My Return: Successful - Massillon, OH Report

Discussion in 'City Championships' started by Gymbo ex, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Gymbo ex

    Gymbo ex New Member

    I am in Ohio visiting family for the Holidays. I am actually living in North Carolina finishing up my Biology degree (graduating next semester), but am originally from Ohio. So, I made my trading card competition debut here in Ohio many years ago. I also did very well in Ohio back then before moving to North Carolina, and having continued success.

    Being a science student, my schedule is incredibly full, and I really do not have time to be as competitive as I would like. However, school and research are vastly superior and important to a successful TCG playing career (I am sure some people'd disagree though). I also have been battling serious illness for over a year and a half. Also, my schedule and the schedule of the PTO in NC/SC conflicts with my attendence to his events (They are excellent events, I just couldn't get to them!) I had exams/important projects or would be in Ohio for holiday breaks - Thanksgiving/Christmas when he had his events. I actually hadn't played competitively since early States of last year. Even before playing events last year, I would play in intervals, I was not a player who consistantly played. I've been burnt out, in terms of playing for a very long time. I would play sometimes at League, which were also sporadic periods of testing.

    I had been teasing codes and scrambled messages telling people when I would return to competitive play. The hints led to yesterday at Massillon (I had wanted to go to Pittsburgh too, but the weather was just too bad). Massillon is actually 35 minutes from my house in Akron, so it was pretty close to home. I was pretty excited to get to make my return close to my house. I only brought two decks with me, both Rogue decks because that's just the kind of player I am. I like taking cards that people do not think work well, and just prove them wrong by beating down Archetypes.

    Speaking of decks, I hinted which deck I would use in one of my earlier posts. This is the exact list I used yesterday, it worked wonderfully. And this was really the first major testing of this deck. I came wanting to enjoy myself, and honestly did not expect to win based on my lack of testing and inactivity.

    EternaSaur (SAVIOR_SELF?)
    Modified Format

    Pokemon: 18
    4 Celebi (SW)
    4 Bulbasaur (SW)
    2 Ivysaur (SW)
    4 Venusaur (SW)
    2 Wooper (SW)
    2 Quagsire d

    Energy: 16
    12 Grass
    4 Double Rainbow

    Trainers: 26
    4 Buffer Piece
    4 Rare Candy
    3 Roseanne's Research
    3 Steven's Advice
    3 Celio's Network
    3 Castaway
    3 Warp Point
    2 Copycat
    1 Night Maintenance

    If I were to make some changes, I would go:
    -1 Castaway
    -1 DRE
    +1 Celio
    +1 Scramble

    *Strategy for the deck can be found in the Deck Forum post by other screename (Jim Ferrell).

    Prior to the tournament, I sort of hung out by myself. I did talk to some people I knew, but most people did not know who I was. I actually overheard someone ask "Who is that noob?" referring to me after they found out I was using Venusaur. I get my deck-checked and had a to get a Card-Dex print out for my DRE. Pairings go up a little later because of the weather, and because the TO wanted to give people a chance to get there (lots of new little kids). I'm not going to lie, I was nervous because it had been so long since I had played.

    Round 1 Vs. Henry D with Blissey/Lucario
    Okay, so talking with Chris Fulop (who was absent due to weather), he told me that Henry is an amazing player. He wins the toss, and Rallys with Corsola. I have a pretty good start, but start with two Bulbasaur instead of Celebi. I have a Rare Candy and Steven's in my hand as well as a DRE, so I am ready to go aggressive with Venusaur. He wakes up from sleep (Bulbasaur) and retreats, drops a Boost and KOs Bulbasaur. So, I send up my other Bulbasaur and play my Steven's Advice for 5 and pull a Venusaur, Warp Point, and Celebi, and some other good stuff. I Warp Point, stalling for a turn. Eventually, I build up a couple Venusaur and go toe to toe with Blissey(s). Blissey isn't too bad of a matchup because I can flip to Poison then hit for 60, then KO them on the next turn. Venusaur is great because I can heal the damage away. Buffer Piece saw heavy use this game. Time's called, but I've taken 5 prizes, and he's taken 3. I win. 1-0

    Round 2 Vs. (Forgot) with Walrein
    So, despite the deck, I never underestimate my opponent because I run weird stuff all the time too. And she actually had a pretty good build. I start with Celebi and just begin to get powered up very quickly. Roseanne for the Bulbasaurs, and the Leaf Tornado action starts and I have 2 Bulbasaurs with 2 energy a piece before Celebi is KOed. I Candy into Venusaur and evolve the other Bulba to Ivysaur, then bench a Wooper. I really had the advantage early just because of how fast Celebi makes this deck. It's not long before I have 3 Venusaurs and they just are too much, and also am hitting Bloom flips, healing myself. She gets a Walrein active, but it falls. EternaSaur is a monster when it rolls. 2-0

    Round 3 Vs. Heather H. Gardevoir/Gallade
    I used some well-timed Warp Points after building up a quick Venusaur to take out two Ralts she is trying to power up on the Bench (1 had 3 energy on it), she had Keen Eyed for two cards, I am assuming it was Rare Candy and Gardevoir/Gallade, so I Warp to take out the threat. She is able to build back a little bit, but I have already taken too many prizes, and I believe I had 2 Venusaurs out and it was just too much. 3-0 We did play again after that game, and it came down to 1-1 Prize and she beat me, but it was a great game.

    Round 4 Vs. Kim A. with Blissey/Electivire
    Oh goodness, this match was a bear. I had a marginal setup, but hers was terrible. I intially think I have her and go up on Prizes 3-6. But she makes some excellent plays and catches back up thanks to nailing some important Power of Evolution draws from her Buzzes. I also miss on 0/5 Venusaur Giant Bloom flips. Three of which were absolutely critical. That alone would have shifted the game in my favor. Time was called and we were tied 3-3 on Prizes. She has a lot of stuff on her Benched that's damaged, I have 1 Warp Point left in my deck with like 5 cards left, I also have a Steven's which I planned to use to get the Point and KO her Bench. She is able to KO me on time. There was also a pretty important ruling that could have also affected the game. One of her great moves came when she Leveled up to Electivire Lv X and used Pulse Barrier successfully since I had a Buffer Piece attached. This Elective also had 90 damage on it. At that point in the game, I had 2 Venusaur. I wanted to try to Miracle Aroma her and Poison her since I could not attack because of Pulse Barrier, but she thought (based on the text written and I agreed with her) that I could do nothing to her Electivire. It turns out that I could still use Powers. The text read "...During your opponent's next turn prevent all effects, including damage done to Electivire." It did not mention the key word "attacks." Turns out it was errataed, or something. I had no clue since I hadn't played in so long. It's alright though, it was an excellent game anyways. My flips were terrible that game, so it probably wouldn't have mattered. 3-1

    Round 5 Vs. Jeanne with Magmortar/Typhlosion
    I saw a lot of fire going into the day, which made me nervous. Going up against Magmortar is tough, it's maybe a 20% chance of winning. I also knew if I lost here, I would not make top cut. I did however have the highest resistance of the entire tournament too (Close to 75% I think). I win the toss and go first, and begin with my Celebi powering up, and play Buffers on Celebi so it's not taken out by weakness. I'm up pretty fast, Venusaur 1 comes out by the 3rd turn, fully charged. She gets a Delcatty, I quickly Warp Point it, Poison it, and KO it. By one point in the game I have 3 Venusaur's going. She has Magmar's and Typhlosions up, but cannot draw into her Magmortars. In the meantime, I continue exploiting Warp Point and she sends up Typhlosion, which I quickly Poison and Burn. She loses Typhlosion too. I start hitting Magmars. I'm up on prizes 2-6. She finally gets the Magmortar and takes out Venusaur in one hit (6 energy on it and weakness), I did also have a Buffer Piece attached. Quagsire made a wonderful appearance in this part of the game. Not only because I was able to get the Buffers back, but because it wasn't weak to Fire. The status and Warp Points overwhelmed her. That is what you have to do versus fire. You have to play the game carefully, and smart. 4-1

    Alright, so going into the Top Cut, I am seeded number one and the results were:
    1. Me with Venusaur
    2. Kim A. with Blissey/Electivire
    3. Henry D. with Blissey/Lucario
    4. Heather H. with Gardevoir/Gallade

    So, we get our decks checked, and it turns out one of my sleeves was damaged. I wouldn't have even noticed, but they ask me to resleeve. I did not bring any extras, but one of the Judges (Mike, I think) gave me one of his (which I still have, I'll return it). So that was a big help. We are seated and the Match Play Rounds begin.

    Top 4 vs. Heather with Gardevoir/Gallade

    Game 1: I had an amazing start. Turn two Venusaur, and I just go aggressive with her. I always go aggressive in the first game and play cautiously in the second and third games just because of how important the first match is in Match Play. I again exploit Warp Point and get some important KOs. I go up early on prizes, but she makes an amazing comeback with her Telepass from Gardevoir. She gets a couple Gallade going too, but I am able to hit Miracle Aroma and keep them asleep and finish them off. However, I miss some important flips on Giant Bloom letting her get back into the game. We trade prizes and it goes down to 1-1. I use my last Warp Point to KO her Bench, she had me on the next turn with another fresh Gallade. 1-0 with 31 minutes left.

    Game 2: My start wasn't as good, but hers was. She builds up much faster, but I hit some important flips with Giant Bloom. Buffer Piece also kept my Venusaurs alive longer and longer. Much like the last game, we exchange prizes and the game continues to go back and forth. She does go up in prizes 3-2 and I have two Venusaurs left. One is on the Bench with 100 damage, and the other active. I was able to keep exploiting Buffer Piece thanks to Quagsire, and just kept myself in it by healing myself and hitting some status occassionally. We continue to trade damage, but time is called. I felt bad because I am pretty sure she had me. She was building up again on her Bench; Telepass is so broken. I heard whispers of stalling. Okay, let me make something clear. I was not cheating or stalling. My Venusaur's attack lets me remove damage, that is the only aspect of "stalling" I was exploiting, that plus Buffer Piece, which are valid components of the deck (in fact, key to the strategy). I was not playing useless cards which had nothing to do with the game result or spending 30 seconds looking through my deck/discard and/or shuffling. I did think, yes, but I did not waste time. In fact, Heather's turns lasted much longer than mine because she was using Supporters and Telepass. We truly had some excellent games all around. Great job Heather. 2-0; Win.

    T2 Vs Henry D. with Blissey/Lucario

    Game 1: Here we go again! My first match from the tournament and now my last one too. He wins the toss and starts with Corsola, I'm opening with Celebi. He Rallys, and I draw, Roseanne for the Bulbasaurs. I attach to Celebi, play a Buffer Piece, and Sprouting for another Grass. He evolves to Blissey and does a lot of damage to my Celebi which hangs on thanks to Buffer Piece. I play Steven's Advice for 5 (He liked to have a Big Bench) and rip a Rare Candy (I had Venusaur) and Castaway I quickly evolve my Bulbasaur. I attach an energy to Venusaur, then hit Poison on his Blissey. Leaf Tornado back both Grass to Venusaur. He KOs Celebi, and I hit him hard with Venusaur (w/Buffer Piece), but not before evolving to Ivysaur, playing a Wooper, and attaching a DRE to Ivysaur. I take an early lead and the momentum shifts into my favor. Buffer Piece kept Venusaur going for a very long time, and I hit some timely Bloom flips, missed on most Miracle Aroma flips though. At one point, I had 2 fully pumped Venusaurs, and an Ivysaur. The game takes a very long time, but I have the advantage. I'm up 2-4 prizes at the 30 minute mark. He continues to build and tries to come back, but can't. I overwhelm him with the sheer staying power of Venusaur. 1-0; 15 minutes remain.

    Game 2: Alright, I was thrilled. The first game went so long and I knew it would be very unlikely unless he KOed me quickly, he could beat me twice in less than 15 minutes. I get a pretty good start, and he opts to go first. I open with Bulbasaur, he with Chansey. I draw into Celebi, and play a Warp Point after Benching Celebi. I play my Castaway, grabbing the Buffer Piece, Grass Energy, and Steven's. I attach the Grass and Buffer to Celebi and Sprouting for the second Grass. Over the next few turns we both build up, but again, I have the advantage because of time. We trade damage, but I am able to Poison him with Venusaur (I had two at one point the game) and hit him for 60. Because of the poison damage, I know I am to KO him on my next turn. It is this mechanism that allows me to beat Blissey. He uses Lucario to try to pick off damaged stuff on the Bench (Venusaur with 90). I quickly put him to sleep and him for 60, he fails to wake up, and I KO. At one point he uses another Lucario and Levels up and hits me with Stance. I am able to Warp Point out of it and KO something else on the Bench. Time was called and I was up 2-4. Therefore I win. 2-0; Win.

    I was thrilled at winning for several different reasons. It was a great way to make my return to the game, and because I had such great matchs all day, most of which were challenging. And not only that, but I almost went completely undefeated. It showed me that I still have the ability despite lack of playing and format awareness that I can still go toe to toe. Sure, it may just be a City, but I had a tough day all day. Sure, I got some good flips, but I also had some really bad flips. So, I cannot say that I won just because I was lucky. I did not donk, nor was I donked. I also had a lot of fun, the event was well-organized and just fun to play in. Perhaps most importantly, I got a taste again of that competitive drive which helped me do so well in the past.

    Props:
    AJ for the well-run event and help with the Card-Dex
    The judges for doing a great job all day. Also, specifically Mike, for allowing me to use that sleeve.
    All of my opponents for giving me great matches and allowing me to re-kindle that competitive fire.
    Venusaur: It's a great card that really only has rough times against Fire.
    My Packs: I pulled some amazing stuff. After opening and trading, I got 3/2 Gallade/Gardevoir and a whoooole bunch more.

    Slops:
    Winter snow mess. Not fun driving home in that. You folks in the Carolinas have no idea what bad weather driving is. :tongue:
    Nothing else!

    Thank-you for reading! Be ready OH and NC, the second coming of Gymbo is here! See y'all in North Ridgeville.

    ~Jim
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  2. ryanvergel

    ryanvergel New Member

    Congratulations. Looks like you're no noob after all :tongue: lol.
     
  3. KazamBolt

    KazamBolt Active Member

    That's some great pulls. GJ!
     
  4. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    Way to go Jim! I'm happy to see you playing the game you enjoy to play again. I'm looking forward to the time when we can see each other again in person. Until then, remember, have fun.
     
  5. Ardoptres

    Ardoptres New Member

    GJ. Great report!
     
  6. swanton1717

    swanton1717 New Member

    Great Job!!!!! I'm soooo glad to seee you playing again!!!

    I'm so glad you won with grass too!!! That type needs some representation.

    GJ Again! Keep up the winning

    ~Colin
     
  7. ARMondak

    ARMondak New Member

    Congrats, looking forward to seeing you in Ridgeville.
     
  8. secretsof2113

    secretsof2113 Moderator Trader Feedback Mod

    yeah, so much for the rustiness that you told me you had! I had a great time getting to actually play against you. You were accused of stalling?!?! By who? I did not feel in any way that you stalled during our games. We had two really long games, that was all. If it was De Groh who tried to say you stalled.......I'm going to shoot myself in the foot. Seeing that he is the essence of stalling......I'm glad you beat him. Making a valiant return, and then taking the entire tournament with a well made rogue deck....that's a great feat. I'm looking forward to playing against you again as the season progresses.

    ~Heather
     
  9. Naki Feralkin

    Naki Feralkin New Member

    I was quite impressed by the way that you played yesterday. I had been trying to play a Grass rogue as a test deck throughout the season and you play it much more impressively than I do. (I ran Megan/Swalot)

    Heather did not think you were stalling by any means. I noted she was a bit frustrated at the end of the game because it went to time, and she said she was close to game there. The matches were just long lasting is all. You should see her when she plays me in tourney play.. Both of us end up heating up.

    You're going to North Ridgeville? If weather permits I will be coming as well. I hope to see you there!

    By the way, if you've nothing to do Thursday evening, the store you were at is holding league if you want to practice before N. Ridgeville. And I'm pretty sure theres league in Green (At Arby's) on Wednesday.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  10. Darkwalker

    Darkwalker New Member

    Congrats on the win Jim. I was hoping to attend the Massilon CC, but the weather was just awful for a drive over one hour. I can see how your deck would give the metagame up here in NE Ohio fits, though. There just aren't too many condition spread decks around here at all, and therefore no one uses anything to counter them.
     
  11. DreamChaser AJ

    DreamChaser AJ New Member

    Thank you for the Prop Jim and once again congrats on the victory!
     
  12. The Gorn

    The Gorn Active Member

    Jim, I've very glad that you're back. I've said in the past that US Nationals last year was a much lesser event (bordering on invalid) without you, Jake, and Jacy. (Some have thought I was joking, but I was not.) I am also delighted to see that you won with a deck outside the standard Blissey/Gallade/Magmortar/Infernape/Empoleon combos.

    Nice job, and welcome back.
     
  13. JohnnyBlaze

    JohnnyBlaze New Member

    Only you Jim only you ;-) Great report and great job winning your 1st Cities.
     
  14. Dark Weedle

    Dark Weedle New Member

    its the player not the deck but sometimes a deck can make a player
     
  15. Dante63s

    Dante63s New Member

    Great performance! and nice deck, GJ.
     
  16. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    Jim: Nice report and great job! We all knew you still had it in ya.....keep showing them young whippersnappers that you can still pwn them old school style. I love the use of Venusaur. That card is fun to play. Look forward to seeing you in the Carolinas for States and Reg's (assuming you will be going, of course).

    Keith
     
  17. Rambo1000

    Rambo1000 New Member

    agreed.
     

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