|07/04/2012, 07:38 PM||#1|
There and Back Again - Nationals Tournnament Report
Tournament Report – Nationals
A lot of you don't know much about me. I don't really post much about myself, though I have a fairly high post count here. I haven't accomplished much in this game, and I don't think of myself as all that great a player. This season I've been really struggling more so than ever. It began with a horrible battle road tournament, but things seemed to be looking up after I managed to top 4 one Battle Road, and then win in another. Regionals comes a long, but I skip it to go with my dad and sister to a con instead. Dad is the PTO for North and South Carolina, so this was an attempt to try and get our names out there a little more and attract a little more attention. Despite not really being able to do that, it was a lot of fun. Cities get started pretty quickly, it felt like the wait was not long. At the last minute, dad decides he wants to go to Kentucky, so we pack up and get ourselves up there for the two Cities going on there during Thanksgiving weekend. My second win of the season comes, and I feel like this season is going to be a good one. Sunday hits, and I don't do that well. Fast forward to Prereleases. At this point, I had four cities under my belt, a top 4 at another, and currently rest at thirty-three points. I can feel the invite, can almost smell it. But, I had a bad feeling about States and Regionals. And, sure enough, my bad feeling came true in the worst way possible. I bombed States, bombed Regionals, and was really gloom about everything. Normally, I have one bad states, or a bad Regionals. But, to have both happen? It was a crushing blow to me. I felt like I was in the proverbial woods looking for a way out with none in sight. Battle Roads quickly come, and I manage to get second at one; however, my luck seems to continue to want to push me down. It got bad for me. I love this game with all my soul, anyone that knows me will be able to tell you that. That said, I was beginning to think of myself as worse than average, beginning to think that I was no longer cut out for this game. Thus, when Nationals drew near, I was telling myself to simply enjoy it, and try to not dwell on everything else that had been happening event wise.
My family and I begin the trip to Nationals on Tuesday. I'm excited simply to meet people and get these awful times behind me. We were looking to leave at six in the morning as dad wanted to eat at a favorite restaurant of his, Big Boy, but we end up departing around eight or so. But, we make pretty good time, as dad is putting the petal to the metal. I had my music player on, blasting all sorts of metal, and just excited to meet so many people from HT. I was determined to make that the highlight of my trip, as I felt that Nationals would not go swimmingly for me like I would have wanted. At around seven o'clock, we finally arrive. We're all fairly exhausted, so we get a couple things done, get a cheap dinner, and hit the sack.
My first real day in Indianapolis, and I was determined to make this nationals as fun as possible. Everyone in the family gets up early to take dad to the PTO conference, and I get out along with him to meet up with people. I first end up meeting up with Cody Giles, one of my best friends, and we go to the food court to test. He was pretty determined to play a Hammerai that was based on Dustin Zimmerman's build, while I was deciding on both CMTerrak and Vileplume. I was torn between the two, as both seemed like they could go the distance. In testing though, Vileplume didn't seem to hold up, whereas I knew that CMT was working prior to this week. After testing our brains out in the food court, we get lunch. I re-introduce Taco Bell to Cody, and I swear the boy had found crack itself. I convince him to order a Beefy Nacho Burrito, and when he finishes his, he goes up to get another.
Quickly after we eat, we meet up with Perry Going, Anthony Deisiata, Garret Williamson, and a friend that doesn't play pokemon, Chipley. We all hang out in the open gaming room and enjoy a nice cube draft with a sick choice of cards. My team, which consisted of Perry and Anthony end up winning it. The deck I had drafted consisted of Jungle Clefable, Fossil Ditto, Yanmega Prime, Electrode SW, Claydol, and even Pow! Hand Extension. The day continues on with all of us just enjoying the day, testing some here and there, and then I end up heading back to my hotel for the night. I learn that dad is going to be doing data entry for the masters, so we're in for a late night tomorrow.
The day before Nationals. The final day to decide what deck I would take into the event and brave through nine rounds with. I couldn't sleep because a lot of things were on my mind. I end up taking a walk for a bit, and just decide to stay up so that I can sleep later on. Soon, we find ourselves heading toward the convention though, and another exciting day ahead.
I meet up with some people in my area, such as the Sabelhaus's, Joshua Harvley, Casey Millar, and Patrick Orgel. I play some games, and then go over to Troll and Toad to sell my rotating collection of HeartGoldSoulSilver related material. In the line, I see some North Carolina locals, such as Robert Shipp, Phillip Matthews, Jonathan Everette, and I think a couple more. We simply wait in the line for a bit. I would have gone to Collector's Cache if I felt like I would have gotten through the line faster, but I just wanted these HGSS cards taken from me so that I wouldn't have to remember much from this format. But, once I get my cards sold, I head over to CC and buy two deck boxes, and a pack of KMC Brown sleeves. From there, I go over to the Registration line, and get to wait by Robert, his girlfriend, and some of the company I had from before. The wait felt like an eternity, with staff members calling out for different letters and trying to keep law and order maintained. Eventually, I get my sister and I registered, and quickly go to meet up with more people. It was not too long before I was graced with Robby Gill and new faces, such as the legendary Mike Newman, I believe Curtmina, Chase Nieman (I had previously met up with him, but he walked around to meet up with other people once I started playing some games). Our group decides to head over to White Castle, braving through the Hell that is outside (the weather). After sweating fountains in our little adventure, we make it over and welcome the air conditioning. It was not long before we were joined by Emily Engle and one of her friends (I have to apologize here, I don't remember her name because I'm lame). It was a great time to be had at White Castle, the little HT pow-wow before the dinner. The day seems to be coming to a close fast, though. We go back to the convention center, and I end up playing some more games against Catherine Peters, and see Jon Skinner again (both from the North Carolina area). After dad gets done with data entry, we head back to the hotel to get some quick shut eye. That night, I decide once and for all that I'm going to be playing CMTerrak. So, I sleeve my deck up in pink dragonshields, fill out my deck sheet, and get to bed.
For those that are even slightly curious, here's the list:
5 Fighting Energy
7 Grass Energy
1 Energy Retrieval
3 Skyarrow Bridge
4 Pokémon Catcher
4 Junk Arm
4 Professor Oak's New Theory
4 Professor Juniper
4 Dual Ball
1 Shaymin UL
1 Tornadus EX
2 Smeargle UD
2 Mewtwo ex RS
3 Terrakion NV
4 Celebi (Prime)
It was a pretty simple list, but it was an effective one, I thought. Upon retrospect, I wish I would have been able to get a second Tornadus EX in. A big thanks to Chad Harris. He was the mastermind to this list, and I would not have even considered CMT without his help.
“We come to it at last – the great battle of our time.” - Gandalf
(I had to do it, I love the Lord of the Rings movies)
Nationals finally hits. The tournament I have been so unsure about is finally here. Everyone gets up at a pretty early hour, and we jet out of the hotel pretty quickly. Dad has to be there around 7:30, so we get there early enough so that there's plenty of time for that. The rest of the family waits for the tournament to start. I fill out my sisters deck sheet, as she is playing the same deck as I am. I meet up with Perry again, and we just kind of walk around once I'm done.
Being there and waiting for the tournament to start, I thought I'd feel more anticipation. But, I can simply feel the “whatever happens will happen” mode. It seems like things quickly get moving, and before I know it, it's time to jump into the biggest tournament of the year.
Round 1 – Jeremy Jallen (Eelektrik)
When I look at the pairings, I see that I'm facing Jeremy. I won't lie, I got nervous. I knew Jeremy was a good player, I hadn't forgotten about the top 8 he made at worlds. All I can think about is how I'm facing a good player round 1, but I'm ready to go into the match. We sit down, and Jeremy seems full of energy. Even before the game, he seemed like a really nice guy, which I was glad to see. I don't remember many of the details, but I start off having to Juniper 2 Catcher away. Not a start I'd like to see. I eventually get into my Terraks, and we finally get into the game. Beforehand, it seemed like the two of us were setting up and just waiting. I manage to net other Catchers, and Junk Arm ends up being my savior if I remember correctly. I eventually take this game thanks to some lucky breaks.
Round 2 – ???
I'm not sure what this deck was, but I believe it was Darkrai. However, it didn't last long, as I donked the guy. :(
Round 3 – Darkrai
I believe I sit next to Curran Hill this round, and I see that he donks his opponent with Mewtwo EX. I'm facing Darkrai, and my hand isn't the best. But, I eventually am able to get my Terrak army going and running through his Darkrai. It comes down to him having to net an N to stop my really good hand, but he did not hit it. The game was close, and ended up coming down to 1-1 on prizes, but Terrak seals the deal and earns my me my next win.
Round 4 – Vanilluxe
I get yet another donk this round, having the perfect hand for a Tornadus EX donk. The guy starts with Smeargle, but I go first. He tells me afterward that his hand wasn't that good, as he had a lot of evolutions in his hand.
Round 5 – Darkrai
The last round of the day, and I'm amazed that I'm 4-0. But, I'm trying to keep things in perspective, telling myself that I can't let my guard down yet. Things can still go downhill from here. I see that I'm facing yet another Darkrai. The game ends up being pretty good. If I remember correctly, we both don't have the best of starts, but he's able to manage things better. I think I try to Portrait, but don't find anything in his hand. In the end, he takes this game, though it was fairly close. 4-1
At this point, I'm pretty happy to finish out the day at 4-1. Things are looking up, but, I keep telling myself that it can all be taken away. I know that I just have to keep everything together and keep up the good work.
Saturday, the next chapter in Nationals. My family and I had gotten back kind of late from the event. We get some Rally's and head back to the hotel. I think I ate a little much as, when I wake up on this morning, my stomach is giving me fits. I'm not sure if it's stress or simply from eating so late, but I end up not going back to sleep. Soon, though, we end up heading off to the convention center, and I can feel myself feeling better. We get dad dropped off, then proceed to head over to a gas station. Once we were done there, it was time to wait for day two of Nationals to start up.
Round 6 – Darkrai/Tornadus
So, my opponent is someone I recognized. I wish I could remember his name, but I unfortunately cannot. Getting going quickly, we set up and I believe I start off the game going first. Because I know I'm facing Darkrai, I proceed to go for a quick first Terrak, and attempt to grab some cheap prizes on Smeargle's. My Terrak dies, as well as a Celebi, but I'm able to respond to his Darkrai with another Terrak. I also manage to grab a Tornadus EX along the way, as I figured he would be really useful later in the game. Turns out I was right. I try to blow this game, though, as I try to use Blow Through, but immediately try to say Power Blast. My opponent was understanding (which I really appreciated), and I ended up taking this game.
Round 7 – Eelektrik (I believe his last name was Graham)
I'm at table 3, sitting next to Johnny Kettler himself, and Harrison Leven is at table one at this point. I believe Andrew Murray is also by me at this point. I can see my dad, but the reality hasn't even set in yet that I'm doing really well thus far. My opponent was a really swell guy, which I was thankful for. We soon get under way. I have the chance to donk, and I do everything I can to go for it, but no dice. He tries to set up, but he's having a pretty tough time. He can't seem to draw into much, but he does get Eels on the board. I take one Eel out, then turn my attention to a Zekrom if I remember correctly. The entire time, neither one of us had much, but I just had a little more going my way than he did. I take this game, and wish my opponent the best of luck.
Round 8 – Darkrai/Terrakion
The deal breaker. The chance to finally secure myself in the top cut. I have two more rounds, and I just have to win one more. This time I'm facing another Darkrai. We both start out with little to nothing. He Portraits my hand, sees that I have nothing, and apologizes for that. Not like a jerk, he just remarked that he hated seeing that. He eventually has to N, though, as he did not have much either. From there, I'm able to start really getting the engine running. At one point, it comes down to having to get a KO on a Darkrai of his, and he had just used Night Spear to knock two things out. I land the magic cards necessary, and take out his Darkrai. There's not much he can do from there, though he uses a Terrak's Land Crush. I Catcher up a Shaymin and take it out for the game.
I think to myself that I had done it, I had secured my spot in top cut. But, I was not ready to give up quite yet. I was on a roll, and I was going to see how far that roll would go.
Round 9 – Phillip Matthews with Eelektrik
I see that I'm facing Phillip, and I kind of giggle to myself. We're both from North Carolina, and both of us have that feeling of how we came all this way just to play one another. At this point, we're both just glad to be secured into top cut. He starts off with a Mewtwo. I have a decent hand, but decide to hold things back. He goes and attaches a DCE to the Mewtwo and starts trying to rush me. I draw, lay down my own Mewtwo, Forest Breath to it, Pluspower, Juniper. I take out his Mewtwo that turn, which gives me a pretty big opening. Eventually, Terrakion and Mewtwo become too much for him. He takes out my first Mewtwo, but I'm able to take his out, and have Terrakion answers. He goes to try and N me, but can't land the N he needs.
At this point, I'm in top cut. I begin walking over to tell mom the good news...and then it hits me. I just went 8-1 and got top cut. At this point, I was just happy to have that go for me considering what the season had been like for me States and onward. Mom, my sister and I get lunch, and I'm just ready to play in top cut by this point.
I find that I'm facing Austin Cook in top 128. The irony to that was just hysterical, considering that both his father and mine were running the computers for Masters. I find out that it's a CMT mirror...naturally, this mirror match is pretty dumb. We both acknowledge that once we get seated.
Top 128 – Austin Cook
Game 1 – He doesn't get much going for him, while I'm able to have a lot more going in my favor. I pull out Tornadus EX and start storming his field. It quickly becomes a Mewtwo War, though, and I eventually pull ahead.
Game 2 – Once again, it appears that he doesn't have much going for him, and he starts burning through his deck like there's no tomorrow. I'm not burning through, but I go for Tornadus EX again and try to storm his field. But, it doesn't last long. It goes down to one prize, and he's managed to not use a lot of catchers, so he swipes his last KO via a catcher kill on a Celebi, if I remember correctly.
Game 3 – We both start Terrakion, which was pretty ironic. Once again, I go for my Tornadus EX, and we soon begin the Mewtwo war. We both get down to two prizes, and I have Terrak up in the active spot, a Celebi, a Smeargle, and maybe a Mewtwo on the bench. He has a Mewtwo active with two grass, while I have a Terrak with two fighting and an eviolite. I have an energy and a Juniper in hand, and I think a couple other cards. I'm faced with a decision: Hit the Mewtwo EX for 90 with Land Crush, or hit for 30 and come up with my Mewtwo and kill it. I decide to hit for 30, and I end up paying for it. He retreats, uses Celebration Wind to move the other grass to his Tornadus, uses a Pluspower, and takes out my Terrak. It was at this point that I figured I couldn't win, knowing that I took myself out with a mistake I made. He ends up taking the game. Great games nonetheless, Austin!
So, my run is over just like that. But, I felt so relieved. Finally, I felt like I broke through. Granted, I only made it to top 128, so the achievement wasn't all that impressive. But, I was happy nonetheless.
So, at this point, I'm just hanging out, trying to support everyone one of my friends that's still in top cut, trying to relax, the whole nine-yards.
Before I know it, the HT dinner commences, and man...what a blast I had at this dinner. This was the thing I was looking forward to the most, and I figured out why incredibly quickly. It was great to meet new people, and see old faces all at once.
I stay over at Perry's place and sleep in until like...eleven something, if I remember correctly. It might have been a little later. But, Perry and I make our way to the convention. I hear that Kevin Nance is in top four, while Ashon Haswell had lost in top 8. I was hoping the both of them would advance to top 4, but at least one of them did it. I was still more than glad to see Ashon go so far though. But, I'm rooting for Kevin at this point, wanting so bad for him to take it.
Top two for Nationals soon commences, and I take a seat and just wait. I can't see a damn thing, but I'm cheering on Kevin as loud as I could in my head. It feels like time has slowed down as I continue to watch, and I can feel my heart pounding with intense sensation, as if I was playing that game myself. I look over to Frank Hamilton (Bleak), and make a crack about Rob Halford, saying: “Now I know how Halford feels when he wants a man.” But, truth be told, I was rooting for Kevin all the way.
But, tragedy strikes. Klinklang, almost in his last ditch effort, comes out from nowhere. He prepares his gears to grind up a poor, innocent Smeargle...and a heads is flipped. Just like that, Klinklang wins Nationals. I'm sad to see Kevin come so close, really sad. Once again, North Carolina almost takes it. But, at the same time, it was good to see Klinklang win. A stage 2 deck taking Nationals was just...surreal. Just like that, though, it's over.
Not too long after all of this, it's time for Dad to collect his swag, and time for me to give out goodbyes to a lot of people.
Post-Nationals Depression begins to set in. It's finally time to leave this great place to go back to reality again. We set out for North Carolina, and get there after about ten hours of driving.
Every person I got to see at Nationals. Every last one.
The HT dinner
TTC not being allowed to film the top 2 match.
(I'll add more props later)
Last edited by supertyranitar; 07/04/2012 at 07:45 PM.
|07/06/2012, 10:04 PM||#2|
Great job with Top 128 dude! Making top cut in the largest Pokemon tournament in history is something you should be very proud of. I made top 128 too, and I felt happy with my achievement as well.
Hope you continue to have some awesome years in playing Pokemon, and good luck in grinders if you are going!
|07/30/2012, 06:32 PM||#5|
Nice job with a great build! I personally would still run Double Colorless Energy, but your list isn't too dependent on Mewtwo and it seems Terriokon is your MVP in the Nationals meta-game.
|07/30/2012, 07:35 PM||#6|
@JPN Gallade: Thanks! I'm definitely proud of it, and I only plan to go deeper next year.
@Dendrobatida: It was great to see you there too, Jake! I almost couldn't believe it when I saw you there. ;p
@Cmak: Thanks, bro! It'll be great to see you in the game again. :D
@deckmaster: I definitely wanted to run DCE, but it made the deck more inconsistent when paired with Terrakion. At least, that's how I felt about it. I honestly wasn't heart broken about not having DCE, but it would have been nice to have for sure. And thanks! :D