City League Top 4: Jirachi Zapdos Ultra Beasts

Hello everyone, I am Ikki and recently, I have been playing a lot.

This time, I am proud to say that I placed in the top 4 at the Osaka City League. I thought I would write a free article detailing why I chose Jirachi Zapdos, the deck list, and my matchups for the day.

Why I chose Jirachi Zapdos

The day before the City League I played in a tournament with Reshiram & Charizard GX. However, I went 4-3 and I hit Water decks twice, losing to them. This turned me off playing a Fire deck for the City League.

My top choices were Fire decks (Reshram & Charizard or Charizard), Jirachi Zapdos and Ultra Necrozma, and I was lost as to which deck to play right up until the day of the tournament.

Thinking about the current meta, I saw it as primarily being made up of four decks: Ultra Necrozma, Jirachi Zapdos, Reshiram & Charizard and Pikachu & Zekrom. So, I wanted a deck that could handle each of these decks with ease.

Firstly, I considered Fire decks, but they struggle with quite a few decks. They struggle against non-GX decks and I also didn’t want to hit a Water deck and take the loss. I debated between Jirachi Zapdos and Ultra Necrozma, but decided on Jirachi Zapdos because I did not have the skill to use Ultra Necrozma: Jirachi Zapdos is both stronger and easier to use.

This list was based on the winning deck from the City League last week in Osaka, though I added my own flavour to the list to perfect it.

Deck List

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This is what I ran. Lately, it has been quite uncommon to see both Jolteon GX and Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX in the deck… (though I don’t understand why.) Below, I would like to explain the cards I ran and why.

Pokemon

4 Jirachi

Jirachi is the backbone of the deck. It is the best starter and it is amazing when you can switch in and out of multiple Jirachis.

3 Zapdos

It has great synergy with Jirachi and is the main attacker of the deck, so I ran three.

1-1 Jolteon GX


I read that Water spread decks would increase in popularity, and I wanted to knock out Articuno while dealing damage to the bench. I ran a 1-1 line, and it is no exaggeration to say that I made top 4 thanks to this card.

1 Tapu Koko Prism

This is necessary to set up Tapu Koko GX. It is also able to accelerate to Zapdos so it is quite convenient.

1 Tapu Koko GX

It is necessary to knock out opposing Tag Team GXs.

1 Buzzwole

For knocking out opposing Pikachu & Zekrom GXs (though I didn’t play against any on the day). It also gives me a chance against Ultra Necrozma.

1 Nihilego 


I thought it would be strong to be able to copy an opponent’s GX attack (though in reality I did not use it even once), so I included one copy. I can use Sky Scorching Light with it so I can have a chance against Ultra Necrozma.

1 Absol

It is a card that is very effective in a Jirachi-based meta. If you can get it out, you can slow down your opponent’s progress significantly, so I ran one. 

1 Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX 

Even though I am playing a non-GX deck, I ran this card for its GX attack to use on the last turn. It is also possible to use Elegant Soul to take some Prizes against decks which take time to set up.

Pokemon I didn't run 

Kartana 

If Water decks become popular, I thought I would include this, but I think it is stronger to attack with Jolteon in general so I didn’t run it.

Slugma/Magcargo 

Having a guaranteed search each turn is very powerful.

Let Loose Marshadow 

While it is effective if played at the right time, it does take up a bench spot so I decided not to include it.

Reset Hole Marshadow 

I run two Stadiums, and I did not think Buzzwole GX was going to be widely played so I did not run it.

Items

4 Nest Ball

Nest Ball is integral to any deck with Jirachi, and you can search your other Basic Pokemon too.

3 Ultra Ball 

I ran it to get out Tapu Koko GX, and I think personally that if you have seven Ball cards you will be set so I ran seven.

2 Choice Band 

I just wanted to increase my damage output so I included two copies.

2 Escape Board 

Essential for any Jirachi-based deck. I only ran two and increased my counts of Switch in anticipation of the rise in popularity of Absol.

2 Switch 

Switch is a switching card that can get around Absol, but this time I increased my counts of Escape Rope, so I ran two.

3 Escape Rope 

It fares very well in a Jirachi Zapdos and Ultra Necrozma metagame, being able to bring up benched Jirachis and Malamars. I ran even more counts of Escape Rope than Switch, at three copies.

4 Electropower

This card allows you to get that little bit of extra damage when needed; it is so good it is almost like cheating. Of course, I ran four copies.

1 Rescue Stretcher 

A beneficial card, of which one copy was sufficient. 

Items I didn't run  

Field Blower ­

It is a very useful card, and I wanted to fit it in, but I just had other cards I wanted to include more.

Adventure Bag 

This, also, is very useful, but I figured I had enough access to Tool cards with Stellar Wish.

Supporters

4 Lillie 

The reason I play this game. It is very strong if you can play it on the first turn, so I ran four.

4 Guzma 

This card has great synergy with Jirachi Zapdos, and it can also be a winning card so I ran four.

3 Volkner 

It can get both Items and Energies so it is very useful. Three copies.

1 Erika’s Hospitality 

Its artwork is a bonus. I thought against Ultra Necrozma, if I ran multiple that would be good, however it is hard to hit it at the right time so I just ran one.

Supporters that didn’t make it


Judge 

It is very powerful to be able to disrupt your opponent’s hand, but it can also limit the resources you have access to, which is not good.

Gladion 

I considered running this because I feel like I get into bad situations because of my Prizes too often, but I didn’t think I would have an opportunity to play this card. I thought if I just didn’t Prize anything crucial it would be fine.

Stadiums

1 Shrine of Punishment 

It is very important to spread damage counters on your opponent’s Pokemon, however I also run GX Pokemon so sometimes it can hinder my deck, so I only ran one.

1 Thunder Mountain Prism 

Any Lightning deck must naturally run this card.

Energy

5 Lightning Energy 

My deck is a Lightning deck, so naturally I wanted Lightning Energies. I ran five copies because I also have Rainbow Energies.

4 Rainbow Energy 

My deck is sort of a counter deck and this card can be attached to any Pokemon, which is excellent. I ran four copies.

1 Beast Energy

I run quite a few Ultra Beasts and this card is great for getting that last bit of damage out.

Tournament report

Qualifiers

Round 1: Reshiram & Charizard, 6-2, W 


This Reshiram & Charizard deck ran Arcanine and Giratina. I used Guzma to knock out Growlithes and took Prizes in this way, and used Tapu Koko GX to knock out a Reshiram & Charizard GX which had accumulated Energies. I was able to win convincingly.

Round 2: Gyarados, 6-2, W

So it happens, I played against the commentator Bajji-san. My first turn I got Jolteon GX out and used Electrobullet, knocking out two Magikarps. I continued attacking with Jolteon GX, finishing the game with Zapdos.

Round 5: Rhyperior Deck Out, 6-0, W 


This deck ran the new Rhydon and Giovanni’s Exile. I started off with a strong Lillie and from there I used Guzma and Volkner to take down my opponent’s benched Pokemon. I was able to win without attacking into Rhyhorns.

Round 4: Ultra Necrozma, 6-2, W


I used Guzma and Escape Rope to take down Malamars and I was able to break my opponent’s board. I was lucky as my opponent had Giratina Prized and I was able to win.

Round 5: Ultra Necrozma, 6-2 W 


Using the same strategy as above, I was also able to use Absol to force my opponent into awkward turns where they couldn’t attack and was able to win.

Round 6: Ultra Necrozma, 6-0 W

My opponent opened with Tapu Lele GX but wasn’t able to hit a Basic Pokemon with Lillie. I simply used Thunderous Assault twice to win.

Main Round

Round 1: Ultra Necrozma, 6-3, W 


This was the same person I played in round 5. I also continued to attack Malamars and I finally knocked out Tapu Lele GX with Tapu Koko’s GX attack.

Round 2: Unown HAND, 6-0, W

This match would showcase the construction of my deck. My opponent had a Vileplume, Regigigas, Dragonite (Fast Call) and Hoopa mill variant. I formulated my plan:

1. I would use Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX to knock out Regigigas and Dragonite.

2. I would use Jolteon GX to knock out Vileplume.

3. I would use Zapdos to knock out Hoopa.

However, when I deck searched I realised my Eevee was Prized. I thought, ‘This is bad,’ and began hunting down Oddishes, but my opponent still managed to get Vileplume out. I felt I was in deep trouble. It came to a situation where I could knock out a Regigigas with Elegant Soul, which would make my opponent’s board only Vileplume, or I could use Jet Punch to spread damage.

“You will draw Eevee.”

I heard God’s voice say that, and so I used Elegant Soul. And would you believe, I drew Eevee from my Prizes. I was quite shaken at this moment.

My opponent played Lance Prism to get out Dragonite. My opponent had drawn quite a few cards with draw Supporters, but I knocked out Dragonite with Guzma and Escape Rope. My opponent’s board once again became a sole Vileplume.

I had Eevee in hand, so I just needed to not draw Jolteon GX and attach an Lightning Energy to Eevee. Towards the end, I managed to use Wishing Star to get a Volkner and I was able to bench my opponent out.

It was a very satisfying game as I was able to use both the cards I thought were strong in the matchup together.

Semifinal: Cofagrigus 3-6 L 


I opened Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX, and I thought from the get-go that this was not going to be a good match. I was able to get Jirachis out but I wasn’t able to draw cards as I needed. My opponent was able to use Dedenne GX and Tapu Lele GX and so drew cards with ease, and was able to develop their board. My opponent got out Yamask as well, and was able to use Giratina’s Distortion Door to deal damage to Jirachi. I was unable to set up an attack, my Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX got knocked out and I lost.

Conclusion 

I played in two large tournaments in a row, the Chiba Champions League and the Osaka City League, and I was able to have pleasing results at both events, even better than I could have expected.

At this City League, Baby Blacephalon and Cofagrigus made it to the finals, decks which have not really made an impact on the current meta. I thought this was very interesting. Seeing this, I thought that the Pokemon TCG had many unexplored options.

Although I hadn’t decided on my deck until the day before, I was able to pilot Jirachi Zapdos to a decent finish due to the daily effort I put into this game.

Next up, I have the Kyoto Champions League. I hope to leave a good result here as well, so I will continue trying my best with the Pokemon TCG.

Thank you for reading so far!

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