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Jose Marrero

"In The Shadows"-Two Top 8 City Finishes

Jose gives his run down on two of the Cities he made Top 8 at in the last two weekends of City Championships.

12/17/2015 by Jose Marrero

Introduction

Hello, 60cards readers! With City Championships underway, I felt like dedicating this next article to the two City Championships I managed make Top 8 in the past two weeks. I'll go over what deck I decided to play, my matchups, as well as my reasoning on certain card choices for each day and why I chose to go with the decks I did. I personally enjoy writing about my tournament experiences and placements because sometimes I may want to go back and see how my season went or I simply want to see how some of my games went and why I lost that specific game. Learning from mistakes can ultimately make you a better player so going back and rereading some of your matches may bring back a certain scenario that you may have done differently so you don't make that mistake again in the future. You can see I skipped Day 1 and Day 3 simply because they weren't worth mentioning as I did not make the cut, so I'll just be going over Days 2 and 4. The lists I'll be presenting are the exact lists I ran for both events. Feel free to change them to your liking or test them out to see if they fit your meta or not. They are of course in the Standard format.

With that said, let's move onto Day 2 where we had 66 masters, with 7 rounds, at the Waterford Lakes (Orlando, FL area) City Championship on 12/6/2015.

Analysis

As I was looking at past performances I noticed this Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade deck start to become more and more popular so I messaged 60cards own Kevin Baxter for some advice on the deck. He ultimately ended up giving me his list that he won a City Championship with, so shoutout to Kevin for hooking it up. However, as I was looking through the list I decided to change up a couple cards, but not too many because I didn't want to mess up a winning list. Basically the two changes I made from the initial list were cutting one Trainers' Mail and the Zoroark BREAK for a Xerosic and Super Rod.

The reason for these cuts was because I felt that the Zoroark BREAK wasn't all that needed in the matchups were they were great in since you Basically win those matchups anyway. The Super Rod I wanted due to the deck’s tough matchup against Vespiquen and Raichu decks. Getting back a whole line of Zoroark or even Jirachi can make a different in the long run. The Xerosic was simply to be able to have an answer for Flash Energies because I faced up against Harrison Leven's M Manectric-EX deck which ran Flash Energy, and it was annoying not being able to one-hit KO them with Gallade. As far as the whole list goes, it's pretty similar to most lists you have probably seen already. I'll still go over some card choices of the deck and why they are played in it.

The deck runs three Yveltal XY simply because they are really great answers to Night March decks and can also help fuel your Pokémon, mainly Yveltal-EX. Because the deck runs Double Colorless Energy, then, fitting Zoroark was the perfect answer because it not only can dish out tons of damage, but you can also abuse its Stand In Ability since the deck also runs Float Stones. I see some lists not running Unown, but I personally love the little guy. Being able to combo it with Gallade and manipulate your top five cards and picking whichever one you want to put into your hand is too good not to play. You still have Acro Bike that does the same thing, except you have to discard one of those five cards which isn't so bad when you can rearrange them and chose what you want discarded.

I'll be honest: I rarely used Jirachi, but that doesn't mean he should go. Knowing you have the Jirachi option is always nice because you just never know when it can come in handy. Two Yveltal-EX are just for those big EX decks that you just need a big hitter against. Zoroark just may not be able to do enough damage when your opponent can easily control their Bench, so having a big Yveltal-EX to do some lethal damage is needed in this type of deck. The two Gallade are great in this deck as backup attackers as well as for their Ability, Premonition. And of course, a couple Shaymin-EX are for the added consistency.

The deck has so much consistency between cards like Shaymin-EX as well as Acro Bike and Trainers' Mail. Let's not forget the Battle Compressor plus VS Seeker combo, which also keeps deck pretty consistent. One of the main reason I decided to run this deck was because Night March was pretty popular in my area. However, the deck doesn't have many bad matchups, which makes its matchups in its favor or 50-50 at worst. The Supporter line is pretty standard. I do see lists with more than two Professor Sycamore which is fine, but having too many Supporters can clog your hand which can ultimately stop you from getting Gallade out with Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick. Basically, the first Professor Sycamore is so you have that option with Battle Compressor and the second is just in case one in Prized because of course, you can't just rely on Supporters like Judge or Professor Birch's Observation all the time. I also went with two Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick as well as two Gallade because again prizing issues. Rewinding back to Judge for a second because I personally think in Standard every single deck should be running at least one because at some point in the game you will want it. Not having the option to manipulate your opponent's hand can sometimes mean that you can get steamrolled pretty bad since you have no way of getting rid of their VS Seekers or Lysandre's.

I'll be honest I don't think I ever used Hex Maniac when it mattered. The times where I used it were because I could afford to use it even though the opponent already has an answer on the field to put pressure back on. That doesn't mean for a second that you should take it out because it's still clutch at times. You just have to find the right time to use it because it's one of those cards that you may only use once per three games or so if not more at least for me. Running two Lysandre speaks for itself since you want to be able to pick off your opponent's Bench if needed. The Tool split is three Muscle Band and two Float Stone, which I felt was perfect because a lot of times you may just be attacking with Zoroark with a Muscle Band anyway. However, having the option to Float Stone the second Zoroark if needed is a great option to have. Everything in the deck can attack should it be dragged up by Lysandre, so it's not that big of a deal if you can't find Float Stone early enough.

The Energy count is seven Darkness and of course four Double Colorless. I think running that Energy line was perfect. You may even be able to get away with running six Darkness if you really need to fit something, but for now the count is fine. As I said some of this decks toughest matchups are decks that have multiple Stage 1 attackers such as Raichu and Vespiquen because they can one-hit KO Basically anything in this deck. The deck only runs a 2-2 line of Zoroark so if you are unable to get Gallade going then you will have a hard time against those matchups.

Tournament Report

Round 1- Starmie/Eeveelutions: W (1-0-0)

This matchup was pretty easy as my opponent didn't draw too well. I took quick KO's on my opponent's Eevee and Jolteon and eventually took the game with ease.  

Round 2- Parker Greenwald with Primal Groudon-EX/Landorus: W (2-0-0)

This was an interesting matchup because I didn't know how exactly it would go. Luckily for me Parker was never able to power up or even get out a Primal Groudon-EX. I managed to power up a big Yveltal-EX and I eventually was able to Lysandre and one-hit KO Parker's Groudon-EX before it could Mega Evolve. From there I pretty much had the game in the bag.

Round 3- Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX: L (2-1-0)

This round is very unfortunate for me because my opponent lets me go first and I open with lone Zorua with no Supporters. However, I do have a Trainers' Mail, but I only hit a Lysandre off it and my opponent opened with Seismitoad-EX. I am forced to pass as my opponent has the turn one Item Lock. I draw pass into Items and get Benched in two turns. Nothing much I could do.

Round 4- Peter Nemeth with Night March: W (3-1-0)

Going into this round I was excited to have been playing up against a great matchup like Night March. However, Peter did not let me take this win easily. Peter played pretty smart, Lysandre’ing up my Shaymin-EX before I could pick it back up. I knew if he didn't Bench an EX I was going to lose the game because with Peter KO’ing the Shaymin-EX it meant that he now had the Prize lead. Late game comes around and I'm still at three Prizes to Peter's one and I'm just thinking "Man I lose..." But then a lightbulb came into my head and I see that his Benched Bronzong has no Float Stone and he already used one Switch and he had two cards left in deck so I said, “why not?” I Lysandre up the Bronzong and pass. If Peter finds a way to Retreat the Bronzong then, well, I lose. To my surprise, he is unable to Retreat the Bronzong, decking out, and I take the game. That was a really intense game.

Round 5- Robert Ector with Raichu/Bats: W (4-1-0)

This round I'm up against Robert Ector who's a great Florida player and I knew he was piloting Raichu/Bats which I was scared to face up against. Our game was really close and very good. It Basically came down to one turn. Robert and I are trading KO's back and forth. However, Robert had two Shaymin-EX on the Bench which I knew was my only out to victory so I Lysandre one up and KO it with Gallade. Then Robert KO's my Gallade and I then Lysandre up the second Shaymin-EX and KO it with a three Energy Muscle Banded Baby Yveltal for my last two Prizes. My first two Prizes were on Raichu and I can't remember what else, but I know I took two back-to-back Shaymin-EX KO's for my last four Prizes.

Round 6- Grafton Roll with Vespiquen/Bronzong: ID (4-1-1)

Grafton is a close friend and a very good player. We both knew if one of us lost this round one of us were not making Top 8. So we just ended up ID’ing to still give both of us the shot at making the cut since we only had one round left.

Round 7- Luis Zambrana with Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade (same 60 as me): W (5-1-1)

Luis is a close friend and we carpooled together. We both knew each other’s list because we played the same 60 cards (pun intended) of course. Both of us knowing this was the win and in round meant we wanted it bad. However, we both knew at least one of us were going to make the cut. Anyway, let's get into the game. I play first as I explode with a turn one double Zorua and Energy onto Yveltal-EX. Luis takes his turn and unable to find any Zorua giving me a huge advantage. The game is going back and forth with Yveltal-EX versus Yveltal-EX, but because I was able to damage his Yveltal-EX's on the Bench before they could potentially survive two attacks meant that I was able to one-hit KO them once they started to attack which is what happened. I made sure I had the Prize lead every time and eventually take the game. Luis never found a Zorua.

Top 8- Samuel Pomar with Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade: WLL (5-2-1)

Game 1: My opponent drops down a turn one Parallel City and I'm like "uh-oh" because I don't run any Stadiums. So I know this whole game I'll be playing with three Benched and in the mirror match that is troublesome. My opponent playing down Parallel City actually hurt him because it meant that his Zoroark do less damage. At one point in the game, I was able to one-hit KO an Yveltal-EX with a Muscle Banded Zoroark. My opponent had his own Zoroark on the Bench and I thought for sure he was going to revenge me back because I had three Bench Pokémon which was the perfect 100 damage he needed. I think my opponent miscounted his damage and decided to just hit me with Yveltal for 30 damage and fills his Bench back to five. I then Lysandre up his second Yveltal-EX and take yet another two Prizes. So my one Zoroark took four Prizes in two turns because he decided not to KO it with his own Zoroark so I was able to easily take Game 1.

Game 2: My opponent goes first and opens with Baby Yveltal to my lone Zorua. He plays some cards and passes his turn. I draw my card and my hand is literally dead. All I can do is attach to Zorua and pass. My opponent then hits me for 30 and I know if I don't top deck something now I lose Game 2. I draw and nothing again as I get Benched in two turn. Losing these types of games is so frustrating because you aren't even really playing the game.

Game 3: I just had a feeling I was going to lose after that Game 2 loss. My opponent was able to hit all my attackers first and set them up for one-hit KO's. I was always one step behind since my opponent found Lysandre's first to pick off my Bench Yveltal-EX's. I eventually get down to two Prizes, but my opponent was at one Prize and took the game.

Final Standings

Branden Jackson- M Mewtwo-EX Y/Aromatisse (Top 8)

Tyler Chaplin- Tyrantrum-EX/Giratina-EX/Bronzong (Top 8)

Samuel Pomar- Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade (Top 4)

Franco Puertas- Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade (Winner)

Grafton Roll- Vespiquen/Zoroark/Bronzong (Top 8)

Jose Marrero- Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade (Top 8)

Mike Canaves- Night March/Bronzong (2nd)

Peter Nemeth- Night March/Broznong (Top 4)

With that said, let's now move onto Day 2 where we had 52 masters, with 6 rounds, at the (Tampa, FL) City Championships on 12/13/2015.

Analysis

I've always been a M Rayquaza-EX fan ever since it was introduced into the Roaring Skies set. I've had some success with it before at Regionals so I was hoping to get some points at this City since I knew people would be playing decks such as Primal Kyogre-EX, M Sceptile-EX and M Mewtwo-EX which are all great matchups for M Rayquaza-EX. Another big reason on why I decided to run speed Rayquaza-EX was because the City Championship before that day I played Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade and in round one I actually lost to a speed Rayquaza-EX deck. That's when I knew that Rayquaza-EX decks actually have a decent matchup against Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade because I also ran my own Zoroark which can take down opposing Zoroark. You just have to limit your own Bench to the point where Zoroark can't one-hit KO M Rayquaza-EX. However, a few decks all M Rayquaza-EX players fear is of course Night March, Raichu variants, and Manectric-EX variant as well as Magnezone. In my area, Manectric-EX decks started to die out with all the Gallade and M Mewtwo-EX decks and Magnezone was Basically nonexistent. So I scratched those decks out altogether. I figured the only variant that can really beat the deck is M Manectric-EX ones because they can accelerate Energy onto another Manectric-EX.

Raichu decks were also slim to none so I also scratched that deck out even though I knew someone who I carpooled with was playing the deck. That now brings me to Night March which is easily one of the most played decks in Standard. You may be asking then why did I chose to run M Rayquaza-EX when I knew Night March was a thing. Well my answer to that question was to put four Baby Yveltal into the deck as well as run all Dragon Rayquaza-EX so they won't be weak to Lightning types as well as run a couple Zoroark as backup non EX attackers. Again in theory M Rayquaza-EX is too much for a lot of decks to handle because it has the potential to one-hit KO everything. So adding some Pokémon that can ultimately help my bad matchups meant I would have no matchups worse than 50-50. You will see in my tournament report how my games went.

I'll be completely honest: I built the deck from scratch the night before and didn't play a single test game with it. It was all Basically theory and hope for the best. I told some of the people I carpooled with when I made the deck that the deck will either perform really well or really bad, with no in-between. I'm glad that it went my way. With all that said. Let’s go into the Pokémon counts. I ran three Dragon Rayquaza-EX because if I were to open with one of them against, say, Night March, then that would mean they would need a lot more to one-hit KO it because of no Weakness to Lightning now.

Of course, Night March decks have the tendency to be able to one-hit KO a 180 HP Pokémon turn one, but the point was to make it somewhat more difficult for them to pull it off. Should they miss the turn-one KO on the Rayquaza-EX, then that's where I can go Baby Yveltal swarm and hopefully find AZ to pick up the Rayquaza-EX and go from there. Another reason why I ran all Dragon Rayquaza-EX was because Manectric-EX can't one-hit KO it, so really you can sit with it Active with a Spirit Link and just stalemate your opponent until you find the first Lysandre onto their Manectric-EX first. Because I ran three non-Mega Rayquaza-EX it only makes sense to also run three Mega which is what I did.

Something you don't normally see in a speed Rayquaza-EX deck is Zoroark, but then again Zoroark just came out. Zoroark in this deck is extremely versatile because it acts as two things. The first as a great backup attacker as I stated before and the second for the free Retreat coupled with Float Stone. Zoroark is great in the mirror match as well as in the Tyrantrum-EX matchup. Zoroark alone can put tons of pressure on the opponent because it can dish out lethal damage and if you don't take it down and just dismiss it then it's going to do more and more damage so eventually the opponent may ultimately disregard the Rayquaza and try to deal with the Zoroark. Because I decided against running cards such as Trainers' Mail and Acro meant that I was able to fit all the Yveltal and Zoroark lines. I also made sure to run four Shaymin-EX because of this as well as made sure to keep Jirachi just in case Giratina-EX decks started to pop up.

Then of course, you can't run a M Rayquaza-EX deck without Hoopa-EX. Most speed Rayquaza-EX decks run two Hoopa-EX, but I felt that one was fine. A turn-one Hoopa-EX is all you need to get going because it can search out three Pokémon-EX such as Rayquaza-EX, M Rayquaza-EX, and Shaymin-EX. By the way I still call this variant speed Rayquaza because it runs Mega Turbo and it does not run Bronzong. Just because the deck doesn't run Trainers' Mail and Acro Bikes doesn't mean it's not a speed variant in case some of you were wondering at least that's the way I see it.

Moving onto the Supporters I opted to go with just two Professor Sycamore because I wanted to make sure I could fit all the necessities such as Yveltal and Zoroark. I didn't really have trouble setting up due to running four Shaymin-EX. Then we have two Lysandre. I thought about only playing one but then I figured what if it is Prized when I needed it most. I didn't want that to happen plus M Rayquaza-EX can Basically one-hit KO anything so you just choose your pick on your opponent's Bench and odds are it's getting one hit KOed. One Judge just for those situations where you know you have to Judge your opponent or you may just lose the game if not. You will see in my round two how Judge was clutch to steal a win against one of the decks tougher matchups. I know people have recently been calling the deck "Hexquaza" because they run multiple Hex Maniac, but I only ran one and I don't think I used it once the whole tournament.

Still, it's a great option to have should the time to use it effectively presents itself. One AZ as well because in this deck being able to pick up and reuse Shaymin-EX and Hoopa-EX is extremely helpful and for the times where you are unable to find a Float Stone then AZ is your backup option to get out of the Active. Ok now we get to Xerosic which I added just for decks that run Assault Vest and Hard Charm to try and survive a one-hit KO from M Rayquaza-EX. I wasn't about to let that happen which is why the Xerosic was included. However, I never used the Xerosic the whole tournament because it never really was needed because my opponent's Pokémon was still in one-shot range when they Assault Vested such as Entei (Trait). Some lists of speed Rayquaza-EX run only three Sky Field which makes no sense to me because the deck relies on getting Sky Field to fill the Bench. So I recommend going with four Sky Field should you play the deck. Then of course you have three Spirit Link and three Mega Turbo which is what you usually see in a speed Rayquaza-EX deck. You can see I was still able to fit all those even with all the Yveltal and Zoroark added in. Two Float Stones were mainly for Zoroark so you can freely Stand In and out if need be.

I wasn't too sure on how many Battle Compressor to use, but in the end I just went with two, which was perfectly fine for getting Basic Energy and Supporters into the discard for Mega Turbo, Baby Yveltal acceleration, and VS Seeker plays. Now comes the dilemma on whether or not to play Super Rod over Sacred Ash. Because I ran Yveltal, which can get back Energy, I chose to go with Sacred Ash. M Rayquaza decks tend to get their Sky Field bumped and when they do, you are forced to discard a number of Pokémon so with Sacred Ash, you can get back up to five Pokémon instead of three, which can make a huge difference when trying to one-hit KO Mega Pokémon.

Lastly for my Energy count I wasn't too sure on how many Darkness Energy to run because I didn't want too many or too few. But because I ran four Yveltal I had to make sure I had enough to where I am able to find them with ease should I go up against Night March. Three was too few which is what you usually see a speed Rayquaza deck run and four seemed like it was fine but I just said “screw it” and played five instead, which was the right call because at the same time you want to get Energy into the discard but then you don't want to discard all the Darks because you may need to attack with Jirachi or Yveltal. And because I chose Sacred Ash over Super Rod which would get you Basic Energy back I needed to up the Basic Energy count even more. The deck ran fairly well. I'm sure there are a couple changes the deck can use depending on the meta.

Tournament Report

Round 1- Casey Messex with M Houndoom-EX/Entei: W (1-0-0)

Going into this matchup I knew I had the advantage simply because M Rayquaza-EX can one-hit KO M Houndoom-EX. This game actually is closer than I thought it would be because I missed a crucial one-hit KO at one point missing the Sky Field. But I was able to keep pressure on Casey throughout the game and eventually took the game as Casey never found any of his Entei. However, Casey did try some stall tactics and mill options with Pokémon Catcher, but he flipped tails on all of them.

Round 2- Michael Shaw with Night March/Milotic: W (2-0-0)

This was the matchup I was most scared to face which is the main reason I chose to play four Yveltal. Michael won the coin flip and wanted me to go first. I open with Hoopa-EX and I immediately get that bad stomach feeling knowing I'm done for. I would have to open with a non EX to have a chance against Night March. So I take my first turn of the game and I notice Michael opened with a lone Joltik meaning he would need a lot more to one-hit KO my Hoopa-EX since Hoopa is weak to Psychic types aka Pumpkaboo. I start taking my turn and I Judge both of us turn one with a Benched Yveltal and pass the turn. Michael draws, attaches a Lightning Energy to Joltik and Gnaws me for 10 and I'm like "Really?" I draw my card and play down a bunch of cards and I'm able to AZ up the Active Hoopa-EX and Sky Return the Joltik for the KO and the game. Unfortunate for Michael, but I really needed that win. Michael shows me the hand I Judged him into and it was three VS Seeker and a Lysandre and his top deck was Battle Compressor.

Round 3- Steven Bates with Entei(Trait)/Charizard-EX/Gallade: W (3-0-0)

This game I knew I had the advantage for a number of reasons. The first being that even if Steven manages to find two Assault Vest for his Entei, I can still one-hit KO them with a full Bench even if he reduces 110 damage with Entei's first attack. Secondly because I ran the 180 HP Rayquaza's meant that his Charizard-EX can't one-hit KO them because Charizard maxes out at 170 damage with Muscle Band. Long story short one M Rayquaza-EX took five Prizes alone which eventually went down, but I had a backup one ready to go and I take a pretty convincing game.

Round 4- Brandon Salazar with Primal Kyogre-EX/Regice: W (4-0-0)

Another great matchup for M Rayquaza-EX. I know Brandon is a great player so I had to make sure I played correctly given Brandon’s City win the previous day so I know he's still hungry for more. Brandon goes first and Ultra Balls only to find out his Hoopa-EX is Prized slowing him down drastically. He is forced to just grab a Kyogre-EX, attach an Energy and pass with nothing else. So I take my turn and Ultra Ball and I find my own Hoopa-EX and grab some things. I have two options at this point. I can either go crazy and try for the turn one KO or simply manually Evolve and be patient since Brandon’s turn wasn't strong.

I chose to go with the patient route and attach to Rayquaza-EX and Mega Evolve holding everything for the turn two KO on anything. Brandon takes his turn and is forced to either Mega Evolve the Active Kyogre and pass or try and Sleep my Active Yveltal. Brandon chose to Mega Evolve not risking me flipping heads and taking the KO easier instead I have to get a full Bench to KO the Primal Kyogre-EX. I am able to do so and one-hit KO the Active Primal Kyogre-EX with two Energy. At this point there is nothing Brandon can do as M Rayquaza alone took all six Prizes in three turns.

Round 5- Orion Craig with Mega Sceptile-EX/Ariados: ID (4-0-1)

I know this is a great matchup for M Rayquaza-EX, but Orion is a close friend and I want him in top cut anyway so we both agree on the ID.

Round 6- Grafton Roll with Vespiquen/Zoroark/Bronzong: ID (4-0-2)

Again my opponent and I agreed on the ID even though Grafton knew two 4-1-1's were going to miss the cut, but his resistance was pretty good nonetheless. Standings are put up and I'm 2nd seed going up against the only Manectric-EX deck in top cut. Very unfortunate given the rest of the field were pretty good matchups aside from maybe Grafton's Vespiquen/Zoroark/Bronzong.

Top 8- Joshua Velez with Manectric-EX/Bats: WLL (4-1-2)

Game 1: My opponent started pretty slow which I tried taking advantage of and whiffed. I went for the turn-one KO on his Active Manectric-EX and all I needed was the Spirit Link. Because I missed turn one Spirit Links, my opponent dropped two Head Ringers on both my Rayquaza-EX. Now I know I'm in a tough spot, but because my opponent started slow, I was able to manually Evolve both Rayquaza into the Mega in two turns. My opponent finally finds the two Energy he needs to start putting pressure on me except he only did 80 damage to my Active Yveltal, which I was fine with. Mind you, both my M Rayquaza-EX have Head Ringers on them and one of them had one Energy on it, so my opponent probably figured I couldn't power one up, but this is where he was wrong. I take my turn and Float Stone my Active Yveltal, drop down Double Colorless Energy and Mega Turbo onto M Rayquaza-EX. Now I can attack with M Rayquaza-EX, except my only Supporter in hand is Judge and I still needed another Basic Pokémon and Sky Field to do the 180 to one-hit KO Manectric-EX. So I play the Judge and miraculously hit the Sky Field and another Yveltal to one-hit KO the Manectric-EX. From there I was able to take the game pretty easily. I Lysandre-KO’d another Manectric on the Bench getting powered up and eventually took Game 1.  

Game 2: My opponent and I start pretty well. One point in the game I'm down to four Prizes as well as my opponent. I have an Active M Rayquaza-EX ready to one-hit KO the Active Manectric-EX. I have Sky Field in play as well as four Benched Pokémon so all I need is two more Pokémon to KO the Manectric. So I Sacred Ash three Basics back in and Professor Sycamore. I draw no Basics and I'm unable to one-hit KO the Manectric-EX. I couldn't believe how fast the game turned around. I was forced to Retreat, but my opponent had a Lysandre for the M Rayquaza so I scooped because he was down to two Prizes at this point with another fully loaded Manectric on the Bench. Had I been able to find those last two Pokémon for the one shot I had enough resources left in the deck to get another M Rayquaza-EX going and potentially taking the series 2-0, but whiffing that KO was huge.

Game 3: I open with lone Jirachi with a completely dead hand filled with nothing but Energy and Spirit links as well as Sacred Ash. So I am forced to pass. My opponent also is forced to draw pass and I'm thinking "Ok there might be some hope." I draw my next card and it's nothing useful again so I pass with my lone Jirachi again...My opponent takes his turn, topdecks Ultra Ball, grabs Shaymin-EX, uses Set Up, and finds an Energy and Muscle Band to Overrun me for 40 damage. At this point I have to draw something now or I lose. I draw and it's a M Rayquaza-EX as I am forced to pass once more to lose the game. Very frustrating to lose like that, but what can you do. Had I won my Top 8 match, I would have faced up against Brandon Salazar playing Primal Kyogre-EX, who I beat in Swiss in Top 4. Then in Finals it would have been against Franco Takahashi playing M Mewtwo-EX which again is an easy matchup for M Rayquaza-EX. Sucks I had to hit the only Manectric deck in Top 8 when I had great matchups all around. Time to move onto Expanded this weekend.

Final Standings

Franco Puertas- M Mewtwo-EX (Winner)

Jose Marrero- M Rayquaza-EX/Yveltal/Zoroark (Top 8)

Orion Craig- M Sceptile-EX/Ariados (Top 8)

Steven Bates- Entei (Trait)/Charizard-EX/Gallade (Top 4)

Grafton Roll- Vespiquen/Zoroark/Bronzong (Top 8)

Brandon Salazar- Primal Kyogre-EX/Regice (2nd)

Joshua Velez- Manectric-EX/Bats (Top 4)

Christian Velazquez- Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade (Top 8)

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my two Top 8 placements at City Championships for the last two weeks. There are still plenty more to do. I'll be going to at least eight more, so hopefully I can get a couple Top 4 or better finishes. I really enjoyed playing the Rayquaza deck and if there were a Standard City tomorrow I would play it again in a heartbeat. Unfortunately it's time to get to Expanded because the two Cities I'm attending this weekend are both Expanded. The Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade deck is still extremely strong, but after playing it a few times and it getting more and more popular I'm afraid people will hard-counter it. So for now I may stray away from it at least until it dies down. Good luck at your upcoming City Championships whether or not you decide to use one of these lists or not. 

I'll have another article coming out towards the end of the month so be sure to stay tuned for that. With that said, if you have any questions about these decks or lists, then feel free to leave me a comment down below or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. As usual, 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, then don't hesitate to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them. Or if you have any other deck ideas and want to see an analysis on it then by all means post it and I'll take a look. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Jose

[+5] okko


 

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Zach Lesage

How to Interact with a Judge Calls

10/11/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach re-releases an important article about Judge calls for free! (+30)

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Zach Lesage

Atlantic City: What Happened?

10/02/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach goes over his experience at Atlantic City Regionals and explains his view on the metagame going forward (+26)

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Zach Lesage

My Top Picks for Knoxville

10/08/2019 by Zach Lesage // Zach shares his top three picks for Knoxville Regionals this weekend. (+26)

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