CA State Report

I’ve been playing Pokémon for about a year and a half now, and this was my first state tourney. I was really looking forward to it once I made arrangements in February to go. I had participated in two Battle Roads and two City Tournaments previously. In my last tournament I did really well making the cut of the final 8 but I had to bow out since I had a family to get home to. I really had underestimated how long the tournament can be – especially if you make the final cut.

The one thing I learned from my previous tournament experience is that it is really important to know the cards out there. If your opponent is surprising you with their cards than you are at a big disadvantage.

Preparing for the state tourney was a diligent process on my part. I spent hours and hours studying the cards etc. I spent hours reading posts like this one and experimenting with various deck ideas. I was particularly interested in knowing all the HGSS cards. One card that caught my attention early was Donphan Prime. This seemed like a card with lots of potential. Not knowing what deck I was going to bring I set out on experimenting with Donphan. I tried many different combinations with Donphan. I was determined to find if this card had any potential to win. Not to mention I wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth after buying those cards!

I started participating in a league and play tested Donphan like crazy. Nothing seemed to provide me with consistent positive results. Just a few weeks away and I was no closer to figuring out my tourney deck. I experimented with some SP (mainly Honchrow and Blaziken). All along I always felt like maybe I’d go back to my last tournament deck (with improvements) which was Flygon/Dusknior. Also during this time I play tested a Gyarados deck. Gyarados SF Stormfront 19From the beginning this deck’s potential was impressive.

It took some time to learn how to play since its set up is very unconventional. When it came down to decision time on the deck to play I seemed to have my Gyarados deck polished better than any deck. I really felt confident that I could beat any deck with it. A few days before the tournament I had play tested it enough that I did not feel the need to play test it more. I was more focused on helping my buddy be prepared for his first state tourney. When I finally put together my official decklist, I was a little surprised at its contents. Despite that I could not argue with success and that was definitely a companion with this deck. I was ready.

Tournament day – I arrive to the tournament and find out that they will not be doing deck checks – at least not initially. The tournament gets a delayed start (go figure does this ever happen?) as many more people showed up than expected so there were not enough chairs/tables set up etc. All told there were almost 230 masters and approximately 50 seniors and 50 juniors. Clearly the biggest tournament I’d participate in. Exciting stuff!!

Round 1 – Mirror match (Gyarados vs. Gyarados) Tony

Tony was a nice guy. He had a son participating in the seniors and seemed to have a fair amount of experience playing. We flip over our cards and long behold a mirror match! Of all the deck testing I’d done I never did any mirror matches!! I anticipated a trading Knock Out for Knock Out match. I end up starting slow and he beats me to the first Knock Out. He Belts early and swings away. By the time I get set up he’s already 2 Prizes up on me.

I Cyclone him a couple of times taking cheap prizes. He goes after my Dos with his belted Dos but only manages to put 120 on me – one short of KO. At this point I have three Super Scoop Ups in my hand and a Poké Reversal so I feel good. I flip on my first Super Scoop and fail. I try again and fail. I try a third time and fail!! Crap!!! Looking for another easy prize I try to Poké Reversal and fail again! Did my even sides on the die fail to come with me?!!

We continue to trade prizes back and forth then I manage to have enough to one shot his belted Dos w/ my own belt and Crobat drops. I Knock him Out taking 2 Prizes and we are both tied on our last prize. At this point I’m feeling really good as I have a belted Dos with no damage on it. He pulls out a Ditto, belts it and poke turns a Crobat to hit me back for 150! Nice job Tony! A great game! Luck was not my company however that round.


Round 2 – SP Tool Box

I end up playing a guy (sorry forgot your name) who played across from me in my previous match. I had a glimpse of his deck from the previous round and from what I saw he had some sort of SP toolbox deck. Honestly I was not impressed with what I saw but who was I to say? I take my draw and ugh, I have to start with a Magikarp! This is the worst case scenario for this deck and donk potential can’t be any greater! To top this off I had to go first.

He flips over a Mamoswine GL and I breathe a sigh of relief seeing that he needs at least 3 Energies to hit me. I pass still with no basics on the bench. He plays a Roseanne’s and pulls two Crobats, then plays a Poké Turn – game over!


At this point I’m pretty disappointed. I can’t say how many times I play tested my deck and rarely did I have to start with a Magikarp or not draw into something to put onto my bench. I know I’m better than 0-2

Round 3 – Turtwig/Alakazam (Dorian)

Dorian was a great guy! He was very personable and easy to talk with. Realizing I’m sitting at an 0-2 table I can see much less stress on the players – myself included. We flip our cards and I start with a Sableye to his Turtwig GL. Flashbacks immediately enter my mind of the days my buddy Erik played an Alakazam/Turtwig/Dialga G deck. I remember that 1-shoting Turtwig was the bane of that deck.

I do my thing placing Karps in the discard etc. and he immediately pulls out an Alakazam and tries to Level Max but flips tails. He then draws into a Warp Point and searches out the X leveling up. The excitement he had putting this down words could not describe. Whatever he wanted to do with his deck he seemed to be doing as he was really happy. I draw into a Belt early and once I get Dos out (turn 3) the game goes fast as he has no answer for my 1-shot KOs. I felt bad putting him 0-3 but I have to win some games right?


Round 4 – Donphan/Luxray GL (Jared)

Sableye Stormfront SF 48 Pokemon CardWe start the game and he flips over Phanpy and I’m thinking, great a matchup that my deck thrives off! I’m thinking I should win this one easily as if Dos breathes, Donphan is Knocked Out due to the x2 water weakness. I set up reasonably fast and jump to the lead 1-shoting his Donphan. He then benches a Luxray GL and I start thinking oh no maybe this won’t be so easy. He builds up his Luxray GL, belts it, benches a Lucario GL and all of a sudden I’m looking at my worst nightmare with him 1-shoting my Dos and me not being able to one shot his Luxray X.

We trade knockouts back and forth and the game is close. I finally get enough to put down and knock his Luxray X out by belting and dropping some Crobats. Now I’m staring at my last prize. He brings up a benched Luxray loaded with two energies. He “Cosmic Powers” going all out for a big draw looking for his other belt. He then plays copycat shuffling and drawing 7 cards – no Expert Belt. He concedes. Great game Jared! For a Donphan deck he put up a heck of a fight against me.


Round 5 – Mirror

I start with a Sableye and get set up quicker than him. I thus get the first Prize card. He sets up right after. We trade Prize cards back and forth victimizing each other’s benches using Cyclone and Warp Points. It goes down to the last Prize card and I have first shot Cycloning to one of his bench for an easy KO.


At this point I’ve won 3 in a row and I’m feeling much better. I find out the player I lost to first round (Tony) is not doing so well so my hopes for top 16 are slim to none. Nevertheless a winning record is very possible.

Round 6 – Cursegar (Gen)

To my surprise I find out I’m playing Gen. I had played her before in a tournament months ago and I know she is a solid player. Last time I played her she was running Cursegar so I was not going to be surprised to see it again. I learn also that she is 4-1 so a win here would work wonders for me standing wise. We flip our cards and I was right Gengar. Gengar is not the best matchup for this deck so I know I need to play carefully to win this one.

I start fast with Sableye but not fast enough as she is able to put herself in position to evolve to Gengar fast. Not knowing which Gengar she has I see a problem. If I put Magikarp down with the idea to evolve next turn she might be able to knock him out off the bench with Gengar SF. I decide not to bench a Karp hoping to draw a Broken Time Space. She ends up evolving to Cursegar making me kick myself for losing that turn.

I pull off a couple prizes by “Regi Moving” (with Regice) and discarding. She then Lookers me killing a decent hand. Eventually she sets up two Mr. Mimes to wall me off as she uses “Shadow Skip” with Gengar returning to the bench for Mr. Mime each time. I have no energy coming fast enough. I end up scooping as I have no answer for her two Mimes. Nice game Gen! I’ll be back =)


Round 7 Donphan/Manectric (Mike)

Crobat G Platinum PL 47 Pokemon CardI find out one of the players in my league has gone undefeated up to this point (he ended up winning it!!). Although I won’t make the top cut at least I’ll have a dog in the fight to watch.

Tony was a dad there playing for the sake of his kids. I draw and ugh once again I have to start with a Karp! To add insult to injury I have to go first again! He flips his card and it’s Electrike. Oh no, here we go again! I pass and hear the death bell calling as the recipe for getting donked is brewing large. He’s unable to add any damage and thus hits me for 20. I draw a Crobat and play a Pokémon Collector to find safety. I don’t know what it was (maybe that it was late in the day) but for some reason I grab 3 Karps from the deck on my Pokémon Collectors and forget about grabbing Sableye.

I show Mike the 3 Karps put them in my hand and no less then 5 seconds I realize I needed a Sableye. I ask Mike if I can change one of them for another basic and he says “I don’t think so”. Knowing that he is technically (but not perhaps by the spirit) accurate I put up no argument. Seeing that he his playing Donphan I realize all I have to do is survive for a bit and then he’ll go down fast. He manages to pull out 3 Prizes ahead of me before I can set up but then my Dos starts Knocking him Out left and right and eventually with no draw power he goes down like dominoes.


Well it wasn’t what I had hoped for but I guess it could have been worse. I place 99th. I stick around to watch the top cut and the guy I know top 5 after 7 rounds.

Reader Interactions

7 replies

  1. C.J. Gregory

    Great job at states! It's unfortunate that you had to face two mirror decks. I played the Cursegar Gengar deck and it worked out pretty well for me as well. Those Mr. Mimes can be killer huh? Congrats though!

  2. jangohunter

    I was at this tournament but Im a senior and I made top 8 with ramchamp but lost againts shuppet donk

  3. Adam Capriola

    Nice report and great job for your first states! A winning record is definitely something to be proud of, good luck at Regionals!


    Hey! Awesome report. I can't wait to see you at regionals I will be supper ready for that torny. I told my Boyfriend I want to play test and practice a lot for that one.

    I am quite flattered by the solid player comment ^^

  5. Erik Kowalewski

    Nice job Gyarados deck! Great first post. I enjoyed the read. Make em pay at Regionals! Blam!!

  6. Erik Kowalewski

    Nice job Gyarados deck! Great first post. I enjoyed the read. Make em pay at Regionals! Blam!!

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