pokebeach.comAutumn Regionals was probably the least I’ve ever been prepared for a big tournament. I’ve only ever played super competitively in the past one or two years, so the hardest question I’ve had to ask myself is “What variant of SP do I play this weekend?” Even in a post-SP modified environment such as the LCQ at Worlds 2011, I still felt like the correct choice for the grinder wasn’t all that hard to come by (perhaps my elimination in round three proves otherwise!). For this tournament, there were simply just too many decks.
I felt that in the few weeks before Regionals I had narrowed the field down to three decks: ReshiPhlosion, Gothitelle, and Zekrom. I wrote an entire article detailing each deck, the positives and negatives of them, etc. so I won’t repeat myself here. I also knew though, that there were other things I would have to deal with, even if I didn’t think they were the right “play.”
The Truth (which ended up winning the entire event), MegaZone, MagneBoar, ReshiBoar, RDL.dec, the various combination of Stage 1s, Beartic Truth, Machamp Truth, DonChamp, the list goes on. This isn’t the optimal format for a player like me, but that discussion has been done to death, so I’ll stop there. At the end of the day, all I’m trying to get across is that it was pretty hard for me to pick a deck.
Amelia Bottemiller was my main testing partner all throughout Regionals preparation, and she was dead set on Zekrom. Ever since the deck has been released she’s seen it as one of the top — if not the best — deck. She knew, however, that it struggled against Gothitelle. With me being totally unaware of what to play and her being pretty set on Zekrom, it was obvious that we would focus most of our testing on trying to break the Gothitelle matchup for Zekrom. Again, I talked a little bit about this in my last article, but we tried everything. Mr. Mime, Jirachi, and everything else you could possibly think of.
It wasn’t until we were flipping through a binder when we thought about Mew. Teammate Ryan Merryfield had pushed a Mew + Relicanth idea in Zekrom to beat Gothitelle a few months earlier at BRs, but as far as we knew he underperformed with it (he’s also taking a break from Pokémon so we didn’t get a chance to pick his brain about it too much) so we didn’t think it was all that great. However, being as desperate as we were, we knew we had to at least give it a shot.
pokebeach.comIt ended up working out the best of any of our techs, and we were pretty hyped. Zekrom’s inherent ability to not even have to play the game by achieving a first turn donk combined with its decent matchup against ReshiPhlosion and (now) fantastic matchup against Gothitelle made it a no-brainer play for me. The only thing left to do now was insure that it didn’t hurt your mirror match. After all, we were guaranteed to see much more Zekrom than Gothitelle, so if the mirror match wasn’t still 50/50 or better, we absolutely could not justify playing the Mew.
We decided that we would save most of the mirror testing for the weekend of Regionals, as it was one of the only times (besides our usual Seattle-area testing meetings that we had before we discovered Mew) that we could get the whole team together to grind out games. During these games (big ups to Andrew Chard, Ashley Clay, Isaiah Middleton, Trevor Whiton, Ian Whiton, Derrick Nelsen, Zane Nelson, and Tyler Ninomura for helping us test the list) we discovered that we absolutely could not cut Defenders for the Mews as we had been doing. This wrecked your mirror match and also didn’t exactly help your ReshiPhlo match.
At about 10PM before the night of Regionals, we were all scrambling for what to play. Tyler’s Tyranitar deck had failed (well, Zane ended up taking it to the T32, missing Day Two on 14 hilarious coinflips that I’ll explain later), and within the frame of thirty minutes I had seen him go from Tyranitar, to Zekrom w/ Mew, to Zekrom without Mew, to MagneBoar, back to Zekrom w/ Mew, to ReshiBoar, back to Zekrom without Mew, and finally back to Zekrom w/ Mew. When I don’t know what to play it’s fine because I’ll ask all of the better players I’m surrounded by. However, when they don’t know is when I know things can’t possibly be going well.
At one point in my delusional, scrambling state, I ran out of the bathroom and exclaimed “Guys, wait! What does Smoochum HS do?!” to which they all just kind of shook their heads before Tyler read the one out of his binder. It was awkward for a few seconds while I laid on the bed with my face in my hands, until finally exclaiming once again…
“Wait guys, wait. So okay. Hear me out. Smoochum only moves one energy, yes, we all get that. But…how many people will actually know that?”
This causes a fit of laughter throughout the room, which I think is exactly what we needed to get back on focus. And by “we” I mean it’s exactly what I needed to eat voodoo donuts while Tyler and Amelia hammered out the “perfect” list. Which ended up looking something like this…
Pokémon – 13
3 Zekrom BLW
Trainers – 31
3 Pokémon Collector
Energy – 16
Yes, the only thing that was possible to cut was all of our scoop/bounce cards. The day of the tournament, Tyler and Amelia (aka backstabbing betraying bad friends) changed their lists to include 2 SSU or Seeker (I believe Amelia played the former and Tyler played the latter) without telling me (mostly because I had already turned my decklist in, but it’s the principal of the thing!).
Still though, I think cutting the scoop cards was ultimately fine. Certainly your deck is worse vs. most things without it, but we found that if you play tight and run well (something that’ll be talked about a lot during this report), you should be fine, and turning your highly unfavorable matchup vs. Gothitelle into a highly favorable one was worth it.
Getting into the meat of the actual tournament, I get there early and see that the turnout isn’t too much bigger than usual. We were the biggest Regional and I think improved our numbers by something like 20 or 30 people, but it wasn’t quite the ridiculous turn out that most were expecting. Even still, huge ups to BDS and everyone else involved for breaking records once again. We all turn our decklists in and get situated for round one…
Round 1: Sebastian Teh w/ Zekrom
pokebeach.comImmediately I know I’m playing against a skilled player, and after he drops a card while shuffling, I know I’m playing the mirror, which doesn’t exactly raise my spirits. I draw my opening hand and see absolute garbage. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but it was less than stellar, let me assure you.
I go first, attach, and do nothing. He goes and does a whole lot of nothing, and this process repeats for a few turns until he goes off and just destroys me. I think I had 3 Prizes left by the time the game was finished, and it was clear that I was never really in it.
Isaiah ran hot and got paired against his best matchup (Gothitelle) two seats over to me, so it appears that at least someone is doing okay.
Round 2: ??? w/ ???
I see that I’m paired somewhere around table 80, and have a little sigh of humiliation. I get everything organized and start shuffling when I realize I don’t have an opponent. I read over my match slip and don’t recognize my opponents name. All of this together means that it was probably a Poké Mom who was handed a theme deck, got bored, and left the event without dropping.
Even though I immediately ascend to 1-1, it’s basically under the worst possible circumstances, so I’m not too happy. Still, I can’t tilt just yet, so I get up, grab something to eat, and wait for pairings for the next round.
Round 3: Emboar/Magcargo
I apologize for not remembering names during this tournament. The weekend was pretty crazy for me and I’m typically terrible with names anyway.
We get set-up, and I go first with a Zekrom active opposite his Magcargo. I attach a DCE and outrage for 20, not really having much of a hand. He goes, shuffles his hand and goes into the tank a bit before deciding to play a Professor Elm’s Training Method to get an Emboar and passes. I topdeck a Juniper, get the donk hand, and win an ultimately unsatisfying game. Big ups to my opponent, he just had a case of bad luck.
Round 4: Dylan Schmidt w/ Mew
pokebeach.comDylan is from Eastern Washington (aka the land of no players or good things) and won WA States 2011 with Sableye. I had never really spoken to him before, but I soon learned that he knew of me, Cohen, etc. through reading my articles and staying in touch with the online community in general. He was a super nice guy, and even though I have quite the competitive edge, it’s always nice to be able to chat with someone before/during/after a game.
He flips over a Mew and I go first, but alas do not have the donk hand. I still figure that I probably have a decent matchups considering that I have Mews of my own to feed off of his Lost Zone shenanigans while dedicating way less space to them (Tyler Ninomura played against a Mew player sometime during Day 1 and his description of it was “He was like, Mew sending off Cincinno, and I was like…MEWS, yay!”). That is, until I saw that all of my Mew were prized.
I tried fighting back with a less than great hand, but it just wasn’t going to happen. I managed to keep the game fairly close and eventually got to use a Mew, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Big ups to Dyaln for making the top 16.
Clay w/ ReshiPhlosionRound 5: Ashley
Observant readers will remember that Ashley is my fiance.
Seeing as her work schedule doesn’t permit her to attend the majority of Cities, she gives me the scoop knowing that I have a much higher chance of getting an invite than she does.
True love <3.
Round 6: ??? w/ DonChamp
pokebeach.comI see that he’s playing DonChamp and immediately get a little nervous. Donphan I can handle no problem, but I’ve never tested against Machamp and common sense tells me that it’s not the most favorable Pocket Monster to play against.
Luckily for me, he runs really bad and I run really good and am able to kill everything before he can do anything. He hits an energy drought (eventually having to Twins for a Fighting energy) while I hit Catchers on Catchers on Catchers and am able to close the game out pretty quickly.
His son ends up making the top 4 of the Juniors (eliminating teammate Derrick Nelsen, which was pretty bittersweet), so congratulations to him for that.
Round 7: ??? w/ ReshiPhlosion
I apologize for not remembering this guys name. He was from Nevada and was quite an awesome guy, had drove 10 hours alone to be here, etc. He ended up making the top 4 of the event (eliminating Tyler, bittersweet again), so congratulations to him for that.
Our game went horribly as I ran the worst I’ve ever run in my life. He played quite tightly and I was never really in it.
Round 8: ??? w/ MegaZone
To make up for handing me the worst game of my life last round, Arceus blessed me with an insane case of the run wells. My opponent never got anything set-up, and if he ever did I ushered the power of David Cohen and was able to Catcher kill it like it wasn’t even a big deal. Not sure why Arceus decides to give me hands like this when it’s irrelevant (I can’t make the cut at X-3), but as they say, he works in mysterious ways.
So I look at the final standings and it looks something like this…
pokebeach.com1.) Bidier Jing (Machamp Truth)
2.) Stephen Lowe (TyRam)
3.) Keanu Greet (Yamato)
4.) Chad Bosquez (Beartic Truth)*
5.) Hudson Du
6.) Tyler Ninomura (ZPST + Mew)*
7.) Andrew Jackson (Gothitelle)
8.) Matthew Walker
9.) Julian Silva (ReshiPhlosion w/ SEL)
10.) Zane Nelson (Tyranitar)*
11.) Brian Vogt (Gothitelle)
12.) Hanseam Park (Mew + Zoroark)
13.) Khen Luu (ReshiPhlosion)
14.) Sebastian Teh (ZPST)
15.) Miguel Garcia (ZPST w/ Magby)
16.) Santia Oerez
17.) Dylan Schmidt (Mew Box w/o Vileplume)
18.) Chris Stotts (Gothitelle)
19.) Colin Stromberg (ReshiPhlosion)
20.) Brandon Link
21.) Michael Burk
22.) Bernie Liu (???)
23.) Alex Ball (ReshiPhlosion)
24.) Ian Griffith (ReshiPhlosion)**
25.) Simon Narode
26.) Jeff Barasona
27.) Charlie Nguyen
28.) Graham Olton (Donphan/Yanmega)
29.) Polo Le (DonChamp w/ Magnezone)
30.) Isaac McClintock
31.) Kennan Mell (Truth)
32.) Ryan Robinson (MagneBoar w/ SEL)
* = B-Side members
** = I dunno who Triston [Editor’s note: Ian?] is, but apparently he used my ReshiPhlosion list from my last UG article, and got fourth. Congrats to him!
Isaiah misses at 33rd, unfortunately.
pokebeach.comZane loses in top 32 after the most ridiculous series of events ever. Long story short, the gamestate is such that if Zane’s Cleffa wakes up going into his turn, Zane wins. If Cleffa wakes up going into Alex’s turn, Alex wins. Alex also has the chance to hit double Catcher to KO the Cleffa. It’s sudden death, Game 3. Zane proceeds to flip 14 tails (shouting “David Cohen!” for luck before each flip), which leads everyone (particularly me and Tyler Ninomura) to go INSANE. He eventually messes up and flips heads going into Alex’s turn and loses. So bad.
Tyler ends up losing in top 8 to Colin. I dunno exactly how the rest of the cut worked out, but I know that Bidier lost to Ryan who then punted against the eventual champion Kennan. I also know that Colin Stromberg made the top 4 alongside the aforementioned Ian, and that Graham Olton took second. Overall a very solid event, although I do wish Tyler would’ve gone deeper (free rooms are so nice!)
Derrick Nelsen in Jrs loses an incredibly unlucky Game 3 in Top 8, but making it that far puts him at #1 in the State and #10 Globally, so that’s pretty nice.
Ian Whiton, aka the B-Side prodigal son ends up losing to eventual winner Jack in top 4. The first time he hasn’t won Regionals in two years.
BDS, Chris Clanton, June Clanton, David Nelson, and everyone else responsible for the event
The trip situation in Seniors
The VG situation
With the report out of the way, allow me to expand on both of my slops. I’m running out of time to write this so I’ll try to make it brief…
southparkstudios.se– During the tournament, we all talked about how if either of us were to get second to a Canadian it would be fine because we would get the trip, as per the tournament information on Pokémon.com. Well, upon Jack winning Regionals in Seniors, we were told that he would get the trip. After some investigating, it turns out that Dave Schwimmer (OP manager from TPCi) overturned the decision personally (again, I could be wrong, but this is the situation as I understand it), and decided to give Jack the trip.
Now, it’s awesome that Jack got the trip, but changing the rules in the middle of a tournament is awful. I think that the rule that players can’t win trips at foreign Regionals is a bad one in the first place, but you can’t change the rules of an event in the middle of the event. Not only does this effect the second place winner, but it also changes a number of decisions as far as players attending, etc.
At the end of the day, what we can hope for is that the second place winner also gets the trip, and then POP updates the Regionals rules to say that you win a trip to your Nats no matter what Regionals you play in. If anything other than this happens, it’s a huge misstep by OP in my mind.
– Speaking of missteps, did anyone else see the poor showing that VGC Regionals had? That side of the event absolutely tanked in all areas. For anyone who hasn’t been following the situation, last year at Seattle VGC Regionals we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 players, and were one of the smallest Regionals in the U.S., with some East coast events getting 1,000 or more attendees.
This year, NW Regionals (aka the replacement for Seattle) got around 150 players, and we were the biggest in the Nation. I believe that all of the other regions garnered around 10-100 participants each, but I can’t be sure on that.
If you ask me, there were several facets that played into this. I don’t pretend to have a wealth of knowledge about the video game or how OPs structure works, but here is what I’ve gathered as the reasons why the VGC failed this year:
- The event wasn’t promoted correctly. In past years the VGC has had a ton of promotion around it, and it’s been a standalone event. This year, all the info about the VGC was buried in the TCG Regionals info.
- It was on a Sunday. Making it harder on travelers, particularly grade school students.
- At least for the NW Regionals, it was in the middle of nowhere. Seattle is a huge city and somewhat of a tourist destination. Salem is a nice place, but it’s a tiny town an hour away from Portland, and has exactly 0 interesting things and places.
To be completely fair to TPCi, I’m not sure how much this matters to them. Obviously attendance is a concern but they had to know that it would drop with a change in how the event runs. Maybe they were expecting these sorts of numbers and are going to work to make things better for the Spring Regionals, I don’t know. I can’t imagine that they’re all too happy about an extreme drop in participation like that, though.
I intended on writing about a few other topics, but I’m already at 3,000 words and am getting pretty tired. Look for a Face of Modified before the first weekend of Cities (something that I’m woefully unprepared for, heh).
As always, please feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comments section, or feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d rather keep it private. Thanks errybody.
Lawl “david cohen”. That was by far the highlight of the event i think.
Haha, yeah, that was the best.
Kenny Im your fan, really. To me you’re a such great player, seems like you’re very simpatic with other players too, but I have to say this. Many great players from the past only complain about the format, instead of realise that the era changes and you have to improve and go “with the wave”(Catcher this, bla bla bla, So lucky based). Some did, others not.
I didnt like your deck list with mew tech. ZPST works on speed, if you want to counter trainer lock, you should go magby. Anyway, the T/S/S also are not synergic. I dont know. I just didnt like it.
Anyway, Nice another article, like always you do. Keep going, better times will come to us.
Firstly, thanks for being a fan! I love hearing from fans, whether it’s good or bad, so never hesitate to give me feedback, even if it’s negative.
As far as the format goes, I totally understand that some people love it, and that’s fine. Overall it’s just not the type of format I like, but that’s not to mean that it’s bad.
And we tried Magby, but found the Mew line way more consistent. Sorry you didn’t like the deck though, I definitely know that it wasn’t perfect and if I could do it all over again I’m not sure I’d make the same decisions.
Thanks for reading!
Kenny, what do think about the new exs coming out in febuary?
Excellent read, glad to finally see something fresh on the front page!
And I know how you feel about remembering names.. I made a TON of friends at STL regionals, unfortunately I can’t remember any of them. Not even one, what a bummer!
Well it was a good article, no doubt about that; well written, humorous and informative. But it was a tournament report. To call this fresh as some kind of sigh of relief does a disservice to the other writers on this fine website.
I think he meant it was fresh in that no new articles had been posted since Friday (I was partying all weekend).
that’s exactly what i meant! and the disappointment i felt after seeing “there aren’t any scheduled articles at this time” for a few days
it was just good to have something new to read
Any war stories? ;)
thats not what i meant. i meant freash as in, something i havent already read.
Haha yeah, that sucks.
Thanks for reading!
thanks man! is there any way to find the list of who played who at the tournament, online on any site?
Hey, what exactly is “Yamato” as a deck? I’ve seen the name a few times now, have googled it, but just can’t figure out what “Yamato deck” is right now o-o Could I have some help on this please?
Lanturn Prime / Yanemga Prime / Zekrom
thanks! i was wondering this too!
Oops yeah, sorry for not including that.
On your last part about the VGC, I found that interesting.
Now I don’t pretend to know anything about the VGC, but I wasn’t really shocked at the turn out. The TO in our area was expecting a thousand people, and I thought they would get about the same as the TCG gets in like a states tournament.
One reason they don’t get a lot is because although everyone plays Pokemon, only a few people play it competitivly. Its like Rock Paper Scizors. Everyone plays the game several times a year, but only a few people want to go a tournament about it.
Also, I don’t see a lot of local play like the TCG has. If there were more local play, more people would be motivated to go to a bigger event. The way it is now, most people won’t drive several hours just to play the VGC. But if there was more actibe local play, maybe there would be more interest.
Well, all of that would be true if it weren’t for the fact that the numbers were huge last year. That’s more what that bit in my article was about, not the fact that the numbers were small, but that they were ridiculously small compared to last year.
I agree about the local play though. I think OPs view of the VGC is to eventually have it follow the TCG exactly — BRs, Cities, etc. but after this weekend I’m not so sure.
Kenny, I’ve built the exact ross cawthon truth list and am wondering if I should keep it this way for cities or change it? Im a senior btw.
i know im not kenny, but id think about making room for a leavany line
I’m not entirely sure. I think your focus right now should be making sure that you can beat all of the better decks coming out of NV (or at least the decks people THINK will be big, like Kyurem, Vanilluxe, etc.). Cities are weird, but after the first weekend you should have a pretty clear view of your metagame.
I may not be Kenny, but I do know that Ross Cawthon played Truth at Worlds. Therefore, playing EP and NV techs that you think are good for your playstyle may be the best thing to do, and cut cards that Ross used that you don’t approve of. I’d personally cut one Zekrom for a Kyurem to help against who knows what.
Thanks everyone but what should I tech in with NV and EP? Im not sure how to alter the lines without wrecking the deck.
nice hanging out with you (olliver)
good article to :)
I <3 you Oliver!
2 ‘l’s damnit :)
Don’t love you anymore
LOL Mew in Zekrom. Only bad players run that. <3
I think UG and 6p in general needs more kenny wisdom. just saying.
As a VGC player, you’re spot-on as to why there were so few attendees. At the Crestwood, MO Regional, there were 19 Seniors and 55 Masters. (I went 5-0 in Seniors and won outright) Those of us who knew about it mainly knew about it from VGC communities (Smogon.com forums, Skarmbliss forums, etc), and TCG players who were going anyway. There was little advertisement, probably a quarter (or less) of what there was last year. Being on a Sunday really hurt it, too. We drove 7 hours up and got back home around midnight Sunday, and I had to drag myself up to school the next day.
Just wanted to let you know you got it right ;)