Trainer Derek

Competitive Pokemon TCG/VGC Player! Creator of Hypno's Lullaby!


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A 5th Place League Challenge Report - Sylveon GX

Posted by DerekCoontz on June 27, 2017 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (9)

While a League Challenge isn't the most exciting thing to hear about I thought this post might be interesting for those of you who have dismissed Sylveon as a competitive deck. It has been some time since I have PLAYED in a TCG event. I run a decent number and play at League but my last few years as a competitor have been in VGC so this was a comeback bout for me. Sylveon was my natural choice when shifting my focus towards TCG again, as one of my favorite Pokémon and an interesting deck for the format.

The Sylevon GX general deck idea is that of control. Sylveon's Magical Ribbon lets you search out 3 cards from your deck and add them into your hand. In any other TCG this would be considered absolutely broken. So the idea is to use Sylveon to grab what you need to stop your opponent form being able to do you any harm. Max Potions, Energy cards at will, hammers, Flair Grunts, Rocket's Handiwork.

Just let them burn through resources trying to knock you out and get nowhere. It's second attack Fairy Wind for 110 isn't the worst either. The deck isn't perfect. Anything with energy regain or acceleration will be an uphill battle and time isn't always on your side. It also takes a knowledge of your match up and being able to be a few turns ahead on your Magical Ribbons, since you can't use the cards you pull right away.

There are some nuances in my build. A priority for me this tournament was being able to shift into attack mode easily in the situation of a bad matchup to go out swinging at least or in the event I get them so locked down I can start taking a prize lead. This lead to a last minute change the day of the tournament. -1 Level Ball, -1 Team Skull Grunt, -1 N, +1 Choice Band, +1 Flareon AOR, +1 Double Colorless Energy. This I felt gave me a fighting chance if I were to run into Metagross or Volcanion, which was my biggest worry.

The list is as follows:


4 Eevee SUM 101

1 Vaporeon AOR 22

3 Sylveon GX GRI 92

1 Flareon AOR 13


2 Team Rocket's Handiwork

1 Team Skull Grunt

2 Delinquent

4 Team Flare Grunt

2 Lysandre

2 N

2 Hex Maniac

1 Choice Band

1 Professor's Letter

1 Field Blower

4 Crushing Hammer

2 Enhanced Hammer

4 Puzzle of Time

3 Max Potion

4 VS Seeker

1 Parallel City

1 Team Aqua's Secret Base

2 Silent Lab


10 Fairy Energy

2 Double Colorless Energy

The Event:

The League Challenge came to a head with 14 players, a few I knew as skilled long time competitors. The nerves were real. These were all people I had played with years ago and I really didn't want to roll in just to end up in last place. But I had confidence that I knew my deck well enough to make the right choices. If there is one thing about Sylveon people agree on is that it takes a skilled player to pilot it correctly and I let that thought put me in the zone to remind myself of my past performances and dove in.

Round 1: VS Raichu/Lycanroc GX

I was really happy to play this person round 1. I knew he was a formidable opponent and being able to get past them in the first round would put me in good spirits for the outcome of the day. For those not in the know of these decks I will try to describe them to the best of my ability. The focus here was Raichu. You set up Sky Field, max out your bench, and hit for high damage off a DCE. This match was probably the most mentally taxing for me. As much denial as I have in my deck I was having trouble keeping up. At points my best bet was to keep knocking out Raichus, but he kept getting them back into his deck. Attacking also held me back from grabbing more energy denial cards from my deck with Magical Ribbon, so I had to choose my moments.

Lycanroc was on the bench most the game but never really came out. Towards the end he tried to set it up with strong energy but I made quick work of that with Enhanced Hammers. The game ultimately came to a close after he special charged two of his DCE back in. At some point he had already attached an energy for turn to something, and N'd. That N drew him the two DCE but also drew me a Team Skull Grunt. When the turn passed back over to me I played Grunt dor the sake of a supporter and discarded them. That closed it out and he scooped.


Round 2: VS Mega Gardevoir

Going into this one I admit I was aware of the deck at some point from my readings, but when the round started and he lead with a Gardevoir, Orangaru, and Oricorio I was blanking and not sure what I was looking at. The basis is similar to the above deck. You set up your bench heavy with Sky Field so you can discard to big damage at critical moments. He had a rough start from a combination of bad top decks and my energy denial and it was only maybe 3 or 4 turns in before I had already taken 4 prizes just from being able to Lysandre up his Shaymins and 1 shot them. I thought I had this in the bag because there was no way he could get two energy onto Gardevoir in 1 turn and nuke me faster then I could get rid of the energy. But wait. Mega Turbo is a card.

He started hitting them and dolling out pressure hard. It was the least I could to heal my Sylveons and knock energy off to at least make him burn resources and try to run him dry. It came to time and on turn 2, his last turn, he knocked out another Sylveon to make the prize count 2-2 and all I had left on bench was an Eevee. Tied game.


Round 3: VS Lurantis GX

There's not much to say about this game other then I felt pretty dumb afterwards. The deck is straight forward, set up a Lurantise GX, get out a few promo Lurantis for that sweet +20 damage per, and go to town. Used Shinotic to get set up faster grabbing Pokémon each turn from the deck and could evolve ASAP with Forest of Giant Plants. Here's why I felt like an idiot. The one thing I added to the deck that day to help me in another matchup was key. Flareon. If I had Flareon and a Sylveon set up I would be OHKOing like no tomorrow. Unfortunately I forgot all about Flareon until about turn 3. By then it was too late and combination of pressure to heal and Kukui's to 1 shot me pushed me too far back to get anything set up.


Round 4: VS Eeveelutions/Orangaru

I was determined to leave the day with at least a positive record so I feel like I was starting to go on tilt. This was a very weird game. My decision making felt off but I was still able to keep ahead of what I can only call a clunky deck and won by deck out. There were definitely tense moments but Lysandre was my friend in knocking out anything before it was a threat and letting them burn through resources. My Crushing Hammer rolls were also kind of ridiculous.


Final Thoughts:

And so the tournament ended and I finished out in 5th. For my first time in a while I definitely feel okay with this, although I can't help but kick myself for how round 3 went and remembering I even wrote an article about making last minute changes to decks backfiring and how to avoid them years ago. Really liked how I came out Round 1 and 2 though due to who I was playing. Playing in a tournament again really fueled me in my love for this game and my confidence in myself.

There are a few notes I'd like to leave here:

• Although Sylveon did well for me here I have yet to play it in a Bo3 situation and I know that is a concern for it. It is a long game deck.

• Don't pull a Derek and forget you added a card today that can win you the current match.

• I was worried about removing 1 of my 2 Team Skull Grunts before the event started but thought it never contributed to my wins too much. Then it literally won me a game. Scary thought.

• Sylveon is not for everyone and even I screw up with it sometimes. Please try the deck but don't expect it to be Tier 1. It's definitely not. But it can compete for sure.

This is just the start of me getting back into the competitive scene. Over the course of the next year I plan to hit more events, attend regionals and internationals, and I hope to share all my info and experiences with you guys like I used to. To see less informative stuff, please follow the TrainerDerek pages on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and more.

Expanding Social Media

Posted by DerekCoontz on June 1, 2017 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)

You can now find TrainerDerek on a plethora of social media. Keep an eye out for more content on all these platforms!

(Old Article) Exciting New Cards in Pokémon Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising!

Posted by DerekCoontz on May 30, 2017 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (0)

While slightly irrelevant now, I wrote up a peice for Empire Cards hyping up some of the new cards in Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising. I'll be posting it here just to have it archived for myself, although it is fun to look back and see how my ideas panned out now that the set is legal for play.

You can find it here.