Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

"M Rayquaza Visits the Queen" - A 38th Place London International Championship Report

Jose goes over his 38th place run at the first ever International Championships held in London.

12/23/2016 by Jose Marrero


Hello again, 60cards readers! Before I get into the article I want to start off by saying that London was probably one, if not the best, event I've had the pleasure of attending. Not only was the event run very smoothly and in a timely manner, but meeting new players from across the world was exciting in itself. It's the first time I've gone out of the US (other than Vancouver) which is one of the reasons I wanted to attend. My buddy Grafton Roll made it all the way to top 8 and the fact that American Players took the title back to the US was pretty awesome as well. I met so many people and had the best time just hanging. I saw some familiar faces, such as Martin Kaninsky and others. Glad I was able to see you guys in person once more! With that said, this next article will simply be a short one on my 38th place finish at the London International Championships. Down below is the list I used at the event.

I talked about most of the deck in my last article about my top 64 report at Fort Wayne Regionals so be sure to check that one out since I only changed one card: I dropped one Trainers' Mail for an Escape Rope. I made this change last minute to give myself a slightly better way to handle Yveltal BKT, as I said in my last article.

 London Tournament Report


Round 1 - Heddi Brahmi (FR) - Yveltal/Garbodor: WW (1-0-0)

This round I'm up against a player from France, which is pretty cool to already be playing against someone other then my own country. It's no surprise that I'm up against Yveltal/Garbodor already round one. I know this matchup is a 50/50 with the way I have the list built. Game one: I open double Hoopa-EX -- great to have one in the opening hand yet not so great opening it as your starter Pokemon. My opponent flips over his basic and it's a Yveltal BKT so right off the bat I knew it was going to be one of those games where I take forever to get out of the active spot because of the Fright Night ability. However, that was not the case because turn one I set up a M Rayquaza-EX with a Basic Energy to ensure I can attack next turn -- something to be careful about because Yveltal players are playing one or two Enhanced Hammers so a good strategy is to attach a Basic Energy first and be patient.

My opponent takes his first turn of the game and keeps it simple but no Trubbish so I'm relieved but he does have a benched Yveltal-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt attached to it. However, it's his only Pokemon on the bench as he's powering up the active Yveltal BKT. So I take my second turn of the game and use an Escape Rope to drag up the benched Yveltal-EX and I attach a Double Colorless Energy and bench enough Pokemon to one hit KO it and from there the game was pretty much over.

Game two: this was pretty much the same except this time all I had was a Double Colorless Energy turn one. My opponent proceeds to Enhanded Hammer it, however, with some well timed Puzzle of Times I was able to keep Emerald Breaking non stop to take a convincing 2-0. It's easier said than done getting the Garbodor plus Parallel combo off with M Rayquaza-EX threatening one shots every turn which is why I say this matchup is 50/50 or better if the M Rayquaza-EX player knows what they are doing and you run Puzzle of Time.

Round 2 - Laura Durkin (UK) - Volcanion: LL (1-1-0)

Well these games went faster than I could say good luck to my opponent. I never drew so bad with this deck in my life, let a lone twice in a row. I knew the Volcanion matchup is in my favor so I wasn't too worried until I saw my opening hand. Game one: I open Shaymin-EX with no supporter or Ultra Ball and I get steam rolled pretty quickly as I dead drew a couple more turns. Game two: I open lone Hoopa-EX with no supporter or Ultra Ball and literally draw pass without playing anything. My hand was 2x Mega Turbo, 2x Sky Field, Float Stone, Double Colorless Energy, and a M Rayquaza-EX. The best part was that my opponent proceeded to double Max Elixir onto a benched Volcanion-EX then double Steam Up for the turn one KO.

Round 3 - Fredrik Wold (NO) - Volcanion: LWL (1-2-0)

This round I'm up against another Volcanion so I'm hoping to redeem myself from the last match. Game one: my opening hand is yet atrocious. However, I do top deck out of it and start making a comeback. My opponent played Entei so it made one hit KOing things harder on me because I have to first take out the Entei which is what I did. We start trading KO after KO and eventually we N ourselves down to 2 apiece but my opponent had the Lysandre first and takes game one after my awful start.

Game two: I run through my opponent with KO after KO since he opened with Volcanion-EX and I KOed it on the second turn and from there it was over. Game three is actually a really close one. Yet again I am forced to take care of Entei putting me in an odd spot since it's a non EX. At one point in the game my opponent had a two energy benched Volcanion-EX but he's at two prizes and I'm at three or else I win this turn but now I have three options. I can N my opponent to two then take the KO and hope to win next turn or Hex Maniac this way the Volcanion-EX can't one hit KO my M Rayquaza-EX. Or Lysandre and KO the Volcanion-EX and hope he doesn't have triple Steam Up Lysandre. Either way, every scenario involves my opponent having to have Lysandre and an energy in hand unless I KO the Volcanion-EX.

My opponent took two prizes the turn before and he was at two cards before that so I knew neither of the first two cards were either pieces he needed to win because one was a Professor Sycamore and the other was a Shaymin-EX because he accidently tried to use Professor Sycamore the previous turn after already using Lysandre to KO one of my Shaymin-EX so I took that info to my advantage. Which basically meant my opponent had to rely solely on his two prizes he took the turn before and his next top deck. I actually wanted to go for the N play but I whiffed the N off multiple Trainers Mail and Shaymin-EX attempts so I was now left with two options: Hex Maniac or Lysandre and KO the benched Volcanion-EX. That was his only threat, but I knew he had a Shaymin-EX in hand so he could potentially triple Steam Up and Lysandre another Shaymin-EX out for the win, so I went with the Hex Maniac knowing I had the game next turn. Unfortunately, my opponent actually gets an energy and VS Seeker off his two prizes and top deck to Lysandre and KO a Shaymin-EX for the game. Pretty lucky from my opponent but that's part of the game. I would say Entei did put a lot of pressure on me just sitting on the bench.

Round 4 - Nilo Dieguez (UK) - M Mewtwo-EX: WW (2-2-0)

After my opponent flipped over Mewtwo-EX I was like "uh oh" because M Mewtwo-EX/Garbodor can be a rough matchup. If they get Garbodor out they can one hit KO a M Rayquaza-EX with four energy on them (assuming the M Rayquaza-EX already has three of course). To my surprise, my opponent did not run Garbodor and because of this I take a comfortable 2-0 win against my opponent. Without Garbodor, Mewtwo is a free win.

Round 5 - Julien Cretenoud (CH) - Yveltal/Garbodor: WLT (2-2-1)

I don't remember too much about these games. I just know I barely won game two on time.

Round 6 - Robert Swierzewski (PL) - Regice/Glaceon-EX/Garbodor: WW (3-2-1)

I had no idea what my opponent was playing but I open with the Magearna Promo to my opponent's Glaceon-EX, so immediately I'm thinking I'm up against Vileplume Box. I go first and set up a M Rayquaza-EX and pass the turn. My opponent had to read Magearna like three times. He takes his first turn of the game and benches Regice, Shaymin-EX, and I believe Trubbish so then I knew it wasn't Vileplume Box. Instead it was a Walls/Hammer deck with Garbodor. My opponent attaches to Regice and passes the turn. I then attach a Metal Energy to Magearna and Prismatic Wave for 120 however, my opponent thought I did 60 but he forgot about weakness. My opponent flips for a Crushing Hammer and gets tails. At this point I know this game's in the bag. Even if he gets rid of the energy, I have plenty more and I can always use Puzzle of Time if I have to. I could tell my opponent had no clue what to power up. He now knew Regice would get one hit KOed yet he still attached a Double Colorless Energy onto it and passed the turn. Unfortunately I didn't have the Lysandre to KO the Regice so I just took the free two prizes off the active Glaceon-EX. My opponent took his next turn and knew he couldn't one-hit KO Magearna with Regice so instead he used Ninja Boy to grab a Lugia-EX to one hit KO Magearna, which was fine by me because the next turn I simply one hit KOed the Lugia-EX and from there the game was over. Game two: my opponent drew really poorly and I took KO after KO from the second turn on so it was over quickly.

Round 7 - Michael Cornwall (UK) - Volcanion: WW (4-2-1)

Again I don't remember too much about these games other than I took the series pretty handily. My opponent didn't play Entei so it was fairly easy.

Round 8 - Hayden Cameron-Jacobus (US) - Yveltal/Garbodor: WLW (5-2-1)

Game one: It was a good game but some well-timed Puzzles of Time put me in a good spot eventually giving me the game. However, in game two Hayden hit the nuts with Garbodor plus Parallel City and made quick work of me. Game three Hayden unfortunately opened with a lone Shaymin-EX and literally drew pass. I tried going for the turn one but missed it by just one card. Hayden drew again and nothing so I attach to the active and retreat out then Mega Turbo onto M Rayquaza-EX for the win.

Round 9 - Adrian Gomez (ES) - Volcanion: WW (6-2-1)

Okay, now I'm sitting at 5-2-1 after starting the day 1-2-0 and this next and last round is the deciding factor if I'm getting at least top 64 or not. I'm up against my fourth Volcanion of the tournament and I'm 1-2 against it so I'm not feeling too great even though I know I have a favorable matchup. Game one: it actually goes a lot smoother than I thought. I could tell my opponent was a great player with Volcanion from some of the plays he did. Still, I was able to take game one just by pure pressure and the fact that he did not play Entei. I did, however, notice my opponent played two Enhanced Hammers which didn't do too much because I had Puzzle of Time. Game two: my opponent opened with Salamence-EX and my eyes lit up because where was that in game one? I asked my opponent and he said it was prized so it made sense as to why I never saw it since he still had three or four prizes game one. Now, knowing my opponent played Salamence-EX I changed up my strategy. I powered up multiple M Rayquaza-EX, waiting for the Lysandre.

In the mean time, I had a non EX active just to use as bait. Eventually I hit the Lysandre and one hit KO the Salamence-EX and from there it was KO after KO on EXs since I had multiple M Rayquaza-EX ready to go. I could see the disappointment in my opponent's face since this was a $500 money match basically. Honestly, I would have felt the same, had I lost. With relief, I ended the day with a record of 6-2-1, which meant I went 5-0-1 after the first three rounds. I knew 6-2-1 is a Day 2 record for the lucky few but I knew for sure I was out of Day 2 after my poor start. Standings went up and I was actually closer than I had thought, sitting at 38th place, just six spots shy of Day 2. Unfortunate, but I was still happy to be heading home with 60 Championship Points and $500. There were five lucky players with records of 6-2-1 to advance to Day 2, however ten or so 6-2-1's didn't make it with me being one of them.


Closing Thoughts

That will be it for this short article on my top 64 London report. I still think the deck is strong come Dallas Regionals. If you expect a huge increase in Vespiquen/Zebstrika then maybe the deck isn't for you. Otherwise I believe most of M Rayquaza's matchups are either 50/50 or favorable.  I'll have another two short articles and a long one later this month so stay tuned for those when they are published. If you haven't already please don't forget to check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates on player interviews and when Grafton Roll goes live. We just hit 1k subs which is awesome for such a short amount of time. If you have any questions about my list or deck in general then please 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!



[+9] okko


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