[Top 16 Aichi Champions League] Baby Blacephalon

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.


Blacephalon

Hi, my name is Hapicraft. In this article I’ll be writing about the Baby Blacephalon deck I used at the Aichi Champions League. I’m still not very good at writing articles, but it would make me very happy if you read this.

[Note: Hapicraft is a Senior division player.]

The Expected Metagame


My thoughts on the metagame going into the tournament were as follows:

Tier 1:

Pikachu & Zekrom
Fire Mewtwo & Mew
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Zacian
Morpeko Dolls

Tier 2:

Psychic Mewtwo & Mew
Reshiram & Charizard
Lucario & Melmetal Zacian
Blacephalon Naganadel

Tier 3:
Psychic Box
Lucario & Melmetal
Galarian Obstagoon

I thought tier 1 would be largely made up of existing decks such as Pikachu & Zekrom and Fire Mewtwo & Mew, as well as the key card from the new set, Zacian V.

I thought tier 2 would comprise other decks that had done well at City Leagues and decks that had good matchups against top tier decks.

I thought decks in tier 3 would be decks that struggle in this meta but are nevertheless strong.

Why I chose Baby Blacephalon


I chose this deck because I wanted something that could beat (what I thought were) top tier decks. I considered this deck from mid-November. I felt that Zacian V was the hurdle to overcome in this tournament, and there would be a lot of it and Arceus & Dialga & Palkia. I felt Baby Blacephalon was advantageous against these decks, hence choosing it.

Deck List and Card Explanation


Image 1

4 Jirachi

This is the heart of the deck’s consistency. I want to open with it, so I ran four.

4 Blacephalon

While you’ll generally only use three copies of this card in a match, there’s a possibility of it being Prized, so I ran four copies.

1 Absol


This card is so strong that I think everybody should be running it. It can stop Jirachi and increases the retreat cost of Basic Pokemon, forcing your opponent to find Switch.

1 Oricorio GX

I ran this card to allow me to comeback after Blacephalon has been knocked out.

4 Quick Ball

My deck runs ten Pokemon, and I want easy access to them. This is the best card for that job.

4 Fiery Flint

I ran this card as it allows me to search for Energy, thin my deck and reduce my hand size.

4 Fire Crystal

Of course I needed to run this to recover Energy from my discard.

4 Acro Bike

I ran four to be able to dig through my deck.

2 PokeGear 3.0

I ran this car for extra Welder outs.

1 Great Catcher

In this format, this card can be crucial as you can bring out Pokemon like Dedenne GX.

4 Switch

This card counters Absol and is convenient.

1 Escape Board

I ran this so I can retreat Jirachi.

4 Custom Catcher

This card is useful against Morpeko Dolls and Zacian V. Combined with Fiery Flint to reduce hand size, this can refresh your hand.

4 Welder

As Blacephalon needs three Energy to attack, this card is necessary for the deck to function.

1 Heat Factory
This can allow me to dig through my deck and gives me more cards.

4 Fire Energy

Cards I Didn’t Use


Lucky Egg

I think this card is very good: when you are knocked out you can draw until you have seven cards in your hand, but it can’t be used if your opponent uses Phione or Custom Catcher, so I decided not to play it.

Phione
While I think this card is very good against Galarian Obstagoon and Morpeko Dolls, Galarian Obstagoon runs Stealthy Hood and it’s better to run two Phione against Morpeko Dolls, so I didn’t run it.

Pal Pad

This card is great to return multiple Welder back to the deck, but I only ever need four in one match.

Reset Stamp

While this card is great for disruption and can cause your opponent to dead draw, I decided to focus on streamlining attacks so I didn’t run this card.

Blacephalon GX

Having the option to Burst GX is really strong, but I didn’t have enough space for this card.

Ultra Space
While this card is good for Stadium wars and for being able to search for Blacephalon, Quick Ball allows for more options.


How to Play the Deck


In order to play this deck properly, the most important thing is to consider your order of searching for Jirachi and Blacephalon.

Jirachi = Blacephalon < Oricorio GX < Absol (though, depending on your opponent’s deck, you may want to wait until a Blacephalon is knocked out to search for Oricorio GX)

This deck is essentially a deck that thins itself quickly and then can continually knock out Tag Team Pokemon.

This deck only does three things: 1) Search for Energy. 2) Knock out Pokemon. 3) Recover Energy.

This deck is easy to play. However, there is one thing you must watch out for: Marnie. Marnie is very good against this deck, so ensure that you preserve your Fiery Flint when Marnie may be a problem.

Matchups


Round 1: No Show

While I was happy about a no show, this meant my resistance would be lower which was a little scary.

Round 2: Blacephalon Naganadel, W, 6-4

This match was very rough as my opponent’s deck ran well and played Marnie. However, due to my deck having the advantage, this match was able to showcase Baby Blacephalon’s strength and I won.

Round 3: Blacephalon Naganadel, W, 6-3

My opponent didn’t run Island Challenge Amulet, so I was able to attack freely. I was also able to draw Custom Catcher and won smoothly.

Round 4: Torkoal Magcargo, W, 6-3


My opponent was in the top 16 of the previous Champions League so they were a formidable player. I was nervous, but my opponent only ran two Buff Padding. Without a third copy, I was just able to have enough Energy to win.

Round 5: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Zacian, W, 6-2

My opponent went first and had a good turn, but for some reason Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX came into the Active. I was able to take the knock out on my first turn, leaving me with three Prizes to my opponent’s six. The game changed with this turn, and my opponent was unable to catch up to me in the Prize race, leaving me with the win.

Round 6: Galarian Obstagoon, L, 3-6

I had accepted the autoloss against Galarian Obstagoon and my only win condition was for my opponent to brick. However, my opponent used Rosa and was able to evolve and I couldn’t attack through Blocking and lost.

Round 7: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Zacian, W, 1-0


My opponent went first and was unable to do anything. I used Welder and Fireball Circus to win.

Round 8: Lucario & Melmetal Zacian, W, 6-3

I was desperate in this last game. I mulliganed five times and had to go first. I wasn’t able to set up at all and thought I was going to lose. However, Oricorio GX was able to draw me some good cards, and I also gained access to Heat Factory. I was able to come back and win.

This qualified me to proceed to the next round, as I was seeded ninth with a score of 7-1 after the Qualifying Round.

Main Round: Round 1: Florges Deck Out, L, 4-0

My opponent was the eventual winner of the tournament. He was a very tough and fast player, and this was his ninth consecutive win. I wasn’t able to escape the Lillie’s Clefairy Doll loop, and was eventually decked out by Bellelba & Brycenman.

Improvements to the Deck


Lillie’s Clefairy Doll

This card can help you out when you’re stuck. I definitely think it’s worth trying out.

Phione

It’s very useful for getting around the final wall that your opponent promotes. I think it’s worthy of inclusion.

Final Thoughts


I am happy that I was able to achieve a good result of Top 16 at this Champions League. Baby Blacephalon was a great call for the metagame, and was so strong that I’m seriously considering reusing it for City Leagues in January. You guys should try it out too. Further, I would like to thank Nobu for his help in finetuning my deck. I’ll keep working on my Pokemon skills every day so that I can reach the Main Rounds at the next City League and at the Kyoto Champions League. Thanks also to Baby Blacephalon for allowing me to make it into the Main Round.

Lastly, thanks to you, the reader. If this article helped you in anyway, I would be delighted.

If you could, I would appreciate a donation.


Please find the original Japanese-language article here.

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