Hey everyone, sorry for the super late report! I’ve been really trying to focus on school lately. I am graduating in like 2 weeks and have a really good chance at finishing with a GPA above 3.5 which would make me “cum laude”, so any free time I’ve had has pretty much gone toward writing papers and lab reports. (Go to my website if you want to see an example of some of the stuff I’ve been working on.)
Anyway, I played at the Regional Championships held in Philadelphia last Saturday. I think we had over 150 Masters show up and thus the tournament was 7 rounds with a top 32 cut. I went with Gyarados as it’s really the only deck I know how to use properly. I didn’t have any time to test between States and Regionals, so I played some “theorymon” and came up with this list:
4 Sableye SF
4 Magikarp SF
4 Gyarados SF
3 Crobat G PL
1 Combee SF
1 Azelf LA
1 Unown Q MD
1 Regice LA
1 Lunatone GE
1 Solrock SV
4 Pokémon Collector
2 Bebe’s Search
1 Luxury Ball
1 Pokémon Communication
4 Felicity’s Drawing
1 Cynthia’s Feelings
1 VS Seeker
4 Broken Time-Space
4 Pokémon Rescue
4 Super Scoop-Up
3 Expert Belt
2 TGI Poké Turn
Some explanations behind the list…
I played Gyarados at States and did fairly well with it, but was benched turn 1 for 2 losses. I decided that I would need more basics in the deck to prevent that from happening, so I played the 3rd Crobat and added Lunatone and Solrock to give me 3 extra decent starters (well only 2 I guess if you count the subtraction of Luxray GL).
I took Luxray out because I was banking on seeing very little Gengar, aka decks with 2 Mr. Mime MT. Jumpluff and Sablelock seemed like they were trending, and Gengar isn’t very fun to use, so I was hoping any Gengar players from States would switch decks. I also assumed Shuppet wouldn’t be big or do well.
Gengar/Spiritomb was really the only matchup I played Luxray for anyway, it doesn’t help against anything other than double Mime to be honest.
I was thinking about just going 4 Poké Turn and no PlusPower, but I thought PlusPower might be better vs SP as they can’t Power Spray them. Playing only 2 Turn meant that I had to be more careful with my bench though.
I went with both Regice and Lunatone because I hate getting Regice in play unless I have to; its Retreat Cost sucks. However I knew that I might need it to discard 2 Karps at once or two force a basic out of the Active position, so I left it in just in case.
Other than that I just played a very conservative consistent list. I knew that if I could just set up, I’d be ok. Gyarados is so hard to take down once it sets up.
Anyway here’s how I did…
Round 1 vs (I forget) with Tyranitar / Darkrai
I start with Sableye and get a perfect start; I think I had the option to do 110 turn 2 if I wanted to. However, 60 damage was enough to take out my opponent’s first Larvitar and I rolled from there. He didn’t get much out so my Gyarados chewed through his unevolved Pokémon. Not a real exciting match, but it did give me some confidence.
Round 2 vs Kyle M. with Regigigas
I’ve known Kyle for a few years now and he’s a real cool guy. Lately he’d had my number, but I knew I had at least a winnable matchup vs his deck. He was running a weird Gigas build with Giratina Let Loose, the 3 Pixies, and some other odd stuff I’m sure.
I again get a fast start, and thanks to some nifty Energy drops and Unown Q usage, I am able to get a turn 2 Gyarados doing 60. However, Kyle plays Giratinas early and often to disrupt me. Throughout the game I worry that he will drop a Snowpoint Temple to discard my Broke Time-Space which would really hurt me, but he never finds one (or doesn’t use it). I am fortunate enough to get Lunatone/Solrock in play which save my butt after each of those Giratina drops. (Kyle also instructs me that I am supposed to use Solrock’s Power BEFORE I do Lunatone’s…haha thanks man.)
I am also lucky in that I had actually tested vs Regigigas a couple months back, so I knew how to play against it. Basically you just keep hitting the Gigas and force them to heal themselves; don’t Cyclone and to KO stuff on their bench. If you keep doing 90 and they are healing 80, you will eventually get to point where you can 1HKO their Belted Gigas which is basically game.
Kyle almost has me at one point, but I Cynthia’s Feelings and then use Lunatone/Solrock to get a Pokémon Rescue from the top 3 cards and get my final Gyarados out in play which does like 130 to KO his Gigas for the win. Great game.
Round 3 vs (I forget) with Gyarados
This dude bothered me from the beginning when he said I can’t use his dice for rolling (but that he is able to use it). How do I know it’s not loaded or something? I was going to use it anyway, but never had a chance to.
I got yet another great start and my turn 2 Gyarados took out his Crobat and Azelf I think…I know he only got like 2 Pokémon out and I benched him on turn 3 or 4.
Round 4 vs Brian B. with Gyarados
This was officially my second time ever playing a Gyarados mirror match, aside from last game. I quickly learned that it comes down to whoever gets the better start.
I am lucky and for the 4th time on the day get a great start. I jump ahead 2-0 in prizes and never look back. Brian plays really well, there was just nothing he could do, especially since I have the 4 Cyclone which guarantee me a prize each.
Round 5 vs Luke M. with LuxChomp
This was the game where I made a “d’oh” mistake. Luke mulliganed once so I knew he was playing LuxChomp. I started with Sableye and had an Unown Q and Solrock in hand. Luke started with Garchomp. I thought there would be no way he could 1HKO my Sableye turn 1, so I attack the Q to Sableye and use “Impersonate”.
Well sure enough Luke triple Flash Bite’s me then plays a DCE and Energy gain on Garchomp for the win. !!! I should have put the Solrock down. I just really hate putting Pokémon down unless I know I need it because they can clog your bench and act as easy snipe prizes. Oh well, lesson learned.
Round 6 vs Money S. with Tyranitar
Money’s record was only 3-2 while I was 4-1, so I knew that I really needed to win this otherwise I might be in trouble with my tiebreakers.
I got an adequate start and get ahead in prizes. However, my opponent surprises me when he plays a Devoluter TM and devolves my Expert Belted Gyarados for 2 Prizes. This really hurt as it got him right back in the game. I don’t even remember if I needed to play the Expert Belt down; I should have inferred that he might play Devoluter.
I am in control, but Money is mounting a comeback through the help of a double Poké Healer drop. There comes a point where I feel great about my chances to close it out if I can hit 1-of 3 Scoop Up in my hand to save a damaged Gyarados. I missed all three flips, and it looks like I’m going to lose.
My memory is hazy, but I think we both had 1 Prize left after I missed those flips. I know I still can win if I can just draw my last Cyclone energy. The next turn I Cynthia’s Feelings for 8 and don’t get the Cyclone. There are about 6-8 cards left in my deck. I know I have one last turn where I could topdeck it for the win, as he couldn’t KO me during his turn. So I do 90 to a fresh T-Tar knowing he will retreat it for another undamaged T-Tar. I have to wait patiently for my chance to topdeck the Cyclone for the win.
I “believe in the heart of the cards” as they do in Yu-Gi-Oh, but come up empty. I play a Pokémon Collector just to see if the Cyclone is even in my deck, and sure enough the Cyclone is mixed in with the last few cards. I fail the Collector (dumbly) and am about to shake my opponent’s hand. I take one last look at my hand and see one last out.
I had a full bench, so I play my last Poké Turn to scoop a Crobat and free up a bench spot. I then Pokémon Rescue my Solrock out of the discard (I had discarded it earlier with Felicity’s Drawing). I already had Lunatone on the bench, so I am able to use Solrock’s Power to look at the top 3 cards of my deck and hopefully hit the Cyclone…first two cards were duds, number three is the Cyclone! I am able to grab it and slap it down for the win.
For the 2nd time on the day, Solrock saved me big time. I also got lucky in that I could have thinned my deck out by 2 cards with the Collector which I failed that turn. If I had recognized that I had the Solrock option, then I could have made my chances even better of getting the Cyclone, but I did miss 3 Scoop Up in a row which would have also sealed it, so I’ll call this one even with lady luck.
Round 7 vs Boris with Shuppet
Eh, I thought I might run into double Mime at some point during the day. I played the game out a few turns just to see what was in Boris’ list. He used Zangoose, Unown R, Poké Drawer, Crobat, Uxie, Mime Jr., Mr. Mime, Unown Q, and Psychic Energy. Don’t know if any of those cards are atypical. I scooped about 5 minutes in. :)
Boris ended up getting top 4 by the way.
I make the top 32 cut as the 11th seed.
Top 32 vs Andy with Palkia Lock
Andy is da man, it was real nice meeting him. Hopefully I’ll see you around more dude.
Game 1: I got a great start and Andy had nothing. I win in like 3 minutes.
Game 2: My opening hand consists of 4 Magikarps. However, I topdeck a Collector turn 1 and am good to go. Again, Andy draws nothing.
The only Supporter he saw in the 2 games was an Aaron’s Collection…I didn’t even know what he was using until I asked him afterward! Sorry for the lame games man!
Top 16 vs Elizabeth G. with Gyarados
Another chance to test my mirror match skills…
Game 1: Elizabeth gets ahead in prizes and I think about scooping midway through the game to save time. I really wasn’t sure if I could win playing from behind. However, through some smart maneuvering I am able to Cyclone to keep up for a few turns and then 1HKO her clean Gyarados with my undamaged Expert Belted Gyarados. She was not able to 1HKO me back the next turn, and I was able to hit a Scoop Up to save it from being 2HKO’d. I move ahead in prizes and win this one.
I am guessing Elizabeth might have had trouble drawing into Expert Belt and that’s what allowed me to come back. I also misplayed at a few points by not using Solrock’s Power and I played 1 Crobat too many to get a KO, but things worked out.
Game 2: Uggg looks like I didn’t learn my lesson from Round 5. We both have Sableye starts. I forget whether I went first or second, but I know I had a Sableye active with Magikarp on the bench. I also had a Solrock in hand, but again didn’t put it down. I Impersonate for Collector and the next turn I look to have a decent set up.
Elizabeth however is able to triple “Flash Bite” my Magikarp, then use Regice to discard 2 Magikarps and Tail Revenge my Sableye for the turn 2 win. :(
Even if I had put the Solrock down, being down 2-0 and having no response to her Gyarados the next turn would have put me in a 3-0 hole or worse. Probably wouldn’t have been able to win that one anyway.
Game 3: Elizabeth again gets a superior start with a Sableye while I am left with an active Solrock and not much else for 3 to 4 turns. I am ready for her to just take me out, but to my disbelief the Solrock is still sitting there after a few turns.
By the time she gets Gyarados out, I am somehow able to discard 3 Karps, evolve to Gyarados, and play a Cyclone in the same turn to keep even in prizes. It was weird…I Collector’d for 3 Karps I think then used the Lunatone/Solrock combo and in the top 3 cards was my 4th Karp, so I was able to discard 1 from my hand to draw the 4th one then Regi Move to discard 2 and evolve the last to Gyarados and I happened to have a Cyclone in hand.
That one divine turn gave me hope and I am able to keep up in prizes. I think I have a chance at winning when I have an undamaged Expert Belted Gyarados in play with 2 Prize cards remaining for each of us, but then Elizabeth is able to do 150 for the 1HKO and her last 2 Prizes. If she were to miss a Scoop Up on a Crobat I think I would have lived, then would have had a chance to play 3 Scoop Ups I was holding in my hand to save my Gyarados and undoubtedly take the game. Oh well, it was a fun and intense game!
I felt like if I could have won that game I would have had a decent shot to make top 4 at the least, and the top 8 game would have been vs Sablelock which is winnable for Gyarados.
Overall it was a good day and it was nice to see everyone! Congrats to Kyle M. for going 6-1 in Swiss, you did awesome man.
Also good job to quaziko who made top 16 as well but became brain dead and lost 2 winnable games. You got it next time man!
Everyone else it was great to see you. You know who you are. ;) Too many names to list, but it was nice to see you.
I was extremely satisfied with my list by the way…I felt good about all my card choices, though I didn’t use Combee a single time and I only used Regice that very last game. I would really putting more Poké Turn in and maybe a mirror tech though.
Thanks for reading!
Also I am not sure if I am going to Nationals at this point, things aren’t looking too promising. I don’t have any money to spare except for paying bills at the moment. I was hoping that t-shirt sales would help fund my trip but at this point I haven’t even recouped what I paid for the shirts.
I should be getting a part time job once I graduate in a couple weeks, but I am still not sure I will be able to afford to go. I’ll keep everyone updated…also I will be going through all the article submissions this weekend hopefully. Thanks so much to everyone that submitted reports and sorry for the delay!