Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

Fixing My Mistakes In Memphis

I detail through the mistakes that I made as a player in Memphis for my own growth as a player.

10/12/2018 by Zach Lesage

Thinking About Memphis

Hey 60 Cards readers, how does it go? The subject of this article is my Memphis Regionals recap, but it will focus on myself on a personal level. I consistently wonder why I have not won a Regional Championships yet and I will often ask myself if I made any mistakes at my last major event.

While micro-mistakes do add up, I made at least two potentially tournament altering mistakes that could have given me a better placement at this event. When you are going over your mistakes, it is vital to realize that it is not a mockery of yourself as a player, it is a period of growth. The answers can be difficult to find, perhaps you don’t want to find them, but they are necessary for improvement. 


My Mistakes in Memphis

This section of the article might seem misleading because I truly believe that I experienced success as a player. I made Day Two for the third consecutive event in a row (Worlds, Philadelphia, and Memphis) and I earned enough CP to place myself into the Top 16 this season. I put my deck list online for all readers to view (with a subscription) and I played exceptionally well. Looking at all of those statements, it would seem that it would be hard to find anything else other than success.

Well, I should also state that I am hungry for a Top Eight at a Regionals, I made mistakes, and I need to become a better player. I can’t instantly fix my Top Eight drought at this moment, that is in the hands of each major event that I play in, but I can work on myself personally. Let’s take a quick peek at the list that I played at the event. If you are looking for more information on this deck, check out my last article 

Why did I just post my list here? Well, it should be noted that I tested this list to the ground, I understood it inside and out, I knew what was going on. Well, that being stated helps transition to my first issue, I made a mistake because I thought wrong!

Mistake 1) I Thought I Had Another Switch

During Round Four, I was paired up against a Buzzwole (FLI; 77)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  deck and I had a bit of a shaky start. It wasn’t shaky enough for me to scoop game one, but it was shaky enough where I needed to play perfectly. We played a lengthy game and it gets down to the end of the game where I made my mistake. He used an Escape Rope (BUS; 114)  to bring up one of my Pokemon and I sent up a Magcargo (CLS; 24)  thinking that I had a Switch (CLS; 147)  in my hand. It should be noted that I usually play with my hand face down in major events so that my opponent will have a difficult time to track my facial expressions. I played my last copy of Switch (CLS; 147)  the turn before and I completely gapped this. I don’t know if it was from me being nervous, tired, or just gapping, but I forgot. This mistake cost me my first loss in the tournament.

Mistake 2) I Offered and Intentional Draw Round Nine

This is the current topic of debate and it has me wondering what could have happened if I won. Under our new system, an Intentional Draw during Round Nine will often put the upper echelon of players into Day Two at a record of 6-21 (19 Match Points).

While it is cool to make Day Two, I do need to realize that I cost myself two Match Points that I could have earned by winning the match and set myself to a disadvantage as I entered Day Two. 

Mistake 3) I Was Too Conservative

During Day Two, I found myself paired against the mighty Michael Pramawat playing a Passimian (SUM; 73)  / Tapu Koko (BW; 31)  deck that I did not play test against at all. I was lucky that he had a relatively poor hand game one so I was able to win, but I immediately found the role reversed in game two. During Game two, I found that five out of the nine Energy that I play were hidden in my Prize Cards which meant that the game was going to be difficult. I eventually scooped up game two to have enough time to finish off the third game. During game three, I had a better start than Pramawat and quickly started to take a lead, but I eventually made a mistake that caused us to tie instead of me winning. I made a sequencing error where I didn’t discard one of the two Rainbow Energy (CLS; 151)  in my hand to be conservative and I miscounted the cards in my hand which prevented me from using Magcargo (CLS; 24) . During this, I struggled to find an alternate line of play and lost my Smooth Over for the turn in hopes of hitting the correct cards off of Cynthia (UPR; 119) .

All of those mistakes are personal, but they need to be said for me to grow as a player. The only thing that I can do is try to improve, play test more, and get over it. At the end of the tournament, I was proud to make Top 32, earn some cash, but I was left wondering, ‘Where do I go from here?” 

Where Do I Go From Here?

Well, it is difficult to conclude that you have made mistakes and to grow with that knowledge alone so I need to create a plan.

My plan needs to be fair, nourishing, and it needs to work by any means necessary. It will be a blend of short-term goals, reminders, and a way for me to help others.

Goal 1) Double Check Your Board State

I made a mistake, I should have realized that I played my Switch (CLS; 147)  already and my play would have been different. I need to realize that my in-game memory is not always perfect and a simple check of my hand would have had me victorious in that game. That time it was my hand, next time it might be my Discard Pile, it doesn’t matter. I need to do final checks when I play, akin to looking both ways before crossing the road, so that I will not make simple mistakes like this heading forward.

Goal 2) Realize Your Strength As A Player

While it is hard to classify my Intentional Draw as a mistake, it might have been the barrier between me making Top Eight or not. I should have played it out, taken a step back from the Top 16 stipend race, and realized that I am hungry to be crowned a champion. While I might not always follow my advice on this because Day Two sizes may vary, I will likely follow this advice at a bigger tournament (where Day Two is 65+ players). If I end up losing, I guess I just enjoy my Sunday off of Pokemon.

Goal 3) Have A Fluid Play-style

If I didn’t have my lack of Energy fresh in my mind, I doubt that I would have made the same situational misplay like I did against Pramawat. Similar to my first goal, I needed to double check the amount of cards that I had in my hand, I should have discarded the correct cards, and I would have proceeded to win the match.

Discarding cards can sometimes feel like picking children to save out of a burning building, but it is not like that at all. This can likely be improved by play testing more and practicing against more rogue decks.

That being said, I plan on trying these goals at the League Cups that I will be attending this weekend. I don’t necessarily have to win, but I need to see myself improve as a player.

My Play For This Weekend 

While this list is one card off of Daniel Altavilla’s Memphis winning list, I still feel like it should be noted. This deck is one of the strongest options in format, it has many answers, and it is a blast to play. While I am soft-capped at League Cups with my 90 CP / 100 CP so far, I do want to try and nab those last 10 CP if possible. Let’s check out this list.

So the change that I currently have in comparison to Altavilla’s list is cutting a Marshadow GX (BUS; 80)  for a copy of Lunala Prism Star (UPR; 62) . I am slightly uneasy about this cut because Marshadow GX (BUS; 80)  offers a stronger Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  matchup, but I think that I can gain that from the inclusion of Chimecho (CIN; 43)  in the deck. I might end up cutting Mimikyu (GRI; 58) , a single Deoxys (CLS; 68) , or Escape Rope (BUS; 114)  from the list if the next two days of testing proves to me that I need the second copy of Marshadow GX (BUS; 80) . Lunala Prism Star (UPR; 62)  is a strong inclusion in this deck because it can hit for hefty amounts of damage like a GX Pokemon, but it is still a single Prize Card attacker.

It also offers a different Weakness, Darkness-type, which helps against the mirror match. The only other card that I am considering is a copy of Dawn Wings Necrozma (BW; 106)  over a a single Deoxys (CLS; 68)  for the same reasons. Dawn Wings Necrozma (BW; 106)  has a similar attack to Deoxys (CLS; 68) , but it doesn’t suffer from the same Psychic-type Weakness. Hopefully this metagame theory works out for me in my chase for those last 10 CP because that would certainly help me keep a leg up over the competition in this Top 16 race.

Another Weekend of League Cups

That’s a wrap for today! While I am soft-capped at League Cups, I will be attending this weekend of League Cups to keep my head in the game and to improve myself as a player. I will be working on producing the highest level of content going forward on a consistent basis as I work on a strategic plan to make 60 Cards a better website. During this time of rejuvenation, I welcome any and all feedback that will help see the site succeed. The immediate goals of the site are to streamline regular content, release it on a continuous basis, and provide more articles for the same value. These are hefty goals, but I will be working long hours to make sure I can keep the value of my word. 

If you are looking to find out what’s going on in the world of Zach Lesage, here is the linking for all of my current Social Media / business projects.

Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Coaching: The Dark Patch



Twitch: TBA

Thanks for all of the support and let’s have an awesome season,

Zach Lesage

#PlayPokemon #Pokemon #60Cards #PokeAcademy #TheDarkPatch #DeadDrawGaming

[+23] okko


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