Australian Nationals 2014: Thomas Winkelman- Top 8 Interview (Yveltal/Boufallant/Darkrai)
Thomas: “Thankyou very much”
Q: What did you play against in Swiss and what was your record after the 8th round?
A: “I finished 6-1-1 in Swiss, mostly playing against the Yveltal/Darkrai mirror match. Often times they were running Raichu and some even ran Landorus EX to make it very interesting. I also played against speed Lugia in the 7th round which I thought was very interesting.”
Q: How about your top 8 match?
A: “It was a very close game against Aromatisse/Plasma and a very enjoyable Matchup. We got down to game 3 where I wasn’t aware that the system reverted to the old rules of Sudden-death in time. This meant that as we started our time in game 3, I was playing as though it would be a draw and we would be playing a game of sudden death at its end.
Q: You said you played against lots of the mirror match in Swiss, how did you feel about not running Raichu in the deck? Did you miss it?
A: “Honestly, I preferred my build. The Raichu can very easily hit for 180/200 on an Yveltal, but I felt it ruined a little bit of my opponent’s consistency and out speed them with Darkrai and Yveltal. By the time it became obvious that my opponent wanted to attack with Raichu, I would change my plan and begin attacking with Darkrai or Boufallant to preserve my attackers.”
Q: A lot of these Wild Wings/Speed Yveltal builds have recently been running around with 9-12 supporters and a heavy line of Random Receiver, were you expecting your deck to perform differently with a total of 14 supporters?
A: “I’ve never been a big fan of skimping on my supporter lines. I’m not running Raichu or many of the other techs of choice, so I felt that these changes would be most effective if I were to run supporters in their place.”
Q: At any time during Swiss or your Top Cut match, did you find yourself wanting Garbodor?
A: “By the time that it got to my Top 8 game, I didn’t really play against many abilities that weren’t the same ones as mine. So I didn’t particularly miss the card, perhaps if I had faced 4 Blastoise that might be different however.”
Q: With the popularity of Yveltal growing and growing by the day, Darkrai has often times been dismissed as a card that you shouldn’t run multiple copies of. What is your opinion on Darkrai in the current meta?
A: “Darkrai is still my favourite card in the format, it won be almost all of my games in the end. I can remember most prominently in the mirror match that I would attack an Yveltal EX with Boufallant & Muscle band, and then finish off a Raichu/other attacker with Night Spear to take 3 or 4 prizes in a single turn! The free retreat is almost just a bonus at this point, just because of how game changing it can be.”
Q: Do you have a standout moment/highlight from your matches?
A: “My best game was probably against James Goering from Adelaide playing Yveltal/Garbodor. In game 2 we both got down to one prize each before N happened. I got N’d into a really awful hand and he needed DCE & Lazer off 2 cards and those were the exact ones he drew. It was a really fantastic match and James is a really well known opponent so to come up against him was a pleasure.
Q: What were your thoughts behind the 3 one-off trainer cards you selected to use on the day?
A: “I’m unsure about Startling megaphone, I put it in for the abundance of tools and for Plasma but I didn’t really have too much trouble with either one. Professor’s letter is a card I almost wanted to run 2 of because of how good it is, but the struggle was finding a spot to fit it so I kept it at one. I certainly wouldn’t change Random Receiver; it’s in the deck to get back with Sableye and to fill a space if I ever draw dead.”
Q: Final question Thomas, is there a card you would change in your deck looking back on your top 8 run?
A: “I’m not entirely sure; I might consider dropping down to 1 Skyla or maybe even zero. The biggest issues I had with the deck were not hitting the correct supporter when I needed it, so perhaps dropping the count of Skyla to 1 or 0 would help with the consistent draw I needed during the day.”
Thankyou for the interview Thomas, make sure to stay tuned for the rest of our Post-Nationals coverage!