Review of Battle Roads and your first Regionals Preview

by Pikkdogs ~ October 19th, 2011.

Hello all you Earthlings.  Today we have an article about the ending of Fall Battle Roads.  Let me now introduce to you your author for this evening,  the other rock star from Mars, Pikkdogs!!

Why what an introduction, Pedro.  What has gotten in to you?  You usually are not this nice.

Well, I thought I would give you a good entrance to make you feel better about your dissapointing fall battle road season.  

Here we go, I thought there must have been something up your sleeve. 

No, nothing up my sleeve. I just thought it could be pretty bad to go to 6 tournaments without winning any.  0-6 is a tough thing. 

Yeah, okay.  Thanks Pedro, let’s get on to the article.

Mini Tournament Report

I didn’t do too well at my last BR in Okemos, Mi, so I will only give you a little blurb about it.  I again played Donphan and dragons, but this time I used 2 Tornadi. 

The first round was against my freind Andrew.  He was playing Zekrom and he played it very well.  I still should have pulled it out, but I discared 4 energy with Sage’s Training, and I didn’t have any left late in the game.  My 2nd round was against this crazy deck with Audino and Electrode Prime.  Audino can do 40 damage for every heads you flip, and you flip as many coins as you have energy on him.  So you use Electrode to attach energies, and then load them on to Audino to win early.  Well I started Zekrom and couldn’t get anything else until my 2nd turn.  Since he started first he was able to use Electrode to get 8 energies on Audino!  He needed to hit 4 heads, but he only hit 3.  So from there my Donphans were able to clean house.  Nice deck though, it will be awesome with Victini. 

Round 3 was against my buddy Ryan G.  I knew this game was a lost cause because he runs a lot of Lost Remover.  So he took away my energy, and I cried.  Round 4 was against a Reshiphlosion.  I started first with a Phanpy and passed.  He had a Cyndaquil, used a PONT, but didn’t come up with a Basic.  So I atttached, evolve to Donphan Prime, and win the game early. 

Round 5 was against a long time Michigan player named Ryan.  He had a cool Crobat Prime/ Weavile deck.  I made 3 major mistakes in this game, if I would have only made 1 or 2, I would have won.  My first mistake was when I had a DCE on Tornadus, and a benched Phanpy.  I should have attached a fighting to Tornadus, “Hurricaned” and then moved the fighting to Phanpy.  But instead i attached a Rainbow Energy, and the Fighting Energy was “Claw Snagged” from me next turn.  The next mistake was when I was about to knock out a Crobat, I forgot to account for resistance.  I had a Plus Power in my hand that would have knocked him out, but I didn’t play it.  The third mistake was telling him what to do.  I had just Switched my Donphan to the bench to protect him since I had no energy, and Ryan was playing a Junk Arm.  He announced he was going to play Junk Arm and said he would get a “Poke-” and I cut him off and said “Catcher.”  And he said something like, “Well I was going to say ‘gear’, but I guess Catcher is better here.  So he brought up my last Donphan and was able to knock it out a couple turns later.  So my stupidity cost me that game. 

The last match was against a friend of my buddy Matt K.’s.  He was just getting into the game, and was kind of over whelmed with all of the different decks he saw people playing.  So i just slowed it down and had a nice fun match with him.  There were a couple times where I let him take back some misplays.  But  I didn’t really care, a 2-4 record was just as good as a 3-3.  I did end up winning, but I hope my opponent continues to stick it out.  I know if he listens to Matt he will be a great player in no time. 

Ouch, a 3-3 record.  Can they bring you down to Juniors for doing that bad?

I don’t think so.

Lucky for you.

I guess.  Well my BR record stands at about 25-17.  Not a great record and I guess you can say fairly dissapointing.  But, I did have fun and I did have 1 decent preformace, grabbing a silver Victory medal.  So it was not all a total loss.

Says you. 

Okay, Pedro I get your point.  Now let’s do the Battle Roads Wrap Up.

Battle Roads Wrap Up

Well, BR’s are finally over.  It has been an exciting month of very exciting play.  With Championship Points on the line, BRs have never been worth more.  Let us start the wrap up by looking at what decks did well.  We will be using official Pokegym data.  Now, these numbers are not representative of the whole, but they are a good guess at what went down.  Since I don’t think the official numbers are released yet, I will just rank them without numbers.

1.  Zekrom variants

2.  Reshiram variants

3.  Primetime

4.  Stage 1 Variants (including Mew, Cincinno)

5.  Gothitelle 

6. Donphan and Dragons

7.  Yanmega Kindra

8.  Ross Deck variants

So that gives us somewhat of a tier.  Reshiram and Zekrom are on tier 1, while Stage 1’s, Gothitelle, and Primetime make up Tier 2. That leaves  tier 3 for Donphan and Dragons, Ross Deck, and Yanmega/Kingdra. 

One thing we learned for sure is that Tornadus is a great card in Zekrom decks.  Zekrom was already poised to win on turn 1, now it has more donk potential.  Tornadus also gives Zekrom a shot against Donphan Prime.  Zekrom seems like a very fast deck that can still take the game longer without having a lot of liabilities.  I think that it is right now the deck to beat.  A lot of good people are playing the deck, and the cards are fairly easy to get, so a lot of people on the whole are playing the deck.  It is the deck to beat going into regionals.

Reshiram decks also are not going away.  Reshiphlosion seems like the best variant, but in areas where Reshiphlosion is popular, Reshiboar will be the better deck.  Reshiphlosion is great because if you can get 2-3 Typhlosions up, you can basically have control of all your energy on the field and do whatever you want with it.  You can use it to  draw cards, and then attach it from your discard pile.  If you ever get 2 Typhlosions up and can keep them there, you basically should not lose.  The problem is keeping them up with Pokemon Catcher being played.  Reshiboar is great because you only need 1 Emboar, and you don’t need to fiddle with damage counters.  But, Emboars 4 retreat cost is a HUGE liability.  All things considred, Reshiram variants are a great play for Regionals and will be something you need to plan against. 

Primetime and Gothitelle are nice decks, but you gotta have good players playing them.  They do not have the player support like Reshiram and Zekrom do.  These decks are great because the  best players play Zekrom, and everyone plays Reshiram.  But, Primetime can be every bit as good as Zekrom if the better players play it.  The same with Gothitelle, if the best players play it it will do good.  If the weird girls are the only people that play it, it will not do that well.  These are not the best decks right now, but any one of these could easily win Regionals if played by some good players. 

The next tier of decks is good, but nothing that should be favored for Regionals.  Ross Deck is kinda slow, Donphan and Dragons is too reliant on luck, and Yanmega Kingdra has almost no player support. 

Things we learned from Battle Roads

  1. Zekrom is the deck to beat.  It has the player support and is really good.  It is one of the few donk decks that can play later in the game.
  2. Gothitelle is good.  If you get good people playing it, Gothitelle is a deck that can beat almost any deck.  There is just too many people teching against it, but this may not be the case come Regionals.
  3. Ross Deck is still here.  That weird rogue deck that Ross Cawthon built for worlds is still being played.  Some people even use Steelix instead of Donphan.  It isn’t the best deck, but it is still out there.
  4. Reshiram is here and here to stay.  It is an easy deck to build, and an easy deck to play.  That means a lot of people will be playing it.  It is something to watch out for. 
  5. Not much rogue.  The tournament season basically went out as planned.  No major rogues jumped out.  Look for disruption decks like Ambipom and some surpirse donk decks like Audino to get some play at Regionals.  For some reason, disruption decks do well at bigger tournaments.  And remember this, decks that can win shorter tournaments, are not always the ones that win bigger ones like Regionals. 

What to Play for Regionals

Well for some of us Regionals is just around the corner.  This season we have a split regionals schedule. About half of the regionals will be held in the fall, and half will be held in the spring.  We can debate the merits of this change, but whether we like it or not, Regionals is right around the corner for a lot of us.  As previously mentioned in the article we now have a basic idea of the tiers in the format.  So what should you run? 

Well we can assume that Regionals will be a big tournament.  Probably about 7-8 rounds  with a top 16.  So knowing this, here is some rules to live by. 

  1. Consistency is the key.  The winner of the tournament will be playing a lot of games, so you are going to want to play a consistent deck.  Yes you can lose 1 or 2 games, but you are going to want a deck that can win a lot.  At a BR you can play a risky deck and still expect to win 4-6 games.  But if you play a risky deck at Regionals and win 4-6 games, you probably will not  top cut.  So try to get a deck that will work a lot of times, you don’t need to beat every deck, just play something that will work most of the time.
  2. Watch our for Reshiram and Zekrom.  The format is very diverse right now, so don’t tech against everything.  If you try to tech against everything your deck will not be very consistent.  Just pick what you think will be played the most and then tech against them.  Reshiram and Zekrom will be played a lot, so be prepared for them.  But, don’t go too overboard. 
  3. Go rogue.  The winner of these tournaments will probably be someone who does something different.  It might be as simple as including a 1-1 tech of Scizor Prime or a Lost Remover, or you might try building a Rogue deck.  Remember to keep things simple and to rely on the good items that we have in the format.  If you can get a good deck that has decent matchups, well that’s all you can hope for. 

Some Rogue deck ideas.

As I mentioned, some times disruption decks do better at Regionals than they do Battle Roads.  So lets look at some rogue choices that might do a little better at Regionals than they did at BR.  Just one note, none of the decks that I will talk about here are that good right now, so don’t think that these decks will be able to win, but they might be able to make a bit of noise. 

Disruption

As I mentioned, disruption decks tend to do fairly well in larger tournaments, so expect to see some of these kinds of decks.  The most popular disruption idea in this format came from Nationals last year.  This idea was to use Ambipom TM was your main attacker and as a card to lower your opponent’s hand size.  Weavile can be used for hand disruption, and Slowking Cl can be used to make sure your opponent does not draw anything good.  Although this deck isn’t great in this format, expect to see something like this somewhere at your fall Regionals. Also, look out for Sharpedo decks, they are fairly similar, but can be a little more dramatic. 

Donk

As I mentioned in my mini tourney report, I recently encountered quite  a cool Audino donk deck.  It used Electrode Prime and a lot of energies to do a lot of damage on turn 2.  If this deck starts first and your opponent doesn’t have a second basic, you are almost assured a win.  I am not sure of what a decklist for this deck would be, but I know the guy I played against ran a lot of energies.  I would assume about 20 or more.  He also used Research Record to get non energy cards to the bottom of his deck.  I also assume that he ran 4 Audino and about a 4-3 line of Electrode Prime.  Now this won’t be a great deck, but it is a cool, cheap, and fun deck.  If you don’t really have a deck you want to play and you aren’t chomping at the bit for a win, this deck could be a fun choice.  It does rely on luck, but if you can’t see yourself doing well with other decks in the format, this may not be a terrible move. 

Well that’s about all I got for today.  It seems like after BRs we have Reshiram and Zekrom being really good decks that will see a lot of play.  There will also be the Stage 1 Rush decks and others that see play.  So be sure to test against the decks you saw at BR’s, because they will proabably be very similar to what you see at Regionals.

So how do you want to end the article today Pedro? 

I don’t know.

Well how about we talk about how you have been cheating on me and writing along with Ed? 

Hey, when you got yourself into this relationship, you knew what was happening.  You knew that I was born a rambling extra-dimesnional being. 

Well, I guess.  Just say “hi” to him the next time you see him. 

Okay.

Category: Regional Championships | Tags: , , ,
  • Ed

    I just have to say that I think MegaJudge (PrimeTime or MegaZone or whatever you prefer) is top tier.  It may be the best deck out there.  It doesn’t get as much play due to its expensive price tag and higher importance on perfect plays.  Zekrom and Reshiram decks are more forgiving (both on the brain and the wallet).  I think Magnezone/Yanmega will take a high percentage of the top tables at regionals.

    Getting through BR with a single silver Victory Cup sounds like a success to me!  I know you’d prefer to do better, but I think you did well.  This format is difficult to be consistent.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, you played well Pikk.

    I think ZPST and tyRam are by far the favorites right now. PrimeTime struggles too much with both those decks right now. However, if Goth and Ross see more play then PrimeTime will be perfect.

    • I disagree, going a total of 11-1 vs these decks with Megazone this past weekend counting best of 3 games.  It isn’t easy, but it is also not a struggle.

      • Anonymous

        According to the ‘Gym reports, PrimeTime was paired against either tyRam or ZPST 28 times in the finals. Primetime only won 8 of those matches. Assuming that in the finals, you have good players with good lists, this seems to be a pretty cut and dry answer. tyRam/ZPST handle PrimeTime on a regular basis.

        I understand that many PrimeTime players end up with good records against tyRam/ZPST but many of those games are against inferior players/decklists. PrimeTime players tend to have good lists and good skill and thus overcome the inherent disadvantage they have to tyRam and ZPST. When you pit good tyRam/ZPST players with good lists against PrimeTime players, the data shows that PrimeTime struggles.

        So, I will respectfully disagree with you with tournament tested, empirical data.

  • Anonymous

    I went 4-1 with Tyram and got second in my first tourney so you stink.

  • Andy Wieman

    You contradict yourself in the “What to Play for Regionals” section. First you say that consistency is key, they you also say to “Go Rogue”.

    What many players dont understand is that even including a 1-1 Scizor or a 1-0-1 kingdra can seriously hurt your consistency. As a matter of fact, it is often consistency cards that get cut first.

    I agree that consistency is key (Mike Tourney results show that) and I would advise people to think more inside the box during this format.