In our first interview with players who have qualified for Worlds, we have a player from Argentina, Hernán Gilardino! Since every player who makes it to the World Championship has a unique story, we’re trying to interview as many people as possible from around the world to see how they got to where they are. In the process, hopefully we can shed light on how the game differs across the globe and give exposure to players you may not hear from otherwise. Enjoy!
For those who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about your history in the game?
Yeah, I started playing when I was about 10 years old. Here in Argentina we used to play Unlimited and you could see people playing Pokémon everywhere. But right after the economic crisis the game slowed down. Now we have a very solid amount of players. I always played but not so competitively. I started playing competitively after my first qualification to Nationals (here in Argentina, Nationals is a closed event and you need to qualify to it) in 2011 where I played MagneRock.
Right after that I had a mediocre season (one Top 4 in only one BR) in 2012, but I qualified again to Nationals in a Prerelease, and I accomplished a nice 4th place in it with Darkrai/Terrakion. This year I’m doing better and I can say it’s my best season since I play.
What has been your favorite deck to use this season? What have you been using currently?
Definitely Hydreigon, that deck has never failed me. It was the deck that I used to get my invite to Worlds and it got me 1st and 4th in BRs, 1st and 2nd in Cities and two Top 8 in Regionals. I’ve always thought Hydreigon has solid matchups all across the board if you played it smartly. I think I just chose the rights techs for it. Now I plan to use other decks in the next tournaments.
What do you attribute your success to this season?
Well I think my game has improved a lot. I see things now that I didn’t see in the past. I’m more focused. But I think that my 4th place in Nationals gave me the confidence to play better and better.
How do you feel about the current state of the game?
I think the format is very luck based. If you don’t have a Supporter in your first turn you’re probably gonna lose. It seems like a lot of people are complaining about Catcher. I think it gives stability to the format because without it so many cards (bench sitters) would be god – like for example: Eelektrik. We need to get rid of the turn one rule and get back Rare Candy. I’m really waiting for the new Megalo Cannon Cradily ’cause I think it could be the return of the Stage 2 decks.
What are your plans now that you have your invite?
I’m just working hard to pay my trip to Vancouver. Meanwhile I keep playing some tournaments when I can.
What do you enjoy most about the Pokémon TCG?
The community of course! I have met a lot of good friends in Pokémon. I really love the game and Pokémon in general, and I don’t have the intention to stop playing it.
Do you have any hobbies besides Pokémon?
I play soccer with my friends every Sunday night when we can, and I just restarted working out at the gym.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Thank you Kyle for the interview and I hope to see you all in Vancouver!!
Thank you, Hernán, for taking the time to answer our questions! Best of luck to you at the World Championships, and hopefully we hear your name again soon. See you in Vancouver in August!