My season results until Nationals:
- 2× Regional Championship Top 2
- 1× Regional Championship Top 8
- 1× City Championship Top 2
- 1× League Challenge Top 4
With those scores I was past 300 CP and already qualified for the 2014 World Championship. This was important, as I was able to play my Nationals without the pressure of qualifying on my back.
I had two choices: Plasma/Lugia or Virizion/Genesect. Blastoise quickly became the deck to defeat in our country, as it managed to get to several Regional finals around the world and people in our country are very influenced by the worldwide results. With this scenario, a lot of people would choose VirGen, to catcher Blastoise out of play. So did I, feeling confident in my VirGen list:
Pokémon – 11
1 Roselia DRX 13
Trainers – 36
Energy – 13
The tournament started a little bit later than expected. It was good to talk with people from all over the country about everything.
Round 1 vs. ??? (Plasma/Lugia)
I have to admit my heart is as soft as marshmallow sometimes. And this time, I was much too soft-hearted. The Trainer I matched against was clearly a beginner, and to support him I took sometime to explain him some rules. So, the first game got more time than I planned, around 25 minutes. Nothing special, and every move he made I had a counter issue. He used the Fliptini + Zapdos-EX combo, which was very annoying but lacked power to win the game.
On the second game, though, I didn’t expect to not attack with Virizion until turn 4. A big mistake was made here and the lesson is: never underestimate your opponent. He put some damage on my Pokémon while I tried to set up, so with Lugia and Genesect he easily got 6 Prizes.
Ten minutes left, I tried my best to finish the match. Time was called and within the 3 turns I only managed to get 5 Prizes. Nothing to do here, he was very happy to draw against me.
That served the right purpose to elevate my focus on the championship.
Round 2 vs. ??? (Plasma/Lugia)
I don’t know if this guy and the one from the first round were friends, but it seemed so. A very similar deck, a very similar match, but this time I didn’t make any mistakes and the adversary didn’t have anything different from base Plasma lists. The 2 Enhanced Hammers proved to be very effective to counter his setup, as the Lasers got him down every time. It was a good match and perfect to get my brain heated up.
Round 3 vs. ??? (Aromatissebox)
The first thought about this match, when I saw 2 Virizion-EX confronting each other on the field, was “Oh great, here comes the mirror match.” The Lasers would be very ineffective against mirror matches, but I continued to use them to counter the huge number of Yveltal/Darkrai variations.
He started and put a Prism Energy. So I figured out it would be something very different, and so it was. I got Energy in my hand, a Skyla and a Juniper, and promptly I got an Enhanced Hammer with the Skyla to disrupt his pace. As soon as a Spritzee came out, I figured out the scenario completely. So, the focus was to keep Aromatisse down and so I did it.
In the second game he was faster than me to set up, but I got an E. Hammer, Juniper, and E. Hammer again. It was the movement that took out the advantage. After that, I’ve kept my pace and finished it.
Round 4 vs. Giorgio Locatelli (Plasma/Lugia)
To finish my Plasma matchups, Giorgio Locatelli, a skilled player from Santa Catarina, came to the table. I went first, managed to set up 2 Genesect-EX, and he scooped as soon as he saw he couldn’t win. With this best-of-three, 45+5 (3 turns) format, we need to know when to scoop up.
The second match was a hard one. He managed to set up a Heatran-EX and was about to strike me up. But then, I’ve put one of his Thundurus on the Active Spot and struck him with Emerald Slash + Laser. To attack with Virizion-EX, I had to use a Juniper and, to not lose G Booster, attach it to Genesect-EX. In-between turns, he kept his sleeping condition.
He got Skyla in his hand, as he confided me, and had to use it to make a very hard choice: get a Switch, to have a chance to attack, or a Tool Scrapper, to eliminate the G Booster menace. Switch came in, the Thundurus-EX got 100 damage on his core, and Heatran-EX was able to strike, taking out my Virizion-EX.
I had to strike the Heatran-EX with G Booster. My Energy count in the deck was very low on that moment and I tried a hard play: used Energy Switch to a Virizion-EX, making him able to attack, but I needed a Super Rod badly to make it effective, as I didn’t have much more Energy. So I used Red Signal to catch Thundurus-EX – the same one heavily damaged from before, and N’d him to 1. That ended the match, as on my 4 cards N I got the beloved Super Rod, getting back my Energies, sending Thundurus-EX to the discard pile, plus adding more Energy to the field.
He Tool Scrappered me, but it was too late to recover, so the comeback was huge. A great play; it was something to remember later.
Round 5 vs. Carlos Alberto (Yveltal/Darkrai/Bouffalant)
I knew the hardest matches were about to begin in this round if I was able to make it into the cut. Carlos Alberto, the “MagiKarlos,” is a very skilled player from São Paulo. This was a heavy match where I managed to win the first battle. Yveltal-EX took a huge role here, and getting him out of the game was essential. Bouffalant was a treat too, but he wasn’t lucky enough to set up everything he needed to win. He was skilled enough to make me use everything and got me scared with 2 Enhanced Hammers played when I was about to win.
I had a Plasma Energy, 2 Prizes to take, and nothing more. He had a 30 HP left Darkrai-EX on the Bench. The next card was crucial, as I topdecked an amazing Shadow Triad! Darkrai-EX came to the Active Spot by Red Signal, Virbank City Gym was in play, and I got back a Laser I used before. Darkrai-EX was KO’d by the very poison he used on lots of fights.
I lost the second game and the clock marked 20 minutes to the end of round. We began a fast and furious (sorry about that, I couldn’t resist) battle. Lots of hits everywhere! Time was called. I only had 1 Prize left, he got 2. First turn, he managed to put 4 Energies on he Yveltal-EX, as I had a Genesect-EX with 3 Energies on the Bench. I had everything to win on the next turn if he wasn’t able to alter my hand or KO my Virizion-EX or Genesect-EX that turn. And Genesect had a target on its head.
He came up with a Pokémon Catcher. I held my breath, imagining a Muscle Band in his hand to finish the game. Catcher was played and… HEADS UP! So he decided to bring Roserade to the main spot! He didn’t have the Band. So, on turn 2 of a very difficult match, I managed to keep on the run.
Round 6 vs. Wilton Arruda (Virizion/Genesect)
I knew that we would face lots and lots of VirGen decks and I knew that only skill would make me win against my mirror match. I used Laserbank to get an edge against Yveltal, but then I lost some power against the mirror. So I faced off Wilton Arruda, a good player from Rio de Janeiro, born in Pernambuco. The first game was a chess game. I went first and managed to set up 2 Genesect-EX. He went with G Booster early, and after my revenge G Booster which took his biggest power first, it was a match he couldn’t win.
The second game was a bad, so I scooped up after getting lots of damage without making a good use of Virizion-EX at the beginning. I thought, “I begin next and I’ll win this.” But it was just the beginning of the nightmare: one of the worst initial hands came up and I started a hard defending fight.
Losing was not an option. I didn’t play slowly, but made some choices to slow it down naturally, as I knew I couldn’t win this game. Sigilyph got an important role here, helping my defense. Time was called and the 3 turns flied by. By my calculations, to make sure I would get into the cut, I needed at least 6 victories and 2 ties. 2 ties were gone, so it was obligatory to win.
Round 7 vs. Thiago Silva (Blastoise)
Losing was not an option… So I faced a friend, Thiago Silva, aka “Peitola,” playing Blastoise. It’s a hard match for him, a really hard one. The tiredness started to affect my play. You need to be well prepared, body and mind, to fully compete in these tournaments. I made a mistake and asked my opponent if I could take it back. As a friend, he said yes. Greetings on his fair play. I won game one as he scooped once Blastoise was taken out of the scene without a substitute nor a Squirtle able to evolve.
The second match was bad for me. When Blastoise starts and goes wild on T2, it’s really bad. And so it did. Thiago has a natural slow pace, so I didn’t let him destroy me completely by scooping up.
Third match, I had a good start but an N make things go really worse for me… Thiago went wild, playing a faster pace he’s not familiar with. When time was called, I knew it was going to be a draw as he didn’t notice Sigilyph on my Bench to protect me against his Black Kyurem-EXs and Keldeo-EXs. He didn’t have any ways to take it off and I was safe by 1 Prize. I got a little bit depressed, but was happy by the match. I knew it wasn’t entirely dependent on me to get to the cut. But my opponent rating was good enough to think I would make into it.
Round 8 vs. Vitor Almeida (Yveltal/Bouffalant)
The next one was Vitor Almeida, another good pal, but one I knew only by his online persona. I didn’t recognize him in the match, so he played without saying a word. He’s not a guy of lots of words as I am (Are you still accompanying me? Nice!) and was totally focused. He didn’t have Darkrai-EX as an attacker, but mainly as a retreat tech. His Yveltal-EX was the main treat. Ghetsis is a great card to play in this match, as a Junk Hunt comes to waste after Ghetsis and you get 2 cards at less. He took a lot of damage on the first match, scooped up and we went to the second match.
On a side note, I was following my adversaries fights. Thiago Silva, who had the same score, and Gabriel Semedo, one of the greatest players on Brazil actually, were playing near me. Thiago faced Sid Guimaraes, a great player from my city and personal friend. I knew his 5-2-0 wouldn’t let him make it into the cut even with his win, so he looked at me and said: I’ll win this for you. I remembered that on the in-between time of my matches against Vitor and got really confident.
On the second game, I went with a great start. Vitor then used a Juniper, put 2 Pokémon on his Bench and passed. 5 cards in hand? Time for a Ghetsis! I played it then, discovering 4 Items in his hand and an Energy. It was an important strike, as a Genesect was ready after that and he was out of options. Some time after this match, I noticed I fought against him only after participating in a Facebook chat, when talking about the Ghetsis move.
The Top Cut
I went 7th. The cut happened only on the next day. It’s not the normal rule, but it was stated from the beginning.
Top 8 vs. Cesar Lopes (Virizion/Genesect)
My friends were cheering me on about my top place, but the championship wasn’t over. I was going to face Cesar Lopes, 2012’s Brazilian champion. His VirGen was a consistent one, with nothing special to handle the mirror besides the Skyarrow instead of the Laserbank. He started with a Virizion, attached Energy, Muscle Band, played Juniper. Put Genesect-EX and Roselia on the field, as Skyarrow Bridge, and passed.
I only had a Virizion, Energy, Skyla and Juniper, and Laserbank. So, with Skyla, I got an Escape Rope and forced him to change his Active, so would have a hard time to put that Energy back into Virizion-EX if someone was sleeping. So Roselia went up, I used Laserbank and his Skyarrow was thrown out of play. It became asleep. In-between turns, he continued sleeping.
He had to evolve Roserade so he couldn’t lose it next turn, and got Skyarrow again. But Skyarrow doesn’t let you retreat non-Basic Pokémon. Advantage to me, I used Juniper and… nothing! 5 Energies in hand. This match was right after the decklist checking and we had 2 minutes to shuffle our decks. Maybe it wasn’t sufficient to me. I had to attack. He took a shot with his Virizion and took off 70 of my beloved HP. My hope was a Ghetsis in my hand. I used it, got 2 more cards, an N and a Skyla. He had an Energy in his hand.
On the second match, the same thing happened. Even beginning, I wasn’t able to put a Genesect in the game too soon. I took lots of damage without getting a Supporter to help me out. It was the end.
5-1-3 (My first and final loss of this championship.)
The finals came after, with Marcelo Magalhães as the winner.
My fellow players from Fortaleza cheered me up a lot. So, I became happy with my improvement. The next great challenge is waiting for me at Washington, DC. I see you there!