"Earth Volcano"- A 1st Place Report From Missouri States

I woke up at 4:40 on Saturday morning to get out the door by 5:45. My father, my mother, my brother and I all piled in the car and drove to Yeti Gaming in the St. Louis area.

The list I brought was identical to that posted by Andrew Wamboldt on The Charizard Lounge a week and a half ago. I really liked the list, and I felt like it stayed with the spirit of Donphan. With Donphan, you used to be able to load up a Donphan to use Wreck, but with the advent of VS Seeker people can reuse Lysandre to eliminate the threat of Donphan. Since Primal Groudon can't be affected by Lysandre or Enhanced Hammer, it is the ideal Pokemon to build up to be a big hitter.

Round One vs. Nicholas Jensen with Metal

I benched him on turn three or four with Donphan for game one. In game two, I loaded up a Primal Groudon with three Strong Energy, but he threw down two Aegislash EX. I three-hit each one with Donphan. His Plasma Klinklang meant that Groudon was useless in this matchup, which was frustrating.


Round Two vs. Zack Martin with Manectric + Bats

In game one I took some easy prizes off of Manectric, but I had to Wreck a Crobat and I was an energy short. He Nd me to one, I drew Korrina, and searched out Professor's Letter for the win.

In the second game, he used his Bats to knock out all my Donphans, leaving me with nothing. He would have won game three as well, but we ran out of time.


Round Three vs. Dylan Tenney with Machamp

I knocked out a Miltank early game and he could only set up one Machamp. He couldn't Lysandre a Primal Groudon, and I ran through him with Gaia Volcano both games after taking out threats like Lucario EX and Machamp.


Round Four vs. Jeff Cheshire with M Gardevoir

We only had time for one game, but boy was it a good game. He had to choose whether to Lysandre Groudon EX on the one turn before it Mega Evolved, or to Lysandre a Donphan that was threatening to Wreck M Gardevoir the following turn. He chose the Donphan (which was the right choice), which let me load up a Groudon to take my last two prizes. Game two went unfinished.

Round Five vs. David Coates with Exeggcutor/Greninja

This was a freaky but very scary deck. I immediately went for Primal Groudon, and had to wait eight or nine turns before I could draw into four energy. He sniped the Groudon with the Greninja, but he whiffed the energy for Stomp, so I was able to get the win. A very similar situation played out during game two, but there was not enough time for the game to finish.


Round Six vs. Andrew Wamboldt with Yveltal/Seismitoad/Garbodor/Raichu

We IDed, and I was in!


I was seeded to play against Brit Pybas the next day, so I went back to my hotel room and tested the Seismitoad/Jynx matchup with Ben Barham in preparation for the following day.

I started off the following day at six A.M. I was very anxious and excited and as a result I had trouble sleeping. I got a good eight hours in from ten to six but the quality of that sleep was low. I showered, ate breakfast at the Embassy, and sat in my hotel room waiting for time to go faster. At 8:30 I asked to get taken to Yeti Gaming because I couldn't take the suspense anymore. I was all jittery and nervous when we arrived at Yeti at 9:15, so Jay Young and I played a game of chess to warm up. It was really helpful, and I ended up winning.

By 10:01, all of top cut has arrived, and we get going.

Top Eight vs Brit Pybas with Seismitoad/Jynx

The night before I did some testing online against Seismitoad/Jynx, and I was winning about half of the games. One thing that helped me though is that I knew that Brit didn't play Lysandre or any Hammers, so my benched Donphans were pretty safe.

These games were streamed. I manage to get Groudon in both games, and I was able to use Gaia Volcano and Wreck to get a win.

Top Four vs Sorina Radu with Seismitoad/Crobat

This was the most challenging match of entire tournament. Toad gives me trouble, and the only way to beat it is with Groudon. During Swiss, Bats gave me trouble as well, so I was not looking forward to this match at all. During the first game against Sorina, I had to discard Primal Groudon early game, and she absolutely demolished me. I learned a couple of things during this game though. She ran Super Scoop Up, so I had to be knocking things out in one hit. The other thing that I noticed was that even though she ran bats, they weren't doing a ton of damage like they were during swiss. Because Seismitoad didn't hit the bench with its attack, there wasn't as much pressure on my bench.

I realized that I had to set up a Primal Groudon at all costs. I benched one and started attaching to it, but before I could evolve it into Primal Groudon, she used Lysandre to bring it up and she used Quaking Punch. It had Head Ringer on it, so I had to use Groudon's first attack a couple of times. In a last ditch effort, I used Lysandre on a benched Mewtwo. At this point, I honestly believed that I had lost the game and the series. The next turn, however, Sorina flipped tails on Super Scoop Up and I was back in the game. She flipped a second tails on Super Scoop Up, and whiffed a DCE to retreat. I set up Groudon and set up a Donphan on the bench, but she knocked out the Groudon when I still had two prizes left to take. I was able to Lysandre up Jirachi EX on her bench and KO it with Spinning Turn to net me the win and put me back in the series.

In game three, I loaded up a Groudon and I won when she ran out of energy after knocking it out.

Finals vs Andrew Wamboldt with Yveltal/Seismitoad/Garbodor/Raichu

These games were streamed, so you can go watch at twitch.tv/yetigaminglive. In game one, I had a poor start and he won. I won games two and three by building up a Groudon to deal with EXes, and retreating it to save it for a game finisher.

I total I lost three games. I lost game two of Round Two of swiss, game one of Top Four, and game one of Top Two. I'm very happy with how I did. This is a big achievement for me. I got second at States in seniors in 2012, but this is a much bigger deal. This is also my first time in masters advancing past the first round of top cut. I think I will play Donphan again next week. The deck has an answer for a lot of the decks out there.

Without further ado, here is the list:

I encourage you to go check out thecharizardlounge.com where I got the list from. Andrew goes more in depth, explains the logic behind the deck and individual card choices. He runs a great site, and it's all free.

Donphan being viable again
Chess with Jay
Mental Pokemon with Damien
Having great friends who will test with me from 200 miles away
Taquitos from QT

Not being able to sleep before Pokemon tournaments

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave questions in the comments.


  1. Thanks for the confirmation of taking out your Donphan. But I still wonder if that was the right move on my part...

    Let me know if you ever want to playtest on TCG. I use my son's screen name of "macboy02". I am available usually during the day to test.



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