When the Pokemon Evolutions 2 League challenge concluded on the 10th December, it left behind answers to a predicted metagame mentioned in my last article and a re-evaluation of my own success in competitive events. In all my played rounds, it never crossed my mind that I could win with any deck, much less a deck like Vileplume Toolbox. To prepare ourselves for the next league challenge in Brisbane on the 8th of January, we will examine tournament results along with my match ups and experiences on my deck choice.
In total, there were 27 Masters in this event with 5 rounds:
Top 8 results:
- Vileplume Toolbox
- MGardevoir STS
The variation of decks wasn’t as profound as the last; only Mega Ampharos EX was a standout amongst a field of familiar tier 1 decks like Yveltal/Garbador, Volcanion, Mega Rayquaza and Mega Mewtwo. Mega Ampharos EX was unable to prey on Yveltal EX’s lightning weakness due to its inconsistencies, high energy costs and duration it takes to set up. On top of that, Yveltal EX’s consistency and special energy disruption overwhelmed both Mega Ampharos EX and a majority of decks on the day.
This begged the question: How was I able to play Vileplume Toolbox in a field of unfavourable matchups?
I thought back to my deck choice before the league challenge unfolded; tossing up between Yveltal/Garbador or Vileplume Toolbox. Ultimately, I decided on Vileplume Toolbox because of the amount of practice and research I’d put into learning the deck and its match ups. While Yveltal EX boasts a consistent track record, I have not had experience playing with it and that was what influenced my deck choice.
- Giritina EX/Garbador
- MGardevoir STS
Instead of going through all the intricacies of my matchups, I want to show how my experiences and thought process helped me perform as well as I did. I think one of the factors that played into my success was my constant attention to the board state of each of my games. I can’t begin to recall the games I’ve had when I was a new player where I’ve lost track of the number of cards my opponent has played. I find it helped to form a visual image of what my opponent has left in their deck.
Along with checking their discard pile regularly, checking to see if I could strand a Pokemon active and playing around tech cards like Team Flare Grunt and Delinquent, I was able to hedge safe plays while planning out my next turn. I don’t regard myself in the pinnacle of top Pokemon players, however being able to observe my opponents’ plays and resources had helped me improve as a player throughout the years.
Another factor that was important to my success was testing every possible matchup – both the good and bad. I’ve been told that Yveltal EX decks were my worst matchups, especially ones that played Garbador. Once my opponent has found the resources to activate Garbador’s ability, Vileplume’s item lock becomes redundant. I found during that matchup, not getting Vileplume out in time forced me to disregard my opponent’s Garbador and instead, prioritise setting up and attacking with Jolteon EX. Having a back up plan for matchups made me feel at ease and prepared to face them if they came up. That being said, I did not put time into practicing against Greninja BREAK because I felt not many players would play the deck, favouring a straight forward deck like Yveltal/Garbador instead. My prediction was spot on, seeing no Greninja BREAKS’ on the day.
Lastly, the biggest contributor for doing well was knowing what my deck is capable of and not assuming a matchup was in the bag. I always played my rounds noting the number of things that could go wrong and trying to picture myself in my opponent’s shoes. A common theme I’ve found throughout the day was a Lysandre on my Vileplume. From that experience, I’ve made sure I always have a spare Water or Rainbow energy in my hand and a way to get Manaphy EX in play. Also, I’ve had games where I knew there was nothing I could do to salvage the situation and scooped early, which was important to do when playing a slower deck. By keeping calm, knowing your deck and its options, you can predict your moves ahead and plan accordingly.
In conclusion, being familiar with a deck’s capabilities, its matchups and paying close attention to the board state of each of my rounds had been important to my success for this tournament. What are your thoughts on what will appear in the next league challenge on January 8th? Let me know down in the comments below! Hope you’ve enjoyed the article I’ve written and all the best for the next event!