Monday, January 21, 2013

Quad Sigilyph discovers an unscouted metagame

Did Sigilyph's journey end well?

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve played in a tournament in FINLAND. However, just after coming back from Japan, I decided go to a City Championships of my home town. I had two deck choices – Blastoise/Keldeo EX and Quad Sigilyph. As you can see, I ended up playing Quad Sigilyph – was it a good or bad decision – that you’ll know when you read the report!

This season we have the same Bye system in Finland as last year and since I haven’t played that much, I’m not that close to any Byes for Nationals. I hoped that I could get at least some points from this tournament and the CC that will be held in two weeks and even top8 placement would be enough since I have played zero Cities this season.

Anyways, I’ll show you the current bye-ranking of the moment after the tournament report. Now, let’s get to the report.

The Decklist


4x Quad Sigilyph
1x Sableye
1x Mewtwo EX


4x Professor Juniper
4x N
2x Bianca
2x Cheren
2x Skyla
2x Level Ball
1x Ultra Ball
1x Computer Search
4x Crushing Hammer
2x Enhanced Hammer
4x Pokémon Catcher
4x PlusPower
2x Skyarrow Bridge
1x Pokémon Center
2x Super Rod
1x Tool Scrapper
4x Eviolite


2x Blend Energy FDGD
6x Psychic Energy
4x Double Colorless Energy

Card decisions

So, I decided to play Quad Sigilyph. The deck is very interesting in my opinion since it differs so much from the rest of the metagame. Of course, I didn’t want to play a completely netdecked list, so I decided to do my own twist to the deck. The twist I made was Sableye and 2 Blend Energy, which I wanted to have in case of any random decks like Klinklang. With the one Sableye, I could turn Quad Sigilyph into a Hammerspam deck. With Sableye, I also could get back precious Catchers, PlusPowers or Eviolites.

I put Pokémon Center in case facing a Hammertime deck that starts Hammerspamming. With that I could just retreat and heal the damage from Dark Claw + Confuse Ray and stall until 30 minutes is full. That shouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately I couldn’t test this strategy in the tournament.

I didn’t know what kind of metagame would it be in the tournament, but I decided to play Sableye. My other card choice instead of Sableye would have been Meloetta – which in hindsight – would have been SO much better. However, as I didn’t know the metagame, I made the wrong decision as you can now see.

1. Round (Thundurus/Zekrom/Rayquaza/Rayquaza EX/Eelektrik)

He goes first and opens with Thundurus. Ugh. I had an ok start, but mulliganed 3 times, so I knew he had the upper hand. Also, Quad Sigilyph is one of those decks that just NEEDS to go first in order to do well in a difficult match-up like this. Well, long story short, the first Thundurus didn’t do that much damage to me, but once he was able to load his Zekrom, I was completely unable to draw into anything and as my only Mewtwo EX was prized, the one Zekrom was able to hit Bolt Strike 3 times (Pathetic, I know).

In the very late game, I had an opening to stall his Eelektrik in the active spot and wait ‘til I get the right cards and N’d him to 2 cards. However, he was able to draw into his last Switch and his remaining from the 2 cards and finished up the game as soon as he get the turn.

The game was very frustrating as I knew that if I had the Meloetta in the deck, I would’ve had a chance, even though the match-up can be considered as a very difficult match-up.

2. Round (Rayquaza/Rayquaza EX/Raikou EX/Eelektrik)

Ok, I completely misjudged the metagame. This player had a slow start and even though he went first, I got a T1 Mewtwo EX and started KOing his Tynamos. His 2 Tynamos, 1 Eelektrik and Rayquaza all were prized, so after KOing his 2 Eelektriks and 1 Rayquaza, the game was over.

3. Round (Thundurus/Zekrom/Mewtwo EX/Raikou EX/Eelektrik)

He went first and opened with Thundurus. At this point I facepalmed. Maybe I should’ve made a little more investigation about the metagame before deciding to play Quad Sigilyph instead of Blastoise! Well, I had a decent draw in this game, but he ran 3 Thundurus and 1 Zekrom (wait, what). He opened with Thundurus and even though he put some pressure on me, I could get the Sigilyph Eviolites going and the prize trades were pretty even. All I needed was to get one KO on Eelektrik in a way that I wouldn’t get damaged, but he draw into all his Switches and DCEs once again even if I N’d him first into 2 cards and then into 1 card.’Nuff said, he won the game.  

I was thinking of dropping at this point, because I wouldn’t get any CPs or prizes, but as I haven’t been able to play Pokémon TCG that much this season in tournaments, I decided to go on. The frustrating moments couldn’t continue, couldn’t they?

4. Round (Hammertime Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX)

I was hoping to face Hammertime in the tournament, but didn’t expect to face one in 1-2! His list was very close to the list I played in Japan and wouldn’t be surprised even if it was a complete replica. At least it had many similarities with my Hammertime list, so I felt pretty comfortable against playing the deck. I decided to get the prize lead with Mewtwo EX since I had no other way of killing 4 Sableyes. If I could be able to KO 4 Sableyes, I would win the game. There were two turning points in this game. When I first KOed the Sableye, I was forced to play down 3rd energy to my Mewtwo EX, because I didn’t draw into any of my 4 PlusPowers. He was able to OHKO my Mewtwo EX back with his Mewtwo EX, because of that and the Mewtwo EX was pretty much in vain.

The other turning point was when I got 2 Psychic Energy to my Sigilyph. At that point, he had drawn 3 prizes and took all his remaining Crushing Hammers from his discard pile into his hand. I knew that if I N him and he doesn’t draw into Hammers, I would be able to KO the remaining Sableyes and win the game. But you guessed it, he drew 2 Crushing Hammers from the 3 card N and of course hit heads from both of them…I knew the game was a lost cause at this point if I he wouldn’t hit triple tails with Hammers at some point, but as he didn’t, I lost the game.

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

I loll’d at this point, because I knew the match-up was good and that I would face a Blastoise in the top tables. Hammertime and Blastoise/Keldeo EXs were the two decks that I expected to face in the top tables, but instead I faced them in the lower tables. That’s just tells how “well” I predicted the metagame.

I went first in this game! I was sad about this, because going second in all games in the Swiss would have been a cool thing to rant in the report, but now I unfortunately can’t rant about it. :( I got a T2 Sigilyph and started Catchering his Squirtles. He got very quickly 3 Blastoises up, but as Eviolite Sigilyph need 5 energy to OHKO; the match-up is pretty easy for Quad Sigilyph (as long as Blastoise doesn’t run any optional attackers). Once she brought his 5 energy Blastoise to the active spot, I just OHKOed it with Mewtwo EX and finished the rest of the game with my Sigilyphs. I would’ve won the game with prizes, but before I was able to take enough prizes she decked out.

I’m superstitious and it feels like whenever I play something crazy like Quad Sigilyph, not only the deck doesn’t work and I’ve made the wrong choice, but also the opponents always draw a lot better than normally! Good examples of this was e.g. when I played Uxie donk and went 1-5 since I wasn't able to win the games even if the opponent only had 1 Basic in play since I drew dead. The same happened to me when I tried to have “fun” with a Shuppet donk. Of course, this is all superstition, but that’s how it felt, especially in this tournament…

In the end, I wasn’t happy with my result or deck choice, but what I was happy about was that I learned something! Even though the things I learned very basic things, it’s good to learn even the most basic things again. Even though I have a lot of experience, it seems that the most basic things get forgotten if you don’t play regularly in tournaments.

What did I learn?

1. Make the safe deck choice if you aren’t aware of the metagame

2. Never go to a tournament with a completely untested deck (I didn’t playtest with the list I played in a tournament)

3. Stay in the comfort zone if you want to get even some CPs, risky plays are rarely wise

Here are the final standings for the tournament.

1. Ho-oh EX/Terrakion/Tornadus EX/Sigilyph/Shaymin EX/Mewtwo EX
2. Hammertime/Darkrai EX
3. Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX
4. Darkrai EX/Hydreigon/Shaymin EX/Keldeo EX

Also, as promised, the current rankings in Finland for the Byes to Nationals looks like this at the moment:

Öjvind S 260
Joni V 160
--------------------------- 2x bye
Tonu T 157
Patrik R 145
--------------------------- 1x bye
Jari K 141
Matti K 140
Viljami S 120
Esa J 116
Juho H 115
Samu S 102
luxuss88 70
Miska S 56

As you can see, I still stand a chance for getting at least one bye, but I have to do better in the upcoming tournaments!


The tournament was a fail, but thankfully I still have one more CC coming up, which I intend to win since I really need the CPs in order to get some Byes for Nationals. I expect our Nationals to be smaller than ever this year, which is why I think Byes are even more important than any other year.

After the CCs there is still ECC left with this format and after that it’s time for the new format and metagame, which I’m very excited about as I think the game is going to the right direction even though Plasma Gale is once again a bit too big set to my taste.

Anyways, I’ll make a more in-depth Eye on Japan this or next week, where I’ll answer all the questions you got considering my Japanese trip and of course an article about the hyped Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment on anything!


  1. "but thankfully I still have one more CC coming up"

    Which one?

  2. Which one? Tampere CC coming up in 2 weeks + he lives in Tampere. So what do you think Luffy?

  3. excuse me esa, you said something about a new format. do you mean that there will be a rotation again? sorry if it's a silly question, but I am a new player.

    1. A new set is coming out, therefore the format is slightly different.

    2. ah, he meant about the set. thanks theo!

  4. I did draw skyla which got me my last switch!
    Then I lost 2 games to darkraihammers, ggwp

  5. I have played a similar deck but instead of sableye i played a tornadus ex, and a durant DRE, and i was able to go 5 - 0 in a metagame full of darkrai hydreigon

  6. Luffymcduck: Yeah, Tampere CC obviously. Don't have time for Jyväskylä probably this year.

    Anonymous1: Sorry about the unclear word choice. New format, because Plasma Gale will thankfully affect the metagame. Maybe I should rephrase it.

    Arley123: Yeah, the deck is very good when you are able to face the right decks. In the end, I had good match-ups against all the top4 decks of the format, but was never able to face them!

    Thanks for comments everyone! Btw, new Eye on Japan coming this week!

  7. Hammertime player from R4. I got so unlucky in round 3 facing Rayquaza Eelektrik which is why I was 1-2... But yeah the list wasn't even close to a complete replica. It had 4-1 Hammer list, 2 Max Potion, Computer Search, Energy Searches, 4 Energy Switch Different supporter spread etc.

    Was pretty sad when I was 1-2 because I went to the finals with a near same list in another CC and I built it to be consistent...

    Also after Tampere CC could you make an article on BW-PS format based on Japan and stuff.

    Also about the turn with the double hammers from N. I drew 2, but only hit a heads on 1.

    Good luck in Tampere. I can't come because exam week :[[

  8. Esa, i must know, is Lugia EX going to be a good card in the state championship format and if so, what deck/decks is the card featured in? I saw the Japan Autumn Battle Carnival results and no Lugia EX decks made top 4 in any of the events. Is Lugia EX good or is it just hype? When it was released in Japan, was it good and what decks did the Japanese players play Lugia EX in?

  9. 2. Never go to a tournament with a completely untested deck (I didn’t playtest with the list I played in a tournament)
    not true, I went into Regionals with a completely untested deck and got 3rd

  10. I still wasn’t able to attend tournaments like these before, but if given the chance I would love to come. Maybe I should watch poker tournaments first because I’ve been reading some poker tutorials recently.


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