Hey guys, I went to states with Adam himself, but unlike him, I actually knew how to play SP pretty well ;). I was playing LuxChomp with Blaziken, Exp Belt/Dep Girl, Unown Q, and Uxie LV.X techs. Needless to say, I had a lot of options, which is what I wanted going into the tournament. I had no Unown G, so straight Machamp was pretty much an auto-loss, and no Mewtwo LV.X counter, so I was toast if they got it out before I could KO Mewtwo with Garchomp and Crobat. I just hoped I wouldn’t run into that rare matchup and tech, and went with what I was confident with.
Round 1: Gyarados
I got a quick start to his relatively slow start. Vs Gyarados the strategy is to get Garchomp or Luxray early and snag easy KO’s, while powering up a Luxray on the bench. I was able to run into my 1 Expert Belt with Uxie early, so didn’t have to worry about searching it out. If you can have a Luxray with Belt and heal every turn with Garch, you’re pretty much set, as it’s difficult for Gyarados to deal 130 damage unless you’ve given them ample time to set up and don’t have power sprays at hand for their Crobats. In all, I dominated. (1 – 0)
Round 2: LuxApe
We both had decent starts, but I power sprayed his Uxie early. (If you can do this, there’s a really, really good chance you’ll win the game with any kind of decent start vs. almost any deck. Spraying an Azelf has a similar effect.) He took one or 2 Prizes throughout the game, and even won a TGW, but it really didn’t matter. (2 – 0).
Round 3: Gengar
I think my opponent is the dude rated #1 in the nation in Master’s, (hooray Georgia Marathon). In all, I knew he wouldn’t make any mistakes. I needed a quick start and got it. He had all the anti-SP techs: Relicanth, Mewtwo LV.X, and Looker’s, the latter which I suppose is standard in Gengar decks. I had the edge the whole game until he put down Mewtwo and Looker’s’d me. Thankfully, I draw the cards I need to take out Mewtwo, (Cyrus and DCE I think), and win the match. (3 – 0).
Round 4: Donphan
Oh, boy, straight Donphan. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it definitely isn’t that bad of a matchup, honestly. The keys to my winning were power spraying both of his Uxies, using Toxic with Crobat against his Belted Donphan, and having it die from poison on his turn. I knew his draws weren’t that great, and he made a slight misplay in the end, allowing me to drag up a Donphan with Blaziken in the end and finish it off with the LV.X. In all, though, it was a no-contest win. (4 – 0).
Round 5: DialgaChomp
He knew I was playing a tech Blaziken, so his Dialga’s wouldn’t be nearly as effective. I had a pretty bad start, and it looked grim for a turn or two, until I hit a Rosanne’s or Cyrus. Once I got going a bit, I realized how bad his start was, and a key Power Spray on an Uxie sealed the deal. It was a 3 minute win, but my opponent just got unlucky, as he’s a really solid player. I was happy not to have to think for once. (5 – 0).
Round 6: Gyarados
I knew it would be a close match, and it was. I made two key misplays, one of which is debatable. The first was using leveling up Luxray into the LV.X to KO his active Gyarados. I did this so he couldn’t respond with 110 from another dragon if he had the cards to do so. Little did I know, he was just planning on using Mankey to KO my LV.X. Oh well, Mankey was a free prize, anyway. The second misplay killed me, but at least I learned my lesson before Top 16. I had the game pretty much sealed, but I decide to KO a Crobat instead of Azelf with my Garchomp for one of my last prizes. Obvious advice against Gyarados: DON’T DO THAT. I totally forgot he could Pokémon Rescue it to reuse it. He did so the following turn for the extra 10 damage he needed, and went on to win. No undefeated. Not a big deal, as your seed in Top 16 means nothing. How do you know if your favorable matchup is seeded number 2 or 13? Just hope for the best. (5 – 1)
Top 16: Gengar SF/Jumpluff
I knew this would be a lot of fun…right. Both Stage 2’s are a pain to deal with, Jumpluff less so. I was slightly conscious of bench space, and just tried to be faster and make smart moves.
Game 1: I handily won this game by spraying an Uxie and coming out swinging right out of the box. Bebe’s Search for Luxray LV.X helps get out trainer lock fairly quickly, and I used most of trainers right away. He scooped within 10 to 15 minutes.
Game 2: He started much faster, and had two Gengars, one of them leveled up, in no time. I couldn’t really reduce the trainer count in my hand, and I decided to scoop after 15 minutes or so, realizing I should just give myself time to get ahead in Game 3.
Game 3: I had a nice start, and what looked like a good start for him actually was pretty poor. He dragged out the inevitable near the end, but what do you expect. I was really glad to win handily, as Game 2 scared me a bit and gave me doubts. (6 – 1)
Top 8: DialgaChomp
I was running 3/1 Garchomp AND Blaze tech. This matchup should be a breeze.
Game 1: A depressing start to his really good one. I folded fairly quickly.
Game 2: A really good start to his depressing one. He folded fairly quickly.
Game 3: At this point, I was a bit on edge, but confident. If I could just get into the game, there’s no way I could lose. I start out going first and have a lone Unown Q. Great, I was screwed. We flip our cards and he just has two Dialgas. Phew. I rip a Garchomp and put it down. Double Phew. My hand was still pretty terrible, as all I had was something like 2 E-Gains, 2 Premier Ball, a Bebe’s and an Aaron’s. Luckily, his start wasn’t much better, and all he could do was Deafen for a bunch of turns. Eventually I use Blaziken to drag out something and stall for more time (ripped one of my 2 fire energy). I’m pretty sure I misplay just a bit as I forget to use my trainers a turn earlier than I could’ve, but I had a ballin’ turn where I double premier’ed for Uxie and Garch LV.X, then used another Uxie to draw 6 cards, and got rolling. Don’t give up. (7 – 1).
Top 4: Gyarados.
My opponent had been doing really well with the dragon throughout the season, so it wouldn’t be easy. (He was a different guy than whom I lost to the last round of Swiss).
Game 1: Abysmal start to his good one. I fold after 4 turns or so.
Game 2: I had a good start to his not so good one, and I win in a fairly short period of time. I honestly can’t remember much else, other than being really happy it was going to a third game.
Game 3: I got a good start and power sprayed his Azelf early. For Gyarados, this can mean insta-death, as less Magikarps is less damage. He played it out, but I dominated. At least his kid won Junior’s! (8 – 1).
Top 2: Gengar
YES! FINALLY A CHANCE TO WIN STATE’S! Oh wait. It’s the kid with the Gengar deck that is tech’d to beat SP. Crap. It turns out I had to play the only guy in the tournament playing Mewtwo, and he knew I had no counter. If I could get Garchomp’s flowing, I had a fighting chance.
Game 1: I go first, we flip our cards over, and he has Mewtwo active to my Garch. I sighed, realizing I had the cards in my hand to KO it turn 2. I attach a Call Energy and grab a Luxray and another Garch to keep the attack going once his Mewtwo dies. You would do the same, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t know he ALSO had warp point, pushing my Garch away into a fresh one. Well, I had to rip a DCE, then, off of a 6 card Uxie. I had done similar things during the day to win, before. I was destined, then to do it again. NOT. I whiff, and fold. $%@ Mewtwo.
Game 2: A decent hand, but not one that could take out another T2 Mewtwo. I go first to give me the upper hand. He instantly puts down Mewtwo and Azelf’s for the LV.X in his prizes. Had the spray, but only one Pokémon out. Next turn, he Levels Up, I curse, and fold again. All that effort and 15 games later I lose twice in two minutes. It turns out he himself lost to Mewtwo at Worlds last year in both Swiss and top 32, so I guess this was a nice little bit of revenge for him. Yay him. (8 – 2).
Well, I got a cool little trophy, and second place is great, but having that travel stipend is just a BIT better. I played the riskier list and lost in the end, but I don’t think I would even have gotten to that point without all the options I had given myself in the first place. I didn’t play Machamp, (there was about 5 altogether out of 100 people and 1 in top 16), and the only card I didn’t use all day was Toxicroak G Promo. Go figure.
Got another chance at PA States next week, probably be running the same thing. The three main decks were SP, Gyarados, and Gengar, and I doubt that’ll change. Just one little thing…no one play Mewtwo, okay? That’s no fun.