2017 European International Championship Recap and Decklists

This past weekend Pokemon hosted their first International Championship of the 2017-2018 season, hosting the European International Championship in London. The format used for the tournament was BREAKthrough through Crimson Invasion. It was the first major tournament with Crimson Invasion legal for play.

Upon release, Crimson Invasion was criticized for being a bad set, but it’s hard to say that after the European International Championship when so many of the new cards found their way into the most successful decks of the weekend. All of the hyped cards of the set, Buzzwole GX and Silvally GX in particular, saw success. Additionally, Zoroark GX from Shining Legends was very prevalent, and newly released promo cards such as Celesteela GX and Xurkitree GX found their way into successful lists.

After fourteen rounds of Swiss, only eight players remained with six different archetypes. Here is what the Top 8 looked like headed into cut:

Top 8 (Before Cut):

1. Teodor Skjaeveland [NO] (10-1-3) – Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX/Regirock EX
2. Fredrik Wold [NO] (10-1-3) – Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX/Regirock EX
3. Eemeli Reijonen [FI] (10-1-3) – Volcanion EX/Turtonator GX/Ho-Oh GX
4. Christopher Schemanske [US] (10-2-2) – Gardevoir GX
5. Magnus Helle Kalland [NO] (9-0-5) – Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX
6. Tord Reklev [NO] (9-1-4) – Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX
7. Michael Long [CA] (9-1-4) – Greninja BREAK
8. Zakary Krekeler [US] (10-1-3) – Silvally GX/Metal

In the Top 8, Zakary Krekeler and his Silvally GX/Metal deck would defeat Teodor Skjaeveland and his Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX deck. His fellow Norwegian player, Fredrik Wold, also playing the Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX deck would fall to Michael Long and his Greninja BREAK deck. Christopher Schemanske and his broken Gardevoir GX deck would defeat Magnus Helle Kalland, also of Norway, who was playing Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX. After three Norwegian players bowed out of the Top 8, Tord Reklev of Norway, the 2017 North American International Champion, would break through, defeating Eemeli Reijonen from Finland and his Volcanion deck.

In the Top 4, Zak took down Chris, with Metal prevailing against the Metal weak Gardevoir deck. The second game would end quickly, with Zak donking Chris’ lone Ralts with a Registeel. Then in the other Top 4 match, weakness would prevail once against with Tord defeating Michael, setting up a finals between Zak and Tord.

In the finals, Tord managed to take a 2-1 victory over Zak to become the second European International Champion.

With his win, Tord becomes the first player to not only win two International Championships (there’s only been 5, and Tord has won 2 of them!), but also the first player to win consecutive International Championships, as Tord won the North American International Championship in July with Drampa GX/Garbodor. Tord has now won the largest Pokemon tournament in North America and the largest Pokemon tournament in Europe.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that with his repeated wins on some of the biggest stages in the game that Tord is currently the best player in the world.

Decklists

Here are some of the top performing decklists from the European International Championship. You can click one of the links below to jump directly to the list within the article or you can read through the article and all of the lists will appear within the article. I will update this article with more decks as they become available.

Top 32 Decks and Standings

For the full standings and list of decks that players played, make sure to check out our 2017-2018 International Championship Results page.

This page will also be updated with the results from all future International Championships this season.

A New Way to Play Zoroark GX

During the short lived BREAKthrough-Shining Legends format, the primary way that players chose to play the newly released Zoroark GX was as a support Pokemon in Alolan Ninetales GX decks. That deck was noticeably absent from the Day 2 decks in London and a new way to play Zoroark GX was birthed.

In the new Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX deck, Zoroark GX became the star of the deck being played in a full 4-4 count. The deck managed to put two players into the Top 8, six players into Day 2 total, and of course it was the deck that Tord used to win it all.

Tord Reklev’s Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX

Pokemon – 20

4 Zorua SGL
4 Zoroark GX
1 Zoroark BKT
3 Wimpod BUS
2 Golisopod GX
3 Tapu Lele GX
1 Mewtwo EVO
1 Tapu Koko SM30
1 Mr. Mime BKT

Trainers – 33

2 Professor Sycamore
4 N
4 Guzma
3 Brigette
3 Acerola
1 Mallow

4 Ultra Ball
4 Puzzle of Time
4 Field Blower
2 Enhanced Hammer
2 Choice Band

Energy – 7

4 Double Colorless
3 Grass

This is the list used by Tord Reklev (1st place).

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Thanks to Zoroark GX’s Trade Ability, this is one of the most consistent decks in the game. Players aim to set up as many Zoroark GX on their field as possible to continuously draw through their deck and gather resources. With Trade in the deck, Tord was able to do some unique things in the construction of his deck.

While most decks tend to play only 1 or 2 Brigette, Tord bumped the count up to three to boost his early game probabilities of starting with it. The extra copies don’t really hurt the deck much as he is able to discard them with Zoroark GX’s Trade Ability in later stages of the game. The same approach was taken to Field Blower, which gave the deck lots of outs to getting rid of a Float Stone from a Garbodor BKP, removing Parallel City from play, or removing Fighting Fury Belt from play. Any extra Field Blower could be used as discard fodder for Trade, making playing 4 of them have little impact on the consistency of the deck.

The other very unique thing about this list is the 4 Puzzle of Time, which allowed Tord to re-use cards like Enhanced Hammer or Acerola more than previous lists for this type of deck have, really allowing the deck to commit fully to its strategy in a given matchup. With Zoroark GX’s Trade Ability it’s much easier to find yourself with hands with multiple copies of Puzzle of Time as you can build up your hand size to pretty significant sizes.

The deck largely functioned similar to Golisopod GX decks of the past, just that this time Zoroark GX acted as one of the main attackers. Zoroark GX is still largely reliant on 2HKO’s, so players are able to use the Acerola healing strategy with it to try to gain an edge on opponents. Zoroark is a little bit better than past Golisopod GX decks because of the built in draw engine.

The deck does have some OHKO potential in the form of Golisopod GX’s Crossing Cut GX attack, which can hit 180 with a Choice Band, as well as Zoroark BKT, which can take a OHKO if the opponent overfills their bench.

I would expect this deck to become one of the most popular decks at upcoming League Cups in the format as it very much feels like a strong Tier 1 deck.

Silvally Shines

Headed into this format, Silvally looked like a card with lots of potential, but for the most part, players were unsure what it should be paired with or how those lists should look like for the deck. The leading partner for Silvally in most players’ minds was Metal Pokemon, and in London that ended up being the case, with St. Louis’ own Zak Krekeler going all the way to the finals with the deck.

In addition to Zak’s 2nd place finish, the deck also picked up two Top 16 finishes (Grafton Roll & Yasin Balela), and two more Top 32 finishes. Some players chose to also include Zoroark GX in the deck, but Zak went for a pure Metal build.

Zak Krekeler’s Silvally GX/Metal

Pokemon – 17

3 Type: Null CRI
3 Silvally GX
2 Celesteela GX
2 Registeel CRI
1 Genesect EX
1 Kartana GX
1 Oranguru SUM
1 Dhelmise GRI
3 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 29

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
3 Guzma
2 Acerola
1 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
4 Max Elixir
2 Field Blower
1 Rescue Stretcher
3 Choice Band
2 Fighting Memory

Energy – 14

10 Metal
4 Double Colorless

This is the list that was used by Zak Krekeler (2nd place).

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Silvally GX plays quite a few roles within the deck. First, it acts as an attacker, being able to hit for 120 base damage with its Turbo Drive attack while also accelerating a Basic Energy from the discard pile. Additionally, its Gyro Unit Ability gives all Basic Pokemon free retreat, allowing the deck to move around Pokemon with high retreat cost, such as Celesteela GX and Registeel. Lastly, its Rebel GX attack can be used to sneak in a OHKO if the opponent fills up their bench.

The primary side Pokemon in the deck is Celesteela GX, which has a beastly 200 HP for a Basic Pokemon. Its attacks are costly, but thanks to being largely built upon Colorless costs and only needing one Metal Energy, you can use Double Colorless Energy to more easily power it up. The deck also played four Max Elixir to accelerate Energy onto its Pokemon in addition to the acceleration that Silvally GX and Registeel provide. It is a very effective attacker for OHKO’ing Gardevoir GX’s and its Fighting resistance also makes it a very solid attacker against Fighting decks.

The deck plays a number of tech Pokemon. Genesect EX not only can act as an attacker in the deck, but its Drive Change Ability can be used to conserve Tool cards for more optimal moments. This can be big for keeping Fighting Memory, which turns Silvally GX into a Fighting type Pokemon, in the deck until the moment when you want it to attack. Fighting Memory can be used to let Silvally GX hit for weakness against Zoroark GX, Drampa GX, and Silvally GX in the mirror.

Kartana GX can be used to discard Special Energy from the opponent’s Pokemon, while also giving you the option to take a prize with its GX attack. Dhelmise helps smooth out some of the damage math. It gets Celesteela GX’s Moon Press attack up to 170 damage with a Choice Band, which can be used to OHKO a Tapu Lele GX.

It seems that the majority of players playing this archetype opted out of playing Psychic Memory as they felt that the deck already did good enough against those decks.

For another take on the deck, check out Yasin Balela’s 13th place list which is a bit more teched out than Zak’s.

Yasin Balela’s Silvally GX/Metal

Pokemon – 15

2 Type: Null CRI
2 Silvally GX
1 Genesect EX
1 Kartana GX
1 Celesteela GX
2 Registeel CRI
1 Latios SGL
1 Cobalion STS
1 Giratina XY184
1 Oranguru SUM
2 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 30

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
3 Guzma
1 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
4 Max Elixir
3 Field Blower
1 Super Rod
4 Choice Band
2 Fighting Memory

Energy – 15

11 Metal
4 Double Colorless

This is the list that was used by Yasin Balela (13th place).

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Broken Deck

Prior to the tournament, Sina Ghaziaskar began messaging lots and lots of players about a broken deck. The deck he was messaging players about was Gardevoir GX…just a re-invented Gardevoir GX. The twist on Sina’s version of Gardevoir is that the deck plays 4 Max Potion, continuously healing off damaged Gardevoir GX and recycling Fairy Energy with Super Rod and Twilight GX. With 4 Max Potion, this version of the deck can be terrifying to play against for any deck that isn’t taking OHKO’s on Gardevoir GX.

This appears to be the way to play Gardevoir GX moving forward, supplanting the Gardevoir GX/Sylveon GX variant that had become the standard way to play the deck.

In total, there were nine Gardevoir GX decks in Day 2, making it the most prevalent deck in the second day of the tournament. Chris was the only Gardevoir GX player to make it into the Top 8, finishing 3rd overall.

Christopher Schemanske’s Gardevoir GX

Pokemon – 18

3 Ralts BUS
1 Ralts BKT 68
1 Kirlia BUS
2 Kirlia BKT
3 Gardevoir GX
2 Gallade BKT
3 Tapu Lele GX
1 Remoraid BKT 32
1 Octillery BKT
1 Alolan Vulpix GRI

Trainers – 31

3 Professor Sycamore
4 N
3 Guzma
2 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy
4 Max Potion
2 Field Blower
2 Super Rod
2 Choice Band

1 Parallel City

Energy – 11

7 Fairy
4 Double Colorless

This is the list that was used by Christopher Schemanske (3rd place).

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The most notable thing about Chris’ list for the deck is that he chose to include two copies of Gallade BKT. Having an extra copy of Gallade looks like it was a smart decision for the weekend with the prevalence of Zoroark GX and Silvally GX decks at the tournament.

You can read Chris’ tournament report on Six Prizes to see how his tournament went and see his thought processes behind choosing and building his list for Broken Gardevoir.

Buzzwole’s Strong Showing

Prior to London, Buzzwole GX went through a  period of being extremely hyped, and then another period where players felt much less love for the card. In the end, Buzzwole GX was one of the most successful new cards in London.

The most successful deck using the card was a Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX pure Fighting deck piloted by a pair of Norwegian players. Teodor Skaeveland would finish 5th place with the deck and Fredrik Wold would finish 6th place with the deck.

Norwegian Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX

Pokemon – 16

4 Buzzwole GX
2 Rockruff GRI
2 Lycanroc GX
Zygarde EX
1 Regirock EX
1 Zygarde FCO 53
1 Tapu Lele GX
2 Remoraid BKT
2 Octillery BKT

Trainers – 31

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
4 Guzma

4 Ultra Ball
4 Max Elixir
1 Field Blower
1 Rescue Stretcher
3 Choice Band
3 Float Stone

3 Brooklet Hill

Energy – 13

9 Fighting
4 Strong

This is the list that was used by Teodor Skjaeveland (5th place) and Fredrik Wold (6th place).

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While Buzzwole GX’s Jet Punch is great for spreading damage around, Buzzwole GX found lots of success for players with its Knuckle Impact attack, which does 160 base damage. This can be boosted further with Strong Energy and Choice Band, and of course it does a great job of finishing off anything previously damaged from a Jet Punch. Players used Max Elixir to get the necessary Energy onto their Buzzwole GX.

Lycanroc GX gives the deck an additional gust effect with its Bloodthirsty Eyes Ability and Dangerous Rogue GX is a very powerful GX attack that can sneak a OHKO. Zygarde EX helps the deck diversify its Weaknesses, giving it more game against Garbodor decks.

Greninja and Volcanion Have Strong Finishes

Both Greninja BREAK and Volcanion, two of the oldest archetypes in Standard continue to put up strong finishes.

Michael Long finished fourth place with Greninja BREAK, giving himself another Top 8 finish with the deck at recent major events. The deck has a pretty solid matchup spread overall, but it can be slow to win games, making it tie more than a lot of other decks making it somewhat risky for major events for that reason, although these risks can be minimized from an experienced Greninja player that knows when to scoop.

From the looks of it, Michael’s list was very similar to the list he used in Hartford and Vancouver.

The deck is clearly very strong, but I’m not sure that it will see much play moving forward with a deck with Golisopod GX in it winning this tournament.

Volcanion EX was much maligned headed into the tournament as being a bad play, but I’m not sure if Volcanion can ever really be counted out. The deck is very consistent and it can OHKO everything in the game, and because of that power I think it’s a threat to do well at pretty much every tournament that it’s played in. The biggest knock on the deck is an unfavorable Gardevoir matchup, but while unfavorable, Volcanion is still decently competitive in the matchup.

Eemeli Reijonen of Finland was the best performing Volcanion player in the tournament, finishing 7th place, losing to Tord in the Top 8.

Two Interesting Decks

Here are two of the more interesting decks from the tournament that finished within the Top 16.

Stephane Ivanoff’s Decidueye GX/Zoroark GX

Pokemon – 20

4 Rowlet SUM
2 Dartrix SUM
4 Decidueye GX
3 Zorua SGL
2 Zoroark GX
1 Mewtwo EVO
1 Tapu Koko SM30
1 Espeon EX
2 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
2 Brigette
2 Guzma
2 Mallow

4 Ultra Ball
2 Evo Soda
3 Rare Candy
3 Field Blower
2 Rescue Stretcher
3 Choice Band
2 Float Stone

Energy – 7

3 Grass
4 Double Colorless

This is the list that was used by Stephane Ivanoff (12th place).

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Stephane Ivanoff took Decidueye GX/Zoroark GX to a 12th place finish, proving that Decidueye GX can still find success even without Forest of Giant Plants. Decidueye GX combos well with Zoroark GX, letting it hit for better damage numbers, and Zoroark GX gives a built in draw engine making it easier to setup Decidueye GXs.

Sander Wojcik’s Heatmor/Raichu

Pokemon – 17

3 Pikachu SM81
1 Pikachu GEN
4 Raichu BUS
3 Heatmor BUS
2 Victini GRI
1 Durant BKP
1 Jirachi XY67
1 Xurkitree GX
1 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 37

2 Professor Sycamore
4 N
2 Skyla
2 Acerola
1 Gladion
1 Lusamine
1 Brigette
1 Team Rocket’s Handiwork
1 Ninja Boy

3 Ultra Ball
2 Nest Ball
4 Devolution Spray
4 Field Blower
4 Puzzle of Time
2 Rescue Stretcher
2 Counter Catcher
1 Float Stone

Energy – 6

4 Double Colorless
2 Rainbow

This is the list that was used by Sander Wojcik (16th place).

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This is one of the craziest lists that I’ve seen in awhile. I still haven’t quite fully grasped everything that the deck is attempting to do.

The primary core concept of the deck is to use Raichu’s Evoshock Ability on nearly every turn to continuously Paralyze the opponent’s Active Pokemon. The deck uses Devolution Spray to devolve Raichu so you can re-use its Ability turn after turn. To get back Devolution Spray, the deck plays four Puzzle of time as well as Heatmor, which has a Junk Hunt like attack on a coin flip. For each heads, you get to put a card from your discard pile into your hand. To make it more likely that you get a card back, you play Victini with the Victory Star Ability to re-flip on bad coin flips.

If I had to guess, priority #1 is to get the Devolution Spray to ensure Paralysis. Priority number two once setup, when you get two heads, is to get Team Rocket’s Handiwork to discard cards from the opponent’s deck.

The deck has additional options in the form of Durant BKP, which can be used to discard the top 4 cards of the opponent’s deck with its Scrape Down attack, or just a single card with its Mountain Munch attack. Xurkitree GX can be used to put a card from the opponent’s hand into their prizes, not only increasing the amount of prizes they need to take to win, but also potentially being used to strip the opponent of a key resource. It also can do 100 damage and discard the top card of the opponent’s deck with its Rumbling Wires attack, but with only two Rainbow Energy in the deck, I would imagine this attack was used very rarely.


This should give a good overview of this past weekend’s Pokemon action. The only big thing that stood out from the Top 32 of London is a lack of Drampa GX/Garbodor or Espeon GX/Garbodor variants. Drampa GX/Garbodor wasn’t completely absent, as Ian Robb finished 15th place with the deck, which is very good, but only one player making Day 2 with the deck is a big decline from its former position as the No. 2 deck in the format.

Below are some other lists from the weekend that are worth checking out.

Other Decklists

Gabriel Pino’s Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX

Pokemon – 20

4 Zorua BKT 89
3 Zoroark GX
1 Zoroark BKT
3 Wimpod BUS
3 Golisopod GX
1 Tapu Koko SM30
1 Latios SGL
1 Kartana GX
3 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 30

3 Professor Sycamore
4 N
4 Guzma
3 Acerola
1 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
3 Field Blower
1 Rescue Stretcher
1 Special Charge
3 Choice Band
3 Float Stone

Energy – 10

4 Double Colorless
4 Rainbow
2 Grass

This is the list that was used by Gabriel Pino (24th place).

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Simon Humphrey’s Buzzwole GX/Silvally GX

Pokemon – 15

4 Buzzwole GX
2 Type: Null CRI
2 Silvally GX
2 Regirock EX
3 Tapu Lele GX
1 Oranguru SUM
1 Espeon EX

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
4 Guzma
3 Acerola
1 Gladion
1 Lillie

4 Ultra Ball
3 Field Blower
1 Rescue Stretcher
3 Choice Band
2 Fighting Fury Belt

3 Po Town

Energy – 13

4 Double Colorless
4 Strong
5 Fighting

This is the list that was used by Simon Humphrey (27th place).

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Jose Marrero’s Metagross GX/Solgaleo GX

Pokemon – 19

4 Beldum GRI
3 Metang GRI
4 Metagross GX
1 Cosmog SUM
1 Solgaleo GX
1 Magearna EX
2 Alolan Vulpix GRI
3 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 32

4 Professor Sycamore
4 N
3 Guzma
2 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
4 Rare Candy
4 Field Blower
3 Max Potion
1 Rescue Stretcher
3 Choice Band

Energy – 9

8 Metal
1 Psychic

This is the list that Jose Marrero used (40th place).

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Pedro Eugenio Torres’ Buzzwole GX/Zoroark GX

Pokemon – 17

3 Buzzwole GX
3 Zorua SGL
3 Zoroark GX
1 Zoroark BKT
1 Rockruff SM06
1 Lycanroc GX
1 Espeon EX
1 Latios SGL
3 Tapu Lele GX

Trainers – 33

3 Professor Sycamore
4 N
3 Guzma
4 Acerola
1 Brigette

4 Ultra Ball
2 Field Blower
2 Rescue Stretcher
1 Special Charge
4 Choice Band
2 Float Stone

3 Po Town

Energy – 10

4 Double Colorless
4 Strong
2 Fighting

This is the list that Pedro Eugenio Torres used (56th place).

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Patrick Landis’ Volcanion/Silvally GX (League Cup 1st Place)

Pokemon – 18

2 Type: Null CRI
2 Silvally GX
4 Volcanion STS
4 Volcanion EX
2 Turtonator GX
2 Tapu Lele GX
1 Oranguru SUM
1 Giratina XY184

Trainers – 28

4 Professor Sycamore
3 N
1 Lillie
4 Guzma

4 Ultra Ball
4 Max Elixir
2 Field Blower
1 Energy Retrieval
1 Super Rod
1 Fighting Memory
3 Fighting Fury Belt

Energy – 14

14 Fire

This is the list that was used by Patrick Landis to win the League Cup at the EUIC

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2 thoughts on “2017 European International Championship Recap and Decklists

  1. When you said Tord is the first player to win two Internationals, you are only partially correct. Micheal Long won two last year in seniors. But Tord is the first in Masters, which is a much bigger field of play.

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