal deck heavily focused around water attackers that traded well in the Donphan matchup. Luckily for me I started off rather fast and he missed a late game N that would have taken all the cards I needed for victory out of my hand. 2-0-0


Round 3 vs Yveltal / Hammers

I had absolutely no business stealing this game from my friend Sorina Radu by way of an alternate win condition. She had secured a 5-2 prize lead entering my final two turns, along with having Spiritomb in play preventing me from playing G-Booster. On my third to last turn I was able to knock out an Yveltal-EX while putting my snipe damage on her Spiritomb, bringing it up to 70 damage. On her turn she was unable to both draw into the DCE she needed to knock out my fresh Genesect nor was she able to hit heads on a crushing hammer that would have left me with not enough grass energy in deck to attack with.

On my second to last turn I determined I had exactly one win condition: Stalling her from attacking for one turn in an effort to scoop up my last 3 prizes. I decided to red signal her energyless Mewtwo-EX and N’d her to 2, knowing she would win if she was able to retreat it via dark energy (with Darkrai-EX in play), a switch, or a DCE to attack with. I got lucky as N did his magic and I was able to win on the following turn after she passed without attacking. 3-0-0


Round 4 vs Virizion/Genesect/Balloons

I finally got to use my G-Booster for the first time in the tournament in this game in a response to my opponent G-Boosting me! My opponent was visibly annoyed when I used my Pokemon Center Lady on turn 2 to negate his Emerald Slash damage, eliminating the advantage of him going first. I was also able to make pretty effective use of my max potion this game, denying my opponent a potential 4 prize play later in the game as well. At the end of the game I entered this awkward scenario where after being N’d to 2 I drew into the plasma energy I needed to secure the win but I didn’t have any way to switch out of my no energy Virizion-EX he was attacking. I put on my best poker face and immediately drew a card and passed with a ho-hum look on my face, knowing that all my opponent had to do was not N me again and knock out my Virizion-EX, which he did, allowing me to successfully bluff my way to a victory here. 4-0-0


Rounds 5 & 6 - ID’s , finishing at 4-0-2 , entering as the #3 seed.


Top 8 vs Tyler Ninomura (Virizion-Genesect-Balloons)

This matchup was quite funny because we both knew based on how the bracketing for the top 8 worked that the winner would be playing against Pyroar-Seismitoad piloted by Jack Stensrud, who defeated another Virizion-Genesect deck roughly 20 minutes into Top 8. Unfortunately I cannot remember any of the details of this series except that Tyler bested me in the first game and then drew extremely poorly in the next two games.  5-0-2


Top 4 vs Jack Stensrud (Pyroar/Seismitoad/Mewtwo)

Jack is a teammate of mine who should win this matchup at least four out of five times if not more. However, I would like to quote scripture from the book of Wisdom here if I may:


"I am thankful that you, as an entity, have (messed up) everything that I used to believe about the world. I now know for a fact that somehow, someway, by some mystical force, you are just luckier than other people." - Kenny Wisdom


In game 1 I was able to secure a victory by going first and knocking out his only Litleo followed by his only other Pokemon, a Mewtwo-EX. In game 2 I was promptly put back in my place by a turn 2 scorching fang to the face and promptly scooped up my cards to head to a decisive game 3. Going first I conducted an ultra ball search and realized the absolute worst possible scenario: a prized G-Booster.


Even though my opponent opened with only a Seismitoad EX I knew that I likely would not win this game without getting extremely lucky with my 33% chance to grab my G-Booster out of my prizes after I knocked out his Toad. However that plan never came to fruition as Jack was unable to bench anymore basics and I was able to Emerald Slash his Toad twice and cash my ticket to the finals.


Finals vs Ricky Gao (Donphan / Walls)


I have remained extremely confident of my deck’s ability to beat Donphan and even though this matchup went to three games, I felt confident throughout the series. 2 Pokemon Center Ladies and a max potion were too much for Ricky to overcome in Game 1 as I Megalocannon’d through his Donphans, but he fought valiantly in Game 2, scoring a KO on my Virizion before I could emerald slash twice, making this matchup an uphill battle for me that I couldn’t come back from. Game 3 really came down to the wire as my max potion and enhanced hammer were prized, allowing Ricky to get off a Wreck with Donphan in the middle of the game. The end of the game saw Ricky whiff a Hawlucha + energy drop for game and me top deck my Jirachi-EX, allowing me to grab my shadow triad to red signal through his robot and one shot a zekrom for game, capturing my first city championship in nearly two years and redeeming myself for my 2nd place finish at the Marysville City Championship in 2013!

 

Closing Thoughts


This article has already gone extremely long and I don’t want to write a long winded report of my top 8 performance the following day so here’s a cliffsnotes version. I again went undefeated in swiss and headed into cut as the third seed at 3-0-2 but was promptly eliminated by Richard Reynolds who was playing an extremely consistent metal deck that focused on shutting down attacks through non-ex Coballion’s ironbreaker attack while setting up one shot KO’s via Dialga-EX.


One interesting observation Richard made was my lack of using G-Booster much throughout our two games and he’s absolutely spot on. In a format where most decks are focusing primarily on 2-shot KO’s, I too am focusing on two shot KO’s and opting to use G-Booster as a win more or clincher card and less of crutch to lean on. I do not use prizing my G-Booster as an excuse for losing matchups (other than Pyroar of course) because I should be able to win without it. That is the power of the consistency, the synergistic numbers and built in abilities of the Virizion-Genesect archetype. G-Booster is your figurative trump card, your comeback kid and your ability to remove pokemon that threaten to run through your board. It is not your win condition nor should you play yourself into a position where it’s your only out.


Thank you for reading and may the odds ever be in your favor throughout the rest of your city championship series!

 

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