Kenton Anderson is a player who has moved to several different areas, and now he has settled into a Worlds invite at last. Let’s hear from this interesting player from the Tennessee area!
Congratulations on earning your invite! How did you get your points this season?
Thanks! My invite to Worlds started with an exceptional run at Battle Roads. I attended seven, and managed to win 5 of them, taking second at another, starting me out with 87 points, all thanks to Darkrai/Hydreigon. Unfortunately, Hydreigon wasn’t the right deck for fall Regionals. I manage to make top 64 in Texas, giving me ten more points. Once Cities started, I kept playing Darkrai/Hydreigon, taking second at my first Cities, but I soon figured out it wasn’t all that good anymore. Inspired by your impressive win streak with Ho-Oh, I built my own version of the deck and won two Cities in a row. I capped out my Cities points with two more back-to-back wins thanks to Landorus/Mewtwo/Tornadus. Of the 11 Cities I attended, I made top cut at 7 and won four, scoring 200 points from Cities. That got me up to 297. At St. Charles Regionals, I made top 32, putting me at 317 points. With States coming up, I knew I needed one top two finish to earn my invite. I figured that on the first week most people would be playing Darkrai/Lasers. I decided to play Darkrai/Lasers with Potions, which worked very well, taking me to second place at Louisiana States, giving me the 407 points I needed for Worlds. I then made top 4 at Tennessee states with Big Basics, pushing me up to 477 points.
For those who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about your history in the game?
I’ve been collecting and playing Pokémon ever since it was first released in the U.S. The first pack I opened, I pulled a Base Set Blastoise! Pokémon has been a hobby that has let me connect with people everywhere I’ve lived. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that I started to play competitively. Being home schooled, it was hard to find people with similar interests to hang out with. I was living in Virginia at the time and joined a league in hopes of making friends with other Pokémon players. At league, I made a lot of good friends and quickly learned how to make a better deck. I started attending tournaments with a City Championship in November of 2007. After the 2007-2008 season I aged up into Masters and started getting matched against players such as Michael Pramawat on a regular basis. Playing such high-skill players quickly taught me how to play better, and I top cut two State Championships and a Regionals my first year in Masters. After Nationals 2009, I moved to Hawai’i. In Hawai’i, there was no chance to earn a Worlds invite, but having come from as competitive an area as Virginia, I was able to win almost everything in Hawai’i for a year (except Worlds 2010). Shortly after Worlds 2011, I moved again, this time to North Dakota, which forced me to miss the entirety of the 2011-2012 season. Right before Worlds 2012 I moved once more, this time to southwestern Tennessee. I quickly found a league and have integrated myself back into the game.
What has been your favorite deck to use this season? What have you been using currently?
My favorite deck of the season has to be Ho-Oh. When the game worked its way, it could pull off all sorts of fun plays. I really liked all the options it had, and how it never played the same way twice. I didn’t feel it was reliable enough for Regionals, however, and after a few Cities with it I dropped it.
I’ve currently been using Darkrai/Lasers and Landorus/Tornadus/Mewtwo. While I like Darkrai/Lasers for its pure power, it can sometimes take too long to set up for my liking. As such, I prefer Big Basics. I believe it is the most reliable deck right now and, while it may not win every game, it will never fail to set up. After all, it only takes one Energy to start attacking, and with Lasers it can be just as powerful as any other deck.
What do you attribute your success to this season?
There are a lot of factors that have helped give me a successful run. A big factor has been my deck choice for each tournament. Whether I mean to or not, my deck is often perfect for the field. Another factor is testing. I haven’t played a deck I didn’t feel comfortable with in advance this season. I also think my access to a lot of tournaments has given me a better chance than previous seasons. I’ve attended 7 Battle Roads, 11 Cities, 3 States and 2 Regionals. It’s the most I’ve ever been to in one season, and there’s still another round of Battle Roads left! Overall, though, I think I’ve become a much better player and deck builder than I was a few years ago, thanks mostly to the great people I’ve met and played against.
How do you feel about the current state of the game?
Two things really annoy me about the game right now. The first and most important is the first turn rule. There has to be some restriction on going first. No Supporters, no Trainers, something to make going second an appealing option in top cut.
The second problem that annoys me is all decks absolute reliance on Supporters. Every turn, a player has access to only two hands, the one they start the turn with, and the one they Supporter into. This makes Supporters that don’t give you a new hand, such as Skyla, less powerful than they could be. Players need access to more than two possible hands per turn to help lower the reliance on luck in this format.
Do you have any hobbies besides Pokémon?
I spend most of my free time hanging out with my two younger brothers, playing video games or doing school work.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our viewers?
If you see me at a tournament, say hi! I like hearing about other people’s experience with the game of Pokémon.
Thanks for the interview, Kenton! Best of luck to you the rest of the season.