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Pokemon Tournament Reports
EVERYDAY I'M PLUSLIN'
-Worlds 2006 Report-
So on the plane I read my copy of D. Gray-Man, talked to my bro/played him in a game, but while the flight was pleasant, the fact that they charge $2.00 for muffins made me mad. It's a sad day to see the industry get this bad :(
When we get there, some friends of mine greet me, talk about how ridiculous the line for the grinder is, and guess who's playing in it... My brother! While I wish I could have given him a stronger deck list for the tournament, he had only played three games in his life (two of which were incompletes), so he didn't need things complicating him. The list he used was what I consider to be the truest beginner's version of Queen. He was beginning to get cold feet 'cause he met some of the good people that would compete in the grinder, but I reassured him, and while he proceeded to go 1-5, he had the highest resistance, and every single one of his losses went to sudden death! Great job :D
Meanwhile, I ask my tournament organizer, Master Professor Birch, about judging the grinder, and he did not disappoint, because I was immediately put to work running tabs for 10-. While I couldn't make any rulings as a runner, we could alert judges of anything that looked wrong, and I did just that ;x. There were some biggies, including Giant Stump with full benches and forgetting about Burning Aura, but Gym Leader Phil and Kim Carey did a great job handling those. The 10- grinder staff looked really good, so I felt fine about any in-game issues that might arise the following day. I kind of let down another friend, Rick Langenstein, by leaving halfway through, but it's tough being a player too. SORRY, MAN!!! =(
The dinner was all right, yet not as good '04, and NOTHING like '05. But hey, it's a free event for those playing (and POP got me out of Band...yes!). Throughout all of Friday I met up with my friends from the Pokegym/Lafonte message boards, and had some serious testing. The metagame was looking to be in favor for both of my choices, Ludicolo and Eevee.dec (EVILutions of Eeveetron, as well), but ultimately I went with what I knew better/felt more confident with...the exact same Ludi list that I used in Dallas over two months prior.
Speaking of the list...
4 Celio's Network
4 Battle Frontier
3 Rare Candy
3 Rocket's Admin
2 Steven's Advice
1 Mr. Briney's Compassion
1 Warp Point
1 ATM (Rock)
1 Strength Charm
1 Solid Rage
1 Pokemon Retriever
1 Pow! Hand Extension
1 Holon Energy WP
I was 100% confident in my list, and walked into Saturday proud.
While Jimmy was disappointed that I didn't go with his Eeveelutions deck, I never really got confident in-game with the deck, and was only satisfied with its matchups. However, I was 100% confident with Ludicolo in about everyway, and while I sure did want that Happy Dance against the X amount of Dark Tyranitar decks I played against during the event, I didn't anticipate to face off against so many! With god matchups that I never hit all day like Arcanine/Queendom and good ones like Metadrag/Mewtric, the metagame looked right, but hey: you win some and lose some! Now to start the reportin'...
R1: VS Sebastian Crema [Grandmajoner] (Powtar/Lunarock)
He gets a mildly clunky start, while I get a decent one. Fortunately, he doesn't mentor for a solrock, and just opts to get a fast setup. I try to rush him quickly but he gets up just fine, and is able to ream my two Ludicolos in play. He then goes into Spin Tail mode and I'm done for. Good game, bro (0-1).
After the game, Bigchuck tells us that I snappy moved a couple of times with a Solrock on the board, but fortunately because Sebastian still won, and because he only dropped the Solrock at the end of the game, it really didn't affect us negatively. OH WELL!
R2: VS Jimmy Ballard [BANGINBOX] (Eevee.dec)
I get a Slugma start, while he gets a standard one with a fast Umbreon. For a couple turns we Combustion/Black Cry each other, and then move back to the bench. I then have the opportunity to positive spark ko his Umbreon ex, but because I still haven't setup, it's key to CFF sadly. The next turn he STM's, giving me one (but not both) of the prizes. While it's five to two (him in the lead), I make an insane comeback, and plow through two ex's (even a pow/scramble/solid rage to his Jolteon on the bench). However, I have three prizes: two irrelevent cards and Mr. Briney's Compassion...I figure that the next turn he'll either Black Cry or Snap Tail something, so I'm needing to hit that Briney, and...Whiff. I whiff on the one card that would give me the comeback win of the century. I extend the hand, and we go our separate ways. (0-2)
I'm a little disgusted that I'm 0-2 after round two, and later when Jimmy gets to the finals, I realized that this is the third year in a row in which I face off against a final four opponent (1st place Tsuguyoshi Yamato R1 '04, 3rd place Pablo Meza R2 '05, and 2nd place Jimmy Ballard '06). However, I don't let it get to me, and walk to my third round...
R3: VS Greece's National Champion (LBS)
This guy was probably the nicest opponent I played against, but unfortunately the game was in my favor the entire time. It almost went to time, and we had a couple communication problems, but I'm just able to Circular Steps anything he sends up to ko it (other than a Steelix ex which I combustion). He wishes me luck, and strangely he predicts that I make Top 32...thanks! (1-2)
We have a good lunch break, and sure enough, my bro and dad come back with...TACO FREAKING BELL! Thank you! As time flies by, we finally get to the fourth round of the event, and I feel hopeful in my attempt to recover.
R4: VS Japanese player (Spinning Tail/Claydol)
I'm kind of surprised that he's using Claydol, but luckily, I know exactly what the card does since I used it in a random deck at league over a year and a half ago. He starts with Lone Baltoy, and I'm thinking "YES!" since I have Lotad/Lombre in hand. While I flipped tails on an Ambush vs Ancient Mantra, that gave me the time I needed to setup, and even when he got out Spinning Tail, I was able to stagger-play each of my Pokemon, so that I wouldn't be in range for a massive Spin tail KO. It's a short game, but he played very well. Good game (2-2)
R5: Matt Ennocenti (LBS)
We played a considerably better casual game where I won by a decent (but not wide) margin, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Long story short, he gets a very bad hand, which I'm able to capitalize on. At one point it gets so bad that he has literally nothing but useless junk in a nine card hand! It's a blowout, but only due to the poor fortune of my opponent. About half way through the game we have an issue where I've only drawn two prizes, yet there are only three left on the board, and the penalty looks severe...however, I look down and notice my prize on the FLOOR, face down. I then realize that the sleeves on my corduroy jacket are too long, and knocked it off the table...yipes! Luckily, the three of us agree that no harm was done, Meg simply shuffles my prizes, and we continued. Sorry for the confusion Matt, and good game (3-2)
R6: VS Daddiursa (LBS)
Daddiursa and I are pals who have played before online/helped work on Pokegym deck stuff, so it's nice to play against him. He starts with...Lone Lugia, yuck! This is much like the first game I had this day against LBS, only he had more outs. However, I just timed all of my admins well, and he never was able to come back from the Frontier lock. Sorry, man :( (4-2)
R7: VS Spencer Barth [Corphish666] (LBS)
I'm just in awe...LBS again? People seemed to think that this was a bad matchup, but I guess me playing against it all day made up for the fact that I never played versus it at my Gym Challenge. Anyways, he gets a solid start with a very quick Pidgeot, but because he is forced to quick search for a key card (I don't remember...think it was a piece of the stoise line or something towards setup), he is caught without a counter, and locked by Frontier. While my start is slow on the other hand, things quickly jump back in favor of me, and I then begin to dominate the game. He makes a misplay by bringing up Pidgeot and not anticipating me being able to deal enough damage, but I do, ko'ing it without even using rage or charm. He scores a couple more ko's against me, and drops a really sick stump at the end, but unfortunately for him, I have two plusle in my hand just ready to fill up my bench, and put him in range for a knockout. Good game, and great meeting ya, bro (5-2).
I'm ecstatic about going from 0-2 to 5-2 (my only losses at this point being narrow ones to the future 2nd at worlds, and the future 8-0 swiss). I get a feeling that I'll make top cut just fine, but am fully prepared to play out my last round. I go up against...MIKEY?! No!
R8: Mikey [Magnechu] (Spinning Tail Dark Tyranitar/Electrode ex/Lunarock)
I hit some more Tyranitar...yippee. Unlike my close one with Joner, this is a full-fledged blowout: I never get the opportunity to stagger-play my basics, and he hits his only devastating atm (rock) and I lose my lombre/ludi, as well as two dre's. Later, he just bombs and spintail's for the win. Good game though, Mikey! (5-3)
5-3...well, I'm not too happy about that, but at least I lost to all excellent records. I'm a little nervous to see if my resistance paid off, but sure enough, I get in at 28th!!! While this was my first top cut, I find out that a few of my friends from Lafonte, including Squirtle, Hot Carl, among many others, have also pulled it off. I find out that I'm playing against fifth seed, Jaime Guerrero, and we turn in our decks for safekeeping.
For the remainder of the night, my dad/my bro/I eat dinner at a really good Indian cuisine place, and later on I chill with buds/talk about the day ahead. I have some good discussion with Tom Dolezal (8th Worlds 2006) about the various matchups we have coming up, and then I bid farewell, hit the hay, etc...
So I rise early to get ready for my T32 games, and shoot the breeze with Ian Ryave and Yaccine Sekkoum for a bit. I then meet up with TheDarkTwins and Jaime, talk a little, and we all head to our tables…
T32: VS Jaime Guerrero (Rock-Lock)
Game 1: Lone Slugma vs.…lone Mareep?! I think my three-pile previous to this would help out against the supposed god hands he always gets, but he hits a top-decked Lanette! I get up around an abysmal turn six/seven, and after a mildly long exchange, I decide to concede to save time when I just have jack and he has everything.
Game 2: This is a little better because I start with Surprise Lotad and can potentially t2ko his Larvitar…I go first, surprise, and hit a useless card with a pidgeot and rc sitting in it…what does he draw next turn? Yup you guessed it: Celio, so he proceeds to pull off turn one Pidgeot, and while I’m able to gain early control, his two tech Pows ravage my board, and I’m stuck just Magcargo swarming for a while. I make it close, and for a minute it looks like I could win, but unfortunately my pow/scramble/solid rage/admin to his Pidgeot means nothing when he hits the energy he needs to 80 my Magcargo next turn for the win. (5-4; 5-5)
Jaime was cool to play because the guy is a spaz like myself, and a cool person in general. That was a hard loss to take, but I really appreciated the congratulations I got from Ness, Mike Schell, and Richard for the top thirty-two.
While I feel that I didn’t underestimate my opponent at all (a person who wins one of every event other than worlds/nationals has to be good), I did underestimate how bad the matchup was for my version of Ludicolo… never saw that my Tyranitar-weak deck list would play against four! Among that top 32, only eight of the decks really scared me (Lunarock Dragtrode and Ttar), but I guess at an event like this, you should only have four decks or less that actually “concern” you.
Once again I questioned if I should have gone with Eeveelutions, but truly, the deck only works for BANGINBOX. Jimmylutions loses just as bad to Powtar, has a shakier Blastoise matchup than Ludi, and Eevee mirror is just as close as Ludi/Eevee, if not harder. Donk-Lock is also of equal difficulty for both decks, and even if I won against Jaime with Jimmylutions, Ness takes me out in the top 16, whereas with Ludi the odds are better. Aside from all that mumbo-jumbo, I was just way more comfortable with Ludi, and was almost 100% convinced in the list before going in.
Aaaanyways, I go and collect my swag! Considering I paid nothing to play in this event, getting a DS Lite/generic Groudon bag and notebook/Pokemon Trozei/Top 32 promo cards, as well as a few booster packs (that had an ex and a Celebi * <3) was such an awesome deal. I jokingly begin to label the bag my “red badge of failure,” but it was anything but a failure in retrospect…I just need to win next year, because I’ll be playing in Hawaii’s main event I hope =)
I get a few more congratulations, and just trade/talk for the rest of the event. I watch Tom/Jeremy/Alex/Eric/Steve/Ian all win, and Jason/Jimmy sweep the finals! Congrats to you all. I never entered the prerelease (just like the previous two years) because it’d be too much of a waste to not catch up with everyone. We then celebrated our success: my top cutting and my bro’s completion of games (plus getting HOOKED to Pokey :D). It looks like not only my bro wants to play competitively, but so does his girlfriend, two of their friends, and now four of my school friends…wowee!
For the remainder of the time, all of us just have a load of fun. Catching up with Levi and Heather was great, and after Sunday night, I have to reiterate that Martin Moreno is my national champion! I love my crew. After lots of good times, I retire for the night...zzz...
I spend the rest of Monday traveling back to Texas, and meet up with Hitmonchan93 in the Admiral’s club. I talk to him a little bit about the new format/him grinding in, and say bye when they head off to their flight. At first I’m thinking if I’d ever want to leave beautiful Cali…but was then reassured that while the state of California is much nicer than Texas, the people are somewhat opposite of that. Texas is the greatest state in this union, without a doubt.
Around 6PM, when I finally set foot in my house and see the balloon from my birthday a few days prior, I think to myself…”it’s good to be home,” and hit the hay.
-Making it to day two
-Almost everyone during the entire event
-Jason for winning
-Jimmy for being a great pal, T2’ing, and doing something few people have the balls to do: apologize.
-Birch for getting the staff to let me help with the grinder!
-Soles for just being a friend.
-David Mullan and Cameron Hilliard for grinding in.
-John A and Sean F for grinding.
-Jaime for being a tactfully sound, cool opponent. One of the worst matchups, but one of the friendliest characters in the T32.
-My opponents: Sebastian, Jimmy, Greece champ, Japanese player, Matt Ennocenti, Daddiursa, Corphish666, and Mikey.
-That one guy who’s so good looking, yet so good at Pokemon. But seriously, you and Jason being Dragtrode fans really made my day the moment you told me about it, because at that point nobody else felt confident with the deck: D.
-David for getting 37th with the exact same list.
-Fellow former TO members placing 3rd and 35th
-Getting to meet so many awesome people for the first time, especially Ryan and Alex.
-Motivation from my friends Brent S. and John Silvestro for out placing me at the Southern Plains regional, and therefore giving me my greatest motivation to not throw in the towel when Dallas came along.
-Not going to band!!!
Thanks for reading, and if you would like to contact me, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my IM is thegreatcell.
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