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Isaiah  Bradner

A Washed-Up Weekend: Lapras/Quagsire in Memphis

Hey 60 Cards readers! I am super excited to tell you about the Lapras/Quagsire deck that I played at both the main event and the TCG Cup in Memphis!

10/18/2018 by Isaiah Bradner

A Washed-Up Weekend: Lapras/Quagsire in Memphis

Hey 60 Cards readers! Isaiah Bradner here; I entered last weekend's Memphis Regionals with high hopes to compete for another Regional Championship. I was fortunate to win the first Regional of the year held in Philadelphia and I also happened to be the defending Champion at Memphis (both in the Senior Division). Unfortunately, things didn’t go like I planned and I ended up placing top 32. Even though I didn't get the result I was hoping for, I am still super excited to tell you about the Lapras/Quagsire deck that I played at both the main event and the TCG Cup on Sunday. After going a combined 9-3-1 with the deck, I still think it was a good (and fun!) play and would strongly recommend it to be considered for any remaining events in this quarter. 

Many of you are probably wondering; “What in the world led you to play Lapras/Quagsire?" Last Thursday, a mere two days before the Regional, three of my friends (Michael Catron, Jon Eng, Gibby Tang Archer) drove down to stay with me for the night so that we could ride together to Memphis on Friday morning. As soon as they arrived, we eagerly started testing the format to find out what we would play. After about an hour of testing, we were all intrigued by a Lapras/Quagsire concoction that Michael had brought which was based on a European list that had been seeing some success. At first, I was hesitant to believe in the deck's ability, but the more we tested I began to see that it was a viable play. Here is the original list we were testing.



With a ten-hour car ride in front of us, I grabbed a few large baking trays (perfect size to play Pokémon in the car!) and geared up to continue testing Lapras/Quagsire against all the decks we expected see in Memphis. By the end of the car ride, we settled on a final list that three of the four of us ended up playing.

As I mentioned above, I ended up finishing Top 32 in the event. Michael Catron, piloting the same list, ended up 18th in the Masters division with the same 60.  The theory behind the deck is that you nearly always try to start a game by attacking with Volcanion Prism. Sauna Blast is a ridiculous attack (100 to active and 20 to all bench) that sets up numbers while also being a really hard early Pokémon to kill.  In addition, with Quagsire, Aqua Patch, and Exp. Share, you can constantly stream Lapras attacks. By healing one Pokémon 20 each turn, the Manaphy was included to allowed you to tank a ton of hits from Baby Buzz; and the Kyogre (30 to two Pokémon ) was an amazing backup attacker in the matchup. After testing, it was clear that the Rayquaza matchup was extremely unfavorable which is why we put in Palkia GX (Dragon type). The addition of Palkia definitely came in clutch and allowed us to steal some wins.

Lapras/Quagsire Key Cards


3 Lapras GX: This is the main attacker of the deck, and in most situations your ideal starter. Collect adds a ton of consistency to your opening turns, and Blizzard Burn one-shots almost everything in format after a Sauna Blast.

2-2 Quagsire: The ability to move your energy around when you Guzma and keep them all on board with Exp. Share allowed this card to shine in the deck. It lets you hit crazy Patch combos after a T1 collect, and can also attack late game.

1 Volcanion Prism: This is the best card in the deck, and one of the cards with the highest raw power in format. Against almost every matchup you want to go for this as soon as possible, especially vs Zoroark. The ability is also insane for getting water energy in the discard to set up for an Aqua Patch.

1 Palkia-GX (Dragon type): The point of this card is to Zero Vanish vs Rayquaza/Vikavolt to allow you to catch up in the game. The ideal play is to Guzma a Vikavolt and GX it, but if you can kill a Ray at any point in the game using it then it’s probably worth it. We played the Dragon one because it’s not weak to Dhelmise.

1 Kyogre: Kyogre was put in to help with the Baby Buzz/Shrine matchup. Dual Splash is another out to skipping the Sledge turn vs Buzzwole along with Sauna Blast. Grand Wave also kills Baby Buzz after a Sauna Blast.

1 Manaphy: This card is played solely for the Shrine matchups. This card helps because it heals off any chip damage dealt by an early Sledgehammer, and can sometimes cause a Garbodor to three-shot instead of two-shot. Against Shining Lugia, it prevents them from Koko spreading for 40 and then killing with Shining Lugia.

4 Aqua Patch/4 Exp. Share: The deck revolves around having lots of energy to move around, and these cards allow you to get energy on field and keep them there.

2 Escape Rope: You need switch cards in the deck because of the side effect of Blizzard Burn, and with Escape Rope and Jet Gyser you can force them into weird retreating situations.

Matchups

Here we will go through an explanation of various matchups for Quagsire/Lapras. 

ZoroRoc: Favorable
This is one of your best matchups with the deck, because nothing in their deck can OHKO yours. You want to start attacking with baby Volcanion ASAP to put everything in one shot range of your Lapras. Try not to over bench early game so you get maximum value out of Volcanion. If they play the version with Buzz GX and Beast Ring, then you can attempt to skip your opponent's Sledge turn, or Palkia GX + Kukui after they Beast Ring. Make sure to try and keep two Quagsire/Wooper on bench so they it can’t be removed by Lycanroc + Riotous Beating.

Zoro/Banette: Favorable
This matchup plays almost exactly the same as the ZoroRoc matchup does. The one difference is that you need to hold Kukui to play around Shady Move.

Buzz/Shrine: Slightly Favorable
This matchup revolves around strategic use of Volcanion Prism and Kyogre to skip the Sledge turn. You want to hit a Buzzwole with the first Sauna Blast, then Jet Geyser up an unevolved Pokémon and kill it while putting a Buzzwole at 120. The next turn, you should Guzma up Magcargo and kill it as well as the Baby Buzz to jump to three prizes. You can do this with Volcanion Prism or Kyogre (as long as the Magcargo has 40 on it). Lapras can also be very good early game in this matchup, as it often takes forever for them to kill. Manaphy is MVP in this matchup because it heals off the minimal damage that they Sledgehammer on to your Buzz turn one or two.

Ray : Unfavorable with Dhelmise, Slightly favorable without
The Ray matchup varies a ton depending on their list. If they play one or two Dhelmise, you will need them to whiff T2 Vikavolt or for you to get off a Zero Vanish. It usually pays to be aggressive in this matchup as they don’t have Blower to punish your Exp. Share. If they don’t play Dhelmise, the matchup swings heavily in your favor. Without Dhelmise the matchup comes down to you being more consistent and taking kills earlier, as well as you having Palkia-GX to reset their board. If they don’t play Dhelmise, you should start the game by Collecting a few times until you can take a kill on something relevant. Volcanion Prism isn’t as good in the matchup, but can set up situations where you don’t need Choice Band to kill with Lapras.

BuzzRoc: Slightly favorable
This matchup is favored due to you being able to skip Beast Ring with relative ease if you play it right. It is fairly easy to do 160 to a Lycanroc, and two shot a Buzz-GX with Volcanion Prism to take four prizes. You also are a lot faster than them because you have Aqua Patch and they lost Elixir. The addition of Manaphy allows you to heal off some of the Jet Punch damage they do early in the game.

Regional Matchups

With that insight, here are my matchups and my record throughout the Philadelphia Regionals tournament.

R1: VikaRay - WW (1-0)
R2: ZoroRoc - LL (1-1)
R3: Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt - WW (2-1)
R4: Buzz/Weavile/Garb/Shrine - WW (3-1)
R5: ZoroRoc - LL (3/2)
R6: Shining Lugia - WW (4/2)
R7: VikaRay - LL (4/3)

R1: VikaRay - WW (1-0): This was a fairly straightforward series. He missed Vikavolt for a few turns game one and I rolled him. In game two, I got off a Zero Vanish GX onto his only Vikavolt in play, and he scooped soon after.

R2: ZoroRoc - LL (1-1): This was a matchup I was excited to see, but my excitement quickly turned to despair as I was quickly destroyed when I dead drew in two games. I knew that the deck wasn’t the most consistent, but was annoyed to have dropped a game to such a good matchup. Even after drawing so poorly in game two, I had a chance to win the game if I would have hit an Escape Rope…which I whiffed.

R3: Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt - WW (2-1): This was in many ways a reversal of my previous round, as my opponent drew pretty bad both games. Game two ended up being close, but I was able to checkmate him by putting 30 on two Tapu Lele with Dual Splash, which guaranteed a Quagsire KO the next turn.

R4: Buzz/Weavile/Garb/Shrine - WW (3-1): In this match I led with Volcanion Prism Star both games, and despite having to bench a Lele in both of them, I easily 2-0'd my opponent. I kept my item count low, and skipped the Sledge turn to keep his attacking options low.

R5: ZoroRoc - LL (3/2): I felt very confident going into the Lunch break, and knew that if I drew decent two more games I would be in cut. Once the Round 5 pairings were announced, I felt great knowing that I had a chance to erase my Round two loss by facing another ZoroRoc. Unfortunately, my top cut dreams (and desire to defend the Memphis Regional Championship) were ended by more dead hands in round five. Despite how favorable the matchup generally is, I was not able to find supporters or energy to make it a game.

R6: Shining Lugia - WW (4/2): Round six I hit a local player playing my Shining Lugia list from Philly. While he played it the best he could, he dead drew both games, and didn’t have any way to respond to an early Volcanion Prism, especially with Jet Geyser. This matchup was my easiest of the weekend, and a matchup I would love to have seen more of.

R7: VikaRay - LL (4/3): In my final round, I hit a VikaRay with multiple Dhelmise that was able to T2 Candy both games. In game two I had a turn where if I hit my Stretcher off of a Lillie for 6 then I would win; but unfortunately, I whiffed.

After a very disappointing day one, I decided to give the deck another shot at the TCG Cup the next day, which I ended up taking 1st Place. Here were my matchups and a recap:

League Cup

R1: VikaRay - W (1-0)
R2: Buzz/Garb/Weavile - W (2-0)
R3: Shining Lugia/Malamar - W (3-0)
R4: Sylveon Mill - T (3-0-1)
T4: Sylveon Mill - WW
Finals - Tapu Koko/Buzzwole/Fairy Lele - W (My opponent had to leave due to time constraints)

R1: VikaRay - W (1-0)- This was a very one sided series where my opponent started slow while I Collected and continued to set up. By the time he finally started drawing cards, I was way too far ahead for him to catch up.

R2: Buzz/Garb/Weavile - W (2-0)- In this round I drew an awkward series of hands which forced me to play 7 items by turn 3. This gave him an easy way to kill my Volcanion and put me on the back foot. After he killed the Volcanion, I dual splashed the Magcargo and a Baby Buzzwole to skip the four-prize Sledge turn. I then pressured down his Garbodor, and he ran out of attackers without Magcargo to increase his consistency.

R3: Shining Lugia/Malamar - W (3-0)- This was another fairly one-sided game where Lapras and Baby Volcanion destroyed his board while he struggled to respond. As mentioned before, Shining Lugia is one of your best matchups with the deck and I was glad to hit another.

R4: Sylveon Mill - T (3-0-1)- Even though I could ID into cut, I decided to play it out in order to get more information about his list, as I knew there was a good chance we would play in top four.

T4: Sylveon Mill - WW – Going into the Top 4 matchup against Sylveon, I wasn’t that confident in the matchup. As things progressed I began to see how I could get the win. During game one, my opponent didn’t open with a Fairy energy, giving me tons of time to set up. After he finally drew a Fairy I had already killed two Eevee, and hit Rope + Kukui to finish off his only Sylveon in play.

Halfway through game two, he realized that we would go to time if he didn’t take six prizes. He retreated two energy off a Sylveon, Max Potioned-it, Judged, and hit my Lapras for 110. I Escape Roped his benched Sylveon into the active and attacked it. He missed a Fairy off the Judge and was forced to pass, causing me to immediately Guzma kill his Sylveon that had a Fairy energy. He drew a Fairy off the top, but I had enough energy on board to kill the Sylveon with Lele and advance to the finals.

Finals - W Tapu Koko/Buzzwole/Fairy Lele - In the finals my opponent was playing a deck that I felt favored against, but unfortunately they had to leave in order to catch a flight, which gave me the cup win.

Well, there you have it. In all, I went 9-3-1 with the Lapras/Quagsire deck. As you can see, Lapras is extremely strong in the current meta and one that I would recommend to anyone for Cups or Challenges. If you have further questions or comments, feel free to email me at Isaiah.Bradner@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook. Hope you guys enjoyed the article, and I hope to see you all in Portland!

[+14] okko


 

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