A Reprise from the North – A Canadian Nationals Insight

Editor’s Note: We apologize to Mr. Lesage for delaying his article’s publication, making his use of future tense to describe US Nationals no longer accurate.  However, we obviously appreciate his insights on deck-building, the metagame, etc. – and so, the proverbial show will go on! -Andy

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Origins Game Fair
  3. Locks and Keys
  4. Vileplume/Jolteon EX/ Yveltal EX
  5. Vileplume/ Jolteon EX/ Vespiquen
  6. A Brief Recap
  7. The Canadian Metagame
  8. ESP: Predicting US Nationals
  9. Darkrai/ Garbodor
  10. A Final Sendoff


Today, I want to cut right to the chase: US Nationals are directly around the corner, this article is debuting midway through the week, and you have absolutely no time to be mucking around. So without further adieu, we’ll skip the cheesy intro and dive right into my experiences this past weekend. In my article today, I’ll be recapping my Canadian National Championship experience, as well as detailing my deck choice and everything in between.

I started off being very comfortable in my chair. I sat with the initial thought that Water Toolbox was the initial play; for those of you who didn’t read my last article a few weeks ago, you can read that here. The deck tested tremendously well, and sported very few bad match-ups, which were mostly Grass variants. Things changed very briskly, and I became a little agitated in my chair. A point structure was announced for the Origin’s Game Fair tournament, and I was unable to make it on such short notice. After the events of the OGF, a brand new Tier 1 deck was released: Darkrai/Garbodor. Scoping out half the seeds of their Top 8, I couldn’t ignore such a great idea, and I must nod my head towards Jimmy McClure, Alex Hill, Christopher Schemanske, as well as Sean Foisy; the premise was genius. It illustrated just what we needed in today’s metagame, and gave you a fighting shot against every single deck. Typical Darkrai EX variants made a splash at Italian Nationals, but the Garbodor inclusion put the deck over the top with a solid Greninja answer. The only glaring weakness to this deck seemed to be Jolteon EX.

Locks and Keys

Very few cards can shift an entire metagame, but I truly believe that Jolteon EX is one of those cards. Amongst Enhanced Hammer, Pyroar FLF, and others, Jolteon joins the club. The reason why these cards are so special is because they force you to build decks differently – without an answer, you can lose games provided your opponent plays these cards. Darkrai/Garbodor is a deck that focuses only on Basic Pokemon, barring its only Stage 1 Pokemon Garbodor, which is only used for it’s Ability, and cannot meet the energy requirements to attack. Jolteon exposes this weakness by preventing Darkrai players from attacking at all, stopping them in their immediate tracks.

It’s not all peaches and cream though, folks – the above-mentioned players are all elite for a reason, and included an intelligent copy of Escape Rope in their decks. When played, the Escape Rope will send the Jolteon EX to the bench, removing all effects it has placed on itself. Then, the Darkrai player will couple that with a Lysandre on that same Jolteon EX, allowing for an OHKO on a fragile 160 HP EX-Pokemon. This isn’t the most reliable way to do this though, and sometimes the Escape Rope will be discarded in the early setup stages of the game. Jolteon EX still usually prevails, which was something for me to note while going into my Nationals.

I knew that Darkrai/Garbodor was going to be a huge contender, and quite frankly I was scared. I haven’t seen a deck with as much potential as this one in a while, and I was too stubborn to go with it. I’d much rather counter it. I needed to find a way to abuse Jolteon in a way that it couldn’t be played around, and I found that exact answer within Vileplume. Here is my beta list for Canadian Nationals:

Vileplume/Jolteon EX/Yveltal EX

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