Erik Nance's 1st Place SE Regionals Report (with Arithmetic)

Discussion in 'Regional Championships' started by eriknance, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. eriknance

    eriknance New Member

    Report by: Erik Nance
    Deck: Arithmetic
    Event: Statesville, NC Southeast Regional Championship
    Format: Modified (HP-on)


    Before

    Note: Most of the stuff contained in this section is personal baggage that I thought would be interesting to those who know me well enough to care. If you only want to know about the matchups and whatnot, I suggest you make use of that scroll bar and read everything in the “During” section.

    We’ll go back a few weeks for this one…

    At some point within the last month or two I found myself up at 2:30 AM with my cards and decks out, trying furiously to find a counter to the Magmortar/Gardilade variants that had completely overrun the format. I felt like I had tried everything: Empoleon variants, BlissCat, Golduck/Banette/Claydol/Xatu, Swampert/Claydol, Tokyo (aka Skittles), Togekiss/Wailord, Absol/Wormadam, Banette/Gyarados (not Arithmetic, but close), Blastoise/Furret, etc. Of course, I tested those decks against my own Magmortar/Gardilade lists, finding out that time and time again I held little confidence in a rogue deck performing well at Regionals. I did all of this testing alone. Ever since my brother got a new job, we haven’t had time to get together and play much (and as many of you have observed, he hasn’t been able to make it to any of the tournaments either). This has left me with nobody to play the game with. Of course, I could go online and get Apprentice or Redshark, but I prefer to test and play Pokemon in real life.

    After watching every deck I concocted completely fail to meet my expectations, I felt discouraged. No, let me correct that – I felt betrayed. After three years of playing Pokemon I had found it at its lowest point. It seemed to me that every decision made by PUI/POP was made without the slightest interest in the competitor’s desires for the game. I don’t say this to create controversy, I’m just pointing out how things seemed. POP packs were worthless, new sets were lacking, set rotations left us with few choices, and I was afraid that we would see yet another Premier Tournament completely rife with Mortar/Gardilade variants (which, unfortunately, became true with only a few exceptions). Not only was I frustrated with the game, I was frustrated with myself. I had made Pokemon into an obsession, and I was trying to solve something that, for me, had no answer. As I mentioned before, I nearly “discovered” Arithmetic when I put together Gyarados and Banette, but with nobody to test with I quickly abandoned the idea. In fact, most ideas I had wouldn’t even materialize – I would always find some fatal flaw with a combo that made it unplayable. After leading myself down multiple dead ends, I finally realized that I needed to take a break.

    After that night I began to focus on the things that truly mattered in my life – things such as marriage and teaching. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been engaged for about five months to Paige Lineberry, only the coolest girl in the world (as well as my best friend). With plans to teach this fall I decided to start going over my textbooks from college again, hoping that I could make my first year of teaching as easy as possible (yeah, if you’re a teacher reading this, you probably just laughed out loud at that thought). I stopped posting on PokeGym because even that had become an obsession. I would constantly look around on the Gym, hoping that some good deck idea would pop its head up from the mediocrity that had taken its grip on the competition. Furthermore, I kept trying in vain to help people understand how varied this game once was. I wasn’t just tossing sour grapes around, but it certainly began to feel that way. I quickly realized that I had to stop thinking about Pokemon altogether. In many ways, I’m still in that position today.

    I still visited the PokeGym every now and then in hopes that something interesting would appear. One day I saw Jimmy Ballard post something about a 4 Corners deck; I tucked that away in my mind. I was also able to finally get together with Kevin to hang out. He had to practically beg me to play Pokemon. His latest deck idea – Wailord, Mantine, Palkia Lv.X, and Cresselia Lv.X – left me even more uncertain about the game than before (I honestly thought Kevin had lost it). With a couple of weeks left before Regionals I sent Jimmy a private message asking if he would pass the list for 4 Corners on to me. In the back of my mind I was planning on what kind of funny deck I could play just to make people laugh (I was planning an Unown deck complete with 4 Unown E, 4 Unown R, 4 Unown I, 4 Unown K, and a bunch of other random stuff).

    A day later Jimmy pm’ed me the Arithmetic list. I realized what things I had missed from my Banette/Gyarados deck and actually found myself interested in playing again. Aside from it being a viable counter to most of the decks in the format, it looked fun. Not that it matters to most people, but I actually liked the Pokemon as well (Claydol being one of my favorites). I’m not going to say that it completely changed my attitude about Pokemon, but it was definitely a refreshing idea. I found myself testing it with great success within the week. Note: Jimmy, many thanks to you. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without the list you gave me. I had confidence in myself as a player, but I seriously didn’t have the time or resources to come up with an effective counter. I want to say I got close, but your list was far superior to the combo I came up with. Thanks for helping us players break the format; it’s people like you that make this game so great.

    The night before the tournament I found myself making a few changes to the list that Jimmy had passed on to me. I didn’t change a lot, just the trainers. I also added a tech that helped me out in about half the games I played (the SW Mew). After completing the list, I put together two more lists for my friends that went with me to the tournament. At around 2:30 AM I finally got to bed.

    During

    I woke up at around 7:15 AM and checked back over my list to see if it all looked clean. Last-minute changes always need a recheck. It looked fine. My list was as follows:

    Pokemon (21)

    3x Shuppet (CG)
    1x Shuppet (PK) – Note: I would have gone with 4 CG Shuppets, but I only had 3.
    4x Banette (SW)
    2x Magikarp (MT)
    2x Gyarados (MT)
    2x Cresselia (GE)
    2x Cresselia Lv.X (GE) – Note: Thanks to Chelsea for letting me borrow 1 of these.
    2x Baltoy (GE)
    2x Claydol (GE)
    1x Mew (SW)

    Trainers

    4x T.V. Reporter
    3x Bebe’s Search
    2x Copycat
    2x Holon Mentor

    3x Lake Boundary

    4x Warp Point
    3x Master Ball
    3x Great Ball
    1x Night MainteNance

    Energy (14)

    8x Psychic Energy
    4x Double Rainbow Energy
    2x Holon Energy WP

    I’ll go over my reasoning for the changes I made (or the things I left in) right quick.

    A few people asked me why I had the Cresselia in the deck, simply because they found it too hard to get in play. I don’t have an easy answer for this, but I can point out a couple of things that probably helped out here. First of all, with two Holon Mentors and three Great Balls, I found it relatively easy to maintain a full bench at all times during the game. With the Great Balls I was able to get the Cresselias out mid-game after first focusing my attention on the main components of the deck (using a Holon Mentor, I would always make sure I had a Baltoy, a Magikarp, and two Shuppets out on the field unless the game state required something different). I could use a Supporter mid-game while still getting a Cresselia ready to go. Second, I usually depended on the Mew to help me set up unless I already had an outstanding hand. I don’t have the best luck in the world, so having the Mew in there helped out a lot. This usually meant that I had to sacrifice the Mew, leaving me with the opportunity to get a Cresselia Lv.X in play. Of course, Warp Points helped out too, but this was the general pattern for a lot of my games. The last thing I can say is that the Cresselia Lv.X worked wonders for me. A lot of people didn’t use it, which was cool, but I absolutely loved the card. It gave me a lot more options late-game, which was exactly what I needed.

    A lot of people used Crystal Beach with this deck. I thought that to be a great play, but I had already tried that stadium at SC States with little success (most people still had stadium counters in their decks). My choice for Lake Boundary was simply a response to the metagame.

    Most people found a 3-3 Gyarados to be more effective in the long run than a 2-2. If I could go back and change anything about the deck, this would be it. I might have dropped a card to make it a 2-3 Gyarados line, that way I wouldn’t be starting with lame 30 HP Pokemon as much while maintaining the ability to keep the Pokemon in play (with the Holon Mentor/Great Ball thing I wouldn’t have had a hard time getting Magikarps in play when I needed to). One reason I didn’t question the Gyarados line that much was the fact that I didn’t expect there to be a great presence of Magmortar variants. With the rising popularity of PLOX and water-type decks, I thought that any player opting for Magmortar would be making a risky decision, and risky decisions are usually the last thing good players make when it comes to big tournaments.

    Finally, I took out both the PokeNav and Energy Switch cards. In testing, I just never used them, though I still think Energy Switch to be a great play. I wanted to focus more on consistency than individual trainer techs, so it was just a personal choice.
    _______________________________________________________

    At the tournament site (which was both awesome and new, by the way) I saw many people I hadn’t seen for a long time. It was good getting to meet up with friends again. I was dismayed when I didn’t see more Florida players (Ryan Vergel, Alex Hill, Bianchi, etc., when am I ever going to see you guys again?!), but the Silvestros were there along with Curry and the Malecs. Paige and I bought little Pokemon phone charms, and I purchased a Sableye plush for three bucks that didn’t sell at last year’s Regionals (come on guys, Sableye’s awesome). Hmm… I saw Garrett and his father, and Garrett told me that he was playing the same thing I was (Garrett went on to win his division with Arithmetic, which was just awesome). There’s a ton of stuff I can say here about the people I talked to and whatnot, but to save time and and space, I’ll move on to the main part of my report: the matchups.

    Note: We did a 7 Round Swiss with a top cut of 16.

    7 Round Swiss:

    Round 1 – vs. Jeremy Wilson (Typhlosion/Gyarados)

    I helped Jeremy make his deck choice before the tournament started, so I already knew what he was running. It was either Typhlosion/Gyarados or Wigglytuff/Darkrai/stuff, so I suggested the Typhlosion/Gyarados deck (don’t be fooled by how cool Darkrai looks, that deck is bad). Jeremy’s start wasn’t that good as he flips over a Magikrap. I flip over a PK Shuppet (yeah, I only had three “Ascension” Shuppets) and do Bad Dreams. I thought I had him on the second turn but he plays a Roseanne’s Research to get out some more Basics. He also put a Cessation Crystal on his active Magikrap. This didn’t do anything since I had a Warp Point waiting. I got Claydol in play and pretty much overwhelmed him by playing a couple of Warp Points at the right time and rushing him with Banettes. 1-0

    Round 2 – Ryan Sablehaus (GG/Dusknoir)

    I didn’t know if there were any other secret decks floating around at Regionals, so when Ryan flipped over a Duskull it had me playing cautiously. He benched a Pachirisu and I used a Warp Point to bring it out. I couldn’t KO it or anything, and one would have thought it to be a bad play, but it helped me set up better with my SW Mew. Unfortunately, Ryan couldn’t pull an energy to get his setup with Pachirisu, so I started to take an early lead. He finally got some stuff in play, revealing his deck choice to me. It didn’t seem to matter though, as Ryan seemed to have absolutely nothing in his hand the whole game. I was hoping for an intense match, but luck is cruel sometimes. Sorry about that one Ryan. 2-0

    Round 3 – Denise Barlock (GG/Dusknoir)

    Denise opens with a Duskull, leading me to believe that I was going up against the same thing again. Her list included Stantler instead of Pachirisu, but I never saw it. I can’t say that I donked her though because every time she played a Ralts to the bench I used a Warp Point to bring it out and KO it before she could ever evolve into a Gardy/Gallade. She confirmed for me later that she had those Stage 2’s in her hand but no Rare Candy. After taking out 2 Ralts and a Kirlia within the first 6 turns or so, all she had left was that Duskull. I knocked it out for the win. 3-0

    Round 4 – Aaron Curry (BlissBan/techs)

    This was my favorite game of the day, even though I lost. Aaron’s always been a strong player, and he proved it once again with this match. He opens with a Chansey and attaches, then passes. My opening hand is seriously lacking as I get a SW Mew in play to help me set up. Aaron moves quickly and starts knocking out things that I have to sacrifice before getting set up. He plays an incredible assortment of techs that helps him keep his hand size big, meaning that he almost always has what he needs when he needs it (be it a Strength Charm, Warp Point, etc.). I keep this in mind as the game moves on, making my moves with caution. Cresselia helps me out here as I’m able to take a prize or two by moving damage counters around. Aaron plays it wonderfully, reserving a couple of things on the bench for the right moment. Some of the details here are fuzzy, but I remember everything coming down to one single play. I put Aaron in a tough spot with a fully powered up Gyarados with no damage that will probably take the win if he doesn’t do something game-changing. Here’s where Aaron’s careful planning helped him out. He brings up a Sableye or something and looks at the situation. If he can’t OHKO my Gyarados I’ll probably have the win. After doing some mental calculation Aaron acts disappointed, saying that he’s only 10 damage away from knocking the Gyarados out. Almost instantly he realizes that he forgot to add the extra energy that Blissey pulls from the discard pile, so he sends up a Blissey with 4 Psychic Energy on it, attaches a Boost Energy and two PlusPowers, and takes the OHKO with that extra energy he pulled from the discard pile. All in all, great game Aaron. 3-1

    Round 5 – Michael Adams (Gallade/Mismagius)

    Michael seemed to struggle greatly with this game. Without any supporter Pokemon he runs the risk of not having what he needed when he needed it, and this is exactly what happened. He starts with Misdreavus and gets another one in play, but he doesn’t have an energy so he passes. I have a Shuppet ready to ascend to Banette, but I bench a few things before attacking. I can’t remember if Michael used a Team Galactic’s Wager or a Copycat for 3-4 cards, but all I know is that he left himself with very few options. The game goes downhill for him very quickly as I’m able to set up Banettes with responses to anything he throws at me. He gets a Gallade or two in, but the OHKO is much too strong for him to deal with and I quickly take the game. 4-1

    Round 6 – Todd S. (Ho-Oh/Togekiss/Claydol)

    This game was intense. Todd gets the desired start, using Pachirisu to fill up his bench. Fortunately, I know exactly how his deck works, so I concentrate on getting the Gyarados/Cresselia combo going. My Mew helps me out with this (as well as recovering from a pretty bad opening hand). Within a few turns Todd has a Ho-Oh up and running with something like six Basic Energy on it. He even attaches a Holon Energy WP to the thing, a great play that I pointed out to Alex Hill when he made a thread about the deck some time ago. Because of this, “Ghost Head” never saw play at all. Eventually, I’m able to “OHKO” the Ho-Oh with a Gyarados doing “Flail” for 80 (plus Cresselia’s Poke-Power). Todd flips a heads, meaning that my Gyarados faces its own OHKO. I get another Gyarados up and “OHKO” Ho-Oh again, to which Todd flips a tails. Had he flipped a heads, I can honestly say I would have lost this game. Without much of a response, Todd has to manually power up another Ho-Oh, leaving me with the opportunity to mount a comeback. Cresselia helped me out here, pulling me a prize just from moving damage counters alone. Time is called on Todd’s turn, and though he tries to pull something decent off a Copycat, the cards just aren’t with him. Great game Todd. 5-1

    Round 7 – Tom Wise (GG/Claydol/Furret)

    This game was also pretty crazy. Of course, by this time one should be expecting the games to be tough. Tom’s been out of the scene for awhile now, but he’s back in full force with an awfully consistant GG deck. I struggle quite a bit with this game, as I have a hard time setting up. By the time I see Claydol I’m already facing “Psychic Lock,” and without multiple Banettes in play I see trouble brewing. Tom, who’s only been familiar with his deck for a couple of days, makes a risky play by using “Bring Down” to start cleaning my bench. I can see the ups and downs of his decision, but I think his unfamiliarity with my deck caused him to make that play. With Claydol’s “Cosmic Power” I’m able to get some responses up by getting Banette’s in play, but even this didn’t mean I had the win. For some reason, I could never pull a Lake Boundary to push the game in my favor. Instead, I focus on abusing Cresselia’s Poke-Power to reserve a KO in the later stages of the game. This proves useful, but I still struggle with pulling the right cards afterwards. I miss energy drops like crazy and can never seem to steamroll over this deck like normal (at least from my own testing). I can see that time is running out, so I have to plan my moves carefully. With another Gardevoir Lv.X up, Tom uses “Bring Down” to KO something on the bench (I think it was a Banette). My other Banette OHKO’s the Gardevoir, and I use a Warp Point or something after time was called to take another prize and win the game. For what it’s worth, this “auto-win” was one of the toughest games of the day. Nice playing Tom. 6-1

    Top Cut of 16

    After we all sit down to get the top cut started, it’s announced that due to time constraints the top 16 and top 8 matches will only be 45 minutes long. Everyone’s kind of distraught about this, since “time” in Pokemon has decided more matches than I even care to think about. Still, I know that the staff did the best they could, so it was just something that we all had to deal with.

    Top 16 – Matt Riddle (Feraligatr/Claydol)

    Game 1 – Matt’s a good friend of mine who has been around since day 1 for me, so it was kind of lame that I had to play him. Furthermore, I had only imagined this matchup and never actually played it, so I was still kind of curious about how this would play out. In our first game Matt struggled with his setup, but I did as well. Fortunately for me, Arithmetic’s “struggle” in setting up happens only when it isn’t KO’ing Pokemon on the second turn (or setting up a shield with Gyarados), so while I got set up in a few turns, Matt was just beginning to get his Pokemon in play. After knocking out a Totodile and something off Matt’s bench, the game quickly went in my favor and I won soon afterwards.

    Game 2 – Matt gets an excellent start this time, setting up a Gardevoir and a Claydol in no time at all. With “Telepass” and “Cosmic Power” in play, he starts moving faster than I’ve ever seen this deck move. My knowledge of the deck (yes, I tested this extensively too) leads me to believe that setting up the Gyarados/Cresselia combo is the way to go, as I had a hard time OHKO’ing things with Feraligatr when I tested the deck. This strategy works, as Matt is never able to OHKO my Gyarados’s. The second thing I kept in mind was how vulnerable Matt’s bench was, so utilizing Warp Point at the right times put me in the lead when time was called. Great games Matt, and thanks always for your kindness and inspiration when it comes to playing this game. 7-1

    Top 8 – Jacob Burt (Empoleon/Mantine/Palkia Lv.X)

    Game 1 – Again, I have to play someone I know and respect a lot. More than this, however, is the fact that Jake is the greatest example of raw skill I know of when it comes to this game. He makes very few misplays, and he’s as sharp as can be when it comes to getting out of tight situations. He starts off with a Palkia and I a Shuppet. I get stuff out really fast, setting up everything as much as I can, leaving nothing on the bench for Jake to snipe (such as 30/40 HP Basics). Jake has difficulty setting up; I realized before we even starting playing that this would be his biggest hurdle to jump. He benches a Piplup, but I catch him off guard by using a Warp Point to knock it out with Banette. Jake’s trying everything he can to get stuff in play, but after using a Steven’s Advice for five cards one turn and a Copycat for ten cards the turn after, he still has nothing. He tries to keep things balanced with a Palkia Lv.X, but even that doesn’t help him as I quickly take the game.

    Game 2 – The one thing I realized about Jake’s deck was that if he set it up, I would probably lose. With Pokemon like Gyarados and Claydol with such high retreat costs, even four Warp Points wouldn’t save me in the long run. This is exactly what happened in this game, as Jake gets a very nice setup with the full combo going: two Mantine in play offering everything he has free retreat, Palkia Lv.X being there as a free “Gust of Wind” every turn, and Empoleon up to snipe everything I have on my bench. The game-changing play was when Jake pulled up my Claydol with Palkia’s Poke-Power, played a Team Galactic’s Wager which I lost, and then knocked out the Claydol. This was a maneuver that people saw in almost every game two years ago (and one that gave me a 12th place finish at Worlds in 2006 with MetaNite). Sadly, this is the first time I’ve seen something like this since the season started (and yes, that is certainly one thing wrong with the metagame). Anyways, Jake simply overpowers me after that move. I try to hang on with a Gyarados doing “Enrage,” but I lose shortly afterwards.

    Game 3 – We start this game with the knowledge that we have very little time left on the clock. My hand is absolutely atrocious: Shuppet, Shuppet, Psychic Energy, Psychic Energy, Holon Energy WP, Double Rainbow Energy, and Lake Boundary. I could have had the OHKO on a Mantyke on the second turn, but I have to play it safe. If I go ahead and pull a fast one on Jake, there’s nothing stopping him from getting an Empoleon in play and using a Scramble Energy to pull himself to a quick victory. So instead of knocking out the Mantyke, I retreat and use “Ascension” to get another Banette in play. This way I create a response in the event that one of my Banettes get knocked out. Jake also seems to have a relatively bad hand, using Mantyke to “Call For Friends.” Within a few turns I get some decent cards, setting up a Claydol. Of course, things move quickly after that. There wasn’t much to this game, but Jake gets a Mantine set up with two Water Energy and a Holon WP and hits me for 50 when time was called. I have to make the decision to either use a Copycat in hopes of some crazy topdecking or use “Cosmic Power” for three cards in hopes of some equally crazy topdecking. I opt for “Cosmic Power,” hoping to get something good. I draw three cards, including a T.V. Reporter and a Master Ball. I hold my breath, say a silent prayer, and use the Master Ball… the cards I reveal are as follows: Great Ball, Lake Boundary, Magikarp, Gyarados, Night MainteNance, Psyhic Energy, and… Banette! I couldn’t believe it, and neither could Jake as I used the T.V. Reporter to discard the Banette, then use “Spiteful Pain” to OHKO the Mantine for 80. Jake seems floored, to which I couldn’t really blame him (I mean really, I already had two Banettes in play, what were the chances of me pulling another one in such a small percentage of my deck?). I think I would have had this game even if we would have played it out, as I was moving very fast with the Claydol in play, but it still doesn’t do justice to the fact that not only did a time restriction play a part in the outcome of the game, so did an insane topdeck. Sorry Jake. 8-1

    Top 4 – Steve Silvestro (Arithmetic)

    Game 1 – Another player I respect and am friends with. Steve always impresses me with his rogue deck choices in even the stiffest of competitions, playing an interesting Banette variant at NC States as well as having a hand in the creation of one of my favorite decks of all time: Flariados (oh, how I miss thee!). As expected, his deck choice here lives up to my expectations. He’s using a slightly modified version of Arithmetic, but the basic concept is still the same. I don’t think he would mind me revealing the differences, but I’ll be discreet just in case. My start this game was the best start I had all day while Steve’s is obviously bad. He has to bench a tech just to stay in the game, and I claim a knockout on his active Baltoy on the second turn. This game doesn’t last long as Steve scoops, seeing little hope with such a bad start.

    Game 2 – I wish I could say that we had a great game for this one, that we went on to a third match, but that’s just not the case. Steve starts this game with his tech, probably the absolute worst start he could have had (only a Magikarp getting T1’ed would have been worse). I have a strong start again, and within a few turns I have everything up: two Banettes, a Claydol, a Gyarados, and even a Cresselia Lv.X). All I needed to secure the win was two cards, and after using “Cosmic Power” and a Copycat, I show them to Steve. He’s a good sport about it, but I hate that we didn’t at least have good games. Getting in the top 4 was no easy task, and I know he didn’t do it with starts like the ones he had against me. At one point during our games we both looked over at the other two guys playing (Chase and Tom Wise) with a bit of frustration – they were both playing GG decks. Sadly, we had to be paired against each other. Sorry Steve. 9-1

    Top 2 – Tom Wise (GG/Claydol/Furret)

    Game 1 – Once again, it’s me against Tom Wise. Tom has done an extremely good job to get to this point, but I have a feeling I know how things will turn out. I start strong this time, getting Banettes ready to OHKO anything he brings out. Even though I swarm with Banette, Tom still manages to keep things pretty close with numerous Gallades/Gardevoirs. I eventually have to send up a Gyarados to buy some time while I move damage counters with two Cresselia Lv.X’s to where they needed to go. Tom makes the mistake of hitting my Gyarados for 110 damage (instead of using Sonic Blade), which easily gave me the game. Even though it was a pretty big mistake, I was already setting up a couple of Banettes ready to OHKO anything he sent up.

    Game 2 – This one was interesting. I started with Magikarp and decided to shield for awhile, as Tom looked like he was already getting set up. After drawing into a Warp Point (and him benching a Baltoy), I forced him to bring up something from his bench, so I KO his Baltoy early on in the game. From this move I decide to start swarming. With Claydol in play I’m able to easily get stuff out, so I put early pressure on him using Banettes. He can never maintain a PLOX against me with this going on, so he eventually has nothing but Gallades and Furret stuff in play. He sends up Furrets to help with the set up, but it only allows me time to get Cresselia Lv.X’s going. After awhile I only have two prizes left and he has an active Furret with 90 HP remaining. I move two damage counters from stuff with my two Cresselia Lv.X’s to KO a Furret on the bench with 70 damage on it, then draw my prize: Warp Point. I then use it to force him to send something up, which I KO with Banette for the win. Good games all around Tom, you did well against such a tough deck. 10-1
    ______________________________________________________

    Special thanks to the judges and staff who go to great lengths to provide us players with a fun-filled event. Jeff, Keith, Randy, Toni, etc., you guys are just awesome! I really mean that. You always make sacrifices for the players of this game, and just know that it doesn’t go unnoticed.

    Thanks to all of the people who rooted me on, as well as friends for just being awesome: Matt Riddle, the Silvestros, Jake Burt, Garrett (congrats on your win buddy), Tom Wise, the Musgroves, la Pagina, Brian Leary, and others. If I forgot your name I apologize – my thanks goes to you as well. I really couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to friends who just wanted to talk or say hey, it was good seeing everyone again. If you’ve read this far, my thanks goes to you as well.

    After

    As I mentioned earlier on in this report, I was taking a break from Pokemon all the way up until a week or two before Regionals. Thanks to Jimmy Ballard, I was confident in making it out to Regionals, securing a win with a deck that I found to be both challenging and fun to play. Even with this win, however, I’m still going to maintain my break from Pokemon until Nationals. From what I can tell, there were three big surprises in the Masters division at Regionals: the Beedrill deck that won, the appearance of Arithmetic, and the surprising success of Skittles/Tokyo. I guess that’s cool, but still… the two decks that still maintain control of the format are, to me, extremely boring to play with and even more frustrating to play against. Essentially, it’s just not fun.

    More important to me, however, is the fact that I have to work on wedding stuff. I’m very much excited about the event, and I’m excited about moving on with my life. I’ve taken a big break from responsibility up until recently, so I think it’s time to continue moving forward with marriage, teaching, and whatever else finds its way into my life. God has blessed me with so much, and it would be reckless for me to ignore all of that. Yes, I will be at Nationals, and yes, I will be at Worlds. As for next year, who knows? I’m not saying that to stir people into thinking that I’m quitting – I’m just pointing out the fact that I’m moving on with life, and with that comes uncertainties and challenges.

    Either way, I’ll see everyone at Nationals, under entirely different circumstances. If you want to get in touch with me before then, send me a private message – I’ll still get on the PokeGym occasionally to check up on things. Until then, thanks for all the great times!
     
  2. B_B_C

    B_B_C New Member

    Good job man. Hope to see you at nats. Now we have to play xboxlive some time!
     
  3. Curry

    Curry New Member

    Eric, thanks for the props in regards to our game. That was probably the most fun I had all day and that was one of the most nerve wracking games I've ever played.

    When I was doing the math for that Blissey play, I felt so stupid that I forgot the energy from retreating =X Playing either you and your brother is always an enjoyable experience and I hope I get to see you guys again sometime soon.

    Good job playing with a tough deck. Glad I was able to give you your only loss. Makes me feel better about how I did overall =/
     
  4. KingGengar

    KingGengar New Member

    Woooo! You were hot, brother. As I said to you there, I'm glad we finally were able to play high-stakes games even though we're friends. It was better than I'd expected :)

    My greatest impression of you that night is that you seemed to always be alert. In Top, I can tell you honestly that others were fading, and that's part of the game, of course. I was fading also... lol. Your last moves to win were just great skill and perfect luck coalescing.

    Since I've been out of it so long, I didn't realize that Arithmetic was supposed to be auto-loss for GG. Maybe that's why I was a tough nut to crack... I didn't know I was supposed to lose. ;-)

    Great games, Erik, and always nice to see you. Congratulations once again, both for the victory and the bigger victory, finding the right person. All the luck and grace to you. When I see you next, you'll be hitched :)
     
  5. vanderbilt_grad

    vanderbilt_grad New Member

    Eric I just want to say that watching you play Arithmetic was like watching a wizard working magic. It was a true pleasure play that game even though I got the loss. More than the tails flip on Ho oh having my last Togekiss prized with 2 left is what changed the game for me. I had Night Maintenanced enough energy back into the deck that another Kiss would have made a huge difference & I had the Togepi benched with Rare Candy in hand, but that’s all a part of the game. There is always next time and next game. Congrats on winning it all in this one as you have in so many other events this year!

    Have fun with your wedding planning. It can get out of hand sometimes!
     
  6. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    What can I say about Erik that I haven't already said? He and his brother are two of the coolest people I've met in this game. They are genuine, and polite, and just everything you could want in a friend. Even though I haven't known them for that long, it feels like forever really. I look forward to seeing them the next time, the second I leave each tournament. I am happy for Erik and Kevin, in whatever they do, the goals they meet, and the dreams that come true for them. I only wish them the best of luck with everything in life.

    And they play a pretty mean game of Pokemon too :p

    I'm happy for you Erik. I was kind of in the same spot as you were, as I am sure many other players were. You are not the only one that gained something from you playing Arithmetic. Just our 2 games, losing pretty badly in both, gave me so much more hope for this format and for the game in general. I marveled in the idea of Arithmetic, and how it was so creative compared to the lackluster ideas like GG/Mag.

    I wish I could visit you when you have your wedding. But I'll settle for seeing the pictures. Make sure to put them online, so I can look at them, okay?

    Again, I am truly happy for you. Not because you won the tournament. Not because you are happier with Pokemon, but because your life is growing and blossoming into something really nice. And you deserve a life like that.

    I hope it treats you well Erik, I really do.

    ~Matt
     
  7. Dendrobatida

    Dendrobatida New Member

    Floored I was indeed! My start was actually very, very nice in that third game, but only if it were an hourlong match; with that extra 15 minutes I'm pretty sure I would have rolled. It was a great settin' up and controllin' board hand - the mantyke, an empoleon, scramble, and candy, a celio's, a wager, and a water. However, for a "TIME! SUDDEN DEATH" match against Banette, I couldn't afford to sac even the mantyke - hence the ineffective early wagers and necessity to drop the WP on the mantyke to guard against the ghost head. At that point, my focus had to be on getting out a palkia level X and attacking with that mantine, hoping to take the one prize. When Jeff told us we'd only have 45 minutes in the T16 and T8, I really didn't expect to get past them, given the style of deck I was playing. That, more than anything, frustrated me, since it fundamentally altered the way I had to play to a style my deck wasn't built to handle.

    That being said, that was still some filthy-ridiculous topdecking. GJGJ!

    Check your PM's.

    -Jake
     
  8. Squirtle

    Squirtle <a href="http://pokegym.net/gallery/browseimages.p

    Great playing Erik!! Yeah I wish we coulda had a good match, but such is Pokemon!


    My version of arithmetic was very much more consistant than the original IMO, but apparantly starting with Jolt* doesn't work =]


    I decided to take out the cresselia to add more consistant games and it worked all day.


    Erik you had a great deck choice, and I commend you for making an excellent deck choice. We both clearly had the best deck in the room, and had we not been paired together a 1-2 finish would have been in the making.


    Great Job Erik, can't wait to see you at nationals =] Make sure Kevin comes to nats.

    Oh, and it was nice to meet your fiance. Congrats again!
     
  9. Raichu2063

    Raichu2063 New Member

    hey erik, congratz on the win brou deserve a win and good luck at nats.

    garrett
     
  10. spazcrackers

    spazcrackers New Member

    gratz bud,if anybody deserves it it's you. glad to see you finally win a reg. :)

    -brent
     
  11. twitchy lv x

    twitchy lv x New Member

    yo erik congrats on ur win man, you destroyed out there, i wish i could of gone over there but i couldnt go due to some school issues and other things, see u at nats, and congrats on marrying paige,shes cool
     
  12. plaidlesspez

    plaidlesspez New Member

    awesome job man and very well written report
     
  13. the_sniper

    the_sniper New Member

    Great report!!

    My congrats . to you sir.

    Your ALL class Eric! And Paige is a sweetheart. Good luck to both of you.

    John
     
  14. Jaeger

    Jaeger New Member

    Congradulations on your engangment, Your a great guy and I wish you the best of luck.
     
  15. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    Erik: Simply a class act and person! So glad to see that life is treating you well.....marriage will fit you well. Sorry I didnt get to congratulate you on your upcoming nupitals in person. (I didnt know that you were engaged!)

    It was a pleasure watching you play the deck. It is indeed a fun deck to play and it does take some mad skills to pull it off. We all knew you had the skill to win.....glad you found a deck that you enjoyed playing! See ya at Nats!

    Keith
     
  16. eriknance

    eriknance New Member

    B_B_C: Thanks man. I'm looking forward to Nationals as well; it'll be good to see everyone there. New Halo maps out now, played them yet?

    Aaron: Yeah, that game was insane. You had an excellent list though. I never could figure out how to keep BanBliss up and running through an entire game, but you definitely showed me. Plusle and Minun were awesome, and the Crawdaunt tech kept me at bay the entire game. Very well-played.

    Tom: I think I was alert because of that iced coffee, haha. Nah, I was getting pretty tired by the end of the day, and I even made a couple of bad misplays, but all in all, I hung in there pretty well. I'm looking forward to reading your book by the way, that's really awesome.

    Todd: Thanks for the compliments. Yeah, prizes are definitely one of the worst aspects of this game. I thought you had some guts running Tokyo though (or Skittles, as you like to call it). Really, really nice job with a rogue deck choice. It's always a pleasure playing you. Not many people can jump up to the level of skill you have in such a short amount of time.

    Matt: Thanks for the things you said. I'm equally glad that Arithmetic brought in a refreshing change for the game. I just wish more people would have played it rather than PLOX or Mortar. Other than BlissCat, this was the only deck I truly enjoyed playing with in a tournament this season. Yeah, you can expect to see those wedding pics online. : D

    Jake: Yeah, the 45-minute match thing was pretty horrible. And did I ever lose RPS against you when you played Team Galactic's Wager (other than the second game)? You know as well as I do that this game does weird things sometimes, and it just seemed like everything went my way instead of yours, especially with that last play I made. Check your PM's.

    Steve: Yeah, the Shining Jolteon is a great play, but not when you start with it (or have to bench it to stay in the game). Like you said, such is Pokemon. Yeah, Arithmetic was definitely the play (either that or an awfully consistant PLOX). I look forward to seeing you guys again at Nationals. I think Kevin's finally going to be in for Nationals.

    Garrett: Thanks man, congrats on your win too. Your dad showed me your trophy box right before the top 4, which was awesome. I remember thinking to myself, "Hopefully it's a sign of things to come."

    Brent: Thanks bud. Yeah, 5th place last year and 3rd place the year before... but I still had no idea I'd pull the win this time. I'm sorry about your bad luck at Regionals. Hopefully that'll change with Nationals, which I'm looking forward to.

    Twitchy: Thanks for the compliments. Sorry you didn't get to make it out over here -- there was quite a bit of competition. Yeah, Paige is great, and I thought that after 5 years of dating it was time to step it up, hah. : P

    plaidlesspez: Thanks, I always try to make my reports as detailed as possible, that way people can really understand what went on in the mind of someone who played a certain deck, won a tournament, or whatever. I know that when I first started playing, the most beneficial thing I could do to increase my skill was look at what other people were doing. One of the best things I ever did was simply ask John Silvestro what the basic concept of his Flariados list was. Reading reports and stuff helped as well.

    John: Speaking of Mr. Silvestro, it was great seeing you guys at the tournament. It's always great seeing you no matter what. I wish you would have had better luck with Arithmetic though; Pokemon's just strange sometimes.

    Jaeger: Thanks man. Yeah, the planning is getting pretty hectic, but I'm enjoying it all the same. You going to Nationals?

    Keith: Yeah, I'm really glad I found a fun deck to play as well. My brother's still excited about getting to play against it sometime (in his own words, "Come over sometime buddy, I want to play against that thing you won Regionals with"). Thanks for your help judging; you guys are truly legit. Nats is going to be great!
     
  17. psycodad

    psycodad New Member

    Hi Eric

    I enjoyed you report. Super job on the win with rogue. Another super Jimmy format counter list. I personally really do not mind a 2 deck metagame. The low archetype count makes countering the format easy. You should look at this as an opportunity. Format goes flat, find the counter. Several are always available in each format card pool. You will find it is fun to find them.
     
  18. Jason

    Jason New Member

    congrats on the win and good luck for your wedding, Erik.
     
  19. SuperWooper

    SuperWooper New Member

    Very impressive. I particularly like the Mew tech to help set up - the Arithmetic deck I faced at Regionals had a skilled player behind it, and he got the desired Shuppet starts, but his deck would quit cooperating after we started getting deeper into the matches. The Mew looks like a great way to combat this problem. Perhaps yours was the only Arithmetic deck to win in the Masters division because yours combined all "four" evolution lines with cards like Mew and Bebe's Search.

    Congratulations on breaking through the Gardys and Mortars that you so desperately wanted to beat. Feels good, right? ;)
     
  20. Dendrobatida

    Dendrobatida New Member

    No. You beat me every time. Get out of my head. GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

    /scissors...yeah, that's the ticket...he'll never guess scissors...or wait, no, paper! Paper beats rock, and rock's real, real strong! But if rock's so strong, shouldn't I just go rock? AAAARGH!
     

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