The deck I decided to play was with single game Swiss in mind, so this hurt a bit. The deck I ended up playing was a Ninjask DRX deck. Here was the list:
Pokemon – 15
4 Nincada DRX
Trainers – 33
4 Professor Juniper
4 Level Ball
2 Silver Bangle
2 Tropical Beach
Energy – 12
The basic idea of the deck is that it is a hit and run type of deck. Ninjask’s attack Night Slash does 60 damage and gives you the option to move Ninjask back to the bench. Ninjask has an Ability called Cast-off Shell which lets you search your deck for a Shedinja and put it onto your bench.
Shedinja has an Ability called Empty Shell, which makes Shedinja worth zero prizes when its knocked out. Life Dew allowed me to give the same effect to some of my other Pokemon as well. Sigilyph DRX serves as a wall against EX’s, and Mr. Mime prevents that bench sniping damage which can be so painful for the deck to deal with.
With Silver Bangle, Ninjask can hit EX’s for 90, which 2HKO’s them all. Shedinja has a Cursed Drop attack that lets you place 3 damage counters, which is great for finishing stuff off that they retreat to the bench, or for setting up damage.
The Lasers allow you to knock out small stuff like Sableye or Emolga with Night Slash, as well as to setup 2HKO’s on Stage 2’s and what not.
The deck has favorable matchups against Plasma, Big Basics, and Blastoise, solid matchups against Darkrai, Virizion, and Empoleon/Dusknoir. It automatically loses to Garbodor or stuff with Chandelure NVI or Chandelure EX.
Round 1 – Darkrai EX/Absol PLF
Nothing too exciting happened in the first game. My opponent ended up having to Junk Hunt for Super Rod and Dowsing Machine to prevent himself from decking out, and after a lot of knockouts for no prizes, I was eventually able to take six prizes.
In game 2, I got a stronger setup, and my opponent ended up taking no prizes. I used all my Lasers to knock out his Sableye’s so he couldn’t Junk Hunt, and then I was able to N him to six at the end of the game, making him draw out his entire deck and deck out.
My opponent ended up flipping only one heads on Pokemon Catcher among the two games. It’s amazing how bad the card is on a flip, especially when you’re only getting one prize when you use it.
Round 2 – Darkrai EX/Absol PLF
This was a bit different of a Darkrai deck in that he moved back to Crushing Hammers, which were pretty annoying. There were a few turns I was prevented from attacking because he hit heads on some Crushing Hammers which certainly hurt. This opponent also flipped a bit better than 50 percent on his Catchers which made the game more interesting.
In game 1, I got a really good setup with a lot of Shedinja’s, and after knocking out a bunch of Sableye and Absol’s thanks to Lasers, Cursed Drops, and Night Slashes to take all six of my prizes.
In the second game, I never drew a Supporter and he knocked out a Nincada first, and then was able to use Absol’s second attack with a Dark Claw and Laser to win a quick game.
I got a full setup in game 3, but there wasn’t enough time to finish. I think I probably would have won with how good of a setup I got, but at least I didn’t get benched again.
Round 3 – Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Bouffalant DRX
There are some pro’s and con’s about playing against this deck. First, they take a little while to get going, so you don’t have to worry much about losing early in the game giving you time to setup. Most of their Pokemon are EX’s, so with Silver Bangle, you can knock out their Pokemon very fast. The downside of course is Genesect’s Red Signal allowing them to bring up the Ninjask for a knockout. This isn’t the worst thing in the world since they only can do it so many times, so if you can withstand their Red Signal knockouts and run them out of Plasma and Shadow Triad, you can win this.
In game 1, I got a good setup going, and was able to deny my opponent for prizes for the most part. There was one point in the game where I ran out of a Ninjask to attack with temporarily, but when my opponent couldn’t take prizes when he got knockouts it didn’t matter too much as my first few Ninjask’s did a ton of damage. I had his active Genesect EX at 160 damage, and his benched Virizion EX at 150 damage. I got the Psychic Energy I needed to knockout both of them with Cursed Drop and took four prizes off of that to win the game.
In game 2 I think I took four prizes in all. My opponent was able to Red Signal a bunch of my Ninjask’s early so there were a few turns with no Night Slashes. My opponent got down to one prize card, and I N’d him and replaced Beach with Skyarrow, and started putting damage on the board and taking knockouts with my Ninjask. From there, I moved to Shedinja and tried to get 3 Cursed Drops off to finish off his Genesect EX.
He eventually got a Colress off of one of my N’s, and was able to get a Tropical Beach back into play. I played N again, but couldn’t get the Skyarrow to bounce the Beach. Eventually, he got the Plasma Energy to Red Signal up something for game. I was just one Cursed Drop away from knocking out the Genesect EX too! If only that N could have stuck him.
We didn’t bother setting up for Game 3 since there was so little time with.
So that’s how that tournament ended. Didn’t end up losing a match, but didn’t have the best record because of all the ties. It was still good enough for 4th place. It was a little weird of a tournament, as the lower age divisions didn’t have many players, so they got mixed in with us for some of the later rounds, so some of the players that finished ahead of me got essentially free wins against these players.
The senior I drove out to the tournament with played my Turbo Keldeo Blastoise list for an undefeated 1st Place performance.
I’m still a bit mystified by the decision for best of 3 for this. My tournament would have certainly went a lot better if we either 1. Played single game swiss or 2. Played with enough time to finish three complete games. Best of 3 seems especially bad in this format with the Catcher Errata and slower decks. It seems like this format sits in that awkward space where there is always enough time to finish two games, but not enough to finish a third game (unlike last format), so come Regionals, I would expect ties to become a lot more common than they were then, and they were already plenty common then.
I don’t really think Ninjask is a very serious deck come a bigger tournament. It has some notable flaws and has absolutely no means of dealing with Garbodor decks as the entire idea of the deck is based off of Abilities. So anywhere you can expect to see Garbodor (like a Regional Championship or City Championships) this won’t be playable at all.
It is nice though that more off the wall ideas like this can be played in the current format. That means that we’ve probably arrived at a pretty healthy state of the game for Pokemon, which is good.
Time to add Ninjask, Shedinja, and Nincada to the list too!