So this is, obviously, a late tournament report. And this report is also an excuse for a thank you to the Pokemon community, Pokegym, and tournament organizers, since my son, his friends and had a lot of fun at the tournament. I've always enjoyed reading the tournament reports on the Gym, so I'll return the favor. My son got me into Pokemon after winning a shopping mall Halloween costume contest in 2006 (as a washing machine) and getting a coupon to spend at any place the mall. He chose to get a theme deck (Unseen forces) and has been hooked ever since. He found out about tournaments and mom, dad (me), or grandpa has taken him has been to a few over the last couple of years. When he was writing his mandatory journal for 4th grade and the weekly question was "what was the best day of your life", to my surprise it was the 2007 Regionals in which he placed 15th and came home with a slew of new cards, dice, a binder, pokemon beach ball, and a few other things. So after being his main practice partner for most of the time and helping him create decks, I decided I'd take a shot at this myself. With soccer etc. for our 3 kids and work and family, I never got much of chance to play at a tournament. I finally played in my first tournament (Cities) with a Blissey/Typhlosion deck a few months ago and went 2-2 (and was pwned by G/G), but after reading Pokegym for ideas, I decided to try out something that wouldn't get dominated by G/G and went for a Blissey/Bannette deck. I took my son and two of his friends, one of whom, a bright kid, learned how to play with real rules the first time the night before. My son has been saving up to make a G/G deck, which I helped him out with early birthday presents to make it reasonable deck. I threw together a Weavile/Sharpedo/Shiftry/Shiftry Ex deck for the "noob" friend (which I later cursed myself about since the strategy is not that simple) and added to this miscellaneous trainers/Prof. Birch line that mimicked the fishing engine. For the more experienced friend I threw together a Blissey/Lucario/Lucario LvX deck from our extra cards. And off the three 9 year olds and I went in the minivan. My 71 year old dad also comes by to watch the boys. Very brave. Although I had planned my deck weeks prior, disapointingly one of the key cards in the deck, castaway, hadn't shown up in the mail despite ordering them on ebay 2 weeks back. However, when we got there, I found a dealer at the hotel and got 3 copies to finish off my deck, which looked like (to the best of my memory): Pokemon (15): 3-3 Blissey 4-4 Bannette 1 Sableye (CG) Trainers (27): 3 Castaway 4 TV Reporter 2 Scott 4 Cessation Crystal 3 Celio's 3 Roseanne's 2 Holon Mentor 1 Copycat 1 Team Galactic's Wager 1 Crystal Beach 1 Drake's stadium 1 Lake Boundary 2 Night Maintenance 1 Warp Point Energy (18): 14 Psychic 4 Boost 1 Scramble I had no idea how I'd do, but since I'm a pretty good poker player, knew the metagame through pokegym, I thought I probably wouldn't embbarass myself. I forgot most people's names, so apologies, in case anyone cares. Round 1 vs. Blissey/Weavile/Darkrai I played, ironically, against the gentleman who sold me the 3 castaways. I said I hope I didn't use his cards against him. However, I did. Basically, after we both got set up, my Banette Spiteful pains started ko'ing his 80 HP darkrai's and weaviles. Once I could castaway into cessation crystal, he really couldn't do much and I ran away with the match. Thanks again for the castaways, and sorry. I bought dice from him too, so maybe that's some consolation prize that he got my money. 1-0 Round 2 vs. Electrivire swarm/delcatty PK (Matt) Before the match, my opponent asked for permission to post the match on his tournament report. I asked him if it was going on the Pokegym, but he said no and mumbled the some other site he was posting it on (twice). Still not sure which one. But I said yes. He then asked me what I was playing and I told him he would find out shortly (only fair, I had no idea what he was playing). He started out with Pachirisu, which I never playtested with my son. So I had only some vague strategy on how to deal with it. I knew he would suck out my cessation crystals if they were in my hand. I basically start out with a reasonable start placed an early cessation crystal and stuck it on a Chansey tempting him to waste a turn attacking for 40, but also keeping his powers shut down. After calling for family he started smash shorting Chansey's, Blisseys, and Banettes as I constantly refueled with CC (making sure never to be caught with one in hand), but I would retaliate on his Pachi for a KO or 40 damage from a Blissey or Banette each time. This really slowed down his set up and a few turns I had not CC on my active and he was a whirl of Baby Evolutions, electric energy recycling, electric energies swirling, attaching, etc. The CC slow down allowed me to get reasonably set up and despite his OHKO of a Blissey by one of his electrivires, he couldn't KO me fast enough and Blissey and Banette got me through. Thank you CC. 2-0 Round 3 vs Togekiss/Garchomp I realized the castaway/cessation crystal cycle strategy was working nicely, the windstorms I feared had yet to be seen in a match, but this deck was harder to stop with this strategy. My oppenent was a very friendly guy, so the match was quite fun. He came out strong and rapidly got up a togekiss while I got a blissey. Reflexively and stupidly I put up a Drake's early on, but this helped us both. Togekiss healing and cessation crystal shutting off nothing major of his (and in the turns without CC in my active slot he'd evolve to Togekiss and power up his bench) got him to something like a 4-2 prize lead. Finally, though, I got things set up, knocked out a Togekiss, which brought up a Garchomp, which became Blissey food and I began to roll with some KOs. Time was called with a 1-1 prize tie and we both had fields with damaged pokemon, me with a Blissey, damaged Bannette, and Sableeye, and him with a fully powered Togekiss, and 2 Solrocks (or Lunatones, can't recall) on the bench. A crowd gathers and my Blissey is too damaged and not powered enough to put active, so I repeatedly disable his Togekiss' attack with Sableye while I pray I can power up Blissey. Finally my deck is down to 1 card (although I was still holding a Copycat to recover), my Sableye has 40 damage from the Solrock's attacks and I have to retreat. Then I dent his Togekiss with Blissey but he KO's me in return. GG 2-1 Lunch. My son is 2-1. His noob friend is amazingly 2-1 also and kept saying ("I'm doing what you told me, set up fast, attack, attack, attack"). His other friend is 1-2, but so happy-go-lucky, he doesn't really mind. Round 4/Absol + ??? (?GG) ?Lauri (I might have mixed up the order of the round 3 & 4 games) I get a good start. She goes first, has 2 absols, baleful winds and gets my only non-trainer/supporter/stadium. Good riddance boost. I have only a shuppet, but I holon menter for chansey, shuppet, and sableye, and ascend. She baleful winds a Banette and doesn't get another basic. I ghost head to knock out Absol. Next hand she can't get anything, I Celio's to evolve Banette on the bench, retreat the active banette, and ghost head for the win. Bad luck for her. 3-1 My son's noob friend is now 3-1 and ranked 6th. I call his dad and tell his dad this could be a long day for him. I watched this kid dismantle a GG deck ran by an experienced kid who I've seen get top cut at each tournaments I was at. This noob's a Pokemon Savant. My son falls to 2-2, but remains confident. Round 5/GG Can't recall this match too well, but my CC slows his startup to a crawl, I get rolling quickly with Banettes and take the game in about 10 minutes or so. 4-1 Round 6/GG Played another friendly guy who runs a pokemon league nearby. He gets an awful start with a lone Ralts. I get a couple of shuppets. He has horrible luck trying to get another basic out despite Wagering, getting some draw, and a few other things. He stalls by confusing my Banette and I attack though confusion (for the possible win), but it fails. I finally manage to KO his Ralts after he gets another one active (the PK one, I think). He stalls by putting another Banette to sleep, but I wake up the next turn for the KO and the win. 5-1 My son just played his Savant Friend (they were both 3-2 at that point) and wins. He said it was the best match all day, especially playing his friend. We wait to see if he makes the cut (top 8), since some 4-2's will make the cut, but he gets 9th and settles for a slew of booster packs. Savant gets 16th and lots of booster pack. The other friend goes 1-5 but remains in good spirits. They go off to play smash bros. while I do round 7. Round 7 vs. GG (Alex). So now I'm playing in the area with the other 5-1s, and my opponent, who obviously is very experienced, says he's never seen me around. I explain it's my 2nd tournament. I'm getting confident that I can handle anything (and happy I never saw a magmortar, which would have been a very tough matchup) and hoping I can surprise him with a CC crystal/castaway stream. But it was not to be. Two castaways were prized and I just couldn't get anything rolling. I teased him with Chansey's and Blisseys to get him to bring up Gallade so I could retaliate with Banette/Lake Boundary, but I just couldn't get this move set up. He Telepasses ad nauseum and I just can't keep up or even keep it close. 5-2 I get 9th, the kids are still playing smash bros. and there's a T16 cut. My opponent is my T6 opponent (GG). Very friendly guy. First game I get a good start and so does he. I fear his Gallade on the bench and prepare a banette on the bench as potential retaliation when he brings it up, but for some reason he never does. Blissey and CC do their job on Gardevior and with a prize card lead and fully powered Banettes and heavily powered Blisseys on the bench he scoops. 1-0 This game was more even. We both mulligan, me for the first time all day, he then gets some basics and I mulligan about 3 more times. We both get reasonable starts and its back and forth. This game he brings up Gallade earlier and the match is close. I retaliate with Banette. He TSDs and gets back more Gallade, etc. Things were very close towards the end, trading KOs. I think we wound up 1-1 on Prizes and he has a Gardevoir Lv X active. He then mistakenly puts a Ralts on the bench and retracts the move after letting his hand go. Technically I could have called him on it, but probably b/c I needed to get the kids home (it was getting close to 7 p.m.), I didn't call him on it since I was afraid I'd have the wrath of some 9-year old's moms asking why I kept their son out so late if I made it to the next round. So he brings down my Sableye for the win. I think (I can't remember, that's what I get for doing a late report) that I could have gotten the win the next turn with my active Blissey boosting and KOing his Gard LvX. 1-1 Last game I got a slow start, he got a good one, and I just couldn't catch up and he's up about 4-2 on prizes when time's called. 1-2 He graciously notes how good and tough the games were, game 2 was a real see-saw, and I agree. Really fun matches. I wish him luck, pick up my prize packs, and give most of them to my son's 1-5 friend (saving 2 for my 2 younger boys....My 4 year old pulls a Cresselia LvX with his lone pack as does my son). The 3 boys trade cards on the ride home. They were all on a high for the next few hours and then all crashed after a late dinner at home (my son fell asleep on the couch in a really awkward upside down position). Again, I want to thank the tournament organizers, real class acts, for setting up such a good tournament and running it smoothly. Thanks to Pokemon USA for having these and thanks to Pokegym for ideas and a pulse on the metagame. The crowd and my opponents were all great and class acts.