I, along with my good friend Anthony, traveled to Kansas City for the two area Battle Roads this weekend. We arrived Friday night and stayed with our friend Charlene. Prior to the weekend, I pretty much decided that I wanted to use Empoleon/Stunfisk one day and Garbodor/Registeel EX/Terrakion the other (unless I thought that one was a terrible choice for one of the days after learning more about the metagame).
I decided to play Empoleon/Stunfisk on Saturday because of its consistency. It also has fine matchups with most of the field aside from Electric heavy Eelektrik variants. Hydreigon/Darkrai EX is also challenging if they get a really strong start-but the rest are about 50-50 or better. Here is the list I used on Saturday!
1x Mew EX
3x Professor Juniper
2x Random Receiver
3x Rare Candy
4x Pokemon Catcher
3x Pokemon Communication
2x Level Ball
2x Tool Scrapper
2x Max Potion
2x Super Rod
4x Blend Energy
5x Water Energy
2x Fighting Energy
My friend Andrew played against me a few weeks ago with his Empoleon/Stunfisk and I was really impressed with the Fighting fish. He has so many uses! He is able to put a lot of early pressure on the opponent, set up knock outs for Empoleon and lock up Pokemon with Rumble. He was definitely the MVP of the day!
Obviously I wanted to start with Stunfisk each game and spread some damage with Muddy Water while setting up Empoleons. I think everything is pretty self explanatory except perhaps the Tool Scrapper. Although it could be useful for Garbodor, it’s primary use was removing Eviolites on big EX’s. It is hard for Empoleon to two-shot Darkrai EX, Mewtwo EX, Terrakion EX, etc. when they have Eviolite attached. The Tool Scrappers help turn what would be three-shots into two-shots.
So onto the report! We had 28 Masters at A-Z Comics on Saturday which meant 5 swiss rounds with point pay out to only the Top 4.
Round 1: v.s. Klinklang EX
I opened with Stunfisk and she opened with Klink. She went first and benched some EX’s- Terrakion EX and Groudon EX plus a Cobalion (I suspect she didn’t know I was playing Empoleon or forgot that Groudon EX was weak to Water). She attached to the Groudon EX and passed. Over the next few turns, I used Muddy Water quite a bit. It took me a while to get out an Empoleon- turn 6 in fact. However, she never got out a Klinklang.
On my first turn I used Muddy Water to do 20 to Klink and 20 to Terrakion EX. On her turn she attached to Groudon EX and passed. I got some more Piplups and Prinplups in play then did 20 to Klink and the Terrakion EX. She attached to Groudon EX, laid down another Klink, and passed. I Catchered up the other Klink, knocked out the benched Klink that had 40 on it and placed 20 on the new, active Klink. Over the next few turns I killed that Klink and got the Terrakion EX up to 80. So at this point she had no more Klinks in play and never got any more. During her turns she started to attach Energy to her Terrakion EX. After I knocked out the 2nd Klink, she brought up Groudon EX and swung into my Stunfisk for 80.
I am pretty sure that I still didn’t have an Empoleon at this point and just hit the benched Cobalion for 20 (she had an Eviolite on Groudon EX). She knocked out my Stunfisk with Tromp. I promoted my Emolga and finally drew into Empoleon (I can’t remember if I got it off a Supporter or what..I just know that I had an Empoleon on turn 6 for the first time.) I had a full bench and she had 4 Pokemon in play, so I did exactly 180 with Attack Command to knock out the Groudon EX. I’m not sure what she did on her turn, but on my next turn I just Catchered up the Terrakion EX for the win.
I do not think she ran Switch at all (I think she ran Darkrai EX in combination with Prism/Dark Energy to give free retreat to her Pokemon), so being stuck with the active Klinks was certainly an issue for her. She also should not have laid down Groudon EX and stuck to attacking with Terrakion EX or someone else while only having a few Pokemon in play.
Round 2: v.s. Hydreigon/Darkrai EX
He went first. I opened with Stunfisk and Piplup while he opened with 2 Sableye. He attached an Energy to Sableye, played N and confused me with Sableye (he got no Trainers in the discard pile). We both had really slow starts. On turn 4 he killed my confused Stunfisk with Darkrai EX. At this point his field was the 2 Sableye and a benched Zweilous. On my turn I evolved into Empoleon, Catchered up Zweilous and hit it for 90.
He never got a Hydreigon out and decided to go aggro Darkrai EX getting another one of them out and manually powering it up. I swung into his active Darkrai EX twice (it had Eviolite) and I Max Potioned the damage he did to my Empoleon with Night Spear. After the Darkrai EX had 160 on it, he retreated to Junk Hunt for a Max Potion/Dark Patch he had discarded earlier in hopes of healing the Darkrai EX I had just damaged. At this point my field is 3 Empoleon, 2 Stunfisk and 1 Emolga. I Diving Draw 3 times and play Cheren to fish out the Pokemon Catcher to knock out the benched, damaged Darkrai EX.
He promotes Sableye to use Junk Hunt in order to help power up the next Darkrai EX. I knock out the active Sableye making the prize count 2-5. He starts attacking with Darkrai EX and is able to get another one out with an energy or two from attachment/Dark Patch. My goal was now to lock up one of the Darkrai EX’s with Rumble and then knock it out for the last 2 prizes. This wasn’t too easy because he played some well-timed Catchers… but eventually I was able to Rumble a Darkrai EX twice- preventing him from retreating to the other Darkrai EX or Max Potioning the Rumbled Darkrai EX (he could have Max Potioned the active, of course- however, this would have left the Darkrai EX with no Energy). He apparently played a relatively low Supporter count- and no Random Receiver. I believe he only played 10-11 and wiffed on drawing them quite a few times. I think he only used 4-5 Supporters over the entire game.
Round 3: v.s. Hydreigon/Darkrai EX
I went second again. My opening was pretty poor. I opened with Stunfisk with no Fighting Energy or Supporter. I don’t quite remember what he opened with..but he was using Junk Hunt for several of the early turns. I passed for the first 2 turns of the game before I got a way to get Emolga. I played a Switch and used Call for Family. The next turn I used another Call for Family. His start was relatively slow too (not as slow as mine, however)- he didn’t get a Hydreigon until Turn 4 or 5. He knocked out my Emolga and hit my Stunfisk for 30 with Darkrai EX.
At this point I was able to get a Supporter and hit the Darkrai EX with my non damaged Stunfisk. I don’t quite remember how the next few turns went, but I finally got an Empoleon out on turn 6 or 7 and started using Attack Command. Meanwhile, he was able to kill another 2 Pokemon leaving him with 3 Prizes. The rest of the turns involved him just hitting everything for 140 with Hydreigon and using Max Potion to remove all damage done by Attack Command even though I kept using N. It is very hard to beat Hydreigon/Darkrai EX with Empoleon if they are able to get a significantly better start. They have to wiff on their Max Potions or victory just will not happen.
Round 4: v.s. Garchomp/Altaria
Ugh, went second again! I opened with Stunfisk and he opened with Swablu. He benched an Emolga and Sang- I stayed asleep. On my first turn I attached a Fighting to Stunfisk and benched 2 Piplup- I didn’t play a Supporter because I had Turn 2 Empoleon in hand. On his turn he just retreated, evolved into Altaria, played another Swablu and used Call for Family for 2 Gible. I Rare Candy into Empoleon, get some more Pokemon out, Catcher up the Altaria and hit it for 20 along with the Swablu. He evolves all his Pokemon into Stage 1′s and Calls for another Swablu.
At this point his field is 2 Altaria, 2 Gabite, 1 Emolga and 1 Swablu. I continue to Muddy Water and Target the Altaria/Swablus. This really was most unwise- I should have just targeted the Gabites/Gibles all along. He retreats the active Altaria, and I believe he Catchers my Prinplup and knocks it out. I promote Empoleon and Attack Command for 120- my field at this point is 2 Empoleon, 2 Stunfisk, 1 Emolga and 1 Piplup.
My goal is to hit both Garchomps for 120, then use Muddy Water to knock out both at once after playing an N. This eventually happens but it takes some time since he uses 2 Max Potion to heal 120 off of 2 Garchomps. I also have my Max Potions and, along with Catcher he is only able to one-shot 1 Empoleon with Dragon Blade. During the process of killing 2 Garchomps simultaneously he knocks out 2 Stunfisk and 1 Empoleon. So anyway, I eventually knock out both Garchomps with Stunfisk leaving him with 3 Altaria and 1 Emolga. While he had 2 prizes left and I had 100 on my Empoleon and 4 prizes left.
Over the next few turns I make some clever moves with Stunfisk/Pokemon Catcher to knock out 2 of the Altarias that I had put 40-60 on earlier in the game with Muddy Water. He is able to get another Garchomp out but I had Max Potioned my Empoleon to prevent it from getting knocked out. Over the next two turns I knock out a Gabite and his Emolga for my last 2 prizes through my last Catcher (I knocked out the Emolga after he used Call for Family for two Gibles). This was a very good game. I think Stunfisk gives Empoleon the favor though since the 20 on Muddy Water sets up knock outs for Attack Command.
Round 5: v.s. Eelektrik/Zekrom
Finally, I went first! I opened with Stunfisk and he opened with an active Raikou EX and a benched Tynamo. Of course I am a bit worried about all this Electric..but I figure if I can get some nice attacks in with Stunfisk- I should be ok. On my first turn, I Catcher up the Tynamo, bench a Piplup or two, play a Juniper hoping to get the Fighting/Blend and wiff but attach a Water to Stunfisk getting ready for a Rumble. He retreats Tynamo for a Zekrom he just benched, benches another Tynamo and passes. I wiff again on the Fighting/Blend after playing an N having to attach to the benched Piplup. He evolves into 2 Eelektriks, puts some energy on his Raikou EX and active Zekrom then passes. I wiff again on Fighting/Blend after another N and attach to the Empoleon I just evolved. On his turn he attaches to the active Zekrom, retreats for Raikou EX, Catchers up a Piplup and knocks it out with Raikou EX (he didn’t have enough energy to be able to do 200 on my Empoleon)
I again cannot get a Fighting/Blend so I attack with my Empoleon. It goes very downhill from here as my Electric-weak Pokemon do not have a favorable prize trade with big Electric Pokemon. I knock out the Raikou EX with the next Empoleon that I am able to get out- but that is quickly knocked out by his Zekrom. At some point he had benched a Mewtwo EX and I realize there is a way for me to win if I can draw the Catchers when necessary. My goal is to Rumble 2 Eelektriks (I finally got a Fighting/Blend), Muddy Water to knock out both and then Catcher up with Mewtwo EX and knock it out with Mew EX. However, I do not get the Catchers when necessary and lose. This is a very tough matchup- especially when you can’t use Stunfisk. This round I was paired down against a 2/2 and my opponent, Ryan Green, allowed me to have the win because there is no way a 3/2 has any shot at making Top 4. Thank you very much Ryan! : )
So, standings are posted and I end up taking 6th place. My friend Anthony (who played Hydreigon/Darkrai EX) got 5th. In total, 2 4-1′s missed out on top cut. The top 4 looked like this..
2nd- Hydreigon/Darkari EX
4th- Hydreigon/Darkrai EX
I lost to the 2nd seed and beat the 4th seed. It’s a bit frustrating missing out on top cut/points when you go X-1. However, I had a great time and had some really good games (Round 2 and Round 4 in particular!)
In regards to the tournament and other thoughts on the metagame, Hydreigon and Eelektrik both had a very strong showing. There was quite a bit of Terrakion EX in the tournament- but they didn’t make it up to the top tables..mostly losing early on. Hydreigon/Darkrai EX may be sharing a Tier 1 spot with Eelektrik/Rayquaza EX. However, I need to do more testing with Eelektrik/Rayquaza before I can make any concrete judgements about the deck. It did well today but we should not judge the format based on one Battle Road- especially now that we are without playoffs in the top cut.
In regards to the deck, the only definite change would be -1 Water +1 Fighting. I would have had much better games Round 3 and 5 had I been able to Muddy Water on the first turn. This change should significantly increase the probability of turn 1 Muddy Water. I am a bit uncertain about the Mew EX. I never attacked with him at all on Saturday or in any of my play testing. I’ll probably test with him a bit more (especially against decks that run Mewtwo EX) and see how it goes. If I were to cut him, I’d add another Emolga.
I really like Empoleon/Stunfisk. I am definitely going to continue testing with it and see if I can find any other ways to improve the deck. This deck is definitely an improvement upon the Virizion variant I tested in July. I think you should all try it out- it is definitely Tier 1.5-2.
The report for the Sunday event will be posted on the PokeGym. Here is a link to that report. I hope you enjoyed the report and I am very eager to hear how you all did this weekend…let me know :)