Pikkdogs’ Toledo Battle Road Report: Running the Richards Gauntlet

by Pikkdogs ~ October 9th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs and his extra dimensionary sidekick Pedro here with a Battle Roads report.  I decided to run Donphan and Dragons again at this

Frank and Amanda talking it up before the tournament

tournament because I had done well with it in my last tournament.  I won’t post a list because it is basically the same one that I shared last time.  The only change was that I replaced a Lost Remover with another Max Potion.  After today I don’t think I would change anything about this deck.  So enough about the deck, let’s set up the tournament.

Hey, we usually do a little schtick before we get to the article.  Why are you getting into the article so fast.

Well, I can’t think of anything to talk about.

We can talk about Frank’s weird snake scarf in the picture to the right.

I think we already said that we think he is compensating for something, let’s just to the article.

This past Saturday there were two options for Michigan players.  We could either get up early and go to a BR in Hartland, Mi (located kind of between Ann Arbor and Flint), or we could head south to the border town of Toledo, Ohio.  Despite my pact to stay out of Ohio as much as possible (yes the University of Michigan and Ohio State rivalry has driven me crazy), I decided to go to the Toledo event since it allowed me to sleep in a little more.  I was hoping that most of the better Michigan players would have stayed in state, but alas they all thought like me and decided to come to Toledo.   I can’t describe everyone who was there, but there were some great players like 2nd place state finisher Matt K., perennial Ohio top cutter Jack I., Team Warp Point power houses Ryan G. and Collan B., and the contingent from Team Bertolli which includes the Richards brothers (and father) and Mike, A.K.A. Bertolli.  The tournament today would be 6 Swiss rounds with a top cut of 4, since there were 34 players the 3rd and 4th place kicker points did “kick” in.

I was nice (and foolish) enough to bring with me fellow Onehitko.com writer Mark M. and my favorite Ukrainian, Bohdan P.

Bohdan is Ukranian?  Did you ever tell him that “the Ukraine is weak” while you were playing a game?

Well no, but I think all Ukranian’s would have to smash the playing surface whenever they hear that phrase when a game is going on.

That’s what I think too.

So I got up extra early and went North to Detroit to pick up the guys.  We get held up a little downtown and run into some traffic along the way, but we still entered Toledo on time.   I had not been to this location before, so I used my G.P.S. to get us there.  I had entered “Sylvan Road” into the GPS, but was puzzled when the road turned out to be more like an alley.  I double checked my printed directions and

found out that I was supposed to be at “Slyvania Avenue.”  Ooooops.   It only took us an extra 10 minutes to find the right place, and we were able to get registered in plenty time.

So you got lost again?  How dumb do you have to be to get lost with a GPS?

You would be suprised, I can get lost  very easily.

The venue for this tournament was not the best.  It was a small game room at a card shop that was very hot and smelly.  But, it wasn’t too bad and it was nice to just be in a decent spot.  I slipped away from the tournament for a while to get me and Mark a pizza, then came back to the shop and ate some pizza and talked to the many of my buddies that were there.  It took a little too long, but the pairings were posted before the peasants got too rambunctious.

Round 1- I forgot his name but he was from Mansfield, Ohio.  LostGar.

I find it funny that this place had the private parts of Vehicles in a box.

I usually get a tough first round game, but  I wasn’t too afraid of Lostgar.  I haven’t played against it for a while but I know that my deck is faster and can OHKO or 2HKO anything he has.

I start with Phanpy (the only time I had this good of a start all day) and he starts with a Gastly and a benched Slowpoke.  He starts first and puts 1 damage counter on Phanpy.  On my turn I attach a fighting energy and then use Pokemon Catcher to bring up the Slowpoke (hoping to stall my opponent out), I then “Flail” for 10.  He cannot retreat the Slowpoke, so he has to pass after he used a Pokemon Collector.  I then was able to use Pokemon Communication to get a Donphan Prime, and I used a Pokemon Catcher to knock out a Mew Prime.

I decided to target Mew Prime because I know that using Mew is a quick and easy way to put Pokemon in the Lost Zone.  I also knew that if he didn’t “See Off” a Gengar Prime next turn, he would be unlikely to use Mew to any great effectiveness.  Being a former Mew Prime player myself, I know that if you do not “See Off” on turn 1 or 2 you will be unlikely to use Mew effectively.

But, because I knocked out Mew, he was able to use Twins.  With Twins he was able to setup his first Gengar Prime with a Rare Candy and a Gengar Prime.  He then used Spiritomb’s “Spooky Whirlwind” to put a Pokemon in my hand, and was able to put it in the Lost Zone.  On my turn I “Earthquake” the Gengar Prime for 60.  On his turn he uses Seeker to Lost Zone a Zekrom and t

Dan R. getting pumped for the tournament

hat puts the number of Pokemon in my Lost Zone to 2.  On my next turn I use a Plus Power to knock out the Gengar Prime with “Earthquake.”  After he lost the Gengar he is not really able to do anything much.  He ends up “Seeing Off” a Gengar Prime, but I am able to knock out the Mew’s before


ey could really do anything.

1-0 So I start the day on the right foot for the first time in the tournament season.  I usually have to play from behind the eight ball.  Maybe I am too used to playing from behind that it is hard for me to lead throughout the day.

Round 2- Dan R. with Zekrom

Today I experienced something really weird, I played 3 straight games against members of the same family.  This round was the first of the 3 rounds.  It seems like I got stuck running the Richards gauntlet.  I used to be a big wrestling fan when I was younger.  And whenever one face (or good guy) was feuding against a stable of heels (a group of bad guys) he would usually have to fight a gauntlet match.  This meant that the one good guy would have to wrestle all members of the bad guy group either at one time or in quick succession.  Well this is what I felt like in Toledo.

Team Warp Point goofing off again.

The Richards are a really nice family, but more importantly they are very talented.  Dave is fresh of his Nationals victory (in Seniors) and has gotten a lot of good testing done. Dan has always been a good player, but I think recently he has been bitten by a radioactive spider.  He has gone on a tear lately beating everyone he has matched up against, except yours truly (in fact at one point I think he was 20-2 with both losses being to me).  And their father is a good knowledgeable player who always runs some cool rogue decks.  Anyway, let’s get to my 2nd round match.

I start with Zekrom and Reshiram ending Dan’s hope of a donk.  I am able to get a DCE and “Outrage” a Tornadus for 40.   Dan starts his turn and begins to load up a Tornadus.  On my turn I am able to get a Phanpy in play and then I attack the Tornadus again.  He starts his turn and tries to knocks out the Phanpy, but is unable to.  So on my turn I am able to get a Donphan Prime, and finally knock out that Tornadus.

So at this point I have a slight lead and have a Donphan going.  I had 3 dragons in play and had 3 Phanpys in my deck.  I know that this is 6 prizes and would lose me the game if he knocks them all out, because he usually tries to avoid attacking the Donphans.  I decide to bring out the Phanpys and hope that I can get at least 1 Phanpy evolved to a Donphan instead of trying to face Dan with only 1 Donphan.

On his next turn he does use a Tornadus to knock out a Phanpy, and I am unable to evolve the next Phanpy on my turn.  But lucky on his turn he again whiffs on getting the Pokemon Catcher, and the Phanpy survives long enough to evolve to Donphan Prime.

While this game was going on, I was able to get a knock out on Pachirisu and a Zekrom, while he took down one of my Zekroms.  He then proceeds to knock out all my dragons with Tornadus, and is able to tie the score up with 1 prize a piece.  On the previous turn I had used Pokemon Catcher to bring up a Shaymin, and I “Earth Quaked” it for 40.  All I needed to do is use a catcher to bring the Shaymin back up, because he retreated it  next turn.  Dan attacks and asks if I have the catcher, I say “no”, but then I have to say “yes” as I revealed a Pokemon Catcher from my top deck for the win.

Joe and Rob playing a game and acting weird.

2-0. I have done what no player in the region had yet  done in the entire Battle Road Season, beat Dan, and I did this twice.  Dan is a great player and has an awesome deck that has stopped everyone like a Justin Verlander curve ball, but he has yet to beat the Pikkdogs this season.  But, I cannot celebrate for too much longer because this is just round 1 of my gauntlet, I have another Richards waiting in the wings, and this one has won Nationals.

Round 3 Dave R. with Zekrom

The Richards Gauntlet moves forward with Dave, and he is running a similar deck to what Dan runs.  Although the decks are the same, I can tell that Dave has a different play style.  Dave was basically only using his Tornadi, while Dan used Zekrom as well.  I don’t know whats better, Zekrom gives them a lot more choices, but its also an easy knockout.

I start again with Zekrom and Reshiram, and he starts with Tornadus.  Dave does not get the donk, but he gets Tornadus going early.  I am able to Dual Ball for two Phanpy’s.  On Dave’s next turn only 1 Phanpy survives, which is evolved on my turn.  I have a decent time using Zekrom and Donphan very effectively.

The problems start when I try to use Pokemon Collector for the other 2 Phanpy’s.  I found out that they are both prized, meaning I will have no more Donphan’s in the game.  Dave see’s his and goes for the dagger.  He starts targeting Donphan Prime, but I am able to use Max Potion on my turn to keep Donphan alive.  I get a knock out on my turn, but I do not get a Phanpy from the prizes.  I then scoop next turn after I am unable to get another Max Potion.

2-1.  So this one is kind of frustrating.  I think I would have been fine if I did not have those 2 Phanpy’s prized.  Sure Dave would have been a tough out, but I think I could have squeaked it out.  But alas, it was not meant to be.

Round 4. Eric (I think that’s his name) R. with Stage 1 Rush.

The Fort Wayne players show they are the best at making weird faces

I always have a nice time talking to Papa Richards, and am actually glad to be playing another Richards.  I was comforted by the fact that the gauntlet would soon be over since there were no more Richards left to play.   He usually plays a cool rogue deck, but today he has a more traditional Stage 1 Rush deck.  Well the only thing that is rogue about this deck is the inclusion of Terakkion instead of Donphan, I guess he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t change the deck a little bit.

I start the game with Zekrom, get a Phanpy and then pass.  He has a very poor start.  He starts with Hoothoot and uses “Hypnosis”  to put my Zekrom to sleep.   It seems that his opening hand was kind of scattered, and he didn’t have a great start at all.

Unfortunately for him, my Zekrom woke up and had 2 Rainbows Energies on it, so I was able to “Outrage” for the knock out.  He then promotes a Yanma, but decides to get a Terrakion and bring it active to try to stall.

I then attach a fighting to my Zekrom and am able to “Bolt Strike” 2 Terrakions for the knock out.  He is able to get a revenge kill, but by this time my lead is to big for me to lose.

3-1. Well I survived the Richards gauntlet.  But it did put me in a corner, I need to win out to have a chance with two rounds left.

Round 5 Ryan G. with Stage 1 Rush (C.M.T. version-Cincinno, Mew, and Tornadus)

Ryan is a good buddy and a very nice guy.  I only played him once and that was in state’s last year when he donked me.  So I was looking forward to a  nice long game.

Matt K playing Sarah in the first round of Top Cut

I start with Zekrom and attach a DCE so I can “Outrage” for 40 on his Tornadus.  Unfortunately, it was now that I found out that Ryan plays Lost Remover.  He used it on his first turn to take away the DCE.  On my turn I am able to get a Donphan Prime without the help of a supporter, but am not able to get the energy, so I pass a couple times while he sets up.  My supporter drought ends 3-4 turns later, but the only energy I get is a Rainbow Energy.  It works for one turn before Ryan uses Lost Remover to take it away.  He then uses Mew to poison Donphan Prime with Crobat Prime’s attack.  I then use a Switch to bring the Donphan back to the bench, but by this time Ryan is up about three prizes.  I pass and he tries to use a Pokemon Catcher to bring up the Donphan, but I refuse.  Now I know I can’t refuse so I use this time to scoop and congratulate my buddy on a win.

3-2- I learn that there are two 5-0 players, so I know that my day is now over, no top cut for me.  Though I don’t feel bad about losing to Ryan, I just had some bad luck and he had some what he needed.  I really needed a supporter early in the game, and he was deadly with the Lost Remover.  I am happy that he had a chance at getting to the top cut.

Round 6. James H. with Zekrom.

James is my buddy from Fort Wayne I have tested with him for over a year now.  So it’s nice to play a game with a friend, especially when we both know our day is over.

James does play Zekrom, but he does not play the fast version like the Richards boys do.  He plays a version that emphasizes defense and uses a lot of Defenders.  While I can’t say one strategy is better than the other, I only fear Zekrom decks that can win early (and all decks when I prize my Phanpys).

I again start with Zekrom, but this time I can’t get a Donphan quickly.  Instead I am able to get my Tropical Beach and use it two times to get setup.  James had to use his resources early to prevent me from attacking early, and then did not have the Defenders when he needed it.  I was able to use Donphan to get a couple knock outs on Zekrom.  James was able to get a couple prizes to keep it close.  But eventually I am able to pull away and am able to clinch a winning record for the day.

Dan playing Bohdan in the first round of Top Cut

4-2.  Yeah I feel like I didn’t get as much luck as I needed, but it was overall a good day.  I got to see a lot of friends, and ended up winning 4 games.

After the tournament me and Mark had to wait around for Bohdan, who went 6-0.  Unfortunately he met up with Dan R. the first round.  Dan and Bohdan played a long first game, but Dan was able to win it.  Bohdan controlled the flow of the second game, and evened It up to 1 game a piece.  Dan started first in the third and deciding game.  He started with Shaymin, but was able to throw a lot of Dual Balls around and somehow get all the energy, Plus Powers, and Pokemon he needed for a the knock out on Bohdan’s lone Phanpy.

When you say “he was able to throw a lot of Dual Balls around”, is that code?


Anyway, Bohdan took his packs and he stopped at Wendy’s for some lunch.  After lots of bacon I made my way back to the motor city and dropped off the black guy and the Ukrainian.   Overall, I say it was a successful day.  Dan ended up losing in the finals to Matt K.  While I am happy to have had fun, hopefully soon  I will be able to win it all once or twice.  And I have a chance to next weekend with two Battle Roads in my home state of Michigan.

You wanna bet that you will win next weekend?


That’s what I thought.

So look for those reports next weekend.

Thanks again to all the judges and those who made all the tournaments possible.

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