Worlds Retrospective & Melbourne Special Event

Guest author and Tasmania TCG Senior Lewis Stevens looks back over his run during the World Championships in Nashville, as well as the much more local Melbourne Special Event. We’re hoping to get some more coverage from some of our younger players as the new season progresses!

Hi, my name is Lewis Stevens; I am a third-year senior player and have been playing Pokémon for six years competitively. This is my match report from the Nashville World Championship and Melbourne SPE, this is the first match report I have written and I plan on writing more as the year progresses.

Nashville World Championships

In the lead up to Worlds, I was set on playing Zorogarb; I had tested the deck extensively since NAIC. However, the ARG invitational event two weeks prior to Worlds changed my mind. The Buzz/Garb/Shrine deck by Rob Stephens appealed immediately with how I saw the Meta, along with the one prize attackers. I began testing the deck and making changes, and to my surprise, I arrived in Nashville to find many other Australia were also playing the deck. Testing and making changes meant I played the same 60 cards as my fellow Australians in seniors Damian Filoposki and Alex Crockford.

Here is the list:

Pokémon (14)Trainers (37)Energy (9)
4 Buzzwole FLI 77
1 Diancie {*} FLI 74
3 Trubbish BKP 56
2 Garbodor GRI 51
2 Remoraid BKT 32
2 Octillery BKT 33
4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
3 Cynthia
4 Shrine of Punishment
4 Ultra Ball
2 Rescue Stretcher
4 Guzma
2 Field Blower
3 Nest Ball
4 Choice Band
3 Float Stone
1 Special Charge
3 Rainbow Energy
4 Strong Energy
1 Psychic Energy
1 Beast Energy {*}

Round 1 – Buzzwole/Lycanroc – LWT – Ethan Hegyi

Game 1 didn’t go my way, my opponent was able to set up very quickly hitting all of his elixirs quite early, and before I knew it, he had set up two Lycanrocs and his Octillery, while I was still trying to set up my own Octillery and Garbodors.

Game 2 on the other hand was the reverse, and I managed to knock out his Rockruffs and Remoraid early so he had no late-game comeback from an N. Game 3 we just couldn’t complete and he played it very well, so we ended up tying.


Round 2 – Zoroark/Magcargo – WLT – Nicholas Apostalou

Nick is a very well-known Australian player, and this was his last year in seniors. I was quite confident in the matchup as long as I could stream knockouts on Zoroarks. Game 1 went in my favour. I was able to establish a good board state and stream Zorua knockouts. So eventually I won.

Game 2 wasn’t going in my favour, so I scooped to have enough time for game three. However with one prize remaining to his six, he Counter Catchered a Diancie into the active position, which I was unable to get out of before time was called.


Round 3 – Zoropod – WW – Kyle Guest

Game 1 he went first and drew pass with a Zorua as I led Buzzwole I was able to donk him. Game 2 he never set up and I was able to win quite quickly.


Round 4 – ZoroGarb – WLW

I had practice with and against this match in the lead up to worlds, so I was feeling confident going into this match.  Game 1 was quite odd, I did not draw a supporter card for many turns and thought I was going to lose the match. However, my opponent did not take advantage of this and was too conservative in his play; this allowed me time to draw a supporter, setup and win the game.

Game 2 I also dead drew, but this time he realised his mistake. I scooped to ensure time to finish game 3.  Game 3 I was able to quickly knock out his Zoruas for the win.


Round 5 – Greninja – LL – Ethan Lee

Greninja was a bad matchup for my deck and I had not been expecting to see this deck.   My best hope was for Greninja to do Greninja things and brick.  That did not happen; it was an easy win for Ethan.

With 1 loss and 2 draws it would now be impossible for me to make top 8. However, if I won my next two games, there was a good chance to make top 16.


Round 6 – Zoroark/Lycanroc – WW – Cristian Fontenot

I had practiced this matchup and was confident going into this match. With Zoroark being fighting weak, targeting Rockruff before it evolves into Lycanroc was important to ensure my opponent didn’t get a viable attacker.  Following this strategy, I won game 1 quite easy.

Game 2 was really close, and he took an early lead, but I was able to Guzma consecutive Zoroarks to close out the win.


Round 7 – Buzzwole/Lycanroc – WW – Regan Retzloff

The win-and-in to top 32 was against Regan who was ranked 4th in North America. Game 1 I targeted Rockruffs down so he couldn’t set up a Lycanroc meaning I was always ahead of the prize trade because of Garbodor being able to take two prizes before getting KO’d.

Game 2 went roughly the same way, and he missed attachments some turns meaning I was always ahead.

This result meant that I finished in 16th.   Nashville was my fifth World Championship that I have attended, and I have now achieved two Top 16 finishes, and a Top 32 finish a result that I am very happy with.

A big shout to my good friend Alex Crockford, making it through day 1 and then finishing 14th with the same 60 cards.

Melbourne Special Event

With my focus on Worlds I hadn’t done a lot of practice with the new meta.  I tried some different decks, but ultimately I decided to play a ZoroControl list based on one Azul GG (Azul Carcia Griego) had been testing with on his stream. In hindsight, this was not a good choice in the Melbourne SPE meta, but fortunately I was able to sneak into top 8, getting the three wins required.

Here is the list:

Pokémon (16)Trainer Cards (39)Energy (5)
2 Oranguru UPR 114
4 Zorua SLG 52
4 Zoroark-GX SLG 53
1 Sudowoodo GRI 66
1 Slugma CES 23
1 Magcargo CES 24
2 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60
1 Articuno-GX CES 154
1 Rescue Stretcher
2 Acerola
1 Team Skull Grunt
4 Timer Ball
1 Pal Pad
1 Pokémon Fan Club
4 Nest Ball
2 Apricorn Maker
4 Cynthia
1 Plumeria
3 Field Blower
2 Guzma
2 Ultra Ball
3 Enhanced Hammer
2 Counter Catcher
3 Crushing Hammer
1 Max Potion
2 Devoured Field
2 Water Energy
3 Double Colorless Energy 

Round 1 – Ultra Necrozma/Malamar – WW – Arnaud Cabrera

This was one my best matchups of the day with many of his Pokémon being weak to Zoroark and being able to hammer away his metal and Beast Energy. I hadn’t played my opponent before, and he seemed quite new to the game but friendly.

Round 2 – Metagross/Solgaleo – W – Alex Blong

With Metagross being able to retrieve energy from the discard this was an unfavourable matchup for me. This was Alex’s first big event as a senior after his successful juniors run last year. Game 1 was a very long game, but I had a good start and was able to target down his Cosmogs before he evolved them into Solgaleo. I then exploited Metagross’ inability to attack consecutively using a combination of hammers and Plumeria.

Because of the length of game 1 we were unable to complete game 2, however I feel if Alex had sped up his play he may have been able to close out the second game before time was called to tie the set.

Round 3 – Vikaray – LWL – Damian Filoposki

With 14 energy, an energy recycler as well as Latias, this was another unfavourable matchup for me. Damian is a tough opponent, and we have always had really good games, frequently meeting in finals. In the lead up to Worlds, he was my main testing partner. My only chance in this game was to knockout Grubbins before they evolve and for my opponent to have a bit of bad luck, which (only) happened in game 2.

Round 4 – Vikaray – LWL – Jeb Collins

Vikaray again, however due to a number of misplays and sequencing errors by my opponent, Jeb, I was able to win game two and was one turn away from winning game three. In game three, we were down to our final prizes.  My opponent had zero cards in hand and to win he needed to top deck a Cynthia and then draw Candy, Vikavolt, Choice Band, an Energy and Switch to win. With his deck being about 20 cards and with only 1 Cynthia left the odds should have been in my favour, but he drew the Cynthia and then drew those exact cards for the win.

Round 5 – Zoroark/Scizor – WW – Noah Oliver

Noah is a fellow Tasmanian. I have played Noah a few times, and he has proven to be a very tough opponent. Noah was playing a similar list to another Tasmanian player, and I knew the energy count, and how to play the matchup. We were both in our win-and-in, so this was an important match for both of us.

Our first game went very long, almost going to time and I won by decking him out. We started game 2 with hardly any time, so Noah tried to play very quickly and very aggressively to get the win. However, I hammered away all of his DCE, and he scooped.

With that win, I advanced into top cut going 3-2 as the 8th seed.

Top 8 – ZoroGarb – LL – James Cox

James played this game very well and tried to play it more like my deck which worked very well for him. The key being Oranguru, Sudowoodo and Rescue Stretcher and using resource management to cycle these combos back into the deck and drawing into them.  Whoever missing first would lose. Both games went for a very long time but eventually I whiffed the Rescue Stretcher in both games.

I finished the tournament in 8th place, and earned 100 CP towards the World Championships next year in Washington DC.

I started playing the game back in the Black and White era, and this was the first format I have played without Juniper/Sycamore and N. It does seem that it is very hard to make a comeback in this format if you fall behind. In testing, if your opponent gets the turn 2 rare candy/stage 2 combo and you don’t or miss your set up without these cards, it is an uphill battle.  However, I sure as the format develops this will be overcome.

About Tim Crockford

Tim, aka the PokeDad, after playing through the 2015 season of both VGC and TCG, realised that being beaten by 16 year olds at 32 probably wasn't the right way to go about attending events with his son, so in 2016 can be found at the judging tables doing his best to look like he belongs there.
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