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Sebastian Inks

Mega Gardevoir and the Brilliant FL States run!

2015 Florida State Championship Report - 1st Place

04/19/2015 by Sebastian Inks

 

Introduction

Hey everyone, I am Sebastian Inks and I have recently come back to the Pokemon TCG after about a 2.5 year hiatus. Since I came back in January, I have been traveling all over the place to tournaments with a few people in my area.

When Primal Clash came out, I knew for sure that I would run Gardevoir, as it is one of my favorite Pokemon. I made a list and tested it a bunch, took it to FL Regionals, and went 5-4, grabbing 92nd place... Kind of a bust. But I was determined to make it work.

I refined the list a lot and took it to Georgia States, where I went 5-2, taking 12th place. I was pretty proud of that finish, since I had only been playing the game again for about 2 months. So I began to test the list like crazy, and after making a small change or two, I knew I had an extremely solid list.

So we drove a few hours south, to the place my Pokemon TCG journey began 5 years ago, Melbourne, FL, to take FL States by storm.

 

The List

 

 

This is the tried and true list that I have come up with over the month and a half of testing. There are a couple of key cards that I will explain here:

Xerneas - This card is the main core of the deck. Your optimal start would be with this Pokemon, so that you can begin accelerating Energy to your benched Pokemon and getting tons of Fariy Energies on the field. It can also be used to get through Safeguard.

3-3 Aromatisse - I opted to go with a thicker Aromatisse line, to make sure I can get one on the field early in the game, and I also don't have to worry about discarding parts of the line early on.

Florges EX - Florges is a fantastic attacker because it can hit 120 damage on turn 2. This is devastating to decks like Primal Groudon, Exeggutor, and even Flareon. Being able to rush an attacker and begin taking prizes by turn 2 is a big deal.

Pokemon Fan Club - This card is a great supporter for Fairies. It lets you grab 2 Basic Pokemon, really helping guarantee the consistency of your setup.

Escape Rope - This is another tech mainly for the Primal Groudon matchup. Primal Groudon is the hardest matchup for Gardevoir, other than Steel. So being able to disrupt their setup by possibly getting the Groudon active and making them find a way to get the Landorus back in the active slot is awesome.

Double Colorless Energy - M Gardevoir's attack costs [Fairy][C][C], so this is a great card to pair with her. It also minimizes the number of Fairy Energy lost when your M Gardevoir is knocked out. It is also exetremely clutch when paired with my "secret" tech:

Exp. Share - This card is crazy good in M Gardevoir, and just Fairies in general. Being able to take KOs with Gardevoir, and only have 1 Fairy Energy on it is awesome, but the best part is, when it is knocked out due to damage from an opponent's attack, you can move that single Fairy Energy to your benched Pokemon with Exp. Share on it. This is so clutch, and has literally won me so many games, due to the unexpectedness of it.

THE MOST CLUTCH TECH

FL States Report


So me and a few other Jacksonville players (Jason, Parker, Sam, and James) drove down to Melbourne on Friday night and grabbed a hotel. They all playtested a couple games, but I was confident in my deck choice. So I decided to go to sleep a little early, and get some rest for the the next day. We woke up, grabbed some food from McDonalds, then went to the venue to check in. We all made our decklists, turned them in, got the sweet custom FL State Championship mat, courtesy of Team OP, and sat down to play a few games before the tournament started. Rounds were posted, and it was time to make the magic happen.

R1 vs Sharpedo/Yveltal/Hydreigon/Malamar/Darkrai WLW 1-0-0  

So my opponent flips over a Sharpedo with a Deino on the bench. I figured it would be a pretty easy round. Boy was I wrong. Game 1 was rough. I had 2 Fairy Energy prized, and he got an extremely fast setup. I was able to Geomancy twice, but after a few turns into the game, I had 5 Fairy Energy in the discard and 5 on the field.

The main point of his deck was to use Sharpedo EX's Jagged Fang attack, which does 100 damage, discards an Energy from Sharpedo EX, and discards an Energy from the defending Pokemon. He paired this with Malamar EX, Dark Trans Hydreigon, and Dark Impulse Hydreigon, so he could never lose any energy. He kept knocking the Fairy Energy off of my active Xerneas, making it very hard to power up my Gardevoirs on the bench.

I eventually got a Mega Gardevoir powered up with 7 Fairy Energy on the field, after using Lysandre's Trump Card 3 times, and I ran through him. Game 2 was short. I Supporter-droughted for 5 straight turns as he got a powered up Sharpedo EX yet again, so I scooped to have enough time for Game 3. In Game 3, I got my optimal setup, and after 3 turns of Geomancy, I ran through him.

Most annoying card...

R2 vs M Gardevoir/Malamar/Xerneas/Keldeo WW 2-0-0  

My opponent sat down at the table with a M Gardevoir playmat, pink deck box, and pink sleeves. I have the same exact setup, and I could only think "Maybe he is playing Gardevoir like I am." Well, when he mulligan'd, I saw that it was the mirror match. I have not tested this matchup much at all, so I was ready for a good match.

In Game 1, I went first, with both of us starting Xerneas. I was a little scared, because he would be able to get the first Geomancy off, and that might be bad for me. Luckily, I got the Energy attachment on turn 1, and he whiffed the energy on his turn. So this put me in a fantastic position. I got a really solid setup, and took the game 6-0. I did see a few things I wasn't expecting in that match though, such as a Malamar EX, Xerneas EX, and Keldeo EX.

So I went into Game 2 pretty confident, because I know he plays a toolbox version of Gardevoir, and I knew my list would be more consistent. In Game 2, we both got decent setups, but I out-muscled him and won the prize war. He was a really cool guy, and he told me this was his first tournament, as he just started playing a few months ago. I ended up giving him some deck advice after the tournament.

R3 vs Seismitoad/Garbador WLW 3-0-0  

Game 1 was pretty easy. I got my optimal startup, being able to Geomancy on T1 (I went 2nd), and I was able to power up Gardevoirs and Florges. He did Head Ringer a Gardevoir and Florges, but I was still able to run through him with M Gardevoir due to the sheer damage output.

Game 2 was a little tougher. He ended up getting an early Garbador, rendering my Aromatisse useless. I wasn't able to get much done with him hitting Crushing Hammers, so I end up losing that game. Going into Game 3, I knew I could beat him, as long as I can get a decent setup. The great thing about Gardevoir is that I don't really NEED items, nor do I NEED Aromatisse.

I end up attaching a Gardevoir Spirit Link to my Florges on turn 1, just to make sure it didn't get Head Ringer'd. The game progressed and I was in a really good position to win, until he plays 2 Crushing Hammers. If one of those Hammers hit... I would have been in a really bad spot, having to top-deck Energy. But to my relief, both Hammers failed, and I continued to knock-out a Toad and a Garbador.

R4 Daniel Sheikh w/ Virizion/Mewtwo/Dedenne WW 4-0-0  

I played against Daniel Sheikh at GA States, and he played a Seismitoad/Pyroar/Mewtwo/Charizard deck. I beat him 2-0 there, and I was wondering if he was playing the same deck. When I saw him flip over the active Virizion, and the benched Mewtwo, I was a little thrown off.

Game 1 was basically an energy acceleration battle, but I made the first attack. I ended up having a fully set up field and knocked out his Virizion with M Gardevoir. He promoted the Mewtwo with 2 DCEs and 4 Grass Energy on it, and X Ball'd for the KO. I got one energy back from that M Gardevoir with the Exp. Share on my Aromatisse, and was able to take the revenge kill on the Mewtwo, leaving him with just a Virizion. He tried to make some plays with Dedenne, but at that point he was too far behind.

Game 2 was pretty similar, except he played smart with his math, knocking out M Gardevoir with a Laser, rather than damage from an attack, so I did not get the energy with the Exp. Share. He then killed Florges with Shaymin, which gave me the energy for the Exp. Share, and I got the revenge KO for my last 2 Prizes with M Gardevoir.

R5 vs Jason Seibert w/ Florida.dek (Palm Trees and Swamp Lizards) Exeggutor/Swampert/Slurpuff WLW 5-0-0  

To begin, I am not saying this deck was invented in Florida. I am saying the deck is LITERALLY Florida, with Palm Trees and Swamp Lizards (Alligators). At this point, 2 of the 4 people that came with me from Jacksonville were at the top tables with me, which was pretty cool! But that led to me playing against one of them, of course.

This matchup is definitely in my favor, as long as I can get a Xerneas active with at least a Gardevoir on the bench. And that is exactly what happened in Game 1. I got a fast Gardevoir/Florges setup, and I slowly chipped away at his 1-prize attackers.

The game was relatively quick, but the fact that he can use Swampert's Diving Search to grab any card he wants in his deck and put it on top of his deck, then use Slurpuff's Tasting to get that card was quite annoying. I think he used Hypnotoxic Laser almost every single turn...

In Game 2 my nightmare came true. He got the Supporter lock on T2, hit almost every Crushing Hammer, and I flipped tails on all my sleep flips. I couldn't keep any energy on the field, and the game was looking really bad for me, so I scooped out of fear that we will end up tying.

Game 3 was another good setup for me, and I was able to run through his deck with basic Gardevoir EX's and Florges. It kind of sucked having to play against one of my teammates, but it was bound to happen at some point.

Swamp Lizard!

At this point, I decided that I could ID my last 2 rounds and get into Top 8. So I found Michael Canaves and asked if he won his last game, making him the only other 5-0-0, and he said he won. Then he asked me if I won, to which I replied yes, and he asked if I wanted to ID, to which I replied yes.

R6 vs Michael Canaves w/ Empoleon/Magnezone/Miltank WW 6-0-0  

So pairings for Round 6 get posted, and I head to Table 1, and sit down across from Michael Canaves. We talk a little bit, confirm that we are going to ID, and wait for the match slip. When the match slip gets delivered to us, I go ahead and circle Tied, sign the slip, and place it in front of him. He is busy talking to one of the judges before the round starts, so I just waited for him to sign the slip. All of a sudden, he realizes that we are the only 5-0-0s, and there are only 2 people that are 4-0-1. So if we ID'd one of us would get paired down, and most likely have to play Round 7.

So he backs out of the ID, after we had agreed on it, had the judges scratch out my circle on Tied and my signature, and we start shuffling 5 minutes after the round begins. I am pretty annoyed, but at this point, I was just ready to take another win and guarantee my spot in Top 8.

Game 1 starts beautifully for me. I get a very fast Aromatisse set up while I am using Geomancy every turn to get my field set up. He scoops about 5 minutes into the match, and we move on to Game 2. Game 2 was almost identical. He did eventually get an Empoleon set up by manually evolving it, but it was too late at that point. He scoops about 5 minutes into that match as well, and I am pretty happy with that round.

R7 vs William Darling w/ Primal Groudon ID 6-0-1  

I Intentionally Draw my last round to come into Top 8 as the #1 seed.

 

Top 8 FL State Championship 2015

 

I am on cloud 9 at this point, as I haven't hit Top Cut at an event in almost 3 years (counting my 2.5 year hiatus). So I turn in my deck, meet up with my friends and we head out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, and then head to the hotel. We ended up rooming with the Ocala people (Geo, Ryan, Devon, and Nate) and it was a blast. We played Cards Against Humanity and laughed the hardest I have in a long time. We woke up bright and early the next morning, and headed to the venue for Top 8. I am extremely nervous, and to be honest, I was aiming for Top 4 so I could get a cool trophy. But in all reality, I knew this was my tournament to win.

Top 8 vs Jim Roll w/ Flareon/Raichu WW 7-0-1

 

Twitch VOD (Part 1) @ 46:10

Twitch VOD (Part 2) 0:00 - 18:00

This matchup is about 55-45 in my favor. I can get Florges ready by turn 2 to start smacking them, and M Gardevoir has a lot of HP for them to hit. So I feel relatively confident in this matchup.

Game 1, I got a great start, after mulliganing a few times, with a Xerneas and Gardevoir, top-decking a Spritzee. I N Jim out of his giant hand, attach, and pass. Jim gets a great start as well, pulling out a bench full of Pokemon, and getting a lot of Pokemon in the discard as well. He attaches a DCE to a benched Eevee and passes. I am able to get the turn 2 Aromatisse as well as a Florges and M Gardevoir, and I Geomancy once to prepare myself for the offense. Jim opts to KO the Xerneas, so I decide to go on the attack as well, with M Gardevoir. I get the KO on the Flareon, and he gets another one ready, but can only hit 180. I have the Max Potion in hand, so I am able to heal off that 180, and KO that Flareon as well. Jim uses Lysandre's Trump Card next turn, and gets a few Pokemon in the discard, but ends up using Hip Bump with Audino. I retreated into Florges, used Lysandre on the benched Eevee to get the KO with Florges hitting only 60 damage. Jim does get the Flareon next turn, but can't get the Pokemon he needs into the discard. He uses Hip Bump again, so I retreat into M Gardevoir, Computer Search for the VS Seeker, and Lysandre the benched Flareon, at which point Jim scoops. He had some nasty prizes that game with 5 Pokemon prized.

Game 2, Jim starts a lone Pikachu. He goes first and uses Battle Compressor, attaches a Water Energy to Pikachu, and passes. I get another great start, with a Xerneas, Gardevoir, and Spritzee. I am able to get the turn 1 Geomancy, and wait to see if Jim gets anything from his topdeck. He doesn't get anything, goes for the Nuzzle, and flips tails. I have everything I need in my hand for the win, Aromatisse and Fairy Garden, and I take Game 2 with an unfortunate donk.

Top 4 vs David Lopez w/ Seismitoad/Mewtwo/Bats WLW 8-0-1

At this point, I am stoked that I am getting a trophy. I made it to my first goal, but now I have my eyes on the prize. I began my Pokemon career in Melbourne, FL and now I was back in Melbourne to take home a States win.

Game 1 was awful. I supporter-droughted for a few turns, giving David the ability to get plenty of Bats out, along with the Quaking Punch lock. I lost that game pretty quick, but I was determined that I could pull out the next 2 games.

In Game 2, it was David's turn to supporter-drought, unfortunately. He started with a lone Seismitoad EX, and no DCE. He drew and passed for 3 tuns straight, until he hit the DCE, which at that point it was too late. I swept him with a M Gardevoir, and we moved on to Game 3.

I was confident in my matchup here, and I knew I could make it to the Finals. I got another great start, and David got a slow start. I was able to set up fast, while David was struggling to get something going. In the end, David scooped once I began to sweep with M Gardevoir, and I was into the Finals!

Top 2 vs Omar Izaguirre Exeggutor/Empoleon/Genesect WLW 9-0-1

 

Twitch VOD + Interview @ 2:14:30

Interview (Continued)

Going into the Finals, I was extremely happy that I had made it that far! I also knew that I had a favorable matchup against Exeggutor, so I was confident that I was going to take home the win. I began to think back on my match against Jason in Round 5 of Swiss, trying to remember what mistakes I made, and what I could have done better, to prepare myself for the match.

In Game 1, I got a lone Xerneas start, grabbed a Florges with an Ultra Ball, and used a Professor Sycamore, drawing into Spritzee, Xerneas, Aromatisse, and 4 Fairy Energy. In any other matchup this would be awful, but I was happy with that draw. I get the Geomancy off and wait to see what Omar does. He does get the Exeggutor for the supporter lock, and decides to Flare Grunt the Energy off of my Active Xerneas. I am able to attach from my hand and Geomancy yet again. Omar uses Ghetsis next turn, but only finds 3 Fairy Energy in my hand, and goes with the Blockade. I attach and manually retreat my Xerneas, bringing up Florges to start the offense. From there, I am able to take 1 prize every turn and take Game 1.

Game 2 was a mirror of what happened in Swiss against Jason. Omar got a perfect lock on me and I was stuck with no available options. I did play a Colress under supporter lock during that game, but only had a M Gardevoir in hand, and I didn't shuffle my deck before we realized it happened. Omar was offered a Prize penalty, but he decided not to take it. I really do respect his commitment to the Spirit of the Game. I ended up scooping due to the insurmountable lead Omar had.

I go into Game 3 knowing that I just need to get a decent start to win this matchup. And that is exactly what I got. I drew 7 Pokemon in my opening hand, which was absolutely terrifying. But Omar ended up mulliganing 4 times, giving me supporters and a Fairy Garden. I fielded 2 Xerneas, a Gardevoir, and a Spritzee. I play Sycamore on turn 1, get the energy, and pass. Omar ends up using Genesect's Red Signal to bring my Gardevoir active, trying to stall me a bit. I ended up using Escape Rope for some odd reason, when I could have attached and retreated, but who knows what I was thinking. I do attach to a benched Gardevoir, and get a Geomancy off, putting me in a good position for the future turns. He knocks out my Xerneas, and I begin the offense with Gardevoir EX.

From there, it was all downhill, as I was able to take a prize every turn and take 1st place at the Florida State Championship!

Closing Thoughts

The feeling of winning an event is un-explainable. This is the first event I have ever won in my Pokemon career, and I am still on cloud 9 from it!

In the end, I believe I made a good meta call with M Gardevoir, due to it's favorable matchup against lock decks, and the raw power that it has. I truly believe M Gardevoir is a fantastic deck, and has decent matchups all around.

I would love to give a shoutout to Mr. and Mrs. Curry, for always putting on fantastic Pokemon events, and for being the ones responsible for me getting into the Pokemon TCG. I had a blast, and I can't wait to see where the rest of this season goes!

SHOUTOUT TO TEAM SHOPCAT!

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