“Grandpa on Wheels:” John Collins’s Senior Rogue Deck for NA Intercontinentals

Hey, Cut or Tap readers! My name is John Collins, and I’m here to write about the deck I played for North America Intercontinentals. I’m a Top 16 Senior for NA and I ended this season with 960 Championship Points. I managed to get Top 32 with a rogue deck that Charlie Lockyer and I made less than a day before the tournament started: “Grandpa on Wheels,” aka Tapu KoKo/Zygarde/Turbo Drampa.

I know it sounds awful, but let me explain. It was good for the meta, or at least we thought it was. We had very limited testing, however we figured out our good matchups with a lot of the meta. The exceptions to this were Greninja and Espeon/Garb, and when we realized the deck lost to Espeon/Garb, we thought it was unplayable. I really wanted to play the deck so we added Mewtwo EVO and hoped for the best. Here is the final decklist:

Pokémon – 15 Trainers – 33 Energy – 12
4 Tapu Koko promo 4 Professor Sycamore 4 Ultra Ball 8 Fighting
3 Drampa GX 3 N 4 Choice Band 4 Double Colorless
2 Zygarde EX 2 Lysandre 4 Max Elixir
2 Tapu Lele GX 1 Hex Maniac 3 VS Seeker
1 Shaymin EX ROS 1 Professor Kukui 2 Float Stone
1 Oranguru SUM 1 Super Rod
1 Espeon EX BKP
1 Mewtwo EVO
4 Team Magma’s Secret Base

Round 1: Zoroark, WW

On the first round of my Intercontinentals run, I played against an inexperienced Zoroark player who I ended up beating 2-0. I’m pretty sure he was playing the same 60 as Dani Altivila’s Mexico-winning list. There’s not much to talk about in this matchup, as you pretty much Cell Storm six times and win the game. The matchup is almost unwinnable for the Zoroark player (and we’ll talk about why I said almost in a bit).

Round 2: Metagross, WW

This was one of the matchups I was extremely confident in. Metagross may not seem like an easy matchup by looks of it, but with four KoKo promo, you can spread 80 damage and then use Espeon’s Miraculous Shine to take multiple prize cards. I did this in both games, taking three prizes both times. KoKo plus Miraculous Shine, combined with chaining Hex Maniacs gave me an easy 2-0 against Metagross. I would say the matchup is probably 65/35 but I’m not entirely sure as those were the only two games I played against.

Round 3: Zoroark, WW

Not a ton to talk about, as it’s pretty much an auto-win.

Round 4: Drampa/Garbodor, WW

I played against another good matchup in Drampa Garb. I was very confident in the matchup even though I hadn’t tested against it as much as with other decks. I almost double-6-0’d him, putting myself at 4-0. I was starting to feel really good about the deck, and super good about my choice to bring it.

Round 5: Espeon/Garbodor, WLW

Out of my wins in this tournament, this was definitely the closest one. It was my first of many Espeon Garbs that I played against. Game 1 ended quickly as I started with a lone KoKo promo and he started with a lone Eevee. I went first, played Hex, and  passed with a Fighting energy, Magma Base, and Zygarde in hand. He attaches a DCE to his Eevee and passes. I end the game there, and then Game 2 goes the opposite way, as I start with lone Koko with no Supporter, and get donked after three turns of passing.

Game 3, on the other hand, went much longer. It was very back-and-forth, and I had game twice but both times I hit tails on confusion. He ends up taking a knockout after he N’s me to one, and I hit VS Seeker and an energy for game. My opponent could have won the game but he misplayed and used Psychic when he could have used Trashalanche for an easy knockout, which would have pretty much secured him the game.

Round 6: Zoroark, LWL

This is a game I’m not proud of. I hit another Zoroark and I got super cocky. Game 1 was played probably the worst of my games all year. I flooded my bench and gave him easy knockouts. Then I promoted Drampa, thinking that he couldn’t one-shot it while forgetting I still had Magma Base up and he just played down a Pokemon and won. All I had to do was promote Zygarde and I probably would have still been able to win.

In Game 2, I realized my awful plays and I corrected them, and was able to easily take that game.

In Game 3, I dead drew and whiffed every Max Elixir I played. If I had played well in Game 1, I would have been able to take the set and I would have hit one of two Turbo Darks or another Zoroark. That would have probably put me at 7-0 and from there I would have hit the winner of the other two, probably putting me at 8-0. Unfortunately that’s not what happened and this put me on a downward spiral.

Round 7: Greninja, LL

Oh boy… my first and only Greninja of the tournament. Greninja absolutely destroys “Grandpa on Wheels” as we have no way to deal with the Breaks. If we try to KoKo/Shine them like with Metagross, they are already at a break by that time, and when we devolve them they lose a measly 40 hit points. If we just try to take knockouts and Hex, we lose because they can one shot a Drampa with two Breaks and a Starmie out. I’m pretty this is the worst matchup with the deck.

Round 8: Zoroark, WW

Another boring match. Not a whole lot to say.

Round 9: Espeon/Garbodor, WLL

This is another example of me getting cocky, as my opponent asked for an ID but because I knew my resistance was nuts after starting 5-0, I decided to play it out against Espeon/Garb. At the time I was thinking with the Mewtwo that my matchup was good, and I was treating it like Round 1 of Day 2. I won Game 1 convincingly, but then dead drew during Game 2, so it came down to Game 3. I got destroyed – I didn’t even draw or play badly, but my opponent had two powered-up Espeons by Turn 4, as well as two Garb out for the late game. I ended Day 1 not so happy, as I had started 5-0 and ended 6-3.

Round 10: Mega Gardevoir STS, LL

We both played and drew well in Game 1, but I ended up losing.

Game 2 is probably the hardest I’ve ever been sacked in the two years I’ve played Pokemon competitively. I had 15 cards in my deck and one DCE. I play a Sycamore, putting myself on seven cards, then I play my hand to three and play Ultra Ball for a Shaymin, now having seven cards in the deck. I use Instruct with Oranguru with only four cards in the deck, knowing that as long as the DCE wasn’t the last card, I could still win. It was, and I lost.

Round 11:Espeon/Garbodor, LL

Espeon Garb ends up being a bad matchup as I get quickly 2-0’d. I don’t remember much of this match, other than my opponent drew insanely the entire time.

Round 12-15: Conceded

I conceded all my rounds after this, having completely giving up even though I could have still possibly made Top 16 if I had won out from Round 12. But in that round, I had a dead opening against my opponent who was playing DeciTails and conceded all my matches from there.

Overall, I’m very happy with my performance throughout the tournament. I feel like overall I played very well and I went with a deck that was a risky play rather than just playing Zoroark, like I was going to until we discovered this deck. Again, shout-outs to Charlie Lockyer for helping me build this deck, as well as helping me get the cards together for it at the last minute.

Thanks for reading!

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