Experts' corner

Ondrej Skubal

Preparation for Bochum

Ondrej showcases some of his top picks heading into Bochum, Germany Regionals.

01/07/2020 by Ondrej Skubal

Hello and welcome to my second article, this time I'll be focusing on my preparation for the upcoming German Regionals in Bochum. 

We don't have a lot of big tournaments in Europe, so after the Sao Paulo Internats, I was thrown into a hiatus of no Regionals or Special Events whatsoever until January. So it was cups and challenges for me. I decided I'd try my best this quarter to get some money of of the Berlin Stipend quarter, so I had a lot of work to do, even though there were no bigger events. 

I didn't want to play the Doll Stall deck at the first cups after Sao Paulo as I thought people would simply tech against me. Well I didn't like any other deck choice, so I just stuck with the flower dudes and it brought me another 40 points. Next day I faced 2 ADP with Customs in first two rounds, so I didn't do well. 

As already mentioned in the previous article, Doll Stall doesn't really have a good time against both ADP and Pidgeotto and as I could expect some of those around me, I just couldn't play the deck anymore. So I started looking around for some alternatives. 

After the 2 Regionals in the States (Daytona, San Diego) I really liked the Tinachomp deck as it was something new and very powerful but during my testing it felt like the deck is tactically too strange for me to invest the little bit of time I had just for league cups and league challenges. So further down in the San Diego results I found another interesting deck - Persian Checkmate. 

I already saw the deck before but didn't feel like bothering myself with it. Well I was wrong once again and the deck almost made top 8 at the Regionals. It had some very strong match up plans around the field and most importantly the surprise factor. A lot of my opponents had to read few cards of it. Also it wasn't just some stupid attacking deck but a deck with interesting strategy to it. 

Anyway I took out 1 Jirachi with the thinking that it's already not in the deck for beginning with it, as the odds were way too low anyway, but more so for sacrifing it in random turns, and I put in 1 more Weezing in just to feel more safe. 

I won a 5-round cup with the list as well as a 3-round challenge, only losing to 1 Mewtwo due to a complete dead draw both gamesand to 1 ADP after dead drawing to stamp before the Stinger turn ,but the deck just didn't feel right. The Mewtwo match up seemed very weird and I somehow figured out that it's really bad. Also the purple Baby Blace match ups felt very weird (Mally and Tinachomp). So I just threw the deck away after the 2 tournaments. 

I attended two more cups this weekend (1 weekend before Bochum) and since I expected some Mally and Tinachomp as well as Mewtwo, I had to change my deck. I chose to go with Doll Stall on Saturday, making 3-1-1 losing to ADP and then losing again to ADP in top 4 but I was ok with the result. 

I didn't feel like playing the deck again on Sunday, cause I wanted to test something for Bochum and I believe I have tested Dolls enough by now. 

The only decks that I thought had potentially good match ups against all Tinachomp, Mally, Pidgey Control and ADP as those were the decks I expected to see play, were my not really favorite Welder decks. I chose basically Robin's list - Heath + Flint.

R1 I beat a Baby Blace player in the same fashion like Robin on the stream from Sao Paulo. R2 I tied against Tinachomp and R3 I won against Pidgey. 

I just had to win 1 more round to make top 4 but I wasn't able to. I lost to Tinachomp and then lost to Pidgey Control. Fun fact - out of my 4 games against Pidgey Control, I prized the Zebra 3 times and in the 4th game wasn't able to get it in play by turn 10. I made a mistake by committing to taking prizes before getting the Zebstrika out probably, but oh well, we learn everyday. 

After the tournament it felt like Abilityzard can't consistently beat Tinachomp which was a good thing for me to get this information from the tournament. 

So that was all about my cups and what decks I tried before Bochum and now let's focus on what is really needed - Bochum. I'll try to go through what I think are the best decks right now and will most likely do very good. I'll also give some input on what are the decks that might do good against those decks and therefore could serve as a good metacall. 

The top 3 decks right now should obviously be Mewtwo, Tinachomp and some form of ADP. Going into Bochum it feels like your decks should either be one of those 3 or beat one of those 3.

Mewtwo has been the strongest contender ever since this season started. It's become the better Welder deck and now with the addition of the Tag Call engine is stronger than ever and doesn't remain as just another Welder deck but a deck with some other tricks to it. It has very good match up spread overall. If you manage to put down your Greninja GX you should be able to beat ADP and from what I've heard, the Mewtwo deck has no problem with benching the water Pokémon. 

A lot of match ups are easily solved with Espedeo GX, some with Latios GX. It sometimes loses to Pidgey Control as well as the Doll Stall deck but that should never be a big part of the meta. The deck has a problem with Tinachomp though in the form of Stamp + Plant. 

Nowadays we have 2 bigger ADP variants. The old Keldeo one and the newer Birdtrio version. As much as I thought the Keldeo deck should be very strong and consistent, after the meta evolved to the point where we're at right now, it almost feels like most decks have a good match up against it. 

I like the Birdtrio build, though. It has a consistent way of getting Choice Helmets out early against Tinachomp via Green's. It might not be that game changing but it helps for sure. What I don't like about this deck is that it almost feels like there's no way of beating decks like Baby Blacephalon or Abilityzard. That's the reason why I won't be playing ADP the upcoming weekend. 

Tinachomp also has 2 variants. The Standard version that was used by Justin Bokhari to win the San Diego Regionals and the Roxie version that I saw for the first time in some Asia Pacific Regionals results. 

I completely understand, why the Roxie version seems to be more popular today. It has bigger damage output, it has some easier match ups, too, in the form of Control decks, Malamar and Baby Blace. I liked the build a lot as well at first glance, but slowly shifted towards the older one, as it was more consistent overall. 

Tinachomp has a lot of good match ups around the field. It is certainly a deck to be reckoned with and I'm for sure thinking about playing the deck in Bochum. I would definitely not recommend it to someone who is making a late choice and has zero to little experience with the deck. It's not that hard to get used to how the deck functions but sometimes you will find yourself strategically lost in certain match ups. 

Those were the top 3 decks that I believe will be the most popular in Bochum, taking the biggest part of the pie chart. You should definitely be beating at least 2 of these decks in Bochum or playing 1 of those yourself. 

Now let's focus on the counter decks. The obvious 2 other good decks right now are Malamar and Gardeon. Both of these decks have a good match up against at least 2 of the top 3 decks. 

I wouldn't play Malamar again, as I had issues in Cologne with not being able to finish 3 proper games in 50 minutes. The deck is nevertheless very strong, in my opinion. It has some spread options against Control decks. Nowadays it also has the finishing gx attack (either Ultra Necrozma GX or Tinachomp), as well as Great Catchers. You can also use the Dusknoir & Trevenant Tag team against decks like Doll Stall to a good use. This attack could also be good after a late game Stamp to 2. I still like the Ultra Necrozma GX variant more, cause I'd like to keep the finishing spread option, as well, but I haven't really tested Malamar lately, so I might be wrong. 

Gardeon if not teched against can have great match ups against Mewtwo and ADP. Tinachomp is a tricky one as the Gardeon player might simply just lose in late game to Stamp to 1. I personally have no experience with Gardeon whatsoever and therefore won't be playing it for sure, but at the same time it has to be a good call and I believe it will definitely place very high at the upcoming tournament. 

I'm not giving you any lists for the decks above, as as of Tuesday when I'm writing this article, I haven't tested them. The deck I'm about to talk about I did test quite a bit and I believe it is much more stronger than people think. It is Beedril/Spiritomb. Here's the list I liked the most. 


What I didn't like about the deck was a little bit of inconsistency and its rather bad match up against Mewtwo. The issue is that after the first Mewtwo knock out, you have to have 2 other Beedril out, otherwise you just lose to Espedeo spread. The ADP match up could get tricky, too, but as long as you ko the ADP before Ultimate Ray it should be fine. Tinachomp is a good match up, Gardeon too. Malamar gets tricky if they play Ultra Necrozma or you overbench little Pokémon. 

Anyway this deck might be my choice, if things get really crazy. 


The last deck I want to talk about that's on my radar is Big Blowns. The deck feels like a big sleeper deck to me. It can certainly have some good match ups around the field. The deck of course isn't as consistent as other decks, but when it pops on the beast ring turn in the way it is supposed to, it should win a good amount of games. Once again I can't give you a proper list, due to my late testing. But if you start with the top 4 Sao Paulo list, you'll definitely have a good starting point. It has answers to different match ups. Like Stinger + Baby Blace for Control and Heatran + Mallow & Lana for Malamar. 

So to summarize what I've written… 

The safe pick has to be Tinachomp in my opinion. No Roxie. If you don't like the deck, the second safe pick should be Mewtwo. 

The potential strongest call is Gardeon. If people don't respect Gardeon, it will do well. I will be respecting Gardeon for sure. 

The deck that has fallen of the radar is for sure Baby Blace with Pidgey. From what I've heard, people tend to give the deck very little attention. I think it is mostly due to the rise of Green's + Stamp builds. But sometimes Baby Blace can survive those. And then it wins. 

The sleeper deck that I might end up playing is Big Blowns. People definitely won't be paying attention to this deck, as it didn't have any strong finish after Sao Paulo. And if you can deal with some worse match ups, you just might suddenly find yourself in a good spot at the tournament. 

That will be it for my preparation for Bochum. It definitely wasn't as thorough as the one before Sao Paulo, but I hope some of the ideas above will help the readers. 

Till next time

Ondra Škubal


[+19] okko


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