Preview of U.S. Spring Battle Roads

by Pikkdogs ~ May 11th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs with a preview to the upcoming spring Battle Roads.  The Battle Roads this year will be very different this year, than all other tournaments.  This is because we are using new rules, such as those that allow you to use trainers on the first turn.  The format will be MD-BW, meaning that we expect a lot of donk decks that feature Sableye Sf.  A couple of weeks ago Play Pokemon announced that there will possibly be a rotation after Battle Roads, this news over shadowed Battle Roads, and a lot of people have only been thinking about the HGSS-on format.  So to get you guys ready, here is your Spring Battle Roads preview.

I admit, that like other people I have been thinking more about the new format than the one in Battle Roads.  Because of this, we could see record low numbers of people at the event.  We could also see a lot of bad decks that aren’t tested well against the donk decks that will be successful.  So be ready for not a lot of people, and for some people that aren’t really ready to compete.

The Main Decks

The main deck at this years Battle Roads will be Sabledonk.  Which is basically an Uxiedonk deck that exchanges 4 Plus Powers for 4 Sableye SFs, and Cyclone Energy for Special Darkness Energy.  Because of the extra Pokemon, Sabledonk is not quite as consistent as Uxie donk.  But, because Sabledonk now can use trainers on the first turn, it does not have to be as effective.  As long as the deck starts Sableye, it will go first and probably only have to knockout/Seeker about 2 Pokemon.  In short, Sabledonk will be able to knock out just about everthing on turn 1.

Another deck that will see action is Gyarados.  It also relies on Sableye Sf for a good start and will hope to be doing 80-110 damage on turn 1.  It is a very fast deck that can do a lot really quickly.  But, the question is, “is it better than Sabledonk?”  Through my testings I have learned that Sabledonk is more consistent than Gyarados, and the fact that Gyarados has 130 HP is not really relevant.  It seems that Sabledonk can got Gyarados almost every time, while Gyarados can only donk Sabledonk sometimes.  Gyarados will be a great deck but it will not consistently beat Sabledonk.  The fact that it has a lot of 30 HP Pokemon, does not help the Sabledonk matchup.  Even though this deck is not the best, it will be played a lot because a lot of people will not want to play Sabeldonk.

There will also be some rogue decks.  A lot of people will not want to play Donk decks, and will play inferior decks knowing that they will probably lose.  So plan to see some weird decks.  A lot of these rogue decks will have Sableye Sf to get a good start, kind of like Gyarados.  Other decks will have Spiritiomb Ar, to try to combat Sableye.  One example is the deck I made, “Who Let The Dogs Out.”  This is a deck that runs 4 Spiritomb and then 2 copies each of the Legendary Dog Pokemon.  I dont think that a lot of people will netdeck that deck, but you will still need to look out for Spiritomb.

How to Prepare  

Never has a format been so secretive.  Most people who are talking about Pokemon, are talking about the HGSS-BW format.  What they are taking to the Battle Road tournaments, are pretty secret.  I would not be surprised if everyone plays Sabledonk or Gyarados, or there could be a lot of rogue decks out there.  Since nobody is talking about Battle Roads, it is very hard to know exactly what they are playing.  To prepare for Battle Roads I would seek out the top players in my area and see what they think about Battle Roads.  I would ask if they are planning on going to them, and what they are testing for the tournaments.  The players will probably not tip their entire hand, but they will give you an idea of what they are expecting for the tournament.  That way you should be able to find out what the metagame will be like.

Your testing should focus on how to beat Sabledonk.  If you play Sabledonk, you will want to see if you can put any thing to help in the mirror.  So far, I have not found anything that is helpful in the mirror, but it will be up to you to try to make your deck as consistent as possible but at the same time let you have more than a 50-50 shot at the mirror.  All of your other testing sessions should either focus on Gyarados, and how you will react to an unexpected rogue deck.

The Prediction

For the first time in over a year, Luxchomp decks probably will be winless in these tournaments.  I just don’t see how they can stand up to the speed that the other decks have.  I am very confident in predicting that Sabledonk will win most of the tournaments.  It can consistently beat any deck that I have seen (except Who Let The Dogs Out, but that has a very bad matchup against any other deck) and is fast enough to donk anything in its way.  In area’s where the best players want to mix it up a little, Gyarados will probably win a couple tournaments.  I also think that some rogue decks will come in and take a small number of tournaments.


I think that Spring Battle Roads will be very interesting.  Most players are only thinking about Nationals, but there are a lot of valuable Victory Medals up for grabs very soon.  Spring Battle Roads could be a format that has only one or two decks, or it could be a very diverse format.  I am not sure exactly what will happen, but I know that the best decks will need to know either how to donk or to survive the donks.  Its time for you guys to do your homework and your testing on your metagame and see if you can’t steal a couple Victory Medals while everyone else has their eyes on Indianapolis.

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