“Dream of Genie” to “Vengeful Harvest” – Joel’s Nats Deck

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym Leaders hope that you enjoyed reading a little about Logan’s Nationals deck.  Today we will discuss the deck that Gym Leader Joel used to achieve some crushing victories and fall by the narrowest of margins in his Nationals experience.  We’ll also discuss the original deck that he used at the Wisconsin Regional Championships in April and how/why it evolved into what he played at the National Championships.  As you will see, both decks revolve around Landorus.  Gym Leader Joel will be the 1st to admit that it may not be the best card in the game, but give credit where credit is due.  It looks really awesome!

The original deck was named “Dream of Genie” by Gym Leader Joel.  Let’s look at the list and then you see why.

  • 4-Landorus (NV)
  • 4-Tornadus (EP)
  • 2-Mewtwo EX (NX)
  • 4-Sage’s Training
  • 4-Professor Juniper
  • 2-N
  • 4-Dual Ball
  • 4-Eviolite
  • 4-Junk Arm
  • 3-Pokemon Catcher
  • 3-Skyarrow Bridge
  • 2-Pokegear 3.0
  • 2-Plus Power
  • 2-Lost Remover
  • 1-Super Rod
  • 11-Fighting Energy
  • 4 Double Colorless Energy

This deck focuses on 2 of the 3 “Genies”, Landorus and Tornadus.  The goal of the deck is to achieve a 2nd turn attack for 80 from either Pokemon.  It does not matter which one you start with.  If you start with Tornadus, then you need to attach a DCE on 1 of the first 2 turns to achieve this.  He is probably the better starter, because his attack can be used to power up a benched Landorus.  If you start with Landorus, you need to get a fighting energy in the discard pile on the first turn.  With Sage’s, Juniper and Junk Arm, there are obviously several ways to accomplish this.  You still have to attach a fighting energy and then use “Abundant Harvest” to retrieve the energy from the discard.  You take whichever path your opening hand gives you.  With the 2nd turn attack, you abuse Pokemon Catcher and Junk Arm and try to take out whatever the biggest threat is in your opponent’s deck.  Mewtwo is there to counter an opposing Mewtwo.  Speed is the key in “Genie”.

Consistency seemed to be the biggest problem of the deck.  In games where the quick attacker was set early, Joel coasted to some easier victories.  However, there were several games opening hands left the Gym Leader “supporter-less” and sometimes without energy.  The obvious answer after seeing its use in Battle Roads events was Smeargle.  The other thing that seemed to be obvious after Regionals and Battle Roads was that Zek/Eels & Darkrai EX decks would be everywhere at Nationals.  So, in looking at the deck, Tornadus seemed to be less attractive, as these 2 decks are weak to fighting-type decks.  So after some different variants, the Gym Leader came around to the following deck, which he dubbed, “Vengeful Harvest”.

  • 2-Smeargle (UD)
  • 3-Landorus
  • 3-Terrakion
  • 1-Mewtwo
  • 3-Skyarrow Bridge
  • 4-Junk Arm
  • 4-Random Receiver
  • 4-Dual Ball
  • 3-Pokemon Catcher
  • 2-Plus Power
  • 4-Exp. Share
  • 2-Switch
  • 1-Energy Switch
  • 1-Eviolite
  • 1-Lost Remover
  • 1-Revive
  • 4-Sage’s Training
  • 3-Biance
  • 2-Professor Juniper
  • 12-Fighting Energy

The goal of the deck is much like “Genie”, but more focused on getting Landorus as your eventual starter, energy in the discard pile and “Harvesting” to set up the 2nd turn “Gaia Hammer”.  One of the weaknesses in “Genie”, is that 3 energies attached to Landorus (110 HP) left you vulnerable to a knockout (and loss of all 3 energies) from a Mewtwo with “X-Ball”.  A quick start is quickly devestated if this happens.  It seemed like natural synergy to pair this with Terrakion and Exp Share.  That way, when Landorus is KO’d, you can immediately follow up with a “Retaliate” from Terrakion.  Once this get started, its hard to stop.  With the major decks at Nationals being weak to fighting, you can see how this could (and did) roll some of these decks.

The weaknesses were exposed as the “bookends” of Joel’s tournament.  He opened against a trainer-lock deck (Kyurem/Electrode/Vileplume).  Despite quickly losing the ability to use 27 of the cards in his deck, Joel was 2 prize cards away from victory.  The other big weakness of the deck was Mewtwo .  Joel’s last game was against a Mewtwo/Gardevoir deck.  Joel decked out trying to take out multiple Mewtwo with Eviolite attached.   The idea of the build was to use Revive and Energy Switch to power a Mewtwo in a turn to counter this “Landorus-killer”.  However, one or both of these cards being “prized” (which both happened) destroyed that notion.  DCE and Shaymin probably would have worked out better.  DCE was left out so it would not have to be used on a Landorus or Terrakion, because doing so would make an opposing Mewtwo‘s job that much easier.  Also, avoiding special energies made playing “Hammer-Time” decks (Darkrai EX with Crushing/Enhanced Hammer) safer.  Shaymin was left out because whenever Gym Leader Joel puts it in a deck, he swears that he almost always starts with it.  The 1-count of several of the trainer/item was another flaw in the deck.  The deck would’ve been more consistent with multiple copies of those trainer cards (which would’ve meant dropping some of the others).  The last and most glaring weakness was the deck’s exclusion of N.  Several of the very close losses would have likely swung in favor of the Gym Leader if he could have forced his opponents into 1 or 2 card hands in the final minutes of their matches.  His plan was to hit their N with Smeargle‘s “Portrait”, but that did not deliver as he thought it would.

Joel lost 2 games in sudden death (after the 30 minutes and +3 turns) which could’ve gone either way.  So, overall, the deck did well.  A few tweaks here and there could have enabled the Gym Leader to take “Harvest” a little deeper into the tournament.  You also have to keep in mind that at Nationals, people are through with experimenting with decks (like in Battle Roads) and are piloting their best deck.  2 and 3 loss players were still very skilled competitors.  A deck with a few inconsistencies/flaws had them pointed out very quickly in that environment.

We know this got a little long, but we thought that seeing the deck in addition to how it began might be helpful.  Unlike Logan’s deck that was in our last feature, this deck will not lose a lot with the rotation.  Another bonus with either version is that the decks are not expensive to make.  If you are looking for Mewtwo, wait until this September when they will be included in promo tins for less than $2o.  Other than that, “Catcher” is probably the most expensive card.  We hope you enjoyed our mini-deck features this week.  We look forward to getting back into the swing of things this Sunday at the league.  See you at the Gym!

 

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