Blah, I wasn't going to write one of these but I decided, I did every other year, so why not. Overall, my week was pretty bad, with Pokemon combined with a lot of outside stuff, but I tried to take it all in stride. After debating stuff Friday night and making a few last minute changes, I decided to run Magmortar/Leafeon, a deck that had been worked on since the translations for the Eeveelutions came out. Here's my report. Round 1 vs. ??? (Random Basics) Just my luck that my best start of the day came against a deck that poses virtually no threat. I start Eevee against a Houndour and get a T2 Vaporeon and take 3 prizes with that, then draw 3 more once I finally draw into a Celio and get a Leafeon. 1-0 Round 2 vs. Brent S (GG with Dugtrio) Our starts were both horrid. I mulliganed twice and opened with Baltoy and used his mulligan cards to get a couple more cards with Baltoy and eventually got a Call Energy, which I attached and used to get Eevee and Chatot, noting that two Eevees are prized. He got a fast Dugtrio, and I knew my Magmortar was going to be even less useful with it down. He had nothing for a while though, so I managed to Chatot for 11 and draw some okay cards, but still no Claydol and only one Celios and a Vaporeon. By this time I had abandoned fear of Dusknoir and layed down a full bench, and luckily he didn't play it. Seeing my weak setup, he warped out something of mine and brought out his Gallade and drew the first prize. I responded with the only thing I had: Vaporeon. With a stroke of incredible luck, I managed to discard his DRE and other energy, slowing him down enough for me to try to set up more. I had to retriever an Eevee and Chatot, which ended up helping me as I used Mimic at least 3 more times throughout the course of the game. From that point, we drew and passed with gigantic hands but no real set-up. The game naturally took forever and he played his prize flips well and time was called on my turn with prizes tied 3-3 and all of his face down, and I had two options. I could Leaf Guard with Leafeon LV.X or send up my Magmortar, level up, and Flame Blast for 120 on his clean Gallade. Either way, he needed a Charm or PlusPower to knock me out, since I had no Espeon due to my prized Eevees. I went with Leafeon and did Leaf Guard for 60. He draws and shows me the charm for the game. My Magmortar was fully loaded and would have started cleaned up after that, so I most likely would have won the game, and it didn't help that I literally didn't play a Claydol the entire game, but it was a good game anyways. 1-1 Round 3 vs. ??? (GG) Another GG and another horrid start on my part. I opened with Holon's Castform and had a Roseanne with a topdecked Chatot, so I got an Eevee and a Magmar and used Mimic for several turns. For the third game in a row I had an extremely hard time hitting one of my 6 Bebe/Celio or a Claydol, so I was reduced to attacking with generally bad cards. At one point, He had a Gallade and a Claydol and nothing else, so I sent up Umbreon and confused him. Of course, he flips heads on Confusion, but forgot about the body and announced one flip for Gallade. I let him flip two instead and sent up something else, and time ended on my turn with prizes tied. I warped up his Claydol and sent up a Leafeon and used Bind Down, which he warped out of and flipped all his prizes and used a Charm to kill my Magmortar for the win. Had time not ran out, I could have sent up my damaged Leafeon and knocked out the Gallade, leaving him with nothing and I would have won. But good game anyway. 1-2 At this point, I was pretty discouraged. I basically had to win 6 games in a row to make cut and keep my invite, and that looked really difficult with the skill level of my pod and the fact that several good players already had one or two losses. So I gritted my teeth and decided I could do it and went to play my next game. Round 4 vs. Mrs. Hornung (Fire TRUK) I started with Magmar and used Call Energy to get a bunch of Eevee and used the Vaporeon in my hand with Scrambles and DREs to draw prizes. If my opponent had been playing anything other than Magmortar, I would have been screwed, but I could use weakness to my advantage. I used Chatot and some nice Warps to kill her attempts at set-up and drew most of my prizes with Vappy. And for the third game in a row I couldn't get a Claydol for most of the game. I finally got a Leafeon near the end and with Umbreon clearing off my weakness, I cleaned up the game. Good game! 2-2 Round 5 vs. Maine State Champ (Tangrowth/Sceptile/Leafeon/Exeggutor) I started with a Magmar, which would be horrid in most circumstances, but his deck was completely grass. That said, I got a few quick prizes with a Magmortar before it died, then I brought in a Leafeon and leveled up and started going to town. After that died from a Verdant Dance from his Leafeon, I brought in Magmortar and knocked it out and spread some damage, then sniped his Sceptile. I won easily from there. GG! 3-2 Round 6 vs. ??? (Empoleon/Bronzong) I forgot my opponent's name, but she was a nice lady. I had a pretty good start and hers was decent, but she couldn't seem to find a scramble all game. I got a fast Leafeon doing Leaf Guard, and she opted to try to knock me out with multiple Surf Togethers, damaging her bench in the process. I used Magmortar to put 20 on each Bronzong, putting them in range for KO with Leaf Guard. The game ended at time, but I was in position to win in a few turns with a swarm of Leafeons. Good game! 4-2 Round 7 vs. Robert Ector (Straight Blissey) This was a tough matchup and I knew that coming in. My start was better than most of the ones I had been getting, but I still ended up going for Chatot and his big hand helped me out a lot. He played a Drake's Stadium and that ended up helping to shield my sacrifice Eevee and Chatot from OHKOs. I finally got a Claydol and Leafeon to start hitting him, and I was surprised to actually hit a Windstorm when I needed one. I got a couple turns of using Energy Forcing, so Magmortar was loaded up and ready to go. I scored a few key KOs with that near the end, and time was called with me up on prizes. I don't know how the outcome would have been because he had a couple warps left and I didn't have a great set-up, and I hate winning on time regardless, not to mention playing friends/people from Florida is lame. Good game though Rob. 5-2 Round 8 vs. ??? (GG) This one was beyond my control. I drew total garbage and he got T2 Gallade and T3 Gardevoir, and I had no hand almost the entire game. He flipped over the right amount of prizes so I couldn't stall at all. I lose handily. 5-3 At this point, I know the dream is pretty much dead, but I stick it out hoping I can at least make up the points and maybe get lucky and slide in at 6-3. Round 9 vs. Dana Lynch (Banette) I started with Magmar and fire and a generally lame hand, but I had a Celio and DRE. Under most circumstances, I would have been pretty dead, but I could at least get a T2 Magmortar. He went first and used the Bad Dreams Shuppet and did 10 to me. I did 10 to him back. He benched another Shuppet and attached to it, and I topdecked a Magmortar, evolved, attached DRE and knocked out Shuppet. He sent up the other one, evolved, and did 40 to me. I used Celio for Mag LV.X, attached, and did Flame Bluster for the win. Wish we could have had a better game. 6-3 I ended up 52nd place with horrid resistance, and a few spots out of getting a ratings invite as it stands currently. I'm not particularly upset about missing cut, it's just that I know I probably would have won both games on that I lost on time and got my worlds invite. Basically, this tournament made me realize how much I feel we need a new solution to the time limit issue. Three turns past time seems like a good idea, because if they extended limits to 35 minutes, people would probably want it to be 40, and so forth. I just don't think games should be decided by a clock when the outcome is most likely not in the technical winner's favor. In Florida, we play an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half top cuts and it works really well, albeit the tournaments take a bit longer. That's my only complain about the actual tournament. It was well judged and operated and the staff handled everything that came up with total class. Good job to everyone involved! I wish I had had a better week outside Pokemon, but I'm still glad I could be there. Props: -Chad Harris, Mike Pramawat, Luke Reed, and everyone else that helped me with the deck. You guys are amazing <3 -Aaron Curry, the real professor cup winner! ILY! -Dan, Ryan, Tati, and everyone else that was there for me when I was down this week. I dunno what I would have done without you all. -Everyone that I hung out with that made this week fun at all. EVERYONE! -Mike Farrington. You're like my adopted father, thanks for everything. -Kareoke. -Matt Chin. Slops: -Drama, being depressed, and getting in fights with people. -Time limit combined with trash starts ruining my shot -Lack of kareoke on Sunday night. -The fact that I now have to actually test for the grinder now. Ugh! -Following Chad and not going with Kant/Garrett/everyone. Bad play :nonono: See you guys in Orlando!