Hello, my name is Omar Martinez, and I've recently picked up a sponsorship with my good friends here at Card Cavern Trading Cards. So huge thanks to them for letting me write this free article for you all! Today, I'm going to be talking about my experience at Dallas Regionals with this insanely busted deck, Dolls Control. I went 6-3 for a Top 128 finish.
To backtrack, my good friend Jeffrey Torres and I tested this build for about a total of 2 months. We went through many initial builds, starting with your basic Sableye builds and such. Sableye was such a good deck initially, seeing how the meta was full of Ultra Necrozma builds, a 100-0 matchup. After the meta kept developing more, and decks like Turbo Dark, Mewbox, and Gardevoir/Sylveon Tag Team decks started to rise to the top; we had to prepare our list for the newer refined meta.
Our top 5 decklists we expected to see at Dallas were as follows;
1.) Turbo Dark (Specifically with Weavile GX, Guzzlord CEC, and Darkrai EX DEX)
3.) Gardevoir/Sylveon GX
4.) Ultra Necrozma Variants
Going back on our Sableye build; it was able to destroy the Zorogarb, Ultra Necrozma, and Gardevoir/Sylveon GX matchups, by being able to Junk Hunt for resources instantly, giving us access to disrupt them turn after turn. But, we just weren't able to figure out the Turbo Dark matchup, and the Mewbox matchup seemed a little off, even with Power Plant and many Fabas/Enhanced Hammer. (Due to Mewbox being able to use Noivern GX's Distort every turn)
I purely believe this was the BDIF for the event, but the skill-cap of the deck being so insanely high, that it'd need lots of work put into if it wanted to see success. Sadly, only 3 of us piloted this deck to the event, with 2 of us making Top 128, and another friend making Day 2 with a different variant.
Doll Control Deck List:
I'll cut it short here and get to the list, and an explanation on how we prepared for each expected matchup at Dallas!
(Pokémon - 8)
2 Oranguru UPR 114
1 Hoopa SLG 55
1 Sableye DEX 62
1 Regirock PR-XY 49
1 Girafarig LOT 94
1 Mimikyu CEC 96
1 Woobat CEC 87
(Supporters - 19)
4 Steven's Resolve
4 Green's Exploration
2 Team Flare Grunt
1 Team Skull Grunt
1 Tate & Liza
1 Bellelba & Brycen-Man
1 Pokémon Ranger
(Stadiums - 3)
3 Tropical Beach PR-BLW 28
(Items - 26)
4 Lillie's Poké Doll
4 Robo Substitute Team Flare Gear
1 Computer Search Ace-Spec
1 Rescue Stretcher
1 Super Rod
1 Captivating Poké Puff
1 Nest Ball
1 Enhanced Hammer
2 Counter Catcher
3 Pokégear 3.0
4 VS Seeker
1 Target Whistle Team Flare Gear
1 Field Blower
(Energy - 4)
1 Recycle Energy UNM 212
3 Darkness Energy
(1 - Turbo Dark - 50/50)
Our final plan was to eventually leave our board with a Woobat CEC in the active, with a Regirock PR-XY 49. The setup is to let them play their board out until we can catch a Dedenne GX or Sudowoodo Roadblock on their bench, gust it into the active, and then using Woobat CEC to lock it in the active. Their common ways out were to either play Switch, Escape Rope, or AZ. Most won't play Switch or Escape Rope due to the ability of Darkrai EX DEX. This would usually stop them in their tracks to deck out, because 99 times out of 100, we will never deck out against them. By either looping Recycle Energy and a Lillie's Poke Doll to bottom deck, or using Tate & Liza over and over again with VS Seekers. The plan was genius, that even other top players started using Regirock as well + Snorlax Heavy Ability in replacement.
Before that game plan, we can either try to run them out of energy or deck them out through Bellelba & Brycen-Man, which is way harder, but not impossible. We noticed three days before the regional, people were trying to tech Escape Rope, but we called their bluff, and a lot of Turbo Dark players didn't tech Escape Rope in the end. (Mainly for Shock Lock) I did not face this matchup in Dallas.
(2 - Mewbox - 100/0 or a 50/50)
This matchup was insanely easy, with a lot of players, not teching Greninja GX or Altaria GX in the final lists, Hoopa SLG just-auto wins the matchup. You have so many options to combat them in this matchup. Girafarig Get Lost, Woobat Locking a Giratina LOT in the active, Faba/Enhanced Hammer loops, or Hoopa SLG. All amazing options.
If they do play a Greninja GX or Altaria GX, it becomes a 50/50, but you still have plenty of options to play around it. I'll explain more in my matchups.
(3 - Gardevoir/Sylveon GX - 70/30)
Gardevoir/Sylveon GX was the reason we added Field Blower back in this deck, to get rid of their float stones over and over again on their Aromatisse. Most lists play 7 Fairy Energy and 4 Wonder Energy, so your goal in this matchup is to get rid of their energies until they can't get a full Magical Miracle GX. You want to try to stop Fairy Song as much as possible, and if you can't, you still keep discarding energy through Faba, Enhanced Hammer, Plumeria, Team Flare Grunt, and even Team Skull Grunt.
An insane combo you could do against this matchup is getting rid of 3 energies in 1 turn. So the way to do this was to use Enhanced Hammer on a Wonder Energy, a disruption supporter like Team Flare Grunt or Plumeria, and using another disruption supporter with Mimikyu CEC 96. This combo usually would seal matchups for me.
Other options you have are to have Hoopa SLG and forcing them to swing with Aromatisse, to buy yourself turns to get rid of more energy or Float Stones. The name of the game for this matchup is, don't get Magical Miracle GX'd to 0 Cards in hand. And if you are going to get hit with that, make sure to prepare by benching lots of Dolls and Robo Subs + Walls like Hoopa SLG. It'll give you ways to draw out of it a lot of times.
(4 - Ultra Necrozma Variants - 100/0)
This matchup is hard to lose against, very self-explanatory, you use Faba 4 times or even Enhanced Hammer + Field Blower over and over again, and you're able to send them packing instantly. If they play Counter Energy, it's a dead card right out of the bat, if they play Rainbow Energy/Unit Energy/Psychic Energy, it's not tough to get rid of those extra 2/3 Energy.
I lost against this matchup against Harry Wada Round 5, due to insanely bad luck. I got donked turn 1 Game 1 and Game 3, drawing no 2nd Pokemon or Doll. Donks hardly happen with having 21-24 ways to find a guaranteed 2nd Pokemon/Doll. In testing, I've never gotten donked before, and sadly the game of Pokemon sometimes does that! Can't be too bummed about it.
(5 - Zorogarb 50/50)
A very well experienced player might be able to combat the matchup a lot smarter, I figured this out when I made a misplay on Round 2 against a Zorogarb deck. This matchup can be an auto-win, or it can be a challenging matchup. For my Round 2, my opponent started to use Trubbish Garbage Collect to put Super Rod on top of his deck, which I sadly didn't see coming a mile away. If I prepared for this matchup further, I definitely believe I wouldn't have lost it, but unfortunately, misplays happen sometimes!
To combat this, I would've prioritized their energy more, rather than going for a greedy deck out strategy. To get rid of 4 Double Colorless Energy is easy. To get rid of 2-3 Psychic Energy is where it can get tough, having to get rid of 1 by 1, and using Girafarig Get Lost every time you Plumeria/Flare Grunt an energy away.
Woobat CEC lock could've also done a great job by locking something like a Sudowoodo, but at the time of Round 2, this would've gotten me a tie.
EggRow: 100/0, Oranguru + Steven's Resolve is a godsend here. You Girafarig Get Lost their Brock's Grit when they use it. You don't need items in this matchup as it is entirely favored.
Archie's: 50/50; You can Nest Ball for a Hoopa turn 1 to prevent losing against an Espeon Deoxys Tag Team. After that, your goal is to Girafarig Get Lost their only Guzma if possible or lock up a Dedenne-GX or Sudowoodo. Sometimes locking their Blastoise in the active works too, depending on how much energy is on the field.
Shock Lock: 100/0. As long as you don't prize a Sableye + Switch + Enhanced Hammer + Gladion, this matchup is insanely favored. The chance of prizing 3 of those is 0.1%, a very low probability. All you need to do is loop Sableye, Switch, Enhanced Hammer, + a Doll/Sub/Recycle Energy. You'll run them out of Memory Energy quick, and eventually, buy yourself turns where you don't need to Switch out of Paralysis, that's when you Junk Hunt for other resources or go into Girafarig Get Lost and start getting rid of their resources.
R1 ZoroGarb WW
R2 ZoroGarb L (Misplay against Trubbish Garbage Collection)
R3 Reshizek WW
R4 Gardeon Aromattise WW
R5 Ultra Necrozma LWL (Donked G1/G3)
R6 Mewbox LWL (DPL)
R7 Mewbox WW
R8 Mewbox WW
R9 Mewbox WW
Overview of the deck + Preparation for Collinsville:
To finish this article, this deck, in my opinion, was insanely busted. This deck had such a great matchup spread in the meta; you would've just had to play it to understand it. The deck has every single win condition available to it; it is insane. We could deck out our opponent, run them out of all resources forcing them to scoop. We could lock a Pokemon of theirs in the active for the whole game, we could also even take six prizes with Hoopa SLG, depending on the matchup. (For example, the champion's deck, Hunter Butler's RoxieChomp would just fold to Hoopa SLG.) This deck puts up many walls in the way of your opponent, leaving them confused without knowing what's the next one. Being able to make your opponent knock out a total of 23 Dolls/Robosubs, maybe even more, if you could pull it off, is insane. The options of this deck were endless, and I felt that it was just invulnerable. Your worst enemy would be misplays or insanely bad luck, other than that, it was consistent, strong, and feared.
So, how do we prepare for Collinsville? With the new supporter change, is this deck even worth considering? Maybe. This deck could be changed to have more walls, or even become a Wall Stall deck more than a Well-Rounded Control deck. As for the Turn 1 Supporter rule change, we can substitute that by replacing PokeGear 3.0's for Trainer's Mail, I'd recommend 4. I'd also bump up Tropical Beach to 4, to have your turn one pseudo supporter. I'd also add more nest balls just to be on the safe side. We don't know the meta for Collinsville yet, as we haven't quite figured out Sword & Shield format for Standard, let alone Expanded.
Only time will tell, I'm still on the fence for playing Collinsville, we'll have such a short time to test online, so it'll all have to be in private testing. Collinsville is only a few weeks away, so a possible Wall Stall build might be better in order to counter a more general meta. If I were to play Collinsville, I'd test Ultra Necrozma more, due to it not being so dependent on a turn one supporter, + having a mix of Quick Balls, Mysterious Treasures, Nest Balls/Ultra Balls to set up an Octillery. Also, Rotom Bike is insane, it's a pseudo supporter turn one and is almost like a Tropical Beach. If you play lots of items and thinning options, Rotom Bike might be a good option.
To close back on Dallas, I sincerely believe if I made day 2, it would've panned out for an AMAZING Day 2 Matchup Spread. Dallas was an enjoyable experience! I went 6-3 for a Top 128 Finish, + a League Cup win, gaining me 90CP. That puts me currently at (364/500CP) Towards my World's invite! I hope you enjoyed reading my first ever article. I tried to go into decent detail without overloading you with too many words.
I'd like to thank my sponsor, Card Cavern Trading Cards! You can use my code FILTH to get yourself 5% off towards their codes and singles. (Great opportunity to get codes for Sword & Shield testing!) Thank you for reading. See you next time!
- Omar Martinez (01/29/2020)