Parenting101’s 3rd Place Langley, BC Cities Report
Motto of the Pokédad.

Hello everyone, my name is Phil Materi and I am a Pokédad. I have never written an article before, but a good friend that I have met through Pokémon keeps asking me to write one. And after my latest Cities performance, I thought now would be a good time to try.

So Simon, I hope you enjoy this! Or if you don’t, at least I know that you won’t be asking me anymore! LOL!

Just so you all know, Simon is one of the nicest people that you will ever meet and is one of the main reasons that our Pokémon league is thriving with more and more Juniors!

First of all, I would like to talk a bit about myself and Pokémon in my area. I live between 20 to 90 minutes (depends on traffic!) from Vancouver, BC, home of the Pokémon World Championships 2013. I started playing Pokémon TCG approximately 2 years ago after my son Logan (then 9 years old) decided he wanted to play.

At first, I just stood and watched him play for hours every Sunday in a local league. I had to open my own Pokémon account so that I could activate my son’s account. I thought, “The things we have to do for our children!” I entered Parenting101 as my player ID thinking that I am never going to play this game anyway.
I guess you could say it was an act of Arceus.

Well a couple weeks go by and some of the other Poképarents convinced me that I should buy a theme deck and play – I was there anyway. So I went up to the counter, bought an Arceus theme deck, and then a monster was created!

I stuck with my username, because I think it is kind of fitting. Us Poképarents are just trying to be the best parents we can be and try to “teach” our kids the best we can!

Pokémon in my area is exploding this year thanks to a few different reasons:

1st: Our league is held every Sunday at Craving for a Game, which is owned and run by Buck Lum and his lovely wife. These 2 are so nice and trustworthy, it is an absolute pleasure to come play and visit in their store.

2nd: The store is located in a popular mall that houses a University and has rapid transit coming directly to it, which makes it the best location for bigger tournaments like Cities and even Provincials.

3rd: We have a fantastic PTO, Sandy More, who really puts a lot of effort into her job. Sandy is very nice, great with people, and constantly tries to improve the way she runs/organizes tournaments. She is also very smart and listens to our area’s head judge, Bidier. Bidier is a great judge, player, and guy who everyone has a tonne of respect for.

4th: The Pokémon players. I think that any successful Pokémon league NEEDS good, nice, trustworthy players. Our league is full of players that fit this description.

Our league is so friendly and trustworthy that parents will drop their children off and go shopping or even go home, knowing that their children are safe and having fun!

5th: The World Championships are HERE this year!

Because of all of the above reasons, more and more new players are joining or coming back to Pokémon. We have gone from an average of 5-6 Juniors in our tournaments 2 years ago to above 20! Our last Cities at this location had 21 Juniors, 21 Seniors, and 70 Masters! If you are coming up to Worlds 2013, you MUST come by our league!

There was an article recently written asking everyone to figure out “why” they play the Pokémon TCG. I play the game because I love strategic games. I love the competitiveness of the game, yet it is still fun. I love that Pokémon is something that I can do with my son Logan and daughter Rowan (who started playing shortly after we started).

And the best thing that I love about it is, it is an escape from reality. When I am playing Pokémon, I’m not thinking about work, thinking about house chores, or bills to pay, I am 100% focused on the game in front of me.

Thanks for reading my long winded intro, now onto what I remember about my tournament.

The Report
Prepared for battle AND judging.

First of all, I wasn’t even sure if I would be actually playing in the tournament or helping to judge my first tournament. I had taken and passed the Professor exam so that I could help out anytime I was needed. Sandy had asked if I could help out with the start up of the tournament, but was pretty sure that Bidier and Charles (another judge) would be ok for the judging part of the tournament. So I had to be prepared to play or help.

I had been trying to decide what deck to run this Cities tournament ever since my last tournament 2 weeks prior. I had played Darkai EX/Landorus-EX/Stunfisk DEX with an ok 3-3 finish, 25th over all.

Now here is my plug for you guys and gals to join 6P’s Underground. After reading Jay Hornung’s “I Play the Game and Not the Numbers” Underground article, I was inspired to run a version of his Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX deck. I won’t be giving my decklist, as most of it was directly taken from this article.

But the Underground membership is so much more than reading decklists. The articles are fantastic and WILL change the way you think about, see, and play the game!

“You might play against non-EXs.”

So Friday night, I threw the deck together, started play testing against some common decks and started making some adjustments. A very good friend of mine (now another Pokédad) found out that he would be able to play on the weekend and wanted to play test some ideas he had on Saturday night.

I wasn’t feeling well due to a cold, but headed over anyway. Well 5 hours later, we had a deck built for him that revolved around Sigilyph, Bouffalant, and Mewtwo EX that just killed my Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant deck! I warned him about the possibilities of facing non-EXs, but we both figured that most players would be playing EXs.

The biggest problem I have playing this game is conserving resources. That is why I had been playing with Darkrai EX and Sableye ever since the rotation, I relied on Sableye’s Junk Hunt to get back the resources that I had used up prematurely.

Not having Sableye in my deck was really bothering me and on my way home from my friend’s place, I decided to try Durant DRX.

So without any playtesting, I removed a Bouffalant and inserted Durant to use it’s “Pull Out” move, which for 1 Colourless Energy allows you to take any card from your discard pile and put it on top of your deck.

Late Saturday night, I organized all 3 decks and typed up all 3 decklists (the joys of having children), then went to bed shortly after 12. The tournament registration was starting at 11:00 Sunday morning and the location was about 15 minutes away, so my friend and I decided we would leave around 10:15 so that I could be there early enough to help Sandy out.

Turn off that TV!

Sunday morning started with the usual family chaos. Kick the kids out of bed, shove some food down their throats, turn the TV and iPods off so that they get out of their PJs, brush their teeth, and get ready to go.

Of course, I remember then that I have to make lunches and snacks for all of us because we don’t know what kind of food choices there were going to be at the tournament.

Running late AGAIN! Text my friend to head out without us and finally get out of the house shortly after 10:30.

Fortunately for us (not my friend), the store didn’t even open their doors until just before 11:00, so everybody was stuck waiting outside in the rain! I went straight in and found Sandy to see what I could do to help.

The funny thing about this location is that they have an electrical problem and all of the power shuts off about every 45 minutes! So you always hear the screams from the Juniors, then whoever is closest to the breaker box flips the breaker back on! LOL!

After the usual late comers were all taken care of, we ended up with a much smaller event than the previous location. We had 9 Juniors, 9 Seniors, and 40 Masters. So it would be 6 rounds of Swiss with a Top 8. I put my volunteer badge away, grabbed my deck and playmat and headed over to join the other players.

After the usual announcements, the tournament began. I will apologize right now for all of the mistakes or lack of memories written in this report. Memory is hard to come by for us Poképarents!

Round 1: Garik with Hammertime
“Live by the hammer, die by the hammer.”

Garik plays at our league and loved to play the Durant mill deck FOREVER! He was quite successful with it and I wasn’t sure what he was even playing now that the rotation had killed the “OLD” Durant.

I won the coin flip and flipped over my Landorus-EX to his Sableye. This game (like most) is fuzzy, but I remember him flipping tails on Crushing Hammers about six times in a row which is DEATH in this matchup!

He did finally flip heads a couple times but it was too late and ended up being a fairly easy win. Sorry Garik!


Round 2: Jonathan with RayEels

Jonathan is one of the Poképarents that convinced me to start playing this wonderful game and is another great reason why our league is prospering. His son Joey is a very good player in Seniors and has some great battles with my son (now that my son is in his first year of Seniors).

I won the coin flip again and flip over Bouffalant and he flips over Thundurus EPO. I don’t think that I had a great start, but managed to attach a DCE to Bouffalant and pass. Jonathan’s turn 1, he gets 3 Tynamo and 2 Rayquaza EX onto the bench!

Fortunately for me he whiffs on the Energy attachment and has to pass. My turn 2, I attach again to Bouffalant, try to get a Catcher or something else going but end up having to attack his Thundurus for 60. Jonathan’s next turn he evolves into 1 Eelektrik, attaches Energy to Thundurus and “Charges.”

I again whiff on the Catcher and end up having to KO his Thundurus, but did manage to finally get a Landorus-EX on the bench with Energy. Jonathan still didn’t have much luck getting more Energy into the discard pile and I started to draw into my Catchers and other goodies.

He scooped when we got down to 1 Prize left for me and 6 for him. Sorry Jonathan!


Round 3: Ryan with Mirror Match

This was the first time that I had met Ryan, but he was very nice and we even compared our decklists after the game because they were SO close to the same!

I don’t remember a lot of the details of this game, but it was VERY close! Eventually, Ryan had one of my Mewtwo EXs and one of my Landorus-EXs within the 30 HP knockout range, but I had Eviolites attached to both of them and THOUGHT that he had already used his Tool Scrapper.

Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken and he scrapped the Eviolites and grabbed 4 Prize cards on 1 turn! The game went downhill FAST from there. Good game Ryan!


Round 4: Jack with a Stage 2 Extravaganza! (Gothitelle EPO 47, Reuniclus BLW, and I forget the 3rd Stage 2, Flygon BCR or Gardevoir NXD?)

youtube.comJack is a great player that finished in the semi-finals at last year’s World Championships in the Seniors division. I love facing Jack because he always plays fun, competitive decks. Ever since Jack has moved up to the Masters division, I think I have faced him in every tournament!

We have a pretty even win/loss record in our matches I think. He beat me at the last Cities with Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX/Dusknoir BCR with an epic last turn Rare Candy into Dusknoir and moving all of my damage counters onto my Landorus-EX for the win.

This time however, I have a fairly decent matchup with my Mewtwo EXs hitting his Gothitelles for Weakness and the speed of my deck pretty much walks right through his deck. Revenge is sweet sometimes!


After this round, I figure that I might be able to make my second ever Top Cut if I can win the next 2 games. So I start to get excited until I find out what my next opponent is playing!

Round 5: Christian with Blastoise BCR/Keldeo-EX

Christian is another player that plays in our league and we have played a fair amount of league games but we couldn’t remember if we had actually faced each other in a tournament before.

After the coin flip (I don’t remember who went first), I flipped over Mewtwo EX (I believe) and he flipped over Keldeo-EX. Instantly, I thought “OH CRAP! My weakness!” And thought that I should just go aggro Mewtwo EX and Bouffalant and hope for the best.

Fortunately for me, Christian just couldn’t get anything going and I managed to win fairly easily. He was stuck with a 1-2 card hand for a LONG time while I quickly Knocked Out his 1 Blastoise, Keldeo-EX and Squirtle. Sorry Christian!


Getting more excited about the possibility of making Top Cut, I anxiously awaited my next opponent.

Round 6: Rushan with Garbodor DRX/Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/Terrakion NVI

pokemon-paradijs.comI have seen Rushan around at a lot of the tournaments but don’t recall if we had faced each other before or not. I had remembered seeing that he was playing Garbodor in an earlier match near by and thought “I should have quite the advantage because he has so many useless cards against my deck, so I should be more consistent.”

Well Murphy’s Law quickly slapped me in the face and I was in for one BIG awakening!

I believe Rushan went first but I don’t remember what either of our starting Pokémon were. This almost mirror match went on forever as we both tried to figure out which direction to go! It was in this matchup that I realized that I hadn’t playtested enough with my deck prior to this tournament.

I had a hard time figuring out what to do next, but the game was close in Prizes and he had a Trubbish with 30 HP remaining on the bench, so I thought that I would leave that for later to take as a “free” prize. Well that thought bit me in the behind when “time” was called and he was 1 Prize card in the lead.

I figured that I would just promote Landorus-EX, Knock Out the Trubbish and force the game to go on.

Rushan was turn 1 and what does he do? He evolves Trubbish into Garbodor so that I can’t snipe KO it, then promotes Terrakion and passes.

I think the only person that was blind and didn’t see the evolution coming was me! I just laughed at myself for not seeing that coming and congratulated Rushan on the win.


I thought “Darn it! I missed Top Cut again!” But no, I was wrong. My 2 losses were to the only 6-0 player and to the 3rd seeded 5-1 player, so I made it into only my second Top Cut ever! YAY!

Top 8: Rushan with Garbodor DRX/Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/Terrakion NVI rematch

Game 1
Yes, it worked!

I’m not sure who went first again, but it was a great game that went down to the wire again but I finally used Durant for the win! I had a couple Prize lead with only 2 Prizes remaining. Rushan had a damaged Mewtwo EX on the bench and I was out of Catchers.

In comes Durant! I used “Pull Out” and placed the game winning Catcher on top of my deck and Rushan did not have the N to get rid of it. Next turn, retreat Durant, Catcher Mewtwo EX and KO for Game 1!

Game 2

ANOTHER close game that Rushan ends up winning. But in this game, I realized how much different the “Best of 3” matchup is than the regular “Swiss” matchup. In the 2nd game, I had topdecked a Catcher but was extremely hesitant on using it, as I thought that it was my last.

While trying to decide whether to use it or not, I searched through my discard pile to see what resources I had left, only to find that I hadn’t even used ONE Catcher yet that game! I was thinking of the previous game. Definitely something that I need to practice is timed best of 3 matches.

Game 3

I was starting to get a little worried about running out of time but was looking forward to the fact that I KNOW that I get to start the game first. This game was a disappointing finish to our 3 previous battles.

He starts a lone Trubbish, I don’t remember what I start with but I Ultra Ball for a Mewtwo EX, attach DCE, Skyla for a Switch and GAME OVER just like that!

Sorry for Game 3 Rushan! Those were some great games we played previously!


Top 4: Julian with Darkrai EX/Terrakion/Sableye

I haven’t met Julian before but he is a friend of our head judge Bidier and is a very good player. Before this game, a local player, Kevin asks us if we’d be ok with him recording our match and posting it online?

After jokingly saying that I didn’t even brush my hair (My head is shaved bald. The joys of getting older with children and a wife. You lose most of your hair! Good thing my wife won’t be reading this report!), we agreed to be recorded and started our match.

Game 1

pokemon-paradijs.comJulian goes first and I believe opens with Darkrai EX and I open up with Landorus-EX (I believe. You can watch the video when it is posted online). Once again I think to myself “Darkrai EX, I should have the advantage in this matchup.” WRONG AGAIN!

I don’t remember all of Game 1, but I remember waiting for him to start using his Crushing Hammers only to find out by the end of the game that he has none in his deck, just Enhanced Hammers. It was a good game but I lost it in the end.

Game 2

I get to go first. YAY! This game is going to be different, I now know that he is not playing any Crushing Hammers. I started with Durant active and had to place Bouffalant down on the bench just in case he manages to get the turn 1 “Night Spear.”

I don’t remember all of my starting hand, but I have a DCE, 2 F Energy, Computer Search and 2 other cards. I discard the 2 other cards and use Computer Search to get Landorus-EX out, attach a F Energy to Durant and use “Pull Out” to place Computer Search back on top of my deck.

Julian has a lone Terrakion active, attaches an Energy (can’t remember which type) and passes.

I draw another DCE and not wanting to discard my DCEs to use Computer Search, I attach a F Energy to Landorus-EX, retreat Durant and “Hammerhead” his Terrakion for 30.

Julian draws, plays down another Terrakion, catchers my Bouffalant and passes.

I think, “Cool! He’s stuck without a Supporter!” Here comes mistake number 1; I attach DCE to Bouffalant and instead of leaving him active like I should have, I waste the DCE, retreat into Landorus-EX and “Hammerhead” for another 30 and 30 to the benched Terrakion.

Julian then attaches to the benched Terrakion, Catchers my Bouffalant again and I think Bianca’s for a couple of cards, but just passes afterward again.

“Cool! He is STILL stuck!” I attach DCE to Bouffalant again and waste ANOTHER DCE retreating into Landorus-EX, then Computer Search for a Juniper, get a bunch of good cards, and “Hammerhead” for another 30-30.

I think “This is going great! 90 damage on his active Terrakion and 60 on his benched Terrakion and he still hasn’t really done anything!”

Julian’s next turn, he uses Gold Potion and completely heals his active Terrakion and uses regular Potion on his benched Terrakion! DOH! How did I NOT see that coming! LOL! Talk about not thinking through the game plan very well! I KNEW that he played those cards but was somehow blinded my own stupidity!

He then plays down a Darkrai EX and Sableye, retreats Terrakion, attaches to Sableye and “Junk Hunts” his Gold Potion and something else back to his hand.

WOW did I feel dumb! I just wasted 2 DCE, lost 2 turns of attaching Energy to Landorus-EX, AND had all 3 attacking turns erased! I tried desperately to get back into the match for the remainder of the match and started to see a possible opening.

Julian had a couple Prize cards left, I had 4 or 5. He had a damaged Terrakion with 3 Energy on the bench and I had just played down a fresh Mewtwo EX. I didn’t have many cards left in my deck and a couple in my hand including an N.

I Ultra Ball 2 useless cards to see if I had a Catcher and an Energy Switch left in my deck. I did, so I attached a F Energy to Mewtwo EX, retreated (or Switched, don’t remember) whoever was active into MewtwoEX and played N. I drew the Catcher, some other cards and a Fighting energy.

For some strange reason I somehow forgot what I actually needed and thought that the Energy was what I needed. I got excited that I drew what I needed and immediately Catchered his Terrakion, then went to place another Energy onto Mewtwo EX and suddenly remembered that I had already attached that turn.

pokemon-paradijs.comI needed ENERGY SWITCH! DOH! I lost any chance of making a comeback with that big misplay and he basically walked through me the rest of Game 2!

Good game Julian! I wish that I could have given you a better challenge in Game 2, but I am not sure what happened to my concentration during that game.


This was a fantastic experience! Making my first Top 4 was great, but I definitely need to practice the “best of 3” timed format because I do plan on making it back into Top Cut again!

Congratulations to Sam for winning the tournament and Julian for getting 2nd!

Congratulations to my son Logan and daughter Rowan for both placing 5th in Seniors and Juniors, and having a tonne of fun doing so!

Sorry Shane that your Sigilyph deck got paired up against all of the Terrakions and non-EXs in the tournament.

Thank you Sandy, Bidier, and Charles for putting on a great event! And congratulations to everyone that had a great time at the tournament!


  • Making Top 4 for the first time!
  • Pulling FA Cheren, FA Celebi-EX, Computer Search, and Crystal Edge out of 10 packs purchased at the event!
  • Having a TONNE of fun with all of my Pokémon friends and family!
  • Seeing the looks on everyone’s faces when my Durant DRX hit the field!


  • Misplaying badly in Top 4!
  • Power going out every 45 minutes.
  • Only pulling a Blastoise in my 4 Prize packs.
A Pikachu could solve the power issues…

If you have made it through my first article and are reading this line, I thank you for spending your valuable time reading into a piece of my life.

I hope that you enjoyed some of it and if you are ever in the Vancouver, BC area please swing by Craving for a Game in Surrey, BC on a Sunday. You will have a blast with our league!

Some of the readers that have read this report in the Tournament Report thread have requested a link to my Top 4 video online. Kevin has not posted the Top Cut videos yet, but says that they will be up soon.

Here is a link to our area’s Pokémon Facebook Page that already has some of the “Swiss” round video links and will eventually have the Top Cut video links as well:

Thank you,
Phil Materi (Parenting101)

Reader Interactions

13 replies

  1. Sam Marshall-Smith

    Great report! I’ll try to swing by the league if I make it to worlds =)

    One thing – “LOL!” and “DOH!” quickly lost their effect, and had started to get quite annoying towards the end. Other than that though, great read. +1

    • Phil Materi  → Sam

      Thanks Sam. I do have a bad habit of leaving annoying “add ons” after my meaningful sentences. I will have to keep that in mind next time.

      I am really looking forward to meeting so many players at Worlds this year and think it would be great if players can make it to our wonderful league as well.

  2. Adam Capriola

    Thanks for the report Phil! One thing I was thinking about because of Erik’s article on misplays and the psychology involved is that having your match being recorded in top 4 might have been a factor in your mistakes that last game.

    I know one thing that can hinder performance is having a reminder of yourself in front of you, such as a mirror or camera (those are the two most common things I can remember from reading studies). So I don’t know if it was as much that you didn’t have experience in the top cut, or if it was the camera!

    Just something to think about.

    • Phil Materi  → Adam

      Thanks Adam. It is possible that being recorded negatively affected my performance and I will have to keep that in mind next time. In the moment thought, I did not feel any extra pressure because of it.

      Thanks for posting my article and the sound advice.

  3. Mark Hanson

    Hey… my Sableye knocked out Shane’s Sigilyphs fair and square :P

    Great report Phil! You should write more often! I can hear your enthusiasm through the magic of the internet! Haha. Congrats on 3rd place! We’ll have to see how things go in January!

    • Phil Materi  → Mark

      Too funny! I got to our league quite late today, but as soon as I got there I heard a lot of players looking for Sigilyphs! Time to add a few non-EXs to the list.

      Thanks for the nice comments. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Crawdaunt. I will see you in January.

  4. Rushan Shekar

    Good games Phil and it was a pleasure to play you! That last turn of swiss was nerve-racking and I knew what I was getting into with the donk and running Trubbish :P But running as many Landorus and Mewtwo myself it’s hard for me to complain about it! I believe you guys hold weekly tournaments at Cravings? I should really stop by one of these days. Thought of an interesting change to my deck I’d like to try out before the next City… hopefully I’ll have time at some point this month!

    • Phil Materi  → Rushan

      Thanks Rushan. Yes we do have a tournament most Sundays at Craving for a Game with a lot of strong players. It is great for play testing. I am not sure how many players will be there this coming Sunday, as it is just before Christmas. But there should be a lot of players there on the 30th getting ready for the last Cities tournament.

      Have a very Merry Christmas Rushan!

  5. Jack Pitcher

    Hey Phil, it’s Jack from Round 4. My third Stage 2 was Gardevoir, haha. Congrats on your first Top 4!

    • Phil Materi  → Julian

      I just watched the video as well, didn’t realize how much I had forgotten about the games AND how much more I actually misplayed than I had thought! Oops!

      Hopefully I’ll play better this Saturday if I make it into Top Cut again.


      P.S. You totally kicked my butt even though I went first BOTH games! :(

      • Julian W  → Phil

        During your run I’m sure you saw glimpses of what it takes to top cut consistently. I had some poor starts (turn 3 Night Spear going second & 4 turns chillin with Terrakion) and managed to win. Everyone’s first career top cut is always the most meaningful and I hope it keeps you hungry for more!

        Best of luck at Burnaby City’s! Unfortunately I’m out of town so I can’t make it.


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