Having Fun During Spring Regionals

26.4.2014 wrote: David Hochmann in category Trading Card Game

Having Fun During Spring Regionals

Hello 60cards community. My name is David Hochmann, I just joined the team of this blog and I am looking forward to write more articles here. I started playing the Pokemon TCG competitively 2010 when the Heart Gold & Soul Silver Set was released in English. I started getting through the top cut in a lot of tournaments during the 2010/11 season and had my Worlds Invite every season since that season, but I never played a World Championship. Here is a short overview of my tournament history:

2010/2011 (Senior) 1712.45 ELO

- 2nd Regional Championship Dortmund

- Top 8 Regional Championship Koblenz

- Top 8 Regional Championship Düsseldorf

2011/2012 (Senior) 58 CP

- 3rd European Challenge Cup

- 3rd European Prague Cup

- 3rd Regional Championship Düsseldorf

- 4th Regional Championship Dortmund

- 4th Regional Championship Koblenz

- 1st City Championship Koblenz

2012/2013 (Master) 612 CP

- 2nd European Challenge Cup

- 2nd Regional Championship Düsseldorf

- 4th Regional Championship Speyer

- 3rd Regional Championship Ludwigsburg

- 3rd Regional Championship Stuttgardt

2013/2014 (Master) 597 CP

- 1st Regional Championship Düsseldorf #1

- 1st Arena Cup Dortmund*

- 4th Regional Championship Düsseldorf #2

- 3rd Regional Championship Breda

- 8th Regional Championship Appeldoorn

- 1st City Championship Köln

*Arena Cups are as big as Regional Championships, but are rated as City Championships

I wrote an article about the Arena Cup and the 1st Düsseldorf Regional. You can check them out here:

http://www.thebenchout.de/?p=206

http://www.thebenchout.de/?p=572

As you can see from the headline I will write about rogue decks in this article. I got my 500 CP during Christmas last year so I tried to play funny non-meta decks. I am going to talk how to build a rogue deck and which decks I played in the end.

Table of Contents:

- How to build a rogue deck

- Synergy Decks

- Counter Decks

- Burning Bugs

- The beauty and the beast

- GAY

- Zoroark

How to build a rogue deck

The first question is: “Which kind of deck should I build?

In general there are two kinds of decks: you can try to use a new synergy between two or three cards or you try to counter the meta-game in your area.

Synergy Decks:

First of all I want to talk about the synergy decks. There are a lot of cards that are pretty good, but have some kind of drawback. For example, Empoleon DEX is a very cool card. It can deal up to 150 damage to your opponent’s Pokemon EX and the ability allows you to draw two cards.

Strong Card

1. It is a Stage 2 and you have to attack with it, so it will die and you have to get a new Stage 2

2. It has 140 HP and not 150, which makes it vulnerable to Yveltal EX + Muscle Band + Laser + Virbank and Thundurus EX with Muscle Band and two Deoxys EX

3. The damage depends on your opponent’s bench. Decks like Genesect/Virizion and Darkrai Yveltal don't need a lot of benched Pokemon.

4. It does a lot of damage, just not enough to OHKO most EXs

If you have problems to find out what the drawbacks are, here are the three mayor drawbacks a card or a combination of

cards can have:

1. Consistency:

How much work does it need to set up your strategy?

How much work does it need to keep your deck running?

2. Match ups:

How easy is it for your opponent to KO your attacker or to stop your deck running?

Do you have a weakness against a popular type?

3. Strength:

Are you strong enough to OHKO something?

Are you fast enough to win the game?

As you can see there are a lot of bad things about Empoleon. But everything has drawbacks. So let's think about how to deal with it:

1. Consistency:

Is there another Pokemon which can keep your deck running or speed it a little bit up or are the standard supporter lines enough?
(examples: Electrode, Bicycle, Sableye (ironically you could write Empoleon here too and Delphox, but running a Stage 2 just to draw cards usually isn't worth the space)

Do I need something to get energies in play or is the attachment per turn enough?

(examples: Dark Patch, Virizion EX, Emboar, Blastoie, Xerneas, Yveltal, Victini EX, Ho-oh EX)

2. Match ups

Can I win a bad match up if I tech something?

How much does the tech hurt my consistency or the other match ups?

Is the tech worth its drawback? (It’s OK if you have one very bad or autoloss matchup)

(Examples: Sawk, Suicune, Sigilyph, Garbodor, Bouffalant, Keldeo EX, Enhanced Hammer,  Drifblim, Spiritomb)

3. Strength:

Do I OHKO the Pokemon I want to OHKO?

How can I get more damage to get important OHKOs?

(examples: Dusknoir, Hypnotoxic Laser, Virbank City Gym, Muscle Band, Silver Bangle, Deoxys EX (you can run Pokemon to hit the bench as well, like Landorus EX or Kyurem, but keep in mind that Mr. Mime exists))

When I look back at the Empoleon example, these were my thoughts:

1. Empoleon needs Rare Candy and two Super Rods. Tropical Beaches are nice at the beginning, because you can't attack the first two turns anyways. Energy acceleration isn't necessary, nor are special drawing cards; Diving Draw should be enough.

2. As I mentioned before, Empoleon has 140 HP and it is weak to Lightning Pokemon like Thundurus EX. Lugia EX runs through this deck like a knife through butter. Genesect's Red Signal in combination with a Muscle Band-boosted Emerald Slash, Virizion's water resistance and the fact that VirGen only needs two benched Pokemon makes it so that that matchup isn’t good either. 20 snipe damage from Genesect followed by a Muscle Band-boosted Megalo Cannon KOs Empoleon, so that hurts the matchup as well.

As you can see, Empoleon has a bad matchup against every tier 1 deck. Now you have to decide between saying that Empoleon is a bad Pokemon or you can try to tech against two decks and leave one poor matchup. I still believed in Empoleon and I teched against Genesect and Yveltal.

3. Your damage output isn't constant, which makes it difficult to make calculations while building the deck. When your bench is full, the usual damage against Plasma is 120, against VirGen it’s 90 and against Yveltal 100. With Silver Bangle you deal a solid 150, 120 and 130. The problem with Empoleon is that you 2HKO everything, but you don't have the 90 + 90 like Darkrai had in the past; you have tonnes of excess damage. So it's kinda obvious that Dusknoir fits very well. You could run Laser Bank, but it's bad against VirGen and if you don't OHKO, your opponent will retreat and then you need a Catcher, Red Signal or Kyurem and these cards aren't that good in this deck, so I would run Dusknoir. Empoleon Dusknoir was a semi-common deck in the past format so this should work.

Now I will look at the cards I can tech to win against Yveltal and VirGen. An attacker beside Empoleon would be nice. I like Zekrom and DCE. You play Silver Bangle anyways so you can deal 100 Damage very easy and if your opponent can't OHKO your Zekrom you deal even more damage. So rushing with non-ex hitters and using Zekrom should make the Yveltal Match up better. When you have DCEs you can play Reshiram against Genesect for the same reason. What is very cool too against Genesect is a Mewtwo and a Spiritomb. I like the combo, because your opponent can't use G Booster against Mewtwo or Reshiram and both can attack two times as a result.

Another strategy you can use, is to just try to hit everything and play Raichu. Raichu should give you a good Yveltal Match up and against Genesect you try to be faster and deal with non-ex Pokemon.

The lists:

OUTRAGE

4 Piplup

2 Prinplup

3 Empoleon

1 Duskull

1 Dusknoir

1 Mr Mime

1 Zekrom

1 Mewtwo

1 Reshiram

1 Spiritomb

1 Exeggcute

= 17

3 Professor Juniper

3 Skyla

4 N

2 Colress

2 Tropical Beach

= 14

4 Ultra Ball

2 Level Ball

3 Silver Bangle

1 Escape Rope

2 Super Rod

4 Rare Candy

1 Dowsing Machine

1 Town Map

1 Tool Scrapper

= 19

6 Water Energy

4 DCE

= 10

Raichu

4 Piplup

2 Prinplup

3 Empoleon

1 Duskull

1 Dusknoir

2 Pikachu

2 Raichu

1 Mewtwo

1 Exeggcute

= 17

3 Professor Juniper

3 Skyla

4 N

2 Colress

2 Tropical Beach

= 14

4 Ultra Ball

2 Level Ball

3 Silver Bangle

1 Escape Rope

2 Super Rod

4 Rare Candy

1 Dowsing Machine

1 Town Map

1 Tool Scrapper

= 19

6 Water Energy

4 DCE

= 10

After playing a few games with the decks I realized that a heavy Dusknoir line isn't necessary and I cut back to 1-0-1. I decided to run Town Map to make this and the one offs in the Outrage version less random and it's a very good card in general.

Let's take a look at the matchups:

Virizion Genesect (without Laser Bank)

Outrage: 75-25

Raichu: 50-50

The Outrage version has a huge advantage against Genesect, because it runs Spiritomb and Mr. Mime who, combined, prevent Empoleon, Reshiram and Mewtwo from being knocked out in one hit by Virgen. With two Super Rods, Diving Draw, Town Map and four DCEs you can consistently hit with Reshiram's Outrage and two hit KO your opponent’s Pokemon. Virgen cannot OHKO your Reshiram so it has to use Red Signal to KO your Basic Pokemon, with Mr. Mime and Piplup being common targets. The other option is to deal damage to your Reshiram. Reshiram with 70 or more damage OHKOs Virizion and Genesect and a Reshiram with 50 damage can do the same with a Silver Bangle.

The most annoying thing a VirGen deck can run is Bouffalant, because it can deal 60 damage and it's difficult to knock out. I thought about cutting one Silver Bangle for a Muscle Band so a Mewtwo can kill it with a DCE and the Muscle Band, but a second Escape Rope and no Scrapper would be better in my opinion. So you can switch into Empoleon and two hit KO something else.

The Raichu Version just two hit KOs everything and uses non-EX Pokemon. I just tried to get my Dusknoir in every game waiting for my opponent to whiff the Red Signal (Duskull having 50 HP is very annoying) and then move the damage to KO the Pokemon with energies. You usually win if you get your setup and your opponent whiffs the Red Signal after a lot of Ns in the late game.

Yveltal Darkrai:

Outrage: 60-40

Raichu: 70-30

The Outrage version has Mr. Mime, which is pretty cool to prevent your Empoleons to get KOd easily by a Muscle Banded Darkrai. When you manage to set up Dusknoir, the matchup becomes favorable as long as your opponent doesn't run Catchers. But even if he does, one turn using Sinister Hand can totally destroy him. Another good thing you have going for you are the Tropical Beaches, which you can use to counter Virbank City. Zekrom is also big in this matchup, hitting Yveltal (EX) for weakness.

The Raichu version lacks Mr. Mime (which you can run as well if you cut the Scrapper or Mewtwo) so Darkrai becomes a problem. But you can deal with it when you use your Mewtwo and two hit KO them. The Yveltals aren't that dangerous, because you can OHKO them easily with Raichu.

Plasma:

Outrage: 5-95

Raichu 20-80

As I mentioned before, Plasma is a terrible matchup because it has so many ways to KO Empoleon in one hit.

The Outrage version just loses against Lugia EX. You can do something against TDK, because of the Mr. Mime and your non-EX Empoleons, but the only thing you can effectively use against Kyurem are Mewtwo and Empoleon, whom both get counterKO’d by Kyurem/Deoxys EX or Kyurem/Thundurus EX. This matchup is close to unwinnable anyway, so don't try to tech against. You can try to run Enhanced Hammer and Silver Mirror, but I won a best of five against an Empoleon deck with Mirror and Hammers and I don't believe in it.

The Raichu version can OHKO Lugia ex, so it isn't that bad. If you decided to run two Silver Bangle and one Muscle Band, you can OHKO Kyurem as well, with Mewtwo. But Thundurus ex is still a strong Pokemon your opponent can use against your Empoleons. And if he runs Genesect ex (which is pretty much standard), he will still destroy you.

Blastoise:

Outrage: 40-60

Raichu: 60-40

You may have already noticed; both versions don't run Leafeon. So you have a problem dealing with Keldeo EX. You have the option to use Sinister Hand during midgame to KO their Blastoise and then the Keldeo EX. Mewtwo is strong to use against Keldeo, but they get the OHKO back with Black Kyurem EX. You can destroy Blastoise players when you get your Dusknoir, kill their Blastoise, play N and then KO the Keldeo EX with the energies.

Usually both decks are as fast as the other one and the Raichu version can deal with non-ex hitters and win with an N in the late game. The Outrage dragons are useless, just like Mr. Mime and Spiritomb. So you have to fight with your Empoleons and Mewtwo. Everything else is like the Raichu deck.

Tool Drop:

Outrage: 70-30
Raichu: 70-30

Tool Drop has huge problems against decks with non-ex hitters and one well played Tool Scrapper will give you a free prize, because they need their Exp. Shares.

Conclusion:

When there isn't a lot of Plasma in your area, Empoleon should be a great deck to try out. I like the Outrage version more than the Raichu one, because it feels more consistent. Leafeon is worth to be tested, because VirGen, Yveltal and Blastoise usually have a lot of energy cards in play.

I didn't test this list but I would play it like this:

4 Pliplup

2 Prinplup

3 Empoleon

1 Duskull

1 Dusknoir

1 Mr Mime

3 Eevee

2 Leafeon

1 Flareon

1 Exeggcute

= 19

3 Professor Juniper

3 Skyla

4 N

2 Colress

2 Tropical Beach

= 14

4 Ultra Ball

2 Level Ball

3 Silver Bangle

1 Switch

2 Super Rod

4 Rare Candy

1 Dowsing Machine

1 Town Map

1 Tool Scrapper

= 19

8 Water Energy

= 8

Flareon is a nice card to draw as one of the last two prizecards and to give VirGen something extra to struggle with.

In every version you can cut the Tool Scrapper or the Town Map if you don't like it or if you don't think it’s necessary.

Counter Decks:

When you build a counter deck, you change your point of view and start with looking at the meta decks. Then you try to find counter against these decks. The most used thing to make a counter deck working, is to hit the main Pokemon in the meta deck for their weakness. Building a counter deck is usually easier than building a synergy deck.

First of all you take a look at the tier 1 decks:
In my opinion, they are: Plasma with a Lugia core, Virizion Genesect, and Darkrai (no one in Germany plays Blastoise, but I will test against it).

Plasma:
Thundurus EX Fighting Weakness 170 HP

Lugia EX Lightning Weakness 180 HP

Virizion Genesect:
Virizion EX Fire Weakness 170 HP

Genesect EX Fire Weakness 170 HP

Darkrai Yveltal:

Yveltal EX Lightning Weakness 170 HP

Darkrai EX Fighting Weakness 180 HP

Now you search for Basics or Stage 1s which can OHKO these Pokemon and throw them together.

When I looked at this list, the first thing, which came in my mind after looking at the scans again, was something like Flareon Raichu Dugtrio.

All of them need one energy card to attack for a lot of damage. Raichu and Flareon need a DCE so you can play any other energy type like fighting for Dugtrio.

Flareon needs a lot of Pokemon in the discard pile and a DCE, so you have to run a lot of Pokemon and four DCEs (OK that was pretty obvious). To discard Pokemon, four Ultra Ball and four Professor Juniper should be fine. Raichu needs a lot of Pokemon on the bench and DCEs too. So like Flareon, you just need a lot of Pokemon and DCEs. Dugtrio needs a fighting energy and deals damage to your benched Pokemon, so you should be fine with running one Mr. Mime. He only deals 60 damage, so you need Silver bangle to OHKO Darkrai EX and Thundurus EX.

Let's use this to build a counter deck:

 

3 Raichu

3 Pikachu

3 Dugtrio

3 Diglett

1 Leafeon

3 Flareon

4 Eevee

1 Mr. Mime

= 21

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Skyla

3 Colress

= 14

1 Super Rod

4 Silver Bangle

1 Dowsing Machine

4 Ultra Ball

2 Level Ball

1 Escape Rope

1 Professor's Letter

= 14

4 DCE

7 Fighting Energy

= 11

The core of this deck (the main strategy you follow when your opponent runs a deck you didn't teched against) is using non-ex Pokemon and a strong Flareon.

This list runs one Leafeon, which you can use to deal with Keldeo EX. A fourth Flareon would be nice too. I like a 1-1 Electrode line as well, because you are vulnerable to N in the late game. Another way to deal with Plasma, is to run Drifblim and Enhanced Hammer, which gives you a better Match up against Kyurem as well. When there is more Blastiose in your area Cacturne PLF is a cool card to play too, because you can OHKO Keldeo EX with one energy and do 30 damage to benched Outrage dragons. When you play Frozen City you can deal 200 damage against Pokemon EX with the right weakness when you attach a DCE and a Silver Bangle.

But I don't like Stage 1s and tried to build a cool counter deck with a good core, so I can deal with the decks I didn't teched against. At the beginning of this article I mentioned to talk about the decks I played during Spring Regionals (and about the decks I wanted to play but I didn't).

A lot of players used a Virizion Genesect core to put a few techs in, because it is a very consistent deck and you have a lot of space in it. I love Virizion Genesect, because you skim your deck and don't draw energies you don't want in the late game.

VirGen can deal the 170 HP easy with two hits and it has G Booster. Lugia EX and Yveltal EX have  lightning weakness, so I decided to run Raichu. But I wanted a fire Pokemon as well. The first thing I thought about was Ho-oh EX, but I hate Ho-oh EX because you have to run three different energy types, you have to flip heads and you have to get the Ho-oh in the discard pile. This makes Ho-oh very slow and if you want to charge something but not Ho-oh with it, you need energy switch as well.

I decided to play Victini ex, which needs a fire energy and a DCE to kill Genesect and Virizion. But you can use it to charge your Pokemon as well. When your opponent started the game and you got the T1 Turbo Energize you can use a T2 Red Signal'ed G Booster before your opponent does. So I built the deck like this:

Burning Bugs:

2 Virizion ex

3 Genesect ex

2 Victini ex

2 Raichu

2 Pikachu

1 Mr Mime

= 12

4 Ultra Ball

2 Prof Letter

1 G Booster

2 Muscle Band

3 Energy Switch

1 Super Rod

2 Escape Rope

1 Sky Arrow Bridge

= 16

4 Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

2 Shadow Triad

3 Bicycle

= 17

3 Plasma Energy

3 Fire Energy

2 DCE

7 Grass

= 15

Matchups:

Genesect Virizion (without Laser Bank and Deoxys)

65-35

It is just like a usually mirror match, but you have some advantages. When you start and used the Emerald Slash with a fire and a grass energy, you can play a Victini EX down, then use an Energy Switch for a fire energy and attach a DCE to it. With this you can OHKO an opponents Pokemon, and when he didn't get the G Booster, you can draw four Prize cards with it. Like I said, you can use Turbo Energize T1 to be faster than your opponent and you can deal up to 120 damage with a non-ex attacker, which is perfect, because you deal 50 damage with Virizion EX.

Darkrai Yveltal

65-35

The Victini EX are useless and you have to hope that you don't start with them. If you do start with one, you can use it to get energies in play and annoy your opponent with early Ns for four, when he or she kills it. The Raichus can OHKO Yveltal EX and you can deal 70 damage with Virizion and 100 with Genesect for a KO. You also have G Booster. Raichu also helps against Bouffalant and the 20 snipe damage from Megalo Cannon is important too, because it allows you to OHKO an Yveltal EX with Raichu with only four benched Pokemon.  

Plasma

65-35

Victini EX is a risky card in this matchup. Lugia is a problem, because it's easy for Lugia EX to get  a OHKO on Genesect, and Victini EX has problems with Kyurem. Beside this, the matchup is pretty cool, because you can use Raichu to OHKO Lugia EX and G Booster to OHKO something else. When you managed to KO a Pokemon EX with 70 from Emerald Slash and 100 from Megalo Cannon you already won the game (usually).

Blastoise

60-40

Using Vicitni EX in this matchup is no problem, because your opponent usually dosen't want to attack with Keldeo ex, so there is not a big difference between 110 and 170. Both are lower than 200. The only thing that can really hurt Victini EX in that match up, is Suicune. But when you use Victini EX, you usually just attack T1 with Turbo Energize and leave it on the bench for the rest of the game. But using T1 Victini EX (if you didn't started) allows you to use Red Signal T2 and KO a Blastoise. Another good thing is, that you can use Raichu as a non-ex hitter to help Genesect for the two hit KO or to deal with Suicune.

Other Decks:
The cool thing is, that you don't counter the other decks and then cry against everything else (like Scizor Drifloon*). You have Genesect EX and G Booster as a very good general ex hitter, with two different kinds of acceleration. You are immune to Laser and Raichu can deal 100 (+20) as a non-ex hitter. You can use Red Signal and you have Mr. Mime to prevent things like Kyurem, Darkrai and Genesect from hitting your bench.

I played this deck at the second Düsseldorf Regional and lost against Landorus Mewtwo Garbodor in top 4, because I didn't play Scrapper and I got some bad luck with Laser flips.

Burning Bugs is a very cool deck to play and you should give it a try.

*I lost against Scizor Driftloon when I came over to the UK for a Regional and I played Plasma T_T

The Beauty and the Beast:

When I built this deck, I wanted to make Bouffalant work as a main hitter. The problem with Bouffalant is that you deal a lot of damage on the one hand, but you only hit Pokemon EX hard. Another point is that you need three energy cards to attack, but you can use DCEs. You can OHKO every Pokemon EX with Silver Bangle and Laser Bank (as long as they aren't protected by Verdant Wind). A new way to charge Bouffalant came with the XY set and works like Victini EX, but is a non-ex Pokemon: Xerneas (It has more HP as well...)

You can attach an energy to two Bouffalants and then you only need a DCE to attack with them. The deck struggles with Lugia, VirGen and non ex-hitters. So I decided to run Garbodor, Mewtwo EX and Xerneas EX.

 

2 Xerneas EX

2 Xerneas

2 Garbodor

2 Trubbish

3 Bouffalant

1 Mewtwo EX

= 12

4 Professor Juniper

3 N

3 Skyla

3 Colress

3 Bicycle

= 16

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

2 Virbank City Gym

4 Float Stone

3 Silver Bangle

4 Ultra Ball

1 Super rod

1 Computer Search

= 19

4 DCE

9 Fairy Energy

= 13

I thought about cutting one Bike for a Muscle Band so I could OHKO opponents Kyurems and Bouffalants with Mewtwo DCE Muscle Band, but Laser did well during testing so I kept it like this.

Matchups:

Virizion Genesect:
20-80 up to 40-60

You can win this. You have Garbodor, so you can use it to poison Virizion and Genesect in order to OHKO them with Bouffalant. Xerneas EX deals 60 and snipes for 30, so you can use this to set up the KOs with Bouffalant. The problem is that your Garbodor will get knocked out at some point. But when he does, the Bouffalants get their ability back; the VirGen player has to use Muscle Band on Genesect EX and that makes sure he can’t attach G Booster. The problem I had, was a player who ran Enhanced Hammer and Mr. Mime, which was disruptive against this deck. Against the versions with Raichu and Roserade (or the straight ones with Bouffalant and no Hammer/Mr. Mime) you have a better match up. Balloons are rough too.

Darkrai Yveltal

70-30

This is the match up you can win without struggle. The Xerneas have darkness resistance and you don't need to set up Garbodor. You can just kill everything with Bouffalant. Against the non ex Yveltal I usually used two Break Through, one laser to two hit them and deal a few damage to the bench. You should always keep in mind, that X Blast + Laser makes 170 damage, so charging a Xerneas EX isn't that bad.

Plasma Lugia:

50-50

Plasma runs a lot of Pokemon EX and uses lot of abilities, so you should be fine, shouldn't you? The problem is, that the most Plasma lists runs two Tool Scrapper and Kyurem. The Beauty and the Beast has an answer against the most things Plasma can do. You have Mewtwo  + DCE + Laser against Kyurem, but Plasma can answer most things too. Deoxys EX and Lugia EX are the most common dangers against this deck. You have to attack with Xerneas after you used two Bouffalant and both Lugia EX and Tool Scrapper, at the right time, are very strong and can mess up your situation. I managed to win against all Plasma decks I faced, but the matchup isn't that good.

Blastoise:

70-30

As long as you always keep in mind that Blastoise runs Pokemon Catcher and set up two Garbodors (as long as there aren't prized) you should be fine. Every good attacker Blastoise runs, is a Pokemon EX. So you can easily keep up with your main strategy and knock out three Pokemon EX with Bouffalant. With Garbodor in play you can easily knock out a Suicune with Mewtwo EX.

Other decks:

Decks like Fairies, which are using abilities, and a lot of Pokemon EX are the decks you have the best matchups against. Heavy non-ex based decks like TDK are too strong for you to beat.

I predicted a lot of Darkrai Yveltal, Blastoise and a few Plasma and VirGen, that's why I played this deck at the Speyer Regional Championship. I played against four VirGen that day and only lost to the one with Enhanced Hammers and Mr. Mime in top 8.

GAY (Garbodor Accelgor Yveltal)

GAY is a very funny deck to play, because you can paralyze everything; even Virizion EXs. With Muscle Band, Silver Mirror and Virbank City Gym there’s a big variation in the damage Accelgor deals. Sableye is a great Pokemon to set the deck up, because you can Junk Hunt for Computer Search, Dark Patch, Level Ball and Pokemon Catcher. Yveltal EX's Y Cyclone is a great attack in this deck too, because you can move the DCE to a benched Accelgor or Shelmet.

Some calculations:

90 (from Y Cyclone) + 50 (Deck and Cover) + 10 (Poison) + 20 (Virbank or Muscle Band) = 170 180 HP Pokemon will be KOd going into your turn

50 (Deck and Cover) + 10 (Poison) + 20 (Virbank) + 30 (Silver Bangle) =110 140 going into your turn, so you can use Junk Hunt and 170 HP Pokemon will be KOd after this.

50 (Deck and Cover) + 10 (Poison) + 30 (Silver Bangle) = 90 100 going into your turn

100 + 50 (Deck and Cover) + 10 (Poison) =160 170 HP Pokemon are KOd going into your turn

50 (Deck and Cover) + 10 (Poison) + 20 (Muscle Band) = 80 90 going into your turn

90 + 50 (Deck and Cover) + 10 (Poison) + 20 (Muscle Band)=170 180 HP Pokemon are KOd going into your turn

As you can see, there are some nasty tricks you can do with the poison + paralyze. When you think about it, you will find out some more cool calculations. Evil Ball deals variable damage as well, so you should always keep in mind how much damage Accelgor can deal.

Here is the list that Niklas Lehnert-Rappel (a very good German player) and I made:

2 Yveltal ex

3 Accelgor

3 Shelmet

2 Garbodor

2 Trubbish

2 Sableye

= 14

4 Professor Sycamore

4 N

2 Colress

1 Shauna

1 Random Receiver

= 12

3 Pokemon Catcher

3 Level Ball

3 Ultra Ball

3 Dark Patch

4 Float Stone

2 Silver Bangle

2 Bicycle

2 Virbank City Gym

1 Super Rod

1 Computer Search

= 23

4 DCE

6 Darkness energy

= 10

If you are observant, you may have noticed that there are no Muscle Bands in this list. We had no space for them. The first list had two Muscle Band and no Silver Bangle, then I changed it to one Muscle Band and one Silver Bangle and in the end I ran two Silver Bangle.

The deck has huge problems with Switch, so you have to run Pokemon Catcher to KO the Pokemon with damage from Accelgor during midgame with Yveltal EX.


Matchups:

Virizion Genesect (with 2 Switch and 1 Scrapper)

50-50

Scrapper and then Red Signal for Garbodor is very annoying, but you should be able to set up a second one. Like straight Yveltal decks you can put a lot of pressure on you opponent with a fast Y Cyclone and use Accelgor after you have your Garbodor. The good thing is, that Genesect and Virizion have 170 HP, so you have a lot of good calculations with Deck and Cover. VirGen can do a lot of things to stop your deck from running smoothly. With Sableye having 70 HP VirGen usually draws one or two prize cards, before you get your first one. With two Switches and one Scrapper they get three or four more prize cards, so you have to stop them in their tracks with N and you have to start drawing prize cards early. But it is not that difficult to win this matchup.

Darkrai Yveltal

80-20

The usual Darkrai Yveltal list doesn't run Switches or Escape Ropes. I saw a lot of lists with one Keldeo EX to win against Laser flips and to have free retreat the whole game. But without running anything to heal paralyze through Garbotoxin, they don't have a chance. Yveltal have 170 HP so that makes for more good calculations. Darkrai Yveltal runs Virbank City Gym themselves, so you should play down your own and try to deal 140 damage with Silver Bangle and use Junk Hunt to keep the deck running and just give your opponent one prize card.

Plasma

25-75

Plasma is the worst match up GAY has. With running usual two Tool Scrapper and four Switching cards they can attack almost every turn. A fast Lugia EX is a huge problem, because you don't run Hypnotoxic Laser or Muscle Band to OHKO Lugia EX with Yveltal EX. But this match up isn't unwinnable; Accelgor with Virbank City Gym and Silver Bangle is a strong hitter and Plasma usually whiffs one time a game to switch their active Pokemon. Niklas and I tried to run Enhanced Hammer to make this match up better, but the list with Hammers was too inconsistent.

Blastoise

90-10

And again a good match up for this rouge deck.  Keldeo EX is weak to grass Pokemon which means you OHKO it with Accelgor + Silver Bangle. The other hitter Blastoise can use against you, is Black Kyurem EX. But drawing one prize after discarding three energy cards against a deck that runs Garbodor won't lead the Blastoise player to the win.

Other decks:

In general, you have a lot of good matchups because you can stop abilities and you can paralyze your opponent. Tool Drop can do nothing against you, because you can bypass the Exp. Shares with poison and you have a lot of non-ex Pokemon. Emboar won't have a nice day playing against GAY either.

But I didn't played GAY for following reason:

I live in Europe and fear that Putin will kill me

I predicted a lot of Plasma being played and decided to play Balloon Bugs, Niklas won the Regional and I would have been top 8, but forfeited against a friend, because he needed the Championship Points.

Zoroark

Since Dark Explorers was released I wanted to play Zoroark. I really like the combination of the Foul Play and the Brutal Bash one and even more when Black Kyurem released. But the deck has never been better than the straight Darkrai decks or Darkrai Mewtwo. But with Yveltal ex, the Catcher nerf and Blastoise becoming more popular, the deck got a new chance to shine. To be honest, I didn't realize that Zoroark gained new power in this format, until I saw Kevin Baxter’s post in the Virbank City Facebook group and was really amazed. I really like his deck and his list, so I decided to play it at the Ludwigsburg Regional Championship. Genesect is still the most dominating deck here so I did a few changes:

1 Zoroark (Foul Play)

2 Zoroark (Brutal Bash)

3 Zorua (60 HP)

2 Yveltal ex

2 Darkrai ex

1 Spiritomb

2 Sableye

1 Yveltal

=14

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Colress

2 Random Receiver

=13

3 Ultra Ball

2 Level Ball

2 Silver Bangle

2 Dark Claw*

4 Dark Patch

3 Hypnotoxic Laser

2 Virbank City

1 Escape Rope

1 Professor's Letter

1 Computer Search

=21

8 Darkness Energy

4 DCE

=12

*I know, that running Dark Claw is stupid, because you show your opponent that you don't run any non-darkness Pokemon (or he thinks you are stupid), but I saw that The Top Cut made a video about this deck, so everyone knew the deck anyway and Dark Claw just looks cooler.

I really love the Foul Play Zoroark for following reason:

- You can OHKO Black Kyurem ex without a Tool or a Laser with a non ex Pokemon

- You can use Y Cyclone with a non-ex and rescue your DCE

- You have the option to attack with Nasty Plot

- And the most important thing: You can use Megalo Cannon and snipe an opponent’s Genesect EX or Virizion EX for 20

I just played it for the Megalo Cannon, because you cannot OHKO Virizion or Genesect with Brutal Bash. But when you snipe 20, they only have 150 HP left, so Brutal Bash with Silver Bangle is enough to get the KO.

I don’t like the 50 HP Zoruas despite the ascension attack. I never used Zoruas attack in a test game. Trying to attack with Sableye or baby Yveltal is much better. In some games I started the game with Zorua, was unable to attack and my opponent killed it. I totally gave up after there was a situation against TDK, where I wanted to attach a DCE to my benched Zorua I just played down, because I would have won the game with Brutal Bash the next turn. The problem was that my opponent had a Frozen City in play and I wasn't able to kick it. He had only two prize cards left, and I had to use Junk Hunt. So I would have lost the game when I attached the DCE... (he got the N and I lost the game btw)

So I came to the conclusion that the 60 HP basic is the one I want to have in my deck.

Matchups:

Virizion Genesect

60-40

You run Spiritomb and the Foul Play Zoroark. As I mentioned before the 20 Bench damage from Megalo Cannon is very important (you can't use G Booster btw) because the Brutal Bash one deals a maximum of 150 damage. Beside this, you have Evil Ball as a very strong attack; after Genesect attacked with Megalo Cannon you need 4 Energy and a Muscle Band (Dark Claw) to OHKO it. With Spiritomb in play this usually wins you the game.

Darkrai Yveltal

50-50

Darkrai Yveltal is very fast and can OHKO everything. When your Zoroark dies from a Darkrai with Muscle Band, you have problems with the 30 snipe and you need a Silver Bangle, a DCE and a Laser to KO it back. Baby Yveltal are an issue as well, as with Laser and Muscle Band they will be rushing through your Sableyes and Zoruas (Pokemon Catcher ftw) while setting up Yveltal EX to kill your Yveltal EX. They have the advantage of having Energy Switch and a fourth Laser. But in general they aren't that fast and you can use your Zoroarks.

Plasma

70-30 (TDK)

50-50 (Lugia)

Lugia EX is strong in this matchup, because it gets two prize cards from your Zoroark. Thundurus EX is a strong card against Yveltal EX and Red Signal is annoying as well. You can OHKO Lugia EX with Brutal Bash and everything else too. Darkrai is good, because your opponent can't OHKO it (only with four Deoxys EX and a Muscle Band, but this usually doesn't happen) and the 30 snipe is extremely useful. Baby Yveltal with a Silver Bangle and Laser deals 90 damage which is pretty cool for two hitting something with a non-ex hitter.

TDK is easier, because you can beat their Kyurem with non-ex Pokemon and they need three energies to kill you back when you don't have any damage already. You can use Foul Play to snipe 30 damage or you can use Blizzard Burn and KO the Kyurem if you have a Muscle Band (Dark Claw) or a Laser.

Blastoise

70-30

Killing everything with non-ex Pokemon. You have the Foul Play Zoroark so you get one KO without Laser or a Tool, and when your opponent attacks with Keldeo ex, you can knock it back with Yveltal EX.

Other decks:
I think this deck has a lot of good match ups in general. You can deal easily 170 damage with a non-ex Pokemon and you have Sableye to set up. Yveltal EX and Darkrai EX are two very strong Pokemon so you should be fine.

I played against a Tool Drop deck and won by using Baby Yveltal with Dark Claw and Laser to bypass the Exp. Share, I had some bad luck with my prize cards (3 Zoruas) so I had to attack with Yveltal EX once. This resulted in a KO on that Yveltal EX so in the end my opponent had one prize card left and I had two, but I won the game because I played Escape rope (My opponent put a Trubbish in the active spot), played Laser and attacked with Zoruas Dark Claw-Boosted Shadow Bind so he wasn't able to retreat, then he died to poison damage in between turns and I got my 2 prize cards, I really love this deck.

Special Thanks to:

- Martin Kaninsky for letting me publish my article on his website

- Niklas for testing with me and having the idea for GAY

- Kevin Baxters for sharing his list with the world

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David Hochmann

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I started playing the Pokemon TCG competitively 2010 when the Heart Gold & Soul Silver Set was released in English. I started getting through the top cut in a lot of tournaments during the 2010/11 season and had my Worlds Invite every season since that season, but I never played a World Championship. My biggest achievements are 3rd European Prague Cup 2011, 3rd European Challenge Cup 2012 (both in the Seniors devision) and 2nd European Challenge Cup 2013 in the masters division.