Sorry to any of you who clicked on this link expecting a big report (all none of you), but I don't really feel like it after today. I might come back and stick some meat on its bones tomorrow. Making a long story short, Dan gives me a ride up, and his younger brother Ryan tags along. I wait for Tanner to show up, but he never does, and eventually Andriy informs me that he had a lacrosse game. So much for getting the stuff I needed for my deck. I run around trying to find Magmortar Lv. X, the good Magmars, Blazikens, etc. Eventually I'm cutting it too close and I get in line with my deck one card off my desired list. R1 vs Honchkrow/Blissey I start with Magmar, he opens with Chansey. He doesn't have much beyond that and a Murkrow (which later becomes Honchkrow Lv. X), and I kill those two guys pretty quickly for the win. 1-0 R2 vs Jordan Hill (Magmortar) We both get blazing fast setups. I take the first prize with a snipe on his Claydol following a Wager. He kills my Blaziken a couple turns after that, though, and since we're even on prizes, we Bazooka each other for a while. This game got rather involved at certain points, but I remember that despite having Claydol out for more of the game than him, Jordan was able to beat me by using Night Maintenance to put three fires back into the deck, and then getting the winning energy on a three card Wager. Great game. 1-1 Lunch break. The Baconator is a ripoff. R3 vs Pablo G (Dusknoir/Mismagius) I played very carefully this game, keeping only three benched guys and not taking prizes until it was absolutely necessary. At some point during this game I took a three prize turn, and the match swung right there. There was bench damage all over his side of the field, so another Bazooka and a Blaziken GE snipe won it for me. 2-1 R4 vs Jason A (Magmortar) He's playing it with Typhlosion, so I feel that I have the edge, but I don't get Claydol until it's too late. His set was better than mine, and he got back-to-back Magmortar Lv. X to win it on time. 2-2 At this point I have to win out. I do just that. R5 vs Jason (Electivire/Lickitung's evolved form) I got a decent set and he ran out of supporters quite quickly (it didn't appear that he was running a lot, but I could be wrong). Eventually I get a Magmortar Lv. X out and Flame Blast (or whatever the 20x attack is called) four or so turns in a row to win it. 3-2 R6 vs Smeargle/Gardy/Gallade/water stuff? He makes an early misplay and goes aggro Gallade on my Pachirisu (oops). I have double Scramble on a Magmortar to respond, and from there I seize control. 4-2 R7 vs Elissa Hill (Magmortar) Elissa, like my round four opponent, was running Typhlosion over Blaziken, so I figure I had the edge. Her setup was rather poor, while I got set up with T2 Claydol, I think. I sniped her Claydol early, but she hung in there while my Blaziken went wild with the Fire Dances and powered up my guys. Even without Claydol, she's able to find Scrambles with a fair bit of success, and gets a few knockouts that I hadn't seen her getting. In the end they call time while it's tied on prizes, and I have to find a Warp Point (I had used none until that point) in ten cards (Claydol for huge, Felicity for huge). Good odds, and my deck cooperates. Elissa makes it at sixteenth seed despite the loss. 5-2 Top 16 vs Dave Coleman (Arithmetic) EDIT: Taking into consideration the fact that Mathorn1 has posted his T4 Arithmetic list, I have no qualms about telling you guys that Dave was playing Banette/Gyarados/Cresselia. I get T2 Claydol in our first two matches, which was key because he got T1 Ascension in those two matches and I had to respond to his Ghost Heads quickly in order to avoid losses. He lost the first, and won the second despite drawing poorly for a good portion of it. He pulled the DRE he needed to stay in the match out of his prizes and got some good confusion and burn flips to push it to game three. Unfortunately, he started with Jolteon * in the third one. He got it out of there lightning quick (like attacking with Shuppet on T1 quick), but it was still painful to start with it, and I get up Blaziken GE, who manages to take two prizes without dying thanks to his 130 HP. Time is called and he's still not in any position to make a game-changing play, so I win it. 6-2 Top 8 vs Danny Messplay (Empoleon) In the first game, both of my Claydols are prized. My setup suffers as a result, and he locks a Lake Boundary and Aqua Jets three or so guys in a row before I scoop. In Game 2, he starts atrociously, and I abuse Combusken's first attack to kill a couple of his guys. We start trading kills, and eventually it comes down to 1-1 prizes, but his last prize is Empoleon Lv. X, so he can't snipe my benched guy for the kill. I quickly power a Blaziken and snipe a Piplup for the last prize. In our third game, he gets the Furret setup, but his deck can't match my deck's quickness. I go up by two prizes and time is called. I think that, if we had played it out, he would have had a good shot at beating me (assuming that his Empoleon Lv. X wasn't prized two games in a row). 7-2 Semis vs Kyle (Gardy/Gallade) In the first game, I set up beautifully, while he gets a Tauros start and T2 Claydol but not a lot else. I'm able to snipe his Claydol and his benched Duskull before Blaziken GE is retired, and the extra spots on the bench allow me to get the board control I need to lock it up. He scoops and we move on to game two. His deck rockets out of the gate while mine just makes a cartoony farting noise. While I didn't get T2 Claydol, he went aggro Gallade on me and allowed me to use the million Scrambles I had sitting around in my hand. I managed to get enough damage on Pachirisu to stop Bring Down, and he was so committed to Psychic Cut that he neglected to lock me for the entirety of the second match save for one instance near the end game. Eventually I found Claydol and managed to get double Scramble (my second and fourth) on a Magmortar Lv. X. He got to one prize, but just couldn't manage the KO. He scooped once he saw that I would snipe his last non-Pachirisu, non-Claydol guy next turn to lock it up. 8-2 Finals vs Jordan Hill (Magmortar) Even though I played this game just hours ago, the details are already getting fuzzy. In the first game he gets a nice setup, but I think mine was perfect. (T2 Claydol, Magmortar, Combusken, Combusken). I snipe his Claydol, and he returns the favor to put at 5-5, I think. Then the fun starts - I flip 3 straight heads on burn flips and win three Wagers in a row (keep in mind that neither of us have Claydol, so that's big). Even though Jordan is getting stuck with three card hands, he stays in it by capitalizing nicely on a misplay of mine and drawing into Scrambles. Eventually I am put into a situation where the prize count is at 2-2. If I take the next prize, I activate his Scrambles and lose, and if I let him press me, he'll beat me with his beefy Magmortar Lv. X. Jordan played the match quite well, outplaying me despite an inferior setup and inferior flips. We move on to Game 2, and I figure that Jordan has already earned his victory. But I find Magmar, Magmortar, and fires in my hand, and seize the opportunity. To my astonishment, he can't find any basics besides his opener and a benched Torchic, despite a four-card Felicity's Drawing. I push it to the deciding game through sheer luck. There are "under fifteen minutes remaining." Jordan opts to go first, opening with Pachirisu. I lead with Magmar, hitting for 20. He evolves to Claydol and Magmortar, puts a fire on Magmortar and does 20. I evolve to Magmortar and heal the 20, use Team Galactic's Wager, find Warp Point, and hit what he promotes for 40. He draws, retreats, levels up, burns and does 20 with Magmortar in a nutshell. I play Felicity's Drawing and am torn between whether to discard card A or card B, draw my four, and by another stroke of pure luck, I find Warp Point again and Bazooka to grab a prize, putting it at 5-6. As he begins to stretch out his hand to draw his card, time is called. The ruling was that he couldn't begin his turn (I assume that he could have found a Scramble to seize control of the match - I had somebody benched but it couldn't complete with Magmortar Lv. X, I don't believe). Jordan starts to scoop up his cards and I protest the rule, which I don't think he appreciated. In hindsight, it probably appeared as though I was rubbing it in. 9-2 I realize now that if I had shaven a few seconds off my play not only in that third match, but anywhere else in any of our three matches, he would be the regional champ, and not me. Jordan and I shake hands, but he doesn't meet my eyes, and I imagine what he must have thought. It wasn't my intention to win on time like that. I was sitting with a clear few of the clock, but I didn't look at it except in between matches, while we were shuffling (I wanted to get out of there - it was midnight or some crazy hour by the time we finished). I was nervous because I knew he was going to Scramble me next turn and I was trying to figure out which Blaziken was the better discard (the worse response to Magmortar Lv. X) in case I pulled the Rare Candy in my four cards. Still, I was upset about what I had done - losing on time must have been some pretty painful salt in the wound after I won the second game in such an idiotic manner. I get my stuff and a few people congratulate me, but I wasn't very receptive. I don't want this thread to be a pity party, though. I thought that I had improved my play speed from a month ago at States, but it obviously wasn't enough. Guess I have to work harder at it for Nationals. More playtesting translates to more confidence in your plays, which means less time spent considering the game state before making a move. Jordan, if you're reading this, I hope we can still be buds after what happened yesterday (today?). See you at Nationals. (I don't expect a public or private response to this bit right here, or any of the other stuff in this report. I hope you don't feel pressured to reply.) Props: - The whole X-Files gang - Winning the $1500 - Being able to pass down my badge to Dan - Dan for the ride up and back, and for a great 6-1 performance during the swiss rounds - Jordan for a couple of great mirror matches (R2 swiss, G1 finals) - Dave for tearing up swiss with Arithmetic - T2 Claydol in just around 50% of my games - Not having to face Mike and Luke's death machine - "That's what she said" jokes - Peter, so he doesn't have a heart attack - Judging staff - Pulling three Pachirisu in thirty-six packs - 1840.07 Slops: - Just one hour for single elimination matches - Loooong time between when the rounds ended and when pairings were put up - Pretty crowded venue - Lame matches in the finals - Empoleon, Dusknoir, etc - The Baconator - Lacrosse matches Borrowers and borrowees: Peter: I owe you 2 Magmar (1 RH), 1 Magmortar, and 1 Claydol. Pramawat: I lent you either 2 or 3 Holon WP - I knew there was one card besides Furret that you needed from me, I just couldn't remember what it was. I think the card I borrowed from you guys was a Blaziken GE. RJ: I gave Gardy, 2 Wager, and Steven's Advice to you, but you didn't return them. Michael M: You didn't gave me back my Gallade. Dave (AXE): You still have some of my stuff. You said you needed to hang onto it for a while? Give me a PM with a list of what cards of mine you still have and we'll figure something out. Oh, and I have one of your Pachirisus. That's kinda important. ;x David (Anderson): You have a Ralts and a Gallade of mine. Andriy: I still have one of your Pachirisus.