Featherweight - T32 Masters Worlds report

Discussion in 'World Championships' started by Dennis Hawk, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member


    Just thought I'd post a bit about my first worlds experience, and the deck that made it amazing.

    After I T2'd Finnish Nats with AmphyLeon deck, I was traveling back home, opening my prize boosters. You can propably tell, when the best thing I pulled from those was Typhlosion MT, that they weren't that good - Though I pulled 2 Honchkrows. And started wondering. Why does nobody play DWD anymore? I mean, Absol is a beast if you can pull out the right ones, but it doesn't fit a deck that needs any large-scale setupping. Claydol killed Absol. Honchkrow Lv.X is a card of many possibilities - you can snipe, reinforce or disrupt your opponent's hand. Well yeah, that's pretty much what DWD was all about. So the Claydol killed it? Ok, let's counter!

    The first thing that come to my mind was Honchkrow-Palkia. With Honchkrow's unique ability to give anyone a free attack, and with Murkrow's being good cannon fodder while taking out the big guys, it might work. I had a moonlight stadium in mind, so I could retreat Murkrow/Honchkrow every turn, bring out Palkia and Restructure. If they could only bring out something that's ready to attack - what will they bring out? And when they get to pick it first - Whatever I could do with this one?

    So the first version of this was born in the train when traveling home from our nationals. It was just a funky idea back then, which eventually turned out to be one of the hardest decks to play in the HP-MD format.

    So, here's the list I played in Worlds for your convience. I call this deck Featherweight for an obvious pun and the missing "big hitter" - instead you're aiming to pick a win out of your bigger ones by speed, big amount of light hits and heavy disruption.

    Pokémon (17)
    3 Murkrow MT
    1 Murkrow SW
    2 Honchkrow MT
    2 Honchkrow Lv.X SW
    4 Absol SW
    2 Palkia DP
    2 Palkia Lv.X GE
    1 Chatot (<---- Tech spot)

    Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums (30)
    4 Celio's Network
    4 Team Galactic's Mars
    3 Castaway
    2 Team Galactic's Wager
    2 Steven's Advice
    2 Roseanne's Research

    3 Crystal Beach

    4 Cessation Crystal
    2 Warp Point
    1 Windstorm
    1 Premier Ball
    1 Night Maintenance
    1 Time-Space Distortion

    Energy (13)
    4 Darkness Energy
    4 Dark Energy
    3 Call Energy
    2 Warp Energy

    Ok, so the basics are here:

    1. Discard your opponent's hand with Absol, while setupping the Honchkrow. Try to get Cessation Crystal attached.
    2. When your opponent brings out Claydol, bring out Palkia Lv.X and Restructure Claydol to your opponent's active Pokémon.
    3. When Claydol is stuck in the active position, discard your opponent's hand with Absol and/or start sniping with Honchkrow Lv.X to all the possible threats. Keep the Cessations attached to all Honchkrows and Absols!

    This deck extends so far beoynd these basics that every play is crucial. I know half of the players have been trying to get Palkia working from the day it was released, but with no significiant results to be shown. Well, now you have one. Lucky discarding with Absol might be enough, but when it doesn't, that's where the real strategy begins. You will have to think clearly ahead and always have a backup plan, even when your opponent topdecks a Wager to empty hand.

    I won't go too deep into the matchups, but I'll just say every matchup (expect straight Blissey) is winnable. The reason I decided to keep this as Secret Deck was pretty obvious - If the people knew how the deck worked, they would have a counter ready. That's propably the main reason (along with some first-time nervousness) of my tournament stopping in T32.

    So, without futher introducions, let's fast forward the three-month deck development to World championships.


    Swiss 1: Josue P. (Leafeon-Magmortar)

    I thought I would be getting Bye as thats what the first pairing list stated, but they found Josue to play against me. I started with Absol and proceed discarding. He notices that instantly, and calls for Baltoy and Magmar. I bench another Absol and Palkia from Roseanne and decide to bait for one more turn, Baleful. Claydol comes out, draws 6, Magmortar does some damage to my Absol. I retreat for Palkia, Level up, Restructure Claydol against my new Absol, attach Cessation Crystal and Energy via Castaway, play down Murkrow and proceed to destroy the hand.

    He gets DRE to Claydol (which I have no answer to, as I don't play Scott to fetch my CB), and decides to Spinning Attack for 50 to my Absol. I evolve to Honchkrow and attach an energy there, Baleful. He decides to retreat Claydol for Leafeon and levels it up, Binding for knockout. I promote Palkia and Restructure for Claydol again.

    From this point, I basically got out Honchkrow Lv.X which destroyed the bench. I got CB out at some point (2 prized) but I was well behind until the biggest threats - Magmortar and Leafeon Lv.X - were eliminated. After they were gone, I went to take out Claydol as the jamming wasn't needed anymore, and swoop through some energyless pokémon with Murkrow for the win.

    1 - 0

    We shake hands and wish luck to each other. This luck wasn't too good, considering that was the only Absol during swiss rounds.

    Swiss 2: Jason W. (Gardevoir-Gallade)

    I assume Jason is a familiar face around Pokégym, so I won't be doing too much introductions on this one. Basically, he gets Gallade out pretty early and rushes for prize lead. I have troubles drawing my Cessation Crystals or Beaches, but I get Palkia out pretty fast, so I can get his DREs in discard pile thanks to Claydol's huge retreat. He builds up a full bench but doesn't really have any energy to build up anything, as Claydol retreat is pretty much taking everything up. However, I will have to wait until he has flipped all his prizes on Murkrows/Absols/one Honchkrow. Eventually, the prizes are 6-2, although I have spread quite a bit of damage around the board while my other Honchkrow Lv.X is still undamaged.

    I proceed to take out Gardevoirs, Gallades, jamming some Claydol in. He takes a prize through Warp Point, and gets a final Gallade up when I have destroyed pretty much everything else, but I Honchkrow Lv.X for a knockout to tie the game 1-1. He draws, plays Wager, loses and reveals his hand - 2 Call Energy and Absol EX (my Murkrow had 30 and Honchkrow 60 damage at that point), but Cessation Crystal ruins the plan (I had calculated he had used up 2 Windstorms and 2 Warps at that point). He passes, I draw and Darkness Wing Chatot for a knockout.

    2 - 0

    Soon after, the time is called. I was a bit worried about GG's ability to extend the game in the 40 minute rounds, so I am really glad that Jason did not proceed to any non-legal stalling activities. It was a good game and I was exhausted, so I went to chat with the rest of the Finnish team. From Masters, Esa is 2-0 too, and we joke that we'll be running to each other sooner or later and how our match would be a topdeck contest. Well, you could maybe guess what happened next.

    Swiss 3: Esa J. (Glaceon-Absol)

    Esa is quite surely the best player I know, and on our local tournaments, I have yet to beat him. We are both pretty disappointed, as this hinders Finland's chances of making multiple cuts. We both played with Team Finland shirts, and the judges were pretty amused of that, and remembered us to play fair. Well, nothing's fair in Absol versus Absol matchup... Funnily enough, I happen to start with the only Chatot in my deck, which makes this matchup playable and not totally topdeck-reliant. Esa starts with Absol and proceeds to discard my hand. I charge Chatot with basic dark, put down Palkia and Mimic. We go on like this until I finally knock down Absol with my Chatot (...). He gets up Glaceon and Speed Slides for knockout. I bring out Absol, energize my Honchkrow and pass. He flips ER2 wrong and Speed Slides for 60. I put Warp Energy on Absol, bring out Honchkrow, promote it to Lv.X, retreat for Murkrow and... Esa taps the Cessation Crystal attached to Glaceon. Duh. I pass.

    I manage to get both Glaceon Lv.Xs down with some Raid hacking, but that cost me 5 Prizes, so it's 3-1. Luckily for me, Esa doesn't have a Cessation Crystal, so I promote Palkia to Lv.X and gust his Claydol in, getting Honchkrow Lv.X with 80 damage in myself. Then I snipe Eevee for 40, Esa attachs Water to Claydol, passes. I knock out Eevee, and Esa notes that both of his Multi Energies were gone with the first two Glaceons, thus making him unable to attack with Claydol. I draw a Warp Point, get Baltoy in, Darkness Wing my Warp Point back. Esa manages to draw a Cessation Crystal to his Claydol, Roseanne's for Jirachi EX (each one prize left, warp point bait) and Eevee. I retreat for Murkrow, Windstorm the CC and because of my energy drought, I snipe front Claydol for 40. Esa has no comeback for this as the Claydol is knockable via Feint Attack and we're out of prizes. Good Game Esa, or like we say in Finland, "Paska peli".

    3 - 0

    Well, we have lunch in this and we visit local McDonalds. We just make it back to Round 4.

    Swiss 4: Mauro B. (Magmortar-Togekiss)

    Oh, great, another Magmortar. The player was an Italian gentleman. I started with Palkia, which usually is one of the worse start but not with my hand, got Call Energy and called for Chatot and Absol, as I wanted to start discarding definitely. He starts with Togepi and calls for Baltoy and Magmar. I level up, bring Baltoy in (He brings Absol, as Chatot has free retreat and Absol was coming up anyway), Castaway for Cessation, Dark Energy and Roseanne. He played Crystal Beach in the first turn, so I have like 3 cards left when I start discarding with Absol. He gets Roseanne and brings Pachirisu and energy, benching them. I continue discarding while starting to setup Honchkrow, he gets an energy and gets Pachirisu to Pot Smash my Cessation off. It's not doing much good though, as his hand is like 1 card which I discard soon after.

    All in all, he gets 1 Togekiss out in the entire game, and 1 energy with that. I basically Gust anything without energy and with retreat cost and sweep Magmortar, Togekiss and few others with Honchkrow Lv.X and draw all my prizes.

    4 - 0

    4-0 in Worlds Master with Honchkrow, this is getting good.

    Swiss 5: Matthew K. (Gardevoir-Gallade)

    I'm against Canadian guy this time, although the result sheet says he's from US. Whoops. Anyway, he's playing Gardevoir-Gallade. I start pretty normally (with Palkia :/ ) but I have some troubles getting Cessation out. So he sets Gallade up and basically draws 3 prizes, until I get a change to Palkia Lv.X his Claydol, to promote my Honchkrow. I play Celio's Network and...


    Both Honchkrow Lv.X's are prized. My first clear game-costing mistake to not check what are in the prizes on this one, I could have went aggressive to draw one, as that card is vital for the strategy to differ this deck from original DWD. I look at my prizes, signal that to my opponent that I have no chances in this game. After that, I get nothing good done when my Cessation Crystals run out with no way to revive them (and one prized) for stalling, and lose the game 0-6.

    4 - 1

    Well, tough luck in this one, along with a mistake of not checking the deck properly with my previous search cards. I'll put that on account to tournament inexperience.

    Well, next up is another Italian. I know that I have pretty surely top cutted already with strong resistances, but I do want to get some compensation from the lost game.

    Swiss 6: Simone S. (Ampharos-Bronzong-Gardevoir - Headache?)

    The more setup there is, the better it is for this deck. So happens in this game. I get yet another Palkia start, which isn't bad this time either, even though I'm missing Call Energy. My opponent has it though, and he makes his bench size three. I get Absol out pretty quickly, and with Palkia start, I get the Claydol dragged off soon. Crystal beach didn't draw up too soon, but I got energy to Absol and Bronzor as active in T3, which was then evolved to Bronzong to be Scrambled and put a damage counter to my Palkia Lv.X between turns. As prizes were 6-6, I Castaway'd for Roseanne, energy and Cessation, dropped Crystal Beach and proceeded to discard his hand. With Bronzong active with a whopping 3 retreat and Crystal Beach jammed in, I had plenty of time to set up a fully powered Honchkrow and empty his hand. Rest of the the game was basically me sniping Ampharos, few Gardevoirs and basics to be knocked out with one hit, keeping his hand size at minimum. In the end of the game, he flipped his 6-card deck over just to reveal 2 windstorms that just didn't get drawn, although Scrambles wouldn't propably have had any effect until it would have been too late.

    5 - 1

    I had a little break and heard that there were disqualifications in senior divisions during round 6. Duh.

    Well then, my last pairing is from Germany. I have absolutely no idea what he would be playing, but was suspecting metagame deck as he was 5-1 too.

    Swiss 7: Karl P. (Leafeon-Magmortar)

    He started with Magmar against Murkrow, and decided to hit Murkrow for 20. I benched Palkia and Swarmed. He evolved to Magmortar, attached second and went for a knockout. I figured this would be perfect time to utilize Palkia as he got Baltoy in his bench, and passed without Swarming. Well, he evolves Claydol, Cosmic Powers, attaches Cessation Crystal to Magmortar, energy and goes for a knockout, and all I'm left with is Palkia without energy and Palkia Lv.X in my hand. While I do play 4 CC, my deck is extremely weak to opposing CC, as I only play a single Windstorm. I get Warp Point and get Absol in play and Gust in a Claydol, but it soon turns out he's playing plenty of Warps too, along with other things (Cessation, CB, ER2). Needless to say, I do whatever I can and even start discarding his hand in the endgame with just a few prizes left, but he has Leafeon Lv.X ready to retreat Claydol and Flame Buster my pokémon FTW.

    5 - 2

    Well, swiss is played and I find myself eleventh in the ranking list, thanks to high resistances (only lost to 2 6-1 players). That gets me paired with Tom Dolezal on the T32.

    Top 32: Tom Dolezal (Gardevoir-Gallade)

    Game 1 is basically control for me. He happens to topdeck Windstorm and gets my CC and CB off, but as he decides to go for Gallade, I just keep bringing Claydol in. Tom Wagers and reduces my hand to 0 with Team Galactic's Mars I used earlier with his Gardevoir, and then I happen to topdeck... Night Maintenance. Back to deck... and topdeck... Premier Ball. Oh well, everything is good as Gallade couldn't OHKO Honchkrow Lv.X anymore at this stage, but Premier Ball is gone too. Finally, when I have only Honchkrow Lv.X and Palkia Lv.X in play, I topdeck Castaway, take Wager, Cessation Crystal and energy, Palkia X in Gallade and Darkness Wing for a knockout. After that, he struggles to get anything other charged, he succeeds with Gardevoir as I come forward with Murkrow but even after Absol Ex to Murkrow from Honchkrow X, Wager and Cosmic Power he can't find counter to my Crystal Beach. I attach 3rd Special Dark to Murkrow, evolve to Honchkrow and hit Gardevoir with Dark Wing Flaps for knockout. After that Tom decides to save time for the rest of the games. 1-0

    Game 2 is nothing much to report. Tom starts with Ralts against my Absol, Call Energy to Ralts, fetches Baltoy and Chatot (which is always a smart play against this deck). I attach to Absol, bench another one and Baleful Wind... and take Absol EX. He then draws, Candy, Gallade, DRE, Psychic Cut through my Absols. I promote Palkia, Level up, Gust in Claydol, attach Cessation Crystal to Palkia (with Windstorm in my hand), but he reveals Warp Point in his hand and I scoop. 1-1

    Game 3 was quite an embarassing one, partly for my inexperience in big tournaments. I won't go too much into detail in this one, so long story short, I make numerous mistakes while this deck can not affort any. Gallade Psychic Cuts and Gardevoir Lv.X Brings Down my last pokémons. 1-2

    5 - 3

    Well, my journey in this year's tournament ends there. I hear Yamato and Brosseau (Go Esa!) lost their T32 matches too, so despite the loss, I feel that I'm in good company here. The deck functioned almost flawlessly except for the 2 prized Honchkrow X's, so I'm happy with it, but a bit sad that it won't get a second change due to format change - as it did have a change to be contender as seen from the results here.

    I play some random matches after that with the deck, winning them pretty easily (except one match with Empoleon-Dusknoir which basically ended when he ran out of basic energies to retreat Duskull to draw his last prize). We then draft in the hotel room with MD where I make an awesome Hippowdon-Mothim-techs -deck, who ends up losing 2-1 to Esa (with Empoleon-Raichu) in finals.

    All in all, it was a fun experience, and this unique deck choice helped to make it better, as well as the overall feeling in the tournament. It also proved me that there's room to move forward, and I'm going to do just that. While this was my first season, stay tuned of what will be coming up next year!
  2. Leonners

    Leonners New Member

    Nice Report and Well done!
  3. butlerforhire

    butlerforhire New Member

    Pretty ingenious deck here. Congratulations on the success and major props for choosing to pursue it in such a manner. However, contrary to what you said about this deck not having a second chance due to the format change, I don't see why it wouldn't still be able to function at a high level. You do lose Crystal Beach, but then that card would serve no purpose anyway in DP-on since the special energies it shuts down are also leaving and no new ones are coming in. Cessation is more of a blow, but not the end of the world. On the positive side, Claydol is going to be played as much as ever if not more, and without DRE it's impossible to retreat in one turn unless your opponent gets wise to you and attempts to keep it ready with 1 energy on the bench (in that case they're still getting behind in energy drops, which is going to hurt this format in the absence of Scramble/DRE) and it's also almost never going to be attacking either. Pretty much all that a player is going to have available to bail them out of Restructured Claydols in one turn is Warp Point and Switch, and those obviously will run out IF the opponent is even drawing into them/hasn't had them discarded via Absol.

    Basically I'm saying I definitely think this deck could still work next format and in some ways the Restructure + Honchkrow lv. X tandem just gets stronger with the rotation.
  4. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    Leonners: Thanks!

    butlerforhire: Thanks, and you're somewhat right, this deck is certainly playable on next season too. New Stadiums to play like Snowpoint and Moonlight is good, and Cessation Crystal dropping out isn't completely a bad thing for this deck, as any deck with Cessation going against this is pretty bad matchup. Crystal Beach was entirely metagame counter here, as was Cessation, and I didn't originally think that the deck should be played like that, as CC and powers is naturally a hard combo. Moonlight Stadium also eases the Palkia's job enormously, and Snowpoint isn't a bad play as 80HP Murkrow can withstand more than one blow, too. Warp Energies are also being reprinted, so unless your opponent plays them, this is just getting better and better.

    Still, this season is over, and while this deck had basically been available since GE came out, it's quite sad that it only got one change in HP-on format to prove what you can do with it (but judging from the results, pretty well obviously).

    Finally I can fit in that Ariados...
  5. Wood811

    Wood811 New Member

    Congrats doing well with 2 cards that barely saw the light of day. Major props.
  6. Jason

    Jason New Member

    good game Tomi.

    and i only ran 1 windstorm. lol.
  7. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    Wood811: Thanks. I like to work with underused cards, and those two have massive potential, quite much like forgotten Empoleon and Ampharos in my nats.

    Jason: Our game was propably the closest game I played in the tournament, others were clear victories or clear defeats. Good job there, and major props for not stalling me out ;) That 1 Windstorm came at good time though, I was almost done there, second one would have cost me the game.
  8. Jason

    Jason New Member

    Yeah, it would be. It would be the most amazing and closest game for both of us at Worlds :)

    Im definately going to try out your Honchkrow/Palkia deck idea at league one day just for fun. That was heck of an amazing control based deck...

    Cya until next year! if you want to contact me, my details are in my profile for both MSN and AIM.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2008
  9. Magic Mew

    Magic Mew New Member

    Congratulations on your T32 win. It is great to see someone thinking outside of the box (and actually winning) for a change. Thanks for the report.

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