Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"17th Place Florida Regionals Report 2015"

I talk about my run at FL Regionals.

03/17/2015 by Jose Marrero




Hello 60cards readers! Now that Winter Regionals have concluded I want to show you how I performed at the Florida Regionals where I finished in 17th place. The Friday leading up to the event; Harrison Leven, Dan Richard, Santiago Rodriguez (aka Twitchy), Rahul Reddy and I all had lunch at 4 Rivers Smokehouse where we were later joined by Summer Plesko. We had a good time talking and discussing what we were going to do after lunch. We all decided to go to the Regional’s venue, because they organised a League Challenge there, although neither of us wanted to play it, since we just wanted to go to hang out and play other games.

We get to the venue and immediately we are looking for friends to hang out with. The open gaming area wasn't open until 6 pm. So we walk around and end up at the food court where we saw some familiar faces (Dylan Dreyer, Stephan Deshazo, and a few others). A few of us decided to play a game called Love Letter, where we were eventually swarmed with players wanting to join. If you haven't already played the game I would definitely recommend it. It's a lot of fun when you are playing with people who know how to play. After we had enough of Love Letter a bunch of us headed to the open gaming area to get ready for the League Challenge.

As for me I go around and mingle with a few people. Most of Friday was spent playing games other than Pokemon, because I already knew what I was playing. But the few games I did play test were accompanied by the one and only Ryan Sabelhaus. Ryan, Dan and I had stayed over Harrison's house to get ready for Saturday. I played a few games with Landorus-EX/Crobat and Ryan played his Night March deck. I end up 2-0ing Ryan and then Harrison stepped up to see what he could do. I 1-0’ed Harrison and they both look at each other and basically think the same thing. "Do we all just go with Landorus-EX/Crobat"? Ultimately they both decide to play Landorus-EX/Crobat however Dan was already stuck on Night March. Both Harrison and Ryan went on to make day 2 as would I. With that being said here's the list I used for day 1 as Ryan and Harrison only had a 1 card difference from my list. Which was -1 Super Scoop Up for a 4th VS Seeker.

If you read my last article report you can see I went for the exact same list I posted, however I added some new cards from Primal Clash. Mainly because I knew the list was almost perfect and I just hoped to dodge Seismitoad-EX decks in the early rounds.


Why I chose to go with Landorus/Crobat


In my last article I talked about why I chose to play Landorus-EX/Crobat at Virginia Regionals, but now I want to discuss why I chose to play it at Florida Regionals. At Virginia Regionals I ended up going 5-3-1 where two of my losses were to Seismitoad-EX/Slurpuff decks. I knew if I can dodge Seismitoad-EX decks until after I had my 19 points to make day 2 then I would be in a good spot. Additionally, I knew Flareon was created in Florida by Grafton and Jim Roll, so I knew Flareon was going to be big in Florida.

The deck had performed well at some of the Cities. So I wanted to make sure I had a good matchup against it. That's one of the main reasons why I chose to stick with Landorus-EX/Crobat. Another reason was the Night March hype. I knew a few good players were playing the deck. Taking into account all these considerations, I was certain Landorus-EX/Crobat was the right play. If tech’ed right, you can make the Night March match more winnable as with Flareon.

Day 1 Standard


Round 1- David Briggs with Mewtwo-EX/Sigilyph/Crobat, WLW, 1-0-0

Game 1 my opponent opens with double Sigilyph with the Safeguard ability and all I'm thinking about are my Crobats. I realised the key to winning this matchup was to get Crobat out as soon as possible because my EXs and Hawluchas are useless against Sigilyph. Eventually, my opponent benches two more Sigilyphs and a few Zubats. Because of this, game 1 takes a long time, where we are going back and forth taking KOs, however my opponent makes a crucial mistake by benching a Mewtwo-EX. I end up taking my last two prizes off the Mewtwo-EX.

Game 2 my opponent goes first and gets two or three Zubats turn 1. I knew this game was going to be a little tougher. I take my turn and I also get a couple Zubats down. But since my opponent went first he had an advantage and took a KO on one of my Zubats with a double Golbat drop. He eventually wins game 2 as he was so far ahead taking quick KO's with Mewtwo-EX plus bat combos. Game 3 David opens with Sigilyph again only this time he has a dead hand. I get a quick Crobat with a Muscle Band attached to it and start taking KO after KO on all his Sigilyphs and take the series.

Round 2- Grafton Roll with Flareon/Empoleon/Archie, WW, 2-0-0

These games were streamed. Click the link to see the match.

I'll just go through these games fast since you can just watch the stream. Game 1, I notice that I have my Silent Lab prized and all I'm thinking is that I need to find it as soon as possible. I take a quick prize and manage to get the Silent Lab from the first prize and from there I was able to run through Grafton’s field. He drew dead to make matters worse. Game 2, I look at my hand and well... I see my Silent Lab just smiling at me. I drop it down and Grafton just looks surprised and unhappy at the same time. He knows I only play 1 copy and for me to find it turn 1 was pretty unlikely. However this allowed me to win a quick and easy game 2. Although Grafton again drew dead after using 3 or 4 Battle Compressors. Talk about thinning your deck... Only to have no supporter the following few turns. I take both games convincingly and get ready for round 3.

Round 3- Rex Hurley with Landorus-EX/Crobat, WW, 3-0-0

Game 1 was pretty scary to say the least with me opening with a lone Zubat. I take my turn and all I can do was literally pass. I'm just thinking "wow am I about to get donked?" Rex takes his turn and it's pretty good: a Landorus-EX and a couple Zubats. He was also able to get a Muscle Band onto his Landorus-EX thanks to Korrina. But thankfully he did not have the Strong Energy for the win. He attaches a regular energy and leaves my lone Zubat with 10 hp. He made a crucial mistake by Ultra Ball’ing away his Golbat not knowing it could have won him the game the following turn. Anyway, I take my turn and I draw nothing yet again but I do have a Golbat to evolve my Zubat.

Followed by a Startling Megaphone to get rid of his Muscle Band and pass. Rex takes his second turn of the game and doesn't have a good hand, as he had discarded his only supporter the turn before, along with his Golbat. The supporter he discarded was an N. Which made sense since he knew my hand was dead. All he has going for him is another 30 damage leaving my Golbat at 10 hp. This is where the game gets really interesting. I take my turn and all I have is a Crobat so I evolve and Surprise Bite one of his two Zubats and take a prize, yet another card that can’t help me get out of this position. I attack with Crobat the same turn and take the second Zubat out and getting a Zubat off my prize. He takes his turn and attaches a second energy to his Landorus threatening the Land’s Judgement next turn.

Mind you my field is still that lone Zubat I started the game with but now turned into a Crobat. I take my next turn and bench the Zubat I got off the prize and all I can do is put his Landorus-EX up to 80 damage. He is able to attack with Land’s Judgement and KO's my Crobat, not having to discard any energies since it had damage on it already. All I have left is yet another lone Zubat.... I pray for my top deck and yes the gods favored me with an Ultra Ball. I use it to grab Jirachi-EX into Korrina into Hawlucha plus Muscle Band as I already had the Strong energy in hand. Because the Landorus had 80 damage already I was barely able to finish it off with Hawlucha keeping me in the game. I eventually was too far ahead and take a crazy game 1. Game 2 goes a lot more smoothly with me getting a couple Zubats turn 1 while Rex is struggling to get anything going. Rex was forced to use his Scoop Up Cyclone early giving me the advantage with my own. Long story short I eventually 6-0 Rex game 2 and take the series.

Round 4- Max Armitage with Yveltal-EX/Ninetales, WW, 4-0-0

Game 1, I believe Max opened with baby Yveltal and a Vulpix. I've never faced this type of deck before but, I was really curious to see how the games were going to play out. This game was pretty long with both of us going back and forth with attacks but, I was able to negate a lot of his damage with Super Scoop Up flips. I flipped pretty well in game 1 and eventually took the game. Game 2 was pretty similar with me getting lucky on my flips while at the same time keeping pressure on Max. I don't remember too much about these games, but I just know I took both games convincingly because of my advantage with healing cards and him not running any Seismitoad-EX.

Round 5- Noel Totomoch with Empoleon/Dusknoir, WW, 5-0-0

I'm not going to lie, knowing my opponent was playing straight old school Empoleon had my heart racing. The round before, Noel sat next to me so I knew what he was playing. Anyway, back to the match. Game 1 Noel opens with Miltank and two Piplups. I open with a Zubat I believe. My opponent gets to go first but doesn't play a supporter which could mean two things: he either has a dead hand or he's just holding the turn 2 Rare Candy plus Empoleon. I hope he just has a dead hand which is the case, putting me in a tremendous position. I take my turn and manage to get a triple Zubat drop and a Landorus attacking. I hit the active Miltank up to 60 and one of his Piplups up to 30. He takes his second turn of the game and is only able to hit my Landorus for 10 with Miltank. I giggle inside and proceed to take my second turn of the game. Noticing he only has 3 Pokemon on the field with the active with 40 hp left, one Piplup with 30 hp left, and the other Piplup still at full hp. I look at my hand and I somehow have a way to get three Golbat drops to KO the undamaged Piplup then I follow it up with a Hammer Head KO’ing both Miltank and the second Piplup to take a quick game 1.

I look at my friend David Lopez sitting to my left and he notices my play and he just looked surprised. Game 2 gets real. With Noel going first again only this time he does get a turn 2 Empoleon dealing 140 damage to my active Landorus-EX. Talk about pressure... I take my second turn of the game and evolve both my Zubats into Golbats and bench a Lucario-EX, hoping he would help me against the penguin. I use Hammer Head again and hope he doesn't have the Rare Candy plus Dusknoir next turn. He did have his Mr. Mime out turn 1 which is why I couldn't KO the Duskull unfortunately. He takes his turn and of course he has the turn 3 Dusknoir. At this point, I'm already thinking about game 3 but Noel makes an interesting play. He has two options because of Dusknoir's Sinister Hand ability. Mind you the turn before he had put my Landorus up to 140.

Because of this he now has the option to take the double KO on both my Golbats. But miraculously he does not go that route and instead puts 40 damage on both Golbats and takes the KO on the Landorus. This is where I believe he made a crucial mistake. I take my turn and evolve both Golbats into Crobats taking the KO on his benched Piplup while at the same time hitting his Empoleon for 70 with Lucario-EX. Noel ends up moving all the damage off the Crobats and putting them onto Lucario-EX. At the same time he benches another Piplup and he already had Mr. Mime out the turn before which slowed down my snipes. He takes the KO on my Lucario and he is now at 2 prizes to my 5. I take my turn and I have to think for a bit because this turn can make or break whether we are going to game 3 or not.

I look at my opponent's board and notice I need a Landorus plus Strong Energy plus Muscle Band to KO the active Empoleon. Knowing he has Mr. Mime on the bench I knew I needed to hit my one Silent Lab to basically steal the game and come back. I evolve my third Golbat into Crobat and hit the benched Piplup putting it at 30 HP while at the same time evolving my fourth Zubat into Golbat. I then Juniper and ohhhh myyyyy goddd. Tell me about luck... I hit the Strong energy, Muscle Band, and Silent Lab to get the double KO on his Empoleon and Piplup leaving him with Miltank, Dusknoir, and Mr. Mime. He proceeds to bench another Piplup and hit my Landorus-EX with Miltank for 100.

Because Noel didn't run any stadiums that meant my Silent Lab got to stick. I then take my turn and I know all I need is another Crobat drop to finish off the benched Piplup and active Miltank to put me at 1 prize to his 2. I knew the only way to get the Crobat was to flip heads on a Super Scoop Up however I believe I only had 1 left. I Korrina for it and pray.... HEADS! I pick up one of my Crobats and evolve my Golbat and take the double KO onto the Piplup and Miltank knowing I have game in the bag. I'm now down to 1 prize to my opponents 2 and I have Lysandre in hand waiting. My opponent looks at his options and says "haha who am I kidding" and the series was over as Noel concedes. I have to say Silent Lab was the MVP in game 2.

Round 6- Justin Sanchez with Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Head Ringers, LWT, 5-0-1

Game 1 Justin and I go back and forth taking KO's and it gets really close to where Justin barely manages to take the win with a late game item lock. Game 2 is more favorable to me, allowing me to take control the whole game. With a swarm of Hawluchas and perfect damage to KO his Seismitoad-EXs I was able to take game 2. Game 3 however gets really close to where Justin just needs two more prizes to take the series as for me I still needed four. Knowing time was going to be called soon I had to try for the tie. It was my only option or I just lose.

Time gets called as I said and so I had to go the stall tactics route by promoting Crobat active and passing. Justin was unable to take two prizes by turn 3 and so we ended in a tie. I could have taken 2 more prizes but it was irrelevant. I just had to make sure Justin couldn't take his last 2. Both Justin and I were still pretty happy neither one of us ended up losing as it still kept both of us at a nice 5-0-1.

Round 7- Daniel Sheikh with Seismitoad-EX/Charizard-EX/Garbodor, WLL, 5-1-1

Game 1 Daniel opens with Charizard-EX with the Combustion Blast attack. I knew what he was running since he sat close to me a few rounds ago. Going into this match I know I have to try to keep Landorus-EX at bay and wait for the right time to play him down. In this match-up, you want to get out as many Bats and Hawluchas as possible. So that's my game plan. I immediately notice Daniel had a weak start with just a benched Seismitoad-EX and active Charizard-EX but no energies to follow up. I take advantage of his slow start and go aggro Landorus-EX trying to build up damage on the benched Seismitoad-EX. A few turns later I was able to take a convincing game 1 as Daniel kept drawing dead.

Game 2 however was the complete opposite with Daniel getting a turn 1 Seismitoad plus switch combo lock. He was able to pressure me the whole game and take game 2. Game 3 ends up being a long game to where we are both going back and forth where he item-locks me and I use Crobat to attack. Eventually he was able to keep the item lock the rest of the game and so I ended up decking out as I couldn't use any VS Seeker to get back any Ns.

Round 8- Harrison Leven with Landorus-EX/Crobat, WLW, 6-1-1

Going into this match I knew Harrison's list was 1 card shy of mine since I stayed at his house the night before. As we are shuffling, Harrison and I agree that whoever goes first basically wins the game. The coin is flipped and YES! I get to go first. Game 1 goes as planned with a couple Zubat drops turn 1 and a Landorus-EX for next turn. Harrison mimics my turn. However I had the advantage of going first which meant I was able to Sneaky Bite his Zubats and get a turn 2 KO on them with Landorus-EX. We end up going back and forth with Bat KO's and Super Scoop Up flips and I eventually took game 1.

Game 2 Harrison goes first and it's basically the opposite of game 1 where Harrison is on the winning side. Harrison keeps the pressure on me while by bats are dropping one by one and takes game 2. Game 3... you get the drift. I go first and again get multiple Zubats turn 1 while Harrison is struggling to get anything going. I end up taking a really convincingly game 3 and taking the series and basically guaranteeing my spot for day 2.

Round 9- Brent Siebenkittel with Landorus-EX/Hawlucha/Head Ringers, ID, 6-1-2

Brent and I decide to ID since we both were at 19 points already. We both knew 19 was the bubble and 20 was guaranteed. We wish each other good luck for day 2 and sign the slip. I finish day 1 with 20 points in 8th seed and I'm feeling great knowing I have to go 3-1-1 or better to make top 8 the next day.

Day 2 Extended

3 Level Ball:

The only change I made for day 2 was literally adding 3 Level Balls. I felt that those were the only necessary changes I needed to add. They are great to get faster and more consistent Zubats going. Seeing as Repeat Ball can only grab a Zubat if you already have one in play. Level Ball doesn't need to have any Pokemon already in play. That's why they were a nice addition. I ended up dropping the Startling Megaphone, Repeat Ball and 1 Super Scoop Up from my day 1 list. Overall I think I liked the changes.


Round 10-Daniel Sheikh with Seismitoad-EX/Charizard-EX/Garbodor, LWW, 7-1-2

I look at the standings and I see I'm playing Daniel again from the previous day. I wasn't too happy about it but I had to make the best of it. Game 1 gets really close to where I think I have Daniel on the ropes but all of a sudden Daniel catches me off guard with a nice play, KO’ing my active Crobat with a Charizard-EX plus Blacksmith plus DCE combo. At that point the game was over since I was hoping to snipe a few more times with Crobat before it went down. He had used up all his Lasers at the time so my Crobat felt safe until the big bad Charizard-EX took him out. Daniel was now at 2 prizes and I could see Charizard-EX licking his lips at my poor Jirachi-EX. I take my turn and hope he doesn't have Lysandre to take out my Jirachi-EX. He ends up VS Seekering for the Lysandre and taking a close game 1.

Game 2 goes a lot more my way with Daniel whiffing a DCE until like turn 3 or 4 with an active Seismitoad-EX and having to Juniper away 3 Lasers early on. I was able to take advantage of not being item locked and I take a convincing game 2. Game 3 gets extremely close to where Daniel and I are both on the ropes with him at 1 prize to my 2 prizes. This game was close because Daniel was unable to get Garbodor going as he had discarded one and the other being prized. Because I was at 2 prizes to Daniels 1, I end up going for the safe play and N him down to 1. He had Jirachi on the bench which I hoped to be my way out. The N goes my way and I end up Hammer Heading the Jirachi-EX for a KO and take down a really close series.

Round 11- Orion Craig with Flareon/Empoleon/Archie, LL, 7-2-2

These games were streamed. Click the link to see the match.

I'll also go through these games fast since you can just watch the stream. Game 1 Orion was able to stick Training Center and denying me prizes as I was unable to find one of three of my stadiums. Still game 1 gets really close to where I am at 2 prizes to Orion's 2. Orion had a Jirachi-EX on the bench and I have all the cards necessary to KO it next turn. I had the Hawlucha, Strong Energy, Muscle Band, and Lysandre. Orion notices that I may have all that in hand and Ns us both to 2. I draw nothing as Orion takes a really close game 1. Game 2 basically goes the same way, only this time I was trying to KO his last attacker which was Empoleon. Orion plays another N but for 3 this time and miraculously it sticks and he was able to finish the game the next turn taking 2 of the closest games I've ever played.

Round 12- Adrian Rodriguez with Night March/Hard Charms, LWL, 7-3-2

Game 1 Adrian is able to pressure me the whole game with an early KO on my Hawlucha while having a Hard Charm on his Pumpkaboo at the same time. Let me remind you, I dropped my Startling Megaphone for day 2 and I immediately regretted it. The Hard Charms helped Adrian so much that there were times where I was 10 shy from KOing Pokémon. It was really frustrating knowing I was basically going to lose the series because of a silly tool. Game 2 goes more my way because Adrian basically beat himself. He ended up tossing away all his Night Marchers while the rest were prized making him unable to Night March the rest of the game. Adrian notices his mistake and concedes game 2.

Game 3 Adrian opens pretty well with an early Hard Charm and enough Night Marchers to get a turn 2 attacker in play who can one hit KO anything he wanted. I knew time was getting close so the only thing I could do (knowing I had no chance of winning game 3) was to try and go for the tie. But since Adrian was OHKO’ing everything, I only had a couple turns to stall. I wasn't able to stall the game out and Adrian takes a pretty convincing game 3. I believe time was called about 5 minutes after we finished so there was no way for me to end that series in a tie. Unfortunately this gave me my second loss of the day and out of contention of making top 8. All in all I kept my head up and hoped to make top 16 at least.

Round 13-Carter Copeland with Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor, WLT, 7-3-3

Game 1 my opponent opens with baby Yveltal and a Trubbish. I thought we were playing mirror because day 1 Carter played Landorus-EX/Crobat. Knowing it wasn't mirror I had to change my game plan and get Hawluchas set-up as soon as possible. Carter gets a Seismitoad-EX going but I was able to two shot it with a Hawlucha followed by a Golbat the next turn. Carter had discarded his other Seimistoad-EX making me able to use Items the rest of the game which made me take a close game 1. Game 2 gets really long to where Carter was eventually able to barely squeak out the game and taking us to game 3. Game 3 ended in a tie a few minutes later. This kept us both in contention of possibly making top 16.

Round 14- Shawn Bernaky with Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX, WLW, 8-3-3

Game 1 is extremely close to where either I have game on my turn or my opponent had game on his following turn. I was able to Lysandre and KO his benched Darkrai-EX for game with a Landorus-EX plus Strong Energy and Muscle Band for a whopping 180 damage. Game 2 is more in Shawn's favor with me drawing dead and scooping a few turns later as he had me item locked. Game 3 goes my way by a huge margin with me taking control of the whole game. Shawn was the one drawing dead this time while I was the one attacking taking prize after prize. I take a very convincing game 3 and now hoping to make top 16 with 27 points. I look at the standings andddddd... 17th :( I was 1% behind Jason Klaczynski...

Closing Thoughts


So I finish my FL Regional run in 17th place which I was happy to have made day 2 but sad to have not made top 16 knowing I had the right amount of points for it. States is a few weeks away and I still think Landorus-EX/Crobat will be a good play. It will still be one of my top choices for States, but I will be testing other decks as well. With that being said that will conclude this article. I hope you enjoyed my tournament report and I hope to see all of you at AL/GA/FL States. Please be sure to give a thumbs up if you enjoyed reading this article and as always; keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time.


[+4] okko


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