Experts' corner

Gabriel Semedo

How I Won a Paid Trip to Play a Regionals with M-Gyarados EX!

In this article Gabriel breaks down everything about the tournament and his M-Gyarados EX deck that guaranteed a flight to play a Regional in Fortaleza - Brazil.

01/20/2017 by Gabriel Semedo

Hello everybody! In this article I will talk about a rogue deck that I've created to play in a very important tournament here in Brazil, that gave two tickets to play in a Regional in Fortaleza/Brazil. For your information this trip costs around $300 and it's like 4 hours flying. If I didn't win the tournament, I probably wouldn't go, because of the high cost -- there's no one other viable way to go there (bus/car trip wasn't a option).

So, I decided that the only way to travel was winning this tournament. After a brief analysis of the metagame and a little personal choice, I had found a deck that could be different and at same time, strong and fun. I've been playing Yveltal-EX the whole season and thinking that the game was needing a new rogue, something that would make me happy and could do nicely at a tournament. M-Gyarados isn't the BDIF and neither is Waterbox 2.0, but with the Brazilian metagame and the fact that I was happy playing a deck out of meta, I would take a shot. When I started playing Pokémon, there was a player (who retired lolwut) I liked -- he was very good, creative and smart. Once he told me that the secret is always play with the deck that makes you feel good, after all, you'll never know exactly the decks that you'll play against. For me, feeling good with the deck means finding a deck that could be competitive and at the same time, brings you a personal realization. And for me, M-Gyarados was that deck.


Deck Choice

Taking into account the shift that ocurred in the metagame after London Continental as start point, I realized that now we have a new protagonist, M-Gardevoir-EX. It's capable of beating any tier 1 deck, including Yveltal-EX, M-Mewtwo-EX and Volcanion-EX, so I started with it, analyzing the deck and discovering what was the easiest way to beat it, without compromising any other tier 1 matchup. Basically, M-Gardevoir can't knock out any Mega Pokémon (except M-Mewtwo-EX) and EX Pokémon with Fighting Fury Belt attached (without the use of Rattata EVO, which can be shut down with Garbodor). During my research through the cards, I realized that M-Gyarados-EX could be the perfect counter for M-Gardevoir-EX, because it can't knock out M-Gyarados-EX in one hit and M-Gyarados-EX can knock it out with only one hit. If you can attack with M-Gyarados-EX first, then probably, you'll knock out two M-Gardevoir-EX before M-Gyarados falls off, giving you the victory.

Here in Brazil, Yveltal-EX was never the most popular deck in this metagame; Volcanion-EX was the most popular. So, back to M-Gyarados, it's a great Pokémon against Volcanion-EX, because it can't be knocked out in one hit, and can knock out Volcanion-EX in one hit. With this, I already had a deck that could win the most threatening deck in the world (M-Gardevoir-EX) and the most popular and threatening deck here in Brazil (Volcanion-EX). We have many players that're influenced by the European and North-American metagame, but many that're influenced by our own metagame. I believe it's 50/50.

I still wasn't 100% happy with M-Gyarados-Ex, because I needed at least a fair match against Yveltal-EX and couldn't do this. With a lot of effort, I've got the 50/50 matchup I was looking for, but I still had the surprise factor in my favor, that could be the difference if I had to play against Yveltal-EX during the tournament. Against others decks like Greninja, Vespiquen/Zebstrika, Houndoom-EX/Raticate, Lugia-EX/Magearna-EX/Jolteon-EX, Rainbow Road, Gyarados AOR, VileplumeBox and others, it had great chances of victory, even missing some cards that could make the matchups even easier. The only bad matches are against Raikou and M-Mewtwo-EX, but I could still manage to win sometimes. I'll talk about the matchups ahead and say how M-Gyarados can deal with some decks. Now let's go to the decklist and analyse card-by-card, so you can understand the deck. 

Deck Analysis


3 Gyarados-EX

Many think that it serves just for evolving, but it's a great attacker and its first attack can be very good. If you can't bring Palkia-EX active in your first turn, you have the option of having more energies using Gyarados's first attack (of course that is an attack that has to flip a coin, but with luck, you can at least attach one energy that helps a lot for attacking on the second turn with Gyarados or M-Gyarados). I had a moment that I hit 5 heads, but picked just 4 energies, because you can choose how many you'll pick from the deck. The other attack can be very useful too: 130 is a good damage and can knock out at least some Pokémon of the meta, like Xerneas XY, Yveltal BKT and XY or even Gyarados AOR.

3 M-Gyarados-EX

If you have it fully energized, at least for me, it's the best Pokémon of the game. With 240 HP, it can deny a lot of knock outs and its first attack can kill everything in the game, litterally everything, just by attaching more energies. The big problem is the energy acceleration, so we play a lot of cards that could help with this, allowing me to build 2 M-Gyarados every game.

2 Manaphy-EX

Free retreat is amazing, it may not appear so, but in game it's really good. Its use differs from Waterbox, where you'll need its ability the whole game and in almost every game. Now that the format has Garbodor and Silent Lab, it's impossible to have its ability for too long. But it's very important in your first turn, when, almost in every game, you can use its ability thus giving your Pokémon zero retreat (except for when the opponent plays Hex or Silent Lab first). The usual turn one is when you can bring one Palkia-EX with two energies as active, that's why you need Manaphy-EX always during turn 1. Also, it has a great attack that hits 60 damage and heals 30 of your Pokémon, and this can be very useful to keep M-Gyarados alive with Rough Seas, and can knock out a Froakie during your first turn.

1 Palkia-EX

M-Gyarados-EX is a Pokémon that needs many energies and it's not always possible energize it only with help of Max Elixir / Energy Switch / Mega Turbo, so Palkia-EX becomes needed. During my first attempt, I was using two Palkia-EX, fearing that at least one could get prized, but in game, I realized that M-Gyarados-EX could attack earlier even without Palkia-EX. So I decided to cut one, and play with just one Palkia-EX, choosing another Mega Turbo in it's place. If I use Hoopa-EX, I'll look for the Palkia-EX, but if it's not there, I could attack with Gyarados-EX or try to have acess to Max Elixir / Mega Turbo. In worst cases, it can take one more turn to setup M-Gyarados-EX. Besides, it can be a very strong attacker, with a second attack that can be useful in some matches. I could defeat one Gyarados AOR during Top8 hitting 120 damage on a Shaymin-EX and 30 damage on a benched Magikarp, taking out 3 prizes. You can knock out a Gyarados AOR in this way, if it's already with the damage from Team Magma Secret Base and one benched Magikarp. It's first attack, Aqua Tube, hits for 40 damage and can "shut down" the effect from Fighting Fury Belt, so M-Gyarados will need only four energies for getting the knock out.

2 Shaymin-EX

It's a Staple, you'll need it on your first turn to set up your game. In this deck, it's a great target for almost every deck, because your opponent will prefer knocking it out instead of going for the knock out on M-Gyarados-EX.

1 Hoopa-EX

Amazing; it's resposible for making the deck fast and consistent. Without it, the deck would be bad. When it starts prized, I already know the game will be harder than usual.

3 Professor Sycamore / 3 N

Building up two M-Gyarados-EX requires lot of effort and cards only for this, that's why I'm using 3 Professor Sycamore and 3 N. I can't lose resources during set up, like Mega Turbo, Super Rod, Energy Switch and basic Energies. These cards will make the diference during the late game. You'll need to proceed with caution until some point in the game, so that's why those numbers.

2 Lysandre

Another Staple. Tried with only one, but's impossible. It's way better to choose what you'll knock out, because you can knock out any threat in the game.

3 Trainers’ Mail

When the decklist is so tight like this, needing many slots for cards that can speed up the set up and the energy acceleration, the first thing that comes to mind is to cut Trainer's Mail out; but slowing the deck, so you'll have more free space to work in the list. I did this, but had to move back with Tainer's Mail. Because the use of cards like Max Elixir, Trainer's Mail, Palkia-EX and Hoopa-EX will thin the deck, it'll be way more easier to find the needed card from a Trainer's Mail. Usually in two turns, the deck will be very thin and my board already set, this way, the deck will have only the key cards like supporters, Vs Seeker, Super Rod or Mega Turbo. Also, when my opponent plays N for 2, there's more chance for drawing what I'll need. This deck can put a lot of cards in game in few turns.

4 Vs Seeker


4 Ultra Ball

Another staple, Ultra Ball can find Hoopa-EX and makes Dive Ball unnecessary, even this item being awesome.

4 Max Elixir

This is one of the most important cards in the game and the reason that Yveltal-EX is too strong. Your power is unbalanced and it's better than Mega Turbo in this deck, even with the Mega Pokémon, thanks to Palkia-EX that can attack of your first turn or attaching to a Gyarados-EX before playing the Mega.

3 Energy Switch

Another fundamental card for making Palkia-EX able to hit on your first turn, or taking out it's energies after it's attack. During the game, Energy Switch is fantastic for making the second M-Gyarados-EX.

2 Mega Turbo

It's the least important "energy acceleration" card. It's possible to play without it, but it's still important in the deck. It can help when making the second M-Gyarados-EX or attaching 5 energies to one M-Gyarados-EX. The 2 Mega Turbo act more as a safeguard than the others that do almost the same thing. In some games I don't use them, in others it helps me to come back in the game after some unexpected knockout from my opponent or turning the game in my favor.

1 Escape Rope

Maybe this is the card that most doesn't make sense on the whole deck, but for sure it was the cad that saved me in the most of matches during the tournament. It has aced in so many different ways that is impossible to see it only as a simple card. During the tournament Escape Rope had acted like: Switch, Lysandre, Pokémon Ranger, Energy Switch and Startling Megaphone.

Escape Rope as Switch: The most common way to use this card, actually I put the card in the deck for this reason, since it can be used in scenarios where my Manaphy-EX is turned off by Garbodor / Silent Lab and my opponent uses Lysandre to lock me.

Escape Rope the Lysandre: Another common use, but mostly against Volcanion-EX, where my opponent puts the Baby Volcanion in the active position but has only Volcanion-EX, Shaymin-EX or Hoopa-EX benched, or of course, when my opponent has only one Pokémon on the bench and I want to hit that one.

Escape Rope the Pokémon Ranger: I faced two decks with Regice, one with Garbodor and one with Vileplume, and the only way that I was able to knock out these Pokémon was thanks to my only one Escape Rope. I'll tell you more about what happend in the report.

Escape Rope the Energy Switch: Usually I've had the Palkia-EX in turn on thanks to one basic energy in one Pokémon (benched or active), played Max Elixir on the Palkia-EX and then Energy Switch + Manaphy-EX to bring the Palkia-EX into the active spot. There were games in which I didn't need Manaphy-EX and Energy Switch, I just powered up Palkia-EX, hitting a few Max Elixir and then using Escape Rope.

Escape Rope the Startling Megaphone: Against decks like Greninja Break and Gyarados AOR that uses Bursting Balloon and Vespiquen / Zebstrika that uses Klefiki, it could work like a kind of Megaphone, since you can avoid the Tool that was in the active spot and can knock out anything that comes from the bench without any trouble.

1 Super Rod

Only one Super Rod isn't enough for this deck. When an M-Gyarados EX is knocked out, there will be lost about 4 or 5 energies, which is a lot and can hurt my late game. Also, Super Rod just returns 3 cards to the deck, this helps but is not ideal, except when you're required to discard these cards with Sycamore or Ultra Ball. The real deal would be to use Brock, but it's a supporter and it could be difficult to use. Even not being ideal, I use it every game, either to return one or three energies and even sometimes, it's good to return Shaymin-EX or another Pokémon. The second Super Rod would be interesting in the deck, but I didn't find space for it.

3 Rough Seas

As well as Max Elixir, Rough Seas is an unbalanced card, at least for me. Rough Seas lets M-Gyarados-EX be stronger than it already is, forcing my opponent to do heavy damage so he can actually knock out M-Gyarados-Ex, even if he has to hit 2 or 3 times for that. Rough Seas is critical against Yveltal BKT and halves the incredible attack that it has, reducing the sniped damage. The red side of Parallel City slightly reduces the damage that M-Gyarados EX does, so it's important to use 3 stadium other than Parallel City, to be able to break it quickly.

3 Gyarados Spirit Link

4 Spirit Link is kind of normal in decks that rely on Mega Pokémon, since the decks now are more difficult to thin with the lack of Battle Compressor. (In the last format 3 Spirit Link was ideal.) But in this deck 3 Gyarados Spirit Link is good, since the ability to thin this deck is very good. Thanks to all cards I mentioned before, like Palkia-EX, Max Elixir, Trainers' Mail and Hoopa-EX, the chance to draw the Spirit Link is increased a lot in the first few turns. There will be games where it will be necessary to evolve the M-Gyarados without Spirit Link, but being a heavy deck and a bulky Pokémon, it ends up not being so bad. Another reason that I use only 3 is because in this deck it's almost impossible to make 3 M-Gyarados-EX, usually, just two will be used in the game. One Gyarados-EX, One M-Gyarados-EX and one Spirit Link will not be used for sure, it's just in the deck for consistency and improving the access to those cards.

12 Water Energy

Unlike Waterbox, I don't think that in this deck it is possible to lower the number of energies to 11. You really need those 12 energies and if I had space I would put the 13th energy. It also doesn't work with 11 energies and the second Super Rod that I was wanting to include. You need about 9 energies on the field with this deck, or even more if it were possible. For example, if we have 2 M-Gyarados-EX energized, we're already talking about 8 energies at the least, leaving only 4 in the deck. If those 4 are in the deck, great, but if one or two are prized, we'll have only two more energies that we can work onto another Pokémon or even find them. It's because of this that it isn't possible to build up more than 2 M-Gyarados-EX. To play easily and with being able to afford possible mistakes, the ideal would be 13, but I didn't find enough space so I played with 12, but for this I had to train enough to make less mistakes with only 12 energies.

As you might realize the list goes straight to the point: the main goal is to power up the first M-Gyarados-EX as fast as possible and then make the 2nd M-Gyarados-EX. After that, the idea is to play with what remains in the deck. All effort in the match is spent to do these two simple tasks and there's no time left and no spaces in the deck to make any other moves. Some cards that would surely bring an extra force to the deck in some games like Hex Maniac, Olympia, 2nd Escape Rope, Brock, Regice, Articuno, Jirachi, Pokémon Ranger, Parallel City or Delinquent were left out of the deck. Every extra space I found was dedicated to energizing the M-Gyarados-EX. This happened when I wrote about Waterbox here in 60cards, and that list also had some unexpected cards, but with M-Gyarados-EX, I've trained a little less than two weeks and I was afraid that it wouldn't be possible, but at the end turns out that was fine. It's possible to cut the 2 Mega Turbo to fit other cards, but I would like to do more testing before making these changes.

Tournament Report

If you think I had luck in my matchups, you're wrong. I just had the chance to play against what I was looking for in the last 3 matches, before this, I played 50/50 matches. It wasn't a bad metacall, because my teammate played the same 60 cards and made it to top 8 too, and he could ID the last match (he also played what we hoping to play against, Volcanion-EX and M-Gardevoir-EX). I guess I had bad luck during swiss, so I had to put more effort to WIN THE BAD MATCHES. Also, the surprise factor helped a lot to win those matches, but after a few games, I've realized the deck is stronger than I was thinking. Sometimes, we players, have some bad judgment when playing against certain few cards because they are not a thing in the competitive scenario, and you can include me in, even loving rogue decks.

Round 1 - Vileplume Box

I was very afraid of this match, because the only card that could knock out Regice was my only Escape Rope, and not being able to use any trainer card, make this impossible, ate least, in theory. Actually, the game became more easy for me because Rough Seas, the huge HP of M-Gyarados and it's attack that can kill everything in the game.

Game 1: My opponent played Ninja Boy to Regice in his first turn, with only one pokemon in game. I had in mind I would lost with that move, he was just needing one Double Colorless Energy in his next turn, but he was forced to play a couple of Shaymin to speed up his game and find the Double Colorless, and this, gave me a way for win the game, now I could be able to play Escape Rope and Lysandre to knock out Regice. Thanks to Rough Seas and Manaphy-EX's attack healing M-Gyarados, it could resist for many turns, the needed to knocking out two Vileplumes, a second Regice that was ready, sitting in the bench.

When we were shuffling for the second game, my opponent told me that he couldn't get some knock outs during my control with Rough Seas and Manaphy-EX because his Lysandre was prized. So I said my Articuno ROS also was prized, and it could help to deal with Regice earlier. Of course i was bluffing, because I didn't had Articuno in my deck, but saying this, he could be afraid of doing the only play that would guarantee 100% his victory, playing solo Regice.

Game 2: It seems that he didn't fell in my bluff, and played Ninja Boy in his first turn again. So I prayed that he could miss the Double Colorless in his next turn. With my luck, he didn't finded the energy and didn't played Vileplume during his second turn. He also played Shaymin-EX for setting up, with that, my Gyarados-EX could hit 130 during my turn and could knock out Regice, after this, all the I needed was keep hitting. 


Round 2 - M-Mewtwo EX / Garbodor

This is a really bad match for me, with only 4 energies, M-Mewtwo-EX can knock out an energized M-Gyarados. The good thing is, I could leave my M-Gyarados-EX in the bench with only two energies, then I could do Mega Turbo plus Energy Switch plus energy of turn and attack. Usually I can attack first, giving me at least one chance of victory.

Game 1: I don't remember very well, but I lost. He wasted to make his M-Mewtwo-EX, but I hadn't the best start. I still could get 4 prizes first, but after he could be able to build 2 M-Mewtwo-EX with 4 energies each one and with the help of a few Mega Turbo, in the end, he could turn the game and win.

Game 2: His Hoopa-EX was prized and he had a bad start, so I won in a few turns.

Game 3: We didn't had time to finish.


Round 3 - Greninja / Talonflame

This is a matchup is possible to win if I play very agressive. Clearly Hex Maniac could help a lot, but is possible win without it, because many of the Greninja decks don't play only focused using it's ability Giant Water Shuriken and play with cards that can help wining without the ability, like Enhanced Hammer and Max Potion, and those cards became useless against M-Gyarados. Therefore, the actual builds plays at least two Faded Town, and this could destroy M-Gyarados if it can stay in game for some time.

Game 1: I didn't had a good start and taked a few turns to get my first knock out. Even with this, I could get back into the game and knocking out one Greninja Break each turn with M-Gyarados-Ex. But unfortunally, I could't break a Faded Town that stayed in play for 3 turns, and that was enough to break my M-Gyarados-EX. I believe that if I played Rough Seas faster, the victory was going to be mine.

Game 2: I started very well, using Manaphy-EX during turn 1 and on the next turns, I could build a Gyarados-EX hitting 130 and after that a M-Gyarados hitting 200, my opponent conceded.

Game 3: We didn't had time to finish.


Round 4: Regice/Glaceon/Jolteon/Garbodor

This is a match really boring, even worst than the Vileplume Version. Regice is still the worst nightmare, but if my opponent play a lot of Pokémon in bench, I can get a few knock outs until I could do Escape Rope and Lysandre to knock out Regice.

Game 1: My opponent played Shaymin-EX, Jolteon-EX, Glaceon-EX, Regice and Garbodor. I felt a little tranquilized, knowing it had enough prizes in game, even without a knock out on Regice. But I missplayed, when I played a Lysandre to knock out a Jolteon-EX instead of taking out the Garbodor. After a N for 2 that I didn't draw anything good and with garbodor in play, my opponent could use Lysandre twice and lock my Pokémon to turn the game for himself and win.

Game 2: My opponent did the same setup as game 1, but this time, I couldn't afford the missplay. That was a moment he could hit with Regice and Fighting Fury Belt for 80, and with Jolteon-EX with Fighting Fury Belt during the next turn it hited 160, knocking one of my M-Gyarados-EX, but I could be able to build another one in the next turn, knockin out his Jolteon-EX and won the game.

With these two games, we just had less than 10 minutes until time out. So I tried to play the fastest I could, but I was thinking that wasn't enough time and with the draw I couldn't make top anymore.

Game 3: The game started pretty bad for both sides, but he could hit 70 every turn with Jolteon-EX and I could survive with two energized Manaphy-EX attacking, and with Rough Seas and one Gyarados in play. After 3 turns playing in this horrible way, I got one Ultra Ball from draw, played Hoopa-EX and started taking some prizes. Then the judge calls time out and I could take 2 prizes with Palkia-EX. In this situation, my opponent had an energized Regice and one Glaceon-EX with 150 damage and a Fighting Fury Belt attached. He played N for 2 and with Escape Rope or Lysandre the victory was mine. There were some people watchin the game, and they got crazy when I bought Escape Rope to guarantee the victory.

I couldn't believe I won this match, it was really exciting. I had in mind that we wouldn't finish the game, or even buy the card that I was needing after the N for 2. I guess was my day.


Round 5: Rainbow Road Heavy EX version

This is the most popular version here in Brazil and sincerelly, I think it's way better than the Galvantula version. It's more consistent and it's easier to energize Xerneas, because you can take more cards out of the deck, filtering the deck for Max Elixir.

Game 1: I started and was able to build M-Gyarados-EX during turn 2, knocking out his Flygon-EX. My opponent couldn't make a Xerneas on his second turn, then I played Lysandre to knock out his Volcanion-EX. At this moment, he had to play all win, but he couldn't hit enough to knock out M-Gyarados-EX, so he was forced to play Lysandre and knock out my Manaphy. During my turn, I just played Lysandre for the victory.

Game 2: He started with Hoopa-EX and didn't managed to draw anything. I had a normal setup and could won this way.


Round 6 - Turbo Darkrai

The new trend. I think this deck is really good, but against M-Gyarados-EX is almost impossible to hit 240, even with Faded Town. The deck is fast and consistent, and still can knock out a M-Gyarados with 2 hits. Also, Yveltal XY surprised me, because it's easy to attach 3 energies on it, making it a great attacker, not only a tool for keepin energies in game.

Game 1: This was a really close match, but I was one step ahead almost the whole game. Almost in te end, he starded to play Lysandre a knocks out a Gyarados-EX and Manaphy. I played N for 2, and he didn't draw a Lysandre or VS for knock out my benched Shaymin. Then I could win the game, knocking out two Darkrai-EX.

Game 2: My opponent played Hex Maniac during his first turn. I had only a Manaphy-EX in game. During my turn, I attached a energy and passed. He played Hex Maniac again. Then I drew a Gyarados-EX, attached one energy and retreated the Manaphy, so I used it's first attack and hitted 5 heads like I said before! Searched only 4 energies. My opponent didn't played anything useful during his turn and I bought a Ultra Ball, being able to play Hoopa-EX, attached the spirit link, and played M-Gyarados-EX. I won a few turns after that.


Top 8 - Gyarados (Non EX)

Like several Tier 2 matches I had never played a game with this deck, but I had a sense of how to play it in theory. In that particular match, I knew that there was an incredible Pokémon on the deck, which is the Palkia EX. His first attack is already fantastic and has the power to knock out a Magikarpa soon in the game T1. But the second attack is what really makes the match very interesting for me. Crashing 120 + 30 on the bench is enough to knock out a Magikarpa on the bench in addition to a Shaymin EX or a Gyarados who has already taken 20 by the stadium itself, Team Magma Secret Base. Other than that, I can still count on M-Gyarados EX and his HP of 240, which makes impossible to knock on OHKO for Gyarados. Even with all these positive features in my favor, Gyarados is a very strong deck and has a high and steady damage, offering only a prize when knocked out.

Game 1: My opponent didn't have a good start in the game, which made it possible to make the Palkia-EX soon in turn two hitting 120 in a Shaymin EX plus 30 in a Magikarp. My opponent still couldn't make any good turns and stays way behind in the game and couldn't get back.

Game 2: In this game my opponent setups very well and I also had my setup done. The game was played from start to finish, but in the end my game remained solid with an energized M-Gyarados-EX and little damage taken while my opponent had to spend all his resources to keep attacking and ended up getting with zero resources. In this game what saved me was my two M-Gyarados-EX, who managed to knock out Gyarados AOR every turn and avoided being knocked out. Manaphy-EX and Rough Seas gave me the mobility and constant healing for it to stay alive.


Top 4 - Volcanion EX

Phew, finally one match that I've been training. The meta is so open and with several decks that are strong an able to win a competitive tournament, it's difficult to choose the matches that you need to train and prepare. Before the tournament I thought I had done my homewrok, studied Yveltal, Volcanion and M-Gardevoir, but at this moment in this tournament I only played against onre of these in the 8 rounds. This shows that M-Gyarados-EX is more versatile and stronger than it looks. Back to Volcanion, it's not a autowin or a easy game but I believe it's a 60/40 match for M-Gyarados-EX. Always remembering the surprise factor, that could raise that advantage.

Game 1: This match was a bit weird. I did my M-Gyarados-EX on turn two and used Lysandre three times to knock out 3 opponent's Volcanion-EX. My opponent couldn't make any Volcanion-EX in time, since I knocked out the first one with two energies, the second with two energies and the third couldn't beat me, since he wasn't going to knock out the M-Gyarados-EX and would be knocked back.

Game 2: My opponent starts without supporter, just attached a energy on his active Volcanion-EX and passes. I also got a horrible start but with Gyarados-EX active and also had one N in hand. I decided not to use the N so my opponent would continue in that bad situation, so I attached one energy in the Gyarados-EX and used his energy-seeking attack, two heads would guarantee the victory in the next turn. I played the coin and the first one ... HEADS! Wow, one more heads and I could win the next turn. At that point I was too nervous and the people who were watching the game were also apprehensive, after all, we have a Gyarados-EX in the top 4 of an important tournament trying to save the day against the most winning deck in Brazil, Volcanion-EX. After two coins are thrown off the table, played the coin again and .... Tails. The situation gets a little complicated, because I could't get the knock out during the next turn and I was going to be forced to use N I was holding, since my opponent attached the second energy and passes. So, during his next turn he would had the chance to attach the third energy and Steam Up two times if he could buy an Ultra Ball or Supporter. I didn't want to risk my defeat, so I used N. If I could buy a Max Elixir and Energy Switch, the victory was still mine. I used N and didn't buy anything good, but my situation didn't get complicated. My opponent played Hoopa-EX, uses multiple Steam Up and could be able to knock out my active Gyarados-EX. I was Unable to answer that knock out, so I had to go to my last game strategy, forcing my opponent to buy 4 prizes, use N for 2 and try to get the next 6 prizes from Gyarados-EX. So on my turn I did an M-Gyarados-EX without Spirit Link and changed Hoopa EX as active. My opponent uses Escape Rope and I switched in the M-Gyarados-EX to active, so I could get one more turn to build up another M-Gyarados-EX. So I used Max Elixir, attached an energy and Energy Switch, and I again, switched Hoopa-EX as active. My opponent then knocks out the Hoopa-EX. In this whole process where my opponent has the advantage, he tries to be as aggressive as possible and ends up throwing a lot of resoursces like Vs Seeker and Sycamore to the discard, this way an N could be way more disruptive. So I make one M-Gyarados-EX with 4 energies and played N. I knocked out the Volcanion-EX and I could go down to 4 prizes. My opponent has a Volcanion-EX energized and one without energies. He didn't buy any basic energy but plays an Max Elixir and fails. Then he was afraid to raise the energized Volcanion-EX to hit and retreats, hoping to buy a Lysandre. He continued without buying any important card and I could get the remaining 4 prizes for victory.

Top 2 - ???

There was no final in this tournament, because it had a very good number of players, so the store decided to award the 2 best players of the tournament with a flight ticket to the Regional in Fortaleza - Brazil. The other finalist is my team partner and was using Volcanion-EX.

Final Thoughts

As I said earlier, M-Gyarados-EX isn't the BDIF and it has problems, but I'm sure it's a strong and competitive deck. I used with the intention of facing some specific decks of metagame and I ended up facing 90% decks that I wasn't prepared and even then the deck did very well. The deck has many good points that don't depend on the matchup and almost no other deck of the format has. Rough Seas is a card that heals an average of 200 damage per game. If in some decks Pokémon Center Lady's already incredible for healing 60, imagine then healing an average of 200 damage. Another factor is the Manaphy-EX, which offers zero retreat for the deck. This is sensational, especially against Vileplume Box where the retreat resource is super limited. The high HP of the M-Gyarados-EX, which is only -10 HP than Wailord EX, makes many damage manipulation favorable. Now join Rough Seas, Manaphy-EX and 240 HP on the same deck and we'll have a strong strategy that works well on metagame. Also M-Gyarados-EX's attack makes things much more versatile, taking out the need of the deck to run some tech Pokémon like Magearna-EX for dealing with M-Gardevoir-EX or Zebstrika for dealing with Yveltal-EX. With M-Gyarados-EX any OHKO in format is possible.



 Thanks and see you next time!


[+15] okko


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