Roar of the Underdog! My Road to a Worlds Invite

team rocket waterpokemon.com
Water levels are rising…

Hello beautiful people and welcome to another article by me. This is going to be my final hurrah for the Boundaries Crossed format, before the storm takes hold.

At the start of this season, people thought of me as a solid player. I was 7 Championship Points short of the invite last year, so I wasn’t necessarily bad, but never the one to look out for when entering a tournament. Basically, no one thought that I would do particularly well, no more than any others anyway. I was the underdog, and that was one of the reasons why I aspired to do well this season.

This article is going to include a lot of information, so I will try to be as brief as possible.

Pre-Boundaries Crossed

The Dragons Exalted format was, in my opinion, pretty boring since the only valid deck options ended up being RayEels and Darkrai variants. In Norway, Dragons Exalted only covered Battle Roads, and since I was able to win one and get third at another, 25 points was my total score so far.

Total score: 25 Championship Points

Tournament #1 – Oslo Regionals

I have written an in-depth report about my Oslo Regionals run which can be found here. There isn’t much I can say that wasn’t covered already in that report. The important thing is that I was able to win and acquire a solid amount of points.

Total score: 145 Championship Points

Tournament #2 – Bergen Regionals

bergen norwayen.wikipedia.org
Bergen, Norway

Deck Choice: After an 8 hour train ride and zero food or sleep, I decided, in a hallucogenic haze, to play Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/Eviolite/Aspertia City Gym with Super Scoop Ups.

I made a read that there were going to be a lot of set up decks and such, so I wanted to play something with the ability to attack early before they could completely set up. The SSUs were there in order to keep my DCEs instead of discarding them with something like Max Potion.

If the list looks a bit weird, it may be because I made certain metagame decisicions or because of zero sleep and food.

Pokémon – 7

4 Tornadus EX

2 Mewtwo-EX NXD

1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 41

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Bianca

3 Skyla

 

4 Eviolite

4 PlusPower

4 Super Scoop Up

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Ultra Ball

2 Enhanced Hammer

1 Computer Search

 

4 Aspertia City Gym

Energy – 12

8 W

4 Double Colorless

Round 1 vs. Speed Darkrai EX

I remember being extremely sleepy and made a lot of small misplays. Fortunately for me though, I am able to hit some crucial heads and heal off most the damage he does to me. There were two separate points in the game where a tails on SSU or Power Blast would mean game loss, but I did hit heads and was able to sneak away with the first round win.

1-0

Round 2 vs. Empire

Playing against my own deck is never fun, but fortunately enough I know how well it works better than anyone. His start isn’t necessarily bad, but T1 Tornadus Knocking Out all his Piplups is something the deck can’t handle efficiently. He could also only 3-shot my Tornadus and I hit 1 SSU, which was deadly since he spent a lot of resources bringing my Tornadus down.

2-0

Round 3 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX

pluspower-base-set-2-b2-113pokemon-paradijs.com
Quite important.

I am able to hit 3 PlusPowers in order to get the T1 60 and donk his lonely Squirtle. I felt bad so we played another game afterward where he had T2 Blastoise and everything. I was still able to win so I felt better about the donk.

3-0

Round 4 vs. Empire (without Dusknoir)

There is just nothing Empoleon can do about a Tornadus EX with Aspertia Gym and Eviolite doing 100 every turn. He tried setting up a big Mewtwo EX, but I play my own and was able to counter KO his Mewtwos.

4-0

Top 4 vs. Speed Darkrai EX

Game 1

He played both Dark Claw and PlusPower in his list, which gave him the opportunity to 2HKO my Tornadus EX even with Aspertia and Eviolite. I tailed a few SSU and lost a pretty straightforward game.

Game 2

I whiff a DCE which meant I couldn’t 1HKO a Darkrai EX with my Mewtwo for my last 2 Prizes and the next turn he just finished me off.

In the end I got third place, which was an ok score considering the deck I played and the state I was in for most of the day.

Total Score: 235 Championship Points

Tournament #3 – Nesodden CC

Deck Choice: I realised before the tournament that Blastoise and Empoleon were going to be the most played decks at this tournament. Because of this, the deck I chose was Darkrai EX with Max Potion and Eviolite in order to survive a while and heal. This made it impossible for Blastoise to consistently 1HKO my Darkrais and the deck was extremely fast and consistent.

Pokémon – 8

4 Darkrai-EX DEX

3 Sableye DEX

1 Mewtwo-EX NXD

Trainers – 40

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Bianca

3 Skyla

 

4 Ultra Ball

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Dark Patch

4 Eviolite

4 Max Potion

4 Energy Switch

1 Computer Search

Energy – 12

12 D

Round 1 vs. Garbodor/Terrakion/Darkrai EX

His opening hand is terrible and I am able to KO two Trubbish and end the game early. We did play a real game after that where I was still able to win, so I felt a bit better about my cheap win.

1-0

Round 2 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX

We both have awful opening hands and it takes four turns before he gets the first attack with a Keldeo-EX. I am still able to win after I set up Darkrai EXs and constantly heal them with Energy Switch and Max Potion. He is not able to take a single KO.

2-0

Round 3 vs. Zekrom/Mewtwo EX/Eels

DarkraiEXDarkExplorers63
Will 90 + 30 on T2 ever NOT be good?

I have a great start, with T2 Darkrai EX, and there is very little my opponent can do about it. He also prized two DCEs, which more or less sealed his fate. He was still able to KO a Darkrai, even with my constant healing, but in the end I won.

3-0

Round 4 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX

I open with a Sableye, five D Energies, and a Pokémon Catcher. I draw blanks and my opponent KOs my Sableye after a couple of turns.

3-1

Top 2 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX

Game 1

I am able to set up T2 Darkrai EX and constantly throughout this game I heal my guys while doing big amounts a damage to him. He did have T2 Blastoise, but it doesn’t matter too much when I have three fully powered Darkrais by T4. He is able to take one Darkrai EX KO, and I retaliate with a Mewtwo EX for the win.

Game 2

I only have 1 Darkrai EX with an Eviolite out by T2 and he sets up T2 Blastoise and swing for 190 to end the game pretty quickly.

Game 3

For the third time in a row my opponent sets up T2 Blastoise and constantly sets up big Keldeos. I am able to pull of my healing a lot though and after a while we are down to 2 Prizes each. He will probably be able to 1HKO and EX the next turn for the win, but I Catcher out a Squirtle and get a double KO on that and his Blastoise for the win.

Total Score: 285 Championship Points

Tournament #4 – Asker CC

Deck Choice: I had a feeling that Blastoise and Darkrai EX were going to be widely played so at this event I decided to go with RayEels for my deck. My list was exceptionally fast and could hit for 180 T2 quite often, but it had huge issues against the mirror match up, which I didn’t think I would meet.

Pokémon – 14

4 Tynamo NVI 38

4 Eelektrik NVI

3 Rayquaza EX

2 Emolga DRX

1 Zekrom BLW

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Bianca

1 Skyla

1 Random Receiver

 

4 Level Ball

4 Ultra Ball

4 Switch

4 Pokémon Catcher

2 Super Rod

1 Computer Search

Energy – 13

9 L

4 R

Round 1 vs. Bye

I really hate winning like this, but sometimes it happens.

1-0

Round 2 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX

This was really a battle of set up. He has T2 Blastoise, but I have 180 1HKOs from T3 and onwards. There is not a single deck that can face that kind of power and he eventually loses after I 1HKO 3 straight EXs. Emolga was used quite a lot in this game for set up.

2-0

Round 3 vs. Speed Darkrai EX

eelektrik-noble-victories-nvi-40pokemon-paradijs.com
Hard to lose with 3 Eels on T2, even if you can’t hit a Fire.

I set up three Eelektriks T2, but I can’t draw into a R Energy before T5. I actually become so desperate that I Celestial Roar and end up getting two Lightning instead, which I actually didn’t need.

He gets in a couple of free attacks, but in the end I just 1HKO three straight EXs after I finally get the Fire I need and win by 3 Prize cards.

3-0

Round 4 vs. Mewtwo EX/Sigilyph

He only played one Sigilyph, so my Zekrom was enough to ruin his strategy. Mewtwo EX is just not a good enough counter against a fully set up RayEels deck, and I take the game.

4-0

Top 2 vs. Mewtwo EX/Sigilyph

Game 1

This game was quite close, because even though I am able to take two Mewtwo EX KOs, he N’s me to two cards and starts stalling me out with Sigilyph. I cannot draw into anything for five turns, before I eventually get the Catcher I need to take out his benched Mewtwo EX for the win.

Game 2

Very similar to our Swiss game, where I simply set up and there is just nothing he could do with that. Because of this I eventually win.

Total Score: 335 Championship Points

Tournament #5 – Oslo CC

Deck Choice: My Buddy Richard came up with a great Ho-Oh list before the tournament, but he wanted to play Blastoise so I decided to play his deck. He actually came up with it way before Pooka had his great City Championship run, and I remember being amazed that he wouldn’t play it at the CC. I thought it was a great metagame choice since EX decks were so popular.

The only change I made to his list was replacing one Landorus-EX with a second Sigilyph and a F Energy with a P Energy.

Pokémon – 11

2 Ho-Oh EX

3 Mewtwo-EX NXD

2 Sigilyph DRX

2 Bouffalant DRX

1 Terrakion NVI

1 Landorus-EX

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Bianca

2 Cheren

1 Skyla

 

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Switch

3 PlusPower

3 Energy Switch

3 Ultra Ball

2 Eviolite

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Computer Search

Energy – 14

4 Double Colorless

3 F

3 P

1 L

1 R

1 D

1 W

Round 1 vs. RayEels

I open with a Supporterless hand, but I keep KOing his Tynamos with DCE and Pokémon Catcher with a Mewtwo EX. Eventually I get a Juniper, which allows me to set up more attackers. I do not use Ho-Oh once this game.

1-0

Round 2 vs. Mewtwo EX/Sigilyph

I am able to keep a lead this game by taking KOs on Mewtwo EX and such, but I flip tails on Ho-Oh flip four times in a row and on two separate occasions I whiff one of my three remaining Switches. Because of this, the game gets really close, but he attaches one Energy too much on a Mewtwo EX, which allows me to KO it for my last 2 Prizes.

2-0

Round 3 vs. Hammertime

Yet again I open with a no Supporter hand, but his hand Is just about as dead as mine. I see zero Hammers through the entire game and I am able to win by setting up a Mewtwo EX and a Terrakion.

3-0

Round 4 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX/Sigilyph

double-colorless-energy-next-destinies-nxd-92pokemon-paradijs.com
A very important card in this deck.

I remember going second and I have no Energy or Supporters to play. He N’s me the next turn, but he was more or less two turns ahead of me because of him starting and me doing nothing T1.

The game was still close and in the end it comes down to me having a deck with eleven cards left. I use a Juniper to draw 7, and if I get my last DCE I win by Knocking Out his 5 Energy Blastoise. I do whiff the DCE and he wins a very close game.

3-1

Round 5 vs. Empoleon/Terrakion

I open with no Supporters for the fourth time, but I just constantly add DCEs to an ever growing Mewtwo in order to KO all his Piplups. When I do draw into a Supporter, I get to set up a lot of Pokémon and he can’t keep up. This time I tailed Ho-Oh two times in a row.

4-1

Top 4 vs. Speed Darkrai EX

Game 1

He has no Sigilyph counters and I just KO 3 Sableyes and win by decking him out. He did play four PlusPowers and at least two Dark Claws, so his Sableyes were quite dangerous.

Game 2

I use three Junipers over the course of three turns and I never draw any Energies. I also tail Ho-Oh twice and even though I am able to mount a small comeback, he eventually wins the game.

Game 3

My set up is Landorus-EX, Terrakion, Bouffalant, and two Sigilyph, which means he needs to draw 6 Prizes in the most difficult way possible. His start is a bit slow and T3 Darkrai EX is not enough to manage against my board and I am eventually able to set up enough big Basic attackers and 2HKO his Darkrai EXs. I do tail three Ho-Oh flips and never manage to use him.

5-1

Top 2 vs. RayEels with Keldeo-EX

Game 1

I use a combination of Landorus-EX, Bouffalant, and Ho-Oh EX to take out all his Eelektriks leaving him with no resources.

Game 2

Yet again I flip tails on four Ho-Oh and only one of them would have probably won me the game. I also whiff Energy drops and can’t do anything about his full set up.

Game 3

Time is called when we both have 4 Prizes. I immediately Catcher and KO an Eel, leaving him with one more turn to take at least 1 Prize card to tie, but the Eviolite on my Mewtwo EX makes it impossible and I win the game. He actually had zero Eelektriks out after my KO, so if the game hadn’t gone to time I still think the game would have gone in my direction.

Total Score: 385 Championship Points

Tournament #6 – The ECC

houseboaten.wikipedia.org
Tom’s houseboat (not really)

I wrote an article trying to prepare people for the ECC, so it was somewhat important for me to at least top cut at this tournament. Otherwise I couldn’t actually say that I know what I am talking about.

We were fourteen Norwegians participating at the ECC this year and we all spent a couple of days in Amsterdam at a houseboat before the tournament. These days were used to playtest and have fun, and I got to play with the legendary Tom Hall who lived at the houseboat.

Deck Choice: I actually had absolutely no idea what to play. Blastoise was to luck based, RayEels could get donked and Big Basics didn’t have solid enough matchups. Eventually I decided to play Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX since it seemed consistent and had a lot of great matchups.

The list was based on the list of David Jensen. Benjamin Behrens (five time Norwegian Nationals top cut including two victories and last year second place finisher at the ECC) helped out a lot with the list.

Pokémon – 10

3 Darkrai-EX DEX

3 Mewtwo-EX NXD

2 Sableye DEX

2 Bouffalant DRX

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Bianca

3 Skyla

 

4 Dark Patch

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Ultra Ball

3 Energy Switch

3 Crushing Hammer

2 PlusPower

2 Eviolite

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Computer Search

Energy – 12

8 D

4 Double Colorless

Round 1 vs. Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX/Tornadus EX/Groudon EX (Netherlands)

My opponent has a terrible start and I am able to set up a T2 Darkrai EX and run over him. He hit a couple of SSU heads, but no Energy drops and no Supporters is difficult to deal with. He was a great sport though.

1-0

Round 2 vs. Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX/Terrakion/Garbodor (Poland)

My hand is absolutely terrible and I cannot draw anything throughout the entire game. He is able to set up quite nicely and KOs all my guys.

1-1

Round 3 vs. Rayquaza EX/Eelektrik (Netherlands I think?)

She opens with Tynamo and I open with Mewtwo EX. I then donk her with a single DCE.

2-1

Round 4 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX (Germany I think?)

pokemon-catcher-dark-explorers-dex-111pokemon-paradijs.com
It wins games. What else can you say?

I set up a T2 Bouffalant and for two turns straight I KO a lone Squirtle, which means he can’t set up a Blastoise. When he does set it up a bit later though he manages to draw four Energies and five Energies at a time in order to 1HKO my Pokémon, but I have too much set up and eventually win the game by Catchering out a damaged Keldeo-EX.

3-1

Round 5 vs. Blastoise/Keldeo-EX (France)

He has a somewhat bad start, and I am able to spread my DCEs before he sets up Blastoise. Because of this, he has too much damage on his field and I have too many powered up Mewtwo EXs and I eventually win the game

4-1

Round 6 vs. Ho-Oh (UK)

My hand is yet again pretty bad and I just can’t get D Energies into my discard pile or set up any Darkrai EXs. I manage to actually set up a way to win though. We both have 4 Prizes left, and if I can draw a single D Energy from my Juniper I will be able to set up a double KO and in three turns I can draw my 4 Prizes to win.

Unfortunately I whiff the Energy and more or less lose the game. This guy was a pleasure to play against though, because he was a funny and polite gentleman.

4-2

Round 7 vs. Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/Terrakion/Sigilyph (Netherlands)

So far this tournament I had tailed almost all my Crushing Hammers, but this game I hit four out of five heads. Every single one cripples my opponent and makes sure he couldn’t Retaliate my Darkrais. The game eventually goes to time and I win by Knocking Out a Mewtwo EX on his bench with the 30 damage from Darkrai EX.

5-2

Round 8 vs. Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX (Germany)

My start is pretty good and I am able to Junk Hunt for Computer Search and everything. He uses a Crushing Hammer and discards the one Energy I have in play and attaches an Energy to his lone Mewtwo EX. My hand is pretty big.

I put a DCE on my benched Mewtwo EX, Dark Patch and Energy Switch to my active Sableye and use Bianca for five cards. I need a PlusPower or an Energy Switch so that I can Computer Search for the other one and I draw into the PlusPower. This allows me to Computer Search for the Energy Switch and get out a three Energy Mewtwo EX with a PlusPower to Knock Out his Mewtwo EX with one Energy for the game.

6-2

My opponent proceeds to abrade me in German to his buddy, calling me a bad player, refusing my handshake and saying I only win by luck. I thankfully speak a little German so I call a judge on him and make sure he never does that in any other tournaments.

Around four people came up to me during the tournament and thanked me for building Empire. It was a lot of fun to meet people who actually enjoyed my deck, particularly one guy who made top cut with it.

mathias bjørnstad ecc 2013
Very happy that I made it through to the top 32!

Four Norwegians made it into top 32 this year, which shows yet again that Norway is a country to be feared:

  1. Me: Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX
  2. Benjamin Behrens: Blastoise/Keldeo-EX (who made it into top cut for the third time in a row)
  3. Magnus Kalland: Garbodor/Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/ Terrakion
  4. Fredrik Fossheim: Mewtwo EX/Eels

Top 32 vs. RayEels (France)

This guy was also a pleasure to play against and a good sport. Definitely one of the nicest Pokémon players I have ever met.

Game 1

My opening hand is pretty bad, and I can’t draw into much early. When we enter mid game though he enters a Supporter dry spell and after I set up a Darkrai EX with an Eviolite, there’s nothing he can do about it and I am able to KO two EXs for the win.

Game 2

I whiff a Catcher T1 which means he is allowed to keep two Tynamo, which both evolve into Eelektriks, and he N’s me to a completely dead hand. I cannot do anything and he eventually runs over me.

Game 3

I run into the same problem as in game two. My opening is pretty ok, but he N’s me into a completely dead four card hand and I can’t do anything for three straight turns. This allows him to set up three Eels and I eventually lose the game.

Total Score: 405 Championship Points

Conclusion

Flag_of_Norway.svgen.wikipedia.org
Flag of Norway

In Norway we do not have that many tournaments, and I am very grateful to be able to win as many as I have. At the beginning of the season, no one thought I would be the one to get the Worlds Invite this early. I feel that I have been somewhat lucky, and I am nothing compared to great Norwegian players like Benjamin Behrens and Tord Reklev.

Deck building, research, and solid playing has gotten me to where I am today and I hope to see as many of you as possible in Vancouver.

Peace out,

Mathias Lunnan Bjørnstad

Reader Interactions

8 replies

  1. Tyler Kittelson-Burke

    Congrats on top 32!
    See you at Worlds!

  2. Bella Brown

    Very nice article, well written and interesting :D.
    Good work!
    Congrats on making it to worlds! :D

  3. theo Seeds

    Props to you for getting your invite so quick. I’ve still got some work to do on mine.

    Are these all the tournaments you went to, or were there some you didn’t do so well at?

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → theo

      Thanks for the props!

      I got 5th at another Battle Roads and went 3-2 or something like that at a City. Those are all the tournaments I played this season so far.

  4. Adam Capriola

    See you in Vancouver Mathias and cool sweatshirt! I almost went to Temple for college.

  5. Cake Walvin

    I was your round 6 opponent from UK, you were a pleasure to play and great job on T32, I believe I was knocked out T16 by the same guy who knocked you out too!

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