Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

What Happened in Philly? - The Recap

Zach discusses his own Philly Regionals experience and shares his thoughts on the top performing decks that are changing the metagame.

09/21/2018 by Zach Lesage

Where Are We?

Whaddup 60 Cards readers? I am back from Regionals and I want to spill the beans on everything that happened on my recent trip to Philadelphia! I had a wild trip that ranges to seeing Ringo Starr in New York City, eating at Jim’s Steaks in downtown Philly, and making Day 2 at the main event.

In this article today I will be discussing my Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Deck, my matchups at the event, and I will reveal my updated list after the tournament. Furthermore, I will be examining three of the top-performing decks that I thoroughly enjoyed watching at the tournament. There is plenty of content to cover, so let's hop into the list that I piloted at Philly Regionals.

Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment Deck

This is a fairly standard Buzzwole / Garbodor / Shrine of Punishment deck that has a focus on Garbodor because I thought I would play against many mirror matches. While I did not face any mirror matches (I know!…), the deck performed quite well because players have a difficult time holding on to their Item Cards. Additionally, Buzzwole, with its damage modifiers (Diancie PRISM STAR, Shrine of Punishment, Professor Kukui, Choice Band, and Beast Energy PRISM STAR) was able to carry me through Swiss by being an incredibly strong concept by itself. For those who are not entirely sure on the strategy of this deck, the goal is to use Buzzwole to provide chip damage throughout the entire game.

Your goal is to often just use Sledgehammer over and over again while you build up more of a complex army of Pokémon to finish off the game. While you are using Sledgehammer, Shrine of Punishment is working in the background to spread damage against opposing GX Pokémon, which allows you to get Knock Outs quickly. When your opponent starts playing Item Cards naturally, or by struggling to keep up with your deck, Garbodor can come out swinging with Trashalanche for a bunch of damage. On top of all these strong concepts, Magcargo (CLS; 24) , when paired with Oranguru, Professor Kukui, Lillie, and Acro Bike allows you to draw into any card that you specifically need when you need it. All these cards work hand in hand for your opponent to crumble in your presence, because they are all single-Prize-Card attackers. Unless this deck is specifically countered, it seems to be the top contender heading forward. Let's check out my tournament report.

My Tournament Report

After testing Buzzwole / Weavile / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  / Beast Ring / Shrine of Punishment for a few weeks before the tournament, I quickly found that I was going to play something similar to that at Philly Regionals. I was up in the air between techs of Counter Energy, Weavile, Garbodor, Shaymin SLG, and Banette-GX, but ultimately decided on the list above. My testing partner, Bodhi Robinson, and I figured out the above list closer to midnight before the tournament and sleeved up for a full day of Pokémon in front of us. Getting to the venue was difficult because I was feeling under the weather, but I had Championship Points on my mind so I wanted to focus on my goal.

There were approximately 800 Masters, which meant that there would be Championship Points available to the Top 256 players and we would have a large Day 2 cut. This tournament was also the first to allow anyone with 19 Match Points and above entry into Day 2 which meant we were in for a complete surprise. 

Rd. 1 against Tapu Bulu GX (BW; null)  / Vikavolt (SUM; 52)  / Aether Paradise Conservation Area (GRI; 116)  WW 1-0-0

Rd. 2 against Espeon GX (SUM; 61)  / Garbodor (GRI; 51)  WLW 2-0-0

Rd. 3 against Lucario GX (BW; 100)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  WW 3-0-0

Rd. 4 against Malamar (FLI; 51)  / Shining Lugia (BW; 82)  / Deoxys LL 3-1-0

Rd. 5 against Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  WW 4-1-0

Rd. 6 against Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  / Zygarde GX (FLI; 123)  WW 5-1-0

Rd. 7 against Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  / Great Ball LWT 5-1-1

Rd. 8 against Sylveon GX (GRI; 92)  / Sylveon (FLI; 87)  / Plumeria (BUS; 120)  WW 6-1-1

Rd. 9 against Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  WW 7-1-1

I was pleasantly surprised that I finished Day 1 with a 7-1-1 record after playing against some great opponents. I was 13th seed with 22 Match Points going into the next day, which meant that I had an extra win under my belt when compared to the other 19 Match Point finishers. I quickly left the venue, grabbed food, and decided to go to bed early. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, which led me to feeling heavily exhausted.

Rd. 10 against Empoleon / Swampert WW 8-1-1

Rd. 11 against Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  / Weakness Policy LL 8-2-1

Rd. 12 against Metagross-GX / Ultra Necrozma-GX LL 8-3-1

Rd. 13 against Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  WLT 8-3-2

Rd. 14 against Stakataka-GX / Naganadel-GX LL 8-4-2

Rd. 15 against Buzzwole GX (CIN; 104)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 138)  / Magcargo (CLS; 24)  8-4-3

After Day 2, I still never faced a Buzzwole / Shrine of Punishment deck and I also didn’t face any Rayquaza-GX / Vikavolt decks, even thought they were the two most popular decks at the event. I can't be disappointed with my result of Top 64 at this event, because I played against a slew of decks that I didn’t expect, and against some awkward matchups.

I learned many things about myself at this event--I have seen where I need to improve as a player, and I thoroughly enjoyed my tournament run. Speaking of how I would improve some things, I do want to go over my deck a bit because I have since made some changes to the deck to make it better. My personal chase in this game is that there is a certain perfection that can be achieved in your deck list and my goal is to find it. While my list for Philly Regionals was perceived as strong for the event, I do like my new list more at this moment. Let's peep it.

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