The Song Remains the Same

Argentinian Nationals 2014 First Place Report

Hey SixPrizes readers! First at all I want to say thanks to Adam who let me write this article in which I’m going to be covering what happened during the last Argentinian National.

Let me introduce myself – my name is Sebastian L., I’m 26 years old, and I’ve been playing Pokémon since it was released in Argentina in 2000.

This was certainly a good weekend for me.

Lugia_SSBBBulbapedia
A quick Lugia can be difficult to overcome.

I’ll start with how I got around to my deck. Through this season I had succeeded with lots of decks – Virizion/Genesect, Plasma, Dusknoir/Flygon, and Palkia/Blockers – and I knew that my deck choice for Nats would be one of those decks. Sometime in March I saw a Plasma deck in a tournament by Fabrizio Bellucci. I started testing Plasma with Fabrizio’s list and messed around with it a lot. I continued to test it since that moment and got other Plasma ideas, including different techs and Supporter counts, seeing that I could get turn 1 or turn 2 Plasma Gale most of the time to seal victories and get good comebacks after small N’s. I devoted at least a couple of hours each night to mastering those two deck ideas.

I made the deck choice on Thursday. I decided to include a single copy of Latias-EX, just to block Pyroar decks. This is the list I played:

Pokémon – 12

4 Deoxys-EX
3 Thundurus-EX
2 Lugia-EX
1 Genesect-EX
1 Latias-EX
1 Snorlax PLS

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Juniper
2 N
2 Colress

3 Random Receiver
3 Roller Skates
1 Pal Pad

 

4 Pokémon Catcher
4 Colress Machine
3 Team Plasma Ball
3 Muscle Band

2 Startling Megaphone
2 Switch
1 Escape Rope

1 Computer Search

Energy – 13

4 Double Colorless

4 Plasma

4 Prism

1 L

We had 48 Masters because we don’t have an open National Championship. It means that in order to play you have to previously win either a League Challenge, City Championship, or Regional Championship.

Round 1 vs. Diego Cassiraga (Speed Lugia)

We know each other from ages. I know what he is going to play and so he does I. I consider him the best Argentinian player – he’s won five Nationals and made Top 8 twice at Worlds.

Game 1

roller skates xy 125 official
We are off and rolling! Not quite.

Honestly this was the worst match of the tournament. We both had bad starts. He got Deoxys-EX, played N, then Thundurus-EX, and just attached and passed. I had two Roller Skates and Colress in my hand. I played Roller Skates – tails! Roller Skates again – tails! I played Plasma Ball twice for Deoxys-EX and Thundurus-EX and passed. He had a terrible hand too because he only played DCE, retreated the Deoxys, played Snorlax, and Raiden Knuckled for 40.

During my turn I drew N, but didn’t want to play it – I just retreated Latias-EX and Raiden Knuckled. He did the same, attached Plasma Energy to Snorlax, and hit me for 40. I drew a Thundurus, played it, and Colress for 5. At this point I drew a decent hand. During his turn he played Colress Machine and attached another Energy to Snorlax, retreated, and KO’d my Thundurus.

I sent up Latias-EX, played Juniper, and started to set up a Lugia-EX. In his turn he couldn’t do much – he decided to retreat the Snorlax and Raiden Knuckled. Since now I started to take an advantage over him. Turn by turn we exchanged hits. The key moment of this game was when he N’d me to 2 and I drew Random Receiver and Catcher and told him, “There are two ways: the easy if I flip heads or the difficult one if I flip tails.”

Of course I flipped tails… all the Supporters left in my deck were Juniper and Colress, so Random Receiver would give me a good one. I drew Juniper and get the Muscle Band for the win!

Game 2

It was exactly the same. I opened again with Latias-EX, both of us got bad hands, and again I drew a Supporter first. He was behind in Prizes the whole game.

2-0, 1-0-0

Round 2 vs. Javier Favilli (Yveltal/Darkrai/Raichu/Druddigon)

I was really comfortable to face Yveltal decks because I have huge advantage on them as long as I would be able to get rid of his Pikachus/Raichus early (if he runs them).

Game 1

He went first and has a decent start and I did too. He took a quick Prize advantage, but I powered up Lugia-EX and KO’d his Raichu. He couldn’t KO my Lugia with Yveltal-EX and that Lugia-EX KO’d his Yveltal-EX. He N’d me to one, but fortunately I draw into Juniper and Catcher flipped heads to win the first game.

Game 2

lysandre flashfire 104 official
“I have Lysandre on my hand.”

He started with baby Yveltal to my Lugia-EX, he attached to baby Yveltal, and played a Pikachu on his Bench. I powered up a Lugia-EX in T1, played Deoxys-EX, Plasma Ball for Thundurus-EX, and Junipered and got two more Deoxys-EX and a KO’d his Yveltal. He couldn’t do much during his turn – he evolved into Raichu and Junipered, played a few Pokémon, and promoted a Darkrai to the Active Spot. I retreated and Raiden Knuckled.

A few turns later he had to played Jirachi-EX for a Supporter, which actually cost him the game because later I played Escape Rope and he had to sent his Jirachi out. He N’d me to one and I draw into Random Receiver, got Colress for 9 cards, and at this point I only need an Energy to win. I drew it, but I acted like if I didn’t draw it. (I always bother Javier during tournaments with silly things, and this wouldn’t be an exception.)

I spent like 7 minutes speaking of what could I do, thinking and then I said, “I don’t know what to do, mmm ok I attach and hit you for the win!!!” He melted down, started to shout, “How could you do that?” “You promise you won’t do.” “I have Lysandre on my hand.” Haha! This was the funniest moment of the tournament. Later I apologized to him and invited him to dinner.

2-0, 2-0-0

Round 3 vs. Luciano Raggio (Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor)

Game 1

Again Yveltal, another easy matchup. This game was different – he never could set up and I started to Plasma Gale turn two to win this game.

Game 2

This game was similar, but worse for him because he went first, opened with a lone Sableye, played Random Receiver for Skyla, and played Shauna. He missed the Pokémon and my Thundurus-EX + Deoxys-EX + Muscle Band + Juniper was enough to win the game.

2-0, 3-0-0

Round 4 vs. Leandro Lopez (Virizion/Genesect/Raichu/Roserade)

I felt confident about the VirGen matchup, as long as I could target his Pikachus/Raichus before he put many Energies in play.

Game 1

The first game I had a fast KO on a Virizion-EX and later I focused on trying to take down another EX. At some point I played Juniper, drew into Catcher + Catcher + Computer Search, and hit one of them to win.

Game 2

snorlax plasma storm pls 101 official
Teampact FTW!

I had a terrible start, he had an optimal start with T2 Emerald Slash. Next turn he Red Signaled a Lugia-EX and played Energy Switch and powered a Genesect with 4 Energies and G Booster active. He KO’d the Lugia-EX, I promoted a Thundurus-EX, played Latias-EX, switched it, and Junipered my hand hoping to get Startling Megaphone, but I wasn’t able to pull it. I almost conceded the game, but I didn’t because I had N in my hand. During his turn he hit me with G Booster.

I was 4 Prizes down… I N’d him, hoping for the best. I draw the Startling Megaphone and a good hand. I Raiden Knuckled him and attached to Snorlax. Luckily he drew a Juniper, but he wasn’t able to do much – he just attached to Virizion-EX and passed. I played N again and attached to power up a Lugia-EX. He draws dead and did an unusual move by playing Energy Switch from Virizion to Raichu and attached another Energy to it. I didn’t need to be a genius in order to know that the card he had in his hand was a Plasma Energy.

Unluckily for him my deck had four Pokémon Catcher and I was able to flip twice to Catcher that Raichu and KO’d it. He drew, attached an Energy, and passed. I powered Snorlax with DCE and 2 Colress Machine and KO’d his Virizion-EX. Again he drew into nothing and Teampact did its job!

2-0, 4-0-0

At this point I was really happy for several reasons: I managed to make a huge comeback, I only needed to tie the next two games to make the cut, and I was undefeated.

Round 5 vs. Bruno Martin (Pyroar/Archeops/Mewtwo-EX)

Before the fourth round I had told Bruno that if he win we will probably face each other on the next round. We got paired and decided to draw. (I spent the whole round watching Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid first half.)

ID, 4-0-1

Round 6 vs. Daniel Facciabene (Yveltal/Darkrai/Raichu/Druddigon)

We checked the standings and I was 1st and he was placed 2nd, so we draw the game.

ID, 4-0-2

argentina nationals 2014 top 8 standings

At this point all the Top 8 players were called to face our respective deck checks. Before the tournament I had changed two card from the original decklist – I had removed a Muscle Band for a Genesect-EX and a Switch for an Escape Rope. Silly me! I had forgotten to edit the decklist and I had written three Switch instead of two.

Two judges called me and told me that they had debated for a long time and had decided to give me a penalization of multiple Prize cards, so my opponent will start with 3 Prizes less, and that I have to switch the Escape Rope with a Switch. I was ok with the choice because I knew that it could have been a game loss – I’d rather start 3 Prizes down than a game down.

Top 8 vs. Tomas Sainz (Darkrai/Yveltal/Garbodor/Druddigon)

Before the game a judge came to our table and explained to my opponent that I had done a mistake with my list and I had a penalization of 3 Prize cards. Tomas instantly said, “I refuse to take them,” and the game began.

Game 1

This game was similar to the game against Javier from the second round, with a slight difference – he didn’t run Raichu, so he will hardly ever be able to KO Lugia in one shot. This game was really close because he kept spamming with Lasers. When I was able to get rid of his Sableye, Lugia-EX wiped the board quickly and he didn’t have more N’s, so on the last turns of the game I played Colress for 10 to have a giant hand, which sealed the game in the next turn.

Game 2

This game was a joke – he drew/passed with Darkrai-EX while I attacked with Thundurus-EX, powering a Lugia-EX. He played Druddigon, retreated Darkrai-EX, and passed again. I Plasma Galed his Druddigon, he drew nothing, and we shook hands.

2-0, 5-0-2

And you got my respect for the decision you had made before the game. Hat off Tomy!!!

Top 4 vs. Daniel Facciabene (Yveltal/Darkrai/Raichu/Druddigon)

This match was the difficult match of the whole tournament – all the three games were close.

Game 1

hypnotoxic laser plasma storm pls 123 official
What can I do?

This game was really sort of weird for me because I felt the whole game like I was going to win, but it became close. Prize trades I set up perfectly, but this game was decided on flips. Daniel flipped all the Hypnotoxic Laser heads and I flipped my four Pokémon Catchers tails, so I wasn’t able to take down either Pikachus/Raichus or damaged EXs. He ended winning the first game and it was my first game loss from the tournament.

Game 2

I was pretty confident about the speed of my deck, so I didn’t mind for the time. Also we had an hour to play, not 50 minutes.

I got an explosive start like I did in the first game. It went on in the same way: I kept flipping tails on the crucial Catchers, although he also flipped tails on his HTLs this game, so at the end of the game the Switches I had saved from the Laser heads were really helpful later. Deoxys-EX was the man in this game because it was always my answer to his Raichus.

Game 3 – Best game of the whole tournament.

It developed like the previous games. I flipped one Catcher head to get rid of a Pikachu. At some point of the game he started to draw and he got a bit nervous and didn’t play Supporter for a few turns, so I decided to step on the gas, which later turned into a mistake. I played so many Junipers and discarded key cards. I took a Prize advantage. At this point he had drawn 2 Prizes and I had drawn 3. Luckily for him he draws N… and the TIME WAS CALLED! He N’d me to 3 and KO’d my Lugia-EX with Raichu:

I draw Plasma Ball, DCE, and N. I promoted Deoxys and attached DCE to Snorlax and played Plasma Ball for a Deoxys-EX and N’d him to two. At this point my deck was small. In order to win, I must draw Colress Machine without grabbing the Plasma Energy. I draw three cards from the N, they were Startling Megaphone, Roller Skates… and COLRESS MACHINE!!!

I played Colress Machine, attached to Snorlax, and KO’d Raichu with Deoxys-EX. I drew my Prize and it was a Juniper, so next turn I will be able to draw my whole deck, flip for two Catchers, and attach the DCE to Snorlax to win, if I’ll hit the heads.

Daniel draws dead – he only took like 5 minutes thinking on what to do. Finally he decided to attach an Energy to Yveltal and attack my Deoxys. I drew completely excited, flipped Roller Skates tails, Junipered my hand, and showed him the DCE! And shouted “VAMOS CARAJO!!!!” (You can look it up the meaning on Google.)

2-1, 6-0-2

That was a GREAT comeback. After the game I spoke with Daniel and told that he deserved to win and how lucky I was to draw into the Colress Machine.

Top 2 vs. Leandro Lopez (Virizion/Genesect/Raichu/Roserade)

I won’t describe this game because there is a video of the final game – I’m going to upload it later. But I ended winning 2-0 in the finals.

2-0, 7-0-2

Contents

Props

  • All the people who came, especially the ones who had to travel a lot.
  • Tomas Blei winning Seniors.
  • Bruno’s sister. (L)
  • The judges. Maia and Tomas A+++ job seriously.
  • All the funny things that happened at the tournament.
  • Making fun of Javier. ;)
  • My team for supporting me at the end of every round.
  • Fabrizio for driving me home before the tournament.
  • Anyone who read this whole report.

Slops

  • Nothing.

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