City League Top 8: Tool Drop

Please find the original Japanese-language article here. Note my translation is not a perfect translation and I have rearranged and reworded some parts of the original article for clarity and readability. Find also some explanatory comments inside square brackets, italicised.

Greetings, I am the Shin-chan who is rumoured to be the best in my team.

This time, I will be writing about my deck which I used on the 3rd of March at the City League Osaka and will give a tournament report of the day.

You can read until the end for free, so please don’t get angry if I have written something strange.

However, please don’t hold back from sending comments, queries about how to play the deck in specific situations or any other questions. Fusuma-san (@husumapoke) will reply to all your messages.

Deck Explanation




3/1-4 Doublade 


Without this guy, I cannot really achieve anything, so I wanted to include four copies without a doubt

The Psychic type Honedge has the Ability Final Hour which can distribute damage counters, however it cannot use Metal Goggles before it evolves. Both Honedges are playable and I was debating which one to run right up until the day of the City League.

After contemplating the list, I settled on the current split.

But my reason was that I simply didn’t own four copies of either Honedge…

On the day before, I hunted desperately for Honedges at a card store in Nihonbashi, but I could not find even a single one.

I used this split of Honedges to justify playing Friend Ball.

2-2 Zebstrika

Essentially, you can’t win without getting Doublades out and attaching Energies to them consistently, so I ran Zebstrika to help with draw power.

In addition, it has a retreat cost of one so it can use Escape Board and it can act as a free retreater when Doublades go down. Of course, Sprint is very powerful too.

1 Ditto Prism Star

You can evolve it into either Zebstrika or Doublade, so there is no reason not to run it.

1 Jirachi

In this metagame, Absol can appear anywhere, and since the only Item I run which helps with mobility is Escape Board, I only run one Jirachi to help with setting up a good board on turn one.

Deaddrawing from the first turn is obviously very bad, so Jirachi helps with grabbing Balls or Escape Board which can help you to avoid dead drawing. Of course, if your opponent does not play Absol, you can attach Escape Board to Jirachi as normal.

1 Absol

Against Jirachi Zapdos and Ultra Necrozma, if you don’t get this guy out they can use Jirachi as they please.

1 Larvitar

For Pikachu & Zekrom.

If your opponent knocks out a Honedge, then you can use its ability to place three damage counters on a Pikachu & Zekrom. With Choice Band, Larvitar can take a knock in one shot with Second Strike.

Supporters

4 Lillie


You want to find this on your first turn, so I run four copies.

It is also useful outside of the first turn, so I think it is necessary to run four.

2 Cynthia

I wanted to decrease my chances of deaddrawing even a little more, so I included two copies.

2 Erika’s Hospitality

It can be very strong if played on the second turn when your opponent has filled out their bench, so I put in two copies. But I think one copy will suffice.

Even if I get to go first, it is awkward when Erika’s is my only draw Supporter. It is also mostly useless against decks which run the Green’s Search engine. After using Erika’s it is difficult to use Zebstrika’s Sprint as well, and it feels a little mismatched. I think I would replace Erika’s with Cynthia now.

1 Team Rocket’s Harassment

I was lost as to whether to play this card or Judge, but I decided that even though it is more useful for my opponent, it can work as a draw Supporter for me. [Note: We don't have this card available outside of Japan.]

1 Guzma
I thought I would be able to win just by hitting into the Active and then using this one-of in the last turn. Against popular non-GX Pokemon such as Giratina and Zapdos, you can prevent one shots by using Metal Goggles and Body-Building Dumbbells, while dishing out your own one shots. You can also hit into a Tag Team once and the hunt it down later. However, during the City League I felt like I wanted more than two copies, and personally I think this would be a good decision.

Items

4 Ultra Ball
4 Nest Ball


Without 4-4 Balls, it is impossible to get set up. Even with 4-4, I still sometimes don’t set up…

1 Friend Ball

I ran this to justify having mismatched Honedges. However, in the current metagame, it is unlikely that there will be no Metal, Psychic or Lightning Pokemon in play, so this is effectively a Master Ball! With this thought process, I included this card.

It was, in fact, surprisingly convenient and I used it a lot.

2 Rescue Stretcher

No matter how many Metal Goggles and Body-Building Dumbbells I have, it is very easy to cycle through Doublades. It is also easy to discard Pokemon by using Sprint. So I ran two copies of Rescue Stretcher. I felt that even with two copies I was still a little lacking, but I also felt that three was a little excessive for an average game.

1 Pal Pad


You may be forced to discard your only Team Rocket’s Harrassment and Guzma with Sprint, so I ran one.

1 Adventure Bag

You can get any two Pokemon Tool cards of your choice, so it is the strongest card in the deck.

I really wanted to have more copies of this card, but I just didn’t have the space, so I had to compromise.

4 Choice Band


I felt a little torn about whether to run more buffing tools, but this card is important for getting one shots on GXes and getting two shots on Tag Teams and I felt this was very important. So, I ran four copies.

4 Metal Goggles

Not only does it give you extra HP, it prevents spread damage, notably getting around Giratina’s Ability, Ultra Necrozma’s GX attack and Tapu Koko’s Flying Flip. It is a great Item.

I want to attach this to each and every Doublade against Ultra Necrozma and Jirachi Zapdos.

By the way, it is not effective to attach this to the Pyschic Honedge. If you want to get around Giratina’s Ability or Thunderous Assault, consider attaching Metal Goggles to unevolved Metal Honedges.

1 Body-Building Dumbbells


Even if you have one damage counter from Distortion Door, you can survive one Shadow Impact. I couldn’t think of any other situation in the current metagame in particular by which this card was better than Metal Goggles. I just chose to run one.

3 Escape Board

Basically, you can use this on Zebstrika, Absol and Jirachi.

In particular, you want to attach it to Zebstrika as it is not affected by Absol’s Ability. But sometimes I will be forced to attach it to Doublade, even if it means I can’t knock the opposing Pokemon out.

Stadium

2 Shrine of Punishme
nt

It increases the damage output of the deck. I wanted to include three, but there was no space for a third, so unfortunately I only ran two.

Energy

4 Double Colourless Energy


This is necessary.

3 Triple Acceleration Energy

This a new addition, and when I saw this card I thought I wanted to run Doublade. The impression I had from using was that it wasn’t that strong, and I think Counter Energy may be the stronger choice.

You can’t attach and then pass, and you also can’t attach it to Basic Pokemon to retreat. However, it was good in that I could attack under Wondrous Labyrinth.

Possible inclusions


Zoroark GX line


When I faced Gengar & Mimikyu Omastar, I thought that if I had had Zoroark, I would have had a chance. But I also need to be able to set up my draw Support Pokemon every game, and having this guy out could potentially lose me games. So, I decided to run Zebstrika as my draw Support Pokemon of choice.

Tapu Lele GX


I only did not run it because I was going to be hated for running a GX in a non-GX deck… I think if you run it it is fine though. If you do put it in, you should replace Friend Ball for Mysterious Treasure.

Mewtwo (Mind Report)
Mind Report combined with Sprint is very strong! I thought this, but maintaining bench space was too difficult so I did not run it.

Mysterious Treasure


Regardless of whether you run Tapu Lele or not, this card is better than Friend Ball.

Metal Frying Pan
This is mainly for against Volcanion.

I did not think that Volcanion could beat Giratina, and I thought a “counter box” Volcanion deck wouldn’t appear either.

Abandoned Powerplant

If you can play this down against Pikachu & Zekrom it will be strong, but I didn’t think it was stronger than Shrine of Punishment.

Counter Energy


Different to Triple Acceleration Energy, you can attach it to Basic Pokemon and it doesn’t need to be discarded at the end of your turn. In relation to this, you should test which is stronger in the early stages of testing/practicing.

Matchups


… or so I say, but with this kind of deck, it is more about the deck being able to pop off rather than what you are facing against.

Fire

Slightly disadvantaged

Essentially, you just have to set up and attack. Basically, in the current meta, there are no Fire Pokemon which can attack using just one Energy, so where they run out of Welder you are able to win.

Pikachu & Zekrom

Slightly advantaged

Essentially, you just have to set up and attack. You also have Larvitar, and I think because we have a non-GX deck we are favoured. However, if you go down the Larvitar route, Choice Band is necessary, so be careful of where you place your Choice Bands.

Ultra Necrozma
Advantaged

Essentially, you just have to set up and attack. If you can attach Metal Goggles to Doublade quickly, you can probably just win from there. Be careful of playing down the Psychic Honedge or other Pokemon, as they are still susceptible to Giratina damage and Ultra Necrozma’s Sky Scorching Light.

Jirachi Zapdos

Slightly disadvantaged

Essentially, you just have to set up and attack. Your opponent will likely take Prizes first, so you must force them to two shot Doublade at some point during the game. Even if you can manage this, they can use Beast Game GX to take extra Prizes. I think you have to play Absol and use Team Rocket’s Harassment, and then pray. If your opponent plays down Thunder Mountain, keep in mind that you can use Zebstrika to one shot Zapdos with an Energy attachment.

The Tournament

Qualifiers

Round 1: Blacephalon Reshiram First 3-6


My opening hand had only an Erika’s in it, while my opponent had Green’s Search. I drew passed for turns…

I mean, I did deaddraw, but this is a reflection of my deckbuilding mistake in running more Erika rather than a reflection of my bad luck.

Round 2: Gardevoir & Sylveon Ninetales Ribombee Second 6-2
I did not expect to see Fairy in this metagame, so I was very happy. Thankfully, I got to play out normally without deaddrawing and won because my opponent’s GX attack was effectively useless because of Zebstrika.

Round 3: Jirachi Zapdos Ultra Beasts First 6-4

My opponent fell behind in the early game, so I got to set up multiple Doublades with Metal Goggles attached. Pheromosa & Buzzwole appeared midway through, but I was able to deal with it quite easily by two-shotting it.

Round 4: Gardevoir & Sylveon Second, 6-1


My opponent mulliganed and upon seeing Fairy Energy, my heart leapt. If it were Whimsicott, it would be a coin flip and I could lose, but it was a standard Gardevoir & Sylveon deck and I was just able to overpower them.

Round 5: Ultra Necrozma Second 6-3


My opponent did not realise I was playing Tool Drop and immediately benched an Ultra Necrozma for me. I responded by benching Honedge, Blitzle and Absol.

After that, I used Guzma to avoid hitting into Giratina and picked off the GXes at the back. I was able to win while creating a board state where Sky Scorching Light was irrelevant.

Round 6 Ultra Necrozma, First, 6-3
I misplayed in this match badly, it is probably the game which I have felt the most self-hatred in this year.

Though I was ahead, and my opponent seemed like they were struggling, and Giratina could not get through Metal Goggles on Doublade. And I was able to start taking Prizes.

I had forgotten that Triple Acceleration Energy had been discarded in the previous turn, and I was just focusing on the fact that my Doublade had survived a turn and could attack again. I drew three cards with Erika’s and realised there were no Energy and had to pass turn without attacking.

At this point, I was wondering what on Earth I was going, but I had taken care to watch out for Sky Scorching Light, and I was ahead in the Prize trade. My plan now was to find Guzma and knock out a benched Tapu Lele to take my last two Prizes. My plan was to use Sprint twice with eight cards left in deck (including Rescue Stretcher and two Metal Goggles) so I could naturally draw into Guzma for game.

I could use Rescue Stretcher to find a Basic Pokemon and then attach Metal Goggles to it, allowing me to hit for 180 damage. I could if I drew both Metal Goggles in my first ‘Sprint’ without drawing the Rescue Stretcher (as I had not enough Pokemon to attach Tools to). I told myself it would be fine with some kind of strange confidence and used the first Sprint. I drew two Metal Goggles.

I had no more Double Colourless left, and the only Doublade that could attack properly was in the Active. With despair, I attacked into Tapu Lele for 160 damage, including a Shrine of Punishment tick.

I thought at this point that I had suffered the worst loss, but my opponent had no way of replacing the Stadium so I was able to win.

Thinking about it calmly, I could have just attacked the Active and held onto the Guzma in hand, but I was too impatient and couldn’t wait for that extra turn. I almost threw the game…

Main Draw

Round 1, Alolan Sandslash Salazzle, second, 6-2


The strategy of the deck is to use Spike Armour to do thirty damage plus sixty damage, and then to use Salazzle’s Ability to poison and burn my Active. But against Metal Goggles it was powerless.

While my first hand was a bit of a shocker, once I managed to draw into a draw Supporter I could chain Tool Drops and won from there.

Round 2 Jirachi Zapdos, Second, 1-6


My worst deaddrawing. No matter how many draw Supporters I played, I couldn’t find a Honedge or a card to get Honedge. When I got my first Doublade out, my opponent had taken five Prizes… Even though I had essentially already given up, clinging onto a gleam of hope I attached Metal Goggles, played down Absol and used Team Rocket’s Harassment. My opponent promptly drew Guzma and I lost.

Conclusion


And that is how I finished in the top 8.

I wanted to win after making it to the Main Draw, but considering how I played in the final round of the Qualifying Rounds, I cannot help but feel that I am not worthy of such a result.

It has been a while since a deck I created myself went well, so I am happy about that. The 3rd of March was the birthday of Imai-Kana-chan [Note: an anime idol character, apparently], so maybe it was her power…

In relation to my team, this week there is a City League on Sunday and HodoHodo-san will play in it. Personally, my next tournament will be Kyoto so I am looking forward to that and practicing for it.

This wasn’t very well-written, but thank you for reading until the end.

References


http://kuriohouse.com/2018/10/29/deckdoguotoshi/

I used this as a reference when creating the deck. This article is from an older format, but this article is written very well so please read it.


Please find the original Japanese-language article here.

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