No Stadiums, no problem – Top 8 Regionals report

Hello everyone, my name is Jesper Eriksen and I’m a player for Limitless TCG, and I’ve been that since January of 2017. I’ve been playing since the start of the 2007-2008 season, and I’m very happy to be back with a new article, a report from Bochum regionals with my favorite deck!

As everyone knows, I’m a devoted Pidgey control player and I’ve been that pretty much since Cologne regionals, where I got my first finish with it. The deck is strong and definitely a tier 1 deck in the right hands.

I’ve been changing and tweaking my list part by part; I finally came up with the best list for the meta I was expecting. I did expect Tinachomp which with Mismagius is an awful (but doable) matchup.

My expected meta was:

  • Tinachomp with and without Roxie
  • ADP/Keldeo
  • ADP/Birdtrio
  • Mirror
  • Dolls
  • M3
  • Gardeon

Those were the decks I was targeting to beat with the list that I had built for the event.

I played a list looking a lot like my Daytona list, where I made top 16 at that event. I decided to go for a more conservative approach where I was going to be able to cover my matchups better, with for example Magneton and a lower count of Acro Bike than the usual 3-4 copies.

I cut the Jirachi for the Magneton initially to try and have other outs for the copy of Ditto I played. Zebstrika wasn’t really hyped for Bochum, therefore I decided to cut my Froslass but still kept the Rosa in the deck to be able to search out anything related to getting the lock as consistently as possible.

Tournament report

Let’s go over the Bochum Regional Championships.

R1 Tinachomp (Mike De Goed) or as I’d like to call him, Mike the God.

The matchup was the worst I could face, he didn’t play Roxie with Weezing, so I was in better shape than I would have been initially, but I know this would still be hard.

His game 1 setup was slow, I hit hammers like as if I was asking for them, and I ended up having enough time to remove everything he had and decked him out. He also prized his single copy of Blacephalon this game. Game 2 was also weird, he didn’t prize his Blacephalon, but he had a really slow start where I could soft lock him once or twice with chip chip and start getting into a position where I could use Bellelba aggressively to try and discard his outs, which in these games mainly were energies.

1-0-0

Before we head over to round 2, let me explain what happened between rounds here.

I had before round 1 sent a screenshot of the mail I got from rk9labs confirming the decklist I put in to one of my pals Aaron VDK, he then asked me why I played 4 Jessie&James and therefore no stadiums. At this point I freaked out, but there was only one thing to do. I went up to the stage, grabbed a hold of the Head Judge and threw my deck at him and asked for a deck check. I got checked, got a DPL, and had to switch out – 1 Champions Festival, 1 Sky Pillar and 1 Power plant, to then make space for a second copy of Jessie&James and 2 extra water energies. I was certain that if I just made top 128 at this point, I would be more than happy.

Pidgeotto Control53.10
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R2 Pidgey control mirror (Kevin Kral)

My penalty for the decklist error was only a DPL (double-prize-loss) since I caught it myself and it was so early in the tournament it was caught. We sat down and my starting hand was awful. He had me under chip lock for a while and started taking prizes. I got back into the game for a short while, but my hammer flips denied all my chances. We played a 40-minute game 1 and I just conceded in game 2, when I saw I couldn’t donk him to squeak out a tie from the series.

1-1-0

R3 AbilityZard (Jenni Halkola)

We sat down and the talkative person I am, I told her that I wouldn’t be able to counter her stadiums whatever she put down. She went on to laugh a little bit until she flipped Victini for a starter. This could either be a really bad matchup in Baby Blowns with Pidgey or just Abilityzard, which is still hard when you have no stadiums in deck, and they play both Zebstrika and Heat Factory.

Game 1 was super weird, we both sat there dead drawing for what must have been an eternity, where I was the first one to draw out of it. She finally got a KO when my board was fully set up, and I showed her the most powerful weapon against aggression that Pidgey has to offer. I used my Magneton to bring her down to 4 prizes, I then searched for Lt Surge, Jessie&James and Jessie&James, to fill out a disastrous hand removing combo with stamp. On top of this I also had Absol and Custom Catcher to make it perfect for a great lock, before she could get down Heat Factory or Zebstrika.

Game 2, in this game we were running low on time, I knew that the only way I would win was to try and prevent her form attacking for as long as possible, this would buy me time to make sure that I would win the game 1-0, instead of it being a tie at 1-1. I had great luck with her whiffing her Welders in the game and that I flipped the correct amount of heads on crushing hammer to throw off all her options for attacks.

2-1-0

R4 ADP/Blastoise&Piplup/Mismagius (Pere Arbos)

I was feeling ok going into this round, but was still scared of the fact that I had no stadiums in deck. We set up for game 1 and when he flipped a Blastoise&Piplup GX I thought I was playing against a straight autoloss, Quagsire.

We got into game 1, where I had a really slow start, I quickly lost after he used Altered Creation GX with his ADP and I couldn’t do anything.

Game 2 was a whole different thing. He had a really slow start and I could relatively quickly start to lock him and decked him out, we then had 20 minutes left for game 3 and I knew I had to use all the speed in my possession to try and squeak out a win.

Game 3 was all in my favor, I opened with a hand containing Tate&Liza, Elm, Oranguru, Pidgey, Crushing Hammer, Crushing Hammer and top-decked crushing hammer for turn when he attached to ADP. I Flipped heads on my second hammer and form that moment on, I knew that if I could keep using Resource Management to keep getting back my hammers, I could quickly remove all his energies and he wouldn’t be able to attack ever.

I kept on flipping heads even though he did everything in his power with using his Mismagius and Reset Stamp to try and set down my hand, but with me having 4 Pidgeotto in play, I was quickly able to find my Crushing Hammers every single turn and that combined with Bellelba I was able to deck him out before time ran out.

3-1-0

R5 Malamar (Gunther Kirchhofer)

Malamar has always been one of Pidgey’s favorite matchups. The matchup recently became easier with the release of Cosmic Eclipse, Bellelba of course came out, for me to get a lock on and then discarding their switching cards with Bellelba. In both games I got set up, locked him and decked him out, easy.

4-1-0

R6 ADP/Birdtrio Michael Batten

This matchup is weird, and is very dependent on my crushing hammer flips, more than anything else. Both games I got Mew and my full setup and removed all the important energy before it became an issue. I went to discard fire since he plays few of those and he needs more of them, since they’re used to attack with Victini and the Birdtrio’s GX attack.

5-1-0

Holy moly, I’m unstoppable with this handicapped Pidgey.

R7 Gardeon with no Omastar (Michael Freimuth)

When he flipped Gardeon I was pretty satisfied since this was one of the matchups I had practiced the most. I knew that if he didn’t play Omastar this would be the easiest match of the day and of course he didn’t play Omastar. Both games I got a full setup and was able to use hammers over and over, to discard all energies he had in play and then I was free to Bellelba his deck, this happened in both games.

6-1-0

R8 ID (Callum Griffiths)

I was hungry and could guarantee myself into day 2 with a handicapped deck, of course I would take an ID in this spot.

6-1-1

R9 Doll Stall (Tommi Lathela)

This match was the matchup I also had practiced, and my extra energy came in really clutch here. Doll stall is usually easy, but he played Girafarig and crushing hammers to remove my energies permanently, just like I do. With the extra energies I was able to get over a really bad start and was able to be more stable, using Custom Catcher on Florges and start to use Bellelba in combination with Girafarig to Lost Zone all of his supporters, energies and useful ressources in general. I won game 1, and when I played an Elm in game 2 he scooped, seeing there was no chance to donk me in game 2.

7-1-1

DAY 2!

I made it to day 2 of my second regionals in a row, something I haven’t ever done before in masters, and it was done with my favorite deck. I was expecting hard matchups in day 2, with no stadiums, Pikarom decks and Mewtwo decks seemed almost unbeatable.

R10 Tangrowth (Luke Kirkham)

This matchup is so much of an autowin that it isn’t even funny. I just did like Pidgey always do and let him take some prizes, them use Custom Catcher onto his Absol, played down my own Absol and locked his hand. Then I was able to remove all his energy and Bellelba all of his deck away, truly an unfair matchup.

I did this both games and we did it quickly, sorry Luke….

8-1-1

R11 Gardeon with no Omastar (Darcy Ryan)

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bnPBOrt5CM)

There is not much to be said. I was absolutely thrilled I got to go on stream. I didn’t know what Darcy was playing, but I was ready for pretty much everything now, I was ready to take my beating.

He flips a Gardeon in the start of game 1 and I was feeling so happy. I knew that many decided to cut Omastar (everyone but Philip Schulz, really), so I felt great knowing that if I won this, top 8 would be within reach.  The games were of course streamed, and the games are really dirty. Dirty in the sense that Darcy never really had any shot of winning since my setups, both games, were so strong that anything he did was in vain.

9-1-1

R12 M3 (Bryan De Vries)

He already had 30 points and therefore he was pretty safe for ID’ing into top 8 with 32 points being the cut off, the good friend that Bryan is, we agreed to ID, so I could have a win and in for top 8.

9-1-2

R13 Pidgey Control Mirror (Dario Scarno)

This matchup was one I’ve already lost this tournament (due to a DPL). But I was ready, this was my shot at finally making top 8 at a regional and making a push for my top 16 stipend in Europe, as well as gathering important points for top 22.

I set up better than he did, and I was able to get my stuff faster than he did. He didn’t play Girafarig which helped me a ton. I was playing very gently with my management of my deck and resources, and me having more energies due to my decklist error and the fact that I played Girafarig won me a long 45-minute game 1. He scooped game 2 quickly, since there was no way that he could ever win a 5-minute game.

10-1-2

With this I was safe for a top 8 spot with a round remaining. Truly a great run up until this point thinking about my stadium issue, which didn’t turn out to be a problem, YET.

R14 Fossils (Renaud Levain)

We were both at 32 points, so that was an easy ID.

Now onto top 8!

R15 – Top 8 Baby Blowns / Greens (Stephane Ivanoff)

Yeah, the no stadium issue finally became a problem. Game 1 was running how it was supposed to, but playing vs someone like Stephane, he knew that putting down Heat Factory basically would guarantee him everything he needed every time. When he plays down Heat Factory and I then remove his hand, the number of cards I want to put on the top of the deck with Chip-Chip Ice Axe decreases a lot. This happened in game 1 where I removed his hand, but then at some point had to give him a fire energy, where he could set up his attackers again with the cards he drew and finally take his final prizes.

Game 2 was a bit different. I got a hand lock with him having no heat factory in play, but at some point, my only Chip-Chip Ice Axe in hand showed me three ‘’good’’ cards, from memory they were – Green’s, Green’s and Heat Factory. In this situation I gave him the Heat Factory and a game 1 scenario came back into this game 2 and I lost. He did draw quite poorly, and I was close to donking him with Oranguru, but I just couldn’t get it done.

Huge probs to Stephane on winning the whole tournament, this man has been on fire, and I would also like to thank him for his kind words about my ‘’handicapped’’ performance.

Having my run end in top 8 was more than I expected given my decklist error I caught myself after round 1, but I’m certainly surprised that I managed to dodge all the Pikarom and M3 decks during my rounds.

Sword and Shield format – Is Pidgey control dead?

Pidgey as a control deck is dead for now, the release of the new Oranguru makes chip much less effective and leads to easier getting out of a lock. Also, Metal Saucer being able to accelerate energies with Zacian V’s ability to attach to itself AND drawing cards is nuts, and unfortunately kills the control archetype with Oranguru and Pidgey.

I’ve only tested a little bit, and I’ve gone back to taking prizes as a strategy to win games, which is much different from the way I’ve been playing the game the last 3 months or so. I’ve been liking Mewtwo / Malamar a lot, with the different options it gives and it’s versatility, it’s surely a top contender to be one of the best decks heading into the SWSH format and OCIC, which I will be attending at the end of February.

SWSH Mewtwo Malamar156.09
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Remember to tune into our Limitless vs Brave Birds show match to see more interesting Sword & Shield decks in action, taking place on February 9th!

I would like to thank everyone for reading this and especially my followers on various social media like Twitter. If you’re interested in coaching, you can find me on social media.

REMEMBER TO DO YOUR DECKLIST RIGHT AND CHECK IT BEFORE YOU TURN IT IN

Pidgey god – out

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