K so flew into Toronto not entirely sure what I was gonna use but had it narrowed down to Flygon, Gardy and Luxape. After some irl testing thursday and friday and scoping out the metagame a little bit myself, Kant, and his brother Monta all decided to run identical Flygon lists and Gordon opted to use Beedrill.
On friday I had to find myself an Uxie as it was the only card I needed for my deck. I went up to Andrew and Willie's room and bought one off Andrew, and we then proceeded to play a few games...came back to haunt me later as both of them used flygon and you'll see what happened in top 4 if you dont know already ;x
I had been testing a couple weeks prior on apprentice and really liked my Flygon build and all the matchups it had. I was fairly confident that with Nidoqueen I would have an advatage over almost every archetype, Beedrill and Luxape being the closest matchups.
So at the tourney the announce that we had 123 players, =/. 5 or 6 short of top 32, so 7 rounds, 6-1 is guaranteed to make it and more than half the 5-2s will whiff. Lame stuff, but whatever, I usually do fairly well in swiss so I just went to work and began grinding it out.
Round 1: vs Allan (Dusknoir/Honchkrow)
I got Sableye start to his Duskull (fortunately for him he played the 60 HP one) and just started setting up and I think I weaviled on my 2nd turn of the game. He didn't see a single supporter, he had a terrible draw, and I just got out the lv X and ran him over. Sucks that his draw was so terrible, he actually ended up coming top 16 so clearly his deck was strong.
Round 2: vs Machamp/Pokeblowers
Basically I setup fine again, he did not get t1 machamp, and it was smooth sailing from there. I ended up discarding a key Pokeblower with Flygon lv X but I was in control the whole way. Nidoqueen was there to mega punch if needed.
Round 3: vs Bernie (Luxape)
A bit of a slower start for me, and when he flipped over Luxray I immediately went to my strategy when playing vs that deck. I called for a Baltoy and Sneasel and then proceeded to roseanne the next turn for the same 2 basics. I had BTS in play so if he opted to KO one of them I had another one coming right away. However, he split bombed my Trapinch on the first turn and I was unable to evolve past Vibrava on my third turn. He then had Luxray, brought up Vibrava with 2 energies...and tried to KO me, oops he forgot about resistance. I then got the flygon next turn, evolved, Shadow Charged, and setup and he could never kill my Flygon lv X. I dont think he was using Claydol so he eventually just ran out of gas. Nidoqueen helped me to secure the win.
Round 4: vs some guy who had clearly played many other card games before but playing in his FIRST pokemon tournament (Gengar)
So we were talking and introducing ourselves prior to the match and he was like 'yea ive been playing magic for many years, this is my first pokemon tournament. The card shop owner i go to gave me a tier 1 deck and I said why not, lets try it out.' So right away I assumed he was playing Gengar. Well here we go, finally an IRL test vs the deck that I had been beating all the time on apprentice.
Well I mulligan twice and then start with unown G. ;/ I use call energy and get whatever, then he t2 evolves to gengar and KOs my G. great, now I would only be able to G a Claydol and would have to hope to draw into NM later to get back my unown. I think I h ad to azelf at one point to get going for a Claydol, so that was another easy prize for him. I really did not get ideal setup in this game, as I had to sac a bunch at the beginning to stay alive. By the time I finally got a Flygon he had multiple gengars, and I had to make some important decisions. Usually, I do not even risk one fainting spell in a single game, but I didn't have a Weavile in play =/ and uxie was prized so I couldnt pull of the flygon attack/next turn Uxie trick.
I had to just swing with Flygon...he got tails. Heads it was pretty much GG :/. Same thing continued, except next turn I did it with a Sableye for the KO...he got tails again. Either of these heads he likely wins. Normally I still would have had a chance in the game to just discard his whole deck, but this was his first Pokemon tournament so he was taking like 2-4 minutes a turn which really didnt allow me to even consider that as an option.
It got down to the point where it was 3-2 in prizes for him, and basically I was gonna have to swing at a gengar again and it would come to a game deciding fainting spell flip (both his NM were gone and this was his last gengar). He then played a Lookers investigation to see how much he could poltergeist for (it wasnt enough to KO my flygon). Btw throughout this match I was having trouble managing my trainers as I kept drawing into rare candies and no nidoqueen, other useless stuff, etc. I couldnt even get a queen in play and he just shadow roomed my nidoran twice for the ko. After the lookers he shuffles my hand into my deck and i was thinking great, its gonna come down to a fainting spell flip. I had gotten so lucky just to be in that situation. After shuffling my hand into my deck, hes like "o crap, I already played roseannes." I wouldnt have noticed anything. So he calls a judge over and the judge after conferring with other judges gives him a game loss.
Sucks to win like this as I really had no business winning this game. He rolls for the fainting spell flip just for fun...and gets tails again. ;/ I think this was probably the luckiest game of Pokemon I have ever had. However, I give myself some minor credit for realizing that my normal strategies against Gengar (KO with Uxie or deck them) were not going to work at all so I did give myself a chance to win, albeit a small one, by risking the fainting spell flips.
For someone who never played Pokemon before I give this guy a lot of credit. Although Gengar isnt exactly the hardest deck to play ;x he did make a lot of the correct decisions and at most I noticed a few minor misplays.
Round 5: Brendan (Rhyperior/Flygon)
haha I made a deck like this just for fun on apprentice but found it pretty inconsistent, and I thought that it might have an issue winning on time. Sure enough, he starts with 3 rhyhorns. So i just got a Flygon lv X out and he had to waste scoop ups early on Uxies just to draw into stuff, I don't think he took a single prize, maybe one, but the early start screwed him as well as the fact I could one shot his flygon. I ended up winning the game on prizes I think but I actually could have decked him lol. he got off probably 4 rhyperiors but I saved my maintenance in my hand to ensure the victory.
Round 6: Player from Quebec with Kingdra
Well he mulligans and I have a lone baltoy start and I see he runs Kingdra. Crap. At regionals in my t4 match I lost both games 1 and 3 to kingdra, being t1d both times, so this seemed like deja vu. I draw for mulligan, nothing. He mulligans again...and I draw sneasel. Phew. Put both of them down. I lose the roll though so I guess it wouldnt have mattered. I start setting up and he can't get kingdra on his 2nd turn which really hurts him. I was forced to play down a BTS (which I obviously dont want to do so I can get the sand wall immunity) but I was fairly sure I had the match under control as I had gotten nidoqueen out fairly early. If I didn't have nidoqueen for sure I would have lost. It's a strange game because even though he had THREE claydol in play and was going through his deck like crazy I can't deck kingdra because of Aqua stream. However I pretty much had the game under control the whole time as the most he could do was 3 shot my flygon x. I had 3 sp darks on flygon so i was doing 130 with 4 evos on the bench. I also at one point attacked with Vibrava for like 200 hahahah. Avoided a scare here.
Round 7: Gordon with Beedrill
Pretty sweet how me and gordon were both 6-0. I had tested this matchup on friday and had a lotf of sucess but I knew it was still close, and I hadnt played Gordons yet at all. He started with unown G and I dont think he could get much off his early Uxie and I got setup really quickly and just 6-0d him before he could really get going. He was forced to sac a bunch of stuff and yea it was just not much of a match, pretty lame.
going undefeated was pretty cool, but I have definitely been in this situation before and it doesnt really mean anything. I have a lot of success in swiss and it definitely does not always translate to success in the top cut. I had been fortunate in the matchups I think, as there was a lot of random dusknoir junk running around so I had been able to avoid those all day.
top 16 vs Derek (Abomasnow Manetric)
Well, I knew that I would win for sure as soon as I got nidoqueen out. It was a bit of a struggle in the first game as I think I had to azelf for the nidoran, but once I got it out he was up a couple prizes but no big deal, he couldnt kill my Flygon X. He played devoluter and I was unable to G my nidoqueen when I played it but he didnt really notice that he could devolve it so I think that was a bit of an error.
Same thing, except this time I got behind like 3 prizes and had a fairly crappy start. I took soooo long to find Nidoqueen but this time I G'd it right away. Time was getting close and he was up 4-2 or 3-2 on rpzies I beleive with my flygon X active, and me being able to OHKO anything on his field. He ended up using Cynthias leaving himself with 2 cards left in the deck and my Flgyon was active, he couldnt Claydol anymore and didnt get NM lol so I just decked him. I would have definitely lost these matches tho if I didn't have queen.
Top 8 vs Charlie (Luxape, same list as the one I faced in round 3)
Sucks that I had to play charlie as hes a friend from BC but there were like 5 of my friends left in top 8 so I was bound to play somebody i knew lol. He got up 3 prizes in this game but he didnt really have the 2 luxray in play to ensure that he could pull off the gust every turn. With no Claydol I think he just ran out of gas, but I think it woudl have helped him earlier as opposed to late game because when I got the lv X out there was no way he was going to KO it. I just setup the Flygon lv X and he couldnt take it out, I used Extreme attack like at least 3-4 times and with the discarding it was just too much to handle.
I think he got a pretty bad start and I got a decent one, again was able to get the Flygon out and just he was unable to KO it or disrupt my setup early enough to stop me from getting going. Felt bad about eliminating him but it was just the way the draw fell.
Top 4 vs Andrew (Flygon/Dusknoir/Ditto)
I was waiting to see who I would play top 4, hoping that I would not run into this, because this was basically autoloss lol. He basically decided to run this yesterday after seieng how much Flygon there was gonna be so he teched in Dusk and Ditto as opposed to queen. In order to beat this I would have to keep my bench Claydol, Weavile, Nidoqueen, and Flygon specifically unless he got some kind of ridiculous crap start. I knew I could not afford to drop Sableyes or Azelfs or this would quickly turn sour.
Well, first game I open with Azelf, and both my weaviles are prized. I probably shoulfd have scooped as soon as I saw this but I waited like 20 minutes to see if his dusk wasnt prized and if he could get it out at the right times. I was attacking with Sableye lol and he was attacking with uxie, he got fully setup while I couldnt, and when he played Dusknoir even tho it was 5-5 prizes I just peaced and went to game 2
Game 2: Again, not sure what I start with, but I have no supporters in my hand except roseanne and uxie was prized. I had to get out Sableye again but he was setting up quickly and me having to play with only 3 on the bench I just had no chance.
Came 3rd place, and I was really grateful when I was informed that due to hard work of volunteers and judges throughout the course of the season, they had raised money for all the third place finishers and would reimburse them partially if they chose to go to worlds. This was really cool and I appreciate that a lot.
Congrats to Andrew for winning as hes a cool guy and a good player and I believe that Flygon was the play for this tournament so I'm happy to see that it won.
Props to Kant and his brother Monta both for t8ing in their first Pokemon tourney of the year with identical flygon lists, I think this really proved that it was the right deck choice as 4/8 of the top decks were Flygon.
Congrats to Gordon for coming t4, it was too bad neither of us could make the finals but I think we are both pretty happy with the invite.
Congrats to Connor C from Vancouver for coming 3rd and continuing his hot streak at major tournaments!! Way to go Connor!!!
Thanks a lot to all the judges and volunteers who made this possible, the work and time these people put in is really incredible as they really go out of their way to make sure Canadians have an excellent representation at worlds and I am really thankful for all their hard work.
It was cool to meet new people/see everyone again. I had a lot of fun this weekend.
Feels good to be back playing in worlds after a 2 year absence as being there last year and missing in the grinder was really tough to deal with.
I look forward to seeing everybody and good luck at US nats!!!
See you all in San Diego!!!