By Kenny Wisdom
So, after having done pretty mediocre over the course of this Battle Road season (always 3-2ing), I decided that I was going to try and go with what I thought was the most “sure thing” deck: Zekrom. I feel like Reshiram/Typhlosion is the best deck, but it loses to trainer lock pretty handidly. Zekrom, on the other hand, is good vs. pretty much everything, except for Reshiram/Typhlosion. This format is all about luck and match-ups, so I felt like I would just go with Zekrom and take my losses to Reshiram/Typhlosion.
I knew there would be some of The Truth there (aka Ross Cawthon’s secret 2011 2nd place Worlds deck aka Donphan/Suicine & Entei Legend/Vileplume/Reuniclus/Pichu/Zekrom/Twins), so I decided I’d go with the “Yamato” version of Zekrom, which sacrifices a bit of the Zekrom donk capability to have better match-ups against the field with Lanturn and Yanmega. I can’t reveal the exact list I played here as it was my teams list and not just my own, but it’s not really that hard to figure out, particularly if you pay attention to the details in my matches.
I picked up my “daughter” Amelia Bottemiller on the way, and off we were. We got there, I borrowed the cards I needed, we got registered, and sat down for our pairings. We learned that the tournament had 32 Masters division players, meaning that we would have 5 rounds, a top 4 cut, and 3rd and 4th would each get one Pro Point. Without further ado…
Round 1: ??? w/ Donphan/Machamp
I get an early lead, almost getting the donk if not for a lucky Cleffa flip on his part. The game then evens out a little bit, with me only being up by a prize or two. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that Lanturn’s power allows him to switch to Water type, meaning that he can one shot Donphan. The game degrades after that and I’m able to take quick prizes utlizing Zekrom and Pokemon Catcher.
Round 2: Jaron Deacon w/ Gothitelle
I start Zekrom to his Solosis, and because Jaron and I are friends, decide to mess with him a little bit. Because Zekrom can win on the first turn (going first) very easily, particularly if your opponent starts with a 30 HP basic like Solosis, he is sweating and thinks I have the turn one kill. I keep telling him to calm down and re-assuring him that I can’t win, and after a little bit of thought, play a Pokemon Collector for 2 Yanma and a Chinchou. I think for a second, play all of them on my bench, and attach a double colorless energy to my active Zekrom. I then go into the think tank for a little bit more, before deciding Jaron had had enough, and playing a Pachirisu and activiting it’s Poke Power, and then playing a Shaymin and activiting it’s Poke Power to get the two energy from Pachi attached to Zekrom, and Bolt Strike for game. GG.
Round 3: Tyler Ninomura w/ ReshiPhlosion
Tyler is a teammate and one of the best players in the area. He’s also one of the best deckbuilders in the world (he invented the Flygon Lock deck from Worlds 2009, and was also key in the creation/fine-tuning of The Truth this year). Long story short, the game could’ve been competitive (even though the match-up is unfavorable), but I took forever to hit supporters and decided to just scoop early so we could all go to lunch.
Round 4: Amelia Bottemiller
Amelia is one of my closest friends, my fake daughter, and the person I rode up to the tournament with, so it’s pretty unfortunate that we have to play. Adding to that unfortunateness is the fact that whoever loses has no chance of making the top cut/earning pro points, AND the fact that the match-up is pretty poor on her part. I get a turn two Yanmega, which just tilts the match-up even more, and she’s unable to come back.
She does manage to mount somewhat of an offense, but at the end of the day between Lanturn one hit KOing her Donphans and the threat of my Yanmega meaning she can never play Solosis’, it’s not a good game at all. Sucks that it had to go down this way, but that’s the game right now.
Round 5: Ian ??? w/ ReshiPhlosion
He rolls me over pretty quickly. I get an early lead but he gets an absolute god hand off of a PONT or a Judge, can’t remember which, and at that point it’s pretty much game over for me. I play it out to the bitter end because I hate the thought of going 3-2 again, but what can you do.
It’s awful that this game is so match-up based right now, but I’m sure that’ll change. Derrick ends up getting 2nd in Juniors and Tyler makes the top 4, so not all is lost. We then play Dominion and Pandemic until the wee hours, before getting some dinner at Red Robin and heading home. Wish I would’ve done better, but as always, this was a great time with friends!