Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

Athens Georgia Top 128 Tournament Report

Jose goes over his top 128 Tournament report in Athens Georgia with Mega Rayquaza.

01/23/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello, 60cards readers! With Georgia Regionals done and accounted for I wanted to briefly go over my tournament run. I decided to give M Rayquaza-EX/Metal one last go because I felt that it was a great meta call going into Athens. I knew that the Speed Darkrai-EX deck was going to be more popular, which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to play M Rayquaza-EX. At first I was going to play my Gyarados/Zebstrika deck that I used with some success at Dallas Regionals on top of two League Cups; however, days before Athens everyone started talking about how to counter Gyarados, which ultimately made me change my deck choice. My buddy Luis Zambrana was also going to play Gyarados/Zebstrika with me, but instead, he played the same M Rayquaza-EX/Metal list as me and ended up going 7-1-1 Day 1 and then 3-0-2 Day 2 to make Top 8. He, unfortunately, hit one of the Vespiquen/Zebstrika decks in Top 8 and ended his incredible run there. M Rayquaza-EX/Metal was a great call last weekend because 3/8 of the Top 8 decks were M Rayquaza-EX decks with two of them being the Metal versions.

With that said, below is the list Luis Zambrana and I played in Athens Georgia.

M Rayquaza-EX/Metal

If you want to see an overall analysis of the deck, then feel free to check out my last article on M Rayquaza-EX/Metal which features my Top 64 list from London, as it's just one card different than what Luis and I played in Athens. The only change we made was dropping the Jirachi for the new Giratina promo. This was mainly due to Greninja getting more and more popular. Honestly, the matchup is still difficult even with Giratina, simply because Greninja decks now run a heavy count of Silent Lab. A well timed Ace Trainer in conjunction with Silent Lab can be enough to cripple you, which is exactly what happened. Greninja decks now running multiple Enhanced Hammers are troublesome as well if you are forced to attach a Special Energy before a Basic.

Tournament Report

Round 1 - John Ivey - Yveltal/Yveltal-EX/Garbodor: WW (1-0-0)

Game one is a long one but I eventually have the right cards to take it. Game two I have one prize left and my opponent has three, but time is called on his turn. He is only able to take two prizes since I was turn three, so I take the long series.

Round 2 - Michael Baez - Volcanion: LWW (2-0-0)

Game one I whiff a huge KO on his Volcanion-EX, only needing two Basic Pokémon off a Professor Sycamore. The following turn my opponent uses double Switch to one-hit KO back-to-back M Rayquaza-EXs, so I lose. Game two and three I just run through my opponent with KO after KO since I didn't miss a beat this time. My opponent didn't play Entei or Salamence-EX, which made for an easier series.

Round 3 - Andrew Grey - Rainbow Road: LL (2-1-0)

Going into this match I was fairly certain Andrew was playing Rainbow Road because that's what he's been playing at previous events. I knew I had a chance in the matchup because I run the Magearna promo. Game one gets down to the wire, with Andrew having four prizes left to my four. Andrew starts to set up double Galvantula plays to take four prizes on two of my Shaymin-EX; however, once the first Galvantula attacks, I promote one of the hurt Shaymin-EX. I then use Lysandre to pick off the benched Joltik for the KO, so I can deny his win next turn. Andrew again snipes the hurt Shaymin-EX to go down to two prizes to my three, so I attack with Magearna to bring me down to two prizes since next turn I had the Lysandre with a benched M Rayquaza-EX ready to go. However, Andrew has the energy and Lysandre to take game one on one of my benched EXs.

Game two, I start off with an active M Rayquaza-EX and some benched Pokémon and pass the turn. Andrew opens with double Xerneas and proceeds to use Max Elixir and hits an energy and then attaches a Float Stone to the active and Double Colorless Energy to the benched Xerneas and Professor Sycamores away another Float Stone and Double Colorless Energy. However, that doesn't matter since Andrew hits the right cards to one-hit KO my active M Rayquaza-EX on the first turn of the game. I scoop after my next turn. The matchup is winnable with Magearna if you can find it early, but still, it's a rough matchup nonetheless. Game one was really close but game two was a total blowout. The biggest thing that swung the matchup was not finding Basic Energy early enough, which forced two Double Colorless Energy to get discarded.

Round 4 - Jacob Dalen - M Altaria-EX/Salamence-EX/Garbodor: LL (2-2-0)

My opponent plays three Enhanced Hammers which ultimately was why he won. The threat of Salamence-EX was another factor because I had to worry about that first. I lose both games because N just cripples me even though I was in a winnable state both games. I just draw poorly since my opponent N's me four or five turns in a row both games when I'm down to two or three prizes. I just brick both times and my opponent is able to get Garbodor out to make a comeback.

Round 5 - Cory Rice - Raticate BREAK/Ariados/Faded Town: WW (3-2-0)

Both games I take handily even though in game one my opponent one-hit KOs one of my M Rayquaza-EX's, but I have been powering up Dragonite-EX which single-handedly takes prize after prize. Raticate BREAK is basically a stage 2, which means the deck is somewhat slow to set up, so I am able to Lysandre Rat after Rat before they can get going. Game two, my opponent just draws poorly and misplays by not benching another Rattata.

Round 6 - Richard Sepulveda - M Rayquaza-EX/Jolteon-EX: WW (4-2-0)

This matchup is fairly easy because I run Puzzle of Time and my opponent doesn't. Game one, my opponent starts off flawlessly, but all he needs are Double Colorless Energies which he keeps whiffing. I eventually bait him into KOing Magearna for a single prize and from there I take six prizes in three turns. Game two, my opponent doesn't have much going. I take a huge lead by taking the first two prizes and never looked back.

Round 7 - Ryan Ferry - M Rayquaza-EX/Zebstrika: LWW (5-2-0)

I was confident going into another mirror match but it's when my opponent benches a Blitzle that my heart skips a beat. Immediately I can see my 4-3-0 record getting closer and closer. Game one, my opponent takes me down pretty handily with multiple Zebstrika and M Rayquaza-EX as a backup. However, in game two, my opponent bricks hard and I take that game. In game three, my opponent blows up turn one and has a full bench; however, none of them are Blitzle so I know I can win this game. Eventually, my opponent bricks again as I take EX KO after EX KO to take the series.

Round 8 - Gabe Cherniske - Talonflame/Greninja BREAK/Silent Lab: LL (5-3-0)

Even though I have Giratina in the deck, I still know the matchup isn't going to be easy unless my opponent draws poorly -- which isn't the case. Game one, I just can't find a Basic Energy to save my life. All I find are Double Colorless Energy, which I don't want to attach unless I have an attack ready because Greninja decks play multiple Enhanced Hammers. I start digging for a Basic Energy but unfortunately I'm forced to use Double Colorless first and of course, my opponent has the turn one Enhanced Hammer. On my second turn of the game, I have to yet again attach a Double Colorless before a Basic, and guess what? That too gets Enhanced Hammered, which I expected since my opponent used Talonflame the turn before. Eventually, I start attacking, but at this point, my opponent is basically set up before I can take any prizes so I lose game one pretty handily. Game two, however, starts looking better for me except my opponent starts Talonflame yet again. I start first and start setting up.

My opponent proceeds to Lysandre up my benched Hoopa-EX and only benches a single Froakie -- so I'm like, okay, if I find a Float Stone and Lysandre I can KO his only Froakie and run with the game from there, or if I can Escape Rope the Froakie up. Escape Rope is in the discard but I have one Puzzle of Time in my hand. I start using Shaymin-EX and Trainers' Mail to draw and eventually whiff everything to take the KO on the Froakie, and I knew it was at this point that I felt all hope was lost. Late game comes around and I have a chance to win except I was running out of resources. My opponent plays Delinquent which cripples me for a turn and makes me use even more resources. I have one prize left, but since my last Sky Field was discarded, I have no way of one-hit KOing a Greninja BREAK and no way to get rid of Silent Lab. My opponent plays four Silent Lab and two Enhanced Hammer which is annoying. There is one turn at the end of the game where if I top deck my last VS Seeker (in a deck size of about four or five) I would take game two, but I whiff it off the top and lose.

Round 9 - Joshua Inman - Raikou/Jolteon-EX/Electrode: LWW, (6-3-0)

Game one, my opponent pretty much has everything going for him with a turn one double Voltorb and Raikou. I can't handle the pressure of multiple powered-up Raikou by turn three. Game two, however, my opponent draws really poorly and I start taking KO after KO. By the time he has a Raikou going I have already taken too many prizes. Game three, my opponent yet again is tearing me a new one. The whole time, I'm pretty sure I'm done for, but at one point in the game I have about four prizes to my opponent's two.

My opponent's board at this point was Shaymin-EX, two Raikou (one having an energy) and one Voltorb, so all he needed to win was an Electrode. I N myself to four and my opponent to two since that's all I can do. I KO the active Raikou and pray. My opponent proceeds to promote one of the Raikou and attaches the second energy to the benched Raikou and passes so all he needs is a single energy to win at this point or Electrode. I was shocked to have survived that turn. I simply take another KO and pass the turn as there's not much else I could do.

The following turn my opponent promotes Voltorb and top decks a Max Elixir which he hit to put the third energy onto Raikou, so I know I can't KO the active Voltorb or I lose. So instead I draw and pass the turn and pray again. But surprisingly my opponent just passes and at this point I finally top deck a VS Seeker to Lysandre up the three energy Raikou to steal game three, and the series. Luck was definitely on my side for the last two games. I finish the day at 6-3-0 in 87th place which gives me 16 points to put me at 269 CP just half way through the invite now.

Down below is Luis Zambrana's Top 8 interview with The Chaos Gym. I know the list in the video is different because Rahul messed up on the list. The top list I presented is the list Luis and I played card for card.

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude this article on my Athens Georgia Regionals run. I still have two more short articles this month, as well as a long one. With that said, don't forget to check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll. Also, check out the new Team ARG Pokémon page on Facebook for decklists and interviews with some great players. If you have any questions about the 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, 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!


[+12] okko


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