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Tobias Thesing

Supernova Blast 4: A First Place Report and Metagame Review

Tobias talks about the Italian Special Premier Event and his successful tournament run with Tyrantrum.

11/17/2015 by Tobias Thesing

Introduction and Deck

The Supernova Blast already caught my interest last year, but it was too difficult and expensive to reach from Germany. However, this year, my friend and testing mate Robin Schulz and I were able to get some cheap bus tickets. We originally planned the trip to Milano with at least two more friends and already booked a hotel for four people, but unfortunately they had to cancel a few days before the tournament. After a long journey to Italy, we arrived at our hotel on Friday afternoon, testing and discussing our decks.

The idea to play the new Tyrantrum promo with Bronzong and Giratina was in my head since the beginning of September; however, after the Arena Cup Würzburg, there were no major Expanded tournaments nearby. When Jonathan Paranada won Vancouver Regionals with a list very similar to what I thought of and discussed with Robin, there was a pretty solid evidence the deck can indeed do well. It still felt a bit clunky during test matches, so I actually wasn't sure what to play until Saturday morning. I prepared Tyrantrum as well as a basic Yveltal deck and decided for the first one when we arrived at the (pretty cool) location.

As mentioned, the list is pretty similar to Paranada's, so there's not much to explain. Heavy Ball is nice extra consistency and can search for many Pokémon in the deck, including the 70 HP Bronzor. Originally I planned to play two of them, but cut one for an Enhanced Hammer, which can help to lock down Night March or Vespiquen and also does a lot against Giratina. Tool Scrapper is mainly to face Garbodor decks, but can just be played down in a useful way against almost every deck and is—like Enhanced Hammer—especially effective in combination with Giratina.

Switch/Escape Rope (against Hex Maniac, Giratina, etc) and Town Map (since some matchups are highly dependent on Prizes with so many different attackers and one-of Supporters) are some other options to consider. The only card I would maybe cut is the last Bronzor, but this time I went for consistency.

Tournament Report

Round 1 versus Kevin K. - Donphan

1) My start isn't very good and I whiff Sky Field multiple times, but I can set up Giratina and after that, wall with Aegislash, preventing some potential damage. He can get knockouts via Lysandre, but there are many turns we both just pass. In the end I get a very close win.

2) The game looks very good for me, since I can cycle Giratina with AZ, but time is called before we're finished.

1-0-0

Round 2 versus Alessandro S. - Yveltal/Archeops

1) I have to discard two Bronzong to get new cards, which results in no Bronzong for me the whole game since he later got Archeops in play. Fortunately for me, his draw isn't very good, I can effectively buy turns and use them to consistently attach Energy from hand, having Tyrantrum get the knockouts it needs for the win.

2) He has turn-two Archeops, but I can play Hex Maniac and evolve two Bronzongs. Tyrantrum is ready quickly, but my Lysandre is prized and he has baby Yveltal Active, which I fight with Cobalion. Then the tradeoff follows, but during that he brings his own Hex Maniac, forcing me to use a previously set up Giratina. I Lysandre his Shaymin to get one of the DDEs, (which I need for the final attack with Tyrantrum) out of my Prizes.

2-0-0 

Round 3 versus Günther K. - Accelgor/Wobbuffet

1) My Lysandre is Prized, which is kinda crucial in this matchup. I can't really deal with Wobbuffet effectively even in turns where he doesn't Paralyze me, so at a certain point I don't see any option to get more Prizes and scoop that game.

2) This game doesn't go well for me either early on. I only have Tyrantrum, which is the worst attacker in this matchup, but lacking other options, I'm actually forced to attack with it twice in order to do get some progress. He plays Virbank when I don't have any counter-Stadiums left, increasing his damage output. However in lategame I get an Aegislash ready to attack, and with some well-timed Lysandres, I can avoid several turns of lock. This also gives me time to finally build up Giratina, blocking his DCE and taking the last few Prizes.

3) Time is called when the game has just started.

2-0-1

Round 4 versus Thomas P. - ToadBats

1) Really bad start while he as almost everything, can't do much in this game.

2) He has only one Basic and I can donk him turn-two with Tyrantrum.

3) Quaking Punch hurts me a lot, I try to stall with Cobalion, but I only have one Bronzong and need to attach energy manually to retreat Keldeo for clearing poison. Then I continue with Aegislash while he stuffs his bench and doesn't have backup hitters. The lock breaks and I can set up with Giratina and later Tyrantrum to win.

3-0-1

Round 5 versus Fabio C. - Blastoise

1) He goes first and has a turn-one Blastoise, but I get a decent start and can pull the knockout plus Hex Maniac move before I'm too far behind. I catch up, get my second Tyrantrum from my Prizes, and have a stable board and Prize lead to win the game.

2) With turn-one Hex Maniac, I can disrupt him a lot. He has Blastoise turn two and we both build up a lot slower than in the first game. After his first attack, I can hit him with Tyrantrum and Hex Maniac once again and he scoops when time is called.

4-0-1

Round 6 versus Simone Z. - Toad/Giratina

1) My start is extremely weak. I try to harass him with Cobalion, but it falls to an unfortunate Laser heads/tails. Then I can't do much but stall with Aegislash, but somehow he isn't able to bring it down for a long time, which I can use to slowly draw new cards and build up my Bench. I start attacking with Tyrantrum and catch up in Prizes. After a tricky decision of what to discard when Sky Field is kicked, I can win with my last resources, thanks to three Bronzong on my Bench.

2) He doesn't draw well, so I can build up my Pokémon and start attacking with Giratina and Cobalion early. He manages to Knock Out Giratina, but at that point I'm already far ahead.

5-0-1 

Round 7 versus Robin S. - Toad/Giratina

Intentional draw.

5-0-2

Top cut was played on Sunday, so after roaming through the city for a short time, Robin and I headed back to our hotel to get some hours of sleep. Arriving early the next day, we were ready for the decisive matches. 

Top 8 versus Michele Z. - Toad/Giratina

Since I didn't take notes after the top cut matches, I don't remember this game in detail, but I played out my standard strategy, walling with Aegislash, discarding Energy with Cobalion, using AZ, and taking knockouts with Tyrantrum, and though I struggled in some parts, it worked out in general.

Semifinals versus Louis B. - ToadBats/Manectric

Got pretty lucky in this match, especially in the first game where I had a really fast setup. Since his deck can only win this matchup if it prevents or at least delays mine from setting up its full potential, he couldn't do much.

You can watch the full video of this match here

Finals versus Robin S. - Toad/Giratina

We did it! Meeting in finals at a large tournament is bascially the ultimate goal for a tournament when you've tested and traveled together. But in this case, there was only one trophy which we both wanted, so we stayed serious for the close finals.

In the first game, I put down early pressure with a turn-two Giratina, and although Item-locked most of the time, I stay ahead in Prizes until he scoops. The second game I set up slowly, but due to the lock and missing cards, I don't get to attack with Tyrantrum until he has only two Prizes left, which he can easily take in the end with Lysandre. In the final game, I fight with Aegislash and Cobalion early. When time is close, I put a total of six Energy to Tyrantrum and attack to even out in Prizes, hopefully taking the next two decisive Prizes in the following turn. However, he plays Hex Maniac and Laser heads/tails, so I can't get out of the lock and Tyrantrum loses HP by Poison. It still stays Asleep at the end of my turn and another Hex Maniacs keeps me locked, but at the last moment, Tyrantrum wakes up to win the game, match, and tournament.

You can watch the video of this match here, but the last part is missing.

Metagame

Looking at the top tables, it was clearly obvious that Seismitoad dominated the Supernova Blast, mostly played with Giratina, but some classic versions with Crobat and Manectric also did well. The rest of the field was a colorful mix of known decks, like Tyrantrum, Vespiquen, and Blastoise. Accelgor/Wobbuffet was one of the highest-placing non-meta decks, Günther missed the top cut by just one game in the last round.

It was interesting to see was that Yveltal, widely considered the number one Expanded meta deck after three weeks of U.S. Regionals, was only played a few times and hasn't been seen at the top tables during the last rounds. This might be just a coincidence, or maybe the fear of players picking such an obvious deck that could be countered a lot. It would even have been a solid meta call for this weekend. Another deck played a lot less than expected was Night March, but with a rather poor matchup against the most played deck, ToadTina, it probably wouldn't have come so far. As already published, the following decks made top 8 in the end.

1) Tobias T. - Tyrantrum/Giratina/Bronzong
2) Robin S. - Seismitoad/Giratina
3) Louis B. – Seismitoad/Manectric/Crobat
4) Simone Z. - Seismitoad/Giratina
5) Nicolo C. – Vespiquen/Flareon
6) Kim P. - Sableye/Garbodor
7) Charles B. - Seismitoad/Giratina
8) Michele Z. - Seismitoad/Giratina

Runner-up Robin played a list similar to the one he used at the Arena Cup Würzburg, where he brought ToadTina to its first success worldwide. For the Supernova Blast, he added Jirachi, Ghetsis, and Hex Maniac to have more answers against certain matchups, including the Tyrantrum deck I played.

Conclusion

The BLW-AOR metagame cycle is coming to a close soon. There are two more weekends of European Regionals before BREAKthrough is legal for tournament play. We've seen one weekend of U.S. Regionals with high success of Blastoise, followed by one dominated by Vespiquen. However, both of these decks can get a lot of hate when expected. Blastoise struggles against Hex Maniac and well-timed Item-lock, while Vespiquen has problems with Archeops.

Tyrantrum is, in my opionion, still a solid pick that can win most of the common matchups, but in the close ones, you might be dependent on your draw to keep up. In the next format, it also has to deal with Parallel City. Yveltal is a lot more stable and consistent, but can be hard-countered by Manectric decks and usually can't expect many "easy" games in a tournament. Then we have, of course, ToadTina. I'm personally not a fan of this deck since it relies on flip cards a lot, but apart from this, it can potentially deal with almost any matchup by just locking down the opponent.

Thanks for reading my tournament report! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And to the European players, see you at the Arena Cup Berlin, the first major Standard tournament with BREAKthrough!

-Tobias

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