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Perth Regionals Pokemon TCG Standard Tournament Report

Hey everyone! I just got back yesterday (as of writing) from travelling to Perth Regionals! Luckily, I managed to place third in the main event with Arceus/Beedrill! In this article, I will go over my testing process for this Regionals, why I landed on Arceus/Beedrill and where I would go with this format in the future.

 

 

Header - Choosing the Deck

My testing for Perth started just after the conclusion of EUIC. After seeing the dominance of Rapid Strike Urshifu there, I wanted to either play a deck which could consistently beat Urshifu or just play it myself. Urshifu seemed very tempting at the time because it had a solid Mew matchup, as well as a theoretically very good Arceus matchup. After a lot of testing, Brent Tonisson, Kaiwen Cabbabe and myself ended up with this Urshifu list about a week before Perth. 

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 19

* 2 Galarian Moltres EVS 93
* 1 Galarian Moltres V CRE 97
* 1 Hoopa DAA 111
* 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu V BST 87
* 2 Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88
* 2 Mew CEL 11
* 4 Sobble CRE 41
* 3 Drizzile SSH 56
* 1 Inteleon SSH 58
* 1 Inteleon CRE 43

##Trainer Cards - 33

* 2 Professor's Research SSH 178
* 1 Sonia RCL 192
* 1 Avery CRE 130
* 3 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Training Court RCL 169
* 1 Cheryl BST 123
* 2 Boss's Orders RCL 154
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 1 Escape Rope PRC 127
* 1 Raihan EVS 152
* 2 Air Balloon SSH 156
* 4 Scoop Up Net RCL 165
* 4 Level Ball AOR 76
* 1 Pal Pad FLF 92
* 1 Choice Belt BRS 135
* 1 Klara CRE 145
* 2 Energy Search BLW 93

##Energy - 8

* 2 Rapid Strike Energy BST 140
* 2 Fighting Energy SMEnergy 6
* 4 Darkness Energy SMEnergy 7

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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This list was built to be as consistent and proactive as possible, with two copies of both Boss’s Orders, Professor’s Research and Mew CEL. The biggest problem we were having with Urshifu while practicing was that it was inconsistent. The deck plays a ton of one-ofs and while the Inteleon engine helps supplement this, it is still a struggle to function properly. Even with the extra supporters and Mew, Urshifu still struggled to set up. This was compounded with the deck struggling a lot against Arceus/Inteleon, something we thought was a good matchup. The consistency Arceus decks had was something our Urshifu list was struggling to beat, and this was especially compounded with the fact that Manaphy BRS had become a standard inclusion. 

When we looked at the results of Indianapolis Regionals, it made even less sense to play Urshifu. Arceus variants were the top performing decks by far in Day 2 and the finals of that event was an Arceus mirror match. While we had ruled out playing Mew VMAX (you can read about why in my previous article) we still wanted to respect Mew as we thought it would be decently popular. Our Urshifu list was also struggling against Mew which included a Marnie, which we thought would be a standard inclusion after seeing the results of EUIC. Because of this, we decided to drop Urshifu just under a week prior to Perth.

Another deck we were practicing and really liking was Arceus/Beedrill. We didn’t want to play the straight Arceus/Inteleon deck because we thought it lost to Mew, so the thought of essentially playing that deck but with Beedrill to answer Mew was appealing. We started out with the list Isaiah Bradner used to get second at Indianapolis Regionals and kept making changes as we went along. After abandoning Urshifu, all of us wanted to play Arceus/Beedrill and when we cut the Manaphy for Crobat V on the Wednesday before Perth, that was our final list. 

PTCGO Code

****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******

##Pokémon - 21

* 4 Arceus V BRS 165
* 1 Dunsparce FST 207
* 3 Arceus VSTAR BRS 176
* 1 Crobat V DAA 182
* 1 Galarian Zigzagoon SHF 151
* 2 Beedrill CRE 3
* 4 Sobble CRE 41
* 3 Drizzile SSH 56
* 1 Inteleon SSH 58
* 1 Inteleon EVS 227

##Trainer Cards - 30

* 2 Level Ball BST 181
* 1 Big Charm RCL 206
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 2 Boss's Orders RCL 200
* 1 Pal Pad SSH 172
* 2 Training Court RCL 169
* 1 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 1 Cheren's Care BRS 168
* 2 Scoop Up Net RCL 207
* 2 Single Strike Style Mustard BST 134
* 1 Choice Belt BRS 135
* 4 Ultra Ball BRS 186
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 216
* 1 Energy Search BCR 128
* 1 Professor's Research SSH 209
* 1 Marnie SSH 208
* 1 Raihan EVS 202
* 1 Air Balloon SSH 213

##Energy - 9

* 1 Water Energy SMEnergy 3
* 3 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
* 5 Grass Energy SMEnergy 1

Total Cards - 60

****** Deck List Generated by the Pokémon TCG Online www.pokemon.com/TCGO ******

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1 Professor’s Research, 1 Crobat V

Professor's Research (147/172)Crobat V (044/072)

Including Crobat V was what sold me on this deck. Because you tend to take on a naturally aggressive role in games when Beedrill comes into play, Crobat V fits into this strategy perfectly. The main purpose of Crobat was to be able to use Boss’s Orders with Zigzagoon SSH and Choice Belt to take a turn two knockout more consistently on an opposing Arceus V. Crobat also ended up being incredibly useful even outside of that scenario and I won several games in Perth which I would have otherwise lost without Crobat. The reason we were able to go down to only one Professor’s Research was that the Crobat V provided extra draw when necessary. It is difficult to provide specific scenarios where Crobat is good when playing this deck. You just get presented with so many hands which Crobat makes significantly better. If anyone were to play this deck in another Regionals, I would highly recommend playing Crobat V.

2 Training Court

Training Court (169/192)

We were at one Training Court for a little bit of testing but ended up moving back to two. This card is just so powerful. It bumps Path to the Peak while also guaranteeing an Energy drop post-Single Strike Mustard. Training Court helped me many times throughout Perth, and I would stick to two.

1 Dunsparce, 0 Manaphy

Dunsparce (207/264)Manaphy (041/172)

While playing Urshifu in testing a lot, we slowly grew to disrespect the deck more and more. Even with extra proactive supporters, we found that we kept struggling with consistency and kept getting ran over by Arceus decks. After disliking the deck in testing, it made sense to cut the Manaphy because we assumed that most people would come to the same conclusion about Urshifu we did. We decided to keep Dunsparce because it was useful against opposing Arceus decks with Galarian Zapdos V and it definitely proved to be worth it.

4 Ultra Ball, 0 Capture Energy

Ultra Ball (186/172)Capture Energy (201/189)

Adding the fourth Ultra Ball was, along with Crobat, what sold me on this deck. The biggest problem we had in testing was missing the turn one Arceus V. Playing four Quick Ball and four Ultra Ball helps a ton with finding Arceus V, giving us 12 outs that don’t use up an Energy drop. Ultra-Ball also thins down the hand for Single Strike Mustard and Crobat V, giving it double utility in this deck.

1 Quick Shooing Inteleon, 1 Zigzagoon SSH

Inteleon (043/198)Galarian Zigzagoon (117/202)

These cards were added mostly for the Arceus mirror matches. While I didn’t get why we included the Quick Shooting Inteleon at first, it lets you (over two turns) deal 40 damage to an Arceus VSTAR, then with a Zigzagoon ping and a Choice Belted Arceus, lets you knock out an opposing Arceus VSTAR in one attack. While this seemed like too much to me, I hadn’t practiced too much of the mirror due to time constraints towards leading up to Perth, I trusted Kaiwen and Brent’s judgment. They ended up being correct and Quick Shooting proved to be incredibly useful throughout Perth.

 

Header - Matchups on the Day

Round 1, Rapid Strike Urshifu (Win)

I won the coin flip on this one, but when I passed my turn with no Energy in play and watched my opponent Keep Calling for two Sobble and a Rapid Strike Urshifu V, I knew that it didn’t really matter. However, the games went quite well for me. My opponent didn’t have a Drizzile out in hand after turn one and I was able to Boss up their Urshifu V and just Trinity Nova it for 180 with Dunsparce in play. After this, my opponent fell too far behind and lost Game 1.

In Game 2, my opponent chose to go first. This is a tricky choice for Urshifu, as they are built to operate better going second. My opponent didn’t have a great setup, as they started Galarian Moltres V and were unable to use Keep Calling. I drew very well, getting the turn one Trinity Charge and my opponent’s deck fell apart when I was able to boss their Urshifu on the next turn and two-hit KO it. I was very thankful to start off 1-0 against a deck which I had chosen to disrespect prior to the event, 

Round 2, Arceus/Inteleon (Win)

I lost the coin flip but got incredibly lucky in Game 1. My opponent managed to get an Arceus down with Energy on their first turn and attack with Trinity Nova on turn two, but they didn’t bench another Arceus V. I was able to respond to Trinity Nova with a Beedrill attack to one-hit KO the Arceus VSTAR. After this, my opponent used Ordinary Rod to recover the Arceus V which had just gotten knocked out and re-benched it. I managed to knock it out before it could evolve with Boss’s Orders and Quick Shooting, after I did this my opponent conceded and showed me that he had Prized three Arceus V! I got a lucky break in Game 1.

Game 2 went in a more typical fashion. We both set up well, he got the turn two Trinity Nova and I got the turn two2 Persist Sting knockout. This was a game where Crobat V shined, allowing me to reach for a knockout on an Arceus V while setting up the active Arceus VSTAR through Quick Shooting. My opponent ended up missing a Cheren’s Care in the middle of the game, and I was able to pull ahead and win Game 2 despite going second. 

Round 3, Mew VMAX (Win)

I lost the coin flip again, but I opened a hand with Sobble, Energy and nothing else. I used Keep Calling on turn one and my opponent responded by knocking out the Sobble with a Meloetta. I managed to pull off the Mustard return knockout, with an interesting sequence of Drizzile for Ultra Ball, search Drizzile and use Drizzile for another Ultra Ball, then Ultra Ball away the rest of my hand for the last Drizzile to grab Mustard. I used Beedrill to knock out his Meloetta and put down an Arceus V. After this my opponent used Mew VMAX to knock out Beedrill, to try and stop it from tearing through their board. I managed to pull off another Mustard by using Starbirth and take the next knockout on the Mew VMAX. My opponent knocked out the Beedrill again and I managed to attach twice to an Arceus VSTAR and boss and knockout a Genesect V after this for my last two Prize cards. I couldn’t really believe I won Game 1 after not seeing an Arceus on the first turn in such a tempo-based matchup. 

In Game 2, I set up very well. I got two Arceus V down and used Keep Calling. I was also able to follow up with a Beedrill on the second turn to knock out a Mew VMAX. This was pretty much game over for my opponent – Mew VMAX doesn’t recover well from a Prize swing like that so early in the game and I was able to propel the early tempo into a 2-0 victory.

Round 4, Arceus/Dark Attackers (Win)

I lost the coin flip and was faced with another Arceus deck. I was able to pull off another Beedrill knockout on the second turn, but this was in response to my Arceus being attacked. After this, my opponent used Boss’s Orders on my clean Arceus V and damaged it with another Trinity Nova. While I was in a tough position, my setup was a lot stronger thanks to Crobat and I was able to pick off an Arceus V and two Inteleon pieces for my last two Prize cards.

Game 2 went similarly, and Quick Shooting pulled its weight again by damaging an Arceus VSTAR just enough that I could knock it out in one attack. My opponent’s setup also wasn’t great this game, so I got a lucky break there. I managed to win Game 2 very convincingly, putting myself at 4-0, only needing a win and a tie out of the last three rounds to make top 8.

Round 5, Arceus/Inteleon/Cross Switcher (Tie)

I was paired against Henry Brand this round. For those who don’t know, Henry is the current World Champion, so definitely a tough opponent. I also knew he was playing an interesting Arceus/Inteleon list, but not exactly what it was.

In Game 1, he went first but his setup was very poor, as he missed an Arceus V on turn one. After this, I had to play Marnie to set up at all, giving him a new hand. He managed to get two Arceus V down with an Energy on one of them but went down to zero cards in hand to do so. I extended for the knockout on the benched Arceus with an Energy, knowing that I would likely win the game if I hit it. I hit it, but he top-decked Marnie and used Trinity Charge. The game was still heavily in my favor though, and I managed to steal Game 1.

In Game 2, I made a critical mistake. I got two copies of Arceus V down but without Energy, and I put a Big Charm on one of them. Henry instantly capitalized on this, using Boss’s Orders on my Arceus with a Big Charm and hitting it with Trinity Nova, forcing me to miss an attack this turn. I struggled to get attacks going for the rest of the game and lost quickly.

In Game 3, I went first but Henry got this perfect setup. He managed to attach a Water Energy to his Arceus V on turn one and use a Melony on turn two. This, with another attachment, allowed him to use Trinity Nova with no special Energy in play, nullifying the Beedrill aspect of my deck. Henry’s deck was way more equipped to win a fair Arceus game, with Avery, Echoing Horn and Cross Switcher. I struggled to keep up, but time was called before the game could finish. I’m certain that if that Game 3 continued I would’ve lost. Arceus mirrors naturally take a long time though, as all knockouts must be taken in two attacks and Cheren’s Care can undo an entire attack, so tying in Game 3 isn’t an uncommon occurrence. 

Round 6, 60 Card Mirror (Win)

I saw the pairing and felt very disappointed – I was against Brent who was sitting at 4-1. However, I finally won a relevant coin flip and got to go first! Game 1 was very disappointing as it ended with my taking a one-hit knockout on Brent’s lone Arceus V. In Game 2, our setups were similarly strong, but I had Prized both copies of Single Strike Mustard. Without being able to get the free knockout with Beedrill, I quickly fell behind and lost Game 2.

In Game 3, I went first again but missed turn one Arceus so I essentially went second. Brent set up well early on, but I managed to essentially emulate what Henry did against me by using Raihan to get an Arceus with three Basic Energy attacking over two turns. With this, I was also able to use Quick Shooting and Zigzagoon to knock out his only Arceus VSTAR in play at one point, sealing up the game in my favor.

Round 7 (ID)

My opponent was also 5-0-1 and offered me the ID, I accepted, and we both made top 8.

Top 8, Rapid Strike Malamar (Win)

I was paired against Aaron Van Der Kolk in Top 8. Aaron is a former Regional Champion, so he knew what he was doing. He was playing Rapid Strike Malamar, a deck I haven’t really mentioned until now. The opening coin flip doesn’t really matter – if I win the flip I choose to go first and if Aaron wins the flip he will choose to go second. I went first and managed to win the game before Aaron could through a Marnie when I knew his hand had multiple Drizzile and Inteleon. Game 2 went a similar way, with me putting two Arceus VSTAR into play to stop Escape Rope from being an out. With that, I advanced to the top 4.

Top 4, Arceus/Inteleon/Cross Switcher (Loss)

I was against Matthew Burris, who eventually went on to win the whole event with the same deck as Henry Brand. In Game 1, I went second and saved my Starbirth, thinking that they couldn’t fit Path to the Peak in their list. Unfortunately, he found the Path to the Peak, and I was locked out of the game then quickly lost.

Game 2 ended up being a disaster for me. I went first and almost had the Boss’s Orders knockout on Matt’s lone Arceus V if it wasn’t for my Galarian Zigzagoon being in the Prize cards. Because I wasn’t playing Boss’s Orders this turn, I used Professor’s Research instead and drew both Beedrill. With Persist Sting out of the question, my deck struggled to beat Matt’s in a fair game and after having my only Drizzile brought active with Boss’s Orders and knocked out I lost quite quickly, ending my tournament with a third place finish.

 

Header - Closing Thoughts

Overall, I was happy with my preparation for Perth. If I were to play Arceus/Beedrill again, I wouldn’t change any cards in the deck list. Arceus/Beedrill is definitely a strong pick for future tournaments, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play a consistent Arceus VSTAR deck while still respecting Mew VMAX. 

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