01/11/2017 by Aaron Tarbell
Amidst the Dark’s Adamant rule, the light has finally shown and exploded through the pitch-black horizon to reveal the Rainbow High of a diverse format. Good day, 60 Cards readers, and welcome to my first 60 Cards article! The article will reflect on the Lucky Star decks that managed to snuff out the overwhelming darkness of the current standard meta as well as my own run at Texas Regionals. With how well Dark performed in each Orlando, Ft. Wayne, and London, the meta, unsurprisingly, became Borderline obsessed with beating Yveltal and figuring out the rest.
This was made ever-so-apparent by the bottom table housing a myriad of decks such as M Mewtwo/Zebstrika, Brilliant Arrow Gardevoir, and M Altaria. With the hype around Volcanion decks being able to compete with Yveltal/Garbodor and with every standard tournament in this format having boasted a solid two Volcanion spots in top 8, it was probably the best represented deck at the tournament. Out of the carnage of a Burning Up BDIF, two major decks were having Holidays: M Mewtwo abused the shift in meta the most due to housing a Physical Attraction similar to that of Yveltal from how their damage output works, but by having an alternate weakness and one of the strongest evolutions in the game, M Mewtwo is able to take full advantage of a format that attempts to counter Yveltal with Zebstrika and Jolteon EX. STS Gardevoir thrived the most from M Mewtwo asserting its dominance over the format by being safe enough to play through having a positive Yveltal matchup, able to beat Yveltal counters such as Zebstrika and Jolteon EX, and able to dominate M Mewtwo.
As much as anyone wants to speculate on why a tournament plays out the way it does, there’s rarely a better way for people to understand a meta than to experience it themselves. For those who are unable to attend some of the larger events, the best ways to experience the event is to observe the top 8 and top 32 standings and draw inferences for why those decks did well before reading articles that interpret them for you. Following this, reading tournament reports Over and Over gives some insight about what the rest of the answers to the format that didn’t perform well were and provides a more holistic view of the tournament that shows what is needed to perform well in a format rather than just what does well. With this in mind, I will commit my Crime of Passion and present you with my first ever tournament report.
A week prior to the tournament, I was Causing a Commotion about why everyone should play Darkrai/Giritina/Garbodor with a ranger. I felt like the deck had solid enough matchups against the three decks I expected to play each round (Yveltal, Greninja, and Volcanion), and since I felt the party would be at beating Yveltal, I didn’t want to play something that took losses to lightning or various walls such as Regice and Jolteon. A few days before the tournament, Travis Nunlist tells me to play Yveltal, and upon my decline of the Easy Ride, he presented me a consistent Jolteon Garbodor deck with a tech 3-3-4 M Mewtwo line. I had the Look of Love and was immediately Hung Up on the deck. The deck supposedly netted very strong matchups against Greninja, Volcanion, and Yveltal, and really the only deck we decided we didn’t want to see was STS M Gardevoir, which we weren’t scared of due to its poor showing at Ft. Wayne.
Upon receiving the following list, I changed one Trainers’ Mail to Delinquent, because the card is the best card in format. Who’s That Girl? In this deck alone, she allows for crucial Parallel City to be replaced, spooky wins by discarding the opponent's entire hand, and the potential to deck out opponents that over extend. The other card I changed was the fourth Mega Turbo into a EVO Mewtwo, which only acted as a way to potentially gain an advantage over mirror and attack Regice for more than 30. I played EVO Mewtwo-EX due to it having more HP than the Photon Wave Mewtwo, and Energy Absorption was more useful in the deck since both Shaymin and Jolteon could do 30 damage if needed. If I were to play the deck again I would definitely include a Ninja Boy so Energy Absorption could indirectly be a way to accelerate to Jolteon.
Round one I played against a M Altaria deck. The guy was new and toted some sick Darth Vader sleeves, but unfortunately he wasn’t allowed to use them. He then left to get more sleeves, and when he came back the judge declared that he needed to sleeve faster if he didn’t want to receive a late. He ended up not getting a game loss, but was officially declared late. During this time, I looked around to see that almost everybody was playing M Mewtwo, and I used this time to try to justify why I put the bad EVO Mewtwo into my deck. Eventually we were able to play, and my start in Game one was pretty awkward. I ended up starting with Shaymin EX and having to bench both Hoopa EX and another Shaymin EX to try to hit a supporter and a parallel. Though I hit the supporter, I missed the Parallel City. On his turn, he played Parallel City against himself and manages to end up with three Altaria with links. I used Delinquent to make him discard a DCE, and he prized two as well, but he managed to eventually kill two Shaymin-EX and a M Mewtwo to win.
Game two went much more smoothly, we both drew near perfectly, and I ended up OHKOing M Altaria while he had to hit my M Mewtwo twice. Game three, I played Parallel City against him after he passed his turn with a lone Shaymin, and the judge declared he can’t tie on time when we ask. He conceded and I Live to Tell about an awkward first match. 1-0-0
Round two I played against my first Volcanion. I was super excited to set up Jolteon-EX and Garbodor, and just win, but even though I hit the nuts with early Jolteon-EX and Garbotoxin, I quickly realized that it’s better to use the M Mewtwo tech line to win against Volcanion due to their ability to Lysandre Garbodor when given enough time. Past that, I still hit the nuts and relied on M Mewtwo and early ability lock to pull out two fun but easy enough games. 2-0-0
Round three I “played” against Kyle Warden. He was playing Gardevoir STS, and I asked for a tie. He said no, we started, he bricked, I offered again, he accepted, and we lived to Die Another Day. 2-0-1
Round four I hit another Volcanion. We have a small judge ruling about whether or not his super bowed Volcanion is a marked card. It’s not declared one, but he does swap it out for a less bowed one, and we continue play. Game one I just use my tech M Mewtwo line and accidently win without ever being able to set up a Garbodor. Game two, I again miss Garbodor, but my M Mewtwo were unable to handle the early OHKO’s from the Volcanion deck. Game three, I go back to drawing super well, and I hit turn two Jolteon with Garbodor, and I am eventually able to get going with M Mewtwo to finish it out. 3-0-1
Round five, I hit my best matchup in the room. I see the Mad Pulls shirt and imagine my opponent is playing a deck similar to Long Bui’s whom I watched on stream against Andrew Wamboldt. The deck turns out to be a Jolteon/Glaceon/Garbodor/Lugia deck which overall has the same concept as Jolteon/Garbodor but the tech M Mewtwo deals with the Jolteon and Lugia well whenever they manage to get around Jolteon. So, in a perfect match, he would attack first from running max elixer, but as soon as we got to the point where we were attacking with Flash Ray, I had more options. Each game, I managed to set up Jolteon and a M Mewtwo on the bench without over extending much by opting not to use Hoopa or Shaymin whenever possible. In the first Game, he concedes quickly after I load up a Jolteon, and game two went to completion pretty quickly without much complication due him having no answer to Jolteon, coupled with him having a poor start. 4-0-1
Round six was against Shaye Gillie with Volcanion. We had two long but fun games that were pretty close in comparison to the other Volcanion matchups I played in Texas. In these games we got in trouble for Causing a Commotion. I believe I stumbled a bit in each game for getting Garbotoxin on, but even when she managed to Lysandre it and knock it out quickly, the seven prize game that resulted allowed the M Mewtwo to go Bananas. At this point, I’m convinced that Volcanion is near an auto win and day two is probably a go ahead, because What Can You Lose? 5-0-1
Well, the Deeper and Deeper I went into the tournament, the more likely I would be to have to Swim with the frogs, but I had originally expected for my matchup with Greninja to be Sooner Rather Than Later. Round seven, I was faced with Grafton Roll playing his Greninja deck he piloted in London. Prior to the match, I had thought Greninja would be an easy ride, but Papa Don’t Preach if I was wrong. Against this True Blue, three interesting enough games played out. Game one, I start Jolteon, set up Garbodor, take 2 prizes on a talonflame and a frogadier, and eventually set up a large enough Mewtwo and win a game where he had a poor start. Game two, I was N’d to six pretty early and proceed to dead draw till he wins. He offers the ID but I decline, because I’m So Stupid. Early in the game, there is a bubble flip that decides it. This was the one moment in the tournament I wished I had the Olympia in the deck that I considered playing that Caleb Gedemer’s list had in his article for Dead Draw Gaming, but it wasn’t a big deal. The next turn he hits what he needs to set up, and I fell behind from awkward draws. 5-1-1
Round eight, I played against an Yveltal. This was a round where I realized how much I desired acceleration to Jolteon. Early in game one, he enhanced hammers some DCE, and I attempt to manually load up the Jolteon with just basic lightning energy. I end up having five lightning energy in the bottom ten cards of my deck and deck myself out by over extending when I didn’t need to. In game two, I got Jolteon attacking early and Lysandre KO three fright night Yveltal. Going into game three, there were 15 minutes left, and there is an Intervention involving his destroyed sleeves and having no extras. He declares he would play without sleeves, but he did so before a time extension would have been granted, so I offer the tie and Take a Bow. 5-1-2
After a near perfect start, I go to my last round as a win and in, and Oh What a Circus it was. I play against a new player playing Rayquaza who was frankly very slow, and the judges would do nothing to speed him up. Early I play a Shaymin for two after he used a Hex Maniac and neither of us caught it. A long judge call ensues with him getting a prize after having used multiple set-ups, and I quickly drop game one from him running well. Game two, I get the Parallel City/Garbotoxin out on turn two and load up multiple M Mewtwo that he can’t deal with. Going into game three, the brakes were on. We had two judges watching our game at different times. The first told him to pick up the pace and gave him a warning, but after time was called and going into our time extension, the second judge refused to comment on his pace and we had one and a half turns between us in four minutes. In this time my board state was demanding with multiple M Mewtwo set up, Parallel City, and Garbotoxin in play. I took a knockout as time was called and was declared turn zero as I went down to two prizes. He had the option to Stardust my active M Mewtwo down to three energy or Lysandre a Mewtwo EX with a Spirit Link on the bench. After he used Stardust, I top decked a Lysadre and had a Mega Turbo to knockout a shaymin on the bench, but if he would have Lysandred the benched Mewtwo, I wouldn’t have won. 6-1-2
I go into day two with pessimism after observing the large amounts of M Mewtwo and Gardevoir in top 32, but to my surprise I managed to pull one of the few Volcanion for my first round of day two, so we were Back in Business. Unfortunately, there was an Impressive Instant in game one and game three where Nothing Fails for him, not a single max elixir, and I didn’t get a turn one Trubbish in either game. My board state in both games was effectively Frozen and the only Ray of Light was how long each of the games had went. I squeak by with a tie after observing a Volcanion deck with Scorched Earth draw near perfectly, but it was pretty fun to watch, even if I felt like the tie would end my run. 6-1-3
Round 11 was against Alex Hill. He played his Plumebox and I played my Jolteon and EVO Mewtwo deck. Game one I evolved my trubbish to Garbodor without a tool on it, but I also get a quick knockout on a Vileplume on turn 2/3 that allows me to recover from my mistakes. Jolteon Garb has a pretty cool interaction against Regice where neither card deals any damage and each prevent almost every card in the other deck from attacking. I manage to get a cute knock out on a Regice with the EVO Mewtwo and he had a few turn where he would have decked me out if he had been a little more lucky on Burrow with my non-Float Stoned Garbodor, but once I managed to hit the float stone, I was able to Lysandre turn after turn to win. Game two was also super interesting from him getting the turn one Vileplume, and I had to start Shaymin. Overall, I got lucky in game two by really never missing draw cards, and I was able to turn my board into a Mega Mewtwo, Joleton, and EVO Mewtwo again. The EVO Mewtwo put multiple Regice in Swift range due to him having attached Rainbow Energy. I wish I was able to remember the game more in depth, but I remember it being the most fun game I’ve played in months of this game. 7-1-3
Round 12 was against the DarkTina player that made top 8. Game one, I donked his lone Shaymin. Game 2, I bricked and lost pretty fast. Game three, I struggled to get a Jolteon attacking, and his Salamance had a field day taking four prizes early. After I get my field to just a Joleon and a M Mewtwo on the bench, I chose to delinquent his hand of 6 rather than N due to him having only attached an energy and passed the previous turn. This was a small opportunity where I was hoping to use Parallel in the following turns to mitigate his energy count and his three cards needed to be energy, Float Stone, VS Seeker, which they were. 7-2-3
Round 13 was against Grafton Roll again, and I had One More Chance to redeem myself against Greninja. Honestly, the games perfectly mirrored the first match, where I won the first one easily, lost from never playing a supporter game 2, and Game 3 he drew better than me, but The Beat Goes On. 7-3-3
Round 14, I played against the Regice/Glaceon Player in T32. I wasn’t convinced I could make T16 at this point, but I opted to play it out. Game one was pretty fun even though I lost from awkward draws such as discarding my Super Rod prior to playing my EVO Mewtwo. Game two was incredibly fun with the terms Resistance Blizzard and Flash Ray being stated over 200 times in the game. He stacked five energy onto his Regice for some reason, and when it was knocked out through EVO Mewtwo and Swift, he had to over extend to set up again, and eventually I took five more prizes through Lysandre Flash Ray on two Shaymin EX and a Trubbish. Game three I drew/pass twice, and he donked me with Lugia EX. 7-4-3
I hope you enjoyed this Masterpiece both Inside and Out. Thanks for lending me your Borrowed Time. Feel free to ask any questions you might have, and give me Your Honesty in the comments, what would you prefer me to write about next?
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