Saturday, July 30, 2011

Deck Review – ILIKEPIEKID – kingdra yanmega magnezone (seniors)

4-2-4 kingdra prime
4-4 yanmega prime
3-1-3 magnezone prime
Total = 25 pokemon

4 lightning energy
4 water energy
Total = 8 energy

4 rare candy
4 junk arm
4 pokemon communication
2 pokemon reversal
1 switch
4 judge
4 pokemon collector
2 sage training
2 copycat
Total = 27 trainers/supporters

This deck has an amazing record of 25-3 (the 3 losses due to bad starts) and has been able to beat the other meta decks like magneboar, yanmega magnezone, donphan zoroark yanmega and many others! 

Pokemon Recommendations
The only thing I don’t like about the pokemon line is a lack of a starter.  Your three losses were from being unable to draw a collector, but if you had a starter with shuffle power, you would have been more likely to draw into a collector.  I would recommend manaphy which allows you to shuffle your hand in and draw 5.  It has more HP than a baby pokemon, so it’s going to be more difficult to donk and will be harder to snipe when on the bench. 

The rest of your pokemon line is great! Your magnezone and yanmega lines are perfect, but since many players are throwing in a reshiram to weaken kingdra’s dragon steam attack (which is reduced by 40  when a fire pokemon is in play), I would throw in one non prime kingdra (so you would run three prime and 1 non prime).  The non prime kingdra can hit for 80 if you return 1 energy to your hand, which would be more than enough to know out donphans, reshirams, etc…

Energy Suggestions
If you decide to run the non prime kingdra, I would throw in a couple of double colorless to speed it up a bit.  You can always throw them away with magnezone’s lost burn if you don’t need your non prime kingdra in the match.

Trainer/Supporter Suggestions
Since you’re relying on yanmega as your primary attacker, I would increase your copycats from 2 to 4.  To make room for those two cards, you can drop one communication, collector, junk arm or rare candy.  All of those would run fine at 3, rather than 4.  I would also recommend some recovery cards, like flower shop, twins and energy retrieval.  I recommend energy retrieval since you run sage – you can easily throw away the energy and get it back with energy retrieval.   When pokemon catcher comes out, I would swap those out for pokemon reversal, but I’m sure you were planning to do that already. 

Making a few of these changes should reduce the chances of you getting a bad start.  Sounds like you’re doing amazing with this deck already, so you should do really well when battle roads come around!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Deck Review – TuxPenguin00 - Honchkrow Skuntank

I’ve received several submissions for video deck reviews, but since it takes so long to get to upload a video in HD, I’d like to be able to write out a few of the deck reviews and post them here instead.  Posting deck reviews on my blog would also give me more time to get other videos up on my channel, send out feedback much faster (I can get a deck review via blog within a few days rather than a week or more), and would hopefully prevent me from having to start choosing which decks would be featured In videos.  If I continue to get as many decks submitted as I am now, I won’t be able to keep up and will have no choice but to select only a certain number of decks to be in video reviews.  So here’s the first blog review!

4-2 honchrkrow UD #15
3-2 Skuntank
4 sableeye
4 houndour
Total = 19 pokemon

1 double colorless
8 basic metal
7 basic dark
1 special metal
1 special dark
Total = 18 energy

2 professor oaks new theory
2 copycat
3 pokeball
4 potion
2 interviewers
2 switch
2 elm
2 energy returner
2 juniper
2 revive
Total = 23 trainers/supporters

Explanation of pokemon
Honchkrow’s first attack whirlwind does 20 and forces your opponent to switch the active pokemon with a benched pokemon.   While this could be disrupting, there are plenty of pokemon with free retreat that your opponent could bring up, meaning that you might be putting them in a better position since they can leave the damaged pokemon on the bench.  The second attack, blindside, is more useful.  For 2 dark it snipes any damaged pokemon for an additional 50.  This is exactly the same as Mandibuzz’s attack, but requires more energy.  However, the combination of both attacks could be great for spreading damage. 

Sableye allows you to search your deck for any card, which makes it a great starting pokemon.  However, there are many other better starters, like cleffa, manaphy and smeargle, which allow you to get much more than one card.  Sableeye’s attack is fairly weak, doing 50 if your hand size is larger than your opponent, and only doing 20 if it isn’t. 

Skuntank’s first attack can either paralyze or poison your opponent, depending on the coin flip.  Fury swipes does 30 times the number of 3 coin flips. Overall, it’s a very ‘flippy’ card, and with only 80 hp, isn’t very strong.   You run two different houndours, but without houndoom, neither can hit for a decent amount. 

Pokemon Recommendations
Your strongest pokemon is honchkrow, but if you have any vullaby/mandibuzz from black and white, those would be a stronger substitution.  If not, I would suggest that you focus on sableye to set up and honchkrow to attack.  If you have any jirachi with that attack that lets you devolve your opponents pokemon, it would be a great addition.  Spread damage with honchkrow or mandibuzz, then devolve with jirachi.  Unless you have houndoom to add to the deck, you don’t need houndour.  Since you’re running a dark deck, if you have any umbreon whose attack prevents any damage done from a pokemon with pokepowers or pokebodies, that would be a strong addition.   Weaville from undaunted would fit well into the deck and allow you to disrupt your opponent as well (it’s poke power allows you to discard any card from your opponents hand).

Energy Recommendations
You don’t run any metal pokemon, so there’s no need for metal energy.  You can run up to 4 special dark per deck, so I would increase that to the max.   Since you run two interviewers, you can easily reduce your energy amount in the deck.

Trainers/Supporters Recommendations
If you have any pokemon collector or dual ball, add those instead of pokeball.  I would also add flower shop and energy retrieval to replace the energy returners and revives.  You have an excellent amount of hand refreshers (copycat, PONT and juniper).  If you can increase the PONT by 1-2, that would make your deck more consistent.  Adding pokemon communication to get the pokemon you need and junk arm to reuse trainers would also strengthen the deck.  To make room for them you can drop the 4 potion.

I think you’re going to struggle with this deck. It doesn’t have any attackers that can hit for a large amount.  You’ll be able to take a few prizes, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up about winning games.  While you’re at league tomorrow, see if you can trade for some stronger dark pokemon.  The most powerful option would be tyrannitar, but that might be difficult to get. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Now Accepting Deck Lists for Reviews (and suggestions for scoring criteria)

It's been a while since I posted a new blog.  When I started this, I thought I'd be writing in it daily, but there just hasn't been enough time. Since I got back from Nationals, I've been struggling to keep up with all the emails that comes along with all the new vids that I've been uploading.  So I apologize to many of you that have experienced delays in hearing back from me.  I am getting to everyone!  It's just taking some time!

One of the biggest reasons for delays is that several people have suggested that I start doing deck reviews on my channel.  I've done 2 so far (uploads are still in progress - HD videos take several hours to upload sadly), and I've prepared 2 more that I'm planning on doing when I get home from work in the morning.  So far I really like doing them, although I know I need to work on being more organized when going through them.  I'd also like to work out some sort of scale to measure decks on that would combine various factors such as creativity, deck consistency, etc.....  Any suggestions to the sorts of categories that I could include would be greatly appreciated!

My main request is for the obvious - deck lists!  I can't do deck reviews without deck lists!  My goal isn't just to go over big meta decks and give my opinion, although I can certainly do that if anyone is interested, but primarily to help out players.  I don't consider myself a great player, but I think I'm pretty good at analysis and a slightly above average player.  I also have access to many players that I would consider great that I could consult if I get a deck that proves to be 'tricky'.

If you'd like your deck to be reviewed, but don't want your list shared with all of youtube, you can send a skeleton list, which basically would include what's in the deck (pokemon, energy, trainers, supporters, stadiums), but not give out the numbers.  Or you could send the full deck list and ask that I don't share the list in the video.  Whatever makes you feel more comfortable!

If doing deck reviews becomes fairly popular and there's enough interest, I can also build the decks myself and try them out against other decks in videos.  That way you can see how your deck works in action (or how it doesnt work....)

Thanks for taking the time to read, and if you choose to submit a deck, you can send it as a PM to my capeter3ncsu youtube account. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

US Nationals Report

Pokemon US Nationals 2011 ended yesterday and I had a blast! It was my first Nationals after my first full year playing (I started last spring so I only played in a few battle roads from last season).  I should have started writing this before today so I could remember more about my matches, so I'll just do my best to go through what I can.  Overall, I went 5-4 which was what I was aiming for (a winning record), but at the end I felt like I could have done a lot better.

I played a deck that I call "The Chinchilla Variety Hour", but I found out on Friday that someone else already thought of it and it's called "4 corners".  It's a combination of yanmega prime, donphan prime, zoroark and cincinno - 4 stage 1's that complement each other very well.  If you'd like to see my decklist, I'll have it posted on youtube. 

So the night before, I resleeve my deck with ultra pro matte black sleeves.  My regular ultra pros had been breaking and I was told that reverses would look better in matte sleeves.  This was the first time I had ever played with a complete reverse deck.  I played one practice game after resleeving that went horribly.  I ran into a huge energy drought, but was told it was just bad luck and not to worry about it.  My deck is pretty consistent.  So I go along and don't shuffle anymore tyring to keep the sleeves as mint as possible (I heard that Nationals can be picky about perfectly unmarked sleeves - I didn't want a bent corner that comes from shuffling too much to be considered marked).

My first match is against one of the biggest decks in the format - magneboar.  I have practiced against this deck so many times and beat it 80-90% of the time, so I wasnt too worried when I saw what he was running.  Unfortunately I lost anyways.  My sleeves continued to clump cards together (instead of an energy drought like the night before, I drew almost nothing but energy).  I was forced to use my cleffa several times and just kept dead drawing. He was able to take 3 prizes just on my babies because of rolling heads (I think I actually rolled heads on every baby, but he also had cleffa active which was the only reason I lasted more than 2 turns).  I flip 3 tails on reversals which pretty much gives me no hope.  I was able to take 3 prizes before he used rayquaza deoxys legend to take his last 2.

On to game #2.  Yanmega was one of the most expensive cards there - peaking at over $75 before the tournament.  My second opponent ran straight yanmega with sunflora to speed up the search.  Again, my sleeves clump (I draw little to no energy) and I can't set up until mid-game.  By that time he's got 3 yanmega and 2 sunflora (one of those yanmega with energy as a back up, ready to go).   I do manage to bring the game close, but lose because of time being called.

By game #3 I'm pretty frustrated.  My deck has been very consistent the past several months and the only difference now is the new sleeves.  But I figure with two losses already, my 3rd opponent should be pretty easy and even setting up mid game I should be able to get a win.  Luck was just not on my side.  My opponent was magnezone yanmega, a deck that I had not practiced at all against.  It was an excellent build and the only reason he lost his first two games is because he was donked.  He got set up fast and while I still remember being able to take several prizes, it was in his favor all game.  The sleeves clump for a 3rd time and I'm just not able to get going before he's got the magnezones in play.  0-3
I'm tempted to drop at this point, but figure that my rating is so horribly destroyed at this point that I might as well try and get a few of the points back.  So I go for game 4.  After a few hands it's clear that my new sleeves are finally broken in.  Even if my hand is bad, it's a variety of bad, rather than just being all of one thing like energy.  I'm playing a raichu deck with pachiriu to be able to attack every turn and plusle/minum to knock out babies.  But an all electric deck couldn't stand up to my donphans and I take my first win.

With finally one win behind me, I think that there's maybe hope for a winning record.  Losing the first 3 games destroyed any chance I had of top cut, but I didn't expect to make it to that level since it was only my first nationals and with the new rotation, my deck had never seen real tournament play.  I honestly can't remember many details of my 5th game.  I remember what the guy looked like and thinking that it was someone I had practiced against the day before, but the deck was different, so it wasn't.  I wish I could remember what he was running, but that slips my mind too.

We knew we would play 6 games the first day, so this would be my last game of the day.  When I sit down, my opponent is talking to a friend of his beside him, and I hear that he's playing reshiram.  Excellent!  That's what my zoroarks are for!  Before the game even started though, a card flew out while he was shuffling, which gave the deck away anyways. But it didn't matter. The poor guy never saw an energy despite running 20, so he couldn't use his ninetales engine.  I had a full bench set up pretty fast and one shot pretty much everything.  He had had a pretty unlucky day, so he dropped after the game was over.   Despite the bad game, he was extremely nice and a good sport. 

So the main tournament is over for the day, and I have quite a bit of fun playing in side events and talking with a lot of new/old people (getting Jwittz's autograph too!).  The next morning, there's issues with the alarms and we don't wake up until 7:40.  We were told to be in the hall at 8:30.  So after rushed showers we run downstairs to catch the shuttle to the convention center.  We're told a 5-10 minute wait.  That would still get us there a few minutes early.  After 20 minutes the shuttle finally comes by.  We barely make it to the hall in time and I rapidly start shuffling up my deck, slightly flustered at having to cut it so close.  My starting hand has a zorua and cleffa in it with the fighting energy.  I make a misplay that cost me the game.  I put clefffa active and zorua on the bench.  As we're waiting for them to call start, I realize my mistake, but it's too late to take it back.  I lose the coin flip and go second, which lets him get out his tyrogue to take out my cleffa.  WIthout a collector in hand I'm forced to play judge to try and get another basic.  I fail.  And worse yet, I judged him into the donphan and fighting energy he needed to take out my zorua.  I was donked. 

Determined to get a winning record, I refuse to drop.  My next opponent is none other than Candace, a player in North Carolina and a good friend.  We laugh about how we always seem to get paired up with each other at tournaments, how almost everyone we know seems to be doing horribly at nationals, and that we both drove over 10 hours just to play each other.  She's playing reshiphlosion.  The great thing about always playing her is that we always seem to to have really good close games.  I take a few KOs with my zoroarks, and I think I do some damage with my yanmegas too.  I get the early start but she comes back and brings it down to the last prize.  I have a cincinno with a full bench doing 100, but the active typhlosion needs 120 to knock it out.  I have one plus power in the discard pile.  I get rid of as much of my hand as possible and copycat for I think 7 (possibly 9) and in those 7 are two junk arms.  I use them both bringing my hand down to 1, but able to get both pluspowers to knock it out.  One of the best games I've had all tournament.

So my goal of a winning record is in sight! I have one more game!  I play a guy named Mike that sounds very familiar and I'm worried that it might be a big player that has just had a bad day.  Sure enough, its donphan yanmega (I forget what else).  I no longer have my samurott to counter donphan, so donphan matches are always difficult for me.  For some reason, I don't remember too much about this game either, but that it was extremely close and came down to the last prize.  I thought he had the game for sure, but he didn't have the energy he needed to knock me out (I believe he would have killed one of his own in the process which would have brought it to sudden death where I would have a really good shot).  So he stalls, but I was able to someone take the knock out (I believe I used judge and knocked out something on the bench).  We never did figure out why his name sounded familiar.  It was his first time at Nationals and he was from Michigan.  Oh well, he was still a great opponent.

I get my winning record and have a blast the rest of the event with side events and hanging out with amazing people.  I didn't want to leave of course, but there's always next year.  In the end, my ranking only went up by about 4 points, which was pretty sad considering I skipped a battle roads to practice for nationals, and could have earned quite a bit more than that there.  But oh well, I was never in the running for an invite to worlds anyways and I significantly improved from my last season (even though it was only a few tournaments).  My goal for next year will just be to continue to improve and do well at some of the bigger tournaments. 

If you made it to the end of this post, congrats!!  It's quite a big read!  Check out my channel and facebook for tons of videos and pictures from Nationals!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canadian Nationals

Pokemon's Canadian Nationals were this past weekend and congrats to all the winners!  Zekrom and yanmega variants were very popular and there's been quite a bit of discussion on the boards about this potentially effecting US Nationals.  For quite a while, it seemed like the best deck in format was Magneboar - a combination of magnezone, ability emboar and rayquaza deoxys legend. Now players seen to be questioning whether they should continue with fire at all. 

There were also some crazy rogue decks, including illumise/volbeat, ambipom/weaville and yanmega/muk/vileplume/jumpluff.  Goes to show that creativity and originality still deserves a place in top cut!  Unfortunately, many players (most of them appearing to be magneboar fans), are saying that Canada players aren't as good as US players and thats why magneboar didn't win overall.  Sounds like poor sportsmanship to me (and possibly a bit of jealousy).  The metagame is different is each tournament.  What is very popular in one area may not be as popular in another area.  Perhaps Canada just had a different meta than the US, but that's no reason to bash Canadian players.

Bottom line is that magneboar will still be a big deck at US Nationals, and now yanmega and zekrom variants will be pretty popular too.  Personally, I'm going to Nationals just to have a lot of fun and will be playing the same deck I've been playing/tweaking for the past several weeks.  Changing your entire deck days before a big tournament is usually not wise (at least not for a player like me).
If you'd like to see more details of Canadian Nationals, check out this forum (which was updated while the tournament was going on).

On a side note, blogspot is one of the few 'social' sites that isn't blocked at my job!  So I should be able to post and update from work! Woo!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

1st Post

So I've been considering making a website for a while, but I'm not very 'techy' and didn't want to have to ask anyone to run it for me.  I still may do that someday, but until then, I thought I'd start a blog and see if it had enough interest to put any further consideration into starting up my own site.  So I've had plenty of ideas for my site.  I'd like to catalogue my collection videos so people can easily see them since I'm primarily a collector.  However, I also play the trading card game and have had had many people come to me for deck advice as well as TCG questions through youtube.  So I'd like to have a question/answer section where people can view the answers to these questions.  I've also thought about card reviews, deck reviews, battle reports, etc....

I welcome any additional suggestions and until I get an official site up, I'll be using this blog to talk about whatever pokemon topics I feel like addressing.  So tell me what you'd like to read about!

Since this is the first post, I'd rather not make it too long, but I have to mention that one of the biggest pokemon events of the year is coming up this weekend - the US Pokemon Nationals Competition!  It will be my first time attending and from what I hear, there's quite a bit to do other than just compete in the main tournament (although thats the main reason I'm going).  I plan on taking some HD movies while I'm there and uploading them to youtube to share with the rest of the poketubers out there!  So if you'd heard about anything in particular that goes on at Nationals that  you'd like to see a vid of, let me know and I'll try and get a few shots!