First, I just want to say, give me credit for the cojones. It was either this or the GG which won me 2nd place at SE Regionals. Second, my reasoning, which wasn't bad, and here's why: (a) I knew it would be a surprise. That by itself wasn't enough, though. (b) It hits big and early. The donk factor is there better than almost any other deck. (c) I feared Fire but I knew Empoleon would take care of it, so I figured I wouldn't see too many Magmortar or Infernape decks if I made a good 2-0 start. (d) Claydol speeds up the deck which was always its downfall mid-to-late game. Third, my list. 4-4 Kricketune 1-1 Claydol 1 Farfetch'd Baltoy's my worst start, so I didn't want 2-2 Claydol. Farfetch'd adds to the donk with Sword Dance, and hits Garchomp hard. 4 Great Ball 3 Quick Ball 2 Roseanne's 4 Celio's 2 Island Hermit 2 Oak's Visit 2 TGW 1 Copycat 1 Prof Oak's Research 2 Castaway 2 Crystal Beach 2 Strength Charm 4 Plus Power 3 Night Maintenance 2 Warp Point In retrospect, I should've played 2 Cessation Crystal instead of 2 Crystal Beach and 1 more DRE in place of 1 less Island Hermit. 12 Grass 1 DRE It tested well, beating my GG about 14 out of 15 times. ROUND 1 vs Garchomp This was a slam dunk.. theoretically. I went first. Two Kricketots and 1 Baltoy with an Energy on Kricketot Active after my turn. I had Kricketune and Energy in hand. Game over... almost. He opened Absol and used Baleful Wind to take my Kricketune. That was not cool. It took me a few turns to recover, but I did. He had two prizes then, but I was able to get back into it with Kricket and Farfetch'd. I had him again, but he topdecked the Premier Ball and was able to Level.X to get a fully developed Garchomp out. I still had a chance, even though I had 3 prizes to go and he had only 1, but after I KO'd the Garchomp Lv.X, he was able to Lv.X again and get me. 0-1 ANALYSIS: I really did have this game won except for Absol. So I lost by bad luck. Round 2 vs Empoleon/Bronzong I took 2 quick prizes but she was able to Dual Splash 2 Kricketunes once. She moved out Bronzong and use Pain Amplifier to get the Kricketunes up to 4 damage each. If I draw a Plus Power or Strength Charm, I get the Bronzong, and she will likely not be able to recover, since she wasn't playing DRE or Scramble. I couldn't get the extra 10 damage and could only do 80 to Bronzong. Next turn, Bronzong brought the two Krickets to within 30 each. I took down the Bronzong, but her Empoleon took care of my 2 Krickets and I was not able to recover. 0-2 ANALYSIS: Another game lost by 1 bad-luck turn. Round 3 vs Torterra This game was won pretty easily. I was too quick and drew Warp Point when I needed to get rid of his staller Phione and kill off Grotle. 1-2 Round 4 vs Empoleon/Scizor I start with Farfetch'd. He starts with Scyther. I go first. I have Plus Power. I can't draw an Energy! He passes! If I would've drawn the Energy, I win. As it is, I still went ahead by 4 prizes! I forgot to drop Crystal Beach when I had the chance, which would've stopped him for good. As it is, he used my lead to Scramble his way back to the lead and the win. I also made an error when I allowed Scizor to KO a Kricketune with the DRE. 1-3 ANALYSIS: This game was a combination of bad luck and some errors. Effectively ended my day. Round 5 vs. Magmortar This was not quite a slam-dunk for him. I went ahead early, and he brought out Magmortar but was not able to get the quick KO. What killed me here was Magmortar's Poke-Body. If I could've killed off the Magmortar, my game. He didn't have anything else! 1-4 Round 6 vs Eeveelutions This one wasn't fair. She hadn't been playing that long and didn't really know her deck. 2-4 Round 7 vs GG This was my only bad loss. T2 Gallade and I never took a prize. 2-5 Round 8 vs Infernape This game was very good. We both knew our decks and his was well-done. His luck failed when he had me with Upstream but he had no more Energy to get! He brought out Moltres but rolled tails. At this point, it was over. 3-5 Round 9 vs Empoleon/Gardevoir I went ahead quickly. He came back. Then he kinda just decided to give the old man a gift. A nice gesture from a young man who insisted on calling me "sir." haha 4-5 (kinda) So that's that. I played GG vs various folks in between games. It was very effective and I probably should've played that instead. I think this now especially when I found out that not top 4 but top SIXTEEN received invitations to World's! Argh! If I would've known that, I would've played it safer and gone GG. But my choice, my blame. PROPS Nationals Staff: the BEST: Jeff, Toni, Keith, Matt, Randy, Tymon, and everyone else I mighta forgot. Karaoke First Watch David Myers (admit it, you had fun) Erik and Paige Nance (the Long and Winding Road) Nick P. (no racism!) Matt K. (don't stop believing) Alex K. (ohhhh hohoho) SLOPS Eh... why complain?