Hey guys! It’s Justin here and I’m super excited to be writing my second article about a deck I believe is well poised for Memphis.  Before we get to that, I want to go over my Top 16 run in Philly and show you guys my thought process before the event. I will also touch a, little bit, on my brother’s tournament because he had a very strong run himself. Ok, lets get into the article.

Philly Recap

Before I get to my run, I want to give a little bit of background. The Friday of the weekend before the event Will Jenkins and Charlie Lockyer wanted me to test a deck out for them. They knew I would be going to a League Cup the next day and they wanted me to try an idea they had come up with. It was their version of Baby Buzz Weavile. For those of you who don’t know Charlie or Will, they are great young masters who play in the Maryland area. You guys should be on the lookout for them because I believe some big finishes are in their future. Anyway, I played their deck the next day at the League Cup and went undefeated only dropping one game in Top 8 and one game in Top 4. I immediately saw the power of the deck and knew that it would probably be my play for Philly. Funny enough, during that same time the deck was also dominating the regionals in Brazil. After that weekend, I knew the deck would have a target on its back and people would be trying to beat it. So, I began to analyze the weaknesses of the deck and tried to figure out how people would approach beating it. I think this something everyone should do if you decide to play any deck. By knowing your deck's weaknesses, you can adjust your list accordingly and won’t be surprised about your opponent’s strategies against you. After a week of theorizing and playing a few practice games, this is the list I settled on.

 

 

Quickly, I’m just going to highlight some of the major differences from my list vs. other lists that may be out there.

1-1 Banette GX

After Buzz/Garb got 1st and 2nd in Brazil, I knew it would be popular heading into Philly.  Buzz/Garb is very favored vs. Buzz/Weavile unless you have a tech for it and this was my tech. If you can limit your items and get an early Banette going, you can just sweep their board. Buzz/Garb has no effective way to deal with Banette and one Banette should be able to swing the matchup. However, Banette proved to be just an all around good card throughout the weekend. I used it as a late game finisher, something to put on early game pressure, something to get back resources and I even used it to take a multiple prize turn. Banette has hidden value that you wouldn’t realize unless you have played our ghost friend. If I played the deck again I would strongly consider adding in another Banette because of how good it was over the weekend.

3 Beast Ring

In my opinion, this is what made the deck. This was in the initial list that Will and Charlie sent me. The idea behind it was that Baby Buzz would still give you value after the Sledgehammer turn and most of the time you would have two turns to use it because your deck is mainly non-GX. There were a number of games I would have lost without this card. Most of my opponents thought they were safe after they got past my Sledgehammer turn and they were surprised when I played the card. The card just increases the overall damage output of the deck and gives you more outs to close the game.

2 Field Blower

This was added minutes before the tournament because I was afraid of weakness policy. I had played a couple games the night before against my brother playing Zoroark with Weakness Policy and I was struggling against it. My biggest problem was that I couldn’t close the game if he was able to get a Weakness Policy Zoroark going during the closing turns and I needed some way to handle that board state. Other than that it really doesn’t have any value. I played two because I wanted to decrease my chances of prizing it and increase my chances of finding it when I needed it.

6 Fighting/1 Dark

You have to play a little more basic energy because of the Beast Rings. I thought seven basic energy was a good number because there aren’t any discard effects in your deck outside of Ultra Ball, so you shouldn’t have to get rid of unnecessary energy. That should leave you with enough energy to set up two Baby Buzz with Beast Ring. There were several games where I powered up two Baby Buzz with two Beast Ring. I played the one dark just to give me an extra energy out for Weavile. Since Swing Around has a colorless energy in the attack cost you can still Beast Ring the dark to Baby Buzz and it won’t hinder you. The only time it is a problem is when it is your only energy in your opening hand for Buzzwole, but that doesn’t happen enough to dissuade me from playing it.

Tournament Record

R1 vs. Zoro/Roc WLW

R2 vs. Garde/Sylveon WLW

R3 vs. Garde/Swampert WLT

R4 vs. Ultra Necrozma/Malamar WW

R5 vs. Single Prize Malmar WLW

R6 vs. Buzz/Garb WLL

R7 vs. Sylveon LL

R8 vs. Buzz/Garb WW

R9 vs. Buzz/Roc WW

R10 vs. Buzz/Roc WLW

R11 vs. Zoro/Roc WLW

R12 vs. Buzz/Weavile WW

R13 vs. Vika/Ray LWL

R14 vs. Vika/Ray LL

R15 vs. Buzz/Roc WW

 

As you can see a majority of my games went to game three and that is because the deck is a little inconsistent. Most of my losses were due to bad opening hands that I couldn’t recover from, but when the deck set up I felt like almost nothing could beat me. My loss to Buzz/Garb in round six was due to a bad opening hand one game and the other game I had to play way to many items to stay in the game and I couldn’t use Banette effectively. My loss to Sylveon was expected. Without a way to one-shot Sylveon or a way to disrupt Magical Ribbon, there isn’t much you can do if they get a turn one Sylveon. After that, the deck went on a tear until round thirteen, where I lost to Vika/Ray and then lost again to Vika/Ray the next round, which eliminated me from Top 8 contention.  I was very surprised with how well Vika/Ray set up without having to put a Lele in play. In all five games, my opponents got turn two Vikavolt without having to bench Lele. I found that if your opponent can avoid having to put GX Pokemon in play, this matchup is unfavorable. The only reason I won game two in round thirteen is because my opponent had to put a Ray in play mid-game to attack. Outside of that, the deck executed its game plan well and every card in the list had some impact over the weekend. However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t change a few things. If Memphis were tomorrow I would play a list looking like this.

 

 

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