Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

Bring Your Surfboard - Archie’s Blastoise at Daytona

ArchieStoise is looking good for Daytona.

04/18/2019 by Zach Lesage

Beach Bound

What’s up 60 Cards readers? It’s your boy Zach, I kinda love writing plenty of articles, and I am back with another article. This article is focused on Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31)  in the Expanded format for a good reason; the deck is BUSTED! This article will showcase some of the best available lists for this deck and explain my thoughts on them. Enjoy!

DDG Takes it to the Top… Again!

Regional after Regional, Dead Draw Gaming is able to put at least one of their members in the finals at each event. The last Expanded event, Greensboro, was no different with Azul Garcia Griego dominating the event with Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31) . This deck has been played to great success for many years and was even able to win the 2015 World Championships in the Standard format. Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31)  focuses on getting an early Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  off by burning through your hand with a bunch of Item Cards and getting out a Blastoise (BC; 31)  as soon as possible.

After you get a Blastoise (BC; 31)  on board, you can attach plenty of Water Energy (TM; null)  to your Magikarp & Wailord GX (BW; 166)  to make your opponent scream in terror. Between hitting for 180 damage (210 damage with a Choice Band (GRI; 121) ) or spreading 100 damage to your opponent’s Benched Pokemon with your GX attack, there are plenty of options. With the deck sounding that smooth, why would the deck fail in Daytona? I don’t think it will, it seems like a great pick to nab some CP! The metagame hasn’t changed too much, well maybe we will see some Celebi & Venusaur GX (TM; 1)  decks do well, but the format is relatively stable right now. Let’s check out the finalist list from Greensboro.

As you can see, this deck is packed full of consistency to make sure that you can get out a Blastoise (BC; 31)  as quickly as possible. You can often use a combination of Order Pad (UPR; 131) , Battle Compressor (PHF; 92) , and Ultra Ball (SLG; 68)  to secure your Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  on the first turn of the game. Interestingly enough, Azul seemed to spring for a mix of tech cards to beat out the metagame at Greensboro. His list included Kingdra GX (DM; 18)  to deal with big attackers, Onix (LT; 109) to deal with Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) , Articuno (ROS; 17)  for single Prize Card attackers, and Eevee & Snorlax GX (TM; 120)  to take down Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) . The question is, are all of those cards necessary? I guess that answer might be difficult to answer, but I will do my best to explain why I think this next list is better.

A Better List?

After looking at the results from Greensboro Regionals, I stumbled across this list for Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31)  that seemed to be better than the rest. It took a different approach to build, seems more consistent, and it seems like it is true to the decks roots. This deck placed within the T16 of Greensboro and was piloted by my really good friend Hunter Butler. Hunter is a fantastic player, he made Top Eight at Portland Regionals and made Top 16 at the World Championships last season, and his list seems like it could do some damage at Daytona. Why? Well, he didn’t opt for Kingdra GX (DM; 18)  or Eevee & Snorlax GX (TM; 120) . He didn’t tech Articuno (ROS; 17) , he didn’t tech much. I like that approach because getting out a Kingdra GX (DM; 18)  requires you to use Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  twice! Once on a Blastoise (BC; 31)  and then you need to repeat the process again for the Kingdra GX (DM; 18) .

The Eevee & Snorlax GX (TM; 120)  in Azul’s list can also hurt the deck too because there are Fighting-type decks, like Hitmonchan (TM; 74)  / Wobbuffet (PHF; 36) , that can win based on that starting Pokemon alone. There are also sneaky cards in the list such as Giratina (LT; 97)  to make sure you can Knock Out those Shaymin EX (ROS; 77)  on your opponent’s Bench and a Silent Lab (PRC; 140)  to stop a Mr. Mime (PF; 47)  from preventing your spread damage. Hunter also included a Keldeo EX (BC; 49) , a card that is similar to Keldeo EX (BC; 49) , to make sure that he could do big damage whenever he wanted. It also works as a pseudo- Switch (CLS; 147) to get around pesky Special Conditions and a handful of lock decks that always make an appearance at Expanded events. With all of the space he saved from not playing extra tech cards, he was able to add in more consistency cards. I think a list like this is much better heading into Daytona because it will setup more often than not. That being said, with the right pilot, this list can go far at the event. Let’s check it out.

I hope you enjoy his list as much as I have. While I am not attending Daytona, this would be one of my top picks because this list is just so consistent. I will be attending Hartford, so if the metagame doesn’t change too much, this will be one of the highest choices on my list. I don’t think I would necessarily change anything out of this list, but maybe trying some new Detective Pikachu cards could be cool. I know that Ditto (DP; 17)  is looking like the best card from that set and it might be good in mirror matches. I am not too sure though haha, I would definitely recommend testing it. Even if you don’t like Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC; 124)  / Blastoise (BC; 31) , I do recommend giving the above list a try, you can always learn to play against a deck by playing it.

Good Luck in Daytona

I hope you enjoyed this article on one of the best decks heading into Daytona Regionals. I think it is a great pick to nab some CP and is one of my top picks in Expanded. As for me, my next stop isn’t Daytona Beach because I really don’t have a need to pick up Championship Points anymore and I have Easter plans with my family. This season is a bit of a weird one for me because I am already locked for a Day Two invite for the 2019 World Championships and I have already earned enough Championship Points for a stipend to the 2019 North America International Championships in Berlin. I guess my only push is to earn more money, represent myself to my fullest potential, and my chase to become the best player who plays this game. My next stop is Berlin, Germany and I will be the attending the event with my amazing girlfriend Michele Babin. She is on the hunt for the remaining Championship Points needed for her invite to the World Championships so hopefully we both see success. For those of you who don’t know, I do offer coaching services and I am actively accepting new clients. Feel free to message me on Facebook or hit up my DMs on Twitter if you are interested in learning from me. I am also active on Social Media and as a content creator so be sure to check out all of the links below to follow me on my Pokémon adventure. 

Twitch: zlesagepokemon

Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Facebook: Zach Lesage

YouTube: Team DDG



Zach Lesage

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