From: LuMaga1 - Raymond Rufa
Subject: My Syracuse QT report

Well, after a difficult night of sleeping, which I woke up every one or two hours, I finally got up at 5am

Well, after a difficult night of sleeping, which I woke up every one or two hours, I finally got up at 5am.  However, I didn't get out of bed until 5:30.  I had my shower, got a bowl of Corn Pops for breakfast and put the film in my camera.  I left the house around 7am and picked up Joe.  It took us three and a half hours to get to Carousel Center.  On the way, we stopped at a rest stop and Joe got something to eat.

Joe Mammano at the rest stop.

We eventually got to Syracuse, but became lost trying to find our way around.  We had to take streets that were not marked and we stopped at the wrong place.  We stopped at Altered States, thinking that was where the Qualifier was taking place.  After getting directions to the center, we made our way there, parked and entered the mall.  It was 10:30 when we made it to the site.

This place was BIG!!  The mall had eight floors, including the ground floor.  We met up with our friends JohnnyBlaze, his son Nick and another friend of ours from the Albany League, Devon.  We were told the Altered States booth on the second floor was selling Revelation, so we took the elevator up and I bought a couple of packs.  My rares in the packs were a non-holo Suicune and a Kingdra.  Joe bought about seven or eight packs and John got a box of Neo 3.  John and Joe BOTH pulled one of the Shining cards.  John got Magikarp and Joe got Gyarados.

After I had my lunch, which was a six-inch sub with spicy mustard (yummy!), I played against Devon's altered Feraligator deck with the new Parasect.  Needless to say, I got whipped badly!  John and Nick were also testing decks and trying to decide which for Nick to use, a Blaine's deck or a Meganium deck.  Around noon, the tournaments for the 10 and under and the 11-14 kids began and Nick decided to use Meganium.

Nick Chimento and Devon Mancini sign up for their divisions with JohnnyBlaze(left) and Joe Mammano(right).

The qualifier ran a Swiss format for five rounds and the top 8 ranked players would move on to single elimination.  Nick did very well Round 1, defeating a Feraligator and Devon lost to a similar 'Gator deck.  The problem was Devon could not pull any Croconaws during the match and this did him in.  After the first round, everyone decided to get food before Round 2.  Round 2 was better than the first round for both players.  Devon won against a Koga deck and Nick defeated a Fire deck!

Meanwhile, a Booster Draft was organized and Joe, John and I entered the draft.  There were twelve of us ready to draft and the format they used is something I will be using when I run my drafts.  We got four packs, one Genesis, two Discovery and one Revelation.  Before we began, the person sitting next to me, Eugene was picked to help any of the inexperienced players.  Also, before we began, I made a funny comment, "Pity the poor soul who gets stuck with Blissey!"  Finally, we drafted while the players in the other divisions got a lunch break, giving us the time we needed to choose our options wisely.

The rare in my first pack was Lugia!  How about that for a beginning??  Of course, I drafted it and moved on.  During the Genesis draft, I was passed a pack, which had a professor Elm in it.  I drafted that, remembering from the last draft that you need some type of card support.  On the next to last card, I had to choose between an Unown and a Natu.  Since we called the Unowns "Poison Pills" because we figured it would be the last card we would have to draft, I announced I would draft the Unown.  I made everyone laugh, and I was not trying either.

The rare in the first Discovery pack became better and worst than the first one.  I drafted Tyranitar and the "idea" for my deck became clear.  I wanted to draft Larvitars and Pupitars, but couldn't find any Pupitars.  So, while we were opening the third pack, I got disappointed that I would not be able to use Tyranitar.  The rare in the third pack was a Time Capsule.  I would have drafted something else, but that seemed to be the only "good" card in the pack.

The rare in the Revelation pack was a non-holo Suicune, my second one for the day.  Only reason why I drafted it was because I might be able to use it.  A couple of passes later, I got a pack that offered nothing for my deck idea.  So, I decided to "Defensive Draft" and I took a Quagsire.  Another couple of passes later, I drafted a Wooper (woohoo!)  Once the draft ended, we built our decks.  There was some confusion on the deck size, but a judge came over and clarified it for us.

I built my deck around Lugia and included Quagsire and a few of the energy types Lugia needed for its attack plus a couple of grass pokemon. Meanwhile, Nick and Devon finished Round 3, defeating their opponents.  Nick won against a Wall deck, consisting of Steelix, Slowking, Raiku and Rocket's Zapdos and Devon won against an electric deck. One of the inexperienced kids dropped from the draft because all he wanted was the cards and as many rare cards as he can.  He would have been my first round opponent, but since he dropped, I got a bye.  Also, both Joe and John lost their matches in the first round.

During our round, Round 4 was completed and this time Devon won and Nick lost.  Devon defeated an Electric and Psychic deck.  Nick lost to a Blaine's deck, played by a kid unfamiliar to me, but probably common to you.  His name was Joseph Barrne and this would not be the last time they would battle today.  After that round came Round 2 of the draft.  I faced an older player and I thought this match would last a while.  I won the right to go first and his active was a Snubbull and my active was a Tyrogue.  I attacked and got the flip for Smash Punch.  Since he had no benched pokemon, I won the match on the first turn.  Joe lost again and John won his match.

Shortly after came Round 3 of the draft and Round 5 of the tourneys.  My next opponent was Eugene and we both wanted this match to happen.  He won the right to go first and the game started to go quick.  His Natu became a problem for me and I played a Wooper.  It was his two prizes to my four before I was able to "power up" Wooper and evolve to Quagsire.  Its Whirlpool attack became an annoyance to him and after he knocked it out, it became a tied game.

Next turn, I drew my Professor Elm and used it, but not before playing Lugia and applying an Electric energy to it.  Also, I played a Scyther and in the next couple of turns was able to use it.  However, during that time, he knocked out my Tyrogue leaving just one prize left.  I played a water energy on Lugia and used Scyther's attack.  I got all four heads on it and was tied again at one prize each.  Next turn, the match ended with me retreating Scyther, bringing up Lugia, applying a Fire energy to it and using Elemental Blast.  We shook hands and agreed the match was a great one.

Meanwhile, Joe got a bye in the draft and John lost his match.  Also, Devon and Nick ended Round 5 winning both their matches.  Nick defeated a Giovanni Grass deck and Devon defeated a Fighting deck.  They finished the Swiss tournaments with records of four wins and one loss.  About ten minutes later, the postings were up.  Nick placed second overall in his division and Devon placed fourth overall.

The DCI judges started announcing that the Modified tournament would begin shortly after the draft.  Meanwhile, the fourth and last round of the draft began.  This round was also very close between us and eventually, I lost the match.  We were at a stalemate for the longest time and I was trying to build up Quagsire.  On the last turn I took, I played a Scyther and did not bring it up.  Instead, I brought up Tyrogue and hoped my opponent would not flip heads.  Alas, he did and I lost the match.  We shook hands and I checked the next few cards in my deck and found my error.  Also, Joe and John lost their matches.

I got second place in the draft and my prize was two packs of Genesis, two Discovery and one Revelation.  My pulls were an Elekid, Mary, Holo Espeon, Holo Houndoom and a non-holo Aerodactyl.  I did not join nor pay much attention to the Modified tournament because I wanted to get the results of the qualifiers.  Also, I chatted with the judges and Charwolf a little bit and I tried to get a second draft going, but it did not happen.

DCI judge, hard at work.
Nick and Devon both won their matches and advanced to the Top 4.  Nick defeated a similar Meganium deck and Devon defeated a Fire deck.  Devon lost to a Feraligator deck and ranked third place.  Nick won his match against a Fire and Grass deck and made it to the final match.  Nick's final opponent was Joseph Burrne and his Blaine deck.  Nick fought hard and used Scyther and Meganium, but Joesph powered up his Typhlosion and the game ended in a few turns.

Nick Chimento before his match.

Nick ranked second place and got a Neo Discovery box and Joseph got the trip to San Diego and the WCSTS.  Congratulations to all whom competed and stayed to witness a great qualifier.  John and Joe had entered the Modified tournament and they did well.  Joe used his Sabrina deck and John used another Meganium deck.  The tournament was Swiss and lasted five rounds.  Joe's record was one win and four losses and John's record was three wins and two losses.  Overall, it was a great day for The FireFighters!

John is the second person in the right row.

Well, after everything, we ate at Pizzeria Uno's.  I got a picture of a nice looking
waitress and I asked our waiter if he would take a couple of pictures of us.  After that, we watched Nick go on the merry-go-round they had in the Food Court.  Next, I finished the pictures with one more picture with the group at the Altered States card booth.  We left the center and got lost again.  Eventually, we found our way, dropped Joe off and got home.

The waitress I surprised with my camera.


All I can say about the next one I am going to is to beware of new ideas!  After every one gets a look at the cards from Revelation, deck ideas will be coming out of the "woodwork."  Heck, I have an idea for a new deck that I may have ready by Boston's qualifier.  So, to all whom reads this and all that does not, see you in Boston and may the DUNSPARCE be with you!

>From right-  JohnnyBlaze(John Chimento), Nick Chimento, Raymond Rufa, and Joe Mammano