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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

The Art of Metagaming
By Michael Gundesen
March 19, 2008


The history of Michael Tveden Gundesen experiences in Switzerland and the great deck togechomp.


In pokemon the metagame have long consisted of two decks: The well know gardelade variants (absolade gardevoir gallade dusknoir etc. etc.) and the evenly well know magmortar variants. The new set GE have made very few changes to this. The same decks got new tools to play with: a starter that gets your deck up efficiently and stops cessitation crystals as well as claydoll who is pretty much one of the most usefull engines existing.

The existence of pachirisu is very important. As it is an automatic include in many decks it have nearly killed of the use of cessitation crystals all by itself this have resulted in many people dropping windstorm as they usually play game after game without getting any use out of it. When you only play against gardelade and magmortar why bother?

Thinking like this is what makes a metagame wide open. There are only 2 decks you have to beat consistently. That got to be possible!

What do you need to beat these decks? They are both kind of slow setup decks and the both overcome this by massive midgame/early midgame.

Scramble blows up games and they can easily recover from massive losses.                                                                                                                             

The metagame


I decided to try breaking the metagame. It was my assumption (and as it showed later correct) that the metagame was nearly only magmortar and gardelade. I’ve had a few decks running. The first was of course “if you can’t beat them join them” which would be gardelade with modifications against the mirror, but no… All the others are doing that aswell what would make ME win by doing that? Then came the thought off claydoom (claydoll houndoom and absurd numbers of strength charm PP and disruption) which had done well but which want exactly what I were looking for.


Then I’ve saw togekiss and garchomp…..


I’ve asked myself: “why hasn’t this deck been winning great numbers of tournaments? And I realised there was no reason. People just played their gardelade decks which did well and even though there where a great deck right under there noses they did not bother to play it.

And so Togechomp were born. I do not claim this deck. There is no douth that people before me have taken it for a spin just like no one should try to claim magmortar or gardelade.

I’ve however haven’t heard of people playing it in serious tournaments and as so I “invented” it from scratch.


The 15. of march there where a 32 point international tournament in Switzerland called:”1. Schweizer Pokemon Turnier International” Me and some friends (the Danish top players) took a trip together to play the tournament it was 20 hours in a caravan, but when you are in good company…

Of course we did a lot off play testing (we seemed to have all the time in the world) and I wasn’t satisfied especially my friend Lars beat me to the ground ironically with the very deck I where trying to beat. This off course was depressing, but I still thought the deck where good and that the losses where small so I decided to go for it anyway.

So I found a deck which matched the metagame and played it as the only one in the tournament – a tournament which featured what seemed like a hefty number of gardelade decks.


My deck as the name says consist of garchomp as main attacker and togekiss as important secondary attacker as well as the all important energy acceleration. Claydoll gets the deck running and makes the main engine of the deck. As stadium of choice is full supply of crystal beaches as it does not hurt the deck at all and seriously hurts decks using DRE and scramble. One of the main problems is getting the right energy at the right time this off course applies to deck building. As I thought the that the main enemies was going to be gardelade and magmortar I’ve played most of the matching energies (water and psychic) I’ve took 2 lighting energies in as well to beat togekiss (a big pain in the butt as it can’t be OHKO and do 2HKO garchomp) with lighting my own togekiss just need to make 10 damage stay so Garchomp can OHKO. Fighting were secondary consideration as I’ve needed those to make sure that bliss wasn’t an auto loss. Of the rest 1 were enough as I could use Mantine to recycle them if necessary. To get the right type when needed Roseanne were useful.

Worth to mention is unown G who is a humble but useful tech making it necessary for gallade to flip 4 (or even 5) prizes to OHKO togekiss as it is resistance and can’t be sonicbladed with G attached.


Let me explain why togechomp is a good call against (especially) gardelade and magmortar decks:


First and foremost garchomp and togekiss IS a good deck. It’s not just a weak deck that can beat 1 thing and 1 thing only.

Second garchomp deals exactly 110 which mean OHKO of both magmortar and gardevoir if the haven’t got the level exes on (something that I hard to keep getting)

Unown G is useful against gallade as it comboed with togekiss makes gallade look pretty awful (and I won’t even mention the bring down protectionJ)

Furthermore it is fast 110 from turn 3 is the norm meaning that both decks needs to grab their stadium remover very fast in order to get use of their special energies (scramble, DRE). Some garlade decks does not even feature stadium removal any which off course make those variants nearly autowins.  

New metagame?

At last ill mention that Togechomp can live under the pressure of Dusknoir which still hurts but not more than it usually still wins.


Let me go through the tournament. As the notes is written pretty fast there may be some spelling mistakes (names) also if the description gets shorter in the end it isn’t because the games wasn’t hard or exciting but because it were 12 or later at night and I needed to function 100% in the game . For this I must excuse. I would like to mention that the tournament was very well arranged and functional even though it ended late.


First game: Steffen Eriksen –magmortar


Steffen is a Dane like me and a very strong player (he is number 4 in Europe for crying out loud) and I literally wanted to curse when I’ve saw that I had to meet him in first round. We are good friends and beat each other on a regular basis (even same league). So this was pretty much the one I least wanted to meet in the first game…   Luckily for me the goddess of luck screwed him over in this game. His start was awful and it didn’t take long before garchomp began to eat its way through the prizes. When he began to draw anything useful it was too late as I was to far ahead. I wished him luck and went on to next match.



2. game Robert Gimbel – Gardelade/BF/Absol/Dusknoir


This was a very hard match as Robert play really well and actually packed the BF which hurts my deck so much. I’ve got all the needed crystal beaches and a great start in general which. Put me well ahead. Then he began fighting back really bad. He used his dusknoir and I could not find the darkness I needed so much. He punched his way through the prizes and I’ve fougth back the best I could as the time came I’ve won on 1 prize ahead in a match I honestly do not know who would have won if we had continued. A very hard match against a powerful opponent.



Match 3: Luca – Magmortarkiss


This match all came down too mantine who kept my lighting energies in rotation. The togekisses really hurt and the match wasn’t easy even though my crystal beach got to stay in play the entire game. We each made a few punches back and forth but my togekisses functioned as OHKO preparation and the 3. Lighting and Water charged garchomp sealed the game. Thanx mantine!




Match 4: Sacha Giger – blisscatty with arcanine tech


When I’ve saw the chansey start I screamed inside- Hatematchup! How should I beat bliss? Is it at all possible? I don’t know if I could beat a fast start, but he did not get one. The blisses did not come flying and my togekisses made it possible for Garchomp to take out those who did. The crystal beach kept boost at bay and luckily I drew into my fighting energies. If my opponent had more luck he might have beaten me, but this wasn’t the day.




Match 5: Simone Saldo- Absolade with doll


Simone got a bad start with only pachi and he did not get the energy to call for family! Soon I tried to kick it out with air scroll which would have meant game, but tails only 40 L. Then he drew into an energy and with 3 fresh basics and pokepowers getting the deck running it soon became interesting. Dusnoir again became trouble and I’ve began to wonder if I’ve should have packed another darkness energy. In the end I won the close match due to crystal beach and mantine doing their jobs.




Match 6 last match before top 8: Rafael Pacho - Gardelade furret engine


I where a bit more relaxed in this match as I know where sure to make the finals whatever result I would get from this match. Again gallade gardevoir build. This game really came down to Unown G beating triumphing over bringdown. The little creature protected my gibles from certain death!. The player was no douth very good, but made a mistake (it was late) and I took the game home.




Undeafeated in the top 8? This is interesting… The top 8 consisted of 4 gardelade builds, 2 magmotar builds, a solrock tyranitar and my togechomp. The decks were matched so we got 3 Mirror matches and I’ve got to take on the massive tyranitar. The finals were naturally best of 3.


Top 8: Alexandro – solrock tyrannitar build.


Interesting match as his ground burns succeeded in hitting a massive 130 damage without the help of my deck at all! Wow I see how this guy made the finals. This meant that my Garchomps was in OHKO range while TTar was not.. However my deck was able to produce more garchomps than he could match with tyranitars and with the aid of togekiss I took down the first tyrannitars. That meant special darkness in the discardpile which made it possible to overpower the tars. A interesting match which I took home in the end.




Top 4: Robert Gimbel - Gardelade/BF/Absol/Dusknoir


Gimbel was by far the most exuasting match in swiss and I must admit that I was very gruesome to meet him again. Only one thing to say Unonw G you are my hero! It was the card who made the match winnable an even though it got to 3 games I won in the end.




Finals: Simone Saldo - Absolade with doll.


The games were very close and after he took the first game I was under real pressure. The second game I took and then something I’ve never experiences before happened – he gave up and we shook hands. A VERY strong player and with 1-1 in games I don’t what would have happened..


The final: Simone, master professor Michael From and myself



So I won the tournament and earned more than 110 rating points in the process sending me on at short visit to the first places in Europe (now sixth). Wow. Trying to play something as the only one in a tournament and in that way breaking open the metagame is something that I can very much recommend. Thumps up to Togechomp try it!


This was all from Michael Tveden Gundesen about the tournament and the great deck Togechomp.


Questions or comments can be mailed to mgundesen@hotmail.com



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