After his exciting Finals match against Ross Cawthon, I was able to get an interview with our runner-up, Henry Prior! Unfortunately, I forgot to turn on the microphone for the interview, so I don’t have good audio for it… Instead, I decided to translate the interview to text so that everyone could see it still. Enjoy!
Pooka: Hey everybody, this is Pooka, and I’m here with our second place finisher here at the Indiana Regionals, Henry Prior! First of all, why don’t you just tell us about the Finals match and how it went?
Henry: Well, if you were watching the stream, I didn’t really get much set up in Games 1 or 3. In Game 3 I didn’t draw a Supporter for about five turns or so, and then he ended up benching me because the one time I hit a Supporter, I didn’t draw a Pokémon. Game 2 I just got set up and he didn’t really get much, so I got that one.
Pooka: How about Game 1? Did you think you had that one won?
Henry: I actually did… I wasn’t sure if I should put down the Darkrai because I wasn’t sure if I could get the Dark Patch I needed to be able to power it up in one turn, and then he had a perfect hand – Tool Scrapper, Bianca for the Switch and Catcher and the Energy, everything, so I was amazed by that.
Pooka: Yeah, he needed Switch, Tool Scrapper, Energy two turns in a row, plus a Catcher on the last turn, which was crazy. Still, you bounced back in the second game, and the third game didn’t really go your way. So how did you decide on playing your deck? What made you pick this one over all of the other choices?
Henry: Darkrai is obviously one of the better cards in the format, and there’s so much of it that you need Terrakion with it also. Sableye is also really good to get everything back. It’s probably the best card in the format besides Catcher. I also added in Ho-Oh and Stunfisk as kind of weird techs. Stunfisk is for the Eelektrik matchup, and Ho-Oh to get Energy back late game and to knock out Shaymin EX.
Pooka: So did you feel like you had a good matchup against pretty much everything in the field?
Henry: I did. The one bad matchup I had was Empoleon/Accelgor because I only ran one Switch. Accelgor really hurts me, and Empoleon is just so fast, so it’s a really tough matchup.
Pooka: Why don’t you run us through your tournament? Did you have any bumps along the way?
Henry: I actually started out 1-2, with my one win against a starter deck. And then I just won 10 straight games until the Finals.
Pooka: You had to face Jason Klaczynski in the Top 32. What was that like?
Henry: It was a good matchup for me. I had the Terrakion, and he was running just Sableye with Hammers. Basically I got the early Terrakions, and they were able to one-hit KO his Darkrais.
Pooka: He was very vocal about being upset with you.
Henry: *laughs* Yeah, he was.
Pooka: So you just aged up to Masters, right?
Pooka: Do you think the competition is any tougher, or is this just another walk in the park?
Henry: It’s a lot tougher. A lot of my games are really close. More people know how to play their decks. A lot of the Seniors have good decks, but they don’t know how to play them. Masters do. A lot of my games were probably the closest ones I’ve ever had.
Pooka: Coming into this tournament, were you expecting to get this far?
Henry: No, I was not expecting to get this far. Maybe I was hoping for Top 16, Top 32 to get some points, to work on my Worlds invite, but other than that, no. I was not expecting this.
Pooka: Speaking of Worlds, how many points do you have so far?
Henry: I had 70 from Worlds, I got 54 from Battle Roads, and then I got 110 more from Regionals, for a total of 234 points.
Pooka: Not bad.
Henry: Yeah. *laughs*
Pooka: So what’s your next step from here? We have Cities coming up. Do you plan on going to those?
Henry: I’ll probably go to around 20 Cities. I’m going to try to just max out on my Cities wins and just get the invite and be able to rest for the rest of the season. I won’t have to spend all the money traveling then.
Pooka: All right, anything else you want to say to people? Any shout outs?
Henry: Great game against Ross in Top 2! Sorry to Carl and Jason who I got very, very lucky against in Top 16 and Top 32.
Pooka: Well, thank you, Henry. Congratulations again, and we hope to see you in the future.
Congratulations once again to Henry! He is one of several other players who have aged up to Masters and had great success immediately, and he is well on his way to earning an invitation to Worlds in his first year in the division. He’s going to be a player to look out for if you’re living in the Midwest!
Hopefully we’ll be able to interview more people who were successful at Regionals to get their stories from the weekend. Until then, thanks for reading!