Monday, December 3, 2012

Hammertiming Regionals!

Stop! Hammertime!

Hello everyone!

Yesterday I played in a tournament. That’s right – played! It was my first tournament in a month so I was pretty excited! This is a tournament report from that tournament. I’ll have special treat for you guys later on this week as well, as I have my 3
rd featured writer ever make his debut in my blog!

I was pretty clueless on what to play since I don’t have any cards from Boundaries Crossed (it’s a joke you know). So, I was forced to play something good but old. And what is good and old? (Especially for me). Well, Hammertime of course! I wasn’t completely sold on if Hammertime was a good play, but since I couldn’t afford to a “better” deck (i.e. more expensive deck), I was just going to make most of what I could. And in the end the result were more than satisfying! I won’t spoil you with details, so let’s just start with the list.


4x Sableye

4x Darkrai EX
1x Mewtwo EX


3x Random Receiver
4x Professor Juniper
2x Bianca
4x N
4x Ultra Ball
4x Crushing Hammer
2x Enhanced Hammer
4x Pokémon Catcher
4x Dark Patch
3x Energy Switch
2x Eviolite
1x Gold Potion
1x Tool Scrapper


13x Darkness Energy

About the list

Ok, so I wanted to play Skyla + Computer Search here, but in the end I didn’t find Computer Search for loan, so I ditched the idea. Also, 2
nd Mewtwo EX would have been more than useful during the tournament. And maybe 1 Revive/Super Rod instead of 4th Sableye. It was pretty frustrating to play knowing that I have no way of getting Pokémon from the discard pile, which forced me to bench Mewtwo EX in many games in situations I didn’t want to. However, since I didn’t have Computer Search in my deck, I had no other way of increasing my consistency, but just playing 13 supporters /Random Receivers. In the end, it was the perfect number.

I wanted to play Keldeo EX in this deck, but hey, you can’t have it all since my budget is very low at the moment. Landorus EX was the other option as the tech, but in the end I didn’t get my hands on them either!

Even though I don’t have an access to all cards, I can’t say that this list and deck wasn’t competitive. It ran very well throughout the tournament and it has solid match-ups against almost anything when correctly played. Thanks to Energy Switches, it was also very fast in getting Darkrai EX hitting.

And one last addition – Gold Potion was in the deck only, because I didn’t get my hands on Computer Searches, but guess what? It turned out to be my best card of the deck! When playing this deck, I highly advise everyone to try Gold Potion if you still play Computer Search. Computer Search is good for consistency, but Gold Potion is just too good. Thanks a lot for Tonu for loaning Gold Potion just before I was going to submit my decklist!


1. Round (Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Mewtwo EX)

My opponent is going first,
  while I have a decent hand with T1 Dark Patch on Darkrai EX and Sableye as active Pokémon. You may think that Hammers are pretty useless against Blastoise-like decks that energy accelerate, but that isn’t the truth. The reason why Hammers are good against Blastoise is that Blastoise attaches from hand. In the end game when Pokémon are KOed and Hammers have been flipped, Blastoise will probably struggle to get the needed resources for getting the needed KOs. However, this game never got that far. My opponent had huge trouble getting energy already in the early game, which made things easy for me. Once I KOed Keldeo EX and Mewtwo EX thanks to Gold Potion + Eviolite Darkrai EX (that combo is so sick). There really wasn’t anything she could do after I got the prize lead, because my Mewtwo EX just sat and wait on the bench to get the last two prizes from her big EX with a lot of energy.


2. Round (Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant)

I know the match-up was pretty solid since he ran Double Colorless Energy (my Enhanced Hammers weren’t useless, wohoo!) And since I went first, got a T2 Darkrai EX, while he had a horrible set-up, the game was over pretty much before he even had the chance to hit the first time. At one point I was in 6-1 prize lead and it tells a lot about how good T2 Darkrai EX when going first really is. It’s like a T1 to your opponent. Enhanced Hammers got rid of his DCEs on Bouffalant, which makes otherwise good Bouffalant very bad attackers. I wasn’t too lucky with the Hammer flips in this match-up, but it really didn’t matter, because my start was so fast. I think this match also showcased what’s wrong with this game at the moment. When you have 2 Darkrai EX fully loaded and a Sableye and Mewtwo EX sitting on the bench and you’re in a controlling position, there seldom is anything your opponent can do. No matter how perfectly he/she plays.

3. Round (Darkrai EX/Hydreigon)

I knew that Darkrai EX/Hydreigon is one of the worst match-ups for Hammertime since Hammerspam doesn’t really work against them as they can PatchSpam forever with their Sableye. And in the end, Patching is more consistent than Hammerspam since it requires no flipping. However, once again I went first and got a T2 Darkrai EX. He had a great T1 with Skyla, Computer Search , Dark Patch, Sableye etc. Pretty much everything that Hydreigon can hope for T1. However, I decided to take a kill on his Sableye in the 2nd turn and N his Computer Search back to his deck. He didn’t draw a Skyla or a Computer Search from the N and since I killed his only Sableye, his game stopped completely. He drew 7 cards and passed. I had 30 on one of his Deinos and 0 on the other. Well, I just Junipered, drew Catcher and KOed both Deinos. Wtf? Horrible game.

After the game we joked about how straightforward the games can really be. Just hit 2 times during the game and win the game – sounds legit.

Annddd… Lunch break. I don’t know how many I have said it in my blog, but I can’t stand lunch breaks. Well, the game was finished in few turns, so it left me over 50 minutes of sitting and waiting for the next round, which ended up being…

4. Round (Klinklang/too much stuff)

I played next  to him in the previous round and saw that he won. Well, Hammertime against a deck that runs 80% special energy and lots of techs. There isn’t a match-up that is more of an autowin for Hammertime than Klinklang. I went first, he asked for my hand (which was perfect against Klinklang), so he just decided to scoop the game…

So… Last two rounds weren’t even real games and the lunch break wasn’t that entertaining either! Well spent 2 hours. Well, I decided to go to a local grocery store with my 4
th round opponent. Thankfully, the 5th round was over pretty soon and the 5th round started very soon.

5. Round (Darkrai EX/Terrakion/Landorus EX/Sableye)

He started the game and while I had a slow start he had a slow start as well. He opened with Terrakion, which I was naturally afraid of a LOT since I only ran 2 Eviolites and no real counter against Terrakion (I was thinking of playing Shaymin EX, but didn’t get my hands on it either!!). Well, I got the first attack on Terrakion, which was important for me but gave me trouble in the late game, because he started attacking on my EXs. In the 2nd turn I had to Juniper my Tool Scrapper, and as I didn’t see any Tools on his side, I was only mildly concerned about that. However, in one turn he laid down all of his Eviolites to all of his Pokémon and Tool Scrappered my first Eviolite away. That pretty much change the tide of the game since even though I had Gold Potion helping me (he had Computer Search), I wasn’t able to get quickly enough damage on his Pokémon due the Eviolites and was all the time one attack late. Hammers were completely useless in the game, because the only Hammer I hit heads with was the first one in T2 and I flipped 5 of them. I think it tells something that when the game ended he had 9 energy on his field. And I was playing Hammertime… Anyways, great game. It was easily the best game during the tournament!


Well, we only had 5 rounds and here is where the rant starts. We were supposed to have 5 rounds and top4, but as the TO forgot to put top cuts to the Tournament Operations Manager, we didn’t have tops. I was the only 4-0 before the 4
th round, so I was pretty sure that I had the best percents and won the tournament. However, somehow I was only second with a pretty big difference between the first one (the player I played against in the last rounds). My opponent’s must have played pretty badly after playing against me.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, we only had 17 Masters in the tournament. The last time we had that few players in a “big” tournament like this was 7 years ago. Yes, SEVEN! The Pokémon TCG has been dying in Finland for two years now and I see nothing stopping it. Even the TOs have been getting more sloppy since the players aren’t that interested in playing the game. Back in the tournament in the early season players flipped a coin to decide who wins the finals. I see this kind of attitude very bad for the game and unmotivating for everyone.

I surely hope that wherever you’re from, things are better and Pokémon TCG community is there alive and well! It may very well be that this will be the last really competitive season of Pokémon TCG in Finland. It really gets me motivated as well even though, I’ve been with this game forever. The amount of playtesting partners has been decreasing drastically and as I don’t enjoy playing Pokémon TCG on the internet, it gets dull for me as well. I hope it gets better, but I seriously doubt it if our Local Distributor who hasn’t been providing us prizes for tournaments for 2 year doesn’t improve his act and if Pokémon TCG’s power creep just keeps growing (not to mention the importance of opening flip). These are the two main reasons that unmotivated Finnish players and I’m pretty sure that these things motivate even some players from your player base.

/end rant


Even though the tournament overall was disappointing, the competitive side of it was positive. The deck worked really well and I had some very close matches and had to THINK while playing. It’s always positive in the current format. Of course, I’m pretty disappointed that there were few games that felt like they were over before they even started, but that’s just how the game currently is and everyone has to deal with it.

Feel free to share any opinions, thoughts etc. that this tournament report may have given you. I’m more than willing to discuss anything from the deck list and card choices to how you and your countrymen see the game as it’s now!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Klinklang imba :DD terveisin oikkeli!

  2. At least you have P!P events. We haven't had any in over 6 years despite constantly pestering our local TCG distributor and TPCi about it.

  3. was talking about it with a friend: There are almost no fun decks anymore which go completely the other way from the metagame... Hope this will change soon and that everyone will experiment more with weird combinations.

  4. Work with pto
    Become second pto on area
    Run better events
    Everyone benefits

  5. Would you suggest running Gold Potion in every Darkrai deck? I played it and saw it was good, but I drew dead twice so I need consistency. Though I'll probably run a different Darkrai variant next tournament.

    Gratz and sorry for playing so bad that day making your % go down. Drew dead twice. :p (round 2 opponent)

    I was so annoyed/mad/disappointed when the people flipped to win the finals. Even though there are many problems in Finnish PTCG the the attitude of some players just makes it worse.

    1. In Hydreigon/Darkrai a fourth Max Potion and Computer Search would be much better, but in other Darkrai Gold Potion works pretty well.

  6. Gold Potion vs. Computer Search. Ach, a difficult choice I never thought I'd have to make until I tried it this past weekend. It is seriously as good as computer Search in the deck, and maybe even better. Certainly for some situations.

  7. Ugh it seems that Finland really isn't the only one struggling. My condolences to everyone with a horrifying OP!

    Anonymous2: I have judged and organized tournaments this year, but the problem is that I don't have enough time and money to spend all my weekends traveling across the country to organize tournaments to everyone. I would love to, but I can't. Also, teh biggest problem is that we don't get any support or answers from the Local Distributor when we try to communicate with them. I don't how it's in other countries, where Bergsala runs things, but in Finland things are worse than ever!

    Patrik R: Well in my deck it worked perfectly since I didn't draw a single dead hand. If you can fit 13-14 draw supporters to your deck, then I suppose Gold Potion is better than Computer Search in almost any Darkrai EX variant (excluding Hydreigon). With that amount you should be able to avoid dead hands most of the time, but of course there will still be dead hands no matter how many draw cards you have.

    Mark: Yeah, first I thought Gold Potion was too situational, but I noticed that it's not as situational as I thought it was as long as keep my cool and time it well. Gold Potion wins game when correctly and Computer Search doesn't really win games as often as Gold Potion does.

    Thanks for comments everyone!

  8. In my area, some decks have a strong anti-EX component (typically 2 Sigilyph, and sometimes also a Super Rod), and so Hammertime decks haven't done too well, since the only option against such a defense is to try to starve them of energy and possibly add Dark Claw.

    Do you feel there is a viable Hammertime variant which could do consistently well against such decks?

  9. Bruce: Well, I think energy starvation works very well against decks that run Sigilyph. In the end, Sigilyph needs 3 energy (or 2 if they have DCE, but that isn't a problem for Hammertime). Also, Sigilyph doesn't even OHKO Sableye, so what's the problem with Sableye stall? You'll win the game eventually, because either they run out of energy or their Sigilyphs just don't have the energy needed to attack. It's a win-win situation for you. However, if that isn't enough, maybe adding Meloetta + 3 Blend Energy will help turn things around. Just concentrate with Darkrai EX to other Pokémon and when they get Sigilyph ready, just drop Meloetta for OHKO.

    Hope that helped!

  10. Not for nothing, but the TO should have run the top cut manually and had Pokemon help them get the info added to the tournament afterwards.

  11. PokePop: Thanks for the tip! This was the second time this happened during this season, so from now on I'll tell the TOs what should be done.

  12. So only 17 masters in regionals I have only went to one tournament it was cities there was 46 masters! But juniors had 8 and seniors ( including me) had 6. But I like what you said about gold potion I am trying for Darkrai/hydreigon/sableye/ gold potion but haven't gotten lots of boundaries crossed packs..... But by the way this is in the USA


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