Me: Hi, I’m Steven Reich, here at Top Cut Comics in Rockford, IL, at one of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Fall Battle Roads 2012. I’m here with Ricky Berliant, who is the winner of the Masters Division at today’s Battle Road tournament. Ricky, you had a Darkrai EX/Hydreigon deck, so for people who aren’t familiar, what is the basic strategy with that?
Ricky: The basic strategy is you use Hydreigon’s Ability called “Dark Trance” to move around [dark] energies (including blend), while you have Darkrai’s Ability, “Dark Cloak”, which gives Pokémon with dark energy attached to them free retreat.
Me: It’s a very popular deck, but one thing you put in there is the Sigilyph card [Dragons Exalted 52], and it’s got the “Safeguard” Ability. What does that do, and how did you end up using it in your deck?
Ricky: Safeguard is an Ability where no EX Pokémon can attack Sigilyph*. It’s useless against decks like Empoleon and Garchomp/Altaria, but he comes in handy against decks like Rayquaza, Zekeels, and so on.
Me: You went undefeated today, but is there any one game that stands out in your mind?
Ricky: One game that really stood out to me was round two. He was playing Zekrom/Eels/Mewtwo, and he was ahead by four prizes. He kept knocking out my basics using his Thunderus.
Me: How’d you end up turning that around?
Ricky: Well, I played an N [to reduce his hand size]. I also noticed he had used up all four of his Catchers already, and I felt pretty safe from there, but it still was a long road for me.
Me: All right, well thank you very much Ricky, this has been Steven Reich from Top Cut Comics in Rockford, IL, at one of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Fall Battle Roads 2012.
*Editor’s note: Giratina EX is notable exception in that its “Shred” attack ignores Abilities and other effects on the defending Pokémon.