Bouncing Back from Defeat and Preparing for a New Expanded Season

Hey Cut or Tap! My name is Jeremy Jallen. I have been playing the Pokemon TCG for a little over eight years now. In my time playing, I have some moderate accomplishments: Top 8 Worlds 2011, Top 16 Nats 2012 and 2013, 1st place Regionals 2014, and 2nd place Regionals 2016. The thing I’m more proud of is the amount of friends I have made throughout these years; these friends are the ones who keep pushing me to do better in each tournament. In recent years I have been privileged to qualify for five World Championships, but while getting to the big show is one goal, playing in it is a whole different monster.

Out of the five Worlds that I have participated in, I have not really walked out of the weekend feeling accomplished. I was always left with that sense of not achieving the top goal of everyone in the room. One thing I have learned to do best is shifting my focus to the new competitive season of Pokemon, with things like looking ahead to the new format and working on a good group of testing partners. In this article I will go through my experience at this year’s Worlds in San Francisco, the aftermath, and my testing so far with Arizona Regionals on the horizon.

Worlds – San Francisco

Coming off a Top 32 finish at Nationals, I was feeling mostly confident in my skill, but unsure on deck choice from the testing sessions of which I was taking part. While you always hope that you do well in the tournament, realistically passing through the “Grinder” is a challenge and for the past two years it has eluded me. I was up until 2AM building different decks with the good folks of Team Prison and Some1sPC. We were so lost with this format that we actually spent 40 minutes building a Mega Sceptile deck only to scrap it the moment that we finished perfecting the list. (Russell actually pulled the trigger on the deck and proceeded to lose in round one to a WaterBox). I actually had it built that morning and played a few games with it but was not particularly sold on my chances of making it through Day 1. I also thought about Israel Sosa’s Yanmega Yveltal deck, but seeing as how I did not get any games played with the deck, I tossed it. Eventually I settled on Night March/Vespiquen, thinking that its matchups were pretty good across the board and it had an alright mirror match. This is the list I came up with:

Pokémon – 25 Trainers – 31 Energy – 4
4 Joltik 4 Professor Sycamore 4 Puzzle of Time 4 Double Colorless
4 Pumpkaboo 2 Lysandre 4 Ultra Ball
4 Lampent 1 N 4 Battle Compressor
1 Galvantula 1 Hex Maniac 4 VS Seeker
3 Vespiquen 1 Teammates 1 Special Charge
3 Combee 1 Startling Megaphone
3 Unown 1 Escape Rope
3 Shaymin EX ROS 1 Target Whistle
2 Dimension Valley

This list is three cards off from Nick Robinson’s list from Nats where I added Galvantula, Special Charge, and a second Lysandre. These changes were to help the mirror match in theory. My tournament was pretty lackluster as I went 1-3 before I dropped and felt pretty disappointed in my deck choice. After day 1, I believe that if I played Zygarde Vileplume or Greninja I would have shown better results than I did. There was the abundance of Night March along with a cluster of lower-tier decks at the top which I believe is where Greninja shines, taking advantage of easy wins.


So the rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with many friends, new and old. I also spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what cards will be popular for next season. While many focused on the Standard format, Arizona Regionals was a month away and it was the Expanded format. Having my best result of the season coming from a second place finish with Groudon, I was super excited to try and see if the Big Red Machine is primed for another run.

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