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Gabriel Semedo

A Turbo Toad Story: Second place at Regionals (São Paulo - Brazil)

Gabriel Semedo talks about the Pokemon TCG scene in Brazil, and explain the details of his Turbo Toad deck that he ended up taking to the finals at São Paulo Regionals.

05/04/2016 by Gabriel Semedo

 

Hello guys! My name is Gabriel and I'm a player from Brazil.

First of all it’s a pleasure to write and share my thoughts at 60cards.

It’s been some time since I last wrote something here, going back to November/2015 where I showcased my Yveltal/Regirock deck that got me a Regionals win at that time. It was indeed a successful deck since I was able to win two other Regionals with it, as well 3 Cities. As of right now I’m sitting at 861 CPs (821 CPs if you don’t count the extra 40 points for making Day 2 at last year’s World Championship). If you summarize my accomplishments this season they would be:

- 3x Regional Champion

- 1x Regional Finalist

- 4x City Champion

Despite all accomplishments and hard work it’s still not safe to say I’m guaranteed a Top 8 finish for Latin American CP Ranking. If I’m able to top at Nationals I’ll most likely be at Latin America’s Top 8 for most CPs.

Before I get into my Regionals run and the deck I used I’d like to briefly talk about the Pokémon TCG scene here in Brazil and how quickly it’s been growing, especially when it comes to competitive play.

Pokémon TCG first came to Brazil back in 1999 and was run in Brazil by a company called Devir, that ran the game up until 2009. In this 10-year gap the players were not many, and only a few of those were hyped enough or had the money to play at Worlds. Most of the players were kids or teenagers that couldn’t afford a trip.

Devir back in 2010 was not representing the game in Brazil as well as they could have, and in 2011 they finally stopped the Pokémon TCG distribution and representation. Brazilians no longer had official tournaments, official Prizes, and all the good stuff Organized Play offered. From this point, a lot of players decided to quit the game since it was lacking Organized Play support and the only way of getting cards was importing. 

ROCK BOTTOM

In 2010, Pokémon TCG in Brazil had its worst scene ever. In that same year, Brazilian Nationals were organized by the players themselves, where all of them put some money together so the winner of that Nationals could travel to Worlds and try to grind into Worlds through the Last Chance Qualifier. 

A NEW HOPE

In mid-2011 a new company called Copag had acquired all rights to distribute and run the game in Brazil and soon it got really popular. Thanks to a high-level professional work, Pokémon TCG stuff were now found in Brazil’s biggest book stores and toy stores. Since then the game have grown massively and Brazil has the second biggest Nationals in the World, with numbers of 250 Masters in 2015 Nationals, and it’s expected to reach even higher counts in 2016.

BRAZIL BEING A CONTENDER AT WORLDS?

I believe that Brazil has grown and learnt a lot about competitive Pokémon TCG these past 5 years and now it’s a matter of time until we have a big accomplishment at Worlds in the Master Division.

Brazil’s biggest accomplishments at Worlds:

- Gustavo Wada – 2011 World Champion (Junior Division)

- Rafael Lazari – 5th place at 2014 Worlds (Junior Division)

- Fabio Lona – Top 32 at Worlds 2014 (Masters Division)

I believe Brazil can do much better, since we have a lot of players that play competitively now. As I said, it’s a matter of time until we have a huge accomplishment.

But enough with analyzing Brazil’s Pokémon TCG. I’ll now talk about my Turbo Toad deck that took 2nd place at São Paulo Regionals, a tournament that had about 65 Masters.

 

DECK ANALYSIS

When BREAKpoint released I was not expecting Night March to be as good as it turned out to be at States. Of course I knew that Night March would be even more overpowered, but I thought that cards like Seismitoad-EX, Trevenant, Greninja, Bursting Balloon, Jolteon, and even a good build of Yveltal would be enough to stop Night March from shinning.

Having all of it in mind, I built a deck two months ago that turned out to be a skeleton list for my final Turbo Toad deck. Initially it was a Quad Palkia-EX deck with Manaphy-EX and Max Elixir that I threw together on PTCGO. I was trying to see how good BREAKpoint's cards really were.

I put in a single Seismitoad-EX as a tech card. However, every time I played the deck I would go for the single Toad as soon as possible until it became a standard strategy for this deck. I’d go for Seismitoad because it has in Quaking Punch, one of the best attacks in the game, and secondly because it needs one less Energy to attack with Toad’s Grenade Hammer than Palkia’s Pearl Hurricane. In the end I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to roll with 4 Seismitoad-EX as a main attacker for the deck.

The deck became much stronger and I was winning games back and forth, which was more than I expected with the deck since I only wanted to see how BREAKpoint cards and combos worked together. The deck’s good results got me interested to go ahead and see how far I could get with the list.

In the first week of States though, I realized that Vespiquen decks were still really popular which made me uncomfortable with Turbo Toad. During the following weeks, Vespiquen decks were gradually getting less good results which made Turbo Toad a real option for Regionals.

While playtesting for Regionals, there wasn’t any deck I was 100% comfortable with besides Turbo Toad. I thought it was worth the risk, as long as I fade Grass type deck (M Sceptile decks and Vespiquen decks) I would be fine. Also I felt really comfortable playing against the more popular archetypes such as Night March, Trevenant, Greninja, and YGZ.

That is the list I ended up playing at Regionals:

CARD-BY-CARD ANALYSIS

4 Seismitoad-EX:

When I first built the deck I played three copies of it and I think it’s possible to play with this count. Though I feel like the forth one brings much more consistency to the deck. The way the deck plays out you’ll always need a Toad on the bench as soon as possible so you can Max Elixir onto it. In some matchups is key to have as much Seismitoad as you can, like against Night March where you want to have 3 Toads with Fighting Fury Belt attached so you can swap attackers during the game and use Rough Seas to heal some damage off of them. It’s pretty unlikely that Night March will consistently attack for 220, so I believe it’s a safe and effective way to approach this matchup.

2 Manaphy-EX:

It’s a really important card for the deck because it gives the mobility the deck needs through its ability Aqua Tube. It allows the deck to move freely even under Item-lock, which makes unnecessary the use of cards like Switch, Escape Rope, Float Stone, etc. Its attacks can also OHKO some Pokémon like Froakie, Phantump and Jirachi which can be huge in the early stages of the game.

 

1 Aurorus-EX:

I play one of it because it can hit for 160 (or 170 with Fighting Fury Belt), which can help OHKO some big Pokémon like Greninja BREAK. Its ability it’s not too shabby at all since it can help against some eventual Froakie’s Bubble. And despite having an attack with 4-Energy cost it is not a big deal to get it going thanks to Max Elixir and Energy Switch.

1 Articuno ROS

It’s a good card against Greninja because if I can get it going by turn 2 or even turn 1 (which is not as hard as it looks) I can have a good Prize advantage until they are able to get a Greninja BREAK on the field. Besides that, it’s my only non-EX Pokémon, which I can make some good “7th Prize” plays with.

2 Shaymin-EX

It’s pretty standard without hurting my bench space. I usually use one early game and the other one at the latter stages. If you go really aggressive early game, like you’re trying to make a big play with Articuno you’ll probably burn both Shaymin early game.

1 Hoopa-EX

Thanks to Hoopa I can turn an Ultra Ball into a pretty established board early game. Also when I play Ultra Ball for Hoopa, I thin my deck out by four cards (Hoopa and three more Pokémon-EX) which makes Max Elixir more effective.

4 Professor Sycamore

It’s the best Supporter in the deck. It works well in Item-lock too, which it’s a big deal for the deck.

1 Skyla

I play one to get the final piece for my setup, like getting a Max Elixir or an Energy Switch.

1 Professor Birch’s Observations

There’s a debate between playing Birch of Shauna. And I think it depends on the deck which is being played more than a personal preference. I believe there are scenarios where Shauna is better than Birch and vice versa. In Turbo Toad I like Birch better because my turn 1 needs to be as explosive as possible to get a decent setup. If I played Shauna, I’d only get me a maximum 5-card hand which will probably not be ideal for a satisfactory turn 1. I think it’s worth the risk with Birch. I may only get 4 cards, but will be somewhat the same as getting 5 with Shauna.

1 Judge

It’s my “techiest” Supporter in the deck. I chose not to play Hex Maniac or Xerosic, and I tried to dedicate the most I could to the deck mechanic. In this deck Judge works wonderfully because you can play it while you use Quaking Punch. If you choose the Grenade Hammer route you can play Judge so you keep your opponent limited on what they can do. I don’t think it’d be a bad idea to play a second Judge over Professor Birch’s Observation.

2 Lysandre

I believe 2 Lysandre is a good number to have an edge in the matches.

1 AZ

It’s a safety card, since it can save you from losing and some uncomfortable situations. I don’t see it as a 100% needed card, but I personally kept in the deck since I’ve used in pretty much all the decks I played this season.

4 VS Seeker

It’s a staple and becomes really important to hit the one-of Supporters I play such as Skyla, AZ, and Judge.

4 Trainers’ Mail

It brings the speed and consistency the deck needs. It’s the best way to get cards like Max Elixir, Energy Switch, Supporters, and VS Seeker.

1 Battle Compressor

It’s definitely one of the best cards in the current format, and even though I play one copy in this deck I did not feel it was much needed. It is nice to have so I can thin my deck out in order to Max Elixir to be effective. It can also target my one-of Supporters that I can VS Seeker for later. While playing the deck I didn’t feel it was worth the space like it was in other decks I played. If I were to play the deck again I’d drop Battle Compressor for a 4th Rough Seas to help my Trevenant matchup, or maybe drop Battle Compressor for Hex Maniac to help my Trevenant and Greninja matchups.

4 Ultra Ball

Pretty standard play. I always want to hit it turn 1 so I can develop my board through Hoopa’s ability. If you don’t hit it turn 1 the deck considerably slows down.

4 Max Elixir

It’s the main engine of the deck. They power up my attackers so I can attack as soon as possible. The more Max Elixir I can hit will determine the outcome of the game.

4 Energy Switch

Manaphy and Energy Switch reminds me of 2013 format, where Darkrai-EX and Energy Switch used to reign. The mechanic right now is pretty much the same, where we can make some awesome plays from nowhere, like powering up a fresh Aurorus-EX in one or two turns.

3 Fighting Fury Belt

I’d like to play a forth copy of it, but in the end three became the perfect count. It was rare the times I was able to use Fighting Fury Belt to its maximum potential since everyone now plays either Startling Megaphone or Xerosic. Against Night March Fighting Fury Belt is key. When you Quaking Punch them, the only way of getting rid of FFB is Xerosic.

3 Rough Seas

This card in my opinion is really strong. In water based deck like Turbo Toad, it can be considered like a Dark Patch in a Dark deck, too good not to be played. I’m really considering the 4th copy of it, since Grenade Hammer puts 30 on the bench and you never want that damage on your field. I also like that I can use Rough Seas under Item-lock, which is huge. I’ll probably drop Battle Compressor for the forth Rough Seas.

12 Water Energy

I started out playing 14 Energy, but I soon found out that 12 is an ideal number to hit Max Elixir. Even my opponents were often mad that I never failed Max Elixir. But that’s the point of the deck, that’s why I worked so hard on my Energy count.

 

CARDS THAT COULD’VE MADE IT INTO THE DECK

Double Colorless Energy

I think that’s the thing that stands out the most on this particular Toad deck: no DCEs. Some friends I playtest with suggested at least 1 or 2 DCE in the deck.

I believe there are more cons than pros if I play DCE. Okay, it’s nice to maybe Quaking Punch on turn 1, or Sky Return with Shaymin, but DCE can’t be found by Max Elixir, it does not trigger Manaphy’s ability, and Jirachi’s Stardust can possibly buy one or two turns. Playing DCE would also mean playing less Water Energy, which leads to hitting less Max Elixir.

If I were to play Double Colorless Energy it wouldn’t be more than 2 copies of it.

Xerosic

Needless to say how versatile this cards is in the current format, being able to discard Pokémon Tools and Special Energy, cards that are heavily played in every deck. I’d play a copy of it if I expect a lot of Night March so I could get rid of them pesky Double Colorless and Double Colorless Energy that can easily get me in a world of trouble.

Hex Maniac

Hex Maniac helps tons against Greninja BREAK and Trevenant BREAK. Even though I playtested with it and did not use it that often I’m aware it’s a card that save you from losing a game.

Giovanni’s Scheme

It allows some good plays like OHKO Night Marchers with Seismitoad and allow Articuno and Aurorus to KO more stuff.

Muscle Band

In some situations the extra 20 damage can make a difference where you might want to swap a Muscle Band for Fighting Fury Belt.

Super Rod

Sometimes you see yourself in a situation where you want to get back some Energy from the discard pile, or retrieve back that one Aurorus-EX and Articuno you play. It’s not rare to see scenarios where you have a bunch of Energy in hand but you still need to play Sycamore. Super Rod would come in handy in those situations, but in general it’s not too bad not to play it. Remember you still have Energy Switch to manage your Energy on the board.

Regice

This card could easily make into the deck to play against the Mega Rayquaza and Mega Sceptile that are arguably one of the worst matchups for Turbo Toad.

Aegislash-EX

It can be a tech against Vespiquen/Vileplume if they are not prepared with cards like Silent Lab and basic Energy.

+1 Rough Seas 

As I said before, the fourth copy seemed like a good idea during Regionals, because I needed to heal my Pokémon after a Grenade Hammer and also win a Stadium War that might come up.

In a nutshell, this Turbo Toad is a deck that you’ll hear more “Grenade Hammer” than “Quaking Punch”. You will Quaking Punch until you have 2 or 3 Seismitoad to use Grenade Hammer until late game. The Quaking Punch effect is way too strong on most opponents. When they see 2 or 3 Toads powered up they already think they won’t be able to use Items again so they start to play like they’re about to get Item-locked, like playing Battle Compressor to discard Items, playing VS Seeker to get whatever they have discarded.

This deck is not a Item-lock deck, unless the situation is really favorable to do so. Also, Item-lock is way too present in the current format in the form of Trevenant, Vileplume and the standard Seismitoad decks. That means people are prepared to face those threats, and they are not caught by surprise by it. Turbo Seismitoad is a really fast deck that can hit for a lot of damage and has Item-lock as an additional resource to approach some specific matchups.

MATCHUPS

Night March (60/40)

In this matchup you want to Quaking Punch as soon as possible and also as long as possible until you have 2 more Seismitoad powered up and 1 Articuno ready to go. Night March decks will always have an explosive turn 1, so they can get as much Night Marchers as they can in the discard pile as well the resources to play against Item-lock.

Thanks to Manaphy and basic water Energy the deck is less likely to miss a Quaking Punch, as if it was a regular Toad deck it would be much more exposed to cards like Xerosic, Lysandre, and Stardust Jirachi.

Even though we play low HP Pokémon like Manaphy and Shaymin, most Night March decks only play 1 copy of Lysandre and they won’t be able to access their VS Seeker under Item-lock. Judge is a card that you want to hit as much as you can so you limit their options during the game.

The matchup starts to get out of control if they keep hitting their Double Colorless Energy, where it gets hard to keep the Item-lock going and you see yourself going for their Shaymin or going for knockouts with Articuno to speed the game up.

Greninja BREAK (60/40)

In this matchup you need a really strong turn 1, but luckily the deck hardly fails at that. Manaphy turn 1 hitting for 60-70 and OHKO’ing Froakie, Frogadier and Jirachi will already give you an edge in the matchup.

Their Jirachi will be a dead card and will not be able to stop the early game pressure. Another Pokémon that you can put a lot of pressure early game in this matchup is Articuno. If you go first you can easily have an Articuno powered up by turn 2 and take 4 Prizes on their small Pokémon. If you go second, my tip is don’t go for Articuno unless your hand is really good do to so.

When the games is more developed for both sides, Seismitoad is a good Pokémon to OHKO Greninja and Aurorus with Fighting Fury Belt will take care of Greninja BREAK.

If you ever get trouble in this matchup Hex Maniac would help a lot in here. 

Trevenant BREAK (55/45)

Turbo Toad runs alright under Item-lock. You can have a really solid game with your high HP Pokémon, tons of water Energy, good number of Supporters and mobility via Manaphy.

Against this deck you want to attack with Manaphy. It hits for 60 and you heal 30 damage from all your benched Pokémon. In some matches I power up 2 Manaphy and keep swapping between them. Clearly Rough Seas is a huge card in this deck and that’s why I keep mentioning a fourth one would be great in here. Hex Maniac is a card that would make the matchup much better. You play it and then you can play your Energy Switch to reorganize Energy on field and also play your remaining Max Elixir and get more Energy onto the board.

Yveltal/Gallade/Zoroark – YGZ (60/40)

This deck plays a lot of Items which makes Quaking Punch a really good attack in this matchup, even though it’s not the main focus of our deck. The main threat here is Yveltal-EX, so when it comes into play you have to Lysandre it and Quaking Punch it, leaving it one Grenade Hammer away from being knocked out.

M Manectric-EX/Ho-Oh-EX (70/30)

Yes, that’s a Toad deck that has a good matchup against M Manectric. It’s very likely that by turn 2 Seismitoad is ready to Grenade Hammer until the end of the game. Meanwhile, you power up other Seismitoad through Max Elixir and Energy Switch, then you keep swapping attackers and playing Lysandre to take knockouts. If they start Ho-Oh-EX or even play it down for some reason it will become two easy Prizes.

Seismitoad-EX/Hammers (70/30)

It’s a good matchup since we play tons of basic Energy and we have mobility via Manaphy. It will be hard for the opponent to get rid of all our Energy. All we have to do is Quaking Punch them until we have a healthy number of Energy in play that can allow us to use Grenade Hammer nonstop.

Wailord-EX (70/30)

Since we play 12 water Energy, we want to power up a Toad on the Bench with some Energy and then put it to the active position and Grenade Hammer as much as we can. I suggest doing this so you can survive some Energy removals it might happen but also don’t overcommit and put more than four Energy on Seismitoad, so they can bring up a Lugia-EX or Dedenne and damage it a lot.

Vespiquen decks (20/80)

It’s pretty much an autoloss. The best chance you’ll have is to focus in Aurorus and Articuno.

I tried to play two Kyurem-EX to cover the Vespiquen matchup but had no success. 

M Rayquaza-EX (30/70)

It’s very hard because they can OHKO us easily and only Quaking Punch won’t do much. Other Toad decks have a better matchup against M Rayquaza because they can keep a Item-lock while they discard Energy. Our best bet here is Quaking Punch allied with Judge and hopefully avoid an OHKO.

BRIEF REGIONALS REPORT

 

Round 1 – Straight Seismitoad EX / Hammers [WW]

Round 2 – YGZ [LWW]

Round 3 – Mega Manectric [WW]

Round 4 – Greninja [LWT]

Round 5 – Turbo Dark [WLT]

Round 6 – Mega Sceptile [WW]

Round 7 – Trevenant [WW]

Top 8 – Greninja [WW]

Top 4 – Greninja [LWW]

Finals – Trevenant [WLL]

Round 1 – Straight Seismitoad/Hammers

Both games went smoothly since I was able to put down 2 or 3 Energy on turn 1. What bothered me the most was his Silent Lab that shut down my Manaphy for a while. Luckily a bit after I was able to get a Rough Seas that allowed me to Grenade Hammer my way to a win.

1-0-0 

Round 2 – YGZ

My opponent had good start but failed to get a turn 1 Gallade. On my part, I started Quaking Punch and when he played down his Yveltal-EX I was able Lysandre it up and Quaking Punch. My opponent retreat and when for the Oblivion Wing route, and on my turn I played Lysandre again to bring up his Yveltal-EX and finish it off with Grenade Hammer. Now that his main threat was gone I used Grenade Hammer to take all Prizes.

On the second game I was able to Grenade Hammer quickly enough to OHKO his Baby Yveltal, which left him in an enormous pressure, unable to build an Yveltal-EX to get back into the game.

2-0-0

Round 3 – Mega Manectric/Ho-Oh-EX

From early game I was able to Grenade Hammer and pressure my opponent, which gave me an early lead in this matchup. M Manectric simply cannot cope with a Pokémon-EX hitting hard for 130 and 220 HP. The matchup becomes favorable because even though both of us can benefit of Rough Seas, I can 2HKO his M Manectric and he can’t 2HKO my Seismitoad-EX with Fighting Fury Belt. Another thing that went in my favor was his Ho-Oh-EX that are two easy Prizes since it’s weak to Water.

3-0-0 

Round 4 – Greninja BREAK

I started out well, being able to take the first Prizes with Manaphy-EX. After that I couldn’t develop my board as much as I hoped for. That gave my opponent an opening to get back into the game and was able to knockout my Manaphy-EX, Seismitoad-EX and Shaymin-EX.

On the second game I went for Articuno I was able to attack with it on turn 2. I swept his board by knocking out his Froakie, Frogadier and another Froakie I played Lysandre for.

We weren’t able to finish game 3, but it felt like it would be another tough match.

3-0-1 

Round 5 – Turbo Dark

This deck had Yveltal XY, Yveltal BKT, Yveltal-EX, Darkrai-EX, and Malamar-EX. I feel like it’s a bad matchup for me, but still playable.

First game I had an edge when it comes to Energy drops and that made win the first game. Second game he had better Energy drops and put a lot of pressure and ended up taking game 2. Third game did not finish.

3-0-2 

Round 6 – Mega Sceptile

I felt demolished before the match started and felt that was my last game at that Regionals. Even though the matchup is terrible I was gonna give my best because I need a good Regional run.

Game 1 my opponent has a good start getting 2 Energy off his Max Elixir and getting a M Sceptile to end his turn. On my turn I miraculously get 3 Max Elixir onto my Aurorus and Skyla for Energy Switch so I can bring Aurorus active and hit for 160. Both I and my opponent got really surprised by that. He proceeds to hit my Aurorus for 100. I miraculously play 2 Energy Switch onto my Seismitoad-EX, attach a Water onto it and Grenade Hammer for the KO. My opponent only has a Sceptile with one Energy attached, no Ariados on the field. He goes for Sceptile’s first attack but failed to get my active Pokémon asleep. I attach to my Aurorus and Lysandre his Shaymin to get 2 more Prizes with Grenade Hammer. My opponent has nothing and goes for Sleep Poison again and once again he’s unable to leave me asleep. On the following turn, I attach onto Aurorus and play Skyla for Fighting Fury Belt, attach it to Aurorus and knockout his Sceptile with 170 damage.

On the following game I was aware I got lucky and what happened would probably not happen again. I focused on my Aurorus and Articuno this time.

My opponent has an explosive start and is able to get two M Sceptile on turn 1. On my turn I put Articuno on the active spot and attach to Aurorus. I’m able to hit with Aurorus on the following turn, but my opponent is able to hit for 100 and heal the damaged M Sceptile. Then I retreat to Articuno and go for Chilling Sigh, but my opponent hits head on the sleep flip. He proceeds to Lysandre my Aurorus and knock it out.

I see myself in a situation where my only way to the victory is leaving him asleep. I realize he’s gone through a lot of resources while he was being explosive, including his 4 VS Seeker. I feel like the Articuno play might pay off so I go for it. In a nutshell, I’m able to leave him asleep for 7 turns (not consecutive turns) and when he is able to wake I had already healed off my Pokémon. In the end he decked himself out and I take the second game.

4-0-2 

Round 7 – Trevenant BREAK

Both games went somewhat well despite my opponent getting Item Lock on turn 1 both games. I was able to win both games.

A funny moment is that he also played the other Trevenant that adds one more Energy on my attack cost. I played my turn 1 getting rid of Items and grabbing as much Supporters as I could, but my opponent played Trevenant BKP instead which ended up giving me more trouble than the Trevenant XY’s Item Lock. I personally wouldn’t play Trevenant BKP but it made me sweat a bit in this matchup.

5-0-2 

Top 8 – Greninja BREAK

Both games were over pretty fast. I was able to have Manaphy going in the early game and had Grenade Hammer to finish off the game. I also built an Aurorus-EX to OHKO his Greninja BREAK at some point.

6-0-2

Top 4 – Greninja BREAK

It was similar to the Top 8’s match. I had the right attackers at the right stages of the game and I never let him set up his field to have a shot at winning. The key thing in this matchup is never let Greninja have an answer for your aggressions. If you keep them in check the victory will come.

7-0-2 

Finals – Trevenant BREAK

Game 1 I had a good start and ended up winning with ease. Using Quaking Punch for 30 and then using Grenade Hammer for 130 sums up exactly Trevenant BREAK’s HP.

Game 2 he was able to get a turn 1 Item lock and I couldn’t develop my game as much as I wanted to. I was never able to get back into this game.

Game 3 I was confident because as long as I have a regular start I had a great shot at winning the series. Unfortunately though, I started Shaymin-EX and my hand was consisted of Max Elixir, Energy Switch, basic Energy and Professor Sycamore. There wasn’t any other Pokémon in my hand that I could bench. I proceed to Sycamore and all I get is another Shaymin-EX. The start was way too weak and I lost the game a few turns later.

7-1-2

CONCLUSION

Even though I did not face any Night March I wouldn’t mind playing against one. It was the matchup I played the most and I was confident I could make good series with the deck.

Some friends said I should keep this deck to play at Brazilian Nationals, but the truth is I don’t feel like playing a deck that has such a bad matchup as Vespiquen. You can’t never rule it out because Vespiquen is so versatile and can counter big decks of the current format like Seismitoad and Greninja. I took the risk and used this deck because I felt confident with it, since it’s pretty strong by itself and anti-metagame. You can face any deck and have a satisfactory performance since this deck is focused in getting Energy quickly on the field and putting a ton of pressure with powerful attacks. That’s why I cut cards like Super Rod, Hex Maniac and Xerosic, which are very good cards but at some point they can hurt the strategy and consistency of the deck. Battle Compressor and AZ are cards that can be taken out of the deck for a lot of cards I mentioned before, but besides that I feel like the deck is pretty much done.

I do think you should play it at a tournament, especially if you know the metagame is not full of M Sceptile and Vespiquen decks. At least in Brazil, it’s very hard to predict what will be the play for a certain tournament, which means is pretty hard to get into a tournament that you won’t have bad matchups. My analysis before the tournament had tough matchups against Night March, YGZ, Trevenant and Greninja. And they are really tough, though the perks of using a rogue deck is that you know what to expect but your opponents know too little about your deck, giving you a little edge most of the time.

Turbo Toad also gets into some psychological metagame because most people are used to play Seismitoad in a more defensive way, like discarding Items, getting back Supporters with VS Seeker beforehand, and they forget that I can just hit for 130 over and over instead to win the game.

Besides the bad matchups against Vespiquen and M Sceptile, some other weaknesses are Manaphy’s low HP and the fact that it is a bench sitter in every match you play. I see myself attaching Fighting Fury Belt onto it to avoid some knockouts but it’s clearly not an ideal way to fix the problem.

Luckily, you have to keep in mind that the attacking can be the best defense. A deck like Night March always have Shaymin-EX on their bench but they don’t care because in the long run it’s better for them to attack more than once with the same Night Marcher. The same logic goes for Turbo Toad. If I’m aggressive enough my opponent won’t be able to mess with my little guys on the bench.

I think I talked way too much about the deck. I really hope you guys enjoyed it and that you try it out, even for playtesting sake. It’s good to study and to maybe approach different decks in the format.

For example, it’s pretty normal to think that a counter to Greninja is a Grass Pokémon like Vespiquen or M Sceptile, or something that shuts down abilities like Hex Maniac or Garbodor. But if you pay attention you will see that Greninja’s biggest weaknesses is their early game. Then people started playing Stardust Jirachi to cover this weakness against decks like Night March and M Rayquaza. But Turbo Toad for example goes through it because it still a fast deck like Night March but does not rely on Special Energy. It also can explore these little Pokémon like Froakie and Jirachi with Articuno and Manaphy.

If you keep the same logic, the obvious counter for Trevenant is something Dark type like Yveltal and Zoroark, or something that shuts off abilities like Hex Maniac. Turbo Toad in this case counters the deck by countering its attacks. Manaphy-EX and Rough Seas can pretty much nullify Trevenant BREAK’s attacks.

Once again I’m really glad if you read all the way down to here and I hope you enjoyed what I brought to you. I will soon be back with much more content and information.

Thanks a lot. See you next time! 

 -Gabriel

[+10] okko


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