Reflections on My First Ontario Provincial Tournament

This is not going to be a standard . I’d rather focus on some of the preparations I made before the tournament, and my reflections on how things went overall – rather than a game by game account.

I went into the tournament playing a modified version of the Houndoom/Ambipom deck that I had written an article about on 6P a few months ago (Hounds and Apes). I had taken the feedback that everyone had given me and used some of it to make the deck better. Nevertheless, I was expecting that the deck was still Tier 2 and it would be an uphill battle on the day. We played 7 rounds of Swiss, and after losing my first two games, I went on to post a 3 and 4 record. Of the 4 losses, I really felt that two of them could have gone my way. I’ve only been playing for a little over a year and this was my first big tournament, so I was pleased with that record.

Before going into the tournament I had done quite a bit of research about the top-decks and what I might expect. With that in mind I teched some things into my deck to try and provide counters to some of the problem Pokémon I expected to face. Mr. Mime went in to hold off Gyarados and Shedinja went in to counter some of the big hitters that use Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies. I also put in Skuntank G as a way to KO without invoking “Fainting Spell”.

Although I did not end up facing any Gyarados or Gengar versions that ran the SF Gengar, I was quite pleased with how well those three techs worked, both during the tournament and in some friendly side matches. I did play and beat Gyarados once, and a second battle, against a different player, went down to whether his last Energy was his last Prize card or the last card in his deck – too bad for me it was the last card in his deck and he KO’d my Mr.. Mime).

Ironically, one of the tech cards I had taken out, Bench Shield, could have really helped against two tough matches I had – one versus LuxChomp (“Dragon Rush”) and the other versus the sniping Gengar. Overall I was very satisfied with plans to counter the metagame. The other concern I had going into the tournament was Turn 1 KOs from Sableye and other early hard hitters. For that reason I had reduced the number of Houndoors (50hp) and planned to try and have Aipom or Uxie starts. I now think this was a mistake, because it took the focus of the deck off of Houndoom hitting hard and early. As it turned out in the tournament, by the time I had Houndoom set up – my opponent often had their main attacker ready to KO him. By trying to get a “safe” start, I actually made my deck less effective.

So I am taking the lessons I have learned and revamping the Hounds for the next tournament; keeping what worked and trying to overcome its weaknesses. In closing, I had an amazing time at the Provincials, had many great battles and met lots of really wonderful people. It definitely won’t be my last big event.

p.s. For those readers who might be wondering why I would ever want to take this deck to a tournament, I would recommend reading the article on the link below. It’s about Magic players, but I think it applies equally to Pokémon players. I’d say I was a player who is mostly in the “Johnny” profile.

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr11b

Reader Interactions

16 replies

  1. Dave Hueglin

    Hey Adam, Sorry, I didn't actually mean to publish this. I thought I was just submitting it for your review. You can take it down if you like. Again, my apologies – not trying to take over the site or anything.

  2. Joshua Hall

    sometime you will find that the desire to win will take over the desire to be unique. it took me about 3-4 years of Pokemon OP to learn that. As long as you don't set your hopes high, I guess you can't disappoint yourself.

  3. Dave Hueglin

    I get what you are saying entirely. I guess I have another 2-3 years before the itch takes over. Don't get me wrong, I have the upmost respect for people who play the arch-types and know the meta-game well enough to tech an arch-type to make it better than the rest.

  4. Michael Randolph

    Anybody that has read my reports knows that I am the exact same way you are, I would rather take and use a deck I find unique and awesome than to just run something everyone else uses. I was the same way you are with Hounds but with Tangrowth instead. Since my earlier posts I know run Nidoqueen and Gengar, and yes some of the cards are in the much higher respected Tier 1 decks but i run my build way different. I use DCE and attack with Nidoqueen while my gengar sits on the bench and scares then into getting rid of there trainers. I also have the Arceus Gengar in my deck and i use him to hit for 80 with a belt an poisen. So you can still find a way to make the tier 1 decks your own it's all how you play them. Excellent article and I hope you find something fun and unique to play without feeling like you have to sacrifice originality.

  5. Dave Hueglin

    Thanks Michael,

    I'm not totally against playing the arch-types, although usually when I get a hold of some “good” cards I end up “trading” them to my son. So part of my deck choice is just not having the cards. I do really enjoy trying to come up with different decks that might have a chance at being Tier 1. Let's face it, some of today's arch-types began as rogues. Right now I don't think I have anywhere near the skill or depth of knowledge to pull it off, but I find the process very interesting.

  6. Dave Hueglin

    Well done. Was that the Jumpluff/Gengar deck that ended up getting 3rd in Masters? My first game was against a LuxChomp with Dialga tech. Between the Dragon Rush, Healing Breath and Dialga shutting off my Bodies it was a tough battle.

  7. rawreth

    I used Garchomp SV during the same Ontario Provincials. It was my first real tournament and I've been playing starting November (after a 5 year break). I also teched in Nidoqueen and Infernape 4 for uncomfortable matchups (Anything Wild Growth, DGX, Jumpluff).

    One memorable game was vs Jumpluff. He put 4 Energies and an Expert belt on one of it while having a Shaymin benched. I couldn't attack it with Garchomp SV so I attacked it with Infernape 4 with Expert Belt.

    I actually made Top 16 cut, but lost the next game to time (I was down 0-1 and I drew 3 prizes in 2nd game to my opponent's 1 prize, it was counted as incomplete. I was playing against Plox).

    I totally support rogues and feel that many of them have the potential to overcome many Top Tier decks. I wish I could've seen your deck in action, and I agree that most of it comes to not having the cards or not having the money to get them since that's my situation too.

  8. Adam Capriola

    No man it's totally, cool I'm glad you posted it!

    It must have been cool going to your first big event. I remember the first time I played in a big event…it was a Super BattleZone in 2005 (if that counts as big, I guess it was for the time).

    Like quaziko said, it's tough to win with a rogue deck. You really can't make a single misplay otherwise it will cost you the game. When you play a tier 1 deck, you can make more mistakes and still pull out the victory.

    I used to play solely rogue decks when I first started. I just tried to counter whatever was popular at the moment. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. It's fun to do if you can actually beat the decks you try to counter…when you lose it kinda stinks.

  9. rawreth

    naw it was just Jumpluff with Cherrim, Sunflora, and Shaymin X techs. Tough match though.

  10. Dave Hueglin

    I get what you are saying entirely. I guess I have another 2-3 years before the itch takes over. Don't get me wrong, I have the upmost respect for people who play the arch-types and know the meta-game well enough to tech an arch-type to make it better than the rest.

  11. Michael Randolph

    Anybody that has read my reports knows that I am the exact same way you are, I would rather take and use a deck I find unique and awesome than to just run something everyone else uses. I was the same way you are with Hounds but with Tangrowth instead. Since my earlier posts I know run Nidoqueen and Gengar, and yes some of the cards are in the much higher respected Tier 1 decks but i run my build way different. I use DCE and attack with Nidoqueen while my gengar sits on the bench and scares then into getting rid of there trainers. I also have the Arceus Gengar in my deck and i use him to hit for 80 with a belt an poisen. So you can still find a way to make the tier 1 decks your own it's all how you play them. Excellent article and I hope you find something fun and unique to play without feeling like you have to sacrifice originality.

  12. Dave Hueglin

    Thanks Michael,

    I'm not totally against playing the arch-types, although usually when I get a hold of some “good” cards I end up “trading” them to my son. So part of my deck choice is just not having the cards. I do really enjoy trying to come up with different decks that might have a chance at being Tier 1. Let's face it, some of today's arch-types began as rogues. Right now I don't think I have anywhere near the skill or depth of knowledge to pull it off, but I find the process very interesting.

  13. Dave Hueglin

    Well done. Was that the Jumpluff/Gengar deck that ended up getting 3rd in Masters? My first game was against a LuxChomp with Dialga tech. Between the Dragon Rush, Healing Breath and Dialga shutting off my Bodies it was a tough battle.

  14. rawreth

    I used Garchomp SV during the same Ontario Provincials. It was my first real tournament and I've been playing starting November (after a 5 year break). I also teched in Nidoqueen and Infernape 4 for uncomfortable matchups (Anything Wild Growth, DGX, Jumpluff).

    One memorable game was vs Jumpluff. He put 4 Energies and an Expert belt on one of it while having a Shaymin benched. I couldn't attack it with Garchomp SV so I attacked it with Infernape 4 with Expert Belt.

    I actually made Top 16 cut, but lost the next game to time (I was down 0-1 and I drew 3 prizes in 2nd game to my opponent's 1 drawn prize, it was counted as incomplete. I was playing against Plox).

    I totally support rogues and feel that many of them have the potential to overcome many Top Tier decks. I wish I could've seen your deck in action, and I agree that most of it comes to not having the cards or not having the money to get them since that's my situation too.

  15. Adam Capriola

    No man it's totally, cool I'm glad you posted it!

    It must have been cool going to your first big event. I remember the first time I played in a big event…it was a Super BattleZone in 2005 (if that counts as big, I guess it was for the time).

    Like quaziko said, it's tough to win with a rogue deck. You really can't make a single misplay otherwise it will cost you the game. When you play a tier 1 deck, you can make more mistakes and still pull out the victory.

    I used to play solely rogue decks when I first started. I just tried to counter whatever was popular at the moment. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. It's fun to do if you can actually beat the decks you try to counter…when you lose it kinda stinks.

  16. rawreth

    naw it was just Jumpluff with Cherrim, Sunflora, and Shaymin X techs. Tough match though.

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