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Jesper Eriksen

Luck is a thing. My 2016 Worlds article.

Senior division World Champion Jesper Eriksen from Denmark tells of his road to victory and explains his Vespiquen/Yanmega deck.

26. 09. 2016 by Jesper Eriksen

My name is Jesper Eriksen. I’m 15 years old and I currently live in Denmark, northern Europe. I am the 2016 Pokemon TCG Senior division World Champion and former 4 time Danish National Champion in 2009, 2011, 2012 and in 2013. I won Worlds by playing Yanmega/Vespiquen.

I REALLY like fortune cookies.... Lol.

My 2016 season

In the most of the season I played Night March. I got around 900 - 1000 Championships Points with the deck, this is the list I used at nationals. (XY-FCO)

I started early in the season to gather my Championship Points actually before the 2015 World Championships (where I got Top 8). I started to get my 90 Championship Points from League Challenges quite early. I had my League Challenge points in early September 2015.  

I started my Regionals in October in one of the worst formats I've ever played in. The Standard format at that time was missing a consistent shuffle-supporter which really came in FCO with the reprint of N. I started at my first Regionals playing Aromatisse / Giratina with a copy of Regirock to help me with the M Manectric matchup and against M Tyranitar which I actually met (LOL).

During November I had a double Regionals weekend in Dusseldorf and Hamburg where I played Sableye / Garbodor both tournaments. I remember that Dusseldorf was the hardest of those two but I won both Regionals with ease.  I got all 200 CP from my Cities where I mostly played: Sableye/Garbodor, Yveltal/Maxies and Night March. I then went to ECC in February 2016 and got a top 4 which made me have 1125 CP. 1125 CP was secure of a Top 22 invite so if I wanted I could go a bit lazy. A few months before Nationals I attended a Regionals in Allerød, Copenhagen, where I placed first with a Yveltal/ Zoroark deck. Up to my Nationals I really tested Greninja alot, but I couldnt figure out how to get a consistent list so switched to Night March and went undefeated in the tournament until Finals where I drew dead versus a Vespiquen/Vileplume deck.

I ended my season with 1540 CP which gave me a 2nd place on rankings and a free trip to Worlds 2016.

Worlds Testing

Up to Worlds I tested Night March and Waterbox. I've always had the idea of something with Yanmega (Steam Siege) but I really couldn’t figure out what to play it with. I tried Galvantula as a partner for Yanmega, and I tried Giratina. 2 weeks before Worlds we had a testing weekend where we could test our decks, and then I got presented to Yanmega/Vespiquen. At first I really liked the deck but then when we found that we had a really bad Trevenant matchup I got a bit sceptical about the deck since I thought that Trevenant was going to be one of the biggest decks of the tournament since it usually beats Night March. 

Traveling and the hotel

I got to San Francisco the Saturday before the tournament and I wasn't ready at all. I was still testing Waterbox, Night March and Vespiquen/Yanmega alot. The hotel was one of the worst that TPCI ever had for a World Championships. They didn’t even have a pool! I made the decision that I would pick my deck from the results of Day 1. Having a Day 2 invite I could relax and stop testing until the night before the tournament. One of the problems about venue was the size. The venue was really small since I was a ballroom at the hotel instead of a convention centre. During Day 1 I was scouting both the Senior divsion and the Masters divsion for ideas of what to play. My team, Team C had a bit of succes during Day 1 with a Vileplume/Toolbox deck which used Ninja Boy to switch between attackers. After day 1 I made my decision to play Yanmega/Vespiquen because of the suprise factor and its good Night March matchup.

 

The tournament

I might have spoiled to a few people before the tournament that I had the list for Yanmega/Vespiquen. But we were only 4 players playing the deck during Day 2. Before I start with all the stuff about the deck I want to shoutout Stephan Nørregaard and Nicklas Danielsen for making the deck at first. I ended up playing with a 3 card difference from their lists.

This is the list I used for worlds.

Matchups:

Trevenant: This is one of your worst matchups when you play this deck. This is basically an autoloss = 10/90

Night March: This is a really good machup where your Bursting Balloons are the deciding factor = 60/40

Waterbox: This is dependant on how your opponent plays the matchup. If your opponent plays correctly this is a 60/40.

Quad Zoroark: You OHKO them and they dont Ohko you = 60/40

Darkness: I only played this matchup once and it was ok if you started. = 60/40

Greninja: This is a really close matchup but you have to keep using Judge to disrupt the Greninja player, since if they set up they just win. 50/50

I can’t remember every single matchup, but usually you arent scared of anything but Trevenant.

 

Swiss rounds:

We had to play 7 rounds during the tournament just like the Juniors and Masters. A 5-1-1 score would ensure me a spot or at least a bubble into the Top 8.

 

R1 Vs: Alex Crockford (AU) Night March / Latios and Ninja Boy

As I said before, this was a close matchup. The matchup went as usual… but then I got N'd. Luckily I drew pretty well of that N and could Lysandre a Shaymin-EX for the game.

In the second game I had a pretty poor start and I lost that game after I got N'd again. :(

In the third game it was really close. After a Judge I got a huge advantage but then time was called when I had 3 prizes left. I drew my first of the 3 prizes in the first turn of time. In his last turn he needed to hit an AZ of a Trainers' Mail but he missed which sealed the game in my favour since I could Lysandre the last Shaymin-EX for my last two prizes.

W/L/W = WIN

 

R2 Vs: Dario Risso (IT) Quad Zoroark / Sushimaster (Octillery)

This wasn’t really a game. During game 1 he had a really bad setup so within 5 or 6 turns I won the game. During game 2 he started with a Zorua. He top decked a Trainers' Mail and got an N of it. I think I actually showed him my hand and the only thing I could do was to donk his Zorua since it had 50HP. He N'd me into a hand where I could thin out the half of my deck. He didnt get a Basic Pokemon and I donked him game 2.

W/W = WIN

 

R3 Vs: Raphael Souto (BR) Trevenant

As I stated before this matchup is nothing you can expect to win. As he won the coinflip before the match I could already scoop my cards up. Our first match ended in under 5 minutes and I couldnt do anything about it. Our second game was fortunately a bit longer since I went first but there is always some point of the game where Energy removal and Item lock is too much.

L/L = LOSS

 

R4 Vs: Kanon Oike (JP) Zygarde / Vileplume

This was a matchup I didn’t test at all. At first it sounds really good for me but it actually comes down to who goes first since Vespiquen is the only way I can OHKO Zygarde-EX. I won the coinflip and my setup was alright. It was quite a bummer that I couldn’t set my Vespiquen up effectively enough and that nearly cost me the game. She had a great strategy where I could hit on a Zygarde-EX for 100 Damage and then she would retreat it and charge up a new Zygarde with Diamond Gift from Carbink BREAK. In the end weakness and Ariados could OHKO the Carbink BREAK but I was the best she could do. In the second game I got stomped. She went first and I just drew and passed until she cleared my board. In the third game it was really close. She managed to Lysandre my only Vespiquen in play, and under Item lock its very hard to get another into play. In the end I ran her out of resources and I could win be using Lysandre on a Zyrgarde-EX so she decked out. This was one of the closest series all weekend!!

W/L/W = WIN

 

R5 Vs: Shunsuke Hirose (JP) Night March

It was just another normal Night March deck. We only had one weird incident and that was when I totally misplayed. I forgot that his active Joltik had a Fighting Fury Belt attached and then I used Sky Return on it. What happened afterwards was even better. My opponent then uses VS Seeker on a Teammates?! And then he really fast picks up his deck and then I call a judge. He then got a prize penalty and that made me win the game in the end. the second game was really like the matchup usually is. It’s all about N..... YAY. I lost the second game even though I was 2 prizes up because of N. And in game three I got a solid lead and he tried once again to N me but this time Sycamore saved me and I won the series.

W/L/W = WIN

 

R6 Vs: Alex Krekeler (US) Darkness

This was another matchup I didn’t test for. I don’t know but I always hit the decks where I’m not prepared at all. We got started and I just went for a race to 6 prizes. In his Darkrai/Yveltal deck he played 4 Bursting Balloons and 3-4 Enhanced Hammer, plus alot of other disruption cards like Delinquent and Hex Maniac. I won game 1 so I went for the same strategy during game 2 but it wasnt quite enough to win me the game. During game 2 he didn’t bench as many Shaymin-EX and I didnt hit all the cards I needed. The game came down to a Maxamar where he had to flip 2/2 heads which he did. Otherwise I would have won the game. Game 3, it was Alex turn to not get the stuff he needed and I won the game quite quickly. I think this was the most interesting series during the weekend.

W/L/W = WIN.

 

R7 Vs: Justin Kulas (US) Greninja

This would have been a close matchup but Justin just drew dead both games and I won in 5-6 turns both games.

W/W = WIN

 

 

I was now in top 8 as the first seed, with Vespiquen/Yanmega!

Oh yeah, look at who got 9th lol.

Well I ended up playing against my very good friend Tanner Hurley which I tested a lot with before Worlds, and he was the only one who knew my list before top cut. My bracket for Top 8 looked very bad. If I won against Tanner I would end up playing against Trevenant again, and we all know what happened in round 3.

 

Top 8 vs: Tanner Hurley (US) Greninja

A very big difference from his list to all the other Greninja lists was that he didn’t play Bursting Balloon. Instead, he played a Muscle Band which ended up being a huge difference. With Muscle Band he could OHKO a Vespiquen while KO'ing another Vespiquen on my bench using Giant Water Shuriken and Water Shuriken for 90 damage. We had a close game 1 where it came down to a HUGE misplay by me. Tanner used Shadow Stiching and I then used AZ on a Shaymin-EX trying to use Set Up, but of course I couldn’t since he used Shadow Stiching. Game 2 was also very close. I went for a strategy where I tried to disrupt Tanner's setup using Judge and N. Of every single Judge and N he drew a Professor Sycamore. During game 2 he whiffed a few things which ended with me winning with an army of Vespiquen. Game 3 I tried to outspeed him. In the end he started to have his two prize turns and it all came down to an N again. I N'd Tanner into two cards and once again he hit Professor Sycamore. He had around 13-15 cards in deck and he needed to hit two Water Energies. He used Professor Sycamore and only hit one Energy! He then used a Trainers' Mail and his first three cards of that were... three Water Energy! He KO'd my ative Vespiquen but he had to bench two Froakies. I drew for my turn and then I used VS Seeker for Lysandre and got my hand down to 4 cards and then I was in Top 4! Even though I had the weakness as my advantage this was a very close game, and a very great one as well.

W/W = WIN

Me before I could finish game 3 and win the series.

 

As I said my Top 8 bracket was really bad and unfortunately the Trevenant player won his Top 8 as well.

The Trevenant matchup was almost an autoloss, but I really didnt care since I already had my Top 4 in the bag. I had a 5 minute break before Top 4 where I could figure out a strategy. (Another shoutout to Stephan Nørregaard for helping me with this.)

 

Top 4 vs: Raphael Souto (BR) Trevenant

I was so close to scooping before we even started. I was ready to lose now. It only made it worse that he would have to go first in game 1. He went first and he got the turn 1 Item lock.

But after his turn 1, his field was only a Trevenant in the active and 2 Shaymin-EX on his bench. When I saw my starting hand I saw a chance in the game. My starting hand was, Yanma, Yanmega, Yanmega BREAK, Spinarak, Ariados, Judge, DCE and Forest of Giant Plants. As you might have been able to figure out, I had a PERFECT starting hand. I was able to get a turn 1 KO under Item lock! The game was really fast after I could KO the Trevenant and I took the game as it was an autowin. I’m now 1-0 in a match where I could just have scooped beforehand. In the second game he whiffed turn 1 Item lock but an important thing was the he discarded one of his 2 Head Ringers and then I knew that I had a real chance in that game. My goal that game was the thin out my deck and not take prizes so I could use Shaymin-EX's Sky Return to stall out the game and maybe deck Raphael out. For the most of the game I was able to get my Shaymin-EX and DCE, to continue the looping. Raphael took five prizes that game and I thought to myself that he must hit Head Ringer sometime but he didn’t. Did I miscount something? No, I didnt. After he used all of his VS Seeker and N's I knew that it was a question of time before I was a finalist at the World Championships. About a minute or two after that thought I was in the World Championship finals!


W/W = WIN

 

 

I had a really long day. I knew that my matchup on Sunday was a Seismitoad / Crobat deck which was a VERY good matchup as I could hit for weakness really early in the game and pickup prizes on Zubats or Golbats with Yanmega and Yanmega BREAK. I got as much sleep as I could through the night, but you can really sleep when you’re playing the game of your life the morning after.

 

 In-game vs Connor Pedersen.

 

Finals! vs: Connor Pedersen (US) Seismitoad / Crobat


I had to meet at the venue at 9 AM to watch the Juniors match before I had to play my own. I was really nervous before the match that I would get unlucky and get steamrolled in the finals like the Juniors Runner-up.

We stood backstage and then I got called up: ‘’Please welcome to the stage……. CODY WAILINSKI!! I was so just about to walk down stage again……. But they said to me that I shouldn’t really care about it and just take a seat. They called Connor to the stage as well.

We got setup and ran through our pregame instructions like, where the prize cards should be placed and so on. In this matchup it was really big to go first, so when I went first game 1 I was really excited. The thing about going first was that he wouldn’t be able to snipe my basics with his Golbats and Crobats. As I went first I was able to get a really good turn 1. The only thing I was missing was my Forest of Giant Plants, but I had everything else, Combees, Yanmas and I had all the evolutions in hand. As he got his turn he placed down a couple of Zubats and Seismitoads but one thing I couldn’t miss was the he couldn’t get any DCE, so he missed the turn 1 Quaking Punch. A really interesting thing that he did was to use Super Scoop Up to promote his Seismitoad and let it take a hit. In my turn 2 I couldn’t get a Bee Revenge to KO the Seismitoad so I went for an Intelligence Gathering and drew 5 cards and got setup for a KO on the Seismitoad the turn after. He got his turn and he then top decked a DCE and just used Quaking Punch. So I could just draw s card for my turn and use Bee Revenge to draw my first 2 prizes, but... in my turn I forgot that he used Quaking Punch and I then played a Level Ball and searched my deck. I got a prize penalty for that. For the most of game I was just sitting and drawing prizes until he had a turn where he could KO my only Vespiquen with energy and use N, to get me down to 1 card. I shuffled my deck aaaaand my 1 card I got of the N was… A PROFESSOR SYCAMORE!! This was the most amazing draw of the weekend and it was in the finals. My second card was a Yanmega which I could just discard to make me chances of getting to 4 cards better. I ot 3 cards in that hand which I could play to lower my hand to 4 cards. I got a Special Charge, Yanma and Yanmega. 3 perfect cards to play down. I then proceded to retreat and hit the Crobat for a 100 damage with Barrier Break. He got his turn and just retreated to a Crobat and passed. But that wasn’t enough, because my next top deck was a DCE so I could finish off the Crobat to win game 1.

In game 2 he went first and I started of really great. In my first turn I KO’d a Zubat and got my first prize. He then used Quaking Punch and I could take 2 Prizes on the Seismitoad and then I was down to 3 prizes in game 2. It then happened that Connor used an N and got me down to 4 cards. I used one the cards in my hand and then in his next turn he used a Deliquent and discarded all of my hand and my stadium. For the rest of that game he just Quaking Punch and I scooped a little after.

Game 3 I luckily went first again and I got an ok setup. I didn’t get to play a Supportercard and my hand at the end of my turn in the end. He got his turn and used Shaymin to draw some cards but he in the he end he played an N! I don’t know that he was thinking but playing an N at that point was kinda suicidal for himself since I could get a new hand and get a better setup. In th end of that turn I was fortunate enough to get a turn 2 KO on that Seismitoad after I get a Vespiquen of the last card on a Professor Sycamore. For the rest of that game I was just rolling him. He couldn’t really do a lot and I won that game really easily and then I was World Champion!

W/W  = WIN.

Closing ceremonies and closing thoughts

I was now World Champion and it was a feeling I would never feel again. The closing ceremonies were awesome since I was the guy who stood in front of the clapping crowd and raised the trophy. Overall the World Championships where awesome and I really think that Anaheim would be a great place for worlds next year and I hope to do well in Masters now.

New structure and thoughts on the new season

I think that the new stucture with alot of big events is awesome. Being able to go to a Regional with actual prizes is a great way to promote competitive play and possibly making Pokemon a professional E-sport soon? For decks this next season is really still like Vespiquen / Yanmega until Karen comes out. I thinks some decks like M Scizor and Volcanion will be good as well, but I’m just going to wait till the first results of league challenges are out. I really hope to find a deck like Night March from last year, for a deck I could pilot all year and get myself a lot of Championship Points. As I said I really liked Yanmega / Vespiquen for the next format. This is my updated list.

A big loss for this deck is of course the Battle Compressors and the AZ. Instead of those I’m playing Unown and Klefki to get more Pokemon in the discard for Bee Revenge. 

Shoutouts!

With such an awesome event there are always a lot of shoutouts.


I would like to shoutout Team C for supporting me all the way through the year, Sam Hough for getting Top 4 in Masters with his Vileplume deck and Yasin Balela for getting top 32 in Seniors with the same deck.

Shoutouts to Stephan Nørregaard and Nicklas Danielsen for making the deck and testing it with me.

Shoutouts to all staff judges and all of my friends for supporting me.

And of course…. Shoutouts to Treynor Wolfe and Harambe. Treynor for giving me the most awesome list ever and Harambe because he didn’t die for nothing.


I know that I missed a lot of shoutouts, but I’m really happy that everyone at Worlds made this possible.


I hope to see everyone next season.


Best regards Jesper Eriksen.

 

 

 Btw, please give me a thumbs up for support :)

[+15] okko


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