The Lesage Brothers: “Four Birds, Two Stones”

This is a joint collaboration between Zach Lesage and Jay Lesage for double the reading pleasure! We were asked to do a special article as brothers, and we loved the idea upon hearing it! We both have been playing for over a decade, with multiple successes across the span of our Pokemon careers.

The first part of our article will be handled by Zach, discussing his recent experience at Philadelphia Regionals and his thoughts going into our Evolutions-legal Standard format, heading into Ft. Wayne Regionals.

Table of Contents (Zach)

  1. Article Introduction
  2. My Philadelphia Regional Championships Experience
  3. Greninja in Expanded
  4. Thoughts Going Into Ft. Wayne Regionals/ Evolutions Set Review
  5. Mega Gardevoir EX in Standard
  6. Closing Thoughts

Article Introduction

Hey Cut or Tap readers, if you have been reading some articles lately on our super-cool website, you probably have seen a few others by me (and I hope you are lovin’ them too!). I have been fairly busy with work lately, but I have been playing a lot online too via PTCGO, testing for both Standard and Expanded tournaments. I hope you feel the vibe of my Philadelphia Regionals, learning from my successes throughout the day, and that you don’t repeat any of my mistakes (at least you get to see my really dope Greninja list). If you are absolutely done with Expanded, I have my thoughts on our now Evolutions-legal Standard, plus you get a huge advantage for Ft. Wayne or London with my blessed Mega Gardevoir EX deck. I try to bring some variety within my articles, because everyone is on a different skill level, plays different styles of decks, has a different metagame, and prepares for either Standard or Expanded tournaments depending on their location. With all of that being said, hopefully all of you reading this will love the article and keep on supporting me by reading all that I have to say.

My Philadelphia Regional Championships Experience

After my last article about Turbo Darkrai in Expanded, I felt very comfortable with Darkrai EX going into Philadelphia, but pre-tournament jitters stopped me from playing my first choice and defaulted me back into playing Greninja instead. I don’t hate my final decision; I just wish I had more time overall to think about how all of the matchups and slight changes to metagame would affect my tournament performance. Either way, hindsight is 20/20 and I can’t kick myself too much for any decisions I made; I just need to continue to practice at home and improve myself until I feel comfortable enough to do very well in the near future. Here is a basic breakdown on how my day went:

Rd. 1 versus Nicholas Taylor with Virizion EX/Genesect EX (W-W) 1-0
Rd. 2 versus Andrew Walker with Rainbow Road/Ho-Oh EX/Archeops (L-L) 1-1
Rd. 3 versus Jacob Tolliver with Trevenant BREAK (L-W-W) 2-1
Rd. 4 versus Aaron Clarke with Mega Rayquaza EX/Bronzong (L-W-T) 2-1-1
Rd. 5 versus Frank Diaz with Yveltal EX/Seismitoad EX/Darkrai EX (L-W-T) 2-1-2
Rd. 6 versus Nick Foltz with Mega Alakazam EX/Wobbuffett (L-W-L) 2-2-2
Rd. 7 versus Jacob Tolliver with Vileplume Box (L-W-W) (3-2-2)
Rd. 8 versus Kinglsey Fong with Mega Scizor EX (W-W) 4-2-2
Rd. 9 versus Azul Garcia Griego with Raikou/Eelektrik (W-W) 5-2-2

Rounds 1-3: I felt very uncomfortable facing some rough matchups very early within the tournament. Facing a Grass-typed deck (where Greninja usually suffers a rough match-up), an Archeops-based deck, and Trevenent (which can be a rough matchup) all after another made me really worried that my deck choice for the tournament was sub-par. I ended up doing alright going 2-1 out of these 3 games, but I have had better starts to tournaments.

Rounds 4-5: Playing versus two players who are Worlds-caliber, especially Frank Diaz, can be rough – especially after suffering a loss within the first few rounds. My games were lengthy because all of them were fairly competitive. My third game versus Aaron should have been a win if I’d had a few more turns (largely due to his inferior board state), but he legally tied me so I can’t complain. Frank and I had back-and-forth games and barely started a Game 3 before we tied. With two ties coming out of these rounds, I knew I couldn’t lose any more games in order to make Top 32 and continue playing.

Round 6: I played against Nick and his self-stated auto-win (in my favour) in the form of Mega Alakazam EX! I ended up getting turn-2 donked in Game 1 due to a bad hand, I completely controlled game 2, and I had a rough start for Game 3 allowing me to get behind. Time got called and I could have played for a tie, but I ended up conceding because I felt Nick would have most likely won Game 3 anyways (and a tie would keep both of us out of top cut).

Rounds 7-8: In both of these matches, I felt that my opponents were very tired and pretty much done with the day. I had fairly strong matchups in both, so I took some fairly easy games when my draw was decent. Key note: do not drop a tournament if you can even gain minimal CP or a few packs! I almost dropped after Round 6, but decided to push myself to try and gain some much needed CP for Anaheim!

Round 9: When you are doing mediocre at a Regionals and you are in the last round of the day in the middle tables, you don’t really expect to face Azul at all! He obviously had a few bad beats like me – but hey, it happens sometimes. Either way, he flips over a Raikou and I feel relieved know I have a strong match-up versus Raikou/Eels. I end up taking a huge stranglehold during Game 1 and he ends up scooping both games due to it being a rough matchup. I wasn’t going to complain; I will always take a good matchup in the last round of Swiss, and I was glad that I ended up finishing my tournament about 20 minutes early than anticipated, to boot!

Overall I finished within the Top 128 players to gain myself 16 CP going towards the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim, California. Not as good as I had planned on doing, but I can’t complain that I inched myself closer to my invite and that I now have 46 CP total towards my World Championship invite.

Greninja in Expanded

Here is the list that I decided to play for Philadelphia Regionals. While I didn’t do too hot in the event with a final 5-2-2 record, I truly believe my list was ideal going into the event and is a solid base-list going into future Expanded events.

Pokémon – 18 Trainers – 33 Energy – 9
4 Talonflame STS 3 N 4 Dive Ball 8 Water
4 Froakie PR XY138 2 Professor Juniper 4 VS Seeker 1 Splash
4 Frogadier BKP39 1 Ace Trainer 2 Level Ball
4 Greninja BKP40 1 Fisherman 1 Rare Candy
3 Greninja BREAK 1 Hex Maniac 1 Sacred Ash
1 Pokemon Ranger 1 Startling Megaphone
1 Teammates 1 Ultra Ball
1 Wally 3 Bursting Balloon
2 Muscle Band
1 Computer Search
2 Rough Seas
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