“Spooky Trees” – 1st Place Texas and Top 4 Oklahoma States Reports!

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Hello, Top Deck Nation!  My name is Kayden Shivers, and I am a first-year Senior from the Dallas area.  I have been playing Pokémon for two years.  I am currently at 447/250 for championship points and am excited to be attending Nationals and Worlds again for this year. My accomplishments include the following:

2015:

Top 32 U.S. Nationals

Top 4 Texas States

Top 4 in Houston Regionals

2016:

1st Place Texas States

Top 4 Oklahoma States

Also: Multiple City Championships and numerous League Challenges.


How It all Began

Pokebeach released the English scans for Trevenant BREAK and I was immediately excited.  I thought it would be really good in this format because much of the meta was very heavy in items.  I thought if I could shut off items with the poor draw supporters that are currently in standard this could leave players struggling to get set up. People are relying heavily on item cards instead of supporters for draw support.  I started testing by building a skeleton Trevenant BREAK list which included the Delinquent/Red Card combo.  I soon found out it wasn’t very effective and felt like I could make this deck better.  This combo was a little underwhelming and it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.  I took out the Delinquent and Red Card and swapped them for Crushing Hammer and Enhanced Hammer.  This swap seemed to work fine, but I felt like a consistent build would work even better.  I took out the hammers and put in Bursting Balloon and an Eco Arm.

Then my dad sent the list to Russell LaParre, Josh “Squeaky” Marking, and Zander Bennett to review and they gave us suggestions on specific card choices and substitutes.  We tested the deck based on the tweaks they thought would benefit the deck.  On stream, my dad and I saw Aaron Tarbell win a Regionals using Trevenant Break and we knew we were heading the right direction on our deck selection and that our last 2 months of working on this deck was not a waste of time.


Texas State Championship

Pokémon: 16Trainers: 36Energy: 8
4 Phantump BKP
4 Trevenant XY
3 Trevenant Break BKP
2 Wobbuffet PHF
3 Shaymin-EX ROS
4 Professor Sycamore
2 Wally
1 Judge
1 Team Flare Grunt
1 Xerosic
1 Lysandre

4 Dimension Valley

4 Bursting Balloon
4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
4 Trainers’ Mail
2 Super Rod
2 Float Stone
1 Eco Arm
1 Head Ringer





5 Psychic
3 Mystery

Card Choices

trevenant-xy
Item lock is (still) powerful.


4-4-3 Trevenant BREAK
– I felt that 4 Trevenant BREAK would be too much and only using 2 would not be enough.  We tested a 2-2 split of Trevenant with the new Trevenant with the special ability Nervous Seed. I felt as if the item lock was more important than another Head Ringer on a basic Pokémon.  So I scrapped the 2-2 and went for 4 of the XY Trevenant.

3 Shaymin EX – I felt like in the Night March match-up helped me get the turn one Wally.  Also, I would need 2 in deck in case one ended up getting prized or if I need another for late game draw.

1 Eco Arm, 1 Head Ringer – The one Head Ringer was suggested by Squeaky.  This would be good for the Shaymin loop or to put it on Seismitoad or Giratina when I had the chance.  If it got knocked out, I could use Eco Arm to get Head Ringers or Bursting Balloons back.

1 Xerosic, 1 Team Flare Grunt – Russell LaParre suggested these cards because he felt like without hammers, teching in Xerosic and Team Flare Grunt would be very beneficial.  The deck would suffer against Toad Giratina without it.

2 Wally – I started out testing with 3 Wally and from the results of that testing we found out that having 3 was not necessary.  With 2 Wally along with 3 Shaymin and 4 Trainers’ Mail, I was consistently getting the turn one item lock.


 

Day One

Round 1:  Magnezone – 2-0 Win 

I went first and got turn one Trevenant.  Once it was my opponent’s turn, she wasn’t able to get any more Pokémon on the bench and ended up passing.  When it was my turn, I donked her for the win.  She wanted to go second for the next game and I was able to get turn one Trevenant again.  This time, she was able to get Pokémon on the bench but was not able to attack because of the item lock.  Silent Fear won me the game.

Round 2: Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX  2-0 Win 

For the first game, my opponent’s game plan was to item lock me with Seismitoad-EX instead of powering up a Giratina-EX.  I used Silent Fear to spread damage everywhere and then Tree Slam to knock out Seismitoad-EX and multiple Shaymin-EX.  I took 6 prizes in one turn.  In the next game, my opponent started Giratina-EX and I was able to Head Ringer it so it was stuck in the active.  So I just used Silent Fear to spread damage everywhere.

Round 3: Manectric-EX/Crobat – 1-1 Tie (but I had to take a Loss) 

My opponent started Manectric-EX and powered it up to do Assault Laser.  This limited my ability to attach Bursting Balloons to maximize damage.  He was knocking my Trevenant out faster than I could set them up.  I always felt as if I was playing catch up.  In the next game, my opponent had a slow start due to my item lock and never really got Manectric-EX powered up.  In game 3, my opponent started Zubat and Manectric-EX on the bench.  He started powering up his Manetric.  I got the turn one item lock along with another Trevenant set up on the bench but I struggled finding another Dimension Valley to start attacking.  It took a few turns before either was able to do any real damage and shortly after that time was called.

The game should have ended in a tie, but I was late to the table because I was goofing around with my friends and didn’t hear the round 3 pairing announcement.  All of us who were late had to take a loss if the game ended in a tie.  My dad flipped his lid and we went to the truck to go to lunch.  He told me we were going home because I wasn’t taking this seriously.  He had told me the night before to make sure I didn’t get caught up in hanging out with my friends and to focus on Pokémon.  Oops!  I promised him I would do my best when we came back to prove to him I was serious.  Good thing we didn’t leave!

Round 4: Mirror Match – 2-1 Win

The first game I went first and only got one Trevenant, one Shaymin-EX, and a very poor set-up and ended up having to pass the turn.  On my opponents turn, he got set up better than I did and won the game.  For game two, the opposite happened.  I was able to get a great set up and my opponent did not so I won.  Game three my opponent got the turn one Trevenant and had a pretty decent start and passed.  Once it was my turn I was able to get 3 Phantump, a Shaymin, and 2 Trevenant out with Ascension and Wally.  He nearly won, but he had his third Trevenant Break prized.

Round 5: Mega Sceptile-EX – 2-0 Win

I started with Shaymin-EX but used Float Stone to retreat and Ultra Ball to get Phantump.  I played Wally and got turn one Trevenant.  My opponent played Lysander to pull up Shaymin and used the Trevenant EX first attack which makes your opponent’s active Pokémon unable to retreat.  This gave me time to get my Trevenant set up on my bench.  I then used Silent Fear and Team Flare Grunt to get my energy off Trevenant-EX.  Eventually I brought up Trevenant and used Silent Fear the whole game and won.

Round 6: Yveltal/Gallade/Zoroark – Intentional Draw (I.D.)

When we got home that evening my dad and I tested my Trevenant deck against each deck I may end up facing for Day 2.  We practiced until I was confident in the match up.


Day Two

(Top 8, 7th seed)

Round 1: Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade

I was going to be up against Yveltal but my opponent was not there because he had a basketball game that morning.  Easy win!

Top 4: Manetric-EX/Crobat – 2-0 Win

I was paired up with a rematch against my same opponent from round 3.  I went first and got the turn one Trevenant and got set up perfectly.  There was nothing he could do. I was using Silent Fear to spread out damage all across the board.  Then I would Lysandre up Manectric-EX and used Wobbuffet to one-shot them.  In game two I went second.  He started with a Manectric-EX and I would Team Flare Grunt his energy and then used Ascension to set up Trevenant in the active.  The item lock really hurt him and he wasn’t able to get anything else going.

Top 2 (Finals): Seismitoad-EX/Giratina-EX – 2-1 Win

kayden-shivers-profile
2016 Texas State Champ!

I was very excited to be playing in the championship and to be on stream.  The first game was awful.  I dead drew the whole time while he was able to get set up.  In game two, I was able to get set up and my opponent was left with a whole hand of item cards he couldn’t use.

Now, game three… we both set up strong.  He had his Giratina-EX powered up and I had several Trevenant powered up.  I took an early lead but he was able to top deck a Lysandre that allowed him to make a comeback.  For two turns I discarded his special energy and he didn’t have any more energy to attach for his attack.

https://www.twitch.tv/mrren123

The link above is our championship match.  You can fast forward to 3 hours and 21 minutes to get straight to the match.  Now, looking back I do realize that I made three major misplays that could have won me the game sooner.  I am sure you will see them as well.

After winning I was super stoked.  Things just got better for me when I was able to interview with Brad Curcio and Max Armitage.


Oklahoma State Championship

After playing Trevenant for the Texas State Championship, I had two weeks to prepare for Oklahoma.  I wanted to play something different, but always in the back of my mind, this was my fallback deck I knew I could play.  My dad came up with a Seismitoad-EX/Slowking deck and had me testing it and I really did like it.  We did the same testing routine with Seismitoad-EX/Slowking as we did for Trevenant and it worked really well.  My dad sent the list to Russell LaParre, Brad Curcio, Squeaky, and Zander Bennett.  Zander thought the list looked really solid.  Brad thought we should try it with Super Scoop Up and Puzzle of Time.  Squeaky thought we should try it with Hammers.  Russell suggested we look into a Seismitoad-EX/Slowking/Giratina-EX build.

With all these suggestions I was really overwhelmed and nervous about the deck.  My dad told me if I really wanted to play it, we could get it to work.  My dad and I built all four versions of the deck to see which one would be the strongest.  By this time a week had passed and we only had one more week to perfect what we were working on.  Then we got word that the Seniors Division had been completely flooded with Night March.  After hearing this, we knew that one week wasn’t enough time to prepare.  We put aside Slowking and pulled out my Trevenant deck.  I immediately knew what changes I wanted to make to the deck.  I knew the only way I would be able to beat Night March would be the turn one Trevenant item lock.

Pokémon: 16Trainers: 36Energy: 8
4 Phantump BKP
4 Trevenant XY
3 Trevenant Break BKP
1 Wobbuffet PHF
3 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Dedenne FFI
4 Professor Sycamore
2 Wally
1 Judge
1 Team Flare Grunt
1 Xerosic
1 Lysandre

4 Dimension Valley

4 Bursting Balloon
4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
4 Trainers’ Mail
2 Battle Compressor
2 Float Stone
2 Super Rod
6 Psychic
2 Mystery

Card Choices

The little mouse that could.
The little mouse that could.

-1 Wobbuffet, +1 Dedenne – I took out one Wobbuffet for two reasons.  First of all, I didn’t want it to start off in the active because then I wouldn’t be able to set up as fast.  I felt like one Wobbuffet could be my home run hitter if need be. Second reason, it wasn’t helping me at all in the Yveltal match-ups. In my testing, one Dedenne can knock out an Yveltal-EX with 3 energies.

I would attach a Bursting Balloon to Dedenne and attack Yveltal-EX for 120 damage and if they attacked into me, Bursting Balloon would knock them out.

+2 Battle Compressor, -1 Head Ringer, -1 Eco Arm – With the growing popularity of Night March in the Senior Division, I felt I needed a more consistent build to achieve the turn one Trevenant item lock. I also wanted easier access to my Xerosic and Team Flare Grunt.  Battle Compressor serves this role nicely and also served as a late game deck thinner for cards that would have little to no use to me at that point in my game.

I took out the Head Ringer because in testing a simple well timed Judge if I knew they had Shaymin-EX and DCE in hand would be enough to eliminate the Shaymin-EX loop.  I also felt that if I played Judge and out of those 4 cards they drew a Shaymin-EX and DCE, I was going to lose the game no matter what I did. At Texas States, I never really got to use Eco Arm to its full potential so for me, it seemed to be an easy cut.


Day One 

Round 1: Pyroar/Houndoom-EX – 2-0 Win

In game one I got a turn one Trevenant item lock and there was little to nothing my opponent could do to stop me.  In the next game it was more of the same.  My opponent was item locked and draw passed.

Round 2: Fairies 2-0 Win

Once again, turn one Trevenant and my opponent couldn’t get another Pokémon on the bench.  I knocked out the active on turn two.  For game two, more of the same, turn one lock and my opponent could not get another Pokémon on the bench.

Round 3: Night March 2-0 Win

My opponent went first and exploded with Nightmarch.   Eventually my item lock along with Bursting Balloons effectively countered everything he was trying to do.  In game two, my opponent opted to go for the Shaymin loop.  As soon as I noticed what he was doing, I played Judge to shuffle his Shaymin and DCE back into his deck.  After that there really wasn’t much he could do because he was item locked.

Round 4: Night March 2-0 Win

I offered my opponent an I.D. but he declined and wanted to play it out.  He went first and got an explosive start, but after a while the item lock and Bursting Balloon again was too much and he ran out of attackers.  In game two, my opponent went first with a very slow start and I got a very strong start. I was able to knock out the Joltik he had in play with Silent Fear and he had no more attacking Pokémon.

Round 5: Mega Manectric-EX/Ho-Oh – I.D.

I decided to I.D. and take a break to get ready for Top 8.  My final record 4-0-1 and the number one seed going into Top 8.


Day Two

Top 8: Night March – 2-0 Win

Both of these games were very similar and it was super quick.  My opponent got a very explosive start but item lock and Bursting Balloon was still too much for him and he ran out of attackers.

Top 4: Night March – 0-2 Loss

This was a rematch from my round 3 opponent.  In both games I started with Wobbuffet and I was not able to get it out of the active.  This allowed my opponent to go crazy and play a lot of items.  By the time I could get Wobbuffet out of the active it was way too late.  This was very frustrating because for this same reason, I had taken out one Wobbuffet from my Texas States list.  In testing, every time I started Wobbuffet I would struggle to get set up.  I felt like Wobbuffet would help slow down my opponent in the beginning if I couldn’t get the item lock, but it was doing more harm than good.  I have already removed the last Wobbuffet from my deck.


 

Looking Ahead

N-supporter-BW
Consistency and disruption.

Looking forward to the new set release, I feel like Trevenant gains a little help.  I have already made adjustments to my list that includes the cards from the new set.  I have taken out the Wobbuffet, the Dedenne, and Judge.  I added two N and one Battle Compressor.  Also, Trevenant indirectly gains strength due to the fact that Yveltal does not get any stronger.  I think this could be a good play for Nationals and it will definitely be in my testing circle.

I am currently also working on a Smeargle/toolbox deck.  It will include Jolteon-EX, Glaceon-EX, and Umbreon-EX along with the new Mew as the main attacker.  It is more of an anti-meta deck that should be able to counter many of the popular decks. I also have not given up on Seismitoad-EX/Slowking.


Conclusion

Finally, I would like to give shout-outs to Russell LaParre, Josh “Squeaky” Marking, Brad Curcio, and Zander Bennett.  Thank you to these guys for helping me with suggestions for my decks and testing.  Also, thanks for believing in me and giving me support.  My most important shout out of course goes to my dad.  He spends hours upon hours helping me build and test to help me be the best I can possibly be.

See you around!

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Kayden Shivers is a first-year Senior who resides in the Dallas area. His accomplishments include Top 32 at U.S. Nationals, Top 4 Houston Regionals, Top 4 Oklahoma States, and 1st place Texas States. He has also won multiple City Championships and League Challenges.

2 COMMENTS

  1. What happened to this website?!?! It used to be so good but now it sucks. Every time I go to the card database there is nothing.

  2. Hey, Joe. Our coder is no longer with the website, so we are currently working to get the database back up! Trust me, I miss the database as much as you. I’m also in the process of expanding the site and getting more writers to make it better than ever. Expect these updates soon!

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