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Hitting Dewford for Weakness - 1st Place with Tool Drop

Luckily Entei didn't kidnap my parents 
The past weekend, there was a double header in Greenfield. IN for the Rustboro and Dewford League seasons. For the first, I played Night March and didn't do spectacular (3-3), but changed it up for the second and played Tool Drop to a 4-0-1 win. Both League Challenges were Best of 1, Expanded format.

Focusing on Dewford, the 2nd lc, my matchups and some overviews were as follows:

1st Round: Jared Huth: Night March
This being the second tourny, and it being a long day in general, everyone was a little exhausted going into the first round of the tournament. This becomes relevent because:
Wait, that doesn't have Safeguard
    During the first round, I started Trubbish, and Jared started a Joltik. I immediately realised what he was playing, but he started off under the impression I was playing Toad/Garb. He took an expectedly lengthy first turn, dumping as many Pokemon and as many items as he possibly could, anticipating me attaching a Float Stone, dropping a Seismitoad and hitting him with a Quaking Punch the first chance I got.

    When he was finally done, I started my turn by dropping 2 Head Ringers on his Mew and Shaymin EXs, and dropping a Sigilyph PLB to the field. Once the Sigilyph hit the field, he knew what was coming. I Juniper'd for the few tools I needed and Energy, and proceeded to use his Dimension Valley to start off the OHKO's. From here we kept a pretty steady back and forth until he ran out of Double Colorless Energy, and lost momentum severely. I took my last few prizes while he tried to manually attach Basic Energy to attack.

2nd Round: Josh Fine: Night March
    Other than dumping all his resources early, this went very similar to the previous game. Tool Drop keeps pace with Night March extremely well, being able to utilize their own Dimension Valleys if you can't get your own out, and OHKO'ing their entire deck for a needed maximum of 6 tools on the board for 1 Psychic Energy. I was able to keep pace and out pace his special energy needs, and took the game once he started to run out.

3rd Round: Craig Schrader: Gengar/Trevenant
    This was actually my first loss of the previous League Challenge, and I expected it to be my first loss of this one as well. I won the flip, opting to go first and getting a Head Ringer on his only Gengar EX on the field. During his turn, he got a Phantump down, but whiffed the Wally for the turn 1 Trevenant, giving me a second unexpected turn of items. I took this opportunity to get as many more tools out as I could, and force Dimension Valley to stay in play by targeting the attackers that did not have Head Ringers. When he did finally get the Trevanant on active, I had a key Lysandre for one of his benched Shaymin EX, and set up a knockout on the Trevenant when it came back active by having a Trubbish lying in wait on the bench. The combination of already having enough tools on the field to keep up, forcing Dimension Valley to stay out due to his only attacker having a Head Ringer, and being able to knockout his only Trevenant lead to me pulling out the win.

4th Round: Kevin Baxter: Archie's Blastoise
    I was pretty wary about this matchup as well, as I hadn't tested against Blastoise much. Knowing he was playing the World's list and knowing he only played 2 tools total allowed me to know when I could Head Ringer key things to slow him down that slight bit. This comes in handy later...
Whoever thought Wailord could be so cute?
He started the game off by getting a turn 1 Blastoise, and I started the game by whiffing tools and energy by 4 turns. This put Kevin up 4 prizes early on. By the 3rd turn, I was pretty convinced I couldn't turn it around, but the 4th turn, I got enough tools on the field and energy to knockout his Keldeo EX. The Keldeo was the only thing on the field with enough energy to attack, as Kevin had to both fill his bench with support Pokemon to get setup and seemed to have trouble hitting the energy once he was set up. He walled with Wailord for a turn, and I got 220 damage on it with Trubbish (so close..). He managed to get another Keldeo going quick enough, and then I believe he actually Lysandre'd up a Sigilyph with an energy and 3 tools on it (1 being a Life Dew) for KO. Then he N'd me to 4, and himself to 2. I counter KO'd the Keldeo with a Trubbish, Head Ringer'd his Wailord EX, Hard Charmed my only Shaymin EX, and that was pretty much game there. He couldn't OHKO my only EX without getting 7 energy on his Blastoise or 6 on Wailord and a Lysandre, which didn't happen. I don't recall exactly what he knocked out, but he managed to knockout either a Sigilyph or Trubbish to put himself down to 1 prize, but couldn't capitalize on it. He eventually had to put up his only Blastoise with only 4 energy total on the board (2 on Wailord, 2 on Shaymin) to prevent me from winning that game that turn, but couldn't get an Archie's again the following turn to win.

5th Round: Charles Randall Larenas-Leach: Night March
    Charles Randall and I actually drove in together (this should be no surprise, as this is indeed his site), so this being finals was amusing. Him knowing how awful the matchup was for him, and knowing that my resistance was generally better than his, he proposed a tie. I took it, seeing no disadvantage, and this led to me taking 1st, and him taking 2nd, us being the only ones undefeated the whole tournament. We played a game following anyway, and he never actually saw any Double Colorless the entire game. He took a knockout with a Mew/Dimension Valley/Lightning Energy, but never saw any other energy for the remainder of the game.

Here are also some key card counts that I think worked especially well:

4 Trubbish PLS: Getting as many tools out as possible to hit high numbers will
always be your go to for OHKOs. This little guy is why this deck works.

7 Psychic Energy: This, combined with Dimension Valley, usually keeps you attacking the entire game. If need be, you can even slap 2 Hard Charms, 1 Muscle Band on a Sigilyph and 2HKO EX's for 2 energy and resist 40 damage (60 against Fighting).

3 Sigilyph: I didn't need to max out these in the slightest. I could either attach Head Ringers to my opponent's board to push up my damage, or OHKO their non EX for less tools. Useful, but not the key focus.

1 Super Rod: I actually played Sacred Ash for the tournament, but realized I would at most be putting in 3 Trubbish, average 2.5.
One of the more overlooked gains in Expanded
This made Super Rod a much better choice.

2 Eco Arm: There were times I would discard these early on, but when I could use them, it was fantastic. They can shuffle in Muscle Bands, Floats, Head Ringers, and even Life Dew. Getting 3 tools back may not win you the game, but it certainly helps.

1 Garbodor: Pyroar and Bats exist, and when all else fails, you can always hinder your opponent's Shaymins. I found it especially useful against Night March's Mews, to force them to either not attack a turn, or use up all their DCEs super quick.

The rest was mostly just consistency. Consistency is really key, especially in Expanded.


  1. Charles....good seeing you again in Columbia...hope you won it all. I need some help....hints on how to use the Maxie with Gallade and archeops....I assume battle compress away Gallade and archeops...but how do you consistently get the where the Maxie is the last card in your hand???? Scott and Lucy

    1. Hi Scott! I finished in the top four spot at Columbia, losing to Kenneth Ecker. I actually played an Archie's deck, which functions almost identically to Maxie's.

      The key is Ultra Ball, Battle Compressor, VS Seeker, and Trainers' Mail. You'll want to play a list with high counts of these cards (and probably Acro Bike too). You can use Ultra Ball and Battle Compressor to discard cards from your hand that you DON'T want when you want to Maxie's (e.g. Supporters and Gallade).

      If you can get to the point where the last two cards in your hand are VS Seeker and Battle Compressor, you're golden, because you can use Compressor to discard Maxie's and Gallade/Archeops and use the VS Seeker to play Maxie's.

      Jirachi EX is also quite helpful as well. If you have two Ultra Ball in hand, you can use the first Ultra Ball to grab your fighting Pokemon, and your second Ultra Ball to discard that Pokemon and fetch Jirachi. If you can make it so that Jirachi is the last card in your hand, you can use Stellar Guidance to fetch Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick and get the Gallade you just discarded out of the discard pile!

      One thing that helps Archie's/Maxie's decks is that you run lots of cards that you can play to "burn" cards from your hands, like Battle Compressor or Trainers' Mail (which you can fail). To include Maxie's into your Yveltal list, for example, you have to build the deck completely differently to use a lot of these Items. My Blastoise deck runs 4 Trainers' Mail, 4 Ultra Ball, 1 Computer Seach, 4 Battle Compressor, 4 VS Seeker, and 4 Superior Energy Retrieval (which also helps with the Archie's in Blastoise decks).

      One thing that almost every one of these decks has in common is that because they can play down their hand so well and play a high count of Items and Ultra Balls is that they really benefit from a couple of Shaymin EX. There is a lot of synergy there.

      May I ask what deck that you are trying to fit Maxie's into?

    2. Hey Scott,

      Here is an article written by Pooka about how to use Archie's or Maxie's!


  2. Thanks for the information...perfect...used it yesterday...pulled it off. I am using it in a dark deck yvetal...with archeops and gallade

  3. next question....I am looking for a "simple" deck a new senior can use....however...they are trying to play in tournaments and losing...they don't practice either...I know I am asking for something that may not be out does not require practice. Scott


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