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Kenny Wisdom

A Tale of Two LCs

Kenny Wisdom walks you through his two most recent League Challenges, complete with Night March and Blastoise decklists!

09/29/2015 by Kenny Wisdom

Hey, everybody! Kenny Wisdom here, and today I thought I would give you all a quick rundown of my two most recent League Challenges. Although I find tournament reports pretty boring, I hope that my discussion about the decks I played and why are beneficial to you all.

LC #1 - Lakewood, WA with Night March (4-0-1, 1st)

My reason for playing League Challenges at all are to prepare for the upcoming Regional Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. Because I've taken the past few years of competitive play off to livestream tournaments, I want to make sure that I'm in fighting shape for Regionals.

With that being said, I decided to play what I felt was both one of the most powerful decks in the format, and the deck that I would likely need the most practice with, Night March/Archeops!

Here's the decklist, for those interested, courtesy of my good pal and teammate, Trevore Read

While this is a pretty standard Night March list, allow me to go through a couple of the choices...

3 Shaymin, 0 Jirachi: In retrospect, this may be incorrect, but I'm not sure. While Jirachi does help you pull off the Maxie's/Archeops combo, it is a huge liability in a deck that is already running Mew-EX and Shaymin-EX. I will need to test this to be sure, but for now I would probably stick with my original list.

1 Hex Maniac: Hex Maniac is a super interesting card. Although it didn't come into play for me at all during the tournament, I do feel as though it's a powerful play. Shutting down Garbotoxin, Allergy Pollen, or even something like Deluge can absolutely swing games your way. Be careful not to shut off your own Mew with it, though!

Other than that, I feel the deck is pretty standard. Here's a quick rundown of my matches...

Round 1: Donphan, 1-0
Round 2: Mirror, 1-0
Round 3: Giratina-EX/Seismitoad-EX, 1-0
Round 4: Klinklang, 1-0
Round 5: Night March, ID

All of my matches were honestly pretty unexciting. In the first round, I got a turn-one Archeops, which completely shut down my opponent's deck. In the second round, I played pretty poorly but forced my opponent to play down Pokémon-EX, which is a killer in the mirror. In round three I drew incredibly well while my opponent failed to find a Double Dragon Energy. In round four my opponent never really got going, again due to a first turn Archeops.

Although the matches were far from compelling, I'm a strong believer that every game can tell us something. Here are a few of the major lessons I learned from this event:

  • Archeops isn't always good, but when it is, it's great. As you can from my short report above, in the games where it was relevant, it absolutely dominated the landscape of the game in my favor. I do think that Archeops' effectiveness may decrease slightly if/when Hex Maniac starts to make an appearance, but opponents can't rely solely on Hex Maniac as their Supporter every turn, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

  • Night March is a deck that relies on a mix of aggression and perfect calculation. Due to my inexperience with the deck, there were multiple instances of near misplays that certainly would've cost me the game. Even things as simple as discarding the wrong Night Marcher, or not attacking with the right Marcher, and things like that. Not something to worry about for the more experienced players, but if you're considering Night March for Regionals, I'd definitely recommend playing out a few dozen goldfish hands.

  • Given the right draws, Night March can beat anything. Something I like to do in my spare time is goldfish Night March hands in which my opponent opens Wailord-EX, and see if I can knock it out. Nevermind the fact that it requires the actual perfect amount of Night Marchers in the discard pile and absolutely nothing can go wrong, that's not the point. The point is that the deck has so much raw power that it has the capability of beating absolutely any setup from a non-Item-lock opponent.

 

LC #2 - Renton, WA with Archie's Blastoise (4-1, 4th)

As I said before, my main reasoning for traveling to LCs at this point in the season is to get myself in shape for Regionals. Because of this, I've resolved to try out as many different decks as possible, both to familiarize myself with different strategies, and as information gathering for my testing partners. This time, I decided to play Archie's Blastoise, more for the experience part and less for the information part, I'll be honest. Here's the list I played...

You may recognize this as Jacob Van Wagner's Worlds-winning list. Because this list is already a known quantity and has been written about at length, allow me to explain some of the changes that Jacob and I considered making when talking about the list for this LC...

+1 Articuno: Articuno is one of your best cards versus Night March, and if you expect a field heavily populated by the deck, it's not a bad call. In the end I decided against it because I thought that most players would be off Night March in favor of Archie's (turns out I was right!).

+1 Bunnelby: Bunnelby is good in the mirror and in any other match up where players are going through their decks at the speed of light. Overall, Bunnelby would've been the correct call, as the tournament was just flooded with Blastoise decks, but I decided against it out of fear of it being dead for the entire tournament.

Here's a quick rundown of my matches...

Round 1: Wobbuffet 1-0
Round 2: Yveltal 0-1
Round 3: Fairies 1-0
Round 4: Yveltal 1-0
Round 5: Night March 1-0

Again, my games were pretty unexciting. My first round opponent didn't draw a Supporter for the entire game, and after manually attaching to a Keldeo-EX three times, I was able to sweep his board. Round two actually ended in a draw, but I conceded because I was dead on board the next turn anyway. Round three, my opponent failed to get set up. Round four was pretty close, but I was able to eke out the win after my opponent failed to return a crucial KO. In round five, my opponent Prized four of his Night Marchers, so there wasn't much of a game to speak of.

Here's what I learned during this event...

  • The Yveltal-EX matchup is tricky, and from what I can see, it comes down to return-KOs. Typically, assuming you hit the turn-one Blastoise, you will KO whatever they have Active, and then they will attempt to return the KO via an Yveltal-EX with at least two Energy attached. If they successfully return the KO, the game comes down to whether or not you can continue that exchange via drawing Superior Energy Retrievals. If they miss the first KO, it's likely that you'll just run over everything they have. Overall, I would call the match up even to slightly favorable, but very draw-dependent.

  • Having to rely on Abilities still matters. If my Wobbuffet opponent had gotten anything set up in the three turns it took me to get a Blastoise on board and manually attach to my Keldeo, I would've been absolutely dead. I'm not sure how to combat this other than just "play another deck" but it is an important factor when deciding on a deck.

  • Blastoise, much like Night March, has the power to just run over anything that's put in front of it. Unlike Night March, though, it has some nuance to its play and allows you multiple options of attackers and various levels of aggression. Overall, I think it's definitely the best deck in the format, at least for week one.

 

So there you have it. Two LCs, two high finishes, two different decks. I'll be a regular contributor to 60cards from now on, so please let me know how you liked this article, and what you would like to see in the future!

XO

KW
@kwisdumb

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