“I heard what you're playing is ridiculous” “Can I read that?” “That's the weirdest deck I have ever seen” “Did you just drop your binder on the floor and play what popped out?” –Jay H “How does that work?” “Are you actually playing this?” “This deck has everything” were some of the comments I heard about my deck at Worlds. Sorry for the long wait on the report. I had to finish up my internship the week after worlds and then went on vacation. I just returned to Seattle this past Thursday. If you’ve read my reports before, you know you’re in for a long one. Hopefully that’s a good thing for some of you. Finding The Truth. (Inventing the deck) Alright, so here's how the deck came about. I was looking for something besides the big 4, Megazone, Typh/Resh, Stage 1s and EmboarZone. Most of my ideas revolved around Vileplume, as that had a certain strength vs everything. I tried a couple Vileplume decks in the weeks leading up to worlds. Typhlosion was definitely the best equipped deck to handle the trainer lock so it had to be something that beat that. The ones I spent the most time on were Mismagius/Vileplume and Emboar/Reshiram/Vileplume. Emboar/Vileplume beat Typhlosion really well because you had Reshirams with 130 HP and Typhlosions had damaged Reshirams. Typh couldn't play pluspower so it would never ohko, while I would. That was great, but Emboar was just too slow vs Megazone. It would eventually ko the Vileplume. Typhlosion/Reshiram/Vileplume would handle Megazone better as it didn't need energy in hand (even 3 Fisherman wasn't enough),, but the damage loses your edge vs other Typhlosions. Getting frustrated with my declining results with Mismagius/Vileplume, on the Tuesday morning before Worlds I thought again of trying Typhlosion/Vileplume. I thought about adding a Bellossom. Healing the Reshirams afterburner damage would effectively give Reshirams 130. Then I worried about this not working if I needed to firestarter twice in one turn. In my 'tech everything' mood, I thought of having a 1-1-1 Reuniclus. If I could get that out, I could actually have the Reshiram never be ko'd by another Reshiram, with Vileplume blocking PP and blocking Reversal of Reuniclus. It took me only a few minutes to be excited enough by that idea, that I made a list simply focusing on this Vileplume/Reuniclus/Reshiram/big HP idea. This was my first list on Tuesday before Worlds: NOT WORLDS LIST: Pokemon 24 3 Oddish 1 Gloom 2 Vileplume 3 Solosis 2 Duosion 2 Reuniclus 4 Zekrom 3 Reshiram 1 Shaymin 1 Cleffa 1-1 Suicune/Entei Legend Energy 27 4 Collector 3 Twins 4 Seeker 4 Sage 2 Copycat 2 PETM 4 Communication 4 Rare Candy Energy 12 4 DCE 4 Rainbow 4 Fire 3 over. I had to look up what Reuniclus' earlier forms were called. Zekrom and Reshiram had 130 HP, the magic number to beat reshiphlosion, and survive lots of other random things. Went heavier on Zekrom because of weakness over Yanmega. If you haven't figured out the strategy yet, I can just Damage Swap any damage off of my active, and move them to my bench. With Vileplume, the opponent has no Reversals to get kos on damaged or lower hp pokemon. They also have no Pluspower to 'reach' for kos. If they can't ohko me, they will never get a ko potentially. The Suicune/Entei Legend gave me even more hp and ohko'd everything in Typhlosion. I still had no idea if something like this could actually setup. After working late at my internship that night, I played my friend Michael and lost 2 more games with Mismagius. At this point, I was thinking I'd probably have to play something standard like Typhlosion, but I still needed to give this Reuniclus idea a shot. So after work Wednesday, 2 and a half days before Worlds, I played my firsts games with the above list. I went 4-0 vs Megazone, playing against myself on Lackey. Then surprisingly I went 1-3 vs Typhlosion. The first game I lost due to Typhlosion discards, something I watched for from then on. I also lost a couple games because I could get rid of enough damage. Another problem with the initial deck, if I wasn't being damaged, as in the Megazone matchup, I could only do 20-30 damage back. I was winning vs Megazone, but in extremely long games. To survive attacks, I couldn’t leave damage on my Zekroms/Reshirams. The Outrage attacks were a double edged sword, to use them well, I would have to give up kos. (Of course this is why Suicune/Entei was there, but I needed more than that to do 'safe' damage) Thursday evening, somehow I thought of Blissey Prime. Of course! It just fits the deck perfectly. Seekers were good, but Blissey Prime healed MUCH more damage. I also realized Blissey's straight 60 damage attack was better than Outraging for 20-30, and it also had the magic 130 HP. I made a list dropping most of the Zekrom/Reshiram, keeping more Zekrom because it's really good vs Yanmega. It had a 3-3 Blissey for attacking, and had dropped some of the Rainbows/Fire for Rescues. That was the list I had testing on my computer as I left for the airport on Friday. I get to the hotel and met Team X-Files sometime after 5 PM. I started talking about the deck with them and explaining it. My friend Spencer asked me how the stage 1's matchup worked, and I told him you just tank a Suicune/Entei Legend since they can't ko it. He then asks to see Suicune/Entei Legend. Then he asks can Zoroark copy Torrent Blade? (return 2 water to hand, do 100 somewhere) … I hadn't realized that! I never use Torrent Blade , but Zoroark could use it to ko Reuniclus. Oh man.... There were a few minutes of worry, I needed something else. Spencer then suggested Donphan. My other friends on Team XF had suggested Donphan before, but I was afraid Earthquake would be adding too much damage to my side of the field. However, now that my list was based on Blissey and not Reshi/Zekrom as much, I had more freedom over energy types to play. If I played enough Fighting to do Heavy Impact, then it could easily tank through stage 1s. So the energy was changed and I added a 1-1 Donphan, cutting the Blissey line to 2-2. After just a handful of games with this list, I found Donphan to be very helpful against Magnezones and went 2-2 Donphan and 1-1 Blissey. My friends and I test all Friday evening. My friends were great, I think there were 4 copies of my deck being played that evening in games to get more testing in as the deck was just undertested being thought of 3 days earlier. Only 2 of us were playing the next day, so the rest of my friends were really doing me a favor. My friends helped me debate the last few cards in my deck, cut to 2 Seeker. 1 PETM, 3 Communication. Cut a collector for a Pichu as I was relying heavily on Pichu and didn’t want it prized. I had my list set when I finally went to bed. But wait! There is one more anecdote before the decklist was complete. At some point on Friday my friends tell me about the Worlds promo, Tropical Beach. I immediately think, that would be really good in my deck! I’d had multiple testing games where I Twins for Vileplume, or Vileplume and Reuniclus and then have nothing else, perhaps only 2-3 cards. These situations are perfect for Tropical Beach. Not attacking early is no big deal for my deck. Oh but it’s not legal my friends say. Oh well. Fast forward to Saturday morning. Because I just flew in Friday afternoon, I had to go to early registration. Since my hotel was a 20 minute walk away, I had to just carry around the tote bag given to competitors. Somewhere between the player meeting, and the rosters going up and all that sort of thing, I hear an announcement ‘Tropical Beach IS legal today’. What?! Really!? I couldn’t believe it. I had to play it, it’s potential in the deck was high. I fortunately had the binder right with me so I pulled it out and put it in the deck. Unfortunately, my friend Tyler’s Tropical Beach was up in the room, so he couldn’t add it to his deck. I looked at Tropical Beach and it said ‘trainer’ so I had to check with some of the judges, I think Pokepop was one of them, and make sure that I could play it with Vileplume down. I dropped the PETM which I had been debating over the night before between that and 4th Communication. One P!P staff member told me after the tournament that mine was the only decklist he noticed Tropical Beach in lol. Anyways, I had my final list: The Deck The Truth Pokemon 27 3 Oddish 2 Gloom 2 Vileplume 3 Solosis 2 Duosion 2 Reuniclus 2 Zekrom 2 Phanpy (flail) 2 Donphan Prime 1 Chansey 1 Blissey Prime 1-1 Suicune/Entei Legend (100% of my opponents had to read what this did) 1 Cleffa 2 Pichu Energy 22 3 Collector 4 Twins 4 Sage 1 PONT 1 Copycat 2 Seeker 3 Communication 3 Rare Candy 1 Tropical Beach Energy 11 4 DCE 4 Rainbow 2 Fighting 1 Fire My 2nd name for this deck was ‘Invinceable,’ which describes the deck’s setup well, but given its success, I prefer ‘The Truth.’ A real quick matchup analysis in case you’ve skipped to the decklist: Megazone: Get Vileplume and Reuniclus through their stage 1s to guard against Jirachi. Candy to Plume and get another thru Gloom later if needed. Mega can’t ko the Plume with Reuniclus in play. Move damage to Zekrom to ko Megas. Use Donphans to ko Magnezone. Should get to a point where they have no more Zones or energy and can’t take a prize. Hardest matchup though, because Mega can get a few prizes early and Zone can take a few late. About 5050 imo. Typhlosion/Reshiram: Get Vileplume and Reuniclus. Then power a Suicune/Entei Legend and ohko all of their pokemon. Move the damage off each turn so they can never ko SEL, or anything else. Attaching more than 3 energy to SEL is key because of Typhlosion’s attack. A very very good matchup. Stage 1s (Zoroark/Donphan/Yanmega): Get Vileplume and Reuniclus. Then power a Donphan with 3 energy. They can never ko it if you keep moving damage off and with Blissey/Seekers, they shouldn’t ever get anoter prize once you get your full setup. Another good matchup. Emboar/Magnezone: On paper a hard matchup because you can’t ‘tank’ anything. However, this deck is hurt very bad by Vileplume. You have Donphans to deal with Magnezone and lategame, a SEL cannot be ko’d by Rayquaza/Deoxys. Tested this the least going in, but would say this is pretty good matchup. The Tournament: Round 1 Sean Takemoto (Australia) Typhlosion/Reshiram I start with a lone Solosis and go 2nd. One concern about my deck is the many low hp basics and this would be the first bullet I’d need to dodge. He flips over a Reshiram and eventually passes. I also started with Tropical Beach of course. ;p I used it for 6 extra cards over 3 turns in the early game. I get a really good start with a fast Vileplume. Once he ko’s something I twins for the Reuniclus and then Suicune/Entei. I think he was only able to take 2 prizes since he didn’t get much setup under Vileplume. Once I got my setup and Suicune/Entei with a ton of energy to combat Typhlosion, he couldn’t take another prize. 1-0 Round 2 Joshua Aaron (California) Donphan/Zoroark/Zekrom (or maybe it was Reshiram) I think he didn’t run Yanmega, but just Zoroark/Donphan/Zekrom? Anyways, I got a Vileplume I think around turn 3 and he didn’t have a super start. I was able to get my setup and I think Donphan ready with 3 energy when I was down 6-3. He couldn’t take another prize though the rest of the game with my setup. 2-0 Round 3 Otakar Bursa (Czech Republic) Zekrom/Shaymin/Pachirisu I go 2nd for the 3rd straight game. I think I’m safe with a lone Zekrom, but he plays a Pluspower and a bunch of stuff, but can only find 1 energy overall it appears. I get I think an ok t3 Vileplume while he sort of struggles after trying to draw a lot t1. Once I had Plume I knew I was safe. He finally took a prize and my Twins got me Reuniclus and Donphan eventually built which ko’d through everything. 3-0 Round 4 Ulises Santamaria (Mexico) Donphan/Zoroark/Yanmega I go 2nd again. I get a quick Vileplume locking his Donphan active which is really helpful for me. He actually couldn’t find a Fighting energy, and I couldn’t really do anything with my hand until I could use Twins, so we each draw passed a while. He finally drew an energy to ko me and I began to setup more. Got Reuniclus and Donphan with 3 energy and there was nothing he could do despite taking the first 2-3 prizes. 4-0 Round 5 Josh Wittenkeller (Illinois) Yanmega/Magnezone I actually go first this time. I can’t get a t2 Vileplume, but I do have t2 Gloom which is good in this matchup expecting Jirachi at some point. On his turn 2 though, he candies 2 Magnezone and a Kingdra… Candying Magnezones before I get Vileplume makes a great deal of difference in the matchup. Josh ko’s what he can with Yanmega sniping and then plays really smart in not damaging me afterwards, and never using Spray Splash. My Zekroms can’t ko his Yanmegas this way. This smart playing plus the candied Magnezones is probably just too much for my deck. When time was called, he was up 1-4 and had lost zoned probably every energy in his deck. I had a Donphan doing Earthquake. I actually might’ve won this with several more turns, if I could draw Blissey. He wouldn’t be able to take another prize. But it was going to be at least 5 turns and maybe many more with him still having a couple Yanmegas with resistance. 4-1 Round 6 Dylan Bryan (New Jersey?) Donphan/Zoroark/Yanmega I get a Vileplume/Reuniclus fairly early, but that’s all I can get. Maybe he Reversaled my Gloom or something and did 70 early. It was something like that because for 5+ turns I had a Vileplume active with 1 energy and moving damage off it. Getting Vileplume/Reuniclus should mean game usually, but I was just drawing nothing beyond that, which does happen sometimes. (one of the reasons for wanting Tropical Beach). Late game I have Donphan powered finally but a ton of damage on the field. Late in the game, I need to move damage to ko my cleffa to make a bench space for Chansey and get more HP. So I move 10 to Cleffa to ko it. Play down Chansey and attack. A couple seconds later I’m wondering ‘why is there still 60 on my Donphan? Didn’t I move that?’ Dylan points out I did not and ko’s my Donphan with his. UGHHHHHHHH. I actually forgot to finish Damage Swapping. I couldn’t believe it. I was furious at myself. I try some other stuff but it’s over at that point. The next card I draw is Twins, which would’ve gotten Blissey and sealed the game for me. 4-2 Round 7 Chris Fulop (Ohio) Magnezone/Yanmega Chris had lost the first round of the day, and another round played against someone who didn’t show up. He knew he pretty much could not get in on resistance, and that I likely would due to starting 4-0, so he conceded. That was very nice of Chris. It was a little bit of a weird way to make topcut. I didn’t feel too bad about it though, as I felt like minus one really really simple mistake, I had played myself to 5-1 a round earlier and deserved top cut. It seemed that the Pokemon Fates had given me a reprieve for that small mistake. 5-2 I felt pretty sure I would be in due to my 4-0, so I was surprised I fell all the way to 16th, but was definitely excited to be in. I was 33rd in Worlds 08 so I’ve been on both sides of the bubble. I found out that I’m playing Sami Sekkoum who is 7-0 with Megazone. I’m playing an excellent player, but worse, I’m playing against my hardest matchup. I feel like I could beat anyone fairly easily if they were playing Stage 1s or Typhlosion, but this was going to be hard. After going to dinner, I play against my friends Mikey and Spencer playing Megazone. I go 0-4 =/. I was getting some bad draws, but they were also being good in waiting until they had at least 1 candied Magnezone ready before they attacked me. I was tired and not liking my chances as I went to bed that night. I told myself though, if I could somehow get past Sami, I could win the whole tournament. During the night, I thought about the matchup. I determined a strategy that would work in most of my testing games and my game vs Josh would be to wait until Sami was out of energy, hopefully still with Magnezone up and then wait to deck him, or use Torrent Blade and destroy his bench. This strategy would take a long time, but I had that for top 16, and would hopefully take long enough to make it a best of 1, as I would not be good in a fast game. Top 16 vs Sami Sekkoum (England) Yanmega/Magnezone Game 1 This was one of the more dynamic games I played. I forget some details so I’m hoping thetopcut will put up their video at some point. Well, my carefully planned strategy went out the window pretty quick. I started with a lone Cleffa? and I think Sami could’ve t1’d me if he went first. I had a collector and got some stuff. I remember t2 or t3 Sami used Tyrogue to ko my Cleffa, when he had no evolutions yet. Maybe his hand just had no other options, but I was very happy to have him ko before setting up as I could Twins faster and shut him down before he could Communicate/Candy for too much. I thought I could win just with my normal strategies the way this was going. I don’t think I had Twins right away, but it still very much helped to be behind off the bat. I remember one of the early turns I Sage’d into Tropical Beach and used it for 5-6 cards, the most I would for the tournament. On that turn or a turn later, I evolved to Gloom and Duosion and had Twins waiting. The stage 1s were very key knowing just about every Megazone runs Jirachi. The only thing I had to worry about next turn was Sami Reversaling Gloom and lost zoning the only 2 energy he would have in play., if he is able to get Magnezone. If he does this though, I can bench a new Oddish and if he doesn’t have the likely 1 Switch his very next turn, I’ll get Vileplume and he’ll be stuck with a Zone active. Sami did another likely move, Reversaling Gloom and hitting it for 70 with Yanmega. Understandable, but this was actually pretty helpful for me as I now had damage on the field I could move to Zekrom later for koing Yanmegas. I only had a Rainbow in hand next turn to retreat so I had to make sure I did this right since my Gloom had just 10 HP and Plume has 2 retreat: Twins for Vileplume+Reuniclus. Evolve to Reuniclus, move the damage, attach rainbow, retreat Gloom, then finally evolve to Vileplume. A turn later I have Zekrom attacking. It got to 4-4 and I moved damage to ko a Solosis or Pichu or something that would get ko’d anyways to fall behind 3-4 and use Twins again. At some point he just passes and I go ahead 2-3 and he uses Twins. I think he gets Magneton and maybe gets his first Zone of the game? It gets down to 1-1. I was surprised it had gotten this close after feeling like I had a winning setup for all of the game. I had ko’d his Magnezone with Donphan though, and he just had Yanmegas left. I either had used or was holding Blissey, and he had used all 4 Judge. Even though I was just using Earthquake, he had no way to take a prize, and eventually conceded I think. 1-0 Game 2 I knew game 1 had taken a long time and we both started slowly this game so I was expecting this wouldn’t get finished. I got a Vileplume but still didn’t have much else, I think maybe not even Reuniclus. Right before I get Plume, he gets Candy to Kingdra. Eventually Sami starts trying to play really fast and does Linear Attack with still a Cleffa active. I ask if that means he’s declared an attack, effectively making him pass, but the Judges rule that it wasn’t declaring an attack since Cleffa doesn’t have Linear attack. We get a 2 minute extension. Somewhere around here time is called but we still have the extension time. There wasn’t very much I could do with my hands, I think I copycatted once but otherwise had little to play. On maybe the next turn?, Sami uses Kingdra’s power to take a prize and then immediately Linear Attack’s for another. Except, his first prize has mismatched our hands. The judges correctly rule that this time he has entered his attack phase and can’t take it back unless I let him, which I do not. We get another minute extension. I take my turn and have basically nothing to play, so pass. Sami does some stuff and takes his 2nd prize, and right after announcing his attack, the judge calls time. I haven’t drawn so I’m turn 1. Sami only has 1 turn left and so he cannot win. Sami was very upset at me, apparently calling me a bad a sport for not letting him take back his previous move. I very much disagree with this. We’re 2 adults at a high level championship match, this is not the place for takebacks. I had already lost by a ‘simple’ mistake round 6 and my opponent was quick to pounce on it. Making and avoiding mistakes is part of the game, especially at the highest level. 1-0 final Top 8 Lorenzo Voltolina (Italy) Emboar/Magnezone Game 1 Another harder matchup for me. I start with a lone Cleffa and go 2nd and wonder if this is it. He apparently doesn’t play Tyrogue though. I still have no basics and just have to Eek and flip…tails. He seemed to be disappointed, but I don’t know if he had the t2 win or would’ve had to draw it. I get a collector off of that eek and begin to setup. He takes a prize and I Twins for Vileplume and his deck slows down a ton. He doesn’t even have energy to keep his Reshiram going after it Blue Flared my Cleffa. There was a lot of passing back and forth as I slowly built and he tried to draw stuff. I eventually win fairly easily as I take down his Magnezones, probably with Donphan. After the zones are gone, I finish off with Suicune/Entei Legend, as he can’t be ko’d by a surprise Rayquaza/Deoxys. 1-0 Game 2 I have a couple basics but absolutely no draw. His start is pretty slow too. I draw a Communication, but can’t retreat my Phanpy for Cleffa or Pichu so I just get an oddish. He still can’t do anything so I play down Rare Candy Vileplume, still having nothing else basically. After that, we both draw pass and/or Eek, for 10-15 turns. Being up a game, I had no incentive to take the first prize. He seemed to be in a really tough spot though, it appeared that he prized his 1 Magneton. He interestingly evolved his (only?) Pignite to 150 damage Emboar. Finally, he ko’d my Pichu with it. I put up Donphan and Earthquaked while benching Suicune/Entei. He 150’d my Donphan and I ko’d with SEL, sensing the Magneton situation. If I saw Magneton, I would’ve had to retreat and wait behind Zekroms. He probably couldn’t get an Emboar at this point though having used his presumably only Pignite. Well, all he can do is attach for 4 straight turns to RDL to do a futile 150 to my SEL lol. I ko it for my last prize. 2-0 Top 4 Tom Dolezal (Ohio?) Typhlosion/Reshiram Game 1 Tom’s a great player, but this matchup is heavily in my favor. The first thing I check is that SEL is not prized. We both have fairly average starts. He takes a prize and I use successive Twins to setup, knowing most Typhlosions don’t run Judge. I stall with Zekrom as I get Suicune/Entei powered with 4-5 energy. I think he gets 3 prizes before SEL comes out and ohkos everything. 1-0 Game 2 I start with Oddish active and Solosis on bench. Tom goes first with Vulpix and plays Fire, Pluspower and Junk Arm to ko me. I have Collector and Twins in hand though, so his t1 ko has guaranteed my t2 Vileplume. The early Plume slows him down quite a bit and I eventually get more setup. This game he takes 4 prizes before I’m ready to promote Suicune/Entei, but again once that happens, there’s just nothing in his deck that can stop me. I Blissey off a ton of damage towards the end for insurance and it’s over. 2-0 Final David Cohen (Washington State!) Emboar/Magnezone David is also from Seattle. We’ve played each other in city championships several times the last 2 seasons. Game 1 I had not tested much vs Emboar, and it certainly looks very hard on paper, though better with the 2-2 Donphan. My top 8 was fairly easy so I could only hope Vileplume just stopped him enough. My start is not great and Davd sets up a lot. He gets out an Emboar, 2 Magnezone, 2 Reshiram and at least about 7 energy before attacking me. He played very well to get setup before activating my Twins, and this game I just couldn’t get Vileplume quick without it. David finally starts attacking and the battle begins. He leads with his Reshirams koing my Cleffa and they get traded off with my Zekroms. My Donphans I think ko’d a Cleffa and a Magnezone but he had another Magnezone to ko Donphan. It was 2-2 now and the game had been going quite a while. He has RDL benched with 2 energy and his Magnezone now has 0 energy after taking a ko. The problem I’m having is I simply don’t play enough energy for this trading attackers game we have played. I had to decide who to promote to active. I think my bench was Vileplume, Reuniclus, Donphan with no energy, Chansey with no energy, powered Suicune/Entei. If I promoted Donphan, it could not possibly retreat. It would get RDL’d for 2 prizes after I 2 hit ko’d his energyless Magnezone. In hindsight, I think I should’ve given more consideration to putting Chansey active with I think Blissey in hand. I remember I just had 1 DCE in hand. I don’t think I checked to see if there was any energy left in my deck. My deck I think had ~6 cards left, so I probably couldn’t even risk Saging if there even was 1. I had to ko the Magnezone with SEL, otherwise RDL wins. Maybe I could’ve done some damage with Chansey or Blissey and then ko’d with SEL, avoiding Zone koing SEL and RDL koing anything else. It would depend if I had any energy left, how soon I could draw it, how much energy David had left (I think 4-5 not in discard or lost zone, and he had drawn most of his deck as well). Even with more thought now, I think I probably couldn’t win this way, but there’s a small chance. If I could revisit the game, I would check those things. Anyways, what I did given the uncertainty of putting up Chansey, was to put up SEL and attack and hope he didn’t have the Lightning. If he doesn’t have Lightning that turn to ko SEL, I’ll win. He has the Lightning and a Fire and I lose game 1. 0-1 Game 2 I opt to go first with Oddish, Candy and Rainbow and use FIND A FRIEND! Tails. David does some stuff and I think I had Sage’d into a Collector which I used. FIND A FRIEND! HEADS! Turn 3 Vileplume. I can’t draw much else though, and David again refuses to attack me. I eek just about every turn but can’t find Duosion. I somehow get 2 Donphan, 1 with 3 energy though. Time is running out, so I know I have to start attacking, though I don’t have Reuniclus. So for the very first time of the entire tournament, I take the first prize, Earthquake koing his Cleffa. Just as I’m placing EQ damage on my Cleffa and Solosis, thinking I can ko them and use Twins…my first prize is Duosion! Next turn I draw Reuniclus. He Magnezone ko’s my first Donphan and my 2nd Donphan one shots him. Now with Reuniclus my setup is unstoppable. He has very little after the 1 Magnezone anyways, Vileplume has stopped him worse than I thought, so I might’ve been fine without Reuniclus anyways. He concedes late in the game when I have a big lead. 1-1 Game 3 As we’re setting up time is called, so it’s going to be sudden death. My deck isn’t designed for speed, but I have Donphans so there’s a chance. I get very excited as my opening hand has Phanpy and Donphan, but no energy. I remember I also had Zekrom, Vileplume and 2 Sage. The all important flip, I roll and David calls tails, which it is. Ugh. David benched some stuff and attaches to his active Magnemite and passes. I draw and play Sage. No energy. I think for a while on the Sage 5, but I just have no way of winning if he can get the t2 Magnezone. I could grab DCE and retreat to Zekrom, but if he’s able to Candy I’ll lose in the long run. I grab Oddish and Candy, so if he misses I’ll get t2 Vileplume even if I fail to Sage for energy. Well, David plays down Candy Magnezone. Plays a Junk Arm or something to get his hand down to 2 and Magnetic Draws. I know he hits the Lightning in the first couple cards as I heard a gasp in the crowd, which had gone silent. He plays it and does 100 to my Phanpy for game. I show the Donphan and the Candy Vileplume, what could have been if I had gone first. I look at my next 5 cards (though I should’ve looked at 6!) and there wasn’t an energy, but there was a Copycat, so it’s hard to say. Odds are definitely far better for me though with the flip. I would also have been in pretty good shape if David whiffed the Lightning, which seemed decently likely, probably 4 in the deck. Vileplume makes it very hard for Zones to draw after that. 1-2 David played really well, making a great move in waiting to attack game 1, giving him the win that game. I’ve played against him a lot and he’s a very good player, even if he was previously unknown to most of the country and world. In hindsight, I could’ve played a Bellsprout to make Emboar a near auto-win, or 1 Judge would also have been good in game 1. On the other hand, I won 3/4 full games I played vs Emboar, so maybe those were not overall worth it. I do paperwork and do some interviews. Even some of the Pokemon staff had taken notice of my deck which was pretty cool. And I got to see… pink pony land? Or maybe it was unicorns. Rainbows? Anyways, one guy said I had a good chance of my deck being made, which would be really really cool. I was definitely disappointed when they didn’t pick mine in 05. I think my deck would definitely be the most interesting for an intermediate or experienced player. Everyone has their Emboar and typhlosion decks already. I get to go on stage and hear the applause. Not a bad way to forget a bit about a loss. It was awesome all the buzz my deck created, during and after the event. I’ve looked around some online and it’s cool that my deck was widely discussed both at worlds and by the internet community. So what’s it like to finish 2nd for a 2nd time? Ever since my 2nd place in Masters in 2005, my sole competitive goal in this game has been to become World Champion, and it still is. I was really close to achieving this. I was starting to believe after top 8. 6 years…Before this tournament, I was beginning to think I would never even get this close again, especially with the game continually expanding. Despite being so close, I’ve been much more happy than disappointed since that final match. I really liked having everyone there talking about my deck. I think my deck got me as much recognition as anyone in the game at Worlds 2011. It feels like I had a really good tournament, and that’s a good feeling. There is a big big difference between ‘a good tournament’ and ‘achieving a life goal’ though. That quest will just have to continue. In the meantime, I’m the first person to qualify for 10 World Championships and I’m the only player to ever make their own unique, rogue deck and make the finals TWICE. You rogue deckbuilders have a lot of catching up to do. :wink: Props -Team X-Files for all their help in helping me find The Truth -Matt and Michael for sharing their room -David for winning and proving that Seattle is one of the best areas in the country for sure -Judging staff, and P!P, I had no issues with them all tournament -P!P again if they print my deck :smile: -Everyone who rooted for me or had kinds words for me and my deck. I appreciate it. Slops -Top 16 instead of top 32 -Tails. -The 3 Typhlosion players for losing to David in topcut. I could’ve been champion! Thanks for reading.