6 a.m. It was a beautiful California morning in Long Beach. The weather was a perfect high 60’s. I had been woken up by my friend who I was sharing a room with. We were staying aboard the Queen Mary ship and apparently my Iphone alarm sounds a lot like fire drill. He woke up thinking the ship was going down…anyway, I went outside and took a deep breath looking out to the ocean to get myself prepared. “I’ve been waiting three months for this” I thought. I had all the confidence in the world. My deck “Flygon Rush” won 1st place at the last three local tourneys.
“Flygon Rush” is basically a straight Flygon deck with four Claydol and PlusPowers and Expert Belts. It’s extremely fast for a Flygon deck and I’ve had nothing but good testings. The day before the tournament we met a couple people who were going to play at the tourney. This was a perfect chance to get some practice and see what other people were running. I played against a guy that was running “Cursegar” This was my first time playing against a “good one”. I had a good start but was completely stunned against Spiritomb. He played Expert Belt with his Gengar and kept 1HKOing all my Claydol until it was over. After that I thought “I hope I don’t have to play any of those tomorrow”.
Not only do I play a Curse Gengar on my first match, but I play against the same guy I lost to the day before. I thought to myself, “maybe this is good because now I know what to expect.” Last minute before we started I tech’d in a “Dark Palm” Dusknoir and thought that I could surprise him with that. I get a good start and have three Claydols and a Flygon benched with an active Flygon. I get the first prize and think that it’s going good until…he lays down “Dark Palm” Dusknoir. He “Warp Points” my active Flygon and sends it to my deck. I send out a Claydol thinking he could take a hit, but I forget he plays Expert Belt and he 1HKOs my Claydol.
For some reason I start to panic and I try really hard to get my Dusknoir out as well. I do, but all it does is take up space because he only has three bench. I have two Claydols and Dusknoir benched and after Flygon gets KO’d it pretty much goes down hill. Too many mistakes against a bad match up.
Round 2 vs Curse Gengar
Wow another Gengar! Just my luck. This guy focused more on sending out Mr. Mime rather than Spiritomb. And once again I make too many mistakes. I attach energies to the bench forgetting that I need three to attack Mr. Mime. This happens about three times. Three turns without attacking is really hurtful. I still manage to keep it close. It goes to sudden death and I make the mistake of attacking his active Ditto with my Flygon LV.X. He attaches a second energy and busts out with Lucian’s Assignment for the third energy. It completely caught me off guard and credit to him for that move.
Round 3 vs Porygon Z
By this time I’ve lost all hope. Did I fail? or did my deck? I look around the venue to see if there are any side tournaments so I can drop and play those. After seeing that there wasn’t I just decide to finish what I started. I’m at one of the last tables sitting with a bunch of kids who don’t really talk the greatest strategies. I have an active Trapinch with two Double Colorless and an Expert Belt. I knock his guy out on turn two FTW.
My deck gets set up fast and by turn 3 I have a Flygon LV.X active with three Claydol and another Flygon benched. I’m just to fast and powerful and there is nothing he can do.
Round 5 vs Shiftry/Dugtrio
Once again I get a perfect start and there is not much he can do. He never gets a Shiftry out and he has two Dugtrio out. I overwhelm him with speed and power. The guy was cool and we had good conversation. I liked his deck idea, but it just wasn’t fast enough.
Round 6 vs Torterra
This round sucks because I get matched up against my friend who I came with. It’s never fun to play against a friend at a tournament, but we have no choice. I wish him good luck and we begin. I get a pretty good start. He starts slow but starts getting set up after I take 2 Prizes. He makes a major misplay by deciding to use “mimic” with Chatot and sending Torterra LV.X to the bench with three other pokes. I already have “Dark Palm” Dusknoir benched so I guess he just forgot and made a huge mistake. I “Dark Palm” Torterra and after that he can’t do anything else. I feel bad adding a loss to my friend’s record.
Round 7 vs SP Garchomp variant
I feel good because I made it back to the top 50. I’m thinking if I win this match I can at least boost my rating up. I haven’t had a bad start all day and just my luck I get a Duskull start with trash cards in my hand. It’s over by turn 2. The guy was really cool and allowed me to get a rematch for fun. We talked for a bit and had a close match where I was the winner in the end. It didn’t bother me much because I wouldn’t have mad top cut anyway.
Overall I had a blast. This was definitely the second best tournament I ever been to. (The best was 09 Worlds). I made a ton a trades. One of the guys I came with made top cut and he has only been playing for two months. After the fifth round I think he was ranked 1st. I will definitely go back for Regionals. It’s going to be at the same place which is perfect because that place rocked!