my finacee meadow had been using a gardevoir/gallade/absol disruption deck that i put together right after SW came out and she had had pretty good success with it in a couple of previous city championships (3-2 at one, 4th place at another). after a disastrous 1-4 performance last week i knew i needed to pay something else, so we made some minor adjustments to her GAG disruption deck and i put together the exact same build. Round 1 I play a familiar face in Janet though she too is using a new deck, an Electivire/Raichu/Delcatty thing which her son had had a fair amount of success with in the seniors group. unfortunately all that fighting weakness really limited her against my gallades and she only flipped 2 heads out of 10 coins on electivire's discharge. i win. record 1-0 Round 2 I get another familiar face all too soon, Stephen L., and he too is playing a new deck. He had swtiched from his speed shiftry ex to the classic flygon ex/altaria ex/fearow combination. this time he has the weakness advantage on me so i know i have to move quick. i fortunately start with an absol and make him discard two from his hand (tvr and a flygon ex i think), second turn i strike with absol again and this time i get a rare candy and then another flygon ex (he hadn't got any trapinchs out yet). by the fourth turn i have a gallade ready and he has stalled out with no energy. i take all six prizes for a suprisingly easy win. record 2-0 Round 3 i forget the name of this fellow but i had played him last week at the vancouver wa CC and lost an epic battle against his Gardevoir/Gallde/Dusknoir deck. i don't remember many specifics of this long, difficult matchup. i got ahead early and he punished me badly with a couple of scramble energies on gardevoir and dusknoir respectively. i did manage to hit each with sonic blade (i remember i only had three prizes left and i didn't want to turn them all over and do only 120 on a pokemon with 130 hp). after my gallade got KOed i stalled out a bit and had to sacrifice a couple of absols while trying to pull the right cards to get it together. fortunately i did and after using a warp point to force him to bring a low hp pokemon forward i KOed it for the last prize. this was a very difficult win, the fact that two of his ralts were prized probably cost him the game (one of mine had been prized as well). record 3-0 Round 4 i don't know this guys name either but i knew he was running a vicious darkwing duck build. neither of us get very good starts, he has a murkrow, i have absol but little in the way of useful supporters. i go to work on his trainer heavy hand with baleful wind discarding a trainer and another card for the first 3-4 rounds. he has no energy and no supporters resigns himself to using murkrow's swarm to fill his bench with the other 3 murkrows. at that point both our decks start functioning like they are supposed to at the exact same time, i get a charged gallade up just he manages to evolve to a honchkrow and get a DRE and dark energy on it. my gallade strikes first, KOing a murkrow every turn. he is hitting back for 50 but fortunately i had already discarded a large number of his pluspowers and strength charms so it took him three turns to KO gallade instead of two. i then bring up a gardevoir and make it level x, by this time he has gotten up to honchkrow level x. someplace along the line i made his life difficult with a cessation crystal on gardevoir he warped it to the bench and then next turn he pulled the windstorm he needed. it was a long deliberate game and we both know that time is running out. i manage to evolve and charge another gallade and i am up 1 prize remaining to his 2 when time is called. my gallade is undamaged and his honchkrow level x can't do more than 80 to me. i win on prizes even though it looked very likely that i would have lost had the game gone on (i had a lone uncharged absol on the bench). just to see we agree to finish the game, he puts buffer piece on honchkrow and hits me for 80. gallade can't do more than 20-30 damage to him after resistance and the buffer piece but as fate would have it i top deck a warp point, we both switch i retreat the absol and KO is murkrow. i would have won either way, though it was another epic match. record 4-0 Round 5 I am now facing the only other undefeated player left and it is my fiancee who is running the exact same 60 card build. talk about mirror matches. she starts with absol, i start with ralts. i miss my confusion flip. her baleful wind attack twice costs me the one card i didn't want to lose. she gets set up and makes relative short work of me, i don't think i took a single prize. the good news is that win or lose we both knew we were going to make the top four cut. record 4-1 First Playoff Surprise, I draw Janet again. After losing the very first game to me she went on a four win tear with that Electivire deck and made top cut. Unfortunately for her her whole deck is still weak to fighting and very susceptible to having its powers turned off. i won both matches in less than 30 minutes in a very anti-climactic style not worth detailing. record 6-1 Finals At the other table my undefeated fiancee was squared off against the guy with the darkwing duck deck. it took almost the whole hour but she finally prevailed 2 games to one to set up a family mirrormatch final. we both knew how this would go, whoeve got gallade out first was almost certain to win. and as much as the semifinals were anticlimactic, so was this. i simply drew better starts both games than she did and won them handedly. no great strategy, just disrupt then kill. rounds three and four of the tournament proved to be a lot tougher than any of the playoff battles final record 8-1 and city champion of salem, or things learned considering that this build went a combined 9-1 in the tournament (its only loss to its mirror) and 6-3 in the playoffs (again with two mirror losses that couldn't be avoided) i would call it the best deck i have ever put together. i can't wait to see how it handles the techs sure to be thrown against it. by our family taking both first and second place in masters we won the better part of box of secret wonders cards, including the level x (honchkrow). s big heartfelt thanks to BDS, Rich and Chris for putting on such an excellently run city championship. you guys are real pros. a double thanks to the Clanton clan for all their advice and support over the last year as my clan has gone from pokemon neophytes to contenders. hope to see you all next week at tualatin.