clipartheaven.comIn an article written recently, I explained the reasons why I love the Pokémon TCG. One of these was that it gives me the motivation to travel all around this wonderful country I live in. There’s only so much fun to be had in England though and so last week I got on a plane and flew to the Netherlands (not Holland!) to participate in the ECC.
Now this season has not been an easy one for me in terms of deck choice. I keep making the “big” decks, learning them, and then abandoning them for something else. I made my own Stage 1s build when the rotation happened and it was owning up until Emerging Powers, but then Catcher kind of killed that deck. I then moved onto Magneboar and picked up a Battle Roads win before flaking out of States after ridiculous losses.
Through Cities I had been playing with an Electrode variant which I enjoyed, but I didn’t like giving away prizes or the randomness of the Energymite. I did pick up (the easiest ever) four points in Exeter Cities and very, very narrowly missed cut in Cardiff, but I still wasn’t loving it.
Ever since the EX cards were revealed in Japan I have wanted to make a Regigigas-EX deck. I love him and the card just screams potential. It’s not out-and-out broken like Mewtwo EX or as initially enticing as Zekrom-EX, but there’s something about it that makes me want to use it to break the format.
After some searching and a lot of testing I settled on a Gigas/Moo2 list. Then I saw the price of Moo2 skyrocket to preposterous levels and after opening two boxes to find not a single Gigas or Moo2 between them, I knew I would not have the cards to play that deck for Sheffield Cities one week before the ECC.
I brought a new-look Electrode Prime deck with Terrakion NVI, Cobalion NVI, Kyurem NVI, Kyurem EX and Mewtwo EX (just the one) to Sheffield Cities and went 3-2, leaving myself unable to make top 4 after my first loss in which I started Shaymin UL and Voltorb TM, went second and used Energymite for zero, discarding Mewtwo along the way.
At this point I was starting to not look forward to the ECC!
Then a miracle happened. The night before Sheffield I went to a prerelease where I traded for a Moo2 and my girlfriend pulled one from her judge support. She managed to trade for two Gigas that day while I traded for two in Sheffield and at a prerelease the following day (yep, 2 PRs and a Cities in one weekend!) one Mewtwo was pulled and quickly traded by my lovely girlfriend and all of a sudden I had access to everything I needed to actually run the deck.
The weeks before Next Destinies came out I was testing the deck furiously and it was winning constantly. Then I got to Amsterdam. After arriving I played a test game with my good friend Tommy Roberts and beat him, just like usual. Then we played again and he beat me. Five times in a row! Then I played Tamoo and got soundly beaten. The next day we traveled to Arnhem where I lost around 10 games combined against Tommy and Tom Hall.
Luckily I then started winning again, besting Tommy and Tom Hall and going 2-0 against my friend Alex’s Durant list (with which he won a Cities the weekend before). At this point I decided it was best to just stop and go to bed.
The next morning we went and registered, paying five Euro but being given an Accelgor promo and a pack of Next Destinies for our trouble and got settled. Everything kicked off a little late and there were around 230 Masters, leaving eight rounds of Swiss and a top cut of 32 to be played out the following day. This meant that to be sure of making cut you would need to go 6-2 or better. This was the biggest and most difficult tournament I had ever been to though, so I wasn’t feeling super confident.
Round 1: Arthur (Netherlands) (Zekrom/Eels)
Before this game we were given a lovely ECC dice (with the logo printed as the number 1) and I roll this and my opponent guesses wrong, allowing me to start the day going first.
He opens a lone Pachirisu CL and immediately I start thinking about the donk. I started with Mewtwo and two Energy in hand so I play a Dual Ball to get Jirachi UL and then Junk Arm both energy to get the Dual Ball back. I play Jirachi and hit one heads, so rather than waste getting a Shaymin I just use Energy Switch to pop it onto my Mewtwo.
pokemon-paradijs.comI then play a Juniper, hoping to hit a DCE for the win. I don’t hit the DCE, but I hit a single Energy (which I attach) and a Super Scoop Up, which I play, hitting a tails before Junk Arming to get it back, hitting heads and scooping my Jirachi. I have Shaymin from the Juniper so one heads on Jirachi means I have the three energy and the donk. Treble tails.
On his turn he plays an Engineer’s Adjustments, but doesn’t hit another Basic, giving me the win on turn 2.
Round 2: Anders (Norway) (Electrode w/ Cobalion / Terrakion)
I lose the flip this game and go second, with a lone Regigigas. He starts Cobalion and Terrakion, puts Energy on his Cobalion, and starts getting me worried. He then benches a pair of Voltorbs and it’s not looking too good.
On my turn I get a DCE on Regigigas, but I can’t get the T1 80 and on his second turn he Energymites for four Energy, including three basic Fighting. This means he has Terrakion using Land Crush on turn 2 to KO my Regigigas and bag himself 2 Prizes. I had managed to bench a Tornadus in this time, but I had no energy on the field and couldn’t draw a Supporter to save my life.
I managed to get a Jirachi and a Shaymin, but I could only draw Energy, no attackers or Supporters, and though I was able to get a KO on a Voltorb with Tornadus, I couldn’t do much of anything else. I had a lot of tech cards like Switch, Seeker, and Catcher, but after playing a Juniper and still not hitting an attacker I couldn’t win.
Round 3: Sharon (Germany) (Donphan / Yanmega)
This is the second game out of three that I should have donked. Unfortunately I go second and by the end of her turn she has an active Phanpy with an Energy and a benched Phanpy. I should have a T1 KO with Tornadus and have everything I need, but I again flip a treble tails on Jirachi’s “Stardust Song” so even though I have Energy in the discard and a Shaymin in hand, I can’t get the KO.
pokemon-paradijs.comOn her turn she uses a Copycat to get a new four-card hand and hits both a Donphan and a Rocky Helmet, before hitting me for 40. On my turn I am able to get the Tornadus going and play possibly the riskiest Sage I have ever played.
I forget the fifth card, but I had the choice between Juniper, DCE, Catcher, and Seeker. Now usually it would be Juniper (I had a small hand with no draw!) and a DCE (important and unrecoverable), but seeing that she would start her turn with just a Donphan I decided to take the Catcher and Seeker, using the Catcher I already had to KO her benched Phanpy. I then sat back and prayed she didn’t have a Collector.
On her turn she benched a Yanma and hit my Tornadus for another 40. This meant I could just Catcher Yanma, Seeker the Donphan and take the easy KO with Tornadus for the win.
Round 4: Dennis (Netherlands) (ZPST)
This game I start with a Mewtwo and Tornadus with a DCE and a PlusPower and win the flip! He starts with a lone Basic and I pray that it has 50 HP or less. He flips over Tornadus and I accept I’m not going to donk. I attach the DCE, play the PlusPower and Juniper a fairly useless hand to grab a second Mewtwo and a Tornadus, which I bench and do 50 to his Tornadus. I drew a PlusPower and Junk Arm from the Juniper so I could have done 70 T1 but this was irrelevant, given the 110 HP.
On his turn he uses a Collector to grab a Mewtwo, Pachi and Shaymin to get three Energy on his Mewtwo and grabs the KO to take a 2-Prize lead. I then promote my Mewtwo, topdeck a DCE and play it to leave him looking rather sad. As his Mewtwo had three Energy I didn’t even need a PlusPower (though I had one) and I got the return KO on his Mewtwo, knowing by his expression that he only played the one.
Next turn I Catcher and kill the Tornadus before using Shaymin and Switch the following turn to leave the Mewtwo naked (no Energy) on my bench and a Tornadus attacking, as he would only relinquish 1 Prize. From here I swept and I kept a Seeker in my hand to end it early, but he had only a Pachirisu and Shaymin so it never needed to be used.
Round 5: Man (German) (Eels / Zekrom)
I have declined to name this person (though I could) as I wanted to mention his conduct, but didn’t want to be too mean. This was one of the worst and most unpleasant games of Pokémon I have ever played. As I was putting my cards down for a pile shuffle he was clearing leaning toward me and bending his head to try and see what I was playing.
Similarly, as I was laying down my prizes he was clearly and obviously desperate to try and sneak a peek at my prizes. This did make it amusing when I mulliganed and showed him a bunch of Trainers and a P Energy, giving him no clue as to my deck!
While we played he often picked up my Discard or Active without asking, and at one point I was halfway through a Dual Ball search when I put down my deck and he immediately grabbed my deck and cut it.
He spoke wonderful English and so no excuse there. He was so desperate to do well that he forget it was supposed to be fun, and he made the game incredibly tense and no fun at all. I was glad for it to be over. Please don’t play like this man.
Well, once again the Pokégods teased me with a possible donk. He started lone Tynamo. I started Mewtwo with a Juniper. I went second. After mulliganing. From which he drew a Zekrom. Rats.
This game, for some, I reason started over-extending far more than I needed to from my very first turn. I wanted the quick win as 4-1 would leave me in great shape for cutting, but I was never going to KO the Zekrom so the best I could manage was a KO on a Tynamo. So I use a Juniper to discard a Sage, a PONT and a Pokégear.
He actually had a pretty slow start, but with no draw I couldn’t get enough Energy and on T2 I played a Sage and had to discard my Shaymin. I wouldn’t see another draw Supporter, Pokégear or Junk Arm (for Pokégear) for the rest of the game.
I managed to get a Regigigas running and he had a bench full of easy prizes, but I had no Catcher and no draw and he used Zekrom and Zekrom-EX to KO my Mewtwo and Gigas and I couldn’t come back. Had I used the Sage T1 and the PONT T2 it could have been so different.
In round 2 I got unlucky. In this game I just played so badly I was never going to win through anything other than dumb luck. Well, I got the dumb part right.
Round 6: Jan (Belgium) (CoKE w/ Mewtwo)
pokemon-paradijs.comThis man was the complete opposite of my previous opponent. He was cheerful, friendly and fun. He made me love the game again after the disappointment of the previous game. I wish everybody could be like him!
I started Tornadus and went second to his Cobalion. He attached energy and passed and I could not get the T1 Tornadus, but I had some draw power and an okay hand so I felt confident this would not be a repeat of my round 2 hammering.
I managed a T2 Tornadus and dropped a Jirachi for….. zero heads (third time in six rounds!). Luckily I had a Catcher in hand so I Catchered his benched Cobalion and hit that for 80, hoping he didn’t have a Switch. He didn’t so the next turn I got the KO on his Energyless Cobalion.
He used his Cobalion to hit me for 80, but I used Super Scoop Up to refresh and hit him for 80. On his turn he used Catcher to drag up a benched Gigas and again used Iron Breaker to hit me for 80, but I hit heads on a second Super Scoop Up and hit him for 50 with Tornadus (he had Eviolite and Special Metals, I had PlusPowers).
Seeing the Cobalion becoming a problem, I dropped a Mewtwo, brought him active with a Switch, then used Seeker to reuse my Shaymin and move enough Energy onto Mewtwo to KO the Cobalion. Now anyone who has been using Mewtwo a lot with know that X Ball requires annoying Mewtwo Maths. So: If his Cobalion has 50 damage, three Special Metals, an Eviolite, and a resistance to Psychic, how many Energy do I need to move onto Mewtwo to get the KO?
Well however much it was I managed it, leaving him only a benched Voltorb. He Twins’d for a Mewtwo and Electrode, used Energymite and immediately got the return KO on my Mewtwo. Luckily I ran more Mewtwos than him so I was able to use a Dual Ball to grab a Mewtwo and drop a DCE to X Ball for the game
Round 7: Stefan (Germany) (Reshiboar)
pokegym.netAfter a bad run of flips I get to go first this game and am able to get my Regigigas hitting for 100 on the first turn. So you’re probably thinking I donked? No! But I was able to hit his Reshiram-EX for 100. T2 I was able to do another 80 and get the KO.
At this point his board consisted of a Pignite, a Tepig and a second Reshiram-EX, which he had put a DCE on to try and get it ready for some revenge KO action, only to see me drop a lovely little Lost Remover.
Next turn I used Switch, Seeker and Shaymin to get my Regigigas out of the way and allow Tornadus to get the KO on a Catchered Tepig.
During this time he had done 80 to my Tornadus with his second Reshiram-EX and flipped a tails on Glinting Claw to only do 50 to my Jirachi, which he had Catchered after seeing me drop a DCE onto it.
I got a new Regigigas going at this point and used Catcher to take down a benched Fliptini and leave me with only 2 Prizes left to claim for the win. At this point he hit my Regigigas for 150 and I dropped a Mewtwo and DCE for the game. His Reshiram had 60 on it already from a Giga Power so if he killed my Gigas I got the KO with Mewtwo and if he killed my Mewtwo I got the KO with Gigas. He took down my Gigas and I used X Ball for the game.
Round 8: Stefan (France) (Zekrom / Eels)
Well this added some nice drama to the round. A few weeks ago in Cardiff this man won the final game with a ridiculous move to knock me out of top cut. This time I had a chance for revenge, on a much bigger scale.
I win the flip in this game to leave me on a nice four times going first and four times going second. That seemed fair. I was also conscious of the fact that I had won my previous three games where I had gone first.
I started Tornadus against his Tynamo and Mewtwo, but could do nothing more than attach an Energy and pass. He used Tynamo to hit me for 40 with a PlusPower and flipped tails on Paralysis. I used a Juniper but drew no more Basics so I attached to my Tornadus and hit the Tynamo for the KO, knowing that with three energy and 40 damage, he could win the game there and then if he had a DCE for his Mewtwo. He did not.
On my turn I used Jirachi and Shaymin to power up my Mewtwo enough to get the proactive KO on his Mewtwo and when he brought out a Zekrom-EX in retaliation and attached three Energy (DCE and Dynamotor) I was able to Seeker my Shaymin and arrange six Energy on my Mewtwo to get the KO and leave me needing one more prize to go 6-2 and make top cut.
savagechickens.comThis time he does get the revenge KO on Mewtwo and, for the first time all day, I lose a Mewtwo and cannot get the return KO immediately. I had a Mewtwo in hand and as his Mewtwo had three Energy on it I would need only a DCE to get the KO. I had an Energy Exchanger and Psychic, but Tornadus was stuck in the active and I couldn’t bench the Mewtwo for fear of the KO. So I attach to the Jirachi hoping he doesn’t either KO the Jirachi or catcher the Gigas, knowing that I would then need only an Energy for the win.
He decided to KO the Tornadus and on my turn I topdeck an energy, Exchange it for a DCE, retreat the Jirachi and X Ball for the KO. I had a Sage and would have gotten a Switch anyway, but it was nice not to need it.
A couple of my friends were watching at this point and seemed rather impressed by the surprise Mewtwo, even more so when they realised I has just held it for a number of turns. I impressed myself by not being an idiot and dropping it to give away 2 Prizes and my win!
Well, I’d done it. After slipping to 3-2 I didn’t think I could claw my way back to 6-2 and sneak my way into cut but three wins in a row brought to me where I needed to be. After this round I helped the organisers pack up the tables and chairs as they were over-running and one of the judges made my day even better by giving me a second ECC dice for my girlfriend, despite the fact that she clearly thought I was lying about wanting it for her. For the record, I really did!
After this we all assembled en masse in the corridor and after a wait that seemed to take forever the judges posted the standings on the wall and after pushing my way to the front I discovered I have made cut in….. 33rd place. Yep, I managed to go 6-2 in an 8 round tournament and miss cut!! 33rd out of 240ish was a good record, but I couldn’t really focus in on that.
pokemon-paradijs.comAs it happened there was one person who went 8-0, six who went 7-1 and 28 who went 6-2. That meant three people who went 6-2 had to miss out. I literally cannot express to you how gutting this was. I felt like I played well, I won enough games and got the same record as 25 people who did make cut, but I lost out because my opponent’s win percentage was 0.45% lower than someone else’s.
Even more annoying was that I almost did it with a completely unique deck. There was one Durant in top 32 and one Ross.Dec, but these are established archetypes. There were a ton of Eel decks and a few Celebi/Mewtwo but only one really unique deck, that being Mees Brenninkmeijer’s Mew deck.
My previous biggest achievement was making top 16 at Nats last year with Speed Donphan (being the only person playing the deck at that tournament) and since then my achievements have been underwhelming. Still, I managed to attend 2 Next Destinies prereleases without pulling an EX so maybe the Pokégods hate me. Anyway, let’s share some gossip shall we.
Although I don’t have details of every single deck played, by far the most popular decks were Eels decks. These were everywhere and made up half of my matches. These were clogging up both the top and bottom tables, took three of the top-4 spaces and were pretty hard to avoid for more than five minutes.
There were also a number of strange rogues (see below) and a lot of Durant. I was lucky and managed to not play a single Durant (though I fancy my chances with my lovely new deck) all day, but I had two friends playing Durant and it had a significant presence at the tournament. It did manage a few spots in top 32 (three I think) and one made top 16, but considering the amount of play it saw, this can’t be considered anything less than a big disappointment.
pokemon-paradijs.comHonestly, I think Durant is waning, and you can quote me on this. A lot of people are clearly preparing well for Durant and the rise of Zekrom/Eels has damaged the chances of the ants as, played properly, it is a very winnable match for the Eels player. It mostly languished near the bottom tables and did not set the tournament alight. I’m not expecting a huge amount of success for this at States and I don’t think we have to wait until the new Heatmor comes out for this deck to be neutered.
Electrode decks also saw quite a lot of play, but generally did not do well (though one did make the top 32). I have been playing Electrode decks for the last few months and, to be perfectly honest, I never felt completely comfortable playing them. I find them to be too luck based.
I mentioned above how at Sheffield Cities I lost a game against a CMT deck because I went second and hit a terrible Energymite. This risk just seems too high to me. If you were paying attention you would have seen that one of my two losses at this tournament was to an Electrode deck, but really that was because he hit an excellent Electrode on T2. This is not guaranteed enough to make it a good choice for big tournaments. This was another deck that was played in fair numbers but couldn’t do much with it.
Elsewhere there was play for Ross.Dec, Vanilluxe, Tyram, Reshiboar and ZPST (without Eels), but none of these decks were played in huge numbers and none set the tournament on fire.
Finally, Mewtwo/Celebi Prime (CMT) saw some play, but the tournament was not crawling with them. I genuinely believe that one of the reasons for this is the availability (or lack thereof) of Mewtwos. More on this below.
It did fairly well at the tournament, considering the low numbers played, with four spaces in top cut and my good friend Tommy Roberts going 5-3 with it to come in 51st. Clearly a good deck and, given the low numbers and high success, this could be argued to be one of the big winners of the tournament. Also, let us not forget that David Booij took home the ECC trophy piloting this very deck.
Honestly though, this tournament was all about Zekeels. It was five of the top 8. It was the most played deck. It was most successful deck. Even Magneels has been eclipsed by it. Yes Magnezone is awesome, but he’s a Stage 2 with a 50 HP Basic in a very fast format with a lot of T1 or 2 KOs and he can be 1HKO’d by Reshiram and Zekrom-EX. Zekeels is faster and has enough room to make consistent. Let’s not forget the options as well with Zekrom, Zekrom-EX, Mewtwo EX, Tornadus, Thundurus EPO, Zapdos NDE etc etc etc.
I am going to say with certainty now that Zekeels is the BDIF. The amount of play it saw and, more importantly, the success to attest to that. Prepare for this at States, it’ll be everywhere. CMT saw good success, and with much less play, but I still think Zekeels is the deck to beat. Saying that ECC winner David Booij beat three in a row on his way to victory. And he didn’t play Terrakion.
pokemon-paradijs.comOne of the really awesome things about this tournament was the rogues that were played. Few of them did well at all but some of them really deserve mentioning.
My friend David played Durant and came across an Electrode / Shaymin EX deck. The theory being to explode Electrode and hit for high damage with Shaymin when down on prizes, using Twins (and I assume Black Belt) as you’ll spend most of the game down in prizes. It’s Durant matchup is appalling though (hitting for little and discarding cards!) and Shaymin is very flimsy, giving up 2 Prizes as well. Still, I love the idea of this.
One person started the tournament very well playing Gardevoir NDE, Fliptini, and DarMAXitan. The theory of course being to load energy on DarMAXitan, have Gardevoir to double the energy and Fliptini to ensure a good amount of damage from flipping. It waned as the tournament went on and didn’t do too well by the end, but it was still an amazing idea that clearly has potential.
Rogue of the tournament clearly has to go to Mees and his Mew deck. The list for this is on HeyTrainer so I won’t produce it here, but basically it had Mew Prime with Crobat Prime and Jumpluff HS as well as a heavy Yanmega Prime line and several Terrakion to take out the mass of Eel decks. Cleverly, it also played the new Fire Chandelure from Next Destinies to snipe for 30 to three different Pokémon for only one energy. Being able to play four Rainbow energy as well as four Prism makes balancing the different energy requirements very do-able.
Now I’m going to be a little vain here and point out that I called this in my last article. I said that Mew was viable, but should be played without Vileplume but with Terrakion. Look what happened! I abandoned my Mew deck when it became clear that I could play my Gigas/Mewtwo deck as this was what I really wanted to play, but I need to go back to this deck as it clearly has potential. Interestingly, Mees himself has confirmed that he played his Mew deck because he was poor!
Techs Du Jour
pokegym.netOne of the things commented on by the UK players at the tournament was that “Europeans play crazy stuff.” Benjamin Behrens who got second at the ECC played Absol Prime in his Zekeels deck. I’m not going to lie, I don’t really know why! There were also a few really weird techs, some good, and some bad.
Two of the biggest techs were Zebstrika NDE and Zapdos NDE (both in Eels decks surprisingly). Zebstrika can hit for 40 while blocking Trainers and Zapdos can snipe for 50. Both useful, but I’m afraid I really don’t think either of them are particularly good. Zebstrika can be situationally useful, but hitting for 40 isn’t very good and you can still attack! It rarely gets going early so is often too late to be of use.
Similarly, Zapdos can snipe for 50 but it takes three energy, we have Catcher, and 50 will 2HKO at best against Trainer lock. His second attack is okay, but is far too flippy to be relied upon. I saw it take some key KOs, but I also saw it fail spectacularly.
One tech that did see some success was Amoonguss NDE. When you evolve into him your opponent’s Pokémon is Poisoned and Confused. Some UK players (notably Karl Blake with a 5-3 finish) used Zekrom Eels with both Zebstrika and Amoonguss to leave the opponent Poisoned, Confused and without access to Trainers. They can still retreat, but we all know that manually retreating can be a huge drain on resources.
Terrakion also saw a rather respectful amount of play. It was in several Eels decks (it was played in all three of them in the top 4) but was less seen in other decks, surprisingly including CMT. The winner of the ECC did not play it, nor did my good friend Tommy Roberts who went 5-3 with the deck. Terrakion is an amazing card, but remember it has a huge CCCC Retreat Cost and needs either Prism or F Energy. It can really ruin consistency. Still, maybe not a coincidence that all the top 4 Eels decks played it……
Mewtwo (scarcity and usefulness)
I made some comments on Twitter last Saturday to the effect that Mewtwo was played in smaller numbers than expected due to their price and scarcity. Bear in mind that these were going for at least £40 and that they were officially released a mere 10 days before the tournament.
Now obviously the top players all had Mewtwos; they were always going to. Many other players also had Mewtwos. I did however speak to several players who either had no Mewtwos or only had one. The ZPST player I played was clearly chuffed when he dropped his Mewtwo to KO mine and crushed when I had access to a second Moo2. In fact, in several games I felt that having more Mewtwos gave me a distinct advantage.
I am not saying that nobody had Mewtwos. That would be silly. I am however saying that more than a few people had their deck choice affected by a lack of access to the card and a lot of people would like to have had more teched in than they were able to.
For my part I was borrowing two from my girlfriend and a couple of the other UK players were borrowing from friends who were unable to make it to the tournament themselves.
Now on my last article baby_mario put a humorous comment about how I hated Mewtwo, but now have some and think it’s awesome. While I did have access to them for the tournament, all my previous points stand. Quite frankly, it is awesome and it is still a silly situation (but one for which nobody can really be blamed).
Finally, really think about teching Mewtwo into every deck except Durant because if you don’t you can be staring down a very scary sight at States. A Mewtwo is very difficult to 1HKO without your own Moo2 and can quickly pull someone far enough ahead to win the game. If you go back to my report you’ll see that on more than one occasion I managed to stack enough energy on Moo2 to 1HKO an EX. My deck is not the only one to do this.
On day 1 the organisation of this even was almost unparalleled. There was a massive hall with more than enough room for everyone to play, a stall selling awesome Pokémon stuff and more than enough judges. There were also bleachers from which parents and friends could watch without getting in the way. It was awesome. My only complaint was that standings were not posted after each round, but I suppose I can’t whine too much. I still managed to get a good amount of information out about the tournament.
Unfortunately, on day 2 the organisation was an absolute shambles. They didn’t have the big hall. One rumour I heard said this was done to save 800 Euro. Another claimed that they had lost a sponsor and so could not afford the hall.
Regardless, day 2 was not very well done at all. There was a small bar and a hall with some stairs. This was where everyone was squashed. People not in top cut were forced to sit on the stairs or floor and play games there. There was no seating and people who crushed like sardines all over. It was uncomfortable and not befitting a tournament of such standing.
Now on the advertisement for this event the following can be found: “There is a public tribune where family and non-playing friends can watch the games from reasonable distance.” This was certainly the case on day 1. It was not the case on day 2. The top cut games (until top 8) were conducted in a private room to which only the players and judges had access.
So, to recap, we were all stuck in a ridiculously crowded bar on sitting on stairs playing games, without any chance to watch games, or even get any information until the games were over and everyone came out. Not good enough.
On a side note: It was recommended to players to play at the Postillion Hotel in Arnhem. If this happens next year, don’t! It’s a lovely hotel and I enjoyed staying there. It’s also in the middle of nowhere. The only place to buy anything is an expensive petrol station. And this is a 30 minute walk away. You have to take a bus here from Arnhem and to get from here to the venue you not only have to take a bus into Arnhem, but then another bus to the venue. It really wasn’t convenient in the slightest.
Coverage of the event
Finally, I would like to talk about the coverage of the event. There were a few people Tweeting from the event and the usual threads on various forums were okay but, and I’m going to be vain here, I think I managed to provide the best coverage. I regularly tweeted throughout both days concerning metagame, rogues, successful decks and gave as much information as I could from top cut. I also believe I was the first one to break the result of the final and I responded to all questions I received. If you don’t believe me, go to my Twitter (@thewossy) and check.
This made me realise that it isn’t hard! There’s a lot of people providing coverage from events at the moment and, even at Worlds last year, this has often been poor. At this event there was no Wi-Fi, I had no real contacts outside of my friends and I was playing at the tournament. I did pretty well and went 6-2, but still managed around 100 tweets over the weekend. It’s not that hard. At Worlds this year somebody can do a better job than I did here. It’s not that hard.
Obviously we all want videos and such, but regular updates on Twitter keep everyone informed and can be easily done on a 3G connection. Let’s make it happen peeps!
Right, after all that, I’m done. I’m still aggrieved that I went 6-2 and whiffed cut, but I suppose it happened and I need to move on. I’ve tried to give all the information I thought relevant; about the metagame and anything else interesting, but if there’s anything you’d like to know, ask in the comments or send me a PM. I was there and was trying to find out everything I could so ask if you wanna know anything. Oh, and if you liked it, make sure you click the like button at the bottom.
Also, big thumbs up to all the UK players who turned up. We had a decent turn out and some nice success. George Boon piloted Magneels to 6-2 in Swiss before making top 16, Tommy Roberts managed 5-3 with CMT and Tom Hall represented the UK beautifully with a 7-1 Swiss run before making top 8. Good job sir! You are a good Pokémon player and an awesome human being!
Love the deck, sorry about getting 33rd. That’s harsh man.
It sounds like you played a bunch of weird trainers like Energy Exchanger and Super Scoop Up. Why is that?
Good job playing a rogue. I wouldn’t have had the guts to do that at a big tournament, maybe a Battle Roads or Cities, but I wouldn’t play a rogue for something that big. If I wore a hat, it would be off to you!
I have been wanting to use this deck since i saw the translation of Regigigas from the Japanese set! As for using iy at a tournament with it being rogue, i hate mirror matches so i love playing something different. Though it is MUCH harder to find something that works.
As the trainer counts, they are VERY weird when written down but i tested the deck so much and played so many games that it all fell into place. Every card is needed and it’s all there for a reason. Another advantage of rogues being that there’s no preconceptions of which cards you should have and in what numbers, you gotta figure it all out yourself :D
Indeed. For numbers, I would say that about 1 in 6 rogue decks work. I’ve tried three this season and am currently experimenting with a fourth, none of them have worked so far.
Even in meta decks crazy techs can work. Who would have thought Rocky Helmet would be a staple in TyRam? Trying new things is what the world is all about, so it’s always fun to do that.
The lists that aren’t that standard are the ones that win Worlds. The 2010 Worlds winner didn’t play Promocroak in his LuxChomp build, even though it was considered a staple in it.
You want to have as much consistency as possible, but devoting 3-4 spaces of your deck to techs and counters can also win you games.
The best way to win games of Pokemon is to do things that your opponent isn’t expecting. One of my favourite moments of this weekend was being asked “What’s that Energy Switch a proxy for? What, it’s an energy switch!?”. Then i used it to move an energy and KO a Zekrom EX for game :D
I feel that the Pokemon Play! people in Japan that come up with the new cards (excuse me for my lack of information or knowledge but someone needs to take the blame) have decided to create another set and another point in time in which people who are either very lucky or very rich can afford to win.
I have seen enough Mewtwo EXs played that unless you have at least 1 the games are almost impossible to counter. I managed to pull one during my prerelease and contemplated selling it. I have since changed my mind because if I want to play the game at all I need at least 2 to be able to reliably and effectively counter others’ Mewtwo EXs.
Shame on them for doing this again…
you always could play durant instead…
Don’t blame PCL, blame American consumerism.
Blame one Mewtwo per two boxes, to be specific.
Blame ignoring a direct order FROM PCL that there are to be no more exclusive ultra rares.
I also like the deck, and I wouldnt expect such set ups. I couldnt go to a tournament with a rogue. Think my stress would get the better of me.
Everyone likes the look of Gigas but nobody’s really playing him because there’s always a reason not to. I love him so i experiment. He’s really good! A few of my friends have even started playing Gigas as well. Good influence i think ;)
As for Terrakion, unless i end up in a situation like the one against the Eelectrode deck, i can usually just avoid playing Gigas. Yesterday i played a deck that was just Donphan and Terrakion. I won without too much trouble because i just ignored Gigas and won with Tornadus and Mewtwo:D
I would hate to play that 5th round =/
On the bright side, I pulled a FA Mewtwo EX today :D
I think my best bet is to just use Revive as my 2nd Mewtwo EX to be honest.
The reason I liked this article is because I also think Gigas and Mewtwo make a great pair. I would be interested to hear what type of deck you had in mind for these cards. I have 8 of each, so I am able to put together any type of deck. I was actually thinking of the Celebi/Mewtwo/Gigas deck instead of Tornadus. Gigas just dares you to attack him and get OHKO’d the next turn with Raging Hammer. Perhaps you could PM me or something and we could exchange some ideas. Good job at your tourny with your rogue deck. Just proves that it’s the person playing, not the deck that wins championships.
Sorry dude, been busy. PM me and we can talk some shop!
I would advise against using only EX attackers as you can run into problems. I just used Gigas and Mewtwo (and tornadus). Jirachi and Shaymin as techs but not essential energy acceleration. Shouldn’t work but it beats Durant and CMT without too much trouble, runs over random and/or set-up decks and has a decent match-ups against Zekeels.
Here i lost to a lucky Electrode and terrible playing. I won a cities this past weekend losing a single game to a coin flip to Magneels. The deck’s not perfect but it has ok match-ups :D
Great article, thanks! Terrakion makes me too scared to play Gigas.
And that’s why he’s so good! Everyone assumes he can’t handle Terrakion. But he can :D
i think i played the senior equivalent of your 5th round. kept saying i couldn’t use a counter to represent sleep/paralysis/confused when he was doing the same thing. also kept straightening my deck/ discard. threatened to call a judge on him for unsportsman like conduct. btw, if they touch your cards w/o asking, you can do this! give them a warning or 2 before you do this though.
How well did the Shaymin EX/ Electrode player do? I’ve been thinking of building that and playing it just for fun.
I’m not sure exactly but i don’t think he did very well :(
That’s too bad. Shaymin EX has tremendous rouge potential, its just too bad his HP is so low.
Not in the least bit surprised in the decks that were played and what came on top thanks to reading Esa’s Eye on Japan articles. The big problem I have with our current ND set isn’t necessarily Mewtwo or any other of the EX’s, but the fact that nothing outwith the EX’s (aside from the trainers) is playable from a BDIF point of view. We need something like a Jungle Mr Mime, or a stage 2 pokemon that stops basics from being able to attack. Dark Explorers will no doubt hurt Mewtwo, but the power creep that dark decks bring especially from both Zoroark’s is very worrying. Anyway, commiserations on finishing 33rd and hope to see you in Manchester Regionals.
Zebstrika NDE and Zapdos NDE (both in Eels decks surprisingly).
Zapdos shouldn’t be surprising, and I hope that^ is sarcasm.
Yes. Yes it is
My brother in Juniors went 6-2 in nationals and missed the top 32 cut. It stinked because he
played a really decent Reshiram/Typhlosion Prime/Ability-boar deck and got Tyrogue donked by a Volbeat/Illumise deck which would’ve been auto-win for him. I love rogue and would not hesitate playing a rogue deck that I’ve tested and it works at any kind of tournament. At nationals I played Donchamp(Hyped tier1 deck) with Reuniclus! It was really good in tesing but I got a crappy record. Kudos to you. Also, someone posted a comment I believe on here saying they had EIGHT Mewtwo EXs! Really!? Care to trade one I’m in desperate need!?
I had 9 Mewtwo’s at one point, but sold one. I keep eight copies of each card so I have two full playsets for my daughter and I. Sorry, but I don’t have a spare to trade at the moment.
Well, this article has Mewtwo and an ECC report, but I’m feeling short-changed on the advertised gossip.
Or do you save all that for train journeys?
José Yago De Alberto
You seem to forget that Zebstrika can also snipe for 80.
Good report though :)
Nah, i ignored that he can snipe for 80. You discard energy and 80 is rubbish. You still have Catcher and if you’re not locking with Zebstrika you should retreat and attack with something better. The only thing worth sniping is Vileplume or Reuniclus, neither of which could be KOed in this way.
I don’t think it’s a relevant attack :p Cheers for reading though and cheers for pointing it out :D
Aron Janstad Wright
am i the only one to thinka bout Manectric ex when i read Zebstrika NDE?
The damage output, energy cost and even names are the same i think(?)
it brings back memories ^^
cheers for the great article +1