Pokemon Hartford Regionals Report – Greninja
Hello everyone! My name is Bryan Hunter and I’ve been playing the
Pokémon Trading Card Game for four years now. During the last competitive
season I was able to earn my invite to the 2017 Pokémon World Championships.
This season I will once again be trying to earn my invite, and I wanted to start
writing reports for the big tournaments I’ll be going to. This report will be on last
weekend’s Hartford Regionals in Connecticut where I decided to play Greninja
BREAK with a group of my friends. I felt like Greninja was a great meta call for the
tournament because it had many solid matchups across the board. With Gardevoir
GX being the deck-to-beat, I figured that the two decks that countered that were
Metagross GX and Golisopod GX, which in turn meant that many people would fall
back on one of the two Fire decks (Volcanion EX and Ho-Oh GX/Salazzle GX) to
counter the counter.
A few weeks prior to the tournament, my friend Chris Siakala made the
Greninja list that we would use. He opted for consistency rather than filling it with
small techs for certain matchups, which I felt was the way to build it headed into the
weekend. Chris had already won two League Cups with the deck this quarter of the
season, so we didn’t want to change how the list ran. The night before the day of the
tournament my friends and I were discussing what card we could drop for a second
Guzma, and we figured the second Lillie was the best cut. I opted to also drop the
fourth Evosoda for a Wally.
Round 1 Dakota Davey with Golisopod GX/Garbodor WLT
I start Froakie and he flips over a Wimpod. I was thrilled to hit my worst
matchup Round 1. Luckily I won the coin flip and get to go first. This is huge for this
matchup as I am at least able to not get stuck being behind a turn on a turn two
Water Duplicates . His first turn he was able to get another Wimpod and Trubbish
set up. My second turn I Water Duplicates and discover I have not prized any
Frogadier, which is great. He evolves into Golisopod GX, goes to heavy ball, and
gives an annoyed sigh because he realizes he prized his other two Golisopod GX.
This is huge for me because I am able to chain Greninja easier whilst at the same
time he isn’t able to get another Golisopod GX going after I had knocked out the first
one, so I am able to take Game 1. During Game 2 I want to try and stall as much as
possible seeing as how it is such a bad matchup. I make him have to take six
knockouts this game and I Bubble stall him three turns in a row. Game 3 he has a
very similar issue as he had Game 1, except this time he has to discard two
Golisopod GX and realizes he prized the third one. This game is extremely close by
the end but time is eventually called. Had I not taken as long as I had Game 2, I
would have been able to win this series rather than tie. Regardless, I was happy to
take a tie over a loss to my worst matchup.
Round 2 Will Penelton with Volcanion EX WLW
It was great to hit one of my best matchups Round 2. Unfortunately, I don’t
remember much about this series except that during Game 1 I just ran hot and he
wasn’t able to do anything. Game 2 was very different because I was just not able to
draw into anything, and Game 3 was similar to Game 1 in that he just wasn’t able to
get the cards he needed and was quickly overwhelmed.
Round 3 Thomas Kelley with Sylveon GX/Gardevoir GX WW
He wins the coin flip and goes first. He attaches a Fairy Energy to his Eevee
and is able to evolve into Sylveon GX as well as getting three Ralts onto his bench. I
start Froakie and Ultra Ball for my Tapu Lele GX and am able to Wally into a
Frogadier and water clone jutsu my first turn. My opponent decides to use Plea GX
to bump two of my Frogadiers back into my hand. This unfortunately ends up
putting me behind by a turn but he isn’t able to apply any early-game pressure and
because of that I’m able to keep up and take the win. Game 2 he decides to allow me
to go first which will with the utmost certainty guarantee me a turn two Water
Duplicates . This game he is actually able to keep up with the punches, but after
knocking out his second Gardevoir GX he goes to search his deck for his third and
realizes it’s prized, so he is left to getting his Gallade. This allows me to easily clean
up the game and the series.
Round 4 Luis Hurtado with Gardevoir GX WLW
Game 1 I lost the coin flip and start Tapu Lele GX! He has a respectable start
in Eevee and getting a turn one Sylveon GX. I’m able to bench a Froakie and attach a
Water Energy to Tapu Lele GX to be able to retreat next turn. He gets some Kirlia
down and proceeds to use Magical Ribbon , but I’m fortunate enough to be able to N
and get four Frogadier out on my following turn. He attempts to Magical Ribbon
once more, but I have N in hand again to disrupt his setup. Because of this, he’s
slowed down greatly and his follow-up turn played out the same where he continues
to Magical Ribbon and I counter with N. I take the first game. Game 2 goes like most
of my second games had been going where I’m just not able to draw into anything,
so I just scoop that game after a couple turns to save time and move onto Game 3.
Once again, I start Tapu Lele GX which is very frustrating. Fortunately enough I am
able to get a Froakie out turn one, so I’m able to Water Duplicates the next turn. We
exchange a couple knockouts, but with the single prizes he takes against Greninja
BREAK he isn’t able to keep up. Time is called and in turn three I’m able to get the
last KO for game. He would have been able to tie the series had he opted to retreat
his active Gardevoir GX to the bench because I would not have been able to KO
anything in response to that move, but he didn’t, so we took the series.
Round 5 Colby Conroy with Ho-oh GX/ Salazzle GX WLW
I’m happy to hit another Fire deck but this time I didn’t actually have the
weakness advantage for the most part. I win the coin flip and am able to set up on
the following turn because on his first turn all he does is Kiawe to a benched Ho-Oh
GX. It takes about two turns to KO this Ho-Oh GX, but, thanks to my Splash Energies,
he isn’t able to slow down my onslaught of frogs. He isn’t able to set up another
attacker, allowing me to win this game pretty convincingly. Game 2 again I just get
dead hands and after a couple of turns I just scoop after he sets up two Ho-Oh GX.
Game 3 I start Tapu Lele GX (again!), which makes me doubtful on being able to win
this one. Lucky for me, he starts a baby Volcanion and a Turtonator GX with no
Ho-Oh GX in sight. I’m able to get all four of my Frogadier on my next turn. He
decides to attack with his Turtonator GX as he thought I wouldn’t be able to KO it on
my next turn. I’m actually able to draw a Choice Band and proceed to KO the active
Turtonator GX. He isn’t really able to do anything after that and after a few more
turns I’m able to take the game and the series.
Round 6 Neil Essmyer with Ho-oh GX/ Salazzle GX WLT
This guy was probably my favorite opponent out of all of my opponents
during the day because he was just a really cool and funny dude. I don’t really
remember much of Game 1 other than he just isn’t able to draw into anything and I
am just able to overwhelm him. Game 2 though I start Tapu Lele GX and he goes
first with Kiawe onto a Ho-Oh GX. I bench a Froakie and opt not to attach a Water
Energy to my Tapu Lele GX or Froakie because I expect him to just KO my Tapu Lele
GX. Boy was I wrong. He benches another Ho-Oh GX and goes for another Kiawe
onto it and this is when I realize I should just scoop, but I decide I might as well try
getting the win on time as Game 1 had actually taken a bit of time between shuffling
and set up. I’m actually able to start mounting a comeback this game despite such a
horrendous start, but I’m not able to consistently keep up and I’m forced to Bubble a
couple turns. After three heads on Bubble and after time was finally called, he was
able to get the last KO on time as I wasn’t able to flip just one more heads on Bubble .
Because of this, the series was a draw.
Round 7 Steve Zhang with Gardevoir GX LWL
I finally get to face someone who I’ve faced a couple times before at previous
tournaments. Steve’s a pretty rad guy. These games are tough because Game 1 and
3 I start Tapu Lele GX whilst also going second. I’m not able to draw into anything I
need, and when I try to get something going Steve is able to put me back a couple
turns because he played two counts of Parallel City and is also able to Plea GX two of
my frogs back into my hand. I’m somewhat bummed that I finally lost a series, and
that I started two Tapu Lele GX again, but I felt I was eventually going to lose a series
to Gardevoir GX because each one I faced so far had been very close.
Round 8 Grayson Stavenow with Gardevoir GX LWW
My fourth Gardevoir GX opponent of the tournament…by now it’s pretty
exhausting. I lose the coin flip and my opponent goes first. I’m not able to set up
anything this game. I was either missing an Energy or a Frogadier to evolve into and
because of this I got swarmed. Game 2 goes in my favor and I’m able to take the win.
Game 3 is pretty close, but the single prize attackers are too much for him in the end
and the Splash Energies allow me to stream Greninjas and keep up.
Round 9 Jeffrey Ng with Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt LWL
Now I get to the final round of the day and have to face a matchup I wasn’t
looking forward to in the slightest. He wins the coin flip and goes first. I end up
having to mulligan seven times, but it seems to not have helped him that much,
because he spends many turns draw-passing at the start. I’m able to get a turn one
Bubble heads, buying me a turn of setup without a KO. But this game gets very close.
I’m able to keep Greninja in play but end up falling short half way through because
of my Staryu being prized. I am able to eventually get my Staryu into play but I only
have a single Greninja BREAK left at my disposal. I end up using Bubble to try to buy
time. I actually started to attach energy to my Starmie so I’d be able to Paralyze and
do damage. I retreat into my Starmie but it isn’t as lucky as my Froakie flips were. I
flipped tails and scooped right away. Game 2 he starts Grubbin and I start two
Froakie. He proceeds to bench a Tapu Bulu GX and passes. During my second turn I
evolve into a Frogadier and instead of using Water Duplicates , I use Ultra Ball for my
Tapu Lele GX and search out my Wally to get a turn two Shadow Stitching . This just
puts him too far behind and I’m able to win this game. Game 3 goes his way as I’m
not able to chain Greninja at all and I end up quickly losing
I finished the tournament with a Top 128 placement, going 5-2-2 and losing
my potential win-and-in, but I’m fine with that. I’m currently sitting at 150/400
Championship Points. The things I’d change in the Greninja list I used would be to
drop the single Timer Ball for either a fourth Evosoda or maybe even a Tapu Fini GX.
With the amount of times I had to Bubble stall, I feel a Tapu Fini GX would have
served a better purpose. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed my very first article! I’ll
see you all in Memphis, TN!