Hey, readers! It's been an eventful last few weeks for me, as I recently completed some stressful final exams before winning Santa Clara Regionals with ReshiZard/Volcanion! It was definitely one my favorite moments from all my time playing Pokémon. Heading into the weekend, I only needed a Top 128 finish to cap off my invite but I ended up winning the whole thing, qualifying for Worlds for the seventh time, which has been a great feeling all over again. I am very excited to share this report from the tournament, my thoughts on the deck, and other builds of Fire for future tournaments.

 

I.Preparation
II.Counts
III. Regional Report
IV.Updating the list
V.Matchups
VI.ReshiZard (Non-Green's build)
VII. Conclusion

 

Preparation

I tested an extraordinary amount going into this tournament. Everything was on the table from Zapdos, Zoroark/Persian, Vileplume/Walls, Weezing, and ReshiZard. In my early testing, I loved Zapdos since it destroyed PikaRom with the addition of "Bench Barrier" Mew. Zapdos was also beating ReshiZard as well, since the one-prize Pokémon were too much for the deck to handle.

I started testing this ReshiZard/Volcanion list that was inspired by a Japanese build from their Champions League. My friend, Cameron Shenoy was testing the deck right after EUIC and showed me the first build of it. It was a weird build with four Volcanion, two ReshiZard, twelve Fire and a consistent Trainer line. He tested the deck extensively for about a month and made significant changes before the tournament. As testing went on, we put in a Stretcher so we could essentially use five Volcanion in the Zapdos matchup, and an Eevee & Snorlax-GX to cover ReshiZard’s weakness.

Here's the list:

 

 

We were still contemplating many of the counts in this deck the night before: I really wanted to play three Acro Bike but I didn’t have the guts to do it. The deck ended up running fine without them.

The whole point of this deck is to be defensive. It does not run any small-HP Pokémon or Dedenne/Tapu Lele-GX because you do not want give your opponent an easy path to taking prizes. Instead, you want to force your opponent to take eight prize cards. It does sound a little weird, but this is what this deck does. Honestly, that is one of best strategies when using Tag Teams. You pretty much use two Tag Teams and two Volcanion, or five Volcanion and one Tag Team GX. It is a lot easier to force the 8-prize game because of the lack of disabilities.


Counts

It is a thin Pokémon line but that is all you really need. We ran four Volcanion to have the highest chances of starting it; it's so important to get a turn two "Flare Starter" so the maximum count was warranted. Volcanion is also a very solid attacker, since it can two-shot most Tag Teams with Choice Band, and trade efficiently with other one-prized Pokémon.

4 Volcanion

This is just the main Pokémon in this deck. It’s a great starter that sets up your board.

2 Reshiram & Charizard-GX

Here we have the main powerhouse of the deck. A 270-HP monster dealing 230 damage--even the ability to hit 300 damage with its GX attack--makes this card so powerful. Even "Outrage" is an excellent attack, since this card likely survives most of your opponent's attacks.

1 Eevee & Snorlax-GX

This card gives you more type coverage against certain Water Pokémon that were popular last weekend, namely Quagsire, Slowking and Dewgong. Eevee & Snorlax-GX tanks hits against those decks and swings for knockouts.

4 Green’s Exploration

This deck does not run any Pokémon with abilities so it can abuse this card as part of its consistency engine. This deck runs a lot one-offs and this can give you easy access to those essential pieces.

2 Professor Kukui

This deck wants to reach high numbers to knockout certain Pokémon, and Kukui helps us get there. A "Flare Strike" with Kukui and Choice Band can knockout other high-HP cards, while Volcanion can knockout Pokémon with more than 110-HP such as Blacephalon, Quagsire, Naganadel, Buzzwole and opposing Volcanion with "High Heat Blast" when boosted by Kukui. The card is just so good in here to reach those particular knockouts.

2 Guzma/ 4 Custom Catcher

This deck builds its hand size a lot between Heat Factory and Welder, so Custom Catcher is excellent in here because it allows you to play Welder while still being able to gust something into the Active. Otherwise, you cannot accomplish this effect using Guzma and Welder in the same turn unless you use Lt. Surge’s Strategy first. Green’s Exploration can also search out Custom Catcher. Overall, this card just makes your combos better and more efficient.

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