An Introduction to State Championships 2011

by Pikkdogs ~ February 20th, 2011.

States are readily approaching and its time to get ready.  You could just pick a deck you like, test it a lot, and then leave for the tournament.  But, if you wanna read up on whats been happening in the game in the past couple months and what will happen, just continue reading this article.    

In this article we will be looking at how cities ended, what changes have occurred since then, how good the most popular decks will do in states, and then I will throw in some tips for S/P/T Championships at the end.

Cities: A recap

City Championships 2010-2011 did not have surprising results.  One trend for cities was the dominance of LuxChomp.  LuxChomp has now been going strong for a year, and has been the best deck in the format for all that time.  Luxchomp won around half of the cities in the U.S.  It dominates most of the other best decks out there.  It is a great fast and disruptive deck that came strong after cities into States.  The Cities version of LuxChomp included Lucario Gl for the Gyarados match-up, and we should be seeing a similar list coming into States. Anyone who plans to win a States and is not playing LuxChomp need the ability to beat it.

Another trend for cities was the return of Gyarados.  Of course Gyarados first came on the scene at Worlds two years ago, thanks to the help of the French.  “Tail Revenge” has invaded the Pokemon TCG scene like no other French attack has ever before (I’ll be here all week, try the veal, and tip your server).  But it was absent from Battle Roads this season, but has came back thanks to the help of Junk Arm.  Now with Junk Arm, Rescue Energy, and Volkner’s Philosophy Gyarados is ready to run over most decks.  It preforms well against a lot of the best decks, but can never seem to consistently beat Luxchomp.  Gyarados is ready to be a deck to be reckoned with for States, but I feel it won’t win too many because of LuxChomp. The Cities version of this deck should be very similar to what we will see at States.

Luxray GL Reverse HoloThe final trend from Cities this year was the legitimacy of Trainer lock (or Vilegar or whatever you wanna call Vileplume+ Gengar Sf).  When Vilegar first came up it was laughed at by a lot of Pokemon players.  It was literally an idea that was cultivated from a series of responses to a Six Prizes article.  It was played by a few players the first week of BR’s, but did not have great success at Battle Roads.  But, when Cities came around the deck was not only still around, it was being played by a lot of great Pokemon Players.  It actually got some of the better players to stop playing SP and play Trainerlock.  But, Alas it was not enough to stop LuxChomp, as it losses most of those match-ups.  The States version of the list could be very similar to the Cities version, but could include Mr. Mime CL and possibly Gengar Prime.

To give you a better understanding of what happened at Cities I will post what won Cities in the U.S., courtesy of

Masters 1st place Decks:
Luxchomp: 103
Gyarados: 44
VileGar: 39                                                                                                                                                        
Dialgachomp: 19
Gigas: 6
Machamp: 6
Sablelock: 4
Blaze Chomp: 4
Uxie or Shuppet: 3
Steelix: 3
Drapion: 3
Arceus: 3
Kingdra: 3

Call of Legends: Impactful or not?

Usually the set that comes out between Cities and States changes the Metagame, but this set may or may not.  The Call of Legends set contained mostly reprints from other HGSS sets, and a few cards from the Japanese Lost Link Mini Set.  The big card that came out in this set was Lost World.  This is a stadium card that will allow you to win the game if your opponent has 6 of more Pokemon in the Lost Zone.  As you can imagine this has caused many people to try a Lost World deck.  But the results of these testings are as of yet unknown.              

The most popular Lost World decks are Gengar Prime decks and Absol G/ Mime Jr. decks.  The latter of the which has not been proven to be a great deck.  It has a solid premise, but fails against Trainerlock decks.  The former has had some mixed results.  It depends on who you ask.  A lot of people say that Gengar Prime decks work, while others say that its just too slow.  Some people have been adding the Prime into Trainerlock decks while others are trying a Straight Gengar form, while others are working with decks that are similar to last year’s Cursegar list.

I am not sure if Lost World decks will be great during States, but they are something to watch out for.  It could be a great deck during States, so make sure to test against it.  It might be worth adding a Gengar counter, since you will bee seeing it in a lot of decks.

Besides Lost World, not a lot of other cards will effect States that much.  You might see a couple Raichu decks that use Pachirisu CL, or Lost Remover to counter Special Energy cards, or maybe even Lucario Cl.  You might not see a lot of these decks and ideas, but its better to know about them then to be surprised by them.

Review of the best decks

This is where I run over the top decks and see whats happened to them since Cities and what the outlook for these decks are.                                                                                                                                                                     

  1. LuxChomp-  LuxChomp is the best deck around.  It will easily win most State Tournaments.  There will be new additions to the deck, because of the new cards released and the fact that people are always tweaking their LuxChomp lists.  But, the new cards won’t make much of a difference.  It will still be the strong deck that it always was.  Expect it to work like it always has, and win a lot of tournaments.
  2. Gyarados- Gyarados, like LuxChomp, has not received a lot of help from the new set.  So, the lists will be basically the same as  they were for cities.  Unfortunately, this means that this deck will not be able to improve its match up versus LuxChomp.  Gyarados will probably win several States, but will need to have a lot of luck to win in a LuxChomp heavy tournament.
  3. Trainerlock– Vilegar has already proved itself as a great deck.  Be prepared to see Mr. Mime Call of Legends in this deck, to be able to see your opponent’s hand.  Also you might see a Vilegar/Lostgar hybrid. so when they flip over Spiritomb, Oddish, and Gastly don’t assume that they don’t also have Lost World in their hand.  So where does this leave Trainerlock, about where it was during Cities.  It still can’t beat LuxChomp, and is about 50/50 against a well built Gyarados deck.  It could take a couple tournaments, but don’t expect it to win too much.
  4. DialgaChomp– I usually don’t talk about this deck because its so similar to LuxChomp decks.  People act like they are totally different, when in actuality they are only about 4-8 cards different.   This deck didn’t change much after Cities, its basically the same list that people ran at Cities.  DialgaChomp isn’t played as much as LuxChomp, and since they are so similar this deck doesn’t have a great a shot.  It might win a state or two, but it won’t dominate like its brother LuxChomp will.                                                 
  5. Regigas– Regigas is a great deck,  but is not often played.  It is a great deck that locks the opponent down for several turns.  Although most people don’t play this deck, the few people that do are really good with it.  It has not received much help from Call of Legends, but the break after Cities gave players more of a chance to try out the cards from Triumphant.  You could see a lot more polished Gigas decks that will impact States.  I wouldn’t be surprised if 1 Gigas deck tops at each States, but I think the tournaments are too competitive for this deck to win.  I don’t expect Regigas to win more then 1 tournament.
  6. Machamp– This will be a very short writeup about Machamp.  It didn’t receive any help from CL so you can expect a lot of the same from this deck.  Machamp decks have proved that they can’t keep up on the prize race against Luxchomp, nor beat Gyarados or Trainerlock consistently.  Don’t expect Machamp to be making much noise.
  7. Lostgar– As I mentioned before, who knows what will happen with Lostgar.  Some people say its going to dominate the format, some say it doesn’t even work.  Of course, this deck was created from the Call of Legends Set, and will be sure to run Lost World and Mr. Mime CL.  I don’t know how well it will do in the tournament.  If I had to guess I will say it will make a small impact on the State tournament scene, but will not bring home any gold.  But, the sky is the limit for this deck and it does have promise, so be sure to watch out for Lostgar.
  8. Uxie– Uxie Donk was a deck that was around for Cities last year, but was resurrected one year later after the release of Seeker.  Uxie will try to knock you out on the first turn, and does a pretty good job of it.  It did not get a lot of help from the Call of Legends set, but should see a little more play because of good articles, like those written by Radu on this site.  Uxie donk is a good deck that will see a lot of play after Swiss rounds are over.  As long as there are not a lot of Trainerlock decks around there will be a lot of Uxies in the top cut rounds.  And once Uxie decks get to Top Cut they only need some luck to win.  That being said, they are going to need a lot of luck.  I would be surprised is they win more then 1 or 2 tournaments.
  9. Sabelock-  Sablelock is a great deck that has been around for about a year.  It has not done well in smaller tournaments like Battle  Roads and Cities, but it is a deck that can do well in larger tournaments.  It did really well at Regionals, Nationals, and Worlds, so that gives it hope for this years States.  Sablelock did not get a lot of help from the CL set, but it is still the same efficient deck as it ever was.  Even though Sablelock has not done anything this season, I do expect Sablelock to start warming up.   I would be surprised if this deck doesn’t win several State titles.

Tips for your State Championships-                                                                                          Sableye - SF

  1. Plan for the long haul-State Championships are the first big tournament in about a year.  State Championships will be around 7-8 rounds, it will be bigger then the 5-6 round Cities tournaments.  So you can afford to play decks that might lose 2-3 games in the Swiss rounds.  Once you top cut anything can happen.  If you make your deck to beat other top decks, you should be good as long as you can top cut.
  2. Be Prepared– States will be a long tournament, so be ready.  Don’t show up and say “I hope they hurry up, I got choir practice at 7.”  Be prepared to spend all day and all night at the tournament site.  One tip is to show up with a couple bottles of water, some snacks, and  money to get lunch and dinner.  Really get a lot of supplies so you can dig in and be comfortable there all day.  The snacks and water are important cause if you get dehydrated or hungry, you will lose your focus, and one mistake can mean the difference between a tournament win or a loss.    Also, a lot of tournaments will drag on till after midnight, so make plans to be there for a while.  If you have the funds and the time it would be nice to get a motel room in the area for the night.  If not, have some energy drinks in your car so you don’t fall asleep if ya gotta drive home at 2 in the morning.
  3. Test, Test, Test-  The one thing you can do to make sure you do well at States is to practice.  We still have a couple weekends till States, so call your buddies over and spend a lot of time testing.  The only way you will be prepared is if you get a lot of extra play testing done.
  4. Pick a deck that you are comfortable with-  This goes back to my third point, pick a good deck and test it until you can’t test it anymore.  Make sure you are ready for anything with your deck.  If you don’t know everything about your deck you probably won’t have enough to win.  Pick a good consistent deck that you are comfortable with.
  5. Be ready for rogues– It has been a  long time since states, and people have not been sleeping on their cards.  They have been testing out new decks, and keeping their secrets to themselves.  Be prepared to see a lot of teams coming to the tournament with secret decks.  These decks may not win the tournament, but a lot of Rogue decks will be good and have the possibility to knock out a lot of other good decks.  So expect the unexpected.

Well thats it.  I wish all you guys good luck at your States.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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