Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who Is the Best Decidueye of them All?
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the best Decidueye of them all? Here's a 2nd place Intercontinental report with Decidueye GX.
03/27/2017 by Pablo Meza
Hello everyone! The Oceania International Championship took place a couple of weekends ago where I managed to place 2nd at the event with Decidueye GX / Vileplume! I’m sure you guys have read and seen a lot of info regrading the deck as it has been quite heavily hyped lately so I’m going to focus on the event itself and my tournament report for today’s article!
My Australian travels started with me arriving in Melbourne on the Wednesday before the event, as did many others. I spent that day mostly settling in to my Airbnb, having some nice food and playing a few games. At that point I was pretty set on running DeciPlume but was pretty sure there would be many others considering it too and I wasn’t too happy about facing a lot of potential mirror matches at the event, so I went to bed hoping to either figure out some good way to have a solid matchup against it, or just make sure I practiced the mirror enough where I felt comfortable playing it out.
Thursday came around and I went out to the 2 card stores recommended by the local Melbourne peeps to find the last few cards my friends and I needed for decks. I stayed with 2 friends from Chile and 1 from Argentina, all of whom made Day 2, and two of us made Top 8, so the quality practice I got in on Thursday was invaluable.
I was playing DeciPlume for the most part against various decks from my friends, and I kept beating them consistently, especially when going first. We even played a few mirrors, which once again I was able to win out most Bo3’s so I started to feel super comfortable with my choice and even at the possibility of duking it out all day vs mirrors. Towards the end of the day, Gustavo Wada, a friend from Brazil who also got Top 8 this weekend, came to our Airbnb and proceeded to CRUSH me 4-0 with his unique version of Volcanion, which honestly completely killed my confidence on the deck but at that point it was too late for me to switch away from it. Our matches were pretty polarizing as to how my other games vs Volcanion had gone up to that point, and all throughout that day I had been using the ‘classic’ 1 Lugia-EX, 1 Tauros-GX, and 1 Beedrill-EX in the deck.
During the night, I talked a fair bit with John Kettler--the guy who, if not created, definitely put the deck on everyone’s radar after his Top 16 Anaheim finish--about potential mirror techs and just overall consistency, along with the inclusion of Meowth and a 2nd Lugia-EX.
The conclusion was that even though Mad Bull-GX is an incredibly potent attack, most, if not all good players know how to play around it perfectly and/or make sure it doesn’t beat them out of the game, and Hollow Hunt-GX is so important under item lock that you rarely ever prefer to use Tauros’ attack over Decidueye’s. With this in mind, Tauros is an inferior attacker to Lugia-EX in most situations, so I went with 2 Lugia-EX. Then, when considering Meowth, I figured it would serve many purposes and even be a ‘soft’ Garbodor counter, which was Beedrill’s main purpose.
The extra damage output from Meowth onto the bench allows you to seal games way faster than without it, and allows for some ‘check mate’ situations if you work your Feather Arrow + Turmoil Strike maths correctly where no matter what they do, you are able to secure the match.
Locking something up and damaging the bench is a huge factor as to why Decidueye-GX wins games, but having that extra pressure from Meowth allows you to actually never need to get rid of the active Pokemon to get some KO’s--amazing. You really can’t compare dealing 20-40 damage to the bench and then having to pass so you don’t KO the active and allow your opponent more freedom, to dealing 70-90 damage to the bench and forcing your opponent to find outs to retreating whatever you locked active.
Another benefit of Meowth is it actually is an attacker you can search out through Level Ball, rather than Ultra Ball, which made it a bit easier to access at times.
With all of this in mind, I settled on this list for the next day, assuming I wouldn’t run into too much Garbodor (correct on that regard) and dealing with it when necessary through Meowth when possible and/or Lysandres.
Oceania 2nd place
- 4x Rowlet
- 4x Dartrix
- 4x Decidueye GX
- 2x Oddish
- 2x Gloom
- 2x Vileplume
- 2x Lugia EX
- 1x Meowth
- 3x Shaymin EX
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 3x N-supporter
- 2x Lysandre
- 4x Forest of Giant Plants
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 3x Level Ball
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Revitalizer
- 4x Grass Energy
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
One thing I did not expect though was that there would be SO MANY MIRROR MATCHES!
Round 1 vs Jack Leong w/ Decidueye GX/Vileplume (0-0-0)
As we both flipped over a Rowlet I knew this would be an interesting way to start the day off. I won the flip to go first and, as was the trend of the day, I won a quick game 1 by locking my opponent out of the game early on. Game 2 he proceeded to do the same to me as he chose to go first, but then game 3 was a much closer game where every Feather Arrow counted but I do believe that having 2 Lugia-EX proved to be very useful here as I was able to deal with his Tauros GX through Deep Hurricane which allowed me to just out damage his Pokemon throughout the game.
Round 2 vs Jake Cruwys w/ Decidueye GX/Vileplume (1-0-0)
Second mirror match of the day, woo! I don’t remember who went first in this round, but games 1 and 2 were played out as the previous round, two quick games where the player going first just got too good a start and shut down the other one. Game 3 though was very different scenario and I got off to a pretty bad start. I still managed to stay in the game for a while and neither of us had set up Vileplume, but in one turn Jake played his only Timer Ball and flipped double heads which allowed him to set up another Decidueye GX AND the Vileplume in the same turn, which proved to bee too much for me to deal with and things spiraled out of control and into his favor for him from that point onwards as I struggled to set up a second Decidueye GX to keep up.
Round 3 vs Vlasios Papageorgakis w/Volcanion EX (1-1-0)
As he flipped over Volcanion-EX, I got quite nervous because even though it’s not a bad matchup, it’s not exactly the best one either. I did get to go first though and a turn 1 Vileplume allowed me to win a game as he slowly tried to build up attackers, but I used Meowth to target whatever was getting powered up whilst the active Volcanion-EX had no energy attached to it. Game 2 played out very similar as his start wasn’t stellar and he wasn’t able to make the best use of all his item cards during that one turn he was able to use them.
Round 4 vs Fabrizio Bellucci w/Decidueye GX/Vileplume (2-1-0)
Fabri is an Argentinian friend and one of the people I was rooming with for the event. It was not fun to have to play him, specially this early on, and for my third mirror match of the day. I knew going in that Meowth could prove useful, as well as having the 2nd Lugia-EX over his Tauros-GX. We played an incredibly close game 1, with a lot of turning points and clutch Lysandres which I definitely misplayed towards the end and he was able to close it out despite me going first and being in what looked to be a commanding position at the beginning of the game with the turn 1 Vileplume and Deciduey- GX. Game 2 I got the same set up and locked him out of the game, and game 3 I ended up drawing dead and just watched him play out the cards. A disappointing way to lose a mirror match but mostly because I know I misplayed quite badly in that first game.
Round 5 vs Andrew Kennett w/Decidueye GX/Vileplume (2-2-0)
I faced Drew at Anaheim and he completely destroyed me, so I wasn’t looking forward to this, specially because he’s a really cool guy and whoever lost this round would pretty much be out of contention for the rest of the tournament. As mirrors go though, this was one of the fastest I played all day as I got to go first, and all 3 games played out the same. Early turn 1 item lock for the player going first made it so that the other player had no chance to get going and the games finished quite quickly. Maybe game 3 lasted a little bit longer as Drew tried to set up his board but I learned from my mistakes in the previous round and made sure to not overextend and play out my lead in a much more safer way.
Round 6 vs Brent Tonisson w/Turbo Darkrai-EX (3-2-0)
I was pretty happy to see him flip over a Darkrai-EX, as I had played 4 mirrors already up until that point. He went first and got a pretty good set up by using a ton of item cards on turn 1 and I didn’t have a stellar start so I was playing catch up for the whole game and whiffed a crucial Lysandre which would’ve probably allowed me to turn the game around, as he had benched Hoopa-EX and I would’ve been able to lock it in the active slot. Game 2 I went first and got a pretty quick win through the turn 1 Item lock, but then game 3, feeling confident in my chances to seal out the game, I completely dead drew. My opponent was shaking as he knew he had to seize this chance, and by the time I got going he was too far ahead for me to catch up, so I ended up losing game 3.
At this point I’m 3-3-0 and honestly pretty disheartened with very few expectations. I had practiced so much the days leading up to the tournament, and after failing to make Day 2 at 5 events in a row this season, my confidence was definitely very shaky at this point in time. A friend came over to talk to me and encourage me, and I figured I could still look forward to securing a Top 64 spot. Little did I know though, how big of a turnaround would happen from this point onwards…
Round 7 vs Jarryd Bast w/Umbreon GX/Garbodor (3-3-0)
Jarryd was very friendly from the beginning and we both knew a tie would mean nothing for us so we were both playing at a quick pace to make sure time wouldn’t be an issue. Games 1 and 3 were very close, with a lot of luck going my way in terms of him being always 1 or 2 cards away from having the Garbodor lock or an energy away to getting a crucial KO.
Round 8 vs Derrien Meaker w/Jolteon EX/Glaceon EX/Regice/Garbodor (4-3-0)
I honestly don’t remember much about this couple of games, but despite the Garbodor, you have ways of dealing with both Jolteon EX and Glaceon Ex with Decidueye and Lugia respectively, so even without abilities or Item lock, this was a relatively easy match for my deck to deal with and I won 2-0.
Round 9 Paul Yeung w/Decidueye GX/Vileplume (5-3-0)
Unfortunate that I had to play against a good friend of mine in the last round, and my FIFTH mirror of the day! I went first and the deck decided to run in god mode this round, as I got turn 1 Vileplume and 2 Decidueye’s I believe in game 1, and then game 2 he didn’t get a stellar start and it got to a point where I had all 4 Decidueye GX in play, something I had never previously achieved in testing at all.
So I finished the day at 6-3-0 and I checked how my opponents did and it wasn't looking like I would have good resistance at all. I knew the bubble would be 18 points but I doubted my resistance would hold up. After being 3-3-0 though I already had set my mind to getting Top 64 and some points.
Standings got posted and I didn’t even bother going up to check but a lot of people start shouting at me that I made it in at 32nd place! My first thought was that it was a really mean thing to say to me and a bad joke, but they encouraged me to go and check and sure enough, there I was in the 32nd slot!
I cannot describe how happy I was to see that! Every 18 points player made it, thanks to a few rounds ending in a tie in the last round, and there I was, with my under 50% resistance as the last seed to make Day 2!
With such a turnaround, I was going into Day 2 with a different mentality. I had finally made it past the Day 1 ‘barrier’ and going in as the last seed, I literally could not do any worse, even if I went 0-5 for the day, I’d still get 32nd seed or so, so I had nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain, specially being so close from complete elimination the day before.
Round 10 vs Nicolas Galaz w/Decidueye GX/Vileplume (6-3-0)
As fate would have it, with 4 other 18 pointers, I play against the guy I’m rooming with. He was also pretty happy to make it to Day 2 as he was 3-3-0 the day before just like me. The games played out pretty straightforward for games 1 and 2 where player going first got the lock and won quickly. Game 3 though was one of those incredibly close mirror matches and Meowth was a huge factor in allowing me to win. The extra 50 damage I was able to deal to his bench as we both had 2 Decidueye GX up and running ended up being crucial, and allowed me to eliminate one of his Decidueye GX, as well as setting up a win condition against his 2 benched Shaymin EX’s where it didn’t matter which one he Sky Returned, I’d be able to KO the other one through Feather Arrows for the win.
Round 11 vs Jit Min Lim w/Decidueye GX/Vileplume (7-3-0)
SEVEN mirror matches! How crazy is that? Jit beat me at Worlds using a crazy Excadrill/Vespiquen deck so I was scared he’d have some secret spicy tech to beat me. I lost the flip and lost game 1 through the turn 1 lock as expected. Game 2 I won fairly quickly and the game 3, I distinctly remember my starting hand and my heart sinking completely: Shaymin EX, 2x Decidueye GX, 2x Dartrix, Lysandre and Forest of Giant Plants. I put my poker face on, hoping for a turn 1 N to remedy my situation but instead I was greeted by a Turn 1 Vileplume and Decidueye GX. Thankfully though, the Vileplume was not holding a Float Stone, so I was able to Lysandre it up to buy me a couple of turns. Eventually I topdecked an N and somehow, someway, I fought myself back into the game. The key part being Meowth plus his non Float Stoned Vileplume, I was able to dictate the tempo of the game as Meowth was not threatened at all and I kept Vileplume active and 1 Feather Arrow away from getting KO’d, discouraging him from attaching any energy onto it to retreat as I bluffed that I would KO it any minute now.
Round 12 vs Yogie Surya w/Mega Mewtwo EX/Garbodor (8-3-0)
Finally a non mirror match, but I was not looking forward to facing the Garbodor. Thankfully though, he never did prioritize getting it out, focusing on Mewtwo instead but he ended up benching Hoopa in every game and this gave me some wiggle room to stabilize. I did lose a game where I fell too far behind trying to set up, but the 2 Lugia EX proved crucial here to punish the big Mega Mewtwo’s he tried to build up.
Round 13 vs Andre Miranda w/Jolteon EX/Glaceon EX/Regice/Garbodor (9-3-0)
There was an error with the pairings and instead of facing Alex Hill with 27 points, we both get downpaired to playing against people with 25 points. Andre knows I am 1 win away and offers to concede, which I happily accept.
Round 14 vs Gustavo Wada w/Volcanion EX (10-3-0)
After being so close to elimination, I am now sitting at 30 points and playing in Table 1 with a guaranteed Top 8 spot! I could not believe how everything turned out and how I was able to pull off the comeback to place myself all the way in 4th place going into Top 8! We of course agree to ID as there’s not reason to play this round.
After not being able to make Day 2 in so many tournaments, I was pretty happy with having made essentially Day 3 at the International. Starting Day 2 I figured I had nothing to lose, but now sitting in the Top 8 and playing against Alex Hill for my eighth mirror match, I now had a feeling that going all the way was a very real possibility.
Top 8 vs Alex Hill w/Decidueye GX/Vileplume (10-3-1)
In such a high pressure situation, I can honestly say Alex is one of the friendliest and coolest people in the game, and he was also pretty happy to finally not bubble and make it into cut as well! Our match was a pretty entertaining one, specially game 1 where even though I won the flip, my Sycamore into what looked to be a really great board position, actually gave me 4 energy and some basic Pokemon, so I was stuck there and he in turn didn’t get a stellar start as he whiffed the stadium. We got set up slowly, manually evolving in a mirror match which was a first for me throughout the tournament, and eventually it came down to him forcing me to play the 7 prize card game, and needing a Lysandre to win off an Unown top deck. Thankfully he whiffed and I was able to secure game 1, and game 2 he had a great turn 1 lock start, BUT I had the perfect combination of cards turn 1 to actually not be affected by it, and was actually able to turn the game around in my favor and pull off the 2-0 win.
Top 4 vs Jesper Erikssen w/Turbo Darkrai (11-3-1)
This game, as well as the final, were streamed so I will leave the link to the video right here:
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After seeing his start on game 1 I was afraid but he pretty much dead drew after that so I was able to slowly come back into the game as Decidueye’s massive 240 HP proved to be too much for him to handle.
Top 2 vs Pedro Torres w/Volcanion EX (12-3-1)
From zero (or 32nd) to hero? I’ll leave the link to the finals here as well:
Who knows what would have happened had I found a Dartrix in that game 1…
And this concludes my tournament report. I can’t say how happy I am to finally have broken through and shown at an International level that I have what it takes to compete. I’m hoping this will be the turning point in my season and I’m very excited for the next Internationals in Brazil! I am now ranked 1st place in LATAM and will be doing my best to try and keep myself in that position, so I can secure my Day 2 Worlds invite and possible future Travel Awards to the next Internationals!
Thank you so much for reading this long report and if you want to keep following me, check out my youtube channel over at youtube.com/tablemon for deck reviews, tournament analysis and more!
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02/22/2019 by Jose Marrero // Jose goes over his outstanding Top 4 finish at this past Oceania International Championships. (+36)