There were 2 Mass City Championships this past week and I was fortunate to attend both. I had planned on attending both but along the way my plans changed (but the end result was the same - we were able to go to both). The first one in Auburn was on a Thursday night, and since the boys were on vacation, I figured we would go to that one. I planned to leave my house around 4:00 so that we'd have 2 hours to get there (driving in rush hour traffic and all) and I'd take my 2 oldest boys and 2 older boys that use to attend the League I ran (and occasionally rode up with us to TJ's). Well the first and biggest change of plans was that my wife wanted to go. She always complained when I took the boys to TJ's for League/tournaments so I could not believe she wanted to come. Wednesday night she and Brian play tested and she was good to go. I had some concern about attending as pokemebob had posted that room might be tight but I had told him at last TJ's session we'd be there so in case he was counting on us to show up (and my help), I decided we would go. Plus I had to trade Flare Starfire some Crystal Shards. We did leave the house around 4:00 (after I brought my mother-in-law to my house so she could watch my youngest). We got to the Auburn TRU around 5:00 or something like that (no major traffic jams). We went in to scope out the tournament area (and to look to see if that TRU had any interesting things). Well there was already quite a crowd of people at the tables for the tournament. JohnnyBlaze & his son, Flare Starfire, babayaga and 3 of her kids (I didn't know she had so many. I think she always showed up with only 1 at other events) were there. Dave and his daughter, hotmustard, and pokemebob's 2 boys were there from our usual TJ's League. In total 34 people were there to play. I must say I am sooooo jealous of pokemebob that he has such a great TRU that allowed him to hold this CC. I wish our TRU was like his. A printer was need, one was taken out of an office (I believe, I'm not 100% sure on this but I don't think 'bob had a printer with him). More chairs were needed and more chairs were made available. Pokemebob asked if I was there to play or help and I told him if he needs help, I'd be glad to help. So I did. Things went pretty smoothly. The biggest problem we ran into was someone forgot to put out their prizes 3 times if I remember correctly. Know it was definitely twice but I think it happened a 3rd time and of course, it was a pain explaining the rationale for the penalty given for the repeat infraction. The biggest rulings problem was with Feint Attack and Metal Energy. Took us several minutes to explain to the person about Cacturne's Feint Attack and how it was slightly different than Murkrow's (and how Metal was different than being Smokescreened). When it was finished, Flare Starfire came in 1st in the 15+ division using a Blaziken/Arcanine deck; my oldest came in 1st in the 11-14 division using an Ampharous EX/Cacturne/Espeon (and Minun TecH which won him his last game); and JohnnyBlaze's son, Nick, won the 10 & under with a Mewtwo EX deck. My wife played Gardeviour EX and came in 9th out of the 18 15+ players. My middle played a Omastar swarm inspired by Jim Farrell and came in last in the 11-14. I saw a number of different decks being played (and 2 unmodified precons) and I think everyone had a good time. Since we did not eat supper we stopped at a Wendy's on the way home (much to the chagrin of my wife who is on Atkins so she was "Get it to go. Why are you going in? Go through the drive through."). Well for some strange reason, my wife wanted to go to TJ's on Saturday, but not with the Gardy EX deck. She wanted a deck that could win. So my oldest went on line and read up on BAR (he actually joined Pojo & Da Gym! With his win, he's spending more time on line as he's really interested in getting his deck to be even better). We had some Rayquazza EX's (had 1 for trade, pulled 1 from the box Brian won at Auburn, and had 1 in our Secret Stash). Had plenty of Blazikens stockpiled in the Secret Stash. And Amphy was available as a Rare so that wasn't a big deal. He built her the deck and they play tested with him using his Auburn CC deck. Both started tweaking their decks. Brian took out the Minuns and 3 other cards. My wife replaced all Jugglers (and she did not run Delcatty). TV Reporter was her Discarder of choice - when she Juggled, she usually got rid of the only Energy card she had and didn't pull any. She even put in the Minuns Brian had taken out! Well they play tested until nighttime, each tweaking their decks making them what they believed to be better. She wanted me to play her but I was busy. The plan was for me to get my mother-in-law again to watch my youngest but since my folks live 2 towns over, my wife made plans to leave Matthew with them, which changed the time I wanted to start out at. So we were all set for Saturday. Well Saturday I had planned to shower, get ready, pack, and leave around 10:00-10:30 so I could get to TJ's early to talk to Tom about the TMvsTA prerelease, help set up if necessary, and make some trades (RH TV REPORTER ????? Anyone?????). My wife decided to send me to Shaw's for some groceries that she just had to have that day (couldn't wait until Sunday). So I took that opportunity to swing by Target for promos after shopping at Shaw's. Then raced home, unpacked the groceries, packed up the car, and headed to my Mom & Dad's. An hour later we were there and said our Hellos/Good-byes and left Matthew with them. Off to TJ's, which we arrived at much sooner than I had expected thanks to going a different route. So inside to see what's going on. Settled in and chatted with some people. JohnnyBlaze & son, Flare Starfire, Monkey, hotmustard, plus the others I expected were there. I was surprised to see babayaga as she told us she would not be coming to TJ's but she was there with her kids. Went to the car to get hotmustard his Xatu from Sandstorm that he needed for his deck. Traded a Blaziken for RH Trainer (Switch?) and Zangoose, I think. While pokemebob registered people, I did some deck checks for some of the younger players and gave unsolicited advice when I thought it was needed (30 is too much energy, you don't need Energy Search, add more Trainers). Marril2k showed up at some point and we were ready. People played, pizza came, more play. Flare Starfire wound up with a first round bye o_0 - thought the CC win was good for a bye at States. . Second round my wife had to face him! What a game! It was very close, went the full 30, and ended on her turn. I walked by saw what I would do, noticed that Flare had 1 prize left, my wife had 2(!) so I figured she'd go for the tie. But she did some bizarro play - Retreated her fully powered Blaziken, promoted her Ampy with only L, and then looked at her hand and noticed the Minun sitting in it (I was screaming inside when she Retreated Blaze but had not put Minun on the Bench). The light went on. She Benched Minun, asked Mike how many cards he had as she was going to Copycat, then looked at her hand and noticed she had a Switch. She Switched for Minun, used Amphy's Power to move 2 L to Minun, and KOed the Benched Delcatty with 40 damage on it for the tie. She really enjoyed that game. Another game she enjoyed was when she played against JohnnyBlaze again. She lost to him at Auburn but enjoyed playing against him there as he tells what he is doing. For this game, he told her what she was doing (she had Blaze and Amphy on the Bench so she'd just attach a R energy card to the Active Ray and he'd be like "You're first putting that to the Bench using Blaze's Power and then Transferred using Amphy's Power, right?" She'd be like "Yah."). Well she won that game - Johnny had a Rare Candy, Combuskin, and 2 Blazikens in his hand, no Torchic in sight. Then he drew his 3rd Blaziken. Saw a wide variety of decks played. The most annoying deck was a Fossil Mulligan where the person would mulligan until he got what he needed. Told him he had 5 minutes after the round had started to resolve the mulligan or if he could play his hand, he'd play it. I don't know what he was looking for but I do know that he wanted a Desert Shaman to be part of his opening hand. Oh Miss "I-won't-be-going-to-Milford", babayaga, won every game and the Championship in the 15+. My wife came in second! Which she loved. Unfortunately she gave one of her packs away and that contained a Rayquazza EX. Luckily for her it didn’t contain a RH TV Reporter. In the other divisions, my oldest went 3-0 and then dropped from the tournament so the last round would decide the winner. I don't know if someone else was 3-0 but I don't think so. If Brian had played the last round and conceded, that person would be the winner of the CC. This way the top spot was opened to whoever won the next round (and tiebreakers as it would turn out). When it was done, pokemebob's son had the top position and he wondered if we should run another round as 4 people had 9 points. I looked at the standings and told him if we run another round, we'd still have 2 people with 12 points and would probably have to run another round. From my point of view, Ben was the winner (and we figured that it would be 4 rounds anyway). I wonder who Brian would have faced if he stayed in…. The major rulings problem we had was someone used back to back Supporters. He TVed and put the card in his Discard pile instead of next to his Active. Then he played Oak's Research and shuffled his hand into his deck. His opponent was "Hey you can't do that!" With that kind of disruption, I ruled that was definitely a Prize swap situation and, using the Cleffa vs. Baby rule, loss of hand. Hope we get some Penalty Guidelines soon. My middle came in second to last (I think babayaga's oldest came in last) but he had a good time, especially hanging out with babayaga's oldest (? Don't know if she was her oldest, but I know she's hers!). In the 10 & under, 3 rounds were held and JohnnyBlaze's son conceded in the final round to babayaga's middle(?) child. Someone forgot their prizes once but no big ruling problems happened here. I think everyone had a blast and think Brian and Nick did a good thing by not winning a second championship. I was disappointed at the turn out - only 40 people. We were hoping for 60-70 but I think since this was held on a Saturday, some people could not make it (previous big events were played on a Sunday). The biggest problem we had with the CC was the marril2k did something to the printer (marril2k - that's the story and we're sticking with it ) so there was a gap between the 2nd & 3rd rounds (which people used to scarf on pizza…….hmmmmm pizza…..). We paired people and posted their seat by hand while Judy, Tom's wife, worked feverishly to get the printer working again. I had started to prepare a hand made results slip when Judy worked her magic and we were able to use a different printer. Whew, that was a close one. After the awarding of prizes, the regular TJ's Pokémon tournament took place with 16 people participating. My wife went 2-2 I think and Brian went 3-1. Hotmustard took first place with his Aggron EX/Xatu/Furret deck. We were lucky to stay as my wife wanted to leave after the CC was done but we convinced her to stay. Well we went and got Matthew via a shorter shortcut than we used before and raced off to home for supper. Hopefully we'll be seeing you at the Team Magma vs Team Aqua Prerelease on March 6th! And get ready to travel during the month of April!! Nothing definite as Tom's still working on plans but hopefully we'll be seeing you in NH and RI (and MA of course) during the month of April! Keeping fingers crossed.