Giant Ant Attacks Roswell City Championship

The 2011 City Championship for Roswell was at Tower Games, a convenient and comfortable location that works quite well for an event of this size. There were 36 Masters attending with probably half as many Juniors and Seniors combined. Due to some hardware and software problems, the event started about an hour and fifteen minutes late, but once up and running it was very smoothly handled and a lot of fun.

On a whim, I chose to play Durant for this event. That whim proved to be a very good decision. As it turned out, there was only one other Durant deck being played that day, and judging from some of the chatter, few players had been testing against it. This definitely worked in my favor since very few of my opponents on this day knew how to handle this very nasty bug.

The roster went up around 2:15pm, and we heard there would be 6 rounds of Swiss followed by a top cut of 8.

Game 1: vs. Durant (!) played by Jeff B.

Jeff is a Professor and League organizer. He is a super great guy who loves the game and supports it by officiating at many events and I was happy to see him playing instead of wearing the red smock. While we were waiting for the computer problems to be sorted out, I discovered while chatting with him that he was also playing Durant today. We were both very surprised to sit down across from each other, already knowing what was coming. Our decks were very similar, as one might imagine.  The main difference was his inclusion of Mime Jr. which ultimately did not work in his favor. Essentially what happened was this: Mime Jr. stayed asleep for 3 turns. By that time, I had already been milling with 3 and 4 Durants. Jeff had to switch his strategy entirely to go for prizes using Durant’s Vice Grip attack and by Catchering up my Rotom. We entered overtime with Jeff having taken two prizes. He had two cards in his hand and 5 in the deck. I used N to build up his hand size to 4 cards and milled the last 3 with Devour. He was T2 of overtime and could not draw. The mirror match is all about who starts milling first. 1/0

Game 2: vs. 6 Corners played by Hobson C.

Hobson started with Virizion as expected, but he had no energy for the Zekrom and Terrakion he put on the bench. I set up with 4 Durants on my first turn and started milling. By applying steady pressure with Crushing Hammer, Lost Remover, and Pokemon Catcher I foiled further energy attachments. I Devoured every turn with 4 Durants and milled his deck well before time was called. Hobson’s energy drought really hurt him. At one point, he was able to get a few energy on the field and used Shaymin to power up a Terrakion for the attack. He blasted one Durant which I revived and then used Lost Remover to remove his DCE. 2/0

Game 3: vs. Zekrom/Eelektrik played by Justin F.

When I flipped over my Durant, Justin commented that he had not tested against this deck and was a little worried. His worries were unfounded. Once he had two Eelektriks on his bench, Durant was very effectively providing resources for the Dynamotor Ability. I was able to mill about 75% of his deck, but once he had Zekrom fully powered, he easily took out my Durants with one shot, kept his Zekrom powered, and I could do very little. Even Crushing Hammer had little effect since the Eels kept the dragon full of energy. This was a very good game. Justin’s deck combined with a favorable start put him in a strong position, and even though I was milling away his resources, the strength of his build shone through. 2/1

Game 4: vs. Electric Trainer Lock played by Tiffany V.

Tiffany’s deck featured Vileplume, Thunderus, Lanturn Prime, Zekrom and Eelektrik. The synergy with Lanturn and Eelektrik is obvious, and it should have worked quite well. She was unable to establish the trainer lock, and that probably saved me. During the wait, I played a senior from my league who was running Chandelure/Vileplume. Once he set up the lock, I could do very little but Devour, and eventually the damage counters just racked up all over me. In this match I was able to keep her lone Oddish in the active position long enough to see at least 2 Vileplumes milled away. At one point she did get two Eels on the bench, but I kept pulling out Crushing Hammer, Junk Arming for it again, and dragging poor Oddish to active. Once again, energy disruption proved to be essential alongside the relentless Devouring of 4 cards per turn. 3/1

Game 5: vs. Terrakion/Kyurem played by Chris O.

Chris did not know he would be coming to the tournament and had loaned out many of his key staples.  His deck ran no Catchers and no Collectors. Even so, he played what he had very well. Yet again, energy disruption with Crushing Hammer (plus lucky flips) saved me as well as combining Eviloite with Special Metal Energy. Reduction in damage from Terrakion’s attack allowed me to keep milling while I waited to draw into a Revive. Chris played very speedily, and it made me wonder if I might have lost more games if other players had used the pace of the game to their advantage, i.e. deliberately delaying. Had turns taken much longer, I could have found myself in overtime, with my opponent having taken prizes, and too much deck to mill. 4/1

Game 6: Zekrom/Eeletrik played by Logan W.

Logan had a great sense of humor and kept up the banter during the game – which I like. I turned over a Pichu and he immediately thought he was playing Ross. My opening hand had a Collector and two Dual Balls. I was able to set up 3 Durants and a Rotom (1 Durant was prized) on T1 and started milling. By T2 I had all four Durants in play. Logan hit an energy drought while I saw his Eels getting milled away. When I milled his Super Rods, he realized he wasn’t going to be able to get any energy out. It turned out that my Alph Lithograph Four was prized. On T1 I made a guess with Mischevious Trick and put the last Durant on the top of my deck. This was luck and nothing more. Had it taken longer for me to find the 4th Durant, he might have been able to set up his Eels. 5/1

The rankings went up a little after 6pm and I found myself in the number one slot. This was very surprising to me and very gratifying. I felt I had little chance in the Top Cut matches, so I was ready to go home a very happy guy.

In Top Cut, I was paired with Logan W. During the 25 minutes or so between the pairings going up and the start of our game, he had plenty of time to prepare his strategy against Durant. This is exactly what he did, and he came out swinging – not only with the humorous banter but with a more aggressive style.

Game 1: I had one Durant and my Rotom prized with no way to get either out. I milled 3 per turn until he was able to set up his Dynamotor synergy with Zekrom. He did this by using Juniper twice to completely refresh his hand. It worked for him although it could have been very risky. He took his six prizes very cleanly after I had milled enough energy into the Discard pile to make it work. 0/1

Game 2: I go first, and everything went exactly as it should. I had 4 Durants up on T1 and started milling away. He saw his resources being discarded, and he knew he would not be able to recover. 1/1

Game 3: Logan went first and – surprise! – brings out a Tyrogue and then Judges away the excellent starting hand I was salivating over. He hits my lone Durant for 30. I am unable to set up more in the first turn and mill 1 card. In T2, he pulls out 2 Plus Power to hit me for 50 with the Tyrogue. 1/2

So, what’s the fate for Durant? I will not play it again in a tournament, that’s for sure. The deck has a single focus which works great when it is working and has nearly no flexibility when that strategy is losing. I feel it did so well in this event because it is not part of the meta game for this area, and people were not testing for it. But Logan, a very strong player, was able to adapt  quickly to abuse the deck’s weaknesses. Of the other 7 players in the Top Cut, I had played 3 that day. If I had played any of the four who had not yet faced Durant that day, the Top Cut round might have gone differently for me. If I am able to attend any other events during the Georgia Marathon, these players will be ready for Durant.

My experience in the day showed me that 6 Corners has trouble against consistent energy disruption; I also learned that the Zekrom/Eeletrik combination is such a strong synergy that it will be tough to beat until the right tech comes along. I think that trainer locking techniques will be useful against the Zek/Eel decks that are not built for consistency and don’t start with speed. The need to obliterate the Eels from the bench is strong and might bring Yanmega Prime back into vogue for a while due to its sniping ability.

All in all, a very good day. I’m glad I took the half day off of work.


No one expected the ant.

Another really fun and smooth event run by Tymon Martindale and Greg Wyman.

The owners of the Gaming Pit who hosted both a Pokemon and Magic event simultaneously.


Hardware crashes.

Posted by at December 29, 2011
Filed in category: TCG Articles,
  • Anonymous

    can we get a list please?

  • Anonymous

    Can’t you build you own list, player?

  • Anonymous

    It is customary to post a list with your tournament report. If you don’t want to, than be nice and explain why you don’t want to. Don’t be a jerk about it playa.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not customary at all, if anything you should be lucky if the player posts a list; especially a good one that does well.

  • Jimmy Rose

    pikkdogs – I’ll be happy to post the list. The reason I did not post it initially was simply because I did not know when this report would be posted, and I wanted to maintain some privacy on my build in case I changed my mind about running it in the Georgia Marathon. As it turns out, I won’t be going to any more tournaments in 2011. And now, the list:

    4 Durant
    1 Cleffa
    1 Pichu
    1 Rotom

    4 Pokemon Collector
    4 N
    4 Twins
    4 Sage’s Training
    4 Dual Ball
    4 Crushing Hammer
    4 Pokemon Catcher
    4 Revive
    3 Junk Arm
    2 Pokegear
    3 Eviolite
    1 Switch
    1 Lost Remover
    1 ALPH Lithograph Four
    1 Super Rod

    4 Special Metal Energy
    5 Metal Energy

    The 4 Collector and 4 Dual Ball have been essential in getting all the Durant out quickly – that’s obvious, I guess. I’m iffy on the use of Eviolite since it doesn’t help against any 120 damage attacks from the dragons. Upping Junk Arm to 4 is an option. I’ve also considered using an Energy Search to help assure a turn 1 Devour. I’d consider it a necessity if running fewer energy than this. Since I did have a game where both a Durant and my Rotom were prized, I’ve considered running 2 Rotom. But that happened only once out of 9 games in this tournament, so that’s probably overkill. I consider N essential to the deck because it helps control the opponent’s hand size, but 4 may be overdoing it. One could trade out 1 or 2 N for PONT in order to improve hand refresh without increaseing your opponent’s deck. I’ve also considered a 1-1 line of Weavile here in order to pluck evolutions out of the opponent’s hand, but that might also necessitate the inclusion of Seeker.

  • Poke Amph

    I’d say it is customary to post lists. Posting lists helps level up the community so we can be aware of different styles.

    It’s also fun to use a deck with a new strategy that nobody knows about, though. Whether or not they post a list, the strategy will eventually come out.

    That’s just my thought. If anybody wants to keep their lists a secret it’s fine by me. Fortunately Jimmy doesn’t mind posting his list.

  • austen vance

    finally found your report jim. im the guy with chandelure =]

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Much appreciated.

  • Oliver Barnett

    Where has there been a rule that says: You must post your decklist even if you don’t want to for testing purposes etc. Also be glad there is a list at all because if you are a good player you build your own card for card lists rather than netdecking completely. As tbh it will never work in a tournament