Hello everybody! Before I start my tournament report I’d like to introduce myself. I am a player from the Masters division, originally from Tasmania, although I have recently moved up to Victoria. This was my first full season of the Pokemon TCG and I am pleased with how my season went. I was able to attend a few Regional Championships as well as a handful of Battle Roads. Unfortunately I could not attend any City Championships. Prior to Nationals I was ranked 7th in Australia via ratings, however I have been ranked as high as 4th.
Preparation for Nationals –
Throughout the season I had played a whole heap of decks at tournaments – RayEels, Gothitelle, Darkrai/Hammers, Darkrai/Lasers, Landorus/Garbodor, Articuno/Garbodor, Blastoise/Keldeo and PlasmaBasics. I never played the same deck more than once at a tournament so there wasn’t any particular deck that I felt very experienced with.
Going into the fortnight before Nationals there were 3 decks that I had been testing heavily, Darkrai/Absol, GothLock and Blastoise.
I ended up going with Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem. There were a few reasons for this:
I felt it had good matchups across the board, with its only bad matchup being Klinklang. Also, a few weeks beforehand I had won the Dandenong Battle Roads where I beat Alrfred Y, Michael K and Marcus R in the top 8, three top players, which gave me great confidence with the deck.
I had been testing an odd list for the fortnight before Nationals, which included Terrakion from Noble Victories and Fighting energy. After the Dandenong Battle Roads had finished I entered 3 local tournaments with this build and went undefeated in all 3 so I was pretty confident with this particular build.
The day of Nationals –
My sleeping pattern had been playing games with me so I wasn’t able to get any sleep but the excitement of my first Nationals overpowered any tiredness; I was keen.
I wrote up my deck list on the train but just before I arrived I received a message saying that I was able to borrow a third Tropical Beach – this was amazing news.
I get to the venue and decide to change my list. I took out the Terrakion, Fighting energy and Tool Scrapper to replace them with the third Tropical Beach, a water energy and an Exeggcute. I changed my Ace Spec card and swapped my Energy Retrieval counts and I was set.
Round 1 – James Goreing (SA) 4-3
I get to go first in game 1, hit the turn 2 Blastoise and prevent my opponent from ever evolving his Squirtles by knocking them out. My opponent makes an error early in game 2 and concedes.
Round 2 – Ian Johnson (VIC) 4-3
Ian and I are well acquainted and although he is a Pokédad, he’s probably the best Pokédad I know. I knew what Ian was playing and I was ready to take the loss. He was playing Garbodor and I didn’t play Tool Scrapper as I had decided that morning to take it out. In game 1 I was able to knock out Ian’s Garbodors and then have a few turns to explode which led to me taking the first game. The second game was unbelievably close: towards the end Ian needed a Pokemon Catcher to win but was unable to get it, drawing a little poorly, so I was able to just sneak the win in what was one of the most intense games all day.
Round 3 – Harry Kaloyirou (VIC) 4-3
I had played Harry the night before and he had beaten me fairly convincingly so I was a little worried. Although the changes I had made to my deck earlier really proved to be working for me in this match, I took out both games without too much trouble.
It was time for lunch and at this point I was feeling pretty good. I only needed to win 2 out of my remaining 4 games and I was through to day 2.
Round 4 – Alfred Yang (VIC) 3-4
Alfred and I sat next to each other in the previous game so we knew what the other were playing. He was playing a different deck to the one I beat him in Top 8 with a couple of weeks ago and I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy this time. I think what this match came down to was draws; I drew pretty well whilst Alfred wasn’t quite as lucky. I beat him in both games to move on.
Round 5 – Joel Walraven (WA) 5-2
Finally someone I hadn’t met before! At this stage there were only 8 players that were undefeated in the tournament; Joel and I were 2 of those. In game 1 I get a really explosive start and my opponent was unable to recover. It was much the same in game 2: Joel didn’t draw so well and I’m able to take this match with relative ease.
There you go, I was through! My deck had been ripping it up, not only was I undefeated, I had won all of my matches so far 2-0. I was running hot, although I was also run down. At this point running on no sleep was starting to take it’s toll. Judge Kara came to the rescue with some Panadol for my headache and it was time to move on.
Round 6 – Andrew Tan (WA) 6-1, Top 8
I wasn’t happy with this match. In game 1 we both get off to weird starts: I was able to get a turn 2 Blastoise but then I was left with nothing for a few turns whilst Andrew started attacking with Keldeo. This is where I start to make a few misplays – I misplay my Max Potion and then I leave my damaged Keldeo active to take a knockout instead of bringing him back to the bench. Towards the end of the game 1 I look through my discard pile to find my Exeggcute, something I had completely forgotten about all game… -.- Anyway, Andrew took an early prize lead and I just couldn’t manage to catch up.
Game 2 was interesting: my opponent was slow playing. Every decision, every single search card, Andrew took way too long to make decisions. At one point my opponent played a Skyla and he spent a good 3-4 minutes looking through his deck. He played perfectly fine in game 1 but he was using time to his advantage this game. What really shocked me was when Andrew got a phone call and went to answer it, I mean come on? We are both 5-0 at Nationals and he expects me to let him answer his phone? I had considered calling the judge but didn’t for a couple of reasons – 1. Andrew was actually a really nice guy. 2. I didn’t want to seem like a douche, when in reality the game was pretty irrelevant; we were both through anyway. If we weren’t, I would have called a judge straight away.
So, I win game 2 and we move on to game 3 where time was called on the first turn, Andrew’s first turn. Turn 0, he sets up, turn 1 I set up. In turn 2 Andrew KOs a Squirtle which leaves me with 1 turn to KO an EX to win the game. I draw, rare candy into Blastoise, Deluge to my active Keldeo EX which now has 2 energy to retreat and play a Professor Juniper hoping to hit the cards I need to power up my benched Black Kyurem EX .. I drew 2 lightning, 1 water and no retrieval, just short!
I had finally lost.
Round 7 – Jennifer Wilson (VIC) 6-1, Top 8
My unbeaten run had ended.
I didn’t have much to play for and this was my worst match up – I didn’t take this game all too seriously, however even if I had’ve, Jennifer is a far better player than myself and the result would not have been different. I don’t remember too much from this match. At this stage it was late and I was buggered. I do however, remember N’ing into 4 Junipers which was unbelievable. She ends up beating me in what turned out to be a close match in the end.
Well played Jennifer.
Day 1 had come to an end and I had finished 5-2, something I was pleased with.
Top 32 – Aaron Choong (VIC)
This match was simple. Game 1 Aaron gets a turn 2 Lugia that kills my Blastoise, from there he kills 2 Squirtles with Lugia to win the game.
In the second game I get set up and win pretty convincingly.
The third game was the most disappointing game of my season .. I start lone Exeggcute :p For those of you who don’t know, Exeggcute has 30 HP – the lowest amount out of any Pokemon at the moment and coincidentally, all but 1 of Aarons Pokemon attack for 30 damage. Heck, even the trainer card Hypnotoxic Laser paired with the Virbank City Gym stadium card that Aaron plays OHKOs an Exeggcute.
There is only a 4% chance of me opening lone Exeggcute, and half of the time I’ll get to go first. It was just bad luck. Aaron goes first, attaches an energy to his active Thundurus EX and wins the game before I get to draw a card. Blah.
I ended up having an absolutely awesome weekend! I was able to catch up with some old friends and I met some great people. The Professor Cup was a blast as well!
A huge thanks to everyone who helped the weekend be as successful as it was. I can’t wait for next season.
Ciao for now,