I’m here for my National report! My team and me spent over 3 months to find a counter to G&G and Magmortar, but as you know, decks which beat one of them lost to the other. In the last month we found out something which was very interesting, but several decks can beat them at the first sight, but then can lose to them when the opponent knows what are you doing...especially with G&G, because it has several options and can play in different ways to contrast each deck. Over that, there was the problem of Rogue decks…if you play a valid counter but you cannot win easily each rogue deck, you can find several problems. At the end I decided I should go for SPEED. If there are not disruption decks or valid SDs, being SPEED it’s the only thing you can do to win more than the others. I found out MagKiss was the best of my speed decks, because it is very good vs all the rogues (including Wailord and other random decks), it’s very good vs other Magmortar variants, it’s speed and it can perform 50-50 vs G&G. In the last days we tested it vs Water variants and vs the G&G and we fixed the list to have better options vs G&G (it means you have to perform well vs an early Gallade, vs the Plox mode, vs the late game Dusknoir, vs a speed Claydol version or a setup Furret version). I think we went over the 50-50. We were confident about Water decks because being speed should have given us a better game (only speed water decks as Togekiss-Swampert would have been a problem, but there weren’t any of them). And now the report of the tournament! 1) Leonners – GG w Mismagius - Dusknoir We both started good but we had our key cards prized: him his Claydol, me my Magmortar LVX. I started spreading early game with Fire Bazooka (the best thing to do vs a Furret) in order to let my Togekiss hit for some KO on the Gallade-Gardevoir late game. He did some mistakes because he didn’t know perfectly my list (or because he missed something), so when we arrived at the 3-3 but I got my LVX I won in few turns. Props to Leo! 1-0 2) Alessandra Barni – Skittles I didn’t tested the match-up but I knew what to do. I hit the Bench with Magmortar LVX and let the active Ho-oh die for the Burn Condition. I don’t know if I do all well because if you hit Ho-oh and it survives you can draw the prize anyway…so why don’t you risk? I found my way worked, so at the end, when she lost the Claydol and 3 Ho-oh, she had nothing to do. Maybe I didn’t played my best because I let her draw 5 prizes and she didn’t get many energies out with her Togekiss. Hard match but I did it. Many props on Alessandra! 2-0 3) Simone Dalla Chiesa – G&G w Omastar He started with his Mysterious Fossil and misplayed a lot (with a hand of Celio and TGW he used TGW and lost the turn after). He got T2ed by Magmortar. Too bad win in this way. 3-0 4) Sergio Leoni – G&G w Mismagius-Dusknoir Bad start for me because i passed my first 4 turns waiting for my evolution (i had Magmar which attacks for 20 four times in a row). Sergio played very good…I decided to spread with Fire Bazooka and stay under prizes, so he had to lose many energies and many turns to charge up his Pokèmon (under Crystal Beach). When I got my 4th prize we were 4-4 and he had nothing in the field, so I stopped to attack (he had a Lake Boundary and a Scramble ready for my Magmortar LVX) and send my Togekiss out with my Magmortar LVX ready for a hit. When time was called he needed like 3 turns to do a prize, we got a time extension but he wasn’t able to attack for 2 turns. Time finished and I attacked for my 5th prize to win the match. Hard game, maybe the hardest of the tournament. 4-0 5) Simone Soldo – G&G w Mismagius-Dusknoir He didn’t got Claydol or Furret until T3 or T4, and this is enough for MagKiss to eat a G&G. I could Flame Blast his benched Ralts-Kirlia-Gardevoir before they could attack. He conceded after I did 3-4 prizes. 5-0 6) Christian Vallecchia – G&G w Blastoise d He started with a Ralts, did T2 Wager to get something but he didn’t got anything and i got all my Pokèmon out at T3. He conceded after I did some prizes. 6-0 As I thought, vs G&G you can outspeed them like the 50% of times…and in fact I won 2 quick games and 2 long games (I didn’t count the 2nd round). Perfect. I went to sleep late in the night because i tested vs the Gorebyss-Banette-Cessation SD I saw in top16, which was nearly an autoloss. I’m confident because I’ll not find it until the final of the day after, so I don’t get too worry about that. Day 2 I got up and went to the hotel for the top16. 7) T16 Consuelo – MagDol Bad start ever: My 2 Togepi were ate by her Magmortar. I didn’t saw a Supporter in 3 turns and I missed 3 coins. She won. Second Game I started very fast and she cannot contrast my Magmortar LVX. She conceded. Third Game we both setup, she played skilly but my Togekiss makes my Magmortar very hard to pull down. She does 2 prizes but then she lost all his Pokèmon in field. She tried to get a Claydol but I Flame Blast each Baltoy I saw. Nothing more to do. 7-0 8) T8 Bianca Maria Manzi – G&G w Feraligatr She has not Claydol in game so i don’t played my Steven to let her find it. Nice things, because she had to waste time sending his Furret active and I can Flame Blast all his key Pokèmon in the Bench. Second Game I didn’t played any Supporter because she got a quick Gardevoir but nothing else. But well…I have 2 Baltoy prizes! I start playing Supporter after she bench her Claydol (and I realized I could not win without them) and I forced her to go over prizes while I attack her Claydol and her Gardevoir. She saw my Magmortar LVX and so she set a Gallade…I lost my Magmortar LVX but she stays with a Gallade and a Feraligat in game without any things. My Togekiss swarm is enough while I’m charging my new hitters. She cannot contrast my Togekiss with no way of doing Energy Cyclone or Psychic cut for more than 60. She conceded after few turns. 8-0 9) T4 Simone Soldo – G&G w Misdreavus Revenge of last year Final? Let’s see…the first game he got T3 Furret, but it’s too late because I have all my Pokèmon down at T3 and I start the Fire Bazooka + Flame Blast process to KO his key Pokèmon. He scooped after some turns. Second game was more intensive…we both do skilly moves but we both did little mistakes…he start to Psychic Lock my field and so I start to play my Steven to keep my things in hand. I know that the field is 50-50, but when he’ll miss something I’ll eat him…under Crystal Beach Lock (I took my 3 stadiums out of the deck with my Mew* early game) he needs all his basic energies to attack so he retrieves them with NM. I did a huge mistake because I spread instead of pulling down the Gardevoir LVX active, so he can take one more prize thanks to a Bring Down. Bad thing. BTW, when he lost all his Gardevoir (he had an energy drop while that which gives me 1 more turn) I can play my 10-cards hand because I can use power so I do what my friends called "ANDCEO FINAL BLAST": Night Mainteance x2 for 6 energies, Magmar-Candy-Magmortar, bench Togepi, all the hand in deck except from my Rare Candy and then a Bebe’s for a Togekiss, 4-5 energies on the Magmortar which goes Active and KO in 1 hit his Dusknoir. Nothing more on the field, so he scooped. IT’S FINAL FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW! Props to Simone for the 2nd game. 9-0 I know perfectly what is my situation and while playing I listened that Alessandro Cremascoli with his Banette-Gorebyss-Cessation was obviously in final, and I knew I had autoloss to him or almost. So I jump out of the game area to find Kenta and Gatsu and make them correct the Gorebyss-Banette version we made the night before. I took Kenta with me and we went in a corner of the hotel for a 90-minutes-intensive-test vs that deck before the Final Match. We made 10 games and I learned perfectly what were the things to do to try to win. I lost 6 of them, but it’s very good anyway. When I had to play the final I took my Mp3 with “Saw III” undertrack (Hello Zepp) and “Stand up for the Champions” to take the right mind stability to play the final game. After 10 minutes of music, Andceo is ready to play. 10) T2 Alessandro Cremascoli – Banette/Gorebyss/Cessation I knew perfectly what i need to do to win and i knew i have to be luck (if you are unluck, you cannot NEVER win this match). I hoped for a good 1st game in order to be able to decide who starts in the 3rd game. We both started and I drew the GOD HAND: Magmar-Togepi-Rare Candy-Bebe’s-Fire Energy-Fire Energy-Roseanne’s. I can do ALL I want with this hand. He started firstly with Clamperl which fails the Paralysis, so I T1ED HIM WITH MAGMAR 2nd ATTACK (after Togekiss gave me a few energies)!!! Yuhuuhuuhuu! I should win the whole match thanks to this start. We started the second match, and he chose I had to start. What can I ask more? I send Togepi to asleep his Shuppet and…YES, Shuppet stays asleep. I got the turn I need to Celio for Pachirisu and call out of my deck all my Team: Pachirisux2, Togepi, Baltoy. I had the luck to KO a Shuppet with Cessation thanks to Pachirisu because it remains asleep 2 turns. He came out with Gorebyss to do 70 to him thanks to 2 PP, but I answer with the 2nd Pachirisu which do 60 again and discard the 2nd Cessation. He did 50 to me, so I send a Magmortar with 1 Energy which KO Gorebyss and cannot be OHKOed by the 2nd Gorebyss (which did 100 to him thanks to the 2 missing PlusPower, and he cannot use the Boundary because Pachirisu was ready to OHKO him the turn after). After Magmortar did his precious 20 damage to the Gorebyss it dies, but Pachirisu went to discard the 3rd Cessation and Ko the Gorebyss (20 + 60). He sent out his Banette and did 20 with Ghost Head to Pachirisu with me having nothing dangerous in field. 3-3. He has not the 4th Cessation and has nothing on his Bench, so I started to think at my winning move!!! I can close the match if Mew* comes out because I can Ghost Head for 60 with Mimicry. Unfortunately it didn’t come out, but I had a Togekiss which did 70-20=50 to him and let it at -10 from the death. He start to think he needs Basic, but his Night Mainteance + Quick Ball doesn’t give him a new basic. He thinks 2 minutes. Then he watches me laughing and shake his hand. I’M THE ITALIAN NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!!!!!!! 10-0 Finally after 4 years of 2nd places WE MADE IT! I went to embrace my brother and then I started to cry. Gatsu was out of the room because he said each match he watches his friends got a loss…but then he saw me and he understood I won!!! Many people congratulated to me and I dindn’t realized I really won. We soon saw Martina too won, so this year we got a fully victory!!!! WORDLS 2008, I’m COMING!! Thanks to Gatsu and Kenta for the playing support. Thanks to Prof Donphan, Mara and Martina “Little Donphan” for the help in these last 4 years. Thanks to Ale007 for his good intuitions and for being my playmate (not the ones of Playboy!) since years. Thanks to my MSN-AIM international friends (Fabien, Kiwill, Leandro, Luca, Gino, John and everybody I forgot…) Thanks to all Italian players for being so good this year (especially the Cremascoli for their SD) Thanks to who play this game!!!!