PokeBeach’s August TCG Cup is over and the winners have been crowned!
96 players competed for the title in this exciting event, with the top-8 players facing off in a top cut. The tournament was played in the Standard format at the time — Primal Clash through Guardians Rising.
Interview with the Champion
Here’s our interview with him:
Hello Sean! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for the front page.
First off I would just like to say that I am grateful that these tournaments take place every month. I have learned so much over the last few months about this game just from these tournaments alone.
How well are you performing in Play! Pokemon tournaments this season?
I have been too busy with work and prepping for a big move from Washington to Nevada to attend any events so far. I am hoping to attend a couple of League Challenges / Cups at the end of the month, and in addition I hope to compete in Vancouver next month.
Why did you decide to participate in this tournament?
I have been participating in the PokeBeach tournaments since June of this year in order to prepare myself for the 2017-2018 competitive circuit. I played in my first Pokemon TCG event this last May in Seattle and, much to my dismay, I played well below my expectations even though I had limited experience with the game. After that weekend I decided that if I were to stick with playing the Pokemon TCG competitively I was going to take it more seriously which meant playing with people who cared about the game. The booster boxes are also a nice incentive to play well. ;)
What deck did you play for the August TCG Cup?
Now for the info y’all are most likely interested in! The deck I chose to play this month was Turbo Dark, my personal favorite so far out of the decks I’ve tested. When I was deciding what to play I was actually on vacation in Nevada, lining some stuff up for when me and my girlfriend move out there and hanging out with family. I brought a couple decks to teach my cousin how to play and I was using some spare time to goldfish. The two decks I seemed to like the most were Turbo Dark and Metagross-GX. The main reasons I chose this deck were:
1) Consistency. Plain and simple the deck is super consistent, anyone who plays/played it knows what I mean.
2) With Burning Shadows being days away from dropping I figured Volcanion-EX would be on everyone’s mind with Kiawe hype and people might consider it for this tournament. So I was worried I would see it at least once, which I did, or maybe more.
I am very glad I made the decision to go with Turbo Dark over Metagross-GX as I believe with some of the decks I faced last month it would have been a whole different run.
What kind of decks give yours trouble? Which are good matchups?
Anything that heals chip damage or has a similar pace to Turbo Dark can be a struggle for the deck, also decks that put damage counters on Pokemon as this does not trigger Exp. Share. As well as decks that play heavy Field Blower counts. Oh, and decks that rely on one-Prize attackers, these matchups can be iffy.
Barring an exceptionally fast turn one and two, Turbo Dark relies pretty heavily on early chip damage from Yveltal to start taking key Knock Outs early to mid game in order to start gaining an insurmountable lead on its opponent. So decks that play rough seas or other forms of healing can make the early to mid game pretty difficult, but if you can survive through this and are able to keep getting Energy attachments you will still have mid- to late-game pressure.
What kind of decks did you play against?
I can’t remember every set I played but I do remember a few very clearly. I threw the only round I lost because of a miss-click in game two and then getting outpaced game two. I played against Quad Wobbuffet, WaterBox / Lapras-GX (I can’t remember exactly what they had but they were running a tanky Fighting Fury Belt / Rough Seas build which was tough), Greninja BREAK, Xerneas BREAK, Volcanion-EX, and Drampa-GX / Garbodor for sure. I believe I also played against a Vikavolt / Tapu Bulu-GX and Alolan Ninetales-GX but I’m not 100% certain on these.
What was your most exciting game or match?
There were a few sets that were really down to the wire and we’re pretty tough match-ups for this deck.
I believe my round two opponent was playing the tanky Lapras-GX build and that was a huge struggle getting through all that HP in order to take the set. Rough Seas, like I mentioned earlier, heals off all that chip damage the deck needs to pull ahead early. If they can get multiple Lapras-GX set up before I can start chaining Knock Outs the matchup becomes near unwinnable if they get the right Supporters. I believe this game three came down to a Lysandre which they weren’t able to hit, much to my amazement.
Top 8 was against Xerneas BREAK. This set was really crazy on top of it being a rough matchup for my build as I fully committed to Choice Bands over Fighting Fury Belt. They have resistance, high HP single-Prize attackers and fairly high potential to outpace my deck. If I remember correctly the first game was close for a couple turns and then they proceeded to pull ahead and close out the game rather convincingly. Game two they had a rough start and I had an equally, if not better, start than game one. Game one was probably the single most intense game of the tournament. If I remember correctly we had pretty equal pace throughout the match except I was able to remove more of their Exp. Share’s throughout the game so they were pressed for resources later on. My opponent needed Lysandre and one more Energy attachment to win on their last turn of the game. My heart almost stopped when they dropped VS Seeker for Lysandre, but they weren’t able to find the Energy. Whew. Really close set, much like the Lapras-GX set but this was Top 8 and I’ve never been this deep in a tournament before so it felt much more intense.
Top 4 was Greninja BREAK which was back and forth. Game one I believe I had a pretty nutty start and it’s hard to keep up in a “Stage 4” deck with that. Game two was closer but I believe I basically got smoked since he was able to ensure I wasn’t keeping Energy on board with Giant Water Shuriken, RIP. I think game three was closer than the other two games but we both had good starts and I believe I was able to get more damage around on stuff before he really got the frogs going.
What was your favorite card in your list?
Well the deck formula was pretty optimized at that point in time but I’ll go over a couple cards that I believe are worth considering and in the case of the second I believe should be standard.
1) Sudowoodo is a pretty clutch card, especially in the era of turn two Brigette. It isn’t the most common tech but Turbo Dark could spare a slot at the time since it was so consistent. If they turn one Brigette without anticipating a Sudowoodo coming down and are relying on dropping another Tapu Lele-GX things can get awkward really fast. Even if you start with it Active we’re running three Altar of the Moone so it likely won’t be there for long. Just being able to disrupt what your opponent is able to do with their Bench slots is really powerful and adds another degree of difficulty to people’s analysis of the game state while under pressure, which helps you in the long run.
2) Four Choice Band is, in my opinion, the play for this deck. I did not like Fighting Fury Belt at the time, and I like it even less now after rotation. The extra 30 surprise damage at any time is so much better than maybe having 40 more HP and 10 more damage. I am sure there are people who like it or swear by it I suppose, but currently I disagree; I think it’s in a really bad spot with all these Ability-based decks with high blower counts.
Would you make any changes to your deck or list?
Obviously things are drastically different now with rotation, but in the scope of last season’s format I would probably try to max out Exp. share, maybe max out Altar of the Moone but I don’t really think that is necessary. The deck is straightforward and it works.
How does the new rotation and affect your deck? Is it still viable?
All right everyone I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Turbo Dark is in the dumpster post rotation. I certainly am not going to sit here and defend it as tier zero/tier one deck because, even though I love the deck, I don’t think it is at the moment. Decks like Greninja and Vika / Bulu have had their matchups improve with rotation and these decks can be rough to pull out a win against. Golisopod-GX can be tough if you don’t know the matchup or if it has a god-like start and obviously Gardevoir-GX is a tough match-up with Resistance, high HP, and Gallade. Also a lot of Turbo Dark’s consistency was contingent on VS Seeker which is forever lost to Expanded and rotation; and on top of all of those the deck also doesn’t have a clearly great option for a usable GX attack.
Here is the deck list he used to win the tournament:
Other Top Finishers
Coming in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places were Alex Mei (TheAnticipationEevee), Dario Bocanegra (F4H_Jay), and GhostXEmpire. All three won a bunch of booster packs from the latest expansions, but Dario and GhostXEmpire got a huge increase in prizes because they are premium subscribers. You can see how many packs each of them earned at the top of this page. Their deck lists can be seen below:
Everyone in the Top 32 of PokeBeach’s monthly tournaments will also receive Prize Wall points via e-mail. Be sure to check your inboxes!
Creative Deck Winners
As part of every tournament, PokeBeach’s article writers voted for the five premium members whom they felt used the most creative deck lists, and each of them earned some additional booster packs or a promo product.
Arneboy11, CESit, tsefood, Nobodyshero2727, and ProfessorPlatan each walked away with several booster packs or a specially-selected Pokemon promo product from TCGplayer.com. The decks they played were Whimsicott / Articuno / Pyukumuku, Xerneas BREAK, Lycanroc-GX / Carbink BREAK / Garbodor, Sylveon-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX and Volcanion-EX with a Glaceon-EX tech respectively.
Want to Become a Premium Member?
October’s tournament will be posted within the last week of September, and September’s tournament is currently underway. Each tournament awards up to 7 booster boxes of product to top finishers plus promo products and additional booster packs to premium members. The prizes for premium members are bigger than ever before, so don’t miss your chance to play in the next tournament!
If you’re interested in becoming a premium member, be sure to check out this link. All premium members get reserved slots in the tournaments, a huge increase in prizes, double the amount of Prize Wall points, a chance to win even more product for using creative decks, and of course all the other benefits that go along with having a premium membership, including weekly articles from the game’s top players and deck help from said players. A premium membership is extremely diverse!
All of these prizes are brought to you by TCGplayer.com. Their online store offers the cheapest Pokemon cards on the Internet from thousands of different sellers — you will find no better deals! So be sure to check them out any time you want to purchase or sell Pokemon cards!
You can always check the “Sets” tab at the top of our website to access their store.
(Note: The Pokémon Company International is not a sponsor or endorser of PokeBeach’s tournaments, contests, or prizes, nor does the company or its affiliates have any formal association with PokeBeach. Our activities are by fans, for fans, and are not sanctioned or approved by TPCi.)