Hey, I’m Jonathan Cowley (or ‘Jono’ for short), and this is my first tournament report in a long time (and my first ever for SixPrizes), but seeing as this was my first Masters tournaments and I placed fairly well, I thought I may as well write one.
I played at Chimera Game’s Regional Championship on the 17th November in Beeston, Nottingham (UK) and against all odds managed to reach the semi-finals! There were more than 32 participants, so we got 6 rounds and a top 8 cut.
Now, like I said this is my first year in the Masters and I had resigned myself to the fact that this may not be the greatest of seasons for me because of the difference in competition from Seniors.
However, to my amazement I’ve had what I would consider to be a pretty good first season in Masters, going 4-1 at one BR and just bubbling top 4 cut, and then getting into the top 8 at another.
To prepare, I did… nothing. Halo 4 and Black Ops 2 had recently been released, and before I knew it the eve of the event had arrived and I had no deck and no cards from Boundaries Crossed at my disposal. So, I got on Skype to chat with my good friend Mr. Aydenn Wardle (aka “The Card Supplier”) and we sorted out our lists.
The format was new as Boundaries Crossed had just been released, so we just assumed there would be a splurge in hyped decks (mainly Keldeo/Blastoise and Landorus-EX variants) and tried to build something that would accommodate that…
… then I ended up building a standard Darkrai/Hydreigon. Original, I know, but I thought I would go with a deck that I knew was solid and knew how to play. The only thing that wasn’t standard in my list was Gold Potion. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking:
“Surely Computer Search is the better play!”
Well, it probably was. But I didn’t have access to it and I believed that if worked right, Gold Potion could be fantastic in the Darkrai mirrors, as it heals Night Spear damage and can heal you even if you haven’t got Hydreigon set up (unlike Max Potion, which relies on you being able to move the Energies freely).
But yes, for the most part Computer Search is better. Anyway, enough waffle! Here’s the report:
Landorus-EX, Groudon EX, Garbodor DRXRound 1 vs. Mike L. w/
Mike is a fantastic person to play, who I have played at all my tournaments so far and had really fun games with, but when I saw that he was playing the newly feared Landorus along with Groudon to abuse my Weakness and Garbodor to shut down everything, I didn’t expect to do well.
Fortunately, I go first and manage to get set up pretty quickly and start hitting Night Spear turn 2 while his hand is pretty poor. I take out Trubbishes in fear of the lock, and then move onto taking out his low Energy Groudon EX before Landorus with Hydreigon.
When I saw Scyther I expected an easy, quick game… until I read that Scizor’s first attack completely prevents Pokémon-EX from attacking it. After a pretty slow start, most of the game was spent switching and healing between 2 Darkrai EXs unable to attack, though when Hydreigon set up the game was pretty straightforward.
It was a very interesting game and in theory his deck had a good concept with everyone playing EXs, and had I been playing Darkrai/Terrakion it could have easily caught me off guard.
Round 3 vs. Michael R. w/ Darkrai/Mewtwo
I don’t remember much of this game, although it was a very balanced game throughout with even Prizes for the most part.
It the got pretty tight toward the end, and Shaymin EX came to my full advantage to take the final 2 Prizes versus a damaged Mewtwo EX.
Round 4 vs. Paul F. w/ Darkrai/Hydreigon Mirror
This guy was one of the friendliest players I have met and was a pleasure to play, and we also had a fantastic game that came right down to the wire. He got off to a brilliant start and took 4 Prizes very quickly; though to do this he had to overextend himself and tried to push for the win.
This came to my advantage later on and I was able to take 4 Prizes quickly to be bring the Prize card count to 2 each. He then took a prize against a benched Hydreigon, though with another on the bench I was able to drop Shaymin and Catcher his benched Darkrai to just take the win.
Very good game!
Round 5 vs. Duncan S. w/ Keldeo/Blastoise
I saw this guy playing Keldeo last round and didn’t want to get paired against him on the basis that with my very limited testing I had never played against the deck before and didn’t really know what would be the best strategy against it.
I tried to take his Squirtles out early, however I managed to miss drawing into my Catchers and had to hit his active and benched Keldeos and put pressure on that way.
He found it difficult to keep up due to Darkrai’s high HP and potential 2HKOs on Keldeos, and once again Skaymin took the final prize after abusing Keldeo’s Weakness for 240 damage.
Shaymin has been the MVP by far!
Round 6 vs. Daniel M. w/ Darkrai/Mewtwo
So, I will finally get my mention on his YouTube show! Plus, I am now set to make cut regardless so I’m able to play this game much more freely and don’t take it too seriously.
Dan was a great guy to play against and I had my worst start of the day, but am able to joke about starting with 5 Energy in hand.
Not surprisingly, I lose. However, I manage to go out fighting and claw a few prizes before the inevitable. I’m happy though as both Dan and I proceed into the top 8.
Top 8 vs. Michael R. w/ Darkrai/Mewtwo
Despite going first, Game 1 was a washout for me and I sat there unable to do anything. I started Sigilyph and Darkrai EX… and that was it apart from stuff which was no use to me (Super Rod and 2 Dark Patch from memory).
I sat for 5 turns and just draw dead, and although Sigilyph bought me a few turns against his Mewtwo EX I was unable to stop the inevitable Catchering around it and I lost.
After giving my deck a good shuffle, I find I have a much more interesting second game and although I don’t remember much of it as I was so focused on not losing in the top 8 again, I do remember taking prizes very early on and quickly overpowering him before he could take any prizes in return.
We took this game right to time and the extra 3 turns played into my favor. I had 3 Prizes left to his 6, and he KO’d a Darkrai to have 4 remaining.
After realising that I had another 2 Prizes lined up next turn and he could not take enough prizes to beat me, he offers me the handshake and I win. GG sir, very close game indeed!
Top 4 vs. Ollie F. w/ Darkrai/Hydreigon Mirror
After getting off to a flying start, I basically get cocky and start neglecting my Energy usage and actually take a prize with Sigilyph, after completely forgetting the Hydreigon faces no issues with it and he Knocks it Out along with all 3 of the 5 Energy I had on the board.
I Juniper, assuming that I will hit at least another Energy to stay in the prize race. Of course I don’t and have no way of getting an attack off this turn with only 2 Energy available and am forced to pass and give him an extra turn of attacking.
This mistake by me is critical and causes me to lose a game that I at first assumed was in the bag. Damn.
He got off to a very quick start this game despite me going first, hitting a Hydreigon turn 2 before I had even seen a Deino. He powered away very quickly and didn’t make the same mistakes as me, conserving his Energy well and always having the Energy in reserve when I KO’d something of his.
I took a few prizes toward the end, although it wasn’t enough to secure the win. These were very enjoyable, well-fought games and congratulations for winning in the finals dude!
I look to a famous saying which sums up with I have learnt from this game, which is:
“It’s ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”
Though, there were no fat ladies… or anybody singing… oh, you get the point.
I GET BOOSTER PACK PRIZES! Anyone who knows me understands that ever since I first started playing and won my first tournament, I’ve always loved the booster pack prizes more than anything else. (Of course, the points and the semi-finalist trophy is always a bonus!)
I’ve got to say a big thank you to my main man Aydenn, who helped me go through the list last minute and lent me the fabled Gold Potion to use, and of course my taxi driver father for taking me and waiting around for 12 hours – I appreciate it, I swear!
I left the shop with my head held high and a good result under my belt, and a sense of excitement that I did so well.
- Semi-finalist at 1st Masters Regional.
- Doing so well without Computer Search.
- MVP Shaymin EX!
- Playing entertaining, interesting, and challenging games all day/
- Booster pack prizes! (Plus trophy and points.)
- Getting a mention on Dan’s YouTube show and Ross’ podcast.
- Great fun and laughs all day.
- Chimera for running another fantastic tournament.
- Aydenn “Sexy and I know it” Wardle (who went in with a deck we literally threw together before the tournament – and unfortunately went 3-3).
- Greggs man making me a fresh sandwich.
- Dad!!! (Best taxi service in the world.)
- Another match getting a double game loss due to SOTG issues.
- Lack of testing.
- Missing regular players.
- Building my deck past midnight.
- Not being able to take it all the way to the finals!
Thanks for reading, and I remind you that I am open to comments, improvements for future articles, and questions! Thank you for your time, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the read!
Jono ‘Donez’ Cowley