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Cardz Shop 8 - Grass Week! - Day 2

07.15.05  Well, welcome to day two of Grass Week, AKA my really small Origins report. When I got the email earlier this week with the cards for CotD, I was ecstatic to see that Muk EX was the card for Thursday. My plans on the Saturday of Origins was to meet up with some friends, get the rest of the cards I needed for my deck, and get into a day long Pokémon competition.

However, things just didn’t work out as planned. I couldn’t find my friends (as I had to wait in line for a pass that day as well) and by the time I got into the TCG Hall, the Pokémon area was already full. So, as much as I hated to, I walked out of the TCG Hall without competing in the biggest open competition for US Pokemon players.

But this doesn’t mean I’m not going to divulge the decklist I was planning on using. Frankly, I think that some of you will see a similar deck at Worlds and could use to see what you’d be competiting against. But, in case that argument doesn’t hold water with you, I have three other reasons:

1) Seeing the strategy of someone who’s played this deck for a while can help you know how to combat the deck’s main themes and shut it down. Kinda goes with the previous point, but who said recycling was ever bad.

2) I’m not going to be at Worlds, so I don’t have to worry about someone making an anti-deck for mine. Again, goes back to Worlds prep.

3) My deck becomes obsolete after Worlds. I’m sure everyone is quite aware of the announced set rotation coming up. And almost everyone is in agreement that RS-DR is going to get rotated. What other than that is up in the air right now. I personally feel we’re getting rid of MA too, but no one can be sure of that. Hey, the first cut made under WotC was to TR. Maybe Magma and Aqua cohorts will be staying around for a while.

That said and aside, here was my planned decklist.

4 Grimer (RR)
1 Dark Muk (RR)
4 Muk EX (DR)

3 Dunsparce
3 Jirachi (DX)

3 Switch
3 Swoop! Teleporter
3 Team Aqua’s Hideout

3 CC
2 Rocket’s Admin.
4 Steven’s
3 Wally’s Advice
3 Pokemon Reversal (RG Release)
1 Super Scoop Up

14 Grass Energy
3 Metal Energy

Basic Strategy: Start the match with either Dunsparce or Jirachi active (Jirachi preferred). Use either to do their basic function (Dunsparce for bench filling and Jirachi for limited Spot searching). On your second turn, Swoop! out your current active for a Grimer and use either the Muk EX in your hand or Wally to evolve into Muk EX. Start working on building him up for an attack while keeping your bench at Jirachi and Grimer, evolving to Muk EX only when needed. Once you have your second Muk EX in play, start powering up another Grimer for either a third Muk EX or the Dark Muk.

In the mirror match: Muk EX vs. Muk EX plays out quite oddly. It’s not the greatest of attackers and relies on status on turn 2 to do a lot of damage. In the mirror match, this deck stands out with the Dark Muk, which comes in handy in the oddest of circumstances. Though it can be flippy, Dark Muk can be the card that makes or breaks a game when played correctly. Jirachi is another great card to use in the mirror match as an attack. 50 for [M][*] is pretty nice when combating an EX.

What this deck shuts down:

Ludicargo: Gone. Without its lovely Ludicolo/Magcargo combination, this deck just doesn’t work as quickly and gets easily shut down. TAHQ makes retreating a pain as well, causing havoc and upping the damage Muk EX can kick out.

Rock Lock: No powers, no combinations, no damage when you evolve after an ATMR. However, ATMR can really hurt your deck, so watch out for them.

Dragitrode: No powers, no D energy searching, no attacking. Laugh maniacally.

Blaziken: Without Firestarter, this deck gets hurt a lot. However, this deck is still really powerful without the power. Don’t underestimate the power of this deck. You’ll kick yourself for it later.

Anything with Pidgeot RG: Bye bye Pidgeot. Bye bye spot searching.

What shuts down this deck:

Gardevoir/GardEX: This deck hates [P] pokémon with a passion. While Muk EX does shut down powers, Gardy decks only need to kick out a measly 50 damage to kill you. Considering you’ll have 3 energy on you already and Gardy deck should be able to kick out the extra two energy needed to kill you with a Energy Burst.

Metagross and its variants: This is a really close match and is normally decided by the toss of a die or who goes first.

Grumpig (DX): This card TecHed into a deck really create heck for you. The Body isn’t anything to shut down and Extra Ball=doom for you.

Dark Steelix: OK, I know this deck is a little bit rogue, but whenever I’ve playtested against this deck, it just shuts me down. Resistance to G, no Bodies, and the ability to benefit from both [D] and [M] energies really creates hell for you. This deck also benefits from Swoop!, Rocket’s Poké Ball, Celio’s, Wally’s, Briney’s, etc. This deck is just the worst horror in existence for Muk EX.

Well, there was what I planned on playing. Though it didn’t work, I believe it would have worked rather well. Seena, who played Medichamp EX (another excellent deck that works similar to mine), ended up taking Nationals with his deck. I wish him great luck at Worlds, which he won’t need since he’s such a talented player.

Now, since I wasn’t involved with The Big Event, I had to find something else to occupy my time. So, I decided to compete in another Nationals event.

No, I didn’t compete in the Yu-Gi-Oh Nationals. I’m not that manic.

The other Nationals going on at origins was the 1st ever Apples to Apples Nationals. All things considered I did well. Hey, when you’re laughing at random comparisons that would make sense under NO circumstances, know that playing the card “Spam” will automatically get you a free point, and you can’t figure out if Bill, Hillary, Chelsey, or Sadaam is the “Sexistest”, how can’t you have fun? Even though I had a blast, I missed the cut to the final table by two points. I felt a little disappointed, but it wasn’t the end of my life.

I worked the Exhibit Hall over like it was my job too. Anything you could demo/playtest, I did with the exception of a couple TCGs that were, well, a tad below par. And, people, when you playtest/feign interest at places, you get a lot of free stuff. I repeat, a LOT of free stuff. Free TCG packs, miniatures, promo cards, T-Shirts, entire games (yes, entire games), and all kinds of other stuff. You just have to learn what to say, what to do, who to talk to, and when to act. Sometimes you can even make valuable contacts and get some insider info on what might be coming out in the next couple years. So, being inquisitive at booths is never a bad thing. Just know when to stop being too inquisitive.

RaNd0m Thoughts…: While I spent a lot of time in the Exhibit Hall, I also spent a lot of time with another game producer.

Andrew Looney and his Mad Lab Rabbits were out in force again this year, demoing Giant Icetowers on the main level of the convention and doing all kinds of things upstairs in the Big Experiment. I played in a couple of their tournaments and, while I didn’t do well, I had a blast and discovered a couple new games I’m definitely buying in the next couple months before I go back to school.

If you think that the Looney’s seem a bit odd and that you shouldn’t play their games games, consider this:

In 2003, I attended Origins for a couple days (because that was all I could attend) to compete in one of Wizards last DCI Pokémon events. After played decently with my Light Draggy/Espeon AQ deck, I was sitting out in one of the back halls waiting for my ride. While waiting, I saw a bunch of people with huge bags of pop cans coming to one of the open areas I’d seen other people playing with giant pyramids earlier. They dumped these cans out and started stamping them flat. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, “Dear Lord, what are these freaks doing? I hope I never get involved with whatever the heck they’re doing anytime soon.” My ride arrived a few minutes later and I was back off toward home.

About a year later, I found out that the “freaks” I saw were part of a Looney Labs run recycling program at the Con, since GAMA wasn’t doing recycling at the time. And two years after the incident, I’m more than just a little involved. I own most of Looney Labs major games, about five stashes of Icehouse pieces, and have plans on becoming a Mad Lab Rabbit and running demos in my area here soon. I can’t wait for the final edition of Just Desserts, their newest game, to come out.

The Looneys, Andy and Kristen, are great people and really down to earth. They’re very approachable and prefer a hands-on approach to their business, which I really liked. At almost any moment, you could go up and just talk to Kristen, watch Andy locked in an intense game, or even just ask him some random questions during some of his late night sessions. They’re some of the nicest game designers you’ll ever meet.

But life hasn’t always been great for them. Both of them are strong drug activists and, from what I can gather from their site, they use marijuana for medicinal purposes (could be wrong though). Now, I don’t do drugs. 1) I’d get kicked out of school and 2) I’m a voice major, so drugs of any sort are bad for me, including something else I’ll discuss tomorrow. So, for me, I say if it’s the only medicine, let them use it.

But the Supreme Court recently ruled that medicinal marijuana is unconstitutional. Now, this took me in shock. Sure, you can go ahead and say that certain detrimental drugs, like coke, are illegal, but, people, when you’re taking away people medication? That’s just wrong. Heck, I’m even a Conservative and I’m saying this. If we, as a country have come to the point where we are withholding treatments that could be bringing in the government big dollars and cut back our taxes (i.e. the tobacco industry), what are we waiting for? Let the people have their medication. The Supreme Court usually doesn’t screw up like this that often, but they really blew it this time.

Well, sorry for the overly lengthy random report. I hope to see you all at next year’s Nationals. I might just compete next year.

; )

Cardz out.

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