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Jose Marrero

"The Tale of Yoloquaza"- A Top 32 GA Regionals Report

Jose talks about his GA Regionals run as well as discusses his potential plays for US Nationals.

06/12/2015 by Jose Marrero

 

                        Introduction

 

Hello again, 60cards readers! I hope you all had a successful Spring Regionals run. For this next article, I'm going to do a tournament report on my run at Georgia Regionals and talk about my deck choice and why I chose to go with what I played. I'll also talk about what changes I would make (post Trump Card) on the deck I used and also talk about two decks that are potential plays for US Nationals. As you all may know by now week three of Spring Regionals, Roaring Skies was legal for play. This meant players were forced to go into the meta-game with a brand new set that was yet to be tested at previous tournaments due to it not being legal yet. I personally liked this, because it makes people think more outside the box and come up with their own ideas. In the end, Georgia Regionals was taken down by Florida player, Jorge Feliciano with his Trevenant XY/Shaymin-EX deck defeating Kyle Sabelhaus's Seismitoad-EX/Shaymin-EX deck in the finals. By the way congrats to Kyle for making it to the finals for the second year in a row at Georgia Regionals. I myself ended up playing M Rayquaza-EX (Colorless) for day one and day two. Reason being was because it's only real bad matchup was Seismitoad-EX decks at the time. Which is the main reason I named the article Yoloquaza haha! I knew if I dodged enough Seismitoad-EX decks then I should easily make it to day 2 at the least. Luckily enough I was able to dodge Seismitoad-EX decks for seven straight rounds day one, but wasn't so lucky day two which I will talk about later on in the article.

Another reason I chose to play the deck was because of how fast and consistent it is. Just being able to out speed and out damage most decks made playing M Rayquaza-EX that much better. I knew people would expect a huge of amount of M Rayquaza-EX since it was new and all, but that still didn't stop me from playing it. I wasn't all that worried about all the Lightning decks because I kept Altaria in the deck. Although there was definitely a good amount of Lightning decks running around mainly Raichu/Leafeon variants that I talked about in this article. Altaria definitely helped out on this matter and it was well worth the inclusion in the long run. I was the only M Rayquaza-EX player to make it to day two at Georgia Regionals aside from Josh Squeaky Marking, who also made it to day two with his own version of the deck. Both our variants were completely different from each others with his focusing more on a Metal build and mine on a standard one.

With that said, let's talk about the list I decided to run.

                          The List

If you read my last article you will notice I mentioned this deck in it, and the lists are quite similar with only a three card difference. The list above is definitely more consistent than the other after making a couple last minute changes and what decks I expected to see.

3x Rayquaza-EX:

I see a lot of people running four of these, but to be honest three seemed to work just fine especially since Empoleon can be used as a back up attacker as well.

3x M Rayquaza-EX:

Pretty sure running three of these are staple and I can't see running four. Anymore than three seems overkill.

4x Shaymin-EX:

Of course when running a deck like this you want to max out on your consistency and free draw cards. Shaymin-EX is the perfect answer to this.

2x Exeggcute:

Two of these were added to help fill our bench easier and more efficiently with the help of Sky Field. They are also helpful for Empoleon's ability to draw two free cards every turn and to make it easier to get out Empoleon with the help of Archie's Ace in the Hole.

1-1 Altaria:

I only went with a small line of Altaria just because I really didn't want them to take up too much space in the deck yet I still wanted to make sure I have an answer to all the Lightning decks.

1x Empoleon:

At first I had two of these in the list, but the more I tested I just felt like one was enough and dropping it to one meant I was able to fit a more important card that could help against some of the decks tougher match-ups. Empoleon with the combination of Sky Field makes it's damage out put even stronger making it a win win.

1x Keldeo-EX:

This card was added for those annoying special conditions mainly Hypnotoxic Laser. Also just to be able to have free roaming is a nice option to have. Sometimes you are forced to just feed your opponent an Exeggcute so Keldeo-EX made it easier to get them into the active spot when necessary.

1x Jirachi-EX:

I still like this card in this deck even though it plays four Shaymin-EX. Some people have dropped Jirachi-EX, but personally I still like having the option to Lysandre or Colress whenever I wanted. If your worried about Jirachi-EX taking up bench space or fear your opponent may take two free prizes off it then simply discard it when they bump your Sky Field. Bench space shouldn't even be an issue in this deck.

2x Professor Juniper:

In my original list I actually had four Professor Juniper, but then I thought why do we need so many? The deck loses to Seismitoad-EX anyway and since I run a heavy count of Battle Compressor then running a low Professor Juniper count can be just as good. Running only two freed up two more spots in the deck which is what I wanted.

1x N:

I went with just one copy of N because this deck takes quick KO's so you don't want to have Ns late-game, but I still wanted the option to N so I just kept it as a one of for now.

1x Colress:

Running Colress in this deck is ridiculous. Most times you at least get six cards from it just from your own field. I think the most I've drawn in the tournament was thirteen or fourteen cards. Only in testing was I able to draw the max.

2x Lysandre:

My original list had only one Lysandre, but the more I thought about it I felt like adding a second one would help in the long run especially against Wobbuffet and Trevenant XY. I'm glad I added the second one in because it helped quite a bit as you will see in my report.

4x Trainers' Mail:

You don't know how good this card is in this deck. When you're using a supporter and then you have Trainers' Mail in hand it's like drawing an extra four cards basically. At least that's how I look at it because most of the time you will find that last card you were digging for just sitting in the top four cards of your deck. Trainers' Mail can be added into any deck because it's so versatile. Any deck can take advantage of this card and use it to its fullest potential.

3x Battle Compressor:

This card also adds consistency because it can help put Supporters/Energy/Exeggcutes into the discard pile so you can use cards like VS Seeker to grab a supporter, Mega Turbo to grab an energy, and to put the Exeggcutes in hand.

3x Mega Turbo:

This was another card that I only had two of in my original list. There were times where I'm digging for that turn one attack and all I'm missing was the Mega Turbo so I said you know what let's go to three. Going to three definitely helped fix this problem.

3x Rayquaza Spirit Link:

I would love to fit a fourth Spirit Link in, but three is probably fine. Although there are times where I'm digging for that Spirit Link and can't seem to find one sometimes, but I mean that can happen with any card. 

3x Sky Field:

This is another card where I would love a fourth of, but again three seemed to be just right because there wasn't nearly enough Silent Labs as I thought. The times where you miss finding a Sky Field I would just Lysandre something like a Shaymin-EX and take two prizes since you don't need Sky Field to KO them and then wait to find the Sky Field next turn if needed.


2x Float Stone:

Of course these were added because of Keldeo-EX. I wanted to make sure I can retreat for free without having to Double Colorless retreat Keldeo-EX. So Float Stones were the perfect answer. Also if I couldn't find Keldeo-EX early on and I just find a Float Stone I would just put it onto the active assuming it's not a Rayquaza-EX this way you have a free retreater at dispense.

1x Escape Rope:

This card was added literally at the last minute because I knew people were playing Groudon-EX with Wobbuffets which Escape Roped helped in which you will see in some of my games against Groudon-EX. If the Groudon-EX player only haves one benched being the Groudon-EX then Escape Rope can drag it up. Your opponent wouldn't see it coming most of the time which is a big game changer putting damage onto the Groudon-EX first. Getting out of Wobbuffet's ability was also nice, but of course if they have one on the bench then Escape Rope doesn't matter in that situation, but a lot of times they will just have one in play.

3x Water Energy:

My basic energy of choice was Water energy because they help fuel Empoleon and even Keldeo-EX if needed.

With that said, let's now get into the report.

                 GA Regionals Report

 

                        Day 1 Standard

 

Round 1- M Rayquaza-EX(Colorless)/Raichu, LWT, 0-0-1

I didn't expect to hit the mirror right off the bat. But I played to the best of my ability. My opponent running a 2-2 line of Raichu made it a tough series for sure. Game 1 my opponent gets a pretty great opening as I'm draw passing with literally an unplayable hand some how. Holding cards such as Empoleon and Archie's Ace in the Hole dieing for an Ultra Ball. I draw nothing for a few more turns as my opponent takes a convincing game one. Game 2 however, my opponent makes a crucial mistake by attacking into my Exeggcute with his M Rayquaza-EX as I follow up with my own Mega to KO his. He did have a Raichu on the bench ready to revenge me back, but little did my opponent know I was running Altaria so I get him out thus making his Raichu unable to one hit KO my M Rayquaza-EX. From there the game was basically over as I kept taking knockout after knockout. We get into game 3, but time get's called shortly after resulting in a tie.

Round 2- Seismitoad-EX/Crawdaunt, LL, 0-1-1

Great I hit my first Seismitoad-EX match-up and this early on too... It was the worst kind of Seismitoad-EX variant for the deck which was with Crawdaunt. Game 1 it goes as I expect with my opponent finding a turn one lock and from there it goes down hill after a couple Crushing Hammer flips. I concede and move onto the next game. Game 2 pretty much goes the same except there was a window where if my opponent didn't hit the Double Colorless off his N to six then I would get M Rayquaza-EX attacking and ready to go. But he hits the energy and again it goes down hill from there. Not much else I could do and so I eventually concede when all hope was lost.

Round 3- Aromatisse/Florges-EX, WW, 1-1-1

When my opponent opened with Florges-EX and Spritzee my face lit up knowing this would be an easy series for me. Game 1 and 2 basically go the same way with me steam rolling with M Rayquaza-EX taking KO after KO. Since his deck can't one hit KO my Megas it made me able to get at least four prizes with a single M Rayquaza-EX. Unfortunate match-up for my opponent, but I'll take what I can get at this point. Starting 0-1-1 is always a scary thing to come back from.

Round 4- Hawlucha/Landorus/Groudon-EX, WW, 2-1-1

My first Groudon-EX match-up of the day. I actually don't mind this match-up for M Rayquaza-EX because I know what to do to beat them. Fortunately for me this version didn't run Wobbuffet so I was free to use Shaymin-EXs whenever I wanted. Game 1 my opponent is setting up slowly as usual for a deck like Groudon-EX. Eventually he was able to get a Primal Groudon-EX going with a Focus Sash, but what I do is attack with Shaymin-EX to break the Focus Sash then go into an Exeggcute to feed them just one prize instead of two. This way they have to have the Lysandre in hand already to drag up an EX. Once the Focus Sash was useless the game was over from there. Also to point out as soon as the Groudon-EX player benches a Groudon-EX try and Lysandre it up before it Mega evolves because even a measly 30 damage is worth it in the long run. Game 2 goes basically the same only this time I get the Escape Rope play off on him. I believe he had a Landorus active and a lone Groudon-EX on bench. I Escape Roped and took Groudon-EX to the Shadow Realm. I took two convincing games since I knew how to play against Groudon-EX decks.

Round 5- Casey Bennink w/ Raichu/Leafeon/Banette, WW, 3-1-1

This match-up was interesting since I wasn't too sure on how it would play out. At first I thought I was going to get steam rolled against a heavy Raichu line. But my boy Altaria came threw and took me to victory. Game 1 I immediately get Altaria going making my opponent unable to 1 hit KO my M Rayquaza-EXs. I take two quick prizes and then instead of trying to KO four more non EXs which I'm pretty sure I would have lost had I tried to. I instead went for the back to back Shaymin-EX KO which I managed to pull off to take game one. Game 2 is much easier since my opponent decided he was going to dead draw most of the game resulting in a 2-0 victory for me against a deck which I actually feared against.

Round 6- Sam Bennett w/ Weavile/Plasma Absol, WW, 4-1-1

As I look at the pairings I notice I'm facing against a Florida friend. Playing against Sam is always a blast since we both joke around, but take the game serious at the same time since we both want this win just as much as the other. Again I wasn't sure on how this match-up would go against M Rayquaza-EX. On paper Weavile is definitely the fan favorite. But in our games they went much better than I anticipated. Game 1 Sam is slowly setting up while I'm taking KO after KO. Sam eventually starts the war with her Weavile, but unfortunately Sam was only able to hit my M Rayquaza-EX for 210 damage just 10 damage shy of the KO. This resulted in me taking yet another KO with the same M Rayquaza-EX that's already taken at least two. The following turn Sam uses Hail KOing my M Rayquaza-EX and putting 10 damage on everything else. I manage to set up another M Rayquaza-EX and from there I take a convincing game one since Sam was forced to attach one energy at a time and nothing had an energy already on it so she would have to wait two turns to even attack with Weavile. She was able to put pressure on me early on with her Absols with the help of Colress Machine, but still that wasn't enough to over power my Megas. Game 2 Sam unfortunately dead draws and I take a quick series. Thanks for the games Sam.

Round 7- Ryan Sabelhaus w/ Wobbuffet/Groudon-EX, WLW, 5-1-1

This round I have to go up against one of the best players in the game, Ryan Sabelhaus. No matter what Ryan was playing I knew I was in for a good series. Game 1 starts with Ryan opening with Wobbuffet and immediately I'm on the fence knowing I can't use my Shaymin-EXs right away. So I Professor Juniper and hit a Lysandre for next turn to break the lock. So glad I added in that second Lysandre or else it could have been scary for me. Ryan proceeds to Korrina for Groudon-EX and I believe a Professor's Letter. I take my next turn and Lysandre up his Groudon-EX and from there I'm in a great spot. Everytime he benched a new Groudon-EX I would Lysandre it and do damage to it. He does eventually get the Primal Groudon-EX plus Focus Sash going, but at that point my lead was hard to come back from. He takes out one of my Megas and so I then Shaymin-EX into it and like I said before I go into an Exeggcute. This forces Ryan to retreat his Primal Groudon-EX or else it was going down the following turn. He then feeds me a couple Wobbuffet until he finds a Lysandre. But by then it was too late and I take a close game one.

Game 2 however, is going a lot better for Ryan and I where some point in the game we are both sitting at two prizes. I N Ryan to two and if he doesn't have a stadium plus Lysandre to KO one of my benched Shaymin-EX then I take a 2-0 victory against him. But instead off his N to two he draws Scorched Earth and a Fighting Energy and proceeds to draw two cards off the stadium and guess what the second card was? A Lysandre! Ryan takes game two as my jaw just drops. Ryan was just as surprised as me when he hit both cards off an N to two to steal the game. Game 3 I'm basically rolling through Ryan. Ryan's only hope was to tie the game because I was too far ahead to the point where he didn't have enough time to set up a new Primal Groudon-EX because there was a turn where he had Groudon-EX on the bench with a Focus Sash (clever Ryan), but it was the only benched Pokemon at the time with the active being Wobbuffet. I Escape Rope the Groudon-EX up and from there I knew the game was mine. Ryan desperately tried to go for the tie which I don't blame him, but he was unfortunately unable to tie the game. He would have had to have crazy luck. The only way he was able to tie the game was if he used his one Max Potion onto his Primal Groudon-EX then Lysandre's Trump Card it back into the deck then somehow find it again the following turn. He wasn't able to pull it off thus I took a really great series.

Round 8- Long Bui w/ Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, LWW, 6-1-1

Long Bui we meet again! Long and I played at Worlds last year where he demolished me with his Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX deck. I wasn't about to let that happen again. I knew going into this match-up I had the advantage since M Rayquaza-EX easily out speeds his deck. But little did I know what techs Long decided to run. Game 1 I go first and do the usual and pass the turn having to play down a Sky Field because I only had a Professor Juniper and I didn't want it to go to waste. Long decides he wants to try and go for the turn one Emerald Slash. He starts off by digging through his deck with three Shaymin-EX and three or four Trainers' Mail and eventually hits all the cards he needs for the turn one Emerald Slash. He was able to hit the Plasma Badge and Colress Machine onto his Virizion-EX to put pressure on me right away. Long also ran two Deoxys-EX which he managed to get out turn one with the help of Shaymin-EX. This meant he now has the potential to one hit KO my M Rayquaza-EXs with the help of G-Booster. I take my second turn of the game and I believe I missed the Sky Field or maybe I did KO the Virizion-EX either way Long was able to take out my M Rayquaza-EX with the Genesect-EX he powered up turn one for a perfect 220 damage with the help of Deoxys-EX. Next turn I manage to get another M Rayquaza-EX going, but I was unable to find the Sky Field to basically clear his board presence. So I hit the Genesect-EX with G-Booster for 150 damage and then Long proceeds to one hit KO my second M Rayquaza-EX once again and from there hope was lost as Long takes a close game one.

Game 2 however, is a lot slower for Long, since he was unable to get the turn one Emerald Slash off so long story short (no pun intended) the deck did what it was supposed to do against a Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX deck. Game 3 actually ends in three turns with Long opening with Mew-EX and putting an energy onto it. I take my first turn of the game and manage to get M Rayquaza-EX attacking and I KO the Mew-EX turn one. On Long's second turn of the game I believe he pulls off the Plasma Badge plus Colress Machine combo again to power up a benched Genesect-EX, but on my second turn of the game I Lysandre it up and one hit KO it with the help of Sky Field and am now up four prizes. By the way Long's stadium of choice was I believe Frozen City which he did bump my Sky Field with. On Long's third turn of the game he Emerald Slashes yet again onto something and all I need to win and take my last two prizes is just another Sky Field. Sitting in my hand were three Trainers' Mail and I was able to hit the Sky Field off the first one taking the series 2-1 with me taking six prizes in three turns. That felt nice because this win basically guaranteed me a spot for day two.

Round 9- Kyle Sabelhaus w/ Wobbuffet/Groudon-EX, WLT, 6-1-2

The last round of day one I hit Kyle Sabelhaus. Two Sabelhaus's in one day? Talk about tough opponents. I offer the ID to Kyle even though I knew I could win the match-up especially having beaten his brother in round seven playing the same deck and possibly list. I also didn't really want to play anymore games for the day, but Kyle decides it's best to play it out since this win would make it easier for both of us to top 8 the next day. So we get into game 1 and it goes exactly how I expect it to go with me Lysandreing around the Wobbuffets and Escape Rope catching Kyle off guard resulting in a convincing game one win. Game 2 however, get's extremely close similar to Ryan and I's game two where Ryan had to hit the perfect two cards to steal the game. Only this time I N Kyle to two, but he only needed a Lysandre to take the game and for his two cards off the N were an energy and a Mega Turbo. His draw for the turn was the Lysandre to bring it to game 3. Almost had another 2-0 victory there.... These guys don't give up easily do they. Game 3 goes to time with Kyle having a huge lead on me and if time wasn't called then I think Kyle would have bested me 2-1, but fortunately for me we ended in a tie.

So I finish day one in 6th seed with 20 points and I'm feeling ecstatic. I decide to just go with the same 60 because Yolo right? I'm just hoping to dodge Seismitoad-EX decks again. You will quickly notice I wasn't so lucky this time around.

 

                        Day 2 Expanded

 

Round 10- Kyle Sabelhaus w/ Seismitoad-EX/Shaymin-EX, LL, 6-2-2

So I see my round one day two pairings and it's a rematch against Kyle Sabelhaus. Last time we played we ended in a tie. This time Kyle decides to play my worst match-up, Seismitoad-EX. You can guess how these games went since M Rayquaza-EX basically folds to Seismitoad-EX decks. Game 1 I believe I scooped in like three or four turns since Kyle drained all my energy and never looked back. Game 2 was pretty similar although there was a point in the game where I may have attacked with M Rayquaza-EX had Kyle not Xerosiced off my Float Stone on my Keldeo-EX. I knew once he did that all hope was for sure lost so I concede a few turns later to give me my first loss of the day. I wasn't bummed at all only for the fact that I had to face a Seismitoad-EX deck round one. I'm glad it was against Kyle because he managed to make it all the way to the finals for the second year in a row.

Round 11- Mike Canaves w/ Empoleon/Magnezone, L, 6-3-2

I wasn't too sure on how this match-up would go since I've never tested it. Game 1 Mike and I are going back and forth with attacks, but I'm the one taking most prizes since he has to two shot me while I can one shot him. The game gets really close to where I have one prize left to Mikes two, but Mike was smart enough to not bench an EX since I would have just won the turn before had he had an EX on the board. Mike manages to pull off a back to back KO on both my M Rayquaza-EXs with the help of my Sky Field. I had to play down Sky Field since I had to keep Lysandreing around his Life Dewed active. This forced me to try and keep Shaymin-EXing into the VS Seekers for Lysandre. Because of this it came back to bite me and thus Mike took a really close game one. Game one took about 35-40 minutes so I knew I had to pick up the pace for game two.

Game 2 is underway and I'm going crazy digging through my deck to try and set up and take quick prizes. I somehow miss the Double Colorless on turn two and turn three of the game. I keep digging through my deck and I just can't find a Double Colorless to save my life. Mike is slowly setting up by this time and I knew time was running out and to make matters worse I'm still sitting at six prizes. I eventually get to six cards left in my deck I kid you not and sitting in there are three Double Colorless Energy with one prized. You mean to tell me I went through 48 cards in my deck and I still can't find a Double Colorless Energy? I even Colressed for like 12 one time and still missed it with the six cards still left in the deck. Time get's called as I'm still at six prizes so Mike wins the series by just winning game one. I was so frustrated at this point, but then I knew I wasn't out of top 8 just yet so I had to calm myself and get ready for the next round. Oh yeah Mike and I made a little bet on whoever did better in the tournament the loser would give the other $10 and although both of us still finished in top 32, Mike still was a higher seed than me so he ended up winning the bet.

Round 12- Chris Bianchi w/ Seismitoad-EX/Crobat, LWL, 6-4-2

Oh great another Seismitoad-EX deck only this time with Crobats. Chris is a well known Florida player so I knew we were going to have some good games unless he just smashes me since he was playing Seismitoad-EX and all. Game 1 Chris takes me to the thunderdome and takes a not so surprising game one. Game 2 however, the PokeGods decided to favor me in this one and allow Chris to not draw anything thus resulting me with a game two victory. Then in Game 3 the PokeGods decided to say 'Jose nevermind we don't want you winning this series sorry" so Chris proceeds to face stomp me and takes the series 2-1.

Round 13- Collin Schaetzke w/ Seismitoad-EX/Manectric-EX/Garbodor, LWL, 6-5-2

OK ok ok I get it, you don't want me to pass top 32. Yet another Seismitoad-EX deck only this time with techs that demolish my deck. Collin is another Florida player that's been doing well lately. I believe this is his first Worlds invite since he started playing so congrats to him. I knew Collin was playing Manectric-EX and Garbodor as well which didn't sit well for me since my Altaria is basically useless if he get's Garbodor out. Game 1 Collin does in fact get Garbodor out and from there it's all down hill because even if I were able to attack with M Rayquaza-EX (which I wasn't) then he could easily revenge it with his Manectric-EX. So Collin takes game one with ease. Game 2 however, Collin wasn't able to find another bench Pokemon so I believe I benched him by turn two or three. Game 3 was actually quite close with me getting it down to two prizes. But I make a crucial crucial mistake when I used Battle Compressor and forget to discard a supporter to VS Seeker into because Lysandre's Trump Card was used the turn before. I had the opportunity to win the game that turn, but my silly mistake costed me the game and thus Collin took the series 2-1.

 

Round 14- Josh Squeaky Marking w/ Flygon/Accelgor, WW, 7-5-2

Finally the last games of the tournament. I'm facing up against a good friend, Josh Marking playing Flygon. I knew this match-up would be in my favor because I have cards such as Keldeo-EX to get out of the Accelgor lock and Lysandre to take quick KO's on his bench sitters. Game 1 goes as planned with me taking back to back KO's on his bench Trapinches and Vibravas. I didn't allow him to get Flygon this game so I took the game quite convincingly. Game 2 is much worse for Josh since I believe he wasn't able to find another bench Pokemon so I benched him by turn three or four. Hey! I managed to win a game haha. So I finish my GA Regional run in top 32 and gain an extra 15 points putting me at 345 not including Worlds points from the previous year.

Now I want to get into how I would change the list post Trump Card.

 

           How I would change the list

                    Post Trump Card

 

You may immediately notice I dropped all the Trainers' Mail from the original list. I also changed up the Ace Spec which I'll go over down below. I kept the Empoleon engine for now just because I still fear Safe Guard Pokemon and Empoleon is a non EX attacker that can be used to take advantage of prize trades. If your the type of person that doesn't care for Safe Guard Pokemon then I recommend dropping the Empoleon engine for another 1-1 Altaria because we all know how much more powerful Night March is going to be with the banning of Lysandre's Trump Card.

                          Changes

-4 Trainers' Mail:

Reason I dropped these were because now with Trump Card being gone you don't really need to force yourself to find cards. Now you just need to play more conservative and patient.

-1 Lysandre:

Dropped back down to one because my Ace Spec is now Dowsing Machine which can be used for a Lysandre if necessary.

-1 Lysandre's Trump Card:

BANNED!

-1 Computer Search:

I'm going to give Dowsing Machine a try for now and see if it can live up to it's potential. Having those +1s may just be what the deck needs post Trump Card.

 

+1 Professor's Juniper:

Adding in a third Juniper is needed if not four because without Lysandre's Trump Card we need to have enough supporters to last the game.

+2 N:

Two more N were added because of the fear of decking out. We all know in a deck like this you can run through your deck quite easily so running a heavier N count is needed more so now. I could even see a fourth copy being played in here, but for now I think three is fine.

+1 Water Energy:

An extra basic energy because why not? Without having a way to get energy back into the deck we need more energy. Maybe four isn't enough right now, but I think it is personally.

+1 Sky Field:

Going with a fourth Sky Field should never be a bad thing. This helps us find them easier early on when we need to get more than five bench going. Although since my Ace Spec of choice is Dowsing Machine then sticking to three is probably still fine since you can always Dowsing Machine for a Sky Field.

+1 Sacred Ash:

Well this is no Trump Card, but it does help get Pokemon back into the deck that you may have had to Juniper early on. Sacred Ash can also help against the pesky deck out decks that people have been hyping lately. You just never know if your going to face one of those decks which is why I added in a single copy of Sacred Ash. You can even use it twice f need be with the help of Dowsing Machine.

+1 Dowsing Machine:

This may be silly, but if you really think about it running this Ace Spec over Computer Search gives you a lot more options and it makes all your counts +1. Of course Computer Search is still viable, but I personally want more options. I'll have to keep testing Dowsing over Comp to see which I like better.

 

  Two Potential Plays for US Nationals

 

Time to get into a few potential plays for US Nationals which is next month. First off I'm going to start off with one of my favorite decks of this season, Landorus-EX/Crobat.

There are basically two ways to run a Landorus-EX/Crobat deck. One is with Super Scoop Ups and one is without them. I chose to go with them for now because they are really clutch for when your trying to heal off a Landorus-EX or for reusing your Bats. I also really like them against the mirror match because they give you a huge advantage in the match especially if they don't run them.

4x Hawlucha:

I maxed this card out for now for the fear of Seismitoad-EX decks that will still be running around. But also they are great for when your trying to KO bench low hp EX sitters such as Shaymin-EX or Jirachi-EX.

2x Landorus-EX:

I really wanted to fit a third one just to make sure I have two ready to go in case I have to dump one early on. But with running Focus Sash maybe two is fine. These are used to pick things off on the bench so Hawlucha can clean up later.

1x Shaymin-EX:

I added one of these because why not? Since the deck runs Super Scoop Up then it makes running Shaymin-EX that much better. Although your probably going to want to use them on the Bats more so.

2x Colress: 

Running a few of these are nice since there are times where you just can't afford to Juniper away resources and with benches getting more and more bigger it makes Colress that much stronger.

2x Korrina:

Great for searching out Repeat Ball and one of your main attackers. I wanted to be able to search them out if needed which is why I kept a couple Korrina still.

2x Lysandre:

I upped it to two from my older lists because since we are running four Hawlucha we want to be able to take advantage of it's single energy attack that dishes out tons of damage making us able to hit bench sitters really hard.

3x Super Scoop Up:

Really debating on adding a fourth just to be more consistent on finding them. If your not facing against Trainer lock decks then Super Scoop Ups will win you games against everything else.

3x Ultra Ball/2x Repeat Ball:

I went with a 3/2 split on the balls because Korrina already grabs us our main attackers so we just use Ultra Ball and Repeat Ball to grab out the Bats and Jirachi-EX/Shaymin-EX. So we don't have to max these out like most decks do. Opening with a Zubat is great for when you have that Repeat Ball ready to grab another and same reason for Hawlucha against EX decks.

2x Fighting Stadium:

Still unsure if I want to add more of these stadiums since they are what helps fuel Hawlucha's and Landorus-EX's damage out put. Also bumping other stadiums such as Virbank City Gym is key since we don't want to take that extra poison damage.

1x Silent Lab:

I may end up dropping this for another Fighting Stadium just because running just one of these doesn't seem all that efficient since we can't even search it out. But Silent Lab can be clutch against decks that run heavy Shaymin-EX or against Mew-EX. Almost every deck runs some form of stadium which makes me think running just one Silent Lab isn't worth it anymore. I'll still keep messing around with it though to see if I should drop it or not.

2x Muscle Band/2x Focus Sash:

I went with a 2/2 split of these because I wanted to make sure I have the option for both of them and I didn't want to just run one Focus Sash because I know Night March decks will rise. So I felt that running two of each was good enough.

1x Scoop Up Cyclone:

I love this Ace Spec too much in this deck to consider replacing it. It's so clutch just having that guaranteed Scoop Up where you don't have to even flip for. The fact that it can be searched out with Korrina makes it that much more effective.

    Other cards you should consider:

 

Primal Groudon-EX:

I ran this card in my Florida States list which I liked at the time. I also noticed the Brazilian National Champion, Dyego de Castro ran it. Groudon-EX is just great against Seismitoad-EX decks because once you set it up you should just win from there assuming they aren't running other attackers like Mewtwo-EX or Crobats to do extra damage.

Lucario-EX:

Just an overall great backup attacker against decks that can hit Landorus-EXs for weakness. It's second attack, Corkscrew Smash can also save you at times where all you have are two energy, but you have a dead hand. Lucario-EX can get you out of that tough jam filling your hand back up to six.

Professor's Letter:

With the inclusion of Korrina running a single copy of one of these can be nice just because you would now be able to search out an energy. If you add in the Groudon-EX then I definitely recommend adding a Professor's Letter.

Escape Rope:

This card always has it's potential to drag something active that your opponent didn't see coming. Usually it puts your opponent on the ropes (no pun intended) if you were to drag up their lone bench sitter that they were trying to power up.

AZ:

Just like a Super Scoop Up except it takes up your supporter for the turn. But think about all the options you can pick up to take advantage of. Shaymin-EX to draw more cards, Bats to do more damage, and even Jirachi-EX for a supporter next turn.

With that said, let's get into another US Nationals choice.

  

This deck was actually played by Josh Squeaky Marking, at GA Regionals where he made day two. This list is quite different from his though since of course at that time Lysandre's Trump Card was still legal. I'm still messing with this list so cards come and go, but this is how it looks at the moment. I wanted it to have both options of trying to get a turn one attack off in case your opponent opens with a lone Pokemon and passes. I also wanted to make sure to have more supporters in case we do come close to decking out or run out of resources. You may notice right off the bat that there aren't any Trainers' Mail because again this version of the deck is slower than the usual speedy ones. We want to be as cautious as possible since we no longer have Lysandre's Trump Card. Although I still think this version can still get away with running Trainers' Mail. You just have to play smarter when your trying to dig for stuff.

3x Bronzor/2x Bronzong:

I figured a 3/2 line of Bronzong was good enough since the deck still runs Mega Turbo just in case we aren't able to get Bronzors on the field. The main reason this version of the deck runs Bronzong is because of Toad decks that run Hammers. Since Bronzong can keep getting basic energies back it makes this deck less prone to those annoying Hammer flips.

3x Rayquaza-EX/3x M Rayquaza-EX:

I still kept a heavy line of these because we still want them to be our main attackers since they dish out more damage than anything else.

4x Shaymin-EX:

I'm not too sure if this version needs four Shaymin-EX, but for now I still want to keep them maxed in case some are prized. I can see dropping it down to three though just to try and fit another attacker or supporter.

1x Aegislash-EX:

This card is mainly in here to be used as a waller against decks that use special energies such as Seismitoad-EX. Aegislash-EX can help you stall for a few turns forcing your opponent to Lysandre around it or KO it by special conditions. It's also not that bad of an attacker by any means. If your opponent only plays special energy then you can try walling as long as you can until you get a few M Rayquaza-EX going.

1x Cobalion-EX:

This card was also added to help fight off the Toads. With Trump Card being gone it now means that Toad players are only limited to four Double Colorless energy. So if you attack into Seismitoad-EX four times then they will run out of energy assuming they keep finding them. Once you break the Item lock then that's where your chance to shine comes in and hopefully mount a comeback. 

1x Keldeo-EX:

When running cards that can energy accelerate to the bench it's best to combo it with Keldeo-EX because you can go in and out of the active spot easily so that Bronzong can put energy onto whatever you want. Keldeo-EX is also in here to of course get out of special conditions. So if you are going up against a Toad deck then I would try and get Keldeo-EX going as fast as possible with a Float Stone.

3x N:

The N count had to be upped because like I said before the fear of decking out is now an option.

1x Pokémon Fan Club:

I went with this card over Winona because of the fact that Pokemon Fan Club can grab Bronzors. You can even grab Keldeo-EX and any of the Metal attackers as well as the usual Colorless Pokemon you would have grabbed with Winona. Your just only getting two instead of three, but it's still worth running Fan Club over Winona in this version.

3x Battle Compressor:

These are still needed to help get Metal energy into the discard so Bronzong can be taken advantage of. They are also nice to put supporters into the discard so we can make VS Seeker useful. If your running Exeggcutes then Battle Compressor helps put those in the discard as well.

2x Mega Turbo:

It might seem odd still running Mega Turbo when we have Bronzong in the deck to accelerate energy, but I still want the option to try and get a turn one attack if necessary.

2x Float Stone:

Needed for Keldeo-EX so we can move around easier without having to discard energy off it to retreat.

4x Sky Field:

At first I only ran three of these before the Trump Card ban so now adding in a fourth might be necessary just because we can't get them back if we have to discard some early on.

1x Sacred Ash:

I figured since no more Trump Card then this card can take it's place even though it only get's back Pokemon. But you can see we run a lot of Pokemon in this version of the deck and it turns the one of Pokemon into two ofs if you really think about it if you use the Sacred Ash wisely.

1x Dowsing Machine:

Still testing this over Computer Search for now just because it can make our counts plus one. Running Dowsing Machine can make you get away with running lower counts on things such as N or Lysandre.

4x Metal Energy:

A fifth energy would be nice just to be able to do more damage with Aegislash-EX if needed, but I think four is fine for now.

    Other cards you should consider:

 

Altaria ROS:

With Night March getting stronger because of the banning of Trump Card then maybe adding Altaria is needed come Nationals. Maybe even a 2-2 line if your really worried about more Lightning decks popping up just to make sure a piece isn't prized.

Exeggcute:

This card helps fill the bench easier with the help of Sky Field. It's also helpful for when you have Ultra Balls or Dowsing Machine and of course Computer Search in hand. I may end up dropping a Battle Compressor for one of these since I think this card is too clutch not too play atleast a one of.

Trainers' Mail:

In the original list before the Trump Card ban I had four of these in here, but now I fear that you will run through the deck too fast. Although Trainers' Mail still helps with consistency and may still warrant a spot in the deck. This is where testing comes in to see if they are still needed or not.

Acro Bike:

I'm not a big fan of Acro Bikes in M Rayquaza-EX decks since I much rather run Trainers' Mail and running both of them isn't necessary by any means. I would pick one or the other if you were to decide on running one of them.

  

                    Closing Thoughts

 

That's all I have for you guys this time around. Right now my go to deck for US Nationals at the moment is M Rayquaza-EX/Bronzong because of how many options it has against the meta. On the other hand, Landorus-EX/Crobat I could also see playing because it has a great Night March match-up and the fact that Seismitoad-EX decks may see a decline makes this deck much safer. If you have any questions on any of the decks I mentioned or just in general, feel free to comment down below or message me on Facebook. Also as I said in my previous article I would remind you about the 60cards invitational. Here is the link to this awesome event. There you can check out the information on player roster, prizes and the schedule. If you would like to donate to these great players then simply message our Facebook Fan Page. Your donation, of course, will be noticed and appreciated. If you enjoyed reading this article then please consider giving it a thumbs up, since feedback is always appreciated and it also let's me see what people like for future articles. With that said, that will conclude this article and if I don't see you at US Nationals next month, then be sure to see me at Worlds, in Boston. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time.

-Jose

[+10] okko


 

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