Experts' corner

Rahul Reddy

Tri State Tournament Report

2015 Alabama, Georgia, and Florida States Tournament Reports

04/15/2015 by Rahul Reddy


Hello everybody, my name is Rahul Reddy and I've recently began playing in the Florida area due to my recent relocation due to college. Back in November one of my best friends, Grafton Roll comes up to me and shows me this crazy deck he's been working on which we all know today as Flareon. I picked up the deck with blind faith in him and I haven't been able to stop playing it since. I have been playing this game for 5 years, My greatest accomplishments include an undefeated swiss record in Nationals 2013, multiple T8s at States and Regionals. I like to watch anime and play lots of online video games, I'm a pretty nice guy and I enjoy the finer things in life, like sunsets and women.


AL States

The first states I went to was Alabama States and leading up to the event I had been afraid to play Flareon again because it had an obvious target on its back. I myself expected a hefty amount of Flareon and a lot of Landorus/Bats as well. Coming into the night I had 2 decks ready to go and just didn't know which one I wanted to play, the first one was my tride and true Flareon, and the second one that I had was a deck that Jeremy Jallen had sent to me the night before, Mega Manectric paired with Kyurem and Empoleon. 


So as far as most of the cards in the deck go, I really don't know anything or much about the deck. I frankly loved the concept and I was sold on it without playing a single game with the deck. Now I strongly advise that you don't do this, I regretted my decision and it just was a world of hurt. 

R1 vs Bobby Malec (Magnezone/Empoleon) WLT 0-0-1
Round 1 I sit across the table from one of my best friends and one of the craziest decks I've ever seen. The whole deck revolves around getting as much draw power as possible and using double supporters every turn. I was able to take a strong Game 1 but during Game 2 he kept using double Pokemon Center Ladies to prevent me from one shotting him. Game 3 I got off to a great start and started killing everything, Turn 2 of time I have 1 prize and he has 6 remaining and all he has is an active magnemite with a Life Dew and a benched Piplup without anything on it. He N's me to 1 and I have to hit a Lysandre or an Escape Rope to get out of this one, but I unfortunately don't and the game goes to a tie.

R2 vs Prison Mike (Magnezone/Empoleon)LWT 0-0-2

Game 1 he set up a Swampert with all 6 of his energy and began one shotting my whole board and he kept killing my Kyurems once they hit the board not letting me get the one shot on the Swampert. Game 2 he drew dead and I won the game in like 2 turns. Time was called while we were setting up for Game 3 and after two hard fought matches I was in a tough spot

R3 vs Yveltal/Garbador WW 1-0-2

This matchup went exactly as well as it should have and I went ahead and killed all his Yveltals without much trouble, he never got anything set up and I just one shot everything he had he struggled both games to even take a prize. 

R4 vs Colin (Manectric/Toad/Bats) LL 1-1-2

Game 1 I struggled really hard to get set up and I never woke up from laser flips causing my inevitable loss. Game 2 I was about a turn away from winning with some cheeky Lysandre plays and using little Kyurem to spread damage across the board and Colin gets the Float stone he needs to win the game.

R5 vs Yveltal/Hard Charm/Shadow Circle WLT 1-1-3

Game 1 I didn't see him hit a single shadow circle as I ran through his board without any hesitation. Game 2 was a much more long and drawn out game when I realized that he played 4 Shadow Circle after he discarded 2 and got rid of my stadium twice. I struggled to keep damage on his board as he was able to cycle through everything that he had. His list was unorthodox and played Super Scoop Ups and he kept attacking with fresh attackers every turn. I ended up losing that game because on the last turn I was unable to get rid of his stadium to one shot his Baby Yveltal for the game. We began game 3 but it went to a tie almost immedietly and I was distraught with my performance. 


After that game had ended I walked over to the computer and dropped from the tournament, I was mad at myself for playing an unfamiliar deck and mad that I played slow enough to tie 3 games on the day. I simply sat around watching all of my friends do well and I began trying to build the next big rougue deck. I had some crazy ideas that all never came into fruition because I decided that I wanted to play Flareon again. After a long weekend of dissapointment and just all around sadness I went home and just slept, I didn't touch my cards until the Wednesday before the next weekend because I just needed some time to clear my head and think everything through. 

GA States

Leading up to the next week which was Georgia States I was sure I was going to either play Virizion/Genesect or Flareon. I decided to make Toad a favorable matchup for myself playing Flareon by going back to one of the first lists I had played and had 3 Audino in the deck. Audino was honestly the most valuable card in the whole deck and I'm very glad I included the heavy count that I did in the deck. Without further ado here's my Georgia States Flareon list. 


This list has a few differences from Orion Craig's Regional Winning list. I'll explain the one's that might seem odd.

4 Juniper/2 Acro Bike

I wanted to not lose to Toad that day so I amped up the supporter count in my deck and decided that acro bike was probably gonna be a dead card for most of the day. That was all I needed to play 4 Juniper, the amount of Toad I expected to see.

4 Energy

I played 2 grass purely because of Toad again, I wanted to make the matchup as favorable as possible. If I could go back and change up my list I would make my count 3 grass and 1 water.

3 Audino

Audino was the real MVP of the day. I didn't want to lose to stupid sleep flips like I've been doing all season so I amped up the count of this bad boy in hopes that it would help me out, and spoiler alert, it really did.


So I hop into the car with the trusty Orion Craig and we decide to drive through the night getting to Georgia at 5 AM. I feel sleep deprived and I decide that I just don't need to change anything around on the day so I just write out my list and kick back for a bit. We get to the venue and I just relax and say hi to everyone and after a while pairings go up.

R1 vs Gabe (Primal Groudon) WLW 1-0-0

Game 1 I realized that I had an Eevee prized very early on and I just wasn't able to get anything out early. The turning point came when he had 1 Prize left and I had 3, I proceeded to N him to 1 after putting an Audino with a DCE and a Bangle on my bench. I retreat my float stoned Jirachi EX and hit his damaged Groudon for 60 leaving it with 60 HP. He draws and wastes no time in attacking, but to his dismay he flips tails and I just Hip Bump for the KO get my last Eevee and set up a Flareon for the last kill. Game 2 I couldn't get set up and he rolled through me. Game 3 I set up Double Leafeon with Bangles and an Empoleon as I took 6 prizes in about 5 minutes to win the game. It was a close one there for sure but Audino saved the day in the end.

R2 vs Benjamin Sauk (Mega Manectric/Trevenant EX) WW 2-0-0

Game 1 went as expected where I was able to get a T2 Flareon hitting for 170 damage knocking out his Manectrics in rapid succession giving me an easy game. Game 2 things got a bit scary when he dropped down a silent lab T1 and I didn't have a supporter in my hand but a Jirachi. I was able to luckily draw into a Battle Compressor to do the Battle Compressor into VS Seeker combo to get the Training Center turn 1 and start dishing out some hurt to Ben. The game went smoothly from there with me taking the series as expected.

R3 vs Yveltal/Toad WLW 3-0-0

Game 1 was pretty swift as he only set up 2 Toads and I was able to get a Bangled Leafeon early to run through him. Game 2 I looked through my deck for a search and scooped almost immedietly after realizing 3 Eevees were prized. Game 3 he played a tad bit slower than usual, but I got set up too fast and ran through his board and won just as time was called luckily.

R4 vs Sebastian Inks (Gardy/Aroma) LL 3-1-0

I was excited that I was up against a favorable matchup but Game 1 I began with a solid 5 turns of draw passing while he just continued using Geomancy to set up his board. I began a comeback and got down to 2 prize cards when he had the Lysandre to kill my Jirachi and take game 1. Game 2 I got out to a racing lead and was sitting at 1 Prize card when he used his Lysandre's Trump Card. I didn't have a supporter in my hand or a way to get one so I basically just began hitting him for 20, he then chained into the N that put me in a place where I didn't have bench Pokemon left. Although he had 5 prizes left I only had 2 Eevees on my board and couldn't draw into another basic or a supporter to lose the round.

R5 vs Zander Bennett (Princess Toadstool) WW 4-1-0

I wanted this matchup all day and when I finally got it, my deck worked like clockwork. Game 1 I set up a Leafeon with a bangle T1 and managed to just kill 3 Toads within 3 turns to win the game. Game 2 I got 2 Leafeon down with Bangles and just ran through him, it might have been the best my deck drew all day. 

R6 vs El Andre (Flareon/Bats) LWL 4-2-0

So the mirror is a ridiculous crapshoot of a game and in this mirror it was a weird series where Game 1 I drew dead and lost in a matter of 2 minutes and Game 2 he drew dead and I won in a few minutes as well. Game 3 was much more close with me getting to 3 Prizes and having 2 powered up Flareons and him being at 1 Prizes. I N'd him down to 1 card and KO'd his Flareon. He was left with a Crobat and an Eevee with a grass on it. He draws and passes and I can see the win in sight, all I need is a way to get a Lysandre and the only threat is eliminated. I couldn't find the Lysandre that turn but I KO the Crobat and put myself at one card. He draws his top card and with excitement drops down the Flareon and the energy he needed to win the game in a naitbiter of a mirror match. Great games and while I was mad I lost that, sometimes you just get unlucky at the end of the day.

R7 vs ToadPuff WLW 5-2-0

Game 1 I set up my Leafeons super early and just ran through him with ease, and Game 2 he set up a toad lock and hammered away all my energy so I scooped up my cards pretty early. Game 3 I was at 2 prizes left and he had all 6 of his and it was turn 3 of time, I N'd myself to 2 to hit the Audino to wake up from the sleep affliction and use Leaf Blade for the game. This game was close but I knew i had it in the bag. 

So standings go up and I've made Top 16 at 13th place after a dissapointing two losses. I was satisfied with the slump I had ended and I began looking forward to Florida States. My car was extremely successfull with Grafton Roll getting T4 and Orion Craig winning the whole event at the end of the day so we were all pretty happy with how we did. I would have loved to make Top 8 but you take what you can get at a tough 128 person event like that. This begins my struggle for what to play at Florida. I just didn't know what to play and I just was at a loss. My good friend Alex Snape sends me a Magnezone/Empoleon/Leafeon deck that I really liked but I was too afraid to play it to be honest. I had Facetimed with my close buddies Jay and Zach Lesage and they were in the same bind I was in. They just had less time to choose because their provincials was coming up that weekend. I began pondering my plethora of deck choices and I landed on Flareon/Raichu early in that first week. I took the list that Raymond Cipoletti posted in his article and I made a few meta tweaks to it before play testing some games with it. 

FL States

After a long week of testing with my buddy Jose Marrero and Franco Takahashi I was sold on the idea of Flareon/Raichu, but the night before as I began talking to everybody about their deck choices I noticed that Yveltal just wasn't popular so I took the Raichu line down to a 2-2 because I still liked it but it didn't need to be as heavy. That night Grafton Roll made me take the biggest risk I've taken by playing with a card I had never played a game with. The legendary Cofagrigus, the one who puts you in a coffin. I saw it and I just said to myself "I guess it's time to play a bit risky with this deck and let's see how it turns out." I theorymon a list that I would like to play with the list Grafton sent me and I just show up the next morning without playing a game. I know how to play Flareon, probably one of the best putting myself behind Grafton and Jim Roll, and I believed in my ability to know how to play Pokemon. I went over to my buddy Harrison Leven's house for the night and we both felt pretty comfortable with what we were playing and we called it a night around 4 AM. We both woke up around 7:30 AM and we had made the sickest hype playlist for the event and the drive was also an hour so we jammed out on the way to the event. We got there and I got the cards I needed and turned in my list super early. Shoutout to the sick playmats that we got for playing in the tournament and the Chik Fil A for being so close and delicious in the morning. We grab some food early in the day and head back to the play area to just make sure we don't miss anything, and in a short amount of time, the pairings went up and I was in top shape ready to roll. 

Here's the list I chose to play for Florida states


R1 vs Poliwrath/Politoed/Gengar/Dimension Valley/Trevnant WW 1-0-0

Game 1 all he has is a Gengar and I beat him quite early so I began to assume that I was up against a Gengar/Trevnant deck and game 2 I started dtiching my Leafeons when I realized he had a Poliwrath and a Politoed. I set up a Leafeon slowly but I realized something a little bit later, he didn't play a single energy card. Not one energy card in his whole deck, so I couldn't attack him with energy crush. He started setting up EX pokemon on his bench when I realized that was my only out to winning this game and I KOd 3 EXs for the game. This deck was a cool idea and it was pretty scary for sure. 

R2 vs Carlos Siva (ToadPuff) W 2-0-0

Game 1 was a close game where I couldn't get set up for a while and he hit all of his hammers on my energy so I was struggling to attack him with Leaf Blade. To make matters worse he kept using Trump Card like every other turn so I had a lot of trouble digging through my deck trying to get what I needed. Game 2 I took a commanding lead but time was called in the middle of the game leaving him with 2 turns to take 4 Pizes which he couldn't do leaving me with the series. 

R3 vs Ryan Hollman (Toad/Garb) WW 3-0-0

Game 1 I was able to get a Leafeon with a bangle out and I ran through his field without much trouble. Game 2 I was able to do the same but with a second bangled leafeon and although he hit his hammer heads I put him in a position where he had to break the lock for a turn and I was able to get set up to the point where I pulled too far ahead for him to recover. 

R4 vs Lucario/Bats WLW 4-0-0

Game 1 started the way I wanted it with a T2 KO on Lucario EX, he didn't seem to have a supporter so I simply kept attacking and took a very easy game 1 that series. Game 2 I saw my opening hand, used juniper and didn't hit another supporter or another basic pokemon so I scooped up my cards knowing that I had basically lost that game. Game 3 I was able to get a turn 3 OHKO on his Lucario EX leaving his board bare and my board with 2 set up Flareons, and I rode that momentum to take the game. 

R5 vs Prison Mike (Empoleon/Magnezone) WLL 4-1-0

I once again go up against my good friend Michael Canaves piloting his PoleZone deck which seemed like an autoloss at the time. Game 1 I was able to set up a very early Raichu and that seemed to give him a lot of trouble. Game 2 he set up completely and I was just at a loss for how to come back as I scooped up my cards taking us into a quick game 3. Game 3 was unfortunately me opening a Jirachi EX and having the other one prized leaving me without any cards to play and a quick draw pass game from my end. 

R6 vs Daniel Sheik (Virizion/Mewtwo/Toad) WLW 5-1-0

Game 1 I was able to get a Bangle down T1 and set up a quick Leafeon giving him a lot of trouble and he was drawing dead so I ran through him. I had seen him open with a Toad so I assumed that he was playing Virizion/Toad or something and I decided to go aggressive with Leafeon. Game 2 I had to discard one of my leafeons early and I had one of them in the prizes along with both my Audino so I quickly decided to pick up my cards and take us to a game 3. Upon my intiial search throughout the deck I discovered that I had 2 Eevee, a Leafeon, an Audino, a Bangle and my Deoxys prized. I had assumed that the game was lost as I pounded my fist on the table with frustration. Luckily I was able to take an early KO on his Toad giving me one the of the two remaining Eevees and then after a lackluster N I was put 2 pokemon short of killing his second Toad with Flareon. I needed to get my last Eevee from my prizes so what I did was that I used Audino's Hip Bump attack to take 2 more prizes and he swiftly N'd me after swinging with his Mewtwo. I had drawn the last Eevee and I had a Juniper and a VS seeker in an 8 card deck. I was praying that I drew one of the two and that I didn't hit the Flareon before Juniper because I would have let him get down to 1 prize at that point. I draw and I see double compressor and a VS seeker. I quickly Juniper to draw the rest of my deck and I transform my Ditto into an Eevee and into a Flareon and dropped down the DCE for the game. This series was extremely close and I was happy that I had won. The games for this series were streamed so if you guys want to watch it you can at this link . 

R7 vs Jim Roll (Flareon) ID 5-1-1

I choose not to play my last round out as I am pretty confident that I can make cut with any one of my opponents winning their last round.

After about an hour of worrying and being a worrywart I go check standings and to my dismay I placed 11th place and whiffed another top cut at a tournament. This article isn't to vent about how States should be a T16 cut or about my bad draws, it was meant to serve as a look through my eyes of how my tournament experience went down. I want to thank everybody who helped me through this tough month of tournaments and I know there will be too many people to shoutout. 

But to the one's who truly believed in me thank you, and special shoutouts go out to Joseph Moore-Costa, Jay Lesage, Grafton Roll, Henry Ross Clunis, Jose Marrero and Franco Takahashi for believing in me. 

Closing Thoughts

I've learned a lot as a player and a person throughout these tough tournaments and I'm excited for regionals time. I should be attending Massachusetts, Kansas and Georgia Regionals so if you see me come say hi. 

As for the question everyone is dying to know, "Rahul are you ever going to stop playing Flareon?" The answer to that is no, the deck is something that is amazing and has a special place in my heart and I hope all of you have that deck that you're just comfortable enough with to pick up and play at any tournament. Until next time, ciao. 

[+42] okko


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