SUMMER 2017 F*CK ME-a-THON

SUMMER 2017 F*CK ME-a-THON

A couple of years ago, I attempted to watch and report on an entire season of anime, from beginning to end. I ended up trailing off within a couple of weeks, losing both passion and a bit of my mental fortitude snapping under the unsolicited fuck-storm of Diabolik Lovers’s first season.

And oh yeah, it got a second season last year. I haven’t watched it, because I’m insane not suicidal and, whoop. Here come the flashbacks.

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How I Learned to Hate

But that was a while ago now, and with how much I have been writing lately in addition to a LOT of time between me and 2013, I am wanting to come back to this with the Summer Season 2017, and murder my sanity with (Apparently) Nazi Loli’s,Yowamushi Pedal but No Boys Allowed, way too many shows by JC Staff and an almost ludicrous amount of Idol Shows.

Honestly, for a season of anime, it seems pretty tame.

So how does this work? Well, I will watch the show on the day its airing, having the write up ready to go for the episode the day after. My schedule will slowly be pieced together as new shows air, and I’ll throw that up on the front page.

I will not be covering sequels or stuff with pre-existing, commercial animation. So no Blue Exorcist sequel and, unfortunately, no Little Witch Academia. I mean, I’m still very much going to watch LWA, because it’s production studio hits everyone of my Triggers, most all of the time, but no write ups.

Our first write up will be in about a weeks time, though before hand I hope to finish Keijo and write something on it’s last episode, but most importantly, I will definitely have a full write up and look at Diamond is Unbreakable ready for New Year’s Eve.

But beyond that, I’ll see you next week at the starting line of the SUMMER 2017 FUCK ME-a-THON with the first episode of… the Akiba’s Trip adaptation.

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Oh God Fucking Damn It
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LEAGUE CHALLENGE DECEMBER 2016: 2/2「ZA WORLDO」Is All Tied Up

LEAGUE CHALLENGE DECEMBER 2016: 2/2「ZA WORLDO」Is All Tied Up

fefcc373f7670f8fb4f40184c36d93d3.pngThis Saturday just passed, Queensland played host to it’s second League Challenge of the season, the one I was up in the air about what deck I was going to play on the day.

I ended up settling on Pidgeot-EX over both Machamp and Gyarados. Machamp not testing favourably and Gyarados abandoned because people are aware that Spinda exists, and the surprise factor that made it so strong has been dulled slightly.

So Bird-Jesus it was, but not actually the Pidgeot deck I talked about, but instead a version that dropped the Mega entirely, instead choosing to run a list based purely on the base version of the bird.

I enjoyed the deck, it played well and I stood up to more than a few meta decks nicely.

The biggest downside I found to the deck was that it didn’t really have anything in the way of decisiveness, it is a slow, methodical drive, and in a best of 3 across 50 minutes, that is probably what hurt the deck the most.

THE DECK: Who, How, What and Why

Pokemon Trainers Energy
Pidgeot EX x3
EVO 104/108
Blitzle x2
BKPT 48/122
Zebstrika x1
BKPT 49/122
Trubbish x2
BKPT 56/122
Garbodor x2
BKPT 57/122
Hoopa EX x1
AO 89/98
Shaymin EX x2
RSK 106/108

Total Count: 13

Lysandre x2
N x4
Olympia x1
Pokemon Ranger x1
Professor Sycamore x4Paralell City x3Fighting Fury Belt x4
Float Stone x3Max Potion x4
Trainer’s Mail x4
Ultra Ball x4
Vs. Seeker x4Total Count: 38
Double Colorless Energy x4
Basic Lightning Energy x5Total Count:9

By foregoing the Mega-Pidgeot, we drop the 4-3 count to just a 3, while also losing the Spirit Links, a 2 count in the Mega-Bird list, freeing us up 6 slots to add in additional cards to tighten consistency and focus.

Preferably the Zebstrika line is a Jolteon-Ex, but I own zero copies of the card and was unable to source 3 before game start, so they were switched out to the Lightning Zebra, which isn’t awful, it helped me drag a match that would have been an auto-loss to a tie and helped me run rampant in another before that, but ultimately Jolteon probably would have been the much better choice.

The Garbodor is there to help you try to rush past a Vileplume rush, locking down abilities instead, so that you can hold on to all of those sweet, delicious items you play, so that you can keep shenanigans live. Both the Shaymin and Hoopa are fairly self explanatory, helping with your consistency.

We drop the Shrine of memories because we no longer have the Mega Pidgeot as well as axing the Assault Vests, upping our Float Stones from 2 to 3 and throwing in 4 Fighting Fury Belts to set the mood.

The standard items are essentially the same, and we drop what was once steel energy for lightning instead as we’ve lost Magearna and Zebstrika should be our only other attacker. In fairness I could have changed the energy to something like Fairy, as Zebstrika uses 2 Colourless energy for its attack, and found room for a Fairy garden, but the Zebstrika wasn’t a thing until a few hours before kick-off and I hadn’t twigged to the idea at that point.

The general idea is that you don’t actually hard focus Mirror Move, but instead get Feather Lance geared up for the 80 (90 with a Fury Belt) and 20 to Bench, only falling back to Mirror Move if the damage dealt is going to FAR exceed Feather Lance, or if you’ve just Max Potioned and are sitting on only a single attachment, bringing out Zebstrika for Mirror Matches, Yvetal-Ex Toolbox and Emerarld Break Rayquazza.

ROUND ONE: Vs. Vileplume Toolbox: Loss

_045_vileplume_by_kuitsuku-d9gy64a.pngStraight away, I got thrown into a match up I wanted no part in. Pidgeot is heavy on items for it’s consitancy and it’s shenanigans. Plus Jolteon-EX is a thing, the lightning pupper quickly cleaning house for Game One, praying on weakness and a really bad start on my part, I didn’t even see the Vileplume this game.

Game two is a slugfest. I pull out the Garbodor before I have to see a single Oddish, and I turn it into a feather lancing slugfest, trading prize for prize. My opponent moves us to game 3 by scooping to save time.

Game 3 is a slaughter, the Vileplume gets dropped turn 1, for the first time in 3 games and in running no Hex Manics, I’m relying on hitting the Lysandre so that I can do some gardening.

I don’t hit it and before long, the game is lost and the healthy hatred of Vileplume festers ever hotter in my heart.

ROUND TWO: N-Sync (Bye-Bye-Bye): Technically a Win

nsync2002After Vileplume, it’s all uphill from here, but the start of the hill has my sitting on my hands for 50 minutes.

Thrown into the bye, I have nothing else to do but to sit and wait for the round to end. Bonus being that I got to go to lunch early. That was nice.

ROUND THREE: Vs. Yveltal-EX: Tied

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Oh man, this round, this round was some straight fun times, if only because of my opponent. Bant-City baby, Bant-City, hard.

With the big turn out of this deck in the wake of the London International Top 32, it was going to be impossible that I wasn’t going to run into at least the one, and come round 3, fresh off of lunch and my “Win” this is where I ran into it.

Game one saw my opponent attempt to get a Bad-Bird big enough to swing 210 every turn, unfortunately for him I dashed his hopes and dreams by getting out a very early, very clutch, Zebstrika, clipping wings the entire game.

Game 2 was close, really fucking close. But it’s also some of the most fun I have had playing this game. Some well placed Lysandres and a late Zebstrika saw hope bloom bright, but come the end of the game, after not hitting the Lysandre I needed to, with two prizes left, I lost the game.

Game 3 began as suddenly as it finished, time being called 2 minutes into it. With the bubble of tension from game 2 burst, we ended on a tie and stupid smiles on both of our faces.

ROUND FOUR: Vs. Gardevoir (Despair Ray): Tied

shiny_mega_gardevoirWhy was this here? No fairies were expected to show up on the day, considering how hard the Gardevoir turn out was last month, the expectation was a hard showing of scizors. Of course all that was dashed by the resurgence of Yveltal over in London.

But whatever, it was here, and while I took Game One, Parallel City and Garbodor putting in work, Game 2 saw me summarily dismantled with barely any effort on my opponents side. Sky fielding and renewing discarded mons from the discard with little to no effort, before straight wrecking my day with yet another Rattata discard of an FFB into a full 170 blast from the Despair Ray.

Time was called during game 3, but it wasn’t going my way at all. Given another turn or 2, this was very much looking like a solid loss.

ROUND  FIVE: Vs. Rayquazza: TiedMega_rayquaza.png

This is a match up I really wanted, mostly because with the Zebstrika in there I was expecting to do really favourably into it, and game one, with a constant Parallel City lock and a very early Zebstrika I took game 1 with very little fuss and no muss.

However, in game 2, the single count of Zebstrika came back to bite me, as it got taken out, and with no way to grab it back or a second one to drop, Mr. Ray-“Oh look at me I can Mega Evolve Turn 1”-Quazza outpaced and eventually, took the game from me.

Much like the Yveltal Match-Up from round 3, time was called very early into game 3 here, ending the round on a draw and the day on a bittersweet note, which is great, because at this point I am exhausted.

END OF THE DAY: Hindsight is a Funny Thing

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For the Best Plays

So what did we learn?

Well for starters, Hex Maniac is needed, as Vileplume can wreck your day without even trying. If you can drop that, you can do your Ultra Balling and deck thinning going in order to get that Float Stoned Garbodor out fast.

Also 1 or 2 Super Rods wouldn’t go amiss with the low count of Basic Energy and as a way to keep Zebstrika circulating in the match-ups where it’s needed. On that note, it’s also possible to run a Buddy-Buddy Rescue, if you have a second Blitzle Benched and waiting.

Speaking of Lightning, if we’re committing to the Zebra line, the best bet is to either up 1090234the count to a solid 2-2 or down it to a 1-1 and throw in 2 Jolteon-EX on top of it, to keep up the consistancy and to add an alternate attack strategy for the opponent to play around.

Otherwise I’m really  happy with how the deck runs and with how I did on the day.

Even with just a whole heap of ties to my name, I feel like I preformed really well into some of the most BS meta-decks in the format, and I learned a lot of what I might need to do to tweak and tune the deck even further for the future.

I also did much better than my 1w/5l showing last month on Ho-oh/Vileplume. That’s a very important thing to keep in mind.

-/-

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KEIJO EPISODE 9: I am Butt a Paper Tiger In Front of a Storm of Stupidity

KEIJO EPISODE 9: I am Butt a Paper Tiger In Front of a Storm of Stupidity

Those are Killer Queen’s eyes.

This show decided to truly embrace the memes, completely and whole heartedly, and I don’t know that I can fault it for that. Because, for the most part, that just adds on top of the charm and good will that Keijo (Still not using the exclamation points) has built upon over the last 9 weeks.

By cribbing an aesthetic feature from Jojo after doing so in episode 5 with the World’s time freeze audio effect (Which, again, they break out a fair bit this week) they are further propagating the whole community meme of Keijojo’s Bizarre Assventure again and again.

Honestly I’m just holding on until the moment the redhead with the Killer Queen eyes busts out Bite the Dust.

So yeah, episode 9, only 3 more to go, how are our StarBust Crusaders doing?

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Beuatiful

So this week is a Sayaka episode, and if you forget who Sayaka is, I understand completely. None of these characters are massively interesting, so some disconnect is understood.

Since we last checked in on the girls from Setouchi, they have gotten over fighting each other and are now locked in a tournament against a rival Keijo school from the west!

Nevermind that there’s apparently more than 1 school for this ridiculous child’s game made professional sport, but it turns out the Setouchi always loses to this school, and has never come away with an event win against their rivals!

That makes for some tasty drama, especially in last weeks episode, where Setouchi took the win by the skin of their teeth!

Of course that drama is kind of undermined by the show it is a part of, but that’s part of it’s unique charm really. Part of this show’s success is owed to the fact that it refuses to take itself seriously, all that underlying drama and the interpersonal bullshit, just seems to evaporate at the end of a fight, or towards the end of a fight, when a fighter uses their super erect nipple as a pivot for a judo throw.

And on that note, let’s talk about episode 9.

So Sayaka is the white haired girl from the gif I featured last time I talked about this show, and her whole deal is that she comes from a proud line of Judo practitioners. She was even selected to represent Japan on a world stage!

But she could never find joy or happiness within Judo, be it from the constant pressure of her father or the fact that the sport was chosen for her, without regard for her personal feelings, Judo was just never where it WAS for Sayaka. What she really wanted to do with her life was be a Pro-Player in the glorious sport of Keijo, because all of the pros get their own Swimsuit designs, and Sayaka thinks that’s pretty neat.

No, really. It’s brought up in episode 2 or 3, that’s her whole motivation. Only Keijo man.

But yeah, the whole pivot of the drama this episode is Sayaka’s choice to walk away from Judo, jeered on by her opponent as running away from, and her going for her dreams regardless of the disappointment she might evoke in her father, who happens to be in the stands watching. (Not that she knows)

As with most things in Keijo, it’s pretty standard faire until the fights start ramping up, and its at this moment that Killer Queen starts shooting her mouth.

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She Even Does a Stupid Bra Snap, My god this is such Dumb Fun

 

Together with Dog Butt and a Blonde haired girl who uses her boobs to hypnotise people (Yes, really) the Girls join together to knock away disposable character 349, before blondie goes away to deal with a pair of twins, while Sayaka and Doggo deal with Killer Queen.

Yeah, so of course Doggo loses. This isn’t her episode, this is Judo’s show, and in seeing her friend downed by Queeny, decides to, quite literally, slip off her bitch pants and go full man mode.

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This is where we go full on meme mode, Sayaka speeding across the jungle gym every impact generating ZAWORLDO.mp3 with every last impact, and it’s looking like the “Full Purge” is going to be exactly the thing she needs to knock Killer Queen straight into an ambulance, but that’s the moment her legs collapse.

The Purge has taken it’s toll and it’s time for Killer Queen to collect on her pound of flesh, kicking Sayaka’s arse for a good minute long, using her magic eyes (Oh she has magic eyes) to be able to see where Sayaka is going to strike, using a sort of thermal vision to see where the strength of Judo’s attacks is centered.

But of course, the tension of the episode boils over and Sayaka looks back onto all of her years of experience in judo, buying into the ridiculous nature of the show, she puts all of her power into a single point.

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I mean, are you even surprised at this point?

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Sayaka wins for her team, Hypno Boobs having dealt with the last 2 remaining members of the opposing team on her own time, and her very thin character arc comes to a close, with her dad accepting her chosen profession and Setouchi one step closer towards overcoming the curse of defeat against their rivals.

 

-/-

I Leave You This Time on Judo Dad, Who Can’t Maintain a Consistent Face Model
To Save His Life.

 

 

DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE: Why One of the Best Villains is also Kind of the Worst

DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE: Why One of the Best Villains is also Kind of the Worst

RDFHoCt.pngDiamond is Unbreakable (AKA Let’s Kink Shame David Bowie) is probably my favourite part of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure to date and that opinion has a lot to do with it’s main antagonist, Kira Yoshikage.

Kira is simultaneously both disturbingly alien and familiarly human all at the same time, his obsession with hands and killing blending almost seamlessly into his desires to live a quiet, uneventful life, unbothered by the world at large, comfortable in his normality and anonymity. Never making waves, or causing a stir that would draw attention to him.

Of course what is normal to him, dismemberment and murder via Explosion Cat, is distinctly abnormal to everyone else, and slowly, the presence of Jotaro Kujo within Kira’s home town of Morioh, goes on to push events to a head, where Kira has to run from his quiet life and find a way to both return to his normal life and get rid of any and all people interested in hunting down the killer, Kira Yoshikage.

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Battle Tendency’s Best Villain

The best part of Kira as a character, is probably the aforementioned duality, which is also a big part of why Wham from part 2 was such a great character as well, although with Kira that comes through a lot clearer.

Wham had an odd sense of honour about him, seeking out intense fights and showing his opponents, regardless of their origin, the utmost respect. It is what led to his decision to not pop the blood bubble Ceaser created with the last breath of his life to hold the antidote to a poison ring Wham had placed within Joseph during the opening climax of Battle Tendency.

It’s what led to him agreeing to a one on one duel with Joseph, regardless of the fact that he could have just as easily sicced his and Cars’ vampire army on him instead, and it’s what leads the audience to actually kind of hate watching Wham die at the end of the chariot death race.

Unlike Kira though, Wham is very much inhuman, being a milleniums old vampire who emerged from a giant stone pillar from a very long sleep, there’s not much room to relate to Wham as there is to Kira.

We can sympathise with his human desire for peace and quiet, while being revolted by his pathological need to murder pretty girls and keep their hands as girlfriends.

The first stumbling block Kira suffers is probably how disconnected he is from the first quarter of part 4, having 0 relation or impact on the plot until the point where Reimi comes in and shows us that not only do Ghosts exist in this world, but that there is a mass-murderer in Morioh Town. The anime sort of rectifies this, by adding in a scene at the very beginning that alludes to Kira’s presence within the Town, but until Rohan trips into him as an idea, he makes no other impact on the plot, until the moment he explodifies Shigechi.

It is at this point that Kira becomes the main antagonist of the story, and all of the villain’s of the week become tied into him and his machinations via the ghost of his dad, who lives in a polaroid.

Speaking of the villain’s of the week, as fantastic as Bite the Dust is as an ability, but the

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Pretty Super Fly for a White Guy

strongest part of the end of part 4 is not Hayato figuring out a way around it, or even the final fight between Joskue and Co. vs Kira and Stray Cat, it’s actually probably at it’s strongest during the July 15th Arc.

Starting with「SUPERFLY and ending with Hayato dead in the cupboard. Its at this moment that the arc hits its dramatic high point, Rohan, Koichi and Josuke & Okuyasu each encounter separate Stand Users created by and working for Kira’s Photo Dad.

These events are happening almost simultaneously, and carry on throughout the day. Josuke and Okuyasu defeat「SUPERFLY while「ENIGMA is out capturing both Koichi and Josuke’s mum. (And hey, haven’t seen her in a while!)

SUPERFLY‘s user makes mention that Koichi may be a target, and Josuke rushes off to help his friend, enlisting the help of former villain, Yuya Funagami, to track down Koichi with his Stand,「HIGHWAY STAR.

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The Fall of a Rebel Angel

「ENIGMAbeats Josuke, but the sheer machismo on show inspires Yuya to help in a more direct fashion, becoming the catalyst to freeing both Josuke and Koichi from within their paper prisons.

All the while this is happening, Rohan is off hosting a particularly odd architect, Kinato Masazo, making plans to repair the house, but the man refuses to let Rohan see his back, walking, crawling and shuffling in all kinds of awkward ways. He doesn’t know it at the time, but turns out he’s hosting a parasitic stand by the name of「CHEAP TRICK, and the moment Rohan looks at the man’s back, the stands kills the Kinato and attaches himself to Rohan.

The Stand only has one ability, to attach itself to someone’s back, transferring from person to person as someone looks at the current host’s back.

Out of all of the endgame Stands「CHEAP TRICK is probably the most terrifying, and it’s appearance

CheapTrick.png
Burn the Photos, Save the World

generates some of the most tension across the entire series. Which brings even more detriment towards Kira’s endgame.

With the DiU crew circling like sharks, Kira, now playing family man with a deadman’s stolen body, the knowledge that not only has Rohan zeroed in on Hayato somehow relating to Kira, but also that his “son” bore witness to and recorded him「KILLER QUEEN」’ing two people, the tension bubbles over and in his panic, he murders Hayato.

Unsure of how to cope with this, to come out ahead, Kira loses himself in the panic, which is the moment in which the Arrow「ATOM HEART FATHERhas been carrying around, launches itself from the photo frame and into Kira’s arm, giving birth to the power of「BITES THE DUST.

Not to say that the「BITES THE DUST arc and the closing chapters aren’t good, it’s just they don’t quite deliver on the tension and payoff of the July 15th chapters/episodes.

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Nutritious

July 15th is all about the culmination of the heroes actions and their hunt for Kira, calling back to previous moments and opening up the way to make use of prior elements.

For instance, Joskue being inadvertently responsible for Rohan’s house just before the 「HIGHWAY STAR, opens the door for Kira’s dad to make use of Kinato as a Stand user to fight Rohan.

By that same measure, Rohan then uses the demon hands from Reimi’s Ghost World. 「CHEAP TRICK‘s power to jump from back to back forcing it to look at Koichi, who had shown up earlier at Rohan’s request in the immediate wake of  「ENIGMA. Except, by the rules of the alley, you cannot look back as you are leaving, otherwise Demon’s from hell will drag you into the abyss. Which is exactly what happens to the Stand, before it can trigger Rohan’s death.

The arc also acts as a redemption arc for Yuya, which is something not seen for a while, not since I guess Shigechi, which was a while ago now.

The 「BITES THE DUSTarc on Killer_queen_bites_the_dust_c420.pngthe other hand is the countdown to the end of Part 4, but the tension has bubbled over, because now we have to follow Hayato for a while, as he becomes the centre piece of the arc.

Which is fine, I guess, narratively it was probably the best avenue to take for the arc, seeing as for everyone else, the day is just repeating over and over with no explanation, Hayato being the only one who remembers, by measure of being the bomb that resets time and all.

But Hayato is a shitty character, and I mean that based on his personality. I do not like Hayato, he is a spoiled child in cold household who spies on his parents using hidden video cameras, apparently even having witnessed them having sex on at least one occasion.

And trying to drum up some sort of tension or emotion through him as the POV character, does not work. Which goes on to drain a lot of potential tension that the arc should be drumming up.

The moment that 「BITES THE DUSTis circumvented, and the final clash begins is great, and the moment of panic as Kira comprehends just how fucked he is is beautiful, but again the tension dissipates at the end of the confrontation, as Kira dies, not at the hands of the heroes, but simply by a stray ambulance.

The man is run over, and the payoff while there, is lessened, because it wasn’t ultimately the heroes who ended it. It was simply a quirky moment, in a pointless universe.

Kira, from a character standpoint is fantastic, one of the strongest that Araki has put on show to date.

Narratively, however, Kira suffers from an awkward introduction a good part of the way into the story and a fairly unceremonious  send off, that feels almost empty.

At the end of the day, regardless of how strong Kira’s character is, the strength of his story just kind of 「BITES THE DUST.

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League Challenge December 2016 1/2: Potential Poke’Picks

League Challenge December 2016 1/2: Potential Poke’Picks

Last month I went into this thing on a bad decision. I decided, the night of the event, to disregard months upon months of testing, by switching to a deck I had no experience piloting, had no testing done whatsoever, all because of an offhand comment made by a friend and a raging caffeine high which greatly impaired any reasonable choices that I could have gone into the day with.

I could have taken Mewtwo, Gardevoir, Volcanion, any of the big decks really. I could have even taken Ho-oh/Volcarona in with me and done fairly reasonably on the day.

But nope, instead I ended up taking Ho-oh/Vileplume in with me.

Things did not go so well.

So for the next week, we are going to arduously test 3 decks in preparation for the event come Saturday.

These decks we will be looking at are Pidgeot EX, Machamp EX and Gyarados. Yeah, the one I said was bad.

Shut up.

THE CANDIDATES


018-megaBIRD IS ZA WORLDO
35% Chance I’ll Play It

First off, lets talk about our feathered friend Pidgeot, and why it could potentially be really good.

The main selling point is Mirror Move. For just one Energy, you can copy the damage done to Pidgeot last turn without needing to charge up too much, which is pretty good in this meta where most of the things that can one-shot you require you to stack energy on yourself.

The rest of the meta however, consists of things like Scizor or Gardevoir, which focus more on 2-shotting the opposition, ignoring of course application of weakness and the like.

1105185Now of course Pidgeot is not hitting anyone for weakness, being that it is colourless and all. So in return you’re looking at 2 shotting right back, but the great thing about that is where as Scizor’s Iron Crusher and Gardevoir’s Despair Ray both cost 2 energy, Mirror Move is a single colorless attachment. Making it ripe for Max Potion Shenanigans and Easy retreats into fresh Birds ready to Feather Lance or, if you have a Mega-Bird benched, cinch the knockout or disrupt your opponents field if its going for a fresh target.

More on that, if you decide to run Shrine of Memories, you then have a 220HP beast that can still abuse the hell out of Mirror Move and Max Potion laughs.

The biggest opposition Pidgeot is going to face is perhaps Mewtwo, Decks thanking you for the Shrine of Memories and Damage Changing you for days, being that Damage Change doesn’t do Damage, merely moving existing damage onto you, which Bird cannot use to proc Mirror Move. Meaning you have to charge up energy, meaning you leave yourself open to being just straight blitzed out of the game by Psychic Infinity from the Mega Mewtwo Y.

Also, if someone has a cheeky Zebstrika teched into their deck, for the mad Rayquazza outplays, you will end up getting skunked hard by that if you’re relying on Mirror Move to do all your damage, seeing as the Zebra one shots you 100% of the time, all the time.

machamp_pokken_tournament「STAND PROUD」
20% Chance I’ll Play It

Now, in fairness, this one is a bit of a toss up. At last months LC, there were a lot of Gardevoirs. The winner on the day was running Gardevoir, 4 out of 6 of my opponents were running Gardevoir decks. There was a LOT of Despair on the day, but if I end up playing 4 arms on the day, its that overpopulation of Gardes that I’ll be banking on. Because with as many Gadevoir Decks running around last month as there were, hopefully coming into next week, we will see an absolute over abundance of Scizor-EX, which will clear the way for Machamp.

Again, we’re looking at a deck that gets absolutely cackled by Mewtwo, but unlike Pidgeot, it doesn’t really have a way around it. The main 1076061attack you want to be using, Crazy Hammer (Bolstered on by Ariados) for 160 damage is stupid. With a single Strong Energy you’re dealing 180, 190 with the poison into their turn. Add in a Faded Town and you are one shotting anything with 210 hp.

Throw a Fighting Fury Belt onto that and suddenly you’re dealing 220 damage, which they then need to match to knock you out.

But Machamp’s success again comes down to how few and far between those Garadevoir and Mewtwos are in your neighbourhood, which in mine, is a lot of Fairies, not so many Kitties though.

So if I do end up running this, it’s on the idea that last month’s League Challenge will be increasing the amount of Scizors in play while reducing the amount of Gardevoirs. Leaving less room for me to get stomped by that pesky little weakness of ours.

Of course its a massive gamble. With Gardevoir its a matter of throwing up something to die while charging up Machamp in the back to one shot, while running some sort of disruption engine to keep them unable to regain traction.

With Mewtwo its just a case of praying they have a really, really poor start. Either that or they’re playing Mewtwo X. We can work around that.

I mean, to a degree. 230hp is tanky enough to get around your numbers, and 400 damage on the weakness is going to kill everything. So chances are you will probably end up trading 4 prizes for 2 if they can manage to get a single Mewtwo set up, its time to just accept that X gon give it to ya, and move on.


gyarados
FILTHY ACTS AT A REASONABLE PRICE
35% Chance I’ll Play It 

About a year ago now, I wrote a lot of words about how this card was actually pretty bad. I would like to take a moment of your time to say I was not wrong, at least, not at the time.

When Gyarados first came out, it was into a meta where Nightmarch was running rampant. A deck that could deal 200+ damage without even breaking a sweat on their first turn was actually terrifying, and even if Gyarados has even Prize trades, its still slower than Nightmarch, and has a weakness to one of the Deck’s main attackers, Joltik.

Gyarados was bad in the time I wrote about it, but in the last few months, we have seen this deck succeed over and over again. Even if its easily countered by things like Spinda, that is a really specific tech to be playing, and you’re only playing it if you know that the match up will exist within your meta in a big way, which also requires you to stream Hex Maniac past the almost certain Mr. Mime in play on the Gyarados’ side.

So how does Gyarados succeed now, when it failed so hard in the past?  It got it’s own little Secret Base.

Of course it does have to share it with Team Magma, but this card feels strictly like it was custom made just for our precious little Sea Serpent.

Trying to find a work around to get damage on to your magikarps in the past was… awkward. Really fucking awkward.

But with Team Magma’s Secret Base, the simple act of putting down your fish will damage it automatically. This is why Spinda works as such a good anti-fish tech, as every Magikarp in format only has 30hp, a single energy drop, 10 damage spread is pretty damn powerful.

But as I said earlier, that is a really specific tech to find room for, unless you expect more than one or two lists to make a showing on game day.

Gyarados hits all its problems the moment you fail to set up your board by the time you want to start swinging. If you can’t get 3 Magikarps out under the influence of your base, hell if you even only get 2, you lose a whopping 60 damage, meaning that beautiful looking 210 damage with a full bench, falls all the way down to 150, which is not all that much damage in the long run, and although prize trades are favourable, you don’t particularly want to be 2-shotting things with Gyarados, since its all about speed and power over attrition tactics.

1076031Your hardest match ups would be Giratina and Vileplume. If you can’t outpace the dragon, then it will end up shutting you down by locking down your ability to play down Special Energy, and considering that you don’t exactly have the space in your list for more than the 4 DCE that are standard, so barring a Pokemon Ranger drop, by that point you’re pretty much out of the running unless you managed to drop down enough energy across the board to keep pace with that, you need to just bend over and take your punishment.

The other road block, and this is probably your hardest match up, is any variation of Vileplume.

Considering most of your consistency relies heavily on your 50% item count, Vileplumes ability to Item Lock hurts you powerfully if you start losing your Serpents. No Super Rod, no Buddy-Buddy Rescue, no Puzzle of Time and no Special Charge to grab back your DCE’s from the discard.

Your best bet in this match up is to run down their main attackers, kill a Mew or a Magearna or something else EX as quickly as you can, Lysandre around their Glaceon and although the match will be one of your hardest, you should be able to take the win so long as you play as tightly as possible.

ho_oh__the_sacred_bird_by_reika_world-d524x00POTENTIAL COMFORT PICKS:
「MAGICIAN’S RED
10% Chance I’ll Play It

So, much like Gyarados I wrote a lot of words about how Ho-oh isn’t nearly competitive to make it in this format. Unlike Gyarados I have spent a lot of time running Ho-oh, learning the minutia of every single card inside and out.

If I find myself stumbling to make a decision on the 3 decks above, I will probably come back to the well of Ekrutek, for the cold comfort of experience over risk.

There’s also something to be said for the potential surprise factor carrying us through the day, but we don’t want to particularly want to rely on it. If you want to read about the ins and our Fiery, Feathered Friend, you can find my article here.

Oh also, no Vileplume. That was a terrible idea and it is not going to happen again.

-/-

CARD SCANS SOURCED FROM TROLL AND TOAD

NON-CARD IMAGES SOURCED FROM GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH