Semi-Finalist U.S. Nationals Report and a Unique Take on Wailord By: Grant Manley Posted 2 years ago to Premium Article 2 comments Hello, ‘Beach goers! On the weekend of the Fourth of July, I had the privilege of attending the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis, and managed to get third place! Today I’m eager to recount my Nationals experience and talk about my deck choice, as well as share some thoughts about Wailord-EX for Worlds. You might be sick of Wail discussions by now, but I am confident that what I have to share is quite different from what you’ve heard so far. Nationals is always a fun tournament to attend because there’s so much to do, even though I’m there primarily to compete. It’s great to see people from all across the country and be able to find any card you want in a matter of minutes. Alright, enough of my rambling. Let’s get into the story! ContentsDay 0 (Thursday, Registration)Day 1 (Friday, Swiss)Day 2 (Saturday, Top 64)Day 3 (Sunday, Top 8)More on WailordConclusion Day 0 (Thursday, Registration) The competitors didn’t actually have to turn in deck lists on Thursday when registering, so I naturally had no idea what to play until much later that night. I knew I was probably going to play Suicune / Crobat / Landorus-EX with a heavy emphasis on Suicune, but I also wanted to play Druddigon / Latios-EX, Heatran / M Rayquaza-EX / Bronzong, and Wailord-EX / Crawdaunt. Unfortunately, none of these decks gave me any sort of wow factor, and there looked to be an absurdly high amount of Metal decks. None of the above decks actually had a good Metal matchup, so that’s why I immediately became excited when my friend Hayden showed me this list: Pokemon (14) 3x M Manectric-EX (PHF #24) 4x Manectric-EX (PHF #23) 2x Garbodor (PLF #119) 2x Trubbish (LTR #67) 2x Empoleon (DEX #29) 1x Jirachi-EX (PLB #60) Trainers (37) 4x Professor Juniper (DEX #98) 2x N (DEX #96) 2x Lysandre (FLF #90) 1x Archie's Ace in the Hole (PRC #124) 4x VS Seeker (PHF #109) 4x Ultra Ball (FLF #99) 3x Acro Bike (PRC #122) 3x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92) 3x Battle Compressor (PHF #92) 3x Manectric Spirit Link (PHF #100) 2x Float Stone (PLF #99) 1x Switch (TKXY #29) 1x Mega Turbo (RSK #86) 1x Computer Search (BCR #137) 3x Rough Seas (PRC #137) Energy (9) 6x Lightning Energy (XY #135) 3x Water Energy (CL #90) At first I thought it looked cool, but I didn’t actually build it for an hour or two. In my last article I talked about M Manectric-EX / Suicune, and I knew from playing that deck that Max Potion is phenomenal in decks with Manectric. I only made two changes from the above list, and they were cutting a Mega Turbo and a Battle Compressor for two Max Potion. After testing a full three games and rolling a die to decide between this and Suicune / Bats, I went to bed excited for the largest tournament of the year. Matchups I’d like to quickly go over the matchups to help you understand the deck a little bit. I would go over the card choices, but I didn’t actually make the deck, so it would be difficult to do. I know Empoleon was a nice one-Prize attacker that was used as a consistency crutch when I didn’t need Garbodor, and it was mostly included for the Fighting / Crobat matchup. For specific card counts, you’d have to ask Alex Snape and Hayden Cameron-Jacobus, the players who made this amazingly consistent list. Because I haven’t played this deck very much, I’m only going to talk about the matchups I experienced in my limited testing and in the tournament. Metal Metal comes in three main variations (Techs, M Rayquaza-EX, and Klinklang), but this deck easily defeats them all. Manectric-EX‘s Resistance combined with Rough Seas and Max Potion makes it almost impossible for Metal to take KOs, and Garbodor completely shuts down their deck by locking Bronzong, Shaymin-EX, and Klinklang. I didn’t play against any Metal decks Day One, but I played against Klinklang Day Two and Metal Ray in top 8. Out of the four games played, my opponents took one or two Prizes collectively, if I remember correctly. Manectric-EX M Manectric-EX decks were surprisingly popular, but my version has two distinct advantages. Unlike the Manectric decks I played against, my list ran two Max Potion. This helped me in the “mirror,” because I could wipe away any two of my opponent’s attacks almost whenever I wanted. My other advantage was the fact that I don’t run Shaymin-EX. Most other Manectric decks run Shaymin, which gives me two easy Prizes with a use of Lysandre. My opponents could not pick off my Shaymins (because I didn’t play any), and I rarely had to use Jirachi-EX. One neat trick that I picked up throughout my various mirror matches was the fact that Assault Laser actually 2HKOs a Spirit Linked Mega after Rough Seas, as opposed to the 3HKO that Turbo Bolt offers. This led me to the conclusion that manually Mega Evolving occasionally is actually a better play than attaching Spirit Links willy-nilly so that my opponent can’t use this trick against me. I also made sure to have a Basic Manectric-EX ready to go to pull this play off when my opponent does Mega Evolve through a Spirit Link. Seismitoad-EX My deck has a high reliance on Item cards. Every Item card in this deck is either a consistency card, a Tool, or a Max Potion. This means that Seismitoad-EX‘s Item lock makes this deck much less consistent. Thankfully, Seismitoad can’t do all that much to M Manectric-EX, so long as I’m able to get a Mega or two out and win the Stadium war. It all comes down to how well I can get going before I get Item Locked, and hopefully I can get resources after that when I need to. The matchup is favorable thanks to Rough Seas, but it’s not as lopsided as I originally thought, with my list’s reliance on Item cards. I prefer playing against the Crobat version of Toad more, since it doesn’t typically run disastrous disruption cards such as Crushing Hammer and Head Ringer. Fighting / Crobat I was told that Empoleon wins me this matchup, but that’s not really the case. This matchup is unfavorable no matter which way you look at it, but if Empoleon comes out soon enough, the game becomes easier. The only thing that can handle Empoleon in the typical Fighting / Crobat deck is Lucario-EX (which is usually a one-of). If you can get rid of Lucario, even at the expense of one or two Manectric-EX, you should be in decent shape. Empoleon can easily defeat Landorus-EX, Hawlucha, and Crobat with the help of Rough Seas and Max Potion. Sounds good, right? Well, the problem is that Lucario-EX happens to be the only Pokemon in their deck that my deck cannot possibly OHKO. Go figure. This means that the Fighting player will always get a chance to use Super Scoop Up or AZ to heal their Lucario, which is a huge problem. Another problem is that you need to get out Garbodor to prevent Golbat‘s Sneaky Bite and Crobat‘s Surprise Bite damage from adding up onto Empoleon. Not only does this shut off Empoleon’s nifty Diving Draw, but it also shuts off Hawlucha‘s Shining Spirit, allowing it to hit Manectric for Weakness and easily OHKO it. Night March This matchup is better than I thought it would be at first. Garbodor turns off Mew-EX‘s Versatile, and less importantly, Shaymin-EX‘s Set Up and Mr. Mime‘s Bench Barrier. This means that the Night March player can only stream attacks with their four Double Colorless Energy, and cannot use Mew plus Dimension Valley to attack using basic Energy. Another bonus is that it’s nearly impossible for a Night Marcher to OHKO M Manectric-EX, leading to a fair Prize trade and potentially allowing Max Potion abuse. The final factor working in my favor is Empoleon, which can be used to score an OHKO on a Night Marcher and force the seven Prize game, all while wasting one of their precious DCE. As a side note, don’t make the mistake of getting cheeky and using Overrun on two Joltik, a play that is disastrous when you have Rough Seas out. I’ll just leave that there… Now that we know how the deck’s matchups are, let’s dive into how my Nationals run went down, analyzing how I was able win my matches and make it all the way to third place. After that, I will give you the scoop on a special version of Wailord-EX and some cool tricks I’ve picked up on the deck. But first, make sure to hit that subscribe button! I assure you it is worth it. I along with the other PokeBeach Premium Writers will be providing you with competitive tips and decks in our articles every week, and giving you our very best tips in the Subscriber’s Secret Hideout. I look forward to helping you with your deck lists and discussing the game with you! See you there! If you'd like to continue reading PokeBeach's premium articles, consider purchasing a premium membership! It grants you full access to PokeBeach's premium articles, doubles your prize earnings in our monthly tournaments, and allows you to submit your deck lists and questions to our writers for advice! If you're not completely satisfied with your membership, you can request a full refund within 30 days! Simply cancel it in Paypal and then PM Water Pokemon Master for a full refund. 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