What European Challenge Cup Means to State Tournaments

by Pikkdogs ~ February 28th, 2011.

A big hello to everyone in Omar-nation.  This is Pikkdogs here with a report on the upcoming state championships.                         

So I had my preview of states all done and written, and I was ready to make some final tweaks to my deck, and then………………………….. The Europeans screwed it up.

Darn Euros!  They had one tournament and with that turned the Metagame on its side.

In case you haven’t watched PokemonDan’s video on the ECC, the talk of the Benelux region was Italy’s Andrea C. and his Lostgar Lock deck.  Its basically just a trainerlock deck but that exchanges 2 Gengar SF for 2 Gengar Primes.  Even though he was very lucky in the tournament, he was at a place where he should have won the entire tournament, but misplayed at then end.  So he basically should have won the tournament, and turned quite a few heads while he did it.  You can bet this deck will migrate to the U.S. and become the biggest Italian import since the Pizza pie.

So what does this mean for State Championships?              

Well I’m glad you asked that, because it is the topic of this article. We will examine this effect by analyzing what decks have gotten better because of this news, and what decks have gotten worse.

The Winners

Lostgar Lock–  Of course one of the biggest winners of this news is the deck that is sweeping the metagame.  This deck will be played a lot, now that Andrea proved that it can win.  Andrea did not give us a list that can be easily copied, but everyone basically knows how to build a deck like this.  He ran 2 Gengar Primes, 1 Gengar Sf, and 1 Gengar Prime; that seems to be the best play.  A 2-2-2 Vileplume line is standard, as well is at least 3 Spiritomb Ar.  You will also see some new cards like Mr. Mime Cl and Spiritomb Tm.  The reason this deck is so good is because of the Rescue Energy + Broken Time Space Combo.  An SP deck will mostly likely have to take 2 hits to knock out either a Vileplume or Gengar.  When they do knock it out, it just goes back to the player’s hand, and they can lay it all back down thanks to Broken Time Space.  This is an unstoppable combo.                                                                                 

On the downside, a Lostgar Lock player will have to make sure to build the deck so it does not have Split Personality Disorder.  Lostgar Lock is a mix of two decks Lostgar and Vilegar.  You don’t wanna take 3 prizes and put 3 Pokemon in the Lost Zone, that does you no good.  Consistency is big on this deck.

Luxchomp– Luxchomp is a deck that can beat any deck consistently, it just needs to know what deck it will play so that it can tech against it.  What Andrea did in Benelux was that he just tipped his hand and the hand of all Lostgarlock players.  Now Luxchomp knows what the Lost World threat is, and can tech against it.  So what can you put in your SP deck?

To me, there are 4 good techs that you can play to stop Lostgarlock.  I assume that you are starting your deck with a basic Luxchomp list with a 1-1 Blaziken Fb line.                                                                                        

One tech is Dialga G.  If you get an early lead against Lostgarlock, just rid your hand of trainers and use “Deafen” so that your opponent cannot play Lost World down.  It is a simple tech that is useful against a lot of decks, the ability to also shut down Poke-Bodies is amazing.  But, if you can’t rid your hand of trainers, Gengar SF is gonna run over you.

Another tech is Weavile G. Weavile G is a Dark Pokemon that has the “Team Attack” attack.  For DCC you can do 10 damage plus 10 more damage for everyone Pokemon SP you have in play.  That means if you have 4 Pokemon SP on your bench, you will be doing 120 damage to Gengar Prime (thanks to weakness), which leaves you just 1 “Flash Bite” away froma OHKO.  Its “Call For Family” attack also is nice because it has a Call Energy like effect, so it is a good starter.  If you need to get rid of Gengar Prime fast, Weaville G is probably the easiest way to do it, though Absol G Lv.X can also hit for 120.                                                                                 

Weavile G saw some play at the ECC, another card that did as well was Roserade Gl.  Roserade is a card that can be used in conjuction with Luxray Gl Lv. X’s “Bright Look” or Blaziken FB’s “Luring Flame” attack.  You would use these attacks to bring either Spritiomb or Vileplume to the active spot.  Once they are there, you can use Roserade Gl’s “Poison Bind” attack to do 10 damage, plus a poison, and prevent a retreat next turn.  The only way that your opponent would be able to free a Pokemon would be to use Warp Energy.  Even if this does not get you a knock-out, it will help you.  If the Lostgar player is going for the win with Lost World, you just need to get the prize lead, and then stall till time is called.  So Roserade Gl can help you lengthen the game, which is good for you and bad for them.       

The fourth and final tech against Lostgar Lock is Staraptor Fb Lv. X. In my opinion the best thing about Lostgar Lock is not Gengar Prime, nor is it Vilegar, nor is it Gengar Sf, but it is the Rescue Energy+ BTS combo.  This combo is amazing and makes Lostgar Lock such a great deck.   If you knock out a Gengar or Vileplume they just put it back down again and say, “can you do that 5 more times?”  Well SP decks cannot do that 5 more times, so lets stop this combo.  You can go at this 2 ways.  You can get either get rid of the Rescue Energy, with Lost Remover.  Or, you can get rid of the Broke Time Space.  Because of trainerlock, the best way to do this is to get rid of the stadium card.

The easiest way to get rid of the stadium is with Staraptor FB Lv. X.  Staraptor has the “Defog” attack that does 70 damage and discards a stadium for CCC.  Unfortunately this attack only does 50 to Gengar Prime, thanks to resistance but the main part of this attack is the discarding of the stadium.  Without BTS they will need 3 turns to get their Vileplume or Gengar back, which will buy you enough time do get more prizes.  Also, Staraptor’s “Fast Call” Poke-Power will let you get any Stadium from your deck.  This lets you setup a Cyrus Chain very quickly, or be able to get a PONT to refresh your hand.

Gyarados–  This seems like a weird place to put Gyarados.  How will this be good for Gyarados?  It is a trainerlock deck, in which the opponent has a chance at Lost Zoning a Magikarp.  This doesn’t sound good for Gyarados.

But if you build a decent Gyarados build, you can make a list that has at least a 50% chance of beating any Trainerlock deck.  Where Gyarados really improves is the fact that SP is not thinking about it any more.  We might see some decks losing their Lucario Gl, or at the very least losing consistency. And, if SP decks are not as consistent as possible Gyarados will be able to swoop in and beat SP decks.  With the changing of SP lists, Gyarados now has the chance of winning a lot more tournaments.

The Losers                                                            

Vilegar– Vilegar was already losing to SP decks, now SP decks are really teching against them, this can’t be good.  The number of traditional Vilegar players will drop because of the fact that Lostgar Lock is very similar.  So, I would be surprised if traditional Vilegar does anything at S/T/P Championships.

Uxie Donk–     If you build Uxie Donk really well you can easily beat any deck except any kind of Trainerlock or a deck with sustained Powerlock.  The ECC did nothing if it didn’t reaffirm that trainerlock will be around for a long time.  Unfortunately, Uxie Donk Players will be running into a lot of trainer lock decks.

Rogue Decks– A lot of rogue decks rely on trainers.  And Lostgar Lock stops trainers, so Lostgar Lock will stop a lot of rogue decks.  Its that simple.  Although, there are some rogue decks that don’t rely on a lot of trainers these decks are mostly unaffected.  Unfortunately, it seems like the rise of Lostgar Lock means a lot less original decks.

So thats what I think the ECC means for the Metagame.  I may be over-reacting to the news a little, but I think Andrea’s good showing is a harbinger for things to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Although I think you’re right that LostGar is a strong deck, and I don’t mean to take anything away from Andrea’s accomplishment, I have to admit I took the exact opposite from the ECC results–half of the decks in the top 32 were LuxChomp but only three of the top 32 were LostGar decks. Now, of course, you would expect lots of LuxChomp in top cuts if everybody played LuxChomp, and I don’t know what the total fraction of LuxChomp there was. But looking at a few tournament reports, it looks like people’s Swiss rounds were filled with all kinds of decks, certainly not half LuxChomp.

    So I’m still not buyin it. No offense–I totally agree with your techs, and the losers too–but after playtesting LostGar for a while I still don’t see it.

    • Anonymous

      I see where your coming from this, there were some good rogue decks like Magezone Regirock and Gyarados with Exegutor.

      But then again last year in Europe Flygon/Torterra dominated, so what happens in Europe doesn’t always translate.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • Papa_Mash

    One of the other winners you didn’t discuss was Magnezone. Discussion about it’s 8-0 showing in Swiss is all over the Poke-boards. Though I have some issues with the purported decklist that has been floating around, it is a fast hard-hitting version of Magnezone of which players should be aware (I think part of its success in Swiss may have been due to the surprise factor). The Regirock combo was really clever.

  • Anonymous

    Nice article, but you should’ve added that the Rescue Energy + Broken Time-Space combo is only unstoppable with trainer-lock due to Lost Remover.

  • I’m not so sure that you can just lump all of the rogue decks in the loser column together. Basically, LostGar Lock is a stage two deck, with disruption, that hits hard (either through damage or lost zone’ing things). Several other rogues share that same core.

    Magnezone and Charizard share several of the same characteristics. I have been playtesting them both against LostGarLock and winning alot. Both of those decks also abuse the resuce energy/BTS combo and can easily OHKO any Gengar (except a belted Lv.X). You can also use Spiritomb as opener to accelerate evolution (possibly a T2 Zard/Zone). The ace in the hole is running four Judge and four Bebe’s Search. Both decks have great draw power. Those two cards allow you to manipulate your hands to keep out either excess t/s/s or Pokemon. Magnezone does this even better with Regirock.

    Both of these decks have also tested to be at least 50/50 against several other popular decks. Charizard is 50/50 against Machamp, VileGar, and DiaglaChomp. Magnezone is 50/50 against DiaglaChomp, G-Dos, and VileGar.

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to get games in against LuxChomp. Nobody on my Hamachi networks will play LuxChomp for me to test against, and I am on like 10 networks.