Articuno Makes a Big Splash Aboard the Queen Mary

Devin Diamond’s “Killer Deck” Report from the Long Beach STS

By Steven “Daddy-O” Diamond (July 2000)

My son, Devin Diamond, participated in the 10-and-under division of the Super Trainer Showdown on July 22, 2000 and finished among the top 8 players. Since none of the STS qualifier events were held in our home town of Albuquerque, Devin didn’t have a chance to earn an invitation – however, he had earned 7 badges at Pokemon League (and each member of our family has earned at least 6 badges) so we decided to begin our summer vacation with a trip to Long Beach. Glad we did!

 One of the things I really liked about Devin’s deck is that most decent “deck mechanics” would probably slice and dice it to shreds –yet it was good enough to take him to the STS finals!  Eat Articuno dust, all you “deck experts” out there!  As others have said before me, it’s not so much what’s in the deck as who plays the deck.  Devin’s idea was “just to get Scyther out first, with Hitmonchan, Chansey or Articuno on my bench. Then I could retreat Scyther for free after putting Water Energies on Articuno. If I pulled Fighting Energies I would put them on Hitmonchan or Machop for quick damage.” The blue legendary bird was Devin’s big hitter – a really good choice!

 Devin’s excellent showing at the STS was proof you didn’t need to be a nationally-ranked well-known player to have a shot at the gold  (or silver or bronze) -- all you needed was a solid deck, determination, a good knowledge of the game, and, of course, a healthy dose of luck!

 Devin’s record before the finals was 6-1, giving him a total of 18 points for the preliminaries.  Here’s the deck that enabled him to join the “Elite Eight:”


Devin Diamond’s deck: “Super Splash”

2 x DCE

3 x Bill

9 x Fighting Energy

2 x Computer Search

13 x Water Energy

3 x Energy Retrieval

            = 24 Energy

2 x Energy Removal


3 x Energy Search

1 x Chansey

2 x GOW

3 x Scyther

2 x PlusPower

2 x Machop

2 x Professor Oak

3 x Hitmonchan

2 x Super Energy Removal

3 x Articuno

3 x Switch

            = 12 Pokemon

            = 24 Trainers


For those of you interested in the “meta-game” of the STS, here’s what Devin faced, in game order: classic Haymaker deck, Exeggcutor-Electabuzz deck, Clefable-Hitmonchan deck, Wigglytuff deck, another Haymaker (his first loss!), yet another Haymaker, and yet another Haymaker deck. Devin’s only loss in the preliminaries was to a Haymaker (played well by Ken Knight) when Devin opened with only Hitmonchan active and lacking any bench.  Although Devin managed to take one prize, he never recovered from that initial poor draw, and Ken played his Haymaker perfectly.

 Nevertheless, Devin made it to the finals where he faced a Psychic deck featuring both Nintendo Promo and Movie Promo Mewtwo. I thought at first Devin would have the advantage, since he opened with Chansey active -- the Big Egg has resistance to psychic attacks.  But his opponent got sufficient energies under his Mewtwos and used Gusts of Wind well, knocking out Devin’s Hitmonchan and Machop.  Even Devin’s waterless Articuno fell to Mewtwo, a sad irony given the abundance of water surrounding the Queen Mary.  Alas, the sea is a cruel mistress, and Devin returned to the high desert of New Mexico with an ultra-cool STS hat, a load of boosters, and a few ideas about getting his deck ready for the Gym Heroes pre-release tournament we’ll be attending August 5th!  Trainers everywhere, beware...