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LuMaga1
07/21/2004, 05:13 PM
I must apologize for my lateness. I’ve only worked on this report a couple of times because of responsibilities I had to attend to. Also, I apologize for not having any pictures. Now, with that out of the way, enjoy my report:

Thursday Evening:

Joe (FireFighter095Reborn) and myself went to the Pokemon League in Albany to test and adjust our decks before the journey to the ECSC. During the league, I was trying to decide which would be better to have in my deck: 2 Desert Ruins or 2 Pokemon Reversals. After testing, I preferred to use the Reversals. We made final plans with our third passenger Steven (DarkAsh), were wished good luck by JohnnyBlaze and the crew and took our leave at 8. Joe’s deck consisted of Psychic Pokemon including Gardevoir, its big EX sister and Wobbuffet, Steven’s deck was a Shiftry, Muk EX deck and mine’s good old Grass, namely Skyridge Beedrill, Crobat, Hidden Legends Crobat and Team Aqua’s Seviper.

Also, during the league I learned a very interesting ruling from Steven that was just made recently: When using a Rare Candy to evolve a Weedle into Skyridge Beedrill, it’s Pokemon Power does not trigger. This would hurt my deck, but not enough to make a huge difference. Basically, we vowed to have fun at the big event but also to give it 110%. After getting home and watching an episode of The Apprentice, I finally got to sleep.

Friday:

Woke up at 5:15, had breakfast and finished packing for the trip. I picked Steven up at 7:30 and Joe at ten after eight. I would’ve been there earlier, but we encountered construction along the way. On the way to Maryland, Steven and I had some interesting conversations ranging from Pokemon and what to expect to politics to High School to etc. Now, Mapquest said the journey would take about six hours. Unfortunately, Mapquest does not compensate for roadwork and traffic! Virtually every major highway we took had construction! Plus, the tolls were outrageous! We paid about thirty dollars in tolls for the trip and back! We ended up getting to the hotel around 5:30 pm, two hours late. We checked in and not even before we get to our room, a kid named Justin Hodges asked us if we play Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Of course, the answer was yes and I told him to meet us in the lobby in a few minutes.

The lobby was spacious. There were more than enough tables and chairs to go around. So, I met up with Justin and during the course of the evening, we must have dueled about 4 or 5 times. Need I say it… he wiped the floor with me! However, I was able to defeat him in one of the matches and the duels always ended with him being at about 1000 life points, a few hundred more or less. Justin told me he’s practicing for the Regionals and with 3 Don Zaloog’s in his deck he should do well. Meanwhile, I played a game of Pokemon against Justin’s brother Cody and he also defeated me, sporting a Psychic deck or as I referred to Joe: “The perfect form of his deck.” Later, the Milford crew checked in and soon joined us in the lobby. I played a game against Nick’s Crobat/Psychic deck, but we couldn’t finish the match for the dynamic duo graced us with their presence: Sensei and Pokepop.

Shortly after, we went back to our room and ordered some pizza. While we were waiting, Steven and I played a game of Battlecards. The game is about World War II and the battles fought on whichever front we decided to play. We played the Pacific Front, which is the USA versus Japan. I was Japan and he was the US. After the game, the pizza arrived and it was like eating back in the old neighborhood! The pizza was excellent! Once that was done, we went back to the lobby and joined a slightly larger crowd than before.

Sensei proposed a practice tournament and most of us night owls agreed to play. There would be 32 minutes per round with the first two minutes being used for set up time. We had about 27 people and the pairings began at 11pm. :

Round 1 vs. Brian Leary- 11 pm.

This was a nail biter, plain and simple. We went back and forth with our decks and he was sporting a Psychic deck with Garde., its EX counterpart and Wobbuffet. We fought to a draw. I had my HL Crobat active with his Garde. EX active with about 70 damage on it. We both had one prize left. After I drew my card for the turn, Sensei yelled TIME and no matter what I thought of, I would not be able to knock GEX out. So, it was a draw and good thing to. If time wasn’t called, I would have lost next turn.

Record: 0-0-1

Round 2 vs. Joe Turner- 11:47 pm.

This round didn’t last very long. I lost swiftly to a Water deck: Milotic and Wailren. I did note an interesting combo though. After playing Wailren, Oracle can be played to stack two Water energy on top of the deck. With Wailren’s ability, a trainer can draw, play the first energy and then use Wailren to play the second from the deck. Isn’t that something?

Record: 0-1-1

Round 3 vs. Cody Hodges- 12:20 am.

Ha! Rematch! I have a second chance to tangle with Cody. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too far into the match. Cody was making mistakes because he was exhausted and decided to forfeit. I told to get some rest but like me and everyone else, he stayed awake. He’s good, but he’s not a true night owl yet!

Record: 1-1-1

Round 4 vs. Miranda Craig- 1:03 am.

This round also didn’t last very long. Before the match, Miranda took out her little Pokemon tokens for luck including THE ALMIGHTY CATERPIE!!! She was using a Rambo deck and I quickly learned another lesson, confirmed by Sensei: When Rayquzza EX has two Fire Energy and a Multi Energy attached and decides to use its second attack, even though the Multi Energy is providing Electric, it’s also Fire as well. So, all three energy were discarded doing 120 damage to my HL Crobat and unfortunately, it was my only Pokemon in play. …Well, now I know.

Record: 1-2-1

Round 5 vs. Mike Martin (PokePop)- 1:40 am.

How surprised was I when I discovered I would be facing of with one of the dynamic duo? This match went to the time limit. Mike was using a Water/Psychic that included Azumarill, Wobbuffet, Sanstorm Dunsprace and Ditto. The match went back and forth and Mike had me worried when Azumarill had five energy attached to it for its Max Bubbles attack. But, my deck survived and in the end, I had one prize to his two. It was a good match and I definitely enjoyed that one very much.

Record: 2-2-1

Now, Sensei only had enough prize support for the top 16 players. I ended up in 12th place and got one pack of Hidden Legends. I opened my pack and I pull a RegiRock EX. Isn’t that something?? I had two people wanting to trade me for it, but I told them to see me later because I was going to bed. It was about 2:30 when I left the lobby.

Saturday

I got about five hours of sleep and wanted a little more. However, Joe and Steven were talking about breakfast and what got me to sit up like the Undertaker was one word… BACON!! I was dressed and out the door in about ten minutes. We took our stuff to the car, checked out of the hotel and had breakfast. For me, breakfast consisted of about half a pound of bacon, some cereal and toast, which I did not finish, OJ and Milk. Joe wanted to have one battle with me and I accepted. Of course, if I knew the crowd we were going to gather for this match, I would have sold tickets (j/k). I defeated Joe and shortly after, it was nine o’ clock and registration began.

We quickly registered and proceeded into the ballroom. We grabbed a seat and played another game of Battlecards. During the waiting for the event to start, the staff was performing deck checks, including a call out for Ash Ketchem. All the trainers appalled and laughed at the joke. Meanwhile, everybody associated with the Pokegym were given a special VIP tag. On the back of the tag was a quote from all of us to Sensei:

“The bearer of this badge is a Pokemon connoisseur of good taste. The bearer freely admits that the Pokegym is the best Pokemon site on the Web. Furthermore, the bearer agrees to give Sensei their entire Pokemon collection!!”

…Yeah, you’ll get my collection when my plush Pikachu wakes up one day and says, “I don’t wanna play anymore!” Gotta love Sensei’s sense of humor.

The tournament had an outstanding turnout. We had 21 trainers in the 10 and under division, 46 in the 11-14 division and finally 64 in the 15 and over category. The tournament started out a bit late, but that’s okay. The tournament’s time limit was virtually the same as last night’s practice tournament with one more minute added for setup. Once that was explained to us, away we went:

Round 1 vs. Emily Kerruish- 10:55am.

My first match was very, very close. Literally, the prize count was six to five. My opponent was using Psychic/Water: GEX and Gorebyss. The match was the same as before. It went back and forth, but in the end, I was able to survive. I asked her if she was at Origins and I told her a little about the events of that day. I wished her luck and made my way to the rest of the group.

Record: 1-0

Now, after all the information was inputted in the computer, there was a slight delay. No, I’m not talking about a three hour epidemic. The problem was fixed in ten minutes and the almighty one was Randy! Three cheers for Randy!

Round 2 vs. Adam Capriola- 11:51am.

My second match lasted about as long as my first round match. The gentleman was also using Psychic/Water but different Pokemon: Starmie, Gorebyss, Dunsprace. It was nice to meet another rogue player, but this rogue prevailed. I wished him luck with the rest of the tournament.

Record: 2-0

Lunch!!! – ‘Till 1 pm.

Lunch was good! They had a special for a hotdog meal and a hamburger meal. I took the hamburger meal. After, I decided to check out some of the side events they were having. Of course, if you dropped out early, they were setting up booster drafts and unlimited tournaments. Also, there were other events like the drawing contest. Then, there was a “Guess the amount of damage counters in the jar” contest. I guessed 225, but that was WAY low! Steven won that contest, guessing 688. The actual number was 693. Super cool! The prize for the guess was a DVD of the sixth Pokemon movie: Jirachi’s Wishmaker. Finally, the Card Design contest had one of three categories you could win: The most original, the most playable and the most broken.

Round 3 vs. Brett MacDonald- 1 pm.

This was the first loss of the day and it was a fast loss too. I fell to GEX and Gorebyss and couldn’t get the start I wanted. Oh well, three more rounds to go.

Record: 2-1

Round 4 vs. Zachery Enmann- 1:41 pm.

I also fell to this awesome trainer. Zachery was using a Water deck: Milotic and Wailren. I did my best to keep up with it, but the flips were not falling in my favor. I guess this is where I fall down.

Record: 2-2

Round 5 vs. Michael Davis- 2:29 pm.

This match went down to the wire with another close six to five prize count! Michael was another Garde., Gorebyss deck with a lot of weight behind it. I was worried for a while if I would make it or not. But, I was able to rally the deck and we were lucky to win. After that match, a hearty handshake was had and I could finally breathe again!

One thing I noticed about the decks I’ve come across: They were either GEX or counters to GEX. With the exception of Miranda’s Rambo deck, I had not seen any BAR decks at all. I guess the National Championships had more of an impact than I realized.

Record: 3-2

Round 6 vs. James White- 3:08 pm.

The match would’ve been more interesting if my opponent’s deck didn’t stall. I started off slow and was able to build myself a decent offense while James was drawing for his life and could not get what he needed. In the end, I knocked out a Wobbuffet and a Kirila to win the match.

Record: 4-2

Now, 10 and under would be starting at Top 8, 11-14 and 15 and over divisions started at Top 16. Steven’s and my record before round six was 3-2. However, Steven could not win his match and that left him and Joe and more of the people I knew at 3-3. We waited for the results and soon there were in:

Top 16

1- Eric Craig
2- John Wetz
2- Luke Reed
4- Chris Fullop
5- Brett MacDonald
5- Jonathon Anderson
5- Mike Pramawat
5- Adam Capriola
5- Sean Guanon
5- Lawrence Faverey
5- Matthew Cunning
12- Zachery Enmann
12- Bryan Bowen
12- Ray Rufa
12- Brian Leary
12- Steven Silvestro

As soon as we heard my name in the top 16, we exploded. Everyone was looking at us funny, like we never came that far before and that is the truth ladies and gentlemen! The staff did deck checks and I was given a caution and told in the future to describe my cards more clearly before handing in the deck sheet. Okay, no harm, no foul.

Meanwhile, Sensei raffled off some merchandise. Before the first round began, each player was given a ticket. If that player’s number was called, a prize was given to that player. Also, only one prize per person could be given. The door prize was a GameCube, but that wasn’t the only prize. A box of Team Magma/Team Aqua was raffled as well as: A three pack box, Pokemon Action Figures, Pokebeads, a binder, 4 card display frames, a pack of promos, a Pokemon Sapphire game and finally Staff Shirts (Medium Size only).

Once this was finished, Sensei described the rules to all of us for the matches: The match would be fought best two out of three, there would be a 60 minute time limit, this was single elimination and a judge would be watching every match closely. And it would figure, when I had finally reached my high point of the day, my deck and I would run head first into the bane of our existence:

Top 16 vs. Chris Fallop.- 4:24 pm.

I must confess; I thought I had faced Chris earlier and believed he was one of my opponents who defeated me. So, I was happy to be able to see his deck at full strength. His deck consisted of Psychic/Steel/Water:

Match 1: I ended up with a poor draw and lost the match. During the match, I came across a couple of Gorebyss’s and a Metagross! Oh no! Well, thank God it wasn’t Metagorss EX, but it still hammered me and I could not fight back. Also, I got a little too excited and received a warning for attempting to play a second Supporter card in the same turn.

I had already played Professor Oak’s Research and pulled Beedrill and Prof. Elm’s Training Method. I became too excited and tried to play it, but Chris stopped me as I revealed the bottom card of my deck. Our judge discussed it, gave me a warning and let Chris see the bottom card. Shortly after, I fell.

Match 2: This match lasted a little longer than the first one. We had decent starts and he was able to play two Metagross’s. The twins were having fun with my Pokemon and evading my paralyzing and poisoning abilities. In spite of that, I was starting to gain a decent offense. Then, the bane of my existence appeared… METAGROSS EX!! MEX immediately became the active Pokemon and Chris transferred all four Metal Energies to MEX.

This battle now became impossible to win. MEX is a Steel type and thus had Resistance to Grass. Plus, with four Metal Energies attached, all damage done to it by my deck was reduced by 70. I lost, but I did go out with a bang. Beedrill had the last stab at MEX. So, I rolled for its attack and flipped four heads! The attack’s damage was reduced from 100 to 30. Once my turn was over, Chris took his last prize and I was eliminated. We shook hands, reported what happened and shortly after, we had to leave. I would like to have stayed, but we didn’t have the ability to stay a second evening and we were all hungry.

Props to:

The entire staff of professors who made the event such a thrill!
To the players who’s performance and decks may predict the World Championship.
The Apprentice, because I love this show.

Ultimate Props:

The dynamic duo: Sensei and PokePop.
To randy for fixing the delay in record time!
To Chris Fullop, for getting second place! Good luck man!
Ditto to Justin Hodges and Yu-Gi-Oh!

Slops:

Construction, traffic and tolls! When will it end?!

Sensei
07/21/2004, 05:41 PM
LOL Ray. Great report!

Now, where`s that sidekick PokePop? Ah, off to the PokeCave `Pop! :D

`Sensei

PokePop
07/21/2004, 06:51 PM
You'll look better in the shorts, Boy Wonder!

Mike
07/21/2004, 09:00 PM
Congrats Ray on making t16! After you beat me in round 5, I was glad to find out that you were able to go all the way to t16.

LuMaga1
07/22/2004, 11:53 AM
Congrats Ray on making t16! After you beat me in round 5, I was glad to find out that you were able to go all the way to t16.

Thank you! Our match was one of the best one's of the day for me. :D

FireFighter095ReBorn
07/22/2004, 06:34 PM
Congrats on the T16 ray. I was glad to see one of us make it all the way to the big show and have a chance at worlds. It was a hard way ther and back through tolls and traffic and the new paltz mistake was a shot but hey in all it was a great time. its just gonna suck not having you and steve there to chat with and hang with while in in orlando. Atleast FlareStarFire and JohhnyBlaze will be there to hang out with.. :D

JohnnyBlaze
07/26/2004, 07:29 AM
Congrats on Top 16 Ray. Nice job nad great report. Man I sure hope you can make it to Orlando.

EeveeTrainer
07/30/2004, 02:23 PM
5- Matthew Cunning

Not to nitpick...but it's Canning

grats though on t16 and I know what you mean about that MEX deck...schooled me pretty well in T8.

LuMaga1
08/03/2004, 09:53 AM
Not to nitpick...but it's Canning

grats though on t16 and I know what you mean about that MEX deck...schooled me pretty well in T8.

Sorry about that, but that's what I saw on the print out.

Thanks for the compliment. :D