As a special treat, we received a tournament report from the Dutch National Championship! Bert W. was kind enough to provide us with some insight from how another country’s National Championship played out. Enjoy!
We have tested a lot for this Nationals with my testing group from Groningen and Assen, and I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to play Darkrai. After the Norwegian Nationals I made the list that was the start of my final list, with a Mewtwo, a Terrakion and Max Potions. I’ve tested a lot with David (the ECC Champion of this year), who also played Darkrai, but he played SSU and I played a 2nd Dark Claw, a Skyarrow Bridge and Switch. I had the list I played at the National Championships ready 3 weeks before the tournament (except for changing the 3/3 Oak/N split to a 4/2 split) and, thus, I have played with the same list for a very long time, which I think really helped.
Here is my list:
3 Darkrai EX
1 Mewtwo EX
4 Professor Juniper
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory
2 Random Reciever
3 Ultra Ball
1 Dual Ball
4 Junk Arm
3 Pokémon Catcher
4 Dark Patch
2 Dark Claw
2 Max Potion
1 Super Rod
1 Skyarrow Bridge
7 Darkness (Basic)
4 Darkness (Special)
On Friday we went to a hotel with some people from Groningen and Assen, and we tested for a bit and also had fun. Saturday we went to the tournament; the road was hard to find because there are some turn out layers. And now for the tournament:
Round 1: Marcel with Accelgor/Vileplume
He had a lone Sunkern start, but didn’t have anything else, and he used Level Ball for a Stantler (CCF). I get turn 2 Darkrai and make a KO. Then he gets a Vileplume and gets his set up, but I see an opening: He has already 5 Pokémon in play, which aren’t Accelgor, so I don’t KO any Pokémon, making it so he can only attack up to 1 time per 2 turns, and I stall with high HP exes.
When time is called I needed to sack one of my Pokémon, which was my Smeargle, and then I take my 2nd prize in the last turn and win.
Round 2: Anna S. with Zekrom/Eels
It was unfortunate that we had to play each other in the 2nd round (she was in our testing group), but that’s life. And to make things worse for her, she gets the most terrible hand, and I get a turn 2 Darkrai. I’m up 4 prizes after a few turns, and she has no way to get any Eels, so she scoops.
Round 3: Benji with Zekrom/Eels + Terrakion
I had a pretty bad start, and so has he until I draw into an N. Then he gets the first KO, then I make a KO with a Darkrai with Eviolite. He has the Retaliate with PlusPower for the KO on my Darkrai. I use N the next turn, but whiff the Special Dark for the KO on his Terrakion. To add insult to injury, he gets the Fighting from the N (3 cards for him), and can KO my 2nd Darkrai that way, which won him the game.
We play both a Supporter on our first turns and then both draw nothing for 15 turns, but I have a Mewtwo and, thus, score a number of KO’s. When she is close to KOing Mewtwo, I use my Max Potion. Eventually I am too far ahead before she draws into something good, so I win.
Round 5: ?? with Zekrom/Eels + Terrakion
I think this is his first year in Masters, and he is not very good. His deck is also not very good, and I win this one pretty easily after I started with a turn 2 Darkrai.
So I only had to win one more match to get into the top cut, so the next match mattered a lot ……
He has a really bad start in this game, and I overpower him with a turn 2 Darkrai. He also doesn’t get to attack with his Terrakion, so this one was over pretty quickly.
Round 7: Kevin with Zekrom/Eels + Terrakion
We both start Terrakion, and he wins the flip. He already has 2 Fighting and a Lightning on his Terrakion on turn 3 and starts to kill my Darkrais before I had done any damage to that Terrakion. I was still quite close to winning, but not close enough.
I learn that my opponent in top 16 is Dave and he’s playing a Vileplume/Mismagius/Darkrai/Terrakion deck (from TheDeckOut), and I’m quite nervous about the matchup. Fortunately, Emanuel offers to play a few games with that deck against me, and I find out that I need to make him attack first. I then go to sleep at 11:30 PM and wake up on Sunday filled with excitement for the matches to come.
Game 1: He starts, but I get the turn 1 Darkrai. On turn 2 he gets a turn 2 Plume and an Energy onto his Terrakion, so I don’t start attacking until he does. We exchange some blows and I think I’m going to lose, until he made a misplay by retreating for the wrong Pokémon; this brings me back into the game, and I eventually manage to win. 1-0
Game 2: Of course, I try to make sure this game does not finish, and this seemed to work, because we only had fifteen minutes left in the round. Those who were watching the time apparently thought differently, as they gave us good 5 to 10 minutes extra time. Luckily for me he didn’t draw into his Prisms and Rainbows (he could not play Twins because he was ahead in prizes). Therefore, he didn’t draw more than 3 prizes, so I won the round. 1-0 (Incomplete Game 2)
Top 8: Martin with Darkrai/Terrakion/Mewtwo
This was my first (and only as it turned out) mirror match of the tournament, but I tested this fairly well, so I was feeling confident.
Game 1: I get to start, and I get a turn 1 Darkrai, which is a huge advantage. Because of this I can also KO both of his Terrakion before they could become dangerous. He also doesn’t draw very well. When I’m up 4 prizes, he draws another bad hand from a Supporter, so he scoops. 1-0
Game 2: This time he gets a good set up, and he can threaten with his Terrakion with Fighting Energy on the bench. He gets the first KO on a Darkrai, and then I can’t return the KO with my Terrakion because it’s prized. But I see another option; because he has a Mewtwo on the bench, I use Shaymin to move all my Energy to my Mewtwo, play Catcher for his Mewtwo, Portrait his PONT to get the last Energy I needed for the KO and draw 2 prizes . He can’t return the KO with his Mewtwo (because I knocked it out), so he used Night Spear for 90 damage. On my turn I attach another Energy to my Mewtwo and Catcher a Darkrai, to which I had done 30 damage with a previous Night Spear, and I KO’d it for 2 more prizes; one of those was my Terrakion. He puts a Darkrai on the bench and KO’d my Mewtwo with Darkrai with an Eviolite. In my turn I play Super Rod to Shaymin to get back into my deck, then I play a Terrakion with a Fighting down and play a Junk Arm for a Catcher on his Darkrai on the bench. Then I play my PONT for my entire deck except for 2 cards, and I get the Shaymin to move an Energy to my Terrakion so I can Retaliate his Darkrai for my last 2 prizes. 2-0
And then it was time for the Top 4, the most exciting matches of the tournament, because there was a trip to Hawaii on the line. In the Netherlands the Top 2 gets an Travel Award.
Game 1: He gets to start, which is huge. He gets a good set up and also gets his Terrakion at the right time. I’m just a little short of winning this game, and he narrowly wins. 0-1
Game 2: I can’t remember the game very well, but I think it was a close game again. He didn’t always get his Terrakion at the right time, and I eventually won. 1-1
Game 3: This was the lamest, but also the most exciting match of the tournament. He begins around the first turn and time is called, so the game pretty much changes in Sudden Death. We start both Terrakion and without Supporters. He attaches Fighting, plays Dual Ball for Tornadus EX and Celebi, benches both of them and then he passes. On my turn I also attach a Fighting and pass. Then he attaches another Fighting, plays a PlusPower and does 40 to my Terrakion. I then play my Catcher, because otherwise he would win if he has an energy. I Catcher Celebi, because he only had 2 cards in his hand, and the chance that he had a Grass and another Energy is almost zero. Then I attach my 2nd Fighting and Retaliate for 30. He topdecks an Energy to retreat his Celebi and does 30 to my Terrakion (now at 70 damage). I topdeck Juniper and only need to draw a Catcher or a Junk Arm for the win. I attach a Darkness first and then use Juniper …
But I whiff. I do draw into a number of Pokémon to ensure that I don’t lose if my opponent has an Energy next turn. I bench my Darkrai and Mewtwo, retreat my Terrakion for Mewtwo and pass. He says, “Topdeck for the win,” and reveals his top card: Random Receiver! He gets PONT and needs to draw an Energy and a Catcher for the win, and I say to myself, “He has the win, he has the win…” He draws his 6 cards, and I ask, “Do you have the win in your hand?” And he replied, “I have the energy, but not the Catcher.” I breathe a sigh of relief, because I have the win in my hand. He looks through all his options before he uses Land Crush for 90 on my Mewtwo. I say, “I have the win,” and with shaking hands I attach a Darkness to my Mewtwo, retreat for my Darkrai and use Shaymin to move the Energy from my Mewtwo and Terrakion to Darkrai, and I use Night Spear to do 30 damage to the Celebi to KO it for the win. 2-1
I can’t believe it! I won a trip to Hawaii, and I can play in the World Championship. I’m just really happy and try to calm down with a cheese sandwich and some water. I was in the finals against my opponent from the first round and wasn’t really confident, but at that time I had already won the trip, so I didn’t care a whole lot. But when we both sat down, we were both going to try our very best to become the Dutch National Champion.
Final: Marcel with Accelgor/Vileplume
Game 1: I get to start, get a very quick set up and KO 3 Oddish in the first few turns. He then benches his 4th Oddish, which scares me a bit, but soon after he gets his Vileplume, he scoops because he had no Energy and I was too far ahead. 1-0
Game 2: This game is very similar to the game in Swiss, but this time he also attacks with Tyrogue. He flips a lot of Tails on the Sleep check, so I can hit a bench Pokémon for 30 damage without giving him more bench space. I can KO a Shelmet and an Accelgor this way. But, ultimately, when time is called, he can take his last prizes and wins the game. 1-1
Game 3: This game was a Sudden Death, and it isn’t hard to figure out how it went. I got to start, and he starts lone Oddis., I get a turn 2 Darkrai and he only has his Oddish. I became the Dutch National Champion by KO’ing a poor Oddish with my big bad Darkrai EX in a Sudden Death. 2-1
Thanks for reading my report! And I hope to see you all at Worlds in Hawaii.
Bert, Dutch National Champion 2012
Our test group for testing: Anna, David, Olaf, Felix, Melchior, Joris and Paula.
The 3 Champions, all from our testing group: Joris (Juniors), Felix (Seniors) and myself (Masters)
Emanuel for testing my Top 16 matchup
Winning a free trip to Hawaii
Becoming Dutch Champion