Hey everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dylan Dreyer. I am a 17 year old student from Maryland. I have been playing Pokemon TCG for about 5 years now, but Pokemon has always been a part of my life. Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about Regionals.
Leading up to the tournament, I was all over the place with decks. I had taken a liking to a ton of different decks, making it tough for me to decide which one I was going to play. My options included Plasma, Genesect/Drifblim, Darkrai/Garbodor, Straight Darkrai, Blastoise and a strange Darkrai/Terrakion EX/Victini EX deck. As time began to dwindle down, so did my confidence. I was not truly comfortable with any of my options. The one that I had most experience with was Darkrai, since it was the deck I used to grind into Worlds 2013 as well as pilot for Worlds. I also liked Darkrai because it is a consistent deck that gives me options in game and gives me the opportunity to outplay my opponents.
So the night before Regionals arrived and I was down to Straight Darkrai and Virizion/Mewtwo as my options. I tested with some friends until about 1 AM, and finally decided to stick with Darkrai. I wrote out my decklist and it was off to bed.
Here is the list I used at Philly Regionals:
|Pokémon – 9||Trainers – 41||Energy – 10|
|4 Darkrai EX||4 Professor Juniper||10 Darkness Energy|
|3 Sableye||4 N|
|1 Keldeo EX||4 Random Receiver|
|1 Mr. Mime||2 Bicycle|
|1 Dowsing Machine|
|4 Pokémon Catcher|
|4 Hypnotoxic Laser|
|4 Dark Patch|
|3 Ultra Ball|
|2 Dark Claw|
|2 Enhanced Hammer|
|2 Virbank City Gym|
|2 Frozen City|
|1 Max Potion|
|1 Tool Scrapper|
|1 Energy Search|
As you can see, this list looks a lot like Israel Sosa’s list that he used to win California and Arizona Regionals. However, I made some key changes:
2 Frozen City
This may seem odd, but I saw it necessary because I predicted Blastoise to be played in full force, and I wanted to have a solid matchup against it. With these two stadiums, two Virbanks and a Dowsing Machine, I was able to win the “Stadium War” with Blastoise fairly easily.
4 Pokemon Catcher
This one may seem like a no-brainer. However, we saw that Israel only ran three copies in his two time Regionals winning list. Although I understand why Israel cut down to three, I felt as if four was a necessity.
With the deck running four Random Receivers, I like the fact that they will always come up with N or Juniper. I feel like other one-of supporters can get in the way, so I opted to exclude these.
So without further adieu, here’s my Philadelphia Regionals report.
We sit down for the player’s meeting and learn that there are over 340 Masters at the tournament, meaning we would play 9 rounds of swiss on Day one, and then the Top 32 would go on to Day 2 to play another 5 swiss rounds, followed by a Top 8. Before we knew it, it was time for round one:
Round One vs. Stefen Brink playing Genesect/Virizion/Deoxys
Game one was a back and forth game that I seemed to have firm control over, but if at any time he were to break out of the gates with G Booster, I would have been in some serious trouble. However, after battling back and forth for what seemed to be about 35 minutes, I won game one. As it turned out his G Booster was in his last two prize cards.
We both picked up our pace of play for game two, weary of the looming threat of time getting called. He takes a quick lead with his G Booster while I was struggling to set up. I was playing Junipers left and right trying to draw into my Tool Scrapper, but with no success. Towards the end of the game, I had all six prizes left to his two. Throughout the entire game my only option to slow down his barrage of G Boosters was to repeatedly Catcher his Deoxys.
I noticed that he had used a lot of Switches at this point, and I figured I’d try Catchering his Deoxys one more time, following that up with an N. The Deoxys had a Plasma energy on it, so off of this N he would need an energy to retreat and a Colress Machine to power up his Genesect to G Booster me for the win. He draws his two and slams down a Juniper. Off of his seven cards he hit his last Colress Machine and a Grass Energy to retreat, and that was the game.
We knew there would most likely not be enough time to complete a third game, but played the game out anyway. After one or two turns go by, time got called. Neither of us was in a position to take all 6 prize cards, so we shook hands and it was a draw.
Round Two vs. Brad Gustas playing Plasma
Game one was a fairly short game. I was able to draw my Enhanced Hammers at the right times as well as execute the perfect math of Night Spear with Dark Claw and Poison damage to get easy KO’s.
Game two seemed to drag on for a while, as I found myself taking more turns to Junk Hunt. In addition, Brad seemed to whiff some crucial energy drops which hurt him in the end. This game ended up taking a bit longer than I thought, as time was called when we both had three prizes left. I spent my two turns of Plus Three dragging up his Deoxys, trying to force the game into a tie so that I would win the series. On my final turn of time, I catchered his Deoxys once more and if he has a switch he wins. However, he had no switch or supporters in hand and that was game.
Round Three vs. Kyle Weakley playing Big Basics/Garbodor
Game one was fairly close. It pretty much consisted of me dropping Lasers left and right and him using Hammerhead constantly. Luckily for me, I flipped quite a few heads on Laser flips and a good amount of them resulted in tails for him, keeping his Landorus asleep. I also remember getting pretty lucky with drawing Dark Patches out of nowhere. When I was at two prizes, he was able to put my Darkrai to sleep. However, I was able to catcher his damaged Tornadus EX up, then Juniper into Tool Scrapper, Dark and Keldeo to get out of the sleep and Night Spear for the KO.
Game two was a bit more lopsided than the first, as I was able to get a much faster Night Spear going. It wasn’t long after I got my first Darkrai going that I had another ready, and the game ended shortly thereafter.
Round Four vs. Nick Capobianco playing Plasma
Game one and two were very similar, so I’ll just talk about them together. Nick unfortunately did not draw very well in either game, being forced to attach an energy and pass for the first few turns of both games. In game one I believe he played a Colress for four, and then nothing much more after that. I was also lucky enough to have Enhanced Hammers ready for any energy attachments that he was able to muster up. The series didn’t last too long as I was able to get Night Spears going at a decent pace and take over.
Round Five vs. David-John Ensor playing Plasma
Game one started out with him playing first and getting a turn one Raiden Knuckle onto my Sableye for 40 damage, charging an energy onto his Kyurem. I believe I was able to respond right away with both of my Enhanced Hammers, benching a Darkrai and a Sableye, and ending my turn with a Junk Hunt for both Hammers. David only played one or two basic energies, so it wasn’t long before I was able to take out all of his energies with my Hammers.
Game two wasn’t much different from the first, other than the fact that David was forced to N me out of a dead hand on his second turn. Once I was able to Hammer a good amount of his energies off, I came in with a Night Spear and took over the game fairly easily.
Round Six vs. Johnny Rabus playing Plasma/Lugia
I’m paired with my good friend Johnny for this match, and I know I’m in for an intense series.
Game one was a pretty close game. I was able to take a quick lead in this game if I remember correctly, but Johnny was always threatening a big KO with his benched Lugia. I don’t remember a whole lot about this game other than the fact that it came down to me not drawing very well of an N to one or two cards, and Johnny cleaning up the game with Lugia.
There seemed to be about 25 or 30 minutes left to play game two, and I knew I would probably not be able to win the series, meaning I would have to try for a draw. I got a pretty decent start this game and was able to keep trading prizes with him evenly. The most important part of this game came on my last turn, where I was set up for the win if I could draw into Catcher, Laser and Dark Claw. However, my issue was that I did not remember if Dark Claw was prized or not. Regardless, with him having the win on his turn and me only having seven cards in my deck, I had to go for it with a Juniper. I drew my first six cards, seeing my Catcher and Laser. I finally flipped over the seventh card and it was a Dark Claw!
Going into game three, we both knew there would be little to no time to play the game out, but we both shuffled as fast as we could to get going. I started Sableye to Johnny’s Deoxys. He got an explosive start of Prism, two Colress Machines and a Bianca. Interestingly, Johnny chose to put the Plasma energies onto his Deoxys. He was forced to just hit for 30 damage with Helix Force. On my turn I top-decked a Darkrai and had an Ultra Ball in hand. I used the Ultra Ball to get another Darkrai and benched both of them.
Unfortunately for Johnny and I, time gets called. I end my turn by using Junk Hunt. Johnny being turn one of time plays his Promo Landorus down, attaches a Prism, Scramble Switches into it and Catchers my Darkrai. He then announces an attack that I had never heard of before in “Rock Tomb,” which OHKO’d my Darkrai. However, since I was turn two of time and had two Pokemon in play, it was impossible for Johnny to KO both of them in one turn and the match ended in a tie. Well played Johnny!
Round Seven vs. Tristan Lackey playing Virizion/Mewtwo
Game one started out pretty well for me, as I was able to get a Turn two Night Spear. Tristan was clearly struggling to set up, as the only draw cards he played early on were Bicycles for one or two. This game ended pretty quickly, as the Night Spear math added up perfectly thanks to Dark Claw.
Unfortunately for Tristan, game two wasn’t much different than game one. He struggled to set up again while I set up quite quickly. He started to mount a comeback after N’ing me to a low number of cards. However, I was able to draw out of it eventually and seal the game.
Round Eight vs. Samuel McClain playing Darkrai
This was a pretty intense series. Game one starts out with me playing first, getting a turn one Laser/Virbank play on his Darkrai as well as getting some Dark Energies into my discard pile, followed by a Junk Hunt. He starts off kind of slow, but gains an edge by playing a Ghetsis on his first turn, wiping my hand of my only Supporter out in Random Receiver. However, I was lucky enough to top-deck a Juniper and continue on my way. In the end, this game came down to him prizing his Mr. Mime, allowing me to set up KO’s on his benched Darkrais.
I honestly don’t remember too much about this second game, but I do know it was fairly close. I was able to win it in the end though.
Round Nine vs. Gabriel Brown playing Plasma
Going into this round, I expected to be paired with another 6-0-2 and was hoping to be able to Intentionally Draw. It was going on 10pm and I was starving. However, my opponent was currently 6-1-1 and was not guaranteed to make the Top 32 if he tied with me. We sat down and played Game one out and I was able to take a hard fought win after having both of our active Pokemon stay asleep for a number of turns. After this, Gabe asked if we could still ID, and me being super tired and hungry agreed to do so.
Standings come out, and I’m in 7th Place. I look down the list of names that would be continuing onto a second day of play and see a lot of familiar names. Too tired to even walk around and congratulate my friends who got in, I rushed off to the hotel room, ate a quick dinner and got right to bed.
Round Ten vs. Chris Murray playing Big Basics/Garbodor
I’m paired with my friend Chris in this match. I’m feeling confident in the matchup, despite it being a very close one.
Game one was indeed quite close. He was able to get a quick Garbodor up and was swinging with Landorus from turn one. I kind of struggled to set up a Night Spear this game, but I was constantly using Lasers, slowly adding up damage on his Landorus. When I was finally able to get a Night Spear going I was able to sweep up and take my six prizes quickly.
Game two started off a little better for me. I continued to use my strategy of Lasering his Landorus early on, but this game I decided to try Confuse Raying his Landorus with a Dark Claw, and I was able to flip heads. This bought me enough time to get a Night Spear going and take over. Also, Chris unfortunately whiffed on a Fighting energy at some point in the game which hurt him pretty badly.
Round Eleven vs. Ryan Sabelhaus playing Blastoise
I couldn’t believe I went through ten rounds without running into a single Blastoise, but here I was finally paired with one.
Game one starts off with him playing first with his Black Kyurem active, benching a Squirtle and using Tropical Beach. I led off with Sableye, attached a Dark Claw from my hand, played a Catcher on his Squirtle and played an N. I was lucky enough to have drawn into a Laser and Virbank off six cards to KO his only Squirtle in play, leaving him with just a Black Kyurem.
It would be a few more turns until Ryan finally gets a Blastoise into play, and by that time I had a Night Spear going with another loaded Darkrai on the bench. Throughout the game I was constantly countering his Beaches with my Frozen Cities and Virbanks, and at the end of the game I was able to hit him with a big N, to which he could not respond because of there being no Tropical Beach in play.
Ryan started pretty well in game two, getting a turn two or three Blastoise. I don’t remember a whole lot about this game, other than the fact that at some point I Junipered into two Dark Patches and a Dowsing Machine, allowing me to discard enough Dark energies from my hand to use three Dark Patches in one turn on my Darkrai and take over the game.
Round Twelve vs. Sam Chen playing Blastoise
Harrison allowed Sam and I the honor of playing on live stream for this match.
Sam starts out game one by energy searching for a Lightning energy, then immediately discards it using Ultra Ball to get a Squirtle. He ends his turn by using Skyla to get a Tropical Beach and drawing two cards with it. I start my first turn out with an Ultra Ball to get a Sableye. To add to this, I was able to Dark Patch to my Sableye, attach a Dark to my Darkrai, counter Sam’s Beach with Virbank and finally Juniper. I end my turn by Junk Hunting for Dark Patch and Ultra Ball. Sam delivers an equally strong turn by getting out a turn two Blastoise. The game goes on as you might expect a Darkrai vs. Blastoise matchup to go, with Sam asserting dominance with his Black Kyurem EX’s and taking an easy win.
My start in game two is very similar to my start in game one, getting a turn one Dark onto Darkrai, Dark Patch onto Sableye and a Junk Hunt. Sam’s start is kind of weak, as he is only able to get one Squirtle into play. I explode on my second turn, getting a T2 Night Spear and a Catcher on his lone Squirtle, KOing it in the process. Sam finally gets a Blastoise out on his third turn, but still wasn’t able to get a Black Ballista going. When I’m at three prizes, Sam N’s me, plays a Tropical Beach and uses his Keldeo with four energies to KO my damaged Darkrai. I unfortunately draw terribly off of this N, and am forced to thin my hand down with Ultra Ball and Beach for 7.
The only thing I have threatening Sam at this point is a Darkrai with two Darks on it. Sam Catchers this Darkrai, Deluges a 5th energy to his Keldeo, Superior Energy Retrievals to get a 6th, then Junipers his hand away. However, by some kind of miracle, Sam whiffs the 7th energy needed to KO my Darkrai, forcing him to just Secret Sword my Darkrai for 170. At this point my hand consists of Catcher, Max Potion, Dark Patch, Keldeo, Juniper, and Virbank. I debate on whether or not I should just KO the Keldeo or the Blastoise with my Darkrai, or if I should perhaps retreat my Darkrai, Max Potion it then Dark Patch back to it. I end up just Catchering Sam’s Blastoise and Junipering. I do this because the Blastoise has 60 on it and the Keldeo has 110. My plan was to KO the Blastoise and put the Keldeo up to 140, leaving it open to a Confuse Ray KO for the game. I follow through with this plan, going down to two prizes.
Sam spends his next turn getting out another Blastoise and powering up a fresh Keldeo, and ends his turn with a KO on my Darkrai to go to 2 prizes. With the game tied 2-2, I start my turn looking for the Catcher to win the game. I’m holding a Juniper, and count my deck to find out that there are 8 cards remaining. I look for ways to thin it out, but it is impossible. I am simply forced to Juniper, hoping to draw my last Catcher off of 7 cards. If the Catcher is my last card, I will surely lose the game. I play the Juniper, draw the first six cards… nothing. I flip over the seventh card and it’s a Catcher for the game!
Unfortunately for Sam and I, time is called right as we are about to flip over our cards, and it’s a draw.
Round Thirteen vs. Erik Nance playing Darkrai
In this round I was paired with Erik Nance. I had sat next to him in an earlier round, so I knew I was in for a good mirror match.
Game one starts out kind of mediocre for both of us and nothing really special happens. He surprised me with a Ghetsis at one point, but I was able to draw out of it fairly quickly. Unfortunately for Erik, he flipped a few too many tails on sleep flips and I was able to take the upper hand.
Game one took what seemed to be about 30 minutes to complete, so I realize a real chance of game two tying, giving me the series win. However, I still played at a normal speed just in case he pulled out a quick win. Once again, neither of us have a very good start, and Erik seems to be whiffing Dark Energies left and right. Most of our damage dealt in the early stages of this game was simply from Lasers. Finally I got a Night Spear going and was just able to take a strong lead until time got called, at which point Erik knew he couldn’t collect all of his prize cards, and extended his hand.
Round Fourteen vs. David-John Ensor playing Plasma
Going into this round, David and I both had 31 match points, so we agreed to Intentionally Draw to pretty much guarantee both of us making cut.
Top 8 vs. David-John Ensor playing Plasma
Shocked that we got paired for the third time this weekend, we sit down and get ready to start.
Game one starts out fairly well for me, getting a T2 Night Spear off, while David had a slower start. I was able to Catcher up his Kyurems as they got Energies, wiping the threat of a Blizzard Burn off the board very quickly. In addition, I was able to find my Enhanced Hammers early, putting me in a dominant position. It wasn’t long until I took a quick game one win.
David gets a decent start game two. He was able to get out a Kyurem as well as an energy into the discard which he Raiden Knuckled onto it. However, once again, I was able to Juniper into an Enhanced Hammer, followed by a Junk Hunt to retrieve it. After his fairly strong first and second turns, David seemed to be struggling to set up, and it didn’t take long after that for me to gain a dominant board position and take over.
Top 4 vs. Francis Ibijemilusi playing Virizion/Mewtwo
I was once again given the privilege of being on the live stream for this match. I knew I was walking into an unfavorable matchup, but I had beaten one earlier in the weekend and was feeling somewhat confident.
Game one starts off and my hand is horrendous. It would continue to be this way for the next four or five turns. During these painful turns, Francis is setting up as normal, with me just hanging on by a thread. Finally I topdeck a Juniper, but I don’t draw much off of it and within the next turn or so I lose.
I look at my opening hand for game two and my it is just as bad as my previous opening hand. At this point I am very discouraged. I continue to draw poorly for the next two or three turns, until finally I top deck a Juniper which keeps me alive. However, like the last game, I fizzle out quickly. There is one point in this game however where I see a slight opening to win.
Francis has one prize left to my three, a Mewtwo with five energy and a damaged Virizion. I N him down to one after Catchering up his Mewtwo. My plan is to hit it, hoping he whiffs anything playable, then power up another Darkrai and sweep the game with it. I draw my three, he draws his one. I Night Spear. He draws his card, shows me DCE and Laser, more than sufficient resources to OHKO my Darkrai, and I have lost.
So my run was over. I was happy to have gotten so far in such a large tournament, but couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I was only one match away from those coveted Byes for the US Nationals. However, when I received my prizes, most of my disappointment faded away.
That’s all I’ve got for this report. I’d like to thank The Top Cut for allowing me this opportunity to write for them, and of course you for reading through this long report. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to write an article like this again sometime!