10/09/2017 by Rahul Reddy
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Hello again 60cards readers! I know it's been a long time since I wrote an article; in fact, I think I haven't written one since the World Championships. Roughly six weeks of the new season have taken place and both formats have had at least one major tournament in them fleshing out a metagame for everyone watching from home. With Daytona on the horizon (or conluded depending on when this gets published) as well as Vancouver right around the corner, both formats have no rest when it comes to major tournaments. After those two, however, we take a breather and wait until the London IC where the new set is legal and there is plenty of room for shenanigans to occur. I was in the midst of Hurricane Irma and wasn't really able to do much about that so now I'm ultra swamped with homework and exams via school to make up for the untimely break I was granted. I'm going to use this article as a mind dump for everything that has been going on in the past few weeks and how I aim on moving forward for both formats as I sit at 210 CP, over half way to my World Championships invitation.
Leading up to Fort Wayne I had most of my focus set towards the World Championships where I went out with a bust on the first day of competition, so I didn't really have much time to look at expanded. I had my best placement with fire, so I decided to revisit the deck that I was infatuated with. Franco Takahashi pitched to me an idea with heavy fire energy and scorched earth and entirely focusing on Turtonator-GX, which I really liked due to Turtonator-GX's high damage output. With the magic number being 180 in expanded, I decided to cut the Fighting Fury Belts in favor of Muscle Band to make numbers perfect across the board. I sent the list that Franco handed me to Michael Slutsky who pumped a few hours into it and sent back to me once I had adjusted back to the norm of things after worlds. I was able to pump a solid few days into the deck making minor adjustments to it to streamline the consistency and securing the matchup spread. I just wanted to have a deck that set up consistently every single game that I played it and did its own thing regardless of what deck I was facing across the table. In the penultimate moments Sam Chen joined the Turtle Army and we had a power squad playing the deck. Myself, Ryan and Kyle Sabelhaus, Sam Chen, and Michael Slutsky all decided to commit to it and hope for the best. Without further ado here's the list that we all used.
- 3x Volcanion EX
- 3x Turtonator GX
- 2x Volcanion
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 1x Ho-Oh GX
- 1x Tapu Lele GX
- 4x Professor Juniper
- 3x Blacksmith
- 1x Kiawe
- 1x Acerola
- 1x Colress
- 1x N
- 1x Guzma
- 1x Karen
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x VS Seeker
- 2x Float Stone
- 2x Muscle Band
- 3x Scorched Earth
- 1x Computer Search
- 2x Battle Compressor
- 1x Field Blower
- 16x Fire Energy
To many of you this list looks familiar as it was the most hype deck to emerge from the main event on the back of Sam Chen's second place finish. Allow me to explain some of my decisions behind the cards in the list when I created the brew that all of us took to a Top 128 finish or better in a field of over 800 Masters.
2 Muscle Band/0 Fighting Fury Belt/0 Choice Band
This is going to be the first thing I discuss because it is the question that I was asked the most following the reveal of the decklist. The idea behind Muscle Band is that 160+20 would be enough to KO a Seismitoad-EX or a Darkrai-EX under a silent lab or Hex Maniac lock. Coincidentally, having a Muscle Band on Turtonator and a single Steam Up was all that was needed to OHKO a Trubbish and put Garbodor decks in a precarious position. Muscle Band also gave good numbers in the Night March matchup so the decision was clear at the end of the day. I really liked bringing Muscle Band back and a number of other good players had the same idea in their own decks such as Garbodor.
I threw Ho-Oh in because why not. I think getting the Ho-Oh-Kiawe combo off in the Turbo Dark matchup almost secures you a win right then and there. The Kiawe onto Ho-Oh also secures you the Toad matchup. But in most other matchups, Ho-Oh is useless. I found myself discarding it far too often, as I didn't play against a single Darkrai deck throughout the tournament. In the single Toad matchup, I was able to use him to peak performance and sweep my opponent's field with relative ease.
I wanted an answer to Night March heading into a tournament of this size. I know a handful of top caliber players including Michael Pramawat who naturally gravitate to Night March when nothing else seems appealing to them. I always feel like Night March will have a presence in an expanded format, so I don't feel comfortable without an answer to the deck. I wanted Oricorio but after testing I realized how awful of a starter the card was, so I decided that Karen would be better, because of the multiple uses as well. Eventually Night march can't keep up with the Karen every turn into a Shell Trap or a KO from a baby Volcanion. The Karen was enough to swing the matchup, but Night March obviously still can overwhelm the deck as witnessed in the finals of the regionals, due to Sam's lackluster start in game three.
3 Scorched Earth
With 16 fire energy in the deck, this seemed like the most natural pairing of stadium. It allows you to have draw through a Toad lock or a Trev lock as well. Being able to have a single Steam Up, two draws from Scorched Earth, and other dig such as Shaymin-EX almost always secures the deck a turn one Blacksmith or Kiawe, which is all you're really looking for in any game. Late game, if my stadium ever stuck I would almost always have fires to use Scorched Earth and find more cards, which was amazing. Skyfield was uneeded in this format with a Turtle focused variant and I adapted as such.
Now you might be thinking, "why are you playing 16 fire? Is this a theme deck?" The answer is no to being a theme deck, but I found through testing that 16 fire was actually the magic and vital number. I tested going down to 15, and I felt like I could never find that last fire for a Steam Up when I needed it or to use my Scorched Earth and progress my board state even more. When I went up to 17 I felt like I had nothing but fire in my hand, and the deck felt clunkier. I don't know why, but 16 was the perfect number for me. Nico Alabas won the Special event piloting 17 fire this past weekend in Bilbao, but his list was more focused on getting a turn one Kiawe onto a Ho-Oh almost every single game, which makes sense to utilize extra energy.
So let's get into my tournament report and how I lost my penultimate round to not make Day 2 to a mirror match (which is actually the worst thing in the world to play if you didn't know).
So I get to the event and I'm confidently locked into my deck choice and it becomes reaffirmed by the fact that everyone is on this hype train called Golisopod/Garbodor. I forgot that Blend energy existed and how much of an impact it would have that weekend was ridiculous. I knew that Azul and Brad, two of my testing group, were set on Necrozma/Garbodor, and that was a very tricky matchup from what I tested with them. I was confident that other people wouldn't be piloting that variant, and I sleeved up my deck and began looking for Rainbow Turtonator GXs for my deck.
Round 1 vs Gardevoir-GX
This matchup was one that I had no idea how to play because I didn't expect this deck to make an impact in expanded. I realized that I just had to overwhelm them with force and just out pace them, because they still were a stage two deck, and I wasn't. I managed to just run my opponent over in this one and quickly secure a 2-0 (1-0)
Round 2 vs Christopher Schemanske (Espeon/Garb)
The first game I manage to get into a position where all I need to swing the game back into my favor is a Muscle Band so that I can take out his Espeon-GX and leave him with just a Garbodor that can't do enough damage to take out my Turtonator-GX. I Colress for a solid nine and hit the Computer Search to go find my Muscle Band and secure the game. To my dismay, both the Muscle Band in my deck were prized and I instantly scooped the game, because I knew I wouldn't be able to do anything starting the next turn against his fully loaded Espeon-GX.
The second game went much more in my favor as I just began doing massive amounts of damage before he could do anything. Once I grabbed my third prize off the back of a KO on his Garbotoxin Garb, he scooped it up knowing that he couldn't keep my damage under control, and I could knockout anything that he presented into the active spot from there on out.
In a turn of unfortunate events, I opened a hand that I had to Juniper away that had I believe six items in it. That led to me to be down to a massive disadvantage throughout the entire game as he ignored the Espeon-GX and went for 4 Trubbish on his first turn. As I stared down a massive army of Garbodor, I floundered to find anything but the damage was racking up and the trades just weren't favorable for me because of the early items I had to dump. I quickly lost this game where even though I only had 2 prizes left to take, I was never in a position where I could win. I Nd him low and had to have it stick for three turns I believe, and it didn't even stick for one with him finding the energy for an attack. (1-1)
Round 3 vs VikaBulu
My opponent was shocked to realize that I could keep pace with him in the OHKO competition with less resources than he needed as I took the first two prizes in this game and then the next two as well. He Nd me low and hoped that I couldn't draw out of it, but I had a Scorched Earth in play and a deck full of resources to ensure that I wouldn't miss what I needed to close out the game.
The second game my opponent adopted an unorthodox approach by not getting any Grubbin and going only for Bulus, which was strictly incorrect. He believed that I could just take out the Grubbin too easily, but he left himself at a disadvantage without a Vikavolt the entire game. I was able to just KO everything he had active and end the game very quickly. (2-1)
Round 4 vs Israel Sosa (Yveltal/Toad)
In a somewhat storybook fashion, I meet Israel for another matchup where I'm seemingly unfavored. He proceeds to open Sudowoodo and already put me at a massive disadvantage. My mediocre hand doesn't allow me to play a Blacksmith or Kiawe on the first two turns. I end up getting one off by turn three, but by then he uses Dead End GX to turn the tempo back to himself and then uses Seismitoad-EX to take some more prizes. By that point, he has a big Yveltal-EX that I simply can't answer and I lose by two prizes.
This game was eerily similar to the first as I stumble to get anything and Israel once again opens his lone copy of Sudowoodo. I can't really do anything with my awkward hands and I just get absolutely rolled with an early Dead End GX again and the Toad lock following up. The combination of three big threats left me stumbling for answers and my hand didn't really give me anything to work with as I lost in a quick game 2 to a great friend and an even better competitor. (2-2)
Game 5 vs Golisopod/Garb
The matchup is just as one-sided as you can imagine as I simply begin running through all of his attackers using Shell Trap and making him work to even do any damage to me. It gets scary half way through when I get Nd low, but I realize that I am using a fire deck, and I take him out and end a quick Game 1.
The second game my opponent struggles to set up entirely, and I get down to two prizes and my opponent as a joke asks me if I have game in hand, I say yes and he proceeds to ask me to only do 160 damage to his Keldeo. I comply with his request and he attachs a rainbow to knock himself out and end the misery, as he said during the game. I was shocked as to how one-sided this matchup was, and I was pleased to secure an easy win. (3-2)
Round 6 vs Night March
The matchup went exactly as I expected it to be with the Karen. The first game I kept using Shell Trap and Karening over and over. Eventually he couldn't do enough damage to one-shot anything, and I quickly ended the game.
The second game he didn't set up, and I just managed to one shot him for three turns until I benched him because he had nothing at all that game. (4-2)
Round 7 vs M Gardevoir-EX
My opponent was someone who had heard of me before and was expecting that I would be playing Vespiquen/Flareon, but to his dismay, I was playing Turbo Turtles. He kept using Hex and knew that I couldn't OHKO him at all. I decided to just keep using Shell Trap, and he wasn't able to attack into me because if he did, then I would just have the knockout with my Turtle or Volcanion-EX. He couldn't really do any damage to me, and I was able to just keep chaining my attackers more efficiently than he could. I ended the game with a dominating performance.
The second game goes similarly to the first and I just manage to roll him very quickly. He can't do much, as I continuously take KOs every turn. I force him to choose between using a Hex Maniac or progressing his board state every single turn. With a Shell Trap, he just can't deal with the pressure. (5-2)
Round 8 vs Golisopod/Toad
This matchup also seemed very good, but the added element of Toad was something that made the game closer than I would have liked. The first game came down to a series of laser flips, because I didn't have a reliable way to get out of the active slot, and I managed to wake up after four unfortunate flips to put him back in the game. Once I managed to wake up, I knocked out his Toad, and he was left with multiple Golisopod that I could take out for relatively little effort and seal up a lengthy and grindy Game 1.
The second game my opponent struggles to answer my Ho-Oh-GX into a turn one Kiawe, and I proceed to knockout two of his Toad before he can even do anything. In the meantime, I've set up my bench to have another attacker and whatever my opponent promotes I am able to take the KO and secure my sixth win of the day. (6-2)
After getting this far, I was hyped to try and win the last one and make Day 2. I was no stranger to starting 2-2 and making it to the second day at a big regionals, I've done it multiple times, and I was feeling antsy and just anxiously waiting to play. I knew there was a plethora of good matchups like Turbo Dark, Golisopod and Drampa/Garb at my match record, and I was simply hoping to have a solid matchup and a shot at moving on. To my dismay, I found the mirror match, which is not fun for either side to play.
Round 9 vs Turbo Turtles
The first game my opponent gets the turn one Ho-Oh into Kiawe, and I can't really do anything but slap him with a Tapu Lele-GX and try and take two prizes. I manage to KO his Ho-Oh and N him down to two cards and he proceeds to Nitro Tank. I set up my own Hooh and take out his Turtle leaving him with Two Volc EX. He needed to find two fire energies to steam up and take the first game but ends up whiffing on the cards he needs and I take a very close game 1.
The second game comes down the tables flip flopping and me being in the dominant position for a majority of the game. I have the ultra ball for the Lele into Guzma to end the game but due to not checking my prizes earlier forget to realize that the Guzma is my last prize card to close out the game. I instead grab the N and put us both low hoping that he doesn't find the Blacksmith to end the game. I Nitro Tank and pray. But off his two cards he shows me the Blacksmith and Fire energy to have the steam up to KO me.
The third game goes relatively similar to the first, as I'm down for a majority of the game. I do take the game to a checkmate point where the next turn I can attack with Ho-Oh-GX for the game but leave my opponent needing a Guzma to end the game. Off an N to two he gets the Ultra Ball for the final Shaymin in his deck to draw for six cards and find his last VS Seeker in a deck of 20 cards to pick up the win. I was shocked and left dazed to lose two games of awful luck. But sometimes its the way the cards fall, and I was frustrated in my perfomance and how the day turned out. I felt like I couldn't have done anything different and I just found some unfortunate matchups and had a string of bad luck to end my tournament. (6-3)
Congrats to my buddies Sam Chen (2nd) and Ryan Sabelhaus (T16) for their finishes with the deck. I was sad that I couldn't be one of the few that joined them in the second day of play.
Now that Daytona is around the corner, the deck is one of the big three heading in. And while I detest the mirror match, it is a deck that I would play again in a heartbeat. Let's talk about what cards I'd change. Well I wouldn't change a single card, but realistically, there's always a way to improve the deck.
-1 Colress +1 Lysandre
I felt like the Colress was useless in the early game and besides the big play potential that it provided, I felt like I needed an extra gust effect throughout the entire tournament. Just having an extra gust effect would have won me the win and in round, and my tournament and report might be entirely different from what you're reading now. I think that's the biggest change that I would consider moving forward.
-1 baby Volcanion +1 Ho-Oh GX or Sudowoodo
I think that a second Ho-Oh would improve the Toad matchup that you are sure to hit. Especially after Nico Alabas played two copies in his Special Event winning list. I think it might not be the best because of not having two copies of Kiawe, but It would be something I wouldn't mind testing. I think a single copy of Sudowoodo would be very beneficial to stopping Turbo Dark from going ham in the first turn and limiting their big play potential by stopping their bench. I think that the card also gives you an edge in the Mega Rayquaza matchup and in the Mirror matchup. Stopping your opponent from abusing Shaymin-EX or his Lele will give you more flexibility in the mirror match but its a double edged sword because you're bench now is also limited to four due to having a Sudowoodo on it.
I was granted with a welcome break from Expanded and throwin into the fledgeling format of Standard for League Cups and leading into Hartford regionals. I explored many different decks at my cups like Greninja, Volcanion, Metagross, and even something quirky like Xerneas Break. I couldn't find a deck that I truly felt comfortable with, but I think the closest option was Metagross. I piloted my teammate Jimmy Pendarvis' Metagross list to a second place finish at my league cup going through four fire decks in the same tournament but ultimately losing to Metagross that had a Solgaleo tech in it.
Here's the list that I used at that League Cup and almost ended up playing for Hartford Regionals.
- 2x Metang
- 4x Metagross GX
- 4x Beldum
- 4x Tapu Lele GX
- 1x Alolan Vulpix
- 1x Necrozma GX
- 1x Magearna EX
- 1x Mimikyu
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 4x N
- 3x Guzma
- 2x Brigette
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Rare Candy
- 3x Max Potion
- 3x Field Blower
- 4x Choice Band
- 1x Rescue Stretcher
- 7x Metal Energy
- 3x Psychic Energy
I haven't been a fan of Stage 2 decks in a while because of their innate consistency but after watching Jimmy get second and first at two straight League Cups going through me in the process at one of them I was renewed faith in the deck and had an itch to try it out. I trusted in his techs changing only the Mr. Mime that he had for a Magearna-EX and played the list. Let's talk about the list that I almost played for Hartford Regionals.
The only weird thing about this evolution line is the two Metang compared to the usual 3. I chose to have a heavier focus on Rare Candy to just be quicker and more efficient and I don't think I ever actually missed having a third Metang. I think this is the ideal line for a stage 2 deck in this format.
The Vulpix was always an autograb with a turn one Brigette that allowed me to grab two pieces of the evolution line. This almost always forced an N allowing me to see seven new cards or allowing me to keep the pieces I fished out letting me establish one, maybe even two Metagross in the same turn. Vulpix was also a niche attacker in the fire matchup after a Black Ray GX. I was able to swing for a 100 damage with a Choice Band equipped and promoting a one prize attacker that my opponents were always confused to see in front of them.
Originally the list played a Mr. Mime to deal with the spread decks that would ultimately aim to Devolve your field and end the game like that. I thought that the Mime was useless because you usually end up Max Potioning your damage and the devolve ends up hurting a lot more when you candy into your Metagross. I chose to switch to Magearna because it stops Devolving but not spread damage. It also stops the more popular tech to Gardevoir-GX lists, Sylveon-GX and its Plea GX attack. Also something I learned was that it stops Turtonator's Shell Trap attack, which was something that was super cute. The Magearna really came in clutch at stopping the Plea GX more than anything else but I wouldn't change this card for anything else.
The Mimikyu was my favorite tech card in this deck. It was the card that gave me the best chance against fire variants and even had an early game attack in the form of Filch to draw two cards. I managed to stand a chance in the Ho-Oh/Salazzle matchup by taking out their Ho-Oh early and keep pace with a type-weak deck. In the mirror match, it allows you to swing and take a KO with a one-prize attacker, as well following a Black Ray GX. Mimikyu was the most versatile card in this deck and I think is a staple moving forwards into Metagross lists.
1 Necrozma GX
Necrozma was the best GX attack I could have asked for. Being able to spread 100 on everything early is insane and sets up the game for just a few KOs and ending the game. If you find your psychic energies early, you also can start swinging for massive amounts of damage, which I did more than once. Necrozma also was a decent wall in the Drampa/Garb matchup until I get set up.
4 Choice Band
A lot of lists that I've seen don't play four copies, and I think that's wrong because you need to eventually take knockouts on Tapu Lele and to do that you need Choice Band. Having to discard two early is a posibility and having four means you'll always have it when you need it.
Let's talk about Hartford Regionals now. I came to the tournament with only two decks in my mind. I was going to play either Metagross or Volcanion for the main event. I thought that they were the best two decks and the only two that I felt confident enough that would set up throughout a potential 14 round tournament. I get to the event relatively early this time landing at around noon in Hartford. I was hanging out with my CCGCastle teammates until others got there to test some games and figure out what we were going to play. I went to test for a bit at the main hotel and I found that Metagross was running extremely hot, and I felt like I could beat anything, in fact convincing many others to reevaluate their deck decisions to answer Metagross. Azul and Brad got to the venue and we all met up and headed to the hotel room to play some games. Azul was convincingly beating everyone and everything with Volcanion including Gardevoir. We were all left stunned as Volcanion continued to just beat good players playing good decks. We went to bed around 4 AM still on Metagross but when I woke up at 7:30 AM, I was told that we're all switching to Volcanion, and I reluctantly built the deck with a little under an hour to spare before deck list turn in closed up.
We get to the venue and we commit to Azul's Volcanion list which I'll share below. Big-name players like Jimmy Pendarvis, Brad Curcio, Igor Costa, Michael Pramawat, Ryan Sabelhaus, Azul Griego, Michael Canaves, and myself all played the same 60 so some of us were bound to do well.
Now to explain some of the weird deck choices that we made in an otherwise consistent Volcanion list.
0 Ho-Oh/0 Kiawe
We felt that both of these cards were strictly bad without the other and the odds of you hitting that turn one combo just wasn't worth it. Those two slots became the Enhanced Hammer slots, and we never looked back because the Ho-Oh and Kiawe combo was just too slow for our liking.
2 Enhanced Hammer
We chose to play two copies of this card because of the Gardevoir matchup. If you don't OHKO a Gardevoir, you can discard their DCE that they're building on a back attacker and do massive amounts of damage to the active which proved useful. Although unintended, it came in handy in the Greninja matchup that I almost won and Igor toppled in the finals vs. Xiao Xiao Long.
The one copy of Lillie served as a fifth Sycamore on the first turn and a hand refresher in situations where I didn't really want to dump my hand, because I had something important like my last Guzma or my last N. Getting Nd late game into Lillie was also really nice to see because it acted as a fifth Sycamore in that instance as well and was super useful to have throughout the tournament.
1 Field Blower
This was the only card I was hoping I could change throughout the entire tournament as I felt like one just wasn't enough. During testing one served the purpose that it was intended for but the heavy Parallel City in Gardevoir was something unexpected and not having the Blower when needed proved to be my undoing as well as many others on the squad.
Now lets move onto how the day went and how I was blessed with some of the worst matchups I could possible ask for throughout my tournament.
Round 1 vs VikaBulu
The first game I was struggling to get set up, and I began regretting my deck choice already as VikaBulu was a deck I considered to be very bad, and I didn't want to lose to it. I managed to claw my way back into the game and Nd my opponent low and expected the game to be sealed up but he dropped a Tapu Koko-GX and slammed me for like 500 damage and I lost.
I was able to take out all of his Grubbin very quickly, and he couldn't get any Vikavolt set up the entire game. The natural inconsistencies of a stage 2 deck presented itself and I was able to quickly sweep this game.
The third game he unfortunately opened with Tapu Koko-GX, so his surpise factor was gone. He missed the turn-one Brigette, and I was able to just set up faster than he was. I took a ton of prizes early, and by the time he eventually got set up my field was already too hard to deal with. I won a surprisingly close series. (1-0)
Round 2 vs Xiao Xiao Long (Greninja)
The Greninja gods blessed me, as I was able to simply donk his lone Froakie and take a game. I was more than happy to have a quick win in this series and expected to be able to take this to a tie.
The second game Xiao Xiao got out everything he needed including the Stamie, and I missed some Enhanced Hammers when I needed them to simply not be able to out pace him and he was able to just roll me as I had two Prizes left. What I learned from this game was that my opponent didn't play Guzma, which was extremely crucial information for the third game.
The third game was a back-and-forth exchange where I was able to answer any threat he had but missed the Enhanced Hammer in a very crucial turn where I needed it but his Starmie was prized so I was able to stay in the game. I was left with two Prizes left to my opponents one Prize left so I Nd him down low and took a knockout knowing that he had one Evosoda, one Greninja, and one Water left in about a 15-card deck. He needed a combination of the first two with a water to end the game. He promotes the Frogadier, so I know he probably has the Greninja and he rips the Water off the top to seal the deal in a heartbreaking loss for me. I was visibly upset as I threw my hand onto the field, but knew that the matchup was bad to begin with. (1-1)
Round 3 vs Drampa/Garb
My opponent front-loaded the board with multiple Drampa and never got out a Garbodor, so I swept him very quickly. I could tell he was a newer player as he never made an attempt to get Garbotoxin into play.
The second game he went for the Garbotoxin, but I just swarmed him with my baby Volcanion army, and he couldn't really do much to answer them as I set up my entire field and began sweeping through his field of Drampa and Garb. (2-1)
Round 4 vs Greninja
My opponent chose to go second, so I was already nervous as to what the matchup could even be. I thought maybe Xerneas Break but imagine my surprise when he flipped over a Talonflame and a Froakie. He had a near ideal set up but my early Enhanced Hammers were able to give me a lot of tempo and force him to use Talonflame in the later turns where I would N and take out the bird. I was able to take an extremely close Game 1.
The second game played out almost exactly like the first with me having Guzma after Guzma to take out any threat he was establishing onto the board. He was never able to get more than one Greninja out onto the field which was my saving grace into winning the matchup. (3-1)
Round 5 vs Alolan Ninetales-GX
Oh look another water deck, I really wanted to just play vs a Metagross or a Golisopod but that didn't happen for a while. I managed to make this first game a long and drawn out game which came to an eventual stalemate where I needed to have three fire energy in hand to Steam Up all three times to KO his last Ninetales and win the game. He didn't have an N so I had a four-card hand already and my draw for the turn. I steamed up once and threw my hand away with a Sycamore and found the last two fire energy to end the first game.
The second game my opponent had nothing and didn't set up while I was just taking KOs on every Vulpix on his field. I was able to KO a Vulpix and Enhanced Hammer a DCE on another one. I was able to just sweep his board, and he never established a set up until it was too late. (4-1)
Round 6 vs Zach Bokhari (Drampa/Garb)
The first game is a very close back and forth where we end up in a stalemate where both of us need just one card to end the game. For him its a Field Blower, and for me it's a Guzma. He finds the blower first and takes the game after three turns of just us poking each other. In the last seven cards in my deck I had all four Guzma, which was heartbreaking to see, but I refocused myself for the second game.
The second game I had absolutely nothing and Zach gets a turn two Garbotoxin on me. I continuously Sycamore but can't find any fire energy to attach to my field, and I just lose in a few turns. I felt like my deck gave out on me, and I couldn't blame anything but luck there. (4-2)
Round 7 vs Golisopod/Lurantis
The first game was a telling one because I was a fire type and he wasn't, so I just basically ran through his entire field. The problem almost arose when he used the Lurantis promo to reach the damage of 190, but that was a one time thing, and he needed a lot more moving pieces to get to those numbers than I needed to.
The second game my opponent went down to a zero card hand and used Oranguru to draw a bunch of cards but didn't find the Choice Band to KO my active Turtonator. I was able to just win a very quick game two and never looked back from the early lead I had. (5-2)
Round 8 vs Gardy/Sylveon
The first game was one where I couldn't get anything set up due to a turn one Parallel City into a Plea GX late game where I didn't set up anything and just lost.
The second game was looking very similar to the first one but eventually I grabbed a foothold on the game and made a come back after finding the blower to answer the Parallel City and set my board up coupled with an N.
The third game was similar to the first with my opponent finding the Parallel City turn one again. I was left to only a bench of three and had to use Lele to grab a supporter turn one and from then on out, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't find fire energy to Steam Up, and I couldn't find a supporter to play and just ended up losing in a few turns without ever being able to make a real stand and was knocked out of contention for Day 2. (5-3)
Round 9 vs Gardy
I managed to set up perfectly and KOd the opponents Gardy every single turn it was promoted, and eventually I just overwhelmed my opponent very quickly and managed to just take the game with force. Without a Parallel City, the matchup becomes very easy from the side of Volcanion.
The second game my opponent doesn't ever get more than one Ralts out and I just win the game in a few turns. I was able to just chain Guzma and take out the one Ralts that he kept benching and I just closed out the game. (6-3)
If I could go back and do the tournament all over again I would just change the fourth baby Volcanion for a second Field Blower but that would be the only change. All of us made it to Round 8 and 9 to win and in but a majority of us all lost it but Ryan and Igor. Once the two of them made it through they finished T8 and 1st respectively.
So moving forward to Expanded and Standard events, these would be the two decks that I would continue playing. Needless to say, I like fire, and the archetype is really good until the new set drops. For me I'll be at Daytona for sure, but Vancouver isn't looking likely due to the rigor of school right now. I'll be in London though, so I'm excited for that.
Thank you so much for reading this and supporting me all this time. You can always support me and my teammates at team CCGCastle by using promo code CCGTEAM5 for 5% off and check out TCEvolutions for their dice.
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