It seems to be the cool thing to do, have a name for you articles. So, my pathetic attempt to come up with a name is Airhawk’s Eye. What do you all think? Please, if you have a better idea put it in the comments. I would love to hear some cool ideas.
Anyway, let’s get onto the meat of this article. We are going to take a look at the World Championship and the LCQ. We are going to cover more than just what decks did well (but don’t worry, we will talk about the decks). If you really want just the deck reports go to the bottom.
I do not have the lists for you, but I’m sure that they will trickle out over the next few weeks. I personally look forward to all the awesome reports. I’m sure that some will be gracing this website (or at least I hope so).
Also, I do not have much coverage from the Juniors and Seniors. So, the stuff that I am going to go over is all about the Masters. I really hope that this does not offend anyone.
The very first thing I want to do is look at some of the personal storylines that I talked about in my pre-Worlds article.
How did the Japanese do?
oimaxUnfortunately, the Japanese players did not have a strong showing at Worlds. Pokémon players ever where are always interested in what the Japanese are doing. The Japanese get the sets much earlier than the rest of the world. This tends to lead to the Japanese knowing all of the tricks of the Worlds’ format.
Unfortunately, this year (due to the Tsunami) the Japanese did not have their qualifying tournament. Therefore, only reigning champion Yuta was guaranteed into the main event. The fan favorite, Yamato, did make it through the LCQ, but that meant that only two Japanese players were in the big dance.
So, the odds were against them from the start and neither made it to the Top Cut. Yamato did not let the fan base down as he played an original deck that featured Zekrom/Yanmega/Lanturn.
How did the non-Japanese foreign players fair?
Well they had a decent showing in the Top Cut. Six of the Top 16 were not United States Citizens. There was Sammi Sekkoum from Great Britian, David Meulenbroeks from the Netherlands, Lorenzo Voltoline from Italy, Filipp Lausch form Australia, Miska Saari from Finland, and Josue Palomino from Mexico.
Josue made it to the final four, guaranteeing himself a trip to next year’s World Championships. The number one seed in the Top Cut was Sammi Sekkoum, but much like myself he succumbed to the “curse of the first” and was Knocked Out in the opening salvo of what turned out to be a masterful run for Ross Cawthon.
How did the American “Superstars” do?
Justin Sanchez: Our recently crowned USA National champion did not fair well. He ended up going 1-4 and dropped in the main event. The man deserves a lot of credit for winning the US Nats tourney. However, he was a relative newcomer to the big show.
This leaves the question: does he have staying power? Many people can hit that magical run into stardom. They deserve all the credit and respect that a National Champion is due, but staying at the top of the game is hard. He will have a whole new season to start his national defense in less than a month.
Kyle “Pooka” Sucevich: The early fan favorite for the USA National tournament, the most decorated Nats competitor, and consistent Worlds qualifier also did not fare well in the main event. Pooka stuck with his second place deck, Megazord, but was only able to manage a 3-4 Swiss record. The man is ultra consistent and a master of the game. However, he is still in the hunt for his “one shining moment” on the World’s stage.
John Kettler: The HeyTrainer favorite had his streak broken. If I am not mistaken, Kettler had qualified for Worlds every year that he has competed. Unfortunately, the LCQ was not as friendly as it has been in the past for him. He failed to make it through to the main event.
Jason “Ness” Klaczynski: The former two time World Champion had an unfortunate run at Nationals and lost his ranking invite. So, like many other great players, Ness was relegated to the Grinder. In a surprise move (OK, not really) Pokémon decided to let in the Top 16 competitors from the LCQ instead of the advertised eight.
According to sources (I figured I would use most journalists’ favorite phrase), Ness made it to the round of 32 in the LCQ. However, his attempt at making the main event ended in sudden death heart break. The man who has been one of the top faces in the competitive scene for ever missed out on his chance to play for the World Championship. You can’t win them all, right?
Tom Dolezal: I was personally interested in this man’s tournament success. He took tyRam deeper than anyone else at USA Nationals. I figured that he would run the deck again and was possibly the best hope for the deck to win it all. Tom went 6-1 in Swiss losing one to J-Wittz’s MegaJudge deck.
However, Tom got his revenge in the round of 8 and knocked Jwittz from the tournament. He secured his trip to next year’s World Championship and possibly could take tyRam to new heights next season. He lost in the top 4 to Ross Cawthon’s rogue deck (more to come on that later).
Josh “Jwittz” Wittenkeller: The webepisode host has grown massively in popularity over the last year. The man was one of the founding fathers of SableLock last format and after a 2-1 Nats record he took to the new format like a fish to water. The man went 6-1 in the Swiss losing in round seven to Sammi Sekkoum. Then Josh made it to top 8 and lost to Tom Dolezal in the rematch.
Josh is quickly growing into one of the lead personalities that the game has to offer. His honest commentary and caring heart has done more than most to grow the game recently. Hopefully, he will be a mainstay for the next couple seasons.
Chris Fulop: One of the game’s elder statesmen went out with class. Fulop has recently announced that this was going to be his last full season of competitive Pokémon. The gaming guru is moving to Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon Judging next season. He was looking to go out with a bang at this year’s Worlds. It just happened in a way that no one foresaw. He ended up scooping his last Swiss match to Ross Cawthon.
This victory for Cawthon propelled him into the 16th position. He ended up taking his rogue beast to the top two. Cawthon fell in sudden death to a turn two Magnezone to the face for 100 damage (I know that feeling…).
Overall, the USA contingent had a massive showing. It helps that it is the most represented country in the tournament. Yet, the USA held six of the top eight spots on the final leader board. I’m sure that I missed someone’s favorite player. Just ask in the comments and I’m sure that we can get you an answer to how he/she did. I do not want to offend anyone.
How was the coverage?
pokebeach.comThe much ballyhooed live coverage came through with a should shrug this year. It was a mixed bag of results to be sure.
The live coverage for the LCQ was not good at all. Most people were relying on personal text messages and then information getting leaked out on PokéGym to get information. I was a little shocked by this. There were many players at the event that already had invites. To be honest, I expected more Twitter coverage from them.
The live coverage did get slightly better the next day. In the Swiss rounds, the guy over at The Top Cut did an average job getting the pairings out. It is not their fault because three of them were playing in the event.
However, the best coverage of the Swiss rounds ended up being the official Pokémon website. The official site ended up being the fasted place to get the pairing and standing coverage. The official site even had a mini strategy article with someone writing it who actually sounded like he/she halfway knew what was going on.
The coverage picked up in a big way the final day. Fortunately, tylertyphlosion and haryp over on PokéGym had the coverage on lock down with real time updates on the games states. The community was really into the event and Ross Cawthon’s epic rogue deck was gaining popularity as the day wore on. It was a great thing to behold.
While the guys over at the Top Cut struggled in the “live” coverage arena, I feel that everyone will be extremely pleased with their recorded video coverage. From their Tweet updates, the guys got great video coverage from everything.
They have video from the team challenge, the event location, interview with players, the Swiss rounds, and the Top Cut rounds. These videos will be available at their YouTube page soon. I have a feeling that these videos will be wildly popular with the player base and push the envelope in event coverage of the future.
Also, Jwittz got some coverage footage that I’m sure will make it into future Prof-It episodes.
I do have one suggestion to the people over at the Top Cut: use Justin.tv’s mobile broadcasting app next season. With any Android based phone, you could have coverage at local events all over the country. The Top cut guys could “outsource” the coverage to local players using Android phones.
This way we could get live coverage on a national scale at smaller events. You could cover Battle Roads, Cities, States, and Regional in this manner. You could run multiple channels and have 3-4 highlighted locations every weekend. I have tried this app on my phone and it works pretty well. I have a 5 megapixel camera that take pretty solid video. If I get to tournaments next season I would be interested in doing this and I’m sure that others would be interested.
Overall, the coverage is going in the right direction. It is still shaky, but that is understandable.
The Top 16
Here is the breakdown of the Top 16 players and decks. Now, not to be rude, but we are going to cover the decks more than the players now.
Sami Sekkoum (GB) Yanmega/Magnezone
Dylan Bryan (US) Stage 1 (not sure on the lines, likely Donphan, Yanmega, Zoroark)
Luke Reed (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Josh Wittenkeller (US) Yanmega/Magnezone
Tom Dolezal (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Jeremy Jallen (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
David Meulenbroeks (NL) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Lorenzo Voltolina (IT) Magnezone/Emboar
Filipp Lausch (AT) Yanmega/Magnezone
David Cohen (US) Reshiram/Emboar/Magnezone tech/ RDL Tech
Mitchel Silva (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Jay Hornung (US)
Miska Saari (FI) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Josue Palomino (MX) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Dylan Lefavour (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Ross Cawthon (US) Vileplume, Reuniclus, Blissey Prime, Suicune& Entei Legend, Zekrom, Donphan Prime, Pichu, Tropical Beach Stadium
*At the time of this writing I did not have the decks for Jay Hornung, Dylan Bryan, and Dyle Lefavour, someone should really help me out. We could go back and edit them in. All figures to follow are based on this incomplete data, but can be edited in later. I just wanted to get an article up so that the information could be in one easy to access place for people.
Let me start the mini-deck analysis portion by just saying what an interesting set of results we got. This tournament was all over the place. I do need to state that this is not going to go into what the future holds for each of these decks.
I will likely share my thoughts on that in a later article. This will also be a rather quick overview. I am sure that other people (and even myself) will create longer articles dedicated to each of these decks post-worlds. Let’s dive into the break down.
Numbers in Top 16
The Top 4
ReshiBoar (teched): 1
Epic Rogue: 1
That is an interesting break down, let’s dive into the decks themselves.
Yanmega/Magenzone: I ultimately feel that this tournament was a big letdown for this deck. Many, many people were claiming that this deck was the BDIF after the strong showing and Canada and Mexico Nationals along with winning the USA National. Yet, it did not crack the top 4 and only had one in the top 8. This was quite a shock to many people. How can the BDIF be locked out of the top 4?
This deck hits for fast damage and used Magnezone to do the heavy lifting. However, many people felt that this deck was weak to tyRam. It would appear as though maybe there is some truth to that. Once people realized that the babies were not a safe play against Yanmega, all the easy prize opportunities dried up for this deck.
The deck is then forced into either 2HKOing the active with Yanmega or 1HKOing Reshirams or Typhlosions at the cost of Lost Burning three energy. Given that most decks only run around 12 energy, MegaJudge can really struggle to keep the 1HKOs rolling against heavy hp decks. Also, it does not help that tyRam can 1HKO anything in MegaJudge on a consistent basis.
This certainly remains one of the best decks in the format, but it is not the clear cut BDIF like some people thought. Maybe the price will come down a bit?
tyRam: Most of the people who refused to believe that Yanmega/Magnezone was the BDIF, believed that tyRam was the BDIF. This deck held at least seven of the top 16 spots. I suspect it might be played by at least one of the three unknown slots; thus, it would have half of the top 16 spots. Now, these are certainly not LuxChomp type numbers, but they are very solid. The deck also owned half of the top 4 spots, but failed to reach the finals.
pokebeach.comThe deck obviously is fairly quick to set up. Many people like it for its internal consistency and the resistance to hand disruption in the mid to late game. The deck can virtually always be swinging for 120 no later than turn 3. That is a very rough thing to play against. It is obviously a little weak to Item-Lock.
I honestly believe this deck to be the BDIF. When the announcement of an early rotation was made public this deck’s relative, ReshiBoar, was quickly hyped. A select few remained loyal to tyRam though. USA Nationals seemed to convince the world that the deck was here to stay.
One player (cough, cough) went 9-0 in Swiss with the deck, and Tom Dolezal top it to the top 8. I honestly believe the only reason why this deck did not win US Nats was because not many of the game’s truly great players were playing it. Now that some of the best are running it, it is showing it’s true colors as a beast.
MagneBoar: This deck was the supposed clear, cut BDIF prior to US Nationals. This deck was hyped into oblivion by some many people. Yet, if massively failed to live up to expectations at US Nationals. Then Chris Fulop continued to put his support behind the deck. Many people gave him a very hard time about that (myself included), but I want to be the first to say, “You were right, again.”
The deck uses Magnezone for draw and attack power and Emboar to power up the attacks. RDL can also be teched into the deck for a big hitter that takes extra prizes. Once set up this deck is an absolute beast to take out. However, if you can hit your Reversal flips you can neutralize this deck fairly quickly. So, it was probably good that this deck performed well, because the future does not look too bright for it.
I still do not believe that this deck the BDIF, but if your list is tight and you are running hot, it can take down anything.
ReshiBoar (teched): This is a subset of ReshiBoar and MagneBoar. The Champ’s deck was self-described as a “straightforward Reshiram deck. I also use Magnezone and Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND. It’s designed to do a lot of damage. I avoid coin flips as much as I can, and there’s not much trickery. I don’t even play Pokémon Reversals, unlike pretty much everyone else.”
It operates much the same as a straight Reshiboar, but it replaces Ninetales with Magnezone. It allows you to run less recovery (no discarding with Ninetales and you already run the Rare Candy). Then you toss in a couple L Energy and you can use Magnezone and RDL as heavy hitters.
Ultimately, the champ decided to take as much luck out of the game as he could and it paid off. Great call.
Epic Rogue: That is what I am going to start calling this deck. Epic Rogue consists of Donphan Prime, Reuniclus, Vileplume, Zekrom, Pichu, Blissey Prime, and Suicune & Entei LEGEND. Basically, the idea is to Item-Lock the game. Then utilize your heavy Supporter count to gain the upper hand.
You can use Blissey Prime and Reuniclus to regulate the damage on Zekrom and then score 1HKOs. SEL is there to 1HKO anything in tyRam or ReshiBoar. It was a wicked awesome creation by a great deck builder, Ross Cawthon. I really hope that this deck gets printed as a World Championship deck. It was by far the most unique deck at the tournament.
pokebeach.comAs the tournament wore on, the buzz continued to build around this deck. Jwittz really accelerated the buzz when he Tweeted that he played the most random HGSS-on he had ever seen. On the PokéGym, the support for the deck and its evil-genius grew throughout the event, until it because the obvious fan favorite.
Ultimately, if fell to MagneBoar in a sudden death game three. I really wish that they finals would be an open time limit so that the games could have a “pure” winner. I would have liked to have seen what this deck would have done over the course of a whole third game. I was KOd by a turn two Magnezone 100 damage to the face (I know the feeling, that was how I went out at Nats).
Even though this deck obviously works, people need so stay calm about it. First, the deck was the last deck into the Top Cut. So, one more early loss, or if Fulop does not scoop and ends up winning, Ross’s Epic Rogue would not even be a conversations starter right now. People were speculating at how much Blissey would be on T&T tomorrow.
I want to remind everyone that many people thought the same thing about Xander/Carlos’ deck from US Nats. It was a great rogue deck that was a great metagame call. However, after a ton of playtesting and learning how to approach it, that deck was good, but beatable. This deck might be similar.
Yes, it could go Tier 1, or people could learn how to play against it and it could be a one hit wonder. I’m sure that there will be articles dissecting this thing into pieces.
Just off the top of my head, it would seem that Zoroark + SP D Energy would be the bane of this deck’s existence. tyRam players could also tech in a 1-0-1 Samurott or copies of Zekrom to combat the SEL. There seem to be plays that can go against this deck, but we won’t know for sure until people go out and test it a lot.
For now, it was a brilliant play and Ross deserves all the credit in the world! Great job Ross Cawthon.
Ultimately, I just want to congratulate all of the player who got to compete at Worlds. I was jealous of you. The swag was absolutely awesome. I really want one of the playmats (someone hook me up maybe :P ). The promo card is awesome and might actually be playable.
Congratulations to all of the players who made the Top Cut.