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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Blaze's Banter
Pokemon World Championships
“The Grinder Report”
September 9, 2005
386 participants

This was a huge turnout for the last chance qualifier in San Diego.  386 participants were the total numbers amongst all the age divisions.  The breakdown was like this:

252 players in the 15+
92 players in the 11-14 and
42 players in the 10 and under

I was extremely excited and confident going into this Grinder tournament that I would make the cut to play in the World Championships the next day as my deck was on a 2 tournament winning streak coming into San Diego and I also felt real comfortable with it during playtesting.  I decided to run Metagross with some minor revisions from my last deck article.  Mainly I took out the 4 Steven’s Advice for 3 CopyCat and 1 more Rocket’s Admin. as the Steven’s are useless in the matchups against Turn 2.   Here is the decklist which should look familiar and by the way every single card is still legal in the new Hidden Legends - on Modified format.  It was announced that there would only be 5 rounds and right away I knew that would not be a good thing but later on that one. 

Pokemon - 17

4 – Beldum (Magnetic Call)
4 - Metang
3 - Metagross
1 – Metagross (Metal Juncture)

2 - Metagross-ex

1 – Registeel-ex (Exoskeleton)

1 – Deoxys-ex (Energy Burst)

1 – Deoxys-ex (Fast Wave)

Trainers - 25
4 – TV Reporter
3 – CopyCat
4 – Celio’s Network
2 – Island Cave
2 – Strength Charm
3 – Rocket’s Admin.
2 – Warp Point
1 – Crystal Shard
1 – VS. Seeker
1 – Pokemon Retriever
1 – POW! Hand Extension
1 – Mr. Briney’s Compassion


Energy: 18
9 - Psychic
4 – Metal

3 – Dark Metal
2 – Double Rainbow 

Round 1 vs. Gary W.

Gary is known as GranDaddy on the PokeGym.  He was playing a rogue deck that consisted of Exploud and Kingdra-ex.  I was able to get a quick Registeel-ex out with 2 Metal energies which was actually soaking up 30 damage per turn and killing his bench to beat Gary rather quickly by benching him out. 

W: 1 – 0 

Round 2 vs. Jeffrey Mermelstein

Jeff is a fellow player from NY and we made a pact that before the tourney started if we had to play each other then the loser would not drop so that it wouldn’t hurt the winner’s resistance.  Jeff was running his Lanturn/Magcargo tech deck.  The match was very intense and Jeff’s 4 prizes came off of him knocking out 2 of my Ex’s – Registeel and the Energy Burst Deoxys.  I also took 4 prizes during regular play and when time was called I had a fully pumped Metagross-ex to take the next prize in Sudden Death. 

W: 2 – 0 

Round 3 vs. David Yee (GKOTM)

David is a local form Cali.  This match would haunt me later on because of the 5 round limit and the luck factor.  David was playing classic Dragtrode and I knew the key to beating it.  He got the perfect start and took 2 early prizes.  I was able to set-up and come from behind.  The key turning point is that somewhere near the end with only 5 minutes left, he had an active Dragonite with 60 damage on it and 4 Darkness on it and all of his Dark Metals were discarded.  I had an active Metal Juncture Metagross with a Metal and 2 Psychics on it.  Nothing is a guarantee when you are playing with attacks that require flips so to help out I Copycatted David’s 10 card hand to search for either the Crystal Shard or Strength Charms that were in my deck.  Out of 20 cards left in my deck, I did not draw a single one of them.  I then went to flip 1 out of 4 heads on Squared Attack to do 30  measly damage to Dragonite.  On David’s next turn he switched all the Darks around used a Briney and then went to town with another Dragonite.  David ends up winning. 

L: 2 - 1  

Round 4 vs. Gabriel

Gabriel is another native from Cali.  Gabriel was playing a Super-natural Shiftry deck.  I got a quick start with Registeel and Gabriel’s flips weren’t going his way.  Registeel took the 1st 4 prizes and then I finished him off with the Super Connectivity Metagross.

W: 3 – 1 

Round 5 vs. Nanette

Ok this is where it gets a little funky.  Before Round 5 starts an announcement is made from the Judge’s table that only players with 5-0 undefeated records will make the cut.  This means that only 8 players out of the 252 that entered the 15+ will make it into Worlds.  There were huge moans and boos throughout the crowd.  I felt bad for the players that paid there way here flight and hotel just to play in the Grinder and only to lose 1 game and not make it in.  I know there are no guarantees and the POP website did state that Top 8 would make it but 1 loss players should make it in.  Or at least the Top 16 should make it in for crying out loud.  This put a big damper on people’s spirits and not to mention that those of us with 1 loss or more had really nothing to play for at this time.  Not me though I wanted to finish as high as possible and make it to 4-1. 

On to the match.  Nanette was sitting at my table during Round 1 against Gary so I knew that she was playing Zapturndos.  Nanette gets the flip and decides to go 1st.  I’m like oh great she’s playing Zappy and going 1st.  I only have a Beldum in my hand but I also have a Celio’s and a Psychic and Double Rainbow.  She opens up with an Electrike and no energy so she has to pass.  I flip for Magnetic Call and get another Beldum out just in case.  I use the 2nd one’s power but that fails.  I attach a Psychic to the active Beldum and pass.  Nanette draws and still no energy.  I play Celio’s and search for Metang and evolve and attach the Double Rainbow and use Metal Ball for the win.   Since the game was so short we play another one for fun and it is longer but I end up winning with Registeel.  So I end up 4-1 at the Grinder. 

W: 4 - 1 

So I have to request from Big Daddy Snorlax to post the results just so that we can see what place we came in at 4-1.  At first print outs were not going to be posted by thank you for Big Daddy and the other staff that did stay a little later to do that.  After the short wait and the lights being turned out in the Convention Center the final standings are posted and I find out that I came in 16th place.  In a way I was crushed to find that out but also it was sweet to know that out of 252 competitors that I came in 16th place.

Day 2 - I played in side events all day and came in 1st place in the Unlimited Side Event that was organized by PokeBob.  I played my famous Vileplume-ex Unlimited deck that got me a 2nd place showing in last year’s Unlimited Tourney and with some minor tweaks I was able to take 1st place this year with it at San Diego.  My son Nick went 4-4 in the 11-14 division during the World Championships taking on the Top 4 place Japanese finisher in the 1st round.   It was a great experience for all of us and hopefully next year in Anaheim, CA it will be even better.  

On the way home we met up with Adrienne the French National champion and played some games with him and flew out to Chicago on the same plane.



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