Gym Leader Logan’s & Joel’s Worlds Decks – CTTM

As we mentioned leading up to the World Championships, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym leaders did a lot of testing of deck ideas.  We built decks to try out and decks to play against.  We knew going in that the most popular ideas were going to be Darkrai EX based decks, Eelektrik based decks and decks to counter those two, which would most likely revolve around Terrakion.  So to begin, we build a speed Darkrai deck, a Zekrom/Mewtwo EX/Eels deck and a Quad-Terrakion deck.  We also threw in our existing CMT (Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus) deck.  After two weeks of testing, we discovered the following, each deck beat the other fairly consistently.  The differences were usually based on who went first, who set up the fastest and who had something important stuck in the prize cards.  Based off of these results, or lack of, Logan and Joel began looking for ideas that would give us an edge over all of these.

Of the decks above, the Quad-Terrakion deck, when it set up, seemed to have the advantage over all of the others.  However, it was prone to slow starts and would get slaughtered when the opposing player was able to load up on a Mewtwo early.  So this conclusion led to our final deck idea (there was a rogue idea that we almost had perfect, but we scrapped it…. we’ll tell you about it in the next post).  We believed that if you could set up Terrakion quickly, that you could sweep games with it in the same manner players often do with Mewtwo.  So what do you play it with?  Having already run the gambit with Landorus at Nationals without the desired results, we turned back to the CMT deck.  Celebi is an excellent energy accelerator for Grass-type or Pokemon that use colorless energy, so we thought we’d give it a try with Terrakion.  Almost everyone simply uses Terrakion to “Retaliate” after a KO.  We thought why not make him the main attacker.  Terrakion‘s big attack takes three energy to attack with (FFC).  The extra attachment from Celebi could give you a second turn “Land Crush”.  This is what we based the deck around.  We also decided to keep Tornadus EX, to provide another big attacker and to protect Terrakion‘s weakness to Grass.  Lets look at the list.

Celibi/Tornadus/Terrakion/Mewtwo

  • 3 – Celebi Prime
  • 2 – Smeargle
  • 3 – Tornadus EX
  • 3 – Terrakion (NV)
  • 1 – Mewtwo EX
  • 4 – Pokemon Collector
  • 4 – Professor Oaks New Theory (PONT)
  • 2 – N
  • 2 – Professor Juniper
  • 4 – Random Receiver
  • 3 – Junk Arm
  • 3 – Pokemon Catcher
  • 2 – Energy Retrieval
  • 2 – PlusPower
  • 2 – Eviolite
  • 2 – Switch
  • 1 – Revive
  • 3 – Skyarrow Bridge
  • 6 – Grass Energy
  • 5 – Fighting Energy
  • 3 – Double Colorless Energy (DCE)

If you play much and look online for deck ideas, the first thing that will probably grab your eye will be the “Pokemon Collector” cards.  Those who know (or those would like to talk about it a lot on forums) insist that you have to play “Dual Ball” in this deck for speed.  “Dual Ball” is fast, but not when you hit double-tails on the coin flips or have to use “Junk Arm” more than once to just get out your opening Pokemon.  We found that the first turn “Collector” let you get out everyone you need and still use Smeargle‘s “Portrait” to further your set-up.  After that, “Collector” and the additional “Skyarrow Bridge” cards gave you things to discard with “Junk Arm” that were not vital cards.

Our strategy was two-fold… if our opponent flipped over something that showed their deck revolved around Eels, then go with whatever presented itself as a quick attacker (usually Tornadus or Mewtwo).  Our theory has always been that if you take out the Eelektrik early for easy prizes, that you would hold the advantage for the rest of the game.  If your opponent flipped over cards indicative of a Darkrai deck, then go after the quick Terrakion set-up and take out the first Darkrai with energy before it can attack.  Both Joel and Logan built versions of the above deck with minor differences.  Joel tested it without Mewtwo (adding it later), one less PONT and one more Catcher.  The only reason we included Mewtwo was to counter those who open with it and attach multiple DCE in the first few turns.  The energy split and inclusion of “Energy Retrieval” worked out well, often discarding extra energy on the first turn during set-up and getting right back on the second turn.  “Retrieval” was also useful against “Hammer-time”, the energy discarding deck.

What We Learned

The deck played very well.  Joel gave it a test run in Friday’s “grinder”, defeating a very strong Japanese player and then losing a match that he felt he should have won against a strong contender from the Czech Republic.  The loss pointed out, perhaps not as definitely as 2 two of Logan’s losses did, that an additional “PlusPower”, or maybe even maxing out the card at four copies might have been the change to make.  In Joel’s loss, an “Eviolite” on her Darkrai saved it from the one-hit KO several times, where the “PlusPower” would’ve made it possible.  Logan needed the same card to wrap up his second round loss in the same situation.  Logan’s last round loss (with the coin flip) would have swung his way with the “PlusPower” as well, as he missed that key KO (see “Worlds Day 2”) by only 10 damage.  Overall, we loved the build and enjoyed brainstorming our ideas together to create it.  Building decks remains as Logan’s and Joel’s favorite part of the game.  We have never really felt right playing someone else’s list.  Winning Worlds or playing into the top 16 with our own list would have been awesome.  If you read about Logan’s day in the main event, you will see how close he came to achieving that.  The only thing we have not figured out how to add into the deck is that little bit of luck required to push you over the top.  At this level, all of the players were so amazing and so many games came down to one play, that a little luck makes all the difference.  Like they say, “That’s why they play the game.”

As for the future of this deck….. well, there is none…. at least not like this.  This deck worked off of the Skyarrow Bridge-CelebiSmeargle combo.  Celebi was THE energy accelerator in this deck, and was probably one of the best that we’ve seen since we’ve been playing.  Smeargle allowed the use of at least two Supporters in a turn (three with a Switch), which made the set-up speed of deck incredibly fast.  “Skyarrow” made these two guys easily playable by giving them a free retreat cost.  This deck, like almost all others, loses Junk Arm, Dual Ball/Pokemon Collector and PONT.  For this deck, removing all of these things is kinda like taking the motor, gas tank, seats and wheels off of a race car and entering it into a up-hill race.  The attackers will definitely make their way into other decks, as they are great at what they do.  Sadly, CMT or CTTM or however you built this deck, is dead.  RIP.

Sorry this post was so late, but this whole getting back to school week was a little busier than expected.  Check back in a day or two a read about our “Rogue-that-almost-was” deck and Gym Leader Marthe’s rogue deck that never really got a chance.  See you at the Gym!

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