Hey everyone, this is Pooka bringing you another tournament report! I used to do these a lot, and people enjoyed them, so I figured I might as well start doing them again. Heading into this Regional Championship, I knew I needed to win the event to have a shot at an invite. With 245 Championship Points after a rough run at States and Regionals so far, the 120 points from a win was the only feasible way to stay in the hunt. So, I wanted to do everything I could to prepare for the tournament to give myself the best chance to win. On the other hand, I realize how unlikely it is to win such a large event. I’m playing to win, but I’m a realistic guy.
After testing pretty much every deck I could think of, eventually I settled on two decks – Darkrai and Garbodor. For a big tournament like Regionals, I wanted a deck that was able to have a solid chance to win in any matchup, even if it didn’t have any real auto wins. In addition, I wanted the deck to be fairly consistent and easy to set up. Overall, these were the two decks that fit those criteria. I had considered Blastoise, but the bad matchup against Klinklang made me uncomfortable. For some reason I had a feeling that more people would be playing the Metal monstrosity, and Garbodor was a concern as well. I knew RayEel was a strong deck, but I couldn’t get behind a deck that needed to set up so many Evolutions every round. Big Basics was a consideration as well, but why not just run Garbodor at that point to help out the Blastoise and Klinklang matchups? Heading into the weekend, this was my thought process.
On Friday morning, I headed to Madison to pick up Pram and Ben from the airport. Since they didn’t have any Regionals near to them, they needed to fly somewhere regardless, so they picked Wisconsin. After I got them, we drove around the city a little bit and went to eat at Ella’s Deli, perhaps the most ridiculous restaurant in existence. Every time I’m in Madison, I make it a point to go here. Seriously, just watch this video if you want a glimpse of how absurd it is. Next we stopped at Best Buy to pick up some things for the stream, and by then our hotel was ready. Somehow we got upgraded to concierge, which was awesome. Big props to Best Western’s accommodations. If you guys can accidentally get upgraded, I would recommend it. Our weekend was much better because of it.
After watching Ben and Pram replay the Finals of Worlds 2010, we decided to get some testing in. Again, I was between my Darkrai and Garbodor decks. Although Darkrai seemed to have the most answers to everything, something about it made me uncomfortable. A lot of the time it feels like the deck can be out-muscled by other decks, and you can’t really afford to miss a beat. I loved having Sableye at my disposal, but is that really worth getting owned by Black Kyurem EX over and over? I wasn’t sure. Obviously a turn 2 Night Spear with Laser/Virbank is incredibly strong. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen too often. Most of the time I was averaging a Night Spear on the third turn, and most decks were able to deal with that. Since the format is about to change, here’s the list I was considering.
|Pokémon – 9||Trainers – 40||Energy – 11|
|4 Sableye||4 N||11 Darkness|
|4 Darkrai EX||4 Professor Juniper|
|1 Keldeo EX||4 Dark Patch|
|4 Pokémon Catcher|
|4 Random Receiver|
|3 Ultra Ball|
|3 Crushing Hammer|
|3 Energy Switch|
|3 Hypnotoxic Laser|
|2 Virbank City Gym|
|1 Computer Search|
|1 Dark Claw|
|1 Energy Search|
|1 Max Potion|
Essentially this list is trying to cut a lot of corners while still being able to be consistent and handle every matchup. While Crushing Hammer appeared to fall out of style, it was the perfect answer to Klinklang, something you would otherwise struggle with. Sure, you could run a Fire tech, but why not play a card that also has utility in other matchups? Using Sableye to Junk Hunt for two Crushing Hammers against decks that don’t have Energy acceleration can win the game by itself. You’re never really going to be upset that you removed one of your opponent’s Energy, right? Anyway, the Laser/Virbank is standard at this point, but the deck runs only 3 Laser since you can Junk Hunt for them. Max Potion is a crucial tech card in here, and keeping a Dark Claw is pretty nice. Maybe you could cut it for an Enhanced Hammer or Tool Scrapper, but Dark Claw is the most versatile. Jason Klaczynski had used a list similar to this a lot and was convinced that this is the best deck, but I wasn’t so sure.
Pram was also pretty set on using Darkrai, but his version was a little different. Instead of Computer Search, he opted for Gold Potion as his Ace Spec, which improved his matchup against the mirror and Big Basic decks. In addition, he didn’t run Bicycle, which I felt was very big for smoothing out draws throughout the game. Sometimes Darkrai can hit some trouble with draw cards because it runs only 4 N and 4 Juniper (and 4 Random Receiver). If you burn too many Junipers early, you’re left with only N, which nets you very few cards as the game progresses. Also, he decided to run a Mewtwo EX, fearing the big Keldeo EX with a ton of Energy that could OHKO multiple Darkrais. After playing a game against him with my Garbodor deck, I felt pretty confident that I would beat an average player in the matchup. I wasn’t sure how things would go against Crushing Hammer, but it seemed to be an even game, especially with Garbodor shutting off the Dark Cloak. As long as they didn’t play Tool Scrapper, you could take advantage of a lot of situations. Of course, after losing a game, Pram added a Tool Scrapper specifically to beat me… What a guy.
That night, we headed over to the venue to preregister and set up our equipment for the stream. Jimmy Ballard, the PTO for the event, was very accommodating, and I want to thank him for everything he had for us. Not only did the event run smoothly, but we had everything we could ever want – power outlets, internet, etc. We really appreciate any time the person running the event helps us out like that. After getting everything in place, I went out to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Francesa’s al Lago with Pram, Ben, Abe, Jason, Matt A, Adam Vernola, and Dave Richard. Since I was recovering from getting my tonsils removed still, I was struggling to eat and talk very much, but I was starting to improve just enough to get through the weekend. I was hoping to have my voice back in time for Sunday for commentary in case I lost, but I didn’t want to push myself too hard and get set back. During dinner everyone else was playing Jason’s favorite game, The Resistance. After that, we decided to head back to the hotel. Pram and Ben were tired from their flight, and I was tired from recovering from surgery still. We said goodbye to everyone and called it a night.
Back at the hotel, I had basically decided on running Garbodor, and I really didn’t need to test much anymore. Ben wasn’t sure whether or not he wanted to play in the event, but he built his Quad Tornadus deck anyway. I challenged him to a series with my Bouffalant/Eelektrik deck, and eventually I edged him out in a 3-2 win in the Best of 5. He still thinks it’s the best deck and insists I got lucky… Anyway, I settled on a fairly standard Garbodor list, but it had a few quirks. Why did I go with this deck? First of all, I felt like it had a real shot of beating everything, which says a lot considering the format we have. Yes, Tool Scrapper shuts Garbotoxin down pretty hard, but not everyone was going to play it. Even if they did, one normally is not enough to beat the deck, especially in a deck like Blastoise or Rayquaza/Eelektrik. Essentially I am running a Big Basics deck, but I have the opportunity to get free wins against decks like Klinklang, Blastoise, and Rayquaza/Eelektrik depending on their lists. Although my matchup against standard Big Basic decks is slightly unfavorable, I found that it’s honestly not that bad. The only reason the matchup is difficult is the amount of Max Potion they play (normally 2-3), but my Eviolites can sometimes offset that. With Laser and N in the mix, anything can happen. Here’s what I decided on.
|Pokémon – 11||Trainers – 37||Energy – 12|
|3 Trubbish (NVI)||4 N||8 Fighting|
|2 Garbodor (DRX)||4 Professor Juniper||4 Double Colorless|
|3 Landorus EX||4 Pokémon Catcher|
|2 Mewtwo EX||4 Hypnotoxic Laser|
|1 Tornadus EX||4 Switch|
|2 Virbank City Gym|
|2 Rescue Scarf|
|1 Giant Cape|
|1 Level Ball|
|1 Heavy Ball|
|1 Ultra Ball|
|1 Computer Search|
|1 Max Potion|
|1 Super Rod|
In order to fit everything I wanted, I had to cut some corners. Although the 3-2 Garbodor line seems strange, I really didn’t find myself needing more than that. In the matchups where you need it, they really can’t put on too much pressure early, so you don’t need it on the second turn every time. Instead of the third Garbodor, I opted for a Super Rod, which gives more flexibility. Sometimes you can run out of Energy between Juniper and Land’s Judgment, so I liked having that option. In extreme cases, getting a third Mewtwo back for Mewtwo wars could be useful. Max Potion was a card I felt like I had to fit at any cost, and that happened to be how I ended up at such a low Ball count. As I was playing with these kinds of decks more, I noticed that Ultra Ball would end up clogging my hand near the end of games, and I wondered if I could get by without a high number of them. Eventually I decided that it wouldn’t hurt me too much, so I went with the 1/1/1 count. With Skyla, Computer Search, and manually drawing into things, it didn’t seem too difficult to find Pokémon still. Otherwise, the deck is fairly standard. I struggled on which Tools to include, and I’m still not sure whether or not Rescue Scarf is good. With a 3-2 line, I figured I would just play it safe with Scarf, but a higher Eviolite/Cape count would have helped more against Darkrai and Big Basics. Exp. Share and Rocky Helmet were other options, but I ended up with Scarf/Eviolite/Cape in the end. Looking back, I don’t really regret any choices in the list, but I may have gone with a third Eviolite over the Giant Cape.
Before I knew it, we were at the tournament and getting everything turned in. Ben decided not to play and did commentary all day instead, so thanks to him for doing that. We got everything set up for the stream, and hopefully there weren’t too many difficulties throughout the day. We ended having over 200 Masters, which was enough for 8 rounds. Honestly I was expecting to get 9 rounds, but we didn’t hit the magic number of 257. Unfortunately, some 6-2 players would miss, but not very many. As always, we had some incredible players at the event, including Jason Klaczynski, Ross Cawthon, and Jay Hornung. I find it funny that between us four we have two World Championships, two Worlds second places, two Worlds third places, one US National Championship, three US Nationals second places, and two US Nationals third places. Not bad. Anyway, let’s just jump into the tournament.
Round 1 – Darkrai EX/Sableye (Michael Reger)
Mike just started playing a year or two ago, and he improves every time I play against him. As I looked at my opening hand, I was fearing for the worst – lone Trubbish with no Supporters. It’s one of those games where you’re just hoping your opponent plays an N to give you a fresh hand. To my dismay, my opponent starts off with a strong Virbank/Laser, and I’m under a ton of pressure. He gets to Junk Hunt and gets a second Energy into play with Dark Patch, so things are starting to look horrible. Fortunately I draw another Trubbish to stay alive, but I have to retreat to it and pass. I can Catcher Darkrai and Laser it, but it’s not doing a whole lot. I decide to do it to perhaps keep him Asleep, but it doesn’t work. With the 30 on my benched Trubbish, I actually lose to a Night Spear. All my opponent would need is an Energy and Energy Switch, and I’m losing my first round already. He decides to play an N and go for it, which is bittersweet. If he hits it, I lose. If he misses, I get a fresh hand. He plays an Energy to the Darkrai…
But he has to retreat and Junk Hunt, whew. I still have to fight my way back into this game, though. I have two Trubbish on board, which could end up being free prizes for him at some point. He also has Eviolites on board, which is very good against Landorus EX. Basically this turned into a back and forth slugfest between Darkrai and Landorus, but I was always playing from behind. Between Crushing Hammers and healing cards, everything I was doing was being shut down. Potion, Max Potion, and Gold Potion effectively wiped out a good two or three attacks over the course of the game, which is horrible considering how far behind I started off at the beginning.
However, a few things went my way which gave me a glimmer of hope. Fortunately I hit my Max Potion at a very opportune time to wipe 150 damage off a Landorus, and that kept me alive. Then I put him to sleep with a Laser, and he ended up staying Asleep for a turn. Since I did put Garbodor into play with a Tool, he was unable to use Keldeo’s Rush In to get rid of the status, and he was forced to pass. Even though all of those previous turns had been negated through the healing cards, this got me back into the game. Not only was I able to get a free KO on a Darkrai, but it also allowed me to get an extra Energy attachment to charge up Land’s Judgment. Eventually he couldn’t stop the Landorus train, and I ended up winning as time was called. Great game!
Round 2 – Darkrai EX/Bouffalant/Sableye (Joel Moskow)
Joel is a really nice guy from around the area, and he’s been having a decent amount of success throughout the year with Darkrai decks. Unfortunately, I opened with a lone Trubbish and no Supporters once again. On the other hand, my opponent went first with a Bouffalant and a DCE, and he followed it up with Laser/Virbank. Now I’ll have to draw a Basic immediately or lose to Poison damage going back into his turn! Well, he didn’t even give me that opportunity. After a Juniper, Joel plays a Dark Patch and Energy Switch to move another Energy to the Bouffalant, and my poor Trubbish eats a Gold Breaker before I can draw a card. Oh well.
Here we go again. After my rough run through States and Regionals this year, I was sure this was the beginning of another poor tournament. I wasn’t going to give up hope, but it was discouraging for sure. After this round we had a lunch break, but I had to wait an extra 30 minutes until all my friends were done first. So I walked around the venue for a while, talked with some people, and then finally went to get lunch. Downtown Madison is a business district, so it’s not too great for taking groups of 10+ people on a Saturday afternoon. After walking around for a while, I decided to just split from the group and go to Starbucks. Sure enough, the entire group ended up walking back without finding a place to go, and most of them ended up in Starbucks anyway. My throat was starting to act up, and I didn’t know if I would be able to make it through the whole day, so I made an effort to start drinking more water. Staying hydrated during tournaments is something that people often overlook, and I wanted to make sure physical problems wouldn’t be holding me back. We headed back towards the tournament and got ready for the next round.
Round 3 – Giratina/Snorlax (Nathan Heider)
I’ve seen Nathan a few times at tournaments, but I’ve never had the opportunity to play against him. He seems like a cool guy and a solid player, but I never could have expected this deck. When we go to flip over our Pokémon, I have a Landorus against… two Giratina? I’ve used a deck like this before on PTCGO, but I never saw myself running into it at a tournament. Still, I knew not to take the deck lightly. A fully powered Snorlax can destroy a few EX’s if you aren’t prepared, and Giratina can OHKO Mewtwo with a Laser + Hex. Unfortunately, we ended up in a pretty scrappy game where neither player drew much. In that kind of a situation, Landorus usually does pretty well. Even though I was able to get only one Energy for a long time, Hammerhead was enough to wear him down. Early on I went to play a Skyla for an N because I had 2 Switch and 2 Catcher that I didn’t want to discard, but then he played a Colress for 3, so I decided to wait on the N in case his hand was bad. Turns out his hand was pretty bad, so I was content using Hammerhead for a while.
I knew that if I just focused on knocking out Pokémon, it would be difficult for him to get enough Basics in play for Teampact to do 180. Eventually I wore down the Giratinas with Laser + Hammerhead, and he just never really got anything going. A Snorlax did come up at some point, but it only mustered 90 damage by then. Landorus made short work of that, and a few Land’s Judgments later, he ran out of Pokémon. I asked if he ran anything besides Giratina and Snorlax, and he said no. I was really expecting a Lugia at some point, but who needs that when you have Giratina and Snorlax? Before you laugh, realize that Nathan ended up going 6-2 and making Top 32 with this deck. How awesome is that? Have to give him credit for that.
Round 4 – Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant
In this round I went up against a player I had never seen before, so I didn’t know what to expect. He definitely started off with a bang, though! We both opened with Mewtwo EX, and he just decided to attach a DCE and X-Ball me. He also dropped an Eviolite down, but it didn’t really make it any more difficult for me to get the KO. With a Juniper and Virbank in hand, I just had to hit the DCE and Laser to get a free win on the first turn. With 4 DCE, 4 Laser, and Computer Search, it didn’t seem too unlikely. Even if I just hit the DCE, hitting the Mewtwo up to 140 damage was good enough to finish it off with a Laser later, and maybe I could just use that turn to use Garbage Collection. Well, I got neither DCE nor Laser, so this went from a potential first turn win to an abysmal situation. I am going to fall behind two prizes and put no damage on his board… Great. So I attach an Energy to Trubbish and pass. On his turn he drops a Laser and a Tornadus EX with a DCE and another Eviolite, and I know I’m in for a very long game. Most people stopped using Eviolite because of Laser, but it’s actually quite good against Landorus. Unfortunately, my main attacker is Landorus, so I’m going to have to find some creative way to win here.
After my Mewtwo goes down, I play a Super Rod to put it back in, and then I Juniper hoping for the Mewtwo/DCE/Laser. Once again, I draw none of those pieces, and I’m forced to put down a Landorus with Energy and use Garbage Collection for another Juniper since I don’t have anything. I’ve fallen behind three prizes at this point, and it’s even worse when my opponent has built up Energy and Eviolites in play. Coming back at this point seemed almost impossible, but anything is possible with Laser. But after another Juniper, I still cannot draw a Laser, and I’m forced to use Hammerhead for 10 to Mewtwo and 10 to Tornadus. At least I was able to get an Eviolite onto my Landorus. After an X-Ball for 80, I have no choice but to attach again and discard all my Energy for Land’s Judgment to avoid a KO. My opponent follows this up by retreating to Tornadus and playing a Max Potion on the Mewtwo. Talk about being absolutely dominated so far.
Eventually I hit an N and a Laser, and I do my best to start coming back. With all of the Eviolites on his field, my best way to do damage was Mewtwo and Laser at this point. Seeing that he had discarded a few Catchers and used a few DCE, I had to play the odds and bench my own Mewtwo with a DCE. The plan was to hit his Mewtwo enough times with Hammerhead so I could Catcher it out and X-Ball it with a Laser perhaps. Eventually I did get it up to 30 damage, which allowed me to get four Energy on my Mewtwo and hit him for 140 (160 – 20 for Eviolite). Now I’ve taken two prizes, and he hasn’t really used a Supporter in a while. Somehow I get in a position to win with my Mewtwo, and I have a Landorus on the bench with two Energy on it. Since I didn’t use any Lasers in the early part of the game, I had them nearly every turn down the stretch, which ended up being huge. He ends up sacrificing a few Bouffalants, and now I’m down to two prizes to his three. Even if he does KO my Mewtwo with his own, I have another waiting with an Energy and DCE in hand. I also have Landorus ready to Land’s Judgment with a Laser left in my deck, so realistically I can KO everything on his field. I just have to hope he doesn’t N me. Thankfully he doesn’t have it, and I steal a game that I had no business being in.
Round 5 – Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Terrakion
I’ve met my opponent before, but his name is escaping me right now. Yet again I am opening with a lone Trubbish going second, which is fairly annoying. Fortunately my opponent starts with a Terrakion, so I’m feeling pretty safe about surviving. Once he grabs a Landorus EX and plays a Switch, I’m starting to a feel a little nervous, though. He plays an N, and I’m crossing my fingers that he doesn’t get the Laser/Virbank to FTKO me. I manage to survive again, but these Trubbish starts going second are getting old! Anyway, it appears to be a standard Big Basic deck, but he plays a pretty heavy amount of Terrakion from what I can see. After he drops an Ether and gets a Fighting off the top, though, I can tell I’m not dealing with a normal list. Fortunately Eviolite helps a lot with surviving hits from Hammerhead and Land’s Judgment. After falling behind a few prizes, I am able to N my opponent down to 4 and start coming back. As I attach a second Energy to my benched Landorus EX and use Tornadus EX to Blow Through for a KO on the active, I’m feeling pretty good about my chances.
However, my opponent throws me another curve ball – Crushing Hammer. He hits a Heads and discards an Energy off my Landorus. Huh? Didn’t see that one coming. Then he throws down an Enhanced Hammer to discard the DCE from my Tornadus! What is going on? Well, that certainly sets me back. Fortunately he draws pretty poorly after that and struggles for a while, so I’m able to build Energy in play once again. After I KO another Landorus EX, he is forced to attack into me with Mewtwo, and I have a response waiting for him. There were some scary moments in there, but overall I came away with a fairly convincing victory.
Round 6 – Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX (Kyle Bies)
Yet again I’m paired against a Big Basic deck, and I know I’m going to be in for a long one. I get a ridiculous start in this round, hitting a T1 Blow Through with a Virbank/Laser against his Tornadus EX. I’m expecting to take a quick lead after that, but the damage disappears immediately with a Max Potion. My opponent has a Skyla but no DCE, so he has to attach and pass. I attach to my benched Landorus and hit again with Blow Through, but he plays another Max Potion to heal again! Hopefully he’s out of those now. This time he responds with a DCE and a Blow Through of his own, but thankfully there’s no Laser to accompany it. Now we’re going to start trading haymakers back and forth with Big Basics, and we’ll see who comes out on top. After my opponent drops down a third Max Potion in the first four turns, I’m confident that he doesn’t have any left. Now maybe I can take some prizes finally…
For most of the game, we’re on even footing, but I’m always a slight step ahead. Since I got to go first, it seems like I’m always one attack ahead (because I am, duh). Anyway, it seems like the only way to come back in a mirror match (which this basically is at this point) is to depend on Laser, N, and Mewtwo. Well, that’s exactly what my opponent does. We have some exchanges with Lasers, Tornadus, and Landorus, and it ends up in a tie game. We fight back and forth, and I take two prizes to go ahead. Time is running low at this point, and the Eviolite on my Tornadus EX with 150 damage is preventing a Hammerhead KO. I’m fearing an N to 1, but I would have to get pretty unlucky to lose at this point. Time gets called, and we’re in an intense situation with everyone crowding around to watch.
On my opponent’s first turn (turn 1 of time), he uses Hammerhead to hit Tornadus EX for 10 and my active Landorus for 30. With a Computer Search and three Switch in the discard, I decide to play a Laser and try to get lucky. If he stays Asleep, I should win regardless of what happens. I’m going to hit his Mewtwo for 30 with Hammerhead, meaning I can KO it with an X-Ball of my own or a Land’s Judgment if he decides to Switch to it. If he goes to his other Landorus, it won’t have enough Energy to KO me, so I’ll be able to 2HKO it with Hammerhead/Land’s Judgment. He would be out of Switch at that point (and doesn’t play Scramble Switch), which means I should win. I get Heads on the Laser and Hammerhead, hoping for the Tails on the Sleep check. But he wakes up! Still, the only way I could be in trouble is if he plays his last Laser and puts me to Sleep. Well, you guessed it – Laser, Heads. Uh oh. He uses Hammerhead to KO my Tornadus EX and tie the game at 1-1 on the third turn of time. Next prize wins. If I wake up, I can attach and Land’s Judgment for the game. If not, I’m probably going to lose. I go for the flip…
Heads! Whew. Landorus doesn’t let me down, and I win a very close game. I would have drawn a Skyla anyway, so I could have just gone to my Mewtwo and used X-Ball for the finishing 60 damage anyway. Still, that was a nerve wracking moment for sure. Great game. Somehow I’ve managed to beat three Big Basic decks in a row.
Round 7 – Klinklang (Jay Hornung)
We both knew what the other person was playing, and we both knew that I had a near auto win. Jay doesn’t play Tool Scrapper in his deck, but even if he did, I don’t think it makes much of a difference. My gameplan is pretty simple: get out Garbodor with a Tool and target down whatever has Energy. Even though Klinklang is strong against EX-based decks, that’s only because it can’t be hurt by them normally. When it comes down to it, Cobalion EX is an inferior Pokémon to Landorus EX. Basically both of us set up very well, but I tend to win when that happens. He is able to Catcher my Garbodor on the third turn and KO it with Cobalion EX, but the Rescue Scarf brings it back to my hand, and I had another Trubbish down already. All I needed to do was draw a Tool off my N for 6, and I would be golden. I draw my cards and…
I draw Computer Search, which nets me a Tool. Even though I don’t have any Supporters in my hand, I figure getting another Rescue Scarf on the new Garbodor is enough to carry me to victory. So I grab that and shut off Plasma Steel again, and I also get a Virbank, which allows me to finish off his Cobalion EX without discarding my Energy with Land’s Judgment. From there, Jay tries a fancy strategy with Catcher/Durant shenanigans, but I haven’t used enough Switches for that to work. If I ever got in a dangerous spot, I would just keep using Switch for Trubbish and use Garbage Collection to get it back every turn to avoid the dilemma. He tries to Catcher the Garbodor and N me, but I just use his Tropical Beach to draw out of it. I end the game with an X-Ball for 180 to his Registeel EX. Yeah, I had quite a few turns to power up Mewtwo… Overall, it’s just a bad matchup for Jay, but he did everything he could.
Now I’m feeling fairly comfortable with my position, but I did miss cut at States with a 6-2 record, so I’m not sure. Of course, I look at the pairings, and…
Round 8 – Darkrai EX/Sableye (Michael Pramawat)
I face the one guy in the room who actually teched to beat me. Pram gets off to a really fast start, with a T2 Night Spear/Laser on my Landorus. To make matters worse, he hit a Crushing Hammer as well, preventing me from building enough Energy for Land’s Judgment. I would have been in a good position with an Eviolite on both of my Landorus EX, but he happened to draw his Tool Scrapper at a very good time. All of a sudden I ended up with a Landorus EX with 150 damage active and a benched one with 90. I couldn’t find another Pokémon, so a Catcher would mean the end of the game with me being benched out. You can guess what happened.
All I can do now is wait. Next to me is Jason Klaczynski vs. Evan Baker, both of them fighting for their 6th win to make Top 32. Jason seems to have the advantage throughout the game, but he repeatedly misses drawing a Pokémon Catcher off his opponent’s N to take his last four prizes at once from Night Spear. Eventually his window closes when Evan gets a couple Max Potions to heal off all of the damage and reset everything. Now Jason is in trouble and needs to Junk Hunt for his Max Potion, otherwise Evan will end up winning with two Hammerheads from Landorus EX. However, he plays an N to put Jason down to 2 cards, and now it’s do or die. Either Jason draws his Max Potion and wins, or he misses and loses to Hammerhead. After playing his hand down, he plays a final N of his own for 2 cards… and draws the Max Potion! He heals the 150 damage from his Keldeo EX and uses Night Spear, forcing Evan to move or heal his Landorus or lose. He doesn’t have a Switch or Max Potion, so Jason takes an extremely close game. Shortly after, standings go up…
As you can see, I made it in at 16th, but Jason ended up missing the cut even after that epic win. It was sad to see him miss because he’s so close to a Worlds invite, but the same thing happened to me at Illinois States, so I know what it’s like. Looks like we have an interesting mix of players and decks, and it will provide for an unpredictable Top 32. One thing is for sure, though… I get a free win. Apparently my opponent had no ride home if he stayed for the second day, so he had to leave on Saturday. It was a little strange, but I won’t complain.
We all headed out to dinner after that, but somehow Pram, Abe, and I got split from the crowd. While everyone else went to Buffalo Wild Wings, we headed back to the hotel and ordered pizza. Whoops. I didn’t mind too much, though, because I was tired. All that was left to do was eat, sleep, and get ready for the next day! With the way I was seeded, I was going to have to face either Isaiah’s Big Basics or Nathan’s Giratina/Snorlax again in Top 16, neither of which I was particularly excited about. I was hoping for one of the Blastoise, Klinklang, or RayEel decks, but you can’t control your seeding. I had already beaten some Big Basic decks, but I felt like I would have to get lucky to beat it in a best 2/3 match. If I could do it, my path wasn’t too bad. Basically it would be a lot of Darkrai decks along the way, which I’m okay with as long as they don’t run Tool Scrapper (and the only one who did was Pram). Time for sleep.
Part 2 is coming soon!