The Ray Of Hope Against Dark
Hey guys! Gabking5458 here, and I and coming at you guys with my recent MA Regionals Week 3 report. I made this deck as a joke just as an ultimate counter to Night March; however I soon discovered it was very good. After posting a thread asking if the deck was too risky, and, I was pleasantly surprised that it caught a TON of steam with people saying they wanted to play it. To satisfy my growing curiosity about the deck’s viability, I tested it at regionals and would like to share my tournament report for it. After much help from friends (especially Ben Chasen) I was able to finalize my decklist. BTW if I get my opponents names wrong please don’t hurt me :)
WHY DID I PLAY THIS LIST?
OK LETS GET ONE THING STRAIGHT. There is a common stereotype that all seniors play Dark and Night March Variants in Expanded and that is ABSOL-utely… true. Yeah I just stereotyped my own division, and I accept our incredibly broken Metagame :). I also understand that it doesn’t take much to preform well in Seniors, and that top players will play something like Night March or Dark to sweep through newer players to get to the top tables. Because of this, I decided I wanted to play a Jolteon Variant to try to ensure a top 16 for my Worlds invite. However I soon dismissed this idea and decided to play an Yveltal list I had liked. Then one day while brainstorming in Standard for an ultimate Night March counter; I created an idea for a Jolteon-EX/Vileplume list. I first net decked a Standard version of the deck and realized how inconsistent it was. I tried everything to try to make it work in Standard but it just didn’t. Then I thought that it could be good in Expanded. I went back to my original, “Jolteon-EX Variant” idea. I really liked this deck for a quite small, but enormous win condition, in a VS Seeker Lock. Most decks in Expanded that can’t hit Jolteon-EX, use a Maxie’s Gallade engine or use Target Whistle + Lysandre. Hitting a T1 or T2 Vileplume shuts down both of these options and allows the player of this deck to win quickly and avoid draws.
Okay this one may be quite obvious but I thought I’d state it anyway. If you guessed this was for Gallade, you are right. I originally stated that my opponents can get out a Gallade with Maxie’s to counter the deck. If they can do this, it was hard for me to come back without a counter, I decided on Mew for that counter. Because of Mew hitting for weakness; I can revenge kill Gallade and keep Flash Ray lock up if Jolteon-EX is on bench and Mew has Muscle Band. This really helps against Yveltal and Night March in particular. It also helps against Vespiquen/Flareon to have a 2nd Lugia-EX that is only 1 prize.
This is probably the only thing keeping alive against Groudon. This card can easily hit Groudon well when combined with Mew (Which acts as Pseudo-Lugia). This card is also there for Trees. One thing I found out about this deck (before the addition of Lugia-EX) is it has a 50/50 with Trees. I wanted a positive matchup so I teched a Lugia-EX, to slightly swing it into my favor if I get one turn of items and get Lugia-EX I just…. win. Unfortunately this tech wasn’t very useful as I faced no Trees or Groudon matchups in the whole tournament.
Max Elixir BKP
After much testing with my friend Ben Chasen (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IN THE BUILDING OF THIS DECK) I soon discovered that Max Elixir was also very good in this deck. The reason Max Elixir is good in this deck is that you don’t get severely disadvantaged by going 2nd like Vespiquen/Vileplume. Max Elixir also severely improves the Turbo Dark matchup because you can get T1 Jolteon and win because they can’t take prizes after they KO your benched Pokemon (since Max Elixir only works on bench). Trust me, before you go off on a tangent talking about how I should be running Prism Energy and Regice and Glaceon-EX instead just try the list out. The problem with that version is it tends to be a LOT slower and it can lose to Turbo Dark easily. Also this list practically Autowins against Yveltal as well because of Max Elixir. This is because, even if they get Archeops up T1 you can still go 2nd, and T1 power up Jolteon-EX with Muscle Band and OHKO Yveltal-EXs and be able to win the prize trade that way. Max Elixir also serves a purpose in the Night March matchup for the same reasons as listed before. If they go first, they can get set up and then smack your Jolteon-EX for a ton of damage 2nd turn putting you in a horrendous spot.
SO HERE’S HOW DAY 1 WENT
I arrived at around 8:30 AM and saw a huge crowd. After catching up with a few friends, I noted that nearly everybody was playing Dark Variants. Around 10:00 rosters went up and the head judge give us a specific set of guidelines. It appeared that penalties would be both common and harsh today. I sized up the room after that preamble finished and with relief concluded that I only had one autoloss in the whole room: a player playing Wobbuffet/M Manectric-EX. I then proceeded to look at the Round 1 pairings and my heart sank.
R1: Ethan Perez-Dormitzer (Wobbuffet/M Manectric-EX)
My opponent HAD to win coin flip and go first and HAD to start Wobbuffet.
I soon realized this was gonna be a long day. I was particularly tired and not paying much attention figuring I had an autoloss; when my opponent played Shaymin-EX down and drew Set Up for 4 under ability lock. After a Trainer’s Mail I soon noticed my opponent’s error and called judge to avoid any harsh penalty for him or me. The penalty ended being 1 Prize Card and off of that I drew one of my Professor Sycamore. I suddenly had a chance. I quickly realized that Vileplume wasn’t going to do anything this match and focused on powering up Jolteon-EX on bench while attacking with Lugia-EX. I lost my Lugia-EX to a Turbo Bolt and then revenge killed his MegaMan with Jolteon-EX putting me at 3-4 Prize advantage. My opponent then misplayed (Not knowing what Flash Ray did) and tried to KO Jolteon-EX with Psychic Assault and I got a free turn of attacks. I had been powering up Mew on the bench for this very reason and was able to KO the Wobbuffet to go down to two Prizes. My opponent wasn’t able to attack and simply passed, giving me a Lysandre play onto Shaymin-EX for game.
He obviously elected to go first and drew his seven. I ended up getting god hand, but I retained my poker face to deter any N or Ghetsis plays. My opponent started lone Trubbish benched Manectric-EX and passed. On my turn I got T1 Jolteon-EX and T1 Vileplume and locked him out for the rest of the match taking Game 2 as well.
WW, Record: 1-0-0
R2: Vinny Paratore (Night March)
I won the coin flip, got T1 Vileplume and a Lightning Energy onto Jolteon-EX and passed. My opponent started lone Joltik, drew and then passed. I then KO’d his Joltik turn two with Swift.
He elected to go first and blew up first turn, but didn’t get out any possible Gallade and he couldn’t deal with Jolteon-EX and Vileplume on T1 so I slowly whittled him away. I took KO after KO on consecutive Mews for game.
WW, Record: 2-0-0
R3: Lucian Delisile :] (Vespiquen/Flareon)
I was extremely excited. This was a pretty favorable matchup and it was against a good friend. I knew we could have a friendly conversation while playing (which I always love), because he is super casual and just a great person overall. I ended up winning the coin flip and got T1 Vileplume and Electric Energy on Jolteon-EX. He couldn’t respond under item lock and I killed everything he benched.
He elected to go first and got god hand. He played three Battle Compressor in this one turn and discarded 12 Pokemon T1. I was able to get Jolteon set up T1 but not Vileplume. I was wondering why until I played an Ultra Ball and discovered that three of my four Forest Of Giant Plants were prized. After he got two Vespiquens and a Flareon set up, I scooped to game 3.
I elected to go first and got amazing hand. I got everything but one. I once again couldn’t find Forest of Giant Plants. Only one copy was prized this game but off of approximately 35 card draw I could not get it. I passed to see my friend smirk as he went off and discarded 8 Pokemon T1 this time and smacked my Jolteon-EX for 100. The following turn I drew my card. GUESS WHAT MY TOP DECK WAS. Of course it had to be Forest of Giant Plants, it was just salt in the wound. We kept trading KOs after I got Vileplume out because he magically kept drawing DCEs and kept killing Jolteons and Lugia until he had one prize remaining. I suddenly realized I had to mill to win. I quickly counted his discard to see 3 DCE, 3 Fire Energy, and 2 Blacksmith discarded and believed my Lysandre in hand could get me the game contingent on his misplay. My opponent made said misplay (retreating his Flareon getting rid of the DCE) and immediately regretted it and I Lysandre’d up his Shaymin-EX and passed knowing he had no more energy. He had 2 cards left in deck and top decked Blacksmith onto Flareon. He then played DCE to retreat Shaymin to Flareon for Game 3.
WLL, Record: 2-1-0
R4: Micheal Catron (Yveltal/Maxie’s)
I got to go first and got T1 Jolteon and VIleplume and passed. He drew, benched Darkrai EX and passed. The following turn I OHKO’d his Yveltal EX, he drew and then scooped to game 2.
He obviously elected to go first and wasn’t able to get Archeops out T1. I got T1 Vileplume and Flash Ray’d for KO on Yveltal EX. He then promoted his Fright Night Yveltal and Lysandre’d my Vileplume. I then on my turn played Jirachi for Stellar Guidance and my AZ was prized. I didn’t draw energy for the next 3 turns and I scooped to game 3.
I elected to go first and got everything I wanted. My opponent then played Parallel City and set up Fright Night Yveltal. After on tilt from the previous match, I played a Shaymin and set up for 4 as a 4th bench spot. My opponent being a good sportsman called judge immediately to avoid me getting penalty and was completely honest about everything. Luckily I don’t shuffle the cards in my hand so they were still in order and I got off with a Warning. I then made quick work of the game winning 6-0. I then was deck checked because we had finished the round in appx. only 15 min.
WLW, Record: 3-1-0
R5: Cody Hammersmith (Turbo Dark)
I didn’t have time to shuffle my deck because they gave me my deck back at the beginning of the round. So I my deck ended up extremely clumped and my opponent went up 1-6 in prizes. I then had one set up Jolteon-EX and nothing else and just Flash Ray’d my way to victory as he had no way around Jolteon-EX.
He blew up and got like 7 energies into play T1 and then passed. I used Max Elixir all 4 times between my two Jolteon-EXs and was able to power them both up and was able to Flash Ray T1. My opponent Lysandre’d my benched Jolteon and KO’d it giving me win. He still had 4 Prize Cards remaining and was unable to take any more so I was able to make quick work of the deck and won.
WW, Record: 4-1-0
R6: Sydney Morisoli (Yveltal/Maxie’s)
I luckily won coin flip and got T1 Jolteon and Vileplume. She saw my deck and knew instantly what to do (I expected nothing less) and Lysandre’d Vileplume and got Fright Night into play and Pitch Black Speared. I then AZ’d my Vileplume and was able to take game from there without revealing too much info about deck.
I had a completely dud hand and Sydney recognized this immediately and set up herself to kill any Vileplume play. She was able to take the game in about 3 turns after that with Firght Night Yveltal.
I decided to Intentional Draw this match even though I was 80% sure I was going to win. I did this for 3 reasons.
#1: I have autowin against every potential 4-1-1
#2: I wanted Sydney in Top 8. Because if she was, a Jolteon-EX/Vileplume/Regice deck was mathematically eliminated from contention, and I prefer Yveltal matchup to that matchup even if I am facing a TCG competitive god.
#3: I feel I didn’t reveal too much info about my deck to her, so I believed I had an advantage in Top 8.
WLT Record: 4-1-1
R7: Alex ????? (Night March)
I went first and got T1 Vileplume and T1 Jolteon-EX and was able to sweep from there.
He went first and went off. He played extremely well this match; because he recognized his potential to win off of Xerosic. I did have luck on my side by having 3 DCE in hand after going though like 30 cards T1. I was able to always Flash Ray and I won that game moderately quickly as well.
WW Record: 5-1-1
MY DAY 2 EXPERIENCE
We had arrived about 10 minutes prior to the match starting. Me and my friend Wyatt soon realized that we’d probably be facing in the finals if we could win our top 8 matchups. I knew I was going to be facing Night March in the Top 4, because the Night March Player (Zachary Bokhari) was playing Rainbow Road that was not playing a Jolteon-EX. Despite Zachary being a better player than I was it was a practical autowin for me, so I knew I could be in the finals. Wyatt (Turbo Dark) would be facing Yveltal first, which was favorable for him. Then he was going to be facing the winner of MegaRay VS Seismitina. Wyatt was confident in his ability to beat both matchups and believed that he would be in the finals.
Top 8: Sydney Morisoli (Yveltal/Maxie’s)
I won coin flip and got T1 Jolteon and Vileplume and started attacking and she scooped turn 3.
She elected to go first. She missed T1 Archeops and practically revealed that it was prized. I then realized she probably still had Gallade so I needed to shut it down immediately. I had a pretty good hand, and I top deck Level Ball. So I play it and I soon realized that ALL 3 ODDISH WERE PRIZED. So a new wave of panic started to set in. I understood I had a loss after her combinations of 2 Head-Tails on Hypnotoxic Laser, because my last 3 prizes all had to be Oddish. She was able to take this game despite in the end her Gallade and Archeops being prized. Game 2 was definitely my favorite game of the whole tournament :) GG Sydney.
I decided not to reveal the fact that all 3 Oddish were prized to her to try to make it seem that I had misplayed so that she would be more aggressive and less conservative thinking that I was prone to misplay, because we both knew T1 Vileplume was imperative and I believed there was a chance that she thought I wasn’t aware of that. In the third match I went first and got T1 Vileplume and T1 Jolteon-EX and was able to clean up from there because she did dead draw badly (so that effort was useless). I suddenly had a massive sense of relief.
WLW Record: 6-1-1
Top 4: Zachary Bokhari (Night March)
I went first and got Vileplume T1 and was able to set up Jolteon T2 and win from there easily.
Zach elected to go 1st but drew completely dead. We drew our hands, and he started with Joltik and I started with Oddish. He then benched Pumpkaboo and then simply passed. I was able to go off T1 and was able to start taking KOs left and right. Zachary then found his Hex Maniac and got to play his items once again. He then almost got Maxie Gallade the following turn ensuring with Puzzle of Time; however he went for Sycamore instead. This confused me and he revealed he had misplayed there accidentally, and that he had meant to get Maxie that VS Seeker but wasn’t thinking straight. I was able to take game from there, and that lead me to the finals.
WW Record: 7-1-1
Finals: Wyatt Harris :] (Turbo Dark)
Wyatt got to go first with beautiful starting hand. I had absolutely nothing. I got Jolteon down after he took 5 prizes and was able to AZ my last bench so he couldn’t do anything. It was close but I did run him out of steam and I took the win.
ANOTHER DUD HAND. He got to go first and blew up. He then showed his tech to beat Jolteon-EX. He had been playing a Malamar-EX, this may not seem like much at first but when you are flipping only tails on wake up flips, that thing is horrible. I scooped after he went down to 2 prizes and I had no Jolteon-EXs left.
This match determined the regional champion. Wow. I got to go first and got T1 Jolteon-EX and Vileplume. Wyatt played a sycamore benched Darkrai EX and then passed. I then proceeded to take KO after KO and he scooped and then congratulated me on my Championship win.
WLW Record: 8-1-1
Thank you all so much for reading and have a great day!!! Please PM me regarding any questions about my list or tournament experience!!!
– Gabking5458 :)