Australia National Championships – A Blog from a First Time Attendee

Australia National Championships – A Blog from a First Time Attendee

Like in other countries around the world whose characteristics include a) Supported by Play! Pokémon and b) Aren’t USA or Japan, Australia has just had its National Championships. My name is Anthony Smith, a Masters Division player who flew south from my home state of Queensland to attend the event.

While I am not the best player, nor did I take the best notes, I’ll do my best to recount the event. It will be quasi-report but mostly blog style, because that’s what I enjoy writing. If you remember Chen’s Nationals report from last year, I hope it turns out like that.

For me, the decision to go to Nationals was made only a week and a half before the event. I couldn’t afford to risk buying plane tickets in advance. My girlfriend Natalie and I have just moved in together about a month ago. My life has been a lot of moving, helping parents move, getting used to being out of home, work stress (I work for the government), Uni stress (I don’t even want to get into that except to say group work can really suck) and just being worried about money and paying bills (I have to get on to that power bill tomorrow).

Nat and I have just had our first anniversary, rolled around on the 2nd of June, and we decided to buy the plane tickets. $360 odd dollars, but we were happy. I was happy. I wanted one last shot at this format, even with all of its criticisms and perceived flaws. Majestic Dawn to Call of Legends. Let’s do this.

From that point on, I took on every opportunity to test and practice with players in my state. I even took Nat on a 1+ hour drive to a house to test with some of my state’s best players including Jason (MewJadester), Australia’s highest rated player (before nationals that is, now he’s number two in Australia, followed by Sean T). I sought advice from everyone, even here on SixPrizes, and eventually stamped out a decklist I was more or less happy with.


Pokémon – 21 

2 Luxray GL RR
2 Luxray GL LV.X RR
2 Garchomp C SV
2 Garchomp C LV.X SV
2 Uxie LA
1 Uxie LV.X LA
1 Toxicroak G Promo
1 Lucario GL RR
1 Bronzong G PL
1 Dragonite FB SV
1 Crobat G PL
1 Ambipom G RR
1 Roserade GL RR
1 Unown Q MD
1 Azelf LA
1 Smeargle UD

Trainers/Supporters – 27 

4 Cyrus’s Conspiracy
1 Bebe’s Search
3 Pokémon Collector
1 Looker’s Investigation
1 Aaron’s Collection
1 Twins

2 Premier Ball
1 VS Seeker
1 Junk Arm

4 TGI Poké Turn
2 TGI SP Radar
2 TGI Power Spray
4 TGI Energy Gain

Energy – 12 

4 Double Colourless
3 L
1 P
4 Call

Despite what people had suggested to me, I decided it was too late to adjust my build. I knew my LuxChomp build and I was happy to leave it consistent and teched for only the SP Mirror. For a week leading up to the tournament, despite other opportunities, I practiced mostly against Nat’s Straight Machamp. It’s a no frills build. No speed draw aspects, just regular trainer/supporters assisting a 4/4/3/1 Machamp SF/Prime line. We practiced every night for hours.

Saturday Morning. 4:00 AM. I realised why America has Nationals/Worlds take place when it does. It’s because you have nice weather this time of year. I’m Australian. I love the sun. Why do our Nationals have to fall during a week where we are experiencing the coldest batch of weather we have in the past 10 years? It was cold.

Regardless, a shower, last-minute pack, then it was into the car, Nat’s mother offering us a lift to the airport on the Gold Coast. Sweet. This year, as with several years prior, we would see our Nationals take place in Sydney. There has been talk about Brisbane gaining the rights to host the event next year and the year after, which would suit me seeing as I live in Brisbane, but it remains to be seen.

The flight came and went without much event. Aside from Nat struggling with her sinuses. We touched down and took a train to Museum station, a short walk from the venue – The Marriot Hotel. We arrived at the hotel, walked up the stairs and found the venue, doors shut. We were about 3 hours too early, affording us time for a walk and coffee.

The illusive Mew Jadester.

When we made it back to the venue, the first of the day’s competitors we beginning to show up. A mixture of each of the divisions. I didn’t spy too much more than one masters player running a Kingdra/Gengar.

Time wore on, and I tried to contact the other Queensland players I knew since we were meant to be staying with them and we wanted to offload our bags. No sooner had I sent a Facebook message to Charlie, a top 4 master in Australia, did I turn around and look into the elevator.

He was standing right inside. I tried to call to him, but the elevator closed and he went down. I rushed down the stairs but he was out and around the corner before I could catch him, presumably for breakfast. Gosh he walks fast.

I did end up catching a bunch of the rest of the Queensland crew though. Charlie with Lady Gaga LuxChomp, Hosea with PalkiaChomp and Alan with Vilegar.

We were all trying to suss out the competition. Alan perhaps a little too much so. Throughout the day he got deck checked, and unfortunately he forgot to write down his Blissey tech, resulting in him having to swap them for energy.

I was happy with my build. I’d kept it for a week and it wasn’t changing. I turned in my decklist and started looking around for a Vilegar player to practice with. Vilegar was the one deck I knew the least about. Both about playing it and playing against it.

My friend Daniel, a fellow master from Queensland happened to be available for a quick practice match. There’s more to Daniel’s story to tell, but I’ll explain later. We dealt out and began, despite it nearly being time for the start of the tournament. Good thing it was a mid-game donk.

Players were being called and it looked like the day was about to begin. The judges introduced themselves, and the head organiser of Play! Pokémon in the Asia-Pacific region was there to greet us too.

The rules were explained, the pairings went up and it was time to put LuxChomp to the test.

This is from day 2, when they put up dividers to split the room in half for Top Cut.

Day 1 – Swiss

Round 1: Adam @ Rogue SP/DonChamp w/ Relicanth tech

As far as I knew, Adam represented his state entirely by himself. He went through quite a lot to be at Nationals this year including being in a car crash on the way to the airport. The only consolation was that the event coincided with him moving to Sydney. Home for Adam is in Perth. When many people read this and think of Australia, they either think of the Eastern city life, or rolling desert plains, a sunburnt country, etc.

Perth is the capital of Western Australia. Western Australia for us is synonymous with our Mining industry, our biggest source of revenue, and dusty country towns. The league in Perth is small and barren of SP.

Match 1:

This was a long match, which is mostly fault.

pokebeach.comHe opened a Relicanth to my “Xxxxxxx” SP (I forgot what I opened with). At this point I thought it was going to either be either a Donphan, Machamp, DonChamp or an old school SP deck that runs it as a tech for the mirror. Old school wouldn’t have surprised me, I remembered running it as a tech at one point until I obtained a Toxicroak G PROMO.

He put down a Phanpy and I thought I had the deck sussed out. Then he played a Cyrus’s Conspiracy and that’s when I got confused. As he shuffled I spied what his deck seemed to consist of. Relicanth, Donphan, Machamp, Luxray SP and Garchomp SP. What.

He retreated for a Donphan, and then next turn started benching LuxChomp and a Machop. I haven’t been talking about my own plays during this time because I wasn’t drawing anything. Nothing to start a Cyrus Chain, or Uxie.

All I had were dead-draws, while he slowly built up a rather intimidating bench. He started swinging with Machamp and combos of warp point and “Bright Look” let him KO what he needed. I considered scooping a few times, but then I seemed to spy a light at the end of the tunnel.

I thought I could see victory, despite being about 5 Prizes from victory to his 2. I started turning it around by grabbing the KO on his Machamp with Uxie LV.X. I kept at it, reaching to the bottom of my bag of tricks to bring it level. Everything from locking their active with Roserade G to “Toxic Fang” with Crobat G to soften Donphan for a snipe KO. I even managed to use Twins three times with a combination of Vs Seeker and Junk Arm.

It got down to me being down on my last prize to his 2. He managed to send up his still benched Relicanth and sniped a damaged, benched Pokémon for the last KO.

Match 2:

We had perhaps five minutes of time to play and I don’t remember a great deal. I made a misplay by not grabbing an Unown Q with Pokémon Collector and having to use Call Energy to nab it instead. The punishment for that was letting it get “Bright Looked” and “Bite” KO’d on turn 3. On the following turn I made a misplay once again, intending to get the revenge KO with PromoCroak, but I grabbed a radar with Cyrus’s Conspiracy instead of an Energy Gain.

When time was called, I decided to scoop and hand him the win. I wasn’t going to take enough prizes for the game to count.



pokebeach.comI was pretty salty about the loss. I could have approached it better, however, I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve wanted to scoop to preserve time in my career of playing. I told a few of the Queensland players about it and they thought the deck as strange as I did. It’s funny, losing to a rogue composed of a mash of Metagame decks.

Nat won her first match against a Tyranitar with an Umbreon tech. She was forced to use Machamp SF since the Umbreon could wall her.

While we had time, I caught up once again with fellow Queensland player Daniel to have a practice match with his Vilegar deck. Amazingly, Daniel had only picked up the game on Thursday and his experience with the game consisted of roughly 18 hours.

No that wasn’t 18 hours experience with just Vilegar. That was 18 hours of total experience with the game and now here he is at Nationals with a Metagame deck.

This and the previous game we had both ended the same way. A mid-game donk on my part. Neither of the games saw Vileplume hit the field.

Just as we finished, round two pairings went up. Here we go.

Round 2: Daniel Vilegas @ Vilegar

Okay, finally the fated Vilegar matchup. It’s the matchup I’d been trying to read about and ask about because I had literally no experience before today. My experience is now two matches ending in mid-game donks against the same person. Also I kid you not, his last name is one letter off Vilegar.

The Vilegar matchup. I’ve got this. He’s only been playing for 18 hours. He went to sleep at 2am last night. I’ve beaten him twice. I’m feeling confident that this will be over quickly.

Match 1:

I was wrong. Our match went to time, despite him never getting Vileplume onto the field. I dragon rushed his gloom before it got there.

At time, we were both at 2 Prizes a piece and he had the first turn of +3. During my turn I decided that there was no way I could KO a pokemon to secure a win or at least force sudden death. Instead I used Luxray LV.X’s “Bright Look” on an Oddish and retreated for Azelf to lock it in place with “Lock Up”.

I explained that he couldn’t retreat. He looked at the card he top decked and wasn’t sure. I kept a straight face. He called a judge and wanted to ask for interpretation, to which the judge responded that he could only tell him if he did something wrong.

He attached a Warp Energy to Oddish and the judge nodded. In comes Gengar and “Shadow Room” grants the KO needed for Vilegas’ Vilegar to win. Brock, a Queensland junior, came over and saw that I’d lost.

He asked how long I’d been playing, and when I answered with ‘since Supreme Victors’, he turned to the nearest person, the same judge, and explained how amazing it was that Daniel had beaten me with 18 hours experience. The judge turned to him and responded ‘Well, the metagame is so bad right now that you can hand somebody a metagame deck and this will happen’.


I don’t know how true that really is, but, I think everyone is looking forward to the rotation.


I was down 0-2, and given the circumstances of both losses I wasn’t feeling pretty salty at this point. It also meant that any chance at top-cutting was sufficiently flushed and well on its way. It would be compounded by the pairings for the next round.

Round 3: Bye

This sucked. I didn’t fly all this way to miss out on a chance to play. An auto-win is an auto-win, but I was still annoyed by this. I joked with Nat, feigning depression to the point of not wanting to play this round. When I revealed my opponent I got a laugh, but I did feel a little down.


Round Lunch:

Lunch was cut super short because things weren’t running on time. Nat and I went downstairs to go buy lunch, but one blast of wind and we turned around. I went back up to the hotel room we were splitting with Jason that night to get my jumper, but by the time this happened there was no time to leave the venue. I bought a ‘gourmet wrap’ from a stand outside the room in the hotel where the event was taking place and ate through that. They definitely weren’t worth the $8 I paid.

I chatted with the other Queensland players and re-assessed where everyone stood. Jason took a Round 3 loss to a MagneRock player. Turned out that this player also defeated Alan’s Vilegar in Round 1. Ouch. That MagneRock player went on to make Top Cut.

Round 4: Josh @ Machamp w/ Mesprit

Okay, Machamp. One of my deck’s worst matchups (If you can call any of LuxChomp’s perceived matchups bad). But I have Uxie LV.X. I can do this.

Match 1:


But not a Champ speed donk. In fact I was the one who scored it. Unless you count the bye it was the first bit of good luck I’d had all day.

Opening hand contained Ambipom G, Double Colourless Energy and a Crobat G. He opened a single Pokémon and I’m not 100% sure whether it was a lone Machop or a Pixie. I won the flip, Good Game.

Match 2:

This didn’t go anywhere near my way. All due to our good friend Mesprit, a Pokémon that Josh’s namesake famously advises should be dropped. Wittenkeller’s advice was thusly adhered to and I was power locked for so many turns that I just couldn’t reach far enough into my bag of tricks to get anything going.

Match 3:

So with a reasonable amount of time left, we began the deciding match and things went my way this time. I’m sorry, I didn’t take very many notes of this match. We both started with very strong donk opportunities, my lone Uxie to his lone Machop, but on each of our respective turns after turn 1, neither of us could reach it. I was so convinced that he would donk my Uxie after I missed it, that I even revealed my hand to him.

My opponent just couldn’t get to a Machamp SF. He was struggling to prevent a mid-game donk throughout most of the game, even being forced to evolve an active Machop to a Machamp Prime to stay alive. The only Machamp SF he could reach, had to be traded away with Pokémon Communication for something to keep him in the game.

Good Game Josh.



I was feeling much better now. I was now 2-2, not great, but better than the 0-2 I was facing before. There wasn’t much time before next round, but then it hit me. Lunch that is. To quote a great player, I proceeded to ‘Chenlock the toilet’.

Hotel food. It’s pretty bad. Who knew?

I got back and the pairings for round 5 just went up.

Round 5: Jeff @ Straight Machamp

pokebeach.comMachamp again. Jeff is another player from Queensland and is friends with Daniel Vilegar, er, I mean Vilegas. I didn’t know how experienced he was in the game, but Machamp is Machamp. Nothing more but to get to it.

Match 1:

This game drew out for a while. I made a couple of misplays, but I saved myself by taking different routes to the options I wanted from my deck. Thank Fulop for Junk Arm.

At least twice in this match I came 10 damage short of scoring 1HKOs on Machamp, but fortunately my opponent wasn’t able to save them from the eventual flash bite drops in the following turn. He scooped when all of his options were exhausted, despite being up on prizes 2-1.

Match 2:

Time was very close to being called. I scored a first turn KO with Ambipom G + Double Colourless, followed by a turn 2 Luxray LV.X Knock Out. When time was called the game was up. He scooped and I scored my second victory.



I felt much, much better now. I’d practiced hard against Machamp leading up to this and I’d reaped the benefits by downing two in a row now. The hard slog was drawing to a close. The final pairings went up.

Round 6: Marcus @ Gyarados

pokebeach.comMarcus looked to be a dangerous player. He entered gunning for the top spot, but by his own words ‘scrubbed out’ in an earlier round and wasn’t going to be able to hit top cut. He’s a well known Melbourne player running a Gyarados deck. Another matchup I have limited experience against.

Match 1:

I didn’t draw any prizes. We realised this when I hit a turn 2 Uxie LV.X and began to use “Trade Off”. By then it was too late. A judge was called and it was deemed an irreversible game state. Match loss.

Marcus’s consolation to me was that he’d done the same in past games as well, and I thank him for it since I’ve had players call me on game forfeiting mistakes before with much less grace than Marcus.

Match 2:

This was a proper game, in that his deck seemed to do exactly what he wanted it to do. He proceeded to power lock me with Mespirit almost the entire game and I couldn’t hit a Cyrus’s Conspiracy to get the Power Spray to stop it. Nothing fancy or noteworthy. Consistent lock and a well practiced execution of options to discard Magikarps and get Gyarados swinging.

Marcus definitely deserves his top 3 spot in Australia’s rankings.


So, that was it. 3-3. Not too shabby for my first nationals. I placed 22nd of 39 and received a Pencil and set of stickers to go with the pencil and set of stickers I got from states. Woo hoo. Nat placed 31st and nabbed a lucky door prize, a Play! Pokémon hat. The head organiser of Play! Pokémon for the Asia-Pacific region was there, and said he was glad she got it when she spoke to him afterward.

With the day finally over, the Queensland crew got together and went for a group feed. After discussing potential matchups, we decided to go with a tier 1 Japanese restaurant/takeaway called ‘Don Don’. I got the Spicy Seafood Don. Best food I’d had all day.

Charlie got the Chicken Katsudon. Tasty.

We ate the food back at the hotel, in the room we all crammed into. We ate while Jason started crunching numbers on something to do with the placings. Succeeding this was a trip up to the gym on the top floor. Hosea proved himself to be a master of the Treadmill. I struggled with the setting at 11, while he powered through on 15.

When Alan and I decided to head back down to see if the bottle shops were still open and were disappointed when we found they weren’t. Time flies when you’re working out. We went back to the hotel room afterward/

In the meantime, while we didn’t stick around to see it, apparently Jason was “Lost Zoned” into the pool. Probably a good thing, since hearing of other unsavoury things going on and all the while the hotel security were watching them (they were…paid a visit). Not only that, the gym is next to the outdoor pool where everybody smokes, something neither Nat or I do, nor can really stand to be around for too long. That aside, we were very tired as you can imagine. Reason enough to get to sleep.

Sleeping arrangements sucked with Nat and I relegated to the floor. Although it’s my own fault for refusing Alan’s offer. I felt bad because Nat and I sorta claimed the bed, then I insisted we take the floor. Sorry honey!

At about 3:30 AM I had a rude awakening. Alan’s younger brother, Brock, smacked a half-eaten tray of rice off a bed side table, it falling off and hitting the side of my face. I think I was trying to flick rice out of my ear for about fifteen minutes.

Natalie seemed unphased. Actually, in her sleepy state she tends to get grumpy if things disturb her.

At this point the TV was still on. Daniel couldn’t get to sleep. We both sat up and watched a strange, old Australian movie called ‘The Crop’. One can use their imagination to figure out what it was about. Something about corrupt police and a guy that looked like the Crocodile Dundee.

I was kinda wishing I’d forked out the money for our own room.

Day 2 – Top Cut/Metronome Unlimited/HS-On:

Up until the morning I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to explore Sydney today or compete in the Unlimited Metronome tournament. I turned to Charlie, a player from Queensland who aimed for Top Cut, but failed, placing 11th. He said he was just going to run SP and see what happens.

Unlimited is what it is. A format with all cards up to Call of Legends (Because we’re international and don’t believe in BW rules). The ‘Metronome’ part was a bit of a mystery to me however. Well heck, SP is meant to be the be all and end all. I always thought it’d be cool to match LuxChomp up against the other Meta decks of formats past, and this might be my opportunity.

pokebeach.comI decided to play. I took my LuxChomp build and changed a few things with the limited card pool I actually had with me. I swapped out a few cards including the SP Mirror techs (Ambipom G, Dragonite G, Toxicroak G) for Unown G and Entei Raikou LEGEND.

I briefly considered the Ninetales from Power Keepers that prevents damage from Pokémon-EX, but decided against it. This was despite Alan running a Flygon-EX/Rayquaza EX/”Insert Broken Pokémon” EX deck.

I dropped a couple of other cards to up Bebe’s Search and add Pokémon Communication, and I was ready to roll. Charlie was running Chenlock with some ridiculous lines like 3 Crobat G’s.

We all headed out for Breakfast at Oporto’s, an Australian fast food chain specialising in ‘Bondi Burgers’ which consist of fish fillets and really spicy sauce. I go there for the breakfast though. Cheap and tasty. The guy next to us seemed like he’d been out partying all night, and he nearly fell over, whatever he’d bought splattering on the floor in front of him as he caught himself. He left and came back looking for his boyfriend with somebody else’s help. Strange. None of this seemed to faze Jason who sat in the middle of us, going through his deck for the Metronome tournament today.

So we went back to the venue and I signed up with something of a renewed vigour. The rules were explained to everybody.

  1. There were no winners or losers today. The prize support organised was to be given away randomly at the end.
  2. It was Base Set to Call of Legends.
  3. Before each round, a 20 sided dice would be rolled twice. Each number has a rule attached to it. They would be applied for that round. What.

The pairings were hand written and took a bit of deciphering to figure out. I sat down to face Adam from my first round yesterday. He said to me that he had teched his deck somewhat and took out a few of the fighting pokemon lines.

Round 1: Adam @ LuxChomp W/ DonChamp & Ursaring Tech

The die was rolled twice and the rules for round one were thus:

1. Ignore all Poké Powers, Bodies, or Abilities (despite BW not being in the format)

2. Every attack costs +1 colourless
Ursaring ain't even mad.

Cool, so probably the worst two rules I can think of for my deck. Up against a player rocking Machamp amongst other things. Nice.

Amazingly though, I managed to simply slog my way through it. Crobat G was the MVP of the game, its Toxic Fang helping me place some crucial damage onto Donphan and Machamp before being KO’d.

It was lucky for me in some ways that the restriction was in place. He teched in a rotated Ursaring (I forget the set it was from) that has a body that prevents it from taking damage from basic pokemon. Nice.

Round 2: ???? @ BlastGatr

This player beat Nat in the 2nd round yesterday. He was rocking BlastGatr, a deck I’m interested in playing in the new format.

The die was rolled once again, and threw us these two rules:

1. Ignore weaknesses and resistance

2. Two stadiums can be in play at once

Well, my opponent (I’m sorry I forgot your name) benefitted from this since he was the one playing against weakness. We ended up playing two games. I won the first one after a long, hard-fought match (the details of which elude my memory).

The second game came to time, and instead of playing it out, since the rounds didn’t really allow any time between them (it was a fun tournament), we rolled a die for victory, and he won.

Round 3: ???? @ Victribel/Roserade

This player (once again the name eludes me, sorry!), seemed more geared for the new format. Aside from a couple of Expert Belts, he was completely HS-on. The deck ran a heavy special condition theme that in the MD-CoL format, simply doesn’t cut it. Surely this would be an easy match.

The die was rolled, and they decided they would only have one special rule in place because of what was rolled:
A regular size proxy of this would be funny in a deck as a prank.

1. Who is who? At a random time(s) during the round, who is who will be called. At this point, players must switch places, swapping everything. The winner is the player in control of the winning deck at the time.

Great. Every single rule today was pretty much geared toward stopping me. Normally LuxChomp would stomp Victribel/Roserade, but that’s the thing. If I got a 5 Prize lead and then the switch call was made, I’d be sealing a loss.

I decided I’d just have fun and play normally. My opponent was intentionally playing bad to let me take prizes (he belted a benched Belsprout). Jason won his match and I overheard a judge say to him that they were half a minute off calling a swap.

I suddenly really wanted it to be my turn so I could use Looker’s Investigation on myself. It didn’t get that far.

When it was called, I was 4 Prizes behind with a hand of a couple of trainers, a Cleffa active and a bench of basics. I was fortunate that my opponent wasn’t experienced with SP at all, and only managed to take a single prize before they called it again, and we re-took control of our own decks.

Once I’d regained control I had to wait three turns before finally hitting something to get an Energy into my hand to get the last KO.

So they ended the tournament at three rounds in preparation for the HS-on tournament. I wasn’t planning on entering however, since I had nothing prepared.

The prizes started getting called. We each had to take a raffle ticket from a box that corresponds to a number of prizes. Everybody was going to receive at least 2 or 3 boosters provided by sponsors from around Australia including Games Workshop, Croftminster and BattleAxe Games (the owner of BattleAxe games, Ashley (I think he’s the owner) missed top cut by one spot).

When I was called, I rolled up my sleeve and reached in with as much gusto as possible. I scored one of the best prizes. A Victini box with 5 boosters and a Zoroark Promo, as well as a set of POP sleeves. I was super happy about it and it seemed to make up for my lacklustre performance yesterday. Free stuff tends to do that.

The box provided some really good pulls. I ripped a full art Reshiram and a reverse foil Professor Juniper in one booster and nabbed a few more rare, playable cards from the other boosters as well.

All the while, the business end of the top cut was playing out. Top 2 was DialgaChomp Vs. LuxChomp. An exhilarating set surely. Though I wouldn’t know from the other side of the dividers. Aaron Choong ended up taking the crown with his DialgaChomp. Two booster boxes and plane tickets to America. (Oh, and the worlds invite). The scoop on Aaron’s story is his fateful 7-0 run last year at Worlds ending in the first round of top cut. Also I understand that this year was his debut as a master. Well done!

Aaron’s victory in top cut sealed a clean sweep for the Australian state of Victoria. They were the winners in every division, including a pair of siblings in Seniors from what I understand.

I won’t simply rewrite what Aaron had to say, so I’ll link you instead. (+ decklist)

Interestingly, his opponent in the finals also wrote a report too:

Later on Aaron was walking around trying to sell his booster boxes, and after jokingly offering him a fraction more money for both of them, I caved at Nat’s advice that it was a really cheap deal, and bought one for AU$100.
Once I handed over the cash, I asked him to do one thing for me. I asked him to sign my booster box.

Under his signature it reads ‘Good luck for next season’ (So says Nat), which I think is a great message. Not only to myself, but to the many out there aiming for those top spots, and just don’t quite (top) cut it this year.

After taking a group photo, and catching up with a Queensland judge that we discovered we lived quite near to, we left to spend a couple of hours in the city. We checked out Market City and I forked out the cash for a copy of Project: Diva for Nat since we happened upon it in a store. She loves Miku Hatsune.

A flight and a drive later we finally made it home. I was just glad to be in my own house again instead of squashed up like tuna.

We finished the trip by winding down and opening the booster box packs:

Gosh that was fun. Would have liked to hit a 2nd full art Reshiram to go with the one Nat has and the one I pulled from the victini box though.

Overall it was a good weekend. All kinds of ups and downs, and more that I couldn’t quite put into words. I didn’t do that great, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to see out the format and finally retire the old warhorse to greener pastures. For many of us who fuelled many, many hours into the MD-on format, even the DP-on format, it was time for a heartfelt goodbye.

Goodbye Majestic Dawn. Goodbye Unown Q.
Goodbye Legends Awakened. Goodbye Uxie.
Goodbye Stormfront. Goodbye Machamp.
Goodbye Platinum. Goodbye Cyrus’s Conspiracy.
Goodbye Rising Rivals. Goodbye Luxray GL LV.X.
Goodbye Supreme Victors. Goodbye Garchomp C LV.X.
Goodbye Arceus. Goodbye Expert Belt.

For the last two years these are the cards that ushered me into competitive pokemon. The rotation of the first half of Diamond and Pearl didn’t hit me too hard, but this one does. See you in unlimited LuxChomp.

I hope that even though parts that are usually important in a tournament report were lacklustre on my part, it was something worth reading. I figure that with this format finally done, the play by plays aren’t all that important anyway. Hopefully my story inspires you to make the journey to your nationals one day.


– The weather, ugh
– Waking up at 4am to catch a plane
– Waking up at 3:30am from a tray of rice falling onto my face
– Gourmet wraps
– Queensland not making top cut
– Losing the first two matches


– Winning consistently in the matchup I practiced most
– Nat for getting the lucky prize, the Play! Pokémon hat
– Team Plasma card sleeves
– Going 3-0 in the Metronome (haha)
– The sponsors providing amazing prize support for the Metronome tournament.
– More importantly, winning the Victini Box and getting some sick pulls
– Aaron Choong for winning, selling me a cheap booster box and signing it
– Queensland players, with whom I’ve grown as a player and become friends with
– Late night Gym antics, treadmills are fun
– Don Don, tasty
– Finding Project: Diva in Australia
– A weekend of memories

Natalie and I, ready as ever for the new season.

Cheers for reading,

Anthony Smith.

Reader Interactions

32 replies

  1. Anonymous

    Loved the report. In my experience, I’ve learned the most and become the best player after big losses, rather than through big wins. I wish you the best of luck next season, and thanks for sharing! It takes a humble player to take a rough day and take the best knowledge out of it, but I guarantee this is the kind of outlook that will benefit you the most : )

    • Anthony Smith  → Anonymous

      The week leading up to the event opened my eyes to the importance of real playtesting versus theorymon. Cheers for the advice, I’m a competitive gamer by nature, so I tend to just hit back at the drawing board than complain about losing.

      Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it. And thanks, good luck to you at worlds! (You better make it there!)

  2. Myles O'Neill

    Great to see some Australian stuff on the site! I’m the player you played against in Round 3 in the Metronome tournament by the way (Victreebell/Roserade), it was a fun game :) . Hope to see you again next year!

    • Anthony Smith  → Myles

      Haha, fun deck dude. Personally I think Leafeon is better, but let me know if you can make it work. Victribel is a beast :9 Look me up next year.

  3. Spam

    One quick question: if you could ask around, could you give a list of the 20 Metronome rules used (both ones encountered and unencountered)?

  4. Spam

    One quick question: if you could ask around, could you give a list of the 20 Metronome rules used (both ones encountered and unencountered)?

      • Spam  → Anthony

        Thank you much. Also, though I didn’t mention it in my first post, excellent article you put together. It looks like everyone brought their A-game to the table at your Nationals, and you seemed to do far better than I could have, given the situations you encountered.

  5. Dave Wilson

    That Relicanth Deck sure is strange; glad you had fun at Nationals, can’t wait for mine!

  6. eli moses

    Great report I loved it hopefully with the HS on format ill be able to not get donked (all of my losses this year have been from them except for three)

  7. Rafael Orozco

    very interesting and fun to read report. i approve

  8. tim h

    Hey. I’m Tim – the guy who came 5th (2nd in Swiss). 

    I didn’t play you, but it was good seeing so many new places at my first nationals, too. Good luck next year; it’s the little improvements to play (and deckbuilding). A little change in play can be a small mistake, but the choice to get one card can be what wins you the game, or remove yourself from a game after a key error.

    Next year, everyone will be back with more experience. Good luck for next year!

    • Anthony Smith  → tim

      Cheers dude, and grats on the 5th place. What did you play?

      I look forward to seeing everyone again next year. Perhaps we should play then? :)

      • tim h  → Anthony

        I was playing magnerock with more bts, belt and more energy than normal. Makes it more consistant and better against SP (which was everywhere). Also, because it’s awesome. I’m going to play magnezone next format… but i’m just waiting for someone to play a silly straight donphan or donchamp list to beat it

        • Anthony Smith  → tim

          Ahh, the MagneRock player that wrecked us!

          The common theme in my build was the strive for consistency, which in a nationals setting is probably all you can do to win.

          Magnezone is going to be good next format. Wish I had a few :P

        • tim h  → Jason

          Jason, at the end of the day, there’s not much gyarados can do to win vs magnezone; be it a lucky draw… or not. Sometimes it’s not just luck

  9. Anthony Smith

    All these ‘post as’ options are confusing me!!!

  10. Liam Pomfret

    If Aussie Nats are coming to Brisbane next year, I may just have to get back into the game. I imagine there’s a few Aussies who might not be all too happy at that. I wonder just how much Jason has improved. I was one of the few Queensland players who could beat him consistently back in the day, but if he’s our #1 now he’s evidently improved a lot. Would be interesting to match up against him again.

    • Jason Windham  → Liam

      Ah Liam, my old nemesis from 2006… Well, I have improved alot over the years.  With the great teamwork between myself, Sam, Jared and a few others, we have improved ourselves heaps with matchup knowledge, deckbuilding, card stratergies, etc.   Would be great to have a rematch somedays, haven’t had a game with you since like what, 2007? But yeah! See you next year if you do make it. :)

      • Liam Pomfret  → Jason

        Yeah, I think our last match would’ve been at the Brisbane Cities in 2007. Don’t think we matched up in States that year. From the sounds of things, a lot has certainly changed since the old days. I don’t know if you remember, but what got me ostracised from the Australian TCG community was when I posted something similar to this on PokéGym (actually, probably a lot less detailed than this), and everyone went off at me for “revealing their decks to everyone”. Just the fact that Australians are posting tournament reports and not having people attacking them is a huge step. I imagine a lot more people are following the US metagame as well. I would never have been so dominant with Mercury back in the day if more people had bothered to consider what decks were being played internationally.

        • Jason Windham  → Liam

           I knew it was at a league day sometimes in 2007.  At least nowadays, people have changed and many of us are using metagame type deck now.

          If you look at the 16 players (all at X-0, X-1, X-2 swiss records)

          Top 8
          Sean T VIC Luxchomp
          Tim H VIC Magnerock
          Will Y NSW Diachomp
          Shaun C VIC Diachomp
          Sameer S ACT Luxchomp
          Joey F VIC Vilegar
          Aaron C VIC Diachomp
          Alex L NSW Luxchomp

          4-2 whiff
          Ashley K TAS Machamp
          Alan J QLD Vilegar
          Charlie P QLD Luxchomp
          Blaine W ACT Gyarados
          Marcus R VIC Gyarados
          Samuel C NSW idk
          Chris E NSW Gyarados

          and me (4-1 drop) QLD Gyarados

          Clearly alot of meta deck swarming the top tables.

          Over in Seniors, there was:
          Top 4
          Chris K VIC Luxchomp
          Michael K VIC Sablock
          Roland A VIC Vilegar
          Mark W NSW Donphan

          Andrew C VIC Machamp
          Jenni W VIC Luxchomp
          Naomi M NSW Dialgachomp
          Phillip M NSW Gyarados
          Shaun M QLD Luxchomp
          Johno H QLD Gyarados

          And lastly in Juniors there was like:

          Top 2
          Emily K VIC Machamp
          Aaron S QLD Gyarados

          3-1 whiff
          James W VIC Luxchomp (i think)
          Oscar L NSW Machamp


        • Jason Windham  → Jason

           And if you wonder what happened to some of the names you know from the days..

          Cam R, Steff S, Robert S, Frank B pretty much judge/staff nowadays, and Sam H, Jared I, Matt H, pretty much left the game for personal reasons (lack of interest, move far away, etc.

  11. Anonymous

    “Goodbye Stormfront. Goodbye Machamp.”
    More like goodbye Gyarados, haha.

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