With another week of tournaments behind us, we really are beginning to see the format develop itself. Regionals is less than a month away now and there are two more weeks of Battle Roads left and after playing several events in the past few weeks, I think I really am starting to understand this format and I really am enjoying it. There are a lot of intricacies that a lot of people don’t understand that makes skillful play possible. Resource management is unbelievably important and so many people do not understand how to play certain scenarios appropriately. Many games at these Battle Roads, I noticed what my opponent chose to discard and immediately knew if I was going to win the game or not.
I believe there is a common misconception (one that was not punished during HGSS-On because of the existence of Junk Arm) that you always have to be drawing cards every single turn and that you can get away with just discarding crucial Item cards whenever you want and naturally, this is not true. People need to understand that it is perfectly acceptable to just attach and pass in certain cases. Obviously, this is not always true, but I find myself going several turns without playing a Supporter or an Item card and being completely okay with this. Players need to understand that the format is much slower now without having to deal with multiple Portraits every single turn.
As you might have noticed already, I have a different agenda for this week’s Battle Shop. I generally plan on just doing tournament reports after weekends with events, but I did not feel it necessary to do so this weekend, but I will quickly brief you on what happened. Saturday, I decided to give Garbordor a try and I played a very similar list to what Colin initially posted (and he went on to attempt to copy me for his event Sunday). I made a calculated guess that the metagame on Saturday would be almost exclusively Hydreigon (without Tool Scrapper) and I was indeed correct.
I ended up going 5-0 with the deck, crushing Hydregion/Darkrai EX three separate times along with a very close game with Empoleon/Stunfisk/Terrakion and a strange game against a non-Rayquaza Eelektrik deck. A report would be pretty boring because 3/5 of my games were complete blowouts all in the same fashion, Hydreigon could not beat Garbotoxin. After the event, I have come to decide that I really do think that this deck is very strong. Its performance is almost entirely dependent on the metagame and if people choose to play Tool Scrapper or not. All considerations when testing for Regionals. I did play an event Sunday as well, but I just completely tanked it with this awful, awful Tornadus EX deck that belongs in the trash.
Instead of going into great detail on the game itself, I just wanted to tackle a few issues about the format itself right now. I already touched on how important resource management is above, but now I’d like to address something that I’d like to call the Random Receiver Fallacy. In the last format, Random Receiver and its predecessor Pokegear 3.0 were in every deck and they were obviously very good cards and rolling into this format, most people still play this card and after playing a ton of games in a tournament setting, I think this is largely a mistake. I believe that my opinion is a credible one as I have earned 52 points from this run of Battle Roads, which is amongst the highest (naturally, I do not appear very high on the overall ratings because I received no points from Worlds, but that’s beside the point).
It is my opinion that this card should only be played in a deck that is playing Sableye. Sableye is simply the best starter in the game right now and being able to abuse a card like Random Receiver is incredibly strong with him, but otherwise, I do not think that the card is necessary at all. I think that it continues to force players to manage their resources poorly. Say I have a hand with a bunch of Supporters, one of them being Juniper and a Random Receiver. Do you simply discard them all or play the card and pray to reveal N to conserve all those cards? The answer is probably no, but these scenarios are always so difficult, either way you are probably in a difficult situation and regardless of what you choose, this scenario is not ideal. There is not a single deck that does not (or should not) be playing four copies of N and this card is troublesome for the card in question.
Being N’d to a low amount and having to play Random Receiver and simply hitting an N is very negative and you likely will not be able to draw out of your predicament. This sort of instance is true for very aggressive decks that, say, have taken four to five prizes quickly and only need to draw into Pokemon Catcher to seal the game. However, your only method for drawing more cards is to hope not reveal N off Random Receiver, but unfortunately you did and you can choose to play it (this is almost certainly the incorrect play) or just hope to draw a better Supporter in the next few turns.
These scenarios are easily remedied by not playing Random Receiver and simply replacing it with more Supporters; something that I have been very comfortable doing throughout these Battle Roads. For the most part, I think that Cheren is a very underrated Supporter and more and more often, I’m finding him slipping into my lists and being very comfortable with it. The vanilla +3 is still a satisfactory play in all stages of the game and it is certainly a card you would prefer over another an N or Random Receiver into an N in the late game. I played four copies this past weekend and it worked out very well. Cheren might not be as fast as his friend Bianca and Juniper, but I think that it is a very calculated card and even promotes proper resource management.
Naturally, there is a lot of wiggle room in this debate, but I’m very confident that my argument is solid. Still though, I looked forward to hearing what others think of this conundrum. I believe that I have two more Battle Roads to attend before Regionals, so I hope to continue to perform well (and crush Colin in total CP). I would like to mention that I have personally been receiving a lot of positive feedback about the blog and our entries, and it really means a lot. Thank you very much!