Erik Nance's Top 32 Worlds Report with LBS

Discussion in 'World Championships' started by eriknance, Aug 17, 2010.

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  1. eriknance

    eriknance New Member

    Report by: Erik Nance
    Deck: LBS (Life Herb/Blissey/Steelix)
    Event: 2010 Pokemon TCG World Championships
    Format: Modified (DP-on)


    Intro

    "What'sa matta trainer?..."

    It had been a long time since I got 2nd at Nationals, and with a couple of weeks until Paige and I would leave for Worlds, I still had no idea what deck to use. I had just finished playtesting with my brother, and the only thing that our work convinced me of was the fact that Luxchomp remained the best deck in the format. Our list easily took down everything except for straight Machamp decks and (sometimes) GG/AMU. I showed Kevin what I really wanted to play, a Regigigas variant that proved to have a very good matchup against Luxchomp; problem was, it lost to many other things in the format (Toxicroak G, Machamp, Donphan, Gallade). After a few more games, I looked Kevin in the eyes and despondently said, “I guess I’ll still go with Luxchomp.”

    My heart is hardly ever set on playing the most used deck in a format. During the Gardevoir/Gallade season (2006-2007), I played everything from Mario (Machamp/Lucario) to Jimmy Ballard’s “Arithmetic” deck. I played GG once that season to win a City Championship and promised myself that I would never play it again. So as my brother left my apartment that night and I remained to peruse the cards that we left out, I felt a tinge of sadness and disappointment. I loved playing Luxchomp for Nationals, but much like Gardevoir/Gallade, I couldn’t see myself playing it anymore. My wife slept on the couch as I went through my binder one last time, hoping for something to jump out at me. I had tried out a Steelix deck against Kevin at the very beginning of our playtesting session, but it failed miserably. I remembered this matchup then, thinking about how hard it would be to take down a fully-charged Steelix. I imagined the matchup in my mind, thinking of what I (the Luxchomp player) would do to a 160 HP tank that could hit for 120 damage. Experience quickly led me to the way the matchup would go: Garchomp C or Luxray GL would promptly knockout the Claydol, and things would disintegrate from there.

    As Worlds crept closer and closer, I found myself doubting my ability with Luxchomp. I do happen to play the deck very well (it does, in my opinion, take an incredible amount of skill to play perfectly), but I worried about my matchups. I also worried because I knew that there was something out there that could beat Luxchomp, that I just hadn’t seen it yet. Going over my matchups at Nationals, I remembered something that Johnny Rabus had played when we faced each other in the Swiss. His Lunatone/Solrock combo helped him set up his Gyarados deck despite the fact that I was playing Luxchomp. Though I was able to win that game at Nats, I distinctly remember how effective the LunaRock combo was at maintaining a setup.

    With a new motivation, I sat down at my table a week before Worlds, pulling out all my Steelix Primes. I grabbed my Regigigas deck and some Lunatones and Solrocks and, like a mad scientist, starting mixing all those cards together. I threw in some cards to handle Luxray Lv.X, mixed in some healing cards, and tested. At 11:00 PM that night I tested the deck against Luxchomp for the first time. With the LunaRock combo in play, I took my first win. At about 3:00 AM I finally decided to get some sleep after losing only a single game to the “BDIF.”

    My brother had gone to Myrtle Beach for the week, but I thought he could still offer some incite on the deck list. A couple of days later, I had what I felt was the best Steelix list ever. Kevin had used his experience with a Donphan/Blissey deck he was thinking about running for Worlds to create what we eventually had: a Steelix/Blissey deck with Pachirisu and one Uxie; no Claydol, no Luxray GL, no Solrock/Lunatone... just “Steel and Heal.”

    Though I was very confident in the list, I spent some time in Hawaii playtesting the deck against all the probably matchups I would face. After never losing to Luxchomp again, I was able to focus on other decks like GG and Kingdra/Machamp. Thanks to Brent Siebenkittel for helping me with the GG/AMU matchup (and for generally being an awesome guy!). Thanks also to Randy Miller for helping me get the cards I needed, you were a lifesaver!

    With the deck ready, I slept sound that night, anticipating a very good showing at the tournament the next day.

    ------------------------------------

    Swiss Rounds

    :metal: Round 1 - Japanese Player with Luxchomp

    I started with a Pachirisu for this one, grabbing a Chancey and two Onix. I got a decent setup going and used Judge against my opponent pretty early after he had filled his bench (no more Uxie you see). Steelix started tanking pretty soon after, and the only prize my opponent was able to pull was by using Dragon Rush on my benched Uxie. Steelix never went down.

    :metal: Round 2 - Alessandro C. with Cursegar/Alakazam

    Much in line with the deck I faced, this game was a nightmare. I had a decent setup, but Alessandro landed heads on three Pokemon Reversals in a row, effectively keeping me from KO’ing his Spiritombs each time. The third one he hit came with a Judge after bringing up a Blissey without any energy. I’m usually fine after being Judged, but not this time. With two Arceus Gengars in play, Alessandro moved damage counters around, piling more and more damage on my two Steelix. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but he kept a steady Spiritomb lock for the whole game (no healing cards). With Nurse Heal being silenced early in the game by a quick Alakazam, I eventually tried to get out a second Blissey. Chancey, unfortunately, was prized, so I was now under Trainer and Power lock indefinitely. By the time my Steelix were ready to go, they were already heavily damaged. I took out something like four Spiritomb, but Alessandro used Night Maintenance to get them back and prolong the trainer lock. With a superb lock going on, my dreams of winning quickly disintegrated. I chalked this one up to bad luck and quickly tried to brush it off my shoulders. Alessandro played it perfectly and had a very impressive build, so props to him for that.

    :metal: Round 3 - Japanese Player with GG/Gengar (SF)

    I quickly realized I was facing a Gardevoir/Gallade deck when my opponent flipped over a Ralts and rearranged his top five cards (though, in retrospect, I might have just as well expected a 1-1-1-1 Gardevoir line in a Luxchomp deck - those crazy Japanese players!). With an Uxie start and two PlusPower in hand, I decided to go for the donk. I dropped the PlusPowers and played a Professor Oak’s New Theory (PONT), hoping to grab either a PlusPower or an Expert Belt. All the while, my opponent was squirming around in his seat, hoping for one more turn. The PONT didn’t give me the donk, but I benched an Onix and shuffled the Uxie back in with Psychic Restore, hitting the Ralts for 50.

    The matchup against GG is heavily in my favor, even though Gallade is rather annoying. I usually let my opponent take a couple of prizes, then attack head-on with a tanked Steelix. This game, however, proved to be more difficult, as my opponent eventually got a SF Gengar in play in addition to the Gallade. There are a slim number of cards that give my deck much trouble, and my opponent ran two of them in the same deck.

    I let the Gallade flip over some prizes (with an Expert Belt) to KO a Steelix (no Expert Belt), then used Smash Short with a Pachirisu. Once the Gallde KO’d the Pachirisu, I brought up a Steelix with an Expert Belt and used Energy Stream to get back a Special Metal. With a lot of his prizes flipped, my opponent couldn’t take down the second Steelix, and I was able to KO his Gallade. Before doing so, however, I noticed the Gengar on the bench, so I ditched my trainer-heavy hand with a Judge. Knowing that Poltergeist would have little effect, my opponent used Shadow Room on Blissey for a few turns. Each time I healed it up with Nurse Call and heal cards, doing Energy Stream twice to put the Gengar at 100 damage. My opponent retreated the Gengar and started hitting with a belted Gardevoir, but that soon went down (as well as any damage it was able to do). Since I play no Palmer’s Contribution or Bebe’s Search, my opponent had a tough time getting Gallade back out (not that it could do much anyway), and so was forced to attack with Psychic Pokemon. Eventually, the Gengar came back out and once more used Shadow Room on my Blissey. I healed it, then retreated my Steelix and KO’d the Gengar with Uxie, making sure to send it back to the bottom of the deck to avoid Feinting Spell. From there, I pretty much had the game, using Gaia Crush to take my remaining prizes.

    :metal: Round 4 - Yamato with Luxchomp

    So I finally got the chance to play Yamato, recognized as one of Japan’s best. Yamato had grinded in the night before with a Luxchomp featuring a 1-1-1-1 Gardevoir line, a Purugly G, and a Quagsire SP... interesting to say the least. I had a Pachirisu start again, calling for two Onix and a Chansey. Yamato had the Ampibom G start, which actually slowed my deck down a little, but I quickly gained a lot of speed and started tanking a Steelix with an Expert Belt and some Special Metals. I could tell that Yamato was trying desperately to figure out how to approach my deck, as he benched an Absol (Baleful Wind) and a Purugly G, hoping at some point to discard some of my valuable trainers. He started to rush me with Garchomp C, but I easily healed all the damage he dealt to Steelix. Once I KO’d the Garchomp, Yamato attacked with a Luxray Lv. X. I healed and used Gaia Crush with a PlusPower for the KO. He seemed a bit surprised, but then tried to Baleful Wind my relatively small hand while he could build something else up. He discarded an Onix while I topdecked a PONT. I pretty much stormed from there on until Yamato brought up a Ralts and used it to look at the top five cards of my deck. He looked through my Discard Pile and reviewed all the cards I had on the board. I was confused since I had one prize left to his six, but then he finished, smiled at me, and said, “That’s a really great deck” (well, in broken English anyway). I considered it a mark of respect and thanked him in return.

    :metal: Round 5 - Tracy K. with Luxchomp

    It had been awhile since I had seen Tracy, and I was both happy for myself and sad for her when I figured that she was playing Luxchomp. I don’t remember a whole lot of this game, but I do remember having a pretty slow start for once. After having to give up about three prizes, I made a comeback with a belted Steelix. Even though I flipped a lot of tails in this game, I was able to avoid the KO and used Gaia Crush for all six prizes. Nice game Tracy, and tough luck on finishing 36th. : (

    :metal: Round 6 - Christophe C. with Gyarados

    Christophe was a great guy playing an impressive Gyarados list. I remember using Judge on my first turn going second while he had only a Magikarp and Unown Q in play, but it didn’t seem to phase him. The Gyarados matchup is largely in my favor, as I heal like crazy and occasionally drop a Judge to disrupt. Gaia Crush also gets rid of Broken Time-Space, making it harder for the opponent to Scoop Up and evolve in one turn on a consistent basis. After Christophe took a couple of prizes, I cleaned up with a single Steelix, nabbing all six prizes and never going down. Good game Christophe!

    :metal: Round 7 - Matthew K. with GG

    This GG matchup was a bit easier in theory than the first, though it proved to be pretty difficult. Matthew was a great player with a solid build, and I had a slightly bad start. I don’t remember a lot of this match, but I do remember having to give up three prizes before my Steelix could rightfully make an appearance. Once he did, however, I made a great comeback and won. This was a really tight game though, and Matthew proved to be a great opponent - I just wish I could remember more of it. : /

    Top 32

    :fire: Top 32 - Wai Kit Lam with Luxchomp/Infernape Lv.X tech :(

    Match 1: This game was not pretty for me, but it was still a good one - one of the better ones I’ve ever played. I had an Onix start with a Call Energy, so I grab another Onix and a Chansey. My opponent plays a Roseanne’s and grabs an Infernape 4 with a Fire Energy, to which I felt a flood of sadness and frustration. Not since Pidgey in Worlds 2006 had I been so disheartened after having played so well. Out of the top 32 there were a very low number of decks that could give me trouble - even Blaziken FB was much more welcome than Infernape 4 - and I ran into one of them. My strategy changed immediately at the sight of that card. I sacrificed a Steelix, belted a Blissey, and started using Return for 40. Using Judge at just the right time, I managed to grab a few prizes with Blissey, all the while healing. I don’t think Wai Kit played any Power Spray because I never faced one, so Blissey was able to heal and deal quite a bit of damage while refreshing my hand sufficiently. In the meantime, I built up a Steelix to try and sweep the game. Using another well-timed Judge, I was able to catch my opponent off guard and storm with Steelix. While my second Steelix started sweeping, I quickly built up another one, anticipating the OHKO. When Infernape Lv. X KO’d the second Steelix, I brought up Blissey (I didn’t have enough energy on Steelix for the KO yet). After using Return again, my opponent used Poketurn to scoop up the Infernape to his hand. After dropping the Infernape and an energy, he sent up a Crobat G to be sacrificed.

    I quickly realized the best option after checking to see that my opponent had played three SP Radar. I used my last Judge with the prize count at 2-2 (shuffling away the Infernape Lv. X) and KO’d the Crobat G, hoping that my opponent wouldn’t draw what he needed for the win. My opponent send up a Luxray, plays Aaron’s Collection to grab Crobat G and a Luxray Lv.X I had KO’d earlier, drops a Lucario GL, attaches a Psychic Energy and Energy Gain to his benched Toxicroak G, uses Bright Look to pull up my Blissey, drops Crobat G and uses Poison Revenge to KO the belted Blissey for the game. Needless to say, I was not very happy.

    Match 2: I tried not to give up hope, but this game went pretty quickly. I had an Onix start and benched a Chansey. My opponent got out Infernape Lv. X while I struggled to set up. Two Steelix got OHKO’d before I sent up my lone Chansey. He was able to Crobat G and Dragon Rush for the win.

    ---------------------------------

    I would have loved to win Worlds (or go further than Top 32), but it’s enough for me to recognize that I did create a deck capable of beating Luxchomp nearly every time while having favorable matchups against most anything else. I guess I could have anticipated the fire matchup by playing an Arceus Froslass (actually works quite well in the deck), but I didn’t expect any fire decks/techs (other than ERL, which rarely hits the field and also needs a Fire Energy to work) and I also didn’t have the card with me. Had more people run Steelix the way I did, I’m fairly sure that it would have landed at least in the top 4 (probably would have won the whole thing). Since I figured the deck out at the last second - and since my brother was unable to make it to Hawaii - I was the lone Steelix player who faced the lone Infernape player. But so it goes I guess. I had a great time, hung out with great friends, and proved myself with a deck that nobody saw coming. All in all, I’m happy about my performance and my deck choice. And since only one card in my deck (of which I run three copies) is going out for the next format, we’ll see where Steelix takes me from here out.

    Props:

    all my friends rooting me on (you know who you are)
    Randy for supplying the cards, and the pizza!
    friends for playtesting with me before the tourny
    Japanese channel.. Hancho!
    the Worlds staff for having such a well-run tournament
    my brother for all his help (we’re not missing anything next year buddy)
    my wife for being supportive, kind, and always on top of things

    Slops:

    Infernape Lv.X
    Kevin not getting to Hawaii
    food at the resort costing sooo mucchhh $$$$$...
    umm, fire Pokemon altogether, except Charizard, I like that guy :)
     
  2. The Gorn

    The Gorn Active Member

    Nice job with a unique deck.
     
  3. prodigal_fanboy

    prodigal_fanboy New Member

    Congrats Erik! We were cheering for you!
     
  4. mr_tech

    mr_tech New Member

    nice job its unfortunate you had to play the only luxchomp with a infernape tech. also it was a pleasure playing with you in the lobby before i had to go to the airport. (i was the one playind dialga/garchomp but then i had to leave in the middle of the game).
     
  5. amphy#1

    amphy#1 New Member

    Yes!! great job!! that's exactly the type of deck a true champion would come up with. :smile:
     
  6. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    Erik: A great deck choice for that tourney. You are one of the top players around now and no one should ever expect anything but a solid list and match with you. Your SotG is tops too! Always one of my faves to watch play. See ya soon.

    Keith
     
  7. Naki Feralkin

    Naki Feralkin New Member

    Totally inspiring me to keep my Healix deck together. Awesome report, Erik!
     
  8. kamz

    kamz New Member

    any chance you will post your list
     
  9. Ninjask88

    Ninjask88 <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=

    That was a very good read. Congrats on the deck that you made. It seems a like a truly amazing one.

    I would have been crestfallen at the sight of the infernape, nonetheless a very good try against it. Keep up the good work.
     
  10. SuperWooper

    SuperWooper New Member

    This is a great report, detail-oriented and involving. I would have loved to watch you steamroll Yamato. And to have a former World Champ congratulate you on your deck choice? Very cool.

    Facing off against Infernape was a rotten bit of luck, but 6-2 at Worlds is a great performance. Hope to see you next season (when, as you said, Steelix will still be a contender).
     
  11. Congrats! I don't think you would remember me but I was the asian kid that played you in a league game with T-tar. Sorry about your terrible luck, but props to you for doing so well with such an interesting contender in this metagame!

    -George
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  12. Mune

    Mune New Member

    Very well written report, it was a pleasure to read. I'm sure we'd both like to think you would've gone farther if you hadn't hit the Ape 4 in T32. Congrats on a great season and hope to see you next year.
     
  13. Amt

    Amt New Member

    Congratulations! Really cool deck idea.
     
  14. Pajamas

    Pajamas <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=

    I was sitting next to you as you 6-0'd Yamato, and I have to agree with him... that is a really great deck. Congrats on your success!
     
  15. ragneg

    ragneg New Member

    Good job Erik, way to represent NC. Deck choice odd but it worked.
     
  16. supertyranitar

    supertyranitar New Member

    Congrats, Erik! TJ Claypoole and I had been testing with Steelix before nats. He was dead set on it, but, we couldn't make it work for the life of us. It's cool to see that it had some use after all!
     
  17. dragonwarrior

    dragonwarrior New Member

    Congrats and top cutting with a deck that probably you were only playing in the event. That takes guts. I too hate playing the "BDIF"s of the format.

    Frosslass would've been your best option since most other water pokemon are weak to Lightning.

    I'm pretty sure he was memorizing your list. He does that a lot actually. Every year that I've seen him do the whole 'face Yamato' table, when ever he faces a deck he really likes, he'll ask to see it and copy it down.

    What a character, that Yamato.
     
  18. andceo

    andceo New Member

    I really enjoyed your report, not only because of the deck and the tournament (i find IMPRESSIVE your season: US Nats top and 6-1 + top32) but also because of the pre-Worlds work you reported to us, which i find very useful to learn how to playtest and how to prepare for the big events.
    I'd like to meet you next year.
    Congrats!
     
  19. yoyofsho16

    yoyofsho16 New Member

    Nice job on doing well with a relatively unused deck! Unfortunate to face probably the only t32 luxchomp with infernape!
    GG year was 07-08, btw, not 06-07.
     
  20. Prime

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

    erik, erik, erik, erik, NANCE! :thumb:
     

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