data.un.orgHey 6p Nation! This is going to be my first article and I will basically be covering my Regionals report and a few things I’ve learned about playing cards in Europe. I am a Senior currently ranked 1st in Pennsylvania and 17th nationwide (at least at the time I write this).
This article may seem a little late, but that’s just because European Regionals are on a different schedule than in the US. There also seem to be more of them, which is also interesting.
I’ve been living in the United Kingdom this fall. My family moved here from PA and so far I’ve found some cool Italian cards, gone to a few Leagues, and played in a local Battle Road. We’ll be going home to the US in around two weeks, just in time for some of the last City Championships. Unfortunately, I haven’t met Pokéman Dan yet :( but I’m hopeful that I’ll run into him before we return home.
From what I’ve experienced, there are fewer players in Europe compared to the US, but the decks are extremely creative and the skill levels are just the same. Also, I’ve seen a lot more rogue than in the United States.
My original plan was to go to Nottingham Regionals in the UK, but when we tried to reserve a spot four days in advance, it was all booked up (which was kind of annoying). Apparently, this was the first time they were hosting a Regional tournament and the response was much greater than the organizers anticipated. Great for Pokémon UK, but not so great for those that couldn’t get in! :( We looked for another option and finally found a regional in Gronigen, Holland.
My testing was very limited due to the number of cards and sleeves that I had with me. So I tested with only five decks: ZPST, Reshiphlosion, Gothitelle, Mewbox, and Reshiboar. Only ZPST and Reshiphlosion were not full of proxies and my little brother owned Reshiphlosion. So that gave me one choice: ZPST.
Pokemon ParadijsDuring testing I took a gamble that I would not tech in anything for Gothitelle. I just wanted a deck that could set-up fast and consistently and didn’t die off in late game. My main concern was Reshiphlosion due to the fact that many saw it as BDIF and it was slightly advantaged over ZPST.
I considered four ways to engine ZPST: First, 2-2 Pachi-Shaymin 4 Collector and 3 Dual Ball. Second, 2-2 Pachi-Shaymin, 4 Collector and 3 Pokégear 3.. Third, 3-3 Pachi-Shaymin, 2 Collector, and 4 Dual Ball. Or my final choice which was 2-3 Pachi-Shaymin, 2 Collector, 4 Dual Ball and 2 Pokégear 3..
That choice gave me the consistent speed that I was looking for and, combined with my large amounts of PlusPower, I could Catcher and 1HKO their Typhlosions. I’d say that I increased my odds against Reshiphlosion to about 50/50.
We arrived at the tournament 2 hours early which gave us plenty of time to re-sleeve and meet everyone. Everyone really welcomed us and spoke great English (even the Seniors)! We had a great time meeting everyone and it was amazing to see how friendly Pokémon players are around the world. A shout out to Anna for organizing everything and to Danilo, who spent time hanging out with us during the tournament. They were super friendly and fluent in several languages!
Before play began, I walked around and noticed a few Reshiplosion decks which made me not really know what to think. I looked at the roster and my name kind of stuck out. :P The tournament was well attended, but again, much smaller than a typical regional tournament in the US. For the Seniors there were going to be 5 Rounds with 4 in the Top Cut.
- Round 1 VS. Matthew M. w/ Feraligatr/Magnezone
- Round 2 VS. Olaf B. w/ Suicune & Entei Legend/Suicune & Raikou Legend/Lugia Legend/Etc.
- Round 3 VS. Pascal Edel w/ Cobalion/Vileplume/Tornadus/Scizor Prime
- Round 4 VS. Melchior H. w/ ZPST
- Round 5 VS. (can’t remember name) w/ ZPST
Pokemon ParadijsThis match was pretty unlucky for him. He had 3 mulligans which gave me enough cards for the T1 Zekrom. Hard to say how it might have gone otherwise.
He goes first with Magnemite active and Totodile benched. He attaches an Energy and passes. I get T1 Zekrom and Bolt Strike for the 1HKO. He benches another Totodile and passes. I Outrage for another 1HKO and it’s downhill from there.
Straight away when he finds out I can’t speak Dutch, he just switches on his perfect English. (It’s so amazing how they can do that!) I hadn’t seen a Legend deck in a long time so it was pretty cool to play one again.
We both mulligan at the start of the game. We end up with his Smeargle UD to my Zekrom. I look at my hand and see Dual Ball, Junk Arm, Cheren, and 2 Lightning Energy (yay!). I was hoping that he would portrait my Cheren, draw into no Basics and pass so I could go into my turn with good odds of donking. Instead he decides to Judge me. =O
Luckily, I draw into a Juniper and some Energy. He doesn’t get very lucky with Legend Box. At around T5, the prizes are 2-6. His field is: Smeargle active, 2 REL, a SEL, and a Lugia legend benched. Unfortunately for him, three of the legends he has in play are weak to Lightning. So I use Catcher to get up a SEL and Bolt Strike for my last 2 prizes.
Now it’s lunch break. I find out that my little brother is going 2-0 which is great for him, but he’s struggling with talking to the other Juniors he is facing. But I guess for Juniors, it’s the same at Worlds? They just have to find another way to communicate.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis guy is friends with the guy from Round 1, so I’m assuming he already knows my deck. We open with my lone Shaymin to his Mime Jr. and a Tornadus benched. I win the flip and we begin.
This game doesn’t start off so well. My Pachi-Shaymins are nowhere to be found. I have to manually set up a Tornadus and we exchange prizes. Finally, with the help of Pokémon Catcher, I get up his uncharged Scizors and Oddishes. I then proceed to Bolt Strike them to overtake him in prizes for the win.
(Thoughts – One more win for the guarantee top cut! But I haven’t seen a single metagame deck so far. Where are they?)
This is the first matchup that is going to be Meta game for me. As long as I don’t start with Shaymin, I should be fine. We draw. I mulligan twice and start with a lone Shaymin…
It wasn’t much of a game after that.
I remember this guy being pretty quiet and a little nervous, but that’s kind of normal when there’s a round that determines if you advance to the top cut or if you go home. And to be honest, I was nervous too.
The game starts with his Tornadus to my Shaymin. He goes first. On around T2, he drops a Pachi-Shaymin. This gives him a fully charged Zekrom with an Eviolite but without a Plus Power. So he is forced to Outrage. I draw and play Dual Ball which gives me a Pachi-Pachi-Shaymin. I now have 3 Energies to put anywhere I like.
I choose to put them all on Zekrom and then Juniper my hand for an Energy to retreat Shaymin. I play PlusPower, PlusPower, Junk Arm for the 1HKO. EPIC!!! After that he has to rely on manual set-ups which, unfortunately, aren’t fast enough to keep up on prizes.
I can finally relax knowing that I made the top cut. I find out my little brother finished 2nd in Juniors which was pretty cool. I check the roster and see that I finished 3rd going in to the top cut, which means I’ll be playing 2nd place. And I find out that Top Cut includes two ZPST and two Reshiplosion.
Wow. It was pretty surprising to see a Yankees fan way out here :P (or maybe he just bought the hat because it looked cool). Anyway, this was going to be pretty interesting to see if my testing was really going to pay off.
I remember getting up faster than him and getting early prizes on his Reshirams. In my testing, I found that the best way to play Reshiram against ZPST was to bench as many Cyndaquils as possible, since most ZPST decks are so fast and play such a massive amount of Catchers. Unfortunately he didn’t use this strategy.
Pokemon ParadijsIn the end, he is getting dead draws and only sets up one Typhlosion the entire game. Better luck next time. :)
This game was much of the same. He is getting dead draws and I am getting the resources I need for the win.
This first game was a bit of a mess for me.
I start with a Shaymin and a horrible hand. After falling behind in prizes, I begin to make a comeback when I PlusPower and Bolt Strike for the 1HKO on his last charged Zekrom. I’m feeling pretty good about things until this happens:
Me: I will now PlusPower, Bolt Strike for the KO.
Judge: That’s 50 recoil on your Zekrom.
Me: What? How? It says recoil damage is 40.
Me: OK (Thoughts – Oh Shenanigans.)
Pokemon ParadijsBecause of that misplay, I am now in KO range of his Tornadus, which of course he uses to KO my Zekrom. I wish I had known this sooner because the turn before, I had just Junk Armed away an Eviolite to get the PlusPower. :P After the misplay, it doesn’t end well for me. Even my opponent didn’t know about the PlusPower-Effect-On-Recoil rule. So if any judges are reading this, please comment if this is the way it should be interpreted.
[Editor’s Note: It looks like the judge made the correct ruling.]
This time I go first and get a T1 Tornadus set up. Finally a decent start! This allows me to stay ahead on prizes the rest of the game and that’s about all I can remember. Sorry.
(Thoughts – just one more to go!)
He decides to go 2nd…. Just kidding! (Hahaha. OK that’s a really bad joke.) He goes first and starts with his Zekrom to my lone Tornadus. He informs me that he is a single Energy away from the donk. I breathe a sigh of relief. He has to Outrage. On my turn, I get out Pachi-Shaymin and fully charge up the Tornadus. After that, things get sort of blurry for me. I think I was running on pure adrenaline. I apologize for not remembering any other details, but somehow I pulled off the win.
Mark A. HicksYay! I was extremely happy about the booster box and medal, but mostly for the Championship Points that help me qualify for Nationals. For those of you that don’t know, it appears you need 10 Championship Points to qualify (which I’m sure many players have already achieved or are well on their way).
[Editor’s Note: I think it’s 10 Play Points that are needed to qualify, not Championship Points, which are slightly different. Pokémon needs to make this more public and easier to understand for everyone.]
These games were intense but really fun. We had lots of laughs and I hope to return someday in the future. Before we leave Europe, I plan to go to one more tournament up in Scotland.
Anyway, I hope you found this interesting and it gave you some sense of the differences between the US and Europe. Anyway, I’m terrible at writing closings so I am just going to say good bye.