Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

1st Place Guatemala Special Event with Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt

Jose goes over his 1st Place finish at the Guatemala Special Event not too long ago with Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt.

04/24/2019 by Jose Marrero



What's going on, 60cards readers?! I'm back again with another article — this time I'll be going over my 1st place finish at the Guatemala Special Event with a pet deck of mine, Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt. I first made Day 2 at Denver Regionals with the deck a week prior and figured why not give it another try but this time at the Special Event. I felt it still had good matchups all around if you are able to set up a Vikavolt (SUM; 52) . I ended up winning the event which had about 31 masters so not too impressive, though it still gave 200 CP so I'll take it. This finish put me at a solid 1357 CP and ranked 5th in the US/Canada leaderboards as well as 1st for the NAIC stipend. Fast forward a little further and now Daytona Regionals has recently passed which I was able to place 9th with Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109) , though in the Expanded format. This finish netted me an extra 40 CP due to already having 8 BFLs which replaced a Top 128 Regional finish.

Currently, I'm at 1397 CP and still 5th on the US/Canada leaderboards and I believe number 2 for NAIC stipend because Caleb is a beast and ended up winning Daytona Regionals. I am fairly confident I have locked up my Day 2 Worlds invite which I'm excited about, though I'll still be at the remaining US Regionals as well as the EUIC this weekend and of course NAIC. Below is the list I used to win the Guatemala Special Event. I only made 1 change since playing the deck in Denver and that was replacing  Wondrous Labyrinth Prism Star (TM; 158) with a 3rd copy of Lysandre Labs (FLI; 111) . I chose this change due to PikaRom decks playing Weakness Policy (BUS; 126) so I wanted to have more outs in finding  Lysandre Labs (FLI; 111) when needed most so  Marshadow GX (BUS; 80) can take easy KO's. Not to mention denying the use of Escape Boards against  Zapdos (TM; 40) decks was quite nice as well.


I already went over the deck in my last article so feel free to check that one out.

Tournament Report

Round 1- Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX: WW (1-0-0)

The very first round I am up against a fairly decent matchup. My opponent did not play Weavile so it made the matchup much smoother. Both games I was able to set up multiple Grubbin on the first turn and from there quickly into Vikavolt (SUM; 52) . Not much else to say other than this matchup is favorable because you can take one hit KO's eventually.  Dhelmise (CLS; 22) and  Shaymin Prism Star (TM; 10) can take down  Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) with ease as well as forcing the opponent into some awkward spots if they want to evolve into Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) . I was able to take both games quite comfortably and start the day with a win.

Round 2- Nestor Fabricio Lazo Orellana - PikaBox: WLL (1-1-0)

This round I'm up against Nestor playing PikaBox who had just beat Rahul the previous round. My games with Nestor were really close. Game one I was able to utilize Marshadow GX (BUS; 80) and take a big one hit KO on Nestor's PikaRom and from there it was downhill so I take the first game. However, in game 2 Nestor made quick work of me as I start drawing poorly. In game three it gets down to the wire with me one hit KOing his PikaRom but he was able to power up another one immediately the following turn due to me not finding a stadium to bump his Thunder Mountain Prism Star (LT; 191) . I had already used/discarded both my Rescue Stretchers so I knew I couldn't recover Marshadow-GX. These games were really good for sure.

Round 3- Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar: LWW (2-1-0)

Once I realized I was playing against this deck I felt my tournament run was over and yet again I net zero CP at a Special Event. Game one goes as I expected it to go with my opponent getting a turn 2 KO on my Rayquaza GX (CLS; 109) so I scoop shortly after. At this point, I've pretty much given up but just kept playing anyway. To my surprise, in game 2 my opponent quickly dead draws off a Let Loose so I take advantage and start taking KO after KO. In game three, my opponent has a great start with multiple Inkay and a Jirachi, though no Ultra Necrozma GX (FLI; 95) . I take my turn and do some things and pass the turn. My opponent then benches an  Absol (TM; 88) and at this point, I'm confused because I have yet to see any Ultra Necrozma-GX hit the field. Eventually, I win the game and my opponent flips over his prize cards and yup you guessed it both his  Ultra Necrozma GX (FLI; 95) were prized. Boy did I get lucky to win this match because it is unfavorable.

Round 4- Charizard/Jirachi: WLW (3-1-0)

This match basically determined if I made Top 8 or not so I knew how crucial it was. To my surprise, I was playing against Charizard/Jirachi. I figured it wasn't going to be easy because Charizard can one hit KO Rayquaza-GX in one blow which trading a 1 prizer for a 2 prizer is never good. Game one my opponent has a slow start so I was able to take KO after KO. I used Dhelmise and Shaymin Prism to one hit KO Charizard because Charizard has to take 20 damage to use its ability which makes it's hit points drop from 150 to 130 enough for Dhelmise to finish them off. Game 2, however, I dead draw after using a turn one Lillie which was shocking. Game three I knew I had to play fast because of time and that's exactly what I did. My opponent didn't draw too well also which made the game less stressful and with that, I make my first Top 8 at a Special Event let alone first time getting CP from one. For some reason, Special Events get the best of me and finally I was able to get past that hump.

Round 5- Rahul Reddy - PikaBox: ID (3-1-1)

Rahul and I knew we were safe for Top 8 so we ID and wait until the round is over.


Top 8- Finn Mckeefry - Zoroark-GX/Control: WLW

For my first top cut match, I face up against Zoroark-GX/Control which in theory should be a fine matchup. Game one and three go as planned with me being able to one hit KO whatever I wanted. In game 2 I lost due to a quick  Alolan Muk (SUM; 58) and just not being able to one hit KO early enough. If you can't one hit KO then the opponent will just Acerola loop which gets quite troublesome.

Top 4- Nestor Fabricio Lazo Orellana - PikaBox: WW

Now, I have a rematch against my round 2 opponent. Both games I use Marshadow-GX and Tapu Koko Prism to the fullest of their ability. I would take KO's on Zapdos with Tapu Koko and PikaRoms were just being eaten by Marshadow-GX. Thanks to playing two Rescue Stretcher I was able to use Marshadow-GX multiple times in a game. I get my revenge from my swiss match and make my way into the finals only to meet ARG teammate Rahul Reddy playing the same deck.

Finals- Rahul Reddy - PikaBox: LWW

Game one I was only able to get out one Grubbin at a time. Because of this Rahul was able to pick them off one by one so I quickly scoop knowing I was already too far behind. However, in game 2 Rahul dead draws off of a Let Loose and he too quickly scoops. Game three was a real game with it coming down to the wire. Rahul put pressure on me by using Full Blitz to his active PikaRom that had a Weakness Policy on it. The turn before I had Let Loosed and drew Nest Ball and Lysandre Labs. I used Nest Ball for Marshadow-GX and waited until Rahul attacked to make my move. As expected Rahul powers up the active Pikarom as I mentioned to try and win the next turn with Tag Bolt GX. Unfortunately for Rahul, I had Lysandre Labs in hand ready to one hit KO his 6 energy PikaRom. Rahul had nothing else after that so I Guzma KO a Tapu Lele-GX for the last 2 prizes. I was shocked to not only Top 8 the event just because I do bad at these but to have won it all made the trip that much better.


Matchups (I won't go every matchup as some speak for themselves.)

Zapdos/Jirachi -50/50

I believe this matchup is about 50/50 just because if you don't get multiple Grubbin out then they can be picked off one by one. However, once Vikavolt hits the field you can start attacking with Dhelmise and  Tapu Koko Prism Star (TM; 51) to take out any Zapdos (TM; 40) . The opponent will need two Electropower to one hit KO both of them. Plus you can get back Dhelmise multiple times making it annoying to one hit KO without having to use an early Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147) . You can even attack with Vikavolt if need be.

Zapdos/Ultra Beasts - 50/50

Pretty much the same except you have to watch out for  Buzzwole (FLI; 77) and it's Sledgehammer turn and  Nihilego (LT; 106) once you get down to 2 prize cards. Other than that I feel this matchup is fairly similar to the vanilla  Jirachi (TM; 99) variant.

Zapdos/Lycanroc-GX -55/45

Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX - 60/40

Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Weavile - 55/45

Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX/Lucario-GX - 60/40

Zoroark-GX/Control -55/45

CeliSaur -60/40

Favorable matchup simply because Rayquaza-GX can eventually one hit Celebi & Venusaur GX (TM; 1) . The deck is strong because it rarely can get one hit KOed and if that's the case then the deck folds big time.

Regigigas/Hoopa - 90/10

A free matchup for sure because Rayquaza-GX can hit high enough numbers to one hit KO a  Regigigas (CIN; 84) or Magikarp & Wailord GX (BW; 166) . Not to mention, Hoopa can be KOed by plenty of attackers such as Tapu Koko Prism, Shaymin Prism, Dhelmise, and even Vikavolt.

Vileplume/Stall - 90/10

Another super free matchup. You use Vikavolt to KO Vileplume (BUS; 6) , and the rest you KO as you see fit.

Blacephalon -50/50

This matchup basically comes down to whoever takes the first 2 prizes is favored or if the  Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) missed  Beast Ring (FLI; 102) turn or not.

PikaBox -50/50

I say this matchup is about 50/50 because PikaBox has a lot of tricks it can do to keep up with Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt unless they go aggressive with PikaRoms then it's much easier.

Speed PikaRom -55/45

Marshadow-GX will be MVP in this matchup for sure because the deck thrives on just going with PikaRom after PikaRom, unlike the PikaBox variant which has multiple Zapdos and likely Jolteon-GX.

Ultra Necrozma-GX/Malamar -40/60

Tough matchup simply because Ultra Necrozma-GX can start taking KO's on the second turn of the game.

Quagsire/Naganadel -55/45

Lysandre Labs will make this matchup a cake walk if you are able to use them at the right times when you are about to take a crucial KO. KOing something with a Wishful Baton is what you want to try and do assuming you have Lysandre Labs out so they can't get the energy back.

Naganadel-GX/Buzzwole-GX/Stakataka-GX -55/45

Zygarde-GX/Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX -55/45

Buzzwole-GX/Lucario-GX -55/45

This deck can't really handle the one hit KO onslaught Rayquaza-GX can bring which is why it's unfavorable for Buzzwole-GX/Lucario-GX. Lucario-GX can't even one hit KO Rayquaza-GX unless you also play Professor Kukui which doesn't seem that easy to pull off needing Choice Band and Diancie Prism as well.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my 1st place finish at the Guatemala Special Event. Going into Berlin this weekend I believe the deck can still be strong if you hit the right matchups. Worse case some decks are 50/50 or better for Rayquaza-GX/Vikavolt which is why I still have faith in it. It is still my top choice going into this weekend for sure. If you see me in Berlin this weekend stop by and say hi. I can't wait to see everyone there and just have a great time as it'll be my first time visiting Germany, in general, let alone Berlin.

If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook: "Team ARG Pokémon-TCG." There you can keep up to date with all the players on the team. Also, don't forget to check out to pick up some awesome dice and GX markers. They also have Ability Markers for sale so be sure to pick some up if you haven't already.

If you are interested in taking coaching lessons from me then feel free to either PM me on Facebook or on Twitter. My Twitter handle is below if you want to follow me for when I post lists and other exciting news or if you want to reach me that way.

If you have any questions, then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook. I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible.

As always, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas below, and I'll consider them. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG


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