Hello PokeBeach readers! I hope you are having as great a time attending or following Regionals as I am. Even though I had my fair share of schoolwork, I decided it would be beneficial to attend the Regional Championships in Doswell, Virginia. Overall, I had a decent showing at the tournament, finishing a respectable 5-2-2 with Manectric-EX / Seismitoad-EX / Crobat. I started the day with two ties so I knew early on that my margin for error was quite low. I managed to go on a considerable run and found myself in a win-and-in situation heading into the last round. At 5-1-2, it was possible for me to tie and make cut on resistance, but I figured I couldn’t take that risk. If a tie came around, I would gladly take that result over a loss, but I wanted to win to ensure my place in cut. Ultimately, I would lose to Mike F. who would acknowledge after the match how a highly improbable series of flips paved the way for his victory. He won both games to advance to the Top 32, leaving me sitting around to wait for the rest of the players that I drove down with to finish.
Unfortunately, I had to wait around a considerable amount of time as my good friend Kevin Baxter would go on to finish second. At the last two Regionals that I attended, I’ve ridden in the car with finalists – Matt Price in Ft. Wayne and Kevin in Doswell. These have been some late nights! I arrived back home at seven on Monday morning. Needless to say I decided to sleep through my morning classes… As frustrating as it is to wait around a tournament at which you aren’t competing, it is great to be able to congratulate friends on their impressive finishes. Maybe the trend will continue this week in St. Louis?
In this article, I will give you a run down of some of the top decks from Virginia Regionals as well as the pros and cons of playing each at St. Louis. I’ll start with a breakdown of the deck that I played for Virginia.
Seismitoad / Crobat
Before the tournament, I knew Vespiquen would be a solid choice for the weekend. Embarrassingly, I had left all the cards to make the deck at home! Not having cards should never be a reason for not running a deck, but ultimately, it made me shy away from playing Vespiquen as I had none of the evolution lines. Thus, I turned my attention to another strong deck option – Seismitoad-EX / Crobat. This is a deck I felt very comfortable with. I had played it at Nationals last year and figured that I could ride the deck’s 50 / 50 matchups across the board to make the Top 32. The morning of the tournament, I met with Justin Boughter who convinced me that adding Manectric-EX would improve the Vespiquen matchup. I was fairly worried about Vespiquen as it had done quite well at most of the Expanded tournaments in my area. Add that to the fact that three of the people I was rooming with for the weekend were playing the deck, and I figured that it would be a bad idea to play a deck with a subpar Vespiquen matchup. After careful consideration, I decided to go with this list:
I ended up playing against four Yveltal-EX decks in which Manectric-EX made a major difference. However, both of my losses were to Seismitoad-EX / Crobat, one traditional build and one with Landorus-EX. While the addition of Manectric-EX greatly improved my Yveltal-EX matchup, I found that its inconsistency plagued me in mirror matches. I also didn’t play against a single Vespiquen deck, so the entire reasoning for my deck switch was negated.
I disliked playing Rock Guard. It never seemed to help and I was never able to get it out against the mirror which is the matchup it shines brightest in. If I play this deck again in St. Louis, I would strongly consider switching to Computer Search. Even though Rock Guard did help me win a couple games on the day, looking back, I should have favored the consistency of Computer Search.
Why You Should Play Seismitoad / Manectric / Crobat
Seismitoad-EX is strong. Crobat is strong. Manectric-EX is strong. And they all cover each others weaknesses. Seismitoad-EX simply can’t do enough damage to put a ton of pressure on opposing Pokemon-EX. Sure, Item-lock is incredibly strong, especially with the additional damage from Hypnotoxic Laser, but in the end, one needs to supplement the damage from Seismitoad-EX with a line of Crobat to ensure swift KO’s. Threats like Yveltal-EX and M Rayquaza-EX can be taken out in one swing with a two-Energy Manectric-EX. Manectric-EX singlehandedly covers the threats that Seismitoad-EX fears the most, and with the help of Bat damage, can even take out most other Pokemon-EX as well.
I think this deck has a lot of things going for it and it covers a lot of bases. Manectric-EX and Seismitoad-EX are strong attackers for different reasons, with Manectric hitting some of the better Pokemon-EX for Weakness. Super Scoop Up can prolong the amount of time these attackers stay alive and Hypnotoxic Laser can singlehandedly win games for you that you otherwise shouldn’t have won.
Why You Shouldn’t Play Seismitoad / Manectric / Crobat
Manectric-EX is not without its flaws. Because it needs two Energy to fully charge up, the attacker cannot be powered up in one turn. This creates awkward scenarios when you need to KO with Manectric but risk losing due to breaking the Item-lock. It also struggles when the opponent’s Pokemon-EX doesn’t have a Tool as Manectric then only hits for a meager 60 damage. Though you do run a couple Head Ringer, failing to find one will leave you desiring more.
The deck is extremely susceptible to the sleep condition caused by Hypnotoxic Laser. If your opponent is lucky enough to make your attacker fall Asleep, you will be left scrambling to find one of your three Super Scoop Up, and then will need to flip heads to pick up your Active Pokemon. This is not the ideal strategy and while this scenario doesn’t come up often, it will come up enough times in a nine round tournament to make you think twice about playing this deck.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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